Prevent Genocide International 

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

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Burundi AFP 3 May 2004 The presidents of Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania are due to meet in Dar es Salaam on Friday to discuss the peace process in Burundi and how to deal with the country's last active rebel group, the FNL (Forces for the Defence of Democracy) / AFP 3 May 2004 Former rebels , the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD), pull out of Burundi government, parliament / IRIN 17 May 2004 Assistant UN Secretary-General Tuliameni Kalamoh arrived in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, on Sunday, heading a delegation that is in the country to establish whether or not a judicial commission of inquiry should be set up to investigate massacres that may have been committed since Burundi's independence in 1962.

Chad AFP 29 Apr 2004 Sudan accused of Darfur truce breach as militia attacks Chad town / BBC 30 Apr 2004 Chad army deploys on Sudan border

Côte d’Ivoire ICRC 27-04-2004 ICRC News 04/57 Côte d’Ivoire: Aiding villagers in the west / BBC 3 May 2004 Ivory Coast protest 'left 120 dead' The UN said victims were targeted according to their ethnic group At least 120 demonstrators were killed by the security forces in Ivory Coast in March, according to a UN report.

DR Congo AFP 30 Apr 2004 At least 78 killed in week of clashes in eastern DR Congo / VOA 3 May 2004 UN Peacekeepers Predict Instability if Rwanda Sends Troops Into DRC / Mail & Guardian ZA 3 May 2004 Fear, rather than loyalty or ideology, is what keeps many young Rwandan rebels holed up in the bush in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to men who surrendered from the insurgency. / IHT 10 May 2004 The UN in Congo: The failure of a peacekeeping mission In the confrontation, on April 21, the Rwandan Army ordered UN troops to withdraw from the area, and in a shocking reversal of roles, they complied - even though under their mandate they can use force to protect the peace.

Egypt AP 20 Apr 2004 Mubarak: Arab Hatred of Americans Growing: "There exists today a hatred never equaled in the region.''

Liberia IRIN 30 Apr 2004 The head of Liberia's disarmament commission Moses Jarbo estimates that about 60,000 combatants expected to be disarmed, substantially more than the 40,000 projected by the United Nations.

Nigeria The Guardian UK 1 May 2004 100 die in communal fighting in Nigeria The fighting between Muslims and Christians broke out on Tuesday in six remote farming villages on the border between Plateau and Taraba states. / Reuters 3 May 2004 Nigerian Ethnic Clash Kills at Least 67 Sunday's attack by a Christian Tarok militia on Muslim Fulanis in Yelwa town took the death toll from three months of ethnic violence to at least 410, according to unofficial figures.

Rwanda IRIN 14 May 2004 Rwanda: Kagame Dismisses District Leaders Over Genocide-Related Deaths Nairobi Rwandan President Paul Kagame has dissolved a district executive committee in the southwestern province of Gikongoro where several killings of genocide survivors has occurred . . . Four genocide survivors were reportedly killed in Gikongoro in late 2003 by a group of genocide suspects in order to prevent them from testifying in the Gacaca justice system, introduced in the country in 2001. Similar killings were also reported in the central province of Gitarama. In early March, nine people were sentenced to death and another one to life imprisonment over the killing of a genocide survivor. / Xinhua.net 17 May 2004 Some 2,793 suspects have so far confessed their roles in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and have requested to be included in the Gacaca (Rwanda's traditional justice system) proceedings around the country. / BBC 26 May, 2004 Lawyers defending those accused of masterminding Rwanda's genocide have condemned talks about moving them to prisons in Rwanda.

South Africa Mail & Guardian ZA 13 May 2004 South Africa has agreed to give former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide a temporary home nearly three months after an armed revolt forced him to flee his poor Caribbean country,

Sudan - Darfur Al-Ahram Weekly 29 Apr 2004 weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/688/fr3.htm 'Darfur in flames' International outrage against atrocities in Sudan is growing, writes Gamal Nkrumah / AFP 1 May 2004 World Food Programme Executive Director James Morris told a press conference here that he had asked the Sudanese government to accelerate efforts to address the armed militias issue and to "provide security and protection to the people." He stressed the urgency of this appeal as the rainy season was approaching and by that time roads would be impassable. Displaced people would be cut off and at the same time there would be a risk of diseases spreading dramatically. Rains usually fall in late May and early June./ Business Day (Johannesburg) 3 May 2004 South Africa's government, a key member of the AU's Peace and Security Council, now has the opportunity and the responsibility to take action to end the ethnic cleansing campaign in Darfur, a western region of Sudan. . . . The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights which will be meeting at its 35th session from May 17- 31 should also take urgent action to bolster human rights monitoring efforts of the AU Peace and Security Council. / NYT 2 May 2004 The human rights group Amnesty International said late Friday that fighting was persisting in western Sudan despite a cease-fire between the government and rebels, and that time was running out to avert a disaster among civilians before the rainy season. / AP 9 May 2004 U.N. rights chief details Sudan atrocities . . . "First, there is a reign of terror in this area; second, there is a scorched-earth policy; third there is repeated war crimes and crimes against humanity; and fourth, this is taking place before our very eyes," said Ramcharan, the acting U.N. high commissioner for human rights. / AP 9 May 2004 U.N. rights chief details Sudan atrocities / AP 11 May 2004 Sudan swore in a presidential committee Tuesday to investigate allegations of gross human rights abuses in the western Darfur region, where rights groups say the government and allied militia are carrying out a campaign of "ethnic cleansing." Officials rejected the accusations Tuesday, saying a United Nations report alleging government complicity with a fierce Arab militia was false. . . The foreign ministry statement Tuesday denied that the violence in Darfur had ethnic causes, saying the government and the militia were simply trying to put down a rebellion. / News 24 SA 10 May 2004 The deadly conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, which pits local non-Arabs against marauding militias and the Khartoum government, could degenerate into genocide, Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds said on Sunday. / DPA 10 May 2004 Germany calls for international pressure to end Sudan bloodshed / washingtonpost.com 13 May 2004 Editorial: Idle on Darfur / BBC 16 May, 2004 Gaddafi urges African solutions Darfur On Sudan - where the government has been accused of atrocities in the western Darfur region - Mr Gaddafi was equally dismissive of pressure from the West and the UN. Crisis in Darfur Mr Gaddafi described the crisis as a "tribal conflict" - the type, he said, which had been occurring in Africa for centuries. "A tribal conflict should not be taken to the UN Security Council," Mr Gaddafi said of the Darfur crisis. / ICG 16 May 2004 PRESS RELEASE Sudan's Darfur: An International Responsibility to Protect International Crisis Group (Brussels) The International Crisis Group is calling for major international action to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Darfur, western Sudan. / AFP 27 May 2004 The Sudanese government is continuing a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the western region of Darfur, an international rights group has claimed. Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Thursday that Khartoum was "taking a terrible step backward" despite having signed a peace accord with rebels to end 21 years of civil war in the south. But HRW said: "Darfur remains a cloud over Sudan and it would be inappropriate for the United States to hold a high-level celebration of the peace accord while the ethnic cleansing continues in western Sudan." / Washington Times 29 May 2004 Darfur on brink of food shortage The U.S. Agency for International Development says up to 350,000 people could die by the end of the year as the rainy season brings a raft of fatal diseases.

Sudan - Other Xinhua Date: 3 May 2004 Ugandan army kills 18 rebels in southern Sudan / AFP 2 May 2004The Sudan government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) have signed an agreement extending a ceasefire agreement by a month, mediators at talks in neighbouring Kenya said on Sunday.

Uganda AFP 30 Apr 2004 Eleven killed as rebels raid camp in northern Uganda

Zimbabwe BBC 13 May, 2004 One of Zimbabwe's top churchmen has criticised the government for refusing international food aid, saying the country will be left hungry.


Brazil bloomberg.com 23 Apr 2004 Brazil May Prosecute Indians for Mining Massacre, Estado Says Pio Cinta Larga, the tribe's chief, said the massacre on tribal land in the state of Rondonia ``could have been worse,'' the paper reported.

Chile BBC 13 May 2004 Chile's Pinochet victims testify / AP 29 May 2004 - A court ruled Friday that former dictator Augusto Pinochet can be sued for human rights violations in the 1970s and 1980s, after a TV interview raised questions about Supreme Court rulings that he is unfit for trial. The 14-to-9 vote by the Santiago Court of Appeals startled lawyers on both sides of the case, as well as victims' families. Prosecution lawyer Juan Subercasseaux called the ruling "a miracle."

Colombia Special Broadcasting Service, Australia 7 May 2004 Colombian authorities have launched an investigation into the massacre of 12 indigenous people in the country’s north. About 30 others are still missing after violence on April 18 which has been blamed on paramilitaries. The National Indigenous Organisation of Colombia alleges that paramilitaries carried out the massacre of Wayuu people at Bahia Portete in La Guajira, a highland region bordering with Venezuela.

Cuba Reuters 1 May 2004 Castro Vows Cuban Socialism to Survive Bush . . . Castro accused the United States of committing "genocide" / JTA 3 May 2004 In Cuban province, Polish stone at center of Holocaust memorial

Guatemala Reuters 13 May 2004 A judge placed ex-dictator Efrain Rios Montt under house arrest Thursday after he was accused of manslaughter for allegedly instigating a riot last year that killed a journalist. He is also accused in other legal cases of ordering the slaughter of tens of thousands of Maya Indians during his iron-fisted rule from 1982 to 1983.

United States Boston Globe 27 Apr 2004 Radio talk show host Jay Severin said in an interview last night that perhaps he should have acknowledged that he wasn't talking about all Muslims in the United States last week when he said to a caller, "You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them." As part of his response, Severin said, "I believe that Muslims in this country are a fifth column. . . . The vast majority of Muslims in this country are very obviously loyal, not to the United States, but to their religion. / Council on American-Islamic Relations 27 Apr 2004 www.cair-net.org Action Alerts CAIR renews call for radio host's firing Jay Severin / Los Angeles Times 3 May 2004 Reports of hate crimes and harassment against Muslims in California tripled last year from the year before, the highest number recorded outside the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, according to a report to be released today by a national American Muslim organization. / AP 30 Apr 2004 A federal appeals court Friday upheld a judge's decision to strip retired autoworker John Demjanjuk of U.S. citizenship, saying the government had proven he was a Nazi death-camp guard. / AP 12 May 2004 Rwanda Genocide Suspect Arrested in Illinois . . . Jean-Marie Vianney Mudahinyuka, also known as Thierry Rugamba, was ordered held until a detention hearing Friday. He is accused of lying about his role in the genocide on immigration forms he used to enter the United States in 2000.


Australia The Mercury AU 4 May 2004 HUNDREDS of Tasmanian Aborigines and their friends trudged up the hill at Risdon Cove yesterday to honour the victims of what they describe as the first massacre of their people. / The Age 4 May 2004 www.theage.com.au The truth of Tasmania's Risdon Cove massacre may be the subject of fierce dispute between historians, but to those who commemorated its bicentenary yesterday, what mattered was that it was being argued about at all. It took place on May 3, 1804, as Aboriginal families gathered in a food hunting party in wooded hills around the cove on the Derwent River's east bank. Many historians today back a report by Irish ex-convict Edward White that "a great many of the natives were slaughtered or wounded". Controversial historian Keith Windschuttle believes military officers who said three Aborigines died, at most, as the officers rescued white settlers under threat of violence.

Cambodia WP 5 May 2004 Khmer Rouge Trials Stalled by Political Deadlock

China WP 29 May 2004 China May Veto Resolution on Criminal Court Beijing Says U.N. Motion Could Shield U.S. Troops From Abuse Allegations

India Indian Express 22 Apr 2004 www.expressindia.com Columns Geography of hatred Twenty years after the anti-Sikh riots, a pattern is visible / Indian Express 3 May 2004 www.expressindia.com The widows of two British Muslims burned to death by a mob in Gujarat riots two years ago are suing the state's government for $5 million, accusing it of genocide and torture.

Indonesia - Ambon Jakarta Post 26 May 2004 www.thejakartapost.com Fresh Ambon clash kills six The incident began when some 25 members of the separatist Maluku Sovereignty Front (FKM), mostly of the Christian faith, staged a rally in Ambon to mark the 54th self-proclaimed anniversary of the South Maluku Republic. / AP 29 Apr2004 Five days of shootings, bombings and mob attacks have killed 36 people in Ambon, and raised fears of a return to the religious war in the Maluku islands that killed 9,000 people between 1999 and 2001. / Laksamana.Net 2 May 2004 Ambon Violence Continues Muslims and Christians equipped with homemade bombs and military-issue weapons clashed again on Friday (30/4/04) in Ambon, the provincial capital of the Maluku islands, leaving at least 19 injured and scores of houses in flames.

Indonesia - Other Jakarta Post 1 May 2004 www.thejakartapost.com The ad hoc rights tribunal sentenced on Friday a retired general to 10 years in prison for committing gross human rights violations in the Tanjung Priok massacre 20 years ago, which killed, according to official accounts, at least 14 protesters and injured dozens of others. / Laksamana.Net 2 May 2004 More Aceh Rights Accusations / Laksamana.Net 2 May 2004 E. Timor Militia Threat With the planned pullout of the United Nation Peacekeeping Force from East Timor, scheduled for early June, threats of militia attacks have increased.

Iraq AP 20 Apr 2004 Salem Chalabi, a U.S.-educated lawyer and nephew of the head of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), was appointed general director of the tribunal, which has a 2004-05 budget of $75 million, INC spokesman Entefadh Qanbar said. / AP 12 May 2004 U.S., Tribunal Disagree on Saddam Handoff . . . U.S. officials denied any decision had been reached. "The coalition will hand them over if we are able to hold them in custody," Salem Chalabi told The Associated Press. He earlier told local reporters that Saddam would definitely be handed over before July 1, when Iraq assumes sovereignty from its U.S.-led occupiers, and that trials would begin early next year. / San Francisco Chronicle 25 Apr 2004 Stanford expert Larry Diamond says Iraq spinning out of control - Lack of security is dooming goals of U.S., he says / AFP 2 May 2004 UN-sanctioned multinational force to be sent to Iraq after June 30: Annan / Deutsche Presse Agentur 3 May 2004 Nearly 1,100 Iraqis killed in April, Iraqi health ministry . . . A total of 280 civilians were killed in Fallujah which has been under siege by U.S. occupation forces and witnessed fierce clashes, the ministry said.

Iraq - Prisoner Abuse AP 2 May 2004 A hardline Pakistani Islamic group on Sunday accused the United States of reaching the "extremes of wickedness" . . . The Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt newspaper said the evidence of abuse was "enough to awaken the honor and dignity of Arabs and Muslims," and proved that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was right to accuse the US government of trying to "eliminate Muslims". / JoongAng Daily (South Korea) 4 May 2004 jo U.S. must end POW abuse . . . Only by doing so can Washington show that the barbarism of some soldiers does not represent the entire American society. That is the only way that Washington can argue that the war was staged to defend humanity's universal values and freedom and show that its justification for the war would not be undermined by the barbarian and shameful acts of a few soldiers. / New Straits Times (Malaysia) 4 May 2004 Columns EDITORIAL: War crimes in Iraq Editorial PRESIDENT George W. Bush and senior American military officers insist that the humiliation and torture of Iraqi prisoners were atypical and the work of a few. But the report by Major General Antonio Taguba tells a different story. . . The pictures from Abu Ghraib prison and footages of the dead and wounded women and children in Falluja show that torture and the indiscriminate killing of civilians are not aberrations. Despite its desperate attempts to sanitise the war in Iraq, Washington can no longer hide these gruesome sights.

Israel AFP 2 May 2004 An Israeli woman from the Gaza Strip settlement bloc of Gush Katif and her four children were killed by Palestinian gunmen, in an attack Israel branded a "massacre" aimed at torpedoeing Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the territory. / AP 3 May 2004 The European Union on Monday condemned the fatal shooting of a pregnant Israeli woman and her four young daughters as a "despicable" crime that degraded the Palestinian cause. / BBC 3 May 2004 An Israeli officer has been jailed for "recklessly" shooting a 16-year-old Palestinian bystander dead. It was the first time a soldier had been imprisoned for killing a Palestinian in the three-and-a-half year intifada.

Sri Lanka AFP 10 May 2003 . According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) figures, at least 6,000 Sri Lankan Tamils have returned home from camps in India in the past two years. / AFP 11 May 2004 Sri Lanka troops, Tigers pledge to preserve truce after killings . . . The two sides, at a crisis meeting arranged by the monitors, agreed to develop a system to share information after more than a dozen people were killed since April 25, including a government soldier and rebels.


Bosnia AP 15 May 2004 A special commission researching the Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims said Friday it has learned of three more mass graves of victims. So far U.N. and Muslim experts have found the remains of about 5,000 of the more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys who were killed and buried in mass graves around Srebrenica. . . Also Friday, NATO-led troops detained Milovan Bjelica a Bosnian Serb on suspicion of helping war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic evade arrest.

France AP 7 May 2004 French film legend Brigitte Bardot is defending herself in Paris against criminal charges of inciting racial hatred. In the best-selling book "Islamicization of France," Bardot allegedly speaks out against people of mixed race and the "infiltration" of France by Islamic extremists.

Germany JTA 3 May 2004 In a brief ceremony, Solomon Passy presented the yellow star his grandfather had worn as a Jew in Bulgaria during World War II to German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.

Latvia www.telegraph.co.uk 3 Apr 2004 Latvia's ice maiden comes out fighting over EU's sacred cows Sandra Kalniete was born in the Siberian gulag near Tomsk, spending her first five years as the child of a Soviet labour camp. "When we were behind the Iron Curtain the world was completely indifferent to our fate and pretended that genocide was not going on. I strongly believe that the world had a right to intervene to save Iraq from its regime. If it had intervened when fascism was taking root in Germany, maybe the bloodiest of wars could have been avoided."

Serbia Reuters 3 May 2004 Serbs cast a cynical eye on Monday over the surprise surrender of a suspect in the 2003 assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic but hoped it might yet grant them a rare glimpse of the truth. Milorad Lukovic surrendered to police in Belgrade Sunday, ending a year on the run in which his trail had apparently gone cold. Newspapers were on holiday but there was speculation on the airwaves that a deal had been done with the conservative government of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, an arch foe of reformist Djindjic, perhaps for lenient treatment.

Serbia - Kosovo ICRC 16 Apr 2004 The third edition of the Book of Missing Persons in Kosovo contains 3,272 names of people who were reported missing to the ICRC directly by their close relatives and whose fate has still not been ascertained. / UN Security Council [ Excerpts] 30 Apr 2004 Security Council reiterates that Kosovo standards plan should be basis for assessing provisional institutions of self-government In a statement read by Council President Gunter Pleuger (Germany), the Council strongly urged the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government to demonstrate their full and unconditional commitment to a multi-ethnic Kosovo, in particular, with respect to the protection and promotion of the rights of members of the minority communities, as well as human rights, equal security, freedom of movement and sustainable returns for all inhabitants of Kosovo. / AFP 3 May 2004 Kosovo Serbs at risk of ethnic cleansing: Swedish General "If the Serbian minority is not protected by a strong military organization, the part of the Kosovo Albanian population with violent tendencies will ethnically cleanse all Serbs from Kosovo," Braennstroem, who led the Swedish troops in Kosovo until last week, wrote in a commentary in the leading daily Dagens Nyheter on Monday. . . . Sweden, which at the height of its involvement had as many as 900 troops in Kosovo, is considering calling nearly two-thirds of its soldiers home. The consequences of such a move would be catastrophic, according to Braennstroem.

Spain BBC 3 May 2004 Church to remove Moor-slayer saint A statue in a Spanish cathedral showing St James slicing the heads off Moorish invaders is to be removed to avoid causing offence to Muslims.


NYT 2 May 2004 'The Anatomy of Fascism': The Original Axis of Evil By SAMANTHA POWER THE ANATOMY OF FASCISM By Robert O. Paxton. 321 pp. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. . . Paxton leaves his readers with a working definition of fascism: ''A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.'' . . . We should ''not look for exact replicas, in which fascist veterans dust off their swastikas,'' he writes; nor should we look for hate crimes and extreme nationalist propaganda. Rather, we should address the conditions and the enablers -- political deadlocks in times of crises, and conservatives who want tougher allies and elicit support through nationalist and racist demagogy.

Guardian UK 11 May 2004 Religious hatred flourishes on web Patrick Barkham Tuesday May 11, 2004 The Guardian The number of extremist websites espousing violent or racist views has grown by more than a quarter since January, according to a global study of "hate" sites. The unprecedented 26% increase in the first four months of this year was almost as much as the growth in extremist sites during the whole of 2003, according to SurfControl, a British-based web filtering company



AFP 3 May 2004 Mini summit on Burundi to be held Friday BUJUMBURA, May 3 (AFP) - The presidents of Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania are due to meet in Dar es Salaam on Friday to discuss the peace process in Burundi and how to deal with the country's last active rebel group. "This meeting is due to be held on May 7 in Dar es Salaam to prepare the ground for a (larger) regional summit on Burundi by studying the question of the FNL (Forces for the Defence of Democracy) and the application of the peace accord and the progress of the electoral process," Burundian Foreign Minister Therence Sinunguruza told AFP. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni chairs a group of regional states overseeing efforts to end Burundi's civil war, which has claimed some 300,000 lives since 1993. The FNL has yet to join Burundi's other armed Hutu groups in signing peace deals with the government.

AFP 3 May 2004 Former rebels pull out of Burundi government, parliament BUJUMBURA, May 3 (AFP) - The main former rebel group in Burundi said Monday it was boycotting a transitional government and parliament because of disagreements over implementing a peace accord. "From today, ministers from the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) will no longer take part in cabinet meetings because our partners do not want fully to implement the comprehensive peace accord" signed in November, FDD Secretary General Hussein Radjabu told AFP. He added that the FDD would also boycott parliament "until the president changes his attitude." The FDD is the largest of several armed Hutu groups that have been involved in a civil war which has killed more than 300,000 since 1993. It signed a peace deal with the transitional in November, winning several ministerial posts and leaving the much smaller National Liberation Forces as the only Hutu group still at war. "The accord granted the FDD three provincial governerships, 30 administrators and two ambassadors... six months later, we are still awaiting these nominations," said Radjabu. "These are deliberate delays... Our ministers will no longer take part in meetings, but they will continue to work for the good of the people," he added. The deal gave the FDD 15 seats in the transitional assembly. About 30 other MPs from the Hutu-dominated Democratic Front party have since crossed over to the FDD, making it the second-largest force in the legislature. President Domitien Ndayizeye reacted by appointing 10 senior officers from the Tutsi-dominated army to the assembly, in keeping with an ethnic ratio set out in an earlier power-sharing deal signed in Tanzania in 2000. These appointments "were not part of the deal signed with the government (in November). It worries us," said Radjabu. "We refuse to resume the war some people are pushing us towards. This is why we appeal to the international community and the mediators to rescue the peace accord," he said.

IRIN 17 May 2004 BURUNDI: UN to review viability of inquiry into massacres BUJUMBURA, 17 May 2004 (IRIN) - Assistant UN Secretary-General Tuliameni Kalamoh arrived in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, on Sunday, heading a delegation that is in the country to establish whether or not a judicial commission of inquiry should be set up to investigate massacres that may have been committed since Burundi's independence in 1962. During the seven-day visit, Kalamoh's delegation will hold talks with the signatories of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Accord. Burundi is currently in the second phase of a three-year transitional period that was set under the accord that was signed in August 2000 in Arusha, Tanzania, by 19 Burundian groups, including political parties, the government and the military. "We will look at a number of technical and political issues about whether it would be feasible or indeed advisable to establish a judicial commission of inquiry," Kalomoh told reporters when he arrived at the Bujumbura airport on Sunday. However, he added, it would not be up to his delegation to make "a determination whether a genocide or a massacre was committed, it would be up to the commission of enquiry". The Arusha accord recommends the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry into massacres allegedly committed in Burundi since its independence from Belgium until August 2000. If formed, the commission would be expected to qualify the type of crimes committed, determine who was responsible, and submit a report to the UN Security Council. The delegation is also due to hold consultations with the UN country team, officials of the African Union's mission in Burundi, senior government and military officials, representatives of civil society, religious institutions, diplomats and refugees returning home. Another UN commission of inquiry had, in 1996, investigated events that occurred in the country in 1993. One of its recommendation was the establishment of another inquiry team that would not limit itself to that period but would investigate other crimes committed in the course of the country's decade-long civil strife that has claimed the lives of at least 300,000 people. At least four other reports already exist on alleged massacres in Burundi.


AFP 29 Apr 2004 Sudan accused of Darfur truce breach as militia attacks Chad town by Ali Abba Kaya NDJAMENA, April 29 (AFP) - Khartoum is still backing Arab Janjawid militias in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region, a Chadian official accused Thursday, saying the Janjawid have attacked a town inside Chad, killing one civilian and wounding many others. "The Janjawid attacked the civilian population in Kulbus-Chad," said Allami Ahmat, diplomatic adviser to Chadian President Idriss Deby and a member of the Chadian mediation team that is trying to broker an end to the Darfur war, which pits rebels in Sudan's far west against the Khartoum government and allied militias. "This situation is all the more unacceptable because the Sudanese army tolerates and offers land and air backup to the Janjawid militias," said Ahmat. The pro-Khartoum militiamen also tried to steal the Chadian villagers' cattle and herd it back across the border into Sudan, said Ahmat. The villagers pursued the Janjawid into Sudan but were pushed back to the border by the Sudanese army, he said. There, the Sudanese soldiers had a verbal spat with their Chadian counterparts, said Ahmat. "We can confirm that the Janjawid militia is still very active and has not been disarmed," said Ahmat, backing accusations by Darfur rebels that Khartoum had breached an accord signed on April 8 in the Chadian capital. On Tuesday, the military spokesman for the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) told AFP: "Rather than disarm the Janjawid militias, Khartoum is setting them up in four places to integrate them into the army... This is a violation of the Ndjamena accord." Under the terms of the deal signed in the Chadian capital, the parties agreed to cease hostilities, guarantee safe passage for humanitarian aid to the stricken region, free prisoners of war and disarm militias blamed for much of the violence. The agreement, the third to call for a ceasefire following two short-lived truces, was signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups -- the JEM and the Sudan Liberation Movement. The war in Darfur is estimated by the United Nations to have claimed at least 10,000 lives, uprooted a million people from their homes, and driven more than 100,000 to seek shelter across the Chadian border. The United Nations has accused the Janjawid of ethnic cleansing in Darfur, where rebels rose up in February 2003, accusing the Arab-Muslim government in Khartoum of backing ruthless militias and neglecting their region, peopled mainly by black Africans. Last week, the top UN human rights forum meeting in Geneva split over the Darfur situation, adopting a softly worded text on the alleged atrocities despite the United States demanding tough action. Khartoum welcomed the mildly worded UN text, calling it "a victory for law." Sudanese President Omar el-Beshir said during a visit to Darfur on Tuesday that the war in the region was over. And when the pact was signed on April 8, Beshir said his government was "committed to respecting the Ndjamena agreements." The conflict in Darfur is running parallel to Sudan's wider war, in which southern rebels have been fighting Khartoum's forces for more than 20 years, at a cost of some 1.5 million lives. After making great progress towards peace, talks to end that war, Africa's longest civil conflict, have stalled, hung up on the technicality, agreed to in earlier parleys, of whether Islamic law should apply to Muslims and non-Muslims alike in Khartoum during a six-year transition period before a referendum on self-determination is held for the south.

BBC 30 Apr 2004 Chad army deploys on Sudan border The Arab militia are accused of ethnic cleansing in Sudan Chadian troops have deployed on their border after a clash with Sudan forces. A Chadian government spokesman said the troops would protect local civilians and refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan who are sheltering in the area. The clash is the first to involve army troops since Sudanese civilians began fleeing into Chad a year ago. The incident occurred after Arab militia staged a cross-border raid in Chad. Chad troops pursued them until they encountered Sudanese forces. The United Nations estimates that 10,000 people have died in the conflict and one million have fled their homes in Darfur. More than 100,000 people have crossed into Chad, but militia raids have targeted refugees across the border. The United Nations plans to move the refugees away from the border to safer areas, but UN agencies have been slow to transfer the refugees who remain vulnerable and desperately in need of humanitarian assistance. 'Proof' Chadian official Allami Ahmat, who helped to negotiate a ceasefire in the conflict in the western Sudanese region of Darfur earlier this month, said the incident was proof that the Janjaweed militia had not been disarmed as promised by the Sudanese government delegation at the peace talks. "This situation is all the more unacceptable because the Sudanese army tolerates and offers land and air backup to the Janjaweed militias," he said. The UN has accused Sudan of backing Arab militias in a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" against black residents in Darfur. During a visit to Al-Fashir in Darfur earlier this week, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said peace had been restored to the region. Two rebel groups in Darfur took up arms last year, accusing the government of ignoring the region. However, recent reports blame rebels in Darfur for an attack on a humanitarian aid convoy in the region and for the killing of a local chief. A United Nations human rights team is in Darfur, investigating claims of atrocities.

Côte d’Ivoire

ICRC 27-04-2004 ICRC News 04/57 Côte d’Ivoire: Aiding villagers in the west The ICRC has just completed a vast distribution of basic necessities in the western part of Côte d’Ivoire on behalf of people displaced by war who have returned to their home villages. Over the last eight months, 175,000 individuals benefited from this aid, the aim of which was to ease their relocation in regions affected by the fighting last year. Farming tools, clothing for adults and children, blankets, sleeping mats, soap, buckets, cooking utensils, plastic sheeting and mosquito nets were distributed in eight districts and sub-prefectures to benefit 253 villages. In accordance with its standard working procedures, the ICRC had first carried out an assessment to determine the needs of the people in the various areas and also a painstaking census to ensure that the distributions would be fair. In addition, a pilot project was begun in partnership with a national non-governmental organization to help women residents of the regions particularly affected by the war to do farm work. Some 3,000 women from approximately 100 villages near Bin-Houyé, Zouhan-Hounien and Danané belonging to farming associations received tools and five kinds of seed, which should enable them to increase their production of vegetables.

BBC 3 May 2004 Ivory Coast protest 'left 120 dead' The UN said victims were targeted according to their ethnic group At least 120 demonstrators were killed by the security forces in Ivory Coast in March, according to a UN report. Several hundred others were said to be injured when the security forces opened fire on the demonstrators - 20 are still believed to be missing. "What happened on 25 and 26 March was the committing of massive human rights violations," the report said. At the time, the government said that only 37 people had died in clashes in commercial capital, Abidjan. But opposition leaders say more than 300 people were killed during the demonstrations that were dispersed by government forces. The clashes put further strain on the peace deal between northern-based rebels and the government in the south. The opposition had accused President Laurent Gbagbo of breaching the terms of a peace deal designed to end the civil war. It called the March protest in spite of a presidential ban on public protests. Mr Gbagbo, in turn, accused them of planning a rebellion under the guise of peaceful demonstrations. 'Targeted' The report - by the UN Human Rights Commission - said the security forces targeted people according to their names and ethnic groups. Many of the victims were killed "not in the street" during the demonstration, "but in the dwellings of would-be demonstrators or even innocent civilians targeted by the security forces simply because of their name, origin or community group," said the UN report. March's violence was the worst to hit Abidjan since September 2002, when a coup attempt triggered civil war. The West African state, once a symbol of stability in a very unstable region, has become increasingly vulnerable to political violence and coups. The country has been divided in two since the latest military rebellion.

AFP 3 May 2004 At least 120 killed in crackdown on Ivory Coast demo: UN report PARIS, May 3 (AFP) - At least 120 people were killed in Ivory Coast in March when government forces cracked down on a demonstration against President Laurent Gbagbo, Radio France International (RFI) said Monday, quoting a UN report. "What happened on 25 and 26 March was the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians and the committing of massive human rights violations," said the report, drawn up by a UN team set up to investigate allegations of massive rights abuses committed during and after the thwarted demonstration. "At least 120 people were killed, 274 wounded and 20 disappeared," said the report, adding that there were still 81 bodies in the morgue of one hospital in Abidjan. "These figures are by no means final," said the report. The opposition and rights groups have said up to 500 people were killed but the Ivory Coast government has stuck to a figure of 37 dead. Many of the victims were killed "not in the street" during the demonstration, which the opposition had called in spite of a presidential ban on public protests, "but in the dwellings of would-be demonstrators or even innocent civilians targeted by the security forces simply because of their name, origin or community group," said the UN report.

AFP 11 May 2004 Ivory Coast opposition wants UN court to try leaders of rally crackdown ABIDJAN, May 11 (AFP) - Ivory Coast's opposition on Tuesday called on the United Nations to set up a special court to try those responsible for a violent crackdown on an anti-government rally in March, in which at least 120 civilians were killed, according to a UN report. "To end this cycle of murderous violence and to close the book on the drama crippling our country, it is time to end the impunity gripping Ivory Coast... and ask the UN to create a special international court to judge those Ivorians with genocidal intentions," the seven-party opposition coalition said in a statement. "Only then can we re-engage in real democratization as we move towards credible, free and open elections in 2005." The UN report, the result of two weeks of interviews and investigations into the worst violence to hit the main Ivory Coast city Abidjan in months, was leaked at the beginning of last week by Radio France International, provoking indignation from the government of President Laurent Gbagbo. According to the report, which was received late last week by authorities here, at least 120 people were killed and 274 wounded in the crackdown on the March 25 opposition rally and the days following it. The opposition, which had called the rally to protest Gbagbo's failure to implement a peace pact signed in January 2003 to end a civil war that had begun four months earlier, said up to 500 people were killed in the crackdown, while the government has camped on an official death toll of 37. The report said there was "overwhelming evidence" of the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians and massive human rights violations that were "mostly unprovoked and unnecessary", including targeted killings of ethnic minorities whose "summary and extrajudicial executions, torture, arbitrary detention and disappearance had little or nothing to do with the march." It said the crackdown was "carefully planned and executed" by security forces under orders from "the highest state authorities." Seven opposition parties, including the political arm of rebels who rose up against the president in September 2002, sparking the civil war, have quit a unity government set up under last year's peace pact and refused communication with Gbagbo, whom they blame for the violence.

DR Congo

AFP 30 Apr 2004 At least 78 killed in week of clashes in eastern DR Congo GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, April 30 (AFP) - At least 78 people including civilians, rebels and soldiers have been killed over the last week in clashes in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, according to military, UN and other sources. On April 23, Rwandan Hutu weapons killed 19 civilians in Kihinga, in Sud-Kivu province, according to local adminstrator Medard Majaribu. In the same province, 39 fighters from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel group and three government soldiers were killed in several clashes over the last week, according to MONUC, the UN mission in DR Congo. The FDLR, which comprises various groups blamed for carrying out the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, claims to be fighting to force the Tutsi government in Kigali to the negotiating table. In one area in Nord-Kivu, clashes between DRC government forces and Rwandan rebels left at least 17 dead, mostly rebels, over the last five days, according to an army commander Major David Rugayi. MONUC said it was unable to travel to the area in question to verify the clashes had taken place but reported receiving information from independent sources about fighting on April 27 and 28 around Katoyi, 70 kilometres (45 miles) northwest of the regional capital, Goma. The east of the country was one of the main theatres of a major war ignited in 1998 when Rwanda deployed troops there to counter the threat posed by the forerunners of the FDLR, and which eventually sucked in more than half a dozen AFrican states.

VOA 3 May 2004 UN Peacekeepers Predict Instability if Rwanda Sends Troops Into DRC Cathy Majtenyi Nairobi The U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo predicts much instability in the area if Rwandan troops are sent into DRC to flush out Hutu rebels. A spokeswoman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission, Eliane Nabaa, criticizes the threat by Rwandan President Paul Kagame to send troops into the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo to capture Hutu rebels if the rebels continue attacking Rwanda. Ms. Nabaa urges the Rwandan and DRC governments to talk face-to-face about how to capture and return Hutu militiamen and soldiers who fled Rwanda's 1994 genocide in which Hutu extremists killed up to 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. "So it is better to cooperate and to dialogue and to avoid, for instance, new clashes or new war that, only once again, the civilian population will pay for," she says. The peacekeeping mission and the Rwandan government disagree on several key issues. Ms. Nabaa says the United Nations has not witnessed any preparations for, or received any reports of, Hutu rebels attacking Rwanda from DRC Borders or Burundi, contrary to what President Kagame said on state radio during the weekend. But Rwandan army spokesman Colonel Patrick Karegeya says Hutu rebels attacked places along the DRC and Burundian borders on April 7, 8 and 9. He says that in one battle, 16 rebels were killed, and the rest ran back to DRC. Colonel Karegeya estimates there are more than 15,000 Hutu rebels still hiding out in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He says that contrary to what the United Nations says, no Hutu rebels have been disarmed and repatriated back to Rwanda. The ones who have returned, he says, have come on their own. Ms. Nabaa maintains that, since the signing of a regional peace deal in 2002, the United Nations has disarmed and repatriated about 11,000 rebels back to Rwanda, with eight-thousand more rebels still hiding out in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Colonel Karegeya says the Rwandan foreign minister and other officials went to the Democratic Republic of Congo several times to talk to that government about cooperating in capturing and returning the rebels, but that they do not respond. He also says that despite a meeting in South Africa late last year in which the presidents of both countries agreed to work together on the issue, nothing has happened. Colonel Karegeya would not say exactly when or under what circumstances Rwanda would send troops into, only that the troops would go in if the rebels continued with their attacks.

Mail & Guardian ZA 3 May 2004 www.mg.co.za Rwanda's reluctant rebels Helen Vesperini | Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo 03 May 2004 13:31 Fear, rather than loyalty or ideology, is what keeps many young Rwandan rebels holed up in the bush in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to men who surrendered from the insurgency. "If they catch you trying to leave they kill you or they beat you up until you're maimed. We asked for leave to go to the market and then we ran away," Jean Damascene Nyitegeka, a former sergeant in the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) who gave himself up the DRC army a week ago, said in Goma, a DRC town on the Rwandan border. "Nearly everyone wants to leave but there are a handful of leaders who were implicated in [Rwanda's 1994] genocide and who do everything possible to stop people from leaving." The FDLR, created in 2000, is made up of Rwandan Hutus who fled their country after the genocide and who have from their bases in the DRC launched incursions into Rwanda with the aim of toppling the Kigali government. Among the fighters are both extremists with blood on their hands from the genocide and boys who were recruited by force in the refugee camps in the eastern DRC. The FDLR, which used to be allied officially to the Kinshasa government, is currently fighting DRC forces in the eastern DRC provinces of Nord and Sud Kivu. "My heart hadn't been in it for the past two years. But when the chiefs started to understand I wanted to go back to Rwanda they said I'd be killed there [in Rwanda] or that I'd be put in prison," explained Ndayumujinya (31), another defector, sprawled in tracksuit and wellington boots in a chair on the terrace of the home of the local DRC army commander. Morale in the FDLR ranks has been badly dented over the past two years by the landslide re-election victory scored in Rwanda by Paul Kagame in last year's presidential polls, by the surrender of FDLR commander-in-chief General Paul Rwarakabije in November 2003 and by Kinshasa's decision to stop paying the FDLR. "Before, Kinshasa used to send us $100 a month. The leaders took nearly everything but we normally got to keep $10 a month. But we haven't had any money since August 2002," added Nyitegeka. He and two other FDLR defectors spent the five months prior to their surrender at Kibua, a village in the middle of the forest about 70km northwest of Goma in Nord Kivu province. They were part of a battalion that had received orders to clear the forest to grow food in preparation for the start of operations. The last big wave of attacks on Rwanda launched by the FDLR was in 2001, when the severely undermanned and underarmed group proved no match for the well-equipped Rwandan military. "Almost all of us have known since then that we stand no chance against the Rwandan army," said Sergeant Jean de Dieu Ngendahimana, one of the three defectors. All three regret the years spent in the bush. Nyitegeka has a wife in Rwanda but torments himself with the idea that she has perhaps gone off with another man. "The other young men [who stayed in Rwanda] have settled down: they have wives and children and they have built houses. Me, I've lost 10 years of my life," he noted sadly. -- Sapa-AFP

International Herald Tribune 10 May 2004 The UN in Congo: The failure of a peacekeeping mission Herald Tribune WASHINGTON The charter of the United Nations is to ensure world peace, but this mandate is being sorely tested in Congo, where the organization has 10,800 peacekeepers. The United Nations Mission in Congo, known by its French acronym MONUC, embodies the failure and all the contradictions that have characterized the organization worldwide in the last decade. In eastern Congo, where rape and insecurity are the daily lot of hopeless civilians, the mission has, in fact, become the symbol of impunity. The UN troops were sent to Congo in 1999, in the midst of a civil war that killed more than 3.3 million people. The war drew in many of Congo's neighbors, including Uganda and Rwanda - which accused President Laurent Kabila of supporting the Rwandan insurgents who had participated in genocide. In a 2002 agreement that established a power-sharing government in Kinshasa, the foreign troops were supposed to withdraw while the UN and Congo pledged to send home the insurgents. Rwanda, however, saying that Congo hasn't held to its part of the agreement, has repeatedly violated the agreements with impunity, sending troops in and saying they are searching for rebels that stage raids on Rwandan villages. A run-in between UN troops and hundreds of Rwandan soldiers in eastern Congo last month underscores the mission's ineffectiveness. In the confrontation, on April 21, the Rwandan Army ordered UN troops to withdraw from the area, and in a shocking reversal of roles, they complied - even though under their mandate they can use force to protect the peace. This incident, which is denied by Rwanda, is the latest to leave Congolese wondering what exactly is the purpose of the UN troops. In addition, in the last three months, several weapons caches have been found in areas in the eastern provinces that are controlled by Rwandan and Ugandan proxies. As far as is known, the UN has neither seized these weapons nor arrested anyone in connection with them, even though they signal another war on the horizon. Instead, the UN seems reluctant to disturb the status quo. But the trading of accusations about insurgents is merely a front for the real issue at stake, Congo's natural resources. A report last year by a UN expert panel led by Mahmoud Kassem, Knight-Ridder newspapers reported, accused both Rwanda and Uganda of prolonging the civil war so that they could illegally siphon off Congo's wealth with the help of Western corporations. While neither Uganda nor Rwanda have gold or diamond deposits of significance, both countries have become important exporters of these minerals. The Security Council, however, refused to publish the report in its entirety. By classifying the most damning portions of the report, the United Nations has become an accomplice to those who are guilty of atrocities and human rights violations so they and their patrons can continue to plunder Congo. Warlords will continue to endanger the peace process as long as their patrons go unchallenged and unrecognized. Rwanda and Uganda have no incentive to stop the financing and arming of their proxies. The UN needs to take a stand by pushing for sanctions, like an arms embargo and the withholding of financial aid from international institutions, on Rwanda and Uganda and by using force, if necessary, to keep their troops out of Congo. Today, the Congolese disillusionment is all too obvious. Children throw rocks at the UN mission trucks as they pass on the road. The current transitional government in Kinshasa includes several officials who have been accused of war crimes. For the frightened civilians in eastern Congo, neither the so-called transitional government nor the UN matters. They face mass rape and violence on their own. The United Nations must take an active and forceful role in its Congo mission. Their passive presence has become a mockery of peace.


AP 20 Apr 2004 Mubarak: Arab Hatred of Americans Growing PARIS (AP) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a major Arab ally of the United States, said in published remarks Tuesday that hatred of Americans in the Arab world was stronger now than ever because of the war in Iraq. Mubarak also said Arab opinion of the United States had grown more negative because of Washington's continuing support for Israel. ``At the start, some believed that the Americans were helping them,'' Mubarak said in comments published Tuesday by French daily Le Monde. ``There wasn't any hatred toward the Americans.'' ``After what has happened in Iraq, there is an unprecedented hatred and the Americans know it,'' he added. ``There exists today a hatred never equaled in the region.'' Mubarak, whose country is among the biggest beneficiaries of U.S. foreign aid, said U.S. missteps in Iraq had made the situation worse. ``In Iraq, they said: 'We are not going to allow the creation of an Islamic state.' Result: people are attached even more to the idea of religion,'' Mubarak said. Many Arabs feel a sense of ``injustice'' in the way the United States has offered strong backing for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Mubarak said. ``What's more - they see Sharon act as he wants, without the Americans saying anything,'' Mubarak said. The Egyptian leader met with French President Jacques Chirac in Paris on Monday, on his way home from a trip to the United States to meet with President Bush at his Texas ranch. Also Tuesday, King Abdullah II of Jordan - another Arab ally of the United States - postponed a White House meeting with Bush this week, citing questions about the U.S. commitment to the Mideast peace process. Mubarak also denied reports that he is grooming his son Gamal to succeed him. ``We are not a kingdom. We have a constitution,'' he said. Mubarak took over after Egypt's last president, Anwar Sadat, was assassinated in 1981. He has never appointed a vice president. Gamal Mubarak heads the ruling National Democratic Party's policy-making committee.


The Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa) 27 May 2004 Court "Erroneously" Acquits Genocide Offenders, Condemns Innocents Judges Undergoing Judicial Discipline Panel By Dawit Ketema Addis Ababa The Sixth Criminal Bench of the Federal High Court had acquitted those defendants meant to proceed additional criminal trials while it had sent to jail those who should have righteously gone home. The judges that caused the alleged embarrassment to the court are put on a judicial discipline panel, The Daily Monitor learnt. Genocide cases are mostly tried at the Sixth Criminal Bench of the Federal High Court. In a session the bench held on June 8th 2003, the three judges who sat on the bench decided to acquit certain defendants while some others were told to defend the charge. Mysteriously, those defendants who are acquitted had later been ordered to present defence testimonies while those who are ordered to defend the charges are acquitted. The order that carried the signature of the three judges states at the beginning, the rational behind the decision and the list of defendants who had to defend themselves or be acquitted. In the ending paragraphs of the order, the list of acquitted defendants is mixed with those condemned for more imprisonment as well as the other way round. As a result, those defendants that should have stayed at prison were released for free while acquitted defendants were until recently suffered in prison. A senior executive of the Federal High Court told The Daily Monitor on the basis of anonymity that the scandal is not caused due to elementary clerical errors. The three judges are now undergoing judicial discipline panel whose case is still pending. The same bench, but now composed of two different judges, has reviewed the decision it gave last year in a bid to rectify its mistake. Accordingly, a new order is given last week for the mistakenly acquitted defendants to be arrested, it was learnt.


IRIN 30 APr 2004 Disarmament Official Estimates 60,000 Combatants MONROVIA, 30 Apr 2004 (IRIN) - The head of Liberia's disarmament commission Moses Jarbo estimates that about 60,000 combatants expected to be disarmed, substantially more than the 40,000 projected by the United Nations. Jarbo told IRIN on Friday that the commission’s figures are based upon preliminary estimates gathered from former fighting forces during a series of meetings in Monrovia. "The commission, along with the political leadership of the former warring factions, unanimously believes that the figure being represented by the UN is under-estimated. As the disarmament progresses, we would be working around a figure of between 55,000-60,000 ex-fighters", Jarbo contended. UN Force commander Daniel Opande agreed that the estimated figure of 38,000- 40,000 as presented by the UN was what he called, "an initial planning figure". "That is why we have been prevailing on warring groups to submit their listing of fighters to enable us to properly plan for them during this disarmament period", Opande explained. However, force commander Opande agreed that the initial figure could be misleading due to the ex-fighters high enthusiasm to disarm, but he declined to state how this might affect the final number of combatants expected. According to Jarbo, a comprehensive list of fighters from all the warring groups was requested by the UN in December, but it took until early April to get what he described as "a provincial listing". Meanwhile, UN peacekeepers on Friday opened the fourth round of the national disarmament programme. The new cantonment site for former combatants loyal to the ex-government of Charles Taylor is located at the VOA camp 25 km north of the Liberian capital, Monrovia. The camp was open to those former government fighters who were disarmed during the first disarmament period in December, but were not demobilised and did not receive cash benefits. On December 7, the UN commenced the country's disarmament beginning with former fighters loyal to the former government, but the programme was suspended after pro-Taylor fighters rioted in Monrovia for three days, protesting their right to money for guns. Calm was restored when the fighters were later given an initial payment of US$ 75 out of the US$ 300 which each is to receive after undergoing the disarmament, demobilisation and rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR) process.


Reuters 13 Apr 2004 Three dead in Nigerian religious feud, total 226 JOS, Nigeria, April 13 (Reuters) - Muslim militia killed three Christians in central Nigeria bringing the unofficial death toll from two months of tit-for-tat violence to 226. A police spokesman said Hausa Fulani ethnic militiamen attacked the villages of Rwang Doka and Jenkur in the southern part of Plateau state on Sunday killing three and destroying several houses. "It was a reprisal attack in the ongoing communal crisis," the spokesman told reporters in the state capital Jos. Inter-ethnic fighting in the remote farming communities of Plateau state had already killed at least 223 people since mid-February and displaced more than 6,000 across three states, according to Red Cross officials, army officers and witnesses. The Muslim Hausa-Fulani people, mostly cattle herders, lived alongside the Christian Tarok farmers in relative peace for decades until fighting broke out in 2001. About 1,250 people have been killed in the area since then. In this case, the attackers retreated to neighbouring Taraba state when security forces closed in on them, the police said. Fighting between the same groups was also reported in Jawando village, in Plateau state, but no one was killed there. The police sent reinforcements to the area to restore order. A Christian leader in Kaduna state, which also borders Plateau, said last week that Islamic extremists in the region were being funded by foreign militant groups, although Islamic leaders have said there is no evidence for this. At least 10,000 people have been killed in religious, ethnic and political fighting in Nigeria since the restoration of democracy to the oil exporting country in 1999.

The Guardian UK 1 May 2004 100 die in communal fighting in Nigeria Andrew Meldrum in Pretoria Saturday May 1, 2004 More than 100 people were killed and 1,000 wounded in fresh ethnic and religious fighting in central Nigeria, the country's Red Cross reported yesterday. The border clashes highlight Nigeria's continuing tensions, with rural violence combining with growing friction between Muslim and Christian communities in Zamfara state over new restrictions imposed under sharia law. The fighting between Muslims and Christians broke out on Tuesday in six remote farming villages on the border between Plateau and Taraba states. A Nigerian Red Cross official said the death toll "must have been more than 100, but we cannot confirm a specific number". Nigerian newspapers said 120 people had been killed. More than 5,500 others were displaced, according to the Red Cross. The latest attacks bring the death toll from two-and-a-half months of violence to at least 350, according to unofficial figures. The Muslim Fulani, who are mainly cattle herders, and the Christian Tarok, who are subsistence farmers, fight over land and cattle. Most of the killing is done with cutlasses and in arson attacks. New sharia regulations give the state authorities the power to demolish any "illegal structures", which Christians fear will be used to tear down their churches. They also call for businesses to close five times a day for Muslim prayers. The clashes have been local so far, but there are concerns that President Olusegun Obasanjo is not taking decisive action to stamp them out.

Reuters 3 May 2004 Nigerian Ethnic Clash Kills at Least 67 Mon May 3, 2004 03:27 PM ET By Shuaibu Mohammed JOS, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigerian police said they had recovered 67 corpses Monday after new fighting between rival Christian and Muslim tribes in a remote farming town in central Nigeria. Sunday's attack by a Christian Tarok militia on Muslim Fulanis in Yelwa town took the death toll from three months of ethnic violence to at least 410, according to unofficial figures. The conflict is rooted in competing claims over the fertile farmland of southern Plateau state in the heart of Africa's most populous nation. "They succeeded in removing 67 dead bodies," assistant police commissioner Sotonye Wakama told reporters after returning from a trip to Yelwa, adding that more would probably be recovered Tuesday. The attack in Yelwa follows on the heels of clashes further south in Taraba state last month, in which over 100 were killed as marauding Tarok fighters hunted retreating Fulani militia. Analysts say the feud between the Tarok farming tribe and nomadic Fulani cattle herders has been fueled by irresponsible allocation of land by the government, and growing lawlessness across Nigeria, the world's seventh largest oil exporter. A witness who said he escaped the fighting Sunday night estimated 120 people were killed in Yelwa, although authorities would only confirm "heavy casualties." "It is the Tarok men who attacked us," Mallam Mohammed Ahmed, a Yelwa resident, told reporters in the state capital Jos. He said he escaped by taking a small footpath out of town because all roads to Yelwa were blocked by Tarok warriors. "If you hear the sound of their guns you will think the heavens want to fall. Many women and children were killed," he said. Yelwa town has already witnessed one of the most horrific massacres of the conflict, when 48 Christians were killed by Fulani militia in a church that was later burned. The last three months have seen the bloodiest fighting in the region since Jos was torn apart by ethnic violence in 2001 that killed 1,000 people. Tens of thousands have already had to leave their homes in Plateau because of the fighting and thousands now live in temporary accommodation in schools and other public buildings across three states. Ethnic, religious and political violence in Nigeria has killed more than 10,000 people since the election of President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 ended 15 years of military rule.

Vanguard (Lagos) 9 May 2004 ANALYSIS Genocide On the Plateau PBy Taye Obateru Jos Why it happened, by Gov. Dariye WHILE the Muslim and Christian communities in Yelwa Shendam, a commercial nerve centre in Plateau State, are trading blames on last Monday's bloodletting that claimed about 100 lives, Governor Joshua Dariye explains why it is difficult to find solution to the problem that triggered the massacre. As the top government officials and security chiefs beheld the "crowd" of corpses that littered the ground of the open field, they took extra care not to step on any of them. Those who could not stand the gory sight that the shattered heads and mutilated bodies presented stood a distance away fighting back tears. The corpses included men, women and children, a sight that rendered members of the entourage dumbfounded for a while. But the grave silence was quickly broken as members of the delegation led by Plateau State Deputy Governor Chief Michael Bot-Mang, which visited Yelwa town located in the Southern axis of the state where about 100 lives were lost to communal violence last week, openly lamented the barbarism that would make people massacre fellow human beings in such a heartless manner. "Even animals will not be this heartless", a member of the entourage managed to utter. The mass of dead bodies was like a scene in an action-packed war movie. But this was for real. For the second time in a little over two months, Yelwa-Shendam, a commercial nerve centre which attracted people from every part of the country, acquiring a cosmopolitan identity, drew the attention of the entire country and the larger world to itself again. It received an earlier negative attention in February when about 48 people were massacred in a church during a similar ethno-religious disturbance in the area. The belief now is that the February massacre laid the foundation for last week's attack which was largely believed to be a reprisal. Sunday Vanguard gathered that like a tinder box waiting to be ignited, last Monday's violence resulted from an attack on Kabong village by suspected Hausa-Fulani people. It was a clear indication that the wound of the February incident was still festering. As gathered, it was another case of "who owns the land?", the indigenous groups having been put on edge by the apparent upper hand gained by those who to them are stranger elements allegedly assisted by mercenaries during the attack on Yelwa in February. Many of them had to flee the area since then and as Victor Ajuji a civil servant who fled to Jos during February crisis told Sunday Vanguard then, "where else can I go if I have to run from my own state?" It was alleged that the Hausa-Fulani settlers assisted by the insurgents from some neighbouring countries declared Yelwa town a Muslim town after their February "conquest". In fact some alleged that they hoisted a signboard declaring the town part of Zamfara State. The displaced indigenous groups were therefore alleged to have been waiting for an opportunity to "recapture" the town. It has therefore become a vicious circle that has no end as the two sides- the predominantly Christian indigenous population and their Hausa-Fulani Muslim neighbours continue to trade blames as to which of them is the aggressor. Each time there is a skirmish, the two sides trade accusations, blaming the other thereby leaving impartial observers confused as to which side is saying the truth. As an instance, while the Muslim community in Yelwa and their sympathizers would want the world to believe that the attack on them Monday was unprovoked, the indigenous people alleged that it was a reaction to series of silent killings of their people perpetrated by suspected Hausa-Fulani insurgents. The people alleged that they had been living in fear of attack by the assailants, who they said, launched surprise attacks on them at random. When therefore another attack was launched on Kabong village on May 2, by suspected Hausa-Fulani people from Yelwa, which left three people dead, the stage was set for another blood bath, Sunday Vanguard learnt. The indigenous groups were reported to have mobilized to, "defend" themselves from the constant attack. They vented their anger by taking over the Yelwa-Shendam road for hours before the onslaught at 3:00am Monday. As was the case during the February attack, the victims were unprepared for what befall them. Women had no time to look for their children before taking to their heels in an attempt to escape from the hail of bullets allegedly fired by the attackers. As a woman survivor told the visiting team on Wednesday, "it was as if the heavens were falling down" On the other hand, the Muslim population and their supporters elsewhere are alleging that the attack was part of a grand design to "chase" Hausa-Fulani Muslims out of the state. They alleged that the security agencies withdrew from Yelwa just before the attack to give their assailants a free reign to unleash terror, an allegation the State Police Commissioner, Mr Innocent Ilozuoke, described as bunkum. He told Sunday Vanguard that the situation could have been worse but for the presence of a combined team of soldiers and policemen. "How is that (withdrawal of security men) possible? The thing is, like in every crisis situation, there is the tendency for people to say anything. But it is not true that we withdrew our men," he stated. Similar accusations of a deliberate agenda to flush out Hausa Muslims out of the state have been leveled against the State governor, Chief Joshua Dariye. The Jassawa Youth Association, in an advertorial in a national daily, accused the governor of supporting a plot to "annihilate" the Hausa -- Fulani people in the state. They referred to an interview granted a national daily sometime ago in which the governor was said to have supported the giving of unruly tenants quit notice, among others, to justify their allegation. The national secretariat of the Jama'atu Nasril Islam echoed this feeling in a statement last Tuesday, urging the Federal Government to call the governor to order. However, the governor in a telephone interview with Sunday Vanguard, Friday, said his statement was being blown out of proportion to suit a campaign of calumny against the state government. How does a statement made to stress the need for settler groups to respect the culture and sensibilities of their indigenous hosts translate to giving them a quit notice?" he asked. The governor noted that it is the failure by people to address issues truthfully and the tendency to find scapegoats rather than conduct a self-examination that had made it difficult to find a solution to the problem. He added that resort to cheap blackmail and sentimental outbursts would never help the situation. "When you find yourself in this position (of governor) you receive a lot of insults and people accuse you of all sorts of things. It is normal. You will recall that initially, it was the Beroms and the Tarok people that were accusing one of colluding with the Hausa-Fulani to annihilate them. The point which I stressed in that interview and which I will stress again is that we must respect one another's religious and ethnic sensibilities for peace to reign. "These same Hausa-Fulani people and other ethnic groups have lived with those same indigenous people for over a century without any problem. Why is it difficult to live together now?" he said. Dariye appealed to the people of the state to resolve to live in peace reminding them that it is impossible for government to decree peace. He said he will not be distracted by what he called "the orchestrated campaign by fifth columnists designed to worsen the security situation in the state. Meanwhile, many residents of the state are hopeful that the Presidential Peace Committee headed by the Emir of Zauzau, Dr. Shehu Idris, which met following the latest violence would be able to come up with a solution to the violence which has turned the state into a theatre of blood letting for some years now.

