Prevent Genocide International 

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

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IRIN 19 Nov 2004 Africa: Rapid response team trained [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] ADDIS ABABA, 19 Nov 2004 (IRIN) - The first ever African UN rapid response, disaster mitigation team is ready for deployment to emergencies around the continent, officials said on Friday. The UN's Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team would be used for natural and man-made emergencies in Africa and across the globe. "It was important to establish an African team, as it will be able to respond faster to an emergency in Africa as well as have a better understanding of the culture and speak the language," said Jesper Lund, the course organiser. "Upon request of a disaster-stricken country, the team can be deployed within hours to carry out rapid assessment of priority needs and to support national authorities and the United Nations resident coordinator to coordinate international relief on-site," he added. The team, which is provided free of charge to the disaster-affected country, is responsible for providing first-hand information on the emergency situation. "The UNDAC Team consists of disaster management professionals who are nominated and funded by member governments, UN agencies and international organisations, and are permanently on stand-by to deploy to relief missions following disasters and humanitarian emergencies anywhere in the world," Lund added. It will also assess priority needs of the victims to the international community through the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Its activities will also help strengthen national and regional disaster response capacity, officials who took part in the training told IRIN. To date the UNDAC Team has conducted 123 emergency missions in more than 68 countries since its creation in 1993. They were among the first into the troubled region of Darfur in western Sudan and were deployed in Haiti. Their two-week training was completed on Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Some 34 participants from 14 different African nations took part in the two-week training course, organised by the OCHA Field Coordination Support Section in Geneva, Switzerland and supported by the OCHA Country Office in Addis Ababa.


BBC 28 Oct 2004 Algeria 'terror leader' arrested German prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Saifi Algeria has taken custody of one of its most wanted terror suspects, handed over by Libya, the government says. Amar Saifi, known as 'Abderrezak El Para' is accused of being behind last year's kidnapping of 32 tourists from Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) he leads is allegedly linked to al-Qaeda. He was reportedly arrested in March by rebels in Chad. It is not clear how he fell into Libyan hands. In July, the rebel Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDJC) said that Libya had threatened to bomb their positions unless he was handed over. Ransom demand The GSPC is one of the last groups fighting a 12-year civil war in Algeria, in which some 150,000 people have been killed. Germany issued an international warrant for his arrest in September 2003. The warrant accuses him of kidnapping, extortion, membership of a foreign terrorist organisation and attempted blackmail of the German government. Germany is reported to have paid a ransom for the hostages, but the government has refused to confirm or deny this. The tourists were captured in small groups during a spate of kidnappings in the Sahara desert. All but one of the hostages - a German woman who died of heat stroke - were freed.

BBC 2 Nov 2004 Algeria proposes general amnesty By Mohammed Arrezki Himeur BBC correspondent in Algiers The conflict with Islamists has taken a huge toll A general amnesty is being considered for Algerians implicated in violence and murder during the past 12 years. The conflict between the government and Islamist militants has claimed at least 100,000 lives since it started in 1992. But it now seems to have abated and President Abdelaziz Bouteflika believes the time is right to try to move to the next stage to bring peace to Algeria. He was speaking during events to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the war of independence against France. But the president said such a decision could not be taken by his government alone, despite his party's overwhelming victory in April's election. Travesty He said that that vote does not give him a go-ahead to declare such a general amnesty. He suggested that a referendum would be needed, because, according to the constitution, the people are sovereign and not parliament or the president. The general amnesty is supposed to cover all those who have been implicated in the sectarian violence of the past decade, in this case not only the armed Islamists but also members of the security forces accused of torture, and summary executions. There are also those involved in the disappearance of more than 7,000 Islamist prisoners, arrested during this period. The families of the victims of both the Islamists and members of the security forces do not generally agree with each other - but they have found common ground over a possible amnesty. Both sides say it is a travesty of justice. President Bouteflika though, sees a general amnesty as being part of the country's path to dialogue that will eventually end the conflict with reconciliation.


AFP 5 Nov 2004 Bushmen Testify in Botswana Land Dispute By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE ABORONE, Botswana, Nov. 5 (Agence-France Presse) - San Bushmen resumed testimony on Friday in the Botswana High Court to challenge their resettlement from what they claim is ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Taking the stand for the first time since the case was postponed three months ago, Motsoko Ramafoko, a witness for the San, told the court that people were removed from the land against their will. He said people did not want to be relocated to the town of New Xade, outside the park in central Botswana. "First they took our wives, loaded them in the trucks and off they went to New Xade," he said. "Then they came for us men." The San are asking the High Court to declare that the government's 2002 decision to resettle the Bushmen in settlements outside the game reserve was illegal. Survival International, a London-based group that has been waging a 30-year campaign in support of the rights of the San, maintains that they were driven out of the Kalahari to make way for diamond mining, a claim the government has denied. The case is expected to continue for at least a month.


IRIN 1 Nov 2004 Tutsis finally accept interim constitution [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] BUJUMBURA, 1 November (IRIN) - Concerns of a constitutional crisis in Burundi abated on Monday when six Tutsi-dominated parties dropped their long-standing opposition to the country's current interim constitution. The interim constitution is necessary to avoid a constitutional void, the chairman of the main Tusti-dominated Parti de l'unite pour le progres national Jean, Baptiste Manwangari, told reporters on Monday. However, he said his parties still wanted changes to be made to the final constitution. The interim constitution has been in effect since 20 October when the country's transitional, two-chamber parliament voted for it to stay in force for six months. Officially, the transition period ended on Monday, but the interim constitution allows the country's institutions to stay in place until elections are held in 2005. Local elections are scheduled for 9 February, communal elections for 23 February and legislative elections for 9 March. MPs from the Tutsi-dominated parties had boycotted the parliamentary vote on the interim constitution saying it mostly takes into account the interests of Hutu-dominated parties. A referendum is to be held on 26 November in which voters will be asked whether they want the interim constitution to stand as the permanent constitution after the current transitional government ends. In a statement released on Saturday, the Tutsi-dominated parties called for dialogue on the final constitution before the referendum takes place and for amendments to be allowed.

Reuters 4 Nov 2004 UN to revisit massacre probe after Burundi criticism By Patrick Nduwimana BUJUMBURA, Nov 4 (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Thursday it plans to revisit its investigation into the slaughter of about 160 Congolese refugees at a Burundi camp, after it was criticised by Burundi's government last week. The U.N. report, delivered last month, sought to determine who was responsible for an Aug. 13 massacre at the desolate Gatumba transit camp in western Burundi, near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than 160 Congolese refugees were burned, hacked and bludgeoned to death. U.N. investigators incriminated Burundi's Hutu rebel Forces for National Liberation (FNL) in the attack, and said other groups it did not name may have been involved. Burundi last week called the report ignorant of the availale evidence. Foreign Minister Therence Sinunguruza said there was proof showing a coalition of FNL rebels, Congolese traditional Mai Mai fighters and Rwandan Hutu militia had been responsible. Nureldine Satti, the deputy special representative to Burundi for U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said any new evidence would be added to the report. "We never said that the U.N. report on Gatumba was perfect. It was not easy to produce a perfect report, especially in such difficult circumstances of inquiry. Everything is to be improved," Satti told reporters. "We will continue to re-examine the facts, in case we have new evidence which was not known before, and we will add them for an updating of the first report," he told a regular press briefing. The U.N. report said evidence was contaminated at the scene, making investigators' job that much harder. "We said other forces may have taken part in the massacre, but we didn't have enough evidence to say exactly which other forces were involved," Satti said. "There are no big divergences between the U.N. report and the one by Burundi's government." Burundi plans to publish the results of its investigation soon and says it will bring those responsible before the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague, a course the U.N. report urged.

Agence France-Presse 4 Nov 2004 Former fighters loot civilians in Burundi: UN BUJUMBURA, Nov 4 (AFP) - Armed gangs, reportedly including members of a former rebel group, have been looting food and property from impoverished villagers, the UN mission in the small central African country said Thursday. The UN force monitoring a post-war ceasefire and a political settlement stated that it "deplores the looting by armed elements, believed to include members of the CNDD-FDD, of food and possessions from the least favoured people, who have scarcely enough to survive on." The Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) and their political National Council (CNDD) signed an overall peace pact with the government a year ago, as part of a process to end a civil war which erupted in October 1993 and claimed some 300,000 lives. About 15,000 former FDD fighters are grouped into camps awaiting disarmament while some now fight alongside the regular army in dealing with the country's last small remaining rebel group. However, UN agencies and other organisations have for several months stopped providing food for ex-rebels who are not in the camps. The UN World Food Programme each week distributes an average "200 tonnes of food to about 30,000 vulnerable people in Rural Bujumbura", the area around the capital, according to the WFP. UN Burundi Operation (ONUB) spokesman Adama Diop said the food was supplied in convoys and distributed under the supervision of some of the UN military personnel in the country, where almost 5,500 peacekeepers are deployed. "The looting happens later," an WFP source said, asking not to be named. "Often it's at night, when people have gone home to their hills." Local officials said 100 households were robbed last week at Ruziba, their hillside community 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Bujumbura, the day after the WFP supplied food there. ONUB's deputy head, Nureldine Satti, said that if former rebels were fighting alongside the regular army, "we believe feeding them is the government's responsibility." No one in the FDD could be reached for immediate comment on the statements.

AFP 20 Nov 2004 Burundi's last rebel group no longer a threat to peace: minister DAR ES SALAAM, Nov 20 (AFP) - Burundi's defence minister said Saturday that the war-ravaged central African state's last active rebel group, the National Liberation Forces (FNL), no longer stood in the way of peace efforts. "Today, the FNL does not constitute a threat as such to the peace process in Burundi," General Vincent Niyungeko said on the sidelines of a conference in Tanzania's main city, Dar es Salaam, on peace in Africa's Great Lakes region, which includes Burundi. Burundi is trying to turn the page on a civil war which, since a variety of Hutu armed groups rose up in 1993 against a government and army then dominated by the Tutsi minority, has claimed more than 300,000 lives and devastated the tiny country's infrastructure. With the exception of the FNL, now estimated to have just a few hundred men under arms, all of these groups have joined a transitional power-sharing administration. Over the next few months, a series of elections is expected to usher in a permanent government. The minister recalled that 16 of the country's 17 provinces have enjoyed peace since the largest former rebel group, the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD), signed a peace deal a year ago. The FNL has rebuffed overtures to open negotiations with the government. "This movement has become militarily marginal. It is not in a position to hamper the electoral process," said Niyungeko. "The FNL have lost enormous amounts of territory following joint actions by the army and the FDD," a military expert who asked not to be named told AFP. "We believe they now have between 300 and 500 fighters and are not able to mount major attacks," he added.

AFP 26 Nov 2004 Rebels clash with Burundi army, 17 reported dead BUJUMBURA, Nov 25 (AFP) - Members of the sole remaining rebel group in Burundi clashed twice with army patrols this week, losing 17 men in the firefights, military sources said Thursday. In another reported incident, a soldier let off a rocket launcher during a visit by President Domitien Ndayizeye to northern Burundi, killing another member of the president's guard. In the first of the two reported clashes between guerrillas and the army, 10 guerrillas were killed and two army soldiers were injured in fighting just north of the capital, the military sources said. A second confrontation south of Bujumbura Thursday reportedly resulted in a further seven rebel deaths. The sources said the army seized small arms and mortar shells. On Saturday, Defence Minister General Vincent Niyungeko said that the rebels, members of the outlawed National Liberation Forces (FNL), no longer stood in the way of efforts to restore peace after a decade of conflict that has claimed some 300,000 lives. With the exception of the FNL, now estimated to have just a few hundred men under arms, several other Hutu armed groups have joined a transitional power-sharing administration. A series of elections has been scheduled over the next few months aimed at forming a permanent government. A military expert said the FNL is likely to have no more than 300 to 500 fighters, and can no longer mount major attacks, having lost most of the territory it once held. Meanwhile, army spokesman Adolphe Manirakiza said the shooting incident in Ndayizeye's entourage Thursday was "completely involuntary." He said a soldier riding in the lead vehicle inadvertently fired his rocket-launcher, gravely wounding a companion who died later of his injuries. Ndayizeye was visiting the province of Cibitoke, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Bujumbura, as part of a campaign to encourage citizens to register for voting in upcoming elections, the president's office said. But political sources said that so far, only 50,000 of the three million Burundians believed eligible to vote had registered. A referendum for a new constitution was to have taken place on Friday, but has been put back until December 22 for "logistical reasons."

Côte d’Ivoire

IRIN 28 Oct 2004 Côte d'Ivoire: Rebels declare state of emergency, warn of return to war [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] BOUAKE, 28 October (IRIN) - The rebel movement which controls the northern half of Cote d'Ivoire declared a state of emergency on Thursday and warned that the West African country was heading back towards an early resumption of civil war. "Disarmament is no longer a live issue, because the war isn't over yet. It is going to resume shortly," rebel leader Guillaume Soro told a press conference in Bouake, the rebel capital in central Cote d'Ivoire. He said the New Forces rebel movement had ordered its seven ministers in Cote d'Ivoire's broad-based government of national reconciliation to return to Bouake immediately for consultations. This move raises the prospect that the rebels may withdraw from the power-sharing government for the third time in 13 months. Colonel Soumaila Bakayoko, the rebel military commander, meanwhile announced the imposition of a state of emergency and a 9.00pm to 6.00am curfew in all rebel-controlled areas. Following the discovery of a large consignment of weapons and ammunition hidden in a commercial truck entering Bouake on Tuesday, all vehicles would be searched as they entered the rebel zone, including UN vehicles and the vehicles of humanitarian organisations, he added. The rebels displayed 80 AK-47 assault rifles, nine RPG-7 rocket grenade launches, 20 hand grenades and a large cache of ammunition which they said had been hidden in the truck beneath bags of rice. They accused President Laurent Gbagbo of sending the weaponry clandestinely to supporters of Ibrahim Coulibaly, an exiled rebel leader known as "IB," who is widely seen as a challenger to Soro for the leadership of the rebel movement. At least 99 people died during two days of clashes between supporters of Soro and IB in the northern city of Korhogo in June, according to the UN human rights mission which conducted an inquiry afterwards. The rebels' decision to suspend their participation in Cote d'Ivoire's power-sharing government follows a fresh impasse in the country's flagging peace process. President Gbagbo, the rebels, and parliamentary opposition parties agreed at a meeting in the Ghanaian capital Accra on July 30 to a timetable for the rapid implementation of political reforms and an early start to disarmament. However, Ggagbo failed to deliver the promised reforms by the agreed deadline of 30 September, so the rebels refused to begin handing in their weapons to UN peacekeepers on 15 October as planned. The civil war broke out in September 2002 and rebel forces quickly seized control of the north of Cote d'Ivoire, whose cocoa and coffee exports have made it the most prosperous country in West Africa. However, the fighting stopped seven months later following the signing of the French-brokered Linas-Marcoussis peace accord in January 2003. Gbagbo has never disguised his dislike of Marcoussis, saying it gave too many concessions to the rebels. He and his Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) party have dragged their feet over implementing many of the political reforms which the peace agreement demands before the holding of fresh presidential elections in October 2005. The rebels have cited slow progress in the implementation of these reforms to justify their refusal to disarm. Despite the presence in Cote d'Ivoire of 4,000 French troops and 6,000 UN peacekeepers to keep the two sides apart, a series of government crises over the past year have raised the ugly prospect of the country sliding back into conflict. Tension has increased markedly over the past week. A group of rebel fighters exchanged fire with a patrol of French peacekeepers 50 km south of Korhogo on Tuesday, a French military spokesman said. Meanwhile, in Abidjan, the "Young Patriots," a militia-style youth movement which supports President Gbagbo, has resumed its former tactic of seizing and ripping up opposition newspapers on sale in the street. Soro's decision to recall all rebel ministers to Bouake meant that the rebels were unlikely to take part in a special cabinet meeting on Friday, called to accelerate the passage of the remaining political reforms. Most of these are aimed at giving greater rights to four million immigrants in Cote d'Ivoire from other West African countries and their descendants. Specific measures to be discussed on Friday include a new nationality law and the creation of an independent national electoral commission to oversee future elections and the organisation of a referendum to approve a constitutional ammendment that would make it easier for the children of immigrants to run for the presidency. One official close to independent Prime Minister Seydou Diarra, said the embattled prime minister still hoped the rebels would turn up for the meeting. "The Prime Minister cannot give a reaction now, but I am sure he will be hoping to the last minute that everybody will come tomorrow," she told IRIN. Officials at the presidency were not immediately available for comment.

IRIN 29 Oct 2004 Pro-Gbagbo militias undergo military training in the heart of Abidjan [ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] © IRIN Leader of the GPP militia group Zuegen Toure (left), with Moise Kore (right), his "Defence Minister," and a group of GPP volunteers at their training camp in Abidjan ABIDJAN, 29 Oct 2004 (IRIN) - Even the girls have shaved heads in the Institut Marie-Thérèse, a primary school named after the wife of Ivory Coast’s first president. Dressed in kaki T-shirts and camouflage gear, they work in the kitchen to prepare food for the young men who invaded the school grounds on August 15. These "Young Patriots" have turned it into a military training camp for young hardline supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo. The school, in Abidjan's bustling Adjame district, now serves as the headquarters of Cote d'Ivoire's best-trained militia organisation, the Patriotic Grouping for Peace (GPP). The entrance to the playground is protected by sandbags and a barrier of old tyres in the road outside forces cars to slow down and negotiate the hazard in single file. Zeguen Toure, the GPP's undisputed leader, makes no bones about his organisation's real aims. “The authorities have a passive attitude in managing the situation and we are tired of that,” he said. “We back the president in everything he does, but we’re tired of his negotiating." "Our only aim is war and we will decide ourselves when the time is right.” The school's classrooms have been turned into orderly dormitories and TV-rooms packed with youngsters in military camouflage wearing polished new boots. They stand to attention and salute smartly as visitors enter the room. "We are not just a gang of killers" Toure told IRIN during a tour of the premises that the building is now used to provide military training for 1,600 GPP volunteers. Detailed drawings of an automatic rifle and its various parts on a blackboard, made clear that this training included instruction in the use of fire-arms. But Toure denied that his men were just political thugs who attacked people suspected of being rebel sympathisers at the behest of the president and the barons of his Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) party. “We are here to show that we are not a gang of killers,” Touré told IRIN. “In fact, we will tidy up the neighborhood.” “Organizations like the United Nations say bad things about us, they say we are a tribal militia,” he said. “But we are just volunteers who consider it their duty to defend Cote d'Ivoire. All we want is to take our country back from the rebels.” The GPP and other pro-Gbagbo militia groups sprouted into existence after Cote d'Ivoire plunged into civil war two years ago, leaving the country partitioned between a rebel-controlled north and a government-controlled south. They form part of a hadline nationalist movement known collectively as the Young Patriots. Diplomats say its key leaders take their orders from the presidential palace and the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based thinktank, came to the same conclusion in a report published in July. Although nobody knows for sure who commands the militia groups, ICG said, they have "internal hierarchies leading up to the presidency." The man widely suspected of coordinating their activities is Bertin Kadet, a former defence minister, who now acts as Gbagbo's personal adviser on security matters. Bizarrely, the GPP's training camp is situated in a lively and populous neighborhood that is considered a stronghold of the Rally of the Republicans (RDR) opposition party, accused by Gbagbo of being hand in glove the rebels. A peace agreement in January 2003 led to a ceasefire just over three months later and the establishment of a broad-based government of national reconciliation. But after two years of tortuous negotiations, the peace process remains deadlocked and rebel leader Guillaume Soro warned earlier this week that Cote d'Ivoire was heading back towards open conflict. Uncompromising towards the rebels The civil war has spawned dozens of nationalist movements pledging their support for President Gbagbo, although for a long time the existence of armed militias among them was denied by the government. The demands made by these groups change according to the political climate, but their belligerent stance is unmistakable. Generally speaking, the Young Patriots refuse to acknowledge the rebels’ right to share in government and want them to be crushed by force unless they agree to lay down their weapons unconditionally. They claim that the large community of immigrants from other West African countries in Cote d'Ivoire is in league with the rebels since many of them ethnic have links with the rebels bedrock supporters in the north of the country. And they accuse France, the former colonial power which has 4,000 peacekeeping troops in Cote d'Ivoire, of supporting the rebel cause. French citizens and French commercial interests have repeatedly been attacked by the pro-Gbagbo militants. The Young Patriots have even demonstrated outside the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping force in Abidjan and have smashed UN vehicles to press their demands that the 6,000 UN peacekeeping troops disarm the rebels by force. The movement draws much of its support from students and the fast-growing ranks of unemployed youth. The leaders of the Young Patriots frequently whip their followers into a frenzy with intimidating xenophobic rhetoric. Their favourite rallying place is the "Sorbonne," the former speakers' corner in Abidjan's downtown business district. During their protest demonstrations, the Young Patriots can make a lot of noise. Earlier this year the movement managed to fill sports stadiums in Abidjan with several thousand people for its rallies. The most prominent Young Patriot leader is Charles Ble Goude, a charismatic student drop-out who is invariably accompanied by armed bodyguards. He enjoys the permanent use of a suite at the prestigious Hotel Ivoire and is widely believed to be bankrolled by the presidential palace. But the organisation which Ble Goude personally heads, the Panafrican Congress of Young Patriots (COJEP) does not have the very blatant military identity of Toure's CPP. Former student leaders at the helm Diplomats fear what may happen if the armed militias are let loose on the city, rather than stone-throwing tyre-burning demonstrators who are usually the most visible face of the Young Patriots. A UN inquiry into the government's bloody repression of a banned opposition demonstration in Abidjan last March concluded that at least 120 people were killed over a two-day period as armed militiamen joined police and soldiers to hunt down suspected opposition supporters in some of the city's poorest suburbs. Toure, like Ble Goude and Soro, the rebel leader, is a former activist in FESCI, Cote d'Ivoire's main student association. All three men are in their mid-30s and know each other personally. Toure, who is 36, told IRIN that he once studied economics and computer science, but one man who knows him well said he had never held a real full-time job. Toure confirmed that Moise Kore the man he describes as his "Defence Minister" was a serving member of the security forces, but he declined to say what rank he holds or in which regular unit he serves. Individual GPP militia members do not carry arms, but they are taught how to use them, Touré said. “Former army officers come and train my men,” he said. “As for arms, it’s easy to get them. Arms are everywhere.” Touré said Ivory Coast’s security forces alone were not strong enough to “liberate” the country on their own and the militias had been created to help them complete the task. “Our security forces cannot defend everybody. The conventional army is not the most appropriate army for warfare with rebels,” he said. But Toure dismissed the notion that most militia groups consist of people from President Gbagbo's Bété ethnic group from south central Cote d'Ivoire and their close relatives, the Attié and Dida. “I myself, I am a northerner,” he said, pointing out that he came from Touba, near the western frontier with Guinea. Last year, it was a common sight to see small groups of militia recruits jogging through the streets of Abidjan, particularly in neighborhoods where Gbagbo was popular. The militias disappeared from public view after Prime Minister Seydou Diarra asked the security forces to disband them in August 2003, but Abidjan residents say they are still very much in evidence. One blast on a whistle brings them into the street “Every neighborhood has its own militia, but it’s not like they hang out together all the time,” a Lebanese businessman told IRIN on condition of anonymity. “Yet, they’re organized. It only takes one blow of the whistle to get them pouring out onto the streets.” Apart from the GPP, the best-known militia force in Cote d'Ivoire is the Front for the Liberation of the Greater West (FLGO), which is based in the western town of Guiglo, near the buffer zone between the loyalist army and the rebels. Long after fighting died down in the rest of Cote d'Ivoire, the area around Guiglo remained plagued by ethnic conflict, fuelled by the presence of militia groups, some of which recruited heavily among Liberian refugees. According to the International Crisis Group, FLGO leader Mao Gloféi is a member of the central committee of Gbagbo's FPI and a close aide to the mayor of Guiglo. Gloféi speaks openly about his “armed movement”, but it is unclear how many men are under his command. Back in Abidjan, Touré said the authorities have accepted his informal takeover of the Institut Marie-Therese. However, one local government official in Adjame said the mayor and his staff could do little about the GPP's presence there since the militia group had an influential patron: Finance Minister Paul Bouhoun Bouabre, a leading member of the FPI and a close associate of the president. Toure himself declined to say who paid for the GPP's military uniforms, its food, weapons and training. “We are volunteers, we finance ourselves,” he said with a grin.

NYT 5 Nov 2004 Ivory Coast Cease-Fire Ends With Airstrikes Against 2 Rebel Towns By SOMINI SENGUPTA DAKAR, Senegal, Nov. 4 - Government planes in Ivory Coast conducted bombing raids against two rebel-held towns starting shortly after sunrise on Thursday, ending a tenuous yearlong cease-fire and signaling a possible resumption of civil war. A spokesman for the French military in Ivory Coast, Col. Henri Aussavy, said the raids began at 7:15 a.m. against a rebel base in Bouaké, a guerrilla stronghold. Two more raids followed, one on the rebel-run television station in Bouaké and a third farther north, at Korhogo, an official with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast said. There were no confirmed reports of casualties, but a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a telephone interview that at least a dozen wounded had been evacuated from Bouaké. There were no reports of rebel retaliation. In Abidjan, a commercial hub, government loyalists held a demonstration threatening a full-scale war to recapture territory that has been in rebel hands since the outbreak of civil war in September 2002, according to news agency reports. "We are going to reconquer our territory, and reunify Ivory Coast," Col. Phillipe Mangou, a government military chief for operations, told The Associated Press. There was no official government comment on the air raids. The bombings ended a cease-fire between rebel forces and the government of President Laurent Gbagbo as well as a power-sharing deal that had allotted important cabinet posts to rebel leaders. The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, called the airstrikes a "major violation of the cease-fire" and warned Mr. Gbagbo and the rebels against further hostilities. In a statement on Thursday, the Security Council urged that the cease-fire be "fully respected." Mr. Gbagbo's government has violated some of the terms of a truce agreement signed in January 2003, and the rebels have refused to disarm. Ivory Coast, a former French colony, is the world's largest producer of cocoa and was once an oasis of prosperity and political stability in West Africa, welcoming migrant workers from neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali to work on the vast plantations. But a fall in cocoa prices, gradual economic decline and simmering grievances by the largely Muslim north erupted into full-scale civil war. Rebels control the north and the government holds the south, and tribal and religious loyalties have added a particularly nasty flavor to the conflict. The last major upheaval was in March, when a government crackdown on a demonstration in Abidjan left 120 people dead, according to a United Nations inquiry. Some 6,000 United Nations peacekeepers and 4,500 French troops are posted in Ivory Coast, charged with keeping the warring parties at bay.

Human Rights Watch 4 Nov 2004 Côte d'Ivoire: Civilians must not be targeted (New York, November 4, 2004) - As fighting renewed in Côte d'Ivoire on Thursday, Human Rights Watch called on all parties to refrain from targeting civilians and to respect international humanitarian law. According to their mandate, United Nations peacekeepers deployed in the country should protect civilians under imminent threat of violence. On Thursday, Ivorian government aircraft launched a series of bombing raids on the main rebel-held cities of Bouaké and Korhogo, signaling an end to the ceasefire declared in January 2003 and the peace process initiated at the same time. Several civilians were reported killed and many wounded when a checkpoint manned by New Forces (Forces Nouvelles) troops came under aerial attack. Meanwhile in Abidjan, the commercial capital held by government forces, militant youth from a pro-government group known as the Young Patriots (Jeunes Patriotes) attacked unarmed U.N. personnel and burned two of their vehicles, attacked the hotel where government ministers representing the New Forces lived, and ransacked and burned the offices of at least two opposition newspapers. "Côte d'Ivoire's civil war and its ongoing political crisis have been characterized by shocking brutality. Civilians have often been attacked solely on the basis of their ethnicity, religion or nationality," said Peter Takirambudde, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Africa Division. "If the government and rebels resume fighting, they must take all steps possible to limit harm to the civilian population." Human Rights Watch urged all parties to the Ivorian conflict - including the Ivorian military, gendarmes, police forces, pro-government militias and combatants from several rebel factions making up the New Forces - to distinguish at all times between combatants and the civilian population. They must not attack civilians including aid workers, medical personnel, U.N. personnel and members of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Captured combatants and civilians who find themselves under the authority of an adverse party must at all times be treated humanely, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion or nationality. Under international humanitarian law, all parties to the conflict in Côte d'Ivoire are prohibited from launching indiscriminate attacks. Armed forces must take precautions to limit the danger of attacks to civilian populations. Military actions - including the use of helicopter gunships, mortars or artillery - should be guided by the principle of proportionality in that the attacker should refrain from launching an attack if the expected civilian casualties would outweigh the importance of the military target. Moreover, the Ivorian government must ensure that militias used for military purposes are instructed in their obligations under the laws of war, or international humanitarian law. Since 2000, the government has increasingly relied on pro-government militias for both law enforcement and, since 2002, to combat the rebellion. In recent months, pro-government militia members have reportedly been undergoing military training in Abidjan. Drawn mainly from youth supporters of the ruling party, the Ivorian Popular Front (Front Populaire Ivorien, or FPI), the militias have served as a lightly veiled mechanism to intimidate and abuse members of the political opposition and those suspected of opposing the government by virtue of their religion, ethnicity or nationality. Most notably, the latter has included Muslims, northerners and West African immigrants mostly from Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Guinea. "Pro-government militias have been responsible for serious human rights abuses in Côte d'Ivoire's conflict," said Takirambudde. "The Ivorian government's failure to hold the militias accountable for these abuses has only strengthened the impunity of these groups in Abidjan and the rural areas." During the internal conflict from September 2002 through January 2003, and during the political impasse that has followed, Ivorian state security forces and other pro-government forces frequently and sometimes systematically executed, detained and attacked civilians from northern ethnic groups, Muslims and West African immigrants. Militia groups, tolerated if not encouraged by state security forces, have engaged in widespread targeting of the immigrant community, particularly agricultural workers from Burkina Faso living in villages in western Côte d'Ivoire. On their part, the New Forces have also attacked and killed civilians suspected of supporting the government or ruling political party. Neither the Ivorian government nor the rebel leadership has taken concrete steps to investigate and hold accountable those most responsible for these crimes. Perpetrators have been emboldened by the current climate of impunity that allows grave abuses to go unpunished. Background Since the military coup of 1999, Côte d'Ivoire has descended from its position as a beacon of socioeconomic stability in Africa to being one of the continent's most intransigent crises. The political and social climate is dangerously polarized and characterized by intolerance, xenophobia and suspicion. The 1999-2000 military junta, 2002-2003 civil war between the government and northern based rebels, and the political unrest and impasse that followed have been accompanied by a persistent, pernicious, and deadly disintegration of the rule of law. The issues at the heart of the Ivorian conflict - the exploitation of ethnicity for political gain, competition over land and natural resources, and corruption - continue unabated. While the bombing raids on Thursday marked the first relapse into full-scale war since 2003, the country remains divided. The north and most of the west of the country remain under the control of the rebel forces while the government retains control of the south. Some 4,000 French troops monitor the ceasefire line. The internal armed conflict officially ended in January 2003, after the signing of the French-brokered Linas-Marcoussis Agreement. The agreement provided for the formation of a Government of National Reconciliation, which was to oversee disarmament, transparent elections, and the implementation of political reforms such as changes to citizenship and land tenure laws. During 2003 the country made only limited progress towards implementing the provisions of the agreement. Despite the inclusion of both sides in the new government of reconciliation, representatives of the New Forces withdrew in September 2003 citing, among other reasons, President Gbagbo's lack of good faith in implementing the agreement. Fears that the impasse would lead to a fresh outbreak of violence led the United Nations, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to organize a summit to jumpstart the peace process, which was held in July in Accra, Ghana. The summit resulted in the signing of the Accra III agreement which committed the government to adopt several key legal reforms by the end of August, including one on citizenship for West African immigrants, one which would define eligibility to contest presidential elections, and another which would change rights to land tenure. The agreement also set October 15 as the starting date for disarmament, and agreed that the process should include all paramilitary and militia groups. However, none of the key reforms had been passed by the Ivorian government, and the rebels refused to begin disarming by the agreed-upon date of October 15.

ICRC 5 Nov 2004 Press Release 04/60 Côte d’Ivoire: ICRC calls on armed forces to respect international humanitarian law Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned about the resumption of hostilities in Côte d’Ivoire and their dramatic consequences for the people of that country. In its capacity as guardian of international humanitarian law, the ICRC reminds members of the armed forces of their obligation to respect and ensure respect for the basic rules of this branch of the law. International humanitarian law requires that civilians be kept away from hostilities and that all necessary measures be taken to ensure that they are not harmed. People must have access to the objects and services that are indispensable to their survival, especially water, food and medical care. The lives of people arrested for reasons of security must be protected. International humanitarian law prohibits summary execution, torture and other types of cruel or inhuman treatment at all times. Members of the armed forces must respect the emblem of the Red Cross. Personnel of the ICRC and of the Red Cross Society of Côte d'Ivoire must be protected, and their humanitarian work must be facilitated. On 4 November, first-aiders from the Red Cross Society of Côte d'Ivoire, supported by the ICRC, evacuated people injured by shelling in Bouaké.

BBC 6 Nov 2004, 14:39 AU condemns Ivory Coast air raids There are fears the latest violence could reignite the civil war The African Union has condemned the government of Ivory Coast for mounting air strikes on rebel areas in the north and urged both sides to cease firing. Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian leader who chairs the AU, voiced deep concern at the bombing, saying it contravened accords on ending the civil war. A rebel town came under attack for the third day running as Mr Obasanjo held talks in Otta, south-west Nigeria. The violence marks the first major unrest since last year's peace deal. Two planes dropped bombs on the rebel stronghold of Bouake at about 1300 GMT on Saturday, a UN official in the town told Reuters news agency by telephone. Reports also spoke of machine-gun fire and mortar bombardment around the town, but it is unclear where the fire has been coming from. The BBC's Anna Borzello reports from Nigeria that it was originally thought the Ivorian government and rebels might attend the talks in Otta, hastily convened by Mr Obasanjo. In the event, it turned out to be a brief consultation between high-level officials from the AU and the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas). Stronger mandate President Obasanjo called on the UN to strengthen its mandate in the country, so that its troops could better deal with truce violations. In Pictures: Showing anger Peace process in tatters? Only the UN's Security Council has the authority to increase the powers of the peacekeepers. The new violence went against "the process of national reconciliation", the Nigerian leader added in a press statement, issued after talks with colleagues including AU head Alpha Oumar Konare. Both the AU and Ecowas urged all parties in the conflict to halt all hostilities and promised to set up a "high-powered committee to address the political issues involved in the conflict". UN officials in Ivory Coast said earlier that 18 people, most of them civilians, had been killed in the bombing attacks. UN peacekeepers intervened on Friday to stop two convoys of government troops moving north. There are fears that the air strikes may be preparation for a government ground attack. BBC world affairs correspondent Paul Welsh says stopping government aircraft attacks is difficult, because even if the peacekeepers had the authority to shoot them out of the sky, it would be likely to cause violent demonstrations by those fiercely loyal to the president. The country has been split in two since last year's peace deal, with 10,000 French and UN troops deployed to monitor the ceasefire. Last week, the rebels, known as the New Forces, withdrew their ministers from the unity government, accusing the army of preparing to return to war. Street protests Government aircraft bombed Bouake three times on Thursday alone and also attacked Korhogo, 225km (140 miles) to the north. Fresh strikes followed on Friday. Demonstrators took to the streets of the economic capital, Abidjan, setting fire to buildings housing opposition parties and newspapers accused of colluding with the rebels. Much of the violence in the city has been blamed on the Young Patriots, a group which supports President Laurent Gbagbo. Ground battles also took place between government and former rebel forces in the central town of Raviar, in the UN-patrolled buffer zone which splits the country, the UN said. The New Forces rebels have said they will act if government forces cross the UN buffer zone. Government officials have not confirmed the air strikes.

BBC 7 Nov 2004, 08:16 Anti-French uproar in Ivory Coast French property in Abidjan was targeted by protesters Angry anti-French demonstrators have marched on the airport in Ivory Coast's main city,Abidjan, after French troops seized control of it. French helicopters fired warning shots to try to stop the tens of thousands of government loyalists moving forward. The furious reaction was sparked by the destruction of five Ivorian armed forces aircraft by the French military. France had responded to an earlier Ivorian air attack on a rebel town that left nine French peacekeepers dead. Paris has said it is sending more troops and aircraft to the region to stop the escalating violence. The UN Security Council moved swiftly to back the French action, and called on all sides to stop the fighting. Looting Correspondents in Abidjan - Ivory Coast's economic capital in the south of the country - spoke of hearing loud explosions and heavy gunfire. Red tracer bullets streaked across the night sky, Reuters news agency reported. What is happening now is very serious in Ivory Coast and I hope that the council in the coming days will be able to adopt a resolution Jean-Marc de la Sabliere French ambassador to UN UN condemns attacks The BBC's James Copnall said a helicopter flew low over a bridge that splits the city, and fired warning shots as thousands of young men were trying to cross over. The protesters were responding to a call by groups loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo to retake the airport, which had been in French hands for some hours. They are reported to have turned back at about 0400 (0400 GMT). Some ransacked homes of Europeans in the Bietry district of the city as they dispersed, French news agency AFP said. Earlier, at least two French schools and a library were set alight and French property looted. Rioters were seen brandishing axes, machetes and clubs as they roamed the streets shouting "French go home!" and "Everybody get your Frenchman!" Explosions and heavy gunfire were also reportedly heard in the capital Yamoussoukro on Saturday evening. President Gbagbo has appealed through a spokesman for an end to attacks on French interests pending an investigation into Saturday's events. A government spokesman called the air raid in which the French soldiers died a mistake. Meanwhile, Paris has dispatched an extra two companies of troops to beef up a force of 4,000 already deployed since the end of the civil war last year. It has also redeployed three jet fighters to the region. President Jacques Chirac ordered the "immediate destruction of Ivorian military aircraft used in recent days in violation of the ceasefire". French forces earlier destroyed two Ivorian bombers at an airbase in Yamoussoukro, along with two Russian-built Sukhoi 25 and three Mi-24 helicopters. In a telephone call to President Laurent Gbagbo, France's Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said a political solution must be found, and stressed that "violence leads to nothing," a ministry statement said. 'Legitimate defence' The BBC's world affairs correspondent, Mark Doyle, says this is the most serious crisis between France and its former colony since independence in 1960. Ivory Coast was for many years a tolerant melting pot of religions and ethnic groups, but a coup in 1999 followed by civil war ended all of that with a vengeance, our correspondent says. IVORY COAST'S PEACE UNRAVELS 29 Sept: Ivorian parliament fails to agree citizenship laws, which were a key requirement of the January 2003 peace deal 13 Oct: Ivorian rebels say they will not disarm, as planned, until immigration laws are changed 28 Oct: Vendors selling newspapers accused of supporting the opposition are attacked by pro-government militants in Abidjan and southern towns The New Forces order eight rebel ministers to return to the rebel-held north, saying it had discovered the government smuggling arms across its territory 4 Nov: Government launches air strikes on rebel-held territory in north 5 Nov: More government air strikes and clashes on the ground in north, as unrest erupts in Abidjan 6 Nov: French forces destroy two government warplanes after an air strike leaves French soldiers dead At least one Ivorian Sukhoi 25 bomber attacked a position of France's Unicorn peacekeeping force in the rebel stronghold of Bouake on Saturday. Eight French soldiers were killed immediately along with an American, believed to have been a missionary, while 23 soldiers were injured and evacuated to Abidjan. A ninth soldier later died of his wounds. Just over an hour later, French forces launched an attack on the aircraft on the ground at Yamoussoukro. Without giving details of the airport attack, the defence ministry said the army had "responded in a situation of legitimate defence" and was seeking "the immediate end of combat". Three days of air raids by government planes on rebel areas in the north of the country have broken a truce that had held since July last year. Tensions reached boiling point after deadlines for reforms and disarmament designed to lead to peace were missed. The African Union has urged both the government and rebels to refrain from any further violations of the truce they signed.

NYT 7 Nov 2004 Ivory Coast Violence Flares; 9 French and 1 U.S. Death By SOMINI SENGUPTA DAKAR, Senegal, Nov. 6 - In a swift and alarming deepening of the war in Ivory Coast, airstrikes by two government attack jets killed nine French peacekeepers and an American civilian on Saturday afternoon near the northern Ivoirian town of Bouaké. The French retaliated within minutes by shooting down the jets, Russian-made Su-25 fighter-bombers, apparently under direct order from President Jacques Chirac of France. [Loud explosions were heard early Sunday in Abidjan, the Ivory Coast's main city, and heavy gunfire could be heard as thousands of anti-French demonstrators marched toward a French military base, Reuters reported. A witness said a French military helicopter fired warning shots into a lagoon crossed by two bridges that lead from the city center toward the French base and the airport.] Col. Henri Aussavy, the spokesman for the 4,500-member French peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast, said in a telephone interview that 23 French soldiers had also been wounded in the raid. He said it was unclear whether his forces had been intentionally hit. "We don't know if it is a deliberate attack or an error," Colonel Aussavy said. On state-run television Saturday evening, Désiré Tagro, a spokesman for the Ivoirian president, said the raid was aimed instead at a rebel base near Bouaké. Mr. Tagro said the attacks on Bouaké had been designed to "reunify the country." He issued no apology. The Associated Press quoted an Ivoirian government minister as saying it was "a mistake" but then questioning whether Ivoirian warplanes were responsible. "It was a mistake. We didn't aim to hit them," said Sebastien Dano Djeje, a cabinet member. The latest development plunges Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa-producer, into fresh chaos and threatens to take French-Ivoirian tensions to a new high. Since civil war erupted in 2002, the French, who exercise significant economic influence in their former colony, have been accused of aiding rebels and have repeatedly come under attack by supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo. At an emergency session convened Saturday afternoon, the United Nations Security Council condemned Saturday's air raid, backed the French response and signaled that it would consider "individual measures" in the near future - in other words, possible penalties for individuals who violate international agreements. France also sent three Mirage fighter jets to Gabon in Central Africa, and deployed additional troops to protect its citizens in Ivory Coast. Late Saturday, Reuters said the French Defense Ministry and a United Nations spokesman in Ivory Coast had confirmed that French troops had destroyed three Ivoirian attack helicopters in Yamoussoukro. In Abidjan, French and Ivoirian soldiers traded gunfire at the airport, and government loyalists took to the streets, wielding machetes and axes, according to wire service reports. A French school was set on fire. Gunfire could be heard in the capital, Yamoussoukro, on Saturday night. The spokeswoman for the United States Embassy in Abidjan, Ergibe Boyd, said it had received a report from the French that an unidentified American citizen was also killed in the airstrike by the Ivoirian military. The embassy had not yet confirmed the report, she said. "We have been told an American citizen has been killed," Ms. Boyd said. "We're trying to find out who he is." The war has partitioned Ivory Coast between the rebel-held north and the government-held south, despite a tenuous cease-fire signed in May 2003 and monitored by the French forces and 5,240 United Nations peacekeeping troops. The bombings on Saturday followed two days of air attacks by the government on rebel-held positions in the north of the country. On Thursday, two northern towns were bombed by the same two warplanes. On Friday, the government bombed three other rebel-held towns, according to a spokesman for the United Nations mission in Ivory Coast, and on Saturday, struck three towns with MIG-24 helicopter gunships. A United Nations spokesman, Jean-Victor Nkolo, said in a telephone interview that over the past two days, government troops had tried to bypass peacekeepers patrolling the buffer zone between government and rebel-held territory. Ivoirian soldiers on Thursday and Friday crossed into rebel territory, Mr. Nkolo said, but were chased away by United Nations troops. The United Nations also reported skirmishes between government and rebel forces near Bouaké on Saturday afternoon. Reuters reported from Paris that Mr. Chirac had given the orders to strike back at the Ivoirian airplanes that killed the French soldiers. Ivoirian forces later opened fire on French troops at the airport in Abidjan, the news agency reported, citing a French military spokesman in Abidjan. Machete-wielding pro-government supporters rampaged through Abidjan, the agency said, and plumes of smoke rose from the plush Cocody suburb, where a school had apparently been set on fire. The French foreign minister, Michel Barnier, said in a statement, "The Ivoirian head of state should clearly assume his responsibilities and the role that is his to restore calm to his country, in particular to Abidjan." Konate Siratigui contributed reporting from Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, for this article.

BBC 9 Nov 2004 Mbeki seeks to calm Ivorian storm Anti-French feeling is still running high in the capital South African President Thabo Mbeki is in Ivory Coast to try to restore calm after two days of violence. Foreigners have been targeted amid confrontations involving thousands of supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo. Joint patrols have begun in the commercial centre Abidjan with Ivorian and French troops and peacekeepers from other countries within the UN force. Meanwhile France has denied it wants to overthrow Mr Gbagbo, and that its troops shot dead 15 demonstrators. If I get the French, I can eat them Gbagbo supporter Q&A: Renewed crisis In pictures: Violence erupts On Saturday, French troops destroyed the small Ivorian air force in retaliation for a government air strike that killed nine French soldiers. The incidents sparked a wave of anti-French violence that continued into Monday. The Red Cross said more than 600 people were hurt. In other developments: French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie says an attack which killed nine French troops was deliberate and carried out by Belarusian mercenaries The UN Security Council considers a French-backed draft resolution for an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze against those violating human rights and obstructing peace and disarmament France says it has no plans to evacuate its 14,000 nationals currently in the country Aid agencies appeal to the government to restore electricity and water supplies to rebel-held areas Cocoa exports are halted from Ivory Coast, which is the world's largest producer More than 1,000 Ivorians flee to Liberia as a result of the violence, the UNHCR says. Stand-off Mr Mbeki arrived from Pretoria shortly after 1000 GMT on Tuesday with Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota and Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad. He is expected to meet Mr Gbagbo, though it is not clear whether he will meet other political leaders or how long he will stay. He has been asked by the African Union to search for a political solution to the crisis, and held talks with African leaders on Monday. Joint patrols started in Abidjan at 2000 on Monday in an attempt to re-assure and control the population. Reuters news agency reported that city residents have been venturing into the streets to see whether the calm would hold. PEACE UNRAVELS 29 Sept: Parliament fails to meet deadline for political reforms promised to rebels 15 Oct: Rebels ignore deadline for disarmament 28 Oct: Rebels withdraw ministers from unity government 4 Nov: Government aircraft begin daily air strikes on rebel-held territory in north 6 Nov: An air strike leaves nine French soldiers dead; France responds by destroying Ivorian planes 7 Nov: Thousands of Gbagbo supporters demonstrate against the French in Abidjan; UN condemns Ivorian attacks Was French response right? Eyewitness: Mobs on rampage Large crowds of President Gbagbo's supporters have gathered near the presidential residence to provide what national radio has called a "human shield" for their leader. They are currently involved in a stand-off with French troops and foreign residents in the nearby Hotel Ivoire. The BBC's James Copnall in Abidjan describes seeing people dressed in the colours of the Ivorian flag singing and chanting in front of barbed wire erected by peacekeepers around the hotel. "We are not going to leave," one Gbagbo supporter told the Associated Press news agency. "If I get the French, I can eat them." At the weekend, tens of thousands of President Gbagbo's supporters marched on the French-held main airport in Abidjan. They also went on the rampage across the city attacking French targets. France sent 600 more troops to back up the 4,000 soldiers it already has in Ivory Coast as part of a UN force of 10,000.

Reporters sans Frontières (Paris) 10 Nov 2004 PRESS RELEASE Abidjan State Media Mix Propaganda, Disinformation and Incitement to Riot The following is a 10 November 2004 RSF press release: The state media in Ivory Coast have become the exclusive mouthpiece of the government and its allies and are being used to promote street demonstrations, Reporters Without Borders said today after monitoring many state radio and TV broadcasts. The organisation said the broadcasting of hate messages and countless unverified news reports has aggravated the ongoing violence in the Abidjan area and it urged the state media to act responsibly. After the ransacking of opposition newspapers last week, the state-owned radio and TV stations have become the most important source of news and information for residents of Abidjan, the country's economic capital. "In times of crisis like this, journalists must take extra care and make a special effort to be professional in their work," Reporters Without Borders said. "It is unfortunately clear that this has not been the case with the Ivorian state media during last weekend's violence in Abidjan. We must point out, in particular, that the state media are continuing to broadcast biased reports and appeals for riots, despite calls for a return to normality by the authorities." Reporters Without Borders added: "If President Laurent Gbagbo does not want to be accused of saying one thing and doing another, he must ensure that the official media are no longer used as tools for organising and mobilising the pro-governmental 'Young Patriots'." Religious imprecations and hate messages With few exceptions, the reports carried on Radio Côte d'Ivoire (RCI) and RadioTélévision Ivoirienne (RTI) have strayed completely from journalism into propaganda. Interspersed with nationalistic songs, phone-in contributions and interviews, RCI presenters flatter the "patriotism" of their listeners. Yesterday, shortly after 10 a.m. (local time and GMT), a preacher from the Church of the Living Word went on the air with violent imprecations. "The country must be delivered from the evil ones," he said, claiming that French President Jacques Chirac is "inhabited by the spirt of Satan." Ivory Coast was "divided into two blocs, with the Devil's bloc on one side and God's bloc on the other," and it was up to the "patriots" to ensure that the second prevailed, he said. His monologue ended with a ringing "Amen, pastor" from the two RCI presenters. Throughout the 90 minutes of Reporters Without Borders's monitoring of RCI yesterday, the same two presenters regularly punctuated their live comments with such slogans as "Vigilance, patriots" and "Thanks be to the fatherland." This morning on RTI, Reporters Without Borders noted that President Chirac and the French soldiers of the Force Licorne were systematically referred to as "settlers" and "imperialists." In general, comments and reports tended to focus on the claim that France is in the process of carrying out a "coup d'etat" against Ivory Coast, despite the denials by both the French and Ivorian military. From political messages to organising in the field The Ivorian state media are also being used to organise street activity in Abidjan. More than 24 hours after President Gbagbo called on demonstrators to "return home," RCI's broadcasts yesterday were still referring only to the "mobilisation" call made by the Young Patriots, a pro-Gbagbo civilian militia, Reporters Without Borders found. Although leaders of the Young Patriots swear that a few "rebel infiltrators" are to blame for the violence and appeal for "discipline" and "non-violence" on the part of demonstrators, their messages have a double-edge when they are not openly insurrectionary. Yesterday on RCI, shortly after 9:30 a.m. (local time and GMT), a Young Patriots nurse called on supporters to give medicine to the treatment centre installed near the Hotel Ivoire and then made a "patriotic appeal" to Abidjan residents to "go out, go out." At the end of the afternoon, activists stationed outside the Hotel Ivoire appealed on RTI for "patriots" to join their "brothers" on the street, Reporters Without Borders noted. The presenter who welcomed them into the studio told them they had her "support." The RCI presenters meanwhile appealed to Abidjan residents to make donations to the Young Patriots. They thanked a woman who promised to make her car available to them and invited an elderly man who has donated money several times to speak on the air. Today at 11 a.m. (local time and GMT) Reporters Without Borders heard RTI presenter Francis Aka begin by "paying homage" to the "young people who say no to French imperialism," who "are blocking the conspiracy hatched by France against our country" and to whom Ivorians "owe their survival." He then gave over the microphone to the president of the United Youth for Laurent Gbagbo's Ideas (JUILG) and the secretary-general of the pro-Gbagbo Union for Democracy and Progress (UDP), who appealed to "young people (. . .) to mobilise against France, the unmasked aggressor." Ivorian youths were urged to "go to the headquarters of RTI, the presidential residence and the radio stations" and to thereby "continue the mobilisation until our country is completely liberated." Disinformation and incitement to riot The head of the Young Patriots, Charles Blé Goudé, gave the signal for the anti-French uprising on the evening of 6 November on the air on RTI, urging his supporters, "wherever they are," to "take to the streets." Pascal Affi Nguessan, the head of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) - the president's party - meanwhile went on television the same day to ask the Young Patriots to "massively" take over the streets of Abidjan in order to forestall any action by "foreign forces present on the national territory until total victory." During the ensuing rioting, the state media carried false information and rumours that triggered the street violence. On 8 November, for example, the national radio station, on several occasions, carried "reports" that French soldiers were conveying a "political leader" in one of their armoured vehicles and intended to take him to RTI headquarters so that he could publicly proclaim himself president. RCI presenters subsequently urged Abidjan residents to go out and place gas canisters in the streets to prevent the French troops from circulating. RCI also spread the rumour that the purpose of French troop movements was the removal of President Gbagbo and it urged "patriots" to form a "human shield" around the president's home. National Assembly president Mamadou Koulibaly went to RTI headquarters the same day to give a long televised speech claiming that the government had "won the war" because it had "proved that France is [the] adversary." "Rumours" that "bring down republics" After delivering inflammatory addresses live on state media, several Ivorian leaders seem to have realised the dangers of these media excesses. After meeting with the French commander, Gen. Henri Poncet, the chief of staff of the Ivorian Armed Forces, Gen. Mathias Doué, late on 8 November called on everyone to "pay no attention to rumours" that were the source of mistaken "interpretations." Such interpretations, he said, just "complicate a situation which we [the Ivorian armed forces] can resolve." Koulibaly, the National Assembly president, then warned that "the most foolish rumours are the ones that bring down republics the fastest." Despite these comments, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard deplored, on the evening of 8 November, that the Ivorian media were continuing to disseminate hate messages against at foreigners, and he reported that 800 residents of foreign origin had sought refuge and protection at the premises of the UN mission in Ivory Coast. Previous muzzling of opposition and independent press The Ivorian Armed Forces offensive against the positions of the ex-rebels in the north of the country was preceded by a crackdown on free expression. A significant part of the press was silenced after the ransacking of several opposition newspapers by pro-government militia, the sabotaging of the FM transmitters that relay the programming of Radio France Internationale (RFI), the BBC World Service and Africa N°1, and the abrupt removal of RTI's director-general and his replacement by a government supporter, Jean-Paul Dahily. http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=11824 www.rti.ci www.rtici.tv radioci.embaci.com www.africa1.com

Reporters sans frontières 12 Nov 2004 www.rsf.org Ivorian journalist killed during clashes with French troops at Duékoué A local correspondent for Le Courrier d'Abidjan, a daily that supports President Laurent Gbagbo, was killed on the morning of 7 November during clashes between the Ivorian army, demonstrators and members of the French peacekeeping "Force Licorne," Reporters Without Borders confirmed today. The newspaper reported that journalist Antoine Massé, who was also a literature teacher, was fatally shot as he was covering a demonstration aimed at blocking the eastward advance of the French troops from Man towards Abidjan. A communique released by the Ivorian Defence and Security Forces (FDS) said three soldiers, a policeman, a customs official and three civilians were killed on 7 November when French troops opened fired in the Duékoué "corridor" at Duékoué and Dibobly. An FDS spokesman, Lt. Col. Jules Yao Yao, confirmed to Reporters Without Borders that Massé was one of the civilian victims. A Force Licorne detachment that had left from Man found the road blocked on the morning of 7 November and opened fire in order to clear the way. "The death of a journalist is to be taken seriously," Reporters Without Borders said. "We call on the Force Licorne to conduct an enquiry and publicly explain the circumstances of Antoine Massé's death." The organisation also appealed to journalists to take extra care. "With this level of confusion, a journalist should in particular identify himself clearly." The staff of Le Courrier d'Abidjan said Massé was shot in the head and the heart. Deputy editor William Varlet Asia told Reporters Without Borders that he spoke to Massé by telephone a few hours before he was killed, and had reiterated to him the security precautions he should take. The day before Massé was killed, Lazare Ahua, a cameraman with RadioTélévision Ivoirienne (RTI), sustained bullet injuries to the feet as he was filming a counter-strike by French helicopter gun ships at Tiébissou, in the centre of the country, following an Ivorian air force attack on French positions in Bouaké in which nine French soldiers were killed.

Agence France-Presse 12 Nov 2004 Chronology of the recent unrest in Ivory Coast ABIDJAN, Nov 12 (AFP) - The political arm of Ivory Coast's rebel New Forces on Monday approved a march by northerners on the main city Abidjan to demand reconciliation of the divided country after a week of violence that has convulsed the peace process. The once-prosperous west African state, the world's leading producer of cocoa, has been locked in a simmering civil war since a failed rebel attempt to oust President Laurent Gbagbo in September 2002. Although the rebels took over the north, the government has remained firmly in control in the south. Peace talks in France in January 2003, the deployment of a French peace-keeping force of some 4,000 men and later a 6,000-strong United Nations force, as well as a summit in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, have failed to calm tensions and erase divisions. Violence saw a sharp upswing at the start of this month with Ivorian air force attacks on two northern towns. In the last of the attacks, nine French soldiers and a US aid worker were killed, sparking a sharp response from France that wiped out the Ivorian air force. Following is a chronology of the recent unrest: November 2004 - 4: Ivorian air force attacks rebel-held cities of Bouake and Korhogo, killing three and injuring 20. - 6: Nine French soldiers and one US aid worker killed, 38 wounded when Ivorian jets attack French peacekeepers' positions in Bouake. French officials say the attack was deliberate, and France's riposte destroys Ivory Coast's air force and the French military takes control of Abidjan airport. - 7: Thousands of Gbagbo supporters march on the airport and go on an anti-French rampage in Abidjan. - 8: French troops fire in the air to disperse thousands of anti-French protesters in Abidjan. Around 1,300 foreigners, mostly French, seek shelter at French base in Abidjan. - 9: International Committee of the Red Cross says around 600 wounded in clashes in Abidjan, and fears a high death toll. South African President Thabo Mbeki arrives in Abidjan on African Union mandated peace mission. UN refugee agency says 1,250 Ivorians have fled into Liberia. - 10: Thousands of anti-French protesters roam the streets of Abidjan as a first evacuation flight leaves Abidjan for Paris with 270 people on board. France denies its soldiers opened fire on demonstrators outside an Abidjan hotel Tuesday, killing at least seven people, saying the victims were caught in the crossfire between hardline backers of Gbagbo and Ivorian soldiers and police. Gbagbo denies he ordered the killing of nine French soldiers. British troops are placed on standby in case they might be needed to evacuate British nationals, while 120 Spaniards, 126 Canadians and a group of Portuguese are all airlifted out of the country. A presidential advisor puts the death toll of days of anti-French riots in Abidjan at 64 and "more than 1,000" wounded. Two French warships, Le Foudre and La Fayette, leave the Mediterranean port of Toulon with 350 marines and equipment on board en route for Ivory Coast. The ships are expected to arrive by November 20. The UN Security Council delays a vote on possible sanctions for five days after African calls to give mediators more time to ease the political crisis. - 11: Ivorian rebel and opposition leaders open talks in South Africa in an African Union bid to defuse the crisis. German, Italian and Dutch nationals are flown out of the country. Morocco announces plans to evacuate 250 of its citizens. African Union chairman, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, announces summit meeting on Nov 14 in Abuja, to be attended by Gbagbo and six other African leaders, including Libya's Moamer Kadhafi. 12: France announces that foreign residents in Abidjan were subjected to at least "37 serious atrocities including three or four confirmed rapes" since the start of the present crisis. Britain announces the start of the evacuation of some 400 of its citizens. Several thousand people are reported to have fled across the western border into Liberia while 3,000 foreign nationals have sought shelter at the permanent French military base near Abidjan.

IRIN 12 Nov 2004 Côte d'Ivoire: West African immigrants, northerners fear they may be next target [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] ABIDJAN, 12 November (IRIN) - As French and other foreigners continue to bail out of Cote d'Ivoire after days of mob violence, northern ethnic groups and West African immigrants fear that militants loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo might soon turn their wrath back on them. Forty-three-year-old Mamadou, an Ivorian whose parents hail from Mali, was keeping his head down in Abidjan's predominantly Muslim suburb of Koumassi. He said he had been staying home by day and occasionally venturing out at dusk to meet friends. "Nobody wants to be noticed much these days," he told IRIN. "Everybody keeps a low profile." "The Gbagbo people think they've kicked the French out. They say they've felled a big tree with a small axe. It's possible that sooner or later they'll come to attack us because they say we are with the rebels," he added. The north-south divide is the crux of Cote d'Ivoire's problems. The West African country has been split into a rebel-held north and a government-controlled south, with 10,000 French and UN peacekeepers in between, since September 2002, when an unsuccessful coup attempt against Gbagbo developed into an insurgency. Former prime minister Alassane Ouattara, who draws much of his support from the north, was barred from running in the 2000 presidential election on the grounds that his father was from Burkina Faso. The rebels demanded the constitution be changed to allow Ouattara to stand in the 2005 ballot before they disarmed, but Gbgabo said they had to lay down their weapons first. The political deadlock was broken in dramatic fashion last week, when the Ivorian army launched air and ground assaults on rebel strongholds, shattering an 18-month-old ceasefire. But two days into the campaign, former colonial power France became the number one enemy. Paris retaliated for a deadly bombing on one of its bases by destroying almost the entire Ivorian airforce. Irate Ivorians rampaged through the streets of Abidjan looting and burning French interests, beating up expatriates and, according to French Foreign Ministry sources, raping some women. Expatriates have been fleeing the former French colony by the planeload But now that more than 3,000 expatriates, mainly French, have fled the country, analysts fear a fresh backlash against more traditional foes. "Until they were evacuated, French citizens bore the brunt of the militias' xenophobic attacks," said Peter Takirambudde, the head of the Africa division at Human Rights Watch. "Now we are concerned that the militias will turn their rage on their more familiar targets -- Muslims, northerners and West African immigrants." Immigrants from Mali and Burkina Faso, who flocked into Cote d'Ivoire to work the cocoa and coffee fields, have long been a lightning rod. In the wake of the 2002 coup attempt, for example, at least 1 million immigrants living and working in the south fled the country. Some were forced from their homes and farms, while others were driven out by fear. Ivorian security forces and pro-government militia have continued to commit random acts of violence against immigrants from West Africa as well as people from northern Cote d'Ivoire, accusing them of being in cahoots with the rebels, according to human rights sources. Clashes in Gbagbo's home town Since the latest cycle of instability began, there have already been isolated cases of ethnic violence in the cocoa-rich west of Cote d'Ivoire, notably in Gbagbo's home town of Gagnoa, about 250 km northwest of Abidjan. Clashes erupted there on Monday and Tuesday, pitching the president's ethnic group, the Bete, against the Dioula population, who are mainly from the north, but who settled in the town decades ago. "We have counted six dead and 29 injured," Marc Gbaka, a town council official, told IRIN, saying youths had attacked with machetes, kitchen knives and sticks. UN peacekeepers are now patrolling the area around Gagnoa, often a flashpoint for ethnic strife. Before this week's attacks, more than 20 people had been killed in the last year and around 500 immigrant farmers driven off their cocoa farms. Residents in the town said the latest trouble began when word arrived from Abidjan that the French had decimated Cote d'Ivoire's airforce. Militant government supporters, seeing the move as help for the northern rebels, attacked clothing shops and rice stores belonging to Dioula merchants who then retaliated by trashing food shacks and restaurants owned by Betes. "It's the scenario that we've all been fearing since 2002. The ground is set for a clash of the communities," explained Francois Ruf, a cocoa specialist based in Accra, Ghana. "The worst thing that could happen is that those from northern Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso start using hardcore weapons and the Bete get out their guns and then there's carnage." Further to the west, tensions are also running high in Guiglo, a town about 200 km from the border with Liberia, near the buffer zone which separates government territory from that of the rebels. In 2003, long after the fighting died down in the rest of Cote d'Ivoire, the area around the town remained plagued by ethnic conflicts, fuelled by the presence of militia groups, some of which recruited heavily among Liberian refugees. On Thursday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs rang the alarm bell once more. "In Guiglo and certain areas in the west, the restarting of inter-communal conflicts between the local and non-Ivorian populations poses a direct threat to social cohesion and means conditions are ripe for the humanitarian situation to deteriorate," it said in a statement. Fears already causing people to flee Almost 5,000 Ivorian refugees have already spilled over into Liberia, seeking refuge from the fresh bout of fighting in a country which itself is still recovering from 14 years of civil war. "Guiglo is the eye of the storm. It's a real ethnic mix. There are already warning signs," a senior UN diplomat told IRIN this week. "We are sensing a strong tension in the air, people feel threatened. If there are new problems in Abidjan, there will problems in the west and vice versa." Back in Abidjan, northerners have been preparing to defend themselves. Having seen the hate campaign waged against the French, one man in his thirties was taking no chances and was readying so-called Self Defence Committees with his friends. "These committees are against the advice of our political leaders," he told IRIN, explaining he was a supporter of the main opposition Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI). "But we have pro-government militias in this neighbourhood that are armed and we want to be prepared." "They say we are rebels, they say we are pro-French, they threaten us," the man, who lives in the poor, mainly Muslim suburb of Abobo, said. "If somebody in our neighbourhood is attacked, we can come to the rescue." Across town, French businessman Patrick was packing up his affairs and preparing to leave. He was born in Abidjan but even that umbilical cord would not keep him in the city this time around. "The fuse is alight, but it hasn't quite reached the gunpowder barrel," he said gloomily. "The worst is yet to happen. We will see an ethnic settling of scores. There will be a massacre," he predicted. "The battle of Abidjan is still to come."

AFP 15 Nov 2004 Even Africans are fleeing troubled Ivory Coast for Europe by Aymeric Vincenot ABIDJAN, Nov 15 (AFP) - Ivorians and other Africans with dual nationality have joined the exodus of foreigners from Ivory coast, where hardline backers of President Laurent Gbagbo have been terrorising Westerners for the past week. "I have lost all hope for a normal family life in Ivory Coast," explained Franco-Ivorian dual national Parfait late Sunday as he waited for a bus to take him from a French military base near Abidjan to the city's international airport for an evacuation flight. The French base has been serving since last week as a registration point and holding station for anyone -- mostly French nationals -- wishing to leave Ivory Coast after the country's low-level civil war flared up suddenly last week. The Dutch and Swedish ambassadors to Ivory Coast were among those to seek shelter at the French base, which has so far organised the evacuation of more than 5,000 foreigners. What sparked the mass exodus was a series of attacks on positions in the north held by rebels who failed two years ago in an attempt to oust Gbagbo, plunging the country into civil war. "I don't feel threatened, but given that the French high school was completely burnt to the ground, my daughter has nowhere to go to school," said Noelie, an Ivorian woman married to a Frenchman, and mother of a 13-year-old. Florence, from Cameroon but married to a French national, said the destruction of the French schools by the rampaging pro-Gbagbo mobs was also forcing her to leave. "There's no more school, so we are obliged to leave to ensure our children's future," she said, adding that the schools were unlikely to reopen in the near future. In the past week of violence in Ivory Coast, having dark skin has not been a guarantee of immunity from the exactions of the rioting mobs. Sitting on a bench, a tall, slender, olive-skinned woman from Mauritius, who is married to a European, recalled how she was stricken with fear when, on November 6, the day the pogroms began, a group of marauding Ivorian youths tried to break into her home. "You need only to have skin that is lighter than usual and you're considered a white person" by the "Young Patriots", the extremist backers of Gbagbo who sowed terror among the expatriate community in Ivory Coast last week, said the Mauritian, who asked not to be named. "In the midst of the melee, no one looks for differences between blacks and people of mixed race," said a French-Ivorian who requested anonymity. "Under normal circumstances, my children are called Negroes, but today they're considered whites. 'To each his white'" -- the battlecry of the Young Patriots -- "is as valid for half-whites as it is for 100 percent whites," he said. Although he has chosen to stay in Ivory Coast, his mixed-race wife is leaving and taking the couple's children to safety in France. Parfait has chosen to have his wife and kids evacuated because "they start with whites, then it's people of mixed race, and after that it will be the turn of their friends and spouses." Being black does not guarantee immunity from the wave of hatred that is ripping out the heart of Ivory Coast, said Parfait. "I drove around in town where they (the Young Patriots) look for signs that you're French. At one roadblock, when they saw my French driving licence, they got very worked up," he said. Despite his sense of insecurity, Parfait has decided to stay behind for the time-being, but the self-employed businessman lamented the departure of more than a third of the French expatriate community in the last week. "Economically, it spells disaster for me," he said. "With the departure of the French, a huge consumer market is leaving. Restaurants, supermarkets, all that kind of thing, are going to be forced to close. "There's no future" in Ivory Coast, he said.

UN News Centre 15 Nov 2004 Security Council imposes immediate arms embargo against Côte d'Ivoire Security Council 15 November 2004 – Seeking to end the violence in Côte d'Ivoire, the United Nations Security Council today imposed an immediate, 13-month arms embargo against the country and gave the parties there one month to get the peace process back on track or face a travel ban and a freeze on their assets. Under a resolution adopted unanimously, the additional sanctions will go into effect on 15 December unless the Council determines before then that the signatories of two peace deals are working to implement them. Those measures would remain for one year. The 2003 Linas-Marcoussis accord halted fighting between the Government of President Laurent Gbagbo and rebels who control most of the north, and created a government of national reconciliation. The second pact, reached this summer in the Ghanaian capital and known as the Accra III Agreement, focused on those parts of the 2003 pact that were still in dispute. The latest unrest flared up on 4 November when the Government violated the ceasefire by launching an attack in the Zone of Confidence (ZOC) separating combatants. On 6 November, Government aircraft bombed French peacekeepers in the area, killing nine people and leading to French reprisals that destroyed the tiny Ivorian air force. This in turn led to anti-foreigner rioting in Abidjan, the country's largest city. The Council text condemned the Government air strikes and demanded that all Ivorian parties to the conflict fully comply with the ceasefire. It also reiterated the Council's full support for the action undertaken by the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) and French forces. The 15-member body further demanded that the Ivorian authorities stop all radio and television broadcasts inciting hatred, intolerance and violence, and asked the UN peacekeeping mission to bolster its monitoring role in that regard. The arms sanctions require all countries to prevent the "direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer" to Côte d'Ivoire of arms or any related materiel. Pending progress, the Council will also ban anyone "who constitute a threat to the peace and national reconciliation process" from travelling abroad, and "freeze the funds, other financial assets and economic resources" of those designated by a Council committee set up to enforce the measures. The resolution provides for a number of humanitarian exemptions designed to allow UN peacekeepers and relief workers to carry out their operations on behalf of the Ivorian people.

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 15 Nov 2004 United Nations human rights experts express strong concern about new outbreak of violence in Côte d'Ivoire The following statement was issued today by the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Ambeyi Ligabo; the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Yakin Erturk; and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Doudou Diene: "The Special Rapporteurs express their strong concern about the new outbreak of violence in Côte d'Ivoire since 4 November 2004 which had resulted in 3,800 persons fleeing the country. The Special Rapporteurs are especially worried about information which they received indicating that many persons had been killed and wounded in xenophobic demonstrations which had been carried out in recent days in Abidjan. There had also been cases of sexual violence against women and young girls in the capital. Jeunes Patriotes groups calling for the liberation of Côte d'Ivoire had burnt kiosks selling newspapers and press offices, destroyed copies of newspapers, intimidated and attacked newspaper sellers and ransacked offices belonging to opposition political parties. Certain newspapers, mainly opposition newspapers, had been prohibited, transmitters belonging to foreign radios had been closed down by the authorities, and programmes on Côte d'Ivoire's public television and radio were publicly instigating the population to racial hatred and were regularly showing inflammatory statements. Homes, schools and offices belonging to foreigners had been pillaged and burnt. In some cases, it was reported that members of the Ivorian armed forces were themselves instigating such acts. The Special Rapporteurs underlined that rape and other forms of sexual violence constituted wars crimes and crimes against humanity according to international law which should be punished in accordance with the gravity of the act. They recalled that all calls for national, racial or religious hatred constituted an instigation to discrimination and violence which was prohibited by the international instruments which Côte d'Ivoire was a party to, and which prohibited States parties from allowing public, national or local authorities or institutions to instigate or encourage racial discrimination. They also underlined that the free circulation of information, especially through the press, constituted a fundamental guarantee of implementing the right to liberty of opinion and expression. The Special Rapporteurs urged the Ivorian Government to take all the necessary measures to prevent all kinds of human rights or humanitarian violations, to eventually punish those who carried them out, and to ensure the protection and security of all persons present on its territory". www.ohchr.org

UN News Centre 15 Nov 2004 Special UN Adviser On Genocide Warns of Ethnic Hate Messages in Côte d'Ivoire UN News Service (New York) NEWS November 15, 2004 Posted to the web November 16, 2004 Voicing distress over reports of xenophobic hate speech in Côte d'Ivoire and ensuing action by armed groups, the United Nations adviser on the prevention of genocide called today for an end to impunity and warned that the situation could be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). "The current crisis has deepened sentiments of xenophobia and could exacerbate already worrisome and widespread violations of human rights, which in the recent past have included extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention, disappearances and sexual violence," Juan E. Mendez said in a statement recommending possibly increasing the number of UN peacekeepers in Côte d'Ivoire to protect civilians. Mr. Mendez, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Adviser, said he had written to the UN chief to express his concern at the situation in the West African country, which has been engulfed by escalating violence since government forces attacked northern rebels earlier this month in violation of a nearly two-year-old ceasefire agreement. At least 10,000 Ivorians are estimated to have fled into neighbouring Liberia and thousands of expatriates have been evacuated, some with UN help, from Abidjan, the country's largest city, as anti-French rioting erupted after French troops destroyed the Government's air force in retaliation for the deadly bombing of French peacekeepers in the UN-patrolled Zone of Confidence (ZOC) separating the combatants. UN officials have repeatedly condemned the hate messages broadcast on television and radio, most recently last Thursday when Mr. Annan himself warned that they could lead to "the devastating resurgence of ethnic conflict." Mr. Mendez said today Ivorian authorities had an obligation to end impunity and curb public expressions of racial or religious hatred, warning that in the absence of effective action such incitement can be referred to the ICC. He recommended that national authorities put an immediate end to the propagation of hate speech and media-induced violence through official outlets, aggressively prosecute all acts of violence and incitement, and recommit themselves to the ceasefire accords that ended the fighting two years ago between the government in the south and rebels in the north. "If the xenophobic expressions persist and they cause further evacuation of essential humanitarian relief workers, the Special Adviser recommends that the UN and Licorne (French) troops already in the field should be expanded and instructed to deploy so as to afford direct protection to civilian population at risk of attack because of their ethnic, religious or citizenship status," the statement concluded. UN officials are concerned that the unrest in Côte d'Ivoire could spill over into neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, both recovering from protracted civil wars, and Guinea where there has also been unrest.

BBC 16 Nov 2004 Analysis: Ivory Coast's hate media We take a look at the role of the media in the riots in Ivory Coast during the past 10 days. The protesters heeded televised calls to take to the streets It would be easy to think that the last few days of anti-white violence, and explosive protest throughout the streets of Abidjan, have been the product of chaos. Yet there is strong evidence to suggest that the supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo, who reacted so strongly to the French destruction of the Ivorian air force near the beginning of this latest crisis, have been receiving firm orders on how to behave. National television and radio has been broadcasting fervent, not to say feverish, messages calling on people to take to the streets. On occasions, the messages have strayed from the motivational to the incendiary. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan demanded what he called "hate media" be stopped immediately. Monday's UN Security Council decision to impose sanctions on Ivory Coast was even more explicit. It demanded "that the Ivorian authorities stop all radio and television broadcasting hatred, intolerance and violence". It also announced that anyone "who incites publicly hatred and violence" will have their bank accounts frozen and will be stopped from leaving the country. So just what has been flooding the airwaves and television screens of the country in the past few days? Protest radio President Laurent Gbagbo's opponents have frequently claimed that he has installed a system of parallel government in which the army is seconded and sometimes supplanted by militias, and in which the government of national reconciliation is bypassed by shadowy advisers. Gbagbo called for calm, but the media did not When the French peacekeepers destroyed the Ivorian air force, it was obvious that the Ivorian armed forces did not have the resources - nor perhaps the desire - to respond. Instead, a flurry of radio and television broadcasts called on ordinary Ivorians to take to the streets. Charles Ble Goude, the leader of the Young Patriots, whom the UN accuse of being a militia, sprang into action, making an impassioned broadcast calling on the Ivorian air force to "retake the airport", which had been seized by the French. Tens of thousands of young men and women surged towards the airport, only to be beaten back by French soldiers and helicopters, at the cost of several lives and hundreds of injuries. It was these people who then turned their attentions to French and other white citizens. Days of looting and occasional violence have forced thousands of Westerners to flee the country. Words of war President Laurent Gbagbo later made a televised speech calling for calm. But the television surrounded that appeal with repeated broadcasts by former Prime Minister Pascal Affi Nguessan, the head of President Gbagbo's FPI party, to stop the French military "using any means necessary". Another speech that was played and replayed was National Assembly speaker Mamadou Koulibaly. He said France's actions were equivalent to a declaration of war. When French tanks and armoured vehicles massed at the Hotel Ivoire, a luxury hotel not far from the state television and the presidential residence, state media implored Ivorians to form a human shield around the president. According to the radio, the French tanks were intending to oust President Gbagbo. Again, thousands of people responded to the call, and again, hundreds of people were injured and at least 10 died. State television showed report after report showing wounded men and women in graphic detail, accompanied by commentaries denouncing France. Other programmes invited pro-Gbagbo leaders to give their opinions - and exhortations. Religion Sometimes there was a religious dimension to the speeches - which is particularly significant in a country split in two by a war that many have portrayed as the largely Christian south against the largely Muslim north. State media urged Ivorians to protect the president One woman called on all Christians to mobilise, as "Satan has attacked the country". In the last few weeks, there has been no room for dissenting voices in the state media. All opposition newspapers have been either destroyed or banned in the government-held south. When the Ivorian armed forces launched air attacks on 4 November, the head of the television station, Kebe Yacouba, was sidelined in favour of a hardliner. Although officially he has not been replaced, Mr Yacouba was insistent he bore no responsibility for what would be broadcast in the days and weeks to come. Silver Nebout, one of President Gbagbo's communications advisers, was at the television station on the morning Jean-Paul Dahini was brought in to replace Kebe Yacouba. "In this time of crisis, it is important to manage information," he told the BBC. Over the last couple of weeks, information has been managed in one direction and often with very precise objectives in mind. For many in Ivory Coast, the "hate media" that Kofi Annan railed against are reminiscent of Radio Mille Collines in Rwanda, which in 1994 called for - and got - genocide. In Abidjan, some people are already calling the state radio "Radio Mille Lagoons", after the lagoons that dot the southern, government-held half of the country. Ivory Coast is still a long way removed from what happened in Rwanda. Nevertheless, state radio and television are unquestionably a powerful weapon in a crisis which is frequently being fought through decidedly unconventional means.

AFP 17 Nov 2004 Ivory Coast president hit with lawsuit, vows no obstacles to peace by Christophe Koffi ABIDJAN, Nov 17 (AFP) - Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo was hit Wednesday with a lawsuit for the deaths of nine French troops in an air strike that sparked violence and prompted the exodus of thousands from the divided state. His main ideological and political rival Alassane Ouattara, meanwhile, ramped up the rhetoric against the embattled Ivorian leader, accusing him of "perverting democracy" and allowing the former regional beacon of stability and prosperity to "drift into fascism." A soldiers' advocacy group in France filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Gbagbo and his armed forces chief of staff Colonel Philippe Mangou for the November 6 air strike, which led French peacekeeping troops to retaliate by wiping out the Ivorian air force. The group aimed to bring charges of "premeditated voluntary homicide" against the Ivorian leader, the group's lawyer said, a day after Gbagbo said he would not hinder the peace process in his west African country. Ouattara said that a UN arms embargo imposed against Ivory Coast was a step in the right direction, the exiled former prime minister added, and could help with the "indispensable and necessary" reconciliation of the country split since September 2002 between rebel north and government south. Gbagbo partisans have protested at the embargo imposed Monday in an unanimous vote on a resolution pushed by France against its former star west African colony. Targeted travel bans and the freezing of assets could follow December 15 if no progress is made towards implementing a January 2003 peace pact. "I am disappointed by the abuse that Ivory Coast has suffered at the hands of the international community that manifests itself in this embargo," firebrand parliamentary speaker Mamadou Koulibaly told AFP. "It is clear that the moral compass within this international community favors those countries that are strong and rich." The president himself vowed Tuesday that he will not hinder the peace process, but called on the United Nations to apply all resolutions "with the same rigor to the rebels and immediately begin disarmament" of some 25,000 rebel soldiers. The latest turmoil to convulse Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa producer, began on November 4 with a string of government raids on key positions in the north, violating an 18-month-old ceasefire and killing at least 85 civilians, according to rebel leader Guillaume Soro. The strike on a French military base in the central town of Bouake, which France has called "deliberate" killed nine French troops and a US aid worker, prompting an immediate riposte by the French military. The lawyer for the French soldiers' group, Eric Dupont-Moretti, said the suit will show that Gbagbo "supervised" the bombardments that were part of what the Ivorian leader has called an operation to "liberate and reunify" the country. The French retaliation triggered a riot of anti-French violence that seeped from the commercial capital Abidjan to the port city of San Pedro, leaving dozens of people wounded and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed and prompting an exodus of some 4,500 French nationals over the last week. Flights chartered by various European governments have also evacuated more than 1,000 foreign nationals, among them personnel from UN and other humanitarian agencies as well as conglomerates including Nestle and the French-owned Bollore group. More than 10,000 Ivorians have flooded into northeastern Liberia, fearful of a reprise of fighting between rebel and government troops. "The main problem facing both refugees and the local community (in Liberia) is a food shortage," said UN refugee agency UNHCR spokeswoman Francesca Fontanini. "Water and sanitation are also critical problems needing to be tackled rapidly." Abidjan, once one of Africa's most modern and sophisticated cities, was calm Wednesday with businesses open and schools back in session. Power was restored across the rebel-held north after 11 days of cuts that sparked fears of a health crisis. Glaringly absent from racks of newspaperse again on the street, however, were those whose positions do not mirror the government. Opposition dailies have not been published since November 4 because, according to an Ivorian military source, they were banned for being "apologists for the rebellion."