AFP 11 May 2004 Ten dead in attacks on Christians after Muslim protest KANO, Nigeria, May 11 (AFP) - At least 10 people were killed Tuesday when Mulsim youths rioted in the northern city of Kano following a rally called to protest a massacre carried out last week by a Christian ethnic militia. An AFP reporter at the scene counted 10 bodies in the streets around Gyadi-Gyadi Court Road and Bayero University Kano Road in the city, where mobs had set up roadblocks and were attacked by suspected Christians. One young girl who had been stabbed and badly injured was rescued by a motorcycle taxi driver. Many of the bodies were burned. Gangs of youths torched and looted at least five Christian properties and a delivery truck in the Gyadi-Gyadi, the mainly Muslim-district of the city, triggering explosions in a cooking gas store. Police jeeps were racing around the area, with heavily armed officers sporadically firing warning shots, but security forces appeared to be holding back to avoid triggering a full-scale confrontation with the mob. One police jeep had its windows smashed. Most businesses, including the main Christian market in the minority community's ghetto, Sabon Gari, had been closed before Tuesday's mass rally called in protest at last week's attack on the Muslim town of Yelwa. On Sunday last week a heavily armed gang of militants from the Christian Tarok ethnic group stormed Yelwa, in the Shendam local government area of central Nigeria's Plateau State, and killed between 200 and 300 people. At Tuesday's protest, Islamic leaders demanded that President Olusegun Obasanjo put an end to the Plateau State crisis within seven days "or bear the blame of whatever happens".

BBC 11 May, 2004 Muslims riot in northern Nigeria Thousands of Muslims fled Yelwa during the violence Rioting has broken out in the northern city of Kano at a rally to protest at the recent killing of hundreds of Muslims in central Nigeria. Reporters and eyewitnesses have seen at least 10 bodies at the scene. Some 10,000 Muslims marched to the state governor's office from a mosque to hand over a letter of protest. More than 10,000 people have died in ethnic, religious and sectarian violence in Nigeria since the end of military rule five years ago. Reporters said several Christian-run businesses were looted and burned in Kano, with heavily armed officers in police vehicles sporadically firing warning shots. Many businesses, including a large Christian market, had been shut ahead of the rally. Tensions have risen in Nigeria in the past week, since members of the Christian Tarok community attacked the mainly Muslim town of Yelwa in the central Plateau State in a dispute over land and cattle. Ultimatum In Kano, Muslim leaders gave Nigeria's government seven days to act against the Christian militia that carried out the killings "or bear responsibility for whatever happens". Eyewitness: Town of death "The Federal Government should put a stop to the killing of Muslims in Plateau State or else the Muslims will have no option but to defend themselves," the leading Islamic cleric in Kano, Ibrahim Kabo, was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying. The New York-based organisation, Human Rights Watch, had earlier warned of the dangers of violence escalating if concrete measures were not taken against the killers in Yelwa. They urged the government to bring those responsible for the killings to justice, disarm local militias and deploy an adequate number of police in tense areas. Violence In 2001, more than 1,000 people died in religious clashes in the Plateau State capital, Jos. The government set up a commission of inquiry into the violence in Jos, but has still to publish its findings. The latest violence in Plateau State followed the deaths in February of 48 Christians killed by armed Muslim Fulanis in Yelwa after they had taken refuge in a church. Muslims are prediominant in the north of Nigeria, with Christians dominating in the south of the country.

BBC 13 May, 2004, Thousands seek Nigeria sanctuary Christians are a small minority of Kano's population Some 22,000 people have sought shelter in police stations in the northern Nigerian city of Kano. They are mostly Christians from other parts of Nigeria, who fled from Muslim youths with knives and machetes. The city is now calm but casualties are still arriving at hospitals. The Red Cross has confirmed 36 deaths. Police have deployed in Lagos and other cities to prevent the spread of rioting - sparked when hundreds of Muslims were killed in central Nigeria. AFP news agency reports that doctors at Kano General Hospital are refusing to allow anyone near the morgue for fear of inflaming the tense situation. "We will wait until everything is calm until we give the bodies out or allow anybody to go in to check for his relations," a doctor told AFP. 'Excuse for violence' According to the BBC's Anna Borzello in the mainly Muslim city of Kano, many described the attackers as unemployed youths who were using religion as an excuse to loot and cause mayhem. Unless an enabling economic environment is available in Nigeria, these clashes will continue Ibrahim Gereng, Abuja, Nigeria What can stop the violence? Kano riots: In pictures Our correspondent saw one woman with a bandage tied around her wrist where she had been cut trying to protect her baby from attack. Another man had a scar on his head, bloodstained trousers and knife marks sliced into his back. "I saw them put an old tyre on his neck and set him ablaze," said a 30-year-old Christian, Barry Owoyemi, of a dead Christian neighbour. Police commissioner Ganiyu Dawudu told our correspondent that he believed the fighting was over following Wednesday's clashes. Armed police and soldiers are patrolling the city's streets. They also turned out in the capital Lagos and northern cities in an attempt to keep the peace. Earlier, Kano's Islamic leaders joined Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo in urging calm. Retaliation President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday visited Yelwa, the central town where the crisis began when Christian militants killed hundreds of people. Mr Obasanjo went on to visit a relief camp where 27,000 people who had fled Yelwa were staying. He strongly rebuked Christian and Muslim leaders for not doing more to stop the violence, AFP reports. "Did your own Christianity teach you about revenge?" he said after a Christian leader asked him why the authorities had not helped Christians attacked by Muslims two months ago. Blessing Adaiyi's sister was killed in the violence He has been given a report into the Yelwa massacre but this has not been made public. The president has vowed to end the cycle of violence but did not say how. The most recent rioting began after a demonstration to protest at the Yelwa killings, at which Mr Obasanjo was given a seven-day ultimatum to deal with the situation or face the consequences. More than 10,000 people have been killed in ethnic, religious and political violence in the country since the end of military rule in 1999. Nigeria's combined Christian and animist communities are roughly equal in size to its Muslim population, with the Christians living predominately in the south.

Rwanda (see DR Congo)

IRIN 14 May 2004 Rwanda: Kagame Dismisses District Leaders Over Genocide-Related Deaths Nairobi Rwandan President Paul Kagame has dissolved a district executive committee in the southwestern province of Gikongoro where several killings of genocide survivors has occurred, the Rwandan News Agency reported on Thursday. Kagame's action followed his two-day visit to Gikongoro that ended on Tuesday, the agency reported. Cabinet approved his decision on Wednesday, at a meeting during which replacements for the dismissed officials were named. Killings of genocide survivors in Kaduha District occurred in 2003. Four genocide survivors were reportedly killed in Gikongoro in late 2003 by a group of genocide suspects in order to prevent them from testifying in the Gacaca justice system, introduced in the country in 2001. Similar killings were also reported in the central province of Gitarama. In early March, nine people were sentenced to death and another one to life imprisonment over the killing of a genocide survivor who was due to testify under the Gacaca justice system. The Court of First Instance ruled then that the nine were guilty of jointly killing Emile Ntahimana in November 2003 in Gikongoro. The March convictions brought to 14 the number of people sentenced to death and three to life imprisonment for killing genocide survivors. In February, the court had sentenced five people to death and two to life imprisonment for killing Charles Rutinduka, another potential witness in the Gacaca trials. Gacaca, based on a traditional communal justice where elders at the village level judge offenders, was introduced to speed up trials for an estimated 85,000 suspects held in Rwanda's prisons, in connection with the genocide that claimed the lives of at least 800,000 people.

Xinhua.net 17 May 2004 Nearly 2,800 Rwandans confess roles in 1994 genocide www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-17 02:53:03 KIGALI, May 17 () -- Some 2,793 suspects have so far confessed their roles in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and have requested to be included in the Gacaca (Rwanda's traditional justice system) proceedings around the country. Rwanda's National Coordinator for Gacaca Domitila Mukantaganzwasaid here Monday that about 376 others have been convicted after the courts found them guilty of committing genocide crimes or threatening witnesses during their trials, and the communal courtshave so far acquitted 386 suspects. The coordinator said Gacaca is an important justice system in Rwanda as it has tried to bring perpetrators and victims together through dialogue to solve disputes, adding that it existed earlieras a mechanism of solving disputes in the community. She expressed optimism about the effectiveness of the proceedings and believed that it will bear fruitful deliberations as they proceed with endeavor to the unity and reconciliation of Rwandans. In the recent Unity and Reconciliation summit, Rwandan President Paul Kagame urged the Rwandan community to support the traditional justice system so as to foster national development.

BBC 26 May, 2004 Genocide lawyers reject jail move The vast majority of those killed were Tutsis Lawyers defending those accused of masterminding Rwanda's genocide have condemned talks about moving them to prisons in Rwanda. They say that members of Rwanda's government are also accused of committing war crimes. United Nations officials have been in Rwanda to discuss the possible transfer of those found guilty of genocide, from the UN tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania. Some 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were slaughtered in 1994. The genocide ended when the then rebel Rwanda Patriotic Front came to power in 1994. But they have been accused of carrying out revenge attacks against members of the Hutu majority. 'Reconciliation' "Members of the Kagame regime are suspected of the same crimes over which the UN is prosecuting the ICTR detainees," said a statement from the Association of Defence Lawyers working at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Jailing ICTR convicts in Rwanda would "place them under the control of people accused of war crimes," it said. ARUSHA TRIBUNAL 21 suspects on trials 22 suspects awaiting trial 19 convictions 1 acquittal Q&A: Long search for justice The Rwandan government denies the charges but says that RPF individual soldiers have been punished for their acts in 1994. Rwanda's prisons are already overcrowded with those accused of taking part in the genocide. But Deputy Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, told the BBC's Network Africa programme that Rwanda wanted the suspects transferred to help the reconciliation process. "We are going to put them in the best facilities we have," he said. The lawyers went on strike earlier this year, saying that the tribunal was biased in favour of the prosecution and so fair trials were not possible. Eight years after being set up, the ICTR has convicted 19 people of genocide - six of whom are serving their sentences in Mali. Twenty-one suspects are on trial, while another 22 are in detention, waiting for their trials to start. .


IRIN 30 Apr 2004 Preparations continue for final phase of peace talks NAIROBI, 30 April (IRIN) - Preparations for the third and final phase of the Somali peace talks were proceeding smoothly on Friday, according to an Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) source involved in the proceedings. He told IRIN that the organisers of the talks, which are being held in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, under the auspices of IGAD, were pleased with "the way things were moving". "We have already started bringing in traditional elders from Somalia," he said. The organisers, the source added, were confident that Somali political leaders who were in Somalia "will be here before the [IGAD foreign] ministers' meeting on 6 May". "We are putting all the pieces together, so we don't have any hitches," he told IRIN. The source predicted that the process would go ahead despite a boycott threat by some faction leaders. "Those who matter on the ground will be here. We cannot afford to allow a few selfish individuals to hold the process hostage," he said. A group of faction leaders who abandoned the current peace talks in Kenya have been holding separate talks in Jowhar, 90 km north of the Somali capital, Mogadishu. They said they would not return to Nairobi as requested by the IGAD mediators, but would rather hold the final phase inside the country, one the leaders told IRIN this week. The IGAD source told IRIN that the charge brought by some delegates that IGAD was selecting delegates for the final phase was mistaken. "Unfortunately, in this process there will always be lamentations," he said. "In this final phase delegates must come through their respective clans. Nobody comes automatically. Those who are complaining should prevail upon their clans to select them. It [selection] has nothing to do with IGAD." He added that as the final phase involved the contentious issue of power-sharing: "We should not rush it, but take as much time as we need to ensure that the outcome is acceptable to both the Somalis and the international community, but we are hopeful that we will meet all of our deadlines," he added. The IGAD-sponsored talks began in October 2002 in the western Kenyan town of Eldoret, but were moved to Nairobi in February 2003. They have been dogged by wrangles over issues such as an interim charter, the number of participants and the selection of future parliamentarians.

South Africa

Mail & Guardian ZA 13 May 2004 www.mg.co.za Aristide to move to Pretoria Cape Town 13 May 2004 14:01 South Africa has agreed to give former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide a temporary home nearly three months after an armed revolt forced him to flee his poor Caribbean country, the Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) confirmed on Thursday. This followed a day-long Cabinet lekgotla (meeting) on Wednesday to discuss this and other issues. GCIS spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe said the arrangement will be a temporary one until the situation in Haiti has stabilised to the extent that it will be possible for Aristide and his family to return. On Monday an official request to offer Aristide a place to stay until his situation has "normalised' was received. The African Union made the request after it was approached by the Caribbean Economic Community (Caricom). In a media briefing in Pretoria, Netshitenzhe said South Africa has agreed to take responsibility for Aristide's residence and upkeep. "In acceding to this request South Africa seeks to contribute to international efforts to bring stability to Haiti. South Africa has a responsibility, as an African country and as part of the international community, to ensure that democracy and peace prevail in Haiti and that the people of this country are able democratically to elect their leaders," he said. Netshitenzhe said the government supports the call for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Aristide's removal from office and is committed to building international consensus against unilateral regime changes. "We hope that all South Africans will handle this matter with dignity and maturity. We believe that as we mature as a democracy and as a country that has got this important role to play in international relations, we would all come to appreciate that international diplomacy does not lend itself to mathematical equations where you would have precise condition of comfort and discomfort, precise resolutions to problems with precise answers," he said. He said the Aristide government was the first democratically elected government in "many, many decades" in Haiti. "There might have been weaknesses yes, but this can't be comparable with dictatorial regimes that came before them," he said. The South African government believes it is not correct that any country, no matter how powerful, should unilaterally seek to remove governments from power, especially democratically elected governments, he said. South Africa seeks to create an environment that will contribute towards the return of peace and security to Haiti. "While he is here he will contribute either directly or indirectly with the United Nations to ensure that peace and stability is returned in Haiti," said Netshitenzhe. Aristide's arrival date and number of entourage are still to be determined. Aristide (50) is currently in Jamaica, where he arrived on March 15 from the Central African Republic, his first destination following his resignation in late February. It is believed Aristide will take up residence in Pretoria under tight security. The government said the United States and France have agreed that Aristide should go to South Africa. Responding to speculation surrounding the length of time Aristide is to stay in South Africa, Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad said Haiti will be holding elections shortly and that Aristide's own party is participating. He believed the outcome of the elections will determine the length of Aristide's visit to South Africa. The former priest, who was first elected in 1990 and was ousted in a coup in 1991, only to return to power with US military backing in 1994, had said from the outset that he wanted to come to South Africa. But the government has let it be known that it did not want to agree to the controversial move ahead of the April 14 election, which President Thabo Mbeki's African National Congress won by a landslide. The main opposition Democratic Alliance has spoken out against allowing Aristide into South Africa, arguing that his democratic credentials are in doubt and that taxpayers should not have to foot the bill to support him. It also said that France and the US should take him if they forced him to step down. "The governments that are responsible for removing him from power should take responsibility for looking after him in exile. France and the US were very prominent in this regard; why not send him to Paris?" said Douglas Gibson, foreign affairs spokesperson for the party. -- Sapa .

Sudan - Darfur

Al-Ahram Weekly 29 Apr 2004 weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/688/fr3.htm 'Darfur in flames' International outrage against atrocities in Sudan is growing, writes Gamal Nkrumah Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Beshir angrily rejected an official request by the United States to send a fact-finding mission to the war-torn Darfur region of western Sudan. Speaking to thousands of supporters in Al-Fashir, the capital of Darfur, Al-Beshir warned of an "international neo-colonialist conspiracy to break-up Sudan and to demoralise Sudan's armed forces." In a deliberate show of defiance, and perhaps in a desperate bid to boost the morale of government forces and allied militias in Darfur, Al-Beshir reaffirmed the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of Sudan. The Sudanese government also turned down an offer by John Garang, leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), the largest armed opposition group in the country, to mediate between the Sudanese government and armed opposition groups in Darfur. "We are an important political factor on the Sudanese political scene. We must not be overlooked in efforts to reconcile the Sudanese government and armed opposition groups in Darfur," Garang said at the start of Sudanese peace talks in Kenya. The sixth round of face-to-face peace talks between Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha and Garang began on Monday in Naivasha, 80kms northwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The Sudanese peace talks are taking place under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), a regional grouping of seven East African countries, including Sudan. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the umbrella opposition organisation that includes the SPLA and other mainly northern Sudanese opposition parties, is not taking part in the Sudanese peace talks in Naivasha. Cairo-based Mohamed Othman Al- Mirghani, head of the NDA, expressed concern at the slow pace of the peace talks and the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Darfur. Last Friday the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva expressed concern about the overall situation in Darfur but stopped short of condemning the Sudanese government. The US envoy to the Commission, Richard Williamson, expressed outrage. "We must stand up and condemn unconscionable acts," he said. While the Sudanese government welcomed the Commission's verdict human rights groups contested it. "This once again calls into question the Commission's ability and willingness to rise above political wrangling and promote and protect human rights," an Amnesty International statement read. "This is a very meagre response to a situation that is at the point of spiralling into a full- fledged human rights catastrophe." Human rights groups warn against operations carried out by the Arab militias or Janjaweed who allegedly enjoy Sudanese government air cover during raids. Aerial bombardment has spread terror and devastation in Darfur, the rights groups claim. "The pattern of attacks on civilians includes killing, rape, pillage, including livestock, and destruction of property, including water resources," warned Amnesty International. "This is the most vicious hostile campaign this government has ever faced," said Sudanese Foreign Minister Mostafa Othman Ismail. Abdel-Wahid Mohamed Nour Musa, leader of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), has been collaborating closely with the SPLA and other political groups in the NDA. The SLA, the largest armed opposition group in Darfur, warned that the Darfur peace talks are faltering because of Sudanese government intransigence. 0n 8 April international pressure resulted in the signing of a cease-fire agreement in the Chad capital Ndjamena. But internecine fighting has continued and no monitoring force has been established. The SLA claims that 160 civilians have died since the signing of the cease-fire agreement. Amid growing international condemnation of its handling of Darfur, the Sudanese government has reacted angrily to calls for international military intervention in the war-torn region. Sudanese opposition groups also caution against military intervention. "We are against foreign military intervention in Darfur. We have before us the example of Iraq," Farouk Abu Eissa, former head of the Cairo-based Arab Lawyers Union and official spokesman for the NDA told Al-Ahram Weekly. "We do not want a similar situation to develop in Darfur, or Sudan. But we urge the international community to intervene in Darfur by facilitating humanitarian relief. We appeal to the international community to put pressure on the Sudanese government and to facilitate the flow of humanitarian relief assistance. But we reject foreign military intervention." Last week UN Secretary General Kofi Annan issued a strongly-worded statement calling on the international community to intervene militarily to contain the rapidly deteriorating situation in Darfur. The UN also released a report severely critical of the Sudanese government's scorched earth policy in Darfur. The UN report, Darfur in Flames: Atrocities in Western Sudan, came under criticism from different quarters, with the Sudanese government and Arabised tribes in Darfur complaining of Western bias. They argue that the fighting in Darfur has long been between pastoralists (predominantly Arabised tribes) and sedentary agriculturists (mainly indigenous non-Arab groups). The vast majority of Darfur's population is, like other regions of northern Sudan, predominantly Muslim. But like southern Sudan it is not Arabised. Most of the people of Darfur retain non-Arab ethnic identities and languages. The SLA is a political and military coalition of the three largest indigenous ethnic groups in Darfur -- the Fur, Zaghawa and the Masaleet. They joined forces in order to coordinate resistance against the Arab militias. "The armed conflict in Darfur is not simply between Arabs and non-Arabs. Fighting often occurs between Arab tribes such as the Beni Helba and Al-Mahiriya, who are part of the huge Rezeiquat tribal confederacy of western and central Sudan," Yaqub Al- Dumuki, an ethnic Arab from the Beni Halba tribe told the Weekly. Al-Dumuki, a London-based journalist who has just returned from a visit to Darfur, said the problem in Darfur is one of underdevelopment and poverty. He stressed the humanitarian situation. "We are concerned about the organised campaign against the Arabs of Darfur. The Arabs of Darfur are deeply disturbed by the comments made by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Annan accuses Arabs of committing atrocities of ethnic cleansing against the non-Arabs in Darfur," Al-Dumuki said. "[Annan's] remarks fuel the fire rather than helping rivals reach an amicable solution. Arabs constitute more than 55 per cent of Darfur's population and they have been subjected to a relentless campaign comprising unfounded accusations of ethnic cleansing."

ICRC 30 Apr 2004 Press Release 04/32 Sudan: ICRC and SRCS strive to deploy meaningful action in Darfur In response to the vast and pressing humanitarian needs in Darfur (west of the country) and in line with the appeal of the Sudanese authorities to increase aid to the affected civilian population, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), jointly with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS), is currently striving to bring up its operations in the region to a meaningful level. In the past two months, in concert with local and federal authorities, the SRCS and the ICRC have provided more than 42,000 internally displaced people with material assistance, in particular shelter, and ensured access to safe water for over 72,000 persons, both displaced and resident, including ethnic Arab communities affected by the conflict, in various locations. The ICRC has also initiated rehabilitation and sanitation work in several health facilities and supplied a significant amount of drugs and medical materials to the hospitals in Nyala and Al Fashir. In order to support local hospital personnel overwhelmed by the increased demands, the ICRC is moreover deploying a surgical and medical team in Darfur. Up to date, the SRCS and the ICRC have registered dozens of children separated from their parents as a result of the conflict and have been approached by several hundred people asking for help in locating their relatives with a view to restoring family links. Last month, the ICRC, in its capacity as a neutral intermediary and with the full agreement of all the parties concerned, facilitated the release of a Chinese engineer held by a Darfur rebel group. In parallel, the ICRC has reinforced the SRCS' own response capacity, both at local and headquarters levels, through training in relief management and tracing and provision of material and financial support. ICRC delegates operate in Darfur thanks to the setup and network provided by the SRCS. The ICRC calls upon all those involved in the conflict to abide by the rules and principles of international humanitarian law and to facilitate meaningful, independent and impartial humanitarian action.

AFP 1 May 2004 UN warns of worsening situation in crisis-hit Darfur KHARTOUM, May 1 (AFP) - The United Nations warned Saturday that the humanitarian crisis in west Sudan's Darfur region would worsen if measures to improve security and access were not taken immediately. World Food Programme Executive Director James Morris told a press conference here that he had asked the Sudanese government to accelerate efforts to address the armed militias issue and to "provide security and protection to the people." Morris returned early Saturday from Darfur where he led a high-level UN mission to assess the humanitarian situation there. He said he found the displaced people living in "difficult and unacceptable conditions" with his mission receiving "numerous reports of sexual abuse and harassment that has limited people's access to water, food and firewood." Morris said a fund of 140 million dollars would be required to cover the needs of more than a million displaced people, a figure which he said would rise if the conflict was not brought to an end. He said that despite the ceasefire it was still difficult to reach needy people in some areas in Darfur and that it was unsafe for humanitarian workers to go there. "This year we have managed to reach only half a million displaced people," said Morris. Commenting on the security issue, the UN Secretary General's envoy for humanitarian affairs Tom Vraalsen said the ceasefire "is holding and is observed by the three signatories (the government, the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement) but it is the militias who are not party to the agreement who are responsible for the violations." Morris cited Mornei camp, in west Darfur, which accommodates more than 60,000 people living in "abysmal" conditions and where health care is limited to one small facility, a health centre run by French medical charity MSF (Doctors without Borders). He said he noticed that displace people wanted to go home but felt that it was still unsafe to do so. Some, he said, had attempted to return but "ended up fleeing again as a result of renewed attacks." He added: "we fully support people's desire to return home but they can only do so in a safe environment." The international official said the UN was urgently appealing for resources to help it do more, adding that the UN was encouraging donors and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) to help end the crisis. He stressed the urgency of this appeal as the rainy season was approaching and by that time roads would be impassable. Displaced people would be cut off and at the same time there would be a risk of diseases spreading dramatically. Rains usually fall in late May and early June.

Business Day (Johannesburg) 3 May 2004 COLUMN Act to End Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur By Georgette Gagnon and Nobuntu Mbelle Johannesburg DURING its first decade of democracy, SA has consistently committed itself to promoting human rights, democracy, and peace and security in Africa. In conflict-ridden African countries such as Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, government has deployed peacekeeping troops to support peace consolidation efforts. SA has also played a vital role in the transformation of the African Union (AU), where its Peace and Security Council role will be crucial in strengthening human rights protection. On the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, President Thabo Mbeki lamented that SA "did not cry out as loudly as we should have against the enormous and heinous crime against the people of Rwanda". SA's government, a key member of the AU's Peace and Security Council, now has the opportunity and the responsibility to take action to end the ethnic cleansing campaign in Darfur, a western region of Sudan. Thousands of African civilians have been killed, and nearly 1-million displaced, by the Sudanese government and its allied Arab militias in their attempt to put down a rebel insurgency in Darfur. Working on the ground in Darfur and neighbouring Chad, Human Rights Watch researchers have found the Sudanese government and its militias are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The widespread and systematic abuses, documented in the April report Darfur in Flames, have set off a humanitarian crisis that could result in a manmade famine unless immediate steps are taken to improve security and access to humanitarian assistance. The conflict also risks destabilising the region and thwarting continuing peace talks aimed at ending more than 20 years of war between Khartoum and the south. Working in unison, government forces and Arab "janjaweed" militias are pursuing a scorchedearth campaign that has depopulated and burned hundreds of villages across Darfur, seeking in part to destroy any potential support base for the rebels by attacking African civilians that share the same ethnicity with the rebels: the Zaghawa, Masaalit, and Fur. In joint operations, government forces and janjaweed have killed, abducted, raped and pillaged civilians, forcibly displacing nearly a million from their villages. The government's aerial bombing campaign has targeted villages and vital water infrastructure, increasing displacement and the risks of famine. Most ominously, Human Rights Watch documented the March 5 massacre in Wadi Saleh of 136 men of the Fur ethnic group janjaweed working with government troops in an operation that clearly shows Sudanese government complicity in the atrocities in Darfur. Nearly a million people in Darfur have been displaced in the past year. More than 110000 refugees have fled across the border into neighbouring Chad. At least 800000 people, many Fur, remain displaced within Darfur. The government has denied access to humanitarian groups trying to aid affected com- munities and has failed to protect displaced persons in government-controlled towns and camps from attacks by the janjaweed . On April 8, the Sudanese government and the two Darfurian rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, signed a "humanitarian" cease-fire agreement in Chad after international outrage led the United Nations (UN) Security Council to consider the matter of the war in Sudan, for the first time. The government, however, did not agree to withdraw its troops and militias from the lands it took by violent force, or to let civilians return home in safety. The AU has committed to run a ceasefire commission for western Sudan. Military observers from Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria and Senegal have yet to be dispatched to Darfur. Meanwhile, there are reports of violations of the cease-fire. Relief agencies warn that up to 300000 refugees will starve to death from famine if the Darfurian people are not allowed to quickly return to their villages to plant their crops before the rainy season starts. The South African government ought to use its considerable diplomatic muscle on the continent, together with the AU, to loudly condemn Sudan's government for committing crimes against humanity directed at the African population of Darfur. The Sudanese government should be urged not only to allow humanitarian agencies and UN and AU bodies unfettered access to the displaced communities in Darfur, but also to disband, disarm and withdraw the janjaweed militias from the region and villages they occupy. Refugees and displaced persons will not return to their home areas unless and until the janjaweed are gone. SA and the AU must act decisively to reverse the status quo on the ground in Darfur. The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights which will be meeting at its 35th session from May 17- 31 should also take urgent action to bolster human rights monitoring efforts of the AU Peace and Security Council. As SA celebrates a decade of the end of apartheid a crime against humanity so too should it respond loudly and quickly to protect the African peoples of Darfur from the crimes inflicted on them by their own government. Gagnon is deputy director and Mbelle is researcher in the Africa division, Human Rights Watch.

NYT 2 May 2004 Amnesty Reports Sudan Fighting By REUTERS AIRO, May 1 (Reuters) - The human rights group Amnesty International said late Friday that fighting was persisting in western Sudan despite a cease-fire between the government and rebels, and that time was running out to avert a disaster among civilians before the rainy season. The Sudanese government and two main rebel factions in the west, the impoverished Darfur region, signed a truce on April 8 to allow aid to reach about one million people. Relief officials say rains are expected to start in late May and could hinder the distribution of aid and medical supplies. Rebels took up arms against the government in February 2003 to push for a larger share of power and Sudan's resources. Amnesty said, "Two time bombs are ticking in Sudan in a countdown to disaster: the approaching rainy season, which means that by June many areas may be cut off from food and medical supplies from outside; and the danger that a complete collapse of the cease-fire will lead to an escalation of violations." Attacks on villages, indiscriminate and deliberate killings of civilians, rape and lootings were continuing, Amnesty said. Monitors from the African Union designated to investigate cease-fire violations were not in place, it added. An official from the Sudan Liberation Army, one of the two main rebel groups, said Thursday that Arab militias from Darfur had crossed about six miles into Chad and attacked refugees and local villages. Rebels and others accuse the government of arming the Arab militias, known locally as janjaweed, to loot and burn African villages. The government in Khartoum calls the militias outlaws. "Unless the international community puts maximum pressure to ensure that the government militia are disarmed and removed from the region, the conflict will worsen and spread," Amnesty said. Amnesty said most villages in Darfur had been destroyed. United Nations officials have said the situation in Darfur is one of the world's worst crises, with more than 110,000 refugees camped in Chad. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement on Friday that its emergency relocation operation in eastern Chad had so far moved 45,000 Sudanese refugees away from the insecure Chad-Sudan border. It said it hoped to move at least 60,000 by the start of the rainy season.

NYT 4 May 2004 In Sudan, Militiamen on Horses Uproot a Million By MARC LACEY NYALA, Sudan, May 2 — Hawa Muhammad, 15, lost just about everything when the men on horseback came. They took her family's horses, donkeys and small herd of goats and sheep. They took her cooking pots and her clothing. They took her mother and her father, too. "The men on horses killed my parents," she said, referring to the Janjaweed, loose bands of Arab fighters. "Then the planes came." Now it is she to whom her six younger sisters turn when their bellies rumble. She recounted her tale as if in a trance. Hawa left her village on the run and settled with thousands of others at the camp in Kalma, outside Nyala, part of a tide of a million people that the United Nations and others say has been displaced in this vast region of western Sudan. The government in Khartoum has closed the region to outsiders for much of the last year. Hawa's account of how the attack unfolded is the same as those heard in camp after camp across Darfur, as well as the settlements across the border in the desert of eastern Chad, where the United Nations estimates another 100,000 villagers have streamed. Many were driven away by the Janjaweed, a few thousand uniformed militia men who have worked with government soldiers and aerial bombardments to purge villages of their darker-skinned black African inhabitants. The government denies any relationship to the Janjaweed, but ousted villagers say the links are strong, and their accounts are backed by numerous aid workers and outside experts. Human rights groups and international officials charge that the Janjaweed have been used as a tool of the government to pursue a radical policy resembling ethnic cleansing. The conflict has pitted Arab nomads and herders against settled black African farmers. The tensions have been worsened by droughts in the north and the slow creep of the desert southward. For 20 years rebels in southern Sudan have sought to topple the Arab-dominated government in the north. Two million people died in that larger conflict, and a peace agreement is considered near. But since early 2003 two rebel groups in Darfur, the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, initiated a separate rebellion, complaining that the region's people, especially the black Africans, were being marginalized. Sudan's decades-old civil war was much about religion — the north is mostly Muslim, the south animist and Christian. Darfur's conflict is over ethnicity and resources; it pits Muslim against Muslim. The rebels here scored some early victories, and the government responded with a fury, angering countries that thought it was finally taking the country toward peace after decades of civil war. The army has used helicopter gunships and old Russian-made Antonov planes loaded with bombs. But the Arab-African rivalry has long festered here, and the most ruthless weapon has been the mounted Janjaweed fighters, who know no rules of war. The Janjaweed ride camels and horses and use automatic weapons against those they come across. They ride into villages en masse and shoot anyone in sight. As the militiamen torch and loot, the villagers grab what they can and run. An empty village is an eerie place. There are no babies crying, no goats bleating, no women pounding grain into mush. The only sound comes from the wind as it whips over the huts that used to house families but now lie toppled and torched. Today there are many such villages in the vast Darfur region. Eleven ghost villages line the main road just northwest of here. Each stands frozen, just as it was when it was overrun. Some were cleared months ago. Others were attacked as recently as last week. In each it is clear that life came to a sudden halt. Beds are overturned, and pots lie on their sides. In front of one hut is a child's sandal, but no child anywhere. Fatima Ishag Sulieman, 25, did not have time to get away. She was in bed when the Janjaweed moved in. Two men entered her hut. They hit her, then they raped her in front of her family. "I screamed, and they ran away," she said in Arabic. Ms. Sulieman and others uprooted from their homes end up in camps, some of them organized settlements and others squalid outposts. She now lives under a tree at a secondary school in Kas, in southern Darfur. All around the schoolyard are other villagers, most of them women and children. Many of them, she says, experienced what she did. Others suffer in different ways. Adam Hassan, a weathered man in an equally weathered robe, described a dual attack. First it was Arab men on horseback, he said, who swooped down on his village, outside Kaliek. Then, he said, soldiers moved in. In Mr. Hassan's case it was his two sons, ages 7 and 10, who were killed. Mr. Hassan now stays with his wife and two surviving daughters at the Kas schoolyard. He wants desperately to return to his land and pick up again where he left off. Like so many of the uprooted villagers, Mr. Hassan is a farmer. He relies on the heavy rains that come in June to add some life to the dusty earth. His sorghum and ground nuts keep his family alive. But he and hundreds of thousands of other farmers in Darfur will miss this year's planning season. It is too unsafe for them to farm. That reality has aid agencies gearing up for what will be more and more hunger in the days ahead. "I may have to stay here forever," he said at his campsite, looking glum. "There are too many Janjaweed." The United Nations, which conducted its own tour of Darfur last week, said the crisis in western Sudan would last another 18 months — if the government managed to disarm the men on horseback soon. But it remains to be seen whether the lawlessness will be tamed. On one recent day, men on camelback still lurked on the outskirts of an empty village outside Kas. They took off when visitors arrived. Farther down a dirt track, a man on the back of a donkey approached another destroyed village, an assault weapon balanced on his lap. His name was Ismael Abbakar, and he said he knew how the village had been emptied — he took part, in fact — although he claimed to be protecting the villagers, not driving them away. Last year, when the chaos in Darfur began spinning out of control, he was raising cattle for a living. Now, though, he is a government soldier who patrols alone with his government-issued weapon. He pulled out an identification card to prove his affiliation. In Darfur the distinction between soldier and outlaw has grown murky. Ahmed Angabo Ahmed, the commissioner of the Kas region, acknowledged enlisting some armed robbers in the police and army to hunt down the rebels. He said his new recruits were on the side of the law now and were not Janjaweed. "The Janjaweed are outlaws," he said.

HoustonChronicle.com 3 May 2004, 10:13PM Are the media missing yet another genocide? By CARROLL BOGERT The international media don't send reporters to cover genocides, it seems. They cover genocide anniversaries. We've just finished a spate of front-page stories, television docu-histories and somber panel discussions on "Why the Media Missed the Story" in Rwanda, pegged to the 10th anniversary of one of the most shocking tragedies of last century, or any century. More than 500,000 people were killed in a small African country in only 100 days, and the world turned away. But even as the ink was drying on the latest round of mea culpas, another colossal disaster in Africa was already going unreported. Nearly a million people have been displaced from their homes in western Sudan; many have fled into neighboring Chad. They say militias working with the Sudanese government have been attacking villages, ransacking and torching homes, killing and raping civilians. These armed forces are supposedly cracking down on rebel groups based in the Darfur region, but in fact they are targeting the population. The rainy season comes to western Sudan in May. If farmers don't get back to their villages by then, the crops will not get planted this year -- and that could mean mass starvation as well. But no one will go back as long as the janjaweed (literally, "armed horsemen") militias remain in the area. So where are the journalists? At the annual meeting of the Overseas Press Club recently, I took a random and admittedly unscientific survey of foreign editors. "Do you have anyone in Darfur?" I asked. "We did have someone there!" said one editor brightly. "But she's been covering all of Africa." He changed the subject to authoritarian trends in Vladimir V. Putin's Russia. "We're covering the Washington angle this week," said another, referring to the Bush administration's conundrum of how to wrap up a peace agreement between the government of Sudan and rebels in the southern part of the country -- just as Khartoum is attacking another set of ethnic groups in the west. "I think we have a stringer now in Chad," offered a third. If few editors could find Rwanda on a map 10 years ago, fewer still have found Darfur today. Of course, Khartoum isn't giving visas to camera-wielding international TV crews. But although Darfur is hard to get to, it isn't impossible. A Human Rights Watch researcher just spent three weeks sneaking back and forth to Sudan from Chad, and she brought back with her solid evidence of what's happening on the ground. For Human Rights Watch to adequately cover the tragedy in Darfur, we have to take people away from their regular jobs -- following the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda, the worsening civil war in Ivory Coast and other global tragedies. But if we can do it, with the scarce resources of a nonprofit, then why not The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times? Part of the answer is Iraq. The Chicago Tribune's Cairo bureau chief, for instance, who could be covering north Africa, just got bundled off for another tour of Baghdad. The war is a story that involves Americans -- our men and women in uniform -- and Americans are understandably preoccupied with it. (Ten years ago, the media were transfixed by the O.J. Simpson trial -- so maybe you can call this progress.) Covering the war in Iraq has depleted foreign news budgets, and sending reporters into Sudan is not cheap. Reporters have begun trickling to the scene. The Los Angeles Times has a correspondent en route to Darfur, as does The New York Times. But the fact is, with or without a war in Iraq, American journalists are generally slower to cover mass death if the victims are not white. The Rwandan genocide is a case in point. The tragedy in Darfur may not cross the genocide threshold, but should that really make a difference? Thousands of civilians have been killed, and the pattern and intent behind these massive crimes must be carefully mapped and loudly broadcast around the world if there is to be any hope of stopping them. We need more information and more firsthand reporting. We need reporters at the scene, making this disaster real to their audience by telling the stories of individual victims. It's the media's job to inform us. They should do it, and quickly -- because 10 years from now there won't be any excuse for another round of hand-wringing. Bogert is associate director of Human Rights Watch.

AP 9 May 2004 U.N. rights chief details Sudan atrocities Sunday, May 9, 2004 By PRISCILLA CHEUNG Associated Press Writer UNITED NATIONS -- Sudanese forces are helping Arab militias drive black Africans out of the country's Darfur region, the U.N. human rights chief said, but he stopped short of blaming the government for what he described as widespread atrocities. Bertrand Ramcharan and James Morris, chief of the U.N. World Food Program, spoke to reporters Friday after they briefed the Security Council on U.N. missions they recently led to the region. "First, there is a reign of terror in this area; second, there is a scorched-earth policy; third there is repeated war crimes and crimes against humanity; and fourth, this is taking place before our very eyes," said Ramcharan, the acting U.N. high commissioner for human rights. "The government clearly has supported the militias, organized the militias, and this is taking place with the knowledge and support, and active complicity of the government," he added. But when asked if he held the government of Sudan responsible for the atrocities, Ramcharan said: "I condemn the government of Sudan and I do not think it was responsible." Several Security Council diplomats, who were present at the closed-door briefing, said they would not seek any immediate action against Sudan, but would instead work with the government to bring about an end to the violence and a negotiated peace. In a report released Friday, the rights group Human Rights Watch said Sudanese soldiers and nomadic Arab militiamen, known as janjaweed, have killed thousands of black Africans and driven more than 1 million from their homes. It accused the Arab-dominated government of providing weapons and air support to the janjaweed, who often sweep into villages riding camels and horses, and called on the Security Council to step in to help stop the bloodshed and look for evidence of crimes against humanity. In his report, Ramcharan said it "is clear that there is a reign of terror in Darfur" and characterized the violence as "largely ethnically based." He pointed to "a pattern of attacks on civilians including killing, rape, pillage, including of livestock, and destruction of property, including water sources." The janjaweed "have operated with total impunity and in close coordination with the forces of the government of Sudan," according to the report, drawn in part from interviews with some of the estimated 110,000 Sudanese who have fled across the border into Chad. German Deputy Foreign Minister Kerstin Mueller, who recently visited the Sudanese refugees in Chad, said the refugees confirmed that "there is a policy of ethnic cleansing going on in Darfur" and several human rights groups -- as well as U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland -- have also said there is ethnic cleansing there. "I respect those who go out and say this is ethnic cleansing. My job with the United Nations is to present the facts and leave it to others characterize them," Ramcharan said. "If you go to the law books, you will not find any authoritative definition of what ethnic cleansing is." The report said the Sudanese government has had a hand in some of the atrocities, including "indiscriminate aerial bombardments and ground attacks on unarmed civilians." Ramcharan called on the government to step up efforts to help refugees return to their homes, cooperate with humanitarian missions and regional monitors, and seek a peace settlement. James Cummingham, the United States' deputy U.N. ambassador, said the council would "watch the response of the government and other militia groups" before deciding on further action. "We believe that the janjaweed militia is responsive to the government," he said. "We would ask the government of Sudan to exercise control within their territory over the militia." Mueller said the Security Council was not debating a resolution on the Darfur crisis "at the moment" but called on Sudan "to fulfill our demands." Sudan's foreign minister denied that government forces are engaged in a campaign of "ethnic cleansing." "What is happening in Darfur is neither ethnic cleansing nor genocide," Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail told the official Sudan News Agency on Friday. "It is a state of war, which resulted in a humanitarian situation." In its report, Human Rights Watch likened the Darfur situation to the beginning of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when 500,000 people were slaughtered by a government-backed, extremist militia. The international community has been widely criticized for not intervening to stop that bloodshed. "Ten years after the Rwandan genocide and despite years of soul-searching, the response of the international community to the events in Sudan has been nothing short of shameful," the human rights watchdog said.

AP 11 May 2004 Sudan Swears in Human Rights Committee By MOHAMED OSMAN KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Sudan swore in a presidential committee Tuesday to investigate allegations of gross human rights abuses in the western Darfur region, where rights groups say the government and allied militia are carrying out a campaign of "ethnic cleansing." Officials rejected the accusations Tuesday, saying a United Nations report alleging government complicity with a fierce Arab militia was false. Khartoum chided the rights groups for not writing about violations by the autonomy-seeking rebels the militia is fighting. State-run radio station Omdurman said the committee would have broad access to all government documents and would report directly to President Omar el-Bashir. It is headed by former Chief Justice Dafallah Hajj Yusuf. "As regards the rapes and sexual harassment, the government would like to stress that those types of crimes are totally rejected by the government, and they are against the values and morals of Sudanese society," the foreign ministry said in a statement Tuesday. "The government reaffirms its commitment to deal with the utmost firmness and firm-handedness with this type of crime." On Friday, Human Rights Watch issued a report accusing government troops, working with Arab militiamen, of driving more than 1 million black Africans from their homes in a campaign of bombing, burning and rape that it called "ethnic cleansing." Bertrand Ramcharan, the acting U.N. high commissioner for human rights, after briefing the U.N. Security Council on Friday, blamed the militias for a "scorched-earth policy" and spoke of "repeated war crimes and crimes against humanity." He said the government was supporting the militia but stopped short of directly blaming the government for the atrocities. The foreign ministry statement Tuesday denied that the violence in Darfur had ethnic causes, saying the government and the militia were simply trying to put down a rebellion. "The government, forced by the escalation of the rebellion, had appealed to the citizens, all of them, to come to the support of the armed forces in containing the violence and the destructive activities carried out by the rebellion movement," the statement said. "That was a general call, to which response varied from the various tribes without any discrimination, and this shows the falsehood of the claim that the government has adopted a racial attitude in this respect." The aid group Medecins Sans Frontiers -- Doctors Without Borders -- said Tuesday that the 60,000 refugees who have fled to neighboring Chad are at severe risk of hunger and disease and appealed for a "massive mobilization of humanitarian aid" in Chad as well as in Darfur itself. The group, in a statement, said refugee camps are severely overcrowded and there isn't enough food to go around. It said thousands of refugees have no access to clean drinking water and that "the level of malnutrition is now climbing every week." Sudan's government accused aid groups and journalists of holding the government responsible for human rights violations while failing to publicize similar violations by the autonomy-seeking rebels the militias are battling. "There are clearly double standards in handling these questions," Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ibrahim Hamid Mahmoud said. "Those recent reports have failed to mention anything about the rebellion being behind all those atrocities." The foreign ministry also said the reports failed to take into account the role of economic sanctions imposed on Sudan for sponsoring terrorism, saying those have contributed to poverty that has helped spark the violence.

News 24 SA 10 May 2004 www.news24.com Darfur could face 'genocide' Stockholm - The deadly conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, which pits local non-Arabs against marauding militias and the Khartoum government, could degenerate into genocide, Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds said on Sunday. "There is absolutely a risk (of genocide). There are signs that could develop into something very, very serious", Freivalds told Sweden's TT news agency. Freivalds appealed for immediate action by the international community, saying failure to intervene could lead to a genocide like that which took place in Rwanda 10 years ago. More than a million people have been driven from their homes and at least 10 000 killed in Darfur since the outbreak of fighting in February last year, and the United Nations has accused the Arab-run Khartoum government of a deliberate campaign of ethnic cleansing. "We must follow this situation with great care in order to detect signs that could indicate we're heading toward a very serious situation, up until what resembles genocide," Freivalds said. Sweden hosted an international conference on genocide in January, where 50 participating countries were warned of 13 current threats of genocide across the globe, including in Sudan. Delegates there committed to work to identify and speak out on genocidal threats as early as possible. Edited by Anthea Jonathan.

DPA 10 May 2004 Germany calls for international pressure to end Sudan bloodshed BERLIN - The German Foreign Office Monday issued an appeal for international pressure to help bring about an end to the bloodshed in Sudan. Only prompt action by the international community on the government in Khartoum and its proxy militia could end the ethnic strife, said Foreign Office State Minister for African Affairs Kerstin Mueller. Mueller, who returned over the weekend from a fact-finding trip to the Sudan-Chad border region, said, "This is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today with so many people in the most belligerent way being chased from their homes. Ethnic cleansing is going on under our very noses." She declined, however, to use the term "genocide" to describe the situation. Earlier, another German governmental official proposed deployment of a European peacekeeping force. German Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, speaking during a parliamentary debate on the Sudan crisis, proposed the deployment and said it could be funded by the European Union. Berlin has earmarked more than EUR 1.5 million in humanitarian relief to the strife-torn country. The Geneva-based UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the World Food Programme have both issued reports citing "a severe human rights and humanitarian crisis" in the region. The reports said a "reign of terror" exists in Darfur because of repeated attacks on civilians by the government and proxy militiamen, use of indiscriminate aerial bombings and ground attacks on unarmed civilians and disproportionate use of force by the government and rebel groups. The UN said the fighting was initiated by the rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which drew its forces from the Zaghawa, Fur and Masalit tribes. The government in Khartoum then sponsored fighters of apparently Arab descend to fight the African rebels. It said an ethnically-based conflict was met by an ethnically- based response, building on long tribal rivalries in the region of Darfur.

washingtonpost.com 13 May 2004 Editorial: Idle on Darfur Thursday, May 13, 2004; Page A28 IN A SPEECH on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan pleaded that, in the face of the genocide that now appears to be occurring in the western Sudanese province of Darfur, "the international community cannot stand idle." Five weeks later, Mr. Annan's plea has been underlined by reports from the region. On Friday, Human Rights Watch published a detailed account of the systematic destruction of villages and the killing "in cold blood" of thousands of civilians, whose bodies have been shoveled into mass graves or simply left out in the sun. The killings were perpetrated by Sudan's government, in concert with its allies in the Janjaweed militia. They constitute a grotesquely exaggerated response to a regional rebellion that started a year ago to protest the neglect of Darfur's ethnically African population by the Arab government in Khartoum. Unless Mr. Annan's plea is heeded, things are about to get worse. As many as 1 million inhabitants of Darfur have been driven from their homes; they have no access to the fields they should be planting at this time of year. Soon the rainy season will begin, and it will be too late for planting; it will also become a lot harder for relief organizations to bring in food by truck. There have already been outbreaks of meningitis in the refugee camps, and child deaths from malnutrition are rising. Human rights groups describe the refugee camps as de facto prisons: They are ringed by militiamen who attack women venturing out for firewood. These prison camps will become death camps if nothing is done to supply them. Like many civil wars, this one threatens to suck in its neighbors. The Janjaweed militia members have mounted raids on refugee camps in Chad, where more than 110,000 fugitives from Darfur have sought sanctuary. They have been backed by Sudan's government, which has sent helicopters to support them. On Sunday, Chad's government declared that its army would fight back against the marauders, and it reported on a skirmish in which dozens had been killed. Just as Rwanda's genocide triggered war in Congo, and just as Sierra Leone's civil war spread to its neighbors, the current atrocities in Darfur may have regional consequences. Until now, the Western governments that have leverage over Sudan have not wanted to use it. They are brokering a peace between the government and the southern rebels and believe that pressuring the government on Darfur would use up scarce bargaining chips. But however important the north-south peace process is, the Darfur crisis should not be marginalized. The violence there is too atrocious, and unless Sudan's government proves itself serious about implementing the Darfur cease-fire to which it has theoretically agreed, it's hard to believe that a peace treaty with the south would really mean much. The United States and its allies should insist that the Sudanese regime rein in its militia; that it cease all joint operations with them; and that it allow humanitarian organizations immediate, red-tape-free access to the region.

Telegraph UK 16 May 2004 'They killed my whole family and then took me away and made me their slave' In the first report by a British journalist from Darfur, Benjamin Joffe-Walt reports on the genocide in Sudan Deep in remote northern Darfur, the Sudanese rebel fighters are gathering to talk tactics in the face of genocide. At this desert rendezvous, in the punishing terrain of the Sahara, we are 120 miles from the nearest settlement and 75 miles from the closest reliable water supply, a large reservoir. There is little to mark Wadi Hawar as a hideout: the "camp" has no huts or tents. Rebels from throughout northern and western Darfur choose to meet here because they know that the brutal Janjaweed - the mounted Arab militia whose men are systematically "cleansing" western Sudan of its 80 black African tribes - will never find them. It is 47C and the air ripples with heat. The dust creates a persistent, arid fog. The only shade comes from the scrubby trees, their branches stripped of leaves, and the rebels' 25 pick-up trucks. The commanders shelter under the thicker twigs; their men lie out in the sun. Tattered and filthy, a boy moves among them, bringing water and tea, shying away from any adult who approaches. Aged just 12, Adam Erenga Tribe has more reason than most to shrink from grown men. A month ago, Adam came home from school to find the government-backed Janjaweed burning his village in western Darfur. He watched more than 20 armed militiamen spur their horses through the inferno, slaughtering any who refused to leave and rounding up their cattle. Running home, Adam found his two older brothers lying dead in the dirt outside the family's straw shelter. Inside were the bodies of his mother and father, who had been shot in the neck and the stomach. "They killed my whole family," Adam remembers, shaking as he speaks. "Lots of girls were captured. I lost control and started screaming and crying. And then the Janjaweed snatched me and took me away on horseback. They made me their slave." Since February, millions of innocent civilians have been caught up in civil war as the Janjaweed work to rid the Darfur region of its 80 black tribes, in the name of suppressing the rebels. Tens of thousands of people have been killed, villages have been emptied, and traumatised refugees speak of mass murder and rape, of wells being poisoned with the bodies of dead children. An estimated one million people - one in seven of the Darfur population - have been driven from their homes by the Janjaweed, the one-time nomadic Arab shepherds who have been forcing their way south as the Sahara consumes their traditional grazing lands. The United Nations has likened the campaign to the Rwanda genocide in 1994, and aid organisations are struggling to tackle the threat of famine. Last week, senior African diplomats told The Sunday Telegraph that the Arab-dominated and undemocratic Sudanese government was using hunger as a weapon to defeat the rebellion. Throughout Darfur, residents believe that the government is attempting to split the country along religious and racial lines to hang on to power. While Khartoum denies ethnic cleansing, it would rather that its progress against the 20,000 rebels went unreported, imposing a media blackout that has lasted more than a year. Most eyewitness accounts have come from the estimated 110,000 refugees in camps on the Sudan-Chad border. "The vicious war in Darfur has led to violations on a scale comparable in character to Rwanda," says Mukesh Kapila, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator in Sudan. "All the warning signs are there." Mohammed Bashir, the political leader of one rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, says: "It's normal for the government to kill us rebels, but we didn't expect them to kill and bomb civilians. The government and Janjaweed want to kill all the black people in Sudan." On April 8, the Sudanese government and the rebel groups signed a 45-day ceasefire in N'Djamena, in Chad. The government agreed to disarm the militias but while direct fighting in Darfur, a region roughly the size of France, has stopped, violence against civilians has continued. The militia spared Adam's life because he was old enough to be useful but too young to be a threat. "I thought they were going to kill me, but they made me look after their herds," he says. He was held by the Janjaweed for a month until, a fortnight ago, the rebels rescued him during one of their raids on the militia. Adam has now ended up 230 miles from his home village. The rebels ferry him between their "nerve-centre" at Wadi Hawar and the Hazankariyari dam, 75 miles away, where hundreds of displaced women and their children, plus scores of orphans, have made their homes. Conditions at the dam are slightly better than in the official refugee camps on the Sudan-Chad border. The Janjaweed are unlikely to strike because they know the rebels mass nearby. The rebels have guns - and people with guns have food. At the dam, Adam has made friends with two other boys, Tahir Arga, 13, and Mohammed Ahad Adem, 14. Both were at school when government aircraft firebombed the villages - often the precursor to a Janjaweed attack - and the militia arrived. The boys hope that their families survived, and that they will one day be reunited. Adam is throwing his lot in with his rescuers. "I want to be a rebel," he says, "but they won't let me yet. I'm too young." That he is still alive is a wonder. Death is everywhere in Darfur. The wadis - dried-up river beds with just a trickle of water left - are the safest places to live but are littered with dead cattle, bloated by the heat. Flies alone thrive, a dark, furious haze. Ten days ago, Abdu Bahra was herding his family's goats when two Janjaweed stole his animals and water, and stabbed him in the neck. The family, already homeless following an earlier raid, took Abdu on a donkey to find medical help but the teenager has now succumbed to a virulent infection. His breathing is quick and shallow. He is filthy and shrivelled by dehydration, covered by a blanket and flies. His shaking is the only movement in the medical tent, although his eyes dart to his father, to the medicine going into his arm, to the sun-drenched sand on which he lies. When Abdu dies, no one calls out. It is one in the morning and the moment simply passes. His father's head is in his hands and there is nothing to look up for.

BBC 16 May, 2004 Gaddafi urges African solutions Gaddafi has long urged African unity Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has warned non-African powers not to intervene in the continent's conflicts. Speaking on Saturday at the start of a summit of the regional grouping Censad, he said crises were being exacerbated by outsiders. Referring to the conflicts in Ivory Coast and Sudan, he said African solutions must be found. Both countries are among Censad's 20 member countries - which are meeting in the capital of Mali, Bamako. The BBC's Lara Pawson at the summit says those who were hoping that Sudanese and Ivorian leaders might come under pressure will be disappointed. Ivorian crisis On Ivory Coast the Libyan leader said President Laurent Gbagbo was the victim of "adventurers". Mr Gaddafi defended Mr Gbagbo as an elected leader who should be allowed to get on with the job of resolving the crisis. A tribal conflict should not be taken to the UN Security Council Muammar Gaddafi The former colonial power, France, has put strong pressure on Mr Gbagbo to approve a power-sharing deal with rebels who have held half of the country since September 2002. France also sent peacekeepers to monitor a fragile truce - an intervention that many supporters of Mr Gbagbo have resented. Not all Censad's members were happy with Mr Gaddafi's defence of the Ivorian government. One delegate told the BBC that Mr Gbagbo was a disgrace to the continent. Another said that the real aim of the sixth Censad summit was to establish a regional army which Mr Gaddafi could control. The Libyan leader has long sought to build an all-African army to help create and maintain peace on the continent. Darfur On Sudan - where the government has been accused of atrocities in the western Darfur region - Mr Gaddafi was equally dismissive of pressure from the West and the UN. Crisis in Darfur Mr Gaddafi described the crisis as a "tribal conflict" - the type, he said, which had been occurring in Africa for centuries. Mr Gaddafi said that Africans would not have known about it if what he called superpowers had not allowed themselves to get involved. "A tribal conflict should not be taken to the UN Security Council," Mr Gaddafi said of the Darfur crisis. "If there is a tribal conflict Censad will resolve this problem." In recent weeks more than a million people have been forced to leave their homes in Darfur, after attacks on villages by government forces. Khartoum denies abuses are widespread, and says it is fighting an insurgency.

ICG 16 May 2004 PRESS RELEASE Sudan's Darfur: An International Responsibility to Protect International Crisis Group (Brussels) The International Crisis Group is calling for major international action to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Darfur, western Sudan. You can support our efforts - for more information go to our Darfur campaign page. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called it "ethnic cleansing". President Bush has condemned the "atrocities, which are displacing hundreds of thousands of civilians". Others are starting to use the word "genocide". Whatever you want to call what's going on today in Darfur, the time for forceful outside intervention is unmistakably approaching. Since it came to power, the Khartoum regime has undertaken one scorched earth campaign after another in Sudan. In the past year, it has done so against Muslims of African descent in the west of the country, arming and supporting Arab "Janjaweed" militias to inflict collective punishment against the civilian populations in Darfur it accuses of supporting a rebellion there – principally the Fur, Zaghawa and Massalit tribes. Supported by aerial bombing, Janjaweed attacks have led to wholesale destruction of villages, targeted destruction of water reserves and food stores, indiscriminate killings, looting, mass rape and huge population displacement. To date, tens of thousands have been killed, and over one million displaced, many now living in squalid camps where they are dying from disease and malnutrition. According to USAID, even if the war were to stop immediately, as many as 100,000 people will likely die in Darfur in the coming months due to the desperate humanitarian situation. Another 110,000 have fled to neighbouring Chad. ICG is calling on the United Nations Security Council to urgently pass a resolution that includes these five points: First, it must condemn what has been happening and demand that it stop: the violations of international humanitarian law in Darfur, the indiscriminate targeting of civilians, the obstruction of humanitarian assistance by the government, and its continued support of the Janjaweed paramilitary forces. Secondly, it must impose an arms embargo, insist Khartoum disarm the Janjaweed, demand respect for the "humanitarian" ceasefire signed on 8 April in Chad, and support internationally facilitated political negotiations between government and rebels in Darfur. Thirdly, the resolution must call for the safe return of displaced persons to their villages of origin, reversing the ethnic cleansing in Darfur. Fourthly, it should authorise a high level team to investigate the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur. Finally, it should warn Khartoum unambiguously. The UN Secretary General should be asked to provide a further report to the Security Council within three weeks, reviewing progress. And it should be made clear beyond doubt that - in the event this report indicates a continuing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, ongoing indiscriminate targeting of civilians and obstruction of humanitarian assistance by the government - the Security Council will authorise the application of military force on "responsibility to protect" principles. Khartoum may be betting that the world is too preoccupied with Iraq to care what happens in Darfur. If Sudan ignores this resolution, the international community must be ready to show that this is not the case by providing the necessary political will and military resources to hold it comprehensively to account.