The New York Times 22 Nov 2004 France is newly cast as villain in Ivory Coast By Lydia PolgreenABIDJAN, Ivory Coast When the chanting mob descended on the strip mall that Jean Bobue Nguessam is paid to guard, he stood his ground, though not out of courage. "If the French all leave, I will have no job," Nguessam said as he stood a lonely watch over the pillaged remains the week before last, after riots that followed an airstrike on French peacekeepers and brought the country to the brink of war. Nightstick in hand, he had tried to reason with the crowd. The mob had made its way down the row of shops, stripping the shelves of a liquor store, then a video rental shop, then a cellphone store and finally a hair salon. "People can shout about the French," said Nguessam, 29, who works for the French owner of the strip mall. "But many people are unemployed, and it will only be worse when they go." For decades Ivory Coast was a sturdy patch on the fraying postcolonial quilt of West Africa, its peace and prosperity woven by the laissez-faire economic and immigration policies of its longtime dictator, Felix Houphouet-Boigny. These policies attracted heavy investment from France, its former colonizer, with whom Ivory Coast maintained a friendly relationship. They also attracted millions of migrants from nearby countries to fill menial jobs unwanted by prosperous, educated Ivorians. But in the past two years the ties have frayed as the country's fortunes have faded. Many Ivorians have turned on French businessmen, immigrant workers and one another with a vengeance. The latest wave of violence began Nov. 5 when the government strafed a French military camp, killing nine peacekeepers and an American aid worker. The French retaliated by destroying much of the tiny Ivorian air force. The events seemed destined to deepen a crisis that had already pitted Muslim against Christian, northerner against southerner and Ivorians with deep roots in the country against those whose parents and grandparents had immigrated, seeking work. But France is being made into the bogeyman. Speaking to more than a thousand young men on Nov. 15, Charles Blé Goudé, the leader of the Young Patriots, a nationalist group whose members were blamed for much of the looting the week before last, pumped his fist, whipping the crowd into a frenzy as photographs of a headless corpse and bloodied gunshot victims flashed on two huge screens. These were victims of French aggression, he said. "At the beginning we said this was an Ivorian-versus-Ivorian crisis," he said. "But this week, the mask has fallen and we see who is the godfather of this rebellion. It is France." His supporters, mostly unemployed young men, roared their approval. Thousands of French people and other Westerners have fled Ivory Coast, leaving shuttered businesses that once fueled the sputtering economy and thousands of workers with no paychecks. On Friday, the French Foreign Ministry said that 8,300 French citizens had fled Ivory Coast in one week, more than half the French passport holders living in the country, Agence France-Presse reported. Even more troublesome, Africans from neighboring countries, some of whom have lived in the country for generations, are trying to leave too. "If the family I am working for leaves, then I will leave too," said Mamoutou Goumre, who immigrated from Burkina Faso in 1982, in search of work and a better life, and who lives in a grim shantytown beside Cocody, an affluent suburb where he is a guard. "I already sent my wife and children away, for safety." With as many as one-third of the 17 million residents having roots in nearby countries, the greatest threat to the region is the prospect of their flooding into those countries. Thousands have fled west to Liberia, UN officials said, a country still reeling from its own 15-year civil war. With no air power to fight the rebels in the north, and with French and UN peacekeepers enforcing the buffer zone between the rebel-held north and government-held south, President Laurent Gbagbo's supporters have transferred their rage to the French, whom they accuse of trying to overthrow him to impose a neo-colonial government. The rebels and the government had observed a cease-fire for 18 months, and a deal under which the government was supposed to enact political changes that would end some anti-immigrant policies, and the rebels and pro-government militants would disarm. But the legislature never passed the changes, the disarmament never took place and the government attacked the rebels in air raids early this month. Outside the president's sprawling official residence, a makeshift shantytown sprang up last week, with hundreds of young men from the Young Patriot movement standing a rowdy vigil to protect the man they say can bring good fortune to a generation of Ivorian youths. Abenin Blaise, 24, an unemployed mechanic, offered himself to a visitor as a sort of mayor of a small encampment he named Resistance Village. About a dozen young men took turns sleeping on sackcloth and cardboard. The young men's spirits have remained high, despite more than a week of standing watch. "We are the young jobless, and need to have the policies of Gbagbo to help us have some money," Blaise said. "This is not a real village," he said, of the enclosure ringed with palm fronds. "But we will live here, under the rain and the sun, until the French leave here." That anti-French sentiment was bolstered by what government supporters say was the excessive force used by French troops during a demonstration the week before last outside the Hotel Ivoire, once a shining symbol of this country's affluence and sophistication. The Ivorian government said French troops had fired into the crowd, killing more than 60 people. The French defense minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, said that any deaths had resulted from firefights between the Ivory Coast military and armed gangs loyal to Gbagbo, Agence France-Presse reported. In a daily affront to Ivorian pride, French soldiers patrol the streets and protect the airport, checking car trunks and patting down passengers, which many Young Patriots say smacks of a smug, neocolonial attitude. The anger has been stoked by government policies restricting the citizenship and economic rights of foreigners, whom governments in the last decade vilified. These young men see outsiders as the main cause of their troubles. Once this meant the rebel New Forces, which control the immigrant-dominated and largely Muslim north. But no more. "We are no longer talking about the rebels," Blaise said. "The real rebels are France."

Agence France-Presse 27 Nov 2004 UN aid plane shot at, crew threatened in west Ivory Coast ABIDJAN, Nov 27 (AFP) - A UN World Food Programme (WFP) plane was met with gunfire and threats when it arrived in Man, western Ivory Coast, the UN said in a statement Saturday. After landing Thursday at Man's small airport, "a WFP aircraft was welcomed by gunfire into the air and threats and slogans against United Nations personnel," said a statement form the UN Mission in Ivory Coast (ONUCI). The mission gave no other details about the incident, but a spokesman for the French military operation in the west African country, Colonel Henry Aussavy, confirmed to AFP that the information was correct. Ivory Coast has been cut in two since a civil war began in 2002 leaving the south, controlled by supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo, separated from the rebel-held north and west by a buffer zone patrolled by French troops and UN peacekeepers. Man is currently under rebel control. The WFP has since the incident decided to suspend all flights to the western town until further order. ONUCI said the incident risked compromising efforts to supply humanitarian aid to the region and warned the rebels "that they must respect the rights of UN personnel in their zone and watch over their personal safety." The UN food agency launched in May an emergency programme to feed half-a-million people in Ivory Coast until the end of the year, including people resettling in their homes and Liberian refugees. Violence surged in Ivory Coast early this month, when Gbagbo's troops bombed key rebel positions in the north, killing nine French soldiers and a US aid worker during one of the raids.

DR Congo

Reuters 11 Nov 2004 U.N. Peacekeepers Join Patrols in Congo By REUTERS INSHASA, Congo, Nov. 10 - United Nations peacekeepers have joined thousands of government soldiers on joint patrols in eastern Congo to protect civilians and pressure Rwandan rebels to lay down their arms, United Nations officials said Wednesday. The first joint patrols are seen as a dress rehearsal for larger operations aimed at restoring order in the east, where thousands of Hutu fighters from neighboring Rwanda have ignored calls for them to disarm and return home. An estimated 10,000 Rwandan Hutu rebels remain in eastern Congo, where they have been based since fleeing Rwanda after the 1994 genocide, in which Hutus killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The rebels have warned that they will defend themselves and fellow Hutu refugees against any attack or attempt by the Congolese Army or United Nations peacekeepers to repatriate them by force. Congo is struggling to restore peace after a five-year war that sucked in six neighboring countries and killed three million people, mostly from hunger and disease.

AFP 13 Nov 2004- UN probes claims of weapons distribution to DRCongo civilians KIGALI, Nov 13 (AFP) - United Nations staff are investigating reports that civilians are being armed in a province in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a source at the UN mission in DRC (MONUC) said Saturday. "MONUC has information about a distribution of weapons in the Masisi (district of the Nord Kivu region) but is still trying to confirm it," the source said. "This information has to be treated with great care because it could have been deliberately spread around as part of the conflict between the DRC parties," he said. "Many sources agree that there was a distribution of arms to civilians in the Masisi in mid-October organised by the local governor's office," an observer from a human rights organisation who did not wish to be named told AFP. "It is a very worrying development which needs to be watched closely." Eugene Serufuli, governor of Nord Kivu, has denied the allegations. "I have never heard any talk of of these weapons distributions," he told AFP Saturday. "It is just gossip. I don't see how or why we would organise that. We have an army here, the eighth military region command, and that is charged with guaranteeing the safety of people and property. "We are in the process of fighting to give it the (necessary) means. I really do not see the interest in organising a parallel force," he said. "There used to be an armed militia, organised by the local governor, which was officially dissolved under pressure in February 2004 because it was an llegal armed group," the human rights observer said. "We do not want to see this same militia recreate itself in another guise." Goma, capital of Nord-Kivu, is a stronghold of the former rebels of the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD). Relations between former rebel groups and the central government in Kinshasa remain very strained, in spite of the process of transition to democracy and the situation in eastern DRC is unstable. On July 28, 2003 the UN Security Council voted to impose an embargo on the supply of arms and military assistance to all armed groups operating in eastern DRC. It is MONUC's job to collect information on whether the ban is being respected. DRC is emerging from five years of war (1998-2003) estimated to have cost the lives, directly or indirectly, of three million people.

BBC 23 Nov 2004 Dangerous new phase for DR Congo peace In the third of a four-part series on the Democratic Republic of Congo, the BBC world affairs correspondent Mark Doyle continues his journey in the east of the country. When I arrived at the marketplace in this small mountainside town, there seemed to be more than the usual number of armed men and boys milling around. UN and Congolese soldiers have allowed two months to disarm Dressed in an array of uniforms and civilian clothes, the men and child soldiers had the usual collection of AK-47 assault rifles, rocket launchers and mortar tubes slung over their shoulders. After travelling in the DR Congo for several days I had become used to seeing armed men on the streets. But here were hundreds in a single place - something was up. QUICK GUIDE The war in DR Congo I soon learned that the motley soldiers in Walungu marketplace were Mai Mai militiamen - a nationalist Congolese government reserve created to face rebellions and occupations by foreign armies far too widespread and numerous for the army-proper to handle. 'Magic water' The Mai Mai are fiercely nationalistic and implacably anti-Rwanda. They see Rwanda as the root of Congo's problems because of its direct interventions and support for proxy anti-Kinshasa militias. Many households in eastern Congo have given one of their children to the Mai Mai, seeing this as a patriotic duty. "Mai-Mai" means water - magic water, as one of their number explained to me, which, when applied, can protect a soldier from bullets. The troop concentration in the marketplace was a symptom of a dangerous new phase in DR Congo, a country teetering between war and peace. This group were being rotated out of the region to be replaced by soldiers of the Forces Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo, or FARDC. United Nations military sources said the troop rotation, ordered by the transitional government in Kinshasa, had been encouraged by the UN because the Mai Mai in this part of Congo were causing serious security problems. Rebel hideout These problems came to the fore recently when DR Congo and neighbouring Rwanda signed a new peace deal under which the two countries agreed to disarm militias hostile to the other. Under the deal Rwanda would disarm some anti-Congolese government groups which it has backed, and DR Congo would disarm Rwandan rebels with bases inside DR Congo. There have been mass militia killings on both sides of the Rwandan border The Rwandan rebels concerned are the Forces Democratique pour la Liberation du Rwanda or FDLR. This group was originally formed from the remnants of the defeated ethnic Hutu Rwandan army which orchestrated the genocide of Tutsis and Hutu government opponents in Rwanda in 1994. On a military map in a UN command tent in Walungu, FDLR territory is marked out in neat red lines - a large swathe of territory south-west of here. But the neat military map is more hopeful than realistic; no-one really knows where all the FDLR forces are, and the breathtakingly beautiful mountains of this region are perfect guerrilla country. If insurgents want to hide here, they can with ease. Under a new, tougher mandate from the UN Security Council, the UN forces in DR Congo are now supposed to help the nascent government army - the FARDC, which is made up of elements from all the former warring factions - to disarm the Rwandan Hutu rebels of the FDLR. The Mai Mai are being moved from Walungu because they are suspected of collaborating with the FDLR. This is hardly surprising. Disarm voluntarily now, or the new Congolese government army, with logistical backing from the UN, is coming to get you UN official The Congolese government used the Rwandan Hutus on many occasions during the war to oppose Tutsi-dominated Rwandan government army units which attacked DR Congo. Many Mai Mai therefore see the FDLR as their allies. Under the new deal between Rwanda and DR Congo - which if it works will be a major step forward in the peace process for the whole of central Africa - the UN has decided to help DR Congo fulfil its part of the bargain. The Rwandan army, UN officials argue, is well-enough organised to keep its side of the pact; the shattered Congolese forces, on the other hand, need help. This is why, when I travelled through the dramatic landscape outside Walungu - with its majestic mountains and rugged passes - I saw patrols of Uruguayan UN peacekeepers with Congolese government soldiers prominently there beside them. A UN official described the message being sent by these mixed patrols: "The signal to the Hutus is this", the official said bluntly, "disarm voluntarily now, or the new Congolese government army, with logistical backing from the UN, is coming to get you." "The first phase of the exercise", said a Congolese FARDC officer known in Walungu as le Capitaine Jean-Paul, "is the voluntary phase". "It will last for two months. If the FDLR don't cooperate, we will then proceed to the next phase, which is the use of force." The development of the mixed UN-Congo government army patrols is highly dangerous, and for several reasons. 'Effective army' The main one is that the FDLR has said it will not disarm. According to a well-informed military analyst in this region, the Hutu FDLR, far from being the ragtag marauding militia they are sometimes portrayed as, are in fact a well-organised unit with impressive military command and control. "They're one of the most effective armies in this region" said the military analyst, who asked not to be named. "They are well armed and their communications are also good. At the level of their political leaders they have satellite phones. At the brigade [large army unit] level they have working high frequency radios." DR Congo's majestic mountains are ideal hide-outs The FDLR also has strong political motivation - they want to return home to Rwanda to operate as a political party. For the Tutsi survivors of the genocide, this is, of course, out of the question. For Hutus who say the Tutsis now operate a fascist state, their return is just a dream. The FDLR claims that 10 years after the genocide, many of their number in fact had nothing to do with the pogroms - that they should be given political space in Rwanda. One UN official argued that most of the FDLR are in fact the descendants or relatives of Hutus who fled the advancing Tutsi army in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide and then took refuge in DR Congo. Although some of them may well have been involved in the 1994 genocide, he said, their more recent memory was of the mass killings of Hutus by the Rwandan army and their proxies during the 1996-2000 war inside DR Congo. Will the UN fight? However, these realities are sometimes difficult for the international community to deal with politically, because it is still reeling from the guilt of having failed to stop the genocide - despite ample knowledge, at the time, of what was going on. This guilt translates into far less pressure on the Rwandan government to share power than there is, for example, on DR Congo. For these reasons, disarming the Hutu in DR Congo is a political obstacle course as well as militarily difficult. The military analyst with knowledge of the FDLR said he assessed them, on their terrain, as more effective than most of the current Congolese government army. In addition, there is always a political question mark over whether UN soldiers - however good they may be technically - will fight. So it may also be that the FDLR are more effective, in their own military terms, than the UN. The next two months may see dangerous days.

Reuters 26 Nov 2004 Congo army tells UN it clashed with Rwandan troops By David Lewis KINSHASA, Nov 26 (Reuters) - The Congolese army has told the United Nations that its soldiers clashed on Thursday with Rwandan troops inside Congo but peacekeepers have found no signs of any fighting, U.N. sources said on Friday. Congolese military sources said that clashes had also taken place in the eastern province of North Kivu earlier in the week. The Rwandan army has denied that any clash occurred. Tension between the neighbouring countries escalated this week after Rwanda repeatedly threatened to send its soldiers into Congo to attack Hutu rebels based in the east of the country. "The U.N. was told by the Congolese army this morning that there had been skirmishes between the FARDC (Armed Forces for Democratic Republic of Congo) and the Rwandan army in three different locations yesterday," a U.N. official told Reuters. Congo's chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Sungilanga Lombe Kisempia, had been due to address reporters in Kinshasa on Friday, but he cancelled the press conference at the last minute. Sources in Maj. Gen. Kisempia's office told Reuters that there had been skirmishes between the Rwandan and Congolese armies inside Congo on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the U.N. mission said that peacekeepers had investigated the claims and found no evidence of any clashes. FIVE-YEAR WAR "We have had some incidents reported to us and we have intensified our foot and air patrols, covering the area between Lake Edward and Goma, but we have not seen anything yet," Patricia Tome said. Analysts said Congolese hardliners may try to take advantage of the escalating tensions to delay the country's fragile transition to elections slated for June next year. Rwanda has twice invaded Congo to hunt down Hutu extremists that took part in the 1994 genocide, killing some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus, and then fled into eastern Congo once they were defeated. The second Rwandan incursion in 1998 was one of the triggers for Congo's five-year war, which sucked in five other neighbouring countries and killed some three million people, mostly from hunger and disease. Rwanda withdrew its army from Congo in 2002, but it accuses the U.N. and the government in Kinshasa of failing to disarm and repatriate the rebels and says its soldiers are ready to return. "Our forces have not yet moved a single inch into DRC territory. But we reserve the right to move in when need calls," Richard Sezibera, the Rwandan President Paul Kagame's adviser on Congo, told Reuters. (With additional reporting by Arthur Asiimwe in Kigali)

UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo 26 Nov 2004 -MONUC strongly reacts to Rwanda's threat to attack FDLR in DRC Yulu Kabamba The head of MONUC Public Information, Ms. Patricia Tome, told the news conference on Wednesday that Rwanda disclosed to MONUC last night its intention to attack the "Democratic Forces of the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)" inside the DRC territory. Addressing the Mission's weekly news conference, Ms. Tome referred to the statement as a ''serious threat against the DRC Transition's process, not to say a dangerous escalation for the whole region''. She recalled the ongoing diplomatic activities, alluding to the current UN Security Council visit to the region, the reinforcement of MONUC mandate and the forthcoming deployment of an additional brigade to North Kivu to secure the zone and ''prevent spoilers, whether in DRC or elsewhere, to undermine the transition and the region's pacification''. Ms. Tomé further recalled that the Heads of States of the region have just signed a statement in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania, vowing to ensure peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region. '' These declarations are not to remain a dead letter'', she said. Earlier, MONUC Spokesman, Mamadou Bah, briefed the press on the UN Security Council's mission to Central Africa. Led by the French Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. Jean-Marc de la Sablière, the delegation is proceeding with its mission in the region, he indicated, adding it was in Bukavu yesterday and is due to arrive in Burundi today and travel to Uganda tomorrow. He recalled that in Kinshasa, the Security Council expressed their solidarity with the Congolese people and pledged to continue supporting the transition process. The Security Council Mission insisted on the need to accelerate the process due to lead to the elections on the set dates. In Bukavu, the Security Council expressed sympathy with the population affected by the last June events. They also called for the reconciliation of all the Congolese people, Mr. Bah said. The Spokesman further updated the press on the Disarmament and Community Reintegration (DCR) programme in Ituri, indicating that as of 23 November 2004, 691 ex-combatants have adhered to DCR process and 3567 weapons including ammunitions were collected. Mr. Bah however indicated that the programme unfortunately was hampered by armed militias, notably the Nizi-based Congolese Patriots (UPC-L) led by Thomas Lubanga who attacked Monuc troops several times. ''MONUC condemns, in strongest terms, the attacks aimed at MONUC, more particularly from UPC-L militias which it terms as a gross violation of the Act of Engagement signed on 14 May in Kinshasa by Thomas Lubanga personally'', the Spokesman said, denouncing the fact that the militias systematically use civilians as human shields; they hide in houses or house roofs whilst attacking. MONUC recalls that the use of human beings as human shields is a war crime. Also attending the news conference was MONUC army chief of staff, Colonel Patrick Colas des Francs who explained how the additional 5900 troops would be deployed. He highlighted that MONUC presence would noticeably be reinforced in Kivus with the deployment of one Indian and one Pakistani brigades comprised each of 3 battalions. Colonel Des Francs further announced the creation of a rapid intervention brigade as a task force to swiftly handle erupting crisis with adequate means. The brigades will be equipped with combat helicopters, surveillance helicopters, and mobile gendarme station. Colonel Des Francs said the deployment would be achieved by late February 2005. The new deployment would mainly increase MONUC presence along the most sensitive borders, ensure surveillance as well as motorised and non-motorised patrols, back disarmament programmes of Congolese and Foreign armed groups etc. Updating on the DRC mining situation, as a prelude to the World Summit on the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines, the Head of the Coordination Centre for Anti-mines Struggle, Marcel Quirion, announced that the Democratic Republic of Congo has made important achievements with respect to the implementation of the Treaty. He rejoices that the treaty is taken into consideration at the highest level of the State, notably the Head of State, Joseph Kabila, and his Vice-presidents. The presidential circle is determined to implement the Treaty, he said. In this respect, Mr. Quirion said, the DRC has submitted the official list of mined sites to the international community as well as the list of military victims of mine accidents. The DRC is finalising its declaration about mines stocks, he said. The UN expert considers that the world summit due to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, will be a good opportunity for the DRC to submit its national plan of action in the fight against antipersonnel mines. The head of MONUC Public Information, Ms. Patricia Tome, told the news conference on Wednesday that Rwanda disclosed to MONUC last night its intention to attack the "Democratic Forces of the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)" inside the DRC territory. Addressing the Mission's weekly news conference, Ms. Tome referred to the statement as a ''serious threat against the DRC Transition's process, not to say a dangerous escalation for the whole region''. She recalled the ongoing diplomatic activities, alluding to the current UN Security Council visit to the region, the reinforcement of MONUC mandate and the forthcoming deployment of an additional brigade to North Kivu to secure the zone and ''prevent spoilers, whether in DRC or elsewhere, to undermine the transition and the region's pacification''. Ms. Tomé further recalled that the Heads of States of the region have just signed a statement in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania, vowing to ensure peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region. '' These declarations are not to remain a dead letter'', she said. Earlier, MONUC Spokesman, Mamadou Bah, briefed the press on the UN Security Council's mission to Central Africa. Led by the French Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. Jean-Marc de la Sablière, the delegation is proceeding with its mission in the region, he indicated, adding it was in Bukavu yesterday and is due to arrive in Burundi today and travel to Uganda tomorrow. He recalled that in Kinshasa, the Security Council expressed their solidarity with the Congolese people and pledged to continue supporting the transition process. The Security Council Mission insisted on the need to accelerate the process due to lead to the elections on the set dates. In Bukavu, the Security Council expressed sympathy with the population affected by the last June events. They also called for the reconciliation of all the Congolese people, Mr. Bah said. The Spokesman further updated the press on the Disarmament and Community Reintegration (DCR) programme in Ituri, indicating that as of 23 November 2004, 691 ex-combatants have adhered to DCR process and 3567 weapons including ammunitions were collected. Mr. Bah however indicated that the programme unfortunately was hampered by armed militias, notably the Nizi-based Congolese Patriots (UPC-L) led by Thomas Lubanga who attacked Monuc troops several times. ''MONUC condemns, in strongest terms, the attacks aimed at MONUC, more particularly from UPC-L militias which it terms as a gross violation of the Act of Engagement signed on 14 May in Kinshasa by Thomas Lubanga personally'', the Spokesman said, denouncing the fact that the militias systematically use civilians as human shields; they hide in houses or house roofs whilst attacking. MONUC recalls that the use of human beings as human shields is a war crime. Also attending the news conference was MONUC army chief of staff, Colonel Patrick Colas des Francs who explained how the additional 5900 troops would be deployed. He highlighted that MONUC presence would noticeably be reinforced in Kivus with the deployment of one Indian and one Pakistani brigades comprised each of 3 battalions. Colonel Des Francs further announced the creation of a rapid intervention brigade as a task force to swiftly handle erupting crisis with adequate means. The brigades will be equipped with combat helicopters, surveillance helicopters, and mobile gendarme station. Colonel Des Francs said the deployment would be achieved by late February 2005. The new deployment would mainly increase MONUC presence along the most sensitive borders, ensure surveillance as well as motorised and non-motorised patrols, back disarmament programmes of Congolese and Foreign armed groups etc. Updating on the DRC mining situation, as a prelude to the World Summit on the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines, the Head of the Coordination Centre for Anti-mines Struggle, Marcel Quirion, announced that the Democratic Republic of Congo has made important achievements with respect to the implementation of the Treaty. He rejoices that the treaty is taken into consideration at the highest level of the State, notably the Head of State, Joseph Kabila, and his Vice-presidents. The presidential circle is determined to implement the Treaty, he said. In this respect, Mr. Quirion said, the DRC has submitted the official list of mined sites to the international community as well as the list of military victims of mine accidents. The DRC is finalising its declaration about mines stocks, he said. The UN expert considers that the world summit due to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, will be a good opportunity for the DRC to submit its national plan of action in the fight against antipersonnel mines.


Reuters 1 Nov 2004 Egypt finds no al Qaeda link to Red Sea bombers Mon 1 November, 2004 14:03 CAIRO (Reuters) - An inquiry into the Red Sea resort attacks targeting Israeli tourists does not indicate the bombers were linked to al Qaeda or part of a wider organised militant network, Egypt says. However, authorities said the blasts, in which 33 people were killed, were part of the wider cycle of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israeli and U.S. officials had both said Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda was probably to blame for the October 7 bombs, which struck the Taba Hilton and two beach camps further south in the Sinai peninsula. But Interior Minister Habib el-Adli told reporters on Monday the inquiry "did not indicate the linking of the group which carried out the attacks with (wider) organisational activity at home or abroad or with cells of the al Qaeda organisation". Egypt, whose tourist industry is an important engine of the economy, has blamed the bombs on a Palestinian and three Sinai Bedouin. The Palestinian and one of the Bedouin died in the Taba bomb and the authorities said last week they were hunting the other two Bedouin. Adli said the attacks were one of "the most important repercussions of the circle of ongoing violence in the occupied (Palestinian) territories and the accompanying violence and feeling of desperation". He said Egypt would not allow itself to become an extension of the violence, in which Palestinians have been waging an uprising against Israeli occupation. The Egyptian authorities say they have arrested five other Sinai men accused of helping the bombers by providing vehicles, explosives or information. The Red Sea bombs were the first attack on tourists in Egypt since 1997, when Islamic militants killed 58 tourists at the Deir al-Bahari temple in Luxor. Foreign tourists had been a target of Islamic militants who had waged an insurgency against the government during the 1990s.

Al-Ahram Weekly 25 November - 1 December 2004 Issue No. 718 Tackling thorny issues At Egypt's behest, the world's largest security organisation has decided to monitor escalating global discrimination against Islam. Magda El-Ghitany reports from Sharm El-Sheikh At a meeting that took place in Sharm El-Sheikh last week, Egypt managed to convince a European body concerned with security to expand its focus to include the monitoring of both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had originally planned to appoint just one representative to monitor anti-Semitism. An intense diplomatic campaign involved lobbying OSCE member states as well as its current chairman, Bulgaria, to establish a committee, or appoint representatives, to observe all types of worldwide discrimination instead of just monitoring anti-Semitism. The campaign was crucial, Mohamed Shaaban, the adviser to Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul- Gheit told Al-Ahram Weekly, "so that one religion [would not be favoured] over the others". The diplomatic victory took place at the 10th OSCE Mediterranean Seminar that was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, on 18 and 19 November. The world's largest security organisation, OSCE includes 55 nations, mainly from Europe, but also includes the US and Canada, and, since the mid- 1990s, six Mediterranean partners -- Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. Egypt has hosted three of the 10 seminars that have been held to discuss security concerns in the region. Last week's seminar sessions focussed on terrorism, intolerance and discrimination, and migration, with participants attempting to find solutions that serve their common interests in minimising these threats. Shaaban, who was the moderator of the seminar's first session, said that fighting anti-Semitism "tops the international agenda", while other forms of discrimination are not given the same attention. The problem, he said, is that by considering criticism of Israeli politics anti-Semitic, the international community is mixing up the cards. Egypt's concern -- as articulated in the seminar's opening speech (delivered on Abul-Gheit's behalf by Assistant Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri) -- was for "all forms of [discrimination] and intolerance" and "ensuring the protection and respect for all religions", as well as stepping up joint efforts to end "Islamophobia", which was rapidly becoming a global phenomenon. Fighting anti-Semitism is not a new idea for the OSCE. It dates back two years, when the organisation decided to consider "anti-Semitism" a "threat to the stability of societies that may give rise to violence". Although the organisation has also referred to discrimination against Muslims, it was only at this most recent meeting that the scope of its plan to monitor the phenomenon took shape. According to Peter Boden, Germany's permanent representative to the OSCE, this happened after "a long internal debate". The organisation is now planning to appoint three special representatives: one to monitor the escalating Islamophobia phenomenon; another for anti-Semitism; and a third for other types of discrimination, intolerance and xenophobia. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the seminar's organisers said that the OSCE's decision to appoint an envoy -- who will most likely be from Turkey -- to monitor Islamophobia was a solid victory for Egypt's efforts, considering that the phenomenon has noticeably increased in the West, especially in the aftermath of 9/11. In fact, the decision reflected a blunt international confession regarding escalating discrimination against Muslims around the world. Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy, OSCE's chairman- in-office, told the Weekly that, "we [OSCE] cannot limit our fight against intolerance to one group. Fighting intolerance should extend [to help] all minorities and groups suffering from discrimination, including Muslims and Arabs." At the meeting, Egypt was also keen to rule out any premise that the Middle East was the root of terrorism. Shaaban said that, "the root cause of terrorism is non-compliance with international law and the unresolved territorial disputes" that lack collective, effective efforts to solve them. Abul- Gheit's speech ironed out the fact that terrorism was "a direct result of the injustice and double standards" that the international community applies in dealing with various issues. The solution, therefore, was to put forth "just solutions for major issues that have existed for decades". Egypt highlighted three such issues that threaten the region's security, and require much more international cooperation to resolve: the Palestinian- Israeli conflict and the upcoming Palestinian elections; the current situation in Iraq, and the possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by some states in the Mediterranean. The Egyptian foreign minister's opening speech said international cooperation was needed to: help attain a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip so that not a "single Israeli soldier" would be left there; conduct smooth, "fair Palestinian elections"; ensure a better situation in Iraq; and guarantee a Middle East that is "free of WMD". Otherwise, there would be much remaining that threatens "the security of Europe and the Mediterranean". The seminar eventually managed to come to common ground on some of these issues. During the concluding session, there was a consensus that the OSCE should send envoys to observe the upcoming 9 January Palestinian elections. M Haluk Ilicak, Turkey's minister plenipotentiary, told the Weekly that the OSCE was willing to send such observers because the organisation "supports any form of democratisation". At the same time, the Turkish official said, getting involved in the Iraqi matter was debatable. The WMD issue, meanwhile, seemed to remain unsolvable. While Abul-Gheit's speech called on the "whole" international community to stop lending a "blind eye" to the "persistence of some states in the Middle East to acquire WMD", since this would "weaken the impact of international treaties of non proliferation", Passy said that WMD was a "broad [issue] that cannot be solved by the OSCE alone. It [requires] very strong participation from the UN and the Quartet." Egyptian officials are banking on the premise that the seminar was a good, albeit slow, start for Mediterranean states to attain some of their goals. The future, they hoped, could begin similar interactions that, in the long term, could pave the way for solving other vital issues. "Knowing and accepting the other is the key" to all our goals, Shaaban said.weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/718/eg8.htm

Equatorial Guinea

BBC 16 Nov 2004 Thatcher to be tried in absentia Sir Mark faces a trial in his absence Sir Mark Thatcher is to be tried in his absence by a court in Equatorial Guinea over an alleged plot to overthrow its president, a defence lawyer said. Defence lawyer Fabian Nsue Nguema said eight new names, including Sir Mark's, have been added to the list of accused. Last month Sir Mark appeared in court in Cape Town as his lawyers argued against an order forcing him to answer questions about a suspected coup plot. Lady Thatcher's son denies knowledge of, or involvement in, the plot. The announcement came on Tuesday as the trial of 19 defendants accused of seeking to overthrow the president of the small, oil-rich West African nation, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, resumed after a two-month recess. Map of South Africa "Eight new names have been added to the list of accused, including Britain's Mark Thatcher who will be tried in absentia," said Mr Nsue, who is representing South African Nick du Toit, who is accused of being in charge of logistics for an attempted coup against the president. In Equatorial Guinea the state prosecutors have already charged 19 people, including eight South Africans - one of whom is du Toit - a six-man Armenian air crew and five Equatorial Guineans, one of whom is a former deputy government minister. They were alleged to be a reception committee for a group of mercenaries supposed to fly in from Zimbabwe and guide them to their targets in Equatorial Guinea. The Zimbabweans accused of being involved were arrested in Harare on 7 March. Sir Mark, the son of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was arrested in August by South African police and released after posting bail of £167,000, reportedly paid by his 78-year-old mother. He is accused of helping to fund the purchase of a helicopter, breaching laws banning South African residents from taking part in foreign military action. His lawyers maintain the funds were an investment in an air ambulance venture for west Africa. Sir Mark could face 15 years in jail if convicted. In September former British SAS officer Simon Mann, suspected of leading the alleged mercenaries, was jailed for seven years in Zimbabwe for illegally trying to buy weapons. Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony, has been ruled by President Obiang since he seized power from his uncle in a coup in 1979.


BBC 1 Nov 2004 Mass arrests after Liberia riots Liberia hosts the world's largest peacekeeping operation United Nations peacekeepers in the Liberian capital have arrested up to 250 people following days of unrest in which at least 14 people died. UN envoy Jacques Klein said the deaths and injuries, which left more than 200 people in hospital, were caused by clubbing, beatings and machete wounds. Monrovia is now calm with UN helicopters hovering overhead. The violence is the worst seen in the city since former president Charles Taylor was forced into exile. Following the passing of a disarmament deadline on Sunday, UN peacekeepers are conducting door-to-door searches for weapons, and attempting to reimpose their authority. Some 95,000 fighters have handed over weapons in the UN programme. Blame Mr Klein said there were several flash points which were used by former combatants, especially those linked to Mr Taylor, to try to destabilise the country. The violence is a reminder of how volatile Liberia remains "What we are seeing are the death throes of the [old] regime," he told the BBC. Areas on the outskirts of Monrovia remain tense. Several churches and mosques were attacked during the clashes which began last Thursday, and a curfew was put in place. "In the old days they used tribal differences which don't seem to be working now so now they've hit on religious differences," he told the BBC's Network Africa. The violence was sparked, Mr Klein says, by competition between vendors for space in a market and further exacerbated by an internal leadership election among former Lurd rebels and then former Taylor fighters, criminals and thugs joined in, he said. However he said there was no serious threat to peace in the country. "This is what we call a bump in the road," he said Problems Last week, parts of city suburbs were sealed off as gangs fought running battles. The violence also forced the UN to postpone repatriation of refugees from neighbouring Guinea. Liberia's interim leader Gyude Bryant - who heads a transitional power-sharing government set up to organise elections - blamed hooligans. The unrest was one of the most serious outbreaks of violence in Liberia since the full deployment of some 15,000 UN peacekeepers in Liberia as part of a peace deal to end 14 years of civil war. The chief Liberian peace negotiator for the West African community, Abdusalami Abubuakar, has now arrived in Monrovia to try to bring rival rebel faction leaders back within the peace process. Fighters from the largest rebel movement known as Lurd are drawn from the mainly-Muslim Mandingo ethnic group. And they have clashed with fighters which draw their support from Christian communities. But the BBC's Dan Isaacs says that tensions and mistrust are complex and run very deep.

Deutsche Presse Agentur Date: 1 Nov 2004 14 killed in weekend Christian-Moslem riots in Monrovia Monrovia (dpa)- More than 14 people were confirmed dead, 205 injured and 250 arrested during week-end riots between Moslems and Christians in Monrovia, Information Minister William Allen said Monday. Allen said the material damage could not yet be estimated, but five churches and two mosques had been burnt to the ground. "We can evaluate losses in terms of the peace dividend and destruction of businesses,'' Allen told journalists. Former Nigerian head of state Abdul Salami Abubakar, who is the main negotiator in the peace process, said the riots were regrettable. He spoke on his arrival Sunday in Monrovia to monitor progress in the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA). About 250 people have been displaced as a result of the riots, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Abubakar said it was an "unacceptable diversion which will erode the confidence of the international community''. Meanwhile, calm has returned to Monrovia following the overnight arrests of about 100 armed former fighters of the rebel movement Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD). They were detained in the home of former LURD General Phillip Kamara in a suburb of Jacob Town, which is considered a stronghold of the ethnic Mandingo group. Kamara is still at large, but his bodyguards are said to have committed atrocities in the region where at least two Christians were killed Sunday on their way to Church. A huge cache of arms belonging to Mandingoes was found Sunday evening in the northeastern suburb of Sinkor Airfield. Details of the cache have not been disclosed. Most businesses in the capital have reopened, traffic has returned to the streets, but schools and most offices are still closed. dpa tr pb .

IRIN 11 Jan 2004 Liberia: Riots kill 16, delay repatriation of refugees [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] MONROVIA, 1 November (IRIN) - Aid workers have been forced to suspend plans to bring Liberian refugees back home after riots in the capital Monrovia killed at least 16 people in the worst outbreak of violence the West African country has witnessed since its civil war ended a year ago. The trouble first erupted on Thursday evening, triggered by a land dispute in the eastern suburb of Paynesville that quickly escalated into mob violence, with youths wielding sticks, knives and broken bottles and setting fire to cars and buildings. Liberia's transitional government imposed a curfew, but the running battles resumed on Sunday, a day peace was supposed to dominate the headlines as former fighters handed in their weapons on the final day of the country's disarmament programme. The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) said on Monday that 16 people had died during the riots. Another 208 people had been injured, 47 of them seriously. "Most major hospitals... are filled with wounded people," one medic at Monrovia's main hospital told IRIN, adding that the majority had been injured by sharp metal objects and stones. UNMIL said 250 people had been arrested, some for murder, some for arson and some for breaking the curfew. With the capital unstable, the United Nations temporarily halted plans to begin repatriating the first batch of Liberian refugees from Guinea and to start resettling those that had been displaced around Liberia. "We are suspending our entire planned repatriation programme for both refugees and internally displaced people because of the prevailing security situation in Monrovia," Francesca Fontanini, the spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Liberia, told IRIN. Some 300,000 Liberians, who fled their homes during the 14-year civil war, have been living in a ring of camps around the capital. Starting on Monday, UNHCR had been hoping to help about a third of them back to their villages by the end of December but officials did not say whether that target was now threatened. Another 350,000 fled beyond Liberia's borders to seek safety. In Guinea, some 200 Liberian refugees who were looking forward to returning home this weekend were told they would have to wait a while longer. "Events in the country.... did not appear safe and it is against our policy to repatriate refugees to a country which is not considered safe," a UNCHR official in the Guinean capital, Conakry, told IRIN on Saturday. Guinea, itself teetering on the brink of instability, is host to the largest number of Liberian refugees. The UN says some 58,000 are currently living there. Liberia is struggling to rebuild after 14 years of civil war, which destroyed already creaky infrastructure across the heavily-forested nation and crippled its economy. The UN says some 95,000 ex-combatants have been disarmed under its programme, more than double the number expected. But critics point out that only one in three of those disarmed has actually handed in a weapon and officials have warned that there are insufficient funds to retrain those who have earned a living from violence for the last decade and a half. Warning given "The ex-combatants' overwhelming concentration in the over-congested capital, Monrovia, without job opportunities, poses a threat to national security," the UN and Liberia's transitional government said in a joint document submitted to international donors recently and seen by IRIN. Early reports portrayed last week's clashes in Monrovia as religious, but government officials, diplomats and residents cast doubt on that theory, with many saying the blame should be laid at the door of rogue ex-combatants. "We have found out that there are no Muslims burning churches and no Christians burning mosques," Gyude Bryant, the head of the transitional government, said in a radio address on Sunday. "We have already identified those behind it... and we will go after them," he said, without giving any more details. UN envoy Jacques Klein was more blunt. "What we're seeing is the death throes of the [old] regime," he told the BBC. "In the old days they used tribal differences which don't seem to be working now so now they've hit on religious differences." Stephen Lincoln, a resident in the battle-scarred suburb of the capital, agreed that religion was masking political troubles between the rebel group Liberians United Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), who come from the mainly Muslim Mandingo ethnic group and fighters loyal to former president Charles Taylor. "Some boys who are former fighters of LURD, mainly Mandingos, are attacking another tribe's members who they perceive as Christians and in particular former fighters of Taylor," he said. Witnesses told IRIN that UN peacekeepers had arrested some 80 people from the home of Philip Kamara, a former senior commander within LURD. Heavily-armed UN peacekeepers -- part of some 15,000 blue hatted troops in the country -- were still patrolling parts of Monrovia, and although shops and banks reopened on Monday, schools stayed closed and many residents remained wary UNMIL said relative calm had returned to the capital, but a curfew would remain in place from 4:00pm to 7:00am until further notice. Diplomats worry that Liberia's slide back to violence might scare off international donors, who have already not provided all the funds that aid workers say is necessary to rebuild the country. "Liberia cannot afford to revert back to those dark chapters of war and violence," Abdulsalami Abubakar, the Nigerian general who helped negotiate peace in Liberia, warned.

Concord Times (Freetown) 23 Nov 2004 Special Court Lobbies for Taylor's Extradition Freetown David Crane, Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations-backed Special Court has begun a tour of West African countries to mobilize support for the extradition of former Liberian president Charles Taylor to face trial in Freetown. "I'm touring the sub-region to solicit support from leaders on the possibility of handing over Charles Taylor," Crane told Gambian Television last Thursday, following a meeting with Gambia's Vice President, Isatou Njie Saidy. Taylor faces an 18-count indictment at the tribunal for arming and training rebels of the Revolutionary United Front in their decade-long battle in the country.


The Namibian (Windhoek) 2 Nov 2004 Ovaherero Remember Genocide By Petros Kuteeue Windhoek ONE hundred years and a month since the 'Extermination Order", thousands of Ovaherero at the weekend returned to a remote spot in the Kalahari desert where German colonial military leader General Lothar von Trotha issued his infamous command to destroy the Ovaherero as a nation. The order, which led to the annihilation of about two-thirds of the Ovaherero at the beginning of the 20th century, was issued at a place known as the Ozombuzovindimba - modern-day Otjinene Constituency in the Omaheke Region. Led by their burly paramount chief, Kuaima Riruako, Ovaherero tribesmen marched through the thick sand and veld to lay wreaths at two graves marked by stones, and climbed a man-made sand hill on which Von Trotha stood when he read out the Extermination Order, before signing the so-called 'Ozombuzovindimba Declaration' to reaffirm their commitment to fight for reparations from Germany. "We, the Ovaherero, descendants of the survivors and victims of the Extermination Order ... solemnly declare to carry on the struggle for reparations for as long as it takes and if need be, pass the struggle on to future generations of the Ovaherero for decades to come until justice is done," the declaration reads in part. The tribe vowed to petition the international community, particularly the United Nations, African Union, human rights organisations and tribunals the world over, until Germany accedes to their demands. "[We solemnly declare] to take our justified demand for the court of public opinion in Germany, with a view to expose the naked racism perpetrated against the Ovaherero people by successive German governments, which refuse to entertain our demand whilst continuing to pay compensation to the Jews in Israel, simply because they are white and we are Africans," the Ovaherero charge. The African tribe also threatened unspecified action against "German interests" if the former colonial ruler continues to ignore their demands for reparations. "We reserve our right as a suffering people to resort to other legitimate means of struggle against German interests anywhere in the world, whether alone or in association with others who are in solidarity with us, until we achieve final victory." The mainly cattle-herding ethnic group has filed a N$20 billion lawsuit in a United States federal court against Germany and some German companies. Germany has reluctantly apologised for the slaughter of thousands of Ovaherero by its colonial forces, but continues to rule out paying reparations. Riruako opines that Germany's 'no-pay attitude' is being boosted by what he sees as "hypocrisy and double standards" on the part of the Namibian Government on the issue of Ovaherero reparations. He charged that all along Government has shunned commemorative activities for this year's centenary of the Ovaherero genocide, but now some leaders are coming up with "eleventh-hour pretensions" on the issue. "The response [by Government] has been a slap in our face. Rarely have we been afforded any apology or credible excuse for the government's absence from these historic commemorative activities... we reject this partisan approach to national events," Riruako said. "The very same Government that has been basking in the historic deeds of Kahimemua Nguvauva, Samuel Maharero and Hosea Kutako. Yet, activities to honour their deeds and those of other Namibian heroes and heroines are meaningless to the Government." Former Attorney General Advocate Vekuii Rukoro cautioned the Ovaherero to guard against manoeuvres that Germany might employ in a bid to divide the Ovaherero people over the issue of reparations. He charged that when the Germans first came to Namibia, they pretended to be the saviours but ended up being the killers. "This time they are coming in a different form through churches and their message is reconciliation. "Now they are approaching and inviting the Ovaherero leaders as individuals. Please, in the name of your forefathers' blood which was spilled right here [at Ozombuzovindimba], don't let the enemy divide you further," the lawyer pleaded.

New Era (Windhoek) 2 Nov 2004 Hundreds Mark Extermination Order By Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro Ozombu Zovindimba HUNDREDS of Red, White and Green Flag adherents, Ovaherero and Ovambanderu in general and one, two or three Germans, as well as a lonesome American anthropological researcher, on Saturday converged on the historic Ozombu Zovindimba to mark 100 years since the issue of the notorious Extermination Order by General Lothar von Trotha, then commander of the German Imperial Forces in the then German South West Africa. Ozombu Zovindimba is situated about 20 km north-east of the capital of the Otjinene Constituency in the Omaheke Region. Hundred years ago, on October 02, von Trotha issued his infamous order to wipe the Ovaherero off the face of the earth. Frustrated by the ever elusive Ovaherero he had been pursuing since they retreated at the Battle of Ohamakari a month earlier, von Trotha addressed his troops from a sand heap he had built here and which also served as an elevated platform from where he could communicate with his troops in adjacent areas with various devices like mirrors. Drilling regiments; cavalries; with the Aminuis Constituency cavalry from the Aminuis communal area led by Bob Vezera Kandetu once again not failing in its appearance; traditional dances, both male and female; an exhibition of wartime pictures, among others Ovaherero/Ovambanderu children in their traditional gear, all combined to add spectre to the day. These were crowned by speeches by the various invited speakers, among them one of the area's traditional leaders, Chief Maharero of the Royal House of Maharero/Tjamuaha and Chief Riruako. By Friday evening the area near this historic place on the Otjinene-Otjikorondo road in the main road to the Eiseb communal area was lined up with camping sites, some by vendors out to catch on the clientele the crowd pulled by the commemoration would offer, others of the participants in the commemoration either as regiments' members, Ovaherero and Ovambanderu culturalists, to witness this historical event and to listen to the historical speeches as well as those here out of mere curiosity. Also by Friday evening traditional dancers had taken their respective positions welcoming the guests with their dancing and singing. Traditional spiritual leader, Jatjaerua Kaurizirira, supported by Chief Maharero, on Saturday morning spiritually connected with the ancestors informing them that their descendants had come to visit them, as well as the reason for the visit. He also asked them to pave the way for them for the commemoration they were here to have and for them to bestow their blessings on their descendants. During this ceremony the spiritual leaders also welcomed the people to this sacred place. A pilgrim was made to the graves of the victims of poisoned waterholes as part of the Extermination Order, where Chief Maharero laid a wreath, and eventually the crowd ended up at the sand heap on which von Trotha addressed his troops and issued the Order. Riruako gave a brief historical background there, whereafter the commemorators returned to the assembly point for the speeches. Director of ceremonies Edwin Kanguatjivi would have made Pavarotti green with envy with his tenor when he led the commemorators in singing the national anthem. Councillor for the Aminuis Constituency Erwin Uanguta read the welcoming statement of the Governor of Omaheke Laura McLeod. He appealed for unity among the Ovaherero, adding that 2004 should also be a year of reconciliation. He said the dead should be honoured because those failing to remember the past become blind to the present. Namibia's independence grew out of the determination and courage of the Namibians who fought for freedom and justice 100 years ago, he said. Gaborone-based Kaveire Raurau from the Ovaherero Commemoration and Resistance Committee said although the Ovaherero will forgive the Germans for past atrocities against them, they will revenge not viciously and physically but by remaining true to the cause of reparation. He said no amount of money will compensate the Ovaherero for their losses as a result of the atrocities committed by the Germans, including the destruction of their culture. However, all the Ovaherero are asking is for the German government to work together with the Ovaherero towards reconciliation. Turning to his own people, Raurau cautioned those who put their economic and political interests before their community, advising that the pride of the Ovaherero as a community is noble and beyond political ideologies, and collective determination is imperative in maintaining its pride. He said only the Ovaherero must accept Germany's apology and see whether it is acceptable and viable to them and not the government. Raurau also took traditional leaders to task for selling the birthright of their people for bread and added that independence is not limited to self-determination but includes self-consciousness, economic advancement, personal identity and self-expression. Acknowledging once again the apology offered by the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development at Ohamakari in August, Chief Riruako said as genuine as the apology might have been when offered, it has since been contradicted by subsequent utterances by German Ambassador Dr Wolfgang Massing and by revelations by the German opposition party that an agreement exists between the Namibian and German governments not to acknowledge that genocide was committed against the Ovaherero. "To date neither the Namibian nor the German ambassador has publicly denied the existence of such a treacherous agreement," said Riruako. On the contrary, he added, Massing has on more than one occasion been quoted as saying the Ovaherero must forget about reparations. Not only that, he seems to be making the withdrawal of the Ovaherero reparation court case a condition for dialogue with the Ovaherero. "I wish to make it absolutely clear to Dr Massing that my people shall not be held at ransom over their reparation demand. The Ovaherero quest for reparation is born out of their historic fate visited upon them by Germany's colonial quest and imperialist cravings, Riruako said. He said he accepted the German apology on face value and in good faith but judging from the attitude of the German ambassador in Namibia, the apology was a mere public relations exercise. He said the onus is now on the German government to engage the Ovaherero in a serious dialogue, thereby proving that the apology was not a public relations exercise. Riruako also noted what he referred to as "eleventh hour hypocritical pretensions by some quarters in the Namibian Government on the issue of our genocide and reparation". He said despite various invitations to commemorative activities "the response has been a slap in our face" and rarely have they been afforded any apology or credible excuse for the Government's absence from the 1904 historic commemorative activities. This is despite the Government's "basking in the historic deeds of Kahimemua Nguvauva, Samuel Maharero and Hosea Kutako". As the 1904 commemorative activities draw to a close, Riruko declared the beginning of the struggle for compensation and read a declaration to this effect. Speaking at the same occasion, Advocate Vekuii Rukoro cautioned the Ovaherero chief against division as they are now embarking on the second phase of their struggle, that of reparations. The first was to force an apology from the German government for the atrocities that they committed against the Ovaherero. However, now that they have offered an apology the German government is now trying to backtrack on that apology by separately luring Ovaherero chiefs to it in a divide-and-rule mode. In this, he said, the church seems to have reverted back to its colonial historical role of siding with its government, pretending to be working for reconciliation. However, when the Ovaherero have been struggling to force an apology from the German government they have been absent. The churches have not been only absent but have not been recognising leaders of the Ovaherero community. Rukoro questioned why the Ovaherero leaders are being invited one by one to Germany instead of as one delegation and pleaded with the Ovaherero leaders to fight their reparation case as one united people. "In the name of our ancestors please do not allow the enemy to divide you," Rukoro pleaded with the traditional leaders, adding that he has been looking up to them as their leaders and they thus cannot look up to other leaders. Bishop Zephania Kameeta and R. Keding have circulated a draft proposal suggesting the establishment of a Namibian-German Institute for Reconciliation and Development. The institute, they propose, will promote reconciliation among the citizens of Namibia and between Namibia and Germany.

New Era (Windhoek) 8 Nov 2004 Genocide Money Controversy By Catherine Sasman Windhoek THE aftermath of the Herero genocide commemoration held earlier in the year at Ohamakari is wrapped in controversy over allegations that money sourced from the German Embassy has been misspent, or cannot be accounted for. The Ovaherero Genocide Preparatory Committee at the helm of the organisation reportedly received N$70 000 from the Deutsche Entwikk-lungs Dienst (DED: German Development Service) through the German Embassy for the event. A portion of the money was to be used for accommodation and food. But, people who availed their houses at Okakarara now complain that they have never been paid for their houses' use. Communications officer for the committee, Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro, acknow-ledged that some complaints have been registered, but could not say why those who sublet their homes had not been paid. He however contended that the committee only received N$35'000 for the event and that all the money was accounted for. "But complaints have been there where houses were supposed to have been rented or were rented. We were not paying directly but paid through the local committee at Ohamakari," Matundu-Tjiparuro said. An agreement was reached with homeowners to send an investigation team to find out what had happened. Member of the committee, Rudolph Hongoze, was very reluctant to speak to New Era before a meeting which is scheduled for today.

The Namibian (Windhoek) 23 Nov 2004 Herero Reconciliation in the Spotlight At Bremen Summit By Edgar Haelbich Bremen Diplomatic relations between Herero-speaking Namibians and Germany took centre stage at the weekend when almost 100 academics, church leaders, diplomats and politicians gathered in Bremen, Germany, for an international symposium. The symposium discussed the way forward on the reconciliation process between the German government and descendants of the Herero who perished in the genocide 100 years ago. The conference ended yesterday. Present were Germany's Minister for Economic Development and Co-operation, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Namibia's Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Nangolo Mbumba, and Zephania Kameeta, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (Elcin). Members of the conference's steering committee were Manfred Hinz, Dean of Faculty of Law at the University of Namibia, and Gunther Hilliges from the Bremen State Office for Development Co-operation. The meeting, which took place in Bremen's historic town hall, was overshadowed by a verbal attack launched by Herero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako against forces that he claimed aimed to divide the Herero people. "The reconciliation is an official one between our people and the German government," Riruako said on Friday. "Such reconciliation cannot be the exercise of an academic conference, but should be the business of formal negotiations between us and the German government," Riruako emphasised. He criticised the fact that the Bremen symposium was dominated by academic presentations which aimed at making suggestions to the Namibian Government, its German counterpart and the Herero people on how the reconciliation process could be speeded up. The Herero leader, who claimed that his speech served as the voice of all Ovaherero people, said that other parties, such as the Namibian Government, the African Union or the United Nations "can only attend as observers to and/or facilitator of the dialogue". "Stop adding insult to injury by encouraging division amongst our people. Any continuation of such evil designs will be viewed by all Ovahereros as a second round genocide being perpetrated against our people. We shall resist that with all legitimate means at our disposal," said Riruako. A visibly upset Wieczorek-Zeul said:"I heard very well what the Chief said, and I think that some of his remarks are detrimental to the process of reconciliation. It is unacceptable to use the word 'genocide' in this context." Information Minister Nangolo Mbumba reminded Riruako that "we have learned from our struggle for freedom that if you have a friend, then keep him". Kameeta and Namibia's former ambassador to the EU and Benelux, Dr Zed Ngavirue, used their influence to push forward a solution acceptable to all sides. Ngavirue said the Herero leaders expected the academic presentations to "broaden the understanding of the colonial past and its dire consequences today". Moreover the Namibians hoped that the conference "will facilitate and contribute towards a meaningful dialogue between our leaders and the government of Germany leading to a mutually acceptable solution".

The Namibian (Windhoek) 23 Nov 2004 Negotiations On Herero-German Issue Should Be Handled By Govts: Mbumba By Edgar Haelbich Bremen A conference which dealt with finding ways to facilitate the reconciliation of Herero-speaking Namibians and Germany ended here yesterday. "The followers and participants in the struggle will appreciate the efforts made by the German government and the State of Bremen in this regard," said Namibia's Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Nangolo Mbumba. Mbumba argued that reconciliation negotiations should be a matter handled by the governments of both countries, and not between governments of one and the ethnic groups of another country. The readiness on the German side to enter into a meaningful dialogue was certainly there, he said. "One thing we have to learn is to see the limitations of others," said the Minister, expressing understanding for what the called "the constraints the German government is experiencing". "We have to decide which channels to choose to go ahead with the process." Mbumba added:"What this conference has taught us is the deep sense of loss the Herero people are still experiencing today." To ease this pain, a solution had certainly to be found. "All in all I am very optimistic that this will happen in due course," he said. Bishop Zephania Kameeta, head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (Elcin), said: "At the beginning (of the conference) I was not quite sure what the organisers wanted to achieve. It seemed a bit like many participants just had their own interests in mind, which made it very difficult to find a line." According to Kameeta, Saturday´s meeting between the Herero leadership was a very constructive one. "We had to decide:Do we want confrontation or dialogue?" Hans-Erik Staby, representative of the German-speaking Namibian community, saw a couple of structural weaknesses in the symposium. "They shouldn't have only invited the Herero as an ethnic group," the former opposition politician said. "If this reconciliation programme we are talking about is not broadened to include all population groups who have suffered under German colonial rule, then I see big problems coming."

New Era (Windhoek) 23 Nov 2004 Undoubtedly a Crime - Mbumba By Kae Matundu Tjiparuro Windhoek THE restoration of the dignity of the Ovaherero must be combined with the explicit acceptance that injustice was done, and practical gestures to show that this acceptance is not mere lip-service, says Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Nangolo Mbumba. Mbumba on Sunday addressed an international conference entitled: The German-Herero War- One Hundred Years After: 1904-2004: Realities, Traumas, Perspectives, which ended in the German city of Bremen the same day. The University of Bremen and the University of Namibia jointly hosted the conference. Mbumba said the 1904 war "was undoubtedly a crime against humanity" as 70 000 or more people "were murdered deliberately". He said when one visits some parts of Namibia today, one comes across many Namibian men and women bearing German second names and light in complexion. German colonial soldiers, traders and settlers who swarmed the country then left mothers to single-handedly bring up children they fathered. Ovaherero concentration camp internees mothered some of these children. Mbumba said the Ovaherero was one of the biggest cultural groups in the central part of then German South West Africa as Namibia was commonly known then, and their cattle matched their numbers. Hundred years after the 1904 war, the Ovaherero are today a "small group with few cattle compared to what their fathers and forefathers had". He said the burden of the memory of the war-time injustices inflicted on the Ovaherero, which burdened those who survived with traumatic recollection of bloodshed, starvation, death and deprivation, also affects present-day Ovaherero. Mbumba said while experts differ on whether wartime experiences and their consequences on the survivors should be seen as collective trauma, even on the Ovaherero, some experts also agree that the traumatic memory of the Ovaherero generations alive today cannot by any means be ignored. Neither can it be remedied by international law. "Remedies, we are told, have to be looked for in the space that we find between law and ethically guided political evaluation," he said, adding however that many authors accept that what happened to the "Ovaherero and Ovambanderu in 1904 was genocide". On what the Government of Namibia has been doing to restore the cultural heritage and human dignity "of all Namibians", Mbumba cited the Traditional Authorities Act, the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Act and the Agricultural (Communal) Land Reform Act as among the legal instruments the Government is employing to restore the cultural and human dignity of Namibians. German assistance to Namibia in many fields including land reform need also to be noted, Mbumba said, recalling in particular the N$2.7 million that Germany has provided to the Permanent Technical Team on land. The conference ended on Sunday and was attended, among others, by various Namibian traditional and religious leaders and academics. Discussion sessions went under various banners like: Recalling 1904; What happened at Ohamakari and afterwards; What Ohamakari 1904 means to us today; Healing, reconciliation, exoneration in the historical and political context. The conference was expected to come up with conclusions and recommendations to facilitate the Ovaherero-German reconciliation hundred years after 1904.

Rwanda (see DRCongo, France)

American Forces Press Service 2 Nov 2004 Defenselink.mil Airmen Visit Rwanda Genocide Memorial By Capt. Heather Healy, USAF Special to American Forces Press Service KIGALI, Rwanda, Nov. 2, 2004 -- On Oct. 30 a C-130 sat unceremoniously on the tarmac of Kigali International Airport here, waiting for the arrival of Rwandan troops. For the U.S. airmen here, the mission was clear: transport Rwandan troops and equipment to Al-Fashir, Sudan, where they will join other African Union troops in mitigating the humanitarian crisis in the country's Darfur region. The mission may have been clear and simple for the Americans involved, but as the airmen quickly realized, the Rwandans did not view the U.S. Air Force's airlift to Darfur as just another day at work. Marching to the music of their own formal military band, the Rwandan troops carried more than their rifles as they entered the belly of the C-130. Their faces seemed to carry with them the concerns of a country that only 10 years ago experienced the horror of genocide. In 1994, the Hutu-dominated regime of Rwanda launched a genocidal attack against the minority Tutsi people lasting 100 days and resulting in the brutal death of about 800,000 people. Most U.S. airmen, before arriving in Kigali, were only remotely aware of the genocide that forever changed the people of Rwanda. "We provided the folks deploying here an intelligence briefing before we arrived in an effort to provide them a basic understanding of what we're doing here," said Air Force Col. Robert Baine, 322nd Air Expeditionary Group commander. "We should understand the importance of this mission not only for the U.S. and the (African Union), but for the Rwandans and the people dying in Darfur." As the command-and-control element for airlift operations was set up in Kigali, Baine sought other ways for the deployed airmen to learn about the history of the country. The Rwandans arranged a free tour for the deployed airmen to view the Gisozi Genocide Memorial. "It's a very powerful reminder as to why we're here," said Baine. "The Rwandans understand that people can do pretty inhumane things, and when the world has the opportunity to step in, it should." At the genocide memorial, the sight of bones and skulls preserved on shelves told haunting stories of Rwanda's darkest hour. "That humans could do that to other humans," said Master Sgt. Kelly Burkhard, 322nd AEG superintendent of communications and information. "I just can't imagine the horror of the genocide that happened here." While the airmen toured the multi-story memorial building full of Rwanda 's tragic history, on the other side of town Rwandan soldiers prepared to deploy to Darfur, where United Nations officials say the worse humanitarian crisis in the world today continues. "The Rwandans experienced genocide firsthand," said Burkhard. "I think they're passionate about stopping the brutality." Americans are also passionate about saving lives. The U.S. government has donated more than $300 million dollars in humanitarian aid for Darfur, of which, $75 million has gone to support the 200,000 refugees who have fled Darfur into eastern Chad. "The U.S. Air Force's contribution to ending this crisis is just one part of a larger U.S. and international effort," said Baine. "The world has not forgotten Darfur. Our president, our Congress and our State Department have been working for the last two years to resolve this crisis. American troops are not going on the ground. Our focus is providing airlift for African Union forces so they can save African lives." (Air Force Capt. Heather Healy is assigned to 322nd Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs. Courtesy of U.S. Air Forces in Europe.)

Hirondelle News Agency (Lausanne) 9 Nov 2004 Rwanda and UN Court on Edge of Confrontation Kigali The Rwandan authorities and the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) appear to be heading towards a stand-off as investigations into the recent murder of a former witness at the court get underway, Hirondelle News Agency has learnt. According to highly placed sources in the Rwandan capital Kigali, the ICTR has turned down a request from national prosecutors to interrogate some staff members of the court in connection with the murder. Rwandan investigators contend that ICTR staff visited the former ICTR witness a day before his murder. Bosco Nyemazi, a confessed genocide killer was murdered on October 12th, 2004, shortly after his return from testifying at the Tanzanian based court. Rwanda and the ICTR have been conducting parallel investigations into the killing. Nyemazi's wife, one of seven other suspects in custody in connection with the murder, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder and confessed that the motive for the killing was her husband's links with the ICTR. The Rwandan authorities are mainly focusing their investigation along these lines. On the other hand, the ICTR says that the murder could also have been connected to genocide trials pending in local courts or other domestic issues. "We are not going to accept this kind of behaviour from the court. I thought it was within the interests of everyone to know the cause of the murder," a senior Rwandan official told Hirondelle News Agency on condition of anonymity. He said that Rwandan investigators did not suspect the ICTR staff of personal involvement in the murder. But there is a connection, according to the official, "What we know for now is that the person that led them to Nyemazi's house that day is a suspect in connection with the murder". Some previous confrontations between the court and Rwanda have resulted into genocide survivor's organisations in Rwanda advising their members against testifying at the court. Such boycotts, at a court that predominantly depends on witnesses inside Rwanda, have on some occasions led to indefinite postponements of trials.

AFP 25 Nov 2004 Rwanda will act when time is right against Hutu rebels in DRC: Kagame DAKAR, Nov 25 (AFP) - Rwanda will act when the time is right against Hutu rebels based in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said on local radio during a visit to Senegal. "Since 1994 (the year of Rwanda's genocide), the Interhamwe (allied militia forces) have destabilised our country under the eyes of the international community and nothing has been done to solve this problem. "We have continuously appealed to the international community and the United Nations about it. We have also called on the government of the (DR) Congo but nothing has been done. On the contrary, we have been attacked on the 15th of this month of November." "If the international community cannot do it, who else is there to do it except us? We have no other choice but to pick off these targets. There are Interhamwe bases and ex-FAR (soldiers from the defunct Rwandan army) who we have clearly located, and when the time is right, we will deal with them. Kagame was due to leave for Ougadougou later Thursday for the summit of Francophone countries.

AP 25 Nov 2004 U.N. Envoys Urge Restraint by Rwanda DAKAR, Senegal, Nov. 25 -- U.N. Security Council diplomats appealed to Rwanda for restraint Thursday after Rwandan President Paul Kagame threatened to renew Central Africa's deadliest conflict, claiming his country was coming under attack from militias in neighboring Congo. In a statement from Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, where they were winding down a Central African mission launched to hold all concerned to peace deals, the diplomats urged Rwanda "to refrain from any action that would violate international law, undermine this region's fragile stability or jeopardize the transition process supported by the international community." Rwanda has invaded Congo twice since 1996 with the stated aim of hunting down Rwandan Hutu militias responsible for the 1994 genocide of about 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus. In an interview Thursday, Kagame called a five-month-old U.N.-led campaign to disarm the Rwandan Hutus in Congo a failure and said: "At the appropriate moment, we certainly will take measures." The U.N. mission in Congo said later Thursday that no cross-border attacks from Congo had been verified.

washingtonpost.com 26 Nov 2004 Movie Honors Rwandan Hotelier 'Who Refused to Follow the Mob' By Nora Boustany Friday, November 26, 2004; Page A32 Blood flowed in the streets. Machine guns and machetes replaced courtesies and conversations among neighbors and colleagues from different ethnic groups. As Rwanda fell into the grip of genocide 10 years ago, what distinguished Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager in Kigali, the capital, from many of his countrymen was an unspoken passion to serve others and a knack for decorum. "I was not brave, but maybe I was someone who refused to follow the mob," Rusesabagina said in an interview in Washington before the screening last week of "Hotel Rwanda," a film based on heroic exploits by which Rusesabagina ultimately saved more than 1,200 people. The movie, shown at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, follows events beginning in April 1994, as Rusesabagina was transformed from a suave host into a heralded savior and turned his once-elegant establishment, Hotel Mille Collines, into a haven for the helpless. Using his standing and connections, he staved off tragedy, cajoling bloodthirsty soldiers and outsmarting their leaders to save not only his family and friends but also strangers who came seeking refuge. The slaughter began on April 6, 1994, when gunmen shot down the Rwandan president's plane, killing him and the president of neighboring Burundi. The incident quickly degenerated into genocide, a brutal door-to-door killing frenzy in which more than 800,000 people were massacred in just 100 days, as extremists from the majority Hutu population lashed out mercilessly against Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Amid the carnage, Rusesabagina remained the consummate professional, resorting to bartering luxury items hoarded in his hotel to ensure the safety of his patrons, keep food supplies coming in and thwart potential massacres. Rusesabagina rationed the water in the swimming pool, using trash cans to measure out portions for each room so that clients could cook, eat and wash. His first brush with calamity came when militiamen stopped him and a van filled with his neighbors and asked him to shoot the whole vanload because they were Tutsi. "I know you guys are hungry, tired, thirsty and stressed by the war," he told the militiamen. "Look at this old man here. Are you sure he is your enemy? Can you imagine killing him and moving through life with his blood, or this child's blood, on your hands? "There is a better solution. Escort us to the hotel, so I can get you something to drink. Also, I have money. I will pay for each of these people," he said to the militiamen. If they killed him, he pointed out, no one could lead them to the hotel safe and the money stashed there. Rusesabagina, the son of a farmer and one of nine children, studied theology and, later, hotel management. He remembers community elders visiting his father, a man with a strong sense of justice, to settle land disputes. As an adult, Rusesabagina shuttled easily between his family life, with his wife, Tatiana, and their children, and his demanding job -- until the killing started. The tools of his trade were nothing unusual: the keys to the hotel's storage rooms and cellars and a Rolodex of important people, including Rwandans, U.N. officials and employees at Sabena, the Belgian firm that owned the hotel. "I would go into my secretary's office at night to secretly use the phone, fax, wake people up at 4 a.m., just to keep buying time, begging people to intervene," he said. "Every day, every minute represented unspeakable danger." One morning, a phalanx of soldiers appeared at his door. "Are you the hotel manager?" one of them barked. "If so, tell all the cockroaches to leave in 30 minutes." Rusesabagina rushed to the roof and looked down on a sea of spears, guns and machetes. "This is the end, I told myself," he said. But then "I started calling. The director of Sabena in Brussels, he called the king of Belgium, the president of France, to weigh in." Rusesabagina said he then went to see the assistant general chief of staff for the police to get him to prevent the killing that might be coming. Rusesabagina "prodded him into coming with me to the hotel, telling him I had things he needed in the safe there." Rusesabagina had stockpiled everything he could: money, gold, Cohiba cigars, aged bottles of wine. When the official resisted the offer, Rusesabagina warned him that one day he would be held accountable and that the rest of the world would judge him as the man who ordered the killing but could have stopped it. At the hotel, men, women and children were kneeling next to the pool with their hands held up, waiting for death. Rusesabagina's wife and four children were hiding in the bathroom behind a shower curtain. The official rushed to the hotel and evicted his men from the grounds. Eventually, Rusesabagina, his family and two nieces whose parents had been killed were evacuated by the United Nations to a camp in Tanzania. Today, Rusesabagina lives in Brussels. The film is an homage to Rusesabagina's silent bravery and suppressed rage. "I hope this will be a wake-up call, not only for Rwanda but the whole international community," he said. "I acted with the hope that all my friends were doing the same instead of blindly falling into step with the rest of the mob."


IRIN 1 Nov 2004 Over 100 killed in clashes between Somaliland and Puntland [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] NAIROBI, 1 November (IRIN) - Conflicting reports from the disputed region of Sool, northern Somalia, indicate that at least 100 people were killed on Friday when forces from the self-declared republic of Somaliland, and those of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, clashed, a local source told IRIN. Both sides are accusing the other of initiating the hostilities. The Somaliland Minister of Information, Abdillahi Du'ale, told IRIN on Monday: "The fact of the matter is that it was a premeditated aggression" by Puntland forces. He accused the current Puntland leader, Muhammad Abdi Hashi, of having "orchestrated" the clashes "in consultation with Abdullahi Yusuf [the newly-elected president of Somalia and former Puntland leader]". Du'ale claimed that Somaliland forces had killed more than 100 Puntland militiamen and destroyed an undetermined number of military hardware. He said their forces lost seven soldiers and nine were wounded. "We regret this unnecessary loss of life," he said. However, the Puntland Deputy Minister of Information Ibrahim Artan Isma'il dismissed reports that the Puntland attacked as "baseless". "Our forces defended their position when attacked by Somaliland forces," he said. "They did not attack Somaliland". Isma'il also denied Puntland forces lost over 100 men. "The information I am receiving from our forces is that we lost 12 men and four [were] wounded," he said. "It is Somaliland that lost close to 100 men." Reports indicate that the fighting between the two sides started on Friday at Ari Adey village [30 km north of the regional capital, Las Anod] and continued for most of the day, Muhammad Sa'id Kashwito, a journalist on the Bosaso-based Midnimo Radio, told IRIN. Kashawiito said that the fighting had subsided "due to heavy rains in the area". Although no fighting was reported in the area on Monday, it remains tense and both sides were said to have amassed troops on either side of the village of Ari Adey, Kashawito said. It was not immediately clear what triggered the fighting, but tension between the two sides had been simmering since Puntland troops took total control of Las Anod in December 2003. Before then, both sides had official representation in the town. Puntland leaders declared the region autonomous in 1998 with the aim of reconstituting Somalia as a federal republic. Somaliland declared its independence from the rest of the country following the overthrow of the regime of Muhammad Siyad Barre in 1991. The region has remained relatively peaceful even as the rest of Somalia descended into anarchy and violence. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the African Union, Alpha Oumar Konare, in a statement issued on Sunday, appealed to the two parties "to immediately cease all hostilities and desist from any action that would further exacerbate the situation." "These developments are all the more regrettable as they come at a time when the Somali National Reconciliation Conference has registered historic progress," Konare said.

Agence France-Presse 5 Nov 2004 Somalia's civil war claimed 300,000 lives: president KAMPALA, Nov 5 (AFP) - Somalia's new President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed said on Friday that 300,000 of his countrymen were thought to have died during 14 years of civil war and voiced hope for peace to return to the Horn of Africa state. "Up to 300,000 people were killed during the war, about two million others were displaced, some living here in Uganda, and national institutions... were destroyed," Yusuf told a joint press conference with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. "In order to undertake the huge task ahead ... disarmament, intergration and restoration of the rule of law, we need support from African brothers, as well as the international community, without which we cannot achieve much," Yusuf said. "We promise to accelerate the programmes in Somalia as much as we can. It is my belief that if we all work together, the timeframe of pacifying Somalia will be much shorter than anybody thought," he said, allaying fears that some warlords may restart fighting in Somalia. European Union officials recently estimated the death toll in the civil war at 500,000. Yusuf was speaking at the end of a two-day visit to Uganda to discuss challenges and security issues to be resolved before his government can relocate from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, to the Somali capital Mogadishu. A veteran Somali faction leader and soldier, Yusuf was sworn in as new president of Somalia on October 14 in Nairobi, in the first conclusive attempt to pacify the country, which plunged into turmoil immediately after the ouster of the dictator Mohammed Siad Barre in January 1991. Museveni said the Somali president had expressed a preference for any force sent to restore law and order in his country to be drawn from African countries. "The opinion of the Somali president is that the force that will help restore law and order, should be an African force, supported by the international community," Museveni told journalists. "Why they prefer the African force is that they could easily be compatible to the culture of Somalia. Uganda will be ready to offer any force the African Union would like to help our brothers to stand on their feet," Museveni said. Late last month Yusuf asked the African Union to send a force of between 15,000 and 20,000 to disarm militia groups that have been warring in Somalia since the 1991 overthrow of the dictator Mohammed Siad Barre. The Somali peace process has been driven by Africa's seven-nation Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), composed of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and nominally Somalia. Yusuf said he believed that an African force to be deployed in Somalia will be able to leave the country in about a year "with honours after accomplishing their mission." He also said his government will handle the recent disagreement that resulted in fighting between his own state of Puntland and the neighbouring self-declared Republic of Somaliland, formerly Somalia's northwest region. "I will not blame any side, because I am now the president of the whole of Somalia, but a new civil war in Somalia is totally unacceptable, we have advised them what to do and they should take that advice, otherwise if they refuse, the Somali people will take them on," Yusuf warned. The Kampala talks were also attended by Somali Transitional Federal Parliament Speaker Sharif Hassan Adrin, four other members of parliament from different factions and other officials from both Somali and Ugandan governments.

washingtonpost.com 12 Nov 2004 Lawsuits Filed Against Two Somalis in N.Va. Ex-Leaders Are Accused of Human Rights Violations in Homeland in 1980s By William Branigin Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, November 12, 2004; Page B03 A California-based human rights group has filed lawsuits in federal court in Alexandria alleging that two Somali residents of Northern Virginia ordered torture, killings, rapes and other acts of brutality against a rival clan during the 1980s when they held positions of power in their homeland. The two lawsuits claim that Mohamed Ali Samatar, a former defense minister and prime minister of Somalia, and Yusuf Abdi Ali, a former colonel who commanded a notorious Somali army battalion, bear responsibility for human rights violations committed during the military regime of the late Somali president Mohamed Siad Barre, who was deposed in 1991. The lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria on Wednesday on behalf of eight Somali plaintiffs. The lawsuits, filed by the San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability and a Reston law firm, represent the latest effort by private groups to hold accountable alleged human rights violators who have found safe haven in the United States. Human rights groups say hundreds of war criminals from various countries have found refuge in the United States, living quiet lives in places such as the Washington suburbs. Although U.S. immigration law has provisions designed to keep them out and deport them if they are found, enforcement has often been lax, victims' advocates complain. Samatar, a resident of Fairfax County, came to the United States in the early 1990s after his wife was granted political asylum. Abdi Ali, known to Somalis by his nom de guerre, Tokeh ("the Crow"), received military training in the United States in 1986 and 1990 and sought refuge in Canada when the Siad Barre government collapsed. He landed in the United States after he was deported from Canada in 1992 because of his human rights record, and he eventually prevailed in a six-year legal battle with U.S. immigration. He now lives and works in Alexandria. Samatar and Abdi Ali could not be reached for comment yesterday. In an interview in Canada before being deported, Abdi Ali denied that he committed human rights abuses. In filing the lawsuits, the center hopes to build on previous successes in suing foreign human rights violators in the United States -- if not actually collecting judgments. In a case filed by the center last year, a federal judge ordered two former Salvadoran defense ministers living in Florida to pay damages to torture victims, including Juan Romagoza, who runs a clinic for the indigent in the District. Among the plaintiffs in the suit against Samatar is Bashe Abdi Yousuf, a former businessman in northwestern Somalia and an Isaaq clan member who now lives in Atlanta. He says he was arrested in November 1981 for participating in a group that sought to improve conditions at a hospital and was repeatedly tortured and held in solitary confinement in a small, windowless cell for more than six years. He fled Somalia after he was released from prison in 1989 and arrived in the United States in 1991. Five other plaintiffs in the suit -- four men and a woman -- are anonymous because they fear reprisals, said Sandra Coliver, executive director of the Center for Justice and Accountability. Four of the five still live in Somalia, and one is in Kuwait. They include a farmer who was arrested with his two brothers while tending the family's camels in northern Somalia in 1984, according to the complaint against Samatar. The brothers were among 45 prisoners who were summarily executed, the complaint says. The woman was allegedly tortured and raped repeatedly during more than four years of imprisonment. In addition, a former noncommissioned officer in the Somali army alleges that he survived a massacre of fellow Isaaq members of the military in June 1988. The other two plaintiffs against Samatar are a former college student who says he was shot and left for dead in a July 1989 mass execution at Jezira Beach south of the capital, Mogadishu, and a mechanic who says he lost four brothers in the same massacre. The lawsuit charges that Samatar, as defense minister from 1980 to 1987 and prime minister from 1987 to 1990, "exercised command and control over the Armed Forces of Somalia" and "conspired with or aided and abetted subordinates" in committing acts of torture, extrajudicial killing, rape, arbitrary detention, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The complaint against Abdi Ali was filed on behalf of two anonymous Somali farmers, also members of the Isaaq clan, who alleged they were tortured by soldiers under the colonel's command as well as by Abdi Ali himself.


AFP 25 Oct 2004 Sudan refuses entry to AU soldiers on US planes for Darfur mission KHARTOUM, Oct 25 (AFP) -- Khartoum on Monday refused to allow African Union (AU) soldiers, due to monitor a ceasefire between government troops and rebel forces in the western region of Darfur, to fly in to Sudan on US planes. Troops from the U.S. Air Force's 86th Airlift Wing unload boxes of weapons upon arrival in the Rwandan capital Kigali October 23, 2004, aboard three U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo planes. The planes will transport Rwandan forces and equipment to Darfur over the next two weeks to assist an African Union peacekeeping effort in the violent region of western Sudan. It is the first U.S. military deployment in the Darfur conflict. "This is not a bilateral issue and the matter should be handled by the African Union in accordance with clear-cut guarantees and a certain time period," Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail told reporters. He said the Sudanese government had informed the AU of its position but had "not yet had any response". "We will never accept any US planes on Sudanese territory other than under an AU agreement that does not violate Sudanese national security ... and as long as the (planes) leave immediately after their mission" said Ismail. He accused the US administration of waging a "campaign of misinformation" on the humanitarian crisis in Darfur "to distract international attention away from events in Iraq and Palestine". Khartoum, however, would "cooperate closely with the African Union" so the organisation could transport its troops for of their mission in Darfur, Ismail added. The more than 3,000-strong AU force is to be made up of troops from the Gambia, Rwanda, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Tanzania, the foreign minister said. The first contingent had been expected to arrive Monday. Ismail said he would brief the Sudanese parliament on Tuesday on the expansion of the mandate and the length of the AU mission in western Sudan.

African Union 28 Oct 2004 The African Union deploys more troops in Darfur as part of its efforts to strengthen AMIS PRESS RELEASE N0 098/2004 As part of its efforts aimed at strengthening the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) and as a follow up to the decision of the 17th meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the AU held on 20 October 2004, the AU has deployed in the Darfur region of the Sudan, today, a group of 50 military personnel from Nigeria. This deployment of Nigerian troops will be followed by the deployment on 30 October of 237 troops from Rwanda. These new deployments, together with the 310 military personnel from Nigeria and Rwanda the AU has already sent to Darfur earlier in August, will bring the military component of the AMIS to 597 troops. This significant expansion of the military personnel of AMIS follows the 17th meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the AU, which decided that AMIS shall now consist of 3,320 personnel, including 2,341 military personnel, among them 450 observers, up to 815 civilian police personnel, as well as the appropriate civilian personnel. More troops from Nigeria and from other African countries are expected to be deployed in the following days. Addis Ababa, 28 October 2004

Stars and Stripes 30 Oct 2004 www.estripes.com Air Force C-130s shuttle troops, supplies to Darfur Stars and Stripes European edition, Saturday, October 30, 2004 John Beach / Courtesy of U.S. Air Force A group of Nigerian troops approaches a U.S. C-130 on Thursday for transportation into the Darfur region of Sudan. They are part of a load of approximately 40 Nigerian troops and 3,000 pounds of equipment bound for El-Fashir airstrip in Sudan’s Darfur region, marking the beginning of the airlift mission of African Union protection forces to the troubled area. The United States has committed two C-130s to assist the African Union’s mission in Darfur. U.S. Air Force cargo planes began shuttling peacekeeping troops and supplies to the troubled Darfur region of Sudan on Thursday, a news release said. A C-130 cargo plane from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, carried 40 Nigerian troops and 3,000 pounds of equipment bound for El-Fashir airstrip in Darfur, according to the release from the 435th Air Base Wing at Ramstein. More than 120 active-duty and reserve airmen and two C-130 Hercules deployed to Kigali, Rwanda, from Europe last week to set up operations in support of an expanded African Union mission. Additional African Union troops are being sent to Darfur to help quell a civil war and ease a humanitarian crisis there. At least 70,000 people have been killed and more than 1.5 million have lost their homes in the conflict. In all, members of Ramstein’s 86th Airlift Wing will help carry some 3,500 African Union troops to the region. The United States is working with other nations, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, along with the European Union, to expand the peacekeeping mission, the White House said in an earlier statement. The African Union mission’s immediate goal is to “intensify monitoring of the cease-fire and help create conditions to increase the free flow of humanitarian assistance to the people of Darfur,” the statement said.