AFP 27 May 2004 Rights group: Genocide in Sudan Conflict in the west has displaced more than a million people The Sudanese government is continuing a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the western region of Darfur, an international rights group has claimed. Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Thursday that Khartoum was "taking a terrible step backward" despite having signed a peace accord with rebels to end 21 years of civil war in the south. "The government's campaign of ethnic cleansing in Darfur raises real questions about whether Khartoum is really willing to comply with Wednesday's peace accord in the south," their statement said. The rights watchdog added that pro-government militias had attacked five villages 15km south of Nyala in Darfur as recently as last Tuesday. The raids killed 46 civilians and wounded at least nine others, the statement said, citing local sources. The group has documented how the Janjawid have been armed, trained, and uniformed by the Sudanese government. Agreement in south Meanwhile, Khartoum and the southern-based rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) signed agreements on the last outstanding issues barring the way to a definitive end to the civil war on Wednesday. "The government's campaign of ethnic cleansing in Darfur raises real questions about whether Khartoum is really willing to comply with Wednesday's peace accord in the south" Human Rights Watch statement The agreement came after marathon talks between Vice President Ali Usman Taha and SPLA leader John Garang that started in September 2002. But HRW said: "Darfur remains a cloud over Sudan and it would be inappropriate for the United States to hold a high-level celebration of the peace accord while the ethnic cleansing continues in western Sudan." Late Wednesday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell also tempered his praise for the peace accord by saying: "Sudan will not be at peace until the problem of Darfur is resolved." Terrible toll Khartoum has faced mounting international anger over the humanitarian crisis in the western region. The government has been accused of operating a scorched earth policy in the face of the rebellion launched by members of the Fur, Massalit and Zaghawa minorities in February 2003. At least 10,000 people have been killed and more than a million driven from their homes.

Washington Times 29 May 2004 washingtontimes.com Darfur on brink of food shortage By Carter Dougherty THE WASHINGTON TIMES WEST DARFUR, Sudan — Village after destroyed village bears witness to the violence that has swept through western Sudan in the past year, and U.S. officials say hundreds of thousands more will die without massive food aid and steps to end the conflict. One bright spot on the horizon, however, is an agreement reached yesterday for the deployment of international observers to monitor a fragile cease-fire. African Union Peace and Security Commissioner Said Djinnit said after the deal was sealed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that at least six initial observers from the pan-African body would deploy in Sudan on Wednesday. Darfur, a Texas-size region of Africa's largest nation that is home to about 5 million people, has become the scene of the world's worst humanitarian crisis in a remarkably short period, drawing comparisons to the genocide in Rwanda 10 years ago. The U.S. Agency for International Development says up to 350,000 people could die by the end of the year as the rainy season brings a raft of fatal diseases. "We are terrified," said Fatoma Yahir, 30, as she collected grass for sale a few miles across the border in Chad. "There is no safety in all of Sudan." Standing amid blackened earthenware pots in what had been a village of straw huts, Mrs. Yahir described how helicopters swooped over her home and armed horsemen drove out its inhabitants, killing three men and stealing 300 cows. At least 130,000 Sudanese have fled to Chad — Mrs. Yahir among them — and 1 million are internally displaced. The International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, has drawn parallels to Rwanda, where nearly 1 million people were slaughtered in 1994 in what has come to be regarded as an unambiguous case of genocide. "Urgent action is required on several fronts if 'Darfur 2004' is not to join 'Rwanda 1994' as shorthand for international shame," the group wrote in a report published Sunday. The Darfur conflict is separate from the long-running civil war in southern Sudan, and a truce signed this week to end that conflict does not apply to Darfur. The United States and Libya are discussing possible use of Libya as a transit point for delivering humanitarian aid to western Sudan. The Bush administration has been undertaking costly airlifts of assistance to the Darfur region and is seeking land routes as an alternative. Libya has a common border with Sudan, as does Chad, with which U.S. officials also have had discussions. More than 1 million people have been uprooted in Darfur, victims in a 15-month struggle between government-backed Arab militias and regional black tribes. The conflict turns on a divide that stems from Sudan's position as a bridge between the Arab-dominated north and the black Africans who live south of the Sahara. Centuries of intermarriage have blurred the physical line between Africans and Arabs in Darfur — their skin color is generally equally dark — and both groups are Muslim. But Darfurians still see cultural and economic distinctions between Arabs and Africans: The Arabs tend to be nomadic herders, whereas the Africans live in settled villages. Contending that they had suffered decades of oppression under the Arab-dominated Khartoum government and its Arab allies in Darfur, two groups — the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement — opened a military campaign early last year aimed at forcing the government to negotiate. Khartoum counterattacked, using its army and an Arab militia known as the "Janjaweed." The Janjaweed — an Arabic word describing armed horsemen — remains a shadowy organization, and there are few photos of the militia. Villagers describe the militiamen as Arab nomads in green khaki uniforms like those of the Sudanese army, except for a red patch on the left breast pocket that shows a horse rearing up on its hind legs. "They look like soldiers," said Fatima Yagop Idriss, 60, who fled her village three months ago. Though Khartoum denies having worked with the Janjaweed, peasants speak of close coordination between the two. Aisha Hamis Hassan, 33, said three army helicopters buzzed over her village one day in February, and she heard the sound of helicopters hovering over other areas some miles away. The next day, the Janjaweed thundered into her village on horses and camels just before her morning tea, forcing her and her husband to flee with just a few kitchen items. Other peasants described how the Janjaweed and government pilots used hand signals to communicate during attacks. In villages toured by The Washington Times, the Janjaweed had left the inhabitants no means of sustenance or shelter, a potentially fatal blow in Darfur's Saharan climate. In each case, fighters burned the shoulder-high earthenware urns in which the residents stored millet and sorghum to feed themselves. In most cases, they also torched the straw fences that protect villages from harsh sand-laden winds, leaving only neat rectangles of ash. Further inside Sudan, according to rebel soldiers, the Janjaweed ignited entire villages.

Boston Globe 29 May 2004 US holds key to peace in Sudan By John Eibner and Joe Madison | May 29, 2004 SUDAN'S Islamist government and the secular Sudan People's Liberation Army have passed another milestone in a long and tortuous peace process. On Wednesday, Vice President Ali Osman Taha and SPLA Chairman Colonel John Garang signed the last of six protocols that collectively constitute a framework for a comprehensive peace agreement for Southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountains. They are now poised to conclude negotiations by establishing modalities for implementation and international monitoring. ADVERTISEMENT On paper, the protocols appear to lay the foundation for an end to 21 years of apocalyptic civil war between successive Arab-Muslim-dominated governments and the predominantly black, non-Muslim rebels of Southern Sudan. The South is due to receive autonomous, Shariah-free government during a six-year interim period. Free elections are scheduled within three years. Southern Sudan is promised a referendum on independence at the end of that period. The greatest beneficiary of peace should be the South. There, the war assumed genocidal proportions: Over two million black non-Muslims perished, over four million were displaced, and tens of thousands enslaved. For Southern Sudan, the protocols open a door to economic development and self-determination. They also provide the North with a historic opportunity to free itself from a destructive jihad declared against restive non-Muslim communities. The Bush administration deserves credit for creating conditions for a serious peace process. Despite a parade of initiatives over the years, no significant progress had been made until 2001 when President Bush appointed former Senator John Danforth as special envoy. Congress also played a crucial role. With broad bipartisan support, it passed the Sudan Peace Act in 2002. This legislation identified Sudan's government as the perpetrator of acts of "genocide" and gave the president the carrots and sticks he needed to ensure progress. The key question now is whether the six protocols will lead to stability, or become, like the Oslo Accords, a byword for failed diplomacy. The biggest obstacle to success is the belief of Northern Sudan's ruling class in its manifest destiny to Islamize and Arabize the multicultural country. Cultural and religious assimilation in Sudan is the legacy of 1,300 years of Arab colonialism and has been pursued by successive governments since independence in 1956. General Bashir's dictatorship promotes Islamization and Arabization in the context of a totalitarian ideology of jihad. Fundamental ideological change in Khartoum is a precondition of sustainable peace. Khartoum's war against Muslim black African tribes in Darfur demonstrates its lack of commitment to peace. Since the end of last year, government offensives have displaced over one million civilians, and have resulted in the death of tens of thousands. Captive women and children are subjected to ritual gang-rape. UN officials now use terms such as "war crimes," "crimes against humanity," "reign of terror," and "ethnic cleansing" to describe the deeds of Bashir's troops. The continuing enslavement of tens of thousands of black non-Muslims and Khartoum's persistent denial of this "crime against humanity" is further indication that institutionalized racism and religious bigotry have not been overcome. In December 2002, Danforth identified the eradication of slavery as vital. Yet Khartoum has made little progress in facilitating the liberation of slaves -- despite having received millions of US dollars from the international community for that purpose. In the South, the greatest long-term danger to peace comes from the possibility of nonaccountable government, a breakdown of the fragile institutional and economic infrastructure, and a descent into tribalism. Khartoum expects this and is prepared to exploit the poverty of the South, using its immense power of patronage over key Southern politicians and tribal militias -- to undermine the peace process, especially future implementation of the right of self-determination. If these enormous obstacles to a lasting peace are overcome, it will be because of continuing US engagement. The Bush administration must compel Khartoum to end all campaigns of terror. It should also advance representative and secular constitutional government, in accordance with Bush's declared commitment to encourage democracy. As long as Sudan's pro-democracy movement and substantial religious and ethnic minorities are marginalized, peace will be very fragile indeed. President Bush should be prepared to employ throughout the interim period the punitive measures provided by the Sudan Peace Act to ensure that both sides honor their word. The eradication of slavery will require an effective monitoring mechanism at the State Department. Without a strong US commitment to guarantee the six protocols, a lasting peace in Sudan is likely to prove illusory. John Eibner, a member of the human rights organization Christian Solidarity International, and Joe Madison, a Washington-based syndicated radio commentator, are co-founders of the Sudan Campaign coalition.

Sudan - Other

Xinhua Date: 3 May 2004 Ugandan army kills 18 rebels in southern Sudan KAMPALA, May 3, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Ugandan government forces killed 18 rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony in southern Sudan at the weekend, the Monitor newspaper reported Monday. A spokesman for the Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) said Sunday that the government troops ambushed the rebels who were moving downwards to reinforce another group of rebels, adding that the army also captured two rebels and recovered four submachine guns in the battle. On the impact of the UPDF on-going military operations in southern Sudan, the spokesman said that "We have sufficient forces and our operations are going on well. Our pressure is to force Kony's fighters to surrender." The Ugandan rebels have been fighting an 18-year-old war to topple the government dominated by southerners, and claiming to fight for the Acholi tribe. They have killed tens of thousands of civilians, abducted over 20,000 children and displaced more than 1. 5 million people, most of whom are from Acholi tribe. Since last month, the Ugandan army have been pursuing the rebels in southern Sudan to flush them out after securing a green light from the Khartoum government.

AFP 2 May 2004 Sudan government and main rebel group extend truce NAIROBI, May 2 (AFP) - The Sudan government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) have signed an agreement extending a ceasefire agreement by a month, mediators at talks in neighbouring Kenya said on Sunday. "The two sides late Friday signed an extension of the ceasefire for the whole of this month starting May 1 to 31," retired Kenyan army general Lazaro Sumbeiywo told AFP by telephone from the peace talks venue in Naivasha, 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Nairobi. Despite the truce, mediators and UN officials last month said that at least 70,000 people have been displaced in renewed fighting in south Sudan's Shilluk Kingdom, an apparent violation of the ceacesire that was signed in October 2001. The violence, which erupted in March, pits militia loyal to rebel leader Lam Akol, an SPLA member, against pro-government fighters. Sudan's Vice President Ali Osman Taha and SPLA leader John Garang resumed talks in Kenya on Wednesday in a bid to unblock an impasse on whether Islamic law should apply in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, during a six-year transition period when the city will serve as the joint capital before a referendum on self-determination is held for the south. In previous rounds, the two sides have agreed to equally share national resources, notably oil revenue, and Khartoum agreed to withdraw its massive troop presence from southern positions to pave way for the creation of integrated army units. The war in Sudan erupted in 1983, when the south, where most people observe Christianity and traditional religions, took up arms to end domination by the wealthier Muslim and Arabised north. The conflict, coupled by recurrent famine and diseases, has claimed at least 1.5 million lives and sent more than four million others fleeing from their homelands.

AFP 10 May 2004 Rebels say 200 killed civilians in militia attacks in south Sudan NAIROBI, May 10 (AFP) - The main rebel group in Sudan on Monday claimed that 204 civilians have been killed in the south of the country over the last few days in renewed fighting with government forces and Khartoum-backed militias. "I can confirm that there has been fighting around Akobo (on the border with Ethiopia). Our sources on the ground indicate that 204 civilians were killed," Sudan People's Liberation Army's (SPLA) spokesman George Garang told AFP by phone. There was no independent confirmation of the death toll but humanitarian sources told AFP there had been fighting in the area and that wounded civilians had been evacuated to a hospital in Lokichoggio, a Kenyan town on the Sudanese border that serves as a base for humanitarian operations in southern Sudan. The SPLA spokesman stressed that the alleged ceasefire violation would not lead the SPLA to walk out of crucial peace talks with Khartoum, which have been going on in Kenya since 2002 and are nearing a conclusion. The town of Akobo has changed hands between the SPLA and a pro-Khartoum militia group several times since a ceasefire was signed in October 2002. "The attack is a campaign by the government to control Akobo and other towns near the Ethiopian, Ugandan and Kenyan borders, before a peace agreement is signed," said Garang. "SPLA figters and civilians are prepared to respond to any other attack since we are getting information that the militias are advancing (again) slowly to Akobo," he added.

Tanzania - ICTR

Hirondelle News Agency (Lausanne) NEWS 11 May 2004 Trial to Begin Thursday Arusha The trial of a former senior officer in the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR), Colonel Aloys Simba, begins on Thursday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The trial will be held in Trial Chamber One of ICTR and is to be presided over by Judge Jai Ram Reddy of Fiji. Col. Simba, 62, is charged with four counts: Genocide, Complicity in Genocide, and Crimes against Humanity (murder and extermination). He made his first initial appearance on March 18, 2002. On March 17th this year, he made the second initial appearance and pleaded not guilty to an amended indictment. According to the prosecution, Simba was in charge of civil defence in the southern Rwandan areas of Gikongora and Butare between May and June 1994 and he had authority over the military, police and Interahamwe militia (allied to the former ruling party, the MRND). It was in that capacity that he allegedly oversaw the massacres of Tutsis in that region. He was arrested in Senegal on November 27, 2001 and was transferred to Arusha on March 11 2002. He is represented by Alao Sadikou from Benin while the prosecution is led by William Egbe from Cameroon.

AP 13 May 2004 Ex-militia in not guilty genocide plea From correspondents in Arusha, Tanzania May 13, 2004 A SUSPECTED militia leader charged with crimes against humanity for his alleged participation in the 1994 Rwanda genocide pleaded not guilty today before a United Nations tribunal. In an initial hearing, Yussuf Munyakazi, a 69-year-old former farmer in southwestern Rwanda who was captured in Congo May 5 on an international arrest warrant, called the charged "fabrications". "I am not guilty of the charges," Munyakazi told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. "All the charges are fabrications, I have never killed anyone." The prosecution alleged Munyakazi regularly met members of the Interahamwe militia based in the town of Bugarama and other members of the extremist Hutu political party in power at the time that organised the genocide. Half a million people, most of them Tutsis, perished in 100 days of bloodshed. "On or about April 30, 1994, Munyakazi - along with Bugarama Interahamwe - attacked and killed about 100 civilian Tutsis who had sought shelter at Miblizi parish," the prosecutor said. Munyakazi led similar attacks in the towns of Nyamasheke and Shangi, the prosecutor added. The court ordered Munyakazi held for trial. His arrest brings to 67 the number of alleged ringleaders of the genocide to appear before the UN court in Arusha, northern Tanzania, since it was created by the UN Security Council in 1994. The Associated Press


AFP 30 Apr 2004 Eleven killed as rebels raid camp in northern Uganda KAMPALA, April 30 (AFP) - At least 11 people, including soldiers and Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, have been killed in a rebel raid of a displaced people's camp in northern Uganda, the army said Friday. "Seven civilians, two of our soldiers and two LRA rebels were killed when the rebels attacked Odek Displaced People's Camp, situated some 50 kilometres (30 miles) southeast of Gulu town," army spokesman Lieutenant Paddy Ankunda told AFP by telephone. Five other people, including a soldier, were injured, Ankunda said. Other sources in Gulu said the rebels attacked and overran the military detachment guarding the camp and that the civilians died in crossfire during the ensuing battle on Thursday evening. The sources put the number of injured at 11 and said the attackers also set fire to part of the camp. The LRA has been fighting President Yoweri Museveni's secular government since 1988, saying it wants to replace it with a regime based on the biblical Ten Commandments. But the group is best known for its brutality against northern Ugandan civilians and for abducting children and forcing them to fight in its ranks or be sex slaves to rebel commanders. More than 1.5 million people have been forced from their homes during the nearly two-decade-long conflict and are living in squalid camps dotting the entire region. UN agencies estimate that over 20,000 children have been abducted since the beginning of the war.


BBC 13 May, 2004 Bishop slams Zimbabwe food claims The government claims Zimbabwe will not need food aid One of Zimbabwe's top churchmen has criticised the government for refusing international food aid, saying the country will be left hungry. Zimbabwe ordered UN crop assessors to stop their work last week, and forecast a bumper harvest. Labour Minister Paul Mangwana told the country's official news agency: "We have enough for local consumption." But the Catholic archbishop of Bulawayo said the government was "not telling the truth", and much land lay unfarmed. Archbishop Pius Ncube told the BBC's Network Africa: "There's so much land lying fallow, some of the best farms are not even cultivated." They want to use food as a political weapon as they have done in the past. Archbishop Pius Ncube He said the government had failed to distribute seed and fertiliser, and that the rains had come two months late in some parts. "So I fear - for instance in western Zimbabwe - many people will have enough food for three or four months, after which they will need food aid." A former food exporter, Zimbabwe has relied on food aid since it began controversial land reform seizures in 2000. But Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said maize production was expected to reach nearly 2.5m tonnes, more than double the total for each of the previous two years. He said the government's land redistribution programme was responsible for the improvement. But aid agencies estimate that 5.5m Zimbabweans - almost half in urban areas - will require emergency food aid this year. On Thursday the AFP news agency said it had seen a report by one of the UN's top officials in Zimbabwe, which said that if Zimbabwe was to appeal for food aid later in the year, the international community would not be able to respond quickly enough. Opposition appeal The agriculture spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Renson Gasela, has appealed to foreign donors to continue bringing in food - even without a government request. The opposition has accused the government of only giving food aid to its supporters. With parliamentary elections due next year, it says the government is preparing to do the same again. Archbishop Ncube said: "They want to use food as a political weapon as they have done in the past. "Once they put out the non-governmental organisations that have been feeding the people, then they'll have the whole field to themselves. "Then they can punish those people who are supporting the opposition."

BBC 24 May 2004 Mugabe says Tutu is evil Mugabe says he wants to write when he leaves office Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has hit out at South Africa's former Archbishop Desmond Tutu as "evil". Archbishop Tutu once said that Mr Mugabe resembled a caricature of an African dictator. "He is an angry, evil and embittered little bishop," he told Sky News TV in the first interview he has given to British media for several years. Mr Mugabe, 80, also repeated his comments that he was unlikely to stand again when his term ends in 2008. He said he had not chosen a successor. 'Cheating the world' Archbishop Tutu was one of the leading figures in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and won the Nobel peace prize for his efforts. After the end of white-minority rule, he headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was supposed to heal the wounds of years of bitter struggle. I really feel ashamed in many ways because [Mugabe] used to be such a splendid leader Archbishop Tutu Defining moments: Archbishop Tutu In the wide-ranging interview, Mr Mugabe also attacked British Prime Minister Tony Blair for treating Zimbabwe as though it were still a colony. "You can see some of the mad things he has done and the world is now in turmoil," he said. He also criticised US President George W Bush for "cheating the world" over Iraq. His government would not accept international food aid in the coming year, Mr Mugabe said. Aid agencies warn of widespread famine due to poor harvests. But Mr Mugabe stood by his government's crop forecast of 2.4 million tonnes of maize, AFP news agency reported. "Why foist this food upon us? We don't want to be choked, we have enough," he said. Mr Mugabe also defended his country's land reform programme, in which white-owned farms have been seized for redistribution to landless blacks. He claimed the white farmers were "ill-educated".



bloomberg.com 23 Apr 2004 Brazil May Prosecute Indians for Mining Massacre, Estado Says April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil's Attorney General may prosecute members of a tribe of Amazon Indians involved in the [April 7. 2004] massacre of at least 29 miners searching for diamonds on their reservation, O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper said. Members of the Cinta Larga tribe may be accused of murder, robbery and hiding bodies, Estado said, citing Mercio Pereira, president of the Federal government's Indian National Foundation. Pio Cinta Larga, the tribe's chief, said the massacre on tribal land in the state of Rondonia ``could have been worse,'' the paper reported. Pereira won't try to protect tribe members if their involvement in the massacre is proven, Estado said.

www.brazzil.com May 2004 Brazil: Different Laws for Different Folks In Brazil, a white must obey all the laws, but an Indian can kill, rape, and take hostages, and won't go to jail. A black can get ahead in the line to get in college. The landless can invade private property and buildings at will; that is social justice. And those from the favela can sell drugs at will since no one is looking. Janer Cristaldo So I was wrong. We cannot accuse the President of the nation of a lack of sensitivity. Every time that a serious problem is afflicting Brazil, with a surgeon's precision, he goes to the heart of the problem…and denies it. This is where one finds his extraordinary sensitivity: he only denies that which is in fact evident and leaps out at everyone. The President is not concerned with denying what is not evident. This is what happened at the beginning of last week. Directing his remarks at the militants of the MST (Landless Rural Workers' Movement), he declared: "Brazil has laws and rules that apply to everyone." At a certain point, I even began to think that the supreme commander was responding to your humble scribe. Two days before I had written: "In this fraying Brazil, there are laws for white, laws for Indians, laws for blacks, laws for the so-called landless and laws for favela-dwellers, and there are still those who think that the country is running the risk of splitting up. "Now, the country has been split up for a long time. While a white must obey all the laws in force, an Indian can kill, rape, and take hostages, and won't go to jail. A black can get ahead in the line for the vestibular (college entrance exam) without fraud. The landless can invade private property and buildings at will; that is social justice. And the favela can sell drugs when and how it wishes, and no one is looking." Cintas-largas (the name means "wide-belt") Indians, in Rondônia, have just killed 29 prospectors. The corpses of the prospectors were already found. They are real; they were rotting, and giving off an unbearable stench. We are not facing a farce like the massacre of Yanomamis in 1992, when 16 Indians were supposed to have been killed, and not a single corpse was found. Four prospectors were arrested for the non-existent crime. How many Indians will be arrested for this crime, which they not only admit, but boast, of having committed. Certainly, not a single one. "This was a warning, because the warriors are tired of pushing out the illegal prospectors," said the chief Pio Cinta-Larga in an interview. "The prospectors themselves won't stop, and so, this was the warning that they (the warriors) gave them." That is, there is no doubt about the crime, nor who is responsible for it. What the chief forgot to say—on purpose—is that prospecting is also forbidden for Indians. But in this country, which, according to the President, "has laws and rules that apply to everyone", Indians can prospect. Prospectors can't prospect. Indians kill and are not arrested. Prospectors don't even need to kill to be sent to prison. In this country where any white who carries a gun will go to jail, the Cintas-largas—or Costas-largas (broad-backs), as they are already beginning to be called—not only exploit prospecting for minerals, but pay for guns with diamonds. Three leaders of this tribe are being prosecuted for purchasing revolvers, pistols and rifles with jewel-stones. According to the charges, a businessman went as far as investing R$ 1.27 million (US$ 420,000) in their villages, even before receiving the stones. In only one of the transactions, 2000 carats of diamonds changed hands. This is what was reported in the daily Folha de S. Paulo. The indigenes march across the pages of the newspaper, with rifles and pans [for diamond-hunting], flagrantly involved in illegal activities, with the unfurrowed brow that only impunity can give. That is not even to mention bows, arrows and bordunas [indigenous Brazilian weapons]. They may not be firearms, but they kill just as efficiently. Far from the forests, the laws are different. And this didn't start yesterday. Crime and Impunity In 1980, at least 30 farmworkers were massacred by the Indians, in two separate bloodbaths, one of them in the Xingu National Park, led by the Txucarramãe chief Raoni. At the time, Raoni showed off in the newspapers the borduna that "helped to kill eleven farmworkers on one farm." Not only was he unpunished, completely outside of Brazilian law, but was received with honors by European heads of state. Pope John Paul II, François Mitterrand and the monarchs of Spain, among others, received him as indigenous leader. Raoni, who wears wooden plates to distend his lips, even went as far as exhibiting his paintings in Paris. One of the murderer's pictures went for as much as US$ 1,600 in a price list that began at one thousand dollars. Raoni's patron in this odyssey through the West was the English rocker Sting, who created the Rainforest Foundation in 1989, and raised 1.5 million dollars for the demarcation of the Caiapó tribe, in the south of Pará state. In May 1992, the chief Paulinho Paiakan—how friendly the diminutives are—brutally raped the student Sílvia Ferreira. The chief, whose picture was on the cover of an American magazine, where he was considered to be the solution for the problems of humanity, was sentenced to six years in prison. Is he in prison? Of course not. For Miguel Rosseto, Minister of Agrarian Development, invasions of property are part of normal democracy. For Mécio Pereira Gomes, president of Funai, it is normal for Indians to kill prospectors—after all, they are fighting for their lands. Of course, the same cannot be said for white landowners. Woe to one of them who tries to get rid of one of the so-called landless. And Mr. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva affirms, loud and clear, for those who want to listen, that Brazil has laws and rules that apply to everyone. As if this enthusiastic denial of reality were not enough (something that has been characteristic for a long time of the Workers'Party—PT— in power) he further recommends: "Act as responsibly as possible, because we all will be victims of our words." Of course such a phrase would never come from the cranium of an inveterate blabbermouth. One can note the influence of some advisor in this speech. A very unfortunate influence, since it meant that the leader of the Left is repeating what General Francisco Franco had to say: "Man is master of his silence and slave to his words." This is where any resemblance ends. Franco spoke little and did a lot. Lula has been talking forever and does nothing. In the beginning was the word. And today. And will be tomorrow as well. Janer Cristaldo—he holds a PhD from University of Paris, Sorbonne—is an author, translator, lawyer, philosopher and journalist and lives in São Paulo. His e-mail address is cristal@baguete.com.br. Translated from the Portuguese by Tom Moore. Moore has been fascinated by the language and culture of Brazil since 1994. He translates from Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian and German, and is also active as a musician. He is the librarian for music, modern languages and media at The College of New Jersey. Comments welcome at mooret@tcnj.edu.


Western News 17 May 2004 University of Western Ontario communications.uwo.ca/western_news Why Neighbours Kill May 17th, 2004 Ethnic violence in some parts of the world regularly hits the headlines. An academic conference is coming to Western this June that will try to explain why ethnic relations break down into ethnic violence and genocide. “Why Neighbours Kill: Explaining the Breakdown of Ethnic Relations” will be held at Western June 4-5 at the Spencer Conference Centre. An estimated 70-90 scholars from various parts of the world are expected to attend. “The purpose of this conference is to address ethnic conflict and the catastrophic deterioration of relatively peaceful relations between ethnocultural and ethnoreligious groups,” says Victoria Esses, a Western psychology professor and co-organizer of the conference with Richard Vernon, political science professor. “How is it that groups that have shared social space and public facilities and have developed economic ties can come to engage in deadly violence against one another? Our plan is to bring together psychologists and scholars of other social sciences so that different disciplinary perspectives can be shared.” The conference will include studies of particular cases and more general models. In addition to 18 invited speakers from Canada, USA, Israel, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom, there will be a poster session with presenters from Canada, United Kingdom, Nigeria, and Germany. There will also be a screening of the film, The Last Just Man, which focuses on General Romeo Dallaire, commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Rwanda preceding and during the Rwandan genocide. A panel discussion will follow. The papers presented at the conference will be published in a book edited by Esses and Vernon. This is the 10th international conference organized by Western's Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict Research Group. Previous conferences have been on topics such as secession, power-sharing among ethnic groups, democracy across borders, crimes against humanity and international criminal law. For further information about the conference program and to register by May 25 on-line, please visit the Web site: http://www.WhyNeighboursKill.ca

The Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict Research Group (NECRG www.ssc.uwo.ca/polysci/necrg/) is an interdisciplinary unit, based in Western’s Department of Political Science, which brings together scholars from various departments and faculties of the university who have expertise and research interests in specific aspects of this increasingly important field. Its aim is to promote the study of cultural, historical and territorial dimensions of ethnopolitical conflict, issues of national identity, and processes of conflict management and reconciliation. It sponsors visiting scholars, workshops, international symposia and conferences, with participants from many backgrounds, including government and private organizations. The next NECRG conference will be on Why Neighbours Kill Divided Societies (June 4-5, 2004). www.WhyNeighboursKill.ca


BBC 13 May 2004 Chile's Pinochet victims testify By Clinton Porteous BBC News, Santiago Human rights groups say Pinochet's regime killed thousands More than 30,000 Chileans have said they were victims of torture or political detention under the 17-year Pinochet regime that ended in 1990. The public was invited to testify to a government commission that is examining human rights abuses. There were many reports from men and women of sexual abuse, with about 10% of the testimonies coming from women. Most said they were victims in 1973- soon after the military coup that brought Gen Augusto Pinochet to power. 'Sexual torture' Testimonies were collected from 30,000 or so people from all over Chile, many of them speaking for the first time about their experiences. Commission lawyer Cristian Correa said a substantial number of victims spoke of sexual abuse. "Men and women victims of sexual torture - we have received a lot of testaments of that kind of things. "These kind of perversions are fairly common if you feel there is no limit on what you can do." One torture centre in Santiago was known as "Venda Sexy" - or Sexy Blindfold - and was notorious. 'More were victims' The commission is the first in Chile to examine torture and detention under Augusto Pinochet's military government. Other enquiries have examined the number of dead and concluded more than 3,000 political opponents were killed. Human rights groups have criticised the commission for only hearing testimonies for six months. They believe more than 100,000 people were tortured or detained during the military government. But the commission did not accept testimonies from protesters arrested by police and later released, or those who were merely detained for a short time and not tortured. It is set to deliver its final report to President Ricardo Lagos in August.

AP 29 May 2004 Pinochet Can Face Rights Charges, Court Rules By Eduardo Gallardo SANTIAGO, Chile, May 28 -- A court ruled Friday that former dictator Augusto Pinochet can be sued for human rights violations in the 1970s and 1980s, after a TV interview raised questions about Supreme Court rulings that he is unfit for trial. The 14-to-9 vote by the Santiago Court of Appeals startled lawyers on both sides of the case, as well as victims' families. Prosecution lawyer Juan Subercasseaux called the ruling "a miracle." "We receive this with deep surprise but also with deep pride," said chief prosecutor on the case, Francisco Bravo. "This ruling makes the relatives of the victims and the whole of Chilean society again trust Chile's justice." The decision, which lifts the immunity Pinochet enjoyed as a former president, could clear the way for him to face human rights charges. His attorney said Pinochet would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, which has repeatedly said that Pinochet, 88, cannot stand trial because of poor mental and physical health. A report in 2002 by court-appointed doctors stated that Pinochet suffered from a mild case of dementia. He also uses a pacemaker, has diabetes and arthritis, and has suffered at least three mild strokes since 1998, when he was arrested in London. Last November, however, Pinochet appeared in an interview with a Miami-based Spanish-language television station, saying he saw himself "as a good angel" and blaming the abuses of his regime on subordinates. During the interview, Pinochet sat holding a cane. His speech was slurred, but he was lucid. "Pinochet had been granting interviews, going to restaurants, going out shopping and he continues to administer his assets," prosecutor Hugo Gutierrez said. "He's not crazy or sick." A report by the civilian government that succeeded Pinochet said 3,197 people died or disappeared during Pinochet's rule.


Special Broadcasting Service, Australia 7 May 2004 COLOMBIA MASSACRE TO BE INVESTIGATED 7.5.2004. 08:31:38 Colombian authorities have launched an investigation into the massacre of 12 indigenous people in the country’s north. About 30 others are still missing after violence on April 18 which has been blamed on paramilitaries. The National Indigenous Organisation of Colombia alleges that paramilitaries carried out the massacre of Wayuu people at Bahia Portete in La Guajira, a highland region bordering with Venezuela. "Members of paramilitary groups came to our village, taking possession of the land, mistreating and killing people, and destroying our cemetery which represents our ancestors," the organisation said in a statement. Twelve women, children and old people were tortured and slain in the incident. Some 30 people are still missing, including several children. "We are worried about finding our missing children. We don't know whether they are dead or alive. Some reports say the children have been burned," saying body parts had been found in the village. Mayor Marcelino Gomez said a humanitarian commission left five days ago to investigate. A spokesman for the Ombudsman's office said in recent days hundreds of indigenous people have fled their villages amid persistent violence in the region. "No one is left. Everyone has gone looking for security and protection," said the indigenous group. The organisation and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia, claim indigenous communities are the victims of an extermination campaign by paramilitary and rebel groups. SOURCE: World News


Reuters 1 May 2004 Castro Vows Cuban Socialism to Survive Bush Sat May 1, 2004 01:22 PM ET By Anthony Boadle HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban President Fidel Castro on Saturday dismissed Bush administration plans to speed up political change in Cuba and said his government -- in power since 1959 -- will continue building a socialist society at the U.S. doorstep. Castro said Cuba had survived the antagonism of the world's most powerful nation for 45 years and will continue to resist. "This revolution will leave a lasting mark in world history and has nothing to be ashamed of," Castro said at a massive May Day rally in Havana's Revolution Square. The 77-year-old Cuban leader, dressed in military fatigues, spoke for almost two hours under a scorching sun. His brother and designated successor Raul Castro attended, also wearing a military uniform. Castro accused the United States of committing "genocide" and said peace in Iraq was not possible until American troops withdrew. Washington had no right to criticize Cuba in the U.N. Human Rights Commission when the United States had built a "horrendous prison" for alleged al Qaeda militants at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay where some 600 prisoners are being held without trial or legal rights, he said. Authorities said more than one million people attended the labor rally. Cubans were driven to the square in buses from their work places at 6 a.m. Many wore red T-shirts and waved Cuban flags. A Committee for a Free Cuba appointed by President Bush had until Saturday to hand the White House a set of recommendations for speeding up a post-Castro transition to democracy in Cuba. Miami's Spanish-language newspaper, El Nuevo Herald, reported last week that the 50-page report includes a proposal to cut by half the remittances that Cuban Americans can send their families in Cuba, from $300 to $150 a quarter. The remittances are estimated to total $1 billion a year, a vital inflow of cash for Castro's economically-battered government. Castro said the Bush administration was threatening steps to undermine Cuba's economy and destabilize the country. "To those who persist in destroying the Revolution, in the name of the immense multitude gathered here, I truly say to them, as at other decisive moments of our struggle: 'Long Live Socialism', 'Fatherland or Death,' 'Venceremos' (We shall overcome)," Castro said in closing his speech. Cuba last year rounded up 75 dissidents and jailed them for terms of up to 28 years. They were accused of conspiring with the United States against Castro's government. Castro maintained that Cuba -- a one-party state -- is the most democratic country in the world because it looks after the social rights of its people, with free health and education. Literacy is higher in Cuba than in many industrialized nations, and infant mortality lower than in the United States, where 44 million people do not have medical coverage, he said. The average age Cubans can expect to live to will rise to 80 in five years, Castro said.

JTA 3 May 2004 In Cuban province, Polish stone at center of Holocaust memorial By Larry Luxner SANTA CLARA, Cuba, May 3 (JTA) — Barely a five-minute taxi ride from Cuba’s imposing shrine to Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara is a lesser-known monument honoring the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. The unpretentious memorial is located within the crumbling Jewish cemetery of the city of Santa Clara, a provincial capital that’s home to only 23 of Cuba’s estimated 1,500 Jews. The monument’s centerpiece is an original cobblestone from Chlodno Street in the Warsaw Ghetto. The 19-pound block was donated by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, following lengthy negotiations by two Cuban-American Jewish women who wanted to do something for the island they left years ago. Aida Wasserstein of Wilmington, Del., said she first went back to Cuba in March 1999 on a Jewish humanitarian mission and later reconnected with Miriam Saul, a childhood friend now living in Atlanta. Saul introduced her to David Tacher, the charismatic leader of Santa Clara’s tiny Jewish community. “Tacher told us he wanted some tangible object that had survived the Holocaust,” Wasserstein said. “There was a possibility of getting a Torah from Europe, and I worked on that for a while, but it fell through.” Saul had thought it would be an easy task, but said it turned out to be “gargantuan.” “All the Holocaust survivors we knew had already given whatever they had to museums, and the museums hesitated because they didn’t want mementos to be worshipped like idols,” she said. “I assured them that wasn’t our wish, that the problem was that Cubans can’t travel to Yad Vashem or the Holocaust Museum in Washington, and they wanted something concrete. But no one would give up anything.” In the end, the solution was to bring a piece of the Washington museum to Cuba. Diane Saltzman, chief curator of the museum’s collections division, said that shortly before it was inaugurated, her institution had received a gift from the Polish government consisting of several crates of cobblestones removed from a street inside the Warsaw Ghetto. “In the museum, there’s a section where you can actually walk on the stones,” she told JTA. “Over the years, we’ve saved a small cache of stones that we weren’t doing anything with, and they felt it was important to memorialize the Holocaust in Santa Clara.” Getting the stones to Cuba’s Jewish community entailed a whole new set of bureaucratic headaches — mainly because of the 40-year-old embargo that prevents most Americans from traveling to or trading with the communist island. “We actually went to the Department of Commerce to find out whether we could even do this, especially since we’re a federal agency,” Saltzman said. “It was determined that the stones were of educational value, and so we did not need an export license.” Two cobblestones were finally sent to Cuba — one for the large Patronato synagogue in Havana, the other for the cemetery in Santa Clara, about 170 miles east of the capital. The monument was dedicated last October, in a ceremony attended by over 200 people including Monseñor Arturo González, the bishop of Santa Clara, as well as various Protestant church leaders and top officials of Cuba’s Communist Party. At the inauguration, six candles were lit in memory of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, and a tree was planted nearby with soil from Israel. Many non-Jews in the audience, including a tour guide and interpreter, were moved to tears. “My family surivived the Holocaust only because my father left two weeks before the Germans entered Poland,” Wasserstein said. When the stones were presented in Cuba, she told José Miller, president of Cuba’s Jewish community, that “had it not been for Cuba opening its doors to my father in 1939, I would never have been born. So my taking the stones was like coming back full circle.” The monument, about seven feet wide and six feet high, is made from local marble. Among other things, it depicts a hand trying to reach over an electrified fence, with railroad tracks and pebbles leading into the base of the structure, symbolizing the trains that carried Jews to Auschwitz. Along the top is a phrase written in Hebrew and Spanish in bronze letters. Loosely translated into English, it says: “Fading survivors, we have sculpted in bronze the tenacious promise of the Jewish people: to always remember and intone melodies for the six million.” Located along a dirt road lined with wooden shacks and banana trees, the Santa Clara cemetery seems an unlikely place for a Holocaust memorial. Outside of its importance in the sugar industry, Santa Clara mainly is known as the site of the last major battle that Fidel Castro’s rebels fought against the government forces of Gen. Fulgencio Batista in 1958. That’s why the city was chosen for the Che Guevara mausoleum, a monstrous shrine to socialism that attracts thousands of tourists a year. Cubans generally know little about Judaism, but they are starting to take note of the Holocaust. Film director Steven Spielberg broached the topic with Castro during his controversial visit to the island last year, and several weeks ago, the Communist newspaper Juventud Rebelde printed a two-page spread entitled “Sobreviviente del Infierno,” or “Survivor of Hell.” The story — about an 80-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor who recently visited Cuba to discuss his experiences — marked the first time an official Cuban publication had given so much space to the subject. Some say a Holocaust memorial could be built in Old Havana, home to thousands of Jewish merchants and shopkeepers prior to the 1959 revolution that brought Castro to power. Saltzman, who has sent Warsaw Ghetto stones to synagogues and Holocaust museums from Salt Lake City to South Africa, said a total of 10 cobblestones have been transported to Cuba. “I’ve gotten a lot of reaction from the Americans involved in this,” she said. “The stones have tremendous emotional power for them because they’re connected to the Holocaust. I was told that people were touching the stones and kissing them.” Small Jewish communities in other Cuban cities, including Camagüey, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, also want Warsaw Ghetto cobblestones so they can erect Holocaust memorials. Later this month, several more Polish cobblestones will be taken to Santa Clara by a 27-member youth delegation from the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. “We’re in the process of acquiring more stones so we can make a replica of Chlodno Street,” said Alberto Esquenazi, a retired accountant and treasurer of Santa Clara’s Jewish community, which meets every other Friday night in a private home because it is too small to sustain its own synagogue. “The idea is to have American Jewish groups bring stones, purchase new ones and make a walkway intertwining the old and the new,” Saul said. “The symbolism is that Cuba’s Jewish community is intertwined with both the past and the future."


Reuters 13 May 2004 House arrest ordered for ex-dictator GUATEMALA CITY -- A judge placed ex-dictator Efrain Rios Montt under house arrest Thursday after he was accused of manslaughter for allegedly instigating a riot last year that killed a journalist. Judge Yolanda Perez ordered that Rios Montt, banned from leaving Guatemala since March, must be held at home. "The law defines house arrest to mean the ruling must be completed within the home," Perez told a Guatemalan radio station after a closed-door court session. Reporter Hector Ramirez died of a heart attack in July as he was being chased by stick-wielding rightists at a demonstration backing a presidential bid by Rios Montt. Rios Montt, who lost his presidential bid last year, denies the charge. He is also accused in other legal cases of ordering the slaughter of tens of thousands of Maya Indians during his iron-fisted rule from 1982 to 1983.

Haiti (see South Africa)


Reuters 5 May 2004 Mexico gropes for answers to massacre's mysteries By Lorraine Orlandi REUTERS 5:00 a.m. May 5, 2004 MEXICO CITY – Black and white photos that were hidden for decades show teen-agers' bodies lined up on a morgue's tile floor: a crushed skull, the blood-streaked thighs of a girl who forensic experts say walked a few steps before dying. A Mexican military officer describes in a newly unearthed report how he took cover in a storm of bullets and saw comrades shot by snipers while his commanders shouted through megaphones at frenzied student protesters to disperse. Thirty-five years after a student protest at Mexico City's Tlatelolco Plaza exploded in gunfire and bloodshed, prosecutors are piecing together the story in the hope of exposing one of Mexico's darkest crimes and punishing those responsible. But the picture of what happened on Oct. 2, 1968 is far from whole, and with each new shard of evidence the disturbing images shift and blur. How many people died? Who were they and who killed them? There are no grieving families, no gravestones and no court verdicts to provide the answers. Even survivors are not sure what happened. Jorge Ortega, then a 21-year-old communist youth leader, recalls fellow students linking arms to form a human chain against oncoming troops. He broke away and ran. "I didn't have a pencil, let alone a pistol," Ortega said recently. "I can't say how many died. I saw many fall, but I don't know if they fell in the panic or if they were shot." Witnesses said government troops shot dead hundreds of protesters. Officials said communist agitators fired first, provoking a shootout, and about 30 people died. OPEN WOUND Declassified reports show hundreds of soldiers and police, some under cover, went to the protest to derail an increasingly disruptive youth movement and help Mexico dodge international scandal days before the 1968 Olympic Games opened here. Suddenly flares seared the sky, gunshots erupted and a blood bath ensued. Protesters clearly were slaughtered with guns and bayonets. Soldiers were also killed. Thousands of students were arrested, some jailed for years. Yet only a few dozen bodies materialized and no relatives came seeking lost loved ones, in contrast to the families of hundreds of others who disappeared in a "dirty war" against dissidents during the 1970s and 1980s. Today a rock slab stands amid the Aztec ruins, colonial church, modern government offices and housing projects at Tlatelolco Plaza. The slab lists 20 dead and honors "many other comrades whose names we still don't know." "It's an open wound," said Ortega, now a journalist. "We must punish those responsible and establish the truth, not for vengeance, but so new generations are not treated like we were simply for thinking differently." Special prosecutor Ignacio Carrillo, named to investigate past state repression, hopes to soon file charges in the case. His targets include former President Luis Echeverria, who was interior minister in 1968 and is widely blamed for the massacre. Echeverria later led Mexico from 1970-76, the worst years of the dirty war waged by the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI. "No one should think they are immune from punishment," Carrillo told Reuters, although he admits he has found no "smoking gun ... no one irrefutable proof" in the case. SEEKING THE DEAD Some suggest the death toll was exaggerated in the panic and gained the weight of fact over decades. Others say a repressive regime simply erased hundreds of dead. Cemetery records for days surrounding the massacre vanished, said Sergio Aguayo, who wrote a book on the tragedy. One expert combing government files for the special prosecutor believes around 300 people died. But in a dramatic departure from previous theories, Angeles Magdaleno says most dead were paramilitary snipers stationed around the plaza by Mexico City's mayor, Alfonso Corona, and then executed to protect rival political interests. She says Corona, like Echeverria, wanted to boost his presidential ambitions by crushing the protest and that his snipers opened fire but then lost control in the chaos. Documents reveal the army captured some 300 snipers in civilian clothes. There is no record of their fate. Magdaleno believes troops killed them to cover a web of repression and that explains why their bodies were never claimed. Despite the nagging mysteries, activists insist Echeverria was directly responsible as head of national security. "This is one time we can be absolutely sure, given what we know about the way the Mexican government works, that Echeverria played a central role," said Kate Doyle, an investigator researching U.S. documents on the massacre. Still, she doubts he can be tried. Now 82, he invoked his right not to answer the special prosecutor's questions. He declined to be interviewed by Reuters and has always said he was not involved in top decisions. Then-president Gustavo Diaz Ordaz died in 1979. The blood was scrubbed from Tlatelolco Plaza overnight on Oct. 2, 1968. Ten days later, the Olympics opened. "No protests, no outcry. It was like another country," Ortega said. Echeverria became president two years later.

United States

Boston Globe 27 Apr 2004 Radio host says remarks misconstrued By Michael S. Rosenwald Radio talk show host Jay Severin said in an interview last night that perhaps he should have acknowledged that he wasn't talking about all Muslims in the United States last week when he said to a caller, "You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them." Severin, who on his show yesterday afternoon vehemently defended the comment, said that anyone who listened to his show for "any length of time longer than 10 minutes has heard me say that Muslims are not our enemies, that all Muslims are not terrorists." "But, thus far, all the terrorists killing us are Muslims, and that distinction is one I have made every single time, including last Thursday, and every single time that we have discussed the topic of Islam and the war on terror, as those of you who listen, at least most of us who listen know," he said on yesterday's show. In a telephone interview later, he said: "I have so many times offered the disclaimer that I didn't feel it necessary to utter the words, `You know, the ones who are killing us.' I appreciate that under the surgical circumstances here that I wish I kind of had." But he added, "I can't assume that everyone party to the conversation joined it five seconds ago." "I guess," he said, "that I didn't sufficiently hit the refresh button." The Globe reported on Sunday that the Council on American-Islamic Relations received a complaint in which a listener told the organization that Severin had said, "I've got an idea, let's kill all Muslims." Severin's employer, WTKK-FM, declined to offer a tape or transcript of last Thursday's show, but the Globe obtained a copy from a radio monitoring service yesterday. Severin's comment, "You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them," came at the end of a conversation with a caller named Chris from Rhode Island who suggested that the United States befriend Muslims in this country "to help us root out their leaders who aren't really Muslims." As part of his response, Severin said, "I believe that Muslims in this country are a fifth column. . . . The vast majority of Muslims in this country are very obviously loyal, not to the United States, but to their religion. And I'm worried that when the time comes for them to stand up and be counted, the reason they are here is to take over our culture and eventually take over our country." He said: "My suspicion is that the majority of Muslims in the United States, who regard themselves as Muslims first and not as Americans really at all, see an American map one day where this is the United States of Islam, not the United States of America. I think it pays to harbor those suspicions." Toward the end of the conversation, Severin asked, "Do you think we should befriend them?" The caller said, "Well, I see Muslims in this country, they seem to like freedom." "Would you answer my question?" Severin said. "Do you think we should befriend them?" "I think we should . . ." the caller said before being interrupted. "I'm going to try one more time," Severin said. "The host takes pains to phrase questions sometimes and in a fashion such, the appropriate reply is a yes or a no. This is a three-strike state; you're about to get your third strike. Do you believe we should befriend them?" "Yes," the caller said. "I've got good news for you: We have," Severin replied. "Thanks for the call and that's what I'm worried about." Then, introducing another caller, Severin said: "I have an alternative viewpoint. It's slightly different than yours. You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them." Speaking on yesterday afternoon's show about that specific comment, Severin said: "To anyone who may have been offended by misunderstanding or misconstruing my remarks, I want you to know that I regret that. This is never my intention." Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington advocacy group, said Severin's explanation of the "kill them" comment "is a common dodge." "Whenever someone attacks Muslims or Islam or gets called on it, they say they didn't mean the moderate or peaceful ones, that they only meant to harm those militant radical Muslims, when what they are really saying is that they meant all Muslims," Hooper said.

Council on American-Islamic Relations 27 Apr 2004 www.cair-net.org Action Alerts CAIR renews call for radio host's firing Jay Severin says U.S. Muslims 'fifth column', 'kill them' CAIR today renewed its call for the firing of a Boston-area radio talk show host after a newspaper report showed that his anti-Muslim remarks were even more offensive than first thought. CAIR made its original demand last Friday after receiving a complaint from a concerned listener who said WTKK-FM (www.969fmtalk.com) host Jay Severin urged the killing of American Muslims. Quotes from a tape of the actual program obtained by the Boston Globe show that Severin called Muslims a "fifth column"* in America and seemed to confirm the report that he wanted them killed. (WTKK denied CAIR's request for a tape of the program.) The Globe reported that in a conversation with a caller who suggested that the United States befriend Muslims in this country, Severin said: "I believe that Muslims in this country are a fifth column…The vast majority of Muslims in this country are very obviously loyal, not to the United States, but to their religion. And I'm worried that when the time comes for them to stand up and be counted, the reason they are here is to take over our culture and eventually take over our country." "My suspicion is that the majority of Muslims in the United States, who regard themselves as Muslims first and not as Americans really at all, see an American map one day where this is the United States of Islam, not the United States of America. I think it pays to harbor those suspicions." Severin asked the caller: "Do you think we should befriend them?" "Yes," the caller said. "I've got good news for you: We have," Severin replied. "Thanks for the call and that's what I'm worried about." Then, introducing another caller, Severin said: "I have an alternative viewpoint. It's slightly different than yours. You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them." Severin told the Globe: "To anyone who may have been offended by misunderstanding or misconstruing my remarks, I want you to know that I regret that." See: Radio host says remarks misconstrued "The actual transcript of the program is even worse than what had initially been reported," said CAIR's Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Based on Mr. Severin's claim that Muslim citizens are a 'fifth column' in this country and his apparent belief that they should be killed, we renew our call for his termination." Awad added that CAIR will ask for an FCC investigation of Severin's remarks. Hundreds of concerned Muslims have already contacted the station and its advertisers to ask for Severin's dismissal. At least one advertiser has pulled its ads from the station. Last week, CAIR announced a new campaign designed to counter anti-Muslim hate on radio talk shows. The campaign, called "Hate Hurts America," is based on the premise that the increasing attacks on Islam by talk show hosts harm the United States by creating a downward spiral of interfaith mistrust and hostility. A recent spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide has been blamed at least in part on the increase in Islamophobic rhetoric in America. CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 26 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. (* "Fifth column" is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as "a clandestine subversive organization working within a country to further an invading enemy's military and political aims." It was first applied in 1936 to rebel sympathizers inside Madrid when four columns of rebel troops were attacking that city.) Immediate Action Requested: (As always, be firm but POLITE.) Contact Matt Mills, WTKK-FM General Manager, to ask that he fire Jay Severin for his anti-Muslim remarks. Mr. Matt Mills General Manager 55 William T Morrissey Blvd. Dorchester, MA 02125-3315 . . . File a complaint with the FCC, particularly if the host uses indecent or obscene language. To file a complaint, go to: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/complaints.html E-mail: fccinfo@fcc.gov Tel: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) Fax: 1-866-418-0232

www.villagevoice.com 29 Apr 2004 Speech The FCC Won't Touch Decently, Kill the Muslims by Kareem Fahim April 29th, 2004 1:30 PM Jay Severin, a Boston radio talk show host, had some advice on the subject of Muslims for a caller to his show last week. "You think we should befriend them," he told Chris from Rhode Island, according to a transcript of the show obtained by a local newspaper. "I think we should kill them." Severin also called Muslims in America a "fifth column," here to "take over the culture and eventually take over our country." He later defended his comments to a Boston Globe reporter, claiming listeners to his show have heard him say that not all Muslims are terrorists. A spokesperson for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) told the Voice the organization had received a complaint about the incident, but that the FCC "doesn't have rules regarding violence or calls to violence," except possibly in cases that involve a The FCC has attracted publicity lately for its crackdown on indecency, and its recent proposal to fine Clear Channel Communications nearly half a million dollars for comments made by Howard Stern. Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) told the Voice that he'd noticed a spike in similar hate speech since the killing of four civilian contractors in Fallujah, Iraq. Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR's director of legal affairs, said the best he hopes for is that the group's members contact the radio station and the FCC. "Unfortunately, [Severin]'s comments wouldn't reach the legal and constitutional definition of incitement," he said. A spokesman for Severin's radio station, 96.9 FM Talk, called the flap about the show frustrating, and wondered why CAIR wasn't more concerned with a recent New York Times article on the growing threat of terrorism in Europe.

Boston Globe 5 May 2004 Does talk host Severin even care what's true? By Scot Lehigh | May 5, 2004 THE BEST and brightest are belligerent and befuddled. How can it be, they demand, that in my Friday column I said I occasionally listen to "Extreme Games" on WTKK when on Thursday's show, host Jay Severin said I had admitted to him that I don't listen to his program? The answer is, it cannot be. Which is why Jay owes me a correction. At the beginning of our conversation on Thursday, I told Jay I was an occasional listener to his show. (On those nights when I leave work before 7, I often tune in on my way home.) Jay thanked me, clearly acknowledging my comment. So why just a couple of hours later would Jay go on the air and claim that I said I don't listen to his show? (Although I considered our conversation civil, Jay also told his listeners it was one of the rudest encounters he had ever experienced; that, however, I'm willing to chalk up to sensibilities rendered overly delicate by the courtly Victorian manners of talk radio.) Well, there are two primary possibilities. One is that Jay doesn't understand what words mean. Indeed, one could argue that that's exactly what has landed him in the current brouhaha about seemingly advocating the killing of Muslims living in the United States. Or it could be that Jay simply has no regard for the truth. Now, I know that possibility will prove hard for some of his listeners to contemplate. Judging from my Friday e-mail, a certain percentage consider Jay an intellectual mentor who has taught them to think. And if the word "think" has come to encompass, among its various meanings, "to fling semiliterate insults," then Jay can rightly claim to have done that. Yet Jay isn't fooling all his listeners. A significant number who e-mailed me sensed that he was skittering about like a waterbug in a windstorm as he tried to dodge the real issue. Jay was at it again on Monday. A caller said my Friday column critical of Jay "was really 100 percent right on." Jay retorted that "the Globe has twice printed that I didn't say what I was accused of saying," and quickly moved to the next caller. What Jay ignored in his reply is what he actually did say about Muslims back on April 22. To recap: A caller had recommended that we befriend Muslims living in the United States. Jay said that, as far as he was concerned, "the vast majority" of those Muslims are not loyal to the United States and are ready, when the time comes, to take over this country. Jay asked several times: "Do you think we should befriend them?" The caller said yes. Jay then said that he had an alternative viewpoint: "You think we should befriend them. I think we should kill them." Rather than issue a true apology, Jay has argued in essence that because at other times he has said that not all Muslims are our enemies neither the words he spoke that day nor the clear context of the immediate conversation matters. And he's ducked repeatedly behind the fact that the Globe corrected its original story -- which quoted the Council on American-Islamic Relations alleging that Severin said something marginally different -- to pretend he's won a great victory. Interestingly, Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the American-Islamic Council, says he got that erroneous quote from Matt Mills, general manager at WTKK; Rabiah Ahmed, the council's communications coordinator, says Mills later confirmed the same quote to her. Although Mills acknowledges he checked the tape to see what Severin had said, he denies he gave the American-Islamic Council anything purporting to be a verbatim quote. Thus I can't say for sure whose account is correct. However, I can say with certainty that Jay misrepresented my conversation with him. A cynic would argue that it's easier to try to gull your listeners into believing you're the target of a journalistic vendetta if you assert that the person writing about you hasn't listened to your show. That, however, would mean that Jay is a mountebank. I, for one, would certainly hate to think that about a man who has made such a fathomless contribution to the local conversation. Thus I'm hoping Jay will set the record straight today by acknowledging that when we spoke, I told him I'm an occasional listener to his show. So I'll be tuning in today, hoping Jay tells the truth. But I won't be holding my breath.

Los Angeles Times 3 May 2004 Anti-Muslim hate crimes triple in '03 By Teresa Watanabe LOS ANGELES TIMES Reports of hate crimes and harassment against Muslims in California tripled last year from the year before, the highest number recorded outside the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, according to a report to be released today by a national American Muslim organization. The Council on American-Islamic Relations reported 221 incidents in 2003 of anti-Muslim bias in California, ranging from the severe beating of a Yorba Linda youth to vandalism against a San Luis Obispo mosque. Nationally, the council reported 1,019 anti-Muslim incidents, representing a 69 percent increase. The report attributed the increased incidents to several factors, including a "lingering atmosphere of fear" stemming from the Sept. 11 attacks, fallout from the Iraq war, anti-Islam rhetoric from some conservative religious leaders, increased reporting of incidents by communities to the council, and U.S. anti-terrorism policies, which Muslims allege adversely affect them. "Things are getting worse and worse," said Mohamed Nimer, the council's national research director. "This has become part of our normal life -- coping with increased attacks and vulgarities toward our faith and our life." Other researchers have documented the adverse impact on Muslims of Sept. 11. They include the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission and the state Senate's Office of Research, which last month issued a draft report concluding that Arab, South Asian and Muslim immigrant communities had borne a "substantial share" of scrutiny by federal agencies. Last year, the U.S. Justice Department's internal investigators found "significant problems" in the way its employees had treated immigrants detained after Sept. 11, including engaging in verbal and physical abuse of suspects and excessive delays in their release. A Justice Department spokeswoman contested allegations of mistreatment, however. "The department's actions taken to deter and dismantle future terrorist attacks are fully consistent with the constitutional laws of the U.S.," said spokeswoman Casey Stavropoulls. She added that the department was combating anti-Muslim discrimination and had conducted more than 560 investigations of bias since Sept. 11, one-fourth of which had resulted in federal, state or local prosecutions. The new report by the Islamic council also scrutinizes government actions toward the Muslim community. Although anti-Muslim incidents reportedly took place at schools, job sites, restaurants and on the streets, the largest number of complaints both statewide and nationally involved government anti-terrorism policies. In California, those cases accounted for 41 percent of complaints. The most controversial government program involved the required special registration of noncitizen male visitors from two dozen mostly Muslim nations and North Korea. All told, more than 82,000 men were registered, including 13,000 who were ordered into deportation proceedings, almost all of them for visa violations, according to reports by the council and others. Muslims argue that the program amounts to selective persecution of their community. The report added that Muslims have been disproportionately affected by the U.S. Patriot Act, which was passed after the Sept. 11 attacks to broaden the government's investigatory and surveillance powers. Among other things, the act requires financial institutions to verify the identities of new customers and report any suspicious activity. The council report cited cases of Muslims whose bank accounts were closed without any explanation. One Delaware woman, a U.S.-born citizen, reported that her credit card application was rejected after she heard the cashier mention the Patriot Act in her conversation with the bank processing her request. The woman's name was not listed on the Treasury Department's list of suspicious people. At the same time, however, Muslims in California report several positive steps to improve ties with law-enforcement and other public agencies. Most notably, the FBI's Los Angeles office has recently formed its first Muslim, Arab and Sikh advisory committee. FBI spokesman Matt McLaughlin said his office started the 25-member committee, which is expected to meet monthly, to develop better communication with the three communities and help promote better understanding about FBI policies and procedures. He said the Patriot Act in particular has been misunderstood and unfairly blamed for abuses. "People have a right to know what we're doing and why," McLaughlin said. "There's nothing sinister about what's being done." The Islamic council's California office recommended that the state Legislature conduct a public inquiry into the impact of post-Sept. 11 policies on the Muslim community and that government agencies provide sensitivity training about Muslims to their employees. [ www.cair-net.org ]

AP 30 Apr 2004 Court Rules John Demjanjuk Was Nazi Guard Friday April 30, 2004 10:01 PM By JOHN NOLAN Associated Press Writer CINCINNATI (AP) - A federal appeals court Friday upheld a judge's decision to strip retired autoworker John Demjanjuk of U.S. citizenship, saying the government had proven he was a Nazi death-camp guard. The Justice Department said afterward it will begin what could be a years-long process to force the Ukranian-born Demjanjuk to leave the United States. The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the government had provided ``clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence'' of Demjanjuk's guard service. Though it years ago abandoned a claim that he was the notorious Ivan the Terrible at Poland's Treblinka death camp, the Justice Department maintained that Demjanjuk had persecuted civilians during World War II at five Nazi concentration camps, including Trawniki, Sobibor and Flossenburg. ``The court's decision sends a powerful message to every participant in the ghastly Nazi campaign of genocide who is still living in this country: the government will not waver in its determination to find you, prosecute you and remove you from the United States,'' said Eli M. Rosenbaum, director of the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations. Jewish advocacy organizations praised Friday's ruling, saying Demjanjuk has long used his U.S. citizenship as a shield to protect him from punishment for past sins. ``Demjanjuk enjoyed all the benefits of freedom in a free land after having denied his own victims the dignity of their lives,'' said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor. Demjanjuk, 84, has said he was the victim of mistaken identity - a camp prisoner rather than a guard - and his family vowed to challenge the ruling. Demjanjuk (dem-YAHN-yuk), who has lived in the Cleveland area for years, has lost his citizenship twice, the first time in 1981 when the government was arguing that he was Ivan the Terrible. He was convicted in Israel and sentenced to death in 1988, but the case later fell apart on new evidence that someone else was Ivan. Demjanjuk returned to the United States, and in 1998 U.S. District Judge Paul R. Matia of Cleveland overturned the ruling that had stripped him of citizenship. Matia then revoked Demjanjuk's citizenship in 2002, declaring that ``devastating'' testimony confirmed his a death camp role. It was that ruling that was upheld Friday. Demjanjuk's family said his age and deteriorating health would make it difficult for him to withstand the deportation process. ``He's slipping. He's not well,'' said Ed Nishnic, his son-in-law and family spokesman. Their options include asking the full appeals court to reconsider the ruling or asking the Supreme Court to hear the case, Nishnic said from his suburban Cleveland office.

AP 30 Apr 2004 Chronology of the Demjanjuk Case By The Associated Press April 30, 2004, 1:19 PM EDT Key dates in the case of John Demjanjuk: Aug. 25, 1977 -- Justice Department seeks to revoke U.S. citizenship, alleging Demjanjuk hid past as Nazi death camp guard "Ivan the Terrible." June 23, 1981 -- Citizenship revoked. Feb. 27, 1986 -- Demjanjuk extradited to Israel. April 25, 1988 -- Demjanjuk sentenced to death after being found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. June 30, 1988 -- Demjanjuk appeals. June 30, 1993 -- A U.S. district judge finds "substantial doubt" that Demjanjuk was "Ivan" but upholds extradition. July 29, 1993 -- Israel's Supreme Court rules 5-0 that Demjanjuk was not "Ivan the Terrible." Aug. 11, 1993 -- Israeli attorney general recommends Demjanjuk be deported rather than tried for new Nazi war crimes. Sept. 22, 1993 -- Demjanjuk returns to United States. Nov. 17, 1993 -- Appeals court rules government withheld evidence; reverses order that authorized extradition in 1986. Feb. 20, 1998 -- U.S. District Judge Paul R. Matia overturns decision stripping Demjanjuk of his citizenship. May 19, 1999 -- Justice Department moves to revoke Demjanjuk's restored citizenship, alleging he was a guard at Nazi death and forced labor camps. Feb. 21, 2002 -- Matia revokes citizenship. Dec. 10, 2003 -- 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears Demjanjuk's appeal. April 30, 2004 -- Appeals court rules Demjanjuk was Nazi guard, upholds decision to revoke citizenship.

Department of State (Washington, DC) 3 May 2004 (The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov) NEWS May 3, 2004 Genocide Convention Now Extends to Systematic Rape, Prosper Says United States D Posted to the web May 4, 2004 By Jim Fisher-Thompson Washington, DC Pierre-Richard Prosper, U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes, who honed his skills as a prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), takes great pride in having helped expand the definition of genocide to include organized violence against women, such as rape, a legal precedent that continues to have relevance in ethnic-based conflicts today. Prosper recently shared his experiences as a young prosecutor at the U.N.-sponsored trials of Rwandan genocidaires in Arusha in the mid-1990s with students at American University's Washington College of Law. He spoke just days after leading the U.S. delegation to Kigali to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the mass murder of 500,000 to 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus that began in April 1994. "My experience in the Rwandan tribunal was one that changed my life," the State Department official told the told law students. It had an impact, he said, on how he came to view genocide in general. In 1996, when he traveled to Arusha, the Yugoslav tribunal as well as the Rwandan tribunal had just been established, and "a lot of legal precedent that we could have used simply did not exist." Prosper said he quickly learned that "when you're dealing with genocide," one needs "case samples," and beyond the Nuremberg trials of World War Two "legal precedent just didn't exist." There was a common understanding of genocide, "the killing of large numbers of people," but in the Rwandan context it went far beyond that, he said. Studying the Rwandan cases, Prosper said, "I came to understand that it [genocide] meant a whole lot more than just killing. Other acts like sexual violence and mutilation had to be considered" by the prosecution. The women witnesses in Arusha who were victims of mass rape were so traumatized it was as though they had been made "less than human," Prosper said. "When we [prosecutors] looked at this we felt there was a part of the population [Tutsi women] that had been [purposely] destroyed even though they were still alive; for all practical purposes destroyed, because they could no longer contribute to humanity. "So we began to look at the genocide convention ... and came to realize that it clearly envisioned acts which fall short of death" but also "cause serious bodily harm" to persons on a massive scale. The systematic rape of Tutsi women fit that category, the lawyer said, because it was aimed at eliminating their normal contribution to society. "This was basically what we argued to the court" in Arusha, and the court found rape to be a part of the act of genocide, Prosper told the students. However, "it is important to note they did not say that rape by itself can be genocide. You have to look at it in the totality of circumstances," and the judges were satisfied that sexual violence in Rwanda was organized and used as a weapon against a particular group -- the Tutsis. Part of that unanimity has unraveled somewhat recently over the issue of accountability and the venue of international criminal tribunals, the U.S. official told his audience. "We believe the best policy is to promote and push for domestic prosecution" of crimes against humanity rather than the practice of having the trials in a central location like The Hague. "This is a belief I firmly hold based on my experiences" with international criminal cases, he said. "I've seen it in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, the Balkans, Cambodia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq. People want justice to be as close as possible. They want to feel it. They want a sense of being part of it. They want a sense of ownership. If you have someone else do it," people can always say the verdict was imposed on them if they dispute the outcome. Prosper added: "These tribunals are the right thing to do, but they need to do a better job in reaching out to the community to make them feel a part of the process. Taking responsibility is critical, and we don't want countries abdicating their responsibility to administer justice because it's politically difficult and they would rather not do it. "We feel that if you really want the rule of law to grow, a country has to begin to make fundamental decisions" about applying it at home instead of "relying on one institution in the Netherlands [The Hague]" to do it.

UPI 10 May 2004 Survivors hope to rebuild Rosewood, Fla. United Press International May 10,2004 ROSEWOOD, Fla., May 10, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A descendant of survivors of a racial massacre at Rosewood, Fla., says he won't rest until the small African-American town is rebuilt. "The last leg of the (healing process) is the redevelopment and revitalization of a township called Rosewood," he told the St. Petersburg Times. A historical marker for the Rosewood Massacre was unveiled last week during a ceremony attended by Gov. Jeb Bush. Ten years ago, the state paid $2.1 million to Rosewood survivors, and since then, a book has been published and a movie produced. At least five black people and two whites died in the incident at Rosewood, northeast of Tampa, Fla., during which raiders destroyed the town because of the alleged rape of a white woman. Survivors lost their homes and land and then moved away, changing their names, because they feared retribution. News stories began appearing during the early 1990s and Gov. Lawton Chiles signed the reparations bill in 1994. Doctor said the only way to reclaim the community built by independent African-Americans is to construct a modern town in its name.

www.truthnews.net 11 May 2004 The United Nations: A Failed Organization Rachel Neuwirth, May 11, 2004 The United Nations recently passed another blatantly anti-Israeli resolution in support of extremist Arab Palestinians claims. There is no longer any point in entering into dialogue with this organization. In countless ways, over many years, the U.N. has proven itself to be a largely criminal and discredited organization that can no longer claim to have any moral standing. Very few of its 191 members can be counted upon to put principle ahead of crass expediency. The hopeful vision that accompanied its founding in 1945 has long since evaporated. It was the United Nations which recognized Israel in 1947 and therefore the U.N. has a duty to protect Israel from forcible extinction and live up to and enforce the U.N. Charter. If the U.N. fails to protect any of her members including Israel, then all that remains is a stench along the East River. Mass murder of millions has gone on for years in many places with no response at all from the U.N. There has also been a U.N. failure to hold violators of human rights responsible and to oppose rogue states seeking the acquisition of weapons of mass murder. The overriding self-interests of dictatorships, police states, anti-Western, anti-democratic, and Arab/Islamic-driven theocratic continue day in and day out to paralyze any possibility that the U.N. could ever encourage true justice. Here are just a few examples of major crimes that were ignored by the U.N: Genocide by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 1970s estimated at 2 million people. North Korea starved to death about 2 million of its own people. Saddam Hussein gassing of the Kurds and slaughter of the Marsh Arabs, while devastating their fragile ecosystem. Failure to oppose the spread of WMD in Pakistan, North Korea, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya etc. Moslem genocide of 2 million of southern black Sudanese Christians and animists over an 18-year period. Over 1 million people in Sudan have been driven from their homes with the threat of mass murder of another 400,000 by the end of 2004. Slaughter of 800,000 Tutis and Hutu in Rwanda. Constant terror attacks on Israel plus the usual calls from Arab and Muslims countries for the destruction of Israel. Failure to implement its own resolution for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon following Israel’s exit, over four years ago. The membership roster of the U.N.’s Human Rights Commission says it all. Some of those stalwart, exemplary nations include Libya, Syria, Sudan, and other rogue states that support terror and daily commit major violations of human rights. It looks more like a lineup before a vice squad, or a "Who's Who of Mass Murderers!" It's the fox guarding the U.N. hen house! In addition, it was recently revealed how Saddam Hussein figuratively "bought" the U.N. under the U.N.’s 1995 Oil for Food Program. He was allowed to illegally divert 10% of all transactions to himself and to various collaborating governments including France, Germany, and Russia. Also dipping his fingers into that "oily tithe" was none other than Kofi Annan's own son, one of those on the "Oil for Food" monitoring agency. Entirely legally, the U.N. itself received a "commission" on all "Oil for Food" transactions. This became a major revenue source for the U.N. giving it a substantial vested interest in continuation of Saddam's regime, under lucrative (for the U.N.) sanctions. In return for billions in bribes, the U.N. and some members of the Security Council opposed any U.S. military action against Saddam Hussein. After all, why would they NOT want to drag on the search for a peaceful solution with more years of useless inspections? Iraqi oil flowed out of the ground and the revenue derived from it flowed into secret bank accounts. Hungry Iraqi children became dead Iraqi children, and America became the ever-convenient "fall guy." Let the truth be known that the U.N. itself has now become the threat to peace and to world stability. The record is clear -- too clear. It is time to stop the pretense that the United Nations is anything other than a hopelessly corrupt, ever mischievous, ever conniving, anti-democratic, failed organization. It is time to stop looking to it for any honest brokering and leave it on the sideline of world affairs. It is time to establish an alternative mechanism for dealing with the world's ills, and this time, let it be an association of democracies -- "by invitation only!" It is time to put the old slogan into effect: "Get the U.S. out of the U.N., and the U.N. out of the U.S." Rachel Neuwirth is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles.

AP 12 May 2004 Rwanda Genocide Suspect Arrested in Illinois By MAURA KELLY Associated Press Writer May 12, 2004, 5:33 PM EDT CHICAGO -- A Rwandan man wanted on international charges of crimes against humanity stemming from the 1994 Rwanda genocide was arrested on federal visa fraud charges Wednesday after a scuffle with immigration agents at his suburban home. Jean-Marie Vianney Mudahinyuka, also known as Thierry Rugamba, was ordered held until a detention hearing Friday. He is accused of lying about his role in the genocide on immigration forms he used to enter the United States in 2000. Mudahinyuka grabbed an agent's shotgun and hit the man in the head with it when authorities tried to arrest him at his Romeoville home, said Monty Price of the Chicago Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Another agent's hand was injured during the arrest. Mudahinyuka had told U.S. authorities in 2000 that he was a victim and refugee of the genocide that killed at least 500,000 people. But the U.S. Attorney's Office said Wednesday that he was "a perpetrator of atrocities, including murders and rapes." Defense attorney Gabriel Plotkin, with the federal defender program, declined to comment after Wednesday's hearing. No plea was entered. An affidavit signed by a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent says six witnesses have identified Mudahinyuka and one allegedly saw him participate in murders and rapes in Rwanda. The government of Rwanda had previously issued an arrest warrant for Mudahinyuka on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, the affidavit said. "It's perverse for a man who allegedly participated in horrible atrocities to come to our shores under the guise of seeking refuge in our willingness to shelter the victims of his own horrific conduct," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said. The 100-day killing spree in 1994 was orchestrated by the Hutu-extremist government then in power. Most of the victims were members of the Tutsi minority or politically moderate Hutus. Estimates of the death toll range as high as 800,000.

Chicago Sun Times 13 May 2004 www.suntimes.com Man suspected in genocide arrested here May 13, 2004 BY NATASHA KORECKI AND ART GOLAB Staff Reporters Thierry Rugamba left Rwanda four years ago under the guise that he was a victim fleeing a gruesome genocide. But as he worked the register in an African grocery store in Bolingbrook, a Rwandan national pegged him as someone quite different. On Wednesday, U.S. prosecutors said Rugamba is actually Jean-Marie Vianney Mudahinyuka, among the chief instigators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide that took the lives of more than 500,000 Tutsis. Prosecutors say he was a member of the Hutu militia known as the "Interahamwe" and was fleeing an international warrant for his role in war crimes. He was charged with visa fraud for allegedly lying to get into the United States. Rugamba, who is 43 or 44, faces 10 years in prison if he serves time here before he's released to Rwandan authorities. Rugamba invoked the Fifth Amendment during his hearing in federal court and did not respond when asked to state his name. Prosecutors said it is the first time someone wanted for international war crimes was charged criminally in the United States in a related offense. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said six witnesses identified Mudahinyuka in photo lineups. They included someone who lived one town over from Mudahinyuka in Rwanda and claimed to have witnessed Mudahinyuka commit rapes and murders. Another witness was one of 600 Tutsis hiding in a Rwandan hotel in 1994 who said Rugamba was Mudahinyuka -- the man he saw wearing an Interahamwe uniform and approving a prisoner exchange. "It's particularly galling and offensive that a man would seek to enter our country by claiming to be fleeing a genocide that he participated in," Fitzgerald said. Though Rwanda is seeking the prosecution of hundreds in the 1994 genocide, experts say Mudahinyuka is among an elite group, one of eight in a so-called governing committee who either incited or threatened civilians to kill Tutsis. "In some cases, these groups attacked the groups who refused to participate," said Alison DesForges, a Rwandan expert for the Human Rights Watch, an international group that monitors human rights. "So if you didn't kill, you were killed." Rugamba was arrested about 7 a.m. Wednesday at his home in Romeoville. Authorities said Rugamba locked himself in his bedroom, then grabbed one agent's shotgun when the door was forced open and hit the agent on the head with it. Rugamba's 17-year-old niece, Violet Tuyiringiire, said he worked long hours to support his four children and four nieces and nephews who are the children of his dead sister. "He's a very nice guy; everybody loves him. He helps out a whole bunch of people from Africa," she said. "If he's not coming back, there's going to be a lot of trouble in this family." Neighbors said the man they knew as Rugamba also bought used police cars and refurbished them to lease to cabdrivers. Ben Pahlow met the family when they moved into a quiet Romeoville subdivision about three years ago and inspired him and his wife to visit Rwanda and set up a relief organization. Yet Pahlow said they always suspected something about their neighbor. Rugamba's boss, Chika Muoghalu, the Nigerian owner of Chika's African Shop in Bolingbrook, said Rugamba had told her that he was a refugee. "I'm shocked, I never would have guessed," she said. Contributing: Dan Rozek

AP 13 May 2004 Mormon controversy re-ignited By MARK THIESSEN, Associated Press Writer May 13, 2004 WASHINGTON, Utah (AP) - The seemingly benign act of erecting a larger-than-life bronze statue to honor a city pioneer has reopened generations-old wounds and again focused attention on the level of complicity of Mormon church leaders in the 1857 slaughter of all but 17 children of an Arkansas wagon train. Controversy has raged ever since sculptor Jerry Anderson proposed three years ago to honor founding father and civic leader John D. Lee, the only man tried, convicted and executed in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The name was given to the September 1857 slaughter of 120 men, women and children headed to California. Critics claimed the statue would essentially pay homage to a killer, and city leaders backed off. The Washington City Council reversed itself and decided against putting up the $35,000 statue of Lee this year, the 150th anniversary of the first time he stood in the nearby fertile mountain valley and thought it a ripe place for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to raise cotton. "I think that is probably the best thing to do," said Leroy Lee, John D. Lee's 78-year-old great-grandson from Salt Lake City. The statue would have stood alongside four other Washington founders in front of the city museum. Burr Fancher, a 77-year-old retired Oregon educational consultant and president of the Mountain Meadows Massacre Monument Foundation, a group dedicated to educating people about the massacre, was dumbstruck the city would even consider such a statue. Two of his great-grandmother's brothers - both cousins to wagon master Alexander Fancher - were killed. "It's inconceivable to me that a city would want to honor a mass murderer," he said. "If we used the same twisted logic, I think we could put up a statue to Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City." But when the issue was re-ignited this year, it again raised questions about the involvement of 19th-century Mormon church leaders, whose modern-day counterparts to this day deny any church responsibility for the killings. Supporters say the monument is a fitting honor for Lee, who recommended to his adoptive father, church President Brigham Young, in 1854 that the area be settled. Lee became a civic and community leader, building the first cotton gin, organizing county fairs, planting 3,000 peach trees and operating an inn. The statue, they say, would certainly not commemorate Lee's role in the 1857 murders for which he was executed by a firing squad in 1877. Kathy Staley, a historical society volunteer whose own great-grandfather is honored with a founders statue, wants city leaders to stop "dwelling so much on that terrible, negative situation that happened." "I think it's time we forget and forgive and move on in a positive way," she said. Lee's band of Utah militiamen and American Indians pinned the wagon train down in a field about 30 miles northwest of Washington in 1857. The white southern Utah men, disguised in Indian war paint, expected a quick victory. But the Arkansans circled their wagons and dug in to fight off the attackers for about a week. Then, under the guise of a negotiated truce with the American Indians, Lee sent word to wagon train leaders that if they dropped their weapons, the militiamen would lead them to safety past the Indians. The Arkansans agreed and allowed the militia, many of whom - if not all - were members of the Mormon church, to escort them away. There was one armed man for each wagon train member. When the Arkansans were marched far enough away from their weapons, a signal was given and the wagon train members, including women and children, were slaughtered. The death toll numbered about 120, but 17 children under the age of 7 were spared and adopted. The actual reason for the attack remains a hotly debated issue by Mormons, historians and wagon train descendants. Church leaders at first blamed the massacre on Piute Indians, then on religious fanatics led by Lee and fueled by hatred of outsiders after Mormons had earlier been driven out of Missouri and Illinois. Others, like Sally Denton, who wrote "American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857," claim it was outright greed that drove the Mormons to attack the wealthy wagon train. Debate continues to this day about the role Mormon church leaders played in the massacre, including whether only local church leaders knew of the attack plan or if the killings were approved by high-ranking church leaders. In his book, "Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows," author Will Bagley contended the massacre was planned and organized before the Arkansans arrived in Utah. Lee wrote in a book published after his death that he never knowingly disobeyed Young's orders. "Brigham Young did not order or condone the killings," church spokesman Dale Bills said. Leroy Lee lays the blame not on Young, but squarely on southern Utah Mormon church leaders, and said they sold out his great-grandfather as the scapegoat. "They should thank him that he took the blame," Leroy Lee said. Current church President Gordon B. Hinckley in 1999 dedicated a mass graveside memorial at the massacre site. "That which we have done here must never be construed as an acknowledgment on the part of the church of any complicity in the occurrences of that fateful and tragic day," he said then. "But we have an obligation. We have a moral responsibility. We have a Christian duty to honor, to respect, and to do all feasible to recognize and remember those who died here." Mary Migliore, of San Antonio, a foundation board member whose great-great-uncles were killed in the massacre, said Hinckley's dedication proves a 147-year cover-up remains. "Apparently, stonewalling is one church legacy passed down through the generations."

washingtonpost.com 14 May 2004 Book Details U.S. Protection Of Former Nazi Officials By Charles Lane Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, May 14, 2004; Page A02 Declassified government documents shed new light on the secret protection and support given to former Nazi officials and Nazi collaborators by U.S. intelligence agencies in the years following World War II, according to a book released yesterday by historians who have been reviewing the records for the government. The book, "U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis," is based on 240,000 pages of FBI records, 419 CIA files on individuals and 3,000 pages of U.S. Army information detailing the Army's postwar relationship with former officers of the German Wehrmacht's intelligence service, which are now available to the public through the National Archives. The records are the latest portion of about 8 million pages declassified since 1999 under two post-Cold War federal laws that opened up secret government files relating to war crimes by the World War II German and Japanese governments. The book is "an outstanding contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust and the world of intelligence," Steve Garfinkel, chairman of the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group, said in a statement. The working group includes representatives from the departments of Defense, State and Justice, as well as the CIA, FBI, National Security Council and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The subject of postwar collaboration between U.S. intelligence and former Nazis who were thought to be useful in the struggle against the Soviet Union has been documented extensively, but the book's authors said that the trove of previously inaccessible documents enabled them to fill in many blanks in the historical narrative. A set of FBI files analyzed in the book by historian Norman J.W. Goda of Ohio University shows that former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover resisted taking action against Viorel Trifa, a former officer in the pro-Hitler Romanian Iron Guard who emigrated to the United States in 1950. This helped Trifa stay in the country until he was stripped of his U.S. citizenship in 1984. According to a chapter by Timothy Naftali of the University of Virginia, former SS officer Otto von Bolschwing was recruited as an agent in 1949 by the CIA, which decided to protect him from war crimes prosecution by claiming falsely that it had no files concerning his past -- which included a close association with Adolf Eichmann and a supporting role in anti-Jewish violence in Romania. In 1953, the agency pressured the Immigration and Naturalization Service to let von Bolschwing enter the United States, where he eventually obtained citizenship. A Justice Department investigation later resulted in his being stripped of citizenship before his death in 1982. Naftali also writes that the documents contain evidence of the extensive employment of ex-SS officers by the Gehlen Organization, a CIA-subsidized German intelligence group set up by Reinhard Gehlen, the Wehrmacht's former intelligence chief on the Eastern Front in World War II. Supported by the United States as a source of information about Soviet military activities in Eastern Europe, the Gehlen Organization developed into the official intelligence service of West Germany, known as the Federal Intelligence Service. But the Gehlen Organization produced relatively little good information, Naftali writes. "This is the most troubling for me," Naftali said in an interview, "given the context of Iraq, where we once again have to reconstruct a foreign national security system, and we have to do it fast."

Los Angeles Times 14 May 2004 U.S. Military Lawyers Felt 'Shut Out' of Prison Policy They said civilian political lawyers were deciding how prisoners could be questioned. At issue is how to interpret the Geneva Convention. By Ken Silverstein Times Staff Writer May 14, 2004 WASHINGTON -- A group of senior military lawyers were so concerned about changes in the rules designed to safeguard prisoners during interrogation that they sought help outside the Defense Department, according to a New York lawyer who headed a recent study of how prisoners have been treated in the war on terrorism. The military lawyers were part of the Army Judge Advocate General's office, which in the past has played a role in ensuring that interrogators did not violate prisoners' rights. "They were extremely upset. They said they were being shut out of the process, and that the civilian political lawyers, not the military lawyers, were writing these new rules of engagement," said Scott Horton, who was chairman of the New York City Bar Assn. committee that filed a report this month on the interrogation of detainees by the U.S. The report was released just days before the first photos were broadcast showing naked Iraqi detainees being abused at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. The Pentagon's "interrogation rules of engagement" became a focus of controversy in the Senate this week because they permitted the use of techniques such as "stress positions" and "sensory deprivation" and the presence of military dogs. Some international law experts, as well as some Senate Democrats, said the loosened rules violated the Geneva Convention, which forbids soldiers to use physical force to obtain information from detainees. But Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the rules had been examined and approved by lawyers for the administration. On Tuesday, Stephen A. Cambone, undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, said Douglas J. Feith, undersecretary of Defense for policy, "issued any number of statements and directives to the effect that detainees in Iraq, civilian or military, were to be treated under the provisions of the Geneva Convention." The military lawyers complained that the Pentagon was creating "an atmosphere of legal ambiguity," Horton said. "What's happened is not an accident. It is exactly what they were warning about a year ago," he said. None of the military lawyers would agree to speak publicly, he said, because to do so would threaten their careers. All sides agree that the abusive treatment of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib violates international law and is far out of bounds. They disagree, however, on whether the Bush administration's legal policy toward interrogating prisoners caused or contributed to the abuses. Administration officials say that a small group of reservists committed crimes by abusing Iraqis, and that they will be swiftly punished. Critics, including Horton, say the administration itself bears part of the blame for having approved more aggressive interrogation techniques. The Geneva Convention of 1949 extended protections to civilians in occupied territories as well as prisoners of war. The standards came in response to the brutal treatment of civilians during World War II. The fourth treaty of the convention says former fighters and detained civilians must be treated humanely. "Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment shall remain prohibited at any time," it says. Another provision forbids "physical or mental coercion" or the use of force to obtain information. The United States has been the occupying power in Iraq since American troops took control in Baghdad last April. By last fall, when attacks against U.S. troops were increasing, American commanders sought to learn who was behind the insurgency. And they stepped up efforts to question the thousands of Iraqis who were being held at Abu Ghraib. The Pentagon's interrogation rules say the Geneva Convention must be followed, and that "approaches [to detainees] must always be humane and lawful…. Detainees will NEVER be touched in a malicious or unwanted manner." But they also permit, with the commander's approval, the use of "sleep management," military dogs and "stress positions no longer than 45 minutes." "The most problematic in my opinion is the presence of military dogs," said University of Houston law professor Jordan Paust, a former Army lawyer. "Even if the dogs are muzzled, they are there to strike terror or intense fear. That is intimidation," he said. Sidney Rosdeitcher, a New York lawyer who also worked on the interrogation study, said he was surprised the Pentagon had authorized sleep deprivation and the use of painful stress positions. Horton said the military lawyers told him that Feith pressed for looser interrogation rules and won approval for them from the administration's civilian lawyers earlier in the U.S. war on terrorism. Horton said the administration was following rules that had been approved for suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who are considered "enemy combatants," not prisoners of war. Indeed, the report by Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba on the abuse at Abu Ghraib referred to a recommendation by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, then the commander of the Guantanamo detention facility, that the military "Gitmo-ize" the prisons in Iraq. Miller visited the prisons last summer and now commands them. But the situation in Iraq is different and the higher Geneva standards apply, Horton said. "It's one thing when violations occur in the heat of battle, the fog of war. It's something else when violations of Geneva occur when it is a deliberate policy cast at the highest levels of the Pentagon — and I think it's at the highest levels of the administration," Horton said. Times staff writer David Savage contributed to this story.

Newsweek.com 16 May 2004 The Roots of Torture The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new rules to fight a new kind of war. A NEWSWEEK investigation David Hume Kennerly / Getty Images-Pool Tough tactics: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld pushed for a Gitmo style approach to prisoner interrogations in Iraq By John Barry, Michael Hirsh and Michael Isikoff Newsweek InternationalMay 24 - It's not easy to get a member of Congress to stop talking. Much less a room full of them. But as a small group of legislators watched the images flash by in a small, darkened hearing room in the Rayburn Building last week, a sickened silence descended. There were 1,800 slides and several videos, and the show went on for three hours. The nightmarish images showed American soldiers at Abu Ghraib Prison forcing Iraqis to masturbate. American soldiers sexually assaulting Iraqis with chemical light sticks. American soldiers laughing over dead Iraqis whose bodies had been abused and mutilated. There was simply nothing to say. "It was a very subdued walk back to the House floor," said Rep. Jane Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. "People were ashen." advertisement The White House put up three soldiers for court-martial, saying the pictures were all the work of a few bad-apple MPs who were poorly supervised. But evidence was mounting that the furor was only going to grow and probably sink some prominent careers in the process. Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John Warner declared the pictures were the worst "military misconduct" he'd seen in 60 years, and he planned more hearings. Republicans on Capitol Hill were notably reluctant to back Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. And NEWSWEEK has learned that U.S. soldiers and CIA operatives could be accused of war crimes. Among the possible charges: homicide involving deaths during interrogations. "The photos clearly demonstrate to me the level of prisoner abuse and mistreatment went far beyond what I expected, and certainly involved more than six or seven MPs," said GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, a former military prosecutor. He added: "It seems to have been planned." Indeed, the single most iconic image to come out of the abuse scandal—that of a hooded man standing naked on a box, arms outspread, with wires dangling from his fingers, toes and penis—may do a lot to undercut the administration's case that this was the work of a few criminal MPs. That's because the practice shown in that photo is an arcane torture method known only to veterans of the interrogation trade. "Was that something that [an MP] dreamed up by herself? Think again," says Darius Rejali, an expert on the use of torture by democracies. "That's a standard torture. It's called 'the Vietnam.' But it's not common knowledge. Ordinary American soldiers did this, but someone taught them." Who might have taught them? Almost certainly it was their superiors up the line. Some of the images from Abu Ghraib, like those of naked prisoners terrified by attack dogs or humiliated before grinning female guards, actually portray "stress and duress" techniques officially approved at the highest levels of the government for use against terrorist suspects. It is unlikely that President George W. Bush or senior officials ever knew of these specific techniques, and late last —week Defense spokesman Larry DiRita said that "no responsible official of the Department of Defense approved any program that could conceivably have been intended to result in such abuses." But a NEWSWEEK investigation shows that, as a means of pre-empting a repeat of 9/11, Bush, along with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft, signed off on a secret system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to such methods. It was an approach that they adopted to sidestep the historical safeguards of the Geneva Conventions, which protect the rights of detainees and prisoners of war. In doing so, they overrode the objections of Secretary of State Colin Powell and America's top military lawyers—and they left underlings to sweat the details of what actually happened to prisoners in these lawless places. While no one deliberately authorized outright torture, these techniques entailed a systematic softening up of prisoners through isolation, privations, insults, threats and humiliation—methods that the Red Cross concluded were "tantamount to torture." The Bush administration created a bold legal framework to justify this system of interrogation, according to internal government memos obtained by NEWSWEEK. What started as a carefully thought-out, if aggressive, policy of interrogation in a covert war—designed mainly for use by a handful of CIA professionals—evolved into ever-more ungoverned tactics that ended up in the hands of untrained MPs in a big, hot war. Originally, Geneva Conventions protections were stripped only from Qaeda and Taliban prisoners. But later Rumsfeld himself, impressed by the success of techniques used against Qaeda suspects at Guantanamo Bay, seemingly set in motion a process that led to their use in Iraq, even though that war was supposed to have been governed by the Geneva Conventions. Ultimately, reservist MPs, like those at Abu Ghraib, were drawn into a system in which fear and humiliation were used to break prisoners' resistance to interrogation. "There was a before-9/11 and an after-9/11," as Cofer Black, the onetime director of the CIA's counterterrorist unit, put it in testimony to Congress in early 2002. "After 9/11 the gloves came off." Many Americans thrilled to the martial rhetoric at the time, and agreed that Al Qaeda could not be fought according to traditional rules. But it is only now that we are learning what, precisely, it meant to take the gloves off. The story begins in the months after September 11, when a small band of conservative lawyers within the Bush administration staked out a forward-leaning legal position. The attacks by Al Qaeda on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, these lawyers said, had plunged the country into a new kind of war. It was a conflict against a vast, outlaw, international enemy in which the rules of war, international treaties and even the Geneva Conventions did not apply. These positions were laid out in secret legal opinions drafted by lawyers from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, and then endorsed by the Department of Defense and ultimately by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, according to copies of the opinions and other internal legal memos obtained by NEWSWEEK. The Bush administration's emerging approach was that America's enemies in this war were "unlawful" combatants without rights. One Justice Department memo, written for the CIA late in the fall of 2001, put an extremely narrow interpretation on the international anti-torture convention, allowing the agency to use a whole range of techniques—including sleep deprivation, the use of phobias and the deployment of "stress factors"—in interrogating Qaeda suspects. The only clear prohibition was "causing severe physical or mental pain"—a subjective judgment that allowed for "a whole range of things in between," said one former administration official familiar with the opinion. On Dec. 28, 2001, the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel weighed in with another opinion, arguing that U.S. courts had no jurisdiction to review the treatment of foreign prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. The appeal of Gitmo from the start was that, in the view of administration lawyers, the base existed in a legal twilight zone—or "the legal equivalent of outer space," as one former administration lawyer described it. And on Jan. 9, 2002, John Yoo of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel coauthored a sweeping 42-page memo concluding that neither the Geneva Conventions nor any of the laws of war applied to the conflict in Afghanistan. Cut out of the process, as usual, was Colin Powell's State Department. So were military lawyers for the uniformed services. When State Department lawyers first saw the Yoo memo, "we were horrified," said one. As State saw it, the Justice position would place the United States outside the orbit of international treaties it had championed for years. Two days after the Yoo memo circulated, the State Department's chief legal adviser, William Howard Taft IV, fired a memo to Yoo calling his analysis "seriously flawed." State's most immediate concern was the unilateral conclusion that all captured Taliban were not covered by the Geneva Conventions. "In previous conflicts, the United States has dealt with tens of thousands of detainees without repudiating its obligations under the Conventions," Taft wrote. "I have no doubt we can do so here, where a relative handful of persons is involved." The White House was undeterred. By Jan. 25, 2002, according to a memo obtained by NEWSWEEK, it was clear that Bush had already decided that the Geneva Conventions did not apply at all, either to the Taliban or Al Qaeda. In the memo, which was written to Bush by Gonzales, the White House legal counsel told the president that Powell had "requested that you reconsider that decision." Gonzales then laid out startlingly broad arguments that anticipated any objections to the conduct of U.S. soldiers or CIA interrogators in the future. "As you have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war," Gonzales wrote to Bush. "The nature of the new war places a —high premium on other factors, such as the ability to quickly obtain information from captured terrorists and their sponsors in order to avoid further atrocities against American civilians." Gonzales concluded in stark terms: "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions." Gonzales also argued that dropping Geneva would allow the president to "preserve his flexibility" in the war on terror. His reasoning? That U.S. officials might otherwise be subject to war-crimes prosecutions under the Geneva Conventions. Gonzales said he feared "prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges" based on a 1996 U.S. law that bars "war crimes," which were defined to include "any grave breach" of the Geneva Conventions. As to arguments that U.S. soldiers might suffer abuses themselves if Washington did not observe the conventions, Gonzales argued wishfully to Bush that "your policy of providing humane treatment to enemy detainees gives us the credibility to insist on like treatment for our soldiers." When Powell read the Gonzales memo, he "hit the roof," says a State source. Desperately seeking to change Bush's mind, Powell fired off his own blistering response the next day, Jan. 26, and sought an immediate meeting with the president. The proposed anti-Geneva Convention declaration, he warned, "will reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice" and have "a high cost in terms of negative international reaction." Powell won a partial victory: On Feb. 7, 2002, the White House announced that the United States would indeed apply the Geneva Conventions to the Afghan war—but that Taliban and Qaeda detainees would still not be afforded prisoner-of-war status. The White House's halfway retreat was, in the eyes of State Department lawyers, a "hollow" victory for Powell that did not fundamentally change the administration's position. It also set the stage for the new interrogation procedures ungoverned by international law. What Bush seemed to have in mind was applying his broad doctrine of pre-emption to interrogations: to get information that could help stop terrorist acts before they could be carried out. This was justified by what is known in counterterror circles as the "ticking time bomb" theory—the idea that when faced with an imminent threat by a terrorist, almost any method is justified, even torture. With the legal groundwork laid, Bush began to act. First, he signed a secret order granting new powers to the CIA. According to knowledgeable sources, the president's directive authorized the CIA to set up a series of secret detention facilities outside the United States, and to question those held in them with unprecedented harshness. Washington then negotiated novel "status of forces agreements" with foreign governments for the secret sites. These agreements gave immunity not merely to U.S. government personnel but also to private contractors. (Asked about the directive last week, a senior administration official said, "We cannot comment on purported intelligence activities.") The administration also began "rendering"—or delivering terror suspects to foreign governments for interrogation. Why? At a classified briefing for senators not long after 9/11, CIA Director George Tenet was asked whether Washington was going to get governments known for their brutality to turn over Qaeda suspects to the United States. Congressional sources told NEWSWEEK that Tenet suggested it might be better sometimes for such suspects to remain in the hands of foreign authorities, who might be able to use more aggressive interrogation methods. By 2004, the United States was running a covert charter airline moving CIA prisoners from one secret facility to another, sources say. The reason? It was judged impolitic (and too traceable) to use the U.S. Air Force. At first—in the autumn of 2001—the Pentagon was less inclined than the CIA to jump into the business of handling terror suspects. Rumsfeld himself was initially opposed to having detainees sent into DOD custody at Guantanamo, according to a DOD source intimately involved in the Gitmo issue. "I don't want to be jailer to the goddammed world," said Rumsfeld. But he was finally persuaded. Those sent to Gitmo would be hard-core Qaeda or other terrorists who might be liable for war-crimes prosecutions, and who would likely, if freed, "go back and hit us again," as the source put it. In mid-January 2002 the first plane-load of prisoners landed at Gitmo's Camp X-Ray. Still, not everyone was getting the message that this was a new kind of war. The first commander of the MPs at Gitmo was a one-star from the Rhode Island National Guard, Brig. Gen. Rick Baccus, who, a Defense source recalled, mainly "wanted to keep the prisoners happy." Baccus began giving copies of the Qur'an to detainees, and he organized a special meal schedule for Ramadan. "He was even handing out printed 'rights cards'," the Defense source recalled. The upshot was that the prisoners were soon telling the interrogators, "Go f—- yourself, I know my rights." Baccus was relieved in October 2002, and Rumsfeld gave military intelligence control of all aspects of the Gitmo camp, including the MPs. Pentagon officials now insist that they flatly ruled out using some of the harsher interrogation techniques authorized for the CIA. That included one practice—reported last week by The New York Times—whereby a suspect is pushed underwater and made to think he will be drowned. While the CIA could do pretty much what it liked in its own secret centers, the Pentagon was bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Military officers were routinely trained to observe the Geneva Conventions. According to one source, both military and civilian officials at the Pentagon ultimately determined that such CIA techniques were "not something we believed the military should be involved in." But in practical terms those distinctions began to matter less. The Pentagon's resistance to rougher techniques eroded month by month. In part this was because CIA interrogators were increasingly in the same room as their military-intelligence counterparts. But there was also a deliberate effort by top Pentagon officials to loosen the rules binding the military. Toward the end of 2002, orders came down the political chain at DOD that the Geneva Conventions were to be reinterpreted to allow tougher methods of interrogation. "There was almost a revolt" by the service judge advocates general, or JAGs, the top military lawyers who had originally allied with Powell against the new rules, says a knowledgeable source. The JAGs, including the lawyers in the office of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Richard Myers, fought their civilian bosses for months—but finally lost. In April 2003, new and tougher interrogation techniques were approved. Covertly, though, the JAGs made a final effort. They went to see Scott Horton, a specialist in international human-rights law and a major player in the New York City Bar Association's human-rights work. The JAGs told Horton they could only talk obliquely about practices that were classified. But they said the U.S. military's 50-year history of observing the demands of the Geneva Conventions was now being overturned. "There is a calculated effort to create an atmosphere of legal ambiguity" about how the conventions should be interpreted and applied, they told Horton. And the prime movers in this effort, they told him, were DOD Under Secretary for Policy Douglas Feith and DOD general counsel William Haynes. There was, they warned, "a real risk of a disaster" for U.S. interests. The approach at Gitmo soon reflected these changes. Under the leadership of an aggressive, self-assured major general named Geoffrey Miller, a new set of interrogation rules became doctrine. Ultimately what was developed at Gitmo was a "72-point matrix for stress and duress," which laid out types of coercion and the escalating levels at which they could be applied. These included the use of harsh heat or cold; —withholding food; hooding for days at a time; naked isolation in cold, dark cells for more than 30 days, and threatening (but not biting) by dogs. It also permitted limited use of "stress positions" designed to subject detainees to rising levels of pain. While the interrogators at Gitmo were refining their techniques, by the summer of 2003 the "postwar" insurgency in Iraq was raging. And Rumsfeld was getting impatient about the poor quality of the intelligence coming out of there. He wanted to know: Where was Saddam? Where were the WMD? Most immediately: Why weren't U.S. troops catching or forestalling the gangs planting improvised explosive devices by the roads? Rumsfeld pointed out that Gitmo was producing good intel. So he directed Steve Cambone, his under secretary for intelligence, to send Gitmo commandant Miller to Iraq to improve what they were doing out there. Cambone in turn dispatched his deputy, Lt. Gen. William (Jerry) Boykin—later to gain notoriety for his harsh comments about Islam—down to Gitmo to talk with Miller and organize the trip. In Baghdad in September 2003, Miller delivered a blunt message to Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who was then in charge of the 800th Military Police Brigade running Iraqi detentions. According to Karpinski, Miller told her that the prison would thenceforth be dedicated to gathering intel. (Miller says he simply recommended that detention and intelligence commands be integrated.) On Nov. 19, Abu Ghraib was formally handed over to tactical control of military-intelligence units. By the time Gitmo's techniques were exported to Abu Ghraib, the CIA was already fully involved. On a daily basis at Abu Ghraib, says Paul Wayne Bergrin, a lawyer for MP defendant Sgt. Javal Davis, the CIA and other intel officials "would interrogate, interview prisoners exhaustively, use the approved measures of food and sleep deprivation, solitary confinement with no light coming into cell 24 hours a day. Consequently, they set a poor example for young soldiers but it went even further than that." Today there is no telling where the scandal will bottom out. But it is growing harder for top Pentagon officials, including Rumsfeld himself, to absolve themselves of all responsibility. Evidence is growing that the Pentagon has not been forthright on exactly when it was first warned of the alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib. U.S. officials continued to say they didn't know until mid-January. But Red Cross officials had alerted the U.S. military command in Baghdad at the start of November. The Red Cross warned explicitly of MPs' conducting "acts of humiliation such as [detainees'] being made to stand naked... with women's underwear over the head, while being laughed at by guards, including female guards, and sometimes photographed in this position." Karpinski recounts that the military-intel officials there regarded this criticism as funny. She says: "The MI officers said, 'We warned the [commanding officer] about giving those detainees the Victoria's Secret catalog, but he wouldn't listen'." The Coalition commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, and his Iraq command didn't begin an investigation until two months later, when it was clear the pictures were about to leak. Now more charges are coming. Intelligence officials have confirmed that the CIA inspector general is conducting an investigation into the death of at least one person at Abu Ghraib who had been subject to questioning by CIA interrogators. The Justice Department is likely to open full-scale criminal investigations into this CIA-related death and two other CIA interrogation-related fatalities. As his other reasons for war have fallen away, President Bush has justified his ouster of Saddam Hussein by saying he's a "torturer and murderer." Now the American forces arrayed against the terrorists are being tarred with the same epithet. That's unfair: what Saddam did at Abu Ghraib during his regime was more horrible, and on a much vaster scale, than anything seen in those images on Capitol Hill. But if America is going to live up to its promise to bring justice and democracy to Iraq, it needs to get to the bottom of what happened at Abu Ghraib. With Mark Hosenball and Roy Gutman in Washington, T. Trent Gegax and Julie Scelfo in New York and Melinda Liu, Rod Nordland and Babak Dehghanpisheh in Baghdad.

The Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal 15 May 2004 www.cjonline.com Groups stage rally over school integration By Erin Adamson About 35 members of three white supremacist groups who oppose racial integration of American schools rallied peacefully today in Cushinberry Park while between 150 and 200 counterprotesters showed support for school integration. No one was arrested during the 1 1/2-hour protest that began at noon, according to police spokesman Lt. Randy Listrom. Authorities cordoned off two areas of Cushinberry Park, one designated for the White Revolution rally and the other designated for the counter protest led by the civil rights group Bias Busters. People entering both fenced areas were scanned by a wand metal detector. Listrom said police screened about 25 members of the supremacist groups White Revolution, Aryan Nation and EURO before they boarded two buses that brought them to the park under police escort shortly after noon. Another 10 to 15 people had entered the fenced White Revolution area before the buses arrived. Listrom said he couldn't reveal where participants in the White Revolution rally boarded their buses. As members of the White Revolution rally exited the buses holding signs that read "Integration is Terrorism" and "Stop the Browning of America," counterprotesters began chanting "Brown, Brown." Skot Howland, a participant in the White Revolution rally, said he traveled from Dallas to attend the rally. Billy Roper, a former teacher and organizer of the White Revolution rally, said he thought the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education to end legal school segregation ruined public education. "As a former history teacher, I have seen the effects of Brown v. Board," Roper said. "Blacks and whites are inherently unequal in terms of intellect and creativity." Roper said his experience teaching high school in Bradley, Ark., in 1997 and 1998 led him to think that "anytime that you put unequal students together" one group of students will be set up for disappointment. But a racially diverse group of counterprotesters, among them many young children, rejected those sentiments and called out "We still love you" and "One people" to the white supremacists. Nine-year-old Khalia Canty was among the most vocal counterprotesters and attended the rally with her mother, Teresa Leslie-Canty. "It's always good for our children to see just how ignorant people can be," Leslie-Canty said. Leslie-Canty said she would rather her children be with her the first time they heard racial slurs so that she could talk to them about the words and how to react to racism. Tensions flared when a group of protestors wearing shirts that identified them as members of Anti-Racist Action crossed into the White Revolution area and began taunting Roper and other members of the White Revolution rally. Officers dressed in riot gear stood between the Anti-Racist Action demonstrators and the White Revolution rally, while uniformed authorities moved in to more closely surround the two groups. Most members of the counter demonstration remained in their separate cordoned-off area, but some counter demonstrators who weren't wearing Anti-Racist Action shirts did cross into the White Revolution area. No white supremacist protestors entered the Bias Busters area. Topeka Police Chief Ed Klumpp said all groups of protestors had the right to enter whichever fenced-off area they chose and law enforcement wouldn't intervene unless a law was broken. Listrom said he didn't know how many law enforcement officers from the police department, Shawnee County Sheriff's Office and Kansas Highway Patrol provided security at the rally, but he thought it was more than 100. "That's not something we normally release," Listrom said. Bias Busters rally organizer Sonny Scroggins said he thought the event was a success because protestors on both sides of the fence were able to express their First Amendment rights. "That's American," Scroggins said. Listrom said law enforcement closed Cushinberry Park between 9 and 11 a.m. to install safety measures, then reopened the park at about 11:30 a.m. He said authorities closed 15th and 17th streets and all the streets leading into them near Cushinberry at about 11:30 and reopened the streets after all protesters and law enforcement areas had cleared the area at about 1:30 p.m. .



The Mercury AU 4 May 2004 Day of honour marks dark history By JOHN BRIGGS May 4, 2004 HUNDREDS of Tasmanian Aborigines and their friends trudged up the hill at Risdon Cove yesterday to honour the victims of what they describe as the first massacre of their people. It was a day for quiet contemplation, reverence and celebration of survival. While there was a sad tone to the day, traditions were honoured in dance and language. Members of the pakama kanaplila dance group performed a "wallaby dance", and Teresa Sainty read a message in the Aboriginal language of her ancestors. ``We are here to remember the Mumirimina people and express our sorrow at their fate," said Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre president Phillip Beteen. ``We remember what we've lost, but we look to the future to show we have survived and even retained our language." TAC secretary Trudy Maluga echoed Mr Beteen's words. ``They [European colonisers] killed us off in this place 200 years ago, stole our land, took away our people and imposed their religions on us," Ms Maluga said. ``But our presence here today shows they have not destroyed us." On May 3, 1804, there was certainly a massacre. Historians disagree on the numbers of people killed and injured in the violence. Historian Keith Windschuttle maintains the numbers were grossly exaggerated. But the evidence of Edward White, a convict employed in the area, suggested a ``great many" were slaughtered or wounded and that the ``natives" were never a threat to anyone. Actor and writer Richard Davey read the words of White at yesterday's event. Politicians from all parties were present to lend support to the Aboriginal community. Australian Greens senator Bob Brown said it was a deeply moving experience and one of the most significant days in state history. ``We need to face the awful truth: our history is written in blood," said Senator Brown. The Bowen Monument at the site, which is considered offensive to many Aborigines, was covered yesterday. Earlier in the day, members of the Lia Pootah community held a healing service in memory of the tragedy.

The Age 4 May 2004 www.theage.com.au Debate exposes 200-year-old massacre By Andrew Darby Hobart Dancers at a commemoration of the Risdon Cove massacre. Picture:Peter Mathew The truth of Tasmania's Risdon Cove massacre may be the subject of fierce dispute between historians, but to those who commemorated its bicentenary yesterday, what mattered was that it was being argued about at all. "At least they're speaking about it," Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre secretary Trudy Maluga said at the ceremony. The massacre was the most violent conflict between black and white recorded in the first year of British settlement and began the destruction of the island's Aboriginal society. It took place on May 3, 1804, as Aboriginal families gathered in a food hunting party in wooded hills around the cove on the Derwent River's east bank. Many historians today back a report by Irish ex-convict Edward White that "a great many of the natives were slaughtered or wounded". Controversial historian Keith Windschuttle believes military officers who said three Aborigines died, at most, as the officers rescued white settlers under threat of violence. Mr Windschuttle said in his 2002 book, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, that histories of the Risdon Cove deaths showed how colonial conflict with Aborigines had been exaggerated by people far removed from the scene. Advertisement Advertisement Mr Windschuttle said last night that the massacre should be remembered as "an unfortunate incident". He said other historians, who disagreed on other subjects, agreed with him about the number of dead. Philip Tardiff, one of the authors of a 2003 rebuttal, Whitewash, said Mr Windschuttle had relied on witnesses who took part in the attack, and he had tried to wish away inconvenient evidence. About 200 people gathered yesterday in a bitter winter wind on a hilltop overlooking Risdon and the Derwent for the anniversary. Speakers told of Aboriginal traditions going back thousands of years, a wallaby hunting dance was performed, and then the events of that day were reconstructed. Ms Maluga, told the gathering to remember that white settlement was a 200-year-old occupation. She said later that she had learnt nothing about the incident when she was at school. "It is very important that they are putting the arguments now. That they don't hide what went on," she said.