Reuters 31 Oct 2004 Darfur rebels split over secular state demands ABUJA, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Darfur's main rebel group insisted on Sunday religion and state should be separated in Sudan, a demand rejected by Khartoum and which has divided the two rebel groups at peace talks in Nigeria. The rebel movements negotiating with Sudan's Islamist government to try to end the 20-month-old conflict in Darfur have been unable to come up with a common political framework, presenting separate documents to mediators instead. The United Nations says 70,000 people have died of disease and malnutrition in Darfur since March. There are no reliable figures for those killed by the fighting, which Washington calls genocide and the U.N. says has displaced 1.6 million people. Talks in Nigeria's capital Abuja to end the fighting have stalled, mainly on security and disarmament issues, while parallel negotiations on Sudan's future political system have also failed to make much progress. The main rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), wants a clear separation between political and religious affairs in Sudan -- a demand rejected by the government and unlikely to find support with the second, more Islamist-oriented, rebel group at the talks, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). POLITICS AND RELIGION "This is a very important issue for us. I am a Muslim, but religion in our country is being used to kill and marginalise people," said SLA spokesman Mahgoub Hussain. But JEM spokesman Ahmed Hussain said: "I think this is something we should leave for the people of Sudan to decide in wider consultations. "We didn't take up arms to fight for the separation of politics and religion. We took up arms to fight against marginalisation." Government negotiators said Sudan's mainly Muslim north, including Darfur, should continue to be governed by the principles of Islamic law. "Sharia is the law and should be the law. The concept of separation between state and religion does not exist in the Islamic world. It's all politics, it's all religion," said Abdul Zuma, media adviser to the government delegation. While the government has agreed in separate peace talks with mainly Christian and animist rebels in southern Sudan not to apply Sharia law there, Zuma said that deal did not include the western region of Darfur. The SLA and the JEM took up arms in February last year, accusing Khartoum of neglecting Darfur and arming Arab militias to kill African villagers. Most of Darfur's ethnically Arab and African tribes are devout Muslims, but the non-Arabic speaking tribes see themselves as culturally distinct from the Arab tribes dominating politics in Khartoum. The leadership of the two rebel groups have very different backgrounds. JEM's leaders are widely believed to have retained prior links with Sudan's opposition leader and Islamic ideologist Hassan al-Turabi, an advocate of Sharia law.

BBC 2 Nov 2004 Push for no-fly zone in Darfur A small number of the promised AU peacekeepers are in Darfur African Union mediators have presented the Sudanese government and rebel groups with a new security deal, in an attempt to end the conflict in Darfur. The draft includes a proposal to make Darfur a no-fly zone - a key demand of the rebels. Spokesmen for each side said the new draft was better than a previous one. More than 1.5 million people have fled their homes in Darfur and some 70,000 have been killed in the conflict. More fighting is being reported near Nyala. "There is a very remarkable improvement on the document," State Minister for Foreign Affairs Najeeb al-Kheir Abdul Wahab told Reuters news agency. Violence More fighting was reported on Tuesday in the Darfur region of western Sudan between the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) rebels and government forces. The BBC's Alexei Masciarelli in Nyala in south Darfur says the latest reported fighting took place only 20km north of Nyala. Travellers arriving in Nyala on Tuesday afternoon said that they have spotted several bodies lying on the road. Some were wearing uniforms, others the traditional jalabia robe. As a precautionary measure, United Nation agencies have banned their staff from travelling on that road on Tuesday. Further on, road blocks set up by Arab militiamen are preventing commercial and humanitarian vehicles from travelling. The senior AU officer in Nyala, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mejabi, told the BBC that the ceasefire was being violated every day by the government and both rebel sides in Darfur. Acts of banditry are also on the rise. Civilians have been attacked at roadblocks in the villages and even inside displaced camps. Meanwhile, the head of the AU's peacekeeping operation in Sudan, Said Djinnit, has said the organisation now has nearly 250 troops in Darfur. The SLM have threatened to quit the peace talks in Nigeria, if government attacks against villages are not halted.

2 Nov 2004 Security problems worsen in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur: UN GENEVA, Nov 2 (AFP) - Humanitarian organisations expressed alarm Tuesday over worsening security in Sudan's conflict-wracked Darfur region, where the UN refugee agency has been forced to cancel several missions. The spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ron Redmond, said trips had been planned by UNHCR staff to Djebel Moon in west Darfur, north of El Geneina, and Masteri, 50 kilometres (30 miles) to the south of El Geneina, but were not currently possible. "Recently there were more reports on rebel activity, and that is a concern to us because of the possibility of retaliatory action. ... We are concerned about the risk of further displacement towards Chad," Redmond said. Since February last year, the three western Darfur provinces of Sudan have been embroiled in a conflict pitting two rebel movements against government forces and Khartoum's proxy Arab militias. The two sides are currently in talks in Nigeria trying to thrash out a political settlement to the brutal conflict, which has driven 1.5 million people from their homes and left tens of thousands dead. Relief agencies had to stop some aid work after 18 Sudanese of Arab origin were kidnapped last Thursday from a bus between Zalinge and Nyala in West Darfur. Khartoum has blamed the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), but Redmond said humanitarian workers fear violent reprisals for the abduction. A UNHCR region which went to Masteri on October 26 had been due to return there for several days from Sunday to monitor the movement to neighbouring Chad of refugees, but this mission was cancelled. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced that displaced persons' camps close to Nyala were on Tuesday morning surrounded by soldiers and police who prevented access there by relief workers. "The WFP fears that an operation to resettle these people is beginning," WFP spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume said in Geneva. "The increase in insecurity" has also prevented aid workers from travelling by road to several centres for 160,000 displaced people at Zalingie, Nerpetie and Golo in west Darfur, Berthiaume said. About 100 humanitarian workers, notably employees of the charity Care, were airlifted out of the area by helicopter on Monday, she said. The Arab militia force, known as the Janjaweed, has been accused by aid agencies, refugees and the US government of carrying out genocide against Darfur's population of black African origin.

LA Times 28 Oct 2004 How a crisis catches world's attention Aid workers try to figure out why some human rights calamities are allowed to fester. The Sudanese disaster was once just that sort. By Maggie Farley LA Times Staff Writer. UNITED NATIONS — The conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region is a horror: The government, trying to put down a rebellion, has sent aircraft to bomb its own people, then militiamen have swooped in to rape, kill and pillage. At least 50,000 people have died and 1.6 million have fled in the last 18 months. Meanwhile, just south of Sudan's border in Uganda, another catastrophe simmers: 10,000 children have been kidnapped by militiamen, thousands of women have been raped and 2 million people have been displaced in the fallout from civil war. Tens of thousands have died. Each night, parents send their children by the thousands to sleep in guarded compounds so they won't be abducted by rebels and turned into soldiers or sex slaves. One of these situations — Sudan — has been labeled by the U.N. as the "world's worst humanitarian crisis." The U.S. Congress and the State Department have called it genocide. Aid workers and journalists are pouring in to help the needy and chronicle the tragedy. Western political leaders are speaking out. And in Uganda, the misery continues, virtually unnoticed by the outside world. How does a crisis become a crisis? Or rather, how does the world single out one disaster from hundreds for its attention and support? The question beleaguers humanitarian officials such as Jan Egeland every day as he calls capitals from his U.N. office, begging for money, visas for aid workers and news coverage for the latest tragedy. After more than a quarter of a century in human rights and relief work — he became head of Amnesty International in Norway at 23 — the U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, now 47, has the trajectory of a disaster down to a science. He can read the warning signs of a crisis the way a mariner knows that a ring around the moon presages a storm. And he's learning to predict which situation will spark an international response. Only three causes a year rise to the forefront of international consciousness, he figures, and then only after nine dire warnings have been largely ignored. The 10th one, it seems, is the charm. But even then, to the frustration of aid officials, the severity of a crisis — the number of dead or injured or starving — is no guarantee that it will win the attention lottery. According to a wide range of humanitarian officials, a complex set of circumstances will determine whether the world will care — and act — to stave off disaster. The first critical factor is the geopolitical importance of the individuals or place involved. Kosovo, because it was in Europe, received quick attention. So did Afghanistan — after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. But if disaster happens someplace where no countries have a strategic stake, Egeland's experience has shown that few will care. The second variable is the ability of U.N. workers and other advocates to lobby and act on behalf of the forgotten. "Most people can't find Central African Republic or Guinea on a map," Egeland said. "That leaves us." Finally, a select group of Western political and media leaders plays a key role. Once the crisis gets on American television news and the politicians start to visit, money and aid start rolling in. "There are problems all around Africa, all around the world," said Noelle LuSane, foreign policy advisor for Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-N.J.), ranking member of the Committee on International Relations' subcommittee on Africa. LuSane said Sudan already had attracted attention from conservative Christians, who had become concerned in the mid-1990s about Muslims enslaving Christians in the country's south, and black Americans. With the 10-year anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda adding resonance, people were ready to coalesce around Darfur. "There's no constituency like that for Uganda and Cote D'Ivoire," LuSane said. Egeland says he can't get people to notice what is happening just across Sudan's border in the Central African Republic, or in Ivory Coast or eastern Congo, where populations have been uprooted by civil wars and left without access to aid. And then there is northern Uganda, now in its 18th year of conflict, where a messianic leader's militia has abducted nearly 20,000 boys and girls to serve his cause. To escape the Lord's Resistance Army, thousands of fearful children are herded each day to havens before the sun sets, creating a ghostly twilight march of "night commuters." The lack of interest in Uganda is particularly distressing for Egeland, because the crisis has been so prolonged and so cruel. "I have learned that for a crisis to be newsworthy, it must be dramatic, and visual, so that people can understand what is at stake," he said. "But everyone has children. Everyone has a mother. How else can 10,000 children kidnapped and women raped be easier to understand?" Sudan's case has been unusual in both the way it escaped international attention at first, and the way it then gained it. Humanitarian aid officials and human rights activists are trying to analyze why the disaster in Darfur took so long to register, so that they may better prevent the next crisis. Egeland said he had never come across the combination of geographical isolation, political manipulation and government obstruction that enabled the problems in the western Darfur region to escalate from a manageable emergency into a humanitarian catastrophe. In fact, violence has raged in Sudan for more than 20 years as the government has fought a rebellion in the south. An estimated 2 million people have died with little international notice. The country's remoteness and anarchy made it an attractive base for Osama bin Laden until the U.S. forced the government in Khartoum to expel him in the mid-1990s. Scrutiny of Sudan decreased after the United States withdrew its diplomats from the capital in 1996, citing terrorist threats. For years thereafter, Khartoum allowed only a few aid groups to work in the country, and almost no foreign reporters. So, few outsiders noticed when a government effort to put down an uprising by black rebels in the western part of Sudan in early 2003 escalated into widespread violence against civilians. The predominantly Arab government enjoined Arab tribes who had long-held territorial rivalries with black farmers to help remove the rebels and their kin from their land. Often the government and tribal militias worked together, with military aircraft strafing black villages, then tribesmen on horseback killing men, raping women, poisoning wells and burning homes to ensure no one would come back. Instead of calling for help — as many governments would do when faced with tens of thousands of their own people dying — Khartoum kept mum and blocked outside aid to conceal its collaboration with the militias. "It was clear that the leaders in Khartoum did not regard the black Africans as 'their people,' " said USAID official Roger Winter, one of the first to recognize the severity of the situation. "They were considered 'other.' The government did not want this population assisted." When USAID workers sounded the alarm in the fall of 2003 about the scorched-earth tactics, top officials at the U.N. and in the Bush administration kept quiet. Part of the reason for their silence was their fear that a demand for action in the western region of Darfur would derail the final stage of peace talks to end the 20-year civil war in the south, U.S. and U.N. officials said. Khartoum, calculating that the U.S. wouldn't turn its attention to Darfur until the negotiations to end the north-south conflict were over, strung out the negotiations, hoping to wipe out the rebellion in the west. "It was an extraordinary diplomatic blunder" on the part of the U.S. and U.N., said John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank. "Sudan learned very quickly that we would not turn to the humanitarian crisis until we got the peace talks wrapped. So why would they ever react to our demands?" By February 2004, the United States was growing more concerned. Although President Bush had not yet spoken out about the situation, Washington began exerting pressure behind the scenes on Khartoum to grant visas to aid groups and journalists, who began their own reports on atrocities and refugees. But when the few aid groups working in Sudan — Doctors Without Borders and CARE International — reported on the dire conditions, they did not convey the ethnic dimension of the violence. "They pulled their punches in order to maintain access," said Eric Reeves, a Sudan watcher at Smith College who believes he was the first to publicly label the situation in Darfur genocide in late 2003. "It's difficult to criticize them. They were the only ones there and it was important for them to stay there." Despite persistent urging by their top humanitarian officials, including Egeland and USAID administrator Andrew Natsios, it wasn't until April that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Bush publicly addressed the catastrophic violence in Darfur. What triggered the shift? Guilt, said U.S. and U.N. officials. A month before the 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, they said, the leaders realized that they could not in good conscience say "Never again" when a similar situation might be occurring in Sudan. On April 7, both leaders invoked the need to help Darfur in their speeches about Rwanda — a moment that shattered the official silence, but only hinted at action. Yet once that silence broke, an unusual constellation of interests aligned to pressure the Bush administration to do something. Human rights organizations, among the first to sound the alarm in early 2004, pushed harder for intervention. Conservative Christian groups working to free Christian slaves refocused on Darfur. The Congressional Black Caucus sponsored a congressional resolution that termed the situation "genocide" in July. Those charges of genocide, with their echoes of the Holocaust, brought in Jewish American groups. For Bush, it became clear that embracing the issue would win points on all sides, U.S. officials said. In late June, in what turned out to be the tipping point for international attention, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Annan made overlapping visits to Khartoum and secured an agreement from the government to halt the violence. While they were there, the U.S. introduced a U.N. Security Council resolution that, although watered down during negotiations, put pressure on Sudan to act. On Sept. 9, Powell announced that a State Department investigation had found that the systematic killing in Darfur constituted genocide. Nine days later, the Security Council approved an international inquiry to determine whether genocide had occurred, and authorized up to 3,000 African Union troops to protect civilians and monitor militias' disarmament. Now help is finally on the way, more than a year after the crisis began. Given the amount of attention that has been devoted to the situation in Darfur, aid officials expected to have sufficient pledges. But funds are falling short. "Since April 2004 — over one year after war broke out — Sudan has had more [foreign] ministers and senators visit per week than most [African nations] get per year," Egeland said. "And still, we have only half of what we need this year." Donors have given almost $355 million through the U.N. for Sudan — less than half of the $722 million the U.N. asked for. The donations for Sudan are less than 5% of what was pledged in one day last year at a Madrid conference for reconstruction in Iraq. The U.S. has given 48% of the $355 million, and Europe has provided about 35%. Humanitarian officials such as Egeland and Natsios know with grim certainty that the dying is far from over. Even with 1,000 international aid workers headed for the country, the World Health Organization predicts as many as 10,000 deaths a month indefinitely. Nearly 1.4 million people are clustered in temporary camps in Darfur and 200,000 more are across the border in Chad, living in tent cities stalked by disease and starvation, as well as lingering militias. The violence makes aid delivery in some areas difficult, and severely malnourished people may hit the point of no return — where no amount of food can save them because their bodies can no longer process it. The attacks prevented spring and fall planting, so there will be no harvest for seasons to come. So, Sudan is both the winner and the loser of the cruel lottery for the world's attention. Even as the world homes in on that crisis, other dire situations nearby remain largely forgotten. The lesson for the international community, Egeland says, is clear: "Never accept strategic arguments to make progress on one humanitarian crisis and shut your eyes to another."

UN News Service 2 Nov 2004 Security breaches rise in Darfur camps housing Sudanese who have fled violence – UN Security breaches have been increasing in the camps housing Sudan's Darfur refugees and internally displaced people on both sides of the Sudanese-Chadian border, the United Nations said today. In the middle of the night, Sudanese army and police surrounded Al Geer camp in Nyala town, South Darfur, and forcibly removed some of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to another location which is ill-equipped to care for them, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters in New York. "The site is currently not able to cater for any additional influx and as such is not suitable for any relocation." He said roughly 15 trucks were used to relocate the IDPs. "The remainder of the population was dispersed into the surrounding area of Nyala town as a direct result of this action." In another incident today, units of the Sudanese army and police undertook crowd control measures at a camp known as El Chareia, according to George Somerwell, a spokesman for UN Special Envoy Jan Pronk. "They fired tear gas and they fired shots in the air to try to calm the IDPs who are inside this camp," Mr. Somerwell told UN Radio. Two weeks ago the population of El Chareia numbered 40,000, he said, and the IDPs feared that the Sudanese Government would remove them to an unknown location. The UN Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) has contacted the Khartoum Government, which is "making every effort that it can to try to calm the situation," Mr. Somerwell said. At the UN complex in Geneva, Switzerland, the spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Ron Redmond, said his agency, along with other international organizations, has been forced to cancel missions to Darfur this week because of security problems, including the kidnapping of 18 Sudanese from a commercial bus on the road between Zalinge and Nyala last Thursday. The local authorities had blamed the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement and Sudan Liberation Army (SLM/SLA) for the abductions, he said. In the Djabel Moon and Masteri areas, near El Geneina, tensions were high and travel restrictions, lifted two weeks ago, have been re-instated. A few dozen people were reported to be leaving each night to join the refugees in Chad, but others were afraid of the dangers on the road, Mr. Redmond said. In Chad, meanwhile, "instigators" have been holding night meetings that led to unruly incidents by day, he said. Aid workers from two international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) left Breidjing Camp after some refugees brought out knives during a discussion of how to prevent the spread of hepatitis-E and demanded to know why eight of the people causing trouble had been arrested. "At the heart of the problem lies the fear among many refugees that the creation of associations to set up income-generating activities will 'normalize' their situation, give the impression that they are well implanted in Chad and hamper their chances of returning to their homes," Mr. Redmond said. Given this reluctance to create associations on the basis of working trades, no such groups were established, except for the water and sanitation committee, he said. UNHCR has received $83 million of the $114.8 million sought by the agency for refugees and IDPs in eastern Chad and Darfur through the end of the year.

UPI 3 Nov 2004 Sudan prayed for Bush victory By KHALED TIJANI KHARTOUM, Sudan, Nov 03, 2004 (UPI) -- Sudan's government was praying for the re-election of U.S. President George. W. Bush and the return of his Republican administration, dreading the idea of having to deal again with the Democrats. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who lived through four American administrations, two Republican and two Democrat, knows very well where his preference goes, since his experience with the Democratic administrations of former President Bill Clinton was not a happy one. Bashir who came to power in a coup d'etat in 1989 had to deal first with the administration of George Bush Sr. who then stopped humanitarian assistance to Sudan upon a congressional decision to ban dealings with military governments. But Bush Sr. refrained from treating Sudan harshly even when the latter sided with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein when his troops invaded neighboring Kuwait and were later evicted by a U.S.-led coalition. Bashir started to have serious troubles with Washington only when Clinton's Democrat administration arrived in the White House in 1993. A few months later, notably in August, Sudan was included in the U.S. list of seven rogue states which comprised Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Libya and Iraq. The gap with Washington further widened as a result of the civil war in southern Sudan which the United States tried to portray as a sectarian and ethnic struggle between the government-held Muslim Arab north and the rebel-held mainly Christian and Animist south. But a breaking point in Sudanese-U.S. relations occurred in 1995 when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak survived an assassination attempt in Addis Ababa for which Sudan was blamed. Clinton's administration was quick to use the incident for increasing pressures on Khartoum. The U.N. Security Council passed at U.S. behest a resolution providing for imposing sanctions on the Sudanese government unless it handed over the perpetrators of the aborted attempt against Mubarak. Khartoum, which denied any involvement in the attempt, could not escape the international sanctions under which it reeled for a long time. Washington took further escalatory moves when it closed its embassy in Khartoum and moved it to Nairobi citing security reasons. At this point, Khartoum became aware of the dangerous fallout of its enmity with Washington and started taking reconciliatory moves by reducing its support for anti-U.S. activists, including al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden whom it evicted after giving him shelter for several years. But Khartoum's overtures failed to convince Clinton's administration to cooperate with Bashir's government. In fact, Washington opted for the policy of containment and isolation against Sudan and at the same time increased its support to the Sudanese armed resistance seeking to oust Bahsir's regime. Washington also backed a three-way attack against Sudan in 1997 by Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda. In November 1997, Clinton's administration imposed economic sanctions on Sudan while the Sudanese government was holding peace negotiations with southern rebels led by John Garang's Sudan People's Liberation Army. But the confrontation reached its climax during Clinton's second mandate when U.S. warships in the Red Sea attacked with Cruz missiles al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in the heart of Khartoum in August 1998, under the pretext that it was owned by bin Laden and produced chemical weapons. The attack on Kartoum was also in retaliation to the twin bombing of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salam which occurred earlier in the same month. Until the end of his second mandate in 2000, Clinton not only remained adamantly opposed to any kind of rapprochement with Sudan, but spared no effort to further isolate the African-Arab country at both regional and international levels. Khartoum was relieved with the arrival of a new Republican administration to the White House led by President George W. Bush in 2001. Only a few weeks later, the Center of Political and Strategic Studies in Washington recommended a change in U.S. policy towards Sudan based on interaction rather than containment and isolation. Khartoum quickly responded to the new U.S. approach and intelligence cooperation started between the two sides in May 2001 under which Sudan provided Washington with important information on groups it accuses of terrorism. Cooperation was not limited to combating terrorism, as Washington revived its diplomatic presence in Khartoum and enrolled in international efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Sudanese civil war. Former Sen. John Davenforth was appointed by Bush as special peace envoy to Sudan. Within two years of Sudanese peace negotiations, U.S. sponsorship proved to be decisive in helping the two warring sides to reach a framework agreement for peace. A final peace accord is yet to be signed, tentatively by the end of December. Bush rewarded Sudan for its cooperation by approving the cancellation of U.N. sanctions imposed since 1996, though he maintained unilateral U.S. sanctions. But the Sudanese government was disappointed by Washington's reluctance to re-establish normal bilateral relations. Sudan was stunned later when Washington took a heavy-handed stance on crisis in Darfur in Western Sudan, where pro-government Arab militias are accused of committing ethnic genocide against African tribes. In fact, Sudan did not expect the tough U.S. position which linked improving relations to a quick settlement of the Darfur crisis and placed it once again under the threat of U.N. Security Council sanctions. A recent U.N. resolution threatened sanctions against Sudan if it failed to settle the Darfur crisis within a short deadline. Despite that, the ruling elite in Khartoum prefers a Republicans in the White House because it is seen as not as harsh as the Democrats.

AP 4 Nov 2004 War crimes on "large and systemic scale" in Darfur: Annan United Nations — Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Wednesday there are strong indications of war crimes "on a large and systematic scale" in Sudan's Darfur region, where the violence has now affected two million people. In a report to the UN Security Council, he said the Sudanese government has failed to bring the perpetrators of widespread killings, rapes, looting and village burnings to justice. Jan Pronk, the top UN envoy to Sudan who wrote the report, will present it to the council on Thursday. He will recommend that members take "prompt action" to get the government and rebels to comply with UN resolutions demanding an end to the violence, disarmament of combatants, and punishment of those responsible. Until the government starts taking more than "pinprick" action against the perpetrators, the report warned, no displaced person will dare return home and no group will agree to disarm. "Without an end to impunity . . . banditry goes from strength to strength, menacing the population and obstructing the delivery of aid to desperate people in isolated areas," it said. The violence in Darfur began in January 2003 when two black African rebel groups took up arms over alleged unjust treatment by the Sudanese government and ethnic Arab countrymen. Pro-government militias called Janjaweed reacted by unleashing attacks on villages. The conflict, which has killed at least 70,000 people, has created what UN officials say is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. Meanwhile, African Union mediators in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, appealed to Sudanese rebel and government delegations to sign a draft accord aimed at stopping ground and air attacks in Darfur. The head mediator, Chadian diplomat Allan-Mi Ahmed, said the current draft was the best the two sides could hope for at present. The two sides "are so far apart that we couldn't make any fresh proposals," he said, adding that mediators were afraid to tinker with the draft any more, in case "the whole edifice crumbles." Mr. Ahmed said he hoped the accord would be signed by week's end. Also Wednesday, the Sudan Liberation Army accused the Janjaweed of having torched at least five villages in southern Darfur, killing at least 150 people. Sudanese government officials denied any knowledge of the alleged attacks. Despite the charges, Justice and Equality Movement spokesman Ahmed Hussain Adam said he was confident an accord would be signed. "It will be good news for our people, even if it won't be perfect," he said. An international commission appointed by Mr. Annan began work on Oct. 25 and has three months to study human rights violations and determine whether or not a genocide occurred in Darfur. "There are strong indications that war crimes and crimes against humanity have occurred in Darfur on a large and systematic scale," the report said. "This has been confirmed by a number of senior UN human rights experts who have visited the region." There have been reports that armed men dug up a grave containing 40 bodies in Souba, North Darfur and have been seen working on another site in an apparent attempt to hide evidence of mass killings, it said. During October, security conditions in Darfur deteriorated, ceasefire violations increased on both sides, violence escalated and towards the end of the month, the threat of large scale attacks increased considerably, it said. The estimate of those affected by the conflict rose from 1.8 million on Sept. one to two million on Oct. 1, an upward trend expected to continue until year's end, he said. The increase stems mainly from the growing number of internally displaced people, now 1.6 million, reflecting "the severity of the protection and security situation in Darfur," Mr. Pronk said, adding that 400,000 more need humanitarian aid. Mr. Pronk said the two million figure is a 100 per cent increase in the number of people needing humanitarian assistance since April. Donors have funded 75 per cent of the money needed for Darfur this year — $397-million (U.S.) of $534-million. He appealed for the rest. The Security Council will be holding a rare meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, where talks to end the civil war are taking place, on Nov. 18-19. U.S. Ambassador John Danforth, the Security Council president, said Wednesday the council trip's aim is to show the Sudanese what the country would look life if there were peace — including international guarantees of a peace agreement, international monitoring to development assistance. But he warned that this "carrot" — the offer of international help — won't "be there forever" and "if we are pushed away by either side" then the international community will turn to other pressing global issues.

washingtonpost.com 4 Nov 2004 Sudanese Troops Attack and Destroy Camp in Darfur Refugees Fear Relocation Campaign By Emily Wax Washington Post Foreign Service Thursday, November 4, 2004; Page A06 AL-JEER SUREAF, Sudan, Nov. 3 -- Gripping a pair of pliers, a doctor pried a bullet from Amina Kharim's swollen and bleeding left arm. Eight hours earlier, at dawn Tuesday, she had been asleep in a shelter of grass and sticks when government soldiers and police stormed into this camp of 5,000 in South Darfur. Residents and relief workers said the troops burned shelters, smashed water pipes, fired tear gas and beat people as they fled half-asleep from their huts. Within five hours, they said, the camp was reduced to ashes and about 100 residents were crammed into the makeshift clinic, seeking first aid for gunshot wounds, burns and bruises. "I saw the military coming and heard some shots. Then I felt pain and saw my arm bleeding. Now, my heart is burning with anger," said Kharim, 26, gripping her arm to steady it while the doctor worked in the shade of the mud-and-straw clinic. "There was a lot of blood, and then they started burning my hut. The world is not doing enough to protect us. We are so tired. Can someone please come help us?" With violence still raging in Darfur's 20-month conflict between African rebels and pro-government forces, aid workers and camp residents said they feared Tuesday's pre-dawn assault was the beginning of a campaign to force displaced people back to villages where they could be vulnerable to further attack by Arab militias known as the Janjaweed. Within a few hours of the attack, camp residents said, 250 families were placed in government trucks and moved under armed guard to an area 25 miles south. And at a nearby camp, Otash, officials removed an unknown number of residents and blocked access to aid workers. "This was not supposed to have happened. This is forced relocation," complained Brig. Gen. Festus Okonkwo, a Nigerian officer from the African Union mission in Darfur. Okonkwo's team of 19 civilian monitors and 56 protective troops is based just eight miles from here, but he said news of the attack took him completely by surprise. "They tried to remove them and they didn't want to go, so still they bulldoze the houses. No one was aware this was happening," he said. At the United Nations, Jan Pronk, the U.N. envoy to Sudan, said there were "strong indications that war crimes and crimes against humanity have occurred in Darfur on a large and systematic scale," according to the Associated Press." In a report to the U.N. Security Council, he accused Sudan's government of failing to "end impunity" and bring to justice the perpetrators of widespread killings, rapes, looting and village burnings. In Washington, the State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the Bush administration "stands with the international community in holding the government of the Sudan responsible for the violations and requests immediate return" of the camp residents who were moved Tuesday. Local officials defended the assault on al-Jeer Sureaf, saying they had been asked by the Sudanese government to remove people from the camps who had been stealing food from nearby communities. Some relief workers acknowledged that outsiders had been entering the camps to receive food and medical aid intended for residents displaced by war. "The African leaders asked us to remove these people," said Mohammed Abdel Osman, an assistant to the governor of South Darfur in the nearby city of Nyala. "We did that service for them." But officials in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, said they knew nothing about the incident and were investigating it. Aid officials said they were puzzled by the officials' explanation, because the pre-dawn attack appeared aimed not at outside visitors but at the huts of camp residents who have fled war in other parts of Darfur. Some of those whose huts were torched Tuesday said they had escaped from villages that were attacked and burned by the Janjaweed. As security conditions worsened, the United Nations halted food delivery operations in parts of South Darfur on Tuesday, cutting off aid to about 160,000 refugees in western Darfur. The United Nations also airlifted 88 aid workers out of South Darfur on Monday as a safety precaution. "The space that we have for humanitarian activity is shrinking. It's a general trend downward, and it's very disturbing," said Barry Came, a spokesman for the World Food Program, a U.N. agency. "The security situation just continues to deteriorate." The residents of al-Jeer Sureaf are among about 1.5 million Africans who live in squalid tent cities across Darfur after being driven from their farms by the fighting, which broke out in February 2003 when African tribes rebelled against the Arab-led government. In retaliation, the United Nations says, the government has bombed villages and armed the Janjaweed militias. Tens of thousands of people have died from hunger, disease and violence; the Bush administration has described the crisis as genocide. Worries over security have increased significantly since last month, when two aid workers from Save the Children were killed by a land mine. U.N. officials have blamed one of several African rebel groups for the attack. Tensions also increased when African Union monitors reported that 18 Sudanese of Arab origin were taken hostage while traveling on a bus last week. Rebel groups deny setting the mines; they have also accused the Janjaweed of forcing 30 ethnic Africans from a bus on Sunday and shooting them. The African Union said it was investigating. Pronk, of the United Nations, blamed rebels for stepping up attacks, harassing aid workers and stealing food from convoys. Some refugees said they believed the government assault here might be retaliation for stepped-up rebel actions. "The incident of the mine is a very big concern. People who lay mines are cowards," Pronk said. "This kind of behavior has to stop because insecurity and violence [are] escalating. We are in a dilemma of increasing difficulties on the ground, increasing fighting, increasing number of people fleeing. But it's more difficult to help them because of the violence." As camp residents here tended to their wounds and salvaged their belongings from smoldering huts, they described the ordeal that began at 3 a.m. when the troops entered their sleeping settlement. A midwife at the clinic said she had tied the beds of the maternity ward together and armed herself with knife. Lying on a metal cot with several broken ribs, Taja Ibrahim, 28, writhed in pain and took gulps of air, her whole body heaving as she struggled to breathe. She said that the government troops had beaten her with sticks and guns but that she was too afraid of the Janjaweed to return home. Nearby, Halima Hassan Adam, 21, cradled her newborn baby in her arms as she sat disconsolately outside their former home, now just a pile of singed straw. Her 3-year-old son's eyes still stung from the tear gas. The young mother bent down and searched the ground, hoping to save a few beans that had been crushed in the attack. "I delivered my baby here 22 days ago," she said. "This was the only home we had. Now since yesterday, we have had no food or water. I am so scared. I am just holding my children tight and praying." In the scorched camp, lizards scurried over charred blankets and donkeys nosed through the remains of shelters. But by dusk, women were starting to rebuild their homes, knotting vines of grass to long tree branches to make circular shelters. Meanwhile, aid workers filtered back into the community, surveying the ruins with horror. "It makes you so angry you want to cry," said one worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It's like the government wants to get rid of people in the town and send them to the desert where they are closer to death." Staff writer Colum Lynch at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Reuters 5 Nov 2004 Khartoum refuses to sign Darfur deal By Dino Mahtani ABUJA (Reuters) - Sudan's government has refused to sign a security deal with rebels designed to end violence in the western Darfur region, saying the document drafted by African Union mediators is too one sided. But the mediators said the talks in Nigeria's capital Abuja were set to resume at 2 p.m. on Friday and that they hoped for agreement by the weekend. Rebels said they were willing to sign the plan. The slow-moving talks on ending the Darfur conflict, which the United Nations says has triggered the world's worst humanitarian crisis, have been plagued by accusations of ceasefire violations between the two sides. A revolt began in the arid Darfur region in February 2003 after years of low-level fighting between mainly African farmers and Arab nomads over scarce resources. The rebels accuse Khartoum of neglecting Darfur and using so-called Janjaweed Arab militias to loot and burn African villages. Khartoum denies the charges. There are no reliable estimates of how many have been killed in the violence, which the United States has called genocide. More than 1.5 million people have been driven from their homes. The U.N. has said 70,000 people have died from disease and malnutrition since March, a figure disputed by Khartoum. "BEST POSSIBLE COMPROMISE" The African Union mediators have called the security plan the "best possible compromise" in the latest round of talks that have now gone on for nearly two weeks. It calls for a military no-fly zone over Darfur and the disarmament of the pro-Khartoum Arab militias. The plan does not contain Khartoum's demand that the rebels must move their forces into barracks. Instead it asks the rebels to hand over information on the whereabouts of their forces. "This is not a final document, as a final document is prepared by both sides," Sudanese government delegation leader Majzoub al-Khalifa said after the talks were adjourned shortly after midnight. "The no-fly zone is unacceptable to us (and) there is no mention of the assembling of the (rebel) forces," he said. Rebel leaders say they are still unwilling to sign a humanitarian deal forged in a previous round of talks unless the government ends "hostile military flights", which they say are bombing villages in the region, and disarms the Arab militias. The U.N. envoy for Darfur, Jan Pronk, said the region could fall into anarchy unless the Security Council took bold action and thousands of African Union peacekeeping troops arrived quickly. "Darfur may easily enter a state of anarchy -- a total collapse of law and order," Pronk told the Security Council. Previous Security Council resolutions have threatened sanctions, including possible measures targeting Sudan's oil exports, if the government failed to meet commitments to end attacks on civilians and rein in the Arab militias.

Agence France-Presse 5 Nov 2004 Darfur rebels kill mayor, kidnap 10 children: Khartoum KHARTOUM, Nov 5 (AFP) - Darfur rebels killed a mayor, abducted 10 children and injured four policemen, in fresh unrest in the troubled western region of Sudan, news reports and police said Friday. Haj Aseel Yassin, mayor of a town some 30 kilometers (18 miles) from El-Feshir, the capital of North Darfur state, was shot dead in a rebel raid on his house early Thursday, Akhbar Al-Youm daily said, quoting witnesses. Akhbar Al-Youm said Yassin's wife was injured in the attack, while locals said the mayor may have been targeted due to his stance against the rebels. Local authorities have reported the incident to the African Union ceasefire commission charged with monitoring a fragile truce between government forces and the two main rebel groups in Darfur, it said. Rebels of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) are locked in a 21-month conflict with the government, which they accuse of marginalizing their region. Tens of thousands of people have died, some 1.4 million displaced from their homes and a further 200,000 forced into refuge in neighboring Chad, creating what the United Nations says is the world's worst ongoing humanitarian crisis. In a separate incident in the same region, rebels raided a Khalwa, an institution where pupils learn to recite the Koran holy book, and abducted 10 children, according to the government-affiliated Sudanese Media Center. Meanwhile, rebels ambushed policemen traveling between the Zamzam and Ndjamena camps for internally displaced persons outside Al-Feshir, police said. Four policemen were wounded in the ensuing gunfight.

washingtonpost.com 7 Nov 2004 Editorial Darfur Slides Page B06 AT DAWN ON Tuesday, a few hours before Americans began voting, Sudanese police and soldiers arrived at a camp for displaced people in South Darfur. They set fire to huts, beat people with truncheons and shot an unknown number; then, as The Post's Emily Wax reported, they loaded 250 families into trucks and drove them away. They did all this, moreover, at a camp just eight miles from a contingent of Nigerian cease-fire monitors, whose job is supposedly to deter such war crimes. Meanwhile the United States is leading an international response to Darfur's crisis. Its principal goal is to deploy more African Union monitors of the sort that failed Tuesday. For a while over the summer, the world's response to Darfur seemed to be gathering momentum. A series of high-level visits to the region, including stops by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, put pressure on Sudan's government to stop murdering civilians; the U.N. Security Council passed two resolutions condemning the abuses; Congress and then the Bush administration determined that the systematic killing of ethnic Africans met the definition of genocide. Sudan's government responded by allowing relief workers to bring food and medicine to displaced people and by agreeing to the presence of African Union troops. All this progress was unforgivably slow, and tens of thousands of people died waiting for it. But it was still progress. Now the momentum has fizzled. Preparations for an African Union force continue, but the violence in Darfur has flared to the point that it's not clear what 3,500 outsiders can accomplish in an area the size of France. Tuesday's attack on civilians was just one of many, and anti-government rebel groups are growing more violent and numerous. From Bosnia to Sierra Leone, the world has a painful history of putting peacekeepers into situations where there is no peace to be kept. Darfur may be one more. The world faces a choice now, and its nature must not be obscured by more weeks of U.N.-speak about being preoccupied with the problem. Having recognized weeks ago that the killings in Darfur represent genocide and having correctly projected that the death toll will amount to at least 300,000, the Bush administration and its allies must decide how much they care. They can choose to think beyond their flimsy African Union deployment. Or they can choose to accept genocide.

Reuters 8 Nov 2004 U.N. team in Sudan to investigate genocide reports EL FASHER, Sudan, Nov 8 (Reuters) - A U.N. team has arrived in Sudan to investigate whether genocide has occurred in the country's Darfur region where more than 1.5 million people have been made homeless by conflict, a U.N. spokesman said on Monday. The United States has accused the Sudanese government and Arab Janjaweed militias, which Washington says Khartoum backs, of genocide in the arid area where conflict broke out in 2003 after years of clashes between African farmers and Arab nomads. Khartoum dismisses the charge of genocide and describes the Janjaweed as outlaws. George Somerwill, a U.N. spokesman in Sudan, told Reuters the international commission of inquiry arrived late on Sunday and would travel to Darfur in the west of Sudan on Wednesday. He said they were due to return to the capital Khartoum on Nov. 20. "It is to begin its investigation of reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Darfur by all parties, including to determine whether or not acts of genocide have occurred and to identify the perpetrators of such violations," he said of the team's mandate. Somerwill did not give details of the make-up of the team. In October U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan named a five-member panel led by Italian judge Antonio Cassese to investigate whether genocide has taken place in Darfur. The panel was created at the request of the U.N. Security Council. Cassese was the first president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, a court based in The Hague that is looking into suspected war crimes in the Balkans including during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war. Darfur rebels launched their revolt against the government in February 2003, accusing Khartoum of neglecting their region. They also accuse Khartoum of arming the Janjaweed to loot and burn African villages and kill the inhabitants. Two U.N. human rights watchdogs told the U.N. Security Council in September that war crimes had probably occurred on a "large and systematic scale" in Darfur. There are no reliable figures for how many people have died as a direct result of the fighting, but the United Nations said last month that 70,000 people have died from disease and malnutrition since March. The United Nations has said the conflict has created the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

AFP 9 Nov 2004 UN begins Darfur genocide probe amid charges of tampering KHARTOUM : A UN team began work investigating allegations of genocide against the Sudanese government as ethnic minority rebels accused the army and its militia allies of destroying the evidence of mass graves in Darfur. The five-member panel, which arrived here Sunday evening, held separate meetings with Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail and Justice Minister Ali Mohamed Yassin. Ismail said he had promised his government's full cooperation with the team set up by UN chief Kofi Annan to investigate charges that Khartoum's bloody 21-month-old clampdown against the Darfur rebels amounts to genocide. "The commission is supposed to be a neutral body and will therefore be offered an opportunity to obtain all the information it needs to make its decision," he said. "The government welcomes the commission because it has nothing to hide and, instead, concedes that there is a problem in Darfur and, if it is offered a chance, any unbiased body can reach the truth, a matter which will help refute the tremendous allegations about Darfur." But as the team began work, one of the two Darfur rebel factions accused Khartoum-sponsored Arab militias of destroying the evidence of their abuses in the restive western region where the United Nations says some 50,000 people have died and 1.4 million more been driven from their homes. Sudan Liberation Movement spokesman Mahmud Hussein said militiamen had been seen emptying a mass grave in Kabkabiya, west of the North Darfur state capital of El-Fasher. "They were removing corpses," he told AFP by telephone from the Nigerian capital Abuja. "It's a plan to obliterate the truth." The German and US governments have both backed accusations by human rights watchdogs that the scorched earth policy adopted against minority villagers suspected of supporting the Darfur rebels amounts to genocide by the Arab-dominated regime in Khartoum. The UN team is headed by Antonio Cassesse of Italy. Its other members are Mohamed Fayek of Egypt, Diego Garcia-Sayan of Peru, Hina Gilani of Pakistan and Therese Striggner-Scott of Ghana.

Yemen Times, Yemen 9 Nov 2004 State sovereignty needs limits Getting away with murder in Darfur By Richard N. Haass Darfur is shorthand for the latest example of a recurring international problem, one that gained headlines a decade ago in Rwanda. What should the world do when a large number of people are the victims of violence originating from within their own country? Darfur itself is a region of Western Sudan comprised of Arab and African Muslims. Conflict erupted in early 2003 when rebels of the Sudan Liberation Movement attacked government troops in an effort to gain greater autonomy and resources for their region. Sudan government aircraft and government-supported troops (known as jangaweed) retaliated against not only armed rebels but also against civilians deemed to be supporting them. Villages have been emptied, women raped, non-Arab men killed. The origins of the current crisis may be in some dispute, but the costs are not. More than 50,000 men, women and children have lost their lives; more than 1.5 million have been made homeless. This is arguably genocide, a word used by the U.S. government but by few others to describe what is going on in Darfur. Meanwhile, world leaders are debating what if anything should be done. UN Security Council Resolution 1564, passed on 18 September 2004, reserves the bulk of its criticism for the government of Sudan. But the UN is not yet prepared to go beyond words. The resolution threatens that the Security Council will consider imposing sanctions against Sudanese leaders or against the country’s important oil sector, but introduces no penalties at this time. Why the hesitation? More than anything else it stems from international reluctance to challenge any government over what it is doing within its own territory. This reflects a widely-held view of sovereignty, one that allows governments to do essentially what they want within their own borders. Such thinking is inadequate and outmoded. To begin with, there is a moral element. There is something wrong in looking the other way when one’s fellow human being is being slaughtered. We all have some basic obligation to one another. There are as well pragmatic considerations. In a global world, what happens within one country can all too easily affect others. For example, refugees leaving Sudan can strain the stability of neighboring Chad. Opposition to genocide and other large-scale acts of violence against a population also reflects the established principle that citizens as well as governments have rights. This principle is enshrined in various international documents, beginning with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Governments ought not to be allowed to massacre their own people. And weak governments should not be allowed to permit massacres to take place on their own territory even if they are not themselves carrying out the massacre. What all this adds up to is a requirement for a concept of state sovereignty that is less than absolute. To be precise, we need to embrace a contractual approach to sovereignty, one that recognizes the obligations and responsibilities as well as the rights of those who enjoy it. Such an approach to sovereignty would essentially communicate to governments and their leaders that the rights and protections they associate with statehood are in fact conditional, and that governments and leaders would forfeit some or, in extreme cases, all of these rights and protections if they failed to meet their obligations. This idea will only have an impact if the international community is prepared to go beyond voicing this principle and accept the necessary consequence: that other states and the world at large have a right and a duty to act to protect innocent life when it is jeopardized on a large scale. Some movement in just this direction was suggested by widespread international support for the humanitarian interventions in Bosnia, Kosovo, and East Timor. Another sign of change is the basic document (“Constitutive Act”) of the African Union, the regional organization launched in July 2000 to replace the ineffective Organization of African Unity. After citing the principle of non-interference by one member state in the internal affairs of another, the document goes on to declare “the right of the Union to intervene in a member state pursuant to a decision of the assembly in respect of grave circumstances, namely war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.” Intervention in such circumstances can take any number of forms, from public rhetoric and private diplomacy to economic and political sanctions to armed intervention. All of which brings us back to Darfur. What needs doing? There is a need for massive assistance to the displaced people of Darfur. Those who have survived conflict require help if they are not to succumb to disease and starvation. There is also every reason to renew diplomatic efforts to bring about a lasting cease-fire and, following that, a settlement that addresses the grievances that helped bring about this crisis in the first place. Two other points require highlighting, though. First, and consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 1564, countries should provide the African Union with the logistical, material, and financial help it has asked for. With such support, AU-authorized troops could guard the refugee camps and, over time, protect villages so that men, women and children could return home in safety. Second, the UN ought to make good on its threat and impose sanctions against the Sudanese government unless it stops using its aircraft to destroy villages and unless it stops supporting the jangaweed. Criminal indictments for war crimes ought to be issued against specific officials who do not comply. It is important that the world act, not simply to save the people of Darfur, but to prevent future Darfurs. A great deal of innocent human life depends on it. Richard N. Haass, a former Director of Policy Planning in the US State Department, is President of The Council on Foreign Relations.

washingtonpost.com 11 Nov 2004 After Accord, Sudan Camp Raided Shelters Reportedly Destroyed and Residents Beaten By Emily Wax Washington Post Foreign Service Thursday, November 11, 2004; Page A01 OLD AL-JEER SUREAF, Sudan, Nov. 10 -- Just hours after the government agreed to a peace deal Tuesday aimed at ending violence in Darfur, Sudanese police arrived at this battered camp in the middle of the night, beating residents with wooden poles, bulldozing and burning shelters and firing tear gas into a health clinic, residents and aid workers reported. The assault capped a series of often violent government raids over the past week, aimed at relocating residents to new camps. It also came despite international condemnation of the raids and requests from the United Nations and the Bush administration that displaced families not be forcibly moved to new locations. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Wednesday in Washington that he had spoken with Sudan's vice president over the weekend and "specifically said that this kind of behavior was unacceptable, we couldn't understand it and it was not helping us reach a solution." The U.N. Security Council is due to hold a meeting in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, next week to discuss the crisis in Sudan, where tens of thousands have died and about 1.5 million people have been displaced during 20 months of fighting between African rebels and government troops and their Arab militia allies. The panel could impose sanctions on the Khartoum government if it finds that serious abuses of civilians have taken place. A U.N. report last week said there was evidence of war crimes and mass abuses by all parties to the conflict. By midmorning Wednesday, the charred, tattered remains of burned huts at Old al-Jeer Sureaf dotted the once-crammed tent city of about 5,000 people. Fifteen people had been seriously injured, 10 community leaders were under arrest and several mothers said they had lost their children in the chaos. One local sheik, Taher Hasaballeh, was beaten by 10 police officers and taken to jail, witnesses said. He had refused to leave the camp on Saturday and led a community sit-in at a straw-roofed mosque. Jan Pronk, the U.N. envoy to Sudan, visited the half-destroyed camp Wednesday afternoon, wading through a jumble of singed blankets, jerrycans, bowls and plastic sandals. Sudan's foreign minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, and other officials from Khartoum accompanied him. Pronk made no public comment during his visit. The group toured the health clinic, speaking to women who said they had been raped during the raids and inspecting burn marks on the building from tear gas canisters. One Sudanese official expressed frank skepticism about the accounts of rape, calling the women "very good actresses." Afterward, Pronk and the officials attended a tense meeting with humanitarian workers in the area. Government representatives said that the land was private property and that residents were being moved to a better location. Last week, officials said the camp was being cleared because people were posing as refugees so they could collect food and blankets. "They have been taken to a better place," said Ahmed Ali Abdallah, a government employee who runs a new camp 17 miles south of the old camp. "The conditions of life were not suitable for them." The violence began Nov. 1 when camp residents were told to move to the new al-Jeer Sureaf location but refused to go. Government police and soldiers swept through the old camp twice last week, on Tuesday and Saturday, burning huts and swinging sticks, residents said. Several hundred families were forcibly relocated, and some aid workers and U.N. officials said they believed the government was moving camp occupants in an effort to root out rebel forces. At the new camp, large white tents donated by the Saudi Red Crescent Society have been set up in neat rows. But the camp is isolated in an area surrounded by sorghum fields where pro-government militiamen known as the Janjaweed reportedly have set up a base. "We were so afraid of being moved there. I have been beaten twice for refusing to leave," Zenab Abdulla Rahaman, 26, said as she sat staring numbly at the floor inside the clinic run by the International Medical Corps, an American aid group. Rahaman said that she was beaten by police during the two previous raids and that early Wednesday she was sleeping in the camp mosque with nearly a hundred other people when she was dragged away by a police officer and raped in a nearby field. A nurse at the clinic taped bandages over cuts around her thighs. A stream of other patients arrived to seek treatment for spinal injuries, cuts and bruises from beatings. Several mothers said their children had become lost in the violence and confusion. One woman, Khadija Dahiwa Tagal, said two of her six children had run away to hide and had not returned. Witnesses said the police arrived about midnight but caused little trouble until dawn, when they started moving aggressively through the camp. Some residents said the police were accompanied by Janjaweed militiamen, but it was not clear what role, if any, the fighters played in the events. On Wednesday morning, aid workers entered the camp in U.N. trucks and kept vigil all day, saying they were there to ensure that more residents would not be attacked. One nurse said she would sleep in the clinic overnight. All day, groups of police roamed the fields and gathered inside the mosque. They also kept guard over the water supply in case residents tried to rebuild their shelters. Some gestured angrily with their sticks at stragglers who tried to salvage belongings from their crushed shelters. The residents of al-Jeer Sureaf are among about 1.5 million Africans who live in squalid tent cities across Darfur after being driven from their farms by the fighting, which broke out in February 2003 when African tribes rebelled against the Arab-led government. In retaliation, the United Nations has said, the government has bombed villages and armed the Janjaweed militias, while tens of thousands of people have died from hunger, disease and violence; the Bush administration has described the crisis as genocide. Staff writer Glenn Kessler in Washington contributed to this report.

washingtonpost.com 15 Nov 2004 U.S. Urges Aid to Spur Peace in Sudan By Colum Lynch Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, November 15, 2004; Page A21 UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 14 -- The Bush administration is pressing the United Nations to reward Sudan with a major package of international debt relief and reconstruction funds if the Islamic state signs a peace deal ending a brutal, 20-year civil war with the Christian-backed Sudan People's Liberation Army in southern Sudan by the end of the year. Sudan has not complied with Security Council demands over three months to disarm, arrest and prosecute Arab militia responsible for the mass murder of black Africans in the eastern province of Darfur, according to U.S. and U.N. officials. The United States has described the campaign as genocide. The offer of financial aid marks a strategy shift by the United States, which had sought international support for two U.N. resolutions threatening to sanction Sudan if it failed to crack down on the militia, known as the Janjaweed. John C. Danforth, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said that although the threat of sanctions stands, a Security Council meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday and Friday will focus more on the "carrot" than the "stick." The United States changed course on Sudan after facing stiff opposition to sanctions, including a Chinese threat to block the United States from adopting a U.N. resolution punishing Khartoum over Darfur, according to a senior U.S. official involved in the discussions. "Are we leaning on a rubber stick? Sure," Danforth acknowledged in an interview. "It would clearly be extremely difficult to get a resolution that actually imposes sanctions in the Security Council adopted. We're doing the best we can with that particular tool." Danforth is calculating that ending Africa's longest-running war would lead to peace in Darfur, where Sudanese-backed militia have killed tens of thousands of people and driven more than 1.8 million from their homes. In the meantime, Danforth said, a force of 3,300 African peacekeepers being deployed in Darfur offers the best hope for stemming the violence. Danforth is pressing the 15-nation council to adopt a resolution in Nairobi that urges international financial agencies, including the World Bank, to devise a plan to grant debt relief, reconstruction aid and development assistance to Sudan if an agreement is signed. One council diplomat said the relief package could amount to more than $100 million. "We are absolutely not letting up one iota on the pressure with respect to Darfur," Danforth said. "But it is widely recognized that the future of Darfur is also connected to the overall peace process, which would provide the basis for a political settlement for the entire country, including Darfur." The toughest critics of the United States in the council, including Algeria, China and Pakistan, have welcomed the new American approach. "We believe that this is the right path," said Abdallah Baali, Algeria's U.N. ambassador. "What we should try to do in Nairobi is, by our presence, to encourage them to come up with an agreement hopefully before the end of the year." The diplomatic shift comes as Sudan launched a series of violent raids on camps for displaced Darfurians, part of a campaign to forcibly relocate thousands of distressed civilians. Jan Pronk, the U.N.'s envoy to Sudan, said in a recent interview that armed forces linked to the Sudanese government have been unearthing mass-grave sites to cover up evidence of war crimes. Pronk has expressed alarm that renewed fighting between Sudanese forces and the rebel Sudan Liberation Army threatens to plunge Darfur into anarchy. He told the council on Nov. 5 that rebel Arab militia are undertaking a recruitment drive in preparation for a new offensive. He also faulted the rebels for stepping up attacks in a bid to claim more territory. The violence in Darfur began in February 2003, when the rebel Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement took up arms against the government, citing discrimination against the region's black tribes. The Sudanese government responded by recruiting, equipping and training Arab militias and sponsoring reprisal raids against the rebels and their supporters. Last week, Sudan agreed in talks in Abuja, Nigeria, to halt military flights over Darfur and to increase access for humanitarian relief workers. But hours later, it launched a fresh raid on a camp for displaced civilians, beating residents and burning their shelters. Critics voiced concern that Sudan's government may be holding out the prospect of a peace deal as a way to distract international attention from atrocities in Darfur. John Prendergast, a Washington-based expert on Sudan at the International Crisis Group, said U.S. policymakers failed to expend sufficient political capital to halt the violence in Darfur a year ago because they feared it would undercut their efforts to promote peace between Khartoum and the country's Christian-backed rebels. "This is an eerie repetition of the mistakes that were made late last year, when President Bush sent Danforth to Khartoum as special envoy to offer [Sudanese President Omar Hassan] Bashir the carrot of coming to the State of the Union address if he would only sign on the dotted line," he said. "If we take our eye off a deteriorating situation in Darfur, we will be reinforcing this same policy mistake of thinking that we can incentivize the path to peace. That is exactly the wrong message to send to Khartoum."

BBC 14 Nov 2004 Janjaweed 'leader' denies genocide The rebels started the war - Musa Hilal A man suspected of ordering atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan has claimed that accusations of genocide have been "exaggerated". Musa Hilal, who is suspected by the US state department of being a leader of the Arab Janjaweed militia, also told the BBC's Panorama programme that deaths in the region were simply 'repercussions' of war. Mr Hilal, a tribal leader from northern Darfur who lives in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, is thought to be running one of 16 known Janjaweed bases. However, when confronted by the BBC, he said he was simply a mayoral figure with no links with the military Answering claims of genocide against the black Africans in the region, he accused the media and the west of making the situation seem worse. Agenda The rebels started this war - they started destroying our villages first Musa Hilal Suspected Janjaweed leader "Where are the graves and the bodies?," he said. "Yes there is death in this war. It is not as they exaggerate." The Sudanese foreign minister Dr Mustafa Osman Ismail, went further, he said: "Our position is clear, that what has been going on is not a genocide, this is an American attempt to use a humanitarian situation for a political agenda." The United States has gone as far as saying that the situation in Sudan is genocide. It is estimated that tens of thousands of people have been killed in Darfur in the past two years. The vast majority are black Africans. Summary executions of African men in groups of 60 to 70, rape and the looting and burning of villages have all been documented. But 43-year-old Mr Hilal also told Panorama that the blame for any deaths in Darfur should be laid at the feet of the Sudan Liberation Army, whom he accused of starting the conflict. Unmarked uniforms Mr Hilal, said: "My words are very clear in this regard. The war has its repercussions. "The rebels started this war. They started burning and destroying many of the villages. They started destroying our villages first." Panorama has also spoken to members of the Janjaweed in northern Darfur. They also appear to substantiate the often denied claim that Arab soldiers - who are accused of rape and murder in Darfur - are armed by the Sudanese government. Panorama spoke to one commander in the Janjaweed heartland of Mustariha. He was in charge of a group of heavily armed men wearing unmarked government uniforms. Burning villages He (Musa Hilal) saw that his soldiers were looting and burning villages. He never questioned them. Anonymous Janjaweed recruit The man - Abdel Wahed - denied he was Janjaweed. He claimed that he was in the Sudanese army but confirmed that he was armed by the government. However the base in Mustariha is well known to the African Union soldiers in the area as being a Janjaweed camp. A former Janjaweed recruit - who spoke to the programme anonymously - also confirmed that Musa Hilal was in charge of the Janjaweed in Mustariha. The recruit was called up to join the Janjaweed in 2003. He says he was offered £60 a month and a gun. Dismissed He claimed that Abdel Wahed ran the base for Musa Hilal. He also claimed he had been told to burn rebel villages to the ground. "They said that if you come across any villages with rebels in burn them down. Straight away." And he confirmed that Musa Hilal knew exactly what his men were doing, adding: "He knew everything his soldiers had done. He saw it with his own eyes. "He saw that his soldiers were looting and burning villages. He never questioned them." But the Sudanese foreign minister again dismissed suggestions that there was a link between the government and Arab groups in the region. When asked about the link, Dr Ismail simply said: "You have no credible evidence." Panorama: The new killing fields will be broadcast at 22:15GMT on Sunday, November 14 on BBC One

Human Rights Watch 15 Nov 2004 "If we return, we will be killed" - Consolidation of ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Sudan Summary Since February 2003, in the context of a military counter-insurgency campaign against two rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Sudanese government forces and government-backed ethnic militias known as "Janjaweed" have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and "ethnic cleansing" in the Darfur region of Sudan. Government forces and militias have systematically targeted civilian communities that share the same ethnicity as the rebel groups, killing, looting, raping, forcibly displacing and destroying hundreds of villages. For their part, the rebel groups have abducted civilians, attacked police stations and other government institutions, and raided and looted substantial numbers of livestock and commercial goods from trucks and vehicles traveling on roads in Darfur. The rebels have also been responsible for some direct and indiscriminate attacks that have resulted in deaths and injuries to civilians and for the use of child soldiers. To date, all parties continue to violate the April 8, 2004 humanitarian ceasefire agreement. The government in particular has continued to use helicopter gunships in bombing attacks on civilian objects. Fighting and displacement continue, particularly in South Darfur. The large-scale ground and air attacks on civilian villages by Sudan government forces and militias that marked the early phases of the conflict have diminished. It does not mean that security and protection for civilians has improved-it is a sign that ethnic cleansing has largely been completed in Darfur. Protection for the civilian population in rural areas and outside the displaced camps remains almost non-existent due to the continuing presence of the government-backed Janjaweed militias. Many people who try to return to their homes have been attacked again, often several times, by these militias who continue to operate with full impunity in spite of government pledges to bring to justice all those responsible for atrocities. The increased police presence has not resulted in an increase in civilian protection. The police are too poorly armed, trained, and equipped to defend from Janjaweed or other military attacks, too few to protect farmlands or more than isolated clusters of homes, and in some cases are hostile to returnees. Neither the government nor the international community has an adequate plan to reverse the ethnic cleansing or to assist those few who have voluntarily returned home. Unless and until displaced persons can voluntarily return in safety to their farms and plant crops, particularly by spring 2005, the economy of Darfur and the region will continue in a downward spiral. This could result in food shortages on a much greater scale than yet seen in Darfur, and international agencies are already forecasting greatly increased need for food in 2005. The United Nations Security Council has passed two resolutions on Darfur, threatening sanctions against Sudan's government if it does not disarm and prosecute the militias and others responsible for abuses in Darfur. But these resolutions have had little effect in either restraining the Sudanese government, its allied militias or in improving security and protection for civilians. Unless the Security Council backs up its ultimatums with meaningful and strong action, abuses against civilians will continue and ethnic cleansing in Darfur will be consolidated in full view of the international community, and with hundreds of U.N. and other international personnel present on the ground while it happens. A key element to reversing ethnic cleansing is removing the threat of violence posed to internally displaced persons by the Janjaweed militias. The Sudanese government itself has demonstrated that it is unwilling or unable to control the militias, maintain law and order, and protect civilians. The increased African Union mission, even with the agreed-upon additional troops and slightly more robust mandate to protect civilians under "imminent threat." cannot by itself do all that is necessary to create the conditions for voluntary safe return and reversal of ethnic cleansing. It must have a clear mandate, under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter and the African Union Charter, to protect civilians; the United Nations must take the lead in developing and implementing a suitable plan to ensure return and reverse the ethnic cleansing in Darfur. Another key step is prosecution of Sudanese government military and civilian leaders and Janjaweed leaders alleged to be involved in the commission of war crimes and other criminal acts. It is unlikely the Sudanese government will prosecute Janjaweed or government leaders---the Janjaweed represent the only political allies the government has in Darfur, and prosecuting them would raise the possibility that they would provide evidence against higher-level government officials responsible for atrocities. Government efforts to end impunity, such as the creation of a committee to address rape, have been wholly inadequate. The international commission of inquiry established by Security Council Resolution 1564 is a belated but welcome step. However, a Security Council referral of Darfur to the International Criminal Court will be essential to ensure prosecution of those top-level officials responsible for atrocities. This report documents and analyzes the continuing violence by all parties to the conflict, obstacles to return and to the reversal of ethnic cleansing, the government's efforts to end impunity and the international community's response so far to the ongoing human rights crisis in Darfur. This report is based on two Human Rights Watch research missions: one to North Darfur in July-August 2004, and another to Khartoum and Darfur in September-October 2004. In some cases, the precise locations of incidents and other identifying details have been withheld to protect the security of the victims and witnesses.

BBC 15 Nov 2004 Darfur attacks fuel genocide fear By Hilary Andersson BBC Africa correspondent Janjaweed have been accused of torching villages The BBC's Panorama programme has revealed new evidence of mass ethnic killings and rape in Darfur, adding to fears of genocide in the region. In one town the BBC team visited, at least 80 children had been killed as well as many adults. Janjaweed militias and government troops attacked Kidinyir throughout the past year, killing huge numbers. It is now estimated that more than 70,000 people have died in Darfur and massacres are still going on. Mass graves In the remote reaches of Darfur, the town of Kidinyir has been utterly devastated. DARFUR VIOLENCE An Arab looking man, in a uniform with military insignia, stopped his car next to me. He grabbed my son from me and threw him into a fire. Kalima, Kidinyir villager Rape survivor's account Janjaweed tactics Survivors told the BBC one by one about which family members they had lost. At least 80 children had been killed. There were four mass grave sites on the town's fringes. The attacks on Kidinyir are very similar to other attacks in Darfur, where massacres are still going on. Government planes bomb whilst the Janjaweed militia move in to kill on the ground. Almost 400 non-Arab villages in Darfur have either been burnt down or attacked, indicating a systematic and organised attempt to kill non-Arabs. Brutality In Kidinyir, survivors told the BBC stories of Janjaweed violence. One woman, called Hawa, said: "Five of them surrounded me. I couldn't move, I was paralysed. They raped me, one after the other." Another woman, called Kalima, spoke of the brutality used in the attacks. She said: "My son was clinging to my dress. An Arab looking man, in a uniform with military insignia, stopped his car next to me. He grabbed my son from me and threw him into a fire." A third villager Hikma, claimed the Janjaweed hurled racist insults as they carried out their attacks. She said: "They were saying 'the blacks are slaves, the blacks are stupid. Catch them alive, catch them alive, take them away with you, tie them up'." Government accused Sudan's government insists that the killings are the result of tribal chaos in the region. However, African Union observers in Darfur say the government has been arming and directing the Janjaweed militia. The BBC travelled to a key Janjaweed base and discovered the fighters were carrying government military identity cards. America has called the killings in Darfur genocide because of their ethnic nature. Britain and many other nations are waiting for the outcome of a lengthy UN investigation into the subject.

BBC 16 Nov 2004 Amnesty calls for Sudan arms ban The government are failing to rein in the Janjaweed men in Darfur Uncontrolled arms exports are fuelling abuses in Sudan's Darfur region, warns Amnesty International. The human rights group calls on the United Nations Security Council to impose a strict arms embargo on Sudan to try to end the conflict in Darfur. The UNSC, which meets this week in Nairobi, has threatened sanctions if security in the region did not improve. The BBC has broadcast evidence of mass killings in Darfur, where more than 1.5 million people have been displaced. New York-based Human Rights Watch has also called for an arms embargo. 'Suspend deliveries' "Amnesty specifically requests the UN Security Council to impose a mandatory arms embargo on Sudan to stop supplies of those arms reaching all the parties to the conflict in Darfur," Amnesty says. The London-based group says the embargo should only be lifted when measures "are in place to protect civilians from grave human rights abuses". Belarus, Russia, China, Poland, France, Iran and Saudi Arabia have supplied Sudan with arms, Amnesty says. The organisation says these countries should suspend deliveries of arms, if they thought it was likely they would be used "for grave human rights violations". A group of six aid agencies have also called for action, saying that previous UN resolutions "mounted to little more than empty threats, with minimal impact on the levels of violence". HRW on Monday accused the rebels in Darfur of violating the agreed ceasefire, saying they had "abducted civilians, attacked police stations and other government institutions and raided and looted substantial numbers of livestock and commercial goods". Attack On Sunday, the BBC's Panorama programme revealed new evidence of mass ethnic killings and rape in Darfur, adding to fears of genocide in the region. In one town that the BBC team visited, at least 80 children had been killed, as well as many adults. DARFUR VIOLENCE An Arab-looking man, in a uniform with military insignia, stopped his car next to me. He grabbed my son from me and threw him into a fire Kalima, Kidinyir villager Rape survivor's account Janjaweed tactics Janjaweed militias and government troops attacked Kidinyir throughout the past year, killing huge numbers, reported the BBC's Hilary Andersson. It is now estimated that more than 70,000 people have died in Darfur and massacres are still going on. Survivors told the BBC one by one about which family members they had lost. At least 80 children had been killed. There were four mass grave sites on the town's fringes. Sudan's government insists that the killings are the result of tribal chaos in the region. However, African Union observers in Darfur say the government has been arming and directing the Janjaweed militia. America has called the killings in Darfur genocide because of their ethnic nature. Britain and many other nations are waiting for the outcome of a lengthy UN investigation into the subject.

Xinhua 17 Nov 2004 African Union's efforts to end Darfur crisis NAIROBI, Nov 17, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The United National Security Council will begin a two-day extraordinary session here on Thursday to push Sudan's north-south peace negotiations to a conclusion and to stop a separate bloody conflict in western Darfur region. As Africa's biggest country, Sudan was annoyed by Darfur crisis in recent two years. The restive region has plunged into conflict since February 2003, when two rebel forces took up arms against the Khartoum government, accusing the authorities of not protecting them from the attacks of "Janjaweed" militia and demanding autonomy. The Darfur crisis has been termed by the United Nations as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, in which thousands were killed and one million displaced. The crisis is considered as a test for the African Union's commitment to security and peace, an issue which bugs the impoverished continent for decades. The African Union has spearheaded international attempts to resolve the crisis, under whose auspices, the Sudanese government and two rebel groups held several rounds of peace talks in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and Nigerian capital Abuja. On April 8, under intensive international mediation efforts, mainly AU efforts, the Sudanese government reached a ceasefire agreement with two rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM). And the AU also deployed 123 military observers to oversee the ceasefire. However, the accord has not been implemented in earnest, with more civilians killed. On July 5, the AU Peace and Security Council, the regional bloc 's security body similar to the UN Security Council, decided to send 300 armed soldiers in the name of "protection forces" to guard the AU observers already on ground in Darfur. On July 15, the Sudanese government, JEM and SLM began a round of political talks in Addis Ababa, which was chaired by the AU, the United Nations and Chad, with the United States and European Union attending as observers. The AU sent its Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare to Chad in a sit down with the Sudanese sides just before early July's Addis Ababa summit, which booked the talks. Unfortunately, the talks concluded without breakthrough on July 17 after the two rebel groups refused direct political negotiations with Khartoum unless their demands are met. The rebel groups laid down six conditions in the talks, of which, the "removal of government troops and Janjaweed militia from Darfur, including those who are integrated into the police or other government offices" was the top priority to be addressed in the meeting. The other conditions are access for an international inquiry into genocide charges, bringing criminals who committed genocide or ethnic cleansing to justice, creating unimpeded humanitarian access for delivery of food aid, release of prisoners of war and detainees and agreement on a neutral venue for future talks. However, Khartoum said the conditions are "unpractical," especially disarming of militias, because some militia groups are illegal and underground and the government needs time to address the issue. On Aug. 1, AU Chairman Olusegun Obasanjo said the security and humanitarian crisis in Darfur should be resolved within African framework. Obasanjo, also the president of Nigeria, told reporters in Khartoum that the Darfur crisis is a domestic issue of an AU member state. Compared with other international organizations, the AU is in a better position to find out situation there accurately and objectively. It also knows the way to an objective solution to the problem. Obasanjo's remarks came barely two days after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution, threatening sanctions against Sudan if it fails to disarm the marauding militia in the Darfur region and to prosecute its leaders. Political dialogue on the Darfur crisis resumed on Aug. 23 in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, which is another effort by the African Union to help bring about a political solution to the region's conflict. The Abuja meeting comes a week before the UN Security Council deadline. However, hopes of ending the Darfur crisis went aground on Sept. 15 as one of the two rebel groups announced the collapse of the talks. The JEM said they failed to reach any consensus with Khartoum over security issues and the talks could be held off for a month. Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi, Sudanese President Hassan Ahmed Al-Bashir, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chadian President Idriss Deby held an African mini-summit on the Darfur issue on Oct. 17 in Libyan capital Tripoli. The summit, held under the auspices of the African Union, was aimed at finding humanitarian and political solutions to the Darfur crisis within the AU framework. The five leaders rejected any foreign intervention in the Darfur issue. On Oct. 20, the AU Peace and Security Council approved the increase in the size of its force in Darfur from 390 to 3,320 troops and civilian police. On Oct. 26, the African Union relaunched peace talks between Khartoum and rebel groups in Abuja, which is another effort by the AU to solve African problems by Africans. The hope for peace in Sudan's troubled Darfur region brightened on Nov. 9 as the parties in the 21-month-old crisis signed humanitarian and security protocols together, three weeks into the African Union-sponsored peace talks in Nigeria. The talks were adjourned on Nov. 10.

washingtonpost.com 17 Nov 2004 Diplomacy and Darfur Wednesday, November 17, 2004; Page A26 AFULL ARSENAL of diplomatic tricks has been tried on behalf of Darfur, the western province of Sudan where the government is orchestrating genocide. A number of A-list statesmen -- Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan -- have journeyed to Sudan to demand an end to the killing; still the genocide continues. Cease-fires, undertakings and protocols have been negotiated and signed; still the genocide continues. Two U.N. Security Council resolutions have condemned the government's behavior; still the genocide continues. Tomorrow and Friday, in a triumph of hope over experience, the Security Council will convene an extraordinary session in Kenya, hoping to shine the spotlight on Sudan's suffering. But unless the council members stiffen their rhetoric with sanctions, they will spotlight their own impotence. Sudan's pragmatic dictatorship has bowed in the past to determined external pressure. It expelled Osama bin Laden and negotiated an end to its long-running war with rebels in the south, both thanks to the threat of sanctions. But Sudan's rulers do not make concessions if they don't have to do so, and they believe they can exterminate tens of thousands of people in Darfur and get away with it. When outsiders wax especially indignant, the junta signs another protocol and makes a tactical concession. But its strategy remains unchanged: to cement control over Darfur by decimating the tribes that back various local rebels. The first phony concession came in April. Sudan's government signed on to a cease-fire, promising to "refrain from any act of violence or any other abuse on civilian populations." Since then the government has participated in unprovoked assaults on villages, murdering men, raping women and tossing children into flames that consume their huts. In July Sudan's rulers signed a communique with Mr. Annan, promising to "ensure that no militias are present in all areas surrounding Internally Displaced Persons camps." Since then militias have continued to encircle the camps, raping women and girls who venture out in search of firewood. In August Sudan's government promised Jan Pronk, Mr. Annan's envoy, to provide a list of militia leaders. No list has been forthcoming. Last week, in a concession that perhaps reflected nervousness about the approaching Security Council meeting in Kenya, the government signed two new protocols, committing itself among other things to "protect the rights of Internally Displaced Persons." A few hours later, government forces stormed a camp for displaced people. In sum, the considered judgment of Sudan's rulers is that they can flout international commitments with impunity. Unless that judgment can be changed, the Security Council session in Kenya will not achieve anything. Sudan's dictatorship must be credibly threatened with sanctions that target officials responsible for war crimes, and these officials must also be made to face the possibility of prosecution. Beyond that, outsiders need to recognize that there is little prospect of security for Darfur's people -- and therefore little prospect of a return to destroyed villages, a resumption of agricultural production and an escape from starvation -- without a serious peacekeeping force. Gen. Romeo Dallaire, the U.N. commander in Rwanda during the genocide a decade ago, has suggested that a force of 44,000 is needed. Charles R. Snyder, the senior State Department official on Sudan, has estimated that securing Darfur would take 60 to 70 battalions. More than a year and a half into Darfur's genocide, the United States and its allies have proved unwilling to consider that kind of commitment. They have moved at a snail's pace to support a 3,500-strong African Union force, which in any case would be inadequate; the record of deploying underpowered peacekeepers in war zones is that the peacekeepers get humiliated. The allies are starting to discuss another U.N. resolution, but this seems likely yet again to lack a real threat of sanctions. Up to a point, this is understandable: Security Council members such as China are opposed to strong action, and the United States is conserving limited military and diplomatic resources for Iraq and the war on terrorism. But Darfur's crisis is so awful that the usual balancing of national priorities is immoral. Some 300,000 people may have died in Darfur so far, and the dying is not yet finished.

The Independent UK 19 Nov 2004 How the world's biggest corporations are fuelling genocide in Sudan By JOHANN HARI,LONDON, Nov 19, 2004 -- The dazzlingly efficient herding of Jews, gay people and Gypsies into concentration camps by the Nazis was only made possible by the technological expertise of IBM. The corporation provided the Nazis with punch-card technology - revolutionary in the 1930s - that made it possible to classify the entire German population according to "race" and send them to their deaths. The IBM subsidiary Hollerith had two people stationed in every camp. The numbers tattooed on to the arms of prisoners were five-digit codes for IBM machines. As Edwin Black - the award-winning historian who spent five years exposing this fetid story - explains: "Without IBM's machinery, continuing upkeep and service, as well as the supply of punch cards, Hitler's camps could never have managed the numbers they did." This isn't an arid history lesson. IBM has apologised and moved on, but another group of multinational corporations is making a holocaust possible today in Darfur. This western region of Sudan has dropped down the news agenda. But remember: one person dies every five minutes, 2 million people have been driven from their homes, and the UN describes the situation as "the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world today". But the Arab majority is continuing to rape and slaughter the black African minority with near-impunity. One journalist offers a typical scene from the province: "I found a man groaning under a tree. He had been shot in the neck and jaw and left for dead in a pile of corpses. Under the next tree I found a four-year-old orphan girl caring for her starving one-year old brother. And under the tree next to that was a woman whose husband had been killed, along with her seven- and four-year old sons, before she was gang-raped and mutilated." The unelected Arab supremacist government in Khartoum raises virtually nothing in taxation. Sudan has an annual per capita income of just pounds 220. So how have they managed to afford to fight a war and launch a genocide? In the south, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, they waged a vast war against the Christian population, killing 2 million of them and ethnically cleansing a further 4 million. In Darfur today, Khartoum is arming and whipping up the genocidal Janjaweed militias. They have enough cash to buy Mig- 29s, one of the most swish and deadly fighter aircrafts in the world. How can they afford all this? Because multinational corporations have ignored the pleas of human rights groups and handed money to the Khartoum serial killers in exchange for Sudan's oil. The roll-call of companies who chose to do this is long and distinguished: Siemens AG from Germany, Alcatel SA from France, ABB Ltd from Switzerland, Tatneft from Russia and PetroChina. Human Rights Watch states unequivocally: "Oil revenues have been used by the [Sudanese] government to obtain weapons and ammunition that have enabled it to intensify the war." The money paid by multinationals is not the cause of these programmes of mass slaughter, but it is an essential ingredient. Just as Hitler could not have operated such efficient gas chambers without IBM's technology, Khartoum could not be waging such effective and large-scale genocides without oil money. Of course, these corporations do not actively seek genocide, just as IBM did not actively seek the murder of Jews. They simply have a morally neutral stance towards it. They clearly see the murder of human beings as irrelevant; the profit margin is all. This tells us something about the nature of corporations - now the dominant cultural and economic institution of our times. Private business is an essential component of a free society because it generates wealth and enables individuals to be independent from the state. But its desire for profit must be kept in careful balance with other human necessities; too often, it is not. Even within broadly democratic countries like the US, we can see how corporations try to buy up the institutions of a free society - politicians and the press - and encourage them to turn a blind eye to (or even deny) life-and-death issues such as man-made climate change. But democratic citizens can, if they have the will, restrain them. When corporations operate outside democracies, they will acknowledge no moral limits, and nobody can make them. They will pursue profit at any price. Some will even enslave people in sweat-shops and effectively - as in the Holocaust and in Darfur - aid and abet murder. Only one group has opposed the corporations facilitating the murder in Sudan with any success, at least when it comes to brokering a fragile peace in the south. This is difficult for me to write, because they have not been the forces I like - human rights groups and the internationalist left. No; the only group that has effectively lobbied against the genocidal regime in Khartoum has been the red-state Christian evangelicals in the US. They lobbied hard for an oil embargo against Sudan, so US dollars were not used to slaughter their fellow Christians. Uber-moralistic religion clashed with raw amoral markets, and - incredibly - the Bush administration sided with the evangelicals against the oil companies. As a result, since 2000, no US oil company has been allowed to operate within Sudan, to their fury. Peace has finally prevailed. This shows what can happen when the Sudanese government is subject to serious economic penalties for its crimes. The US is lobbying hard for the UN to impose similar international oil sanctions to stop the genocide in Darfur. (The evangelicals are much less worried about slaughtered Muslims, but they believe the chaos might spill over into the south). This is being flatly opposed by China - which receives a quarter of its oil supplies from Sudan - and Russia. These two authoritarian governments are vandalising any attempt to deal with this genocide through the United Nations. It seems nobody is prepared to choke off the corporate fuel for the holocaust in Darfur. The UN is rendered useless by its arcane structures, the African Union is too poor and disorganised to act, and an Anglo-US intervention is extremely unlikely in the wake of Iraq. So what do we do - lie back and watch the first genocide of the 21st century scythe through Darfur unhindered? There is an alternative. Professor Eric Reeves is an expert on the murder of black Darfurians. He explains: "The only way to stop this genocide now is for a mass campaign to force multinationals to disinvest from Sudan. During the apartheid era in South Africa, the divestment movement was an immensely powerful force in breaking down this system of racial discrimination. We can do the same today." Through our pensions plans, our universities and our stock portfolios, we in Europe own most of the companies providing the hard cash for this genocide. If our governments fail to act to end genocide, the responsibility falls to us. Go to www.divestsudan.org to find out how, practically, we can act to deprive the Janjaweed militias of money and arms, just as we throttled apartheid. If you don't bother - if you're just too busy, or you think corporations will behave responsibly without your pressure - please, don't lower your head or indulge in a moment's pained silence on Holocaust Day next year. You will have learnt nothing and remembered nothing.

washingtonpost.com 21 Nov 2004 Mr. Bush's Better World Sunday, November 21, 2004; Page B06 THE BUSH administration shrugged its shoulders last week at the genocide in Sudan's western province of Darfur. At an extraordinary meeting of the U.N. Security Council in Kenya, it sponsored a resolution that not only failed to advance those that passed in July and September but actually stepped back. The veiled threat of sanctions on Sudan's government was dropped. So was the demand that Sudan's government disarm and prosecute its allies in the Janjaweed death squads, which have burned villages, raped and murdered their inhabitants, and left nearly 2 million people homeless and at risk of starvation. The Bush administration presents this abdication as a triumph. It argues that, by tolerating a weak U.N. resolution on Darfur, it was able to secure a unanimous 15-0 Security Council vote and that this may bring about peace in the separate conflict between Sudan's Muslim-led northern government and the Christian and animist southern rebels. The north-south civil war has been running for two decades and has led directly or indirectly to the deaths of an estimated 2 million people: Ending it would indeed be a victory. The two sides have already agreed to a cease-fire and to a complex power-sharing arrangement that guarantees rights and representation for southerners. Only details remain to be worked out, and Friday's resolution sets a deadline of Dec. 31 for their resolution. This isn't the first such deadline in negotiations over the north-south conflict. Last year Sudan's government promised Secretary of State Colin L. Powell that it would conclude negotiations soon -- by Dec. 31, 2003 -- and the White House hoped that the two sides would mark their reconciliation by attending the president's State of the Union address. The Bush administration hopes that the new deadline will prove more meaningful because it has the imprimatur of a U.N. resolution. With luck it will be proved right, but the power of such resolutions has been compromised by Friday's failure to sanction Sudan's government for its flouting of past resolutions on Darfur. The Bush administration also argues that a north-south deal will improve Darfur's prospects: The power-sharing formula will be extended to all parts of the country, assuaging the grievances of rebels in Darfur whose violence provoked the government's genocidal response. Again, this may prove true, but probably not in the short term: Power-sharing will take months or years to implement. Darfur's people cannot wait that long; their catastrophe is immediate. The families that have been driven from their villages have no means to plant crops or raise animals; they depend on food aid that is hostage to the budgetary whims of Western governments and Sudan's murderous tendency to restrict aid workers' access. The death toll is already enormous. The commonly cited number of 70,000 victims is a monstrous sugarcoating of reality: It leaves out deaths in areas not visited by aid workers, nearly all deaths from violence as opposed to malnutrition and all deaths before March. The Bush administration itself has described the killing there as genocide. How can it regard an uncertain and only loosely related advance in the north-south conflict as a substitute for punishing the perpetrators? How can it recognize genocide, shrug its shoulders and then carry on claiming that its vigorous foreign policy is about creating a better world?