Background article: greenleft.org.au May 1992 Aboriginal community reoccupies Risdon Cove By Kaylene Allen HOBART -- The Aboriginal community on May 3 reoccupied Risdon Cove, 12 kilometres from the centre of Hobart, in commemoration of the 1804 massacre of at least 100 Aborigines. More than 300 Aborigines and supporters attended the ceremony. Afterwards, members of the Aboriginal community voted to reclaim the area and maintain a camp until the government meets their demands on land rights. The 1804 massacre was described as “the first act of a decided hostility” by the British in what was to become a war of extermination against Aboriginal people in Tasmania. The Moomairremener people, who had travelled to Risdon Cove to hunt kangaroo and for celebration, were killed by drunken soldiers with cannon and muskets. Their bodies were butchered and boiled down so that the bones could be packed in lime and sent to Sydney for scientific collections. The Labor government's Aboriginal Lands Bill was rejected last year. Months before it was debated in parliament, the Aboriginal community reoccupied 3000 hectares of Rocky Cape on the north-west coast. Rocky Cape's rock shelters and campsites are among evidence of the earliest occupation of Tasmania, but the site was omitted from the bill. Rocky Saintly, secretary of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, stated, “The Aboriginal community feels that we are getting nowhere with this government. Whilst they rhetorically support the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody, of which land rights is central, the government has taken no action and avoided the whole issue. “We have no choice but to step up our fight for land rights, take things into our own hands and continue reclaiming land. The Aboriginal community will seek federal government intervention in the granting of land rights in Tasmania and, failing that, our case will be taken to the United Nations.” The state Liberal government has also frozen funding granted to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council under the Labor government. At the May 3 ceremony, the government refused the Aboriginal community access to the public building (which houses the toilets, water and other facilities) at Risdon Cove. The area is state reserve administered by the Department of Parks, Wildlife and Heritage. Minister John Cleary authorised the closing of the building. “This shows once again that a different set of rules exists for whites and Aboriginal people”, said Saintly. “These are public buildings, open seven days a week, and we have had to bring in toilets to hold our ceremony and meeting. This is typical of the government's attitude in not recognising Aboriginal people. “It is further insult that this area is being run by National Parks upremacy, upholding the first white settlement with no true indication or documentation of the slaughter of Aboriginal people that took place here. We would like to see this area handed back to the Aboriginal community and the building transformed into a cultural centre which would tell the true story.” The community has sought a meeting with the government, which has not replied but has indicated it might use police to remove the protesters. Cleary has accused them of acting unlawfully by blocking the gate to allow other community members to enter, building a fire and driving vehicles into the reserve. Department officers have been taking photos. Amendments to the Police Offences Act make it possible for police or public officers to detain any person on crown land whom they suspect is there without lawful excuse. The maximum penalty is a fine of $20,000 or 12 months' imprisonment. Legislation introduced for use against forest protesters may well be tested on the Aboriginal community. Donations, food and support have come from the public for the protesters, and members of the Aboriginal community have been overwhelmed by the positive response. Letters of support or donations can be sent to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, 198 Elizabeth St, Hobart 7000. Note: In 1995, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Council returned Risdon Cove to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre now administers it.[ see www.tasmanianaboriginal.com.au OR www.tasmaniatogether.tas.gov.au ]


www.thedailystar.net 30 Apr 2004 No peace without justice, no law without court: CJ tells workshop on International Criminal Court By Humayun Kabir Chowdhury Apr 30, 2004, 14:02 "There can be no peace without justice, no justice without law and no meaningful law without a court" said Justice Syed J R Modassir Husain, the Chief Justice of Bangladesh yesterday. Chief Justice Syed J.R. Modassir Husain speaking at a workshop on the International Criminal Court organised by Odhikar. Barrister Mainul Hosein, who presided over the Workshop, is seen on his right. Odhikar President Dr. Tasneem Siddiqi and Attorney-General Hasan Ariff are seen on his left. NN photo The Chief Justice was speaking as the Chief Guest at the workshop organized by Odhikar, a human rights organisation of Dhaka on International Criminal Court held at the BRAC Centre at Mohakhali commercial area. The Chief Justice also said that there could be no peace in the national or international level without justice and justice could be achieved only by establishing a substantial fact -finding mechanism and by eliminating the possibilities of impunity of those involved with the crime against humanity at home and abroad. Barrister Mainul Husain , an eminent Jurist of the country and a former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association presided over the first session of the workshop. ... The Chief Justice observed that the Rome Statute of 1998 ( that sponsored the International Criminal Court) held a promise in helping establishment of mechanism for administration of justice for those crimes -- long acknowledged to be contrary to the interests of peace and justice. Chief Justice hoped that the workshop would help a lot in the ratification of the Statute by states ( including Bangladesh, India and Pakistan and all others) that have not yet done so and highly praised the efforts of Odhikar for its services in this regard. The Chief Justice said that establishment of International Criminal Court was a great leap forward in attaining a higher level of human civilization which promised establishment of justice and humans rights on the world scale. Barrister Mainul Hosein in his address said, " protecting the individual citizens against any abuse of his rights , dispensation of justice without fear or favour are the norms on which a civil society is based." But in many parts of the world crimes against humanity such as genocide, war crimes, gross violation of rights of men were being perpetrated. At times, the affected parties fail to come up to seek redress and at other times the state machinery itself fail to do so as was seen in Rawanda and Congo where the Governments came forward to seek redress against crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes and" all, Mainul Hosein said. He further said that every wrong doer must be brought to book nationally or internationally and that would serve as deterrent for every one to take note that no one would go scot free in the event of commitment of any crime. Barrister Mainul `hoped that the establishment of International Criminal Court would serve best -- the concept of protection of human rights to a great extent, round the world. A F Hasan Arif, the Attorney General of Bangladesh in his speech , as the special guest said that those who commit crime against humanity --be he an individual or the state machinery and violate the rights of men for their own sake - political or otherwise must be brought to book. To this end he hoped, this workshop would contribute a great deal in the fulfillment of the purpose. Hasan Arif, as the Chief Legal Advisor of the Government had an explanation to give to his audience when asked why Bangladesh, though signed the Rome Statute on the establishment of the International Criminal Court now dilly dallying in signing ( or in other words ratifying the treaty ) ? Two questions were posed before him : (i) the United States forbade Bangladesh to do so and (ii) the government was also mindful about its own position that it may, at times, might have to abuse human rights ( as it did recently by blanket arrest of the citizens and then giving them conviction without any trial). The Attorney general however, smiled at the suggestion but would not admit those either. He said , the United States had nothing to do with the ratification .. He also said that the Government did not say that it would not ratify but was still examining the pros and cons of the ICC . ... Dr. Abdul Moyeen Khan , Minister for Science and ICT as the Chief guest of the closing session said that the establishment of International Criminal Court was a very good idea . The Court will set things right. It would ensure justice for all. So every nation should ratify the Statute, he concluded Barrister Ziaur Rahman Khan MP also spoke on the occasion. He said that savage attack on human rights, genocide" and all need be punished. The International Criminal Court shall never be against any state's interest. It would rather supplement the efforts of a the state to establish justice . At the outset Dr. Asif Nazrul , an Associate Professor of the Law Faculty of the Dhaka University gave a brief resume on the International Law vis-a-vis the basics of the ICC Statute and criminal justice round the world. Barrister AKH Murshed, Legal Counsel of the Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tasneem Siddiqui , Masud Alam Ragib and Dr. Saira Rahman Khan of ODHIKAR, Niza Conception ( the Philippines ) , Niamatullah Ibrahim ( Afghanistan ), Mrs. Sonia ( India ), Mr. Iqbal ( Pakistan ) also spoke on the Occasion. Mohammad Zamir, a former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh who presided over the second session and Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed, convenor of the Asian net work for International Criminal Court spoke in details in the workshop.

www.thedailystar.net 1 May 2004 'Ratify Rome Statute to fight crimes against humanity' Staff Correspondent Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh. May 1, 2004. Speakers at a workshop on the International Criminal Court yesterday underscored the necessity for ratification of the Rome Statute by the world's major powers to institute an effective international justice system to try the perpetrators of crimes against humanity. "The crimes of any descriptions are committed by a man not by any abstract entity," said Chief Justice Syed JR Mudassir Husain at the workshop organised by Odhikar, a human rights group, at the city's BRAC Centre Inn. ... "In the name of politics and rights one does not hesitate to violate human rights of many others in Bangladesh," said Attorney General AF Hassan Ariff. "There are formal and non-formal perpetrators violating human rights at national and international levels." On the United States' reservation in ratification of the ICC Statute, Ariff said it was a challenge not only to Bangladesh but also to the entire international community. He said Bangladesh, yet to ratify the Statute, should raise any hindrances to it in UN debates. "We also need to change our mindset, resolve our internal discords keeping present day world context in mind." . . . Abdul Moyeen Khan, minister for science and technology, Ziaur Rahman Khan, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the foreign ministry, Ahmed Ziauddin of Asian Network for the International Criminal Court, Saira Rahman of Acid Survivors Foundation and Tasneem Siddiqui of Odhikar were present, among others.


WP 5 May 2004 Khmer Rouge Trials Stalled by Political Deadlock By Alan Sipress Washington Post Foreign Service Wednesday, May 5, 2004; Page A24 PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- Preparations for a tribunal to try the aging leaders of the Khmer Rouge for crimes against humanity are behind schedule because of a political deadlock in Cambodia, according to a senior U.N. official and diplomats. U.N. and Cambodian officials agreed last June after prolonged negotiations to create a special court to try Khmer Rouge leaders. The deal still requires ratification by the country's National Assembly. Yet nine months after Cambodia held national elections, the country remains without a functioning parliament, and the prime minister, Hun Sen, has been unable to assemble a ruling coalition, because the three main political parties remain deadlocked in a squabble over their roles in a future government. Cambodian officials and foreign diplomats said they could not predict when the parliament will convene, creating uncertainty about the tribunals and the raising of an estimated $60 million needed to finance them from international donors. Karsten Herrel, U.N. coordinator for assistance to the Khmer Rouge trials, said preparations have faced an "uphill struggle" in the absence of a ratified agreement. "Let's assume the National Assembly had been able to meet in July or August of last year after the signature of the agreement, I'm sure preparatory work would have started earlier and there would have been an earlier mobilization of donors given the prospect of moving forward," he said in telephone interview from New York. U.N. and Cambodian officials, however, have continued to discuss logistics for a special tribunal. They decided that a theater in Phnom Penh would be converted into a courthouse, and investigators, prosecutors, judges and other court staff would operate from offices in the National Cultural Center. "We try to put the unfortunate stalemate to good use to do as much preparatory work as possible," Herrel said. Under the agreement, the court would operate under Cambodian legal jurisdiction and with a majority of Cambodian judges. Some human rights groups, however, have questioned the objectivity and competence of Cambodian judges to try former Khmer Rouge leaders, citing the fact that Hun Sen and others in the government were themselves once in the Khmer Rouge and could be tarred by the trials. The panel would also include international jurists; decisions would require the support of both Cambodian and foreign judges. The agreement calls for the prosecution of senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge, a communist group that ruthlessly ruled Cambodia between 1975 and 1979 and was blamed for the deaths of about 1 million people. The agreement does not name the suspects, but Cambodian experts and foreign officials agree that five to 10 former Khmer Rouge leaders are likely to be indicted. They include Ieng Sary, a former deputy prime minister, and his wife, Khieu Thirith; Khieu Samphan, a former primer minister; Nuon Chea, a former top Khmer Rouge leader; Ta Mok, a former military commander; and Kang Kek Ieu, a former prison camp commander known as Comrade Deuch. The head of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, died in 1998. Herrel said he expected the entire process to last three years. The estimated $60 million expense is to be divided between the United Nations and Cambodia. With the Phnom Penh administration strapped for money, though, officials said both sides would turn to foreign governments for support. But even the preliminary task of a setting a Cambodian government budget for the process has been hamstrung by political deadlock. Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party won more than half the votes in the July election but failed to gain a two-thirds majority required to form a government. Since then, his party has held sporadic talks with the opposition, including a former coalition partner, the royalist Funcinpec Party, but negotiations have produced more recrimination than results. The bargaining now focuses on a possible compromise that would bring Funcinpec back into a governing coalition along with members of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party while excluding that party's leader, Sam Rainsy, one of the prime minister's most bitter adversaries. A similar standoff in 1997 provoked armed clashes between forces loyal to the Cambodian People's Party and Funcinpec, in which about 100 people were killed. Cambodian and foreign political observers, however, said they did not expect violence this time because most weapons are now in government hands and Hun Sen has shown little sign of wanting to resolve the deadlock by force. He has continued to run daily affairs as the head of a caretaker administration. The absence of a functioning parliament has not only set back the Khmer Rouge tribunal but also has delayed votes on Cambodia's accession to the World Trade Organization, and has adversely affected foreign investment and aid from international donors, according to Cambodian officials and foreign diplomats. Helen Jarvis, an adviser to the Cambodian government task force on the Khmer Rouge trials, said she did not expect the agreement with the United Nations to face major obstacles once the National Assembly convenes. "The government indicated it will give high priority to the legislation. We don't expect a problem," Jarvis said. Western and Asian diplomats said the delay in establishing the Khmer Rouge tribunal, which could set an important precedent for legal accountability, is holding back efforts to promote a functioning court system in a country that remains highly corrupt and often lawless. "The Cambodian government realizes they need to change the atmosphere of impunity and also improve the judicial system," said Japan's ambassador to Phnom Penh, Fumiaki Takahashi, whose country will likely be one of the main financial backers of the special court. "This tribunal will send a big message in this regard." Diplomats and Cambodian human rights activists warn that time is running short to try the aging Khmer Rouge leaders, many of whom are now in their seventies and could die before the trials convene. But Youk Chhang, whose Documentation Center of Cambodia has taken the lead in collecting documents and personal testimonies about Khmer Rouge atrocities, said his primary concern is that survivors of the genocide are also growing old. "What I worry about is the victims dying without justice being done," he said.


WP 29 May 2004 China May Veto Resolution on Criminal Court Beijing Says U.N. Motion Could Shield U.S. Troops From Abuse Allegations By Colum Lynch Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, May 29, 2004; Page A22 UNITED NATIONS, May 28 -- China warned Friday that it is considering vetoing a Security Council resolution that would shield U.S. troops serving in United Nations-approved operations from prosecution before the International Criminal Court. China's U.N. ambassador, Wang Guangya, voiced concern that the U.S.-sponsored resolution would provide legal cover for U.S. forces responsible for the kind of prisoner abuse that has been reported in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although China supported an identical resolution last year, Wang said Beijing shares the concerns of other countries about the U.S. military's "misbehavior, which is a violation of international and humanitarian law." "We don't want to see this resolution protecting these" activities, he said. "I think that now we have a difficult position in supporting this," Wang added. "There are three ways of voting -- support, abstention and veto -- but I think my government is considering all these three." China's warning represents the latest phase of a diplomatic backlash against the United States after revelations of prisoner abuse. A week ago, the United States was confident the resolution could pass. It would exempt from prosecution "current and former officials" from countries that, like the United States, have not ratified the treaty that established the court. But the United States withdrew the resolution from consideration last week as opposition mounted, according to some council members. U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell telephoned Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing earlier this week to address China's support for the resolution, according to Wang. A spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, Richard Grenell, said the United States simply accommodated China's request for more time to consider the resolution. But he said that "we expect to get passage" before the current resolution expires on July 1. Experts on the International Criminal Court maintain that U.S. forces have no chance of facing prosecution for alleged crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither the United States nor Iraq has ratified the treaty, so they are beyond the court's jurisdiction, and Afghanistan has signed an agreement with the United States that prevents Americans from being handed over to the court. The court also gives countries the first chance to prosecute crimes committed by their own nationals. U.S. officials maintain that China, which has also not signed the ICC treaty and previously supported U.S. efforts to limit its scope, is using the veto as leverage to gain concessions on other issues. "They don't care about the ICC," one senior council diplomat said. "It all has to do with Taiwan." China is furious with United States for supporting Taiwan's bid for observer status at the Geneva-based World Health Assembly, U.S. officials said. The United States needs at least nine votes and no veto from the 15 Security Council members to pass the resolution. It has commitments for seven. France, Spain, Germany, Brazil and Chile have indicated they will abstain, according to Security Council members. Romania's U.N. ambassador said he will abstain unless his vote is decisive in defeating the U.S. initiative. Benin remains undecided. The International Criminal Court, established by treaty at a 1998 conference in Rome, was created to prosecute people responsible for the most serious crimes, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The treaty has been signed by 135 nations and ratified by 94. Under bilateral agreements with the United States, 89 countries will not surrender U.S. troops or other personnel to the court, which is located in The Hague. The Clinton administration signed the treaty in December 2000, but the Bush administration renounced it in May 2002.


Indian Express 22 Apr 2004 www.expressindia.com Columns Geography of hatred Twenty years after the anti-Sikh riots, a pattern is visible PATWANT SINGH Twenty-years is not sufficient time in which to judge nations for their follies which could imperil their very existence. If, however, during that period there is no introspection or critical evaluation of why the state sanctioned genocidal attacks on its own citizens, nor why, instead of punishing politicians for their criminal conduct, they were allowed to get away with their crimes and even permitted to stand for parliamentary elections, then the sanctity of constitutional law and human decencies — and in fact the state’s very existence — are at peril. As they are in India today. Twenty years ago, in October 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her two Sikh bodyguards. The events witnessed in the days following October 31 have few parallels, even by the standards of this savage subcontinent. The ruthless violence unleashed against the Sikhs in several cities across the country revealed the meticulousness with which the pogrom against them had been planned. Equally striking was the disinclination of the police to intervene until the violence was well under way. Not only was a stray act of murderous folly seen as sufficient justification for violence against the entire Sikh community, but a careful propaganda blitzkrieg was also set in motion to degrade them and their faith in much the same way as was done to the Muslims in Gujarat more recently. So the danger the nation faces at the hands of venomous ‘‘leaders’’, masquerading as men and women who have been given the mandate to govern this unfortunate country, must be seen in this light. I wrote of the shadow these events could cast on our country’s future in The Indian Express in December, 1984: ‘‘Instead of a careful assessment of the long-term implications of this planned violence against the Sikhs there is evidence of ill-advised attempts to justify and gloss over it. These attempts are unbecoming and the country might have to pay a heavy price for ignoring the consequences of this violence.’’ The time to pay the price — even though the Punjab militancy has already taken a heavy toll — is drawing near more rapidly than is realised. This time around it is not just the Congress party with its morally impaired and inept leaders who still call the shots, but an entirely new breed of political mobsters whose leadership is sanctioned by their parent organisations which now occupy centrestage in Indian politics. The RSS, BJP, VHP and such, with their vision of Hindutva, and the mindless blather of their Modis, Dalmias and Togadias is the new danger facing India. If government services and civil society stepped aside to facilitate the killing of Sikhs and the destruction of their properties in north India and elsewhere in 1984, it was inevitable that when the bell tolled for the Muslims in Gujarat the blackout of the collective conscious of elected officials, administration, police and segments of the media would facilitate the extermination of Muslim men, women and children throughout that state. Similar versions of these despicable deeds are taking place all over India, 20 years later. A key difference being that instead of the Congress the script this time has been written, directed and produced by the BJP and its cohorts. The other difference is that the whole of India is now the happy hunting ground of these predatory forces, and those now forced to accept the Hindutva concept include Muslims, Christians and anyone else who can be bullied or beaten into submission by the mobs patronised by a collusive state. If the ultimate corruption of a nation’s political system is the sacrifice of all ideologies, principles and ethical concerns in the pursuit of political power, then both the BJP and the Congress are equally corrupt. Irrespective of how many Indians of different religious persuasions are killed in the process it did not matter to the mandarins in power during Congress rule, nor to the BJP and its allies presently in power. The mass killers are no less eulogised today, than they were 20 years ago. The man who presided over the mass killings of Muslims in Gujarat is even mentioned as a future prime minister! This is the extent to which the grotesque and the obscene scarcely cause eyebrows to be raised in today’s India. Martin Niemoller, a German clergyman of great courage who opposed Nazism and all it stood for, directed this message at those who did not raise a finger as they watched the Nazis, with their hatred for people of other faiths, enact the century’s most bizarre tragedy before them: “When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then, Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned.” Followers of different religious faiths in India should take Niemoller’s words to heart. Because if the Sikhs were targeted 20 years ago, the Muslims more recently, and Christians are tomorrow’s target then India too, instead of a proud, free and republican nation we dreamt of, will go the Nazi way. It will, moreover, be fragmented and torn apart by its constituents; instigated by those whose potential for evil far exceeds their preoccupation with ethical and moral principles. If Sikh feelings are mindlessly brushed aside by the Congress, which has given parliamentary tickets to those who are believed to have colluded in the Sikh genocide of 1984, then no Sikh with any sense of self-esteem or pride will forget this slight. The same applies to the Muslims and Christians as well. A stage could well be reached when the fundamentalists in power in New Delhi over-reach themselves and put the racially-driven body of India into unending wars and conflicts. With the general elections now under way, India stands at the crossroads of history. If religious-revivalists and hot-heads are allowed to dominate national politics, the next 20 years will be grim. If their agenda of hate is reversed, or at least kept in check by right-thinking men and women of this country during the next 20 years, then India and its people can still find a place under the sun.

Indian Express 3 May 2004 www.expressindia.com British widows sue Gujarat govt over genocide Reuters Ahmedabad, May 3: The widows of two British Muslims burned to death by a mob in Gujarat riots two years ago are suing the state's government for $5 million, accusing it of genocide and torture. "It is hoped that by pursuing the culprits and those who organised the genocide, the deaths of our beloved ones will not be in vain," one of the men's brothers, Yusuf Dawood, said in a statement. The lawsuits, filed in a district court in Gujarat last week, hold state Chief Minister Narendra Modi responsible for "the acts of commission and omission committed by his officers in the command structure". The gruesome and targeted violence against Guajarat's minority Muslims was a clear case of a crime against humanity, the statement said.

Modi mellows Hindutva rhetoric -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NDTV Correspondent Watch story Monday, May 3, 2004 (Lakhimpur): As the BJP tries to woo the Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh, the party's star campaigner Narendra Modi has toned down his Hindutva rhetoric. Modi flew in today to campaign in Uttar Pradesh, but only for a few hours and only in far off Lakhmipur Kheri. He didnt hold any eetings in Lucknow, the Prime Minister's constituency. Modi said he would seek the support of 100 crore Indians, and not of any particular section of the society. "Voters have to look at the leader, the policies and the tradition of a party. We have Vajpayee for PM they have a question mark," said Modi at an election rally. Muslim votes The Gujarat Chief Minister also skirted questions about Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's appeal for Muslims votes. "Vajpayee's appeal is in itself so powerful that I cannot come between the Muslims and him," he said. But the reason for the Modi schedule is obvious. The BJP candidate in Lakhmimpur Kheri is Ayodhya hardliner Vinay Katiyar and Modi's trip there would only further polarise Muslim and Hindu votes. The situation in Lucknow is different with Vajpayee asking Muslims to join him through fan clubs and special prayers. "Muslims are coming closer to the BJP. If Modi had addressed any rally here, then Muslims would have drifted away," said Ghairul Hasan Rizvi, leader of the BJP's Minority Wing. Hardliners in BJP think Modi has been brought in a little too late and has been underutilised, while others say UP is a different ball game and Modi cannot do a Gujarat here.

BJP reinvents Hindutva By Ash Narain Roy May 7, 2004, 13:09 Email this article Printer friendly page Discuss Article IT is best to read the weather forecast before we pray for rain." Mark Twain's wry advice would be equally relevant for all those who take opinion polls and election surveys seriously. Each time there is a new survey, the psephologists claim to take the largest ever samples. And yet, more often than not, what they predict turns out to be mere intelligent guess which may be nearly accurate or quite wide off the mark. The NDTV-Indian Express-AC Nielsen opinion poll has predicted the Bhartiya Janata Party-led ruling National Democratic Alliance's return to power with a marginal increase in BJP's strength. Many other surveys have said the same thing. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has a definite edge over the Congress-led secular formation. However, Prime Minister Vajpayee confidently asking the people to give the BJP/NDA a two-thirds majority to "change India's fate" is pure wishful thinking. "India Shining" and the "Feel Good factor" may be smart campaign themes to attract the urban middle class, but even BJP campaign managers know that rural India is anything but shining. If the BJP's media managers think Indian voters are myopic morons, they are mistaken. If everything is hunky-dory, why are BJP leaders attacking Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Congress party? Wasn't LK Advani's decision to roll out Rath Yatra (chariot promenade) a ploy to counter Sonia Gandhi's rather successful road shows? The BJP and it various front organisations, also called the Sangh Parivar, are never tired of raising the bogey of dynastic politics. But the dynasty boot is on BJP's foot as well. Dushyant Singh, son of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, and Manvendra Singh, son of Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh, are contesting the parliamentary elections from Jhalawar and Barmer, respectively. The BJP has perfected the art of doublespeak. It has reinvented Hindutva (radical Hindu nationalism) and itself. Ayodhya-where BJP-led crowds had demolished the Babri mosque in 1992 claiming it to be built on the ruins of a Ram Temple is not a campaign issue any more. Development is. Ayodhya, Article 370 and the Uniform Civil Code are part of the vision document but not NDA's common minimum programme. Ayodhya didn't figure in Advani's speeches in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and elsewhere but it did in the northerner heartland of Uttar Pradesh where Ayodhya is located. Advani said in Mathura that a Ram Temple would be built in Ayodhya and India will have "Ram Rajya" (Ram's kingdom). What he didn't say is that in Sangh Parivar's "Ram Rajya", there will be no place for minorities. After all, doesn't K Sudarshan, the RSS supremo, say that "India has no minorities"? The RSS (Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sang) is the BJP's ideological organisation. The BJP was once a votary of Swadeshi (total self-reliance). Today Swadeshi has fallen into disuse. Hindutva too has been defined differently form time to time to mean different things and to suit different objectives. It was once the core of the BJP's ideology, then it became a cultural expression. Today, Hindutva, the BJP maintains, means "all round progress of India." All that has been done to occupy a "centrestage" in Indian politics and to inherit the mantle of Congress. The compulsions of coalition politics have dictated a change in the BJP's position. The success of the BJP over the years is due to its transformation and pragmatism. It has appropriated all major policy planks of the Congress and it even looks like a Congress clone. One of the key elements in BJP's winning strategy is its national security policy. It was Indira Gandhi who started the nuclear weapons and missile programmes. But it is the BJP which successfully acquired nuclear muscles. It has also increased the military budget by not only enhancing air capability, achieving a blue water navy but also increasing the rapid response capability of the army. BJP's foreign policy is also perceived as a success story because it gave up moralistic posturing and adopted downright pragmatism. Non-alignment has been dumped and solid alliances with the US and Israel sought. While Israeli arms were intended to bolster security on the border with Pakistan, proximity to US has had the intended objective of rapid economic growth. Russia continues to be a reliable partner. But China is also being courted. The Burmese military leaders are no longer untouchables. The Vajpayee Government has also cultivated Southeast Asia. Latin America and Africa are now new target areas. This foreign policy orientation can hardly be faulted by the Congress. Domestic policies have tried to achieve a fine balance between Hindutva and appeal to other communities. Here the success is very limited. Muslims have refused to accept the bait. Dalits have also only partly accepted the BJP. However, the RSS work among the tribal belt seems to have paid dividends. Domestic policies are the weaker links of the BJP/NDA. It was the Congress government's Narasimha Rao/Manmohan Singh team which began economic liberalisation in the early 1990s. But it is the BJP which is taking credit for its success. Everyone agrees that the "feel good" factor is an urban phenomenon. But the Congress will be making a mistake if it attacks the "Indian Shining" platform beyond a point. In 1989, when Rajiv Gandhi attacked the opposition parties with a campaign exaggerating the Mandal violence, it put off the voters enough to lose the congress the election. The BJP has one big advantage over the Congress. Its election machine is well oiled and it has the support of its RSS cadre and others from fanatic Hindu front organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal, etc. The Congress can hardly match this. At the same time, BJP's over confidence is hyped. Its efforts to bring old foes both within in the party and outside back to its fold betray its nervousness. The party is not as confident of a victory as it would want others to believe. The BJP also must contend with anti-incumbency factor. If anti-incumbency forced the defeat of Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan in the State Assembly elections sometime ago, the same factor can unsettle the NDA applecart in States like Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Haryana, where its has State Government. Both in UP and Bihar, the NDA has an uphill task to perform. There is no way the NDA can repeat its score of 40 out of 54 in Bihar and Jharkhand, which were part of a single State during the last parliamentary polls. Despite BJP's desperate efforts to bring back dalit leader Ram Valis Pawan into its fold, Paswan joined the secular alliance. With the former dalit Chief Minster of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati, bitter about BJP's role in withdrawing support to her government, the Dalit vote is definitely going to be difficult for the party to bank on. If BJP has its weaknesses, so has Congress. In fact, it has many more problems to contend. And yet, Congress has largely succeeded in ensuring a direct contest between the two alliances in large parts of the countries. The Congress has also moved away from some of the polemical positions to more circumspect and flexible statements of intent. On economic reforms, the Congress Manifesto spells out a departure from what the party had been saying. The party is right in claiming that it is the Congress agenda that the BJP is following. The only problem is that the rectification has come rather late in the day. The India of 2004 has changed somewhat beyond recognition. Over the past one decade or so, the Sangh Parivar has been trying to recast Indian politics in a dangerous communal mould. And it seems to be succeeding in Gujarat and elsewhere. Years of Muslim-bashing have communalised the polity in Gujarat. While the people disapprove of communal riots, they still want the BJP. The VHP has unveiled a blueprint for Hindu Rashtra (Hindu State), which demands among other things, a Ram Rajya, restoring the "birthplace" of Ram in Ayodhya to Hindus, ban on cow slaughter, rewriting Indian history with Hindu flavours. Advani has quickly endorsed some of these demands including a Ram Rajya Rajya and building of a Ram temple on the site of the demolished Babri Mosqui. BJP Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharati, who dresses and calls herself Sadhvi (Hindu lady saint) and Human Resources Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi are implementing the other BJP-RSS agenda. Even while remaining in the NDA coalition, the BJP is gradually forcing its own agenda on the other partners. The moment the BJP has majority of its own, it will dump its allies. After all, as they say, the tiger doesn't change its stripes. © Copyright 2003 by The New Nation .

'Absence of ideology led to loss' PTI[ THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2004 02:38:17 PM ] NEW DELHI : RSS said on Thursday one of the reasons for NDA setback in the Lok Sabha polls was the public perception that BJP had diluted its ideology. "Whatever alliances have won credit goes to Atal Bihari Vajpayee but politics is all about perception. The core voter and cadre had developed a disinterest as there was a percepetion about dilution in its ideology," Ram Madhav, R R spokesperson told reporters here at BJP headquarters. He, however said RSS believed that both BJP and its leaders were committed to ideology. Asked whether the BJP should go back to its core Hindutva ideology, he said its for the BJP to decide. RSS spokesman regretted absence of ideology as an issue in the elections. "As a result of this local issues came up prominently," Madhav said.

Dilution on Hindutva led to BJP disaster: RSS PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, May 13: The RSS on Thursday blamed BJP's "dilution" of Hindutva agenda for its drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls and said the core ideology should take centre stage for the party to stage a comeback. "Our core voters and cadre were disinterested as they felt the BJP had diluted its (Hindutva) ideology. Politics is about perception and this perception cost the BJP," RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav told reporters here. The BJP, he said, fought the election on the agenda of good governance and development and whatever seats it got were due to the Atal Behari Vajpayee factor. "BJP reached the 200-mark due to Vajpayee and could have got the numbers to form government if the other important factor of ideology was there," he said. The RSS also blamed internal factors like infighting and wrong alliances for the defeat. "We have to sit and analyse what went wrong," he said, adding lack of party's principled ideology in the party campaign made local issues important which cost BJP dear. Describing the Lok Sabha results as surprising and not encouraging, he said for the RSS the Hindutva agenda was important and "our effort will be to bring ideology back to centrestage." .

BJP betrayed Hindus: VHP PTI[ THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2004 04:54:57 PM ] NEW DELHI: As the NDA was voted out of power, VHP on Thursday made a scathing attack on BJP and its top leadership including Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee accusing them of "betraying" Hindus, sacrificing national security and using Pakistan to get Muslim votes. "The BJP betrayed the Hindus. The party left the core ideology of Hindutva and the trust for which they were voted to power. The Hindus have punished them," VHP's firebrand Secretary General Pravin Togadia said over phone from south Gujarat. Accusing the BJP of tying with the jehadis and even Imam Bukhari of Delhi's Jama Masjid, he said "Vajpayee and L K Advani used Pakistan and President Pervez Musharraf to get Muslim votes. They opened the borders and sacrificed national security for the sake of Muslim votes". He said investors, the unemployed youth, farmers, labourers; the poor and the women "trusted them only due to their ideology. They left it and the Hindus punished them". Asked whether the BJPs redemption lay in going back to Hindutva ideology, Togadia said "the leadership has lost the trust of the people and the Hindus will not trust them".

Modi 's 'toxicology ' failed to move voters KINGSHUK NAG TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2004 11:15:13 PM ] AHMEDABAD: "The five Congress MPs from Gujarat have actively worked to damage the image of the state in Delhi. The five crore Gujaratis will never tolerate this," barked Narendra Modi all through his election campaign. Clearly these contentions did not cut ice with the five crore Gujaratis who have returned 12 Congress candidates this time around. "A chief minister has to behave like a chief minister and not talk crudely. Modi's diatribe against Sonia Gandhi elicited a negative response from the genteel Gujarat electorate," says a senior BJP leader. Disgusted with this behaviour, even die hard BJP voters did not go out to vote. "They could never think of voting for the Congress, hence they refrained from casting their franchise," says the leader. 44 per cent of the electorate voted in the recent elections. In the 2002 assembly polls, 61.5 per cent of the electorate voted. Almost two thirds of the 17.5 per cent of the voters who did not turn out where BJP supporters. Equally, the emergence of internecine feuds within the state BJP damaged the prospects of the party. State BJP president, Rajendrasinh Rana went on record after the elections that his prospects were damaged by two MLAs close to Modi. Rana however won, but Modi's closest ally Dilip Sanghani lost from Amreli, in the BJP heartland. Insiders say that Keshubhai Patel has a lot to do with this. In Junagadh however, the latter's protege Bhavna Chikhalia lost, and the buzz is that this is courtesy Modi. BJP insiders blame the highly personalised style of operations of Modi who has remained aloof from party representatives for the rising factionalism. "He became highly arrogant and power went into his head. At first, partymen were forced to accept this as he had won a massive mandate in 2002. But beyond a point it became counter productive for them to remain quiet," says a BJP leader. Things came to a head at the time of seat distribution when Modi proposed that most of the sitting MP s be replaced - including some central ministers. After this, all hell was let loose. When the central BJP headquarters refused to listen to Modi's advice, he even threatened to resign. In a bid to reform the state's ailing power sector, last year Modi raised tariff for power supplies to the farm sector. Though he reneged later by moderating this hike, the farmers and the Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) turned against him. Note-worthy most of the BJP losses this time has been in rural seats, where BKS (a Sangh Parivar outfit) has a large support base. In the absence of a Hindu agenda, the VHP also stayed away from electioneering this time, adversely affecting the prospects of the BJP. Using rather unconventional methods, Narendra Modi had succeeded in raising the pitch in 2002 making it a referendum on Hindus versus Muslims. " That was an extraordinary election and resulted in drowning the anti-incumbency effect of the BJP being in power for ten years in the state. But this time Modi is all at sea with the development agenda. Now the anti incumbency has set in," says A Solanki, a corporate manager from Ahmedabad. Many think that Modi's performance on the development front was not good enough to offset the anti incumbency effect. "A lot of hype was created about de-velopment, but there was nothing to show on the ground," say analysts. Analysts opine that if the Congress were better organised in the state, they would have picked up more seats and the BJP wouldn't have won even 14 seats.

Blame game begins in state BJP ANIL PATHAK TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2004 11:07:52 PM ] AHMEDABAD: The ruling BJP in Gujarat remained in a state of shock on Thursday as poll results went way below expectations of the party. The blame game has begun and reverses are ex-pected to bring about an acrimonious power struggle within the party in the state. Modi's detractors are pinning the blame on the anti-farmer policy of the government, appeasement of Muslims, resentment in the powerful Patel lobby and passive role of the Sangh Parivar during the campaign. Senior leaders of the BJP have reportedly conveyed to the central leadership that an analysis should be made of the factors that led to the poor performance of the party which had bagged 128 out of the 182 assembly seats in 2002. Out of the seven Patel candidates fielded by the party, five—including Union minister of state for tourism Bhavnaben Chikhaliya and former state finance minister Nitin Patel—lost. Supporters of Modi are expected to take the line that sudden shift of the party in its Hindu agenda is the most important reason for the losses. Appeasement of Muslims has alienated Hindu voters from the so-called Hindu party. "Those in power should not ignore voters. If they do, as BJP has done this time, they will have to bite the dust," said state VHP joint general secretary, Dr Kaushik Mehta.

rediff.com The Rediff Election Special / Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi Overconfidence cost BJP dear May 14, 2004 The blame game has begun in the Bharatiya Janata Party. Many BJP leaders privately agree that the major factor for the party's sensational defeat is its leaders' over-confidence and the resultant miscalculation. The miscalculation in having an alliance with the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu and not having an alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad in Assam and Om Parkash Chautala's Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana and the unexpected mood of the electorate in Gujarat, Delhi and Mumbai may help Sonia Gandhi to become prime minister of India. Party elders believe that most ministers, including Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee were out of touch with the ground realities. A retired bureaucrat, who served for more than three decades in high government office, told rediff.com: "All previous prime ministers chose a retired IAS officer as their principal secretary. The principal secretary plays a very important role in feeling the pulse of the country and keeping the PM informed of public opinion in different parts of the country. He gives objective information, unlike party activists who could be subjective. Vajpayee was the first PM to choose a retired IFS officer for this. Having served all his career as a diplomat, Brajesh Mishra hardly knew the country outside New Delhi and hardly had any friends and contacts in different state administrations. As a result, Vajpayee was not well-informed about the ground realities in different states." Vajpayee and the BJP think-tank have primarily gone wrong in their assessment about the political situation in South India, a former South Indian civil servant felt. "Even after having been in power for six years, the BJP hardly knew the South," he said, adding that "the gains in Karnataka are by default." In Andhra Pradesh, the BJP totally relied on then chief minister and Telugu Desam Party leader Nara Chandrababu Naidu's advice and judgement. In Tamil Nadu, the BJP leadership is said to have depended largely on the advice of Swadeshi Jagran Manch ideologue Swaminathan Gurumurthy who is said to have argued for the alliance with the AIADMK. Political decisions relating to the south were being taken by Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani and National Democratic Alliance convener George Fernandes. But Gurumurthy denied this in a conversation with rediff.com saying, "I have never met Jayalalitha. In Tamil Nadu, the DMK and Congress combination was unbeatable. They have won because their combined vote base was around 36%." "It was the DMK who left the NDA. The BJP had an alliance with Jayalalitha later. The DMK and Congress combine had a political advantage. Their arithmetic was right." But critics believe that the AIADMK was routed because Jayalalitha was very unpopular because of the manner in which she humiliated government employees who went on strike, tried to jail managers and editors of The Hindu newspaper and imprisoned her political opponent, Marumalarchi DMK leader Vaiko, under POTA. Tamil Nadu is a state of government employees. Every family has at least one or two government employees, either serving or retired. By humiliating government staff for going on strike, she antagonised large sections of the public and the labour population even outside the government. The Hindu is a household name in Tamil Nadu and even its critics were shocked by her vendetta against the newspaper. Gurumurthy, an RSS ideologue, believes, "The verdict is partially against the BJP. People have given a fractured verdict. I believe Sonia Gandhi will not have the legitimacy to rule India. The result only suggests that we need to intensify our protest against her." In Gujarat, the Congress resurgence is credited to the return of tribals, Kshatriyas and Dalits to the party fold. Bharat Barot, former BJP minister, told rediff.com "The results shows that we will have to work hard amongst poor people. Our win last time in the Adivasi belt was an aberration. It looks like that the tribals of Gujarat have returned to the Congress." Achyut Yagnik, the distinguished social activist felt, "Dissent in the party, dissent amongst the Sangh Parivar and Chief Minister Narendra Modi's autocratic and arrogant behaviour and his style of politics worked against his party." Modi refused to meet the media on a day when the Congress won 12 of the state's 26 Lok Sabha seats, in an election when it was expected to win just one seat at best. Bharat Solanki, the winning Congress candidate from Anand said, "It is very easy to understand why the BJP lost in Gujarat and elsewhere. When politicians don't address the poor people's problems and indulge only in dramatic propaganda voters ruthlessly expose them. The BJP stands exposed today. Modi has not come out even once to show his face to his voters. That says it all."

Cong defeated NDA using BJP strategy: Mahajan May 13, 2004 23:23 IST Admitting that the BJP's electoral strategy had backfired, its senior leader Pramod Mahajan said, "The Congress has learnt the lesson of the BJP." He credited the Congress for using the BJP's strategy in forging alliances with regional parties after its defeat in the assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan six months ago. As a result, he said, it had emerged a winner in the Lok Sabha poll. "I think they exactly followed the same strategy of the BJP to consolidate the coalition and give scope to the regional parties," Mahajan said. He said the Congress went for alliances with the TRS in Andhra Pradesh and with the Dravidian parties in the other southern states. In Bihar, it agreed to a pre-poll pact with the RJD and the Lok Janshakthi Party taking only four of 40 available seats. It tried its level best in Uttar Pradesh but could not cobble together an alliance. It also tried for an alliance with Sharad Pawar's NCP. The BJP was in trouble when it lost 60 seats in just two states -- Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu -- he said. With the party performing badly in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh as well, "there are no chances [of forming the government at the Centre]," he added. In fact, he said the NDA had expected 250 seats. "We never thought that we will not be the single largest party or the single largest coalition," he added. Referring to BJP's dialogue with the NCP, he said, "We could not give the seats he [Sharad Pawar] wanted. The problem was not with the Lok Sabha elections but with the assembly polls." Explaining why the MDMK parted ways with the NDA, Mahajan said MDMK leader Vaiko was one of Vajpayee's biggest supporters despite the fact that he was not part of the BJP. They fell out on the issue of POTA "when we could not protect him [Vaiko]... They might have come to the conclusion that, looking at the local politics, the NDA can't help," he said. Referring to the setting up of the POTA review committee, he said if it had been set up earlier, the situation could have been different.

ft.com BJP expected to move sharply to right By Edward Luce Published: May 13 2004 18:20 | Last Updated: May 13 2004 18:20 Few in India's defeated Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party expect Atal Behari Vajpayee, the country's outgoing prime minister, to remain leader of the opposition for long. Not only were India's voters nonplussed by a campaign that emphasised Mr Vajpayee's credentials as an international statesman. Mr Vajpayee himself - who, at 79, cut an increasingly diminished figure as the campaign drew to its long conclusion - publicly admitted he was losing his energy for the fight. "It is clear that the perceived arrogance of the BJP completely outweighed any public affection for Mr Vajpayee," said Tarun Vijay, editor of Panchjanya, the main in-house journal of the Hindu nationalist family of organisations. The BJP is expected to move sharply to the right following the failure of a campaign that stressed development and moderation over its core agenda of Hindu nationalism. Ram Madhav, the national spokesman of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (Organisation of National Volunteers), parent body of the BJP, said many of the BJP's hardline supporters had abstained from voting. In previous elections, the BJP had benefited greatly from the assistance of an estimated 2m RSS volunteers. This year, however, many lacked motivation. "Many RSS volunteers effectively went on strike because they felt the BJP had forgotten its roots," said Mr Madhav. Voter turnout was below 50 per cent in Gujarat, the most hardline Hindu nationalist state in India. The national turnout was almost 60 per cent. The BJP's share of Gujarat's parliamentary seats fell from 20, out of 26, to 14. In New Delhi it fell from seven out of seven, to one. Although L. K. Advani, India's outgoing deputy prime minister, spearheaded the BJP's centrist campaign, Hindu nationalists would welcome his succession to the leadership. Rightly or wrongly, Mr Advani, 77, is seen as more hardline than Mr Vajpayee. One likely consequence is that India's peace process with Pakistan, which Mr Vajpayee initiated more than a year ago, and which Sonia Gandhi has pledged to continue, will cease to command automatic support from the opposition benches. "It will be much harder for a Congress-led government to make compromises with Pakistan than for a BJP-led government," said a western ambassador in New Delhi yesterday. "The BJP will be more ready to cry 'sell-out'."

www.atimes.com South Asia BJP: You can cry if you want By Sultan Shahin NEW DELHI - In a stunning upset, belying all predictions of India's proliferating pollsters, the electorate have given a decisive mandate in favor of the Italian-born scion of the Nehru dynasty, Sonia Gandhi, and her Congress party and its allies, including communists, rejecting the communal and sectarian politics of the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition in no uncertain terms. From all indications, a Gandhi-led coalition government will soon be formed. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has resigned and has been asked by President Abdul Kalam to remain as caretaker until alternative arrangements are made. Contrary to the expectations and predictions of a "hung parliament", the final figures for the 14th Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) indicate an unambiguous mandate for the Congress and its pre-election allies. On its own, the Congress has emerged as the largest single party, with 145 seats under its belt. Along with the Left parties (62 seats), the Congress coalition (with 216 seats) is comfortably placed to cross the halfway mark in the new Lok Sabha. It is also getting offers of support from other parties, like the party of Dalits called the Bahujan Samaj Party led by Mayawati, former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and that of the Backward castes, called the Samajwadi Party led by Mulayam Singh Yadav, the present chief minister of UP and a former union defense minister. While Yadav has some reservations about Sonia's foreign origin, he is nevertheless running his own government with her party's support in UP. Mayawati has clarified that she sees nothing wrong in the proposition. "If people of Indian origin can run for office in the US and other countries, what is wrong with a foreign-born Indian citizen running for office here," said Mayawati on Thursday. The BJP's defeat is quite comprehensive. Over two dozen of its ministers, including some cabinet heavyweights like external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha, have lost. Vajpayee himself won by a poor margin. The most galling is the BJP's failure to retain its position as the single largest party. A couple of hours after the swift counting through electronic voting machines started giving out the disastrous results, the BJP and its coalition leaders gathered at the 79-year-old prime minister's residence and decided to gracefully accept the electorate's rebuff and rejection. The nature of the electoral verdict can be understood from the fact that the biggest upsets have come in the two states, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, where the respective chief ministers, Jayalalitha and Narendra Modi, ran an extremely xenophobic and almost abusive campaign centered on Sonia's foreign origin and Catholic Christian faith. Jayalalitha, the first Brahmin to have ruled Tamil Nadu in half a century, already convicted in one of many criminal cases, has passed legislation virtually banning conversion of lower caste Dalits (untouchables) or Adivasis (aboriginals) to Christianity and other "foreign" religions. This is what has made her the darling of the extended family of Hindu fundamentalists called the Sangh Parivar. Her party, All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, is a recent ally of the BJP that dumped its old ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam led by respected 79-year-old Backward caste leader Karunanidhi after Jayalalitha passed the anti-conversion legislation. Banning conversion has so endeared Jayalalitha to the BJP that it not only overlooked the mercurial Tamil lady's reputation for corruption and conviction in a court of law, but also the fact that it was her withdrawal of support from Vajpayee's earlier government in 1999 that had led to its fall by one vote. Jayalalitha's party and the BJP lost all the 40 seats they contested in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Similarly, Modi's diatribes and invectives against Sonia and her foreign origin have created so much disgust that it led to the secular Congress party achieving its biggest success in 25 years, even in the state of Gujarat, which is regarded as a bastion and laboratory of Hindutva (Hindu supremacist philosophy) of the Sangh Parivar and its patriarch, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, as well as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP or World Hindu Forum). Gujarat became notorious for giving a two-thirds majority to the BJP following a month-long genocide of Muslims believed to have been virtually sponsored, if not organized, by the Modi-led state government and the Sangh Parivar, as well as the central Vajpayee-led government. Modi's anti-Sonia campaign was the most abusive in Gujarat as elsewhere and his audience seemed to be lapping it all up, but it seems better sense prevailed and the voters of Gujarat, too, rejected communal and sectarian politics, as well as xenophobia in all its forms. The BJP leaders, however, continue to say, as top leader Pramod Mahajan did, that they would feel ashamed as Indians if foreign-born Sonia Gandhi became prime minister. Rejection of communal politics is also one of the main factors in the defeat of BJP's so-called secular coalition partners in other states, like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. The Andhra chief minister, Chandra Babu Naidu, for instance, made a great play of his secular distaste for pogroms and massacres following Gujarat, and threatened to withdraw support from the Vajpayee government unless Modi was sacked. But once Vajpayee refused to take any action against his party's government, or even against Modi, Naidu, along with other "secular" coalition partners, kept quiet. While several other factors, like growing unemployment, farmers being driven to commit suicide, general disenchantment with his party in rural areas, etcetera have contributed, one of the main reasons for his ignominious defeat is total withdrawal of support from minorities and others for his backing off from his avowed secular platform. Though BJP officials are not willing to discuss the reasons of the party's debacle, analysts feel that the BJP made a major mistake by making Sonia's foreign origin its main campaign theme following the failure of its India Shining campaign to enthuse the masses, and even sections of the urban middle class. The BJP has lost almost all seats in its urban citadels, like Delhi and Mumbai, the places where India is shining at its brightest. The US$20 million of public money it spent on its so-called "Feel Good" campaign inspired nothing but laughter and derision in the cities and revulsion in poverty-ridden areas, particularly after 22 women died in a stampede in the prime minister's constituency where his election agent was trying to influence voters by distributing cheap saris. Throughout India, even from distant Kerala in the deep south, voters could be seen commenting on television channels that if women can die collecting saris worth less than a dollar in the prime minister's own constituency, then what is the meaning of this India Shining campaign and how could India be deemed to be shining. In the words of the prestigious Hindu newspaper: "India Shining must be given an award for the worst advertising campaign of the last five years: by seeming to mock the deprivations of the mass of voters in rural as well as urban areas, it opened up a huge credibility gap for the ruling party. In the final analysis, this election was lost by the BJP and its allies - and also by the Congress where it faced the Left - on mass livelihood issues." This episode also made a dent in the BJP's Vajpayee versus Sonia campaign, even though the Congress was not projecting Sonia Gandhi as its prime ministerial campaign on grounds that though she was Congress chief, the alliance leader had to be decided by the coalition partners after elections on the basis of their performance. The BJP and its coalition partners went on arguing endlessly that they had a great statesman like Vajpayee to lead their government, whereas the opposition had only an inexperienced foreign-origin Sonia. But with the sari scandal, people started asking why did even this great leader need to apparently bribe his voters? But Vajpayee's local election agents obviously knew the ground situation, for his performance in his own constituency has been dismal, despite the fact that all his major opponents fielded minor candidates in his Lucknow constituency, not willing to annoy him by making it a real fight. The BJP also lost much of its credibility by trying to project itself just on the eve of elections as a secular, and particularly as a Muslim-friendly party. It bought the support of some discredited mullahs and Muslim politicians. A Vajpayee support committee of a coach-full of mullahs was also formed to campaign for Vajpayee in his constituency, which has a considerable Muslim presence. Vajpayee promised to create 20 million jobs for Muslims, who have been traditionally kept out of government jobs by successive Congress governments since independence in 1947 and several million dollars for Muslim missionary schools called madrassas. In the absence of any concrete action and no evidence whatsoever of his secularism during the past six-and-a-half years of his rule, this failed to have any impact. Muslims could in particular not forget that in the wake of the Gujarat massacres, Vajpayee had said from his party platform that wherever in the world Muslims live they have problems in co-existing with their neighbors. According to Harish Khare of the Hindu, had Vajpayee shown the courage of his convictions after the recent Supreme Court severely chastising the Gujarat chief minister and shown Narendra Modi the door, he could have arguably won 300 seats for his own party. Every single Muslim voter throughout the country, Khare says, would have gone along with the Vajpayee support committee. Instead, he invited Modi to campaign for the BJP in the very same constituencies where he was seeking Muslim support. The Indian Express commented: "Vajpayee for the Muslims, Modi for the rest." Vajpayee and other BJP leaders told Muslims that they should vote for the BJP as he had sought to promote good-neighborly relations with Pakistanis. For Muslims, this amounted to a repetition of the Sangh Parivar's charge that at heart Indian Muslims are all Pakistanis, and hence not worthy of trust as Indian citizens. It is on the basis of this argument, first advanced by Congress leader and independent India's first deputy prime minister and home minister, Vallabbhai Patel, that Muslims have until today been kept from employment in sensitive government departments like intelligence, and other high-profile security services. While this campaign thus did not bring any Muslim support, it did serve to alienate the BJP's core supporters. RSS spokesman Ram Madhav charged on Thursday that the BJP had "paid the price for diluting its ideology". He regretted the absence of ideology as an issue in the elections. "As a result of this, local issues came up prominently," Madhav said. The VHP or Hindu Forum's top leader Praveen Togadia hit harder. "Hindus have punished the BJP. It left the path of Rama and adopted that of Ravana [the villain of the epic Ramayana]," Togadia said. In a scathing attack on the BJP and its top leadership, including Vajpayee, Togadia accused them of "betraying" Hindus, sacrificing national security and using Pakistan to get Muslim votes. "The BJP betrayed the Hindus. The party left the core ideology of Hindutva and the trust for which they were voted to power. The Hindus have punished them," Togadia said over phone from south Gujarat. Accusing the BJP of tying with the jihadis, and even Imam Bukhari of Delhi's Jama mosque, he said, "Vajpayee and L K Advani [deputy prime minister and home minister] used Pakistan and President Pervez Musharraf to get Muslim votes. They opened the borders and sacrificed national security for the sake of Muslim votes." He said investors, the unemployed youth, farmers, laborers; the poor and the women "trusted them only due to their ideology. They left it, and the Hindus punished them." Asked whether the BJPs redemption lay in going back to Hindutva ideology, Togadia said: "The leadership has lost the trust of the people and the Hindus will not trust them." Clearly, a lot of introspection lies ahead of the BJP and the larger fraternity of the Sangh Parivar. As always, India has spoken strongly in favor of social and communal harmony, secularism, multiculturalism and inclusive politics. In the words of India's largest circulating newspaper, the Times of India: "In the event, it was a near-unanimous verdict for the politics of inclusiveness - economic, social and cultural - and against the rhetoric of divisiveness and xenophobia. Indeed, it was the BJP's relentless 'feel-good' hype and its anti-Sonia videshi [foreign] invective that ultimately pushed the other 'un-shining' India towards the perceived underdog - the written-off Congress Party." One can only hope that the Sangh Parivar as a whole, as well as the secular formations that are secular mostly in name alone, will learn the right lessons from the electoral verdict of 2004. It is not for nothing that the BJP candidates lost from all three constituencies in UP - Mathura, Kashi and Ayodhya - where demolition of mosques and building Hindu temples is on their agenda.

Modi, Keshubhai meet to discuss Swabhiman yatra TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2004 01:04:00 AM ] AHMEDABAD: Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called on senior BJP leader Keshubhai Patel in Gandhinagar and discussed with him several issues, including possible expansion of the state Cabinet and appointments in boards and corporations. They also discussed about the results of the Lok Sabha polls and organising “Swabhiman Yatra” to protest over the issue of foreign origin of Sonia Gandhi. Modi reportedly sought Patel’s support for the proposed yatra. It is learnt that Modi called on Patel at the behest of BJP national president M Venkaiah Naidu to deliberate on the party's poor performance in the elections. The discussion between the two leaders on the poll outcome and the political situation lasted for an hour. This is for the first time after the Lok Sabha elections that Modi visited Keshubhai and exchanged pleasantries with him. Political observers feel that Modi would also meet other senior leaders in the next couple of days and discuss with them about the party's strategy for the ensuing Assembly session commencing on Thursday. State finance minister Vajubhai Vala will present the Budget for 2004-05 on the first day of the month-long session.

Return of Ram: Selling Xenophobia as National Sentiment [ TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2004 12:00:06 AM ] The knives are out for the Italian bahu. To the long-playing theme song of foreign origin, other jarring strains have been added. First, that Sonia-phobia is a matter of national sentiment, and hence must be placed above the confines of the Constitution. Second, that Poll-2004 has delivered a fractured verdict; indeed, that Sonia Gandhi has no specific mandate from the people to take the office of the prime minister. Now, when did we last hear the bit about national sentiment? When, pronouncing on the Ram temple, Atal Behari Vajpayee declared that the mandir was mandated by people’s faith. Atalji typically somersaulted on this position in his musings from Kumarakom, but he had done the needful: To place faith outside the pale of parliamentary democracy and above the Constitution. The striking similarities in the two campaigns should be apparent even to the political novice. What better way to ignite passions than to have Sonia — if negatively — replace the Ram temple, the BJP’s only truly successful electoral card to date? For Sonia-phobics, it is apparently irrelevant that the Congress has beaten the BJP every which way — in terms of the seats won, in terms of votes polled and, finally, in terms of the strengths of their respective coalitions. Irrelevant, too, is the Supreme Court’s reiteration of Sonia’s Indianness: Forget elections, forget the courts and the Constitution — nothing shall come in the way of that intangible something called ‘public sentiment’. But that is precisely the point: Who is to say what the public sentiment is? Surely, elections are the only reliable yardstick for measuring a people’s mood. Consider the results in the two states — Tamil Nadu and Gujarat — where the campaign against Sonia was the most virulent: In the first, Jayalalithaa was wiped out, in the second, and in Gujarat, the Congress made a dramatic comeback. It can be nobody’s case that Sonia’s foreign origin was not made an issue in these elections. Rabid as Jaya and Modi were, it wasn’t as if the others kept a respectful distance from the subject. As soon as it became clear that ‘feel good’ wasn’t working, the videshi bogey began reappearing in the speeches of Vajpayee and Advani. Let’s not forget too that the NDA posited Poll-2004 as a choice between Vajpayee and Sonia. Perhaps that is why another twist has since been added to the story. That the mandate was not for the Congress and even less for Sonia. Verdict 2004 has been interpreted solely in terms of arithmetic: The Congress won where it was in alliance and was defeated where it fought alone. Besides, there is an entire region encompassing Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where the Congress made no impact. It is true that the verdict is not decisive. But Indian elections have long become regional in nature. Remember the Janata wave of 1977? The Congress swept the south, taking all of Andhra Pradesh and winning 92 out of 129 seats. The Janata Party, itself a coalition of many parties, had no vote south of the Vindhyas. Yet, no serious political scientist argued that the Janata Party’s mandate had been undermined by this serious flaw. Take another watershed year, 1989. This was V P Singh’s moment of glory. In reality, 2004 is almost a repeat of 1989. Singh formed a National Front of mainly southern allies with the Janata Dal — itself a coalition of four parties — as its core. The JD also had seat adjustments with the BJP. In the end, none of that sufficed and the NF had to take the support of the Left to form government. Now look at the arithmetic. Seats — JD: 143; BJP: 85; CPI and CPM: 45 and Congress: 197. Votes in percentage — JD: 17.79; BJP: 11.36; CPI and CPM: 9.12 and Congress: 39.53. Did I say, 2004 is similar to 1989? No, if anything 1989 was more fractured, more unrepresentative. The Congress not only had a whopping 40 per cent vote share then, it once again swept the south, winning 107 out of 129 seats. The south rejected VP and yet, the force of that verdict was unanimously accepted: It was VP’s election, and no one dare dispute it. So much so, the BJP with only 85 seats and 11 per cent vote, wasted no time in offering support to the new government. By its own argument of today, it ought to have accepted the indecisive nature of that mandate. Fast forward to 1996. By now the BJP had taken the Hanuman leap to become the largest single party. It had 161 seats to the Congress’s 140. However, in terms of vote share it was far behind: 20 per cent to the Congress’s 28 per cent. The BJP also, to quote its own words, was in splendid isolation; it couldn’t get an ally for love or lucre. Yet, the party pushed hard to form a govern-ment. And yes, this verdict too was badly fractured. In the coalition era, verdicts will necessarily be fractured, but we must rise above that to read the larger message. It is pernicious to reduce electoral results to mere arithmetic. Indeed, to do so is to overlook the sweat and tears that go into the voting and winning of an election. Sonia Gandhi battled against all odds — her origin, the sorry state of the Congress, the vicious propaganda against her — to win the affections of a people. It is a travesty to tell her to move aside now that the difficult part is over.

BBC 20 May, 2004 Sikhs and Congress heal their rift By Soutik Biswas BBC News Online correspondent in Delhi Two decades after India's minority Sikhs were targeted by rioting mobs during a Congress government, the wounds have healed between the community and India's grand old party. Sikhs assassinated Mrs Gandhi after she ordered the Golden Temple attack Nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed in the riots that were sparked by the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October 1984. She had ordered a raid on Sikhism's holiest shrine in Amritsar in northern Punjab state to flush out separatist militants who had taken refuge there. For the Sikhs, who make up nearly 3% of India's population of over a billion, the assault was a grave psychological blow. In the run-up to the raid, Punjab had been wracked by militancy that began in 1981 and lasted for nearly a decade. Several thousand people lost their lives. 'Time heals' All that looks like a bad dream now with the elevation of Manmohan Singh - a Sikh from Punjab - as the new prime minister of India. "The alienation between the Sikhs and Congress is a distant memory now. The ground realities are very different today," analyst Mahesh Rangarajan told BBC News Online. Though there are many Sikhs who still feel bitter about the way they were targeted after Mrs Gandhi's assassination and the Congress' "inaction" in quelling the riots, the deep distrust that once existed between the community and the party no longer exists. One reason is the sheer length of time which has elapsed since the horrific riots of 1984, when Sikhs were singled out to be lynched and torched to death in public. Militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was killed in the storming of the Golden Temple "Time is a great healer, and it has done the same to the relationship between Congress and the Sikhs," said Punjab-based political scientist Professor PS Verma. "With time, the antagonism between the Congress party and the Sikh community has healed. "Now the appointment of Manmohan Singh, the process of reconciliation, inevitably, will get a big push," he said. Changing fortunes The wounds have been actually healing over the last decade. Though Sikhs were excluded from the bodyguards of one-time Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, India has had a Sikh president and a home minister, both with roots in Congress party since Mrs Gandhi's murder. The antagonism between the Sikhs and Congress - more specifically the Gandhi family - lost some of its steam. No member of India's first family participated in active politics between 1991, after the killing of Rajiv Gandhi and 1998, when Sonia Gandhi became the party chief. Interestingly, the Congress' fortunes began picking up in the early 1990s in the northern Sikh majority state of Punjab, which had been the epicentre of the separatist militancy. This was despite the overwhelming dominance of Punjab's regional Akali Dal party, which has been consistently critical of what they describe as the Congress' "insensitivity and mistreatment" of the Sikhs. Sonia Gandhi helped reconcile the Sikhs and Congress In 1993, barely a decade after the pogrom, the Congress swept the village council polls in Punjab - the turnout of voters was as high as 82%. Six years later, in the 1999 general elections, the Congress party led in Punjab over its formidable Akali Dal rivals. Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi also played her role in the reconciliation process. After taking charge of the party in 1998, she went around Sikh places of worship - gurdwaras - in Delhi apologising for the riots. "I feel this kind of incident should not have happened," Mrs Gandhi told the Sikhs. "And my husband Rajiv Gandhi felt the same." Community and Congress Two years ago, the Congress convincingly won the state elections in Punjab, dislodging the Akali Dal from power. The state continues to have a Congress-led government. "The Congress was not an untouchable any more for the vast majority of Sikhs, as it was for many years after the raid on the holiest shrine," said analyst Yogendra Yadav. "The election also signalled a return to normal politics in Punjab, where questions of development and interest fulfilment were taking centre stage - thus displacing questions of identity, alienation and terrorism that dominated its politics for well over a decade," he said. Surveys reveal that Sikhs in the capital Delhi, which saw most of the rioting in 1984 and has a substantially large community population, began voting for the Congress heavily from the 1998 general elections. With Mr Singh in charge, analysts think the gap between the Sikh community and Congress will narrow So much so that in the recent general elections, Congress mopped up six of the seven parliamentary seats in Delhi. This was despite the fact that the party had fielded two candidates, including a former minister, who were indicted for their involvement in the riots, and later acquitted by the courts. In fact, Punjab's Akali Dal party had appealed to all Sikhs in the Congress to quit the party as it was "brutally insensitive" and insulted the Sikhs by deciding to field the two candidates who were "the butchers of innocent Sikhs". The Akali Dal's campaign is not entirely political rhetoric - it reflects the sentiments of a smaller section of Sikhs who still remain bitter with the Congress and feel that it did not do enough to punish the rioters. Mr Singh's appointment in India's top job will now further bridge the gap between the community and the party, analysts believe. "It will make a big difference, make no mistake about it," said Mr Verma. "The few lingering doubts that remain within a section of Sikhs about the Congress party now should largely disappear," he said.

BBC 28 May, 2004n BJP admits 'India Shining' error "We never expected such a verdict," admitted Mr Advani India's Bharatiya Janata Party has admitted its "India Shining" approach was harmful in its recent unsuccessful election campaign. Speaking for the first time since the BJP was ousted, former deputy premier LK Advani said the catchphrase was "not wrong... but not appropriate". Congress became the biggest party in parliament after a campaign pledging to improve the plight of India's poor. However, Mr Advani warned the result had not given Congress a clear mandate. Bouncing back Mr Advani said the two catchphrases "Feel Good" and "India Shining" had hurt the BJP. The BJP's future is bright. The setback we have received is temporary Former deputy PM LK Advani He admitted his party had failed to communicate to the poor that five years was too short a time to achieve equitable development. "In retrospect, it seems that the fruits of development did not equitably reach all sections of our society", he said. But Mr Advani also attacked Congress and leftist parties for what he called a viciously negative campaign that claimed India had been ruined by the BJP. "The tone and content of their campaign was such that poverty and unemployment did not exist during the long Congress rule but were actually the creation of the [BJP-led] government," he said. "India Shining" did not sway the poor hundreds of millions Mr Advani said the BJP had "never expected such [an election] verdict and it won't be wrong to say that nobody else, including our rivals, expected it either". He said he hoped Congress understood that the election result was a "divided" one and would act accordingly. Mr Advani said the result was a combination of state verdicts that had a national effect. He said the BJP accepted its defeat and pledged to provide "constructive opposition". However, Mr Advani said the party would bounce back. "The BJP's future is bright. The setback we have received is temporary. I am confident that we will be back. And we will play our part in fulfilling the dream that we have of a great India. "While self-criticism is very much needed, there should be no self-flagellation," he said. Mr Advani said the BJP's defeat had also triggered a debate about its "Hindutva" ideology, which the BJP defines as Indianness but its opponents say means Hindu nationalism. He said the party remained firm and unapologetic about its espousal of Hindutva. "We shall continue to wage an ideological battle against those who portray Hindutva as communal for their narrow-minded political ends," he said. Modi under fire Further fallout hit the BJP alliance on Friday with Chandrababu Naidu of the key ally, the Telugu Desam Party in southern Andhra Pradesh state, blaming the BJP for the poll rout. Mr Naidu, the recently defeated state chief minister, said the BJP had blundered in not removing its Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi, after the communal violence there in 2002. Mr Modi has also come under fire from within Gujarat, with one legislator openly seeking his removal. But the BJP denied there was any resentment and said there was no question Mr Modi would be sacked. .


BBC 15 May, 2004 Indonesia's killing fields By Christopher Gunness BBC correspondent in Indonesia When he came to power in 1965, Suharto imposed authoritarian rule For the first time, 150 million Indonesians will soon be able to vote directly for a new president. As the country tries to move to a more democratic status, Christopher Gunness uncovers the historical roots of Indonesia's political problems. I have been making programmes in Asia for more than 20 years. Yet this one was unique in one respect - nearly every one I spoke to broke down and wept as they recounted the painful events I was digging up. One woman had not discussed her father's disappearance since the event itself. Too frightened to give me her name, weeping throughout our meeting, she said these were her first tears since 1965. It is a 20th Century genocide that few people know of and even fewer have acknowledged - until now. Untold story It all began in the dead of night on 30 September, 1965: an attempted coup. What I tell you is the untold story of Indonesia's killing fields Six generals were dragged from their homes and taken to an air base on the edge of the capital, Jakarta. Those who were not already dead were tortured and killed, their bodies thrown down a well. This was to be Indonesia's dark night of the generals - a moment that would define a modern nation. As many as a million and a half people were killed in the violence that followed. A greater number were imprisoned, many tortured. What I tell you is the untold story of Indonesia's killing fields. With the generals dead at the bottom of that well, the plotters moved to secure political power. General Suharto, the dictator in waiting, was then head of the Special Forces. Sensing an opportunity, he issued a deadline to the rebels to give up, and they did. Within a day, it was all over. Then came the mass slaughter. Neighbour against neighbour One popular theory is that Suharto himself put it about that the attempted coup was the work of the Communist Party - the most powerful in the world outside China and the Soviet Union. Indonesia has seen unprecedented turmoil in recent years People like Suharto within the military were looking for a reason to cut the Communists down to size - quite literally, as it turned out. Suddenly, anti-communist lynch mobs were on the streets of Jakarta. And in the countryside, army-backed mobs went on the rampage, settling old scores. Neighbour turned on neighbour in acts of viciousness that East Asia has rarely seen. And there are eerie reports that in Bali, communists, dressed in white, marched peacefully in ghostly procession to their executions. Meanwhile, in the towns and cities, there were sweeps against the urban intelligentsia. Thousands were taken from their homes, interrogated and tortured. Within 18 months, General Suharto had not just liquidated the Communist Party, he had seized political power, marginalising and then wresting the presidency from the man who had led Indonesia to independence - President Sukarno. Expensive silence And here we return to the question of all those tears. For 32 years of Suharto's rule, Indonesians were forbidden to talk openly about the events of 1965. The crying has come 40 years too late The mere mention that Suharto might have played a role in demonising and then wiping out the Communist Party could land you in prison. And it is only now that democracy has apparently come to Indonesia that people are able to speak publicly and confront the pains of the past. The crying has come 40 years too late. But it was not all Suharto's conspiracy of silence. Britain and America were in on it too. They were only too glad to see Suharto oust Sukarno. Sukarno had been vehemently anti-Western and had aligned Indonesia with communist China. To this day, key British documents remain classified. But back then, General Suharto was richly rewarded with billions of British and American tax dollars, which we now know were corruptly squandered. Silence can be expensive. History too painful As for legacies, there are two that disturb me most. President Sukarno led Indonesia to independence after World War II First, today in Indonesia, as in 1965, key questions about the fate of the nation are decided by an elite handful, usually dominated by the military. Backroom deals are what really make the country tick. And secondly, a culture of violence remains endemic. In many of the country's trouble spots - just as in 1965 - the army skilfully manipulates old tensions, provoking butchery for their own ends. The Indonesia of yesterday lives on in today's unpunished violence. For example, the former army chief accused of backing a military killing spree in East Timor plans shortly to stand as president - and may do well. The great tragedy for me is that unlike other mass murders of the 20th Century, Indonesia in 1965 remains a story never fully told. Its perpetrators have not been brought to justice. Indonesians - those who were responsible, those who were complicit, those who just stood by and watched - have never fully faced up to their own roles. Looking into history means looking into themselves - a view too painful to contemplate. But the old cliché might just be true - those who are ignorant of history could be condemned to repeat it.

Indonesia - Ambon

Jakarta Post 26 May 2004 www.thejakartapost.com Fresh Ambon clash kills six Azis Tunny and Octavianus Pinontoan, Ambon At least six people were reported killed and dozens of others severely wounded on Sunday afternoon after a fresh major outbreak hit Ambon, the capital of Maluku province. The incident, which is feared to be a precursor to another prolonged sectarian clash in the Spice Islands, also left a United Nations building severely damaged. The incident began when some 25 members of the separatist Maluku Sovereignty Front (FKM), mostly of the Christian faith, staged a rally in Ambon to mark the 54th self-proclaimed anniversary of the South Maluku Republic. Led by FKM secretary-general Moses Tuanakotta, the rally departed at 11:30 a.m. local time from the house of Alex Manuputty in Kudamati subdistrict at 11.30 a.m local time. Manuputty, the exiled chairman of the grouping, was convicted by an Indonesian court, but fled to the U.S. before sentencing could be carried out. The FKM members, carrying the group's flag, headed to downtown Ambon, guarded by two motorcycle policemen. On Jl. Dr. Tamaela, several of the group jeered at military personnel passing the street, saying: "Hey, get out of here. This is not Indonesian territory." They also exchanged jeers and insults with the Muslim community living along the street. The two groups hurled a few stones at each other and more Muslims descended into the area. At 1 p.m., Muslims and Christians began to form opposing lines along at least four streets in Ambon, namely Jl. Diponegoro, Jl. A.M. Sangadji, Jl. Sitanala and Jl. Anthony Ribok. They were armed with machetes, homemade rifles, pipes, sticks and other weapons. The situation soon deteriorated into violence and Ambon was again chaos. On Jl. Anthony Ribok, opposing groups fought openly without the presence of any security personnel. The United Nations Project Coordination Office on the same street was set ablaze, while several cars parked outside the building was gutted. Patrick Sweeting, head of the local United Nations Development Program's crisis prevention unit, said in Jakarta that all UN staff in Maluku were safe and had been moved to a hotel in the city. The UNDP has five staffers in Ambon and other UN agencies have about another 10, he was quoted as saying by AFP. Several refugee shelters in Mardika and Talake subdistricts were also heavily damaged. Shots and explosions could be heard on Sunday afternoon, while columns of smoke enveloped parts of the city. Residents quickly packed their belongings, left their homes and fled to safer areas, while others stayed and remained vigilant over further possible clashes. With a tight security escort, Maluku Police chief Brig. Gen. Bambang Sutrisno, Maluku Governor Karel Albert Ralahalu and Ambon Mayor M. J. Papilaja made their way to Tugu Trikora, in front of the Silo Church on Jl. A.M. Sangadji, to calm the people. Bambang called on them not to leave their homes after 6 p.m. and urged everyone to keep Maluku stable. Provisional figures from Al Fatah Hospital show that the fresh conflict left four dead and 50 others with severe injuries. Haulussy Hospital reported two dead and nine injured, while 12 people were being treated at Muqadam Hospital, three of whom were in critical condition. Sunday's outbreak was the worst after the government-sponsored Malino II peace pact was signed in 2002, following bloody sectarian clashes that erupted three years earlier. The conflict was triggered in January 1999 by a trivial incident between a bus driver and a passenger from separate faiths. Thousands of Muslims and Christians were killed, while hundreds of thousands fled to safer places. The government lifted the state of civil emergency in Maluku last September, but it is feared the fresh Sunday outbreak might signal a return to the city's bloody history.

AP 29 Apr2004 Hatred, Mistrust Reigns in Indonesia City CHRIS BRUMMITT Associated Press AMBON, Indonesia - Zeth Supusepa, an Indonesian Christian, is in no mood for forgiveness as he explains how suspected Muslim attackers hurled a bomb at him outside a church in the eastern city of Ambon. "Muslims have lost their right to worship God," the 30-year-old says, wincing while a nurse removes shrapnel from his feet and hands. "They are burning places of worship. From now on, there will be no more dialogue." Across the city, Islamic fighters armed with long swords vow to avenge the deaths of fellow Muslims allegedly shot by Christian snipers. Five days of shootings, bombings and mob attacks have killed 36 people in Ambon, and raised fears of a return to the religious war in the Maluku islands that killed 9,000 people between 1999 and 2001. The violence has again riven a city once considered a model of religious harmony. Unlike most of mainly Muslim Indonesia, the Malukus' 2 million people are evenly divided between Muslims and Christians. The two sides are again afraid to meet each other, their hatred and mistrust growing amid allegations of the others' brutality. These days, no Muslim dares to cross into the Christian, or "red" areas, of the city of the 350,000 people. The "white," or Muslim section, is similarly out of bounds for Christians. On Wednesday, two people were killed and a church was torched in fighting in areas that straddle the two districts. Despite the continuing violence, authorities claimed that security was improving. Being caught in the wrong place can be deadly. On Monday night, a ferry carrying Christians from Jakarta docked in a Muslim part of Ambon, unaware of the danger having been at sea since before the latest round of violence began. A gang of men armed with swords and rocks attacked the group, killing one and wounding at least 28, including a 4-year-old girl, witnesses said. Sunday's clashes began after the island's small separatist Christian group paraded through the city center - an act seen as a provocation by Muslims. Communal tensions have worsened in recent decades with an influx of Muslims from elsewhere in Indonesia. And Islamic radicals have been trying to whip up Muslim fervor in reaction to the global war on terrorist groups. The earlier conflict here galvanized militant Muslims across Indonesia, and it also attracted Islamic fighters from around Southeast Asia and from the Middle East. Muslims maintain that their fight is against the separatists movement, tiny compared to the insurgencies in the independence-minded provinces of Aceh and Papua, the main trouble spots in the sprawling Indonesian archipelago. Since the 2001 conflict ended after a government sponsored peace deal, the international community has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on projects to promote reconciliation between the two sides. A U.N.-funded school that taught Muslim and Christian children was one of the first buildings to be burned when the clashes broke out last Sunday. Soon after, a mob torched the offices housing all the region's U.N. agencies. "It's all very sad," said Caroline Tupamahu, project manager for the U.N. Development Project in Ambon. "It will take a long time to recover now the people don't trust each other anymore." Like other U.N. staffers in the city, she was evacuated Wednesday. Until Sunday, public buses ran between the two districts. Christians sold fish and vegetables to Muslims in a packed market in the center of the city. The seaside city's one Western-style mall was full of people from both faiths. The only place where the two communities can now meet is a small stretch of road between the Muslim and Christian section of the city. It is considered safe because members of military families live there. Covering both sides of the story is all but impossible for local journalists. The police station and the major government officers are in Christian parts of town, making official comment hard to find for Muslim reporters. A foreign-funded media center in what used to be the neutral part of town, where journalists from both faiths once met and worked on stories together, barely operates. The hotel that housed it was set alight during the troubles. Moren, a Christian housewife in the city, says she has some Muslim friends. But after seeing a mob set her church alight in Sunday's fighting she now says the "days (of peace) are over." "Now its them and us," the mother of two said.

Laksamana.Net 2 May 2004 Ambon Violence Continues Muslims and Christians equipped with homemade bombs and military-issue weapons clashed again on Friday (30/4/04) in Ambon, the provincial capital of the Maluku islands, leaving at least 19 injured and scores of houses in flames. Arson, gunfire and explosions rocked the battle-scarred city, paralyzing the provincial administration. It was the sixth straight day of clashes that claimed 37 lives and effectively destroyed the 2002 peace accord signed by Muslim and Christian leaders. A full-scale Muslim-Christian war in 1999 resulted in the deaths of at least 6,000 people. Pope John Paul II called on Saturday (1/5/04) for public order to be quickly restored in Ambon. In a letter to the bishop of Ambon sent by the Vatican secretary of state, John Paul said he was praying for those who had died and those who were mourning for them. Early Friday, Muslim mobs torched at least 30 houses close to a Protestant church, witnesses said. Most of the homes were empty after their owners had fled when the clashes began Sunday. Fifteen Muslims were taken to the city's Al-Fatah hospital with injuries sustained in the fighting, medical officials there said. Hundreds of reinforcement troops and police have been deployed to the city, but have so far had little effect on the fighting, which has resulted in large areas of segregation between Muslims and Christians. Though the provincial administration's activities came to a grinding halt, several schools remained open as did many shops across the city, but they too were segregated. The clashes were triggered after the island's small, mostly separatist Christian Maluku Sovereignty Front (FKM) group paraded through the city center to mark the 54th anniversary of the ill-fated proclamation of the Republic of Maluku as a separate state from the new nation of Indonesia. The march turned violent when mainly Christian marchers and mainly Muslim onlookers pelted each other with rocks and abuse. The military (TNI) said it was deploying more intelligence officers and soldiers in coordination with police to hunt down snipers blamed for fueling terror among civilians in Ambon. TNI spokesman Maj. Gen. Sjafrie Sjamsuddin said Wednesday (28/4/04) military chief Gen. Endriartono Sutarto had ordered troops to shoot snipers on sight. The snipers are thought to be equipped with automatic rifles fabricated by arms companies such as Bandung-based PT Pindad or others belonging to foreign countries, Sjafrie said. He said snipers may have used guns stolen from a police armory in Tantui on June, 21, 2000, where around 300 of the total 893 weapons and 800,000 bullets were taken in an attack by unidentified people. "The TNI is also prepared to guard areas outside Ambon to prevent more violence from spreading, and has sent reinforcement troops from the 413rd Infantry Battalion based in East Java along with four companies of paramilitary Mobile Brigade (Brimob) police," he added. Separately Pattimura military chief Maj. Gen. Syarifudin and Maluku Police chief Brig, Gen. Bambang Sutrisno vowed to take harsh action against their personnel found to be involved in the renewed fighting. Earlier, witnesses were quoted as saying they saw soldiers involved in the torching of the Nazareth Church. Sutrisno said the police would deploy Brimob officers to isolate the border area between the hamlets of Waringin and Tanah Lapang Kecil (Talake), which are near Kudamati, a stronghold of FKM separatists. FKM claims genocide The FKM has urged the Netherlands, the former colonizer of the Malukus, to send its troops and encourage international intervention to restore law and order and end what it called “genocide”. Williem Palemona, one of the group's leaders, told the press in Holland Tuesday he had met with officials of the Dutch government to update them on the situation in the Malukus and seek their assistance. In statements released to the media, he argued that without international intervention the South Moluccas Republic (RMS) would be 'history'. The FKM is fighting for the independence of the Southern Malukus region, which they call the RMS. Although most experts say RMS has a membership of just 200 to 300, Christians are increasingly characterized as separatists. Ambon's Bishop Mandagi said a very dangerous development was how Christians, who make up half Ambon's population, were now being portrayed as supporters of RMS and independence. A military and police force on Friday (30/4/04) searched the home of FKM leader Alex Manuputty in Kudamati, Nusaniwe sub-district, for weapons and activists. His wife and an unidentified female were detained for questioning. Manuputty himself fled to the United States late last year. Trouble brewing with Laskar Jihad The call for the Dutch to assist the Christians in the Malukus has forced the dormant Laskar Jihad militant group to reconstitute an army of Muslim volunteers to re-enter the area and attempt to put an end to the conflict. The military said it would stop Islamic militant fighters from traveling to Ambon as they did in the previous conflict but four extremist groups say they have thousands of Muslim men ready to go to Ambon to protect the Islamic community there. Jafar Umar Thalib, the leader of Laskar Jihad, says he is waiting to assess the situation to see how many people he finally sends to Ambon, but says he has as many as 10,000 on standby. The group, which is opposed to any attempt to declare a Christian state in Southern Malukus, threatened Tuesday (27/4/04) to send its fighters back to Ambon to defend the Muslims if Jakarta fails to bring peace to the islands. Laskar Jihad disbanded its paramilitary arm in 2002 after the intervention of Jakarta in the conflict but still has outposts in Maluku, although its personnel are unarmed and are said to have been peaceful since 2002. Thalib said in a press conference in Jakarta that his movement was prepared to go back to the Islands and that he was closely monitoring the situation. The government had also promised Muslims that all attempts to create an independent Maluku would be crushed by the military, he said. Thalib criticized the military for its late intervention in the fighting, adding that he was certain the government would never allow his men back in Ambon. “However, we will send them if the situation deteriorates, with or without the consent of the government, just as we did in 2002,” Thalib said. Laskar Jihad believes some foreign forces, including Australia and the Netherlands, have a common interest in breaking up Maluku from Indonesia to create an entirely Christian state in the middle of the Indonesia archipelago. Religious leaders on Tuesday (27/4/04) also accused what they called “third parties” of inciting the renewed violence. Muslims, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist and Confucian leaders from the Indonesian Committee for Religion and Peace said that “provocation” was the best explanation for the violence. “We call on people to resist being provoked by third parties,” said Din Syamsuddin, head of the committee after a meeting at the office of the country’s second-largest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah. He accused such parties of having a “political motive” and that police should identify those who do not want peace in the Malukus.

ICRC 6 May 2004 ICRC News 04/61 Indonesia: PMI brings aid to the people of Ambon, Moluccas Island Geneva (ICRC) – Despite the volatility of the situation in Ambon and the surrounding area, the Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia – PMI) has been working to bring humanitarian aid to the population. During the night of Monday 26 April, PMI headquarters in Jakarta flew around 50 units of blood and 600 blood bags to Ambon through the organization’s South Sulawesi chapter to help meet the urgent need for fresh blood. In addition, on 2 May, PMI distributed emergency medical supplies provided by the ICRC to hospitals serving all communities affected by the recent violence. PMI headquarters and the Maluku chapter continue to assess the need for further humanitarian aid and, together with the ICRC, maintain stocks of various supplies which are ready to be sent. .

Indonesia - Other

Jakarta Post 1 May 2004 www.thejakartapost.com Ex-general jailed for Priok killing M. Taufiqurrahman, Jakarta The ad hoc rights tribunal sentenced on Friday a retired general to 10 years in prison for committing gross human rights violations in the Tanjung Priok massacre 20 years ago, which killed, according to official accounts, at least 14 protesters and injured dozens of others. Maj. Gen. (ret.) Rudolph Butar-Butar, a lieutenant colonel and former head of the North Jakarta military district, was found guilty by a five-member panel of judges of failing to prevent or halt what they called a systematic killing of civilians in September 1984. The verdict, the first to be handed down in the Tanjung Priok massacre tribunal, is the minimum sentence for rights abusers as stipulated under Law No. 26/2000. Prosecutors had also sought a 10-year imprisonment for Butar-Butar. Presiding judge Tjitjut Sutiyarso said the defendant was guilty of violating Law No. 26/2000 on human rights for his failure to restrain military personnel under his command from shooting civilians protesting the detention of four of their colleagues in the military compound. They barely reached the compound when troops opened fire. The panel of judges also ordered the government to pay compensation to families of the victims who had perished in the incident, one of the most brutal incidents during the 32-year authoritarian rule of former president Soeharto. The defense lawyers said they would appeal the verdict. Looking appalled, Butar-Butar said he was very disappointed with the verdict. "I was just doing my duty to the country," Butar-Butar told reporters. Usman Hamid, coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), a local non-governmental organization which has long represented the Priok victims, praised the panel of judges saying that the verdict indicated its independence and resoluteness in punishing human rights violators. "However, there is still a long way to go and we hope that the higher courts that will hear the appeal will uphold the verdict," Usman said. Butar-Butar is one among 14 retired and active military personnel who have been indicted for their role in the massacre. All have been charged under the Human Rights Law, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of death. During the incident Butar-Butar was in charge of the 40-strong Platoon III of the Air Defense Artillery Battalion based in North Jakarta. The platoon was deployed on orders from the district military command to guard the military compound and important public facilities in the vicinity against possible attack from protesters. The Tanjung Priok rights tribunal is the second major attempt to bring to justice military personnel responsible for past human rights abuses, after a similar trial on East Timor. In the East Timor trial, 18 military and police personnel as well as civilian leaders were brought to court for failing to prevent gross rights abuses in the bloody mayhem following the province's breakaway from Indonesia through a United Nations-sponsored referendum. However, 12 of the defendants, mostly military and police personnel, were acquitted. The former military commander overseeing East Timor Maj. Gen. Adam Damiri, remains free pending appeal while civilian governor Abilio Jose Osorio Soares recently had his 10-year prison sentence upheld by the Supreme Court.

Laksamana.Net 2 May 2004 More Aceh Rights Accusations Responding to widespread allegations of rights abuses in Aceh, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) set up posts in the regencies of Bireuen, a Free Aceh Movement (GAM) stronghold and Lhokseumawe, home to the military (TNI) headquarters, to receive accurate reports directly from the field. Komnas HAM submitted reports to the government on Friday (30/4/04) claiming both the TNI and GAM were committing widespread rights abuses in the ongoing war. "We have monitored the escalating violence in Aceh since May last year and filed reports on a series of rights abuses in the province," Komnas HAM Chairman Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara said. "The two warring parties, the TNI and GAM, should be held responsible for rights abuses in the province," said Nusantara, adding "regardless of its non-state status, the secessionist movement has violated someone else's rights by holding hostages." Rights abuses were in five categories -- forced deportation of people, arbitrary arrest, forced disappearances, rapes and extra-judicial killings. TNI accused GAM rebels on Saturday (1/5/04) of killing an elderly woman, her daughter and a teacher. A 47-year-old woman and her 74-year-old mother were shot dead at their home in Pidie regency on Thursday after they refused to give money to members of GAM, local military chief Lt. Col. Abdul Rochim Siregar said. The rebels wanted the woman, a teacher, to pay "taxes", Siregar said. In a separate incident, rebels shot dead another high school teacher early Friday. "A group of GAM rebels with M-16 rifles and pistols came to his house and asked him to pay taxes. He was shot dead after he said he didn't have money," Siregar said. Rebel spokesmen could not be reached for comment. The provincial education office said more than 60 teachers have been killed in the separatist conflict over the past five years. Military operation command spokesman in Lhokseumawe Lt. Col. Asep Sapari said five GAM rebels were killed on separate clashes on Thursday (29/4/04). Makassar Police Chiefs Sacked National Police chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar fired Makassar Police chiefs after police officers stormed a campus in the South Sulawesi provincial capital and assaulted protesting students, South Sulawesi Police chief Insp. Gen. Jusuf Manggabarani said Saturday (1/5/04). "They have been removed from their positions because the brutality of their men is their responsibility," Jusuf said. "Their actions in handling the student rally did not follow proper procedures." East Makassar Police officers stormed the Indonesia Muslim University (UMI) to release a traffic police officer taken hostage during a student demonstration against the re-arrest of Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir in Jakarta on Friday morning. Makassar Police chief Sr. Comr. Jose Rizal, East Makassar Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Eko Suprianto and Panakukang Police chief Adj. Comr. Namora Simanjuntak have all been replaced after the incident was shown in all its horror by private TV station SCTV. Two students were shot and 70 arrested after the clash but viewers saw scores of students being beaten mercilessly, many with rifle butts. Earlier Rizal had said his men had followed proper procedure when storming the campus. "We were about to release a fellow officer taken hostage by the students, but they resisted us. We had no other option," he said.

Laksamana.Net 2 May 2004 E. Timor Militia Threat With the planned pullout of the United Nation Peacekeeping Force from East Timor, scheduled for early June, threats of militia attacks have increased. The East Timor authorities are particularly worried about increasing militia operations at border areas. A joint military and police force in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) is keeping watch on pro-Indonesia militiamen suspected of attempting to create chaos in East Timor. The militia is hoarding thousands of firearms, grenades and ammunition in NTT territory bordering East Timor, the military (TNI) said Friday (30/4/04). Local military commander Col. Moeswarno Moesanip said soldiers and paramilitary Mobile Brigade police stationed in the border area were intensively monitoring the activities of around 20 militia leaders and members reported to be gathering there. Military-backed militia were blamed for the rampage that followed East Timor's vote for independence in August 1999. Only a number of militia leaders were jailed for the mayhem, while senior TNI officers who were then responsible for security in the territory remained free.


AP 20 Apr 2004 Tribunal arranged to try Saddam By Louis Meixler ASSOCIATED PRESS BAGHDAD — Iraqi leaders have set up a tribunal of judges and prosecutors to try ousted dictator Saddam Hussein and other members of his Ba'athist regime, a spokesman announced yesterday. The announcement came as insurgents fired a barrage of mortar rounds at Baghdad's largest prison, killing 22 inmates and wounding more than 90. Saddam's whereabouts are secret, but some of his top aides are thought to be at the prison. A U.S. general said the attack might have been an attempt to spark an uprising against the American guards. Also yesterday, a U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in the northern city of Mosul, the 100th Americancombat death in April, the deadliest month since the U.S.-led invasion began in March 2003. Salem Chalabi, a U.S.-educated lawyer and nephew of the head of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), was appointed general director of the tribunal, which has a 2004-05 budget of $75 million, INC spokesman Entefadh Qanbar said. The court and prosecutors will determine charges against Saddam and his former officials, Mr. Qanbar said. More judges will be hired for the tribunal. The judges and prosecutors will undergo training in international law, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Mr. Qanbar said. No date has been set for the trial of Saddam, who was captured by U.S. troops in December and since has been held by U.S. troops at an undisclosed location in or near Baghdad. Most high-profile prisoners have been jailed at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison, where 25 of those wounded in yesterday's mortar attack were seriously injured, said Col. Jill Morgenthaler, a U.S. military spokeswoman. "This isn't the first time that we have seen this kind of attack. We don't know if they are trying to inspire an uprising or a prison break," said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt. In August, six security prisoners were killed in a mortar attack on the lockup, which was once Saddam's most-notorious prison. All of the casualties yesterday were security detainees, meaning that they were suspected of involvement in the anti-U.S. insurgency or of being part of Saddam's ousted regime. The prison houses about 5,000 security prisoners. Iraqi security forces, meanwhile, began moving back into the besieged city of Fallujah under an agreement between U.S. officials and local leaders aimed at ending hostilities. The accord calls on insurgents to hand in their weapons and allows civilians to return. U.S. officials have warned that if insurgents do not surrender their weapons, Marines are prepared to storm the city. "If the peaceful track does not play itself out ... major hostilities will resume on short notice," U.S. spokesman Dan Senor said. Announcements on U.S. military-run radio in the city called on residents to turn in machine guns, grenade launchers, missiles and other heavy weapons to Iraqi security forces or at the mayor's office. Mr. Senor would not comment on whether any guerrillas had turned in weapons, but cautioned that "time is running out." Fallujah was largely peaceful yesterday, and Iraqi families lined up at a U.S. checkpoint hoping to return home. The U.S. military agreed Monday to let 50 families a day back into the city, but the lines at the checkpoint were so long yesterday that about 150 people had to be turned away, said Capt. Ed Sullivan. Gen. Kimmitt acknowledged that U.S. soldiers fatally shot two Iraqis working for the U.S.-funded Al Iraqiya television station a day earlier, but said the two had been filming a military checkpoint in the central city of Samarra and had failed to stop despite repeated warning shots. Cameraman Jassem Kamel, who was wounded, said the U.S. soldiers opened fire after the group finished filming police and security posts and were driving to film the city's spiral minaret. "We were not filming. We were just driving in a normal car," Mr. Kamel said. The deaths raise to 26 the number of journalists and employees for news organizations killed in Iraq in the past year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Mr. Chalabi's was selected to head the court that will try Saddam by a committee of the Iraqi Governing Council under a law passed earlier by the council and approved by top U.S. Administrator L. Paul Bremer. Since Saddam's regime fell, about 300,000 bodies were found buried in mass graves, victims of his regime's persecution of political enemies, Kurds, Shi'ite Muslims and other groups, U.S. officials say. Saddam's military also used chemical weapons against troops and civilians during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s and during a Kurdish uprising.

AP 12 May 2004 U.S., Tribunal Disagree on Saddam Handoff By DIANA ELIAS The Associated Press KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait - The head of Iraq's war-crimes tribunal said Tuesday that the United States has pledged to hand over Saddam Hussein and about 100 other suspects to Iraqi authorities before July 1 if Iraq is ready to take them into custody. U.S. officials denied any decision had been reached. "The coalition will hand them over if we are able to hold them in custody," Salem Chalabi told The Associated Press. Chalabi said trials would likely begin early next year - again, "if we are ready" - and that judges would receive "files" on the suspects at the end of this year. He earlier told local reporters that Saddam would definitely be handed over before July 1, when Iraq assumes sovereignty from its U.S.-led occupiers, and that trials would begin early next year. "We will put 100 people ... including Saddam Hussein, on trial," he told the reporters. The suspects, he added, "will be delivered to us by the coalition before the transfer of power." U.S. officials, who are holding Saddam in an undisclosed location, disputed the report. Secretary of State Colin Powell said he knew nothing about handing over Saddam. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher also said that he knew of no decision on when or in what time frame the coalition would hand over the ousted Iraqi leader, in U.S. custody since he was captured Dec. 13. A Defense Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. intention remains to have Saddam tried by the Iraqi people. Chalabi said the suspects to be handed over include Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali" for his use of chemical weapons against the Kurds in the 1980s. Chalabi has said al-Majid could be one of the first to stand trial. Tariq Aziz, Saddam's former deputy prime minister, also will be handed over, he said. Aziz is in U.S. custody but is not on the U.S. "most-wanted" list; it was unclear what charges he might face. Chalabi indicated to AP that Saddam's trial would happen later, rather than earlier. "Our policy is indict junior officials first so that we can build a case against Saddam," he said. No charges have been filed, but human rights groups have said the tribunal expects to try leaders for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The United States estimates that Saddam's regime killed at least 300,000 Iraqis. Some human rights groups say the number is closer to 1 million. Chalabi said the case against Saddam would be built on cases representative of his abuses while in power. "The accusations against Saddam include the massacre of Kurds in Halabja, murdering Shiite clerics, and the invasion of Kuwait," he said. "We can't try him for everything. We have to concentrate on some things." It was not clear who will represent Saddam at trial, but a Jordanian lawyer, Mohammad Rashdan, has said he and 19 other attorneys have been appointed by Saddam's first wife, Sajida Khairallah Telfah. On Tuesday, he said he would try to prevent the Americans from handing Saddam over to the tribunal. "We will take a legal action to prevent the United States from handing over the prisoners of war to people like Salem Chalabi," he told AP. "It is possible that we choose a country which respects the law like France, and we might take the same move in Switzerland." Rashdan said Monday that his defense team was "deeply concerned" about Saddam's welfare in U.S. custody after revelations of U.S. Military Police humiliating and abusing prisoners. The team of lawyers includes Washington lawyer Curtis Doebbler and French attorney Emmanuel Ludot. Chalabi has said the lead attorney needs to be Iraqi, but that other members of the team can come from other countries. Chalabi arrived in Kuwait to collect evidence against the suspects. He acknowledged that the prosecutions will be a complicated task. "The coalition authority has 15 kilometers (10 miles) of documents, and the Iraqis have 30 tons," he said. Iraqi leaders have said the trials will be televised in the interest of exposing Saddam's atrocities and beginning a process of national healing. They had earlier predicted Saddam's trial could begin as early as this summer, but the complexities of organizing the trial made that unrealistic. Many Iraqis have said Saddam's verdict - guilty - and sentence - death - are a foregone conclusion, but tribunal officials have insisted the trial will be fair. Saddam was captured hiding in a hole in the small farming village of Adwar, a short drive from his hometown of Tikrit.

San Francisco Chronicle 25 Apr 2004 www.sfgate.com Stanford expert says Iraq spinning out of control - Lack of security is dooming goals of U.S., he says James Sterngold, Chronicle Staff Writer When Larry Diamond left for Baghdad in January as an adviser to the U.S. occupation authority, he took all the equipment he believed he needed to help construct a hopeful new nation out of the ashes of dictatorship: the academic models he had crafted over the years as an authority on building democracies, and confidence those models would work. But the jarring reality of Iraq, with its escalating violence and collapsing civic order, forced Diamond to look for a few new tools beyond those listed in the textbooks. When he speaks now of the models for building democratic countries, he stresses a different set of equipment, which he found in short supply: body armor, armor-plated cars, a huge military presence. The story of Iraq, this onetime optimist believes, is a tale of missed opportunities. "We just bungled this so badly," said Diamond, a 52-year-old senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. "We just weren't honest with ourselves or with the American people about what was going to be needed to secure the country." Diamond was a senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority and spent several initially hopeful months in Iraq -- lecturing on democracy, even in mosques, encouraging people to participate and helping shape laws that embodied his vision. He returned to Palo Alto in early April for a short break, then ran into an emotional brick wall, he said, when he contemplated the mess he had left behind. Last Thursday, when it came time for Diamond to return, he did not get on the plane. Instead, he was in his office at the Hoover Tower, disillusioned over the desperate turn of events he had witnessed and what he feels was a country allowed to spin out of control, in large part, he says, because of the Bush administration's unwillingness to commit a big enough force to protect Iraqis from militias and insurgents. "You can't develop democracy without security," he said. "In Iraq, it's really a security nightmare that did not have to be. If you don't get that right, nothing else is possible. Everything else is connected to that." Few people would seem better prepared for the job in Iraq than Diamond. He is coordinator of the Democracy Program at Stanford's Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, and he has been co-editor since 1990 of the Journal of Democracy. He has done extensive fieldwork in Taiwan and Nigeria. He said he had initially opposed the war in Iraq because he felt the United States needed broader international support before attacking, but after the main ground fighting ended last April, he was ready to help. "Once the war was over, I felt we had a moral and political obligation to the Iraqis to try and help build something better," he said. "That was clear in my mind. I didn't agonize over that. I really had something to contribute." So late last year, after the Bush administration and the provisional authority outlined their plans for writing an interim constitution and handing over sovereignty on June 30, Diamond said he began to speak with officials about playing a role and implementing some of the ideas he had spent his career developing. Arriving in Baghdad in early January, he said, he was sober-minded about the challenges but encouraged by much of what he found. "When I got there on the ground, I was actually hopeful as I met some of the young people, women, civic groups, and their eagerness for change," he said. "It was mind-blowing, really,'' he added. "There were people who wanted to know how to make democracy work. There were so many positive signs. Civil society was very weak, as you'd expect, but it was beginning to reconstitute itself. There was a lot of energy, a lot of passion, a lot of creativity and a lot of desire to learn. I even had a good experience with some mullahs who supported us." Diamond said that he had some successes. He said he sought to provide female representatives a guaranteed number of seats in the provisional parliament and helped secure for them a 25 percent stake. He helped strengthen some of the provisions in the interim constitution supporting the development of civic groups to organize people at a grassroots level, and worked to make the new government structure somewhat decentralized as a way of giving minority groups more of a voice and providing opportunities for grassroots participation. And he instructed, while learning. In January, he outlined the four basic principles of democracy in a speech at Hilla University, discussing such issues as checks and balances and the rule of law. In February, at a conference in Baghdad on decentralization, he presented a 12-point description of how civil society helps build a stronger democracy. In another address to Iraqis in late March, Diamond called the transitional law, as the interim constitution is called, the right path to "a true democracy," praised the spirit of compromise he found and promised the Iraqis that their nascent democracy would lead the Arab world. But Diamond said it was around that time that the insurgency grew bolder, that more Americans and Iraqis began to die and that security appeared to be collapsing. He said he shuddered as he began to see other advisers getting killed on the same roads he traveled. And then he had what he describes as a painful, transforming experience. "I had one of those moments when you cut through all the bull," he said. "I was speaking to this women's group, and one woman got up and asked, 'If we do all these things, who's going to protect us?' " Diamond recalled. "That was the moment when I said to myself, 'Oh my God, some of these women are going to be assassinated because they are here listening to me.' It just struck me between the eyes." As the violence spread, Diamond said, he felt ever more painfully the mistake the United States had made by not sending in more troops to keep the insurgents at bay. The American policies basically encouraged Iraqis to stand up -- only to face the threat of being mowed down for doing so, he said. "It was totally hypocritical of us to do one and not the other," Diamond said of the lack of security. As a result, he said, democratization suffered potentially fatal setbacks. He was angry, he added, not just because optimistic Iraqis were being killed, but because the downward spiral was preventable. His recommendations for rescuing the situation run counter to some of the policies that the Bush administration insists it will not alter. Diamond said that, in his view, the United States must more than double its current military force of about 135,000 and confront the violent Iraqi militias consistently, while offering political benefits to those who lay down their arms and accept democratic institutions. The best he can say about the prospects in Iraq now is that, as he puts it, "civil war is not inevitable." Diamond said that, realistically, he never expected a flawless democracy to emerge in just months. It was more likely, he said, that the legacies of traditional Arab society and dictatorship would have produced some rigged elections, corruption and sporadic violence. But with greater security, there would have been, at the least, a constitution and a more flexible and responsive government. None of that is likely to happen now, he said, without significantly more American troops and a more assertive military stance. "The literature stresses the overwhelming need to get the security under control," Diamond said. "Nothing that happened could not have been anticipated. I don't think we were applying the lessons of the past as systematically as they should have been, to put it as politely as possible."

AFP 2 May 2004 UN-sanctioned multinational force to be sent to Iraq after June 30: Annan WASHINGTON, May 2 (AFP) - A UN-sanctioned multinational security force will help maintain security in Iraq after the US military hands limited sovereignty back to the country, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Sunday. "The (UN Security) Council will probably authorize a multinational force to remain in Iraq to help create a secure environment," Annan told NBC's "Meet the Press" news program. "I think it will be part of the new resolution that the Council will be discussing and approving that will cover the period after the 30th of June," Annan said. "Obviously the new government would also be consulted, but there will be a resolution authorizing a multinational force and encouraging governments to come together in a genuine international effort to help stabilize Iraq," Annan said. "Quite frankly, it's in everybody's interest that we do whatever we can stabilize Iraq," the secretary general added. UN Security Council Resolution 1511 passed last October put the UN stamp on a multinational force whose mandate would extend until "completion of the political process" in Iraq -- defined as the drafting of a new constitution and the holding of democratic elections afterwards.

Deutsche Presse Agentur 3 May 2004 Nearly 1,100 Iraqis killed in April, Iraqi health ministry Baghdad (dpa) - Nearly 1,100 Iraqi civilians were killed and over 4,000 wounded in clashes throughout the country in April, according to a report issued Monday by the Iraqi Health Ministry. The official death toll of Iraqi civilians was put at 1,082 while 4,432 Iraqis were wounded, according to the report. The death toll in the western Iraqi province of al-Anbar, where the city of Fallujah is situated, was highest at 323. A total of 280 civilians were killed in Fallujah which has been under siege by U.S. occupation forces and witnessed fierce clashes, the ministry said. Baghdad came third with 246 Iraqis killed, the report said. The ministry said casualties and wounded were mainly a result of clashes between Iraqis and occupation forces. However, the lack of security and law enforcement in the country was another cause of casualties.

AP 2 May 2004 Prisoner abuse in Iraq condemned ISLAMABAD (AP) - A hardline Pakistani Islamic group on Sunday accused the United States of reaching the "extremes of wickedness" in Iraq after reports surfaced of coalition forces allegedly mistreating Iraqi prisoners. Most national newspapers in Pakistan on Sunday also slammed US forces for "barbaric" behaviour. Many have run photos that allegedly show coalition soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. The Urdu-language Nawa-e-Waqt newspaper said the evidence of abuse was "enough to awaken the honor and dignity of Arabs and Muslims," and proved that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was right to accuse the US government of trying to "eliminate Muslims". "By giving this shameful treatment to the prisoners, the Americans want to send a message that anyone opposing them will face similar treatment," an editorial said. Ameer-ul Azeem, spokesman for the hardline Jamaat-e-Islami group, Pakistan's largest religious party, demanded that the United Nations intervene to stop the "oppression" in Iraq. "This attitude by America, which calls itself champion of human rights, is shocking," Azeem told The Associated Press. America "has reached the extremes of wickedness in Iraq," he said. The English-language newspaper Dawn said the United States' view of itself as a "moral policeman" - and its justification for invading Iraq to remove a ruthless dictator and bring democracy and human rights - have been "torn to shreds." Pakistani government officials were not immediately available to comment. Pakistan is a key ally in the US-led war on terrorism, helping track al-Qaeda fugitives along the Afghan border, but many of the 150 million people in this Islamic country are uneasy about the strong ties with Washington. Pakistan has said it is considering a US request to send troops to Iraq to help protect a planned UN mission there, but will only respond once it receives a direct request from the United Nations. Anti-US Islamic groups, including Jamaat-e-Islami, have strongly opposed Pakistani support of the war on terrorism and have warned the government not to send troops to Iraq - a step that could also be deeply unpopular among the wider population.

JoongAng Daily (South Korea) 4 May 2004 joongangdaily.joins.com ) [EDITORIALS] U.S. must end POW abuse Amid the growing international criticism on the Iraq War, video footage showing American and British soldiers' sexual abuse and cruelty against Iraqi prisoners was made public. That astonished the world's public. Abu Ghraib, the prison where the incident occurred, is a place where cruel torture and abuse were rampant during the Saddam Hussein regime, when he attempted to oppress his political dissidents. It is surprising to see that American soldiers sent to Iraq to stop the abusive Saddam regime engaged in even more serious sexual abuses and many other forms of cruelty in the same prison. Such acts will not only undermine Washington's justification for the war but also brings sadness and disappointment to the whole population of the globe. Concerns about American soldiers' cruelty have already been raised by some human rights organizations and media agencies during the last couple of months. U.S. authorities launched an investigation into the case and arrested most of the soldiers involved. The U.S. general in charge of the Abu Ghraib prison was suspended as well. But we believe that the incident would not have caused this kind of international public outrage had Washington strictly punished the soldiers involved and offered an apology to the Iraqi people and international communities when it became aware of the abuses. Now Washington is under suspicion of not having taken appropriate measures and having tried to conceal the case. Abuse against prisoners of war is a violation of the Geneva Convention and a crime against humanity. The United States and the United Kingdom should thoroughly investigate the cases, punish the soldiers involved and offer apologies. They will also have to make clear explanations about the suspicion that the cruelty was planned and that intelligence agencies were involved. Only by doing so can Washington show that the barbarism of some soldiers does not represent the entire American society. That is the only way that Washington can argue that the war was staged to defend humanity's universal values and freedom and show that its justification for the war would not be undermined by the barbarian and shameful acts of a few soldiers.

New Straits Times (Malaysia) 4 May 2004 Columns EDITORIAL: War crimes in Iraq Editorial PRESIDENT George W. Bush and senior American military officers insist that the humiliation and torture of Iraqi prisoners were atypical and the work of a few. But the report by Major General Antonio Taguba tells a different story, according to an article by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker. "The picture he draws of Abu Ghraib is one in which army regulations and the Geneva conventions were routinely violated...", Hersh wrote. "The 372nd’s abuse of prisoners seemed almost routine — a fact of army life that the soldiers felt no need to hide." In its report on April 30, Amnesty International said its "extensive research in Iraq suggests that this is not an isolated incident". Investigations have begun, six soldiers have been charged and the head of the Abu Ghraib prison has been suspended. Major-General Geoffrey Miller, the former commander of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, "has been reassigned to Iraq to guard against such abuses recurring", according to General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of coalition operations in Iraq, who also described Miller as "probably the military expert in the world today" handling detainees. The world is supposed to be reassured that the guilty few will be punished and that with the appointment of the former Guantanamo Bay "expert", ill-treatment will end. The world is supposed to believe that the detention centre in Guantanamo Bay is a model prison camp and the tales of abuse, for example by the five British detainees who were released in March, were just lies. But the graphic images coming out from Iraq do not lie. The pictures from Abu Ghraib prison and footages of the dead and wounded women and children in Falluja show that torture and the indiscriminate killing of civilians are not aberrations. Despite its desperate attempts to sanitise the war in Iraq, Washington can no longer hide these gruesome sights. Bush says, "That’s not the way we do things in America", but that’s very much the way the US has fought its "wars of liberation" from the Philippines to Vietnam. The real war criminals are in the White House, but like the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, it will be the small fry who will become the fall guys for Abu Ghraib.

Background article: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC ) 30 Sept 2003 newsobserver.com. Epithet shows cultural divide Troops turn title of respect into 'trivializing' slur for Iraqis, others By JAY PRICE, Staff Writer BAGHDAD -- World War II had its "krauts," Vietnam had its "gooks," and now, the War on Terrorism has its own dehumanizing name: "hajji. " That's what many U.S. troops across Iraq and in coalition bases in Kuwait now call anyone from the Middle East or South Asia. Soldiers who served in Afghanistan say it also is used there. related Read more stories on Iraq by Jay Price Among Muslims, the word is used mainly as a title of respect. It means "one who has made the hajj ," the pilgrimage to Mecca . That's not how soldiers use it. Some talk about "killing some hajjis" or "mowing down some hajjis." One soldier in Iraq inked "Hodgie Killer" onto his footlocker. Iraqis, friend or foe, are called hajjis. Kuwaitis are called hajjis. Even people brought in by civilian contractors to work in mess halls or drive buses are hajjis -- despite the fact that they might be from India, the Philippines or Pakistan, and might be Hindu or Christian. The souvenir stands found on even the smallest U.S. bases in the Middle East and run by locals are called hajji shops. A cluster of small businesses inside a larger base is " Hajji Town." The word has become the most obvious evidence of the deep gulf between the traditional cultures of the Middle East and Afghanistan and the young men and women of the U.S. military. Soldiers often have little knowledge of local culture beyond a 90-minute briefing they get before deployment. "This is another reason that soldiers aren't good at winning the peace," Samer Shehata of Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies said Monday. "This doesn't bode well for the reconstruction." A spokesman for U.S. Central Command in Baghdad said Monday that the term was troubling but that there had been no official order to stop its use. "This is more of a common-sense thing," he said. "It's like using any other derogatory word for a racial or ethnic group. Some may use it in a joking way, but it's derogatory, and I'm sure people have tried to stop it." (Centcom has a new policy, the soldier said, of not allowing press spokesmen to identify themselves in the media .) In Iraq, there is little interaction between U.S. soldiers and the people they arrived to liberate. Soldiers in the most dangerous parts of Iraq, such as the Sunni Triangle west and north of Baghdad, seldom have contact with Iraqis except to train guns on them from passing Humvees as they scan for weapons. Their officers say the situation makes it easy to view all Iraqis as a faceless, dangerous mass, even though many civilians are friendly, so they try hard to humanize Iraqis to reduce the likelihood of wrongful shootings. Every war spawns epithets. In World War II, the Americans became "Amis " to the Germans. To Americans, Germans were "krauts." "Hajji," Shehata said, sounds like racist terms that U.S. soldiers used in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, such as "towel-head." The term brings back heavy memories for those who spent time in Vietnam during that war. "That sounds familiar," said John Balaban, an N.C. State University English professor and poet-in-residence who has written about Vietnam and the war. As a conscientious objector, Balaban did alternative service in Vietnam. " There were several words -- 'gook,' 'slope,' 'dink,' " he said. "Some of these were meaningless, but they were all working toward the same goal, of trivializing and depersonalizing the enemy. "It makes it easier to kill these people and not feel bad about it." Staff writer Jay Price can be reached at 829-4526 or jprice@newsobserver.com.

BBC 13 May, 2004 Viewpoint: Power of abuse pictures - Photographer has become abuser in Abu Ghraib Award-winning British photographer and documentary filmmaker David Modell explores the particular, destructive power of the pictures of US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners. The language of photography has, again, proved its power. The person who said that "a picture is worth a thousand words" was wrong - they missed the point. Photography is a language, a form of communication in its own right that doesn't bear comparison with any other. There is no form of words - even if describing the horror these pictures reveal - that could have elicited the kind of response felt when looking at them and the political shift that will follow. Remembering images A photograph speaks to all of us regardless of culture or spoken language. There is a synchronicity between the nature of a still image and the way in which we remember events. There is something unique about the language of photography that contributes to the horror of these pictures Memory itself is constructed through frozen moments in time and so a photograph slips serenely into our minds and is retained. I do not have the picture in front of me, yet I can see clearly the gentle, almost pre-pubescent body of the female GI loosely holding the dog lead, head turned, her other arm relaxed - held slightly away from her torso. And I can see the writhing man on the other end, naked and destroyed. Moving images can never be this potent. We cannot retain and carry with us a video-clip in the same way. We cannot have a two-minute news report always available in the top drawer of our minds ready to be glanced at, at any moment. Triangular relationship There is something else though, unique about the language of photography that contributes to the horror of these pictures. Photographically, the pictures are of the highest standard. Victims of a car accident wait for treatment (Photo: David Modell) I don't mean that they are technically good. But they are extraordinary examples of what photographers always strive to achieve - a triangular relationship between subject, viewer and author. Unlike most appalling images of suffering they are not taken by a sympathetic journalist driven by a need to inform. Normally we can draw some comfort in looking at distressing photographs because, as viewer, we are receiving the message communicated by the photographer- that what he or she is witnessing is unacceptable and upsetting. We look at the picture and say yes, I agree, I understand the message. We can identify with the victim and with the photographer's response to what they saw. We can feel that, in simply viewing the image we are playing our part in helping the victim. Photographer as abuser The pictures from Abu Ghraib are fundamentally different. These are not snatched, clandestine images, taken to uncover the truth and disseminate it. In the almost perfect compositions it is obvious that they were taken in a perversely relaxed atmosphere- emphasised by the demeanour of the troops. And this reveals an appalling reality - that photographs are a deliberate part of the torture. The day before the 1999 eclipse, Cornwall, UK (Photo: David Modell) The taking of the pictures was supposed to compound the humiliation and sense of powerlessness of the victims. The photographer was the abuser. When we view the pictures, we are forced to play our part in this triangle of communication. The photographs were taken to abuse, by exposing the victim at their most vulnerable. By looking at the images we become complicit in the abuse itself. It is this that makes them intolerable for the viewer and why they are so destructive to a war effort built on the spin of "liberation".


AFP 2 May 2004 Pregnant settler and her four girls slain in Gaza shooting KISSUFIM, Gaza Strip : An Israeli woman from the Gaza Strip settlement bloc of Gush Katif and her four children were killed by Palestinian gunmen, in an attack Israel branded a "massacre" aimed at torpedoeing Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the territory. Sources close to the settlers said the victims were a 34-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant and her four girls, aged two to 11. Advertisement The five were shot dead by two Palestinian gunmen at the Kissufim crossing point between the southern Gaza Strip and Israel, an army spokesman said Sunday. "A cell of probably two terrorists positioned themselves near the Kissufim road that leads to the Gush Katif (settlement) bloc," the spokesman told AFP. He the gunmen first targetted another civilian vehicle causing "an Israeli to be seriously injured." "Seconds after, a second vehicle with a woman and four children came under attack by the same cell and were all killed," he said. He said troops rushed to the and "killed the two Palestinian terrorists," adding that two soldiers were lightly wounded during the exchange of fire. The killing of Tali Hatuel and her children -- Hila, 11, Hadar, nine, Ronie, seven, Merav, two -- and the two gunmen brought to 3,958 the number of people killed since the Palestinian intifada broke out in September 2001, including 2,983 Palestinians and 905 Israelis. An AFP correspondent said the family's bullet-ridden white sedan was surrounded by a pool of blood as members of the religious volunteer Jewish organisation Zaka were cleaning up the carnage. A robot from the Israeli ordnance disposal unit lifted the dead body of one of the attackers to check for booby-traps, he said. According to settler sources, the five victims were on their way to a polling station in Israel where Likud members were voting on Sharon's so-called "disengagement" plan. Settlers are fiercely opposed to the plan, which includes the removal of all 21 settlements in the flashpoint Gaza Strip and its 7,500 residents. Settlers in the strip had cancelled school and all other activities on Sunday, urging the 1,500 families living there to campaign against the plan at all the country's 168 polling stations. In spite of the deadly attack, the Yesha Council of Settlements, the settlers' main governing body, vowed to continue its campaign against the withdrawal. "The terrorist who asassinated five Jews near Kissufim would like to drive us out of our homes. But in spite of this painful bereavement, we will continue to urge Likud members not to reward assassins," it said. Settler sources also said an armoured vehicle carrying a CNN news crew was hit by the first flurry of gunfire but no injuries were reported. The crew reportedly prevented other vehicles from approaching the scene. The attack was one of the worst against Gaza settlers since the start of the intifada and the first at this checkpoint since December 2002. The radical Islamic Jihad group and the Popular Resistance Committees, composed of former activists from Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah party, claimed joint responsibility for the killings, in a telephone call to AFP. Another claim broadcast over hailspeakers in Gaza City said the killings were "to avenge the assassinations of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdelaziz Rantissi," referring to two recently assassinated Hamas leaders. Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner described the attack as a "massacre of innocent children" and blamed Arafat and Hamas. "Arafat and Hamas will spare us no horror in trying to stop the political process from going forward," he said. "This terrorist attack is certainly aimed at slowing the already difficult process of separation between us and Gaza," Pazner added.