Reuters 21 Nov 2004 Darfur Fighting, Troops Block Food Delivery By REUTERS Filed at 5:44 a.m. ET EL FASHER, Sudan (Reuters) - Tribal clashes, banditry and troop movements are blocking crucial deliveries of food aid in North Darfur state despite recent peace agreements, African Union and United Nations officials said Sunday. The African Union (AU) said it was investigating reports that 14 people had been killed in two separate incidents since Thursday near the town of Tawilla, about 40 miles west of El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state. Peace deals signed in early November aimed at ending 22 months of fighting and increasing humanitarian access have done little to improve security in western Sudan's Darfur region, where hundreds of thousands of people rely on food aid. ``We are investigating a series of retaliatory tribal attacks that allegedly took place over the last four days,'' George Learned, a United States officer attached to the AU mission, said at a weekly security briefing in El Fasher. ``Seven people were reportedly killed on two occasions during clashes involving substantial attacking forces of 20 or more armed men,'' Learned said, adding there was also ``a massing of troops of some sort'' north of Tawilla, near the town of Korma. Rampant insecurity caused by Darfur's war between African rebels and the government has created one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, according to the United Nations. More than 1.5 million people have been driven from their homes and the U.N. says 70,000 people have been killed by violence, hunger and disease since March. FOOD AID BLOCKED Tawilla sits along the main transit corridor westwards from El Fasher, but two weeks of escalating banditry and fighting in the area has turned the route into a ``no-go zone'' on U.N. maps, blocking access to some 150,000 displaced people. ``It's a disaster to close that road because it prevents distribution of food to Tawilla and Kebkabiya, which are the main distribution areas for North Darfur,'' said Janse Sorman, an official with the U.N. World Food Program in El Fasher. ``We have the food and the trucks and the people, but when there's no peace, we can't deliver it,'' Sorman told Reuters. A WFP convoy of 25 trucks carrying 250 tons of food was due to leave El Fasher Monday, but was on hold until the situation improved, leaving many without their monthly rations of cereal, salt and other foodstuffs, Sorman added. The AU has a small force in Darfur to monitor an April cease-fire repeatedly broken by all sides in the war, but can only report violations and conduct ``confidence patrols'' in an area the size of France. The African Union said its troops were due to increase from about 700 to more than 3,000 in the coming months, but 196 Gabonese troops who were due to reach El Fasher Saturday have been delayed because of conflict in Ivory Coast. Darfur's Arab nomads and African farmers have fought over scarce resources in the deserts of Africa's largest country for decades, but war broke out in early 2003 when African rebels launched a revolt against the government. The rebels accuse Khartoum of neglect and of backing Arab militia known as the Janjaweed, who have conducted a campaign of killing, raping and looting against African villagers in what the United States has called genocide. Khartoum denies the accusations, calling the militiamen bandits. The AU said both rebels and Janjaweed were accused of carrying out recent attacks around Tawilla. ``It's easy to confirm that an attack took place, but not who did it,'' Learned said.

ICRC 25 Nov 2004 Press Release 04/69 Respect for international humanitarian law: ICRC president visits Sudan Geneva (ICRC) – The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jakob Kellenberger, arrives in Khartoum this evening for what will be his second visit to Sudan this year. He will be assessing the current humanitarian situation in Darfur and talking to senior Sudanese government officials about how to improve protection of the civilian population. Mr Kellenberger will be in Darfur from 26 to 28 November to see the situation on the ground for himself and will be meeting government officials in Al Fashir, Kutum and Zalingy. Since the President's first visit in March, humanitarian access to Darfur has improved considerably. As a result, the ICRC has been able to carry out a major humanitarian operation, together with the Sudanese Red Crescent and its other partners in the international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. With a budget of Sfr 131 million for 2005 and nearly 2,000 staff, Sudan is the ICRC’s biggest operation worldwide.

UNWatch.org 24 Nov 2004 The Wednesday Watch Analysis and Commentary from UN Watch in Geneva Wednesday, 24 November 2004 Issue 125 News: The UN Security Council meeting in Nairobi last week — the first such gathering outside New York in almost two decades — adopted a resolution holding out the carrot of significant aid for both sides of Sudan’s North-South civil war, if they put an end to the fighting that, since 1983, has killed more than 2 million people. The Council also urged an end to the catastrophe in Sudan’s western Darfur region — yet notably abandoned its previous threat of sanctions meant to persuade Khartoum to rein in Arab militia groups perpetrating abuses against the black Africans of Darfur. Meanwhile, at the General Assembly today, a resolution to condemn Sudan for grave human rights violations was voted down by a “no action” motion introduced by South Africa on behalf of the UN’s African Group. Analysis: Though Sudan’s civil wars continue to dominate the international agenda, leading the Security Council to extraordinarily convene in Kenya, robust action is markedly absent. The events of the past week show conflicting signs as to whether any optimism is in order. Due in large part to the efforts of John Danforth — formerly President Bush’s special envoy for peace in Sudan, now the U.S. Ambassador to the UN — chances for peace in the South have never been greater. The Security Council decision to meet in Africa, to witness an agreement between the Islamic government from the North and John Garang’s Christian rebels from the South, was a welcome show of support for that process. Amb. Danforth hopes that the conclusion of war in the South might become “a springboard to end the suffering in Darfur.” Sudan’s Ambassador to the U.S., Khidir Haroun Ahmed, agrees: “It will serve as a model to tackle and to redress grievances in other parts of the country.” Looking at today’s news, however, gives little ground for optimism. A government warplane bombed a rebel camp near the North Darfur capital of El Fasher, a violation of the security protocol agreed to by Khartoum barely two weeks ago. Official UN confirmation of the violation could generate international pressure for sanctions. Which brings us to the issue that many consider determinative. Sudan will continue to ignore international declarations on Darfur that lack the stick of either sanctions or an arms embargo. Regrettably, due to their respective special interests, Russia, China, Algeria and Pakistan expressed opposition to sanctions and abstained on the previous Council resolution. This time, in order to win symbolic unity for the Nairobi text, the U.S. and Europe removed the threat of sanctions. The dilemma faced by Washington and Brussels is not new. In April, at the UN’s Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Europe justified watering down its resolution on Sudanese violations by pointing to the powerful resistance led by Africa, saying it was better to have some text, and to establish an independent expert, than none at all. In a dramatic debate, the U.S. decried Europe’s compromise, insisting that the truth about Sudanese crimes needed to be stated loud and clear, regardless of whether such a draft would be voted down. Looking back seven months later, the watered-down declaration, negotiated between Africa and Europe, seems to have achieved little other than sparing Sudan a measure of shame and international accountability. As for the expert, Emmanuel Akwei Addo — his record is mixed. In his October 29 statement before the General Assembly’s human rights organ (known as the Third Committee), Mr. Addo found strong indications of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murders, rapes, acts of torture and forcible displacement of civilians. Other than this welcome testimony, however, the expert — like his fellow Ghanaian, Secretary General Kofi Annan — has hardly been speaking out as loudly, or as frequently, as the dire situation requires. At the General Assembly this week, it was déjà vu all over again. When pro-democracy states introduced a resolution calling upon Sudan to end crimes such as sexual violence against women and girls, the representative of South Africa — as it happens, the man charged with human rights at the foreign ministry — rose to demand a “no action” motion. (To watch a webcast of the debate, click here and fast-forward 22 minutes.) Together with the Islamic countries and the voting bloc of Third World countries, known as the Group of 77, the resolution was defeated 91 to 74, with 11 abstaining. Among those voting to shield Sudan from scrutiny: China, Cuba, North Korea, Egypt, Iran and Syria. (The full list is available here.) South Africa explained that the African Group was “unwavering in its total rejection of country-specific resolutions.” Unwavering? Well, not when it comes to country-specific resolutions that target a certain state in the Middle East. In that case, South Africa actually supports every single country-specific resolution. Algeria’s ambassador, Abdallah Baali, voted no-action because “human rights is used for political reasons against some particular countries in a selective way, where there are countries where human rights are clearly abused” and are not condemned. Malaysia, on behalf of the non-aligned movement, argued that the draft resolution on Sudan was a case of “exploitation of human rights for political purposes.” We would like to see the ambassadors try convincing Darfur’s thousands of raped women and girls that their suffering is “merely political.” A high-level panel on reform of the UN is set to deliver its proposals to Kofi Annan next week. Tragically, not even the most sophisticated tinkering will change the fact that the world body cannot muster a majority today to condemn ethnic cleansing.

Reuters 27 Nov 2004 Sudan lifts state of emergency in North Darfur BC-SUDAN-DARFUR Sudan lifts state of emergency in North Darfur By Opheera McDoom EL FASHER, Sudan, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Sudan said it had lifted all restrictions on aid workers and revoked a state of emergency in the troubled North Darfur state on Saturday, after rebels pulled out from a town they occupied last week. The United Nations condemned the attacks on Tawilla town last week, where rebels took control and killed dozens of policemen, in a move the international community said violated security protocols signed earlier this month between the warring parties in the Nigerian capital Abuja. Following the attack, the World Food Programme said it had withdrawn all its staff to the North Darfur capital of El Fasher and frozen all operations, leaving 300,000 refugees out of reach. The United Nations says the rebellion has triggered one of the world's worst humanitarian crises with more than 1.6 million forced from their homes in Darfur. The Governor of North Darfur state, Osman Kebir, told visiting European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, that all restrictions on aid work due to this emergency had been lifted. "The situation is very normal now," Kebir said, "We are removing all the restrictions on humanitarian aid that were imposed because of the attacks on Tawilla," he said. Michel said the tense security situation in Darfur had improved: "The security situation is of course very sensitive but I think there's a very slow improvement." He declined to say whether the government had done enough to rein in mounted Arab militia, known locally as Janjaweed, in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolutions. "I don't know if there are links between the government and these peoplebut I have no evidence about that," he told reporters during a one-day visit to remote Darfur, his first trip abroad since taking office. After years of skirmishes between Arab nomads and mostly non-Arab farmers over scarce resources in arid Darfur, rebels took up arms early last year accusing Khartoum of neglect and of arming the Janjaweed to loot and burn non-Arab villages. While the government admits arming some militias to fight the rebels, it denies any link to the Janjaweed, calling them outlaws. The United Nations has threatened Sudan with possible sanctions if it fails to stop the violence, which the United States calls genocide. The World Health Organisation estimates more than 70,000 have died in Darfur since March from malnutrition and disease. Michel will now travel to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, the scene of talks to settle a separate, bloodier conflict in Sudan's south. He said a southern peace deal, due by the end of the year, would be key for solving the problems in the rest of Africa's Tlargest country. "If there is an agreement, we have to take this agreement as a momentum in order to resolve the global package of problems which is existing in Darfur," he said, adding he saw goodwill and a willingness on the part of the government to take action.

NYT 29 Nov 2004 African Union Strives to End Deadly Cycle in Darfur By SOMINI SENGUPTA AWILA, Sudan, Nov. 28 - The African Union came here this weekend to investigate the kind of incident it had hoped would no longer happen under its watch. For a week, tensions in this strategic town in North Darfur had boiled over, pitting ethnic Africans and Arabs against each other in mob violence. Then, just after dawn prayers on Nov. 22, rebels attacked the town, killing nearly 30 government police officers and pocking the garrison with bullet holes. The government retaliated with airstrikes. People ran any way they could. Like so many other towns in Darfur, Tawila virtually emptied. The African Union has struggled to make that familiar trajectory - a rebel attack, a government airstrike, the flight of civilians, another ghost town - a thing of the past in Darfur, the vast region of western Sudan ravaged by nearly 22 months of war. Under heavy pressure, the government has allowed more than 3,000 African Union troops to enter. Although those troops are authorized only to monitor the country's tenuous cease-fire and not to intervene in fighting, their aim is to help prevent further violence just by being here. But even that goal has proved elusive for a force hamstrung from the start by its small size, lack of expertise and most of all by its strict rules of engagement. The challenge it faces was perfectly illustrated by the mission in Tawila this weekend. On Sunday morning, a team of nine African Union military observers, trailed by the first journalists to visit this town since the attack last week, stared at the shallow crater that a government bomb had left in this now charred group of huts. One of the huts was no more than a circle of black ash, with an earthen water jug lying on its edge. A woman had lived here with her five children. The African Union monitors snapped pictures of the bomb site. They interviewed local people who had stayed and many more who had returned because they had heard that the African Union had come. The monitors, who are unarmed, risked spending Saturday night in the frigid desert on the edge of town - mainly, they said, to show people that they were there. Lacking tents for all nine men, they slept in vehicles or on cots in the cold open air. During the day, they handed out their uneaten military rations to women who straggled up the sand streets. By midafternoon on Sunday, they prepared to leave. As they did, a group of men rushed up and said they feared that the police would harass people who had spoken to the monitors. The leader of the team, Lt. Col. Ahmed Fouad of Egypt, listened and nodded. Later, when asked what he would do about the men's plea, he said he would report it to headquarters. Until there are enough monitors to keep a vigil in Tawila, there is nothing more he could do, he said. And then the monitors left - headed back to their base in the state capital, El Fasher, in a long white ribbon of four-wheel-drive vehicles and armored personnel carriers. For the African Union, a nascent organization representing African governments and struggling to shake off the mantle of its largely ineffectual predecessor, the Organization of African Unity, Darfur represents a crucial test. If the union's mission succeeds in Darfur, it will score a major credibility victory. If it fails, the price will be dear. "We will take a long time to recover our credibility toward our people and our partners," Jean-Baptiste Natama, a senior political officer in the African Union, said this week. The African Union's success or failure will be measured, in part, by how it responds to incidents like the one in Tawila and whether it can prevent others like it. For now, its troop strength in Sudan, which may take until February or later to reach its full level of 3,400 peacekeepers, is grossly insufficient to deploy full-time to every fractious, violence-prone town like Tawila. Privately, diplomats in Sudan have long worried that deploying so few troops would be a recipe for failure. Since the violence in Tawila, Jan Pronk, the top United Nations envoy for Sudan, suggested expanding the African Union force to more than twice the number. Mr. Natama floated the idea of strengthening the African Union's mandate to peace enforcement. "If the situation is getting worse, we are not going to pack our luggage and leave Darfur," he said. "We are going to have to have a robust mandate to make sure we are not here for nothing. We should be able to bring peace, or impose peace." Few people in North Darfur were surprised by the violence in Tawila on Nov. 22. Tensions between the townspeople, largely members of African tribes, and Arabs from nearby villages had been building. The pivotal event, townspeople said, was a brawl on market day, Nov. 16. A group of Arabs had come to the market, as they normally did. This time, they picked out a pile of women's clothes, stuffed them in their sacks and refused to pay. Instead, they brandished guns. Frustration was running high from similar incidents in the past, and the town was still recovering from an attack by government forces and allied Arab militias earlier this year. Donkeys and goats had been taken. Homes had been looted. People had sought refuge in the displaced people's camps in El Fasher. So this time, when the Arabs refused to pay, the Africans retaliated. The entire market took part. People grabbed sticks and stones from the market stalls and began pummeling the Arabs, killing four of them on the spot and injuring as many as seven. By the time the police arrived, the Arab bodies lay bashed and disfigured in the market. "All of us here participated," a man named Ibrahim Ahmed, 32, said, signaling with his chin the dozens of people who had gathered at the market on Sunday to tell the story to the African Union monitors. "I felt happy," Mr. Ahmed confessed. "What they did to us was more than what we did to them." Revenge begot revenge. That night, Arabs returned, firing randomly at the houses and looting from the market. On Nov. 22, the African Union said, the Sudan Liberation Army, a rebel outfit led by ethnic Africans, stormed Tawila as the dawn prayer ended, taking aim at the police station. Atima Dahab lay in her hut, trying to calm her screaming children as gunfire rattled around her compound and a warplane circled overhead. When the bomb fell on a neighbor's house, her own shook. Dust and smoke darkened the sky. Hawa Thom watched from a field as the plane approached, a cloud of dust rose, an explosion rang in her ears, and flames flared from the straw roof of a neighbor's house. Five homes nearby were destroyed. Early that morning, Mrs. Thom said she had dreamed of a camel in front of her house. She read it as an evil sign. She said that in the dream, she told her husband something bad would happen. "Don't go away," she said she told him. She woke up to the sound of gunfire. The bad dream that Darfur had come to signify was unfolding again. The people of Tawila said they would sleep here on Sunday evening only if the African Union monitors slept here, too. They said the attacks by Arab militias based nearby would stop only if the monitors were in town. They said they did not trust the police and soldiers. "They must stay," Mrs. Thom said, speaking of the monitors. "Otherwise we can't stay." As if on cue, just as the monitors prepared to leave the town market Sunday afternoon, a group of soldiers gathered around the crowd they had been speaking to. "You don't get smoke without fire," whispered a monitor who did not want to be identified. "The population is afraid."


Hirondelle News Agency (Lausanne) 5 Nov 2004 Prosecutor Closes His Case in 'Butare' Trial Arusha The Prosecutor has announced that he has finally finished presenting evidence in one of the biggest trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Popularly known as the "Butare" trial, it groups six people accused of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in the southern Rwanda province of Butare in 1994. The last prosecution witness was Kenyan handwriting expert, Antipas Nyanjwa, who the prosecutor wanted to add to his list of witnesses in order to authenticate a diary purportedly belonging to the main suspect in this case, former Minister of Gender, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko. Even though he had initially announced October 18 that he had exhausted all his witnesses, the prosecutor wanted Nyanjwa to testify "in the interest of justice". Nyiramasuhuko is the first woman to be indicted by the ICTR and the first to be accused of rape as a crime against humanity. Many witnesses came forward to testify that Nyiramasuhuko had exhorted Hutu militia to rape Tutsi women during the genocide. The prosecutor called 58 witnesses in total since the trial opened June 12, 2001. The defence is expected to begin presenting its case January 31, 2005. Pauline Nyiramasuhuko is being tried jointly with her son, Shalom Arsene Ntahobali, two former prefects (Governors) of Butare, Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo, and two former mayors: Joseph Kanyabashi and Elie Ndayambaje of Ngoma and Muganza respectively. When the trial resumes, the chamber will first hear the testimony of Nyiramasuhuko's defence witnesses. William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania presides over the proceedings.

BBC 25 November, 2004 War justice at 'turning point' By Ishbel Matheson BBC News in Arusha, Tanzania Ex-Rwandan leader Jean Kambanda was jailed for life for genocide The international justice system is at a turning point, top war crimes prosecutors have heard at a conference in Tanzania. Furthermore, a global system of justice is necessary if peace is to be maintained, the prosecutor for the Rwandan war crimes tribunal said. The Challenges of International Criminal Justice conference focused on obstacles facing crimes courts. But it also was a chance for delegates to take stock of accomplishments. Ten years ago, international justice was in its infancy. The Rwandan and Yugoslav tribunals had just been set up amid a great deal of scepticism. Some saw them simply as a means for the international community to salve its conscience after the terrible atrocities of the 1990s. A decade on, lawyers gathered at the three-day conference at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, examined their achievements. Benchmarks On one hand, important legal benchmarks have been set. The Rwandan tribunal, for example, was the first to try and convict a head of state of genocide. Some say the fear of prosecution may now be a real deterrent. "We have done something to deter not only top leaders but perhaps those at more of the nasty level of command where people might be expected to have blood on their hands," says Gavin Rukston of the Yugoslav tribunal. But it is also clear the challenges of operating an international war crimes court are formidable. Many felt the treatment of witnesses - some of whom are in fear for their lives - has been less than perfect. The prosecutor of the special court for Sierra Leone also spoke of the danger of indifference and of how a war-wearied international community was increasingly reluctant to participate in the quest for justice. Nevertheless, the feeling among these lawyers was a global criminal justice system was slowly being built and war criminals wherever they are in the world could no longer be sure of escaping justice.


www.newvision.co.ug 3 Nov 2004 ICC to issue Kony warrant of arrest By Anne Mugisa and agencies The International Criminal Court (ICC) is planning to issue warrants of arrest against Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony and seven of his commanders. Sources said the Minister of Defence, Amama Mbabazi, was at the ICC in The Hague over the matter. The sources said the warrants were are expected any time following a decision by the ICC to indict the eight top rebels. ICC has said it would not prosecute child soldiers. “We will investigate all allegations in an independent and impartial way,” said ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo at a swearing-in ceremony for The Hague-based court deputy prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda on Monday. He said they would focus on the rebel leaders who bore the greatest responsibility in the war. Ocampo said the ICC would work with local leaders to end the 18-year long northern war. The rebels have mutilated people and kidnapped at least 25,000 children, who are forced to serve as fighters, porters and sex slaves. At least 1.6 million people have fled their homes and aid workers have declared the region the world’s biggest neglected emergency. In July, the LRA became one of the first groups investigated for alleged atrocities by the new world court. The Government has praised the ICC probe but some northern religious leaders have criticised it, saying it will create a crisis of confidence and stop rebels from surrendering. Scores of the LRA commanders have given up rebellion amid an intensified military campaign by the UPDF against the rebel bases in northern Uganda and neighbouring southern Sudan. “We know the local community, who have suffered greatly, are working very hard to establish peace, which includes initiatives to establish justice through traditions based on truth, reconciliation and compensation,” Ocampo said. He hoped that arresting or isolating the top leaders would help them to make peace with others.

Reuters 14 Nov 2004 Uganda declares ceasefire with LRA rebels By Frank Nyakairu KAMPALA Nov 14 (Reuters) - Uganda's government declared a temporary truce on Sunday to allow rebels in the north of the country to meet to discuss plans for talks to end an 18-year civil war that has forced 1.6 million people from their homes. President Yoweri Museveni, responding to an offer of peace talks from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), said in a statement he had ordered the truce in part of the north to allow a group of LRA rebels to meet government representatives. "President Yoweri Museveni has ordered a seven-day suspension of UPDF operations in a limited area of Acholi to allow the leadership of (LRA leader Joseph) Kony's group to meet and confirm that they accept his offer to come out of the bush," a statement from State House said, referring to the Uganda People's Defence Force. The LRA, based in lawless areas of southern Sudan, has terrorised remote northern districts of Uganda, massacring civilians, mutilating victims and kidnapping tens of thousands of children to serve as fighters, porters and sex slaves. Last week an LRA spokesman telephoned a radio station and called for talks -- and for Museveni's government to show its commitment to peace -- in a rare statement by the rebels. Aid workers say northern Uganda is the world's biggest neglected crisis, worsened by a military campaign targeting a force estimated to be 80 percent abducted children. Previous attempts to end the war through talks have stalled over allegations of bad faith on both sides. It was not possible to contact the LRA or its leader, self-proclaimed mystic Joseph Kony, who has not given a clear statement of his political objectives beyond wanting to rule the country by the Biblical Ten Commandments. "In the last three weeks, Ms Betty Bigombe has had clear indications from Kony's group that they want to end the conflict," the statement said, referring to the government's chief mediator. "But UPDF pressure makes impossible for the Kony leadership to get together to discuss this offer. Ms Betty Bigombe has therefore proposed a seven-day suspension to allow the leadership to meet," the statement adds. The statement said a group of LRA rebels had been provided with a detailed map of the ceasefire area for the purposes of arranging the meeting. "If after the meeting the Kony groups make a clear recorded statement that they accept the president's offer then a 10-day cessation of UPDF operations will be ordered," the statement said. But the army said it would continue operations against remnants of Kony's group in all other areas of northern Uganda and southern Sudan "until the government get an irreversible commitment indicating their intention to end ... once and for all the terror campaign." Although the statement described Sunday's initiative as a seven-day truce, it detailed a nine-day period, saying hostilities would be suspended between Sunday Nov. 14 at 1500 GMT and Tuesday Nov. 23 at 0400 GMT. Bigombe, a former Minister for Pacification of the North, currently works with the World Bank in the United States, but continues to lead Ugandan peace efforts. Bigombe held talks with Kony in 1993 but the negotiations collapsed after Museveni accused the rebels of using the ceasefire to plan more attacks.


Zimbabwe Standard (Harare) NEWS October 31, 2004 Posted to the web November 1, 2004 Ex Chimoio Supremo Says He Would Kill All MDC Supporters By Emmanuel Mungoshi Harare A former top liberation war commander says if he had his way, he would kill supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Major Midson Mupasu, who says he was the camp commander at Chimoio when the Rhodesian army swooped on refugee bases and massacred civilians in the late 1970s, claimed the MDC was there to negate the gains of the liberation struggle. Speaking recently on a ZTV programme Face the Nation, Mupasu who says he was also responsible for 12 Zanla bases in the area from 1976 to 1977 said: "If it were up to me, I would kill them (MDC supporters). What MDC is doing hudzvanyiriri, husveta simba (repression, exploitation). They want to bring back the colonial system, that will never happen." Mupasu said: "MDC should be thankful that Zanu PF is a people's party and a very fair organisation. In my opinion MDC is not supposed to operate in Zimbabwe. They should all be arrested." Mupasu, who is now attached to the Zimbabwe Military Academy, also said he despised white Zimbabweans. "Even today when I see whites I spit on the ground. I don't want to see whites. I don't even want to talk to them, I don't want to see them on the farms that we have occupied," declared Mupasu. The programme, presented by Masimba Musarira, began with a video clip showing decapitated bodies, burning houses and the freedom fighters in action. This was then followed by a group of war veterans who recently visited the shrine erected in honour of the war heroes who died at Chimoio. Mupasu addressed the group and gave a description of the pre-independence massacres that were perpetrated by the Rhodesian forces. Mupasu said he survived the raid although he sustained some injuries. Several Zimbabweans have complained about the "hate language" that is increasingly gaining currency at the national public broadcaster's, ZBC radio and television. They point out that in Rwanda by mid-April 1994, Radio Television Libres des Mille Collines RTLM had effectively become the genocide's coordinating body, broadcasting lists of "death-worthy" Tutsis. It also broadcast names of other "enemies of the (Hutu) republic," urged militiamen and citizens to seek them out, and congratulated lynch mobs for "a job well done." In December, 2003 the Rwanda Tribunal in Arusha sentenced RTLM director Ferdinand Nahimana to life imprisonment, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza to 35 years, reduced to 27 years, and a third for 35 years, for fanning the flames of the 1994 genocide, in which an estimated 800 000 people were killed. On June 1, the Tribunal sentenced Belgian-born Georges Ruggiu to two concurrent 12-year prison terms for broadcasts that fanned the 1994 genocide. Survivors remember RTLM, the rabidly nationalist Hutu radio station, as "Radio Tele La Mort (Radio Death). At the end of last year, a radio station calling itself Voice of the Patriot was heard broadcasting in the Bukavu region, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, near the borders with Rwanda and Burundi station. The radio, thought to be using a mobile transmitter in the mountains above Bukavu town, issued warnings that Tutsi soldiers from Rwanda and Burundi were coming to massacre local residents.

IRIN 2 Nov 2004 Food aid not being used as a political tool - govt [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] JOHANNESBURG, 2 November (IRIN) - Concerns that food aid could be used as a political tool in Zimbabwe's upcoming parliamentary elections have been rejected as "baseless" by the government. Spokesman Steyn Berejena on Tuesday dismissed a recent Amnesty International (AI) report claiming that the government's forecast of a bumper harvest had been "widely discredited", and warning of "further violations of the right to adequate food and the right to freedom from discrimination in the run-up to the 2005 parliamentary elections". The AI report, 'Zimbabwe: Power and Hunger - Violations of the Right to Food', states that despite an earlier government forecast of a bumper maize harvest of 2.4 million mt, "stories of hunger and food insecurity in Zimbabwe emerge almost daily", and that "rather than fulfil its obligation to ensure the right to food for everyone under its jurisdiction, the government of Zimbabwe is manipulating the country's food shortages for political purposes and to punish political opponents". International food aid was halted in mid-2004 when the government said the country would produce enough crops for domestic consumption. "The cessation of most international food aid distribution has left millions of people dependent on grain distributed by the government-controlled Grain Marketing Board (GMB), which has a near monopoly on the trade in and distribution of maize - the staple food in Zimbabwe. But it is unclear whether the GMB has sufficient stocks to meet the country's grain needs. The GMB also has a history of discriminatory distribution of the grain it controls. Those who do not support the ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), have regularly been denied access to GMB grain," AI alleged. However, Berejena said that under the government's food aid programme "people are not required to produce [ZANU-PF] party cards - that's not a requirement. When the needs assessment is done it is not a requirement that one has to produce party cards". Food aid distributions were not conducted by politicians: "They are done through the civil servants and social welfare departments; through the traditional leaders, who identify the vulnerable within their communities." If politics did play a role in food aid distributions, he said, "you would rather give it to the opposition to win their support". As to the accusations that the government's predicted bumper crop had failed to materialise, Berejena said it was impossible to expect the GMB to have the entire 2.4 million mt grain harvest in its depots. "We don't expect the GMB to have 2.4 million mt - it's not possible to have it stored in the various depots because, since the forecast, people have been consuming [harvested crops] and not all the food is going to be housed in the depots. For example, farmers, after harvesting, say 10 mt, will sell whatever is surplus and keep some for domestic consumption, animal feed, etc. There is inter- and intra-community trading as well," Berejena explained.

BBC 13 Nov 2004 Zimbabwe plans more youth camps By Grant Ferrett BBC Africa editor Some girls say they were raped in the camps The Zimbabwean government has announced that it plans to set up more of its controversial youth camps in the run-up to elections scheduled for next March. The youth minister said the number of camps would rise from six to 10. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the camps are used to indoctrinate young people to intimidate and attack government opponents. The announcement of new training camps makes the prospect of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe even more remote. Youth Minister Ambrose Mutinhiri, a retired army brigadier, told the state-run media that the government's youth training scheme was close to completing a major expansion. He said three of the six centres established over the last few years would re-open later this month following renovations, with four more opening by early next year. The opposition says its no coincidence that the youth programme is being expanded shortly before Zimbabwe is due to hold parliamentary elections. "These new camps are simply meant to ensure the further militarisation of elections in Zimbabwe," said Tendai Biti, an opposition member of parliament. "They are meant to ensure that the opposition, the MDC, does not have access to those provinces where the new bases will be set up," Mr Biti said. Murder and torture The youth training camps were first set up in ahead of the presidential election of 2002, which saw Robert Mugabe returned to power after a campaign punctuated by violence. The government said the scheme was intended to instil a sense of national pride, as well as providing vocational skills. But the human rights group Amnesty International said youth trainees were involved in various crimes directed against the opposition, including murder, torture and arson. Former trainees have talked of widespread sexual abuse within the camps. The MDC has yet to make clear whether it will contest the general election due to be held in March. The expansion of the youth training programme makes it more likely that the party will refuse to take part.



AP 19 Nov 2004 Police appeal conviction in massacre of farmers Defense lawyers: Officers not responsible for others' actions RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- Defense lawyers appealed on Friday the convictions of two police officers charged in the massacre of 19 farmworkers in the Amazon rain forest in 1996. Defense lawyers requested a new trial for Col. Mario Colares Pantoja and Capt. Jose Maria Oliveira, arguing they could not be held responsible for the actions of other officers. The two were overseeing the more than 100 other officers there, and no one knows for sure who fired the fatal shots. A ruling was expected by Saturday. Pantoja and Oliveira were found guilty of killing the protesting farmworkers during a march in Eldorado dos Carajas, 1,200 miles (1,930 kilometers) northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Pantoja was sentenced to 228 years in prison and Oliveira to 158 years. The two were released pending appeal, and more than 125 other police officers were acquitted in the case. The massacre began as police clashed with nearly 2,000 farmworkers at a roadblock set up by the radical Landless Rural Workers' Movement. Police opened fire, killing 19 protesters and wounding at least 65 others. One police officer was killed in the incident and six were injured. In 1999, a court acquitted officers charged in the massacre. The decision sparked protests and was thrown out in 2000, leading to a new trial in 2002. The London, England-based rights group Amnesty International sent three observers to Friday's proceedings in Para state, notorious for land-related violence. "It's time for the state justice system to show it can [ensure] equal justice for all, and for state authorities to end the killings and the corruption that continue to stain the name of the state of Para," Amnesty International said in a statement.

BBC 21 Nov 2004 Five killed in Brazil land clash By Steve Kingstone BBC News, Sao Paulo Landless workers occupation of land has caused conflict Five rural workers have been shot dead and 14 others injured in Brazil as part of a dispute over land. They were members of a landless workers group that occupies agricultural land it says is not being used. The Brazilian government has called Saturday's attack, in the state of Minas Gerais, a barbarity. Conflict over land is nothing new but this is the most violent incident since President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took power nearly two years ago. It seems that on Saturday afternoon a mini bus pulled up at the settlement near the town of Felizburgo. Hooded gunmen got out and opened fire on men, women and children. Five people died and, of the others taken to hospital, two are said to be seriously injured. 'Massacre' The victims were part of Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement (MST). In what has become a familiar pattern, they occupied the 2,500-hectare site in 2002. They say the land belongs to the state government and had fallen into disuse. But inevitably such occupations create tensions with farmers, who often have rival claims to the land and occasionally hire gunmen to clear occupied areas. In this case the MST has already accused a landowner in a neighbouring state of ordering the attack. The government agency responsible for land rights has called the killings a massacre and has promised a speedy investigation. Brazil's minister for agricultural development was to visit the scene on Sunday.

www.survival-international.org 24 Nov 2004 BRAZIL: Farmers attack Indians’ houses as violence escalates A long-running battle between 16,000 Indians and the farmers and cattle ranchers who occupy much of their land flared into violence this week. Settlers attacked several Indian villages, burning houses and shooting indiscriminately. One Indian has since disappeared. The Supreme Court recently announced that it, rather than a lower court, will adjudicate on whether the Indians’ land should be properly protected. The region, known as Raposa-Serra do Sol, is a spectacular area of savannas, mountains and rainforest and home to the Makuxi, Wapixana, Ingarikó, Taurepang and Patamona tribes. In the struggle for land rights many Indians have been killed, and hundreds have suffered violence and harassment at thehands of the invading colonists and ranchers, who are supported by powerful state politicians. The Indigenous Council of Roraima is urging supporters to write to President Lula asking him to sign a decree ‘ratifying’ Raposa-Serra do Sol as Indian territory as a matter of urgency.


London Free Press 1 Nov 2004 www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/LondonFreePress/ Genocide: A crime against humanity Millions have died in unchecked crimes around the world MICHAEL LAWSON, CP 2004-11-01 02:47:07 Several thousand people died Sept. 11, 2001, in terrorist attacks on the United States that instantly became global news. Shocking as it was, that day of horror pales in comparison to what was then -- and is now -- occurring regularly, occasionally beyond the scope of the media's eye. It's something that has come to be known as genocide. Since the beginnings of recorded history, entire peoples have been wiped into oblivion in a concerted effort at ethnic, religious or political cleansing. Millions upon millions have perished in the 20th century alone. Yet the international community has often been slow to react -- sometimes not reacting at all -- and the atrocities persist. Just as the Sept. 11 attacks gave rise to a new and now globally recognized term, 9/11, the term genocide is relatively is relatively recent, formulated by a Polish expert in international law, Raphael Lemkin, in 1944 during the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany. Derived from Greek and Latin roots, the word means the eradication of a race. The United Nations has since expanded the definition to include the destruction of any national, ethnic, racial or religious group. The most extreme example in modern times, if only in terms of sheer numbers, was the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were gassed, shot, worked to death as slave labourers or subjected to inhumane surgical and other so-called medical experimentation, often fatal. Tens of thousands of Roma -- or Gypsies -- as well as homosexuals and other "undesirables" were also victimized. Most recently and still ongoing is the carnage in Darfur, the westernmost region of the African country Sudan. An estimated one million blacks have been uprooted from their land, whole masses raped and massacred, their villages razed and their crops and livestock plundered. As many as 200,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring Chad, itself pressed for resources; many more Sudanese face death by starvation or disease. The Darfur crisis did not develop overnight. In a country impoverished and drought-stricken, Arab herdsmen from the north moved into the western region to reap what they could from the meagre natural resources of Darfur -- water and scrubby grasslands. In the face of uprisings from the desperate locals, mounted Arab militias known as Janjaweed moved in to conduct a campaign of slaughter and forced relocation, the latter a virtual death sentence for many. Humanitarian groups such as Medecins sans frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), the United Nations children's organization UNICEF and some western governments have said the Sudanese government supports the Janjaweed. The government denies it. The Bush administration in Washington has, as of last month, declared the Darfur situation a genocide. Again in recent memory is the politically charged genocide in Rwanda, also in Africa, in which opposing Hutu and minority Tutsi peoples clashed at the cost of an estimated 500,000 lives, with many more displaced. Most of those killed were Tutsis. The year was 1994; the initial carnage occurred over mere months and then continued. It wasn't until 1996 that a Canadian-led international force moved in to try to stem the bloody unrest. This August, in a small-scale mirror image of the Rwandan infamy, 200 Tutsi men, women and children were shot or hacked to death in a UN refugee camp in neighbouring Burundi. Hutu rebels justified the action as a weeding-out of the opposing Burundi army and Congolese militia. The grim reality of genocide has been most apparent since the advent of modern media technology, which brings the horrors of the Third World into western homes nightly. World leaders tune in to the same thing. So why does it continue? Politics and semantics are two factors. When the United Nations was formed with scores of countries in 1945 after the horrors of the Second World War, the multinational grouping combined diverse mind-sets in the quest for peace, security and international co-operation. The UN did adopt a covenant on genocide, but the term itself became a focus of debate. Should, for instance, the extermination of a political group be counted as genocide? Some UN members argued against it. Then there was the matter of sovereignty. One state's right to govern within its borders became -- and remains -- an issue. As recently as August, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, on the question of military intervention into the Darfur crisis, said: "This is not a simple military solution. This is a matter for the Sudanese government to handle." Political solutions take time, but time is a luxury the victims of mass oppression can't afford. EXAMPLES OF GENOCIDE FROM THE LAST 100 YEARS The stain on humanity that has come to be known as genocide has a long history. Here are a few events from the last 100 years that have been labelled genocides: Ottoman Empire (1915) More than one million Christian Armenians were forced from their homes into the Syrian desert by the Muslim government of the then-Ottoman empire, along the way to face slaughter and starvation. Decades later, Third Reich dictator Adolf Hitler is said to have been inspired by the events. He was quoted as saying: "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" Russian Revolution (1917-21) Amid political upheaval that saw the fall of the czarist regime and the rise of communism, organized mobs waged pogroms against Jewish communities at the cost of more than 60,000 lives. Stalinist Soviet Union (1931-33) Under the banner of communism, lands and crops of prosperous Ukrainian farmers were seized. Up to 10 million in Ukraine were driven out to starve to death. Nazi Germany (1939-45) Hitler's "Final Solution" in the quest for a pure Aryan nation accounted for the deaths of six million Jews and tens of thousands of other "undesirables." Many were gassed and then incinerated in death camp furnaces. Cambodia (1975-79) The Khmer Rouge Communist party was responsible for the deaths of more than 1.5 million Cambodians through execution, slave labour and starvation. The country recently agreed to a UN-supported plan to bring surviving leaders to trial. Bosnia (1992-95) Attempts by Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to gain independence from Yugoslavia brought the wrath of the Serbian government, leading to widespread exterminations. About 18,000 victims have been found in mass graves. Former Serb president Slobodan Milosevic is before an international war-crimes tribunal on charges including genocide. Other military aides have been indicted. Rwanda (1994) About 500,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered by Hutu extremists in political strife. More Tutsis were massacred this summer in a UN refugee camp in neighbouring Burundi. Sudan (current) An estimated 300,000 people will die by year's end as residents of western Darfur region are forced from their lands. Many have been slaughtered; many more face starvation and disease. The Arab-led central government has been blamed for supporting the genocide.

NYT 6 Nov. 2004 Chile's Army Accepts Blame for Rights Abuses in the Pinochet Era By LARRY ROHTER RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov. 5 - After years of characterizing the human rights violations that occurred in Chile under the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet as "excesses" by individual officers rather than a deliberate government policy, the Chilean Army reversed course on Friday and acknowledged that it must bear collective "institutional" blame for such abuses. "The Army of Chile has taken the difficult but irreversible decision to assume the responsibility for all punishable and morally unacceptable acts in the past that fall on it as an institution," the current army commander, Gen. Juan Emilio Cheyre Espinosa, wrote in an essay published by La Tercera, a daily newspaper in Santiago, the capital. "Never and for no one can there be any ethical justification for human rights violations," he said. An official commission is readying a comprehensive report, expected to be made public this month, on torture and other systematic human rights abuses by state security and intelligence agents during the Pinochet dictatorship. Human rights groups estimate that about 4,000 people were killed after General Pinochet took power on Sept. 11, 1973, in the American-supported coup that overthrew Chile's elected left-wing civilian president, Salvador Allende. Thousands were tortured, jailed, forced to leave the country, stripped of their jobs or sent into internal exile. The "new vision" that General Cheyre announced Friday clashes directly with the views General Pinochet has always expressed. Now 88, ailing and under almost permanent investigation in connection with human rights abuses that occurred during his 17 years in power, General Pinochet maintains that he and other members of the military high command never issued orders to eliminate opponents of their dictatorship and that any abuses were the work of a few rogue officers. He and his lawyers had no immediate response to General Cheyre's statement, which could encourage the filing of new legal charges against him. Though General Pinochet has been stripped of his immunity from prosecution in two major investigations, he has avoided a trial so far because doctors found him to be suffering from senile dementia. "It's going to be hard for Pinochet to keep arguing that he had no clue, no sense, of what was going on, and that all the atrocities were due to a few bad apples," said José Miguel Vivanco, a Chilean who is director of Human Rights Watch Americas. Two former navy commanders close to General Pinochet criticized General Cheyre's declaration. "It seems to make no sense to me," Adm. Jorge Arancibia said. The other former navy chief, Adm. Jorge Martínez Busch, said he was "not in agreement with this vision, because simply put, that's not how it was." He added: "I categorically reject there was any such policy of state, as some maintain. Responsibility is always individual." Human rights groups generally expressed skepticism of General Cheyre's timing and motives. They said that while any admission of guilt was welcome and overdue, they would only be satisfied if the army provided names of all in its chain of command who had participated in rights abuses, so that prosecutors could act on the information. "We worry that this might be just another trick to assure impunity for human rights violators," Lorena Pizarro, president of the Group of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared, said in a telephone interview. "Some defense lawyers are already arguing that since the violations were committed by the state, you cannot hold individuals responsible for that policy."

www.theglobeandmail.com 22 Nov 2004 PM pushes world responsibility Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP Prime Minister Paul Martin says his farewells Sunday to other leaders at the conclusion of APEC meetings in Santiago, Chile. By CAMPBELL CLARK Santiago — Prime Minister Paul Martin insisted yesterday he had gained ground with Asia-Pacific leaders for his push to have the world accept a doctrine that would lead to swifter international intervention to stop humanitarian crises. At the same time, he said there is now a recognition that it is "inevitable" that his proposal for a G20 group of world leaders will eventually be accepted. He suggested it might begin with a conference on counterterrorism and infectious diseases such as AIDS. Meanwhile, during a meeting Saturday, U.S. President George W. Bush yielded a move on the mad-cow dispute that could lead to U.S. borders being opened to Canadian beef as early as next spring. Yesterday, at the close of the APEC summit of 21 Asia-Pacific leaders, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos noted that Mr. Martin had opened a discussion on the doctrine of "responsibility to protect," which would lower the bar for international intervention in disastrous global conflicts. Mr. Martin told reporters later: "After I finished — I don't think I'm telling tales out of school — Helen Clark of New Zealand immediately stepped in and said that a lot more work has to be done at the official level so that in fact these discussions are held." "And a number of other countries, I'd say four or five countries, immediately stepped up and said 'absolutely,' including Ricardo Lagos himself," he said. The "responsibility to protect" doctrine would allow the United Nations Security Council to authorize intervening in a country with military action or peacekeepers when there is a humanitarian crisis, rather than a full-fledged genocide. Mr. Martin said the UN has to be reformed to act more decisively, noting that after the United States declared the violence in Sudan's Darfur region genocide, the UN conducted a lengthy debate. Mr. Martin said he also raised Darfur as an example in a head-to-head meeting with Mr. Bush. "I simply made the point that if there was ever a reason for the responsibility to protect it is the absolute nonsense of having to discuss, when people are losing their lives, to discuss legal terms. And I must say Mr. Bush was very sympathetic," Mr. Martin said. The Prime Minister acknowledged there was strong reluctance from some countries, however, that feel lowering the bar on international intervention could be used as a "pretext" to interfere in sovereign nations. China, a major APEC member, has stuck to the principle that other countries should not meddle in the affairs of sovereign countries, even in rebuffing criticism of its own human-rights record. Mr. Martin insisted that he had gained backing for his proposal to create a G20 meeting of world leaders that would expand the current Group of Eight of the world's largest economies to include rising economies and regional powers such as China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa. He suggested a first meeting could be aimed at dealing with infectious diseases such as AIDS, or at counterterrorism, so that leaders could prove its effectiveness by hammering out concrete steps to attack a major global issue. Mr. Martin has championed the G20 meetings of leaders after helping create the G20 finance ministers meetings that are now a regular institution. The idea would be to include increasingly important regional powers in a manageably small meeting of world leaders. It is also aimed in part at maintaining Canada's influence and participation in high-level leaders' meetings when the rising economic power of countries such as China, India and Brazil might make Canada's membership in the G8 seem outdated. Mr. Martin said that effort scored "a field goal rather than a touchdown" at APEC, meeting support from countries that would join the club, but a reticent stance from some G8 powers such as the U.S. and Japan.On Saturday, Canadian officials said Mr. Bush had promised Mr. Martin he would act as early as today to refer a new trade rule, which would in theory open the border to Canadian cattle, to the Office of Management and Budget, a move that Mr. Martin labelled a "significant step." The rule could still be derailed by an unusual vote against it by both houses of the U.S. Congress, but Canadian officials argued that such a block by American legislators would be "extraordinary." "I think this is a significant step forward," Mr. Martin told reporters at a press conference Saturday. Cattle farmers are hopeful that the ban will be lifted. Stan Eby, president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, said yesterday he thinks the U.S. will "definitely" be taking live Canadian cattle next year, though he said more challenges could emerge.


washingtonpost.com 10 Nov 2004 Legal Woes Cut Into Bottom Line at Riggs Embassy Banking Proves Costly By Terence O'Hara Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, November 10, 2004; Page E01 Riggs National Corp. said yesterday that it lost $10 million in the third quarter, largely the result of $13 million in fees for a small army of lawyers and consultants to help it navigate a growing list of criminal, regulatory and civil matters related to its past dealings with former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, the government of Equatorial Guinea and Saudi Arabian diplomats. The company also disclosed that a Spanish judge, who has been seeking to prosecute Pinochet and extract reparations for the torture and death of Spanish citizens under his rule, has added Joe L. Allbritton, former chairman and chief executive of Riggs, to the complaint as well as his son, Robert, who replaced his father at chairman and chief executive in 2001. Also named are Riggs board member Steven B. Pfeiffer, managing partner with Fulbright & Jaworski and one of the architects of Riggs's international business, and Carol Thompson, a former account manager at Riggs who handled Pinochet's accounts. A Senate subcommittee in July said Riggs had handled a balance of between $4 million and $8 million for Pinochet over an eight-year period ending in 2002. According to Riggs's disclosure statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, Judge Baltasar Garzon is seeking damages from the Riggs executives and directors for allegedly concealing Pinochet's assets. Garzon indicted Pinochet in 1996 for crimes against humanity, including genocide, torture and terrorism, and has been trying to seize his assets and bring him to trial ever since. In the fullest accounting yet of the legal entanglements that could complicate its pending merger with PNC Financial Services Group, Riggs also acknowledged that it is the subject of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice. Riggs said Justice subpoenaed information about Riggs Bank's dealings with Pinochet, the government of Equatorial Guinea and its overall compliance with money-laundering laws. Justice has also asked for information about "the actions of various current and former employees of the company." "Riggs is actively engaged with the appropriate regulatory and governmental authorities with respect to these matters," said Riggs spokesman Mark Hendrix. In addition to the Justice investigation, the company is a defendant in a number of lawsuits, including one filed by victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Also, a pair of Senate committees continue to investigate Riggs's dealings with Pinochet, Equatorial Guinea and officials of Saudi Arabia. In the meantime, the company's two main regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve, continue to examine Riggs's dealings, including its compensation of executive officers and the possible misuse of corporate assets, including the use of the former company jet and a luxury London apartment, according to the SEC filing. The company allowed extensive personal use of a company-owned Gulfstream jet and the apartment to Joe Allbritton and his family until both were sold this summer. Analysts have said that Riggs's unfolding legal troubles might derail its pending merger with PNC Financial Services Group. PNC negotiated strict "material adverse change" clauses that would allow it to back out of the deal if Riggs's legal, regulatory or financial condition at the time of merger posed undue risk if it was assumed by PNC. Analysts, and executives at the company who spoke on the condition they remain anonymous because the merger agreement hasn't been renegotiated, expect PNC at least to negotiate a price below the more than $770 million it originally agreed to pay. Officially, both PNC and Riggs say the deal is on track to be consummated by the first quarter of next year. "Riggs is working vigorously with respect to the proposed transaction with the PNC Financial Services Group," Hendrix said. "Much of the media coverage recently has had a certain degree of speculative commentary. As a matter of policy, Riggs does not comment on speculation." Riggs was fined $25 million in May for failing to comply with money-laundering laws and for failing to report tens of millions of dollars of suspicious transactions involving Equatorial Guinea officials and diplomats with the Saudi Arabian embassy. In July the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released details of Riggs's handling of Pinochet's money, including transactions that appeared to be designed to conceal millions of dollars from regulators and from Spanish officials seeking to freeze his assets. A separate inquiry by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee is examining Riggs's handling of Saudi money. Riggs's cooperation with the investigations has been extremely costly. In reporting its third quarter earnings, Riggs noted that it incurred more than $13 million in legal expenses, compared with $1.2 million in the third quarter last year. The expenses were the main factor behind a $10 million (33 cents a share) loss in the quarter, compared with a $139,000 profit in the same quarter of 2003. So far in 2004, Riggs has lost $40.5 million ($1.37), and logged $18.1 million in legal fees.

BBC 12 Nov 2004 Daughter rues Pinochet-era abuses Lucia Pinochet has always been a staunch defender of her father The eldest daughter of Chile's former military ruler has said the use of torture during his 1973-90 regime was "barbaric and without justification". Lucia Pinochet Hiriart spoke after a report on torture and detention during the rule of Gen Augusto Pinochet was submitted to the president. The report has not yet been published, but it is said to detail horrific and degrading treatment of detainees. "I knew there were detentions... but nothing like this," said Ms Pinochet. Last year, Ms Pinochet complained that history had been distorted and her father was demonised while the man he overthrew, Salvador Allende, was depicted as a saint. But in an interview with Chilean TV station Chilevision, she said the revelations of the extent of the suffering endured by those detained under her father had left her shocked. "I knew there were detainees, that there were pressures, I even told [my father] that while he was in power, but nothing like this," she told the channel, according to La Tercera newspaper. "Really, it deeply affected me - it was a barbarism without justification." Parts of the report presented to President Ricardo Lagos on Wednesday have been leaked to the press. The extracts suggest prisoners were electrocuted, beaten, burned with cigarettes and forced to consume human excrement and urine, among other abuses, La Tercera says. Profile: Augusto Pinochet But Ms Pinochet insisted the responsibility for such abuses lay "with individuals - I don't believe... that it was at the level of government, something structural". She said her father, who is 89, was old and in bad health. "I don't think he gives this much thought," she said. "The ones who are really suffering are us," his family. The study by a government-sponsored commission is based on interviews with 35,000 former prisoners. It is the first-ever major investigation into torture during the 17-year regime. Previous reports have focused on those who were killed. Last week, the head of the Chilean army, Gen Juan Emilio Cheyre, accepted institutional responsibility for past abuses. The report is expected to be published around the end of this month.

BBC 18 Nov 2004 Pinochet spy chief denied amnesty Contreras was a confidant of Augusto Pinochet after the coup Chile's Supreme Court has upheld the jail sentence handed to Gen Augusto Pinochet's ex-chief of secret police, for the disappearance of a dissident. In a landmark ruling, it said abduction cases where the victim or remains are not found are not covered by an amnesty law issued by Gen Pinochet. The court also upheld the convictions of five former aides to Manuel Contreras over the 1975 disappearance. Human rights groups said the move was a "great victory" for accountability. "Today's ruling gives full backing to efforts by the lower courts to hold accountable those responsible for grave human rights violations under military rule," said Jose Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights Watch. "It is a great victory for the victims' families and their lawyers, who have battled for years to bring this about." Previous conviction Miguel Angel Sandoval, a member of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left, vanished after he was arrested by secret police agents in January 1975. His body has never been found. However, the Supreme Court reduced Contreras' prison sentence from 15 to 12 years, for masterminding the disappearance. Human rights groups say Pinochet's regime killed thousands Correspondents say Wednesday's decision sets a precedent for many other unresolved disappearances that took place under Gen Pinochet's campaign against dissidents. Thousands of supporters of the previous government were killed, tortured or forced into exile during his 1973-1990 military rule. In 1978, Gen Pinochet issued an amnesty that covered human rights crimes committed during the first five years of his regime. Contreras' lawyer said he should have been granted amnesty. The founder of Gen Pinochet's much-feared secret police had already been convicted and served seven years for the killing of a former Chilean foreign minister. Contreras set up the unit that played a key role in the early years of repression of the military government.

NYT 28 Nov 2004 A Torture Report Compels Chile to Reassess Its Past By LARRY ROHTER ANTIAGO, Chile, Nov. 26 - The long-awaited report of an official commission investigating torture is finally in the hands of President Ricardo Lagos and is to be published any day now. But even before the findings are formally made public, the graphic, wrenching report is forcing Chileans to reassess their past and recalibrate their political attitudes. The 1,200-page document covers the period from the coup of Sept. 11, 1973, that installed Gen. Augusto Pinochet in power through 1989, when military rule was about to give way to a democratic civilian government. It concludes that during the dictatorship, especially in the first phase, "torture was a policy of the state, meant to repress and terrorize the population." Based on testimony from 35,000 victims, the commission, led by Msgr. Sergio Valech, the bishop emeritus of Santiago, identified 14 main forms of torture. They included physical abuse, like beatings, burns, submersion in water, electrical shock, the extraction of fingernails and sexual violations, and psychological methods, like mock executions, long periods of solitary confinement and compulsory attendance at sessions where others were tortured. Information about the report was provided by people with access to the findings. A report about the findings also has appeared in the daily newspaper La Tercera. Mr. Lagos said some of the case histories were so grotesque that "it has been difficult for me to read some passages." In an editorial that reflected the views expressed by many in the political and business establishment, La Tercera last week expressed concern that "the commission's document, conceived as a way to end an era, will end up prolonging the debate it was meant to conclude." An official study undertaken in 1991 identified about 300 locations, mostly military barracks and other government buildings, as places where kidnapped prisoners had been held or killed. The new report expands the number of sites to 1,200 and specifies which military, police and intelligence units inflicted the torture, though the names of individual officers are withheld. "One case is not enough to establish a pattern, but we have gathered enough to be able to say what went on in a particular place," said Elizabeth Lira, a psychologist who specializes in treating torture victims and who is a member of the commission. "The uniformity of torture the width and breadth of the country shows that in every regiment in Chile the policy was the same." On Nov. 5, anticipating those findings, the commander of the army, Gen. Juan Emilio Cheyre, acknowledged "institutional" responsibility for "punishable and morally unacceptable acts in the past." Though that gesture was widely praised in the news media and by human rights groups, it has won lukewarm support at best from the armed forces and among retired army officers. "For the other branches, their view seems to be that the less they say, the better," said Sebastian Brett, the Chile representative of Human Rights Watch. "They've been trying to melt into the furniture, and there has been a certain criticism of Cheyre for grandstanding." Though its role was smaller than the army's, the navy appears particularly resistant to admitting any role in institutionalized torture. The new report, however, confirms longstanding accusations that prisoners were tortured aboard the Esmeralda, the training ship that is an emblem of the Chilean Navy and has for years been the object of human rights protests in foreign ports where it docks. "There is no justification for the navy to keep sailing the Esmeralda around the world, because its image will never change," said Carlos Huneeus, a political analyst who is a former ambassador to Germany. "I hope that Lagos says it has to be sold, though what do you do with it? Turn it into a museum?" The armed forces face additional pressure as the result of a recent Supreme Court decision. For the first time, justices ruled that military officers involved in the forced disappearance of political prisoners could be denied amnesty and required to serve prison terms, a judgment that could affect hundreds of officials facing charges. Coinciding with the report, many former prisoners for the first time have been willing to acknowledge or discuss at length their experiences under torture. During the dictatorship, and even later, people who revealed that they had been tortured feared ostracism. The list includes not only ordinary citizens, but members of Congress and even Michelle Bachelet, the former minister of defense who is the front-runner in the race to succeed Mr. Lagos as president, according to opinion polls. As a result of General Cheyre's statement, there have also been mounting calls for other institutions, like the judiciary and the news media, to offer a mea culpa for not denouncing abuses and defending the constitutional order. "The Supreme Court could have saved lives, but was pusillanimous," said Ricardo Israel, director of the International Center for the Quality of Democracy, "and the press acts as if nothing happened and it had no responsibility." But the civilian right-wing parties and business groups that supported the Pinochet dictatorship and always denied that systematic torture took place are in an even more uncomfortable position. With the army having now undermined that position, they are scrambling awkwardly to adjust. "Chilean society as a whole failed, and all of us as members of that society have failed," said Mayor Joaquín Lavín of Santiago, the right's candidate for president in the 2000 election. Human rights groups and other parties immediately criticized Mr. Lavín's statement, saying it blurred the distinction between the authorities who killed and tortured and their opponents, who did not. Even the Socialist-led government in power here faces a quandary as a result of the report: how to compensate torture victims. Suggestions have included one small "austere" or "symbolic" payment to a lifetime pension, and Mr. Lagos acknowledges that the issue has slowed his deliberations. Initial estimates said 300,000 people had been tortured and might make presentations to the commission. But the much smaller number of people who came forward may have eased the government's fears of a financial drain on the budget if it were to offer a lifetime pension. "We're not sure what happens next," Dr. Lira said. "We can only demonstrate what the victims experienced in these sites of death and torture and show that the stories they have been guarding within themselves all these years are true."


Agence France-Presse 25 Nov 2004 First 450 paramilitary fighters in Colombia turn in their weapons by Gerardo Gomez TURBO, Colombia, Nov 25 (AFP) - Some 450 Colombian paramilitaries handed over weapons Thursday, the first of at least 3,000 right-wing fighters due to surrender their arms as an initial gesture in a peace deal. The members of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) turned in weapons in this remote northeastern town in a ceremony presided by the government's peace commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo and AUC leader Salvatore Mancuso. Some 3,000 fighters are to handover their weapons by December 31, as the first step in a peace deal that aims to have all 20,000 AUC members return to civilian life by the end of 2006. President Alvaro Uribe believes the deal will help bring peace to Colombia, even though larger and stronger leftist guerrilla groups are still battling the government in a four-decade civil war. "What good are guns, if these areas are living in peace, growing economically," Mancuso said during the ceremony. The handover came one day after Colombia's Supreme Court cleared Mancuso for extradition to the United States to face drugs charges. Mancuso, who has been granted a temporary stay from arrest while he negotiates with the government, ignored questions about the ruling. So far he has given no indication that he will end his fight against his extradition. Besides Mancuso, the ruling also extends to AUC founding leader Carlos Castano -- who mysteriously disappeared in April -- as well as rebel chief "Simon Trinidad" of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Both are also wanted on US drug trafficking charges. Trinidad is in a maximum-security prison. The surrender of weapons, overseen by the Organization of American States (OAS), Restrepo and Mancuso, holds special significance for the people of Uraba who have seen some of the worst violence in Colombia. Uraba is a strategic corridor used by drug traffickers and arms smugglers and has been the scene of bloody fighting between the paramilitaries, leftist rebel groups and government forces. With the disappearance of the paramilitary forces in the region, however, some local inhabitants fear the return in force of FARC rebels, who were routed from the area in the 1990s by the paramilitaries. "What we're after is the Armed Forces taking over all territories vacated by the AUC, and we have a contingency plan that will go into effect immediately," said Uraba's peace commissioner Jaime Fajardo. The military threw a double ring of security around the region for the handover ceremony. The paramilitaries taking part have been gathering since the weekend at a ranch in Turbo. They are scheduled to officially return to civilian life on December 10, except for those charged with major crimes. Under the terms of the agreement, criminal AUC members will be placed in a special holding area until a law is enacted that will establish their punishment. The government said it will soon present such a bill to Congress. The 450 fighters disarming Thursday belong to an AUC unit called the "Banana Bloc." Their leader Hernan Hernandez in an interview published Wednesday revealed that a number of his men are former rebels of the FARC and the National Liberation Army. Paramilitary groups began operating in the 1980s to combat leftist guerrillas, some of which have been battling the government in a 40-year civil war, which has claimed more than 200,000 lives. Analysts said the demobilization of paramilitary fighters is a positive step in the country's war.


news.scotsman.com UK 7 Nov 2004 Massacre of Aristide supporters brings back memories of Papa Doc REED LINDSAY IN PORT-AU-PRINCE THE bodies had been whisked away, but a pool of dried blood covering a dirt-floored dead end of a twisting alleyway was a chilling sign that a massacre might have taken place. Residents in the Fort National neighbourhood, which like most of Port-au-Prince’s slums is a bastion of support for former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, gathered around the darkening blood the following day. Some of them say police officers wearing black hooded masks shot and killed 12 people, and then dragged their bodies away. Eliphete Joseph, a young man wearing a blue basketball jersey who claims to be a friend of several of the men who were killed last week, his eyes red with tears, said: "The police officers will say that this was an operation against gangs. But we are all innocent. The worst thing is that Aristide is now in exile in South Africa, but we are in Haiti, and they are persecuting us only because we live in a poor neighbourhood." Two days later, in a nearby slum area known for its pro-Aristide militancy, residents said armed men dressed in police uniforms and black hooded masks executed four young men. The next day, their rotting bodies lay face down in the street covered in flies. Their wrists had been tied by shoelaces, and at least two had charred fingers, an indication they might have been tortured. The killings appear to be the latest example of what human rights groups describe as a campaign of repression against supporters of Aristide, who was escorted out of the country on February 29 by US marines. The US government says he resigned, while Aristide says he was forced out against his will in a coup d’état. Some Haitian and international human rights observers are beginning to make comparisons with the darkest days of the 1991 to 1994 military regime, and with the 1957 to 1986 dictatorship of François ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier and his son Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’. One difference, they say, is that the current government has received the blessing of the international community. Neither the US nor the United Nations, which has a peacekeeping force of more than 3,000 troops in Haiti, have censured abuses committed under the government of Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, who took power in March. Brian Concannon, director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, said: "When 20 to 30 people were getting killed a year [under Aristide] there was a cascade of condemnation pouring down on the Aristide government. Now that as many as 20 to 30 are getting killed in a day, there is silence. It is an obvious double standard." UN and Haitian officials deny government security forces are murdering opponents. Justice minister Bernard Gousse said: "The government is not violating people’s rights. We’ve made it clear to the police. We have to fight terrorists, but also protect the civilian population." Gousse added that the government was investigating one case of an alleged human rights abuse committed by police. Human rights observers in Haiti concede that it is difficult to document exactly how many people have been killed and by whom. There are myriad armed groups in the country, including some gangs that support Aristide and others that have shifting political allegiances. However, according to Gerardo Ducos, who is leading an observation mission for Amnesty International in Haiti, Aristide’s backers have suffered the brunt of human rights violations since the change in government. Renan Hedouville, head of the Lawyers’ Committee for the Respect of Individual Liberties, a group that was a loud critic of Aristide’s government for rights abuses, said: "A lot of us were hoping the human rights situation would improve after Aristide left. Now it is worse. The international community needs to condemn these abuses. If they don’t, they will be complicit." Brazilian Juan Gabriel Valdes, who heads the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti, said: "What we have seen in this country during the last month or two has been a resurgence of brutal violence organised probably in order to provoke a process of political destabilisation. Any state has the right to defend itself."

Newsday 7 Nov 2004 www.newsday.com BLOODSHED IN HAITI Violent tide vs. Aristide supporters BY REED LINDSAY SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT November 7, 2004 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - The bodies had been whisked away, but dried blood covering the dirt at the end of an alleyway was a chilling sign that a massacre might have taken place. Residents in the Fort National neighborhood - like most of this capital's slums, a bastion of support for former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide - gathered in the alley the following day two weeks ago. Some who were afraid to give their names said police officers in black hooded masks shot and killed 12 people and dragged away their bodies. At least three families have identified bodies at the morgue; others have not seen missing loved ones and fear the worst. Tales of repression These killings and others appear to be the latest example of what human rights groups describe as a campaign of repression against Aristide supporters. "The police officers will say that this was an operation against gangs. But we are all innocent," said Eliphete Joseph, a young man who said he was a friend of several victims. "The worst thing is that Aristide is now in exile far from here in South Africa, but we are in Haiti, and they are persecuting us only because we live in a poor neighborhood." Two days later, in a nearby slum known for its pro-Aristide militancy, residents say armed men dressed in police uniforms and black hooded masks executed four young men. The next day, their rotting bodies lay facedown in the street. Their wrists had been tied with shoelaces and at least two had charred fingers, an indication they might have been tortured. Aristide was escorted from Haiti on Feb. 29 by U.S. Marines after armed groups led by former soldiers took control of most of the country and threatened to attack Port-au-Prince. The U.S. government says Aristide resigned; he says he was forced out in a coup d'etat. "A lot of us were hoping the human rights situation would improve after Aristide left. Now it is worse," said Renan Hedouville, head of the Lawyers' Committee for the Respect of Individual Liberties, a group that loudly criticized Aristide's government for rights abuses. "People are being arrested without warrants and for political reasons, and being put in jail without seeing a judge. Women are being raped by police and ex-military, and Lavalas members in poor neighborhoods are being killed," said Hedouville, who said he has received death threats. Lavalas was Aristide's party. "The international community needs to condemn these abuses." Neither the United States nor United Nations, which has a peacekeeping force of more than 3,000 troops in Haiti, has publicly censured abuses committed under the government of Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, installed in March. UN and Haitian government officials deny Haitian security forces are murdering his opponents. "The government is not violating people's rights," Justice Minister Bernard Gousse said in an interview last week. "We've made it very clear to the police: We have to fight terrorists, but also protect the civilian population. We will not accept human rights abuses." He said the government was investigating one case of an alleged human rights abuse committed by police. Rights observers concede it is difficult to document exactly how many people have been killed and by whom. There are myriad armed groups, including some gangs that support Aristide and others that have shifting political allegiances. Meanwhile, armed former members of Haiti's defunct military, a notoriously corrupt and abusive force disbanded by Aristide in 1995, swagger through the capital and control much of the countryside. While the government has established an office to help meet the demands of the former soldiers, it has gone on the offensive against Lavalas members in Port-au-Prince, searching homes and arresting dozens of people at a time. Catholic priest arrested The most publicized case is that of Gerard Jean-Juste, a Catholic priest who was arrested without a warrant Oct. 13 at a soup kitchen he runs for 600 children. Gousse said on Thursday that Jean-Juste, a friend of Aristide and critic of the current government, is suspected of harboring "organizers of violence." "People say I was arrested because I could be a potential [presidential] candidate," said Jean-Juste as he stood outside his cell in the national penitentiary. "Nobody is following the constitution now. We need to return to democracy ... I lived many years under [former dictator Jean-Claude] Duvalier. He killed so many people, but he never kept a priest in jail." Analysts say the government repression represents an attempt to silence Lavalas leaders before next year's elections. Lavalas maintains strong support among Haiti's majority poor. Other Aristide supporters have been arrested, but Hedouville says most prisoners are men from Port-au-Prince's slums who are not necessarily politically active but fit the description of armed pro-Aristide militants. Human rights observers say the former soldiers who control cities such as Petit-Goave in western Haiti - where they have chased out the police and appointed themselves as the government - are arresting and persecuting Lavalas supporters in a similar fashion to what the government is doing in Port-au-Prince. Government and UN officials have defended the crackdown as an attempt to put an end to violence that has left dozens dead in the past month. They blame Aristide supporters for killing police officers and trying to destabilize the Latortue administration. "What we have seen in this country during the last month or two has been a resurgence of brutal violence organized probably in order to provoke a process of political destabilization," said Chilean Juan Gabriel Valdes, who heads the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti. Evidence of destabilization has been scant. Gunfire and robberies are common in Port-au-Prince, but it is not always clear if they are politically motivated. Media attention has focused recently on the decapitations of two policemen in what has been described as part of "Operation Baghdad." But the government has presented no evidence that the Iraq-style decapitations were carried out by Aristide supporters - or that any such operation exists. Gerardo Ducos, who is leading an Amnesty International observation mission, says Aristide's backers have suffered the brunt of human rights violations since the change in government. "They are persecuting the Aristide people because they are afraid of them," said lawyer Reynold Georges, who leads a political party that opposes Aristide but is representing Jean-Juste and several other incarcerated Lavalas party members. "A lot of people have stayed loyal to Lavalas. ... The poor people, the masses, still believe in Aristide."


BBC 6 Nov 2004 The day the Maoists went to court By Elliott Gotkine BBC News, Lima Guzman faces a civilian trial for the first time The retrial of Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman has been suspended until next Friday after chaotic scenes in the Peruvian courthouse. Mr Guzman faces terrorism charges for masterminding a leftwing insurgency which led to the deaths of almost 70,000 people and cost Peru billions of dollars in damage. The date of the retrial had been set weeks ago. The special, bullet-proof protected courtroom had been completed with time to spare, and the world's media had descended on the Callao naval base, just west of Lima, for what could prove one of the most important trials in the country's history. But one should never overestimate the abilities of Peru's judiciary. For an hour hordes of local and foreign cameramen, photographers and newspaper journalists stood outside the grim, grey building. One by one we were finally allowed through the steel doors. There would just be a few minutes for filming and photographs. People with any sort of recording equipment would then be asked to leave, for security reasons. Maoist reunion But things didn't quite go according to plan. For a start, the trial didn't get going until almost 1025, almost a full hour after it was supposed to. Transporting some of Mr Guzman's followers from their provincial prisons had apparently proved tricky. ABIMAEL GUZMAN Formed Shining Path movement in the 1970s Launched insurgency in rural areas in 1980 70,000 killed in terror and counter-terror campaigns Arrested and judged by military panel in 1992 Life sentence overturned by constitutional court in 2003 When they did finally enter the courtroom, they shuffled in one by one. The last of the 16 to arrive was Abimael Guzman, known to his supporters as "President Gonzalo". With his grey hair neatly cut and combed backwards and wearing tinted, thick-rimmed glasses, Mr Guzman looked like the philosophy professor he once was. After embracing one of his comrades, the 69-year-old rebel leader shook his right fist briefly, yet defiantly, and took his seat alongside his longtime lover and co-accused, Elena Iparraguirre. Mr Guzman sat in the first of two rows now occupied by more than a dozen Maoist guerrillas. It looked like a class reunion photograph. Ban defied The scene was in marked contrast to the caged, wild-haired and wild-eyed individual paraded before the world's media 12 years ago, soon after Mr Guzman's sensational capture. The government of the day reportedly considered shooting him. But in the end Mr Guzman was tried behind closed doors by a panel of hooded military judges. He was found guilty of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment, without parole. Guzman recently went on hunger strike in prison But last year, Peru's highest court declared the country's anti-terror laws illegal, paving the way for the retrial of the Shining Path leader. Ironically, this time the media were the caged ones. We were crammed into an airless room behind the bullet-proof glass. Almost all of us had to stand. After establishing who was to be defended by whom, the presiding judge caved in to media pressure, and said he would allow the cameras to remain "so that people could see justice in action". Unfortunately many Peruvian journalists are about as respectful as a bunch of hungry hyenas who have just stumbled upon a dead zebra. Some were broadcasting the proceedings live on radio, despite mobile phones supposedly being banned. Farcical end Before long, the judge decided to kick out the cameras. Taking his cue, Mr Guzman rose to his feet. With his right fist clenched and raised high in the air, he began to rant. "Long live Peru's Communist Party!" he shouted, as his followers joined in. "Glory to Marxism, Leninism and Maoism! Long live the heroes of the people! Long live the Peruvian people!" Guzman and Iparraguirre chanted pro-Communist slogans in the courtroom The media erupted into a frenzy of flashbulbs. The judge, clearly unimpressed, suspended the hearing. And all of the accused were led back to their cells. It was a farcical end to the first day of what will be several trials for Abimael Guzman. The proceedings are expected to drag on for months (without cameras present, one can only assume). According to his lawyer, Mr Guzman is unlikely to co-operate with the hearings, in protest at what he sees as their illegality. Either way, no-one in Peru - not even the ageing rebel leader himself - expects the country's courts to free him. But there are fears that the Peruvian state is unprepared to go up against the Shining Path leader in court. Fears also abound that Mr Guzman could appeal against any eventual guilty verdict to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the hope of winning his liberty by arguing that Peru's definition of terrorism is flawed. An uncomfortable prospect for those who lost loved ones in the brutal insurgency begun by the Shining Path, or those who can remember how close it came to tearing Peru apart.

United States

Japan Times 27 Oct 2004 www.japantimes.co.jp PARTICIPATION NEEDED U.S. has no reason to fear that ICC will abuse rights By CESAR CHELALA and ALBERTO ZUPPI Special to The Japan Times NEW YORK -- After the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1998, laying out the foundations for the International Criminal Court, many believed that this organ of justice would never materialize. There were already indications that the United States would not support such a court in all its aspects. Rejection of the ICC became evident during the Bush administration, which repudiated the U.S. signature of the treaty. Yet, in spite of the U.S. opposition, the Rome Statute has now been ratified by 97 countries, and the ICC has been in official existence since July 1, 2002. During the first and second presidential debates, President George W. Bush referred to the ICC and his refusal to ratify that treaty. He called the ICC "a body based in The Hague where unaccountable judges and prosecutors can pull our troops or diplomats up for trial." That was an unfortunate and misleading statement. The ICC exercises only complementary jurisdiction -- and only over member states. This is the main difference from other international courts, such as the ones concerning ex-Yugoslavia and Rwanda, which have primacy over national tribunals. This means that the ICC will act only when the related member state is unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute the case itself. Additionally, the case is accepted, it should first be regarded as admissible by the prosecutor and by the so-called "pretrial chamber." If a U.S. citizen is accused of a crime, the court's judges are obliged to defer to the U.S. justice system, standing down for at least six months while the U.S. conducts its own investigation. The ICC judges would be able to authorize investigations only if they decided that the U.S. judicial system was deliberately obstructing justice. Such a premise establishes, in practice, a very high threshold of protection from politically motivated prosecutions. ICC jurisdiction will be limited to the most serious crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression (in cases of the latter, only if a definition of such crimes is obtained in 2009). As for the judges and the prosecutor, they will be accountable to an assembly of member states that may remove them in case of serious misconduct or breach of their duties. The U.S. is a country were freedom and democracy are paramount and where everybody is supposedly equal before the law and where impunity is not tolerated. So it is hard to believe that the American public, if it knew that a hideous crime had been perpetrated by an American citizen, would prefer that no investigation be carried out followed by a prosecution if needed. The Abu Ghraib case is paradigmatic in this regard. When the facts were known, a prosecution began and nobody seriously could sustain the view that nothing would be done about it. Soldiers who participated in torture have already been prosecuted, indicted and convicted. Why should we presume that something different would happen if the U.S. became a member of the ICC? According to Human Rights Watch, the ICC will provide defendants more rights and protections than many countries to which the U.S. extradites its own citizens. The White House has recently endorsed a proposed bill that would make it legal for U.S. intelligence officials to deport individuals to countries known to use torture to obtain information. Monroe Leigh, a former U.S. State Department legal adviser has stated, "The list of due process rights guaranteed by the Rome Statute are, if anything, more detailed and comprehensive than those in the American Bill of Rights . . . I can think of no right guaranteed to military personnel by the U.S. Constitution that is not also guaranteed in the Treaty of Rome." Being part of the U.N. and then being criticized by rogue nations is indeed undesirable. But that is the same forum that gave the U.S. several occasions to affirm a position, to criticize an opponent and to lead the world. Not ratifying the Rome Treaty puts the U.S. in the same unenviable company as Cuba, Pakistan, North Korea, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Syria and Myanmar, which have refused to sign the ICC treaty while all major and emerging democracies have decided to do so. It is true that from a realistic point of view no government is inclined to accept the prosecution of its own leaders by an international organ. But it is not a question of popularity to abide by the law. The U.S. should take its irreplaceable and unchallenged role in the ICC, and thus strengthen its role in today's complex world. More than any other country's participation, U.S. support for the ICC could help establish the rule of law and convince tyrants and despots worldwide that they cannot act with impunity anymore. Cesar Chelala is an award-winning writer on human rights issues. Alberto Zuppi is a professor of international law at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.