AP 3 May 2004 EU condemns the killing of Israeli family By ASSOCIATED PRESS The European Union on Monday condemned the fatal shooting of a pregnant Israeli woman and her four young daughters as a "despicable" crime that degraded the Palestinian cause. "The killing of children does not serve any legitimate cause and degrades any purpose which it purports to advance," said Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, speaking for the 25-nation bloc. Tali Hatuel, 34 - who was eight months pregnant - and her children, Hila, 11; Hadar, 9; Roni, 7; and Merav, 2; were shot dead Sunday by Palestinian terrorists as they drove from their home in a Gaza Strip settlement to the southern city of Ashkelon. "I condemn in the strongest terms the heinous attack perpetrated yesterday in the Gaza Strip against innocent civilians ... targeting a woman and her children, it was particularly despicable," said Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy representative. In a statement extending condolences to the family of the victims and the Israeli government, Solana appealed for an end to violence and terrorism, and a cease-fire "embracing all parties and groups." Solana and Cowen are due to head an EU delegation in New York Tuesday for talks on the Middle East with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

BBC 3 May,2004 Palestinian's army killer jailed Israeli soldiers had been sent to enforce a curfew in Jenin An Israeli officer has been jailed for "recklessly" shooting a 16-year-old Palestinian bystander dead. It was the first time a soldier had been imprisoned for killing a Palestinian in the three-and-a-half year intifada, the AP news agency said. Captain Zvi Kuretsky opened fire at Mohammed Ali Zeid even though his life was not in danger, a court ruled. Relatives were stopped at two military checkpoints as they took the boy to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Kuretsky was serving in a unit sent to the village of Nazlat Zeid, south-west of Jenin, in October 2002, the military court heard. Shot on porch As the troops announced a curfew, Mohammed and his cousin Mohammed Smir Zeid went to the porch of their house, and saw an Israeli jeep was parked nearby. The behaviour of the officer was extremely reckless and unreasonable, and there was no danger to the soldier's life when the shots were fired Army statement Mohammed Smir Zeid said they turned back when a soldier pointed his weapon at them, but then he heard a shot and saw his cousin fall to the ground. Kuretsky was found guilty of manslaughter over the killing, was sentenced to six months in prison - though four of them will take the form of community service - and was demoted to the rank of first lieutenant. "The court ruled that the behaviour of the officer was extremely reckless and unreasonable, and there was no danger to the soldier's life when the shots were fired," an army statement said. An Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, criticised the army, saying more than 1,000 Palestinian bystanders have been killed since the Palestinian uprising began in September 2000, but only 13 soldiers have been indicted. But the army said the sentence would send "a clear warning against the hasty use of arms". See www.btselem.org

www.haaretz.com 14 May 2004 The shame of the atrocity By Nazir Majali There is an acute and trenchant debate among Arabs, too, about the abuse of the bodies of the soldiers who were killed in the explosion in Gaza on Tuesday. Even though everyone notes that the military force that entered Gaza wasn't there on a hike but had come to bomb, not a few Arabs feel a sense of shame at the images of the atrocity and view the brutal act as one that above all defames Arab culture, which is based on respect for the dead and is revolted by the abuse of bodies. The religions in which Arabs believe - Islam and Christianity - also forbid such acts. Unfortunately, however, a great many Arabs show understanding and even justify the act. Their hatred blinds their eyes and closes their hearts. Like many in Israel, they think in terms of revenge. It is the internal responsibility of the Arabs to address this phenomenon and prevent its spread among the young generation. This is not only an Arab and Palestinian interest, it is also part of the mission of the noble Arab culture. It is especially important for the Palestinian people, to which many in the international community and in Israel have succeeded in attaching the label of "terrorist." In the past three-and-a-half years, a handful of fanatics have perpetrated terrorist acts that have cost the lives of many (Jews and Arabs) in Israel, and their actions incriminate a whole people. The time has come to rise up against these acts and not to make do with criticism and condemnation. However, this coin has two sides, and it is impossible to ignore the other side. The hatred of Israel among the Palestinian people and among the Arab nations, which nourishes such actions, is not part of the Arab culture. On the contrary: Arabs are better able to love than to hate. Anyone who wants to free himself of his emotional reaction and understand, must ask himself what this hatred of Israel means. Anyone who wants true peace between the two peoples has to be able to cope with this hatred, which is a major weapon in the hands of the enemies of peace on both sides. It is impossible to go on ignoring the feelings and positions of the other side and it is impossible to ignore a number of key facts that dictate the reality. The Israel presence, any Israeli presence, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, is military occupation. The Palestinian people recognizes Israel and its sovereignty over 78 percent of the territory of historic Palestine/Land of Israel, and will make do with 22 percent of the land as part of its compromise. But Israel, under almost all of its governments, has given them the feeling that they will never get even this minuscule territory. In everyday life, the soldiers and officers of the Israel Defense Forces trample the honor of the Palestinian people (and also did so even when there was no intifada), expropriate its land and control its water, its roads, its daily routine and in fact every sphere of life. In Israel the Palestinian question is viewed solely from the Jewish point of view - how important the land is for the settlers, Israeli security, unified Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel, a unilateral solution. Why is no thought given to the ties of the Palestinian to his land and to his Jerusalem? Why don't they think about security for the Palestinians? Why don't they allow them to share in deciding their future? Why is only the Israeli narrative important? When people say that there is no partner for peace on the Palestinian side, why don't they ask whether such a partner exists in the Israeli government? Everyone knows, after all, that the disengagement plan, like the plan of cabinet minister Avigdor Lieberman, like the plan the prime minister is trying to formulate now - all these plans aim to bypass the road map and undermine the Geneva initiative. No side has the right to ignore the other side and infringe its rights, its sensitivities and its honor. The writer is the Israel affairs commentator for several television stations in the Arab world and for the newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat.

Jerusalem Post 12 May 2004 www.jpost.com Analysis: Time for a change in tactics Margot Dudkevitch Because Israel sanctifies human life and goes out of its way to prevent innocent civilians from being harmed while waging a war against terror, it pays with the blood of its citizens – in this instance, six soldiers from the Givati Brigade. Ground forces, and not air forces, were deployed to demolish the metalworks in Gaza City because of the risk of collateral damage in the populated Palestinian civilian areas where terrorists manufacture the Kassam rockets and mortar shells they use to attack Israel. But perhaps when confronted with such a barbaric enemy, it's time to change our tactics and risk world condemnation. Perhaps it's time to stop valuing the lives of Palestinian civilians and start using heavy-handed tactics, even if that leads to civilian casualties. Perhaps it's time to act like the terrorists who blow up innocent women and children in buses and malls and parade with the body parts of soldiers down the streets of Gaza, instead of going out of our way to prevent civilian casualties at any cost. In every IDF ground operation conducted in Palestinian-controlled areas, the army does its utmost to refrain from hitting innocent civilians. The same standard is upheld when targeting terrorist leaders from the air; more than once, operations were halted seconds before missiles were fired because of the close proximity of civilians to the intended target. Soldiers and commanders alike are briefed before each mission and instructed to avoid hitting civilians even when terrorists use them as cover. The army isn't perfect. Mistakes are made and there have been cases of civilian casualties, but considering the numerous operations carried out by the IDF since the outbreak of violence more than three and a half years ago, such cases are relatively isolated and are investigated immediately. The crowded Zeitoun neighborhood is considered a Hamas and Islamic Jihad stronghold. Narrow alleyways zig-zag haphazardly between the buildings. It is a breeding ground for terrorists, where the locals often join in the fighting, and Tuesday was no exception. Groups of women and children stood alongside masked Palestinian gunmen. As OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel explained, the situation in Gaza is complex because it requires soldiers to destroy the terrorist infrastructure but refrain from harming civilians. "The metalworks that were destroyed were located in close proximity to the civilian population, thereby preventing us from hitting them from the air," he said. Harel said that once the soldiers have completed their mission, the entire operation will be investigated. Another issue that must be addressed is the reason why the APCs were carrying such large amounts of explosives after blowing up the metalworks. No doubt the issue will be studied; regulations might be changed. But one thing is clear: unlike foreign armies, who often pound targets from the air regardless of the civilian cost, Israel continues to uphold its moral values and the sanctity of human life. The Zeitoun operation is similar to Operation Defensive Shield, conducted in 2002 in Judea and Samaria. It is particularly reminiscent of the operation conducted in the alleys of the Jenin refugee camp. Based on aerial shots of the camp, ground forces were dispatched to rout out the bands of armed terrorists operating within a densely-populated civilian area. Prior to entering the camp, the army called on those not involved in terrorism, including women and children, to leave. While some did, many chose to remain. A heavy price was paid and many soldiers died because of the decision to deploy ground forces and refrain from using air power. Unlike other armies, the US Army among them, Israel is accountable. But the question is, at what price? And for how much longer must that price be the precious blood of our citizens? Maybe it's time to act like other armies and do what we have to do – and force the other side to pay the price. Maybe that is the only way to wipe terrorism off the map.

BBC 15 May, 2004 Israel destroys Palestinian homes Hundreds are thought to have been deprived of their homes Israeli troops have withdrawn from a Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza Strip after bulldozing dozens of homes. The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said the Israelis destroyed 90 buildings in Rafah, home to more than 200 families. But the Israeli military said it only destroyed homes used by Palestinian militants to launch attacks. In Israel, meanwhile, tens of thousands attended a rally calling for withdrawal from the Gaza Strip late on Saturday. Earlier the Israelis also carried out a series of missile attacks in Gaza against the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad. In the Rafah refugee camp, a missile hit the home of senior Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed Sheikh Khalil. Israeli missiles also hit buildings used by the group in Gaza City. There were no reports of deaths in either incident, but at least 14 people were injured. Israelis demonstrate The latest Israeli strikes come at the end of a week in which 13 Israeli soldiers were killed in three separate ambushes in Gaza. Clashes also left about 30 Palestinians dead. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for two of the attacks on Israeli armoured vehicles. On Saturday night, tens of thousands of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv to demonstrate in favour of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan for Israel to pull out of Gaza and parts of the West Bank. The prime minister's ruling Likud party has rejected the proposals, but opinion polls have shown that most Israelis support the plan. The demonstration, organised by the opposition Labour Party and a coalition of peace groups, began with a moment of silence for the 13 dead Israeli soldiers. "I'm here because we can't take it anymore," said Tali Rosen, 34. "What got me out of the house was the deaths of the soldiers." The rally organisers claimed it is one of the largest protests of its kind since the demonstrations against Israel's invasion of Lebanon in the 1980s. 'Catastrophe' In Rafah, one Palestinian woman whose home was destroyed by Israeli troops told the BBC that nobody had shot from it at the soldiers and there had been no warning before the bulldozers came. The Israeli withdrawal from Rafah came as Palestinians marked the anniversary of the 1948 creation of Israel - a day known to Palestinians as the Naqba, or catastrophe. Thousands of Palestinians held marches throughout Gaza and the West Bank, many of them holding large wooden keys symbolising homes lost 56 years ago. UNRWA said earlier that more than other 1,000 Palestinians had been made homeless by Israeli military raids this month before the current upsurge of fighting. TOLL FROM LATEST VIOLENCE 14 May - Two Israeli soldiers and one Palestinian killed in the Rafah refugee camp 13 May - 12 Palestinians reported dead in Israeli raids on Rafah refugee camp 12 May - Five Israeli soldiers killed by a rocket fired by Palestinian gunmen near Rafah 11-12 May - 14 Palestinians killed during Israeli incursion in Gaza City 11 May - Six Israeli soldiers killed by an anti-tank bomb in Gaza City.

Jerusalem Post 15 May 2004 www.jpost.com Rwandan mayor recalls genocide By ETGAR LEFKOVITS It is nothing out of the ordinary for a foreign dignitary, like any tourist, to be moved during his first visit to Yad Vashem. But it carried special weight for Kigali Mayor Theoneste Mutsindashyaka, as he toured Yad Vashem just a month after Rwanda marked 10 years since its own genocide. "As a Rwandan, this visit was a very good experience for me, to see people who went through genocide, who are well organized, and maintain a high security consciousness, teaches us to have hope for the future," Mutsindashyaka, one of 31 mayors from 17 countries attending the Jerusalem Conference of Mayors, said in an interview. About one million people, mainly minority Tutsis and political moderates from the Hutu majority, were murdered in 100 days, the mayor said. He noted that in contrast to Yad Vashem, the memorial center in Rwanda's capital focused only on remembrance, and not on education. "Yad Vashem shows that you have to go beyond remembrance. If genocide happened, you have to remember it every day and every hour, but remembrance is also the education of the young generation, and the education of foreigners who do not know your history," he said. He noted that the theme of the conference "The Role of Mayor in Crisis Time" was particularly apt for him in a country where over three million people were involved in the genocide. "For Rwandans every day and every hour is crisis time," he said. "Can you imagine managing such people?" he asked, noting that the genocide – which was organized by the Hutu-extremist government then in power – was committed by fellow countrymen and not foreigners or external enemies. Mutsindashyaka said that like in the Holocaust, the international community "did not care" about the genocide going on in his country. "We remember how the UN left without saving people," he said. He added that his role as mayor was to work to convince people to forgive in order to reconstruct his nation. "There is no other way forward... we have to be above the divisions and work for conciliation," he said. The Kigali mayor, who is visiting Israel for the first time, said that he was stunned to find a "normal life" going on in the country, noting that his wife had urged him not to come. "I'll be back – with my wife," he promised.

Jerusalem Post 16 May 2004 www.jpost.com 150,000 demand Gaza withdrawal By MATTHEW GUTMAN More than 150,000 people packed Tel Aviv's Kikar Rabin on Saturday night, demanding that Israel immediately withdraw from the Gaza Strip. Organizers called it the first revival of Israel's dormant center-left movement since the eruption of the intifada 40 months ago. The rally went ahead despite condemnation from the Right, and chiefly the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip, that holding a left-wing rally was akin to "dancing on the graves" of the 13 soldiers who were killed in action in the Gaza Strip last week. Security at the event was tight, with some 1,300 police officers, border policemen, sappers, and volunteers patrolling the area around Kikar Rabin and blocking off streets in a radius of some 500 meters. Organizers said droves of people were spotted as far as a kilometer from Kikar Rabin. Opposition leader Shimon Peres (Labor) gave a speech that seemed to dispel rumors that his party would join the Likud in a national unity government. "We must not support a puppet government that follows the delusional ideas of the Right," he said. Peres, saying that 1 percent of the nation is blocking what 80% of Israelis really want – peace and negotiations with the Palestinians – continued, "We will not allow that 1% to send us back to war." He prescribed unilateral evacuation of the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank as a panacea for Israel's ills, including poverty and social strife. In a stirring speech, Am Ehad chairman Amir Peretz swore to "fight until Israel pulls out of Gaza." "As a resident of Sderot [just outside the Gaza Strip], we do not fear disengagement, we do not fear dialogue or a political settlement," he said. Others pinned the blame for Israel's woes directly on the backs of the settlers. "Down with the rule of the settlers! We will not continue to sacrifice our sons for the sake of the settlers," cried Peace Now founder and chairman Tzali Reshef, in a statement that received the loudest ovation of the night. His next statement, that "for the termination of the occupation, there is a Palestinian partner," was received with far less enthusiasm. Rally organizers hoped the demonstration was "the opening shot in a prolonged campaign that has aroused Israel's sleeping giant, the Left." Peace Now director-general Yariv Oppenheimer added, "Saying you are from the left is no longer a curse." Organizers attributed the success of the rally to a flurry of events in recent days: the Likud's rejection of Sharon's Gaza "disengagement' plan, the murder of Gush Katif resident Tali Hatuel and her four daughters, and the deaths of 13 soldiers this week in Gaza fighting. Officials in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office said Saturday night that the rally may place pressure on the government to accept his disengagement plan when a reworked version is presented to the cabinet. The officials said Sharon remains committed to disengagement, despite the defeat of the plan earlier this month in the Likud referendum, and that within a few weeks he will present "more or less the same plan" to the cabinet for a vote. The difference in the plan will likely be in its phasing, the officials said. Various options are being considered, the officials said, but Sharon is still committed to relocating the Gaza settlements and the IDF positions there. No formal discussion on disengagement is slated at Sunday's cabinet meeting, although the subject will likely be brought up by some of the ministers. The rally, the officials said, will likely have an impact on the "political process" and "create great pressure" on the ministers opposed to the plan to either come up with something better, or to strongly make their case for opposing it. "Public support can sway the government," the officials said. The officials said that the security cabinet's decision to act aggressively against the terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip and widen the Philadelphi Route should disabuse the Palestinians of the notion that their actions against the IDF are chasing Israel from Gaza. "On the one hand, Israel wants to withdraw. But it won't be retreat from Gaza – it will be orderly and organized, it won't be Lebanon," the officials maintained. "All the plans being drawn up by the IDF and Defense Ministry are geared so that if and when the disengagement plan goes into effect, it will not be a withdrawal that leaves an impression of being chased out." Former Shin Bet director Ami Ayalon issued one of the few unifying calls at the rally, lamenting that the crowd was not truly representative, and that due to the timing of the event, before the end of the Shabbat, neither the religiously observant nor residents of the South could come. Ayalon addressed Sharon, saying that "the nation is with you," but warned him that a failure to abandon the Gaza Strip would yield his demise. Former Labor Party activists lambasted what they called the "preachiness" of the event which headlined now-marginalized left-wing stalwarts such as Reshef and Yossi Belin, instead of appealing to a wider cross-section of Israeli society. The rally included not a single Likud activist, nor a member from the modern Orthodox party Meimad. However, Beilin, chairman of the dovish Yahad Party and one of the architects of the rally, said, "We made a point of not making this a show of unity. We are here to represent the majority of Israelis who want to get out of Gaza; those who don't support this message are not here." Last week, the organizers fiercely debated the rally's slogan, ultimately deciding on "Get out of Gaza and start talking." Polls indicate that the majority of Israelis feel that Israel has no negotiating partner on the Palestinian side, and consider the concessions written into last year's Geneva Accord suicidally generous. A new forum of left-leaning organizations and parties called "Harov" (the Majority's Coalition), began organizing the rally after Likud members rejected Sharon's plan for a Gaza pullout. The forum includes Left and Center-Left groups such as Labor, Yahad, Am Ehad, Peace Now, the kibbutz movements, the Geneva Accord organization, youth movements and the Forum of Bereaved Parents. Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

Daily Star 19 May 2004 www.dailystar.com.lb Israel demolishes rights along with homes By Cilina Nasser Daily Star staff Wednesday, May 19, 2004 BEIRUT: Forty-five Palestinians lodged an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court against Israel's plan to destroy their homes in the southern Gaza refugee camp of Rafah Tuesday, just as Amnesty International criticized the court for failing to protect internationally guaranteed rights to housing. While the appeal was being presented, Israeli forces were carrying out a major operation in Rafah that included bulldozing inhabited buildings. Israel claimed demolishing the houses near a road along the border with Egypt, known as the Philadelphi Road, would hinder Palestinian militants from smuggling weapons in from the neighboring Arab country. On Sunday, the Israeli supreme court sanctioned the demolitions, saying that they were justified based on security grounds. But Ahmed al-Karaoud, director of Amnesty International's regional office for the Middle East and North Africa in Beirut, said that such an excuse was clearly insufficient. "The Supreme Court must implement international humanitarian law," he told The Daily Star during a Beirut press conference at which the rights watchdog released a report on house demolitions in the Occupied Territories. "More than 3,000 homes, vast areas of agricultural land and hundreds of other properties have been destroyed by the Israeli army and security forces in Israel and the Occupied Territories in the past three and a half years," said the report, entitled: Under the Rubble: House Demolition and Destruction of Land and Property. The 66-page document highlighted the harsh conditions that Palestinian families endure after their homes are leveled to the ground. "The children look to us, their parents, for protection and security, and when our home was destroyed they were traumatized by the experience and destabilized by the situation we found ourselves in, without a home," said Arabia Shawarmeh, whose house was demolished four times. "People came to destroy our home and we, their parents could do nothing to prevent it," said Shawarmeh, a mother of seven children. "They lost all their belongings and we could not replace them; I was no longer able to give them what they needed most, a home and a sense of security." Amnesty argued that the court rulings permitting demolitions were based on the supreme court's acceptance of the "army's arguments and assessment of what constitutes military/security needs." The rights group accused the court of thereby failing "to protect Palestinians in the Occupied Territories from arbitrary destruction of their homes and property and from forced evictions, leaving open the door for Israeli demolitions for almost any ostensible military purpose." Amnesty urged Israel to stop destroying houses in order to facilitate the creation and expansion of Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories. The organization cited Article 5 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination that requires States Parties to guarantee the rights of everyone to housing. Some Palestinians, such as the Shubi family, have not only lost their right to housing but also their right to life. Forty-year-old Nabila Shubi, who was seven months pregnant, was left to die under the rubble along with her husband and three children, whose ages ranged from 4 to 9, after a house demolition in the old city of Nablus in April 2002. The Israeli Army kept the area under strict curfew for days, denying access to rescue workers, and it was not until a week later that their bodies were found under the rubble of the house by relatives. It is not known if they were killed by the collapsing walls or if they died later from injuries or of asphyxiation, Amnesty reported. Shubi's father-in-law and two sisters-in-law were also found dead, all huddled in a circle in a small room. Neighbors whose homes were demolished at the same time as the Shubi's house and who fled when the demolition began told Amnesty that the soldiers did not warn the residents to evacuate the houses before beginning the demolition. The destruction of homes is usually carried out by the Israeli Army's US-made Caterpillar bulldozers. Amnesty called on the American company "to guarantee that its bulldozers are not used to commit human rights violations." But Caterpillar's Chairman Jim Owens wrote a letter recently to the parents of an American peace activist crushed when one of his bulldozers ran over her last year, saying that his company did not have the practical ability or the legal right to determine how its products were used after being sold. Karaoud was not convinced. "It is true that Caterpillar might not be able to control its products after they are sold, but huge economic institutions that have become influential could make decisions that would contribute in reducing human rights violations," he said.

WP 19 May 2004 Bush Backs Israel's Defense By Dana Milbank and Glenn Kessler Washington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, May 19, 2004; Page A19 President Bush told the nation's pro-Israel lobby yesterday that the Jewish state "has every right to defend itself from terror," as the administration softened its opposition to an Israeli incursion into Gaza that has killed a score of Palestinians. The president, whose speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was interrupted 67 times by applause and chants of "Four more years," delivered mild criticism of Israel's actions in Gaza. "The unfolding violence in the Gaza Strip is troubling and underscores the need for all parties to seize every opportunity for peace," he said. Bush's statement was an indirect mention of the events in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli forces moved troops, helicopters and tanks yesterday into a densely populated Gaza refugee camp. The operation, which a Palestinian hospital official said killed 19 Palestinians, was one of the deadliest in the occupied territories in years. Bush's description of Israel's actions was at odds with the position taken by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. Speaking in Jordan on Sunday, Powell said: "We know that Israel has a right for self-defense, but the kind of actions that they are taking in Rafah -- the destruction of Palestinian homes -- we oppose." He said "we don't think that is productive" and emphasized that "the United States is anxious to do everything that it can to stop this cycle." Bush instead emphasized that Israel is free to fight terrorism. "The United States is strongly committed, and I am strongly committed, to the security of Israel as a vibrant Jewish state," he said. "Israel is a democracy and a friend and has every right to defend itself from terror." Bush's position was close to that voiced Monday in Berlin by his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, who said only that house demolitions in Rafah were "a subject of conversation and a subject of concern." Palestinian officials said that in a meeting with Rice, Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia appealed to her for the Bush administration to use its influence with Israel to immediately stop the destruction of homes in Gaza. White House press secretary Scott McClellan said that while the administration opposes destroying the homes of "innocent Palestinians," it has received assurances about the Gaza incursion from Israel. "They've made clear to us that these operations that they're conducting are aimed at stopping the smuggling of arms through tunnels in Gaza, and at preventing the distribution of those arms, not aimed at destroying homes," he said. Participants at the AIPAC conference said they viewed Bush's speech as an endorsement of Israel's actions. The 4,500 delegates at the Washington Convention Center gave the president thunderous ovations. An AIPAC spokesman said the group is nonpartisan and pointed out that President Bill Clinton received a similar reception and chant of "Four more years" during his first term. AIPAC's president, Amy Friedkin, praised Bush for sidelining Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. "You understood with great moral clarity the true nature of the man," she said. Bush, when he began his speech, said of Friedkin: "Finally, AIPAC elected a president I can kiss." The enthusiastic reception was a boost for Bush, who has sought with his unstinting support of Israel to lure Jewish voters and donors from their traditional home in the Democratic Party. Bush's Democratic opponent, Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), issued a statement that, without mentioning the Gaza violence, criticized Bush for not challenging Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah for blaming a terrorist attack in that country on "Zionists." "President Bush has said nothing," Kerry said. "As president, I will never permit this kind of attack to go unanswered." In his speech to AIPAC, Bush again embraced Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan for a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in exchange for assurances from the United States that it need not take back Palestinian refugees or return to its pre-1967 borders. Sharon's plan has been stalled by hard-liners in his own Likud Party, and violence has worsened in Gaza, where Israel has amassed forces after Palestinians killed 13 Israeli soldiers last week. .


Zenit.org 14 May 2004 A Lebanese Monk Who Cared for Muslims and Christians VATICAN CITY .- A Maronite priest and monk who will be canonized this Sunday was a pastor of souls known for his care of Muslims as well as Christians. Nimatullah Al-Hardini will be the third canonized saint from Lebanon. "Very attentive to the Lebanese community mosaic, in his mission he made no distinction between Muslims, Druses, or Christians," said the postulator of his cause of canonization, Father Paolo Azzi, on Vatican Radio. "What was essential for him was to save souls as he sought to save his own." The future saint -- known in the world as Youssef Kassab -- was born in Hardine, in northern Lebanon, in 1808. At age 20 he entered as a seminarian in the Monastery of St. Anthony in Qozhaya and chose the name Nimatullah, which means "grace of God." He was ordained a priest in Kfifan on Christmas Day in 1833. Nimatullah lived the contemplative dimension of his vocation in daily life through love of his religious brothers and of culture, the biography issued by the Holy See says. Indeed, "his erudition was not one of being enclosed in himself, but rather a missionary openness toward those in need of his charity and knowledge," Father Azzi explained. Nimatullah Al-Hardini first founded a school in Kifkan and later in Bhersaf to instruct youth for free. Moreover, "he played an exceptional role in charitable works during the massacre of Christians in 1845," the postulator said. "He stayed with every family and orphan; he helped them, taught them, and prayed for them." Under the Ottoman Empire, the civil situation in Lebanon was as difficult as that of the Maronite Church and of his religious order. It was at this time that he coined a motto: "The most intelligent is the one who can save his soul." Nimatullah spent days and nights in Eucharistic adoration, and prayed the rosary continuously. At age 43, he was named by the Holy See as general assistant of the order for three years. He was entrusted with this office on two subsequent occasions. Out of humility, he refused the nomination to be abbot general. As a professor of theology at the major seminary, he had Charbel Makhlouf, a future canonized saint, as one of his students. Makhlouf was at his teacher's bedside when he died. Nimatullah Al-Hardini died at 50 in the Monastery of Kfifan on Dec. 14, 1858. His cause of beatification was presented in Rome in 1926, together with that of the monk Charbel (canonized in 1977) and Rafqa, a Lebanese Maronite nun canonized in 2001. Nimatullah was beatified on May 10, 1998. John Paul II will canonize him Sunday in St. Peter's Square. Father Azzi said that Blessed Nimatullah's message is one of "love, peace and hope. Nimatullah's nation is a nation that has always lived a continuous Holy Week. It has followed the path of hope to overcome despair." Nimatullah's canonization "is an open letter addressed to the Lebanon, which has suffered much, and to the Lebanese, who need peace, and to the martyred land of the Middle East," the postulator concluded.

Malaysia (See Thailand)

Sri Lanka

AFP 10 May 2003 More Sri Lankan Tamil refugees return from India after ceasefire COLOMBO, May 10 (AFP) - At least 69 Tamil refugees have returned from camps in India in the latest wave of Sri Lankans to come home since the government and Tiger rebels signed a ceasefire in 2002, officials said Monday. The first batch of 33 undertook a hazardous sea journey and arrived at the northwestern port district of Mannar on Thursday. Another 36 landed on Saturday and were being registered by the local authorities, the officials said. Sri Lankan Tamils who sought refuge in neighbouring India have been returning on their own since government troops and Tamil Tiger guerrillas entered into truce in February 2002. According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) figures, at least 6,000 Sri Lankan Tamils have returned home from camps in India in the past two years. However, about 90,000 refugees still remain in India. About 60,000 of them are living in refugee camps in southern India while another 20,000 to 30,000 are living outside the camps in India, according to the UNHCR.

AFP 11 May 2004 Sri Lanka troops, Tigers pledge to preserve truce after killings COLOMBO, May 11 (AFP) - Tamil Tiger rebels and Sri Lankan government troops pledged Tuesday to work to stem a wave of killings that Scandinavian truce monitors said posed a threat to a 2002 ceasefire. The two sides, at a crisis meeting arranged by the monitors, agreed to develop a system to share information after more than a dozen people were killed since April 25, including a government soldier and rebels. A joint statement by the two parties and the Norwegian-led truce monitors said they would uphold the ceasefire, in place since February 2002, despite the violence. "The parties agreed to work out practicalities and to continue the good cooperation," the statement said, adding that the two sides agreed to meet every two weeks "to develop mechanisms to ensure information sharing and quick reaction procedures to prevent serious crime." The monitoring force called the emergency meeting in the eastern district of Batticaloa after warning that the slayings in the area were a "serious threat" to the Norwegian-backed peace bid in Sri Lanka. The mission said the killing spree was a violation of the truce but stopped short of apportioning blame. The meeting came as Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen and his deputy Vidar Helgesen met with Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran in a bid to help revive peace talks that have been stalled since April 2003. Four previous attempts to politically end Sri Lanka's ethnic bloodshed failed. More than 60,000 people have been killed in the conflict in the past three decades.


AFP 24 May 2004 Court frees 27 young Syrian Kurds being tried over riots: group DAMACUS, May 24 (AFP) - 13h45 - A Damascus juvenile court freed 27 Syrian Kurdish minors being tried on multiple charges in connection with recent ethnic riots in the northeast, a Kurdish party said Monday. "The juvenile court judge in Damascus asked the parents to come and collect their children who were arrested on March 14," Aziz Dawd, secretary general of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party, told AFP. The Kurds, whose ages were not given, had been accused "of provoking trouble and attacking the image of the state, insulting the head of state, harming national sentiment, damaging state property and breaking car windows." They all pleaded not guilty when they appeared in court on May 1. Between March 12 and 17, Kurds clashed with Syrian security forces and Arab tribes in the north of Syria. Kurdish sources said 40 people were killed, while Syrian officials put the toll at 25. The trouble broke out at a football match in Qamishli, 600 kilometresmiles) north of Damascus, when Arab tribesmen taunted Kurds with slogans against Iraqi Kurdish leaders and brandished portraits of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. After the riots, Syrian Kurdish groups complained authorities continued with a crackdown, making hundreds of unfair arrests, but some 300 have been freed in the past two weeks. President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview earlier this month with Al-Jazeera television that the issue of Syrian nationality for the Kurds was being resolved. "The Kurds are Syrian citizens who live among us, and Kurdish nationalism is part of Syria’s history," he said. The Kurdish community has long demanded the return of the identity cards which were confiscated from almost 200,000 Kurds in 1962. Former defence minister Mustapha Tlass said in an interview published Friday that some 20,000 Kurds would be granted Syrian nationality. Tlass, who played a conciliatory role in calming the riots, told the Arabic daily Al-Hayat that Assad had promised them nationality because "they are really Syrians." But he added that tens of thousands had come from Iraq and Turkey and were not Syrian. Syria’s Kurds, estimated to total 1.5 million, represent around nine percent of the country’s population and live mainly in the north.


Reuters 30 Apr 2004 Malaysia's Muslims outraged at "Pattani massacre" 30 Apr 2004 09:05:11 GMT By Jalil Hamid KOTA BHARU, Malaysia, April 30 (Reuters) - The spiritual leader of Malaysia's conservative Islamic opposition denounced on Friday this week's attack by Thai security forces on a mosque in southern Thailand, in which 34 young militants were killed. The violence just across Malaysia's border, in which more than 100 young Muslims in all were killed after they attacked security posts, has outraged many of the country's majority Muslim Malays. "Islam forbids Muslims from attacking churches or temples," Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the spiritual leader of Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS), told Reuters after delivering his weekly sermon. "Even in times of war, Muslims cannot attack people taking shelter in churches. So the attack on the mosque is totally unacceptable," said Nik Aziz, who is also chief minister of the opposition-held state of Kelantan. Most of Buddhist Thailand's Muslim minority in its deep south are ethnic Malays, sharing the same language and religion as their cousins in Malaysia. The region was home to a low-key Muslim separatist rebellion in the 1970s and 1980s, and Thai security forces have long suspected links between militants in Thailand and Malaysia. A spate of attacks there since January this year has raised fears a new generation of militant Islamic separatists has come of age, throwing the spotlight once again on cross-border links. Muslims in northern Malaysia are referring to Wednesday's violence, in particular the attack by Thai forces on the mosque in Pattani town where some of the militants had fled, as "the massacre of Pattani". PAS youth chief Sallehuddin Ayob said Thai authorities had to be held responsible for the high death toll. "This is an oppression, a massacre against Muslims. Until now, it has not been able to prove that those people were terrorists," he said. "NO JOBS, NO TRUST" Malaysian businessman Cik Husin Cik Harun, a Muslim who lives near the border and has relatives in Thailand, said Thai Muslims had long been neglected by their government. "There are no jobs, the people are poor and they distrust the Thai officials running the southern provinces," he said. In what were typical Friday prayers in the rural northeastern state, thousands of Muslims loyal to Nik Aziz filled the streets surrounding PAS headquarters to hear his sermon. Men and women -- the latter covered head to toe -- sat in separate sections. Some jotted notes during the hour-long sermon while others read newspaper reports about the clashes in Thailand. Many said they planned to hold special prayers for the slain Thai Muslims. Luthi Aziz Hamzah, a 42-year-old Indonesian working in Kelantan, said he hoped God would reward those Muslims who died in the name of Islam. "The Thais attacked the mosque and fired all over the place. This proved that they had no respect for freedom of religion, freedom to practice jihad (holy struggle). "They slaughter people and hopefully God will punish those who oppress the Muslims." But the normally outspoken Nik Aziz refrained from criticising Thailand over the violence saying he would not interfere in the domestic affairs of another country.



AFP 12 May 2004 Ten years of talking but no settlement for Karabakh conflict by Christian Lowe and Mariam Harutunian BAKU, May 12 (AFP) - Ten years to the day after Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to stop fighting each other over the mountainous enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, there is still no lasting deal to resolve the dispute and, insiders say, only a slim hope that there will be one in the foreseeable future. Though the guns are now silent, the failure to find a proper settlement has left a ticking time bomb at the heart of a Caucasus region which is taking on strategic importance for the West as a transit route for oil supplies. "The region is balancing on the edge of a conflict," said Tofiq Zulfugarov, a former foreign minister in Azerbaijan. "I would not exclude the possibility of a resumption of hostilities." When, on May 12, 1994, the defence ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia exchanged notes agreeing to a ceasefire, it halted five years of war which had cost some 35,000 lives and, according to independent estimates, forced a million people on both sides to flee from their homes. At the moment the ceasefire was agreed, Armenian forces were in de facto control of Nagorno-Karabakh -- an enclave which Azerbaijan insists is part of its sovereign territory -- and seven Azeri regions adjacent to Karabakh. What followed was supposed to be a brief interlude of a few months while the two sides, helped by international mediators, thrashed out a permanent peace deal which would make a return to war impossible. But those few months turned into 10 years and, despite regular peace talks, summits and mediation by the European Union, Russia and the United States, no deal has materialised. According to former Armenian foreign minister Vahan Papazian, who took part in the negotiations, a lasting solution is now even further away than it was 10 years ago. "Today there is no progress whatsoever," he said. "The former leaders of Armenia were much closer to a resolution than the current ones." The "frozen conflict" suits no one. Azerbaijan complains that part of its territory has been annexed, while Armenia, wedged between Azerbaijan and Turkey, is under a crippling economic blockade by the two countries in retaliation for the war. So what chance is there now, after 10 years, of a peace deal for Nagorno-Karabakh? Insiders say the prospects of an agreement which will settle the conflict once and for all are practically nil, at least for a generation. Azerbaijan will settle for nothing less than having Karabakh under its sovereignty. Armenia will not countenance this. "The current population cannot decide the status of Nagorno-Karabakh because the positions of the Azeri and Armenian populations are diametrically opposed," said Zulfugarov. But an interim agreement, which leaves the thorny issue of Karabakh's status to one side but takes some of the sting out of the conflict, could be attainable. One option along these lines would see the severed railway link between Armenia and Azerbaijan re-opened in exchange for Armenian forces pulling out of some of the seven districts bordering Karabakh. This proposal has been discussed before by the two sides but rejected. There could, though, be a change in the air. According to some analysts, the United States is taking an active interest in finding a settlement. It is backing a multi-billion-dollar (-euro) pipeline across the region to export oil from the Caspian Sea to world markets and does not want to see oil supplies disrupted by a new war. At the same time, Russia, the other key player in the region, is showing signs that it is swapping its tradition of rivalry with the United States for influence in the Caucasus for a policy of cooperation. With Moscow and Washington acting in tandem, Azerbaijan and Armenia might be persuaded to swallow a partial peace deal, analysts believe. "The fact that the international community recognises that the time for a resolution has come is not in doubt," said Papazian. "(But) the sides themselves need to show political will, which, as far as I can see, neither the Armenian nor the Azeri leaderships have."


AP 15 May 2004 3 mass graves found in Bosnian genocide Associated Press BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina - A special commission researching the Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims said Friday it has learned of three more mass graves of victims. So far U.N. and Muslim experts have found the remains of about 5,000 of the more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys who were killed and buried in mass graves around Srebrenica. Milan Bogdanic, the head of the Srebrenica Commission, said he had no information on when the new graves would be exhumed from Europe's worst civilian massacre since World War II. The government commission was formed last year by Paddy Ashdown, Bosnia's international administrator, to investigate who was involved in the massacre and where the bodies were hidden. Under the 1995 peace accord that ended the war, Ashdown has the power to impose laws and to fire officials who fail to comply with the peace process. The same agreement also divided postwar Bosnia into two mini-states, a Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat federation. Bosnian Muslim officials have said that up to 20 mass graves are still undisclosed. Also Friday, NATO-led troops detained a Bosnian Serb on suspicion of helping war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic evade arrest. The peacekeepers detained Milovan Bjelica in Sokolac, about 20 miles east of the capital, Sarajevo, said Capt. Robert Lapreze, a spokesman for NATO-led peacekeepers. Bjelica has long been suspected of being a top organizer of the network that has helped Karadzic evade arrest for years. Karadzic was indicted in 1995 by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, on charges of genocide and other war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.


AP 7 May 2004 Brigitte Bardot On Trial For Allegedly Inciting Racial Hatred French film legend Brigitte Bardot is defending herself in Paris against criminal charges of inciting racial hatred. In the best-selling book "Islamicization of France," Bardot allegedly speaks out against people of mixed race and the "infiltration" of France by Islamic extremists. The 69-year-old film star told a Paris court Thursday she never meant to hurt anybody -- and apologized if she did. Bardot could face one year in prison -- though a fine is expected if she's convicted.

www.lewrockwell.com 29 May 2004 Remembering the Vendée by Sophie Masson by Sophie Masson The fact that the Vendée revolt was a popular one called into question the very nature of the Revolution, with its middle-class and aristocratic leaders. Only very recently has the Republic of France begun to acknowledge the horrors of what can be seen as perhaps the first modern genocide. The Atlantic Ocean is gentle along this long coast. It rolls in sinuous unfoldings, not pounding as it does further north, along the rugged grey cliffs. Along its shore are scrubby pine forests and further in, deep deciduous woods, slow rivers, marshes, small fields, deformed menhirs standing on the side of remote paths. The sky is huge here, embracing this flat, secret, remote land with a pearly blue haze, and along the beach we find the footprints of an impossibly ancient past, thousands of amnonite fossils embedded in the soft rock. The villages and towns are small, tucked in on themselves, with their churches of grey, unspeaking stone, not carved, but inside, there are painted wooden decorations of surprising delicacy and charm. And everywhere, everywhere, the presence of the Chouans; everywhere the memory of the terror, the memory of the dead, the names, in endless rows. I want to tell you a story, a story you may feel is familiar... Once, there was a rich and beautiful and remote land, a land of secrets and songs and story; a land of ocean and forest and river; of quiet marsh and deep paths. Its people lived as they had always lived, in their land and with it, in the depths of their culture which they had not named but which they knew in every fibre of their beings. When the new ways came, at first the people did nothing. They were curious, they reserved judgment. But very soon, they realised what the corning of the new men and the new ideas meant. A violation of their land, their beliefs, their culture, their very soul. They would not stand by and see that happen. They would resist, forever if need be. The intruders, for their part, thought they were bringing progress, enlightenment, improvement, release from superstition, liberty, for heavens sake. Equality, fraternity. They would drag these benighted savages into modern times, even if it cost them some battles. But it would be easy; these savages, these half-humans, would soon be a dying race. But it wasn't easy. The people resisted fiercely. Sometimes they won. Sometimes the intruders grew very worried indeed. But soon, the lack of arms, the superior technology, and also, it must be said, the independence of the people who found it difficult to band together in total unity, saw reason win over their courage and faith. Theirs was not a warlike culture; they longed for their former peace. It was then, in the defeat of the people, that the most terrible revelation came to the spirit of the intruders. This dying race of savages could be helped on its way. And so the genocide began. The atrocities multiplied, the exterminations systematic and initiated from the very top, and carried out with glee at the bottom. At least 300,000 people were massacred during that time, and those of the intruders who refused to do the job were either shot or discredited utterly. But still the people resisted. Still there were those who hid in the forests and ambushed, who fought as bravely as lions but were butchered like pigs when they were caught. No quarter was given; all the leaders were shot, beheaded, or hanged. Many were not even allowed to rest in peace; the body of the last leader was cut up and distributed to scientists; his head was pickled in a jar, the brain examined to see where the seed of rebellion lay in the mind of a savage. That was two hundred years ago; but at the recent bicentenary celebrated by the intruders, not a mention was made of the dead. Not a mention was made of the genocide. It was the people themselves who remembered. For that is what the intruders did not take into account: memory. The people still tell the tale, vividly, with pain. But their pain is not that only of victims. It is a glowing, rich thing, a thing that paradoxically enabled them to survive. Paradoxically, it united them in a way that could never otherwise have been possible. At least half of the people of that secret, remote and beautiful land died during that hideous time, but their memory is still there. They live forever in the minds of their descendants but also in the land itself. For they did not give away their land, their soul. And now that things are changing, a little, now that the descendants of the intruders are discovering the truth about their glorious past, now the people are beginning to tell their stories, out loud, out where it can be heard. Still, there is a long way to go. Still, there are many who refuse to believe, who attempt to discredit at every turn, who even whisper that it was a pity the job wasn't done properly. But there is a beginning. And what is uppermost in people's minds now is their astonishing survival, their strength of soul which one day may prove far more durable, far more real, than any pitiful notions of conquest. There is a name, now, for that culture which resisted – and that name is Vendée. Perhaps not the name you were expecting. But that is the narrative I grew up with. It is the narrative of the terrible history of the people of western France, particularly Vendée and Brittany during the French Revolution, a story of both great hideousness and great heroism. Out of the ashes of Vendée, rose Vendée itself. It is a story which until very recently was suppressed and denied. Generations of lies have meant that most French people never knew it. Only the people of Vendée and Brittany themselves kept it alive, through never forgetting. It is only in the last two years that major memorials have been put up to the Vendéen martyrs, and then only by local government, never by the central one; only very recently that the Republic of France has begun to acknowledge the horrors of what can be seen as perhaps the first modern genocide. I was brought up with it because one side of my father's family came from Vendée (the other came from the South); we were taught the stories, the songs of resistance, we felt the pain and horror and, yes, hate and yet also the astonishing surviving spirit of the Vendéen people, the spirit of the Chouans. The Chouans! I was brought up on their names, their stories, stories that were for so long suppressed, but that stayed in the hearts, the minds, the words of their descendants. Once, to even mention them would be to invite fashionable scorn, ridicule, contempt and even hate. "Superstitious savages"; "obstacles to progress"; "deluded fools" – these were just some of the gentler terms. It is easy to see why. For to look at their real stories, to peel away the generations of lies, is to invite some very uncomfortable reflections indeed. In 1789, the French Revolution began, a revolution that at first was full of optimism, of the genuine wish for reform; a revolution that was not even opposed by King Louis XVI himself. This was the Enlightenment. Humanity was to be trusted to behave well. Liberty, equality, fraternity. Who could argue with that? Very few did, least of all the peasants of western France, who welcomed many of the changes – the abolition of compulsory labour, the gradual abolition of privilege. The revolutionaries produced a passionate and idealistic document, the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Some of those rights were the right to freedom of religion; the right to live peacefully, without tyranny or arbitrary rule; the right to discuss. Alas! While Desmoulins and Danton debated and wrote passionately, Robespierre bided his time. That time came all too soon. In 1790, the first cracks began to appear. Provincial assemblies were abolished, stripping people of their local governments. The clergy was to be stripped of its property and would be appointed by lay people, not the church. In practice, this meant that the bourgeois of the cities now had the right of imposing chosen priests on peasant communities. Vendée and Brittany and Normandy began to stir at this; they were greatly attached to their own priests and resisted the imposition of others. A year later, the King was arrested. Riots erupted in Brittany. In 1792, the extremist Jacobins under the leadership of Robespierre took power and formed the now infamous Convention. And then the horrors began in earnest. Madame Guillotine was fed many times, soon taking Danton and Desmoulins and many of the earlier revolutionaries, who, too late, had seen the monster they had unleashed. But it was not till 1793 that two events happened which precipitated France into a terrible civil war; the consequences of which are still very much felt today. Those events were the execution of Louis XVI, the subsequent pre-emptive declaration of war by France on the rest of Europe, and, as a consequence, the forced conscription of 300,000 men – the revolutionaries wanted the peasants of France to pay for their murderous folly! There was immediate revolt in Vendée, in Brittany, in Normandy, but the centre of the revolt was Vendée itself. This was a completely popular uprising; it was the peasants themselves who took the initiative and who only later persuaded some of their native nobles, who had been army officers, to lead some of their armies. The new, the First Republic reacted immediately. This would be a fight to the death, for it was a tussle for the very spirit of revolution. The fact that the Vendée revolt was a popular one called into question the very nature of the Revolution, with its middle-class and aristocratic leaders. More than that, it dared to oppose the "despotism of liberty." Republican armies led, more often than not, by ci-devant ex-nobles and princes were sent into the rebellious province. But the Vendéens proved difficult nuts to crack. To the contemptuous surprise of the Paris grandees, the armies of the Chouans, as they became known (because of their rallying call, which imitated the call of the screech owl, or chat-huant in French), were well-disciplined and highly effective, and unusual in that the men had an input into decisions, not just the leaders (some of course later saw that as a weakness). They fought with a combination of regular and guerilla tactics and had a number of brilliant leaders – Cathelineau, La Rochejacquelein, Charrette, d'Elbée, Stofflet, Lescure. The Bretons, under Cadoudal, Jean Jan, Jean Cottereau and others, joined them at several points. In the first year, they were remarkably successful, and their armies swelled to more than 150,000 men, none of whom had been coerced or conscripted. They captured towns and villages, made tentative links with the English, who were horrified by the fate of the King, and with the émigré nobles who had escaped to England already. It seemed that not only the liberation of western France, but also of the whole of France from the tyranny and terror of the Convention was at hand. Alas . . . Division began to appear in Chouan ranks, as leaders with strong egos fought with each other, the English and the French émigrés (many of whom scorned this "peasant army") proved to be of no help whatsoever, and the Republic spared no expense of finance or soldiers' lives to crush the rebels. The crushing defeat of the Chouan armies at the end of 1793 in Vendée did not predispose the Republic to mercy. In early 1794, the Convention decided to exterminate the Vendéens, to the last man, woman and child. And they found plenty who were happy to carry out these orders. "Not one is to be left alive." "Women are reproductive furrows who must be ploughed under." "Only wolves must be left to roam that land." "Fire, blood, death are needed to preserve liberty." "Their instruments of fanaticism and superstition must be smashed." These were some of the words the Convention used in speaking of Vendée. Their tame scientists dreamed up all kinds of new ideas – the poisoning of flour and alcohol and water supplies, the setting up of a tannery in Angers which would specialise in the treatment of human skins; the investigation of methods of burning large numbers of people in large ovens, so their fat could be rendered down efficiently. One of the Republican generals, Carrier, was scornful of such research: these "modern" methods would take too long. Better to use more time-honoured methods of massacre: the mass drownings of naked men, women, and children, often tied together in what he called "republican marriages," off specially constructed boats towed out to the middle of the Loire and then sunk; the mass bayoneting of men, women and children; the smashing of babies' heads against walls; the slaughter of prisoners using cannons; the most grisly and disgusting tortures; the burning and pillaging of villages, towns and churches. The ci-devant aristocrat Turreau de la Linières took command of what are known in Vendée as the douze colonnes infernales (the twelve columns of hell), which had specific orders both from his superiors and from himself to kill everyone and everything they saw. "Even if there should be patriots [that is, Republicans] in Vendée," Turreau himself said, "they must not spared. We can make no distinction. The entire province must be a cemetery." And so it was. In the streets of Cholet, emblematic Vendéen city, by the end of 1793, wolves were about the only living things left, roaming freely and feeding on the piles of decomposing corpses. People in Vendée still tell the stories of the colonnes infernales and the unspeakable things they did. There was not even any pretence of discriminating between fighters and civilians; documents of the time, still kept in army records in Vincennes, tell their hideous, chilling story, a story which has tolled repeatedly in our own terrible century. The generals speak coolly of objectives achieved, exterminations nicely done, "ethnic cleansing" carefully carried out, of genocide systematically and rigorously conducted. There were those, too few, alas, who refused to take part; but they were summarily dealt with. But the Vendéens were not completely beaten. Full of hate now, they fought back, sporadically but ferociously. Their "chouan" rallying cry became a source of terror for republican stragglers in the deep remote country of the marshes and forests of Vendée. And the Bretons fought, attempting to come to the aid of their brothers, but it was difficult to maintain resistance in the face of such full-scale assault. One by one, the charismatic leaders were killed or hunted down like wild beasts. Within two years, Chouan resistance in Vendée was all but dead, though Brittany, under the leadership of the remarkable Georges Cadoudal, continued to fight for many years to come. Fortunately, in Paris, things were changing. At the end of 1794 Robespierre met the fate he had meted out to so many others, but it was not until 1795 that a peace treaty was signed in Vendée, a treaty that was almost immediately broken. The republicans were never going to allow men like Charrette and Stofflet to make an honourable peace; there was no rest until both were captured and executed. But Chouannerie was still not dead; it was not until Napoleon Bonaparte's coup d'état at the end of 1799 that anything approaching peace came to the once rich and peaceful, but now moribund province. Bonaparte himself had much respect for the Chouans and their leaders; he called their war Le Combat des Géants. As an officer in the republican army, he had opted for a post fighting on the frontiers of France rather than being sent to Vendée. He understood, too, that the Vendéens' sacrifice had been for the preservation of liberty – for the freedom of religion and assembly and culture, and he immediately set about repairing relations with the church. He concluded treaties with Cadoudal and other Chouan leaders; and it seemed as if things would be better. But never was it acknowledged that the horror of the genocide in Vendée was the responsibility of more than just Robespierre and his murderous cronies and generals. There was never any examination of conscience, and indeed although one or two scapegoats paid for their crimes with their heads, amongst them the vicious Carrier and Westermann, an Alsacian noble known in Vendée as "The Butcher," others were exonerated and even honoured. Turreau himself, the leader of the colonnes infernales, murderer many times over, turned coat more than once and became first a supporter of Bonaparte and then a born-again royalist under Louis XVIII. Covered with honours, having taken up his title again, and made an Imperial Baron, he died peacefully of old age in his bed. His name is up there on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris as one of France's "heroes." But Cadoudal and Brittany were not quiet for long. Eventually, the indomitable Georges relaunched the Chouannerie and twice attempted to assassinate Bonaparte. Cadoudal had come to regard Bonaparte as a tyrant as dangerous as Robespierre, and as likely to drag the whole country into years of bloodshed. He was right; but he never saw the fulfilling of his fears, for he was captured and guillotined in 1804. After his death, his body was cut up and various bits of it given to so-called scientists to study, his head being of particular interest for the "study of rebellion." It took years for his relatives to finally obtain all the parts of his body for decent burial. It took till 1832 for the last gasps of Chouannerie to exhaust themselves completely, for the twin provinces of Vendée and Brittany to be completely "pacified." They had lost; yet they had won, too. And they would never forget. The stories of the Chouans, the tales of the dead, the memories of the atrocities, the horrors and the heroism have survived to this day, in people from all walks of life, and all kinds of backgrounds. At the Mémorial de la Vendée at Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne, site of one massacre, the stained-glass windows of the church tell their own story. The impassive faces of the republican soldiers, men with wives and children of their own, as they drive bayonets into year-old babies; the silent pleas on the women's faces; the upturned faces of martyred priests; silence speaks more, the incongruous beauty of the coloured glass making it somehow more poignant... The memorial field full of crosses and headstones, the parish rolls with their lists of names, of ages, the memorials to the leaders, all so young, none seeing the end of their thirties; in the forest of Vézins, the Chapel of the Martyrs, commemorating the place where 1200 people were slaughtered; the songs telling of despair, hope, faith and tragedy... the birth pangs of Vendée which once existed without a name. In 1900, the popular Breton singer and songwriter Theodore Botrel performed his new song, "Le Mouchoir Rouge de Cholet" (the red handkerchief of Cholet), about the terrible defeat of the Chouans at Cholet, and the symbolic wearing of the red handkerchief, in front of a massive audience in Cholet itself. Wearing the red handkerchief on his hat, he declared himself a Chouan at heart. According to contemporary accounts, there was a near riot as the Vendéens cheered, yelled and clapped, but the reverberations in the papers continued for months, with Botrel regarded as a spoiler. In 1993, the opening of the Vendée Memorial at Les Lucs by Alexander Solzhenitsyn was attended by thousands of people, but was sniffily ignored by much of the mainstream media... Right wing, left wing, centre in France have never been able to deal with the legacy of Vendée. The left wing has problems with the impugning of the Revolution; the right wing because civil war put France in peril of foreign armies; the centre because, hey, it's not exactly pretty stuff. Thirty or so years ago a then-unknown but now infamous Jean-Marie le Pen championed the cause of Vendée and Brittany, applauding regionalism and independence, and produced a recording of Chouan songs; now, as the leader of the extreme right Front National, he studiously ignores it all, speaking grandly and opportunistically of the marvellous republic and the great destiny of a centralised France – for Vendée costs votes. Vendée is embarrassing, for it shows what the French are capable of doing to the French without any help from immigrant bogeys. The extreme left, the communists, of course never had any warm feelings for "priest-ridden peasants." Besides, they understood Robespierre's "despotism of liberty" only too well. Many people in Vendée who keep the memory in their hearts refuse to vote at all in general elections, considering that the soul of the republic itself is soiled and flawed. They find it bitter indeed that the 1989 bicentenary ignored them completely. There are some who would sanctify all the Chouans, would make of them impossibly perfect heroes. For them, the "Bleus," the republicans, were devils without any redeeming features. But it is remarkable how many in Vendée do not hate. They only wish to remember. "When I was at school," my uncle from Central France says, "they never told us these things. They never told us. They should have." "We must live without lies," Solzhenitsyn told the crowd at Les Lucs, "for otherwise we are not free." "You gave us these dead as a legacy," the poet Pierre Emmanuel wrote, "we have become the fathers of our dead." "In communist Georgia," our friend Nino tells me, "we often had two portraits in government offices, side by side: Stalin and Robespierre. Blood brothers." "It is not killing the innocent as an innocent which dooms a society," wrote the Breton poet Chateaubriand, "it is killing him as guilty." Carrier, defending himself during his trial, cried, "If I am guilty, so are you all! All of you, everything, down to the bell of the President!" In Vendée and Brittany, there are streets bearing Chouan names, but only a few, and only since fairly recently. The local governments are fairly assiduous in keeping the memory – But in the rest of France, there are endless, endless, "Places de la République"; there is a suburb of Paris called Robespierre, and Turreau's name is engraved on the Arc de Triomphe. No mention of the rebels, the subversives. This is also the legacy of the Revolution. In our times, when nationalism is becoming both harsher and more diluted, the story of Vendée is finally leaking out from beyond its borders. But what does it mean? If the French Revolution was the first modern ideology, were the Vendée massacres the archetype of the modem genocides? And if that is so, what does it mean for the whole legacy of the Revolution? Can its earlier idealism compensate for the darkness afterwards? Has that darkness lifted from France yet? This is the question asked in many books now, the question more and more loudly asked, more publicly, more often – and not answered. The sea rolls over my feet, and as it retreats, I notice it has left me something. I bend over to pick it up. A perfect fossil, an amnonite in white stone, beautifully imprinted, so frail-looking, yet so enduring, patiently preserving the memory of something long gone. And as I look at it in my hand, on this beach where my ancestors once walked, incongruously, tears prick at the backs of my eyes. May 29, 2004 Sophie Masson [send her mail] is a French-Australian writer, some of whose ancestors came from Longeville, in Vendée. She also has Southern French, Basque, Spanish, Portuguese, Scottish, and Canadian ancestry. Sophie was born in Indonesia but has lived in Australia since the age of 5. She is a novelist, short-story writer and essayist. Visit her website. First published in Quadrant magazine, Melbourne, Australia, in 1996. See http://users.northnet.com.au/~smasson/.


JTA 3 May 2004 Jews and other Europeans wonder how to recall Shoah — yet move on By Ruth E. Gruber BERLIN, May 3 (JTA) — When it came time to end a recent international conference on anti-Semitism, Bulgaria’s foreign minister chose a gesture that would be charged with emotion and heavily freighted with symbolism and memory. In a brief ceremony, Solomon Passy presented the yellow star his grandfather had worn as a Jew in Bulgaria during World War II to German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. Passy had chaired the high-level, two-day conference, organized by the 55-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Fischer had been its host. “My grandfather used to say that the time will come when we and the Germans will be allies again,” Passy told Fischer. “My grandfather used to say: ‘Then we shall return the yellow star to the Germans.’ “I am happy that now I can fulfill the legacy of my grandfather and return the yellow star which he wore,” he continued. “Thank you, Joschka.” Both men, born after the Holocaust and brought up on opposing sides of Cold War Europe, blinked back tears. That ceremony took place April 29, just two days before the European Union expanded to embrace 10 new members — Malta and Cyprus, plus eight former communist states whose Jewish communities largely were wiped out in the Shoah: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Passy’s gesture, in the capital of the nation whose one-time Nazi leaders decreed the annihilation of European Jewry, demonstrated how much Europe has changed since the end of World War II. It also demonstrated how powerfully, 60 years on, the Holocaust and its legacy still frame European identity and self-awareness. Today, as direct memory fades and the Shoah recedes into history, one of the challenges facing both Jews and non-Jews is how to draw meaning from the past without getting trapped in empty rituals. “Most of us, of course, do not have memories of the Shoah nor, often, sufficient means for apprehending that event,” Eva Hoffman, the Polish-born child of Holocaust survivors, wrote in an intensely personal new book on the legacy of the Shoah, “After Such Knowledge.” “What meanings does the Holocaust hold for us today — and how are we going to pass on those meanings to subsequent generations?” she asked. In effect, the challenge is how to build on history without becoming a prisoner of it. “For the inheritors of traumatic historical experience,” Hoffman wrote, “the ability to separate the past from the present — to see the past as the past — is a difficult but necessary achievement. The moment of that separation, of letting go, is a poignant one, for it is akin to the giving up of mourning.” For Jews, attempting to move on can trigger a range of emotions, including guilt, relief and lingering reluctance. “For a lot of people it’s not so much a problem to move forward, but many don’t realize that you can — or should,” said Slavka, a woman in her mid-20s who works for the Auschwitz Jewish Center, a Jewish study, memorial and culture center based near the former Nazi death camp. “For young Jews, particularly those from Israel and America, the Holocaust is something that is banged into their head,” she said. “Holocaust education can create defensiveness and hostility in them. I don’t think they realize until it is pointed out to them that it is possible to move forward or see it in a different context.” In North America, the proliferation of Holocaust memorials and museums in recent years has prompted some commentators to compare Holocaust remembrance to a quasi-religious experience. In this context, said Shai Franklin, director of governmental religions for the U.S. Jewish advocacy organization NCSJ, Holocaust monuments can testify that we have paid our debt to the past, serving almost as shrines. But by now, he told JTA, “it’s up to us to be the survivors and to make ourselves into a real, living memorial. Never again should we misread what our duty is, in our own, living, generation” and in the future. In Europe, the situation is somewhat different — and so is the challenge. Europe is where the Holocaust took place. It’s also where, as the OSCE conference declaration put it, “anti-Semitism, following its most devastating manifestation during the Holocaust, has assumed new forms and expressions which, along with other forms of intolerance, pose a threat to democracy, the values of civilization and, therefore, to overall security.” As Passy demonstrated, in much of Europe most Jews have a direct and tangible personal connection to Nazi-era persecution. Indeed, the very landscape can bear eloquent witness to the destruction: The modern-looking Jewish community center in Berlin, for example, is built on the site of a grand synagogue that was destroyed on Kristallnacht in 1938. Today’s building incorporates surviving architectural elements from the destroyed synagogue. In many countries, thousands of Jewish cemeteries lie abandoned and hundreds of derelict synagogues stand scattered, few of them used as houses of worship. Until fairly recently, however, the Holocaust and its commemoration were regarded as a Jewish affair, detached from the general flow of European national history and national memory. In Eastern Europe, communist ideology made the extermination of the Jews a footnote to overall suffering in World War II. Surviving Jews in many countries kept low profiles after the war. Particularly in communist states, where Jewish life after the Shoah was forcefully suppressed, they often sought to shed or conceal their Jewish identities as a means of self-protection. Only in the past 10 to 15 years have these attitudes begun to change, often slowly and at times painfully. The revelation several years ago that local villagers and not Nazis had murdered their neighbors in a small town in northeastern Poland sparked a lacerating national debate on Poles’ role and responsibility during the Holocaust. Yet, “in Hungarian reality, public discourse on this is practically non-existent,” said Andras Daranyi, director of a first-of-its-kind Holocaust Memorial Center that opened in Budapest in mid-April. Daranyi is one of a chorus of voices asserting that the only way to make a meaningful legacy of the Holocaust is to use it as an educational tool to help prevent future persecution — whether against Jews, Gypsies (Roma) or other minorities. Indeed, following an international conference on the Holocaust in Stockholm in 2000, many new Holocaust education initiatives were introduced, including the institution of a Holocaust memorial day in various countries. “New ways of conveying knowledge of the Holocaust are needed so that succeeding generations of Poles will not have the same attitude to the Holocaust that they do to the Napoleonic Wars,” Jolanta Ambrosewicz-Jacobs wrote in an introduction to a book of essays titled “Why Should We Teach about the Holocaust?” The book was published last year in Krakow. “Our authors remind us that racism, xenophobia and genocide occur amidst us, and the memory of the Holocaust should serve as a warning against the repetition of crimes against humanity,” she wrote. Younger Jews in Europe use the Holocaust experience of their families and European Jews in general as a touchstone for their identities. But they often chafe under the burden. They frequently say they want to get out from under the shadow of the Shoah, to escape the mournful imagery and memory-laden stereotype. “Will we ever be able to change our image as martyrs and victims, that we ourselves sometimes allow and even cultivate?” asked Zanet Battinou, director of the Jewish Museum in Athens. “Unless we manage to understand the message of the Holocaust, to adapt it to today — unless we turn it into a strength — we will never get away from it,” she said.


www.telegraph.co.uk 3 Apr 2004 Latvia's ice maiden comes out fighting over EU's sacred cows By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Riga (Filed: 03/05/2004) Fresh from creating vibrant new democracies at home, the cast of characters descending on Brussels from Eastern Europe brings a life experience that is bound to shatter the mouldy consensus of Old Europe. While the Brussels elite spent their student youth hurling Molotov cocktails at one American embassy or another, Latvia's new commissioner was on the other side, leading a dangerous cultural resistance against Moscow. Sandra Kalniete was born in the Siberian gulag near Tomsk, spending her first five years as the child of a Soviet labour camp. She was lucky to survive sub-zero life. Needless to say, she takes a dim view of Russia, indignant that the European Union is turning a blind eye to what she sees as the Kremlin's attempts to control its former satellites. "You can't go on spoiling a child for ever," she said. Now 51, she slays the sacred cows of Europe's Left with relish. "How can I accept the United Nations as the highest authority when it was never able to side with the just cause during the Cold War?" she said. Her mother was seized by the Bolsheviks in June 1941, one of 60,000 sent in cattle wagons to the gulag as the Soviet invaders extinguished the prosperous Baltic republic of Latvia. "She was 14 and a half. Her sin was to be a member of the middle class," said Mrs Kalniete. When the secret police arrived she had just laced up her new ballet shoes, so they became her footwear for the next Siberian winter, hence the title of Mrs Kalniete's poignant family memoir: With Dancing Shoes in Siberian Snows. "The experience left me with a certain clarity of principles," she said. "It certainly did affect my outlook on Iraq, for I know how a totalitarian society functions. "When we were behind the Iron Curtain the world was completely indifferent to our fate and pretended that genocide was not going on. I strongly believe that the world had a right to intervene to save Iraq from its regime. If it had intervened when fascism was taking root in Germany, maybe the bloodiest of wars could have been avoided." The soft-spoken art historian built the new Latvian foreign ministry from scratch after liberation in 1991. The British Foreign Office taught her the tricks of the trade at their diplomatic "boot camp" at Leeds University, as they have to a whole generation of rising stars now taking up key posts across Eastern Europe. "Britain is a definite superpower and their diplomats are good, very good," she said at her headquarters off Freedom Street, formerly Vladimir Lenin Street. "They're not only skilful but they know how to hide their arrogance. It's not always the case with others." Asked what she thought of the French diplomatic elite, she asked for the tape-recorder to be switched off. But she does not hesitate to say what she thinks of Franco-German domineering or threats to form a "hard core" of inner states if they do not get their way in the EU. "I think it's a bluff. If you look at these countries, they are the worst at implementing EU law. Now they're worried because they realise they could be outvoted."


ERIO 13 May 2004 www.erionet.org EU Ambassador proposes to take Romani children away from their parents Brussels, 13 May 2004 (ERIO): In an interview broadcasted on Dutch TV on 1 May, Eric Van der Linden, EU Commission?s Ambassador to Slovakia, proposed to remove Romani children from their parents and put them into boarding schools: ?It may sound simplistic,? the Head of the EU Delegation said, ?but it is, I think in the root of the cause that we need to strengthen education and organise the educational system in a way that we may have to start to, I?ll say it in quotation marks, force Romani children to stay in a kind of boarding schools from Monday morning until Friday afternoon, where they will continuously be subjected to a system of values which is dominant (?vigerend?) in our society.? When the journalist objected that Roma might be opposed to such a measure, Van der Linden proposed to utilise financial incentives as to break an initial resistance. He agreed that, ?we do live here in a democracy, so you can force it, but you can of course try to let it develop more smoothly through giving financial incentives.? He expected that families would as a result send their children to school and that ?the generation that will be educated then and at the same time raised, will fit better in the dominant society, they will be able to cooperate in a productive way to the growth of the economy.? Practices of forcibly separating Romani children from their parents as a means to assimilate the Romani communities have a long tradition. Under the reign of Empress Maria-Theresa Romani children were removed from their families and brought up by non-Romani families as a means to eradicate Romani culture and identity. In Switzerland similar practices were introduced after the first World War and persisted until the early 1970s. In an open letter to the President of the European Commission the European Roma Information Office, a Brussels-based NGO advocating the rights of the Roma, asked for Van der Linden?s removal from his post arguing that his statements stand in contradicting with the Commission?s efforts to promote the safeguard and respect of Human Rights and the rights of the Roma minority. Valeriu Nicolae Deputy Director - ERIO 17 Eduard Lacomble Bruxelles Belgium Fax : 0032 (0) 27333875 GSM 0032 (0) 476538194


english.pravda.ru 14 May 2004 Russian troops withdrew from Serbia too early Before the 5th anniversary of the beginning of NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, massacre of Serbs took place in the area. 28 people were killed, 850 wounded, more than 3,500 evacuated. The NATO aggression was started under the excuse of stopping ethnic cleansing. However, genocide to Serbs was not stopped by NATO troops. Even Commander of NATO peace-keepers in Southern Europe recognizes that ethnic cleansing is in progress in Kosovo. International peace-keeping forces in Kosovo were not ready for such developments of the situation . More than 60 peace-keepers were wounded during Albanian separatists uprising. Today international troops protect only NATO prestige and their own lives, but not the minorities of the region. They did not really have this purpose in mind. As a participant of the negotiation on Kosovo, I realized long time ago that the NATO and the forces behind it were looking any excuse to interfere in Yugoslavia s domestic affairs, establish pro-NATO government, disintegrate the country and oppress Serbs. Kosovo radicals were acting as NATO allies, the alliance provided them with weapons and training, encouraging their activity on disintegrating the country. In December 1998 Russian Army General Staff gave NATO Commander general Wesley Clarke detailed information on the weapons the Albanian radicals had, the ways of their supplying with weapons, the location of the combatant bases and so on. Joint actions could stop this dangerous process. However, NATO did nothing to stabilize the situation. Moreover, in January 1999 general Clarke complained that NATO intelligence was weak and could not confirm the information of Russians. The drama was Russia s failure to support Serbia. Russia wanted to be good for everybody, it did not want conflicts with NATO (after Russia-NATO Act was signed in 1997, but could not support NATO either. Russian mass media depicted Slobodan Milosevic as the murderer of innocent civilians in Kosovo. Only after NATO started bombing Yugoslavia, the Kremlin urged by Russian society, expressed its protest against the aggression. But it did not provide the victim of the aggression with the assistance as UN Chapter requires. Russia did not even request the UN to have urgent meeting of the Security Council. Serbs were fighting with courage, while NATO was exhausted. The main anti-Serbian tool was used special envoy of Russian President Mr. Chernomyrdin. He was appointed on this post under the US administration request. Victor Chernomyrdin ignored the requests of Russian President, Foreign and Defense Ministries and supported NATO by signing the ultimatum prepared by American delegation. Mr. Chernomyrdin arrived in Belgrad and submitted this ultimatum to Yugoslavian authorities. Even President Yeltsin was indignant with his envoy s conduct and sent the telegram in Belgrad to force him to follow President s orders. No result, and Serbs being friendly to Russia, had to accept the ultimatum. The advance of Russian paratroopers and deploying them in strategic aerodrome Slatina inspired Serbs again. Russian soldiers did not allow to intimidate civilians and destroy Orthodox churches in Kosovo. ??wever, this support did not last long either. Russian Ministry of Defense considered the mission completed and withdrew the troops from Kosovo. This was the second case of letting Serbs down. This was the result of Russia's failure to introduce coherent foreign policy. Too many Russian officials want to be good for Washington and Brussels in the first place. Russia is encircled by NATO bases. Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan allowed NATO troops on their territory. Belarus has been under pressure both from the East and the West, and can join NATO in future. NATO aircrafts patrol the air space of the Baltic countries former Soviet republics. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry and Army General Staff continue saying that there is no threat from the West for Russia. UN resolution # 1144 authorizes and urges Russia to interfere in the Kosovo events. The situation in the region would be absolutely different if Moscow made a statement of its readiness to deploy Russian troops in Kosovo. Russia could have offered Serbian forces to participate, and this would protect Serbian minority in the region. The Germans and French would act differently under these circumstances as well. The d?velopments in Kosovo undermine Europe. European politicians realize that the USA is creating a criminal enclave in the Balkans, and it will shake Europe for many years. This is revenge to Europe for growing anti-Americanism and resistance to the war in Iraq. Were Moscow more confident, it could have a support of some European countries, especially Germany and France. Russia s lack of firmness contributes neglecting international law and driving Serbs out of Kosovo and Metokhia. The offer of some Duma deputies to accommodate Serbs in Russia sounds cynical. Russia cannot solve the problem of millions of homeless and poor, millions of Russians are living all over the world. Who of our Slavic brothers will go the country which betrayed them? Serbs were the last pro-Russian nation in the Balkans. Today Russia is risking to lost the remains of their support. Leonid Ivashov

European Roma Rights Center 27 May 2004 www.errc.org ERRC Urges Governor of Saint Petersburg to Stop Police Abuse of Roma On May 27, 2004, the ERRC sent a letter to Ms Valentina Matvienko, Governor of Saint-Petersburg, Russia, to express concern about recent police raids against Roma in Saint-Petersburg undertaken within the framework of an action called "Operation Tabor". According to information from local non-governmental organisations, militia chased and shot at Roma in the Obukhovo district of Saint-Petersburg. Militia also reportedly burnt two shanties where Roma, including pregnant women and children, had been living. The ERRC noted the prima facie racist character of the operation the title of which points explicitly to Romani ethnicity (insofar as "tabors" are Romani settlements) and indicated that racist actions by public officials violate international law. Earlier, in 2002, following similar police raids, also carried out as part of an "Operation Tabor", high-ranking Russian officials stated that such operations would not be repeated in the future. The ERRC urged the Saint Petersburg Governor to take immediate measures to end abusive militia operations against Roma.



Reuters 3 May 2004 Serbs Seek Truth After Assassin Suspect's Surrender BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbs cast a cynical eye on Monday over the surprise surrender of a suspect in the 2003 assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic but hoped it might yet grant them a rare glimpse of the truth. Milorad Lukovic surrendered to police in Belgrade Sunday, ending a year on the run in which his trail had apparently gone cold. Newspapers were on holiday but there was speculation on the airwaves that a deal had been done with the conservative government of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, an arch foe of reformist Djindjic, perhaps for lenient treatment. Kostunica's party might hope Lukovic will accuse members of the opposition Democrats of involvement in organized crime, one lawyer speculated. Serbian Interior Minister Dragan Jocic issued a statement saying: ``I stress that there were no negotiations with the Interior Ministry prior to Lukovic's voluntary surrender.'' But most analysts believed ``his surrender cannot be viewed outside the political context,'' as one said. That context includes a presidential election in mid-June expected to be a clash between nationalism and pragmatism. ``I know there was no deal,'' said a Lukovic lawyer, Slobodan Milivojevic. ``My advice to him will be to tell the full truth, since I'm confident he has nothing to do with the assassination of Prime Minister Djindjic.'' The tattooed paramilitary, known as Legija from his time in the Foreign Legion, has said nothing publicly since his arrest. THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE ``Why now? What does he know? Where has he been? Will he tell all?'' were the recurring questions on radio and television from political figures clearly excited by the bombshells Lukovic might drop next Monday when he appears in court. Serbia has never had a successful ``truth and reconciliation'' process, of the kind that was cathartic for post-apartheid South Africa, to help it recover from the traumas of the 1990s during the bloody break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Instead, after NATO bombing in 1999 over Serb repression in Kosovo, then-strongman Slobodan Milosevic's weakened regime was said to have ordered political killings, relying on Lukovic as head of a feared special police unit, the Red Berets. Milosevic was toppled in 2000 by a peoples' opposition championed by Djindjic and Kostunica, who quickly fell out after Djindjic handed Milosevic over to the Hague for trial by the United Nations on charges of genocide and war crimes. The hit-man who fired the high-powered rifle that killed Serbia's reformist leader on March 12 last year is already on trial. But he is only part of a suspected conspiracy of nationalist hard-liners and organized crime barons. A spokeswoman for Serbia's special court for organized crime said Lukovic would answer indictments for the March 12 murder of Djindjic, plus the killing of former Serbian resident Ivan Stambolic and a bid to kill Vuk Draskovic, now foreign minister. Draskovic said he wanted to know ``where he was all this time...how and under what conditions the surrender took place...all about the crimes he committed...who ordered them, and generally that he will tell the whole truth.'' ``Don't expect the accused will tell truth. It's very rare that they do,'' Djindjic family lawyer Rajko Danilovic told radio B92. He said there was obviously a deal involving the ministers of the interior and justice and the head of state security -- all members of Kostunica's party.

Serbia - Kosovo

ICRC 16 Apr 2004 ICRC News 04/53 Kosovo: Third edition of the Book of Missing Persons The ICRC is launching the third edition of the Book of Missing Persons in Kosovo today. After more than a decade of armed conflict in the Balkans, thousands of people are still reported missing in connection with the hostilities – over 24,000, according to lists drawn up by the ICRC. The third edition of the Book of Missing Persons in Kosovo contains 3,272 names of people who were reported missing to the ICRC directly by their close relatives and whose fate has still not been ascertained. Their families have the right to know what happened to them. This right is recognized under international humanitarian law, as is the obligation of the authorities to provide the families with the information they need. The book is primarily meant to help families find answers to their questions. However, it also serves as a reminder that thousands of people still carry the emotional burden of not knowing what happened to their loved ones. In addition, these people are continuously faced with legal and administrative difficulties arising from the unsettled status of their missing relatives. Many of those who went missing were also breadwinners and their families have to cope with the basic problems of daily existence. So far, in most of the cases of missing persons that have been solved, the necessary information has been obtained through the identification of human remains found in mass and individual graves in Kosovo and Serbia proper. However, a number of bodies will probably never be located. This makes it all the more important for the authorities to fulfil their obligation to provide answers. The information contained in the Book of Missing Persons in Kosovo is available on the following website: www.familylinks.icrc.org

UN Security Council [ Excerpts] 30 Apr 2004 Security Council reiterates that Kosovo standards plan should be basis for assessing provisional institutions of self-government SC/8082 Security Council 4960th Meeting (PM) In Presidential Statement, Council Also 'Strongly Urges' Provisional Institutions to Demonstrate Full Commitment to Multi-Ethnic Kosovo The Security Council this afternoon reiterated that the Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan, as presented on 31 March in Pristina, Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), should serve as a basis for the assessment of progress of the Provisional Institutions of Self Government in meeting the standards. In a statement read by Council President Gunter Pleuger (Germany), the Council strongly urged the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government to demonstrate their full and unconditional commitment to a multi-ethnic Kosovo, in particular, with respect to the protection and promotion of the rights of members of the minority communities, as well as human rights, equal security, freedom of movement and sustainable returns for all inhabitants of Kosovo. According to the "standards before status" policy, the Provisional Institutions had to achieve certain standards, or benchmarks, before the final status of Kosovo could be addressed. The eight standards to be met concern: functioning democratic institutions; the rule of law; freedom of movement; returns and reintegration; economy; property rights; dialogue with Belgrade; and the Kosovo Protection Corps. A document, "Standards for Kosovo", was supported by the Council in presidential statement S/PRST/2003/26 of 10 December 2003 (see Press Release SC/7651).

AFP 3 May 2004 Kosovo Serbs at risk of ethnic cleansing: Swedish General STOCKHOLM, May 3 (AFP) - Kosovo Serbs are likely to become targets of ethnic cleansing if a strong international military presence is not maintained in the war-torn province for at least another decade, Swedish Brigadier General Anders Braennstroem said on Monday. "If the Serbian minority is not protected by a strong military organization, the part of the Kosovo Albanian population with violent tendencies will ethnically cleanse all Serbs from Kosovo," Braennstroem, who led the Swedish troops in Kosovo until last week, wrote in a commentary in the leading daily Dagens Nyheter on Monday. Referring to the deadly ethnic unrest that rocked Kosovo in March, Braennstroem warned the international community against carrying out plans to cut back the number of troops stationed in the province. "A positive result of what happened (in March) is that we discovered the fragility of the project in time. If we had already significantly reduced (the number of troops), the ethnic cleansing could not have been stopped. Then, maybe about 100,000 Kosovo Serbs and other minority groups would either have been dead or gathered in the refugee camps we have seen so many of throughout the history of the Balkans," he wrote. Before the ethnic clashes exploded on March 17, NATO had been planning to reduce the number of troops serving in the Multinational Brigade Center, which has been led by Sweden, not a NATO-member. Even after the violence ended on March 19, leaving 19 dead and more than 900 injured, Sweden, at least, has been considering dramatically reducing the number of soldiers stationed in Kosovo. Sweden, which at the height of its involvement had as many as 900 troops in Kosovo, is considering calling nearly two-thirds of its soldiers home. The consequences of such a move would be catastrophic, according to Braennstroem. "The differences and the hate are so strong that the problem in any case will remain for many years. It's obvious that it will take decades before one can expect another situation," he said. .


BBC 3 May 2004 Church to remove Moor-slayer saint The church wants to emphasise St James's kinder side A statue in a Spanish cathedral showing St James slicing the heads off Moorish invaders is to be removed to avoid causing offence to Muslims. Cathedral authorities in the pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela, on Spain's north west coast, plan to move the statue to the museum. Among the reasons for the move is to avoid upsetting the "sensitivities of other ethnic groups". The statue of St James "the Moor-slayer" is expected to be replaced by one depicting the calmer image of St James "the Pilgrim", by the same 18th century artist, Jose Gambino. The Saracen-slaying image of St James, or Santiago in Spanish, is a symbol of the fight between Christianity and Islam and the reconquest of Spain from eight centuries of Moorish rule before 1492. The saint is said to have appeared to Christian troops fighting Moorish army at the Battle of Clavijo in 844, the crusaders rallying to the cry of "Santiago y cierra Espana" - "St James, we will reconquer Spain". Origins Cathedral authorities insist the timing of the decision has nothing to do with the 11 March bombings in Madrid, which an Islamic group is alleged to have carried out. Alejandro Barral, president of the cultural commission for the cathedral council, told BBC News Online: "This is not an opportunistic decision. This is not through fear of fanatics of any kind and nothing to do with 11 March or 11 September." He said the decision was taken a few years ago, but simply had not yet been implemented. Mr Barral said the idea was to try to take the image of the saint back to its origins - St James as the apostle or pilgrim who took the word of Jesus to the Iberian Peninsula. The Baroque image of a sword-wielding St James cutting the heads off Moors is not a very sensitive or evangelical image that fits the teachings of Christ, he added. The statue, when it is eventually moved from the chapel in the cathedral, is not likely to be hidden from the six million pilgrims and tourists who visit the city every year. It is due to take its place alongside dozens of other images of St James in the cathedral museum.


BBC 18 May 2004 Crimean Tatars recall mass exile - Tens of thousands took part in the rally in Simferopol Thousands of people have gathered in Ukraine's southern region of Crimea to mark the 60th anniversary of the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars. Some 200,000 Crimean Tatars were accused by the then Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin of collaborating with the Nazis and exiled to Central Asia. Half died during their journey and many more in their new homeland. The rally was staged at a train station in Simferopol, where the deportations were carried out in 1944. Security in the Crimean capital had been stepped up because of recent tensions between the Tatars, who are Muslim, and Ukrainians and ethnic Russians, who are mainly Orthodox Christian, the BBC's Helen Fawkes in Simferopol says. Crimean Tatar leaders appealed to people to mark the anniversary peacefully and remember the victims with dignity. Tatars' demands Wearing black ribbons and carrying their traditional flags, tens of thousands of Crimean Tatars gathered for the rally to remember those who died. CRIMEAN TATARS Turkic people, Muslims Origins traced to Mongol Horde's raids in 13th Century 18 May 1944 - some 200,000 deported to Central Asia by Stalin About 40% die in first two years in exile Some 260,000 have returned to Crimea since late 1980s Now make up 12% of Crimea's population Many of those who took part are elderly people who survived the exile, our correspondent says. The main rally was held at the city's Lenin Square. "The deportation of the entire nation was among the greatest crimes against humanity," Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev told the flag-waving crowd. Since the late 1980s some 260,000 Tatars have returned to Crimea - an autonomous republic which became part of Ukraine in 1956. However, they are still a minority on the peninsula, making up only about 12% of the population. Many of them complain that they face higher unemployment than the majority Slavic population of Crimea, and that the central government in Kiev has not helped them to fully integrate into the new society. While about half of Crimean Tatars have been allocated land, many also claim they have not been given the prime plots which they believe they have a right to.

United Kingdom

belfasttelegraph.co.uk 7 May 2004 Omagh massacre film to be premiered By Michael McHugh RELATIVES of Omagh bomb victims will be among the first people to view an evocative film about the 1998 massacre when it receives its first showing in Belfast this weekend.


NYT 2 May 2004 'The Anatomy of Fascism': The Original Axis of Evil By SAMANTHA POWER THE ANATOMY OF FASCISM By Robert O. Paxton. 321 pp. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $26. Fascism, to hear President Bush tell it, has been revived by Islamic militants. ''The terrorists are the heirs to fascism,'' he has said. ''They have the same will to power, the same disdain for the individual, the same mad global ambitions. And they will be dealt with in just the same way. Like all fascists, the terrorists cannot be appeased: they must be defeated.'' In this statement, Bush laid out his checklist for what constitutes fascism. Such checklists are required because fascism -- unlike Communism, socialism, capitalism or conservatism -- is a smear word more often used to brand one's foes than it is a descriptor used to shed light on them. Robert O. Paxton, a professor emeritus at Columbia University and the author of several books, including ''Vichy France,'' is not the first scholar to wade into a definitional and historical quagmire in order to answer the question, What is fascism? Indeed, his book ''The Anatomy of Fascism'' -- which doubles as a history and a sustained argument -- is not the most original study of the subject. But it is so fair, so thorough and, in the end, so convincing that it may well become the most authoritative. Why should readers care about fascism? Paxton offers one answer at the outset. ''Fascism was the major political innovation of the 20th century, and the source of much of its pain.'' But in exploring how such uncouth nobodies as Hitler and Mussolini introduced what the Italian philosopher and historian Benedetto Croce described as an ''onagrocracy'' -- or ''government by braying asses'' -- he also hopes to enable us to recognize ''what the 21st century must avoid.'' ''The Anatomy of Fascism'' is the work of a distinguished scholar who has sifted through the primary sources, the tomes and the trends in an effort to synthesize and even settle prior debates. His main emphasis is on Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany, but in order to demonstrate why certain fascist movements were able to seize power while most remained marginal, he contrasts these ''successes'' with fascist sputterings in Britain, France, Hungary, Portugal, Spain and elsewhere. Paxton proceeds chronologically, tracing how fascist movements are born, take root, assume power, govern and self-destruct. At every stage he explores the interaction among the leader, the state, the party and civil society, examining the symbiosis between socioeconomic conditions and the political agents who seized upon and shaped them. World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 contributed mightily to the advent of fascism. The war generated acute economic malaise, national humiliation and legions of restive veterans and unemployed youths who could be harnessed politically. The Bolshevik Revolution, but one symptom of the frustration with the old order, made conservative elites in Italy and Germany so fearful of Communism that anything -- even fascism -- came to seem preferable to a Marxist overthrow. Still, Paxton retains an important capacity for incredulity. How on earth was it that Benito Mussolini, who won a mere 4,796 votes out of 315,165 in the 1919 election, could find himself appointed prime minister in 1922? The answer, Paxton makes clear, was not Mussolini's policy platform. ''They ask us what is our program,'' Mussolini said. ''Our program is simple. We want to govern Italy.'' Rather, it was the societal ills, the conservatives' fear of a Communist revolution, the paralysis of Italy's liberal constitutional order and the violence inflicted by fascist militia -- violence that made the state eager to co-opt the violent themselves. How could Hitler, whose Nazi Party placed ninth in 1928 (with only 2.8 percent of the popular vote), soar to first in 1932 (with 37.2 percent)? In Germany, storm troopers intimidated enemies, Hitler himself delivered mesmerizing harangues and the Nazi Party became a catchall movement that appealed to those Germans from all classes who were disillusioned with the bankrupt mainstream parties. But none of this was enough to bring about fascist rule. One of Paxton's main contributions is to focus less on the ''Duce myth'' and the ''Führer myth'' and more on the indispensable ''conservative complicities'' behind the fascist takeovers. Paxton debunks the consoling fiction that Mussolini and Hitler seized power. Rather, conservative elites desperate to subdue leftist populist movements ''normalized'' the fascists by inviting them to share power. It was the mob that flocked to fascism, but the elites who elevated it. ''At each fork in the road, they choose the antisocialist solution,'' Paxton writes. King Victor Emmanuel III responded to Mussolini's ''gigantic bluff,'' the Black Shirt march on Rome, not by imposing martial law but by offering him the prime ministership. And in 1933 it was the ambitious German Catholic aristocrat Franz Von Papen, believing he would be the one who gained power, who arranged the deal that gave Hitler the chancellorship. Fascists never assumed power in countries where governing structures functioned ''tolerably well,'' where conservatives retained confidence or where local fascists remained ''pure'' by avoiding political compromise or elections. ''It was not enough to don a colored shirt, march about and beat up some local minority to conjure up the success of a Hitler or a Mussolini,'' Paxton writes. ''It took a comparable crisis, a comparable opening of political space, comparable skill at alliance building and comparable cooperation from existing elites.'' Fascist movements and regimes are different from military dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. They seek not to exclude, but rather to enlist, the masses. They often collapse the distinction between the public and private sphere (eliminating the latter). In the words of Robert Ley, the head of the Nazi Labor Office, the only private individual who existed in Nazi Germany was someone asleep. And, crucially, their durability depends on their ability to remain in constant motion. It was this need to keep citizens intoxicated by fascism's dynamism that made Mussolini and Hitler see war as both desirable and necessary. ''War is to men,'' Mussolini insisted, ''as maternity is to women.'' Paxton leaves his readers with a working definition of fascism: ''A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.'' Fine-tuning definitions, however, is less important for the future than identifying and neutralizing fascist threats. This recognition will come, Paxton believes, ''not by checking the color of shirts'' but ''by understanding how past fascisms worked.'' We should ''not look for exact replicas, in which fascist veterans dust off their swastikas,'' he writes; nor should we look for hate crimes and extreme nationalist propaganda. Rather, we should address the conditions and the enablers -- political deadlocks in times of crises, and conservatives who want tougher allies and elicit support through nationalist and racist demagogy. For every official American attempt to link Islamic terrorism to fascism, there is an anti-Bush protest that applies the fascist label to Washington's nationalist rhetoric, assault on civil liberties and warmaking. Paxton's study has made it no less likely that the label will be appropriated. But the lasting contribution of this splendid book is to remind us that fascism, if it returns, will do so not simply because of a rousing leader, but because of his timid accomplices. Samantha Power, a lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, is the author of '' 'A Problem From Hell': America and the Age of Genocide.''

Guardian UK 11 May 2004 Religious hatred flourishes on web Patrick Barkham Tuesday May 11, 2004 The Guardian The number of extremist websites espousing violent or racist views has grown by more than a quarter since January, according to a global study of "hate" sites. The unprecedented 26% increase in the first four months of this year was almost as much as the growth in extremist sites during the whole of 2003, according to SurfControl, a British-based web filtering company. Religious hatred appears to be flourishing on the web, with an increase in American religious sites advocating extremist views and a growing number of militant Islamist sites. The number of violent and extremist sites monitored by the company's researchers in 15 countries, including the UK, has risen by almost 300% in the past four years. They detected just 2,756 hate sites in 2000, compared with 10,926 recorded in April 2004. Researchers also noted a convergence between sites advocating hate and those directly promoting violence. Steve Purdham, the chief executive of SurfControl, said most of the extremist sites were created by American groups. "There are two basic reasons for the growth. One is the relative growth of the internet. The other is the impact of headline news, in particular with regard to Afghanistan and now Iraq. In times of unease you tend to get extremist views forming and the internet is a global forum for this." Offensive sites that have flourished in recent months include those bearing anti-American messages, as well as sites promoting the idea of Jewish conspiracies, pictures of mutilated people, revisionist versions of the September 11 terrorist attacks and dating and scholarship services for white supremacists. Other news events that appear to have triggered the recent sharp increase in hate sites include the controversy over gay marriages and the release of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, which has been used by some extremists as a platform to express hatred of non-Christians. US extremists, including anti-abortionists, have published home addresses and phone numbers of officials and doctors on the internet with thinly veiled incitements to violence. In Britain, an animal rights website was recently removed from the internet after activists posted the names, home addresses and phone numbers of more than 100 famous people deemed to be pro-hunt under the headline "Celebrity Bloodsports Scum". A spokesperson for the Internet Watch Foundation, the UK's monitoring body, said it had seen a 101% increase on the previous year in complaints of racial abuse made through its hotline. "We would fully support any initiatives from the government on how to deal with such content more effectively," the spokesperson said. "We would also like to see some successful international consensus on how to deal with illegal content which is hosted overseas, but available to internet users in the UK." If a site is deemed criminally racist under UK law and hosted by a UK-based internet service provider, the IWF can order the service provider to close the site. If the service provider does not close the site, they can be prosecuted for "publishing" it. Websites can also be prosecuted under public order legislation if they are deemed to stir up racial hatred against a group of people in Britain. But UK regulators have no power to remove hate sites hosted in other countries. In 2003, 55% of all illegal images detected by the IWF came from America, with 23% from Russia, a growth area for violent internet pornography. John Carr, the internet adviser to children's charity NCH, recommended that people buy filtering software for their computers to minimise their contact with such material. "You can't make the internet subject to the same sort of censorship as in British cinema and you can't make net publishing subject to the same kind of controls as printed publications," he said. "In the absence of that, you need mechanisms to protect the young and the innocent from exposure to this complete garbage." Mr Carr called on the government to insist that companies sell home computers with filtering software already fitted. As well as using filters, Mr Carr said, young people should be taught to look critically at information on the internet and not take sources at face value.

ICRC 13 May 2004 Press Release 04/36 50th Anniversary of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict Geneva (ICRC) – On 14 May 1954, a Convention for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict was adopted, under the aegis of UNESCO. Today it has 109 States Parties. Under this Convention, Parties must refrain from any act of hostility directed against cultural property and abstain from using this property for military purposes. The instrument furthermore provides for the marking of cultural property with a new distinctive emblem and proposes a system for placing particularly important objects under special protection. In 1977, with the adoption of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of Geneva, and then in 1999, with the adoption of a Second Protocol to the 1954 Convention, the international community further strengthened this protection. This last Protocol came into effect on 9 March 2004. During armed conflict, the protection of civilian populations and persons not taking part in the hostilities remains the priority of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Nonetheless, the protection of civilian property - and hence cultural property - is an important concern. To mark this anniversary, the ICRC urges all States who have not yet done so to ratify the Hague Convention and all other instruments protecting cultural property in the event of armed conflict. It is essential to strive for universality of these instruments, if the cultural heritage of mankind is to be preserved. Once ratified, these texts must be implemented at the national level. This involves, for instance, drawing up inventories, providing for identification of cultural property and setting up educational and training programmes. The ICRC’s Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law can furnish States with specialist literature and advice on this as on other matters.

www.zmag.org 17 May 2004 The Cruise Missile Left (part 5): Samantha Power And The Genocide Gambit by Edward S. Herman Establishment politicians, media, and intellectuals use the word genocide with great abandon, but with a hugely politicized selectivity. It is an invidious word, like terrorism, so that attaching it to an enemy and target is helpful in demonizing, thereby setting up the target for bombing and invasion, and establishing a case for pursuit of its leaders via assassination squads or tribunals. Genocide was used often to describe the “killing fields” of Pol Pot, but not the killing fields of Vietnam where the United States ravaged the country, killed many more people than did Pol Pot, and left a destroyed country and chemical warfare heritage of hundreds of thousands of children with birth defects. The word was never used in the U.S. mainstream to describe Indonesian operations in East Timor, where the invasion of 1975 and murderous occupation killed off between a quarter and a third of the population, a larger fraction than in Cambodia and not attributable, at least in part, to a prior war and its after-effects (as in Cambodia). But in the one mention of the word “genocide” in reference to East Timor in the New York Times (February 15, 1981), veteran reporter Henry Kamm explained that this was unwarranted “hyperbole”--that the situation was “complex” and there were multiple causes of all those deaths (presumably in contrast with Cambodia, where Kamm and the Times never found any complexity or causes other than Pol Pot’s policies). The word genocide is rarely if ever applied to Turkish ethnic cleansing and massacres of its Kurds, and in fact Turkey was mobilized to participate in the 78-day NATO (de facto U.S.) bombing war against Yugoslavia in 1999, supposedly to terminate “genocide” in Kosovo, although Turkey’s attacks on its local Kurds were far more deadly than any pre-bombing-war Yugoslav violence against the Kosovo Albanians. The obvious explanation of the varying word usage is that Turkey was a U.S. ally, and its ethnic cleansing and killings were facilitated by greatly increased U.S. (Clinton administration) military aid, just as Indonesia’s violence in East Timor was greatly helped by greater U.S. (Carter administration) aid to the killer state. Yugoslavia, on the other hand, was a U.S. target. Amusingly, as Noam Chomsky points out in Hegemony or Survival, when Turkey failed to cooperate in the invasion-occupation of Iraq, suddenly the U.S. media began to report on Turkey’s “ghastly record of torturing, killing, and ‘disappearing’ Turkish Kurds” that had previously been kept under the rug, although they continued to keep under the rug the fact of massive Clinton administration aid facilitating that “ghastly record.” . The word genocide has been used often by establishment politicos, media and intellectuals to describe Saddam Hussein’s behavior in the 1980s, notably his resort to chemical warfare to kill Iraqi Kurds; but it is never used in the mainstream to describe the “sanctions of mass destruction” that are credibly estimated to have killed over a million Iraqis. The establishment institutions have avoided all but passing mention of the numbers dead, and they suppress even more completely the evidence that the killings were a consequence of deliberate actions, including the U.S. and British use of the sanctions system to block the import of medicines and equipment to repair water and sanitation systems that were destroyed with full recognition of the disease-threatening consequences. “Genocide” was applied frequently to describe Serb actions in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, actions supposedly the basis of “humanitarian intervention” and a major tribunal operation to bring Serbs to book. The link here between Western target, invidious word usage, focus of attention of the “cruise missile left”and mainstream news and commentary, and dedicated, long-lasting and expensive tribunal pursuit of the chosen villains, is dramatic. The intellectual apologists for Western imperialism have pretended that the Yugoslavia Tribunal is not fully politicized, but is rather pursuing justice, as they skirt by the facts that nothing happened to Tudjman, Izetbegovic, or any other non-Serb high officials guilty of war crimes in the Balkans. (These would properly include Clinton, Blair and their top associates, guilty of aggression, and whose bombing tactics even Human Rights Watch, a notorious apologist for NATO policies in the Balkans, condemned as violations of “international humanitarian law”). The apologists claimed that the global reach of justice was approaching institutionalization in the 1990s—that human rights “has taken hold not just as a rhetorical but as an operating principle in all the major Western capitals” (David Rieff)--pointing beyond the Yugoslavia Tribunal to the Spanish effort to bring Pinochet to book, the Belgian case brought against Ariel Sharon, and the installation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). They slighted the facts that nothing happened to Pinochet, that the case against Sharon was ended by a change in Belgian law (under U.S. pressure), that no tribunal was organized to deal with triple genocidist Suharto, and that the ICJ is repudiated by the United States despite groveling and compromising efforts to accommodate U.S. demands for assured exemption from ICJ jurisdiction. So it remains a power-out-of-the-gun truth that only a U.S. target can commit “genocide” or even engage in “ethnic cleansing,” while the United States can commit blatant aggression with only slightly delayed UN accommodation, and it and its clients don’t aggress, ethnically cleanse, or commit genocide. (In ratifying the “Genocide Convention,” with a 40-year time lag, the U.S. Senate wrote in a U.S. exemption to its application; the U.S. insistence on an above-the-law status is long-standing.) It is truly Orwellian to see the Yugoslavia Tribunal struggling to pin the “genocide” label on Milosevic, and to have done that already against Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic. In Milosevic’s case, the prosecutor, sensing that only 4-5,000 bodies—from all causes and on all sides--having been found in Kosovo after a bloody war, would not sustain a charge of genocide, decided to try to make him responsible for all Bosnian Serb killings in Bosnia, something the Tribunal had forgotten to do over the five previous years. This effort has been a notorious failure. In the Krstic case, the genocide charge was based on the Srebrenica events of July 1995, where some substantial but uncertain number of Bosnian Muslims were killed, some in fighting and some executed. Here again the number of bodies in the discovered grave sites in the Srebrenica area is under 5,000, and certainly includes large numbers killed in the fighting during July. The Tribunal court claimed a Bosnian Serb plan and intent to kill all military age Srebrenica males, although no document or credible witness statement was found sustaining this charge, although thousands of Bosnian Muslim soldiers were allowed passage to safety, although many wounded Bosnian Muslims were allowed repatriation, and although the Bosnian Serbs made a number of actual deals and broader proposals for a prisoner exchange. The alternative view, that there was no such plan, only a vengeance motive and an intent to locate and execute the Bosnian Muslim cadres responsible for the killing of several thousand Serbs in the Srebrenica vicinity over the prior three years, was quickly dismissed by the Tribunal court. Vengeance as a motive is only acceptable for Western-backed killers (and David Rieff and company have relied on this to explain away the massive ethnic cleansing in Kosovo under NATO auspices). It is also well-known and conceded by the court that all the Bosnian Muslim women and children in Srebrenica were helped to safety in Bosnian Muslim territory, strange behavior with a genocidal intent. The Tribunal reasoning is that in a patriarchal society, the removal of males is especially important for making community survival difficult. Of course, the idea of genocide in one small town is also a pathbreaking idea, perhaps to be followed by genocide in one household. But for such a noble enterprise as putting the Serbs in their place, and making “humanitarian intervention” palatable, creative thought is useful. The contrast between the treatment of Yugoslavia and Israel-Palestine remains truly dramatic. For one thing, Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the “promised land” has been going on for half a century, and it is clear that the steady expropriations, demolitions, and killings of the Palestinians is for the benefit of Jewish settlements, not for “security.” So this is as pure an illustration of ethnic cleansing as can be found on the face of the earth; Israeli historian Benny Morris, in his recent acknowledgement of this “ethnic purification,” complained only that it hadn’t gone far enough. By contrast, the Serb attacks on Kosovo Albanians before and during the 1999 bombing war were never to provide room for Serb settlements, they were a feature of an ongoing civil war (stoked by outsiders), so that this wasn’t true ethnic cleansing at all. There was ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Croatia, but it was carried out by all parties, struggling to establish land control in an externally encouraged civil war. Nevertheless, the phrase ethnic cleansing was used lavishly to describe Serb actions in Kosovo, as well as Bosnia, but it is rarely applied to Israeli behavior. In the Genocide Convention of 1948, the word genocide was defined loosely, as any act “committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group as such.” Genocidal acts included causing serious “mental harm” or inflicting “conditions of life” aimed at such destruction. Can anything be clearer than that the Sharon government is trying to destroy the Palestinians as a national group by creating intolerable “conditions of life”? Under “Operation Defensive Shield” Israel carried out a “systematic process of demolition of Palestinian public and private property, and mass expropriation of Palestinian land on behalf of settlers” (Appeal by 153 Israeli academics); “the Israeli army deliberately trashed the inside of every Palestinian institution that it did not entirely destroy—schools, charities, health organizations, banks, radio and TV stations, even a puppet theatre“ (Gila Svirsky). As Rania Awwad has said, “Sharon’s solution is to depopulate as much as possible the Occupied Palestinian Territories by making life for its citizens unbearable. And what could be more unbearable than watching your children cry themselves to sleep from hunger, night after night?” The Israeli leadership is not trying to exterminate all Palestinians, but they are prepared to kill them freely, take away their land, and make life so harsh that they will die off or leave. That this is a genocidal process is sometimes suggested in the Israeli media, but not in the Free Press. The cruise missile left also adheres closely to the party line on genocide, which is why its members thrive in the New York Times and other establishment vehicles. This is true of Paul Berman, Michael Ignatieff and David Rieff, but I will focus here on Samantha Power, whose large volume on genocide, “A Problem From Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide won a Pulitzer prize, and who is currently the expert of choice on the subject in the mainstream media (and even in The Nation and on the Bill Moyers show). Power never departs from the selectivity dictated by the establishment party line. That requires, first and foremost, simply ignoring cases of direct U.S. or U.S.-sponsored (or otherwise approved) genocide. Thus the Vietnam war, in which millions were directly killed by U.S. forces, does not show up in Power’s index or text. Guatemala, where there was a mass killing of as many as 100,000 Mayan Indians between 1978 and 1985, in what Amnesty International called “A Government Program of Political Murder,” but by a government installed and supported by the United States, also does not show up in Power’s index. Cambodia is of course included, but only for the second phase of the genocide—the first phase, from 1969-1975, in which the United States dropped some 500,000 tons of bombs on the Cambodian countryside and killed vast numbers, she fails to mention. On the Khmer Rouge genocide, Power says they killed 2 million, a figure widely cited after Jean Lacouture gave that number; his subsequent admission that this number was invented had no effect on its use, and it suits Power’s purpose. A major U.S.-encouraged and supported genocide occurred in Indonesia in 1965-66 in which over 700,000 people were murdered. This genocide is not mentioned by Samantha Power and the names Indonesia and Suharto do not appear in her index. She also fails to mention West Papua, where Indonesia’s 40 years of murderous occupation would constitute genocide under her criteria, if carried out under different auspices. Power does refer to East Timor, with extreme brevity, saying that “In 1975, when its ally, the oil-producing, anti-Communist Indonesia, invaded East Timor, killing between 100,000 and 200,000 civilians, the United States looked away” (146-7). That exhausts her treatment of the subject, although the killings in East Timor involved a larger fraction of the population than in Cambodia, and the numbers killed were probably larger than the grand total for Bosnia and Kosovo, to which she devotes a large fraction of her book. She also misrepresents the U.S. role—it did not “look away,” it gave its approval, protected the aggression from any effective UN response (in his autobiography, then U.S. Ambassador to the UN Daniel Patrick Moynihan bragged about his effectiveness in protecting Indonesia from any UN action), and greatly increased its arms aid to Indonesia, thereby facilitating the genocide. Power engages in a similar suppression and failure to recognize the U.S. role in her treatment of genocide in Iraq. She attends carefully and at length to Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical warfare and killing of Kurds at Halabja and elsewhere, and she does discuss the U.S. failure to oppose and take any action against Saddam Hussein at this juncture. But she does not mention the diplomatic rapproachement with Saddam in the midst of his war with Iran in 1983, the active U.S. logistical support of Saddam during that war, and the U.S. approval of sales and transfers of chemical and biological weapons during the period in which he was using chemical weapons against the Kurds. She also doesn’t mention the active efforts by the United States and Britain to block UN actions that might have obstructed Saddam’s killings. The killing of over a million Iraqis via the “sanctions of mass destruction,” more than were killed by all the weapons of mass destruction in history, according to John and Karl Mueller (“Sanctions of Mass Destruction,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 1999), was arguably the greatest genocide of the post-World War 2 era. It is unmentioned by Samantha Power. Again, the correlation between exclusion, U.S. responsibility, and the view that such killings were, in Madeleine Albright’s words, “worth it” from the standpoint of U.S. interests, is clear. There is a similar political basis for Power’s failure to include Israel’s low-intensity genocide of the Palestinians and South Africa’s “destructive engagement” with the frontline states in the 1980s, the latter with a death toll greatly exceeding all the deaths in the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Neither Israel nor South Africa, both “constructively engaged” by the United States, show up in Power’s index. Samantha Power’s conclusion is that the U.S. policy toward genocide has been very imperfect and needs reorientation, less opportunism, and greater vigor. For Power, the United States is the solution, not the problem. These conclusions and policy recommendations rest heavily on her spectacular bias in case selection: She simply bypasses those that are ideologically inconvenient, where the United States has arguably committed genocide (Vietnam, Cambodia 1969-75, Iraq 1991-2003), or has given genocidal processes positive support (Indonesia, West Papua, East Timor, Guatemala, Israel, and South Africa). Incorporating them into an analysis would lead to sharply different conclusions and policy agendas, such as calling upon the United States to simply stop doing it, or urging stronger global opposition to U.S. aggression and support of genocide, and proposing a much needed revolutionary change within the United States to remove the roots of its imperialistic and genocidal thrust. But the actual huge bias, nicely leavened by admissions of imperfections and need for improvement in U.S. policy, readily explains why Samantha Power is loved by the New York Times and won a Pulitzer prize for her masterpiece of evasion and apologetics for “our” genocides and call for a more aggressive pursuit of “theirs.”

Christianity Today. May 2004 www.christianitytoday.com Vol. 48, No. 5, Page 88. Christianity Today, May 2004 Doubting the Doomsayers Thank God not everything they say is true. By Philip Yancey | posted 04/30/2004 For a tribute edition, I am updating the book Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, which I coauthored with the late Dr. Paul Brand in 1980. During that process, I reviewed a passage spelling out the huge gap between developed countries and the developing world. I had recently seen an anonymous e-mail message floating around the Internet indicating that little has changed since 1980. It reported that 80 percent of the world's people still live in substandard housing, 70 percent are unable to read, and 50 percent suffer from malnutrition. My curiosity piqued, I spent several days tracking down statistics from authoritative sources, only to find that the e-mail is downright wrong. In fact, the world has made major strides in the last few decades. In the last decade, abortions declined by almost half. According to best estimates, 25 percent—not 80—of the world's population live in substandard housing. Thirty years ago the global literacy rate was 53 percent; now only 20 percent of adults cannot read. The percentage of people suffering from malnutrition has dropped by more than half, to 20 percent. Three of four people used to have no access to clean water; now three of four people have it. Perhaps the most significant change has occurred in population growth. In 1968 Paul R. Ehrlich predicted in The Population Bomb that huge famines would occur in the 1970s and 1980s, with hundreds of millions of people starving to death. They simply did not happen. Population experts once forecast that world population would hit a high of 20 billion, causing an intolerable strain on Earth's resources. That prediction was lowered to 15 billion, then 11 billion, then 9 billion. Some experts predict that the number will peak around 2050, and maybe even decline. The birth rate has fallen so dramatically that in Western Europe, Russia, and Japan, experts are now warning of the dire consequences of an aging population unreplenished by younger generations. Worldwide, the average woman used to bear six children; now she bears three. As developing countries improve economically, the birth rate drops. Thirty years ago, one in eight children died in their first year of life; now half that proportion dies. (Just over a century ago, four in five children died of disease before they reached the age of five.) AIDS currently presents a major health challenge, especially in Africa, and yet we dare not minimize health triumphs: smallpox, a disease that in the 19th century killed 500 million people, has been eradicated. The feared disease of polio has nearly disappeared, and leprosy has seen huge declines, in part thanks to dedicated Christian workers like Dr. Brand. A huge economic gap remains between the developed world and developing countries. Half the world's citizens still get by on less than two dollars a day. Even so, the World Bank estimates that the percentage of those living in absolute poverty has been cut almost in half, and per capita income has risen 60 percent. Ten million entrepreneurs have improved their lives through microenterprise loans. According to the U.N., overall conditions in the developing world improved more in the second half of the 20th century than in the previous 500 years. Repressive regimes dominate the news. Meanwhile, according to Freedom House, in recent years 71 more nations have become free or partly free. Politicians and preachers decry the decline of sexual morality in the United States. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the teenage birthrate has declined by 30 percent in the last decade, while our abortion rate declined by almost half. Many surveys show that on sexual issues teenagers are more conservative than their parents. Such good news rarely captures the attention of the media, which continue to portray the world as teetering on the brink of cataclysm. Nor does it get much play from relief and development agencies, which have learned that donors respond best to crisis appeals. As a journalist who often travels internationally, I am well aware of the major problems that face our planet: global warming, income disparity, terrorism and wars, SARS, AIDS and other diseases. At the same time, I find it genuinely heartwarming to learn of the progress that has occurred during my lifetime. A century ago, theological liberals rightly complained that conservative Christians cared for souls but not bodies. Liberals led the way in social reform. Now, evangelical organizations such as World Vision, World Concern, and Opportunity International are among the most prominent and effective dispensers of "common grace" to a needy world. After several days of research, I paused to give thanks for this remarkable progress. I have learned not to believe everything I read on the Internet, and not to believe everything I hear from doomsayers.

www.theglobeandmail.com 29 May 29, 2004 Son of Mein Kampf By IAN KERSHAW Hitler's Second Book: The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf By Adolf Hitler Edited by Gerhard L. Weinberg Translated by Krista Smith Enigma Books, 203 pages, $32 In June, 1928, Adolf Hitler, the leader of a party languishing in the political wilderness after winning only 2.6 per cent of votes cast in national elections a few weeks earlier, withdrew to his alpine retreat near Berchtesgaden to dictate a lengthy political tract. Only toward the end of his earlier work, Mein Kampf, the first part of which had been composed while he was interned in Landsberg fortress in 1924 for his part in the failed putsch of the previous year, had he unfolded his ideas of foreign policy. These, notably the question of overcoming Germany's alleged shortage of land by obtaining Lebensraum ("living space") in eastern Europe, had subsequently come to preoccupy him a good deal, and in numerous speeches in 1927 and 1928, he had dwelled upon the need for Germany to solve her "territorial issues" by expanding eastward "through the sword." It was a territorial issue that persuaded Hitler to dictate what was intended to be a new book in the summer of 1928. This was the question of the South Tyrol, the German-speaking enclave of northern Italy. Heated debates on the extreme nationalist right had flared up since the beginning of the year as a reaction to Mussolini's attempts to Italianize the region. Hitler was attacked by other radical nationalists for not defending German interests in the South Tyrol. As he had indicated in Mein Kampf, he thought that incorporating the South Tyrol into Germany was less important than forging a future alliance with Italy. His new tract was, in essence then, a defence of his position on the "South Tyrol question." But, in his usual discursive style, Hitler went far beyond this specific issue and ranged expansively over his entire foreign-policy agenda. As in Mein Kampf, and in countless recent speeches he had given, he castigated the German foreign-policy failings of the past, contrasting them with his own "world view," the basis of his party's program, which he claimed offered the only future path for Germany. It amounted to eastward expansion, resting upon military might, to attain "living space" for securing Germany's future. He explicitly ruled out any prospect of alliance with Russia, even purged of Bolshevism. On the contrary, he made plain that Russia provided the main reservoir of future German "living space." Foreign policy and the issue of "space" were, as always, embedded in his racial interpretation of history. Quite specifically -- though he offered (compared with Mein Kampf) only a relatively brief, if pungent, exposition of his views on this point -- he explicitly linked Germany's acquisition of "living space" and position as a world power with the need to destroy the threat of "Jewish domination." The longer-term implications of Hitler's expansionist policy were more obvious in this second tract than they had been in Mein Kampf. Echoing some of his speeches of the intervening period, he elaborated more than in his earlier work on Germany's future relations with the United States. He viewed the United States in years to come as the likely dominant power in the world on account of its racial selection of immigrants (giving it the best of European emigrés), its economic potential, based upon immense Lebensraum, and the strength of its internal markets and production. (He later developed a more negative view of the United States' "racial strength" because of the supposed "bastardization" of its population through racial inter- breeding.) This future dominance could, he claimed, be challenged only by Europe. However, he dismissed as illusory notions of some sort of European union based upon internal agreement by the various European states. European power could only be built upon inner strength, and that had to derive from one racially united people which would dominate Europe and ultimately be in a position, mentally and materially, to challenge the United States in armed conflict. He did not see this challenge coming in his lifetime. But his own "mission" would provide the basis for Germany's continental supremacy that would lay the basis for the eventual contest for world dominance. The text of Hitler's second major political tract was never published during his lifetime. Possibly the falling sales of Mein Kampf discouraged publication of what would have been a competitor volume. Moreover, the South Tyrol issue soon lost its immediacy. Germany became mired in deepening economic and political crisis, and Hitler, scenting his great chance, had other things on his mind. His tract was no longer topical and could have offered unnecessary ammunition to his many political enemies. So the typescript disappeared into the files of the Nazi publishing house, the Eher-Verlag, and only re-emerged in 1958, when it was discovered by Gerhard Weinberg, the editor of the present volume, among captured German documents in Alexandria, Va. Weinberg, who was to become one of the most distinguished experts on Germany's foreign policy, produced a German edition of the text in 1961, and republished it a few years ago as part of an extensive compilation of Hitler's pre-1933 speeches and writings. The text and the excellent introduction to the current translation are, with the occasional added footnote, identical with the recent German edition. The introduction fully explores the question of authenticity, which, as Weinberg demonstrates, has been doubted by no serious historian and can be accepted without equivocation, in terms of provenance, external references, context, internal consistency, textual analysis, style and content. The scholarship, in the introduction and in the footnoting of the body of the text, is, as one would expect from Weinberg, impeccable. And translator Krista Smith has done an excellent job in conveying Hitler's turgid and tedious prose into English. Many students and others interested in such a central figure in world history but without a knowledge of German have up to now had to depend upon an earlier, highly imperfect English-language version -- a severe limitation on access to the text. Weinberg has, therefore, done a service in making available a reliable English-language version of what has come to be called Hitler's Second Book. But how important is the text itself? There can, of course, be no surprises in a document well known to historical scholarship for more than 40 years. And, as the editor admits, "the document offers little beyond [Hitler's] assessment of the United States that is fundamentally new." Nothing deviates from what is known from Mein Kampf, or from Hitler's speeches. Even so, precisely this repetition has its value. The Second Book not only provides an insight into the essence of Hitler's ideological vision, and at a time when power seemed no more than a distant dream; it also shows how unaltered this vision remained -- whatever tactical manoeuvring proved necessary -- once it had been fully formed, as it was by the mid-1920s. Hitler held to this vision down to his death in the bunker. It was the vision that led to an unprecedented genocide and took the world into war. As such, the significance of the Second Book, outlining this ideology, needs no emphasis. And today -- more than ever, it might seem -- the text of a political fanatic with an ideology of hatred offering a vision pointing to war, death and destruction warrants attention. Ian Kershaw is author of several works on Nazi Germany, including his prize-winning two-volume biography, Hitler, 1889-1936: Hubris and Hitler, 1936-1945: Nemesis. He teaches modern history at the University of Sheffield in Britain.


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