Independent News Desk 28 Oct 2004 newsdesk.org U.S. Presidency Shapes War Crime Tribunals International Criminal Court faces treaty doubts By Jennifer Hamm THE HAGUE -- Luis Moreno-Ocampo has diamonds on his mind. As chief prosecutor of the new International Criminal Court, he's been investigating the use of "blood diamonds" to help fund civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The conflict there claimed three million lives from 1998 to 2002. A professorial Argentinean with a trim beard, Moreno-Ocampo made his courtroom reputation in the 1980s as a prosecutor in the trial of the military junta leaders that ruled his home country in the prior decade. Today, he considers the mass killings in the DRC to be the "most important case since World War II" and is aiming to make it the ICC's inaugural trial. Hearings are tentatively scheduled for early 2005, but funding troubles and legal questions from some of the world's most powerful nations -- including Japan, Russia and the United States -- mean that the court is facing a trial of its own. U.S. opposition Based in The Hague, the ICC is intended to serve as the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal, and handles cases against individuals. A sister organization, the International Court of Justice, addresses disputes between nations. The ICC has jurisdiction in nations that are referred to it by the United Nations Security Council, or that have ratified the 1998 Rome Statute that called for the court's creation. As of this fall, more than half the world's nations are members of the court, and President Bill Clinton endorsed it just before leaving office in 2001 -- though not without citing "significant flaws" in the Rome Statute. Among his concerns were the court's presumption of jurisdiction over nations that haven't signed on with it, and the potential for U.S. personnel facing "unfounded charges." In his endorsement, Clinton said that signing would put the U.S. "in a position to influence the evolution of the Court," but told his "successor" to not send the treaty to the Senate "until our fundamental concerns are satisfied." Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry supports the court, but he also wants to ensure protection for Americans from "politically motivated prosecutions." Those same concerns were cited by President George W. Bush when he withdrew Clinton's signature in May 2002. "I understand that in certain capitals around the world that that wasn't a popular move," said Bush in his first debate against Kerry. "But it's the right move not to join a foreign court that could -- where our people could be prosecuted." President Bush also signed into law the American Servicemembers' Protection Act, which grants citizens immunity from prosecution in any international criminal court which the United States is not a party to. Through what Human Rights Watch called the "Hague invasion clause," the law authorizes the U.S. to use "all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release" of its citizens or allies held by the court. The U.S. has also set about establishing "bilateral immunity agreements" with other nations to prevent the extradition of nationals from the U.S. and co-signing countries to the ICC. Nations that refuse to sign BIAs have seen cuts in military and other financial support from the U.S., totaling $47 million last year, while many of the more than 80 countries that have entered into such agreements have enjoyed "some kind of quid pro quo," said William Pace of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. "Discredit and destroy" U.S. officials say that the authority to create the agreements derives from Article 98 of the Rome Statute, although proponents of the court say it is a misreading of the law. The legal disagreements run deeper still: Jack Spencer at the Heritage Foundation considers several aspects of the ICC undemocratic and counter to American jurisprudence. For example, he said, the court does not provide certain rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, such as due process and trial by a jury of peers. "That's not acceptable to me as an American," said Spencer, a senior analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based think tank. He also said the U.S. "spills more blood and expends more treasure than any other nation" in support of international peacekeeping and emergency operations, and that a lack of protection for its citizens would be a disincentive for sending troops on such missions. In fact, since the Rome Statue went into effect, the U.S. has withdrawn from peacekeeping operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Johan D. van der Vyver, a professor of international human rights law at Emory University and a self-described "party to the Rome conference," said that it would be extremely unusual for an American soldier or citizen to be prosecuted in the ICC without the consent of the U.S. government. "The U.S. in a sense does have a veto, because the jurisdiction of the ICC is excluded," he said, if the federal government were to conduct its own "bonafide inquiry into wrongdoing." He described the U.S. attitude "really inexplicable, except as a matter of American exceptionalism, Americans are above international law." Van der Vyver said the court's due process statute is a "model for the world," and that for previous international war-crimes tribunals, such as those held in Nuremberg and Tokyo after World War II, the U.S. did not use juries. He said that deep-rooted anger over the 1986 judgment by the International Court of Justice against American support of the Contras in Nicaragua has led the U.S. to undertake a "malicious campaign" to "discredit and eventually destroy" the ICC. Victim needs The court's financial future remains uncertain without the support of heavyweight nations such as Russia, Japan and the United States, but in September the court's assembly of participating nations approved a 2005 budget of nearly 67 million euros ($82 million). The funding will support general operations, at least one trial and two more investigations. Chief Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo is investigating another six situations on four continents, and in 2005 is prioritizing what he described in a September speech as "the massive crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Northern Uganda." The Heritage Foundation's Spencer expressed doubts that "bloated, inefficient bureaucracies" could solve the worst of the world's problems. Even ICC proponents admit concerns over bureaucratic procedure. Pace said he feared the court might repeat the mistakes of previous tribunals in nations such as Rwanda, where justice may have been carried out, but victims were not adequately informed. He said his doubts were allayed after the court's new budget provided funding to set up more field offices for victims. J. Coll Metcalfe, a journalist who covered the Rwanda tribunal and is currently making a documentary about victims there, recalled 300-page decisions that would be "difficult for even a lawyer to make sense of." "And you can imagine what a genocide survivor in a remote Rwanda village understands of it," he wrote in an email to Newsdesk.org. If the ICC does not learn from these mistakes, Metcalfe noted, "it runs the risk of being viewed by the people victimized by crime as being a total farce." See www.heritage.org/Research/InternationalOrganizations

newstandardnews.net 29 Oct 2004 Bush, Kerry Differ Slightly on Foreign Policy, Scholars Say by Jeff Shaw (bio) Small but significant differences between the major candidates emerge on issues of international relations, interventionism and military spending, but progressive critics are hesitant to give Kerry high marks. Oct 29 - While John Kerry might not represent a 180-degree turn from George W. Bush on foreign policy issues, scholars say, he would bring certain elements to the table that Bush has lacked -- including, some contend, greater competence and a willingness to use non-military tools in the foreign policy toolbox. Though both candidates are avowed interventionists, the way they approach the use of American power is likely to differ in certain ways. Kerry is "more knowledgeable, more experienced and less ideological than the incumbent president," said Stephen Zunes of the progressive think tank Foreign Policy in Focus. But people expecting a major realignment of international relations thinking if Kerry is elected, Zunes added, may well be disappointed. "On some of these [foreign policy] issues ... there's not that big a difference," said Zunes, also a professor at San Francisco State University. "There are very clear differences on domestic policy -- the environment, civil liberties, women's rights -- but on foreign policy, the differences aren't as great as a lot of progressives would like to hope." Besides the Israel-Palestine conflict, Zunes said the candidates have a similar attitude toward American power projection, one that countermands international norms. He pointed to Kerry's vote in support of a resolution giving President Bush the authority to invade Iraq. "Granting Bush this unprecedented power to invade Iraq, as Kerry and Edwards did in 2002, wasn't just a matter of political judgment -- it was, in effect, a negation of the UN charter," Zunes said. That document permits the use of force only in self-defense or when explicitly authorized by the UN Security Council. Neither condition applied to the war in Iraq, according to most international interpretations, including that of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Kerry's speeches on the stump have shown a "rhetorical strategy [designed] to match Bush bomb-for-bomb," said Stephen Shalom, professor of political science at William Paterson University. "The question is: is that the foreign policy he's going to carry out?" Though the answer is unclear, Shalom estimates that Kerry's eye to international relationships might make him less likely to intervene in other nations and conflicts. "My guess is that Kerry would be less inclined to rush to war like the Bush administration did," Shalom said. "When Kerry says he wants to be multilateral, sure, he wants that to be a US-dominated multilateralism -- but that does put some check on the likelihood of his starting a war. Multilateralism matters not because Kerry offers a principled criticism of US foreign policy, but because it would put a check on Kerry's interventionist tendencies." An explanation for the similar rhetoric and substantive differences between the two candidates, analysts suggest, can be found in their respective party bureaucracies. "The problem with Kerry is that he still takes advice from the wing of the Democratic Party that has a record of favoring foreign intervention," says David Hendrickson, Robert J. Fox Distinguished Service Professor at Colorado College, noting that current speculation holds that Kerry would name Richard Holbrooke secretary of state if elected. Holbrooke was a key figure in the US military campaign in the Balkans in the 1990s. William Hartung, president's fellow at the World Policy Institute, an internationalist think tank, says that campaign rhetoric often does not reflect how a president will react once the rubber meets the road. Besides their parties, presidential decisions often depend on answering to constituencies and the unpredictable variability of international events. "On paper, it looks like Bush is a neoconservative and Kerry is a liberal internationalist. When it comes to having to apply their policies, it gets a little messier," Hartung commented. In Iraq, for instance, Bush eschewed multilateral measures -- but he had to go back to the UN for assistance with elections. On North Korea, Bush had to think twice about saber rattling because of regional complexities and military realities. Similarly, Kerry talks about working closer with allies, but "there may be circumstances where that won't be possible," said Hartung, including an increasingly dangerous and unstable Iraq. Shalom says that though there is only "a marginal difference" between the two on the theoretical question of when the US should intervene in foreign affairs, "the anti-war movement would be more likely to influence a Kerry administration than a Bush administration." There are, however, several clear policy distinctions to be made between the two candidates, Hartung said. First, Kerry has said he won't go full-speed ahead with deployment of missile defense, one of Bush's pet projects. Instead, Kerry would redirect the funds toward increasing US special operations troops by 40,000. Out of approximately $10 billion budgeted for missile defense each year, Kerry plans to shift $2-3 billion toward his plan for the military. Kerry also opposes research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons. Opponents say that developing a new generation of bombs could result in a new arms race, but the Bush administration plans to move forward with research. Additionally, Kerry favors working through treaties and other international agreements more than Bush does. While Kerry has indicated that there are problems with the Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming, he has criticized the president for entirely withdrawing from the negotiation process. "[Kerry] would have the United States be more constructively engaged than this administration has been on many issues - be it arms control, the environment or what have you," said Hartung. "I think [Kerry] would find a way for the United States to participate." Kerry has been critical of the Bush administration's refusal to sign onto the International Criminal Court and has spoken well of the Court, but Kerry has fallen short of commitment to signing it in any form. He has, however, been an outspoken supporter of the international ban on landmines. The candidates also differ on nuclear proliferation, which both President Bush and Senator Kerry named as a top-tier threat during the presidential debates. Observers agree that Kerry is more likely to adopt a cooperative approach to anti-proliferation efforts. The democratic candidate has repeatedly criticized what he calls Bush's inattention to the Nunn-Lugar program, a project that attempts to collect and dispose of nuclear material in the former Soviet Union. Kerry's plan to ramp up the Nunn-Lugar efforts "is one of the more powerful arguments [Kerry] has made," said Zunes. The spread of loose nuclear weapons, which the program aims to prevent, represent "a far more likely scenario of the ultimate horror -- a nuclear terrorist attack on America -- than Iraq ever did." "It's very difficult to understand why there's been such a lack of progress on Nunn-Lugar, on locking up access to Russian nuclear material," agreed Hendrickson. "That's a serious problem, and the Bush administration has not shown enough attention to it." Hendrickson said he believes Kerry would provide a different approach. One area where there is "almost no difference" between the two candidates is policy toward Latin America, said Shalom. Both candidates want to bring down Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba, and both intend to maintain the longstanding trade embargo. Bush has taken a slightly harder line, says Shalom, recently tightening the embargo by placing further restrictions on American families who wish to visit or send money to relatives in Cuba. Kerry has said he opposes these measures, Shalom notes, but considers this one of several "slight differences in tone and emphasis -- certainly nothing that talks about a different kind of foreign policy." If Kerry is elected, though, Shalom does expect certain differences in American covert action toward Latin America. "I think that some of the actions under the Bush administration that were so crude and stupid -- like backing the Chavez coup when they could have waited a day to see what happened, and not made themselves look like thugs -- I assume Kerry would be more professional about that," he says. "They're still going to have the same basic orientation toward Colombia, the intention to destabilize Venezuela, and the intention to fit the entire continent into the neoliberal mold." Another longstanding principle of American foreign policy has been support for authoritarian allies. This, according to Shalom, is unlikely to change regardless of how the November 2 vote shapes up. "The US continues to support, as it has always supported, reactionary and authoritarian regimes that support US interests," he said, citing Persian Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and nations such as Uzbekistan in the former Soviet Union. "That's been a long-term pattern, and I don't see any difference between Bush and Kerry on that." To Hal Harvey, environmental program director at the Hewlett Foundation and co-author of the book "Security Without War," this highlights a need for America to look more critically at alliances. "The question we should be asking is, what's the best way to build an American foreign policy that reflects our true values … [such as] democracy, human rights and environmental sustainability?" asks Harvey. "You can't, on the one hand, support dictators running oppressive regimes because they're friendly [to the US] and on the other hand call yourselves the beacon of freedom. This does not go unnoticed around the world." Alliances aren't valuable in and of themselves, Harvey contends, and basing foreign policy on respect for human rights is a better strategy than simply backing any ally -- purportedly democratic nation or otherwise -- that professes allegiance to the United States. In the future, Harvey expects ecological crises to cause military crises, events that require substantial planning and "aggressive diplomacy" to solve. Kerry, he says, is the more forward-thinking of the two candidates on these matters. "When you look at the long-term trends that are going to drive security, you have to look at this gross disparity of income and at environmental destruction," said Harvey, arguing that the AIDS crisis and potential food shortages in Africa could create harrowing future conflicts. "We're going to see environmental refugees in the tens of millions in the not-too-distant future. Kerry's been in touch with those long-term trends, and he's been a terrific leader, especially on environmental issues." During the first presidential debate, Kerry appeared more willing than Bush to consider some type of intervention in the Sudan, where even the US State Department says genocide is in progress. At least one scholar has more faith in Kerry than Bush to handle this crisis wisely. "If an intervention could prevent genocide, I think he'd be more willing to [engage in it] than Bush," Zunes said. "At the same time, I think he'd be less likely to use humanitarian intervention as an excuse for an intervention that actually has ulterior motives." Shalom, whose 1993 book Imperial Alibis is a comprehensive analysis of US interventionism, does not believe that the US should send troops to Darfur. The African Union, he says, would be in a better position to offer assistance, since the US has a track record of intervention for dubious purposes. "The US's dirty hands don't lead me to oppose all intervention -- but they lead me to be very careful about it," Shalom says. One thing that surprises Hartung is the hawkish way in which the foreign policy debate has been framed, especially in terms of the defense budget. "Not only is there no talk of cutting military spending, but there's no talk of even holding the line," said Hartung. Both candidates are talking about increasing military spending, though Kerry's planned cuts in missile defense could offset his other defense spending plans. This has inflamed some progressives and fiscal conservatives, but Zunes says that with many segments of the country united in opposition to Bush, little is being said on the matter. "Against almost any other Republican incumbent in history, I think there'd be much more public stress at Kerry's positions," Zunes said. "But given what's at stake here, and given that Kerry is more thoughtful and pragmatic, I think most progressives are content to keep their mouths shut until he's in office."

Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau, CA Nov. 03, 2004 Rest in peace Archer Blood, American hero BY JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY Knight Ridder Newspapers WASHINGTON - (KRT) - When Archer K. Blood died last month, in retirement in Colorado, there was family, a few old friends and an entire nation to mourn his passing, but the nation that grieved for him was not his own. It was Bangladesh. Arch Blood was 81 years old and a retired diplomat. He might have had an unremarkable if satisfying career, moving from Greece to Germany to Afghanistan to New Delhi, but in the bloody year of 1971 he found himself consul-general in Dhaka, East Pakistan. There Blood witnessed the beginning of a massacre that would take hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives. The Pakistan army, faced with an incipient rebellion among the Bengalis, slaughtered thousands in a pre-emptive attack on the University of Dacca and the barracks of Bengali police. Columns of troops followed the roads throughout the country, burning and killing. Blood in his first cable described what he termed a "selective genocide," alerted President Richard Nixon and national security adviser Henry Kissinger to what was happening and urged them to pressure Gen. Yahya Khan, the Pakistani dictator, to stop the killing. His cable, dated March 28, 1971, was declassified last year. In it Blood wrote: "Here in Dacca we are mute and horrified witnesses to a reign of terror of the Pak military ..." The trouble was that Nixon and Kissinger had tilted toward Pakistan as a counter to Soviet influence in the subcontinent. The administration didn't want to hear what Blood was reporting. That cable was followed by another, signed by 20 Americans stationed in East Pakistan with various U.S. government agencies, decrying the official American silence as serving "neither our moral interests broadly defined nor our national interests narrowly defined ..." Blood did not sign that cable, but he added a footnote subscribing fully to the views it expressed and then wrote prophetically: "I believe the most likely eventual outcome of the struggle under way in East Pakistan is a Bengali victory and the consequent establishment of an independent Bangladesh." He argued strongly against "pursuing a rigid policy of one-sided support to the likely loser." Nixon chose an option of trying to help Khan negotiate a settlement with the Bengalis, but added, in his own handwriting, "To all hands: DON'T squeeze Yahya at this time." So nobody in authority squeezed Yahya Khan, the killings continued and 20 million Bengali refugees poured into India. To counter reports of the army's massacre, the Pakistanis brought in a few foreign journalists for a tightly controlled tour that it said would prove that it was actually Bengali Hindus slaughtering non-Bengali Muslims. At the end of the tour the reporters would be packed off without hearing any other stories. I was on that trip. At the end of the tour, on ancient crop-duster planes literally coated with DDT, I simply declared myself deathly ill and refused to leave. Security was heavy when I left the hotel and so it was too dangerous to interview on the streets, but they couldn't follow me into the American consulate. There I met Arch Blood, who told me that he had been officially "silenced" by Washington, but that my suspicions of a continuing slaughter of Bengalis by the Pakistan army were quite correct. Blood said he couldn't speak, but he had scores of Bengalis on the consulate staff. He pointed to an office across the hall and said: "It's yours for as long as you need it. Those staffers who want to tell you their stories will come visit you there." For the better part of a day I listened to men and women who wept as they told how parents, siblings, even children had died in Dhaka and in towns from Chittagong to Naryanganj to the hill country tea plantations. When my plane lifted off from Dhaka I began banging out a lead I still remember: "Fear, fire and the sword are the only things holding East and West Pakistan together ... " I never saw Arch Blood again, but I never met a more upright and courageous diplomat. Not long after that he was called back to Washington and put in the doghouse, for as long as Nixon was in the White House. In 1971 his colleagues in the American Foreign Service voted Arch K. Blood the recipient of the Christian A. Herter Award for "initiative, integrity, intellectual courage and creative dissent." His death made headlines in Bangladesh, the nation that emerged in 1971 as Blood predicted. A delegation of Bengalis attended his memorial service in Fort Collins, Colo. His wife, Margaret, has been swamped with mail from Bangladesh. Arch Blood spread the news of a new nation being born amid calamity. He ought to be remembered as an American hero as well. --- ABOUT THE WRITER Joseph L. Galloway is the senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers and co-author of the national best-seller "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young." Readers may write to him at: Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, 700 12th St. N.W., Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20005-3994.

Randolph Reporter, NJ 3 Nov 2004 ‘Night of broken glass’ recalled as start of Holocaust PHIL GARBER, Managing Editor 11/03/2004 Email to a friend Voice your opinion Printer-friendly John Baruch stood on the balcony of the top floor of his parents’ Berlin home and watched the flames rise higher as synagogues throughout the city were destroyed. Baruch, who now lives on Davenport Place in Morristown, was 12 when he witnessed what has become generally considered as the opening round of the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews. The night of Nov. 10, 1938 was termed “Krystallnacht” by the Nazis and literally means “crystal night,” but for Jews around the world it has come to mean the “night of broken glass,” a night that resulted in the deaths and internment of many Jews, destruction of numerous Jewish businesses and the beginning of a terror campaign that ultimately resulted in the murder of 6 million Jews during World War II. Baruch spoke of his memories of the dark nights of 1938 as the Drew University Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study will plans to host its 12th annual conference commemorating Kristallnacht, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., tonight, Thursday, Nov. 11. Central Berlin The Baruch home was at 11 Nymphenburger in the heart of Berlin. It was a typical German neighborhood, mixed with Jewish and non-Jewish homeowners. The young Baruch lived there with his older sister and his parents and their cook and maid. His father, Bernhart Baruch, was a World War I veteran, having served in the German cavalry. An upper middle class lawyer and businessman, the elder Baruch owned a string of clothing stores. One of his stores was right next to theChancellory, Hitler’s headquarters, and among his customers were Nazi officials. By 1938, Jewish children were barred from attending German public schools and John was a student in an American school that largely served Americans and members of the diplomatic corps. Nuremberg Laws By early 1938, ominous restrictions, known as the Nuremberg Laws, had been lodged against German Jews. Among other things, Jews could no longer have driver’s licenses or guns and their citizenship was revoked. Jewish businessmen were required to paint a large star of David on their front windows, to alert other Germans not to shop there. Hitler came to power in 1933 and over the next five years, many Jews fled their homeland but many did not. Despite the growing repression, many Jewish people, like the Baruch family, stayed and believed they were loyal Germans. “People felt this could not possibly last and that the rest of the world wouldn’t tolerate it,” Baruch said. “They stayed and in retrospect, it looks insane. My father made an enormous mistake not getting out when he could have.” The atmosphere in Germany took a sudden turn from legal restrictions to violence after the events of Nov. 7, 1938 in Paris. Two weeks earlier, the Germans had ordered the deportation of 17,000 Jews of Polish citizenship. But the Polish government refused to admit them and many were interned in “relocation camps” on the Polish frontier. Among the deportees was Zindel Grynszpan, whose 17-year-old son, Herschel, was living in Paris. When the young man learned of the forced deportation, he became enraged and went to the Germany embassy in Paris where he assassinated a Nazi official, Third Secretary Ernst von Rath. ‘Huge Crime’ “It was immediately blown up to a huge crime by world Jews against Germans,” Baruch said. “I remember my father saying this was going to be a real problem.” Three days later, the Baruch family was awakened by a phone call from the agency that insured the family stores. An alarm had sounded at the store next to the Chancellory. Baruch’s mother drove her husband to the shop, while the children were left in the care of the family cook. “By this time, you could see fires burning from our balcony,” Baruch said. His mother returned and told the children that the store had been destroyed and thoroughly looted. The next day’s newspapers said the German public had “risen against the Jews in righteous indignation for the heinous crimes in Paris.” “The story put out was one of a spontaneous eruption of feelings,” Baruch said. By the end of the night and the next night, rampaging mobs had killed at least 96 Jews and injured hundreds more, more than 1,000 synagogues were burned and almost 7,500 Jewish businesses were destroyed, cemeteries and schools were vandalized, and 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps After Krystallnacht, Jews were ordered to sell their stores within 60 days to non-Jews. Baruch said his father received far less than market value for his property. After the sales, his bank accounts were blocked and he was allotted a monthly allowance. In a moment of existential, absurdism, Baruch remembered an event one Saturday morning in January 1939. The doorbell rang and two German police officers arrested Baruch’s father for failing to pay the prior year’s income tax. His father couldn’t prove he had paid and he was hauled off to jail while the police applied swastikas to everything from furniture to silverware, as the home would be sold as punishment. At the jail, Baruch’s father wrote a check for back income taxes but he remained held. However, that day, the family accountant was able to prove the taxes had been paid. The Germans refunded the check to Baruch’s father and allowed him to retain his home. “The Germans do everything legally,” said Baruch. “They found a mistake had been made, they admitted the mistake and they refunded the money.” And while the family was able to live on their monthly allowance, Baruch said his father turned to the task of finding a way out of Germany. Baruch was able to escape in March 1939 aboard one of the so-called “kindertransport” ships that brought an estimated 10,000 mostly, Jewish children to England. The Jews of Great Britain had organized the rescue operation shortly after Krystallnacht and with the permission of the German government, transported the unaccompanied children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland to safety in Britain. Baruch’s parents and sister fled to France in June 1939 and after a difficult and often dangerous journey, all were able to find their way to the United States. The family settled in Queens, N.Y., when Baruch was 17. He subsequently served in the Army and later attended Harvard University in preparation for a 40-year career in the pharmaceutical industry. Baruch retired in 1990 and enrolled in Drew University, Madison, where he earned a doctorate degree in history and literature. He has been a Morristown resident since 1956. Holocaust Conference The morning portion of the Nov. 11 Kristallnacht conference will take place in the Baldwin Gymnasium on the Drew University campus in Madison. The afternoon performance will begin at 12:45 p.m. in room 107 of the University Center, also on the Drew campus. Free shuttle transportation between the two locations will be provided. The conference entitled “The Diary as Witness: Victor Klemperer’s Unique Chronicle of the Decline and Ultimate Destruction of Jewish Life in Nazi Germany” will explore the importance of Klemperer’s observations for understanding how the Holocaust unfolded in Germany. The program will feature archival film excerpts of Kristallnacht in Dresden, Germany, site of Klemperer’s observations. Morning program speakers will include Marion Kaplan, Skirball professor of modern Jewish history, New York University, who will speak on the plight of mixed marriages in Nazi Germany, and Alexandra Garbarini, Boskey Visiting professor of history at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., who will speak on “What Makes Victor Klemperer’s Diary so Unique?” The afternoon session will consist of a two-and-one-half-hour dramatic performance of Klemperer’s diaries, “I Will Bear Witness,Volume II,” by the actor George Bartenieff, graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Bartenieff has staged the performance at numerous colleges and universities, Jewish centers, Holocaust museums, and theaters throughout the United States and Europe to critical acclaim. A post performance discussion will be moderated by Marion Kaplan. The registration fee is $40 per person, which includes educational materials, continental breakfast, lunch, and the afternoon performance. To make a reservation for the conference or for more information about the center, call (973) 408-3600 or e-mail ctrholst@drew.edu.

www.playbill.com 3 Nov 2004 Award-Winning Drama Beast on the Moon Aiming for Broadway with Zorich and Metwally By Kenneth Jones November 3, 2004 Producers of the developing New York production of Richard Kalinoski's Beast on the Moon are now aiming the work — a sensation in resident theatres around the world — at Broadway in 2005 rather than the previously-announced Off-Broadway.The American play, about Armenian immigrants still dealing with the shadows of the 1915 Armenian genocide — even as they face hope and opportunity in their new home in Milwaukee — "is an absolutely universal tale of love as a healing tool in the aftermath of wartime loss," according to producer David Grillo of Stillwater Productions. The producer and partners are working toward a Broadway production in 2005, with Tony Award nominee Louis Zorich (Hadrian VII, Agamemnon, 45 Seconds From Broadway, Follies, She Loves Me) and Tony Award nominee Omar Metwally (Sixteen Wounded) attached. Larry Moss (The Syringa Tree) directs. Three workshop presentations will be heard Nov. 11-12 in Manhattan. The play — honored by the American Theatre Critics Association in 1996 — has been performed in 16 nations, translated into 11 languages, and won more than 40 awards around the world. The work is billed as "a love story, and an American immigrant story, whose two central characters are survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915." Members of the theatre industry can get more information about Beast on the Moon by calling Stillwater Productions at (212) 541-4502. * Kalinoski's play debuted in 1995 at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The intimate four-actor show later blossomed in American regional theatres, from Los Angeles to Boston, and then around the world. The play received the 1996 Osborn Award from the American Theatre Critics Association, recognizing an emerging playwright. Playwright Kalinoski is a college professor at the University of Wisconsin, Osh Kosh, where he teaches in the Theatre Arts department. David Grillo, an actor who appeared in a 1999 Boston production of the play, is to be lead producer for the commercial Off-Broadway stand. The title, Beast on the Moon, refers to an ominous lunar eclipse. "So much appeals to me about Beast that it is hard to find a place to begin," producer Grillo previously told Playbill On-Line. "It is an extraordinarily challenging drama with a surprising number of well-earned laughs. The play takes its audiences through an emotional cataclysm and delivers them, at its finish, to joyful redemption. I don't like plays that ask me to jump through emotional hoops and then leave me beaten up by the side of the road. Beast is redemptive. The journey is hard, but one for which the audience is enormously grateful. Also very important for me right now is that Beast on the Moon is a play about Muslim/Christian relations that stresses healing." Beast on the Moon is a four-actor romance about two survivors — Aram and Seta, a young man and his mail order bride — who settle in Milwaukee between the World Wars (spanning 12 years) and seek to start a family in the wake of the genocide of their past. They end up taking an orphan under their wing. A aged narrator provides context. Producer Grillo has two degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, in Economics and Dramatic Arts, plus a masters in fine arts in acting from the Yale School of Drama. In 2003, Grillo acquired the rights to produce the play in New York, after 10 months of negotiations. This is the first time the playwright has granted the New York rights.

AP 4 Nov 2004 www.rockdalecitizen.net Leon Lim looks at names of people who died under the Khmer Rouge regime that are etched on glass panels of the Killing Fields Memorial at Chicago’s Cambodian American Heritage Museum. Museum remembers victims of Cambodia’s Killing Fields By Melanie Coffee CHICAGO — For years, Leon Lim didn’t want to talk about what he saw in the Killing Fields of Cambodia. He wanted to focus on his new life in America, not the torture endured under the Khmer Rouge and the loved ones lost. Now, Lim and fellow survivors have a forum for helping heal their emotional scars, for preserving their past, for educating others of the atrocities that can be perpetrated by an unbridled communist regime. That place is Chicago’s new Cambodian American Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial, which the project’s organizers say is the only public memorial in the United States that honors victims of the Khmer Rouge. ‘‘About 2 million people died — and it’s just too much,’’ said Lim, a former refugee camp medic. Dary Mien’s starkest memory is being 6 years old and walking through rice fields littered with bodies. ‘‘The Cambodian community has just been so silent about its pain. But when it comes to this museum, that reminds them of their sense of culture, identity — and perhaps there’s a way for us to connect better with each other,’’ said Mien, associate director of the Cambodian Association of Illinois. The association developed the museum and memorial, which opened last month, as a healing mechanism. The museum is filled with items donated by survivors of the Killing Fields — everything from shackles used by the Khmer Rouge to Lim’s medical equipment to decades-old books of Buddhist teachings made with pressed palm leaves. The glass memorial consists of 80 panes, each at least six feet tall, that represent those who died when the Khmer Rouge ruled in the late 1970s. Names of the dead are etched into the panes in the Khmer language. A lotus flower is carved into the memorial’s center wall along with the words: ‘‘We continue our journey with compassion, understanding and wisdom.’’ The names of nearly two dozen of Lim’s family and friends are among those engraved in the glass. ‘‘When you have the name of a loved one etched on the glass panel, it makes you feel like they’re with you,’’ Lim said. ‘‘It helps you to heal your wounds from the past. It becomes a place for the community to come together to unify and say let’s move on.’’ Many in the Cambodian community, though, didn’t want the memorial built at first, organizers said. ‘‘We are trying to bring up the past that speaks about a genocide that some feel should be forgotten,’’ Mien said. ‘‘Their concern was that, ‘I don’t want to hear about it because it brings up such pain, and it’ll cause the community to be chaotic again.’’’ It took patience and persistence, but Cambodian Americans began to support the museum, said Kompha Seth, the association’s founder. ‘‘You can see the healing of the project, but the process to get here was painful,’’ Seth said. He believes building the museum has pushed more people to talk about the Khmer Rouge. The Cambodian communist group began a large-scale insurgency in 1970 and overthrew the Cambodian government five years later. It evacuated cities, closed schools and factories, and forced the population into labor camps, where hundreds of thousands died from starvation, disease, overwork and execution. Lim was a medical student in the capital of Phnom Penh at the time. On April 17, 1975, he was forced from his home and into a labor camp, where he stayed until 1979. Then the Vietnamese invaded, essentially ending Khmer Rouge rule. Lim, his wife and her family walked for six weeks to the border of Thailand, and Lim spent the next three years in refugee camps working as a medic. The family moved to the United States in 1981, and Lim now teaches at Northside College Preparatory High School. ‘‘I just want people to be aware of our history and our story — that there were other genocides other than the Holocaust and Rwanda,’’ said Lim’s 23-year-old daughter, Thea, who helped do research for the memorial. ‘‘I want them to know how much they struggled in the Killing Fields — and here they are, standing tall and together again. ‘‘And they survived.’’ ——— On the Net: Cambodian Association of Illinois: http://www.cambodian-association.org/ See also www.killingfieldsmuseum.com ( Killing Field Memorial and Cultural Museum in the State of Washington)

www.indiawest.com 5 Nov 2004 "North America's Most Honored Weekly Indian Newspaper" 20th Anniversary of Sikh Riots Observed Across U.S. By SARMISHTA RAMESH Special to India-West Thousands of people from across different cities in North America gathered Oct. 30 for candlelight vigils to observe the 20th anniversary of the massacre of thousands of innocent Sikhs in India following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. From San Jose, California, to New York City and Toronto in Canada, members of the Sikh community came together to talk about their personal experiences and tragedies in the aftermath of Gandhi's assassination and the lack of justice for the victims of the carnage. Gandhi was shot dead by two of her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation to Operation Blue Star, which she had ordered in June 1984. Operation Blue Star authorized the Indian Army to enter the holiest shrine for the Sikhs, the Golden Temple at Amritsar, to flush out the terrorists who were holed up there.

NYT 7 Nov 2004 [5 Film Reviews] ONES TO WATCH The Class Acts By KAREN DURBIN [Excerpt] The Oskar Schindler of The Tutsi Massacre Over 100 days in 1994, in what has been called the fastest genocide in modern history, more than 800,000 Rwandans, mainly Tutsis, were murdered by roving Hutu death squads, while Europe, America and the United Nations did almost nothing. This is the backdrop for Terry George''s often terrifying, fact-based "Hotel Rwanda" (Dec. 22), in which the prodigiously gifted Don Cheadle finally gets the kind of leading role that should have been his years ago. He plays a real-life hero: Paul Rusesabagina, the Hutu house manager of a luxury hotel in the capital city, Kigali. Under constant siege, he turned the newly emptied hotel into a refuge for almost 1,300 of his fellow Rwandans, including his children and Tutsi wife. The little guy made great by crisis is a Hollywood staple that never goes out of style. But Mr. Cheadle is too good for telephone-booth heroics. His Paul is a dapper, hardworking man who's also a bit of a ladder-climbing smoothie, pleasantly efficient with everyone but assiduous in his attentions to the most powerful guests. Once the slaughter begins, he doesn't undergo any sudden transformations. On the contrary, what Mr. Cheadle shows us is an imperfect human being who manages to be heroic. His core decency makes him both brave and generous in the face of unspeakable brutality. At the same time, he's slow to accept another sort of brutal behavior: the way his carefully cultivated contacts - men he was once invited to drink with - have turned their backs on him. His world has been upended, but so has his sense of self, and he only reluctantly lets it go. Mr. Cheadle conveys this in the formal way Paul holds himself long after that seems useful, and in the softness of his speech. Even when he says of the powerful, white world's refusal to intervene, "We're dirt to them," it's in a tone less of outrage than stunned recognition. He's a man twice shocked - a suggestion of disbelief never entirely leaves his eyes - who rises by unsteady increments to extraordinary heights. The insightful realism of Mr. Cheadle's performance doesn't permit the viewer any easy identifying ego trips. On the contrary, you're left searching your soul to see if you could possibly do what Paul Rusesabagina did, and the best honest answer is, "Probably not."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 7 Nov 2004 post-gazette.com 1864 massacre victims' bodies to return home Sunday, November 07, 2004 By Lillian Thomas In 1864, 163 Cheyenne and Arapaho -- mostly women and children -- were massacred at Sand Creek, Colo., by U.S. troops. They were shot even as they tried to surrender, hacked apart as they attempted to escape. Their remains were treated as trophies by soldiers who paraded through Denver before cheering crowds after the massacre. David Halaas, museum division director at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, learned of it as a boy of 10 growing up in Denver. It made a deep impression on him, and he ended up returning to it as an adult when, as Colorado state historian, he became involved in efforts to find the exact location of the massacre, commemorate the site and return the dead to be buried. Steve Brady heard the stories of the massacre growing up as well -- from his grandfather, the son of two survivors. Brady, of Lame Deer, Mont., is president of the Northern Cheyenne Sand Creek Massacre Descendants. He has worked alongside members of the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho to locate and gain custody of the remains of those killed -- held in the collections of museums from Washington, D.C., to Colorado -- and mark the site of the terrible moment in U.S. history. Those efforts have led to plans for Sand Creek to become a National Historic Site. "We'll have for the first time place of dishonor as a national historic site," Halaas said. "It's historic and unprecedented. Sand Creek is a symbol for all of Indian-white conflict; it was an act of genocide on the part of U.S. government." The attack occurred Nov. 29, 1864, when Col. John M. Chivington led 700 U.S. volunteer soldiers to a village of about 500 Cheyenne and Arapaho camped along Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado. Although the tribes believed they were under the protection of the U.S. Army, and witnesses later testified that an American flag and white surrender flag were flown, Chivington's troops attacked and killed 163 people, mainly women, children, and the elderly. Eventually the massacre was condemned following three federal investigations. Some of the most wrenching accounts came from John Smith, an interpreter who witnessed the massacre and the killing of his half-Indian son that day. He testified in a congressional hearing in 1865. "They were terribly mutilated, lying there in the water and the sand; most of them in the bed of the creek, dead and dying and making many struggles. They were so badly mutilated and covered with sand and water that it was very hard for me to tell one from another," he said. Asked if he had actually witnessed "acts of barbarity" by the troops, he said, "Yes, sir; I saw the bodies of those lying there cut all to pieces, worse mutilated than any I ever saw before; the women all cut to pieces." The massacre set off an explosion of warfare, Halaas said, with a coalition of tribes that formed in the wake of the massacre. "This kind of defined the relationship between the U.S. government and Indian people -- not just Cheyennes. If the people of Black Kettle, a known peace chief, could be slaughtered this way -- after that, Indian people knew their only hope was to fight." The Indians shut down major routes in the West and crushed a U.S. force sent to fight them the next year. "For the next 10 years, the Plains were just aflame in war," said Halaas. "It was a war to annihilate native people, it really was. The climax was at Little Big Horn" in 1876. After that, the tide turned and the Indians were defeated See Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site www.nps.gov/sand/ | Northern Cheyenne Sand Creek Massacre Site Project www.sandcreek.org | Northern Cheyenne Net Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center www.pghhistory.org

www.dailybruin.ucla.edu 9 Nov 2004 Hero from Rwandan genocide speaks after screening of new film Movie based on hotel owner who provided refuge for over 1,200 people MGM Studios Don Cheadle (right) in MGM’s upcoming movie “Hotel Rwanda.” Cheadle plays Paul Rusesabagina, who protected people in his hotel during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. By Jed Levine DAILY BRUIN CONTRIBUTOR jlevine@media.ucla.edu Ten years after genocide in Rwanda left 800,000 dead, a new film about one of the heroes who rose from the tragic event was screened at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills in conjunction with the UCLA African Studies Center. Several special guests were brought in to speak after the film, including lead actor Don Cheadle, director Terry George and the real Paul Rusesabagina, upon whom the film "Hotel Rwanda" was based. Rusesabagina, who was able to save more than 1,200 people by protecting them in his hotel during the massacre, was greeted with a standing ovation for several minutes. He recalled the genocide as a time when "the whole world closed its eyes and ears." "I said to myself, 'Now Paul, this is the end of it,'" he said of the chaos that descended upon his country. Allen Roberts, the director of the African studies center, completed his doctoral research near where the genocides actually took place. For Roberts, the people portrayed in the film were all too familiar. "It's a hard film to watch, but it makes you feel there's something good about humanity after all," Roberts said. The Rwandan genocide unfolded in spring of 1994 when a plane carrying the Rwandan president, an ethnic Hutu, was shot down. This event escalated already tense racial relations between the Hutus and Tutsis – two Rwandan racial groups with a history of violence – resulting in the genocide. Over the course of 100 days, the Hutu extremist-led backlash resulted in the slaughter of an estimated 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus. Rusesabagina offered his four-star hotel as a refuge for Tutsis to protect them from the machete-yielding extremists. George said large studios were hesitant to support the film, forcing him to seek private funding and making it a more personal project. "When writing scripts I have always tried to find an ordinary man who is able to confront evils," George said. "You can be moved and enraged and have hope." The making of the film brought Rusesabagina, who lives in Belgium, back to Rwanda after not having visited for seven years. He has since traveled around the globe promoting the film, which is being distributed by United Artists and MGM. "Paul was instrumental to getting this film made. He was on the set at all times to make sure that it was true to his story, so it seemed natural to bring him here to speak," said Craig Greiwe, spokesperson for MGM. The screening was attended by UCLA students and faculty as well a community members. "It was inspiring. I was completely in awe because he's a person who has done things that people should do and don't," said Lynn Fine, a fourth-year international development studies student. Seeing the real Rusesabagina was the highlight for some students. "It put a real human face on it," said Matthew Sablove, a fourth-year international development studies student. "It's not just Hollywood." The idea to screen the film for an academic audience was brought forth by MGM. "They were interested in bringing the film to other audiences, specifically to an academic audience or those interested in Africa or African diasporas," Roberts said. The film is being promoted in conjunction with Amnesty International and the United Nations, and producers hope to develop materials to complement the film, such as a study guide for use in an academic setting. "It's great when the business community brings something to UCLA. It's a nice collaboration," Roberts said. www.mgm.com/ua/hotelrwanda

Iris Chang 1968-2004

San Francisco Chronicle 11 Nov 2004 Chinese American writer found dead in South Bay Charles Burress, Chronicle Staff Writer Iris Chang, the prominent Chinese American author and journalist who fueled an international protest movement against Japan with her incendiary best-selling book, "The Rape of Nanking," was found dead from an apparent self- inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Wednesday. Chang, 36, of San Jose was found in her car by a commuter about 9 a.m. Tuesday on a rural road south of Los Gatos, according to the Santa Clara County sheriff's office. "I'm just shocked," said retired San Francisco Superior Court Judge Lillian Sing, who was helping Chang with a documentary on aging U.S. military veterans who had suffered as POWs in Japanese captivity during World War II. "She was a real woman warrior trying to fight injustice." Stunned friends and colleagues sought to understand what might have led to the suicide of an energetic and passionate young woman who channeled her outrage over Japanese war atrocities into a busy career of writing and lecturing. Chang also wrote a history of China's missile program and chronicled the Chinese experience in America. Ignatius Ding, an activist who worked with Chang for several years in seeking to have Japan acknowledge and apology for atrocities it committed during World War II, said Chang's current project videotaping the former U.S. prisoners of war had been emotionally taxing for her. "She was doing research recently in Kentucky and ran into some problem," he said. "She got really upset, and she flew home." Chang lived in San Jose with her husband, Brett Douglas. Ding, who heads the Cupertino-based Global Alliance for Preserving the History of World War II in Asia, said he did not know what kind of problem Chang might have encountered or whether it was a factor in her death. He noted that she "took things to heart" and usually became emotionally involved in the tragic stories she wrote about. Chang's white 1999 Oldsmobile sedan was found on an isolated private road west of Highway 17 near the Cats Restaurant. She apparently had died from a single shot from a handgun. "There was evidence that was recovered that corroborated and was consistent with a suicide,'' said sheriff's spokesman Terrance Helm, who wouldn't disclose the nature of the evidence or if there was a suicide note. An autopsy is scheduled for today. Her husband had filed a missing person's report with police at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, saying he rose early to find his wife missing and that she had been despondent, said San Jose police Sgt. Steve Dixon. Her husband told police he had last seen Chang at 2 a.m. "She was passionate and articulate," said Ling-Chi Wang, a faculty member in Asian American studies at UC Berkeley. "It's shocking to lose such a young and talented person." "It's a tragic loss," said Chronicle book editor Oscar Villalon. "She was one of the most visible Chinese American authors, who wrote a landmark book that brought to the attention, at least among her American audience, what was nonexistent as an issue." Author of three books and many articles and columns, Chang's most famous work was her controversial 1997 book, "The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II," which described one of the war's worst atrocities. Japanese army troops massacred many Chinese in Nanjing (then called Nanking) in late 1937 and early 1938, and Chang not only believed that the horrible event was in danger of being forgotten but also accused Japanese society of collective denial about it. Translated into many languages, her book galvanized a redress movement in the United States. It was lauded in the U.S. media, drew criticism from several U.S. scholars on Japan and was vilified by right-wing publications in Japan. The book also propelled Chang into an international spotlight. The year after it appeared, the Organization of Chinese American Women named her National Woman of the Year. She received honorary degrees and lectured widely at universities, bookstores and conferences. She delivered the commencement address at Cal State Hayward in June. "She has been a real role model for young Chinese Americans," Ding said, adding that Chang inspired many to consider being authors and journalists. "She was also well-respected in China," he said. Wang said she was an important interpreter of the Chinese American experience to the general public, adding that in her book on Nanjing, "she has done more than anybody to call attention to the outrage that took place." Helen Zia, Bay Area author of "Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People," said Chang "wanted to bring voices to the fore, the stories shunted aside and ignored in history. This is a huge loss." Andrew Horvat, Tokyo representative of the San Francisco-based Asia Foundation, said that "there will always be controversy over the accuracy and balance of her writings" but that she "did raise a level of consciousness that wasn't there before. ... In that sense, I think her contribution was very positive." Chang's most recent book, "The Chinese in America," was named one of the best books of the year by The Chronicle. Her first book, "Thread of the Silkworm," told the story of the Chinese scientist who guided the development of China's Silkworm missile. Born in Princeton, N.J., Chang grew up in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., where her parents are professors at the University of Illinois. Her grandparents' escape from Nanjing fed her early interest in what happened there. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois and worked briefly as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and Associated Press before entering a master's program at Johns Hopkins University in 1990. She appeared on the cover of Reader's Digest as well as on many TV programs, including "Nightline" and "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," and she wrote for numerous publications, including the New York Times and Newsweek.

San Francisco Chronicle 12 Nov 2004 Author described as 'exhausted' before she was found dead - Chang had breakdown earlier this year while researching Bataan Death March - Heidi Benson, Chronicle Staff Writer Friday, November 12, 2004 When author Iris Chang caught a plane to Kentucky in August to plunge into her next book project, she was already exhausted and depressed, her husband said yesterday. Planning to interview American survivors of one of the most brutal chapters of World War II history, the Bataan Death March, Chang was no stranger to the horrors of war. Her passion for human rights had resulted in her best-known book, the 1997 bestseller, "The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II." On Tuesday morning, after Chang, 36, was found dead in her car of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, her family and friends struggled to understand how such an energetic and accomplished person could have reached a point of no return. Chang's husband, Brett Douglas, believes that she was already exhausted, emotionally and physically, when she left for Kentucky. She suffered a breakdown shortly after her arrival. "She was so driven," he said. "On top of the demands of being a working mother, she always pushed herself right to the limit. She would work until she crashed. She pushed herself far beyond what she should have done and had to be taken to the hospital." After three days of hospitalization in Kentucky, she flew home. Chang soon began seeing a psychiatrist who put her on medication, Douglas said. "There were up and down periods, but actually, we thought the suicide risk was low," Douglas said. "There had been another time earlier in September, but she seemed to come out of that." In October, her condition was serious enough that the couple sent their son to live with his paternal grandparents in Illinois. Still, Chang wanted to get back to work, Douglas said. "She wouldn't just take time off" -- even though that meant diving back into the Bataan Death March material. "It had one heart-wrenching story after another. I just couldn't stand it after a while," said Douglas. "The accumulation of hearing those stories, year after year after year, may have led to her depression. But that's just speculation. I think she also pushed herself too hard." Of her death, her editor at Viking, Wendy Wolf, said, "I am as perplexed as anybody. The Iris I know was energetic and forward-looking and ambitious in a good way. She had so much else to do." "People came to her with their stories of suffering, and she tried to help them and tried to do something with their stories," Wolf added. "There had to be an effect." Chang's agent, Susan Rabiner, said, "She had clinical depression, and it deepened rapidly over a period of about five months. I spoke to her on a regular basis, and recently she told me she couldn't go on with the project. It was clear she was very sad." A representative of the Santa Clara County sheriff's office said detectives were not releasing information about the gun. A memorial service for Chang will take place Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. at Gate of Heaven Cemetery Chapel, 22555 Cristo Rey Drive, Los Altos. A memorial fund is being planned in her name. Chronicle staff writer Charles Burress contributed to this report.

Reuters 15 Nov 2004 Author’s suicide raises question of history’s toll By Adam Tanner SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - For more than half a century, historian Raul Hilberg has studied the Holocaust, arguably the most savage episode in human history. He has tried to distance his personal life from his work but says on occasion, he has been overtaken by the pathos of his subject. "When you are done writing the work, bringing it to the public successfully, even being praised, you wake up one morning and say to yourself, 'They're still dead,' and that's really the most profound reaction there is," Hilberg, author of the definitive history "The Destruction of the European Jews," said. The suicide near San Francisco last week of Iris Chang, 36, author of "The Rape of Nanking," raises questions about the psychological toll of exposure to past tragedy, and experts say reactions differ. Historian Chang wrote a graphic best-selling account of the brutal Japanese Army invasion of China in 1937 and recently researched the wartime Bataan Death March in the Philippines. "The accumulation of hearing those stories, year after year after year, may have led to her depression. But that's just speculation," her husband Brett Douglas, was quoted as telling the San Francisco Chronicle. David Spiegel, associate chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, said some researchers believe it is possible that "people can sort of get post-traumatic stress disorder symptom by proxy." "Rescue workers, therapists, even though they are not themselves physically hurt, will sometimes just by the emphatic connection ... develop symptoms." "It is an occupational hazard, but I think depression is not the inevitable concomitant of work on depressing topics." SMALL EPISODES NAUSEATE Hilberg said that during his work on the Holocaust starting in 1948 a few small episodes affected him especially strongly. For example, he said he became sickened after researching the fate of a Jew who sued the Nazis for the right to purchase coffee. "I was nauseated because obviously this Jew was picked up and sent to Auschwitz or wherever they sent him and died," he said. "Why did this particular incident affect me when I could calmly read about mass murder?" As someone born in Vienna, a city of coffee houses, Hilberg said the subject sparked memories of his childhood. He added he has also dreamed of being a victim sent to Auschwitz. Robert Conquest, 87, a leading historian of Stalin's terror and famine that left tens of millions of dead, said he too was sometimes hit by smaller episodes amid larger tragedy. "There are details, not necessarily the most horrible in theory, that somehow make you feel this is somehow a worse world than we thought," Conquest, the author of "The Great Terror" and "Harvest of Sorrow," said in an interview. He cited for example documents about students during the Stalin era forced to stand in front of their schools and hear abuse after their parents were arrested. "They are harangued for two or three hours denouncing the parents of one of the kids. Then the kid has to come up and they are all screaming at him," he said. "It shows the awful level they've got to. Horrible." But both Hilberg and Conquest said their passion to tell the world about those episodes helped shield them from the tragedies in their books. "It is the blindness of the West to the world which is in a way more horrifying than the deeds," Conquest said. Psychosocial expert Spiegel said that a sense of purpose can help shield historians from their brutal subject matters. "What many people who adapt resiliently to it do is they find some aspect of what they're doing in which they feel they're taking charge and doing something." he said. "I would presume that somebody writing a history of the rape of Nanking would try and see it as not merely observing tragedy, but, you know, following Santayana's notion that those who don't know history are condemned to repeat it. The idea is perhaps in some way that this is contributing to something like this not happening again." But Roger Bell, professor emeritus at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, said those exposed to violence in their job can suffer if they have difficulty leaving work behind in their home life. "People sometimes begin to identify what they do with what they are," he said. "Especially where you have high-profile people, especially like law enforcement, they have a tendency to carry that over into who they are."

Asia Times 18 Nov 2004 www.atimes.com China Nanjing Massacre claims another life By Victor Fic BEIJING - "The chronicle of humankind's cruelty is a long and sorry tale. But if it is true that even in such horror tales there are degrees of ruthlessness, then few atrocities can compare in intensity and scale to the rape of Nanjing during World War II." So wrote Chinese-American author Iris Chang in the introduction to her 1997 bookThe Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II (Basic Books, 1997). A New York Times best-seller that was translated into 13 languages, the book sank like a stone into the pond of official historical apathy in the West and official denial and evasion in Japan. Still, there were exceptions. Much to the shock and horror of her millions of fans and supporters worldwide, the 36-year-old Chang committed suicide by firing a single bullet into her head on November 9. A commuter discovered her body alone in her car on a rural road near Sunnyvale, which is close to San Jose, California. It is a sadly opportune time to review her brief, yet remarkable life as a successful Chinese-American woman, and her career as a journalist-historian who made her most prominent mark within the international redress movement that implores Japan to atone for its imperial-era war crimes. Chang was born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1968 and grew up in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Both her parents taught at the University of Illinois. She said she first heard about the 1937 Nanjing Massacre while growing up within her family, for her grandparents had escaped from the beleaguered city where massacres took place from the city's fall to the Japanese in December 1937 into March 1938. As many as 300,000 civilians were murdered; an estimated 20,000-80,000 women were raped, most of them later murdered. Chang eventually earned an undergraduate journalism degree from the University of Illinois and put in a reporting stint with the Chicago Tribune and The Associated Press. Then she enrolled in the master's program at Johns Hopkins University in 1990. Her first book, called Thread of the Silkworm, (Basic Books, 1995) told the story of a Chinese rocket scientist, Dr Tsien Hsue-shen. A former professor of aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology, Tsien helped found the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The United States government deported Tsien in the 1950s, fearing that he was spying for Beijing; he ended up making missiles for China, such as the Silkworm missile. When the Cox report by US representative Christopher Cox, a California Republican, alleging Chinese high-technology espionage in the United States was issued in January 1999 (and declassified in May 1999), it cited Chang's book as asserting that Tsien was, in fact, a spy. Chang lashed out at the report, clarifying that her book could not firmly conclude that he was one, adding that the issue would remain unresolved until Beijing and Washington offered more information. Showing her sense of impartiality and fair play, she added that if the US government wanted to make its case that someone was a communist and a spy, it had to offer proof. It was Chang's book on Nanjing that catapulted her to prominence. Chronicling the massacre itself, she wrote, "As victims toppled to the ground, moaning and screaming, the streets, alleys, and ditches of the fallen capital [of Nationalist China] ran rivers of blood." As for the many rapes committed, Chang quoted a Japanese veteran as saying, "Perhaps when we were raping her, we looked at her as a woman, but when we killed her, we just thought of her as something like a pig." Apparently, many troops thought that raping virgins would ensure them greater power in battle. She noted, "Soldiers were even known to wear amulets made from the pubic hair of such victims, believing that they possessed magical powers against injury." The book won immense acclaim among journalistic reviewers in the United States and elsewhere and it galvanized the movement for redress. Chang was widely hailed for bringing to America's and the world's attention an issue about which even well-educated people knew little. American conservative pundit George Will famously opined that thanks to Chang's efforts, a "second rape of Nanking", meaning the denial of the truth, had been averted. However, the book was not universally applauded. Japanese nationalists of various stripes denounced Chang as a de facto or real agent of the Chinese government, determined to spread anti-Japanese propaganda. Some Japanese commentators insisted that Chang's book contained errors, such as photographs of the alleged massacres that they could "prove" came from other sources. Other interlocutors went further and asserted that the Nanjing Massacre never happened at all, meaning that Chang was perpetuating a fable. In 1998, Chang told this author that "not a single week goes by when I don't suffer harassment from some vicious right-wing Japanese group," insisting that she lied. As the book never appeared in Japanese because of a falling-out between Chang and her publisher, most average Japanese do not know of her efforts. But many do know of the atrocities committed in Nanjing. In addition, some professional Japan experts in the US dunned Chang and the redress movement, alleging that their efforts to make Tokyo officially apologize for the war and pay compensation to its victims was an example of ethnic solidarity and special-interest politics. Chang's defenders retorted that the issue of justice denied was all too clear, and they pointed to the growing number of non-Chinese supporters, such as those in Korea, the Philippines, elsewhere in Southeast Asia and globally. Her most recent book, The Chinese in America, chronicled the colorful, dramatic history of how and why the Chinese came to the United States and their ability to overcome prejudice and cultural barriers in order to win respect and achieve success. As for Chang's unexpected suicide - she was renowned for her drive and passion - friends said they were bewildered. Chang herself admitted that she felt rage as she researched the Nanjing Massacre, even suffering nightmares. It appears that Chang - determined to be the voice of the forgotten - had started to gather material for a book on US soldiers tortured by the Japanese in the Philippines during the war when she suffered a nervous breakdown in Kentucky five months ago and entered a hospital. Her friends have explained that she tended to take her sometimes gruesome research to heart, but they cannot be sure if this tendency factored in her demise. They also told this author that her family - she left behind her husband and a one-year-old son - is protecting its privacy, and hers. What can be known is that Chang left behind a lustrous legacy of truth. According to retired San Francisco Superior Court judge Lillian Sing, "She was a real woman warrior trying to fight injustice" through her writing, her lectures on campuses and at bookstores and her media appearances. In 1998, the Organization of Chinese American Women named Chang National Woman of the Year. None other than luminary historian Stephen Ambrose deemed Chang one of America's most promising young historians. San Francisco Chronicle book editor Oscar Villalon added that Chang herself had become "one of the most visible Chinese-American authors" in her homeland. In the many tributes being paid to her, the common theme is that Chang was above all a truth teller. Those who want to honor her memory can best do so by following her example of courage, vision and honesty. Victor Fic is a freelance writer and broadcaster currently in Beijing. www.irischang.net

AP 14 Nov 2004 Groups Want Pensions to Divest From Sudan By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 8:45 p.m. ET WASHINGTON (AP) -- Black activists and religious groups are pressing public pension funds to divest a purported $91 billion in holdings of companies operating in oil-rich Sudan. The United States and some human rights groups have claimed that Sudan's government and Arab militia known as the Janjaweed are guilty of genocide for their actions in the Darfur region. Activists, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are making the case that public pension funds should sell investments in companies that do business in nations charged with sponsoring terrorism. ``This issue has captured the moral center of the vast majority of the people in this country,'' the Rev. Walter Fauntroy said. The former congressional delegate for the District of Columbia was a leader of the successful South Africa divestment campaign in the 1980s. No American companies are involved in the drive because of U.S. government penalties against Sudan. The pension funds do invest in shares of foreign companies that are active in Sudan -- 83 in total, according to the Sudan Campaign. The group's leaders cited the German equipment maker Siemens, the French oil giant Total, the Swiss-based engineering firm Asea Brown Boveri, Talisman Oil of Canada and PetroChina. Pension fund officials have been noncommittal so far about the divestment campaign. They often chafe at political demands to change investments, saying their primary duty is to secure a healthy return for funds that hold the retirement incomes of 20 million public employees around the country -- and that amounts to some $2 trillion. ``It's a very sensitive issue,'' said Frederick Nesbitt, executive director of the 500-member National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems. The group has no position on the Sudan divestment drive. But Nesbitt said that in general, ``We become concerned when people start drawing lines. ... You could end up having no place to invest.'' The leaders of the Sudan Campaign -- Fauntroy and civil rights activist Joseph E. Madison -- said in an interview that they want teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public employees to realize that in all 50 states, some of their retirement money is invested in companies that do business in Sudan. Fauntroy and Madison are urging ``shareholder activism,'' asking people to write to pension fund managers and state legislators. The campaign also includes the American Jewish Committee, Christian Solidarity International, the Salvation Army and other groups. The California Public Employees Retirement System, the nation's biggest public pension fund, is one of the largest holders of Sudan-related investments with some $7.5 billion, according to the activists. Their fund-by-fund figures, and the total of $91.2 billion, come from the Center for Security Policy, a conservative think tank that has pushed for divestment from companies doing business in terror-sponsoring nations. The figures cannot be verified by the pension funds. They must disclose their holdings in reports to state authorities, but the investments in companies are not categorized by country of operation. ``We don't have the resources to be CIA agents in this field,'' said Brad Pacheco, a spokesman in Sacramento, Calif., for the $166 billion California pension fund, known as CalPERS. Like many funds, CalPERS has adhered to prohibitions of the two most notable and successful divestment campaigns: the one that helped defeat South Africa's system of apartheid and the drive against tobacco company investments. But CalPERS officials generally do not believe that divestment is the solution to the problem of terrorism abroad, Pacheco said. Some pension fund officials say it is more effective for the funds to work from within and bring pressure on company executives to make changes -- and that divestment should only be a last resort. For the New York State Common Retirement Fund, said to hold $6.2 billion in Sudan-related investments, ``Sudan is an issue that we're looking at,'' said John Chartier, a spokesman for state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who is the fund's trustee. Fauntroy said that if the funds in California and New York agreed to divest, ``It would set the standard for leadership.'' On the Net: Sudan Campaign: http://www.sudancampaign.com National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems. http://www.ncpers.org California Public Employees Retirement System: http://www.calpers.ca.gov New York State Common Retirement Fund: http://www.osc.state.ny.us Center for Security Policy: http://www.divestterror.org

CBS News 15 Nov 2004 CIA Agent Details Nuclear Terror Threat A 60 Minutes Special Report Nov 15, 2004 12:08 am US/Central NEW YORK (CBS) One of the Central Intelligence Agency's foremost experts on Osama bin Laden has stepped out of the shadows and joined the public debate over past mistakes and future strategy in the war on terror. Opinions are nothing new for Michael Scheuer - who created and advised a secret CIA unit for tracking and eliminating bin Laden, and who has been at the center of a battle between the CIA and the White House over the best policies to pursue in the Mideast and the Arab world. What is new for Scheuer - who resigned from the intelligence agency on Friday - is commenting by name. Until Friday, and for over two decades at the CIA, he was anonymous - and even wrote a book using the pen name Anonymous: "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror," published this past July. The book, written with the CIA's blessing, is critical of the Bush administration's counterterrorism policy and was viewed by some at the White House as a thinly veiled attempt by the CIA to undermine the president's reelection. In his first television interview since resigning, Scheuer talked to Correspondent Steve Kroft about his frustrations in the terror war and his assessment of bin Laden's plans - including the al Qaeda founder's interest in nuclear weapons. Former CIA agent Michael Scheuer spoke to 60 Minutes in his first television interview out of the shadows. After a 22-year career as a spy charged with keeping secrets, Scheuer decided it was more important to join the public debate on how to best attack Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. "His genius lies in his ability to isolate a few American policies that are widely hated across the Muslim world. And that growing hatred is going to yield growing violence," says Scheuer. "Our leaders continue to say that we're making strong headway against this problem. And I think we are not." In 1996, at a time when little was known about the wealthy Saudi, other than he was suspected of financing terrorism, Scheuer was assigned to create a bin Laden desk at the CIA. "The uniqueness of the unit was more or less that it was focused on a single individual. It was really the first time the agency had done that sort of effort," says Scheuer. Did he try to figure out where bin Laden was? "Where he was, where his cells were, where his logistical channels were," says Scheuer. "How he communicated. Who his allies were. Who donated to them... I think it's fair to say the entire range of sources were brought to bear." Codenamed "Alec," the unit was originally made up of about a dozen agents. And in less than a year, they discovered that bin Laden was more than some wealthy Saudi throwing his money around - and that his organization, known as al Qaeda, was not a Muslim charity. "We had found that he and al Qaeda were involved in an extraordinarily sophisticated and professional effort to acquire weapons of mass destruction. In this case, nuclear material, so by the end of 1996, it was clear that this was an organization unlike any other one we had ever seen," says Scheuer. Scheuer says his bosses at the CIA were initially skeptical of that information. And that was just the beginning of his frustrations. In a letter to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees earlier this year, Scheuer says his agents provided the U.S. government with about ten opportunities to capture bin Laden before Sept. 11, and that all of them were rejected. One of the last proposals, which he described to the 9/11 Commission in a closed-door session, involved a cruise missile attack against a remote hunting camp in the Afghan desert, where bin Laden was believed to be socializing with members of the royal family from the United Arab Emirates. Scheuer wanted to level the entire camp. "The world is lousy with Arab princes," says Scheuer. "And if we could have got Osama bin Laden, and saved at some point down the road 3,000 American lives, a few less Arab princes would have been OK in my book." "You couldn't have done this without killing an Arab prince," asks Kroft. "Probably not. Sister Virginia used to say, 'You'll be known by the company you keep.' That if those princes were out there eating goat with Osama bin Laden, then maybe they were there for nefarious reasons. But nonetheless, they would have been the price of battle." And that doesn't bother him? "Not a lick," says Scheuer. "My understanding is you had a reputation within the CIA as being fairly obsessive about this subject," says Kroft. "I dislike obsessive," says Scheuer. "I think hard-headed about it." Whatever you call it, in 1999, three years after he started the bin Laden unit, Scheuer's candor got him into trouble with his supervisors at the CIA. What were the circumstances under which he left the bin Laden unit? "I think I became too insistent that we were not pursuing this target with enough vigor and with enough risk-taking - - an unwillingness to take risks," says Scheuer. "I got relieved of the position I was in. I had a lovely sojourn in the library and then had other sojourns since." His exile ended shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, when he was brought back to the bin Laden unit as a special adviser. But by then, everything had changed. His nemesis had gone underground, and the United States was on its way to invading Afghanistan and Iraq - creating, Scheuer says, the perception in the minds of 1.3 billion Muslims that America had gone to war against Islam. "The war in Iraq - if Osama was a Christian - it's the Christmas present he never would have expected," says Scheuer. Right or wrong, he says Muslims are beginning to view the United States as a colonial power with Israel as its surrogate, and with a military presence in three of the holiest places in Islam: the Arabian peninsula, Iraq, and Jerusalem. And he says it is time to review and debate American policy in the region, even our relationship with Israel. "No one wants to abandon the Israelis. But I think the perception is, and I think it's probably an accurate perception, that the tail is leading the dog - that we are giving the Israelis carte blanche ability to exercise whatever they want to do in their area," says Scheuer. "And if that's what the American people want, then that's what the policy should be, of course. But the idea that anything in the United States is too sensitive to discuss or too dangerous to discuss is really, I think, absurd." Is he talking about appeasement? "I'm not talking about appeasement. There's no way out of this war at the moment," says Scheuer. "It's not a choice between war and peace. It's a choice between war and endless war. It's not appeasement. I think it's better even to call it American self-interest." Scheuer believes that al Qaeda is no longer just a terrorist organization that can be defeated by killing or capturing its leaders. Now, he says it's a global insurgency that's spreading revolutionary fervor throughout the Muslim world. "Bin Laden's still at large. His most recent speech, I think, demonstrates that he's not running rock to rock, cave to cave. We are tangled in a very significant Islamic insurgency in Iraq," says Scheuer. "Most dramatically, and perhaps least noticed, is the violence inside Saudi Arabia itself. Saudi Arabia was, until just a few years ago, probably one of the most safe countries on earth. And now the paper is daily full of activities and shootouts between Islamists who supported Osama bin Laden and the government there." But if bin Laden is much stronger than he was, why haven't there been more attacks on the United States? "One of the great intellectual failures of the American intelligence community, and especially the counterterrorism community, is to assume if someone hasn't attacked us, it's because he can't or because we've defeated him," says Scheuer. "Bin Laden has consistently shown himself to be immune to outside pressure. When he wants to do something, he does it on his own schedule." "You've written no one should be surprised when Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda detonate a weapon of mass destruction in the United States," says Kroft. "You believe that's going to happen?" "I don't believe in inevitability. But I think it's pretty close to being inevitable," says Scheuer. A nuclear weapon? "A nuclear weapon of some dimension, whether it's actually a nuclear weapon, or a dirty bomb, or some kind of radiological device," says Scheuer. "Yes, I think it's probably a near thing." What evidence is there that bin Laden's actually working to do this? "He's told us it. Bin Laden is remarkably eager for Americans to know why he doesn't like us, what he intends to do about it and then following up and doing something about it in terms of military actions," says Scheuer. "He's told us that, 'We are going to acquire a weapon of mass destruction, and if we acquire it, we will use it.'" After Sept. 11, Scheuer says bin Laden was criticized by Muslim clerics for launching such a serious attack without sufficient warning. That has now been given. And he says bin Laden has even obtained a fatwa, or Islamic decree, justifying a nuclear attack against the United States on religious grounds. "He secured from a Saudi sheik named Hamid bin Fahd a rather long treatise on the possibility of using nuclear weapons against the Americans. Specifically, nuclear weapons," says Scheuer. "And the treatise found that he was perfectly within his rights to use them. Muslims argue that the United States is responsible for millions of dead Muslims around the world, so reciprocity would mean you could kill millions of Americans." Scheuer says the fatwa was issued in May 2003, "and that's another thing that doesn't come to the attention of the American people." Despite this threat, Scheuer insists the CIA doesn't have nearly enough trained analysts working on the Osama bin Laden unit today. At a time when Congress is considering revolutionary changes in the way the intelligence community is organized, Scheuer sees no major problems with the CIA or the product it produces. He blames Sept. 11 on poor leadership from people like former CIA Director George Tenet, his chief deputy, Jim Pavitt, and former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, who were invited, but declined, to appear on Sunday's 60 Minutes. "Richard Clarke has said that you're really sort of a hothead, a middle manager who really didn't go to any of the cabinet meetings in which important things were discussed, and that basically you were just uninformed," says Kroft. "I certainly agree with the fact that I didn't go to the cabinet meetings. But I'm certainly also aware that I'm much better informed than Mr. Clarke ever was about the nature of the intelligence that was available again Osama bin Laden and which was consistently denigrated by himself and Mr. Tenet," says Scheuer. "I think Mr. Clarke had a tendency to interfere too much with the activities of the CIA, and our leadership at the senior level let him interfere too much," says Scheuer. "So criticism from him I kind of wear as a badge of honor." Is there anything about bin Laden that Americans don't know, but should? "Yeah, I think there is. I think our leaders over the last decade have done the American people a disservice in continuing to characterize Osama bin Laden as a thug, as a gangster, as a degenerate personality, as some kind of abhorrent individual," says Scheuer. "He surely does reprehensible activities, and we should surely take care of that by killing him as soon as we can. But he's not an irrational man. He's a very worthy enemy. He's an enemy to worry about." "You wrote in your book that he's a great man," says Kroft. "Yes, certainly a man, without the connotation good or bad, he's a great man in the sense that he's influenced the course of history," says Scheuer. Does he respect bin Laden? "Until we respect him, we are going to die in numbers that are probably unnecessary," says Scheuer.

web.israelinsider.com 12 Nov 2004 Burial of a Monster, Desecration of a Maple Leaf By Howard Galganov November 12, 2004 I watched the Arafat burial on CNN, MSNBC and BBC this morning. All of whom bent over backwards to be reverent to a mass murderer. All but Don Imus that is, who does his cross-America radio show; "Imus In The Morning" which is simulcast on MSNBC. During his show, Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC, and wife of Allan Greenspan, Chairman of the US Fed, spoke in almost hushed tones about Arafat as the Palestinian mob was beginning to develop. Imus couldn't take the respect for Arafat conveyed by Andrea Mitchell. To paraphrase Imus using his words to Mitchell: Don't show any "reverence" on "my show" as they try to take "stinky" off the helicopter. That "son-of-a-bitch". This was the only honest broadcast I saw. I imagine that the FOX News Network was as honest as well, but we'll never really know, because the Federal Government of Canada makes it ILLEGAL for Canadians to receive the FOX News Network in Canada on cable or satellite. While watching the crush of inhumanity keeping Arafat's diseased body from being unloaded from the helicopter that brought him from Cairo, it was impossible not to notice a large, bright and waving CANADIAN flag amongst the mob. Not only was the Red Maple Leaf a stand-out in this crowd of horrible people; it was the only national flag I saw, other than the flag of the Palestinians, which they wave around like a rag at the end of a pole. A bit later, when Arafat's body was finally brought to his burial place, the Red Maple Leaf was once again "proudly" and prominently waved in the Palestinian Hall. When Anne and I moved to Ontario (in the year 2000), I flew my Canadian flag in the front of our home (as I did in St Lazare, Quebec), and when I bought my Ontario car license plates, I paid extra to purchase plates that included a Canadian flag as part of the design. We no longer fly the Canadian flag in front of our home. I replaced it with Ontario's Red Ensign which flies above the Stars and Stripes. And as of this afternoon, I will change my car license plates to be rid of the Maple Leaf there as well. I have often asked: What does Canada stand for? I saw my answer today on three television networks, at the funeral of a mass murderer. Arafat was given a statesman's send-off by many of the world Heads of State, or their representatives, showing just how morally bankrupt the world is: especially France. There could never be a more fitting final stage to a funeral, than the mob scene that ushered Arafat to his grave. This irreverence and mayhem was the perfect demonstration of Arafat's true measure on "his people". The guns firing into the air. The masked goons. The tires burning. The ugly hijab wearing women screaming like fish-mongers. The fools standing on top of cars. The people injured during the free-for-all. The ambulance sirens. And the Western media pretending that all of this was somehow "normal" and "acceptable" behavior. This was the sounds, the fury, and the scene at the funeral of a dead monster, whose only contribution to society was murder, mayhem and misery, "graced" by the flutter of the Red Maple Leaf of Canada. Need anyone say anything more? Views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of israelinsider.

english.aljazeera.net 14 Nov 2004 Rights group blasts 'racist' US media by Sunday 14 November 2004 10:02 PM GMT Imus called Arafat a 'rat' and 'stinky'; mourners were 'animals' A rights group has criticised some US media organisations for allowing racist and hate-filled speech during its coverage of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's death. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) said it was deeply concerned with "the alarming hostility expressed by media commentators towards the Palestinian people in the wake of the death of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat", a statement said. The ADC said US networks MSNBC and CNN both broadcast hostile commentary regarding Palestinians. Don Imus, of the Imus in the Morning programme aired on weekends on MSNBC, referred to Arafat as a "rat" and called him "stinky" with "beady-eyes". Imus also said that "all Palestinians look like him". The racist comments continued with one of his guests who described the Palestinians attending the funeral as "animals" and joked about their hygiene. "They're dropping soap from the helicopters," the guest laughed. Good riddance Arafat Also on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, presenter of Scarborough Country, began his programme by declaring: "Some are calling Yasir Arafat's passing a tragedy. He's actually the father of modern terrorism. Good riddance. "We should be seeking and working towards a just and lasting peace for the Israelis and the Palestinians instead of engaging in hateful rhetoric which dehumanises a people and affects perception of television viewers" ADC statement "This was, after all, the man who invented modern terrorism in the Middle East and by extension was the godfather of September 11." Among the guests on the show was the Palestinian Authority representative to the United States, Hasan Abd al-Rahman, who while attempting to express his view, was interrupted by shouts of "where's the money?" by Scarborough in reference to international aid. The ADC also said that CNN was guilty of one-sided, hostile comments. Violations "Plans call currently for Yasir Arafat to be buried in his compound in Ram Allah, which will eventually be turned into some kind of shrine. Maybe they'll put a sign out front for the Palestinian people, that reads: 'Here lays the body of the thief who robbed you blind'," said Jack Cafferty on CNN's morning programme, American Morning. "Comments such as the ones listed can only be regarded as an overt incitement to ethnic hatred of the Palestinians," the ADC said in a statement. "Surely the denigration of an ethnic group, a people who have been living under an ongoing 37-year Israeli military occupation, constitutes a violation of any system of journalistic standards. "We should be seeking and working towards a just and lasting peace for the Israelis and the Palestinians instead of engaging in hateful rhetoric which dehumanises a people and affects perception of television viewers. "We call on all members of the media to be objective in their reporting and commentary," the statement added.

Cybercast News Service 19 Nov 2004 www.cnsnews.com Islamic Group Criticizes 'Filthy Animals' Remark By Susan Jones CNSNews.com Morning Editor November 19, 2004 (CNSNews.com) - An Islamic civil rights group wants MSNBC to apologize for comments on its "Imus in the Morning" program, in which one of Don Imus's colleagues called Palestinians "filthy animals" and suggested that they all be killed. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the program's host, Don Imus, should be reprimanded for failing to challenge the inflammatory remarks made by one of his colleagues. CAIR said it received numerous complaints about the November 12 broadcast where Imus and his on-air colleagues engaged in the following discussion during live coverage of Yasser Arafat's burial in Ramallah, an event that turned into a mob scene. DON IMUS: They're (the Palestinians) eating dirt and that fat pig wife of his is living in Paris. COLLEAGUE: They're all brainwashed, though. That's what it is. And they're stupid to begin with, but they're brainwashed now. Stinking animals. They ought to drop the bomb right there, kill 'em all right now. IMUS: Well, the problem is we have (reporter) Andrea (Mitchell) there; we don't want anything to happen to her. COLLEAGUE: Oh, she's got to get out. Andrea, get out and then drop the bomb and kill everybody. COLLEAGUE: Look at this. Animals. Animals! In a letter to MSNBC President Neal Shapiro, CAIR said it defends the First Amendment - "but these hate-filled and racist remarks can only serve to legitimize anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry in our society and could lead to further discrimination against members of the Islamic and Arab-American communities." CAIR said it also filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. CAIR notes that Don Imus in 1985 "was forced to apologize for referring to Arabs as 'goat-humping weasels,'" and he has been known to use the derogatory term, "raghead." CAIR currently is sponsoring a campaign to counter hate speech on talk radio. The effort, called "Hate Hurts America," gives Muslims "step-by-step instructions on how to monitor local and syndicated radio programs, report anti-Muslim hate, file FCC complaints, and contact advertisers to register their concerns." A recent CAIR survey indicated that as many as 1-in-4 Americans holds anti-Muslim views. But CAIR said its research shows that anti- Muslim prejudice decreases when people have access to accurate information about Islam and are able to relate to ordinary Muslims.

Longview Daily News, WA 19 Nov 2004 www.tdn.com Massacre: A first-hand account of the Rwandan Genocide By Hope Anderson Nov 19, 2004Neighbors turned on neighbors. In the matter of 100 days, an estimated 800,000 to 1 million people were slaughtered, some at the hands of their former friends, classmates and those living next door. Bodies were strewn in the streets. "It was apocalyptic," said Carl Wilkens, an American who stayed behind during the Rwanda genocide 10 years ago. "You can't imagine the fear and horror wrapped around that kind of thing." On Friday, Wilkens described for a Mark Morris High School history class how he survived and served in the African country: scrounging for food and water, bandaging wounds and caring for orphans. "Survival becomes a way of life," he said. Wilkens, who now lives in Days Creek, Ore., headed the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in Rwanda from 1990 to 1996. The three-month genocide spanned from April to June 1994. After the killing spree began, he sent his wife, Teresa, and their three children to Kenya. He stayed behind. "It was a calling," said Wilkens, 47, who now works as a high school chaplain. He used his Toyota Corrola to motor the wounded to clinics and searched for barrels to haul water. He recalled finding 44-gallon drums that had contained candy, and scouring the insides with sand while snipers tried to pick off the children helping him. "You're not making a difference for 800,000 people, but you show up at an orphanage with water and a kid has a cup. You made a difference for that kid." During the genocide, the Hutu tribe, who made up 80 percent of the population, turned against the Tutsi tribe, the remaining 20 percent. Wilkens described it as the "people who are obsessed with power will do anything to maintain power." Hutu leaders manipulated the people with fear, and "population did it hand to hand," he said. "People who are no different than you and me. ... People who have dreams. People who fall in love," he said. Some Hutus did refuse to participate in the slaughter. Wilkens estimated 35,000 were killed. Although that number doesn't compare to the 800,000 or more Tutsis, Wilkens said, "Am I going to be destroyed ... in the 800,000, or be inspired by the 35,000?" Mark Morris High School senior Whitney Kinder said she couldn't comprehend the massacre before Wilken's presentation. "It was really powerful," the 17-year-old said. "It brought a reality to it." After the class was dismissed, Wilkens unfolded a letter a student handed him on the way out. He read the penciled message, filling the front and back of the lined paper: "Now I can see them (as) people just like me, with stories just like me." Public invited to presentation Carl Wilkens will speak at 7:30 tonight at the Kelso-Longview Seventh-day Adventist Church, 777 Solomon Road in Lexington. The public is welcome.

Amarillo Globe-News 22 Nov 2004 www.amarillo.com Seventeen children survived massacre By KAREN D. SMITH karen.smith@amarillo.com An Arkansas wagon train rolled into the midst of a Utah power struggle in 1857, with tragic results. All but 17 children among the estimated 140 travelers aboard the Baker-Fancher wagon train were slaughtered Sept. 11, 1857, in what is called the Mountain Meadows Massacre, named for the southwestern Utah Valley where the deaths occurred. Before the Arkansas emigrants' arrival, Utah settlers prepared to be invaded - by the United States government. An estimated 2,500 federal troops marched west to Utah, sent by President Buchanan to suppress a rebellion and oust Brigham Young, leader of church and state. Young, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and then-territorial governor, responded by declaring martial law, according to historical accounts. He forbade travelers to cross the territory without a pass and dispatched messengers to instruct Mormon settlers to trust no one. Many had reason to heed his warning, having relocated to Utah after experiencing discrimination in other states. So the Mormons moved to a war footing, conserving wheat, cattle and other supplies and banding with the Paiute Indians to stand against U.S. aggression, said Glen Leonard, director of the LDS Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City. "Most of the Indians were willing to steal a few cattle (from traveling wagon trains), and so Brigham Young proposed to the Indians that they do that, and that kind of harassment would send a message to the federal government that there was more than just rebellious Mormons to deal with," Leonard said. Squabbles over squatting and grazing access and news that a Mormon apostle had been murdered in Arkansas heightened the volatile frenzy in Utah into which the Baker-Fancher train rolled. Headed for California, the wagons from Arkansas were rich with cash, gold and jewelry and accompanied by horses, oxen and at least 500 head of cattle. "It was a huge herd," Leonard said. "With all these cattle, they were constantly in trouble with local settlers who didn't want them to graze their cattle." Travelers, in turn, asserted their rights as U.S. citizens to graze livestock in the federal territory, he said. On Sept. 7, 1857, Baker-Fancher riders awoke to gunfire in Mountain Meadows, 35 miles southwest of Cedar City. Their unseen assailants: Paiute Indians and Mormon militia members disguised as Native Americans, according to historical accounts. The emigrants lasted days without fresh water, their ammunition dwindling. Many were wounded, and at least seven killed, Leonard said. On Sept. 11, 1857, the emigrants surrendered, stopping only to bury their dead before leaving under a white flag of truce. Unbeknownst to them, they had placed their trust in one of their attackers, John D. Lee. A militia leader, adopted spiritual son of Young and Indian agent in Southern Utah, Lee had approached them under the guise of rescuer, promising protection if they left their belongings to the Indians. "Seventeen children too small to walk to Cedar City, some mothers, and the wounded were placed in the wagons," according to Utah History to Go, an online encyclopedia operated by the state of Utah. "These wagons were followed by the women and older children walking in a group; they were followed by the men, walking alongside their armed militia protectors." About 1 miles into what the Baker-Fancher group thought was a journey to safety, their rescuers opened fire. Paiutes hidden nearby joined the bloodbath. Only 17 children, age 6 and younger, survived, Leonard said. Some have attributed their survival to a Mormon belief that children are innocent until the age of 8, the age of baptism in the LDS faith, he said. "That's when you are accountable for your sins," Leonard said. "The savior's atonement accounts for all the sins of the children and all the adults who repent. "But you have to also say, 'How old is a child who can remember?' The dividing line was (save) anyone who could not tell they saw Mormons involved. " The dead were left behind, their corpses looted. Some were hurriedly buried in shallow graves, others were not. Twenty years later, Lee was tried, convicted, excommunicated, ostracized and executed at Mountain Meadows for his role in the slaughter. He was the only person held responsible for the massacre, and, Lee family descendants say, a scapegoat meant to draw criticism away from the Mormon Church, according to an October 2003 article in Salt Lake Magazine.

washingtonpost.com 23 Nov 2004 Violence in Darfur Inspires Surge In Student Activism By Valerie Strauss Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, November 23, 2004; Page A08 Lisa Rogoff was an intern at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum during the summer when the horrible details about the genocide unfolding in the Darfur region of Sudan compelled her to do something. The 22-year-old Rogoff, a Colgate University graduate whose family lost members in Hitler's extermination of 6 million Jews during World War II, decided it was time to educate U.S. college students about Darfur and, hopefully, spur them into social action. The museum built to bear witness to the Holocaust was the perfect spot from which to launch her effort, she concluded. So with help from the museum's Committee on Conscience, Rogoff invited dozens of college students from the Washington area to the museum in September for a night of learning about Darfur. She hoped to interest a few of them in the cause. The reaction, she said, was overwhelming. Students at Georgetown University quickly formed an organization called STAND, an acronym for Students Taking Action Now: Darfur. And Rogoff helped counterparts at colleges throughout the country start groups to raise awareness, support relief efforts and lobby policymakers. Now, Rogoff said, 35 campuses have STAND organizations, and thousands of students are spending extracurricular hours learning and educating others about a human disaster happening in Africa a decade after an estimated 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda in 1994 while the world watched. "The whole model [of STAND] is an informal classroom," said Nate Wright, 21, a Georgetown junior who helped organize the group. "We do everything we can to learn about the subject, and then we export the knowledge we've gained to other students." Group members assign themselves research projects -- refugee issues, for example -- and work at tables that provide information about the crisis in Darfur. United Nations officials estimate that the death toll in the western Sudanese province has reached at least 70,000, in a region where rebels have been battling government troops and Arab militiamen for nearly two years. "I have never seen college students be this active on anything," Rogoff said. "I don't know how they go to class because they do so much." Speakers are invited to address different aspects of the situation, and STAND members are doing other activities to raise awareness and funds to help with humanitarian relief. These steps include a "luxury fast," in which students were asked to abstain for one night from something they enjoyed, such as buying clothes or going out to dinner, and to donate the money they would have spent to help refugees. They also write letters to U.S. government officials, urging the Bush administration and Congress to take whatever action is necessary to stop the tragedy. The activism spurred by Darfur is part of a long tradition of student involvement in social causes in the United States. Although some surveys show that student activism has declined significantly since the 1960s, sociologist Todd Gitlin, a professor at Columbia University, noted that the '60s were the exception. "If you look at the great broad reach of the last century, passivity, apathy, tranquillity and low-level anxiety are the norm," he said. The situation in Darfur takes its place as an issue on U.S. campuses at a time when much of the energy stirred up over the 2004 presidential election is looking for direction, students say. Researchers on student activism said that humanitarian crises often have special resonance, attracting involvement from people who are normally uninvolved. "The idea of 'never again' is important," said Julia Kramer, 22, a senior at George Washington University who has helped start a STAND chapter there. It is the first time she has been involved in anything of the sort. "We said 'never again' after the Holocaust. And then after Rwanda. We have to keep trying to stop it, and the only way you can do that is get educated about it," Kramer said. Students and professors say such activism is a valuable extension of the classroom. Being involved in the Darfur issue helps students bridge the gap between the theories they learn in class and the real world, said Martha Heinemann, 21, a Georgetown senior and a coordinator of its STAND group. Heinemann said students who learn about international policy and law in classes see that policy "doesn't happen in a vacuum." She also said that student-led initiatives have, in the past, been successful in changing conditions throughout the world. In the late 1990s, student protests demanding that universities stop buying products made in sweatshops were successful in winning new codes of business practice. "The Darfur people are having a brilliant educational experience as they come to understand what is taking place in the Sudan," Gitlin said. "And they feel a kind of urgency and a need to know that is far more compelling than the normal sort of casual interest, than most of their educational choices." Ellen Ritchie, a Hackworth Fellow last year at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California, did a research paper on student activism. She found that student activists were nearly twice as likely as non-activists to be involved in community service and pursue independent studies. "I feel a major part of the education I got from being at Santa Clara was outside the classroom, being involved in other issues," said Ritchie, 22, who works for a nonprofit group in San Francisco. Rogoff now works full time at the Holocaust museum as university outreach coordinator for the Committee on Conscience, a standing group of the museum's trustees. The Holocaust museum, which opened in 1993, is becoming more involved in efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur, according to Jerry Fowler, staff director of the Committee on Conscience. The museum issued its first "genocide alert" about Darfur during the summer and has established a Web site -- www.ushmm.org/conscience/sudan/darfur -- to help further education efforts. "Rwanda happened with the knowledge of the Holocaust, and this is happening with the knowledge of Rwanda," Rogoff said. "It keeps happening, and until it stops, we have to keep fighting it."

Pasadena Star-News 25 Nov 2004 www.pasadenastarnews.com Will humanity answer the urgent call, "Never again'? By Lee Bycel Thursday, November 25, 2004 - THE Rwandan genocide, the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust in the wake of these and other catastrophes of the 20th century, we have vowed, "Never again.' The phrase is resolute and absolute. But it can also be empty. It prescribes nothing. In terms of action and commitment, it is silent. And silence to say nothing and do nothing while the innocent perish is genocide's prescription. The term "genocide' was coined exactly 60 years ago by Raphael Lemkin, in Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, published in November 1944 with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He defined it as "a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.' Whether the ongoing catastrophe in Darfur, Sudan will rise (or sink) to that definition, history will judge. It will judge our silence as well. I recently returned from a humanitarian mission to three refugee camps in Chad, on the border of Darfur. These camps teem with people who have somehow survived unfathomable suffering: husbands and fathers murdered; wives and daughters raped; death from malaria, cholera and dysentery; villages and lives burnt to ashes. Life in the refugee camps is its own hell, thick with the trauma and travail of those whose living eyes can still see the dead. The camps bear witness to the darkest regions of human degradation. There, the words "Never again' are a tragic, empty echo. The refugees in Chad and Darfur are abstractions when you see them in the newspaper, but they are quite real in person, and not much different from you and me. They happen to be victims of ethnic cleansing and terror. They happen to have no resources. But they yearn, as we do, for the warmth of a smile, for the touch of a caring hand. What we consider the requirements of life are unimaginable luxuries to them. They are desperate for our help. If only we were as desperate to help them. Unless the words "Never again' are translated into action, their echo is painfully hollow. Action on this scale can seem hopeless, but we are not helpless: writing letters, making contributions, getting involved in advocacy groups these activities are near to hand, and they multiply powerfully. Not everyone can give their whole lives to such work, like the remarkable volunteers from around the world I was privileged to meet in Chad. But that does not prevent a more personal transformation on the part of each of us. When we recognize that our humanity is inextricably linked to theirs, the refugees of Darfur are no longer an abstraction that fades from view. Awareness of their existence fosters an examination of our own. It changes our approach to life, what we consume, what we think we need and deserve. "Never again' is ultimately a personal challenge: What can I do to erase Lemkin's "genocide' from the dictionary? Nor should we forget that "Never again' speaks to our self- interest. Neglect of the dispossessed and disenfranchised can have devastating consequences: political instability, deepening ethnic conflicts, devastating famines and wars any of which can rapidly darken our own skies. All of humanity, the most and least fortunate alike, sleep under the same sky, wake to the same sun, and cherish the same hopes for their children. "Never again' is an urgent call to each of us. Will we answer? Rabbi Lee Bycel is a Los Angeles resident and the former dean of Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. He is currently devoting much of his time to raising awareness about the crises in the Sudan and funds for the Sudanese refugees.

washingtonpost.com 26 Nov 2004 Congress Seeks to Curb International Court Measure Would Threaten Overseas Aid Cuts to Push Immunity for U.S. Troops By Colum Lynch Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, November 26, 2004; Page A02 UNITED NATIONS -- The Republican-controlled Congress has stepped up its campaign to curtail the power of the International Criminal Court, threatening to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in economic aid to governments that refuse to sign immunity accords shielding U.S. personnel from being surrendered to the tribunal. The move marks an escalation in U.S. efforts to ensure that the first world criminal court can never judge American citizens for crimes committed overseas. More than two years ago, Congress passed the American Servicemembers' Protection Act, which cut millions of dollars in military assistance to many countries that would not sign the Article 98 agreements, as they are known, that vow not to transfer to the court U.S. nationals accused of committing war crimes abroad. A provision inserted into a $338 billion government spending bill for 2005 would bar the transfer of assistance money from the $2.52 billon economic support fund to a government "that is a party" to the criminal court but "has not entered into an agreement with the United States" to bar legal proceedings against U.S. personnel. The House and Senate are to vote on the budget Dec. 8. Congress's action may affect U.S. Agency for International Development programs designed to promote peace, combat drug trafficking, and promote democracy and economic reforms in poor countries. For instance, the cuts could jeopardize as much as $250 million to support economic growth and reforms in Jordan, $500,000 to promote democracy and fight drug traffickers in Venezuela, and about $9 million to support free trade and other initiatives with Mexico. The legislation includes a national security waiver that would allow President Bush to exempt members of NATO and other key allies, including Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Argentina, South Korea, New Zealand or Taiwan. The waiver was added to the provision, which Rep. George R. Nethercutt (R-Wash.) introduced into a House appropriations bill in July, after the State Department raised concern that the cuts could undermine key programs that advance U.S. foreign policy. State Department lawyers are studying the language to determine what portion of the economic support fund could be withheld under the law. But congressional staff members say the legislation would disproportionately hurt small countries with limited strategic importance to the United States. The criminal court was established by treaty at a 1998 conference in Rome to prosecute perpetrators of the most serious crimes, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The treaty has been signed by 139 countries and ratified by 97. Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo of Argentina has begun investigating widespread human rights violations in Congo and Uganda. The Clinton administration signed the treaty in December 2000, but the Bush administration renounced it in May 2001, citing concern that an international prosecutor might conduct frivolous investigations and trials against American officials, troops and foreign nationals deployed overseas on behalf of the United States. "This is a body based in The Hague where unaccountable judges and prosecutors could pull our troops, our diplomats up for trial," Bush said in his first campaign debate with Sen. John F. Kerry. Since the tribunal began in July 2002, the Bush administration has been struggling to secure guarantees from governments to sign the pacts exempting U.S. citizens from investigation or prosecution by the court. The congressional cuts would not affect 96 countries that have signed the immunity pacts. Other governments, including Jordan, have been trying to negotiate the terms of an agreement with the United States that would not violate their own laws that bar them from undermining the court. Jordan's King Abdullah, who supports the tribunal, is expected to discuss the issue with Bush in Washington next month. But Washington's key European allies, including Britain, France and Germany, have opposed the U.S. effort on grounds that it undermines the treaty. In June, the Europeans spearheaded a campaign to block the United States from securing passage of a U.N. security resolution extending immunity to U.S. citizens in U.N.-sanctioned peacekeeping operations. The court's advocates maintain that the Bush administration's fears of frivolous prosecution are overstated. They say that the tribunal was created to hold future despots in the ranks of Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Idi Amin accountable for mass killings, not to pursue U.S. officials responsible for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They note that the court will take on cases only when a state is unable or unwilling to do so. "The continuing attempt to cut aid to countries that do not support the International Criminal Court is unnecessary; the U.S. doesn't have anything to worry about," said Sally Eberhardt, a spokeswoman for the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. "There are enough safeguards built into the treaty, which the United States helped draft." Brian Thompson, a specialist for the court at Citizens for Global Solutions in Washington, said, "They are taking another swing at international relations that I think are already damaged by cutting off economic support programs that promote American ideals."


www.vheadline.com October 31, 2004 Bylined to: Patrick J. O'Donoghue PROVEA: 1988 El Amparo massacre killers roam the land unpunished Venezuelan human rights group PROVEA says the Venezuelan government is not complying with the dictates of the Inter American Human Rights Court (IAHRC) regarding the massacre of fishermen 16 years ago in El Amparo (Apure) by members of a special State security force. The Jose Antonio Paez unit, consisting of supposedly elite Police Detective Branch (CICPC) officers and State Political & Security (DISIP) Police officers ... under the direction of then-President (accion Democratica-AD) Jaime Lusinchi ... shot and killed 14 fishermen, accusing them of being Colombian guerrillas. Two persons escaped the killing, and lived to tell the tale. PROVEA itself was born the same year as a result of consistent human rights abuses in Venezuela. In 1993, PROVEA and Red de Apoyo managed to get the case to the Inter American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC), which passed the case to the IAHR Court in 1994 after Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez (CAP) and interim President Ramon J. Velasquez (RJV) failed to implement commission recommendations. In 1996 the Court handed down its verdict, ordering the Venezuelan State (under then-President Rafael Caldera) to compensate the families of victims and the 2 survivors, as well continuing investigating the incident and penalizing the killers. The government of President Rafael Caldera paid off the greater part of the compensation set by the Court but PROVEA continued its campaign for penalties. The killers remained free, thanks to an unconstitutional sentence issued by a military court and confirmed by the now-extinct Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) Criminal Court. This year, PROVEA and the Center for International Law & Justice (CEJIL) presented the IAHR Court with a report, stating that the Venezuelan State had failed to comply with a November 2002 ruling to pay victims and families interests accrued for its delay in liquidating compensations. PROVEA points out contradictions on the part of the Chavez Frias administration, which it maintains, uses the El Amparo massacre as an example of the state of HR under the Fourth Republic and its failure to comply with IAHR Court rulings. Furthermore ... what is even more scandalous ... PROVEA contends, is the fact that some of the officers connected to the incident currently occupy public posts in the government, the Armed Force (FAN) and state security agencies.



BBC 6 Nov 2004 Australia unveils Aboriginal body By Phil Mercer BBC correspondent in Sydney -Aborigines are Australia's most disadvantaged community The Australian government has unveiled a new Aboriginal advisory body that will help shape its policy towards disadvantaged native communities. The National Indigenous Council will be headed by a magistrate, Dr Sue Gordon. She said it would focus on addressing domestic violence and reducing the widespread dependence on welfare. Earlier this year, the government abolished the biggest indigenous organisation, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). The creation of the National Indigenous Council is the latest attempt to give Aboriginal Australians a real say in how problems in their communities are addressed. The Indigenous Affairs minister, Amanda Vanstone, said the 14 members selected by the government would be able to give top quality advice. They include a professional sportsman, a nurse and a successful entrepreneur. 'Token gesture' The new organisation has been rejected by some Aboriginal leaders who have labelled it a token gesture and its members government lackeys. Dr Gordon has brushed aside the criticism. The children's court magistrate has told an Australian newspaper that there was much work to be done and that violence within Aboriginal families had become monstrous. Australia's Aborigines suffer alarming rates of ill-health, unemployment and imprisonment. For many, poverty and disease have become a way of life, although hundreds of projects around the country are shedding light into these dark and depressing corners. Prime Minister John Howard announced earlier this year that ATSIC - set up in 1990 to provide advice on indigenous affairs - would be scrapped. He insisted the organisation had become too preoccupied with symbolic issues rather than the serious day-to-day problems faced by Aborigines.

Background: BBC 7 Apr 2004 Aborigines fight for their money back By Becky Branford BBC News Online Fred is one of many indigenous workers whose wages have vanished Over the past 15 years, Australian Aborigines have fought to receive official title to their ancestral lands and for governments to acknowledge the sad history of the removal of their children. Now they have a new target in their sights: the state-sanctioned confiscation of the wages earned by tens of thousands of Aboriginal workers for much of the 20th century. It is an issue only now being uncovered - and campaigners hope it will explode across Australia this year. One Aboriginal man, Fred Edwards, was sent out to work on a cattle ranch aged 12 and spent the next 25 years earning money that, for the most part, he never received. Under the Aboriginal Protection Act of 1897, the Queensland state government held it "in trust" for him. But the balance has never been settled, and, despite his long working life, Fred now cannot afford to retire. "The money is ours but the government won't give it back," said Mr Edwards, now 65. "Now I've got to go on slaving, I don't know how long I'll be going - until I can't stand it any more, I suppose." The practice went on, to varying degrees, across Australia until about 1972. It appears to have been most prevalent in Queensland, where at least half the Aboriginal population - which grew from about 15,000 in 1910 to 40,000 in 1960 - is thought to have been affected. Here, not only wages, but pensions, inheritances and child benefits were taken. 'Aboriginal problem'? Mr Edwards' story features on a postcard that campaigners, backed by many of Australia's trade unions, hope will raise awareness of the issue in Australia and around the world. The issue was uncovered by an Australian academic, Dr Ros Kidd, while researching her PhD thesis on government controls on Aborigines. Academic and campaigner "There were items in the newspapers about the 'Aboriginal problem' and I thought, 'I can't get any proper sense of this'," she told BBC News Online. "I decided to investigate the controls on Aboriginal people - how the government had operated, particularly in the 20th century. I spent three years researching in churches and government offices. They had no idea what was there - the files weren't even in proper order. "I was appalled by what I read." Dr Kidd learned that under the act the state acquired powers to declare any Aborigine a "ward of state", regardless of their personal circumstances. They could then be forcibly interned or sent to church missions, often to live in conditions of extreme poverty. Families were commonly separated, the children sent to institutional dormitories. Forced labour Men were regularly sent on 12-month work contracts, often on cattle ranches. Women were frequently despatched to white homes as domestic servants. Refusal to go incurred punishment or banishment to a penal island. And, from 1904, the wages they earned went directly to local police "protectors" who were supposed to hand a fraction on to workers as "pocket money" and place the rest in trust funds. Read the stories of victims and campaigners (With thanks to Christine Howes) In pictures But Dr Kidd found widespread evidence of fraud on the part of the protectors, indicating that workers often never received even pocket money. The money that did end up in the trust funds was regularly siphoned into government revenue - often to be spent on capital works programmes. Very little of that money remains. No formal accounting has been done, but Dr Kidd's research suggests that A$500m (US$380m) could be owing in Queensland alone - "and it could actually be several times that". Asked why it took so many years for the issue to come to light, Dr Kidd explained that all Aboriginal affairs were run by one department - "a closed shop, run by little Napoleons. There were only three men running the department between 1914 and 1986 - and they had complete control. "The beauty of it is that they assumed that no one would ever question what they were doing and they certainly never assumed any bright bunny - a female - would expose it all for what it was." 'Reconciliation' As Dr Kidd's work gained prominence in the late 1990s, the Queensland government decided to act. The government was under no obligation to do anything, but decided it would be a really good gesture Liddy Clark MP Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy, Queensland Government It publicly acknowledged the wrong done and established a fund of $55.4m, from which successful claimants receive individual compensation of either $2,000 or $4,000, depending on their age. "The reparations offer was not calculated to say, 'Look, we owe you this money', it was basically done for reconciliation, you know, holding out the hand," Liddy Clark MP, Queensland's minister for Aboriginal affairs, told BBC News Online. "The government was under no obligation to do anything, but decided it would be a really good gesture to offer this money because of the historical bad practice," she said. The Queensland government has estimated that there are about 16,000 potential claimants alive today. Of those, 6,370 have applied for the reparations deal; 2,443 have been accepted. 'Bull' But the settlement offer has been passionately rejected by many members of the indigenous community. "Well, what's a nice way to say it? It's bull!" said Lanora Jackson, whose father was a victim (see photo gallery). They are robbing and deceiving us again Bob Weatherall Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (Faira) "Dad refuses to take the money, because it's an insult. After listening to some of his stories of the work he was forced to do I feel he should be paid $4,000 for one week of the work," she said. Campaigners also charge that no formal accounts exist as to how much was taken. They say victims must receive compensation that at least approximates what they lost. And they say a government bar on claims from the descendants of victims who died before the offer was made in May 2002 must be retracted. "They are robbing and deceiving us again," said Bob Weatherall, cultural officer for Faira, an indigenous rights group. "Many of our elders, who were slaves, have died, and their offspring are not able to get reparations so they can progress in their communities. We want to create a viable economic base for our communities so we are not beggars, living off welfare. That's what we've been reduced to." Legacy He says that although the confiscation ended 30 years ago, its legacy is entrenched in the poverty suffered by many indigenous people today. Aboriginal men face a life expectancy two decades shorter than white men. A recent report put malnutrition among Aboriginal children on a par with some of the world's poorest countries, such as Sudan and Sierra Leone. The issue of wage confiscation affects not only Queenslanders. In states across Australia, campaigners are beginning to uncover similar tales of dispossession. Campaigners hope that their work will ensure a just resolution, as the next step in Australia's recognition of its painful colonial past.


1 November, 2004, 14:19 GMT E-mail this to a friend Printable version Ethnic violence hits China region Martial law has been imposed in parts of the Chinese province of Henan after ethnic clashes in which at least seven people were killed. More than 40 people were also injured in the violence, and 18 were arrested, China's Xinhua news agency reported. The clashes were between members of China's majority Han community and the Muslim Hui ethnic group. Residents are quoted as saying that houses were set alight, and people were fighting using farm tools. Xinhua did not say that the clash was between Hui and the Han people. China's ruling Communist Party, which keeps strict control over the media, plays down any reports of ethnic tensions, out of fear of social disorder. Neither is it clear exactly what triggered the violence. But it appears to be the worst incident between the Hui and Han people in several years. 'So afraid' According to Xinhua, the violence started on 27 October when Mr Lu, from Nanren village, began a fight with Mr Liu, from nearby Nanwei village. The fight was allegedly about a traffic accident, which according to a separate report in the New York Times involved a Hui taxi driver running over a 6-year-old Han girl. HUI MINORITY Mainly descendants of 13th century C Asian immigrants 8.5m-strong, third largest of China's 55 minorities Widely dispersed across China, look and speak like majority Han Islam central to identity After the fight, several Nanren villagers rushed to Mr Liu's home and assaulted him and his family, Xinhua said. Then residents of both villages assembled and resumed the battle. "One villager was beaten to death on the spot and two died in the hospital one day later," Xinhua said. The news agency did not say how the other deaths occurred. According to witness statements, several houses were burned down during the violence, and a brick factory was destroyed, as the rival groups fought each other with sticks. "People were so afraid," one witness told Reuters. "No-one dared to go to work or go outside. Even the transport has been stopped." Villagers contacted by the BBC said hundreds of riot police had been drafted into the area and a news blackout imposed. Correspondents say clashes between the Han, who make up the vast majority of China's population, and the 8.5m-strong Hui minority are not common. But tensions may have been exacerbated by China's economic success, which has seen a growing gap between rich and poor. And there has been a general increase in unrest in rural areas fuelled by dissatisfaction over poverty and corruption, correspondents say.

NYT 1 Nov 2004 Martial Law Declared as Nearly 150 Die in Clashes in Central China By JOSEPH KAHN BEIJING, Oct. 31 - Ethnic clashes between majority Han Chinese and Hui Muslims left almost 150 people dead and forced the authorities to declare martial law in a section of Henan Province in central China, journalists and witnesses in the region said Sunday. The fighting flared Friday and continued into the weekend after a Hui taxi driver's car hit and killed a 6-year-old Han girl, prompting recriminations between different ethnic groups in neighboring villages, the journalists and witnesses said. One individual briefed on the incident by the police said 148 people had been killed, including 18 police officers sent to quell the violence. The Chinese news media have reported nothing about unrest in Henan. But a news blackout would not be unusual, because propaganda authorities routinely suppress information about ethnic tensions. Though most Chinese belong to the dominant Han ethnicity, the country has 55 other ethnic groups, including several Muslim minorities and others with ties to Tibet, Southeast Asia, Korea and Mongolia. Hui Muslims, scattered in several provinces in the central and western parts of the country, are relatively well integrated into Chinese society and not generally considered a threat to stability. But outbreaks of Hui unrest were not uncommon in the 1980's, and tensions can bubble to the surface after even minor provocations. Many Hui areas remain impoverished despite rapid economic growth in China's urban and coastal regions, and some members of minority groups say the Han-dominated government does little to steer prosperity to them. The road accident on Friday set off large-scale fighting after relatives, friends and fellow villagers of the girl who was killed, most of them Han, traveled to the mostly Hui village of the taxi driver to demand compensation. The rival villagers failed to settle their dispute, which quickly grew to involve thousands of people in Zhongmou County between the cities of Zhengzhou and Kaifeng, according to two accounts of the incident. The local police failed to contain the unrest and authorities deployed the paramilitary People's Armed Police to restore order. Martial law was declared over the weekend, people in the area said, adding that the situation had since stabilized. One person briefed on the clashes said the authorities might have been particularly alarmed after the police stopped a 17-truck convoy carrying Hui men to the area from other counties and provinces as it passed through Qi County, near Zhongmou. Blockades were set up on major roads in the area, and some bus service was halted. That suggests that word of the violence may have spread through a network of Hui and perhaps other Muslim groups and that mutual support among them is relatively strong. But details were sketchy and difficult to confirm. A police officer who answered the telephone in the Zhongmou County public security office on Sunday night declined to provide any information on the matter. China's countryside and second-tier cities are rife with unrest among peasants and workers complaining about corruption, unpaid wages and other issues. Violent protests, once extremely rare, occur frequently. Last week, rioters set fire to police cars and looted government offices in Wanzhou, in Chongqing municipality in southwest China, after an argument between several people set off a riot involving as many as 10,000 people, residents and Western news agencies reported. Chris Buckley contributed reporting from Beijing for this article.

BBC 2 Nov 2004 At least 20 killed, 42 injured in central China ethnic clashes, 18 arrested Related News » • At least 20 killed in ethnic clashes in central China, martial law declared • At least 20 killed in ethnic clashes in central China: local residents ZHONGMOU, China : At least 20 people have been killed in clashes between the Muslim Hui minority and the Han majority in central China's Henan province, with the area put under military blockade. "There are more than 10 Hui Muslims who died and more than 10 Han died," said an employee surnamed Wang from a taxi company in Zhongmou county, where the clash occurred. Residents told AFP violence between Huis and Hans erupted last week after Hui truck drivers from the Hui populated Nanren village tried to pass through a village mostly inhabited by Han Chinese and a Hui was beaten up over a traffic dispute. Villagers from both sides fought each other with farm tools, they said. The government late Monday confirmed a violent clash occurred. Seven people were killed, 42 injured and 18 arrested, the official Xinhua news agency said. The clash began on October 27 and continued until Sunday but was now under control, Xinhua said. It said violence erupted when a villager surnamed Lu from Nanren village fought with a man surnamed Liu from Nanwei village over a traffic dispute. Lu and several Nanren villagers later went to Liu's home and assaulted him and his family, Xinhua said. Afterwards, residents of both villages assembled weapons and fought each other. One villager was beaten to death on the spot and two died in hospital a day later, Xinhua said. Of the 42 injured, 19 have been released from hospital, it said. Xinhua did not say the clash was between the Huis and the Hans. Wang, the taxi company employee, said the violence last week was the worst in memory. "Clashes have happened frequently before but this is the worst," he said. "The two groups used farm tools to fight each other." The area remained tense and under military blockade Monday, teeming with hundreds of police and paramilitary soldiers. Four foreign journalists who entered the area were detained, and police lining the roads stopped several other reporters from entering. Busloads of armed police in riot gear went into the area. An imam with Nanren village's mosque said two Huis died in the village and four or five Hans were also killed. He said the unrest had yet to be quelled. Soon afterwards thousands of Han Chinese surrounded Nanren, the imam surnamed Hu said. A confrontation developed in which several houses were burnt down and a brick factory was destroyed, Hu said. A resident surnamed Han told of 10 other deaths in a related incident Sunday in Liangchenggang village 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) east of Nanren, in which Hui Muslims from other areas arriving apparently to back the Huis in Nanren clashed with anti-riot police. "I heard that 100 to 200 Muslims arrived from another part of China and they were stopped at a roadblock," Han said. "They got off the bus and started fighting with police. Police used tear gas to disperse them but they got through. I heard that 10 people died in that clash." Han said he did not know whether police or Muslims died but said he believed the fighting was not over. "The Han Chinese will want revenge," he said. The New York Times reported that almost 150 people were killed but residents sought to play down the figure. An official surnamed Chen with the Henan Religious Affairs Bureau told AFP: "Officials have been sent there to try and calm down the two sides. When the clash erupted, the situation was intense." Journalists in the region said a news blackout was in force. "They are afraid to trigger conflict among the ethnic groups," said a journalist with Henan Daily. China's Huis are descendants of Arab and Persian traders. Over the centuries they have mixed so thoroughly with the Han Chinese that they are indistinguishable from each other but for religion, customs and dress codes. The Huis are generally considered among China's best assimilated minorities, but occasional clashes with other groups are known to occur. In early 2002 Huis clashed with Tibetans in a rural county of northwestern Qinghai province, leading to a large number of injuries. Several Huis were handed long jail terms.

Background articles: BBC 15 Sept 2004 Chinese Muslims forge isolated path By Louisa Lim BBC, Ningxia Against a desert backdrop, surrounded by parched yellow-earth hills, an army of worshippers sing devotional chants as they march through a compound to the central mosque. Ningxia province is the heartland of Islam in China - and the base of Hong Yang, a Muslim leader who commands a million Chinese followers. Islam with Chinese characteristics, in Ningxia province Religious freedom is laid down in the Chinese constitution, but Hong Yang admits there are limits. "It depends on how you interpret the word freedom. Our religious freedom cannot compare with other countries. We're only free to practice within the boundaries set by Chinese law and policy," he said. "But we don't want to overstep those limits, as that might create conflict and instability for the whole society." Spreading the faith is a duty for Muslims, but for the 20 million Muslims in China, it is only allowed within the confines of a mosque. China's atheist leadership distrust all whose loyalties might be split, especially those for whom religion is a higher calling. Its strategy is to bind religious leaders into the communist hierarchy. Hong Yang commands a million Chinese followers. Hong Yang is a government advisor, as well as a spiritual leader, and he is often torn between religion and politics. "Of course it would be ideal to be a purely religious figure. That's what I strive for. But this is China," he said. "If I can serve as a bridge between the government and the people, then that's a good thing for everyone." Islamic resurgence Arriving at a funeral, the devotion which Hong Yang inspires is palpable. Men, young and old, mob him to exchange greetings, and the hillside around swarms with the white hats worn by Muslims in the region. Religious rituals only resurfaced in the 1980s after years of communist suppression, when all religious activity was banned. These days an Islamic resurgence is taking place, but China's leaders fear the fervour of faith. In the past, rebellions brewed in Ningxia province, as Muslims chafed against the yoke of central control. Mindful of that, China's communist rulers keep careful control over their flock. Female imams Female imams are a special, Chinese development But Muslims in the province are pushing forward the barriers of faith - with unique results. Jin Meihua is at the forefront of those changes. Her head covered with a lilac scarf, she teaches passages from the Koran to other women. The 40-year-old wife and mother is one of a handful of Chinese female imams. "I felt I couldn't be a true Muslim if I didn't understand Islam. I craved knowledge, so I went to the imam and asked his permission to study in the mosque," she said. "There were only men there, and no mosque for the women. He said it would be hard but after about a year of study, I got support from the other imams and the community." Jin Meihua runs a mosque exclusively for women. While hers is attached to a male mosque, some female Muslims have set up their own completely independent mosques. "These are sites led by women for women, not overseen by male religious leaders," said Maria Jaschok from Oxford University. "They're independent, even autonomous. This is simply not the case anywhere else in Muslim countries." Beijing's tight control over religious practice means Chinese Muslims have been isolated from trends sweeping through the rest of the Islamic world. According to Dr Khaled Abou el Fadl from the University of California in Los Angeles, that means that ancient traditions like female jurists - which have been stamped out elsewhere - have been able to continue in China. "The Wahhabi and Salafis have not been able to penetrate areas like China and establish their puritanical creed there," said Dr Khaled Abou el Fadl. "That's a good thing, as it means that perhaps from the margins of Islam the great tradition of women jurists might be rekindled." It may be controversial, but the women who come here do not care. Ma Hongmei, a 30-year-old mother, says that what she has learned in the women's mosque has helped her become a better Muslim. "It opened my eyes and broadened my horizons. It helped my family and gives me a moral framework for educating my children," she said. "Surely they have female imams in other countries?" she replied, when told that China's system was unusual. Her licence to practice is issued by a government body, the Islamic Association of China. Hong Yang's base is in a virtual desert landscape Ma Ziyuan, an official at the association, said female imams were allowed because it was the "wish of the masses". "They gave us this power. We are here to fulfil the demands of the religious believers. People want to learn and women should have the same rights as men," he said. This is socialist Islam with Chinese characteristics. Believers are hobbled and co-opted by the state, encouraged to push forward changes which divide them from fellow worshippers elsewhere. For Muslims in China, the path ahead is an isolated one, and that is exactly what the Chinese government wants.

Xinhua 28 Oct 2004 Henan coal mine blast toll jumps to 141 (Xinhua) Updated: 2004-10-28 14:56 Rescue workers have found bodies of 141 miners killed in last week's fatal gas explosion at Daping coal mine in central China's Henan Province, according to the State Administration of Work Safety Thursday. So far 129 bodies have been moved to the ground. The rescue headquarters dispatched 110 rescuers down the shaft. By 7 a.m. Thursday, the rescue workers let out gas in 360 m of the passage connecting to the downhill area of the Rock No.21 and are still going all out to reach the missing miners. A deadly gas explosion occurred at the coal mine of Zhengzhou Coal Industry Group, or Zhengmei, in Xinmi City at 10:10 p.m. last Wednesday when 446 miners were working underground, and only 298 managed to escape. Zhengmei is a listed company based near Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. The accident was the most serious coal accident this year. Rescuers are still searching for the other 7 missing miners, whose survival chances are slim.

NYT 7 Nov 2004 To the Editor: Regarding Ted Widmer's review of Kitty Kelley's book ''The Family'': there is one comment that is off the mark. Widmer says Kelley ''correctly chides'' George H. W. Bush's ''failure to support Chinese democracy.'' I was President Bush's ambassador to China at the time of the Tiananmen massacre, in 1989. Under Bush's direction, I spent the next year trying to get Fang Lizhi, the ''counterrevolutionary criminal'' and ''instigator of Tiananmen,'' out of China, and we finally succeeded in June 1990. Fang is now in America with a wife and son whom we also got out. We worked to get martial law lifted in Tibet and Beijing and succeeded. Several hundred arrested at Tiananmen Square were amnestied as part of a comprehensive deal, also under George H. W. Bush's administration. The first direct talks on human rights issues in China were carried out by Richard Shifter of the National Security Council in 1991. Chinese sufferers are not helped by spasmodic and noisy interventions by partisan politicians playing to a domestic American audience. More has been accomplished, in my experience, by quiet, relentless negotiations (give-and-take). James R. Lilley Washington.

Xinhua 25 Nov 2004 Massacre survivor sues Japanese writer www.chinaview.cn 2004-11-25 09:56:10 BEJIJING, Nov. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- A Nanjing court began a hearing claims by a Chinese survivor of the Nanjing Massacre against a Japanese writer and a Japanese publishing company. It was the first time a Chinese survivor of the massacre has taken Japanese people to a Chinese court. The hearing, which began Wednesday, was different from previous Chinese suits because it did not directly target those held responsible for war crimes, but rather Japanese apologists downplaying or denying atrocities committed during World War II. The defendants, Toshio Matsumura and the Japanese Teiunsya Corp. Ltd., did not attend the hearing. The court served summonses on the defendants in April this year. Xia Shuqin, the plaintiff, was only 8 years old when the Nanjing Massacre took place in December 1937. As many as 300,000 Chinese were killed and many more abused by Japanese troops when they overran Nanjing, then the capital. Seven of Xia's family members were killed by Japanese soldiers. "A Japanese soldier stabbed me in the left shoulder, left side and back with his bayonet, I passed out because of the severe pain," Xia said. When she regained consciousness, she found that only she and her 4-year-old sister had survived. They hid in a room full of bodies for 14 days, eating scraps and drinking unboiled water. Later, they were taken to a home by an elderly woman. Their experiences were recorded in John Magee's film and the wartime diaries of John Rabe. In 1998, the Japanese Teiunsya Corp. Ltd. published "Big Doubts about the Nanjing Massacre," compiled by Toshio Matsumura. Matsumura wrote in the book that Xia was a false witness and a liar. When learning of this through the media, Xia was deeply hurt. She decided to take legal action in November 2000. She raised five demands in the lawsuit: The defendants should stop the defamation at once; the defendants should restore her reputation; the defendants should apologize to her in major newspapers in Japan and China; the defendants should pay compensation of 800,000 yuan (US$96,386); and the defendants should pay for the lawsuit. A verdict is yet to be announced. (Shenzhen Daily)


PTI 30 Oct 2004 Dacoits strike MP village: 13 killed, 1 injured Gadaria gang was irked by villagers’ armed resistance PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Posted online: Saturday, October 30, 2004 at 0227 hours IST GWALIOR, OCTOBER 29: Thirteen persons were shot dead on Friday and one critically injured by members of a dreaded gang of dacoits in Bhanwarpura village, over 60 km from Gwalior. ‘‘The victims’ hand and feet were tied before six dacoits of the Rambabu Gadaria gang shot them at point-blank,’’ said IG (Law and Order), B.M. Kumar The villagers, mostly members of the Gurjar community, were leading their cattle for grazing when the dacoits came out of their hiding place behind a temple and cornered them, police said, adding that it seemed to be an act of revenge as the Gadaria gang was irked over armed resistance by the villagers. Police said the residents of Bhanwarpura and the dacoits had exchanged fire at Hautoda hillock recently and added that the mass killing was first of its kind in Chambal Valley after the Behamai massacre by Phoolan Devi’s gang. Meanwhile, after the massacre, the dacoits escaped into the deep jungles of Sikravali. Search operations are on, said Additional DGP S.K. Raut. Chief Minister Babulal Gaur has declared a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each for the families of the deceased and Rs.25,000 to the injured. Minister of State for Home, Jagdish Devda, Principal Secretary (Home) Bhagirath Prasad and DGP S.K. Das have rushed to Bhanwarpura to take stock of the situation, official sources said. Gadaria, who is believed to have led the attack, carries an award of Rs 2.5 lakh on his head. He was arrested four years ago, but escaped near Dabra while being taken for a court hearing. '

www.hindustantimes.com What provoked massacre by Gadaria? Keshav Pandey Gwalior, October 31 A NUMBER of stories are doing rounds over the 'actual' cause of massacre of villagers by dacoit Gadaria in village Bhawarpura under Mohana police station area. According to one story, a so-called police informer and the mining mafia hatched the conspiracy. Some police officers also appear to agree with this. The villagers are livid with the so-called informer and the mafia and alleged that the massacre was committed by the dacoits at the behest of this informer who nursed grouse against the deceased persons over some incidents reported in the Ghatigaon-Mohana police stations. According to sources, members of the mining mafia were present in the police station when the dacoits were committing the massacre in Bhawarpura village. The Gadaria gang wants to control the stone quarries and extorts money from the quarry owners. The alleged nexus between a section of the mafia and a few police officials in the area is commonly known. As a consequence of the massacre, the station in-charge of Mohana and Ghatigaon police stations have been attached to the police lines. Nearly 300 jawans of 2nd, 13th and 14th battalions of SAF together with the police force have been deployed in the forest for combing operation. DGP S K Das is monitoring the search operation but no clue of the killer gang has been found so far. Yashwant Goyal has been made the in-charge of Mohana police station. After returning from Bhawarpura village, CM Babulal Gaur held a meeting with ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Anoop Mishra, Narayan Singh and Rustam Singh along with MLA Vijendra Tiwari and senior police officers of Gwalior. He clearly told the IG and DIG of police of Gwalior range to deliver results or get themselves transferred voluntarily. The chief minister found the police strategy against the dacoits insufficient.

Times of India Online 1 nOV 2004 timesofindia.indiatimes.com When Gurdwaras turn first target SAKSHI ARORA TIMESOFINDIA.COM[ MONDAY, NOVEMBER 01, 2004 09:39:28 PM ] If turbans have become the ubiquitous symbol of the Sikhs, the gurdwaras are the touchstones of its faith. When Indira Gandhi fell to the bullets of her Sikh security guards, however, they became red flags to hordes of enraged rioters. For the first time in the history of free India, places of worship became the target of mob attacks. Of about 450 gurdwaras in Delhi, some three-quarters were either damaged or destroyed. In fact, they were the first targets by the 1984 rioters, perhaps to prevent Sikhs from collecting there and putting up a combined resistance. The first targets also became the last refuge of most Sikh families. At a time when Sikhs had lost faith in all authorities, gurdwaras became not just a source of strength but also a reaffirmation of the spirit of the Sikh community. The gurdwaras have come a long way since 1984 and no physical scar remain of the horror attack mounted 20 years ago. But there have been repercussions. "The gurdwara gates are manned at all times. And the guards are armed with barsas, a thick wooden stick with a short sharp-edged weapon on top" The gurdwaras have shored up their defences, says Bhagat Singh, manager of the Nanavati commission office at Rakabganj gurdwara,. "There used to be a two-feet wall, but 1984 exposed their vulnerability," says Singh. "So the gurdwara committees decided to build high walls - a 10 feet wall with an additional two feet grill with sharp edges". "Today no one can scale these walls. This can be seen in almost all the major gurdwaras of Delhi, including Bangla Sahib." Same is the case in the gurdwara at the posh New Friends Colony. On the night of October 31, 1984, the gurdwara was ransacked and set on fire. But today no traces of the dark days remain. The gurdwara is surrounded by an eight-feet wall and a strong steel gate guards the gate. A fortified wooden door awaits the visitor at the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum. Security is indeed a priority for the gurdwara management. "The gurdwara gates are manned at all times. There are three shifts of eight hours each. And the guards are armed with barsas, a thick wooden stick with a short sharp-edged weapon on top," says Singh. What threat do these barsas guard against? Mainly, fear. "If the outside periphery is secure, we don't need to worry about anything," asserts Singh. Not all are so security conscious. President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), Prehlad Singh Chandok, says, "There is no need of any precautions. We are not scared of anyone. The only time we had ever taken precautions was at the time of the riots. What was happening was wrong and we had to stop it. But today we are not scared of anyone." Some gurdwara managers have more faith in their Gurus than security systems. "No one will ever be able to enter this holy place to repeat 1984. We'll make sure of that," a manager at Seeshganj Saheb asserts. On being asked if they would use weapons to stop the mischief-makers, he replies angrily, "We don't need any weapons. The men are enough for them." That's the spirit that dominates not just the community but also their religious symbols. The tall sprawling structures all over the city give out only one message. As Chandok says, "We are not scared of anyone and we won't let 1984 to ever repeat itself."

info.indiatimes.com/1984 31 Oct 2004 Analysis fifth column A flashback to the 1984 riots Tavleen Singh It's hard to write an article that appears on October 31 without remembering that it was on this day, twenty years ago, that Indira Gandhi was shot dead in her garden by two Sikh policemen. With the return of the Gandhis to the political limelight there will be many this year who will remember Mrs Gandhi, many who will pay fulsome tributes, many who will glorify her reign. How many will remember the pogroms that followed? Almost nobody is my guess even if we now have a Sikh Prime Minister and an uncompromisingly secular government. Not even the Communists with their daily petulance over perceived communalism will dare remind the government they control that justice still has not been done. It’s the one event that even the most ardent secularists choose to forget which is for me a constant puzzle. In the many years I have spent reporting wars, riots, caste killings and other violent events on our sub-continent, I can remember nothing that matches the horror of those first three days after Mrs Gandhi was killed. For those of you who were not there or may have forgotten, let me help you remember. Within minutes of Mrs Gandhi being shot, my news editor rang me and asked me to rush to the hospital where she had been taken. By the time I got there they had already closed the gates of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and although there was no official announcement of her death till late that afternoon we found out within the first hour. Despite All India Radio pretending all day that she was still alive news of her death spread through the city quickly but on the first day there were no killings. There was tension, an ominous, heavy tension but nobody, and especially not ordinary Sikhs, had any idea of what was going to happen. The most that was expected were a few stray incidents of violence. I worked at the time for a British newspaper and they wanted me to go to Amritsar the next day to gauge the mood there. By the time I returned on the afternoon of November 1, I could see the fires from the airport. There was chaos at the airport because there were no taxis since most Delhi taxi-drivers were Sikhs and the mobs had started burning them alive. When I finally managed to get a ride with a Tamil gentleman, our taxi was surrounded on the way to the city by a mob with petrol soaked rags in their hands. ‘‘Any Sikhs in the car,’’ they grinned as the Tamil gentleman looked nervously at me. By that night armies of killers roamed the streets of Delhi looking for Sikhs to kill and Sikh properties to burn. For the next two days, the mobs were allowed to murder, loot and burn while the government sat back and watched. By the time the Army was ordered out, the streets of Delhi were littered with bodies and the burned out remains of trucks and taxis with the charred, corpses of their drivers at the wheel. Nobody bothered to pick up the dead because there was no room left in the morgues and one of the images that continues to haunt me is of a dog eating a human arm in a Delhi street. More than 3000 Sikhs were killed in two days in the city and then in a couple of hours it was brought to a sudden halt. All it took to stop the carnage and the savagery were a handful of soldiers in the streets with orders to shoot at sight. The mobs melted away as they would have done on day one if the government had wanted them to. Anybody who believes that what happened in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat was the worst communal violence since Partition does not remember what happened in Delhi in the first week of November 1984. It was our first State-sponsored pogrom and if we do not acknowledge this then we must recognize that attempts to bring justice to the victims of Gujarat is mere tokenism. It is wonderful that the wheels of justice, that Modi and his murderous thugs tried to stall, are moving again. May every murderer, rapist and thug be brought to justice so that we never have another Gujarat. But when will those responsible for what happened to the Sikhs in 1984 be punished for what they did? I ask the question rhetorically because I know the answer is never, but justice of some kind must be done if we are serious about ensuring that no government in future ever gets away with pogroms against its own citizens. Of course swift and severe justice is the best way to ensure this but swift justice is not possible from a justice system that will take 350 years to clear its backlog of cases. Besides, Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers are unlikely to be tried like ordinary criminals so the way forward, in my view, is for our shiny, new, ‘‘secular’’ government to set up something similar to South Africa’s Truth Commission. Let men like P V Narasimha Rao (Home Minister in 1984) and Narendra Modi and all the officials and policemen who failed to do their duties come before the Commission and answer for their failures. Let those who saw their husbands, brothers and sons burned alive come forward and publicly identify those who led the mobs. Let the new ‘‘secular’’ government put its secularism where its mouth is and convert the toothless Minorities Commission into a powerful Truth Commission. It is the least we can do for the thousands of innocents who died because two Sikh policemen assassinated Mrs Gandhi. Write to tavleensingh@expressindia.com URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=58010

www.indianexpress.com 31 Oct 2004 The day India killed its own This day in 1984, a prime minister was shot and India’s most horrific religious carnage since Partition began. Manoj Mitta travels back to Delhi’s ‘Sikh riots’. To 20 years of justice denied LAST week when the Union Cabinet granted an extension to the Justice G T Nanavati Commission conducting a re-inquiry into the 1984 massacre of Sikhs in Delhi, it really had no other option. Especially since the current term of the Commission was due to lapse on November 1, the day that marked the 20th anniversary of the carnage that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The two-month extension given on the request of the Nanavati Commission is all the same ironical—for at least two reasons. It was only the other day that the Centre had scrapped a judicial inquiry into the Tehelka controversy and, in a bid to justify it, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alleged that the judge concerned had taken far too long. If the criterion of time had been applied to the Nanavati Commission as well, it too would have had to be scrapped as the re-inquiry into the 1984 carnage had been set up a whole year before the Tehelka probe. But then, politically, the Government could not have got away with its disbandment because the Nanavati Commission had on the basis of evidence before it served notices on two Union ministers, Kamal Nath and Jagdish Tytler, and two other Congress MPs, Sajjan Kumar and Nikhil Kumar. What is even more ironical is that a Congress-led Government of 2004 would not dare do what its predecessor of 1984 did so contemptously: oppose the very idea of an inquiry into the carnage. When the wounds were still fresh and the evidence so much easier to gather, the Rajiv Gandhi Government took six long months to accede to the demand for an inquiry into what remains the biggest communal carnage since Partition. This despite the fact that the government ordered an inquiry into Indira Gandhi’s assassination within four days. How could Rajiv Gandhi discriminate so flagrantly between the murder of one and the murder of many? Given that the massacre of 3,000 Sikhs was widely alleged to have been organised by Congress leaders, why did Rajiv not seize the opportunity to clear the name of his party and administration? ELECTORAL gains is the simple answer. In his campaigning, Rajiv had no qualms in pandering to the wrath of Hindus who saw the massacre as a lesson Sikhs deserved to be taught for all the insurgency in Punjab. He stuck to the no-inquiry policy till he saw through two rounds of elections: the Lok Sabha elections of December 1984 and Assembly elections of March 1985. 200: FIRs registered in 1984 and early 1985 Only one FIR registered for one locality. It was only in 1994 that the court ordered separate chargesheets be filed 3,000 Sikhs killed Worst hit: Trilokpuri in east Delhi where 292 people were killed over three days Total cases in court: about 300 of which 200 are for murder 9: conviction in murder cases Consider the kind of insensitivity Rajiv betrayed especially after he won over 90 per cent of the seats in the Lok Sabha. In an interview in January 1985 he said the inquiry would not help as it would only rake up ‘‘issues that are really dead.’’ Later he said he was opposed to an inquiry as ‘‘it would do more damage to the Sikhs, it would do more damage to the country by specifically opening the whole thing up again.’’ The Rajiv Gandhi Government eventually appointed the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission on April 26, 1985 to pave the way for its accord with the Akali Dal leader, H S Longowal. The inquiry appointed in such circumstances proved to be controversial because of its secretive methods. All proceedings were held in camera and there was a gag order against the press. The report that came out of such an inquiry, not surprisingly, turned out to be a blatant cover-up. Justice Misra was subsequently rewarded as a Congress member of the Rajya Sabha. MISRA got his come-uppance in 1999 when Manmohan Singh, as the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, extended support to the proposal of appointing a fresh inquiry into the Delhi massacre. Thus, it was only after 15 years that an inquiry was held in public and Congress leaders were for the first time held to account for their alleged complicity in the carnage. The minimum that is expected of Justice Nanavati’s re-inquiry is that it would set the record straight on the mass killings that took place from November 1 to 3, 1984 right in the Capital. Even that may prove embarrassing to a government that has committed itself, in its so-called common minimum programme, to taking ‘‘the strictest possible action’’ against all those found to have ‘‘spread social discord and communal hatred.’’

HRW 30 Oct 2004 Prosecute Killers of Sikhs End Two Decades of Impunity (New York, October 30, 2004) -- On the twentieth anniversary of the mass killings of Sikhs, the new Congress-led government should launch fresh investigations into and make a public commitment to prosecute the planners and implementers of the violence, Human Rights Watch said today. In 1984, in retaliation for the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, angry mobs, some allegedly organized by members of the Congress party, attacked and killed thousands of Sikhs. From November 1 to November 4, gangs attacked the symbols and structures of the Sikh faith, the properties of Sikhs, and killed whole families by burning them alive. The residences and properties of Sikhs were identified through government-issued voter lists. Victim groups, lawyers and activists have long alleged state complicity in the violence. For three days the police failed to act, as gangs carrying weapons and kerosene roamed the streets, exhorting non-Sikhs to kill Sikhs and loot and burn their properties. “Seven government-appointed commissions have investigated these attacks,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch. "But the commissions were all either whitewashes or they were met with official stonewalling and obstruction.” The report of the latest commission, the Nanavati Commission, was due November 1, but has been delayed for another two months. “The time for commissions that do not lead to prosecutions is over,” said Adams. “After two decades, the prosecutors and police should act. There is more than enough evidence to do so now.” Human Rights Watch called for an end to political protection for organizers of the violence. Some of those allegedly involved in the pogrom currently occupy posts in the government or are members of parliament. Both the judiciary and administrative inquiry commissions have failed to hold these perpetrators accountable. “For two decades high-ranking members of the Congress party have enjoyed political impunity for this violence,” said Adams. “The fact that many of the alleged planners of the violence were and are members of the Congress party should not be a barrier to justice for the victims.” Human Rights Watch commended ENSAAF (www.ensaaf.org), an organization dedicated to fighting impunity in India, for its 150-page report, Twenty Years of Impunity, analyzing the patterns of the pogroms and the attitudes and practices of impunity revealed by previously unpublished government documents and other materials. “With many connected to the violence now enjoying prominent positions in public life, the ENSAAF report makes it clear that India continues to ignore this dark chapter of its modern history at its own risk,” said Adams. “Only a conscious exercise of political will on the part of the new government of Prime Minister Singh can bring about justice for the Sikhs.”

Sacramento Beee 10 Oct 2004 Sikhs' hero a killer to India Federal judges will decide if the separatist will be sent back to face murder charges. By Emily Bazar -- Bee Staff Writer The Indian government accuses him of murder. He says he's an innocent victim of political persecution. Thousands of Sikhs in Yuba City, Woodland and elsewhere consider him a folk hero. The convoluted and fascinating tale of Kulvir Singh Barapind will come before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later this week when a panel of federal judges will be asked - again - whether he should be sent back to India to stand trial. Barapind, a separatist who fought for the creation of an independent Sikh state, has been detained since he tried to enter the United States in 1993. Though he sits in Fresno County Jail, he maintains a devoted following among local Sikhs who profess his innocence and praise his sacrifices. They also help pay his legal fees: Another Sacramento fund-raiser has been scheduled for early December. "He gave his entire life for the cause," said John Gill, a 41-year-old Woodland farmer and trucking company owner. "He is more than a hero. He's a living martyr." But an official at the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C., laughed at the notion some Sikhs consider Barapind a hero. Francis Aranha said Barapind, 40, committed murders, attempted murders and robberies in 11 incidents in 1991 and 1992. The extradition request accuses Barapind of killing 26 people. "You have relatives of people who have been killed who are looking for closure," Aranha said. "One way or the other, once he is brought to trial, the court will decide. If he's found guilty, he will face punishment; if not, so be it." Sikhism, founded more than 500 years ago, is based on the teachings of 10 gurus. The religion stresses the virtues of honor, sacrifice and public service. Orthodox Sikhs exhibit five symbols, among them uncut hair and a steel bracelet reminding them not to perform evil deeds. The Sikh separatist movement in India erupted in 1984, after government forces stormed the Golden Temple complex, the holiest Sikh shrine, located in the Indian state of Punjab. After that, Barapind became an active member of the All India Sikh Student Federation, a group advocating the creation of a separate nation called Khalistan. The Indian government alleges Barapind's political activism turned violent. Barapind and his attorneys have consistently denied the accusations and say he was beaten and tortured by the government. "All the Indian government charges, I'm not involved in any one of them," Barapind said during a brief telephone interview from jail. "I'm innocent. I'm a political leader." In 1993, Barapind fled to the United States. He was detained in Los Angeles because he tried to enter using fraudulent documents, and soon after applied for asylum. Since then, he has been held in jails and detention centers from Bakersfield to Reno. Barapind's asylum case has been put on hold since Indian officials requested in 1997 that he be extradited to face a trial that could bring the death penalty. In March, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit ruled that Barapind could be extradited for crimes tied to three of the 11 incidents. But in August, the 9th Circuit voided that decision and an 11-judge panel will rehear the case Thursday. Stanley A. Boone, assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, will represent the Indian government, pursuant to a treaty signed by both nations. He said the Indian government has provided adequate evidence to support sending Barapind back for trial, and cited a number of other cases in which Sikh separatists fought extradition but ultimately were returned. "If somebody comes to America and murders people and appears in India, we would want to bring them back for trial," Boone said. Jagdip Sekhon, Barapind's lead attorney, counters that the allegations are meant to discredit his client, who he said would be tortured and killed if returned to India. "Any allegations that he has committed any violence in India are meant to frame him as a terrorist or militant," Sekhon said. There are more than 10,000 Sikhs in the greater Sacramento area, with a large concentration in Yuba City and Marysville. "If you ask most Sikhs here what they think of him, they would say they respect him for what he symbolized," said Jugdep Chima, a Yuba City resident and research fellow at the Center for South Asia Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Chima, 35, is writing a book about the Sikh separatist movement. Barapind still wields power in the Sikh community, calling supporters collect every day - Barapind says he keeps a list of more than 300 phone numbers in his jailhouse notebook - and offering advice about community projects and disputes. On Monday, four Sikh men gathered in Chima's Yuba City home to discuss Barapind. They ranged in age from 27 to 61, and had come to the United States as far back as 1988 and as recently as May. All shook their heads in an emphatic "No" when asked whether they believed the accusations. They maintain Barapind was framed by police and should be released. "We respect him as a political leader because he did what the 10th guru taught us. He is both a saint and a soldier," said Yuba City truck driver Pawinder Singh Karinha, 58. The men said they have not been asked to support Barapind financially, but would gladly do so. They follow his case by talking to friends and neighbors and reading Punjabi newspapers. "We feel it's our own son in jail," Karinha said. "He is the Sikh nation's hero and diamond."

news.bbc.co.uk 1 Nov 2004 In pictures: Painful memories Introduction India’s minority Sikhs came under an unprecedented attack after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October 1984. At the end of what was one of the worst riots in India, a large number of Sikhs died. While a government estimate puts the number of dead at 2733, civil rights group insist that nearly 4000 Sikhs were killed in the Indian capital in three days. Two decades after the massacre, BBC News revisits some of the riot victims. Attar Kaur The day after Gandhi died a mob emerged out of nowhere, burnt down our home and killed my husband. A Muslim neighbour gave me and my children shelter for a night. We survived on donations, a pension before I got a job as a helper. Two of my children are going to school; their fees are paid by donors. I am still angry. I don’t blame Indira Gandhi for the riots, she worked for the poor. Some people tell us to forget. How can we? It was a moment of madness that should never happen again. Harjit Kaur My life changed totally. We were a comfortable family and suddenly one day we were on the streets, in camps after my husband had been killed. I saw a Sikh neighbour being killed by the mobs. Life has been very hard. I could hardly afford to care for my children. I could not even give them milk when they were young, so I gave them tea. It was that bad. We lost all our respect and faith for Indira Gandhi and her party after what happened to us. Kuldip Kaur My children implored with my husband’s killers to let him go. When they set him on fire, they kept saying ‘Oh God, punish these people!’ I kept crying. But they didn’t listen and set him on fire. He was left dead on the doorstep, half-burnt. There was no dignity in death. I went door to door in my neighbourhood to raise money and gave him a proper cremation. Then I left my home. Forever. I don’t blame Indira Gandhi for what has happened to us. But the Congress Party let us down. Nanki Kaur The riots were an act of politics. Politics is madness. Politics turns people into beasts. I saw my neighbour’s body on the street devoured by dogs after the mobs roasted him. So many relatives of the riot victims just died crying and lamenting for their loved ones. I still don’t know who was responsible for the killings. Indian governments are not so bad, actually. Its foreign forces who hatch these plans. I vote both for the Congress and BJP. Prem Kaur I have a job in a school, my second husband does odd jobs, my children are going to school. But all this cannot ease the pain of that day when I lost my beloved first husband. I cannot forget it. It’s all etched in my mind. I live with his photograph really. I never really knew him well when he was killed. I was just married for eight days. When they killed him, I had difficulty in recognising them. I don’t blame anybody. I just pray such a thing doesn’t happen to anybody again. Nanki There were 14 corpses in one house on our street. The women and children were stoned and asked to leave. The men were hunted down and killed. I saw my husband being set alight. I kept running to the killers, asking for forgiveness. They beat me back with sticks. I was left with four children to bring up. One son is going to school. I don’t feel angry any longer. I have been numbed by grief for as long as I can remember. All that is left are some memories and my little house. Jasbir Kaur My truck-driver husband Rajinder was trying to save the Sikh holy book from the mob when they hunted him down and set him on fire. I have just got my eldest daughter Gurvinder Kaur married. I think my life has turned a new leaf. But we miss Rajinder terribly. If he was alive, there would have been much more joy. I feel settled now, but the void remains. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t blame anybody. I want to forget it. It isn’t easy though.

NYT 3 Nov 2004 Trial in '85 Jet Blast Nears End in Canada By CLIFFORD KRAUSS VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 2 - Nearly 20 years after an Air India Boeing 747 from Canada exploded in the air and plunged into waters off the Irish coast killing all 329 people on board, the trial to finally resolve what happened entered its climactic phase this week. More than 100 witnesses have testified during nearly two years of proceedings in the most serious terrorism trial in Canadian history. A special high-security courtroom was built for the case, at a cost of $6 million, complete with a prisoner dock encased in bulletproof glass. Aging relatives of the victims came from as far away as Sri Lanka to watch from the court gallery. But as prosecutors opened their final arguments on Monday to convict two Canadian Sikh activists accused of plotting the bombing, the outcome of the trial is far from settled because of years of bungled police work and the unexplained killings of an important witness and suspect. In addition, important witnesses offered vague and contradictory recollections, and crucial evidence is circumstantial. Both defendants - Ripudaman Singh Malik, 57, a millionaire real estate entrepreneur, and Ajaib Singh Bagri, 56, a sawmill worker and Sikh preacher - pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy in the bombing of the jet, Air India Flight 182 en route from Toronto and Montreal to Bombay, now known as Mumbai, on June 23, 1985. The two are also charged with conspiring in an explosion that killed two baggage handlers at Narita Airport outside Tokyo 54 minutes before Flight 182 went down. Prosecutors said both bombs had been placed on Air India aircraft in Vancouver. "This was a murder plot in which two planes were to explode simultaneously," Robert H. Wright, the chief prosecutor, said as he began to sum up his case. "It is difficult to comprehend how this would happen. Who would do something so terrible?" Answering his own question, Mr. Wright told the court that only "political and religious zealotry" could motivate such a crime. Prosecutors say Mr. Malik, who has worn a white tunic at the trial, recruited members of the plot and gave $3,000 to a friend to pick up tickets for the flight with the ultimate intention of planting the bomb on Flight 182. Mr. Bagri, who wears a dark turban, is accused of taking luggage with the explosives to the Vancouver airport. Neither Mr. Malik nor Mr. Bagri chose to testify. Prosecutors have alleged that Mr. Malik and Mr. Bagri were motivated to revenge the 1984 Indian Army storming of the Golden Temple of Amritsar after the holy shrine was taken over by militant Sikhs. That attack sparked a cascade of violence and revenge killings that included the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. With no physical evidence or firsthand testimony linking the accused to the bombing, the outcome of the trial is in doubt. The prosecution wraps up its case in the next few weeks, and Justice Ian Bruce Josephson is expected to reach a decision early next year. The prosecution has shown a video of Mr. Bagri giving an incendiary speech at a Sikh rally in New York in July 1984 in which he said, "We will not take rest until we kill 50,000 Hindus." But most of the prosecution's case is based on supposed confessions Mr. Malik and Mr. Bagri gave to several associates, ones that they deny making. The government has highlighted statements made by a Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent that a friend of Mr. Bagri said he had visited her the night before the bombing to ask to borrow her car to drop off some bags at the airport. By court order, the woman, like other crucial witnesses, cannot be identified. The agent testified that the woman had said that Mr. Bagri implied that wrongdoing would be done, but during the trial she said she did not remember making such statements. Justice Josephson ruled that the woman's prior testimony should be admitted as evidence after the prosecution argued that witnesses were coming under pressure from Sikh activists. The crucial prosecution witness against Mr. Malik is a former employee at a religious school that Mr. Malik directed. She testified that he told her in 1996 and 1997, while they were involved in a strong personal, but platonic, relationship that he helped organize the conspiracy and detailed his role in arranging for the purchase and pickup of airline tickets that were used to check in the baggage with the explosives. The witness said she had distanced herself from him after the admissions, after which she was subjected to threats. She was eventually fired. Mr. Malik's lawyer questioned her credibility as a dissatisfied employee. The prosecution has also been hampered by the fact that the suspected ringleader of the plot, a former Canadian resident, Talwinder Singh Parmar, was killed by the Indian authorities when they caught him clandestinely crossing from Pakistan in 1992. Tara Singh Hayer, the publisher of a Sikh newspaper in Vancouver, told the police in 1995 that he had overheard Mr. Bagri admit to his role in the attacks. But three years later, Mr. Hayer was gunned down outside his home in a Vancouver suburb.

BBC 16 Nov 2004 Witness identifies riot accused The Muslims were burnt alive inside the bakery One of the key witnesses in a controversial Indian riot case has identified 11 Hindus accused of killing 12 Muslims two years ago. Yasmin Sheikh was testifying in what is known as the Best Bakery case - named after an attack in the town of Baroda in Gujarat state in 2002. Ms Sheikh is the sister-in-law of Zahira Sheikh, the main witness. Seventeen Hindus are being retried after the case was reopened and moved to neighbouring Maharashtra state. Yasmin Sheikh told the court in the Maharashtra capital, Mumbai (Bombay), that she and her family were in a house adjacent to the bakery on the day it was attacked. She said she saw a mob, armed with swords, attacking the bakery and setting it on fire. She also said the mob beat up members of her family and molested her. Dramatic twist Yasmin Sheikh urged the court to order police to protect her sister-in-law who lives in Gujarat, saying she was being threatened. The Best Bakery case was thrown into confusion earlier this month when Zahira Sheikh backtracked on a statement made to the Supreme Court in which she said she had lied during an earlier trial in Gujarat state - her testimony then had led to acquittal of all the 21 Hindus accused in the case. Four have since absconded and are being sought by the authorities. Zahira Sheikh now alleges that she was forced to make that statement - which she says was false - by a human rights group. Her allegation has been strongly denied by the group, the Citizens for Peace and Justice. Zahira Sheikh has been summoned to give evidence and is due to appear in court on Wednesday. Setback Correspondents say it is still unclear why Ms Sheikh suddenly went back on the statement she made to the Supreme Court earlier this year. Following her statement, the Supreme Court ordered a retrial in what was seen as a landmark decision. The Best Bakery case is often cited by human rights activists as evidence that many of those guilty of crimes during the Gujarat riots of 2002 have gone unpunished. More than 1,000 people, mainly Muslims, died in the violence which was sparked by an attack on a train carrying Hindu pilgrims - allegedly by a Muslim mob. Sixty people were killed in that attack which was followed by some of the worst religious violence in India in decades.

BBC 22 Nov 2004 More anger at Hindu seer's arrest Saraswathi is a key Hindu Brahmin leader (Pix: Snaps India) Hindu nationalists have begun a general strike in India on Monday in protest against the arrest of a Hindu cleric who faces murder charges. A leader of the hardline World Hindu Council or VHP said the feelings of Hindus had been hurt by the arrest of the priest, Jayendra Saraswathi. Mr Saraswathi denies killing a worker at the temple he heads in Tamil Nadu state. He has been held in detention since his arrest last week. Mr Saraswathi heads one of five seats of Hinduism and his arrest has sparked great anger. He also leads the Kanchi Shankara Mutt, an influential religious establishment. On Friday, he was handed over to police till Sunday for questioning after spending several days in judicial custody. A court in the southern town of Kanchipuram will decide on Monday on a petition by the police asking for extension of Mr Saraswathi's police custody. In handing over Mr Saraswathi to the police, the court had ruled that the cleric could not be questioned against his will and must be allowed to continue his meditation. The court also accepted the defence's request for a lawyer to be present during questioning and a doctor to examine the seer, who is a diabetic, every evening. 'Deeply concerned' Leaders of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party have been taking it in turns to stage one-day fasts in protest at the seer's arrest. Profile: Jayendra Saraswathi President LK Advani said the party was "deeply concerned with the manner in which he has been arrested". A spokesman for Mr Saraswathi's religious establishment earlier told the BBC: "He is a Hindu religious leader and should not be put through this hardship." Mr Saraswathi is accused of killing a former accountant at his temple in Kanchipuram on 3 September. The dead former employee, Sankararaman, was a strong critic of the religious leader. Mr Saraswathi says he has been falsely implicated in the case and is innocent.


2 Nov 2004 Rebel surrender the only solution for Aceh says Indonesian security minister JAKARTA, Nov 2 (AFP) - Indonesia's top security minister said Tuesday the new government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would make no deals with separatist guerrillas in troubled Aceh and urged the rebels to surrender. Widodo Adi Sucipto said that despite a major military operation against the rebels, they remained a potent force which required the government to maintain troops in the resource-rich but impoverished province. But although Yudhoyono -- who took office on October 20 -- says an end to 28-years of conflict in Aceh is a priority, Sucipto insisted the only acceptable solution was for the rebels to put down their arms. "It can only be said to be settled when the leaders of the separatist movement come down from the mountain and their men return to the fold of the nation and hand their weapons over to the government," Sucipto said. As security minister under previous president Megawati Sukarnoputri, Yudhoyono helped negotiate a truce in Aceh, but the deal collapsed leading to the May 2003 launch of a huge operation to crush the rebels. Speaking after a trip to the province ahead of a November 19 deadline to review a state of civil emergency in the region, the minister said rebel numbers meant an ongoing military presence was needed. "Their force, according to the civilian emergency authority there, stands at about 2,500 men with armaments of about 850 pieces," he said. Estimates at the outset of the 2003 operation to eliminate the Free Aceh Rebels, fighting for independence since 1976, put the force at 5,000, but officials say more have been recruited to replace thousands killed in combat. Widodo said he would recommend maintaining troops in the area, either by keeping the emergency status, scaling it back to cover rebel hotspots or revoking it with the provision that security operations continue. The civil emergency state was imposed in May after a year of martial rule in the region on the northern tip of Sumatra island. Thousands of people have died in the violence in Aceh. In the latest violence at the weekend, 18 rebels and one government soldier were killed in clashes.

National Post (Canada) 10 Nov 2004 EDITORIALS; Pg. A23 Impunity in Indonesia National Post Neither the current East Timor government nor the international community has made a particularly high priority of bringing to justice those responsible for the human rights abuses perpetrated in 1999, when East Timor broke away from Indonesia. So it should not come entirely as a surprise that Indonesia feels free to quietly allow the crimes perpetrated by its security forces to go unpunished. While 18 people have been tried for abuses committed during East Timor's breakaway, only a single conviction stands now that an Indonesia court has acquitted former East Timor governor Abilio Soares of responsibility for violence that occurred under his watch. Jakarta should not be allowed to slip off the hook so easily for the brutal violence it perpetrated in East Timor, where at least 1,400 people were killed by army-backed militias. While it is understandable that the government of impoverished East Timor is reluctant to antagonize Indonesia -- a key trading partner -- by protesting the dearth of convictions (it's tough to put an abstract concept like justice above a concrete need to feed a people), the rest of the world has no such excuse. Instead, it should heed human rights groups' calls for an independent body to take over and try those behind the East Timor atrocities. This is not a question of merely ensuring that culpable individuals get their due. It is also a matter of expressing the world's outrage at an unacceptable assault on innocents. No country should be willing to tacitly accept the slaughter of civilians, nor to let the disturbingly familiar excuse that Mr. Soares was just following procedures go unchallenged. We had hoped Indonesia's recent election of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono -- who ran on a platform of cleaning up political and judicial corruption -- would set the country on its way to embracing a culture in which rights are respected and justice is impartially blind. But Mr. Soares's release indicates that, however well-intentioned the new leader may be, little has changed in Jakarta.

Deutsche Presse Agentur 16 Nov 2004 Indonesia hunts for "terrorists'' behind Central Sulawesi violence Jakarta (dpa) - A top Indonesian security official said the perpetrators behind the latest string of attacks in an area of Central Sulawesi plagued by Moslem-Christian conflict could be classified as "terrorists'', a newspaper report said Wednesday. "Therefore, the government will hunt down and arrest all of the perpetrators of these acts and process them accordingly,'' Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo A.S. was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post. The minister made the comments during a visit to the area with Home Affairs Minister Muhamad Ma'ruf, National Police chief General Da'i Bachtiar and Indonesian military chief General Endriartono Sutarto to review the security situation in the wake of a bombing over the weekend that left six people dead. Widodo said the government would boost security in the area of the troubled Poso regency, about 1,800 kilometres northeast of Jakarta, and stressed the need for cooperation between security forces and the local community. "Give your support, such as by voluntarily relinquishing any weapons and explosives that you might have and by informing the authorities about suspicious persons or those who have broken the law,'' Widodo said. The bombing was the latest in a region that has been hit by sporadic Moslem-Christian violence for the past four years. Central Sulawesi province, and especially the Poso district and nearby areas, were the scene of clashes between Moslem and Christian communities that began in 2000 and have killed as many as 2,000 people. In early 2002, a government-sponsored peace accord was signed by rival party leaders aimed at ending the conflict, but tensions remain and violence is frequent. Last week, the driver of a minibus was shot and killed by two unidentified assailants who escaped on motorcycle. The shooting came only days after a Christian village chief was beheaded. Earlier this week, the National Police dispatched 100 officers to the Poso regency to reinforce the approximately 2,500 security forces who were dispatched earlier. Police have also stationed additional helicopters to support the security measures, which include arms raids and random security checks at roadside checkpoints. About 90 per cent of Indonesia's 215 million people are Moslems, making it the world's most populous Moslem country. But the area in Central Sulawesi is almost evenly divided between Moslems and Christians.

www.survival-international.org 24 Nov 2004 PAPUA: Thousands flee army operation that leaves three dead At least three tribal people, one of them a Church pastor, have been killed in an Indonesian army operation in the central highlands of Papua. Five thousand tribal people have fled to the mountains where they face starvation – too scared to emerge from their hideouts in case they are shot by the army. It is reported that 13 children and two adults have already died. The military operation is believed to be in retaliation for the killing of five Indonesian road workers, allegedly by the Papuan guerrilla group the OPM (Free Papua Movement). However, many believe the killings were staged by militia supported by the Indonesian military. The military may be trying to pressurise the newly-elected Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to give up his plan to resolve Papua’s conflict through peaceful dialogue. The military relies heavily on the resource-rich Papua to supplement its income through illegal logging, and by providing ‘security’ for the American- and British-owned Grasberg copper and gold mine. UK: Tribal people journey to UK; government under attack Three indigenous representatives arrived in London on 24 November to target the UK government for blocking an historic UN declaration


Assyrian International News Agency 10 Oct 2004 www.aina.org Growing violence against Iraq's estimated 700,000 Christians could mean the creation of "green zone" style enclaves to protect against attacks by Muslim extremists. Muslim extremists bombed five churches in Baghdad on 16 October in the second attack on the Christian community in the past three months. No casualties were reported in the pre-dawn blasts, which struck churches across the capital over the course of an hour at the start of the holy month of Ramadan. But the attacks have been seen as a final straw by Iraq's Christian and have lead to calls for the creation of safe havens in Iraq to protect families from mounting hostility. Many Iraqi Christians fear that they are being made to pay for hostility at the US-led invasion earlier this year. The first bomb exploded at the church of Saint Joseph at about 4am local time and was followed by similar explosions outside four other churches. Flames engulfed the Roman Catholic church of St George in the central Baghdad district of Karrada. "Muslims and Christians have been living here in harmony for hundreds of years," said Fr Gabriel Shamami of St Joseph's church. "I don't think Iraqis would do this, especially during Ramadan." In August, similar bomb attacks against five churches in Baghdad killed 11 and injured more than 50. Patriarch Emmanuel Delly III of Baghdad, the head of the country's 700,000-strong Chaldean Church, said there was nothing the tiny minority could do against such strikes. "If the government is powerless, what can we do?" he said. "We call on the attackers not to touch the holy sites." The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq denounced the attacks against the churches, according to al-Jazeera, the Arabic television station. But some Iraqi Christians remain convinced that the attacks are linked to recent statements made by Muhammad Bashar al-Fayyaadh, an imam who claims to speak on behalf of the Commission of Iraqi Ulemas. Speaking recently on al-Jazeera, al-Fayyaadh accused Christians of failing to condemn American raids against some mosques in Ramadi in western Iraq. Church sources in Mosul have meanwhile told the Fides missionary news agency that life for the country's indigenous Christian minority is becoming increasingly intolerable. "Christians live in constant fear of being attacked, kidnapped and killed by radical Islamic groups," reported an Iraqi Catholic nun. "Armed groups of Islamic fundamentalists break into homes of Christians to kill and steal. In some mosques Imams are now teaching that it is not a crime to kill a Christian." Christians are an easy target because they do not react with violence, and are mostly unarmed, the nun added. "Our families are too afraid to send children to school and the women hardly ever leave the house. There is total anarchy in the absence of police and civil authorities. Many fundamentalists are known to all but no-one does anything." Speaking from Mosul, Fr Nizar Semaan, a parish priest, said "fundamentalist criminals" were continuing to attack the churches. "There are two options for Christians. Either we leave our country," he said, "or we stay and are massacred." Fr Semaan appealed to Christians around the world. "Even if you are watching at a distance, do you feel solidarity or only pity? Couldn't you do something more?" The World Maronite Union meanwhile said it plans to call a special meeting in Washington to which it will invite representatives of Iraq's Chaldean Church. The meeting will consider ways of providing protection for Iraq's Christian minority. The National Review, an influential neo-conservative publication in the United States, last week appealed to the Bush administration to create a "safe haven" within Iraq specifically for Iraq's estimated 700,000 Christians, 40,000 of whom are believed to have fled for safety in neighbouring Syria and Jordan since the war began. The creation of such a zone, which is contemplated under the interim constitution approved by the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) earlier this year, could curb the growing exodus and might even persuade some who left to return, according to the author, Nina Shea, the director of Freedom House's Centre for Religious Freedom. "The community needs American help to create a district which should encompass the traditional community villages located near Mosul, in the Nineveh Plains", wrote Shea. "They believe that thousands of their members who have fled to other countries in the Middle East over the decades but are not permanently resettled could be persuaded to return to such a secure place." She also called on the State Department to begin providing reconstruction aid directly to the Christian community in the region, and not just to Arab and Kurdish groups living in the region. Describing the Chaldean community as "the canaries in the coal mine for the Great Middle East," Shea said the treatment of Christians are in the new Iraq "is being watched closely by Maronites of Lebanon, the Copts of Egypt, and other non-Muslim populations in the region." By Mike Hirst greatreporter.com © 2004, Assyrian International News Agency.

Background ariticle: AFP 17 Oct 2004 Baghdad blasts rock churches, car bombs kill four US soldiers BAGHDAD : Five churches in Baghdad were hit by bomb blasts as the US military reported that four more American troops and a translator were killed in attacks elsewhere in Iraq. American and Iraqi troops were encircling the rebel hub of Fallujah west of the capital in the hunt for Jordanian fighter Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the country's most wanted man blamed for some of the deadliest attacks since last year's invasion. Iraq's tiny Christian community was in shock after apparently coordinated blasts before dawn on the second day of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, which caused widespread damage but no casualties. A bomb hit the church of Saint Joseph at about 4:00 am (0100 GMT) followed by similar explosions over the next two hours outside four other churches. Flames engulfed the Roman Catholic Saint George's church in the central Baghdad district of Karrada, leaving its wood-built sanctuary charred. "My family and I fled from the fire," said the church caretaker Nabil Jamil as he wandered around the debris. "Thanks God, there were no wounded or dead." Christians, who make up just three percent of the population in the Muslim majority country, were the victims of a similar attack at the start of August in which 10 people died and 50 were injured. Liquor stores and night clubs, typically owned by Christians and disapproved of by hardline Islamists, have also been targeted. The US military said three soldiers, a marine and a civilian translator were killed and one soldier wounded in two car bombings on Friday, one in the northern city of Mosul and another near the city of Qaim on Iraq's border with Syria. Another soldier was injured on Saturday when a car bomb exploded next to a US tank in the restive western province of al-Anbar in a town between the rebel strongholds of Fallujah and Ramadi, a US marines spokesman said. The deaths raise to 1,087 the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion in March 2003, according to an official Pentagon tally. A favourite weapon in the insurgency, cars packed with explosives and detonated outside police stations, on US patrols and other symbolic targets have become a near daily occurrence. In other violence, a mortar round struck the garden of a cardiac hospital in Baghdad, killing one medic and wounding nine other staff, said an official at the Ibn el-Bitar hospital. Desperate to crush the rebellion ahead of nationwide elections planned for January, more than 1,000 US and Iraqi troops surrounded the flashpoint city of Fallujah for a second straight day in the hunt for Zarqawi. A US military spokesman refused to say if marines would enter the city, but said a bomb was dropped on a house there on Friday night -- an almost nightly occurrence. There was no word on casualties. Local cleric Sheikh Abdul Hamid Jadu indicated that a delegation from the city was ready to return to the bargaining table with the government, but conditioned this on a halt to US air strikes and the release of fellow negotiator Sheikh Khaled Hamoud. Negotiations halted Thursday over what the delegation saw as provocative comments by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi that Fallujah must surrender Zarqawi or face invasion. Zarqawi's Tawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War) group, which is allegedly linked to Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network, is accused of some of the deadliest car bombings and a string of kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq. Separately, the US army was dealing with an apparent revolt by soldiers who refused to go on a mission they considered too dangerous. The army said it was investigating why 19 members of a company based at Tallil failed to appear for a fuel delivery mission on Wednesday. The army denied that the soldiers had been arrested or detained. And as controversy over the very reasons for war continued to dominate the US presidential election campaign, an opinion poll found that US military staff and their families believe the United States sent too few troops into Iraq and put too great a burden on inexperienced forces, even though they support George W. Bush's overall handling of Iraq. In London, Britain denied that any decision had been taken to redeploy British troops in the south of Iraq to Baghdad to free US troops for other operations. "There is lots and lots of speculation: that's all it is, speculation," a defence ministry spokesman said. "We keep our contribution to various operations in Iraq under review all the time; that includes force levels, positions, individual operations. British media have been reporting that the United States has asked for British troops to be sent north from Basra where they are stationed at present to relieve US forces in south Baghdad. Underscoring the danger factor, an Iraqi Kurd working for the education ministry was shot dead in Mosul. Northeast of Baghdad three Iraqis from the same family were killed in a roadside bombing. The media rights group Reporters Without Borders said an Iraqi press photographer working for a European agency was shot dead in Kirkuk. His death brings the total number of journalists and other media workers killed in Iraq since the beginning of the US-led invasion to 44, according to the group.

BBC 2 Nov 2004 Saddam's legal team sacks top man Saddam Hussein is expected to go on trial some time next year The head of the defence team for the former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, has been dismissed by his family. A spokesman for new lawyers appointed by Saddam Hussein's wife, Sajida, has said that Mohammed Rashdan was dismissed more than six weeks ago. But Mr Rashdan, who is Jordanian, had not complied with the family's wishes until Tuesday, the spokesman said. The former Iraqi leader is accused of war crimes and genocide and is expected to stand trial some time in 2005. Mr Rashdan has now handed over all the documents relating to the trial to the new defence team. Other members of the team have accused him of attempting to act alone for Saddam Hussein. Saddam charges Saddam Hussein and an unknown number of former Baath regime officials will be tried by a special Iraqi court set up for the purpose by the now-defunct Iraqi Governing Council. The court has been given jurisdiction to try crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during Saddam Hussein's rule. At the preliminary trial hearing in July, Saddam Hussein was told he would face charges relating to the gassing of Kurdish villagers in Halabja in 1988, the alleged ethnic cleansing of the Kurds during the so-called Anfal campaign in 1987-88, the suppression of the Kurdish and Shia uprisings that followed the 1991 Gulf war and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.

AP 5 Nov 2004 U.S. ALLIES Coalition in Iraq starts to fracture Allies who have committed troops to Iraq are coming up with their own exit strategies, with some planning no troop presence there by spring. BY WILLIAM J. KOLE Associated Press BUDAPEST, Hungary - President Bush's ''coalition of the willing'' in Iraq isn't quite so willing any more. In a blow to U.S. efforts to keep countries from deserting the multinational force, Hungary said this week that it won't keep troops there beyond March 31. The Czechs plan to pull out by the end of February, the Dutch by the end of March, and Japan is feeling pressure to withdraw. There's no mad scramble to leave, but that could change after Iraq holds elections in January and nations believe their obligations have ended. ''We should never have sent troops to Iraq. Bringing them back now is already too late,'' Janos Fekete, a Budapest shopkeeper, said Thursday. Key allies said this week that they'll hold firm in Iraq. Britain said Hungary's decision would not prompt a rethink, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday his country's 3,000 troops will stay for as long as the Iraqi government wants. Staying on, he said, was part of Italy's duty in ``defending democracy in the world.'' Denmark said its 501 troops in the southern Iraqi port city of Basra also will stay as long as needed, and Romania is even considering bolstering its 730-member force for the elections. Nevertheless, Hungary's announcement that it won't keep its 300 noncombat soldiers in Iraq beyond the end of March dealt a blow to the coalition. The ex-communist country and many of its neighbors across the former Eastern Bloc have been steadfast in their commitment to the force, in part out of gratitude for U.S. support during the Cold War and help in joining the European Union and NATO. Early last year, Hungary declared it would stay in Iraq through the end of 2004 as a message to the insurgents targeting U.S.-led forces. Hungary's new prime minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany, says he doesn't believe in preemptive war and has been receptive to public calls for a withdrawal despite an Iraqi request that the troops stay another year. Polls show 60 percent of Hungarians want them home now. Parliament next week will debate his proposal to extend the troops' mandate, which expires Dec. 31, by three months. But that would require a two-thirds majority vote, and the country's main opposition party has said it will consider an extension only if the troops are given a U.N. mandate to stay. If lawmakers reject the extension, which seems likely, Hungary's troops could be on their way home by New Year's Day. In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher played down the threat of significant drawdowns or pullouts. The administration has worked to preserve and expand the coalition since Spain withdrew its 1,300 troops earlier this year. For many Japanese, mourning the beheading this week of a 24-year-old Japanese backpacker slain by militants in Iraq, the situation is simply too dangerous. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has been beset by fresh calls for a pullout of his country's 500 troops from the opposition. Koizumi hasn't said whether the forces will extend their aid mission beyond mid-December. Bulgaria said this week it may ''slightly reduce'' its contingent of 480 infantry soldiers next year. The Netherlands said its 1,400 troops will finish their mission in March. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all plan to stay through next June. Portugal's 120 police are to end their tour Nov. 12. The government was expected to decide today whether to keep them there. Foreign Minister Antonio Monteiro hinted that it would.

Background: Coalition Nations Withdrawing Troops from Iraq. Since the beginning of the war, eight countries are planning to or have already withdrawn troops from the coalition in Iraq: Thailand, Norway, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Philippines, Singapore, and Spain. In all, nearly 3,000 troops have pulled out or planning to pull out of Iraq this month. Costa Rica, which never offered any material support or troops for the war in Iraq, asked the United States to remove it from a list of Iraq coalition partners in September after the country's Constitutional Court ruled that inclusion on the list violated the Constitution, which bars support for any military action not authorized by the United Nations. (AP, 8/13/04, 9/10/04; Miami Herald, 9/18/04)

Al-Ahram Weekly 4 - 10 November 2004 Issue No. 715 weekly.ahram.org.eg Kirkuk's curse The northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk sits atop vast oil reserves, but it also seethes with ethnic tensions, writes Nermeen Al-Mufti from Baghdad Kirkuk -- a city floating on a river of oil and wealth and a potential cornerstone of a future "Kurdish state" -- is not much to look at these days. Scenes of destruction and poverty abound. Street peddlers are everywhere. Garbage is heaped high wherever you turn. Shops selling used clothes and used kitchen appliances are now common in a city that was once immaculately clean. This destruction was not just caused by the military conflict. The now-ousted regime had ordered the old city districts to be rebuilt over two decades ago. Entire areas were razed but not rebuilt. Parking lots and garbage dumps are all that are left of once populated areas. Today's Kirkuk is home to make-shift camps bearing various flags, housing separate ethnic groups. The Kurds camp out at the unfinished Olympic stadium, the returning Turkomans at another area and the Arabs at a third -- this is a city which was once ethnically harmonious. Last week the streets of Kirkuk continued to be the scene of demonstrations organised by proponents of Kurdish independence who threatened to boycott the national elections- due in January 2005- if the city was not annexed to Kurdistan Iraq. Last week's demonstrations promoted some Iraqi observers to believe that the city is poised for bloodshed. The Kurds are determined to make Kirkuk part of Iraqi Kurdistan -- a major Kurdish leader, Masoud Barzani, stating that they are "ready to fight for Kirkuk". While Jalal Talabani, the other key Kurdish leader, refrained from comment, prompting accusations of betrayal, he is by no means unsupportive. His party has supervised referendum activities in Al- Sulaymanyia in the first few weeks of the occupation and his men have been Kurdicising Kirkuk with a zeal surpassing that with which Saddam's men once sought to Arabise it. Talabani is now letting Barzani take a backseat in the ethnic game, but only after having done his share. Although other Kurdish leaders, such as Kamal Kirkukli of the Political Bureau of the Kurdistan National Party, are adamant that a Kurdish Kirkuk "is immutable and irreversible", this view is contested by many non-Kurdish Iraqis. Faruq Abdallah Abdel-Rahman, chairman of the Turkoman Front and member of the National Council, speaks for many, stating that "Kirkuk belongs to all nationalities, to Arabs and Turkomans, Kurds and Christians, although it is Turkoman in culture and identity." Sheikh Ghassan Muzhir Al-Asi, leader of the Arab Alliance in Kirkuk, states that "the Kurds have taken control of Kirkuk after the occupation. They have forced the Arabs to leave their villages and cities. They have engaged in policies of oppression, repression, and detention. They also sent more than 100,000 Kurds to Kirkuk on the pretext that they had been forcibly deported by the deposed regime." In a peaceful protest against Kurdish demands, the City Council of the Salah Al-Din province held a conference concluding that "Kirkuk is for all Iraqis." They were also concerned over "multiple violations of all rules and regulations, particularly of the interim law for the administration of the state, by Kurdish organisations and influential parties in Kirkuk". This was felt to be directly linked to "actions being taken to upset the [city's] demographic balance and impose a new status quo promoting the ambitions and goals of Kurdish parties with regard to the annexation of Kirkuk to the Kurdistan region." The Salah Al-Din province is directly involved in the Kirkuk tug-of-war because of its proximity to Kurdish areas. Tribal allegiances are divided across the borders between Salah Al-Din and Iraqi Kurdistan. While sponsors of the above- mentioned conference claimed that they had coordinated the event with the multinational forces, Deputy Prime Minister for security affairs, Burham Saleh, an ethnic Kurd, asked the conference organisers to call off the event, a request they turned down. The conference was attended by both independent and party-affiliated Arab and Turkoman officials as well as Arab tribal leaders. Eager to gain international support, Kurdish leaders, including Barzani and Talabani, have sent a letter to President Bush reminding him of the fact that the Kurds had fought alongside US forces. Saadeddin Arkij, chairman of the Turkoman Iraqi Council, spoke on the subject. "If Kirkuk is Kurdish, as Barzani claims, why fight over it? The identity of any city, I believe, is not something that is imposed by force... Barzani is acting conceitedly because he knows that some people support him and take his side," Arkij told Al- Ahram Weekly. He was referring to a recent visit by UK foriegn minister Jack Straw and the repeated visits by US officials to Kirkuk and northern Iraq. "Kirkuk has a Turkoman identity and culture. All historical references support this claim. But throughout our struggle, we have never resorted to arms. We fly the Iraqi flag higher than the Turkoman on our party offices. We will find a way to defend ourselves and our culture," Arkij added. The 1957 census bears witness to Turkoman claims, but Arkij does not mention it until prompted. "In the past, when we referred to this census, which proves that Kirkuk is Turkoman, the Kurds would have nothing to say. Now, this census does not bother them at all, for they can tamper with the records. They have destroyed all the official records concerning demography and real estate, through looting and arson of government offices. This happened the day Kirkuk was occupied, on 10 April 2003. We have other evidence, the cemeteries for example, which they are now trying to destroy. Most of the cemeteries in Kirkuk are Turkoman. If the city used to have as many Kurdish inhabitants as they claim, where were they buried," Arkij said to the Weekly. Kirkuk looks calm, but a night curfew is still in force. Attempts to change the city's demographics continue with dozens of Turkoman, Arab and Kurdish leaders having been assassinated since the occupation. Suicide attacks have also taken place. Kirkuk is putting on an air of calm and composure in Ramadan, but one can feel the underlying tension. Kirkuk inhabitants wish that the Americans and other outsiders would reduce their support for the Kurds. Iden Hamid, a retired Turkoman teacher, says he is surprised to see the Kurds accuse the Turkomans of being Turkish agents. "This is nonsense. We may look up to Turkey as an older brother, but our allegiance is to Iraq. The Kurds, meanwhile, boast that they helped the Americans invade the country, and have turned north Iraq into a foreign base. Who are the agents now?" Another war may be around the corner in Kirkuk, a city whose future is even more uncertain than that of the rest of Iraq. Kirkuk was Iraq's most immaculate and beautiful city -- its wealth a sign of hope. This same wealth has just turned into a curse.

AFP 12 Nov 2004 21 Iraqi cops killed in police station massacre RAMADI: Twenty-one policemen were shot dead, execution style, when an armed gang stormed a police station on Sunday in a small town in the restive Iraqi province of Al-Anbar, home to Ramadi and Fallujah, a police officer said. Several dozen gunmen attacked the police station in Haditha, 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of Baghdad, said the police officer from the town. "The attackers disarmed the police, gathered them together and then shot them dead," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

news.independent.co.uk 16 Nov 2004 'This one's faking he's dead' 'He's dead now' Fallujah: Video shows US soldier killing wounded insurgent in cold blood By Andrew Buncombe in Washington 16 November 2004 The US Marine Corps launched an investigation into possible war crimes last night after video footage taken inside a mosque in Fallujah apparently showed a Marine shooting dead an unarmed Iraqi insurgent who had been taken prisoner. The footage showed several Marines with a group of prisoners who were either lying on the floor or propped against a wall of the bombed-out building. One Marine can be heard declaring that one of the prisoners was faking his injuries. "He's fucking faking he's dead. He faking he's fucking dead," says the Marine. At that point a clatter of gunfire can be heard as one of the Marines shoots the prisoner. Another voice can then be heard saying: "He's dead now." The footage was obtained by a team from the American NBC network that was embedded with the Marine Corps during last week's seven-day battle to capture the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, which military commanders say has been a focus of Iraqi resistance. The film was then pooled and made available to other media. On the footage that was broadcast last night, NBC correspondent Kevin Sites said that the five wounded Iraqi fighters had been left in the mosque after Marines had fought their way into that part of the city on Friday and Saturday. Ten other Iraqis had been killed in the battle for the mosque. Instead of being passed to the rear lines for treatment the wounded Iraqis were left in the mosque until a second group of Marines entered the building on Saturday, following reports that the building may have been reoccupied. Sites said that at this point one of the five Iraqis was dead and that three of the others appeared to be close to death. In his report accompanying the images, Sites said that one of the Marines noticed that one of the wounded men was still breathing before shouting that he was "faking it". "The Marine then raises his rifle and fires into the man's head. The pictures are too graphic for us to broadcast," said Sites. He added: "The prisoner did not appear to be armed or threatening in any way". Major Doug Powell, a spokesman for the Marine Corps in Washington, told The Independent: "It's being investigated - I can't say much more than that. It's being investigated for possible law of war violations. A naval criminal investigation team is looking into it." The footage - some of the first to show the situation inside Fallujah and the bloody nature of the street-by-street battle that has taken place there - is the latest to emerge from Iraq to contain possible evidence of war crimes perpetrated by the US military. Other footage has shown troops shooting wounded fighters lying in open ground as well as attacks on Iraqis - some said to be civilians - by US aircraft and helicopters. This latest footage is among the most shocking given that it apparently shows without obstruction the Marine shooting the prisoner in the head at close range. Kathy Kelly, a spokeswoman for the peace group Voices in the Wilderness, said last night that such images would "recruit more terrorists faster than they are being killed". "I don't think the US is paying much attention to the Geneva Conventions any more - that is the problem. This must be investigated," she said. NBC said in its report that the Marine who had shot the insurgent had apparently been shot in the face the day before and that one of his comrades had been killed the previous day by a booby-trap bomb that had been placed on the body of a dead insurgent. He has been withdrawn from the field and his unit removed from the front lines, officials said. Military experts said last night that rules of engagement prevented US troops from shooting an enemy where there was no threat being posed. Yesterday, the Marines said they had taken more than 1,000 prisoners in the battle for Fallujah. Colonel Michael Regner, operations officer for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Fallujah, said at least 1,052 prisoners had been captured in the battle. No more than about two dozen of them were "foreign fighters", he said.

BBC 16 Nov 2004 US investigates Falluja killing The video showed a wounded insurgent on the floor of the room The US military has announced it is looking into whether an American marine in Falluja shot dead a severely wounded Iraqi insurgent at point-blank range. Television footage shows US soldiers entering a building as injured prisoners lie on the floor. The soldier, who has not been identified, has been removed from the field and faces possible charges. Lt Gen John Sattler promised to pursue the facts of the case "thoroughly" before taking further measures. The BBC's James Robbins says the incident could prove highly damaging and that the US military will need to answer key questions about whether the rules of engagement were broken during the incident. We follow the law of armed conflict and we hold ourselves to a high standard of accountability Lt Gen John Sattler US commander It must explain, he says, whether wounded combatants were abandoned, or killed, illegally. But the BBC's Baghdad correspondent Caroline Hawley says most Iraqis will not be surprised, after the scandal of US abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib facility in Baghdad. US-led forces said they have now gained overall control in Falluja, trapping rebels in the south of the city. Mosque stormed The images of the alleged point-blank shooting of an Iraqi insurgent were taken by an NBC reporter embedded with the US troops in the Sunni city under assault. They show a group of marines from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, armed with rifles, entering a building near a mosque last Saturday, 13 November. The mosque had been used by insurgents to attack US forces, who had stormed it a day earlier, killing 10 militants and wounding five. At least three severely wounded men are seen in a room inside the building - two are slumped against one of the walls, partially covered with a blanket. The NBC's Kevin Sites says the wounded men had been left in the mosque after being treated by a group of marines following Friday's fighting. Mr Sites says soldiers from a different unit went and apparently shot the men again on Saturday without knowing whether they were armed. "Then one of the marines points his rifle at the head of one of the injured, an old man, saying, 'He's faking he's dead'," Mr Sites' description continues. "The sound of a shot is then heard. And in the background, another soldier says, 'Well, he's dead now'." 'Accountability' The day before the incident, the marine who allegedly did the point-blank shooting had reportedly been shot in the cheek and returned to duty, while another marine in the same unit had been killed by explosives planted in the body of a dead insurgent. Gen Sattler, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said the purpose of the investigation was to determine "whether the marine acted in self-defence, violated military law or failed to comply with the law of armed conflict". "We follow the law of armed conflict and we hold ourselves to a high standard of accountability," Gen Sattler said. UK Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said he was determined "as the Americans are, that there should be a thorough and proper investigation". "If the film shows what it appears to show, then the Americans must look at it very hard indeed," Mr Hoon told the BBC. US marines have been battling with sporadic but fierce pockets of resistance inside the city. They say they have already killed 1,200 insurgents in the week-long assault. The offensive is now concentrated mainly in southern districts, where small groups of rebels are "fighting to the death", US commanders say. Aid agencies are warning of a humanitarian disaster in Falluja, which has been without water or electricity for a week.

Al-Ahram Weekly 18 - 24 November 2004 Issue No. 717 A return to barbarity Fighting in Falluja may grind to a halt but the impact of the brutal assault will remain, writes Amira Howeidy "This is the 21st century and it is not acceptable that injured people be left lying in the street," Rana Sidani, spokesperson of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was speaking in an interview with Al- Jazeera on Monday, commenting on the situation in the city of Falluja, 60kms west of Baghdad, where 10,000 US marines and 2,000 Iraqi security forces have been conducting a major military onslaught since 8 November. Sidani's reminder predictably fell on deaf ears. But the standards of the ongoing offensive seem far removed from the modern world's rules of war. The Iraqis are again faced with mediaeval images emerging from Fallujah of decomposing bodies floating in the river, children left to bleed to death in the wreckage of their homes and wounded and helpless prisoners summarily executed. It is 10 days into the assault on the city and neither the Iraqi interim government nor the US forces spearheading the attack have succeeded in proving their claim that the city was occupied by foreign fighters who were terrorising its population and the rest of Iraq. In 10 days only 15 non-Iraqi fighters -including Syrians, Egyptians and Jordanians- have been arrested in Falluja. In the meantime the world has seen what this onslaught has done to the people it had claimed to be liberating. US military spokespersons argue that the "insurgents" fled the city before the US attacked. The claim holds little water given the ferocity of resistance in the city. According to the US military the "successful" operation has killed 1,600 "insurgents" while another 1,052 have been captured. At least 51 US troops have been killed since the start of the offensive. As the fighting grinds slowly to a halt occupation forces and the interim government are already looking at ways of controlling the rebel city, with plans of appointing a new mayor and installing thousands of Iraqi security and paramilitary forces. The horrific accounts of destruction and unlawful killings lend greater urgency to calls for an investigation into what international rights groups such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch describe as "war crimes" in Iraq. Their statements came in response to the screening of two separately filmed incidents showing US marines executing wounded Iraqis. On 13 November an NBC report showed a marine shooting a wounded Iraqi in the head. According to NBC US marines had left five wounded Iraqi men in the mosque on Friday. The following day a second group of marines entered the mosque. The NBC reporter then filmed one of the marines shooting a wounded Iraqi in the head. The fate of the four other Iraqis remains unclear. The second video was aired on ABC television in Australia on 11 November. It shows a US marine standing on the roof of a building shooting at an Iraqi. The marine shouts "I've just injured one, he's between the two buildings." A second marine walks over to the gap between the two houses, climbs a 44- gallon drum and aims his gun at the injured Iraqi. The marine then climbs down saying, "he's done." The soldier in the NBC footage is currently under investigation, though few expect the result to be anything other than a whitewash. No Arab officials have condemned the Falluja offensive. Though the US military was keen to seal off the city, turning back aid convoys and anyone else who tried to enter, news from Falluja continued to trickle out through the course of the onslaught. Survivors who managed to leave and reports by journalists embedded with US forces, reveal harrowing scenes with hundreds of bodies piled in the streets, many being eaten by stray dogs. One survivor told Al-Jazeera on Monday that he saw US bulldozers dragging dozens of corpses to be thrown in to the Euphrates. On 15 November Al-Jazeera interviewed an Iraqi doctor who provided details of the looting by Iraqi forces, under US control, of Falluja General Hospital. The doctor, Asma Khamis Al-Muhannadi, said the hospital was targeted by bombs and rockets during the initial siege of Falluja. Troops dragged patients from their beds and pushed them against the wall. "I was with a woman in labour," she said, "and the umbilical cord had not yet been cut. A US soldier shouted at one of the (Iraqi) national guards to arrest me and tie my hands while I was helping the mother to deliver." The US military continues to refuse the repeated pleas by aid groups to allow humanitarian relief convoys inside the city. Several Iraqi Red Crescent (IRC) convoys remain waiting at the western entrance to the city, waiting to be allowed through. According to Ahmed Rawi of ICRC's Iraq office "residents have had no access to drinking water or electricity since 8 November and the only water station they can use is cordoned off by the US military." The situation is so bad now that "our top priority is the safety of residents whose lives are threatened hourly," he told Al-Ahram Weekly in a telephone interview. "We are urging the Iraqi Health Ministry to supply the wounded of Falluja, and the thousands who fled the city before the assault, with the medical care they need," he added. Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has repeatedly denied there is a humanitarian crisis in Falluja, a position echoed by the Iraqi health minister who insisted that most of the city's 300,0000 residents had left it before the offensive. But according to the IRC spokesperson at least 157 families are still stuck inside Falluja. This evaluation was supported by ICRC's Rawi who said that many of the families who left Falluja said that the Marines prevented all male residents aged between 15 and 45 to exit the city. On Tuesday nine international aid groups issued a joint statement expressing concern "for the safety of thousands of civilians caught up in the major offensive." The statement took issue with the recent 60-day state of emergency as well as the assault on Falluja which, it said, "indicate the failure of the Iraqi government to fulfil its legal obligations to guarantee an appropriate environment for the implementation of Resolution 1546 of the UN Security Council." The interim government argues that the assault and emergency law are intended to secure Iraq for elections scheduled for 27 January. But in protest the Islamic Party, the country's most influential Sunni political group, announced its withdrawal from the government in response to the attack on Falluja. The Sunni Muslim Clerics Association went further, urging Iraqis to boycott the vote. Several of its leading members have been arrested as a result. It is not clear if this will provoke an even larger boycott of the elections, and there is no certainty that the Shia majority will act along clear-cut sectarian lines. Indeed, in light of the Falluja offensive, many commentators believe Allawi's position has been fatally compromised.

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 16 Nov 2004 Situation of civilians in Falluja, Iraq (Read out today by José Luis Díaz, Spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, at the regular press briefing held at the United Nations Office at Geneva, 16 November 2004): The High Commissioner is deeply concerned about the situation of civilians caught up in the ongoing fighting in Falluja. There have been a number of reports during the current confrontation alleging violations of the rules of war designed to protect civilians and combatants. The High Commissioner is particularly worried over poor access by civilians still in the city to the delivery of humanitarian aid and about the lack of information regarding the number of civilians casualties. The High Commissioner considers that all violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law must be investigated and those responsible for breaches -- including deliberate targeting of civilians, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, the killing of injured persons and the use of human shields -- must be brought to justice, be they members of the Multinational Force or insurgents. The High Commissioner calls on parties in the fighting to take every possible precaution to protect civilians. www.ohchr.org

ICRC 19 Nov 2004 ICRC News 04/138 Iraq : ICRC calls for greater respect for basic tenets of humanity "We are deeply concerned by the devastating impact that the fighting in Iraq is having on the people of that country."- Statement by Pierre Krähenbühl, Director of Operations of the ICRC As hostilities continue in Falluja and elsewhere, every day seems to bring news of yet another act of utter contempt for the most basic tenet of humanity: the obligation to protect human life and dignity. This week it was the killing of a wounded fighter and of yet another hostage – humanitarian worker Margaret Hassan – that shocked the world. Like any other armed conflict, this one is subject to limits, and they must be respected at all times. For the parties to this conflict, complying with international humanitarian law is an obligation, not an option. There is an absolute prohibition on the killing of persons who are not taking active part in the hostilities, or have ceased to do so. It is also prohibited to torture them or to subject them to any form of inhuman, humiliating or degrading treatment. Furthermore, the parties to the conflict must provide adequate medical care for the wounded – friend or foe – on the battlefield or allow them to be taken elsewhere for treatment. They must do everything possible to help civilians caught up in the fighting obtain the basics of survival such as food, water and health care. The taking of hostages, whether Iraqi or foreign, is forbidden in all circumstances. If these rules or any other applicable rules of international humanitarian law are violated, the persons responsible must be held accountable for their actions. Regrettably, recent events have again shown just how difficult it has become for neutral, independent and impartial humanitarian organizations to assist and protect the victims of the conflict in Iraq. Once again, the International Committee of the Red Cross appeals for everything possible to be done to allow such organizations to come to the aid of the thousands of Iraqis who are suffering."

IRIN 22 Nov 2004 Attacks on churches spur Christians to move to Kurdish north [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations] BAGHDAD, 22 November (IRIN) - Only God can keep Christians and Muslims safe in Iraq's volatile environment, people often say when asked how they will deal with the daily diet of car bombs, suicide bombers and fighting going on around the country. But now an estimated 350 Assyrian Christians families are ready to take matters into their own hands. After two coordinated attacks on Christian churches, one in August against five churches, four in Baghdad, one in Mosul, and another attack in October on up to seven churches, they want to move back to homes in northern Iraq out of fear of further attacks. Relations between Christians and Muslims in Iraq have been peaceful in the past, although many Christians remained on the edge of Iraqi society. But now, in what is becoming an increasingly segregated Iraq, some feel the Christians, many of whom speak English in the predominantly Arabic-speaking country, are supporting the Coalition forces. As a result, some Christians are keeping their children home this school year, worried that increasing animosity against them makes them a target. Johnny Giorgious, 33, told IRIN he would move his family of five to the northern governorate of Dahuk. He intends to rent a house in the region and talk to Kurds now working the land he says belongs to his family. In the future, an as yet unformed agricultural committee could help make a ruling on who deserves the property, Giorgious said. Some Christians were resettled from the region by former president Saddam Hussein while many others fled during the 1991 Gulf war. There are Christians living throughout Iraq, including a sizeable community in Baghdad - accurate figures are hard to find but various estimates put the number in the capital at somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000. "We asked for our rights in 1992 and the government told us it was not a suitable time," Giorgious said. "We are still asking for our rights." There's just one problem: Kurdish Muslims living on the land and in the homes the Christians once occupied in the north, don't want to leave, William Warda, leader of the Assyrian Christian political movement in Baghdad, told IRIN. Workers at the Ministry of Displacement and Migration told IRIN they were aware of the issue, but had not been able to do anything to deal with it yet. The ministry is discussing building new housing in the region that could be used either for Christians or Kurds, a ministry official, who declined to be named for security reasons, said. United Nations officials in Jordan have also been approached, Warda said. "Saddam destroyed 200 of our villages in the north and deported the inhabitants," Warda said. "We are asking the Kurdish authorities to remove these people. They are pleading that they need more time." Al Barwari, a security adviser and the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (PDK) director in Germany, who is currently living in Iraq, said Christians were talking to PDK officials about moving to land in and around Dahuk where Kurds currently live. "We are aware of the issue," Barwari said. "We are discussing it. It is a complicated issue." An estimated 60,000 Christians have fled Iraq for Syria and Jordan in recent months because of the unstable security situation, Warda said. About 1.3 million Christians registered for a 1987 census, he said, a number that has now dropped to about 70,000. However, without an offcial census accurate numbers are difficult to assess. There appears to have been a gradual reduction in the number of Christians in the country over the years as many left for economic reasons. But this has now been accelerated with the recent attacks. However, other Christians in Baghdad are defiant about the threats, saying Iraq is their home, even if they are a minority. "Our people will never leave. We have always lived together during the good and bad, so these bad operations strengthen our bonds. Jesus teaches us peace," Father Zaia Joseph, a priest at the Eastern Orthodox St. George Church in Daura, on the west side of Baghdad, told IRIN. The church's front door was blown up in early October by a grenade thrown over the wall. The church choir master agreed. "It is inhuman that they would do such a thing," Grantama Muhanna, 40, told IRIN. "Iraq has always been a very good country where everyone can live together, but this is not good." But graffiti on the wall down the street is a chilling symbol of the growing religious divide between the Christians in the neighbourhood and their Muslim neighbours in the outdoor market next door. "Infidels" will be killed during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting and prayer, the graffiti says. Muhanna makes light of the graffiti, saying no one has been killed. Police came quickly to put out the fire when the grenade went off in front of the church, she said. More worrisome to her are the Christian translators who were working with US forces who have been killed, an estimated four or five just in her neighbourhood. "No one has ever hurt me," Muhanna said. "They did this to create sectarian violence, but I don't want to leave."

IPS 16 Nov 2004 800 Civilians Feared Dead in Fallujah Dahr Jamail BAGHDAD, Nov 16 (IPS) - At least 800 civilians have been killed during the U.S. military siege of Fallujah, a Red Cross official estimates. Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of U.S. military reprisal, a high-ranking official with the Red Cross in Baghdad told IPS that ”at least 800 civilians” have been killed in Fallujah so far. His estimate is based on reports from Red Crescent aid workers stationed around the embattled city, from residents within the city and from refugees, he said. ”Several of our Red Cross workers have just returned from Fallujah since the Americans won't let them into the city,” he said. ”And they said the people they are tending to in the refugee camps set up in the desert outside the city are telling horrible stories of suffering and death inside Fallujah.” The official said that both Red Cross and Iraqi Red Crescent relief teams had asked the U.S. military in Fallujah to take in medical supplies to people trapped in the city, but their repeated requests had been turned down. A convoy of relief supplies from both relief organisations continues to wait on the outskirts of the city for military permission to enter. They have appealed to the United Nations to intervene on their behalf. ”The Americans close their ears, and that is it,” the Red Cross official said. ”They won't even let us take supplies into Fallujah General Hospital.” The official estimated that at least 50,000 residents remain trapped within the city. They were too poor to leave, lacked friends or family outside the city and therefore had nowhere to go, or they simply had not had enough time to escape before the siege began, he said. Aid workers in his organisation have reported that houses of civilians in Kharma, a small city near Fallujah, had been bombed by U.S. warplanes. In one instance a family of five was killed just two days ago, they reported. ”I don't know why the American leaders did not approach the Red Cross and ask us to deal with the families properly before the attacking began,” said a Red Cross aid worker, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. ”Suddenly they attacked and people were stuck with no help, no medicine, no food, no supplies,” he said. ”So those who could, ran for the desert while the rest were trapped in the city.” If the U.S. forces would call a temporary cease-fire ”we could get our trucks in and get the civilians left in Fallujah who need medical care, we could get them out,” he said. Mosques have organised massive collections of food and relief supplies for Fallujah residents as they did last April when the city was under attack, but these supplies have not been allowed into the city either. The Red Cross official said they had received several reports from refugees that the military had dropped cluster bombs in Fallujah, and used a phosphorous weapon that caused severe burns. The U.S. military claims to have killed 1,200 ”insurgents” in Fallujah. Abdel Khader Janabi, a resistance leader from the city has said that only about 100 among them were fighters. ”Both of them are lying,” the Red Cross official said. ”While they agree on the 1,200 number, they are both lying about the number of dead fighters.” He added that ”our estimate of 800 civilians is likely to be too low.” The situation within Fallujah is grim, he said. If help does not reach people soon, ”the children who are trapped will most likely die.” He said the Ministry of Health in the U.S.-backed interim Iraqi government had stopped supplying hospitals and clinics in Fallujah two months before the current siege. ”The hospitals do not even have aspirin,” he said. ”This shows, in my opinion, that they've had a plan to attack for a long time and were trying to weaken the people.''

NYT 24 Nov 2004 OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR Iraq's New Court Finds Itself on Trial By MICHAEL A. NEWTON West Point, N.Y. —The worst kind of hypocrisy is the sort that pretends to stand on principle. The latest example is the failure of the United Nations, our European allies and nongovernmental groups to support Iraqi efforts to bring Saddam Hussein and his henchmen to justice. Oppression by the Baathist regime directly caused the deaths of more than 300,000 Iraqis and the destruction of around 5,000 villages. That is why creating a system for imposing criminal punishment in accordance with established international standards was one of the earliest priorities for the new Iraqi government. Employing the hybrid model successfully used in Sierra Leone, the Iraqi Special Tribunal was established in December. The statute creating the tribunal incorporates the full range of modern international crimes into the fabric of a binding domestic law, and it is in compliance with established human rights norms. For instance, for the first time under Iraqi law, a judge is forbidden to draw an inference of guilt from the silence of the accused at trial. The statute also reflects the strong desire of the Iraqi authorities to ensure a process freed from political constraint, stating that the tribunal "shall be an independent entity and not associated with any Iraqi government departments." Last month I spent a week in London working with the group of judges and prosecutors who form the core of the special tribunal. They are a distinguished group of patriots who know more than any outsider how critical the rule of law will be for the future of their country. Yes, just like other inexperienced judges on previous tribunals elsewhere in the developing world, they have much to learn about conducting complex trials in accordance with the most modern nuances of international law. But they are dedicated to doing so. As one Iraqi told me, "My job is to judge, not to murder." Unfortunately, their pleas for assistance are going unanswered. For example, some of the most experienced practitioners from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia had initially agreed to participate in the London sessions. At the last minute, however, the United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, lamely insisted that these experts were all too busy in The Hague to help the Iraqis, and he ordered them to stay home. Similarly, Amnesty International has issued a press release insisting that the "trial of Saddam Hussein must draw on international expertise," but has failed to provide any such help. Human Rights Watch took testimony from Iraqi victims who thought they were helping develop cases against Iraqis suspected of crimes. But according to American officials, the organization, without consulting the witnesses, refused to provide all the statements or to give all the victims' identities to the special tribunal. Human Rights Watch has even taken issue with the statute's ban on former Baath Party members sitting in judgment of the accused. Would the group have wanted Nazis passing judgment at Nuremberg? Of course, what really has the armchair lawyers riled up is that Iraqi authorities have decided that those convicted of the gravest offenses - war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and a small number of egregious domestic offenses - can be sentenced to death. Just as at Nuremberg, the death penalty is available in Iraq because no one can figure out what other punishment fits such crimes. In any case, it seems clear that the choice of punishments should be reserved for sovereign governments. When self-appointed arbiters of justice refuse to help, their smug self-righteousness is clear: "How dare those Iraqis try and build the rule of law for themselves?" And this elitist attitude goes beyond the tribunal. For example, the world saw the grisly remains of Kurdish victims lifted from mass graves outside Hatra, Iraq, last month. But it went largely unreported that European countries declined Iraqi requests for forensic assistance, because they feared that any evidence they recovered would be used at trial. American and Iraqi officials, knowing that there was plenty of evidence in the first two mass graves uncovered, told the Europeans that if they assisted at the other five sites, what they found would be used only to identify victims, not for prosecutions. Still, Europe refused. Now the cash-strapped Iraqi government may have to leave the rest of the bodies at Hatra buried. The price for the victims' families will be high: young women who cannot document the deaths of their fathers will not be able to marry in some places; widows may be unable to remarry. Trials based on the principles of justice will be a vital step toward healing Iraqi society and will be the cornerstone of a peaceful democracy. It's a shame those who profess to hold the highest ideals won't be a part of it. Michael A. Newton, a lieutenant colonel in the Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps, teaches international law at the United States Military Academy.

Agence France-Presse 25 Nov 2004 US-led forces sweep 'death triangle', Fallujah death toll at 2,000 by Rory Mulholland BAGHDAD, Nov 25 (AFP) - US-led forces rounded up scores of suspected rebels in Iraq's "triangle of death" on Thursday as officials said the death toll from this month's massive anti-insurgent operation in Fallujah was more than 2,000. Iraqi soldiers combing the remains of the devastated city of Fallujah also found a suspected chemical bomb factory along with pamphlets on making toxic substances such as anthrax, a top Iraqi official said. US marines said on Wednesday, however, that they had found no evidence of a chemical weapons-making factory in the town. Meanwhile, rebels continued to wage deadly attacks, as a group headed by Iraq's most-wanted man, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed the murder of a US State Department official in Baghdad. It came as national security adviser Qassem Daoud announced that a top Zarqawi aide had been arrested this week in the northern city of Mosul. He did not elaborate on the identity of the detainee. On the ground, four people were killed and 16 wounded in two bomb attacks in Samarra, one of them a suicide attack, and another south of the main northern oil capital of Kirkuk. In a bid to wipe out insurgents ahead of January's landmark elections, an Iraqi SWAT team, US marines and soldiers from Britain's Black Watch regiment descended on a number of targets in the "triangle of death", southwest of Baghdad, in a series of early morning swoops. Those detained brought to 116 the number of suspected insurgents captured since 5,000 troops kicked off Operation Plymouth Rock on Tuesday, the army said. Bringing restive areas of Iraq back under government control is seen as crucial for the success of elections planned for January 30, the next step in restoring sovereignty after last year's ouster of Saddam Hussein. The latest swoop was the third major such operation this month after US-led assaults on Fallujah west of Baghdad and Mosul, both Sunni Muslim bastions. Some 2,080 people were killed and 1,600 detained in the US-Iraqi offensive on Fallujah, the largest military operation in Iraq since last year's invasion, Daoud said. He also said a chemical bomb factory was found in Fallujah, while US forces said they discovered a huge cache of weapons in a mosque inside the devastated city. National guardsmen found a "chemical materials laboratory that was used to make explosives and toxic substances," Daoud told reporters, adding that there were also pamphlets showing how to make explosives and toxic substances, including anthrax. But US Major Jim West said Wednesday that while his marines had found chemical labs "there is no indication right now they were being used to produce chemical weapons." The US military said the largest weapons cache in Fallujah -- including rocket-propelled grenades, grenades, mortars, rockets and bomb-making materials -- was found in a mosque where the alleged spiritual leader of the insurgents preached. Humanitarian aid groups had struggled to obtain access to the city, where sporadic violence is still reported. But the Iraqi Red Crescent was able for the first time Thursday to deliver aid to families in Fallujah. Meanwhile, Zarqawi's group claimed on an Islamist website the murder of State Department official James Mollen, who was shot dead on Wednesday in Baghdad. Zarqawi has a 25-million-dollar bounty on his head and his Al-Qaeda-linked organisation -- which has claimed a string of deadly bombings and kidnappings -- was said to be headquartered in Fallujah before the US-led onslaught. Hampering Iraq's crucial oil infrastructure, a key oil pipeline was reportedly attacked, cutting off the oil flow to a major refinery that supplies power stations serving large swathes of northern and central Iraq, a refinery official said. The national guard, deployed en masse to protect the pipeline, denied any attack had taken place. In the south, crude production was cut by half due to maintenance work carried out by the US firm Halliburton, a source from the South Oil Company said. "Production dropped from 1.8 million barrels per day to 950,000 barrels per day due to maintenance work by Halliburton on an underwater pipeline leading to the Basra and Khor Al-Amaya," the source said on condition of anonymity. Separately, police in Basra said they had arrested five foreign fighters -- two Saudis, two Tunisians and a Libyan -- who had escaped the fighting in Fallujah. The UN's anti-torture panel, meanwhile, urged Britain to publish the findings of investigations into alleged cases of torture by British forces in Iraq, according to a report obtained by AFP. In Copenhagen, Denmark's parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of extending by six months the mandate of the 525 Danish troops in Iraq, officials said.

Iraq: Fallujah violence described as ''genocide" in London and elsewhere (see also Turkey)

AL-Ahram 4 - 10 November 2004 Issue No. 715 weekly.ahram.org.eg Document: Letter to Annan Falluja, 14 October 2004 His Excellency Mr Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations Your Excellency, It is very obvious that the American forces are committing crimes of genocide every day in Iraq. Now, while we are writing to Your Excellency, the American forces are committing these crimes in the city of Falluja. The American warplanes are dropping their most powerful bombs on the civilians in the city, killing and injuring hundreds of innocent people. At the same time their tanks are attacking the city with heavy artillery. As you know, there is no military presence in the city. There had been no action taken by the Falluja resistance in recent weeks because of the negotiations between representatives of the city and the government which were going well. In this atmosphere, the new bombardment by America has happened while the people of Falluja have been preparing themselves for the fast of Ramadan. Now many of them are trapped under the wreckage of their demolished houses, and nobody can help them while the attack continues. On the night of 13 October alone American bombardment demolished 50 houses. Is this genocide or a lesson about American democracy? It is obvious that the Americans are committing acts of terror against the people of Falluja for one reason only: their refusal to accept the occupation. Your Excellency and the whole world know that the Americans and their allies devastated our country under the pretext of the threat of WMD. Now, after all the destruction and the killing of thousands of civilians, they have admitted that no weapons were found. But they have said nothing about all the crimes they committed. Unfortunately everybody is now silent, and will not even honour the murdered Iraqi civilians with words of condemnation. Are the Americans going to pay compensation as Iraq has been forced to do so after the Gulf war? We know that we are living in a world of double standards. In Falluja, they have created a new vague target: Al-Zarqawi. This is the new pretext to justify their crimes, killing and the daily bombardment of civilians. Almost a year has elapsed since they created this new pretext, and whenever they destroy houses, mosques and restaurants, and kill children and women they say: "We have launched a successful operation against Al-Zarqawi." They will never say that they have killed him, because there is no such person. And that means the killing of civilians and the daily genocide will continue. The people of Falluja assure you that this person, if he exists, is not in Falluja and is probably not anywhere in Iraq. The people of Falluja have announced many times that any person who sees Al-Zarqawi should kill him. Now everybody realises that this man is just an imaginary figure created by the Americans. At the same time the representative of Falluja, our tribal leaders, have denounced on many occasions the kidnapping and killing of civilians, and we have no links to any groups committing such inhuman behaviour. Excellency, we appeal to you, and to all world leaders to exert the greatest pressure on the American administration to stop their crimes in Falluja and withdraw their army from the city. The city was very quiet and peaceful when its people ran its affairs. We didn't witness any disorder in the city. The civil administration was going well, given its limited resources. We simply didn't welcome occupation forces. This is our right according to the UN Charter, international law and the norms of humanity. If the Americans believe in the opposite, they should first resign from the UN and all its agencies before acting in a way contrary to the Charter they signed. It is very urgent that your Excellency, along with world leaders, intervene in a speedy manner to prevent a new massacre. We have tried to reach your representatives in Iraq, to ask for a more active UN role, but as you know they are living in the Green Zone, an area we cannot reach. We want the UN to be involved in Falluja so as to avoid a new massacre. We have tried to reach you through different channels and by asking our friends to convey this letter to your office in New York or Geneva with the hope that it will reach you. Meanwhile we appeal to you to urge UN agencies in Iraq to play an active role in protecting civilians and preventing the new massacre which the Americans and the puppet government are planning to start soon in Falluja, as well as in other parts of our country. Best regards. Kassim Abdullsattar Al-Jumaily, President, The Research Centre of Human Rights and Democracy, on behalf of the people of Falluja and for: Al-Falluja Shura Council; The Bar Association; The Teachers Union; Council of Tribal Leaders; The House of Fatwa and Religious Education

news.scotsman.com UK 9 Nov 2004 British Muslims Condemn Fallujah 'Massacre' By Neville Dean, PA The US assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah was condemned by British Islamic groups tonight, with one describing the operation as “brutal genocide“. The Muslim Council of Britain accused US forces of “terrorising” Iraqi citizens, while the independent Islamic political party Hizb ut-Tahrir denounced the effort to capture the city as the “brutal slaughter of civilians”. The criticism came as thousands of Muslims gathered at Regent’s Park Mosque in London to hear speeches condemning the attack on Fallujah. They had gathered for one of the most important dates in the holy month of Ramadan, Laylatul Qadr, or The Night of Power. The major ground assault on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah began on Monday. By tonight, US troops had powered their way into the centre of the city, overwhelming small bands of guerrillas with massive force. However the fighting claimed the lives of 10 American soldiers and two Iraqi government troops. There has been no specific information on Iraqi death tolls since the attack began. The Hizb ut-Tahrir group, which organised tonight’s gathering at the Regent’s Park Mosque, said that if the Fallujah assault had been directed against a European city, the world would have immediately acted to stop the “massacre”. Group spokesman Dr Imran Waheed said: “At this time, Muslims in Britain must be the voice of the Muslims of Fallujah against this brutal genocide and the silence of the spineless rulers of the Muslim world.” He continued: “By labelling resistance to occupation as terrorism and insurgency, western governments are selling their people a lie. “Muslims in Britain call upon the people of the West to question the militancy of western foreign policy across the globe and the continued interference of their government in the Muslim world.” The Muslim Council of Britain claimed there were reports that US forces had damaged equipment in the main hospital in Fallujah and arrested members of its staff. The council also claimed US troops had denied Iraqi doctors permission to travel to tend to the Iraqi wounded. Secretary general Iqbal Sacranie said: “We have long stated that the only solution in Iraq is for all foreign armies to leave and allow the Iraqis to determine their own affairs and regain control of their own territory and resources. “The war against Iraq and the continuing military occupation of Iraq by the US and British governments is illegal as was recently confirmed by the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan. “It is highly improbable that the US Army is going to help usher in an era of liberation and democracy in Iraq by terrorising and killing its citizens in this ghastly manner.” An 850-strong battlegroup of soldiers from the Black Watch has been controversially deployed to Camp Dogwood, about 15 miles south of Baghdad, to relieve US forces engaged in the Fallujah assault.

Muslim Scholars' Association trying hard to help Fallujah -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 18/11/2004 15:06 The Iraqi Muslim Scholars' Association have worked hard to pressure the joint US and Iraqi forces to stop attacks on Fallujah, a city 50 km west of Baghdad, ever since the major assault on the rebel-held city started on Nov. 8. On Wednesday, the association held a conference in its headquarters in the mosque of Um Al Qura, which was attended by representatives of 47 parties, organizations and powers opposing the American occupation. A joint statement issued at the end of the conference have decided to boycott the general elections due in January in protest against the overuse of force throughout the country. The statement strongly condemned the American attacks on cities like Najaf, Karbala, Samarra, Sadr City, Adhmiya, and especially the genocide crimes in Fallujah." "These crimes prevent us from taking part in the political process going on under the control of occupation forces," said the statement, which was read by Sheikh Jawad Al Khalisi, a well-known Shiite cleric. The statement demanded that daily activities of the occupations be reported publicly and a real patriotic attitude in Iraqi resistance be activated. It pointed out there is a scheme to drag the national powers opposing the occupation into a slippery trap by asking them to participate in the elections and then denying their winning to make the elections and the occupation legitimate. Near the headquarters, many volunteers and members of the association were distributing food to the people fleeing from Fallujah. "We are gathering contributions sent by the citizens all over the country and then we divided them to our people in Fallujah," said Sheikh Omar Abdullah Ali. Muthana Harith Al Dhari, a spokesman of the association, said two convoys were sent Wednesday to the people from three cities of Fallujah, Al Garma and Al Saglawyah in the morning because the American forces gave them only two hours to let those aids in. He emphasized it is becoming more and more difficult to send the humanitarian aid to Fallujah because of the American force' blocking. He said the association is working and pressuring the American forces to allow the civilians to go out of Fallujah, adding that the total civilians in the city exceeded 15,000. Several medical teams of volunteering doctors have gone to Fallujah to offer medical services and aids to the injured people. In one of the association's hall, one man from Fallujah, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told journalists "The American forces committed hideous crimes against civilians in Fallujah. They even killed women and children." "I saw the Americans shoot a pregnant woman and saw her child coming out of her belly," he said, "They killed an old woman who was crying for help. They killed a woman that they found reading Quran, and they killed a man who tried to keep the woman alive." "The American forces banned us from burying those killed by bullets in bombshells and only allowed us to bury those killed by chemical weapons to cover their crimes," he said, adding he participated in burying 21 Iraqis who died this way. He called on the international sides to visit the graves of the Iraqis and carry out medical examinations to reveal the truth of what the Americans have done in Fallujah. The association has decided to become an information center to cover the events of Fallujah after the American forces imposed a media blackout, the spokesman said. At least 39 US and five Iraqi soldiers have been killed and some 278 wounded since they launched their offensive on Fallujah on Nov. 8, according to US forces. The US military also said about 1,200 insurgents have been killed in the fighting.

Anadolu News AgencyFelluce, Outdoor Genocide Museum The Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) has described Felluce (Fallujah) as "an outdoor museum of genocide" in a report titled "The History of Genocide: A Report of Equivocal Criteria." The report describes the events in Fallujah as "postmodern genocide," and argues that there is a concerted effort to disguise this genocide using all forms of mass communication. The report states that 1,500 civilians were killed in the streets and abandoned to decay, dogs have eaten the corpses and over 250,000 were forced to flee from the region. In his assessments on the report, ATO Chairman Sinan Aygun indicated that the occupation in Iraq that was conducted to fight the war on terrorism has turned into a war crime. Aygun says, "Democracy will come to Iraq, but no one will be left there to see it." The report also addresses crimes against humanity. 50 different incidents have been examined worldwide from the genocide of Native American Indians by the Spanish and Americans to the assimilation of Greeks in Western Thrace and Turks in Bulgaria. 11.22.2004

Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation WWW.LJBC.NET FR AR News News Variety Sports Reports Travel Lifestyle Discover Libya Libyan demonstrators condemn genocide and war crimes in Fallujah 2004-11-21/ Angry demonstrators took to the streets of Tripoli in condemnation of the extra judicial executions and genocide waged against the people of the Iraqi city of Fallujah. In a statement, the demonstrators called on the international community to stop the massacres against Fallujah and other Iraqi cities, including bombardment, shelling , destruction, murder, displacement, starvation and prevention of medical supplies to old men, women and children and shooting the wounded and disarmed. The demonstrators underlined that these operations were flagrant abuses of human and peoples’ rights, incriminated by international law. The Lawyers’ Union at Tripoli underscored in a statement in this march that what is happening in Falluja considered as genocide and war crimes according to international law, and that the perpetrators must be brought to justice. The union called on international human rights and relief organizations to speed up intervention and pressure to stop these crimes.

Jordan Islamists want to end Iraqi ties Amman, Jordan, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Jordan's Islamic movement said Sunday it has called on the Jordanian government to sever ties with the interim Iraqi government. A statement by the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, said the IAF asked the Jordanian government to end all relations with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's government to protest its support of the American military assault on Fallujah. The request came in a memo by the Islamists, who described the Fallujah assault as a "war of destruction and genocide that is taking place with the blessings of the interim Iraqi government." The memo accused the Iraqi government of being "hostile towards the Iraqi people and disregards the sentiments of the Jordanian, Arab and Muslim nations." The Islamists insist continuing relations with this Iraqi government would constitute "a kind of approval for its policy and provides legitimacy for its crimes." Jordan's Islamic movement issued a series of statements during the past 10 days, all condemning the U.S.-Iraqi military attacks on Fallujah and urging Arabs and Muslims to provide support to the Iraqi resistance in the city.

New Nation Online Edition Commentary Allawi's puppet govt. is presiding over genocide in Iraq and must go By Nov 19, 2004, 12:14 After ruthless US awful fire power of the occupation forces in Fallujah, the US army has now directed its attack on Mosul and other Iraqi cities. In Fallujah US marines have shown the worst atrocity by killing an unarmed wounded Iraqi entering into a mosque against whom no proof has been found that he was a guerilla. The incident was so inhuman that the puppet Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi himself had shown concern about it. This has hurt the feelings of the Muslims all over the world and should convince everybody that the war in Iraq is a religious war. The international human rights groups have said that the killing in the mosque could amount to a war crime. The fact is that human rights groups must talk about putting the leaders of the armed forces on trial for genocide. After Fallujah US army was now conducting offensive in Mosul. The Anglo-US miletary forces in Iraq are conducting genocide in Iraq in the name of "suppressing Iraqi rebels". These Iraqis are neither rebels or guerillas—they are self-defenders of their land and are engaged in overthrowing the occupation Anglo-US army in their motherland. The governments of Muslim countries are disgracefully silent about the indiscriminate killings of Muslims in Iraq. Allawi's interim government is just the Bush administration's hand-picked government. The US and its puppet government's so-called election to be held in January next year, if held at all, will be a farce only to give false legitimacy to Allawi's puppet government of the USA. Allawi's government is there to preside over genocide in Iraq by the occupation forces. By unilaterally attacking Iraq America has conducted state terrorism on innocent people. The Bush administration is not conducting any war on terrorism. He has started a religious war against Muslims, he himself being a representative of religious extremism in the USA. This has been poignantly pointed out by French President Jacques Chirac who has recently visited London on the occasion of its centenary of Entente Cordiale with Britain. President Chirac said that France had differed with Britain and the US from the very beginning of the unilateral attack on Iraq. Chirac stated that history would judge who was correct. Chirac aptly said, "I am not at all sure that one can say the world is safer (today in absence of Saddam Hussein. There is no doubt that there has been a great increase in terrorism." As we understand Chirac has professed the infallible consequence of history which is to come in due course regarding events in Iraq. He has rightly said that attack on Iraq has made the world more dangerous. The British Prime Minister has lost all influence by preferring to be a poodle of the Bush administration. The loss of British leadership is a big loss for international politics. The puppet government of Allawi must be withdrawn along with US forces. The rest of the world must not cooperate unless the United Nations' role in Iraq is assured. © Copyright 2003 by ittefaq.com


UN News Service 1 Nov 2004 Top UN officials comment on suicide blast, children's deaths in Middle East The ongoing violence in the Middle East drew sharp comment from top United Nations officials today, with Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressing the particular need to shield children from harm. A spokesman for Mr. Annan said the Secretary-General was distressed to learn of the deaths of two Palestinian children over the last few days during the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) operations in the occupied Palestinian territory. "He is even more disturbed as they follow the killing of two Palestinian children earlier in October," Fred Eckhard said at the daily briefing in New York. On Thursday nine-year-old Rania Iyad Aram was killed by gunfire on her way to school in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip. On Saturday morning, 12-year-old Ibrahim Mohammed Kmileh was killed in a refugee camp in the West Bank town of Jenin, while two other boys were wounded. "The Secretary-General expects that the Government of Israel will launch a rigorous investigation into these incidents and that the results will be made public," Mr. Eckhard said. Mr. Annan also renewed his calls on the Government of Israel to take effective measures to avoid any harm to Palestinian civilians, and to have special care for the protection of the children, he added. "He calls on both parties to exercise maximum restraint and responsibility during this critical period," the spokesman said. Meanwhile, the senior UN envoy for the Middle East peace process denounced a suicide attack of an Israeli market, which killed at least three people and wounded many more. A statement issued in Jerusalem for Terje Roed-Larsen said he "condemns in the strongest terms this terrorist act" Monday at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. Mr. Roed-Larsen, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East, reiterated "his firm belief" that nothing can justify terror. "He expects the Palestinian Authority to act without delay against those organizing and perpetrating terror and to bring them to justice," the statement said. He also extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Israel and wished for a speedy recovery of the wounded.

BBC 3 November, 2004 Child suicide attacks 'must stop' Amer al-Fahr's mother said he was too young to attack Israel An international human rights group has called on Palestinian militants to stop using children in suicide bombings and military attacks. Human Rights Watch made the call after a 16-year-old bomber blew himself up in a Tel Aviv marketplace on Monday, killing three Israeli civilians. The New York-based group claimed at least 10 bombers aged under 18 have attacked Israel in the past four years. The group behind Monday's attack has said it does not recruit children. Palestinian armed groups must clearly and publicly condemn all use of children under the age of 18 Jo Becker, Human Rights Watch International law defines a child as any person under the age of 18. "Any attack on civilians is prohibited by international law, but using children for suicide attacks is particularly egregious," said Jo Becker, advocacy director for children's rights at Human Rights Watch. "Palestinian armed groups must clearly and publicly condemn all use of children under the age of 18 for military activities, and make sure these policies are carried out." Militants condemned A senior member of the political wing of the group behind the Tel Aviv attack, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, admitted to the BBC the group had made a mistake by recruiting 16-year-old Amer al-Fahr. TEENAGE SUICIDE BOMBERS Jan 2002: Safwat Rahman, 17 Mar 2002: Ayat al-Akhras, 17 May 2002: Issa Badir, 17 Jun 2002: Hamza Samudi, 17 Mar 2003: Sabih al-Saoud, 16 Aug 2003: Islam Qteishat, 17 Aug 2003: Khamais Gerwan, 17 January 2004: Iyad al-Masri, 17 Source: Human Rights Watch The organisation was looking at improving checks on applicants' ages, he added. The other main Palestinian armed groups have also publicly disavowed the use of children in suicide attacks. Yet the Human Rights Watch report claimed that the three most active militant groups - Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade - have all despatched under-age bombers during the four-year-old conflict with Israel. The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade has been accused of sending four child bombers into Israel. Three attacks by 17-year-olds were linked to Islamic Jihad, Human Rights Watch said. Hamas and the PFLP have been linked to two attacks each, the group added. Some senior militant figures have said they consider children of 16 as adults, the organisation said. Israel was also urged to take measures to safeguard the lives of children in the Occupied Territories. Around one quarter of an estimated 130 Palestinians who died during an Israeli incursion into Gaza last month were children, Human Rights Watch said.

BBC 5 Nov 2004 Children killed in Gaza explosion Palestinians in Khan Younis watch an Israeli tank position Two Palestinian children have been killed in an explosion in south Gaza. Hospital sources said seven-year-old Ahmed al-Smari and his eight-year-old cousin, Mohammed, died when a tank shell hit their home in Khan Younis. An Israeli army spokesman has categorically denied that the Israeli forces were operating in the area at the time of the explosion. The Israeli spokesman speculated that the explosion was caused by a roadside device intended for Israeli forces. Two Israeli soldiers suffered minor injuries on Friday when explosive devises went off during an operation near the Gaza-Egyptian border. Reports say three Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in Gaza on Thursday in the Bureij refugee camp. According to an Israeli army statement, a tank had targeted four Palestinians carrying an explosive device. The Gaza Strip has been occupied by Israel since it captured the territory in the 1967 war. About 1.4 million Palestinians live in Gaza, of which 900,000 are refugees from conflicts with Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is planning to withdraw settlers and Israeli soldiers from Gaza next year, though Israel will maintain control of Gaza's borders, coastline and airspace.

Deutsche Presse Agentur 5 Nov 2004 Background: Palestinians - the world's biggest refugee group Ramallah (dpa) - The Arabs living in the former British mandate of Palestine and their descendants are termed Palestinians. They include those who fled or were driven out of the region following the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948-49. Today they form the largest refugee group in the world, numbering up to nine million people around the world, many of them living in poverty. While the majority are Moslems, there is a Christian minority. More than 1.3 million live in the Gaza Strip, and more than two million on the West Bank. Several million are still registered as refugees here and in many other parts of the world, mostly in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and other Arab countries, but also in North America and Europe. In Jordan alone, the United Nations lists 1.7 million Palestinian refugees - and only here have they been accorded the rights of citizenship. In other countries they are effectively prevented from integrating socially and denied political rights. Palestinians lost their homes and their homeland after the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, Israel refusing to acknowledge the possibility of a Palestinian state. Many of the refugees settled on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, but when Israel occupied these areas following the 1967 Six-Day War, many fled again. To this day many Palestinians live under appalling conditions in crowded refugee camps that were built by the U.N. Palestinian relief agency UNRWA between 1948 and 1967. UNRWA currently operates a total of 59 such camps. The Palestinians, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization, demand their own sovereign state with the name Palestine and the right to return to their pre-1947 homes. These demands lie at the heart of the Middle East conflict.

NYT 23 Nov 2004 Holocaust victims database now online By Joseph Berger The New York Times November 23, 2004 What is known of their lives has always been dwarfed by a single, almost sacred number -- 6 million. But each of the victims of the Holocaust had a name, an address, a place of birth, a place of death. Now, Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum and archive in Jerusalem, has assembled the largest and most comprehensive listing of Jewish victims' names -- more than 3 million, or half of those who perished -- along with biographical details, photographs and nutshell memoirs, and started making the information available online Monday at www.yadvashem.org. The project is seen not only as a signal act of commemoration for Jews who often lost the relatives who might have remembered them but also as another refutation to those who have campaigned to deny the scope of the systematic slaughter of Europe's Jews. The database allows children, grandchildren and future descendants to research the histories of their families, and, in some cases, permits the dwindling ranks of survivors to trace relatives whose fate is still unknown. Many survivors realized after World War II that their kin had been swept up in massacres or deported to concentration camps, but they never knew for certain where and when they had been killed. "The moment persons entered Auschwitz they lost their names -- they became a number," said Elie Wiesel, a spokesman for Holocaust survivors and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. "Six million names were evaporated, turned into dust and ashes. A hundred years from now we will know where to turn and know something about their genealogy and where they came from." Avner Shalev, chairman of the directorate of Yad Vashem, said that, as word of the project spread, the list would be greatly expanded by new entries to the Yad Vashem Web site. Yad Vashem began assembling so-called pages of testimony -- records filled out by relatives in Israel and abroad -- in 1955, two years after it was created by Israel's Parliament as the country's "remembrance authority." The pages included 22 items of information, including hometown, year of birth, occupation and relatives. Later, Yad Vashem placed advertisements seeking more names, interviewed survivors and borrowed lists from other archives. By this year, it had gathered pages for 2 million victims and these were supplemented by information gleaned from hundreds of bureaucratic lists kept by the Nazis and their collaborators, like lists of concentration camp inmates and manifests of railroad transports. The half-century effort could not identify all the 6 million, Shalev said. In large parts of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, no documentation was kept by the squads who shot to death entire Jewish populations of some towns or by Nazi troops who dispatched ghetto inhabitants to death camps, where they were gassed upon arrival. In Hungary, most of the lists of the 437,000 Jews rounded up by the Hungarian police and sent to Auschwitz in a period of 56 days in 1944 were never located, Shalev said. The number 6 million was calculated after the war by comparing prewar censuses with lists of survivors compiled by the Red Cross and other relief organizations. There were almost 9 million Jews in the countries of Europe that fell under Nazi control, and the Nazis killed two out of every three. Compiling a list of distinct individuals presented thorny problems because names and towns were spelled in so many variations. "Jews spell Isaac 700 ways," said Shalev. "And Cohen? -- there are a thousand ways to spell Cohen." The Yad Vashem search engine takes account of such discrepancies and also tries to eliminate duplicates. The database, which Shalev said cost $15 million to $17 million to create, is searchable in English and Hebrew. Users will be able to add names, submit missing information and photographs or correct misinformation, entries that will be checked for accuracy.


washingtonpost.com 7 Nov 2004 Exercise Displays Japan's Ambitions Seeking New International Stature, Government Departs From Pacifist Past By Anthony Faiola Washington Post Foreign Service Sunday, November 7, 2004; Page A21 YOKOSUKA, Japan -- As salty winds gusted off Tokyo Bay, a crack unit of Japanese commandos ascended the starboard ladder of a ship in a simulated hunt for weapons of mass destruction. They secured and patted down the crew, then searched the docked vessel until they uncovered its hidden cargo -- a mock stash of sarin gas. The training exercise late last month was all for the cameras. Japan, along with Australia, France and the United States, was showcasing its willingness to prevent the transit of weapons by terrorists and renegade states, particularly North Korea. But for Japan, a country that since World War II has eschewed any impression as an aggressor, the decision to take a leading role in a high-profile military exercise marked a rare display of force. It underscored another mission: to redefine this nation as more than just an economic power. Seeking a more assertive role on the world stage, the Japanese government is now in the midst of a campaign to win a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council and transform its Self-Defense Forces into a full military. Key to the changes is a push by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to alter the country's pacifist constitution, which renounces war. For the last nine months, 600 noncombat Japanese troops have been stationed in Iraq, the country's most dangerous military-related operation since World War II. At the same time, however, the government is struggling to strike a balance between its new ambition and deep public rejection of the nation's militaristic past. The result has been a delicate, even painful transition away from pacifism. More telling, for instance, than the well-equipped troops running through the maritime interdiction exercises last month were the elements of those drills that were unspoken and unseen. To limit the impression of aggression, the government insisted that no weapons -- unloaded, fake or otherwise -- be carried by those participating in the drills. It also refused to officially acknowledge that any one nation was the target of the exercises, though U.S. officials have openly stated that the training mission was aimed at sending a message to North Korea. In the simulated interdiction, officials insisted on having one of their own destroyers flying the Japanese flag masquerade as the targeted ship to avoid any image of confrontation with a foreign power. Even then, citing constitutional limits on the armed forces, the captain of the rogue ship had to give verbal permission before the boarding party could set foot on deck. "Japan has been changing its role in response to new threats and our desire to contribute more to the stability of the world," said Masashi Nishihara, president of National Defense Academy, the country's elite armed forces training school. "But it is a slow and gradual effort. It may sometimes seem like a contradiction, but this is the way it has to be." In their own fashion, however, the armed forces are shedding their low profile, analysts say. With a defense budget larger than Britain's, Japan is preparing to deploy a 600-foot, 13,500-ton helicopter carrier, the first in its fleet. It is almost twice the size of the current Aegis destroyers. Spurred by the threat of a nuclear-armed North Korea, Japan is co-developing a multibillion-dollar missile defense shield with the United States, designed to enable it to shoot down ballistic missiles launched by North Korea. The joint project is likely to force a lifting of Japan's long-standing ban on exporting weapons. A defense panel last month recommended the country's most sweeping national security overhaul in a decade, including the beefing up of its intelligence network, something already underway after Japan launched its first spy satellites into space last year. The Liberal Democratic Party is pressing to redefine the role of the Self-Defense Forces -- created in 1954 strictly for defense of the home islands. The current Iraq mission, for example, required parliamentary approval of special legislation and a pledge by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi that troops would be deployed in a noncombat zone. But next year, debate is expected to begin on changing Article 9 of the post-World War II constitution drafted by the United States during the American occupation, a move that would give Japan far more flexibility to deploy troops overseas. "There are expectations that Japan play a greater role in dealing with international conflicts," Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said in an interview. "And I believe that Japan must do so." To that end, officials are now negotiating with the Pentagon a broad redefinition of the U.S.-Japan alliance, in which the United States is now largely responsible for the defense of Japan. On the table, Japanese officials say, is a new concept of "an alliance in global terms" in which the armed forces would work more closely with the U.S. military, both at home and on missions abroad. "Japan is changing," U.S. Ambassador Howard H. Baker Jr. told a group of foreign reporters in July in terms that he has since used repeatedly. "I think Japan has decided, 'We're a great, big country, we're the second-largest economy in the world, and we probably have the second-largest navy in the Pacific. We want a seat on the Security Council. We want a role to play in the international arena.' I think all those changes are at work and will continue." The current campaign to boost Japan's international role dates back more than a decade, when its $14 billion financial contribution to the 1991 Persian Gulf War was dismissed as insignificant next to allied nations that had sent troops. But events in recent years -- the increased threat of North Korea, which test-fired a missile over Japan in 1998, the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and China's rise as a potential challenger to Japan's economic dominance in Asia -- spurred Japanese officials toward quicker change. However, the desire for diplomatic clout commensurate with Japan's wealth is testing the limits of the public's willingness to assume greater risks. There is no better example that the mission to Iraq, described by officials as evidence that the Japanese are now willing to do more than dole out cash. But the mission -- which involves medical support, engineering projects and water purification -- has been widely viewed as being of little strategic consequence while remaining enormously unpopular at home. Koizumi is now facing stiff resistance to extending the mission beyond its scheduled expiration on Dec. 14. Meanwhile, the mission is becoming more dangerous, and at the same time carries the risk of being labeled a failure. Japan's efforts to provide medical aid and rebuild public facilities in the city of Samawah, about 150 miles south of Baghdad, have largely been halted because the security situation in that once relatively tranquil part of southern Iraq has eroded. Japanese officials had periodically limited troop movements outside their camp. But since a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the base a week ago, troops have been ordered to remain inside their protected perimeter at all times, defense officials in Tokyo said. No Japanese soldier has been injured, or has fired a single shot in combat. The Japanese have spent $750,000 on ad campaigns in Iraq promoting their forces as a humanitarian group independent of ongoing military operations. But the Japanese received a grisly reminder last week of the consequences accompanying even their modest mission in Iraq. Citing the Japanese military presence in Iraq, Islamic radicals kidnapped and beheaded Shosei Koda, 24, a Japanese backpacker, whose body was recovered in Baghdad wrapped in an American flag. Katsuya Okada, head of the opposition Democratic Party, blamed the military presence in Iraq for Koda's death and said conditions in Iraq are too dangerous. "We strongly demand the withdrawal of" Japanese troops, he said. But sources close to Koizumi say the prime minister is likely to extend the Iraq mission, concerned that a withdrawal would be seen as giving in to the radicals who killed Koda, and as a step back inside Japan's shell. "The mission is not completed," a senior Japanese official said, on condition of anonymity. "We would be sending the wrong massage in many respects if we ended it now." Special correspondent Sachiko Sakamaki contributed to this report.

Jakarta Post 28 Oct 2004 Political tension, confusion in Myanmar By Soe Myint : Myanmar's powerful military intelligence chief and Prime Minister Gen. Khin Nyunt who was fired last Tuesday by the ruling military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has been accused of corruption by the new foreign minister Nyan Win. The earlier official announcement , signed by Senior General Than Shwe, head of the SPDC who is to visit India next week, said that Khin Nyunt was "permitted to retire" for "health reasons". The latest political shake up within the military junta came a few days after the arrest of about two hundred officers in Muse town on the China-Myanmar border, who were under Khin Nyunt's command, on charges of corruption and gold smuggling. With the removal of Khin Nyunt from the military establishment, the long-standing power struggle within the Burmese military hierarchy between Than Shwe and his deputy Maung Aye on one side and the so-called "moderate" Khin Nyunt has ended. The question remains however is whether the two top leaders of SPDC can handle the most serious challenge that the regime has faced since it came to power in 1988. Gen. Khin Nyunt is believed to have been at least willing to talk with the opposition democratic forces and Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) while the hardliners in the military regime like Senior General Than Shwe and General Maung Aye do not bother about any such "political dialogue". Sources in Rangoon said Khin Nyunt, 64, has been under house arrest since last Tuesday and his son, Ye Naing Win, the owner of Myanmar's sole internet service provider, Bagan Cybertech and other properties such as CP Livestock is also under detention. The politics surrounding the dramatic removal of Khin Nyunt is underlined by the selection of his replacement, Lt. Gen. Soe Win. Soe Win is accused of masterminding the May 30 "Depayin Massacre" last year, in which at least 70 supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi were killed by the military-backed thugs in upper Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi and her deputy U Tin Oo have been under house arrest since then. The first military coup in Myanmar, then Burma, took place in 1962 when Gen. U Ne Win and a group of military officers ousted Premier U Nu, a friend of Jawaharlal Nehru, and since have ruled the country with ruthlessness. The economy has sunk to levels verging on bankruptcy and, in 1987, the United Nations has conferred its "least-developed nation" status on what was once South East Asia's rice-bowl nation. With an army of over 400,000 soldiers, the military controls every aspect of life including business. There has been infighting and conflicts between the generals for their business and power interests. There are two specific challenging issues before the present leadership. The National Convention, which was a part of so-called Khin Nyunt's "Road Map to Democracy", when he became Prime Minister in August 2003, is in recess. The military regime will find difficulties in resuming the Convention in the near future. Another challenging issue is the ethnic armed organizations, which have fought a civil war for more than four decades with Yangon. Khin Nyunt was the main architect of these cease-fires and the junta says it is in cease-fire with 17 armed organizations. Khin Nyunt had taken personal initiatives to get these armed organizations into a legal framework and with his disappearance, the future of cease-fire agreements between the junta and the armed groups has become uncertain. More importantly, with the recent changes in high-level positions of the regime (the regime now has new faces including the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the deputy Foreign Minister), Myanmar's chances for democratization and return to a civilian rule are bleaker than before. At present, there is no one to challenge Senior General Than Shwe within the military and he does not even allow his colleagues to mention the name of Suu Kyi at cabinet meetings. And India will roll out red-carpet welcome for him on Oct. 25 in New Delhi. The writer is a Myanmarese exile and journalist.


Reuters 1 Nov 2004 Maoist rebels storm Nepal town, burn buildings KATHMANDU, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Hundreds of Maoist rebels stormed a remote town in Nepal and set government buildings on fire, an army officer said on Monday, in the first major attack after a short truce ended four days ago. The rebels, fighting since 1996 to topple the Himalayan nation's constitutional monarchy, attacked Gamgadi, capital of the remote Mugu district, late on Sunday and fought pitched battles with government troops. "They set several empty government buildings on fire and fled to nearby jungles," said the army officer, who did not want to be identified. The army sustained no casualties but soldiers recovered the body of a rebel killed in the fighting, an army statement said. Rebels have not commented so far. In a separate incident, soldiers shot dead five Maoist guerrillas. Gamgadi, about 600 km (375 miles) northwest of the capital, Kathmandu, is surrounded by mountains with no proper road and with poor communication links. Mugu district is a stronghold of the Maoists, who are fighting to convert Nepal into a single-party communist republic. The attack comes after a nine-day truce between the rebels and the government for the Hindu festival of Dasain that ended on Thursday. Violence in Nepal, one of the world's 10 poorest nations, has surged since rebels walked out of peace talks last year. The insurgency has claimed more than 10,000 lives since 1996, wrecked the impoverished economy and scared away tourists, who used to flock to world's only Hindu kingdom known for its soaring mountains including Mount Everest.


www.paktribune.com 3 Nov 2004 Jammu Martyrs Day to be observed on Nov 6 RAWALPINDI, Nov 03 (Online): Jammu Martyrs Day would be observed under the aegis of Muslim Conference with utmost esteem and zeal all over the country on November 6 . While giving details Secretary Muslim Conference Fida Hussain Kiani said that November 6 was one of the black day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir . The day reminds us of Indian Dogra forces who carried out Muslims genocide in 1947 when they killed hundreds of Kashmiris in Mava forests . President Muslim Conference Sardar Atiq Ahmed Khan has appealed from all the activists of Muslim Conference wherever they are to whole-heartedly participate in Jammu Martyrs Day falling on November 6 . He said that special prayers would be offered to pray for the martyrs who sacrificed their lives on November 6 . He was of the view that Muslim Conference would continue to fight for the rights of people of Kashmir vowing that the blood of martyrs would not go in waste and their mission would be accomplished . President MC has directed all the organisations of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan and abroad along with MC Youth Wing, Student Wing and others to organize rallies in view to highlight the day as it has a very significant importance in the history of Kashmir. He further added that Kashmiris would not sit idly until Kashmiris Accession to Pakistan .


Deutsche Presse Agentur 3 Nov 2004 Four killed in clashes between Philippine troops, Moslem rebels Zamboanga City, Philippines (dpa) - Four Moslem separatist rebels were killed on Wednesday in clashes with government troops in the southern Philippines, an army spokesman said. Three pro-government militiamen and a civilian were also injured in the fighting in the towns of Shariff Aguak and Mamasapano in Maguindanao province, 960 kilometres south of Manila. The fighting broke out despite a ceasefire agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government, which is being monitored by 60 peacekeepers from Brunei and Malaysia. Lieutenant Colonel Buenaventura Pascual said the clashes erupted when about 30 MILF rebels attacked a military detachment manned by militiamen in the boundary of Shariff Aguak and Mamasapano. ``Mortar fires started the attack, wounding a civilian,'' he said. Pascual said the fighting spilled over to two villages in Shariff Aguak, where four MILF rebels were killed and three militiamen wounded. MILF spokesman Eid Cabalu initially blamed the military for starting the fighting, but later admitted the hostilities were the result of a feud between MILF commanders and militiamen. ``This incident did not involve the MILF as an organization,'' he said. Pascual said the ceasefire committees of the MILF and the government were able to halt the fighting. The MILF is the largest Moslem rebel group fighting for a separate Islamic state in the southern region of Mindanao. It has been waging its secessionist struggle since 1978. The rebel group, however, has entered into peace negotiations with the government and the two sides hope to resume formal talks after the end of Ramadan. Malaysia would be hosting the negotiations. In October, Malaysia and Brunei dispatched security forces to Mindanao to monitor the ceasefire between the MILF and the government to help avoid hostilities during the peace talks.

Sri Lanka

Reuters 2 Nov 2004 Muslims clash in east S.Lanka, curfew imposed COLOMBO, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Police have imposed a curfew on a town in eastern Sri Lanka after 7,000 Muslims scuffled on the streets late on Monday following a hand-grenade attack that wounded 13 people, including three policemen, officials said. Eastern Province Deputy Inspector General of Police Neville Wijesinghe said fighting broke out in Kattankudi, in Batticaloa, when a suspected group of Muslim converts used a hand grenade to attacked traditional Muslims praying at a mosque after breaking their Ramadan fast. The incident did not involve Tamil Tiger rebels, who control large pockets of Batticaloa and have been at the centre of tension with Muslims in recent weeks, he said. "We managed to neutralise the situation by morning but have decided to impose a curfew," Wijesinghe told Reuters on Tuesday. "We have deployed 500 to 600 policemen bringing people from Batticaloa and about 60 to 70 army officers for the curfew. "I don't understand the difference between the two Muslim groups or the reason why they are fighting. There have been some incidents in the last two days as well," he added. The town, with a predominantly Muslim population of about 75,000, has seen Muslim sects emerge from among thee mainstream since the late 1970s. Police said friction between the old-school Muslims and the new sects has been brewing for years, and a recent religious convention organised by the converts may have sparked the latest violence.

Agence France-Presse 14 Nov 2004 Norway fails in secret bid to revive Sri Lanka peace talks by Amal Jayasinghe COLOMBO, Nov 14 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's peace hopes have dimmed further after Norway failed in a secret attempt to save a stumbling initiative to end three decades of ethnic bloodshed, officials close to the process said Sunday. Chief Tamil rebel negotiator Anton Balasingham and Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim held closed-door talks at Colombo international airport late Saturday in an effort to keep the salvage effort on track, diplomatic sources said. There was no official word on the airport meeting but officials sources said there had been no breakthrough. "It was an unannounced meeting, hurriedly held at the airport," a source close to the process said. "They were unable to get agreement from the two sides to resume talks." Balasingham, who is based in London, and Solheim met as they were leaving the island separately, after Norway's Foreign Minister Jan Petersen wrapped up his latest initiative to break the 19-month impasse in Sri Lankan peace talks. Solheim stayed on after Foreign Minister Jan Petersen cut short his mission in Sri Lanka to attend Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's funeral. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), meanwhile, were awaiting a response from President Chandrika Kumaratunga to a proposed "secret formula" intended to jumpstart negotiations, stalled since April 2003, the sources said. The rebels put forward the formula in a meeting with Petersen last Thursday. President Kumaratunga's office said Friday the Norwegians had briefed her on their meeting with the Tiger leadership and their views on resuming talks. "The president agreed the government of Sri Lanka will remain in close contact with the Norwegian facilitators on the question," the statement said. The Sunday Observer paper said while the Tigers were putting forward a new proposal for restarting the talks, they were still insisting their proposal for self-rule be the basis for any negotiations. The Tigers made it clear to the Norwegians last week they were not giving up their proposal for an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) and rejected Kumaratunga's suggestion of linking the ISGA talks with a final settlement. "Though the LTTE told the government of its new strategy to recommence talks, it stuck to its original proposal on the ISGA," the Observer said. Diplomatic sources said both the government and the LTTE reiterated their commitment to the Oslo-brokered truce, in place since February 2002, but the absence of direct talks posed a risk to the ceasefire. "The problem of not holding talks is that even if there's a small incident, it can easily escalate into something very serious," said a senior diplomatic source who declined to be named. Solheim was on his way to New Delhi Sunday to inform Indian leaders about the latest Norwegian bid, diplomatic sources said, adding it was customary for peacebrokers to keep New Delhi briefed on developments in the peace process. The Tigers and the Colombo government held six rounds of face-to-face negotiations between September 2002 and March 2003 before the talks stalled. Four previous attempts to end the fighting ended in failure and led to more bloodshed. The conflict has claimed over 60,000 lives since it erupted over three decades ago.

AFP 28 Nov 2004 Tigers issue war notice on Sri Lanka as peace bid stalls by Amal Jayasinghe COLOMBO, Nov 28 (AFP) - Sri Lanka could slip back to a protracted war within months unless the government agrees to revive peace talks based on a controversial rebel blueprint for self-rule, analysts said Sunday. Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, in a hard-hitting speech broadcast over rebel radio Saturday, said he was running out of patience and demanded an immediate end to the 19-month deadlock in Norwegian-backed talks. "If the government of Sri Lanka rejects our urgent appeal and adopts delaying tactics, perpetuating the suffering of our people, we have no alternative other than to advance the freedom struggle of our nation," he said. Former Tiger rebel turned politician Dharmalingam Sithadthan said Prabhakaran, who turned 50 on Friday, was sending a powerful message that he would resume his armed struggle for an independent state called Eelam. "He does not want to use the word 'war' because that may not be liked by the international community," Sithadthan said. "But, in his strong statement, he has issued an ultimatum to the government to choose war or peace." Sithadthan said the country could slip back to war within months, ending an Oslo-arranged ceasefire that has been in place since February 2002 despite allegations of truce violation by both sides. Peace broker Norway tried but failed to revive the faltering peace talks process earlier this month, but managed to extract promises from the antagonists that they would honour the ceasefire. However, tension has been mounting in the island's embattled regions with the Tigers and the defence ministry accusing each other of provocation to resume hostilities. Diplomats and top military commanders said they were worried after Prabhakaran's annual policy statement, after honouring 17,800 of his war dead, that the situation on the ground could get out of hand. Prabhakaran did not specify a time frame for returning to his "freedom struggle" nor did he set a deadline for the government, but Tamil sources said Colombo had about a "month or two" to respond. There was no immediate reaction from President Chandrika Kumaratunga's administration but one of her ministers, Douglas Devananda, said Tigers should use the peace process for a political settlement and not return to fighting. "Conditions are conducive for (minority) Tamils to win their demands through political negotiations," Devananda told AFP. "Prabhakaran must make use of it rather than go back to war." Devananda dismissed the LTTE's allegations that the coalition government had serious contradictions in dealing with the island's ethnic conflict which has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972. "Whatever some coalition partners may say, finally it is the government which takes up a stand and all constituent partners are bound by that," Devananda said. Prabhakaran urged the majority Sinhalese population to take a collective stand on peace talks and end what he called the internal contradictions within the Marxist-backed government. "We are living in a political void, without war, without a stable peace, without the conditions of normalcy, without an interim or permanent solution to the ethnic conflict," he said. "Our liberation struggle will be seriously undermined if this political vacuum continues indefinitely," he said while asking the president's coalition partners to declare their stand on talks. The government's junior coalition partner, the Marxist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, has been against any concessions to Prabhakaran's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and opposes talks based on the rebels' plan. The president herself has rejected the LTTE's Interim Self Governing Authority proposal unveiled more than a year ago and described it as a stepping stone for a separate state. Prabhakaran said holding six rounds of peace talks at foreign venues between September 2002 and March 2003 had brought little benefit for the Tamils.


BBC 1 Nov 2004Thai king urges end to violence The king wants improved relations between Muslims and police The Thai king has urged the government to use more restraint in the troubled southern provinces, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's remarks are in response to the deaths of nearly 80 Muslims in police custody last Monday. "His majesty has urged both sides to refrain from violence - both the government and militants who keep hurting people," Mr Thaksin said. The king is highly revered in Thailand and his views are taken very seriously. King Bhumibol first expressed his concern over increasing unrest in the south in February, when he urged all sides to work together. On Sunday he again made his views known, in a private audience with Mr Thaksin. Mr Thaksin faces intense pressure in the wake of last week's deaths, not least because a general election is due to take place early next year. Officials said 78 Muslims died in police custody on Monday, most of them from suffocation after being arrested and crammed into army trucks when a demonstration in Takbai in southern Narathiwat province turned violent. AREAS OF UNREST Survivors' journey to hell Thailand's restive south At least seven other people were shot dead by security personnel during the protest, officials said. Mr Thaksin has promised an independent inquiry into the protesters' deaths, but has stopped short of apologising personally for the tragedy. Islamic leaders warn that Muslim outrage at the incident could trigger reprisal attacks in Thailand's south, where more than 400 people have already died this year in a wave of violence. Most of the deaths have been blamed on the security forces and Muslim separatists, though correspondents say local rivalries and drug disputes may also be to blame. Strained relations In Narathiwat province, the unrest continued on Monday. A Buddhist man was killed by a gunman on a motorbike, and three other people were injured in a separate incident, while they were selling fruit in a market. According to the French news agency AFP, the gunmen in the market attack left messages saying their actions were in retaliation for last Monday's deaths. But life continued as normal, with many schools in the region reopening for their second term as scheduled - albeit amid tightened security measures. According to the Thai news agency TNA, more than 300 schools in Narathiwat province were open on Monday. The unrest in southern Thailand has also strained relations with its neighbour Malaysia, where there is considerable sympathy for the Muslims in the region, most of whom speak a Malay dialect. In an interview with a Malaysian newspaper on Friday, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said autonomy for Thailand's southern Muslims could help stem the violence. But on Monday Thailand hit back, saying in a Foreign Ministry statement that Mr Mahathir's view was "not helpful whatsoever to the determined efforts being undertaken by the Thai government to address and resolve the current situation". Mr Thaksin also said Mr Mahathir's comments were "unconstructive", according to Reuters news agency.

BBC 2 Nov 2004 Thai elder killed 'in revenge' The deaths of Muslims in custody has caused anger in the region A Buddhist village leader has been beheaded in southern Thailand in revenge for the deaths last week of 85 Muslims in the area, police say. Local people found the head of the 58-year-old deputy village leader on a roadside in Narathiwat province. Officials said a note was left alongside, claiming the killing was "revenge" for the deaths last Monday. Seven people were killed after a protest turned violent, and 78 more subsequently died in police custody. More than 400 people have died so far this year in unrest in the region. The south of Thailand is home to many of the country's Muslim minority, who have long complained of discrimination by the authorities. Suspected Muslim militants have targeted Buddhists - who make up the majority of Thailand - and officials, in shooting and bomb attacks. Police in the Sukhirin district of Narathiwat province said the body of the Buddhist village leader was found on Tuesday. Police Lt Krit Boonyarith said they believed he had been shot, and then his head decapitated, the Associated Press reported. AREAS OF UNREST Survivors' journey to hell Thailand's restive south His corpse was discovered more than 1km (0.6 miles) away. A hand-written note was found by the head, saying: "This is revenge for the innocent Muslim youths who were massacred at the Takbai protest," officials said. He is the second Buddhist to be beheaded in the region in recent months. An elderly rubber tapper was killed at his plantation in Narathiwat in May. This latest death follows local Muslim outrage at the deaths of 85 people following Monday's protest outside a police station in Takbai, also in Narathiwat. They had been demonstrating against the detention of six Muslim men on weapons charges. Most died from suffocation after being arrested and crammed into army trucks. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has promised an independent inquiry into their deaths. Islamic leaders had warned that the incident could trigger reprisal attacks in Thailand's south.

BBC 4 Nov 2004 S Thailand hit by fresh violence Security is tight across southern Thailand Thailand troubled south remains tense after a series of violent incidents left at least seven people dead. The killings came a week after 85 Muslims were killed when a protest turned violent, many of them suffocated while in police custody. Islamic leaders warned that the tragedy could trigger reprisal attacks in Thailand's mainly Muslim south. Two state railway workers were shot dead early on Thursday in Narathiwat province, according to police. In Yala province, a senior policeman was also killed on Thursday, by gunmen on a motorbike. TROUBLED SOUTH Home to most of Thailand's 4% Muslim minority Muslim rebels fought the government up to the mid-80s Suspected militants have upped attacks this year, targeting Buddhists Security forces' response criticised by rights groups Thailand's restive south In pictures: Daily life Late on Wednesday two people were shot dead near their home in Narathiwat, while at least one other man was killed in a separate incident. "Buddhists are living in a state of fear because we find that the insurgents are now targeting us," said Pairat Wihakarat, president of the Teachers Association in southern Thailand. "They are exacting revenge on innocent Buddhists who have nothing to do with the ongoing violence," he told the Associated Press. He was referring to warnings made by Islamic leaders of reprisal attacks for the 25 October deaths of 85 Muslim protesters outside a police station in Takbai, Narathiwat province. Most of those who died were suffocated in police custody, after being bundled into army trucks. A senior Buddhist official was beheaded earlier this week in an apparent revenge attack for the Takbai deaths, and there have been several other shootings since the incident. Buddhist fears Warnings that insurgents may try to target Buddhist teachers and students have prompted many schools throughout the south to close until Monday at the earliest. Muslim militants have tended to target signs of Thailand's Buddhist-majority authorities, such as teachers, local officials and monks. "Many people have sold their property and taken their children out of the region, but for us we have no choice," Mr Pairat said. "We have no place to run." Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has ordered an independent panel to investigate the Takbai deaths, but the inquiry has done little to calm fears among Buddhists living in the south. A militant group called the Pattani United Liberation Organization (Pulo) left a warning message on its website earlier this week urging Buddhist citizens to leave the Muslim-dominated southern areas, and also threatening terrorist attacks in Bangkok. The south of Thailand is home to most of the country's Muslim minority, which has long complained of discrimination by the authorities in Bangkok. Many of this year's deaths have been blamed on Muslim militants targeting local officials, teachers and members of the security forces.

www.gulf-daily-news.com 5 Nov 2004 Six more die in Thai violence BANGKOK: Six more people have been killed in Muslim-majority southern Thailand in the last 24 hours, police said yesterday, amid outrage over the death last week of 85 Muslims. Police said unidentified bandits shot dead two state railway workers in the southern province of Narathiwat, where Muslim protesters died last week. "Preliminary investigations show there were two bandits who killed the officials with shotguns," a police spokesman said. "They put their bodies on the tracks. A train sliced them into three pieces." In separate incidents, a Buddhist police major was shot in the head at his family grocery store in neighbouring Yala province and a Buddhist monk was shot and severely wounded after a religious ceremony in nearby Songkhla, officials said. Late on Wednesday, a father and son were ambushed on a road near their home in Narathiwat. The father was killed but his son survived with shotgun wounds to his hand, police said. Around the same time, police said, two motorcycle-riding gunmen shot dead a mother and son in their grocery stall in the same province. Last week's tragedy, which Muslims have branded a "massacre", has unleashed outrage in the area, as well as grisly reprisals. A Buddhist village leader was beheaded this week in a grim echo of the decapitation of hostages in Iraq. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra appears at a loss to control the unrest, which is looking increasingly like a Muslim separatist insurgency. The deaths prompted fresh criticism of Thaksin's human rights record, but with a general election due in February he wants to protect his image as a no-nonsense leader who gets results. "I would like to call on people who have been trying to criticise the government to look at the cruelty we have seen consistently." "We should sympathise with these innocent people and should not just look at the ones who protested." Many schools in the south have delayed the start of the new term by at least a week because teachers in outlying areas are too scared to return to work.

BBC 7 Nov 2004 Thai premier visits deaths town - Thaksin has not apologised Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is visiting the southern town of Tak Bai, where scores of minority Muslims died under arrest two weeks ago. Most of the 87 victims suffocated to death in overcrowded military lorries after a protest rally on 25 October. Reprisal attacks by suspected Muslim militants have killed nearly 30 state officials and Buddhist civilians. The BBC correspondent in Bangkok says the prime minister is unlikely to be repentant about the deaths. Tight security Although he has admitted that mistakes were made when the security forces broke up the demonstration, he has so far refused to apologise. TROUBLED SOUTH Home to most of Thailand's 4% Muslim minority Muslim rebels fought the government up to the mid-80s Suspected militants have upped attacks this year, targeting Buddhists Security forces' response criticised by rights groups In pictures: Daily life Before he went to the region, Mr Thaksin said he would instruct the army and police there to act more decisively with militants in the south. He said that some groups in the area "want to create religious conflict". "The people in the south do not have religious disputes," he added. There is concern the attacks in the south will hit tourism - one of the country's most important industries. The visit of Mr Thaksin, who is accompanied by Defence Minister Sumpan Boonyanun, is being conducted amid tight security. He attended a ceremony at a Buddhist temple. More than 1,000 people gathered outside the temple to ask him to end the violence. "We are being treated like second-class citizens here," a Buddhist woman shouted at the premier, according to Reuters news agency. "We have been given false hopes by the government. I am urging you... to take drastic and decisive actions against those who have been behind the violence." Two Buddhists were shot dead just hours before Mr Thaksin arrived, the agency adds. The prime minister also met members of the business community.

BBC 9 Nov 2009 Thai army denies protest claims The authorities' treatment of protesters incensed the region The Thai army has denied claims that up to 40 people are still unaccounted for following a protest in southern Thailand which led to 85 deaths. The Bangkok Post said relatives of the people alleged to be missing had formally petitioned the authorities. But General Sirichai Thanyasiri, head of the military in southern Thailand, said it was impossible that more people were still unaccounted for. The dispute came as apparent revenge attacks for the deaths continued. Police said a second Buddhist man had been found beheaded, in Narathiwat province, with notes beside him indicating he was killed in revenge for the deaths two weeks ago. The latest violence started following a protest in the town of Takbai, Narathiwat province, on 25 October. The army said 85 people died in the aftermath, 78 of them after they were overcrowded into army trucks following their arrest. General Sirichai denied rumours that the death toll could be higher. TROUBLED SOUTH Home to most of Thailand's 4% Muslim minority Muslim rebels fought the government up to the mid-80s Suspected militants have upped attacks this year, targeting Buddhists Security forces' response criticised by rights groups Restive south In pictures: Daily life But the rumours have stoked memories of a 1992 incident known as Black May, when pro-democracy students in Bangkok disappeared after an army crackdown. 'Revenge attacks' In the wake of the Takbai protests, 22 bodies remain unidentified. Army spokesman Colonel Somkuan Saengpattranet told the BBC that DNA samples had been taken from these bodies, and they did not correspond to the 40 people now being reported missing. He confirmed that an investigation has been launched and that it would be carried out by the police and local authorities. Authorities say reprisal attacks for the Takbai deaths by suspected Muslim militants have killed at least 20 state officials and Buddhist civilians. Police on Tuesday said the beheaded corpse of a 60-year-old rubber tapper was found accompanied by several notes, one of which read: "This is trivial compared to the killings of the innocents at Takbai." The beheading is the second such killing in a week. The remains of a Buddhist village leader were found in Narathiwat province on 2 November. Earlier on Tuesday a Buddhist couple was killed by a gunman riding on a motorbike in nearby Yala province. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has admitted that mistakes were made when the security forces broke up the demonstration, but has so far refused to apologise. Thailand's Muslim population has long complained of discrimination by the authorities in Bangkok. But the security situation has been deteriorating since the start of this year, with almost daily attacks which the authorities have blamed on Muslim separatists.

BBC 16 Nov2004 Thai Queen's plea to end violence By Kylie Morris BBC News, Bangkok Thailand's Queen Sirikit has called for an end to the violence in the south The Queen of Thailand has made a rare public appeal calling for an end to the violence in the country's south. During a 45-minute televised address, Queen Sirikit spoke of the suffering of ordinary Thais caught in the violence. Earlier, Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra blamed the violence on Thai Muslims who had studied Islam abroad. He denied suggestions that foreign organisations were behind the attacks, which have left 30 dead in the last three weeks. Queen Sirikit was addressing politicians and other community leaders at the Royal Palace in Bangkok on Tuesday, but her words were broadcast to the nation. Revered Thailand's revered royal family rarely becomes engaged in the public business of politics and the decision to broadcast her declaration was a break with tradition. While the queen has a strong bond with southern Thailand - she spends months in the Muslim majority provinces every year - her role is normally one of quiet diplomacy. She urged people to help the government solve the problems in the south and to show disapproval at the violence against innocent people. She recounted the stories of police officers and civil servants who have died in ambushes and attacks by so-called militants. At least 500 people have been killed in clashes between security forces and militants this year, including at least 85 Muslims at a protest last month in Takbai, in Narathiwat province. An investigation is underway into what happened at Takbai. The UN has urged that it be swift, independent and thorough .


AFP 31 Oct 2004 EU faces rocky road to ratify constitution ROME: Satisfied European Union (EU) leaders may have finally signed the bloc’s first-ever constitution, but now comes the hard part: selling it to increasingly eurosceptic publics. For over the next two years the historic pact - inked amid huge fanfare in Rome Friday - faces a series of referendums, and a “no” vote could in theory stop the constitution in its tracks. Some say a string of “no” votes could even spark the unpicking of the whole half-century-old EU project. “Pro-Europeans must seize the opportunities that the referenda offer. Otherwise this new era of direct democracy could even lead to an unravelling of the EU,” said Daniel Keohane of the Centre for European Reform in London. The constitution, agreed in June after two years of haggling, aims to streamline EU institutions and prevent decision-making gridlock in a bloc which grew from 15 to 25 members this year, with several more waiting in line. It notably foresees a longer-term EU presidency to replace the current six-month musical chairs system, while streamlining the executive Commission and creating a new post of EU foreign minister. But in theory none of its lofty plans will see the light of day unless it passes ballots planned for it in at least 10 EU states, including notably Britain whose notoriously eurosceptic populace will be hard to convince. First to take the public constitutional plunge will be Spain, which goes to the polls in February, followed by Portugal in April. Luxembourg and the Netherlands are also expected to vote in the first half of next year. These are to be followed by France and possibly Poland later in the year, while Britain announced on Friday that it will likely hold its vote early in 2006, along with Denmark and Ireland. Another eight or more countries have not yet decided whether to hold referenda. “Poland, the United Kingdom, currently seem like the biggest challenges for ratification,” said a study by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) released to coincide with Friday’s Rome signing. Analysts say the scale of any crisis would depend on how many states voted “no,” the margin of any rejection, and crucially which countries did so. Small countries giving it a thumbs down by a small margin could be asked to vote again - the tried and tested EU method of overcoming such tiresome results as a public show of no-confidence. Even a snub by a larger country like Britain, long the EU’s most eurosceptic country, could in theory be got round, probably by leaving it in an “outer ring” of EU states around the central core. Britain’s vote, when it comes, will be closely watched by everyone. “The Labour government (is playing) a risky game of calling the eurosceptics’ bluff,” said the CEPS study. If it makes Britons reflect seriously about the EU “it may serve to normalize the UK’s position in Europe,” it said. “But chances are that further irreparable damage is done to what has always been an awkward relationship.” But the worst case scenario, the nuclear option as it were, would be if a major EU heavyweights like France or Germany rejected the new pact. “If France voted ‘no’ the other EU governments would probably have little choice but to reject the constitution outright,” said Keohane, adding: “If a number of countries, including perhaps a large one, did not ratify the constitution that would ... probably kill it off for good.” One thing is sure: eurosceptics will be taking every opportunity to cause an upset for the constitution now that it faces its crucial phase. UK Independence Party leader Roger Knapman lamented Friday that the EU pact was being “jammed down the throats of national governments even before the ink had dried in the European Commission’s rush toward a federal state."

AFP 18 Nov 2004 Britain, France commit to EU rapid response force LONDON, Nov 18 (AFP) - France and Britain said Thursday they will provide national and multinational tactical military groups from 2007 to enable the EU to conduct two simultaneous rapid response operations whenever necessary. The joint announcement at the end of a one-day Franco-British summit here said the two countries and other EU partners would provide at least one rapid tactical group to the European Union from next January for response to emerging crises. It recalled Franco-British proposals in 2003 for the EU to set up 1,500-man-strong tactical forces on a national or multinational basis, capable of responding at the request of the United Nations. As of 2007, Britain and France would commit themselves to provide national and multinational tactical groups to boost the EU's full operational capacity to engage in two simultaneous rapid reaction missions, it said. The units would be particularly useful supporting the UN in Europe, Africa, and other crisis areas, with Africa receiving priority in EU security thinking.

BBC 23 Nov 2004 EU approves rapid reaction force An EU force could act independently of Nato European Union defence ministers have agreed to set up a military rapid reaction force, to be deployed at short notice to conflicts around the world. The force, to be in place within three years, will consist of a number of units each made up of 1500 troops. France, Italy, Britain and Spain will each form a unit, and other EU states will be expected to contribute troops. Ministers expect the first of the battle groups to be operational by next year, with eight more by 2007. The development is part of an EU effort to develop an independent defence capacity that can be deployed outside of US-led Nato missions. UK Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said the battle groups were not a precursor to the EU developing a standing army. "Battle groups will be capable of dealing with a range of peace support and humanitarian tasks," Mr Hoon said. "They are particularly intended for situations where an early intervention with a highly capable battle group-size force could deal with an emerging crisis." Rapid reaction forces could be deployed to fill a gap before UN peacekeepers can be deployed, as a French-led operation did in the Bunia region of eastern Congo earlier this year.


www.armscontrol.org/act/2004_11/Register.asp Nov 2004 Arms Control Today November 2004 Wade Boese [Excerpt] . . . In Africa and Latin America, countries generally lack the resources to buy the weaponry covered by the register. Their purchases are instead primarily small arms and light weapons, but there are exceptions. For instance, Sudan, which is under international scrutiny for the widespread killing and forcible dislocation of black Africans in its Darfur region, acquired 48 ACVs, 32 large-caliber artillery pieces, and three combat aircraft in 2003. Belarus provided the ground equipment, while Russia delivered the planes. Some former Soviet states appeared a little less discriminating than Western exporters about which regimes they provide with firepower. Almost all Belarusian exports went to two states afflicted with internal strife: Sudan and Côte d’Ivoire. . .

News24 SA 9 Nov 2004 www.news24.com 'Camp was attacked on purpose' Paris - French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told members of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) that Saturday's fatal attack by Ivory Coast jets on French peace-keepers was deliberate, a senior party figure said on Tuesday. "There is no ambiguity about a supposed mistake on the part of the two Sukhoi pilots who we know were mercenaries from Belarus," said Bernard Accoyer, head of the party's group in France's National Assembly, after a meeting with Alliot-Marie. Nine French peacekeepers were killed in the raid, prompting President Jacques Chirac to order the destruction of the Ivorian air force. Edited by Andrea Botha

/www.sudantribune.com 12 Oct 2004 Sudan and Russia agree on implementation of joint projects Tuesday October 12th, 2004 01:52. Printer-Friendly version Send this article to a friend Destinator : (enter destinator's email address) From (enter your name) (enter your email) KHARTOUM, Oct 11, 2004 (SUNA) -- Sudan and Russia have agreed on implementation of a number of joint projects in Sudan in the fields of mining, petroleum, electricity and irrigation, which are to be signed during the coming visit of President of the Republic Field Marshal Omer Al-Bashir to Russia. This was announced to SUNA by Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Abdul-Rahim Mohammed Hussein [photo] following his return home Sunday from visits to Russia and Belarus. The minister described his visit to Russia as successful, pointing out that he conveyed during the visit a message from President Al-Bashir to his Russian counterpart dealing with developments in Darfur and bilateral relations. He pointed out that the Russian Foreign Minister, who received the message, affirmed his country's commitment to its stances supporting Sudan and its rejection to any foreign interventions considering Sudan as the most capable of solving Darfur problem in the framework of the African Union. On his visit to Belarus, the minister said he conveyed to Belarusian President a message from President Al-Bashir on the situations in Darfur and the developed bilateral relations. He said his visit to Belarus was successful and fruitful towards boosting the bilateral relations.

AFP 16 Nov 2004 EU to freeze assets of hunted Balkans war crime suspects 16/11/2004 The European Union has decided to freeze the assets of all hunted Balkans war crime suspects charged before the international war crimes tribunal for former Yugoslavia, an official said Tuesday. The measure hitherto affected only three principal suspects sought by the Hague tribunal, namely Croat general Ante Gotovina and former Bosnian Serb political and military leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the official said. The list has now been extended to cover a total of 18 figures including one who has already been arrested, Bosnian Croat Miroslav Bralo. The new list also includes Ljubomir Borovcanin, Goran Borovnica, Vlastimir Djordjevic, Goran Hadzic, Gojko Jankovic, Vladimir Lazarevic, Milan Lukic, Sredoje Lukic, Sreten Lukic, Dragomir Milosevic, Drago Nikolic, Vinko Pandurevic, Nebojsa Pavkovic, Vujadin Popovic, Savo Todovic, Dragan Zelenovic and Stojan Zupljanin. Most are either Serbs or Bosnian Serbs. The new EU measure was to be seen as an act of support for the war crimes tribunal, a European Union official said.


Republic of Srpska Government 20 Oct 2004. Mikerevic met with Prosper Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska met yesterday in the State Department with the Ambassador for War Crimes, Pierre Prosper and discussed with him on progress achieved at the filed of cooperation with the ICTY. On that occasion, Prime Minister Dragan Mikerevic stressed the commitment of the RS authorities to make significant progress in this domain, which would enable positive report of the Chief Prosecutor of the ICTY Carla del Ponte to the United Nations in November this year that would open the door for Bosnia and Herzegovina to access to the Partnership for Peace. At this meeting, Ambassador Prosper stressed the significance of achieving of concrete results at apprehension of the war crime suspects, which would foster the confidence in institutions of the Republic of Srpska. Ambassador Prosper also announced his visit to Banja Luka at the end of November or early December this year.

BBC 2 Nov 2004 Eyewitness: Unearthing Bosnia's dead The task of identifying Srebrenica's dead continues A forensic archaeologist who helped uncover mass graves at the site of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in the former Yugoslavia has told the BBC of her harrowing experiences. Courtney Angela Brkic, an American of Croatian origin, joined a UN team of forensic investigators uncovering mass graves in eastern Bosnia at the age of 23. Ms Brkic - who worked in the US as a field archaeologist and had never worked on an exhumation - joined Field Physicians For Human Rights in 1996. "On that team, I was the only person who spoke the language, who had worked with people in that area before - my family came from that area," Ms Brkic told BBC World Service's Everywoman programme. "So I had this very personal connection, and I think that's ultimately why I decided, at the end of a month there, to leave that work." Empathy for victims It is now known that more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Serb soldiers following the fall of Srebrenica. At every point, I didn't see bodies - I saw people Courtney Angela Brkic The town was under the protection of Dutch troops, but they were poorly trained and faced with a near impossible task, a report into the massacre later found. The task of unearthing the remains of those killed continues, with bones currently being exhumed from a mass grave site near the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik. "The graves had been filled in in 1995, in the course of the Srebrenica massacre, and we were going there, compiling evidence and information," Ms Brkic said. She said she was working both to help identify the dead, "to present that information to surviving family members," and to help gather evidence for the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Ms Brkic said she had tried to become detached from the work, but that her family connection to the area and her inexperience meant she became "immersed" in the past lives of the victims. In a book she has written, she describes washing the clothes of some of the dead, and imagining them being washed by the wives of the men who had been killed. However, she also insisted that "a certain amount of empathy" with the people who were in the graves was needed. "At every point, I didn't see bodies - I saw people," she recalled. "I didn't see articles of clothing; I saw clothing that had been knitted and sewn for these men by women who were waiting for them." Missing people Ms Brkic added that she had spent a year interviewing Croatia's displaced people. Ms Brkic spent a year with the widows of many missing men Talking to them, she found that the one recurring theme amongst them was the missing people. "It was something that had struck almost every family, this idea that their sons or husbands had just disappeared," she said. "They were presumed to be dead, but many of these women did not have that definitive knowledge." Ms Brkic also says there are a number of missing people in her own family history. "My grandmother lost her partner in World War II in a concentration camp... the way that she came to the knowledge that he was killed was quite simply that he did not return after the war," she explained. "So from a very early age I was conscious of this issue, of missing people who disappear and are never seen again."

www.fena.ba 2 Nov 2004 (16:41) ASHDOWN: RS IS THE ONLY ENTITY IN BiH THAT DOES NOT COOPERATE WITH ICTY BANJA LUKA, November 2 (FENA) – RS is the only Entity in BiH that is fundamentally violating the Dayton Accords commitment of cooperating with the Hague Tribunal, which is also an assessment given by NATO and the ICTY Chief Prosecutor, Carla del Ponte. The High Representative, Paddy Ashdown, made this statement today in responding to a question of representatives in the National Assembly on whether the RS is the only subject that is responsible for cooperation with ICTY and whether this matter has been politicized. Ashdown said that this does not mean that all problems BiH is facing are in the RS, but instead that the problem of non-cooperation of this BiH Entity with ICTY is blocking further progress towards NATO and the EU. When asked what will happen if the RS fails to fulfill the commitment of cooperating with ICTY by the end of the year, Ashdown said that his decision would depend on the opinion of NATO and Carla del Ponte. Responding to a question about the restructuring of the police forces in BiH, Ashdown stressed that NATO and EU have warned BiH that it will not progress towards Europe, unless it is successful in police reform.

NYT 11 Nov 2004 Bosnian Serbs Apologize for Srebrenica Massacre By NICHOLAS WOOD LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, Nov. 10 - For the first time, the Bosnian Serb authorities issued a public apology on Wednesday for the killings of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995 in the town of Srebrenica, Europe's worst atrocity since World War II. The statement followed a government-sponsored report acknowledging that the killings had been orchestrated by Serbian forces toward the end of the 1992-95 Bosnian conflict. Bosnia, now divided into a Bosnian Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat Federation, is under international administration. The Bosnian Serb government's statement said it "sympathizes with the pain of relatives of the Srebrenica victims and expresses sincere regrets and apologies over the tragedy which has happened to them." The statement was the result of international pressure after the government played down the extent of the massacre in an earlier report. Bosnian Serb officials at first asserted that just over 600 people had been killed. Most estimates vary from 7,000 to 9,000. The government also suggested that the victims had been combatants. Paddy Ashdown, the international high representative for Bosnia, ordered the Bosnian Serbs to open a new inquiry. The killings took place after Bosnian Serb troops under the command of Gen. Ratko Mladic overran the Muslim-dominated enclave around Srebrenica in southeastern Bosnia on July 11. Srebrenica, officially designated a United Nations-protected zone, was defended by lightly armed Dutch peacekeepers. Thousands took refuge in the Dutch camp but were handed over to General Mladic's forces, which separated men and boys from their families, took them to other locations and shot them. In addition to the apology, the government said it would meet its obligations to arrest those responsible for the atrocities.

Southeast European Times 16 Nov 2004 www.setimes.com Bosnian Serb Police Make First War Crimes Arrests 16/11/2004 Bosnian Serb police have detained eight people indicted by a local court on charges of war crimes. The arrests are the first of their kind made by RS authorities, who say the move signals co-operation with the UN war crimes tribunal. (Office of the High Representative - 16/11/04; AP, Reuters, AFP, VOA, Fena - 15/11/04) Bosnian Serb police made their first-ever war crimes arrests Monday (15 November), detaining eight people charged by a local court. [Getty Images] Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) Serb-controlled entity, Republika Srpska (RS) have arrested eight people charged with committing war crimes against Bosnian Muslims during the 1992-1995 conflict. Monday's (15 November) action marked the entity's first step towards the capture of war crimes suspects. However, none of the detainees is among the 21 fugitives being sought by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Acting on an order of the Sarajevo cantonal court, RS special police forces arrested Jovan Skobo, Svetko Novakovic, Momir Glisic, Goran Vasic, Zeljko Mitrovic, Veselin Cancar, Dragoje Radovanovic and Momir Skakavac. Two of them, Skobo and Novakovic, have been charged with genocide, while the others are accused of committing crimes against civilians and prisoners of war, said court official Slobodan Nikolic. According to local media reports, the men were arrested in the towns of Pale, Lukavica and Foca during raids conducted by RS special police forces. According to Nikolic, all eight suspects have been transferred to the court in Sarajevo. Local press reports Tuesday suggested they would remain in custody for a month. The ICTY has agreed that the suspects should be tried locally, according to Judge Sreto Crnjak, with the Sarajevo cantonal court. The arrests came amid strong pressure from the international community for RS authorities to start handing over indictees wanted by the ICTY, including wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander, Ratko Mladic. During a briefing at the UN Security Council last week, High Representative Paddy Ashdown again criticised RS authorities for their failure in this regard. He warned it could jeopardise BiH's chances for joining the EU and NATO. The chief spokesperson in Ashdown's office welcomed Monday's arrests as a positive first step, but stressed the distinction between domestic and international indictments. "Although the alleged crimes of those arrested are serious, they are small fry in comparison to those indicted by The Hague tribunal," the BiH daily Dnevni Avaz quoted Irena Guzelova as saying. "The RS authorities will ultimately be judged on their record with regard to the arrest of Hague indicted war criminals," she added. RS officials said Monday the arrests were an indication of the commitment to co-operate with the ICTY. RS Interior Minister Darko Matijasevic pledged further steps towards meeting the entity's obligations to the tribunal. In other news, the Council of the EU reportedly decided Monday to expand a freeze on all funds and economic resources of persons indicted by the ICTY, adding 18 new names of indictees to the list, which originally included Karadzic, Mladic and Croatian fugitive Ante Gotovina. The newly added names include 17 ethnic Serbs, as well as Miroslav Bralo, a Bosnian Croat who was recently transferred to The Hague following his surrender. All but Bralo are also barred from entering the EU, newspapers in BiH reported Tuesday. "We welcome the EU decision. It represents another step that will limit space for manoeuvre to those avoiding and obstructing justice," Guzelova said. "We expect BiH authorities to do the similar thing and freeze assets belonging to the 18 Hague indictees."

AP 24 Nov 2004 U.S. Troops Mark End Of Mission In Bosnia TUZLA, Bosnia, Nov. 24 -- U.S. troops marked the end of their nine-year peacekeeping role in Bosnia on Wednesday as NATO prepared to hand over the task to the European Union in December. A small number of U.S. troops will stay in Bosnia to hunt war crime suspects and help the country reform its military. "This ceremony officially marks mission complete and mission accomplished," Gen. B.B. Bell, commander of U.S. Army, Europe, said in a ceremony at Eagle Base in Tuzla, where most of the U.S. troops in Bosnia have been based. More than 60,000 NATO-led troops from more than 40 countries were deployed to Bosnia starting in late 1995 to enforce the Dayton peace agreement, which ended the 3 1/2-year war among the country's Serbs, Muslims and Croats. More than 200,000 people were killed during the war, and 1.8 million became refugees. The security situation has improved over the years, allowing NATO to decrease the number of troops to 7,000. NATO will be handing over the peacekeeping mission to the European Union on Dec. 2, which means a withdrawal of most of the 700 U.S. troops currently in Bosnia. They will be replaced by E.U. personnel, with the biggest contingent coming from Finland. About 150 U.S. troops will stay at Eagle Base to help local authorities adopt defense reforms and hunt war crime suspects. Bosnia's two most wanted fugitives are wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his top general, Ratko Mladic, both charged with genocide and crimes against humanity nine years ago. The European Union Force will keep 7,000 troops in Bosnia.


www.vjesnik.com 2 Nov 2004 The Real State of War Crimes Prosecutions in Croatia The published Croatian version of letter excludes the last three paragraphs of the text below. To the Editor: A recent article by Vlado Rajic in Vjesnik (“Leveling On the Part of Human Rights Defenders,” October 16, 2004) about Human Rights Watch’s report on domestic war crimes trials in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia and Montenegro, misrepresents both the report and the actual state of war crimes prosecutions in Croatia. Human Rights Watch has found that key obstacles for fair and effective trials in all three countries include: bias on the part of judges and prosecutors, poor case preparation by prosecutors, inadequate cooperation from the police in the conduct of investigations, poor cooperation between the states on judicial matters, and ineffective witness protection mechanisms. In Croatia, Human Rights Watch has observed a number of problems with war crimes trials, including the use of group indictments that fail to specify an individual defendant’s role in the commission of the alleged crime, and trials conducted in the absence of the accused. It is questionable whether Mr. Rajic has read the report he extensively criticizes. While the report dedicates a whole chapter – entitled “The Creation of Specialized War Crimes Chambers” – to explaining the special character of the county courts in Zagreb, Osijek, Rijeka and Split regarding war crimes trials, Rajic writes, “county courts in Zagreb, Osijek, Rijeka and Split are not ‘ordinary domestic courts’, as the HRW report calls them.” Obviously, the HRW report does not call these courts “ordinary” at all and Human Rights Watch welcomes their establishment. Vjesnik’s commentator incorrectly accuses HRW for not knowing, or not taking into consideration, that Chief Public Prosecutor Milan Bajic has issued an instruction to lower-level prosecutors to cease trials in the absence of the accused. HRW, of course, know about that instruction and other initiatives by Mr. Bajic, whose efforts we highly appreciate. However, instructions alone are not adequate to solve this problem. War crimes trials in absentia continue to the present date in places like Zadar and Vukovar (in the ongoing trial in Vukovar of eighteen defendants indicted for war crimes committed in Lovas, all but one are absentee defendants.) Mr. Rajic’s main concern is that HRW’s report does not appreciate how substantially different Croatia is from the other two countries, when it comes to war crimes trials. In order to prove that point, he writes that “Croatia has courts for trying war crimes, while the other two countries each has only one such court.” In fact, the situation in Croatia is in this respect essentially the same as in Bosnia. In Bosnia, a number of cantonal and district courts have tried war crimes cases in the past, currently do so, and will try a majority of cases even when the special war crimes chamber becomes operative in early 2005. Similarly, in Croatia, in the first year after the law conferred special status to the courts in Rijeka, Zagreb, Split, and Osijek, only the court in Osijek has actually conducted war crimes trials. “Ordinary” county courts in Zadar, Gospic, Karlovac, Vukovar, Bjelovar, Sisak, and Sibenik, continue to try all other cases. It is also incorrect to say, as Mr. Rajic does, that the process of training judges and prosecutors to handle war crimes prosecutions is almost complete in Croatia while it has not started in the other two countries. Judges and prosecutors in Bosnia and Serbia have had some, although limited, training. Judges and prosecutors from the four designated courts in Croatia have also had some training – weekend-long seminars – although barely sufficient to become fully familiar with the complex body of international humanitarian law. However, those who prosecute and try the majority of cases – those before ordinary county courts – have received little or no training to date. Human Rights Watch concludes that the war crimes trials in Croatia have suffered from ethnic bias. Specifically, a hugely disproportionate number of cases have been brought against the ethnic Serb minority, some on far weaker charges than cases against ethnic Croats; and ethnic Serbs have been convicted in some cases even where the evidence did not support the charges. Vlado Rajic would like his readers to believe that the information on ethnic bias before Croatian courts that is used in the HRW report information is outdated, i.e. pertains only to the period before 2000. In reality, HRW based its conclusions on an analysis of statistics pertaining to the period after 2000, including data from 2002 and 2003. For example, the report cites the OSCE from 2002, when 83 percent of all ethnic Serbs indicted for war crimes before Croatian courts were convicted, while only 18 percent of ethnic Croats indicted for war crimes before Croatian courts were convicted. In the same year, 114 of the 131 persons under judicial investigation for war crimes, and ninety of the 115 persons on trial, were ethnic Serbs. As HRW concludes in its report, if one looks beyond these numbers and focuses on specific recent cases, there is again abundant evidence of the practice of ethnic bias. For example, there has only been one case to date in which a war crime committed against ethnic Serbs – the killing of Serb civilians around Gospic, in 1991 – was prosecuted and properly tried in a Croatian court. As a result of this trial, a number of the responsible were brought to justice and convicted for the crime. It is striking that war crimes allegedly committed in the Medak pocket, Vukovar, Zagreb (murder of Zec family), Lora, Pakracka Poljana, Korana bridge, and in Bjelovar, have not been prosecuted at all or have resulted in acquittals. Similarly, in the case of Paulin Dvor, only one person was convicted, although many others participated in the killings of Serb civilians. By contrast, Croatian courts have found ethnic Serbs guilty of war crimes even for such acts as theft of bedclothes, plates, or alarm clock from a house (Ivanka Savic case, 2004). No ethnic Croats have ever been indicted for similar offences. Ethnic bias has also crept into the analysis and explanatory decisions of some Croatian courts, undermining any claims of impartiality. As recently as July 2003, the Gospic County Court faulted Svetozar Karan “and his ancestors” for having been a “burden to Croatia over the past 80 years.” The judgment also lamented the five centuries in which “the accused and his ancestors … together with Turks were coming and destroying Croats.” HRW has also concluded that Croatia failed to cooperate adequately with the other countries in the region, especially with regard to: participation of witnesses who reside in one state in trials that take place in another state; exchange of information between investigative judges and prosecutors in different states; joint work by investigation teams in different states; provision of documents; and, transfer of prosecutions from one state to another. Vlado Rajic, in contrast, claims that Croatia effectively cooperates with other countries in the region in war crimes prosecutions. But it was Mr. Bajic, the Chief State Prosecutor for Croatia, who – aware of the unsatisfactory level of cooperation between Croatia and the other two countries – most recently proposed an agreement between the three countries allowing for more effective cooperation between the war crimes prosecutors. As for cooperation at the trial stage, problems also abound. In the Lora case (2002), the Zorica Banic case (2002), and the Paulin Dvor case (2003-04), witnesses residing in Serbia and Montenegro were afraid or otherwise unwilling to travel to Croatia to testify. Finally, Vjesnik’s commentator would like the reader to believe that Croatia has resolved the problem of witness protection by enacting the law on witness protection in October 2003. However, the mere enactment of the law does not amount to a resolution of the problem on the ground. As HRW concludes in its report, “it is too early to assess how the program is working in practice” (the law came into force only in January 2004). However, we noted in the report that in June 2004 the OSCE mission found that Croatia had not yet developed an adequate witness protection program. Sincerely, Holly Cartner Executive Director Europe and Central Asia division Human Rights Watch Richard Dicker Director International Justice Program Human Rights Watch

Czech Republic

www.praguepost.com Acquittal expected in trial Ladislav Niznansky, 87, is on trial in Munich for war crimes. By Katerina Zachovalova For The Prague Post October 28, 2004 Ladislav Niznansky, 87, a German citizen of Slovak origin, is being tried in Munich for allegedly participating in the murder of 164 men, women and children in the Slovak villages of Klak and Ostry Grun and near the village of Ksinna in January 1945. Niznansky, then a commander of Slovak soldiers in a German counter-partisan unit called Edelweiss, is accused of forming firing squads and ordering the execution of villagers who were suspected of supporting partisans. According to the prosecution, he personally killed 20 civilians. Niznansky denies the charges. "Civilians were always a taboo for me," he told the court, according to the Czech News Agency. The suspect, who has been in custody since Jan. 19, was released Oct. 15 after the testimony of the prosecution's key witness -- a former member of Niznansky's Edelweiss unit, Jan Repasky, 79 -- was unconvincing. As Repasky recalled the events that took place almost 60 years ago, he mixed up events, names and dates and said his memories were hazy, according to the Associated Press. According to Judge Manfred Gotzl, who ordered Niznansky to be freed, an "urgent suspicion" could have been "no longer assumed." CROSSING PATHS • Late summer, 1944: Ladislav Niznansky joins Slovak Uprising. After being captured, joins Nazis' Edelweiss counter-partisan unit • September: Uprising fails; Germans overtake insurgent-controlled areas • Oct. 7: AP reporter Joseph Morton joins intelligence mission into Slovakia. Stranded, he joins a band of partisans • Dec. 14: Morton and partisans settle into hideout cabin on Homolka Mountain • Dec. 26: Edelweiss unit storms cabin, capturing Morton and others. A fellow captive recognizes Niznansky • Jan. 24, 1945: Morton perishes in Mauthausen concentration camp The Oct. 19 testimony of Jan Stanislav, a Slovak historian and director of the Slovak National Uprising Museum in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, further weakened the prosecution's case. According to press reports, Stanislav testified that Niznansky was a translator and lacked the authority to give orders. Stanislav later said reporters had misunderstood his testimony. He said he explained to the court that as the top Edelweiss commander, Major Erwein Count Thun-Hohenstein spoke only broken Czech and no Slovak; Niznansky, in charge of the unit's Slovaks, translated his orders to subordinates. "He was a commander of the [Slovak] troops," Stanislav said of Niznansky. "As a commander he is morally and personally responsible for his unit. Even if he personally did not participate [in massacres], it does not mean that he is not responsible." Niznansky's defense lawyer, a prominent Munich attorney, Steffen Ufer, told reporters he expects his client to be acquitted. A verdict is expected Friday, Oct. 29. But German media outlets have speculated the proceedings might be prolonged. -- Katerina Zachovalova

France See Cote d'Ivoire

AFP 2 Nov 2004 Emile Louis on trial for Burgundy serial killings AUXERRE, France, Nov 2 (AFP) - One of France's most sinister multiple murder mysteries finally comes to court Wednesday when a 70 year-old former bus-driver is tried for the deaths of seven mentally-disabled young women who went missing in northern Burgundy more than a quarter of a century ago. Suspicions that Emile Louis was linked to the case known as the "Disappeared of the Yonne" were first raised in the early 1980s, but he was able to avoid investigation until just four years ago when he confessed under questioning and led police to two shallow graves. Families of the victims are hoping the four-week trial will be a chance for Louis to speak for the first time about the fate of the young women, but also for a critical examination of the failings of the educational, police and justice systems which turned the affair into a national scandal. The seven, aged between 15 and 25, were all in the care of the social services in the town of Auxerre - the capital of the Yonne department 160 kilometres (100 miles) south east of Paris - when they disappeared between 1975 and 1979. Louis, who ferried out-patients to a care-home for the disabled in Auxerre, knew all the young women personally. However despite the persistence of a gendarme - Christian Jambert - who believed that Louis was the link, initial investigations were never followed up. Meanwhile the social services department recorded all the young women as "fugitives" which meant there was no internal enquiry, and it was only thanks to the constant pressure of the victims' families over the next 15 years that the affair was kept alive. Suspicions that a high-level cover-up might have protected Louis were aroused by the mystery surrounding the 1997 death of the gendarme Jambert, who spent the last years of his life obsessively pursuing evidence against the former bus-driver. Who murdered Joanna Parrish? Who murdered Joanna Parrish? Part 4: Was the serial killer protected? Though Jambert was officially stated to have committed suicide, his body was disinterred earlier this year and an autopsy found that his skull bore two bullet-wounds which could not have been self-inflicted. However that conclusion has itself now been challenged and a new examination is pending. Another troubling element was the discovery in December 2001 that files on between 60 and 100 criminal investigations launched between 1958 and 1982 - many of them into other missing women - had disappeared from the courthouse in Auxerre. Louis moved to the south of France where in March this year he was convicted of sexual abuse of his second wife and step-daughter. In the meantime he retracted his confession in the "Disappeared of the Yonne" affair saying he only made it because he was told the murders were committed too long ago to be tried. Despite Louis's directions given in 2000, none of the other five bodies has been discovered.

Russia News And Information Agency 6 Nov 2004 en.rian.ru/rian FRENCH MP ON TURKEY BECOMING EU MEMBER YEREVAN, November 6 (RIA Novosti's Gamlet Matevosyan) -- Chairman of the Armenian-French Friendship Group at the National Assembly of France Francois Rochebloin believes that Turkey cannot become a member of the European Union until it admits its responsibility for the genocide against Armenians in 1915 during the Ottoman Empire rule. The French deputy made this statement during a meeting with Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Artur Bagdasaryan. According to the public relations department of the Armenian National Assembly, Mr. Rochebloin has also emphasized the necessity to lift the Turkish blockade of Armenia because, in his opinion, it affects negatively the economic development of the republic. Both sides touched upon issues of the strengthening of interparliamentary ties between the two countries, cooperation between delegations of Armenia and France at PACE, and the perspectives of French-Armenian relations. Armenia and Turkey have not established diplomatic relations, yet. The major obstacle is the refusal of Turkey to recognize the genocide campaign against Armenians in 1915 during the Ottoman Empire rule. The Armenian community in France is one of the largest in the world. It numbers about 300,000 people. Armenian diasporas popped up in various regions of the world after the 1915 tragedy. Other large Armenian communities are in Russia (according to some estimates - a million people), in the United States (about 600,000 people) and in Iran (about 250,000 people).

Xinhua 20 Oct 2004 France, Rwanda need political dialogue: envoy www.chinaview.cn 2004-10-20 02:32:18 KIGALI, Oct. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- The new French Ambassador to Rwanda Dominique Decherf said here Tuesday that there is need for the two countries to engage into "unreserved political dialogue" in order to mend the strained diplomatic relations. "Once a dining table has been darkened in the course of dinner,it must be cleaned before further use. Our governments should holdunreserved political dialogue aimed at improving the bilateral relations," he said ostensibly to indicate that the diplomatic relations were strained under different regimes of the deceased president Francois Mitterrand of France and Juvenal Habyarimana ofRwanda and that it is now up the new governments of both PresidentPaul Kagame and Jacques Chirac to wholly-heartedly mend the fences. Decherf also said there is need to remember hundred of thousands of the 1994 genocide victims. On the thorny issue of Rwandans accused of having committed genocide crimes allegedly hiding in France, Decherf revealed that his government has instituted a special parliamentary commission of inquiry to establish the validity of the allegations and make concrete recommendations for the French government to take action. He also said it has been agreed between the two countries to institute and independent panel of experts from both sides sift into the allegations and come up with a report that would form thebasis of mending the bilateral relations. The government of France under the late president Francois Mitterrand gave financial and military support to late president Habyarimana's government against then rebel RPA/F, a conflict thatclimaxed into the 1994 genocide. Bilateral relations between the two countries has remained shaky characterized by accusations and counter accusations, with the post-genocide Rwandan government accusing the latter of havingplayed a patronage role in the genocide. The French government has also claimed that the RPA/F shot downthe plane carrying presidents Habyarimana en route from Arusha Peace Talks on April 6 triggering out the 1994 genocide.

Hirondelle News Agency (Lausanne) 10 Nov 2004 French Intellectuals Call on France to Accept Its Responsibilities in the Rwandan Genocide Arusha Four French intellectuals and researchers this week called on the French government to accept its responsibilities in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that claimed the lives of over 800,000 million people. The appeal was made through the French daily newspaper 'La Croix'. "France has considerable responsibility in what happened in Rwanda and the constant denial of that responsibility reflects on the whole French political entity", wrote Jean-Hervé Bradol, president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the former head of MSF, Rony Brauman, Andre Guichaoua, professor of sociology at Sorbonne University, and Claudine Vidal, director of research at the CNRS (French centre for scientific research). The authors, among them specialists on Rwandan and humanitarian assistance, recalled a report by a French parliamentary probe team of 1998 which was not only critical, but also set out some proposals. "Five years later, they have buried the criticisms and recommendations of the fact finding mission", they said. "It is part of the French political culture of never accepting its errors unless forced to do so by the judiciary or unless divulged through the unsealing of public archives. All our ministers rigidly embrace to this pattern, this attitude of infallibility until brought face to face with proof". The intellectuals continue, saying those government officers "lock themselves within this reasoning where they want to keep us in the name of patriotic consensus , which in this case is particularly misplaced". According to them, "the non pursuit of Rwandans notoriously known to have been active killers during the genocide and now living in France incognito or under their own names", could be because their arrests or their trials would "inevitably raise public debates on the attitude of the French government before and after the 1994 genocide". "In order to get out of it, the best departure would be to take the course of humility towards the Rwandan people who want to know the simple truth", they say. The authors quote Hubert Védrine, former French foreign minister as saying 'everyone was aware of the large scale massacres'. "French political leaders did not use all the means available to them to paralyse the Rwandan political and military leaders who were preparing the genocide", conclude the four.

RWANDA L'État français et le peuple rwandais Mis en ligne le 8 novembre 2004 Dix ans se sont écoulés depuis le génocide des Rwandais tutsis. En avril, lors des commémorations de cet événement tragique, pas un homme politique français n'a critiqué le gouvernement français pour son soutien aux autorités rwandaises avant et pendant le génocide. C'est cette absence totale de remise en cause que dénoncent les auteurs de cette tribune, publiée le 3 novembre dans le quotidien La Croix. Les critiques à l'encontre de la politique rwandaise du gouvernement français n'ont pas attendu le génocide de 1994 pour s'exprimer. Elles ont commencé dès 1993. Après le massacre, de multiples pressions ont été exercées sur les autorités pour que lumière soit faite sur le rôle de la France au Rwanda, pressions auxquelles ont contribué les signataires de ce texte en exigeant l'ouverture d'une investigation parlementaire. Celle-ci a eu effectivement lieu en 1998. Les parlementaires ont formulé un jugement sévère sur l'engagement français au Rwanda, engagement dont le but a été d'empêcher à tout prix la victoire militaire du FPR (Front patriotique rwandais) au prix d'une "sous-estimation du caractère autoritaire, ethnique et raciste du régime rwandais", au prix de l'armement et de l'organisation d'une armée que "certains militaires français ont pu avoir le sentiment de construire", au prix d'une présence militaire française "à la limite de l'engagement militaire sur le terrain", au prix, enfin, d'avoir continué à accorder une légitimité au gouvernement intérimaire (mis en place après l'attentat du 6 avril 1994 contre le président Habyarimana) "en ne prenant pas en compte la réalité du génocide". Cinq ans plus tard, oubliées les critiques des parlementaires, enterrées les recommandations de la Mission d'information. La dixième commémoration du génocide des Rwandais tutsis a bel et bien été l'occasion pour des hommes politiques français, anciens et actuels ministres, de réaffirmer qu'ils continuaient à se féliciter de la politique de la France au Rwanda entre 1990 et 1994. Ils ont été les seuls à ne jamais remettre en cause l'action de l'État français, alors que d'autres États (la Belgique et les États-Unis) et l'ONU ont accepté d'exprimer publiquement qu'ils avaient commis des erreurs aux conséquences tragiques. Dans notre pays, chacun a défendu son propre secteur de responsabilité et vanté d'abord les mérites de son département ministériel. D'où vient alors l'échec, c'est-à-dire le génocide ? Des Rwandais eux-mêmes, de la communauté internationale et de nul autre, selon les responsables français. Quant aux conséquences des longs engagements de la France, politiques, militaires, diplomatiques, économiques, elles seraient ou positives ou inexistantes. Dans leur discours, cet engagement de la France s'arrête à la signature des accords de paix d'Arusha en août 1993 (prévoyant le retrait des militaires français) pour reprendre, en juin 1994, avec l'opération Turquoise, qualifiée de strictement humanitaire. Récemment encore, le "courage et la dignité" de l'opération Turquoise (terminée le 21 août), ont été "commémorés" par Édouard Balladur. Il a pourtant été avéré qu'un des objectifs de cette opération militaire était d'empêcher la victoire complète du FPR dans un Rwanda dont l'armée était décomposée tandis que seules les forces génocidaires étaient encore organisées et agissantes. Ces autosatisfecit, au vu de tout ce qui est connu, établi, vérifié sur les relations de la France avec le régime rwandais de l'époque dont les télégrammes diplomatiques soulignaient les capacités criminelles, en même temps qu'ils désignaient les éléments d'une politique génocidaire. Pourtant, au lieu d'affaiblir ce régime qui n'avait pas d'autres soutiens internationaux, selon les propres termes de Hubert Védrine, la France l'a assisté jusqu'au bout, même après le 7 avril 1994, pendant l'extermination des Rwandais tutsis. Cette mansuétude connaît un prolongement particulièrement intolérable : la non-poursuite de Rwandais, notoirement connus comme assassins actifs durant le génocide et vivant en France depuis des années, incognito ou sous leur vrai nom, alors qu'en Belgique, ou encore en Suisse, des procédures ont été engagées à l'encontre de tels criminels. Serait-ce parce que leur inculpation et leur procès susciteraient inévitablement un débat public sur l'attitude du gouvernement français avant et après 1994 ? Il ressort de la culture politique française de ne jamais reconnaître les erreurs, à moins que n'interviennent des contraintes judiciaires, ou des ouvertures systématiques d'archives (en général, quelques décennies après les faits !). Tous nos ministres se conforment avec rigidité à ce modèle, à cette attitude d'infaillibilité. Jusqu'à la dénégation des preuves. Ils s'enferment dans une logique où ils veulent nous maintenir avec eux au nom d'un consentement patriotique particulièrement déplacé dans ces circonstances. Cette attitude, que nous jugeons d'une autre époque, est inacceptable. Le génocide des Rwandais tutsis a bien eu lieu, la France a une responsabilité considérable dans ce qui est arrivé au Rwanda, et la dénégation constante de cette responsabilité rejaillit sur tout le corps politique français. Pour en sortir, le point de départ serait une démarche d'humilité en direction du peuple rwandais consistant à reconnaître la simple vérité : alors que "tout le monde savait qu'il y avait une énorme perspective de massacres", selon les propres termes de Hubert Védrine, les responsables politiques français n'ont pas mis tous les moyens à leur disposition pour paralyser les autorités politiques et militaires rwandaises qui préparaient le génocide. Jean-Hervé Bradol, président de Médecins Sans Frontières Rony Brauman, professeur associé à l'Institut de sciences politiques et ex-président de Médecins Sans Frontières André Guichaoua, professeur de sociologie à l'université de Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne Claudine Vidal, directrice de recherches émérite au CNRS Les auteurs étaient tous signataires de l'appel pour la création d'une commission d'enquête parlementaire sur le rôle de la France au Rwanda entre 1990 et 1994, appel paru dans Libération le 3 mars 1998. http://www4.paris.msf.org/site/actu.nsf/actus/rwanda081104?OpenDocument&loc=re www.la-croix.com

IRIN 11 Nov 2004 France Ready to Cooperate in Genocide Probe, Envoy Says Kigali France is ready to cooperate with the government of Rwanda when it begins its investigation of the role of the French in the 1994 genocide, an official said on Thursday. "I have stated it clearly in different meetings with government officials that France is ready to cooperate in good spirit and goodwill with the [Rwandan] commission," Dominique Decherf, the French ambassador, told IRIN in the capital, Kigali. Rwanda's cabinet adopted a decision to set up an independent commission to gather the evidence of France's involvement in the genocide where 937,000 people died, according to the Rwandan government. In April, when Rwanda commemorated the 10th anniversary of the genocide, President Paul Kagame accused France of having knowingly trained and armed the government troops and Hutu militia, who have largely been blamed for the genocide. However, France has always denied involvement in the killings and a French parliamentary commission in 1998 cleared France of responsibility for the genocide while also admitting that "strategic errors" had been made. The Rwandan National Assembly recently appointed a select committee to draft the mandate of the commission of inquiry, which would be debated during a plenary session before the end of this year. Rwandan Foreign Minister Charles Murigande welcomed Decherf's remarks saying he hoped the move would be in the spirit of improving the strained relationship between Rwanda and France. Bilateral relations between the two countries have remained shaky, characterised by accusations and counter accusations, with the post-genocide Rwandan government accusing France of having played a patronage role in the genocide. Kagame accused France of taking part in the genocide after a French newspaper, Le Monde, published articles blaming him for ordering the shooting down of the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana. Habyarimana's death sparked a wave of mass killings and plunged the country into a decade of war that is only now slowly abating. The newspaper reports were based on a six-year inquiry by French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, who was asked to investigate the crash by relatives of the French flight crew.

AFP 11 Nov 2004 Rwanda slams France for 'downplaying' genocide KIGALI, Nov 11 (AFP) - Rwandan lawmakers are studying a bill that accuses France of "misunderstanding and downplaying" the 1994 genocide in which, according to Kigali, about one million people, mostly minority Tutsis, were killed. The draft law paves the way for the creation of a commission to examine France's role in the 100-day killing spree that was masterminded and carried out by a Hutu government that enjoyed strong support from Paris. The text of the bill explains that the commission will in particular look at "the role France had and continues to have in ... misunderstanding and downplaying the 1994 genocide ... by fighting the government set up after the genocide." The bill was approved by cabinet in July but its text has only just been made public. Rwanda's Tutsi-led government, in power since July 1994, has frequently accused Paris of having trained and armed those who carried out the genocide, who were mostly from the Hutu community that makes up 84 percent of Rwanda's population. France has always denied any involvement in the Rwanda massacres, and a French parliamentary commission in 1998 cleared France of responsibility for the genocide while admitting to "strategic errors". The draft law, prepared by Rwanda's justice ministry, is currently being debated in parliament's National Unity and Human Rights Committee. France's ambassador to Rwanda, Dominique Decherf, told AFP "the time has come to look at this period dispassionately." "Franco-Rwandan relations will not be blocked because of what happened 10 years ago. We have to move forward, and both sides agree on this," he added. "This commission of enquiry was presented to me not as a polemical thing, but as a scientific one," said the ambassador, adding that he was ready to collaborate with the commission. But another diplomat posted to Kigali described the commission as "very aggressive." "In the outline of its objectives, we see very clearly in what direction the inquiry will be led. The aim is to bring France to justice. This goes against the easing of relations between the two countries over the last four months," he added. Of all the countries accused of having played a role in the genocide, France is alone in not having apologised or asked forgiveness from the Rwandan people.

Xinhua 12 Nov 2004 France ready to end long dispute with Rwanda French Ambassador to Rwanda Dominique Decherf said here Thursday that his government is ready to end the long dispute with Rwanda. He told reporters that the investigation of what happened in 1994 genocide would end the bitter relationship. "We are looking at having a smooth relationship and we can achieve this by bringing all hidden information, as long as the two states team up, we shall come up with a positive results whichwill end speculations," Dominique said. "As I take my office here in Rwanda, I have to make sure that the two states enjoy good relationship which will enable us to focus on development activities," he added. The relationship continues to be sour as the Rwandan governmentstill accuses their former master of de-campaigning the achievements so far registered under the leadership of President Paul Kagame mainly in the United Nations where France has a big voice. Rwanda set a commission that will investigate the former colony in the role they played in the 1994 genocide in which more than 80,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis and politically moderate members of the Hutu majority, were killed in presence of the French forces.


International Crisis Group 26 Nov 2004- Georgia: Avoiding war in South Ossetia EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION A precarious peace is back in place between Georgia and South Ossetia after the long-frozen conflict nearly became a hot war again and drew in Russia when dozens were killed in August 2004 fighting. President Saakashvili tried to break a twelve-year deadlock and take another step to restore Georgia's territorial integrity by undermining the regime in Tskhinvali, but seriously miscalculated. A more comprehensive approach is needed to resolve this conflict peacefully. The onus is on Georgia, with help from its international partners, to increase the security and confidence of people living in the zone of conflict, promote economic rehabilitation and development, ensure the right of Ossetians to return to South Ossetia and Georgia proper, and create arrangements guaranteeing South Ossetia effective autonomy. South Ossetia must enter a real dialogue with Georgia on its status and not use the winter to force Georgian villagers still in South Ossetia to leave their homes. After peacefully resolving its decade-old conflict with Ajara earlier this year, the Georgian decision-makers turned their attention to South Ossetia. In May 2004 they believed their Ajarian success could easily be repeated. They considered that South Ossetia's de facto president, Eduard Kokoity, had little democratic legitimacy or popular support and that, as in Ajara, the people would rapidly switch loyalty from Tskhinvali to Tbilisi. The initial strategy aimed to address the political-economic causes of the conflict through an anti-smuggling operation, aimed primarily at closing the sprawling Ergneti market on the outskirts of Tskhinvali, in the Georgian-South Ossetia zone of conflict. The theory was that Kokoity and a small circle of officials around him were maintaining control over South Ossetia through their involvement in black market trade. In parallel, the Georgian side organised a humanitarian "offensive" to provide people in the region with the benefits of economic and cultural projects. The strategy backfired. Rather then capitalising on real popular discontent, it caused many average citizens who depended on illegal trade for their economic survival to regroup around Kokoity. Ossetian de facto authorities successfully portrayed Georgian moves as aggressive first steps towards a remilitarisation of the conflict that had enjoyed a ceasefire since 1992. Kokoity's popular support rose as he described himself as the only leader capable of guaranteeing Ossetians' security, as well as their political, economic and cultural interests. Assistance sent by Tbilisi was portrayed as a cheap attempt to buy support. The Georgian approach failed in large part because it was based on a limited analysis of the causes of the conflict. Since 1992 little progress has been made to bring Ossetians and Georgians closer together. Many of the grievances and ambitions developed during the war that broke out as the Soviet Union was dying remain tough obstacles to peace. Unless they are addressed, efforts to re-integrate South Ossetia into Georgia are almost certain to lead again to violence. In the past few months Georgia has shifted gears and begun to emphasise the geopolitical nature of the conflict, terming it "a problem between Georgia and Russia". Russia does play a special role. But it is unlikely that Georgia can successfully persuade the U.S. or European Union to duel with Moscow over South Ossetia. A new ceasefire holds since 19 August 2004. At a high level meeting between Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania and South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity on 5 November in Sochi, an agreement on demilitarisation of the zone of conflict was signed. Some exchange of fire continues in the zone of conflict, apparently primarily initiated by the Ossetian side, but there is still cause for optimism that the conflict will be resolved non-violently since all sides seem to be reconsidering their policies. Georgia's legitimate insistence on the preservation of its territorial integrity needs to be balanced with the Ossetians' concerns for the protection of their national minority rights. For the negotiations that are needed with Russia, South and North Ossetia to succeed, Georgia must show it is putting in place political, economic, legal, and social conditions to guarantee Ossetians equal rights in a multi-national and democratic state. The greatest lesson from the May-August period is that attempts to resolve the conflict swiftly will lead to war. President Saakashvili seemed to recognise this when, at the UN General Assembly, he pledged to engage in a "stage-by-stage settlement plan". To avoid further casualties and displacement, Georgia, together with its international partners, must implement a comprehensive strategy to resolve the root causes of the conflict and make non-violent re-integration possible.


Guardian UK 2 Nov 2004 German tabloid demands apology from Queen for wartime air raids Luke Harding in Berlin Tuesday November 2, 2004 The Guardian Germany's biggest selling tabloid, Bild, yesterday called on the Queen to apologise for Britain's wartime destruction of German cities, ahead of her state visit to Germany today. In a provocative double-page spread, the newspaper urged the Queen to utter a "few suitable words of regret" during her three-day trip for the thousands of German civilians killed during British air raids. The tabloid's campaign has attracted no support from Germany's centre-left government but comes at a tricky moment in Anglo-German relations - and when the idea that Germans were also victims of the second world war is for the first time being more broadly debated. Yesterday British officials said there was no prospect of the Queen apologising during her visit to Berlin, where she gives a speech this evening, and opens a major conference on climate change tomorrow. They pointed out that a concert hosted by the Queen tomorrow at the Berlin Philharmonic is dedicated to the restoration of the Frauenkirche, destroyed by allied attacks on Dresden in 1945. "There has been no serious request for an apology, so the question doesn't arise," one British diplomat said yesterday. He added: "Of course the Queen is aware of the issues. She lived through the second world war. She regrets the suffering on both sides.' Yesterday Bild, which sells nearly 4m copies a day, ran an essay by the revisionist German historian Jörg Friedrich in which he attacked Britain's destruction of Dresden as "senseless". The "massacre" of 50,000 German civilians during the devastating allied raids contributed nothing to the allies' victory over Hitler shortly afterwards, he wrote. The paper ran photographs of German corpses laid out on Dresden streets and asked the question: "What have the British got against Germans?" Although no serious German newspaper has followed Bild's lead, they have recently reflected on what might have gone wrong with the Anglo-German relationship. Officially, relations between Tony Blair and Germany's chancellor Gerhard Schröder are excellent, despite the war in Iraq. The problem is at a more informal level. Last week Germany's foreign minister Joschka Fischer complained about the British media's portrayal of Germany as the "land of the Prussian goose-step" - pointing out that the popular image of Germany in Britain bore no relation to the modern reality. Diplomats on both sides are alarmed that youth exchanges between both countries have recently fallen away. Fewer British students are learning German than ever before - only 6,000 studied the subject last year at A-level. In her speech tonight the Queen - who apparently understands some German - is likely to stress the need for Britain and Germany to do more to improve contacts between young people. Her presence tomorrow, meanwhile, at an Anglo-German conference on climate change has led to speculation that the "Green Queen" has complained to Tony Blair about American's lead role in global warming. While the Queen is not known for making public her private opinions, officials in Berlin yesterday pointed to the fact that her Bentley has been converted to run on gas, and that several energy-saving devices have been installed in the royal palaces.

news.independent.co.uk 3 Nov 2004 Queen 'reconciles' with Germany by dining at Nazi propaganda office By Tony Paterson in Berlin 03 November 2004 The Queen's "reconciliatory" state visit to Germany was overshadowed yesterday by embarrassing revelations that the Berlin venue chosen to welcome her with an official banquet was a Nazi propaganda centre in which Adolf Hitler condemned the British as warmongers. The three-day visit is the Queen's fourth to Germany and officials in both countries have stressed that it will mark the beginning of a new era of Anglo-German understanding. But the occasion has been marred by a row in British and German newspapers over an alleged popular German demand for a royal apology for Britain's bombing campaigns in the Second World War. Germany's mass-circulation Bild newspaper carried a front-page story yesterday disclosing that the Queen had been invited to attend an official state banquet welcoming her to Germany in a building used by Hitler for his propaganda speeches. In a banner headline, Bild announced: "Queen dinner tonight in Hitler's Heroes' Chamber." The paper asked: "Will the Queen lose her appetite?'' and "Whose idea was it to choose this venue?" The paper pointed out that the banquet, hosted by Horst Köhler, the German President, was being held in Berlin's Baroque Zeughaus building which was used by Hitler for lavish ceremonies celebrating Nazi heroes and for wartime propaganda speeches. In an address at the site where the Queen was due to have dinner last night, Hitler told his followers on 16 March 1941: "When France and England declared this war, England began immediately to attack the civilian population." German officials said the Zeughaus building had been chosen for the banquet because the normal venue, Berlin's Bellvue presidential palace, was being renovated. The British embassy said in a statement: "It is always possible to find something in the past. We prefer to look forward during this visit and not back." Britain and Germany have said that there have been no official demands for an apology for Royal Air Force bombing of German cities. But the issue has been widely discussed and German historians and MPs have said that the Germans would welcome such a statement. Buckingham Palace has said the Queen will "acknowledge and commemorate" the suffering caused to people on both sides but not apologise. She will host a concert in Berlin tomorrow to raise money for the restoration of Dresden's Frauenkirche church,devastated in an Allied attack on the city in 1945 which killed 50,000 people. During the Queen's last state visit to Germany in 1992, eggs were thrown at her car when she visited Dresden for a church service of reconciliation. She will not visit the city this time. www.royal.gov.uk

NYT 24 Nov 2004 Book Adds Layers of Complexity to the Schindler Legend By DINITIA SMITH An authoritative new biography of Oskar Schindler, the German businessman who saved more than 1,000 Jews from the Nazis, clashes sharply with his idealized portrayal in the Oscar-winning 1993 Steven Spielberg movie "Schindler's List" and the 1982 historical novel by Thomas Keneally that inspired it. The Schindler who emerges in this latest account - based on interviews with Holocaust survivors and newly discovered papers, including letters stored in a suitcase by a mistress - is far more flawed than the one depicted in the movie and novel. Even so, scholars say, the fresh revelations about Schindler's darker side cast his moral transformation and heroism into starker relief. To begin with, there was no Schindler's List. "Schindler had almost nothing to do with the list," said David M. Crowe, a Holocaust historian and professor at Elon University in North Carolina, whose book, "Oskar Schindler: The Untold Account of His Life, Wartime Activities and the True Story Behind the List," was published this fall by Westview Press. In the film, Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, is shown in 1944 giving the Jewish manager of his enamelware and arms factory in Krakow, Poland, the names of Jewish workers to be taken to the relative safety of what is now the Czech Republic. But at the time, Mr. Crowe said in a telephone interview, Schindler was in jail for bribing Amon Göth, the brutal SS commandant played by Ralph Fiennes in the film. And the manager, Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), was not even working for Schindler then. Mr. Crowe said that there were nine lists. The first four were drawn up primarily by Marcel Goldberg, a corrupt Jewish security police officer and assistant to an SS officer in charge of transporting Jews. (Goldberg was later accused of accepting bribes and of favoritism.) Schindler suggested a few names, Mr. Crowe said, but did not know most of the people on the lists. The authors of the other five lists are unknown. Mr. Crowe said the legend of "the list" arose partly from Schindler himself, to embellish his heroism. He was trying to win reparations for his wartime losses, and Yad Vashem, the Jewish Holocaust memorial organization in Jerusalem, was considering naming him a "righteous gentile," an honor given to someone who risked death to save Jews. Those he saved further enhanced the legend because "they adored him," Mr. Crowe said, "and they protected him." No one doubts that Schindler, an ethnic German born in what was then Austria-Hungary, was a moral hero, but the revelations add deeper texture to his story. It has long been known that Schindler was a spy for German counterintelligence in the late 1930's, but he played down those activities. Yet Mr. Crowe said that Czech secret police archives refer to Schindler as "a spy of big caliber and an especially dangerous type." Mr. Crowe also said that Schindler compromised Czechoslovak security before the Nazi invasion and was imprisoned. Later, the Czechoslovak government tried to prosecute him for war crimes. Schindler was also the de facto head of a unit that planned the Nazi invasion of Poland. Schindler, a big, charming man, was a drinker and womanizer, as depicted in the novel and film. But Mr. Crowe said that he also had two illegitimate children whom he ignored. There were also rumors, briefly mentioned in the book and film, that after Schindler moved to Krakow in 1939 as a carpetbagger following the Nazi invasion, he stole Jewish property and ordered Jews beaten. Although the charges were unproven, Mr. Crowe discovered that Yad Vashem was so concerned that it delayed designating Schindler a righteous gentile. The film's epilogue says Schindler was named in 1958, 16 years before his death in 1974. But Mr. Crowe found that he was officially named in 1993, after Yad Vashem learned that Schindler's widow, Emilie, who also behaved heroically, was coming to Jerusalem to participate in the film. Both received the honor, he posthumously. There are many books about Schindler, including accounts by survivors and Emilie's memoirs, but Mr. Crowe's is the first comprehensive biography to draw on newly available records. Mr. Crowe is a member of the education committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and the author of a history of the Gypsies of Russia and Eastern Europe. He dismissed some scenes in the film and book that are part of Schindler's legend. For instance, in the film Schindler is shown riding with his mistress on Lasota Hill in Krakow and watching the clearing of the ghetto in March 1943, when he sees a little girl seeking shelter. The scene depicts Schindler's moral awakening, but Mr. Crowe called it "totally fictitious." He said that it would have been impossible to see that part of the ghetto from the hill, and that Schindler never saw the girl. Schindler's transformation was more gradual, Mr. Crowe said, and even before the ghetto was cleared he was appalled by the mistreatment of the Jews. "Steve is a very wonderful, tender man," Mr. Crowe said of Mr. Spielberg, "but 'Schindler's List' was theater and not in an historically accurate way. The film simplifies the story almost to the point of ridiculousness." Mr. Crowe also said that he admired Mr. Keneally's novel. Mr. Keneally, who interviewed 50 survivors and used available archives for his novel, said it was understandable that Mr. Spielberg and the screenwriter Steven Zaillian would take dramatic license with some events. "I believe Steven behaved with integrity," he said. "And he does make Schindler ambiguous." Mr. Spielberg is filming a movie and could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman, Marvin Levy, said in an e-mail message that "Schindler was such an enigmatic figure in life, it is not totally surprising that other information or alleged information could continue to surface in death." Michael Berenbaum, former president of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, established by Mr. Spielberg to record survivors' memories, made a distinction between the craft of the historian and the artist. "It does neither an injustice to the novel, the film or to history to say that the story is more complex," he said. Mr. Crowe "is not even altering the story," Elie Wiesel, the author and Holocaust survivor, said. "He's complicated it. He's made Schindler more human, and also more extraordinary." After Schindler moved his factory to Brünnlitz in the present-day Czech Republic, a period dealt with only briefly in the film, he stalled the manufacture of weapons, and none were ever made for the Nazis. He also bribed Nazi officers and distracted them with alcohol to save his workers. Mr. Keneally describes his heroism. In Krakow, Mr. Crowe said, "he could use the black market to supply his workers with food and health care." But by the time he arrived in Brünnlitz the Russians were advancing, making conditions harsher. "He risks his life and takes all the money he made in Krakow and spends every bit trying to feed his Jews and keep them healthy," Mr. Crowe said. In an episode known as the Golleschau transport, which is depicted in the book but not the film, two boxcars arrived in Brünnlitz filled with Jewish prisoners, some frozen to death. Schindler and his wife were able to save many of the prisoners. Amid the chaos, Schindler also tried to accommodate Jewish religious law, getting SS officers drunk so that Jews could be properly buried. Mr. Crowe said that the only part of the film that angered him was the ending, in which Schindler flees as the Russians advance. The Jews are shown as defeated, but in fact, Mr. Crowe said, Schindler had created "an armed guerilla group of Jews." "They were armed to the teeth, ready to fight till the death," he said. Hours after Schindler left, they hung a Jew who worked for the Nazis. In the film, Schindler gives a speech and breaks into tears because he did not do more. But Mr. Crowe obtained a transcript in which Schindler, always a wily pragmatist, also reminded the Jews of how much he had done for them, possibly to protect himself from prosecution for war crimes. After the war Schindler was a failure. He squandered money given to him by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and moved to Argentina, where he attempted to breed nutria. He then returned to Germany and bought a concrete factory, where workers attacked him for saving Jews during the war. That factory went bankrupt. Schindler continued drinking, and begged Jews he had saved to help him financially. He died from alcoholism and heavy smoking, Mr. Crowe said. Mordecai Paldiel, director of the Righteous Among the Nations department at Yad Vashem, said the new revelations show that "even people with all these characteristics can do a great, saintly deed." "It seems we all have a little angel sitting inside us and just waiting to be allowed to go to the surface, to expose himself," he said. "A little, saving angel."


www.newsletter.co.uk 3 Nov 2004 Editorial : Auschwitz Trip Is Insulting For Victims Of IRA Wednesday 3rd November 2004 Sinn Fein has absolutely no scruples when it comes to conveniently forgetting the violent genocidal history of the Irish republican movement and hypocritically focusing, with pious platitudes, on horrendous crimes committed in other parts of the world. The latest exercise in rank hypocrisy by Sinn Fein is a planned visit today by Martin McGuinness and Gerry Kelly to Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland to remember Jewish victims of the Holocaust during the Second World War. Auschwitz was where Adolf Hitler's Nazis appallingly carried out their programme of genocide against not only Jews, but Polish prisoners of war, Russians, Slavs and gypsies. The death toll at Auschwitz was estimated at 1.1 million, with one million of the victims Jewish. The number of casualties in the Northern Ireland Troubles was on a much smaller scale than what happened at Auschwitz, but the pain and suffering in this society was and still is palpable. It can not be forgotten that the Provisional IRA which Martin McGuinness and Gerry Kelly's party is so closely aligned with was responsible for the deaths of close on 2,000 innocent people, and serious injury to thousands more. Sinn Fein leaders may, with cold-hearted cynicism, prefer to turn a blind eye to terrible IRA atrocities such as Bloody Friday, Kingsmill, La Mon House, Enniskillen and Shankill, but decent law-abiding people in Northern Ireland do not forget. The contrast between republican attitudes to the vicious IRA campaign in Northern Ireland and to events in the Middle East and other theatres of conflict is stark. Which makes today's visit by the Sinn Fein pair to Auschwitz both nauseating and insulting to the families of innocent victims they totally ignore back home. Reassure Us All South Down SDLP MP Edward Mc-Grady yesterday gave a timely reminder to Secretary of State Paul Murphy about a pledge which the Government gave seven months ago to end paramilitarism in Northern Ireland. As Mr Murphy was meeting leaders of loyalist paramilitary organisations at Stormont, Mr McGrady charged that in failing to deal with the crimes of the paramilitaries the Government was treating the Northern Ireland people as second-class citizens. The MP, in characteristically blunt terms which the great majority of people in this Province would concur with, accuses NIO ministers of ignoring this principle and showing an apparent lack of will in halting the nefarious paramilitary activities such as drug dealing, extortion and protection rackets. In some urban areas, paramilitarism and organised crime has become endemic and the significant cut-back in PSNI personnel has not helped the situation or given confidence to the wider public that a new day has dawned whereby unlawful street activity is totally consigned to the past. Mr Murphy does need to give more reassurance to a concerned public.


www.interfax.ru 9 Nov 2004 9:24AM Hearings of genocide case begin in Latvia RIGA. Nov 9 (Interfax-BNS) - The Latvian High Court on Tuesday will launch hearings of the case of Nikolai Tess, an 82-year-old national of Russia, charged with genocide, BNS was told at the court. The hearings are expected to last for three days. In December 2003 Kurzeme district court found him guilty and sentenced to two years of suspended sentence. Tess protested the court ruling wanting to be fully acquitted. He regarded the trial as a frame-up and did not think there was a single document proving his guilt. The court found the charges proven in choosing the punishment took into account his age, physical condition and the fact that he had committed the crime fulfilling orders from his superiors. It did not find any aggravating circumstances. The court indicated that many people had been involved in the deportation of Latvians in Soviet times. Judge Ingrida Junghane described the trial as tightening one screw in a big mechanism. In March 1949 Tess, an official the Latvian State Security Ministry, compiled and signed documents for the deportation of 138 persons, including several small children and old people. Eleven of them later died in exile.

Baltic News Service 10 Nov 2004 www.baltictimes.com Soviet genocide suspect denies guilt RIGA [excerpt] The Russian citizen Nikolai Tess pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in postwar Latvia at a hearing in the Latvian Supreme Court on Nov. 9, claiming that the case against him had been fabricated.


NYT 7 NOv 2004 Macedonia's Ethnic Peace Faces a Test in a Referendum By NICHOLAS WOOD KOPJE, Macedonia, Nov. 6 - Macedonians will vote Sunday in a referendum that is likely to determine whether a three-year peace agreement to end ethnic violence in this former Yugoslav state will remain in place. The proposal is to maintain the current boundaries of local entities. If it passes, diplomats here contend, it will prevent changes that are crucial to maintaining an agreement that ended seven months of fighting between ethnic Albanian guerrillas and government security forces in August 2001. The deal, known as the Ohrid Accords, has been the basis for a range of legislation that has given the ethnic Albanians and other minorities greater civil rights. In spite of slow progress in carrying out the provisions, the agreement is viewed by diplomats as the most successful in the region, having helped avert a full-scale civil war. The referendum is a result of a signature campaign by the World Macedonia Congress, a nationalist group, which collected 150,000 signatures to place the measure on the ballot. Its proponents contend that the changes were planned by the government without adequate consultation and will give minorities more than their fair share of power. The vote has also become a rallying point for government opponents and those dissatisfied with the general notion of extending rights to the ethnic Albanian minority. If passed, the measure would prevent the government from carrying out a law that calls for boundary changes - part of an agreement to increase the power of the local authorities - as one way of increasing minority rights in areas with substantial minority populations. For example, minorities would be permitted to use their languages for official purposes if they made up 20 percent of the population of a municipality. The law would reduce the number of municipalities, to 80 from 124, creating what the government describes as more manageable units. Opponents of the changes contend they have been created along ethnic lines. Prime Minister Hari Kostov has threatened to resign if the referendum succeeds. However, a move on Thursday by the United States to recognize this former Yugoslav republic by its constitutional name, the Republic of Macedonia, was expected to allay some nationalist discontent among the majority Christian Orthodox population, and could help stabilize the situation ahead of the vote. Greece, which has a province named Macedonia, had protested Skopje's claim to the name since the state broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991. For the referendum to succeed, at least 50 percent of Macedonia's 1.6 million voters must take part, and more than half of them must vote for the measure. Leaders of the country's ethnic Albanian minority, who make up just less than a quarter of the population, have called for a boycott of the vote. Western diplomats have said that if the vote does succeed, Macedonia's progress toward membership in NATO and the European Union risk being set back. The leaders of the ethnic Albanian guerrilla army behind the 2001 conflict have also warned that approval of the measure could bring a renewal of fighting if more extreme groups took advantage of the situation. "It will give a chance to those who want to destabilize the country," said Ali Ahmeti, whose Albanian political party, Democratic Union for Integration, is now a coalition partner in the Macedonian government. "I entered into politics to implement the Ohrid peace accords. I don't see any alternative." The main opposition party, Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity, has given its backing to the referendum organizers and has been canvassing its supporters to vote yes. However surveys by the Institute for Democracy, Solidarity and a Civil Society, a research group, show support for the referendum has fallen, to 56 percent a week ago, the last time a survey was taken, from about 65 percent two weeks ago. Struga, a resort in western Macedonia, has threatened to declare independence if the government puts its changes into effect. The new laws would turn the city, now dominated politically by the ethnic majority, into one with an Albanian majority. On the eve of the election, armed ethnic Albanian gunmen could be seen in Kondovo, a village on the outskirts of Skopje. Men wearing green camouflage uniforms and carrying Kalashnikov rifles were patrolling in a village. When asked why they were there, one replied, "Wait until the 8th, and you'll see what will happen.'' One villager here said residents were unhappy with the peace process. Police officials said they believed the gunmen to be part of a splinter group opposed to the peace efforts. Many Macedonians from the ethnic majority also say they are concerned about the addition of Albanian districts to Skopje. The changes were devised to increase Skopje's ethnic Albanian population to above 20 percent, making it a bilingual city. Senior Western diplomats here say the changes are essential to maintaining the agreement under which the ethnic Albanian gunmen put down their arms in return for the promise of greater civil rights. But local commentators have expressed concerns that the government acted without adequate consultation and preparation. "Here we don't have any substantial idea how to neutralize interethnic fears and distrust," said Prof. Pande Lazarevski of the Institute for Sociological, Political and Judicial Research. Western officials say they are especially concerned that the referendum is becoming a focus of discontent with the government in general. The referendum "gives voice to a broad coalition of discontent, those who are concerned about the boundaries or policies of the government in general as well as opponents of the peace process," said Michael Sahlin, the special representative of the European Union, whose office helps the government coordinate its efforts to carry out the peace agreement. Georgi Ivanov, the director of the Institute for Democracy, Solidarity and Civil Society, said: "Many people are confused and they would like to focus all their spite on the referendum. It's a kind of catharsis."

BBC 15 Nov 2004 Macedonia 'fake raid' trial opens Four people have gone on trial in Macedonia charged with killing six Pakistanis and an Indian and making it look like an anti-terrorist raid. Prosecutors say the three former police officials and a businessman arranged the deaths to enhance Macedonia's standing in the war against terror. The seven immigrants were killed in a village near Skopje in 2002. At the time, police said the seven had been planning to attack Western embassies in Skopje. The defendants deny the charges. The former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski, who was initially charged as the main organiser of the killings, fled to Croatia, where he is in jail awaiting trial. The defendants include police General Goran Stojkov, intelligence officer Aleksandar Cvetkov, the former commander of a disbanded special police unit, Boban Utkovski, and businessman Mitko Kikerkov. The indictment says the four men lured the foreigners - believed to be illegal immigrants trying to get into nearby European Union countries - into Macedonia. They then accused them of being terrorists and killed them. The Associated Press news agency says their defence lawyers claim the men were victims of "politically motivated" proceedings that are part of "political revenge" by the new Macedonian government.

Netherlands - ICTY

UN News Centre 1 Nov 2004 Miloševic can defend himself but must accept court lawyers, UN tribunal rules 1 November 2004 – Slobodan Miloševic can go back to representing himself in his ongoing genocide trial but must let his court-appointed lawyers assist him if his health threatens to interfere with the case, a United Nations tribunal ruled today. Mr. Miloševic can take the lead in presenting his case “when he is physically capable of doing so,” the appeals chamber of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ruled. Should the former Yugoslav President’s health problems resurface “with sufficient gravity,” however, “the presence of assigned counsel will enable the trial to continue” even if he is temporarily unable to participate, the court said. Mr. Miloševic had been representing himself since the start of his trial in February 2002 for his role in genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes during the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo in the 1990s. The proceedings have been delayed repeatedly due to his ill health, leading the Tribunal in September to appoint a team of lawyers to help ease his workload and reduce the chance of further stoppages. But Mr. Miloševic – who is suffering from heart problems – appealed the move. Last week two members of the team, Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins, said Mr. Miloševic’s refusal to cooperate with them meant they could not do their job nor meet the ICTY's own code of conduct and asked the withdraw from the case. The Tribunal has yet to rule on their request. Mr. Miloševic’s trial is scheduled to resume on 9 November.

Reuters 11 Nov 2004 Bosnian Serb says not guilty of Srebrenica charges (Adds background, details) AMSTERDAM, Nov 11 (Reuters) - A Bosnian Serb accused of involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two, pleaded not guilty to genocide and other charges at The Hague war crimes tribunal on Thursday. Ljubisa Beara, indicted in 2002 over the Srebrenica massacre of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys, pleaded not guilty to one count of genocide, four counts of crimes against humanity and one count of war crimes. Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military leader Ratko Mladic, two of the tribunal's most wanted men, have also been indicted for their alleged role in the Srebrenica massacre. Beara was a colonel and chief of security of the Bosnian Serb army during the massacre, according to the indictment against him. Beara, who last month appealed to other war crimes suspects to surrender to the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, stood to enter his plea on each count during a short hearing at the court.


BBC 5 Nov 2004 Dutch pledge Islamist crackdown Van Gogh directed TV series and wrote newspaper columns The Dutch government has vowed to take tough action against Islamic radicalism after the murder of a film maker. Theo van Gogh, the director of a movie criticising the treatment of women under Islam, was shot and stabbed in Amsterdam on Tuesday. Several men, all believed to be radical Islamists, have been arrested. Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm promised more funding for intelligence services, and said terror suspects with dual nationality might be deported. Terror charges "We are going to ratchet up the fight against this sort of terrorism," he said. "The increase in radicalisation is worse than we had thought." The justice minister ordered certain government figures, MPs and Amsterdam's mayor to hire bodyguards. Dutch prosecutors have said the chief suspect, known as Mohammed B, will face terrorism-related charges as well as a count of murder. He is also expected to be accused of attempting to kill a policeman and a bystander. "We will argue before the judge that he is at the centre of a criminal organisation and that the other arrested people are part of this group," said prosecutor Leo de Wit. A letter threatens Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Van Gogh's scriptwriter At least four others are expected to face charges, while two men have been released. Dutch authorities say they found a letter signed by an unknown group on Van Gogh's body containing threats to kill the liberal politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ms Hirsi Ali is a Somali refugee who wrote the script to Van Gogh's controversial film Submission, which criticised Islam. Van Gogh, the great-great-nephew of the 19th-Century artist Vincent van Gogh, received death threats after the film was broadcast on national television in August. The authorities have said they are on alert for revenge attacks on Muslims. Police are investigating whether several fires that broke out on Thursday night at a mosque in the town of Utrecht were started deliberately.

AP 8 Nov 2004 Muslim School in Netherlands Bombed By ANTHONY DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - A bombing before dawn Monday blew the front door off a Muslim elementary school in a southern town and extensively damaged the building in what police suspect was a revenge attack for the killing of a Dutch filmmaker last week. No one was injured in the attack on the empty school, which came days after the arrest of a Muslim radical accused of killing filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh, a distant relative of Vincent Van Gogh, released a film titled ``Submission'' in August that was critical of how women are treated under Islam. The Tarieq Ibnu Zyad Islamic elementary school in Eindhoven, about 75 miles south of Amsterdam, is run by the al-Fourqaan Islamic Center, which oversees the town's al-Fourqaan mosque. Dutch intelligence officials have had the center under observation since reports it hosted an Islamic seminar in 1999, said to have been attended by Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers, and Ramzi Binalshibh, the suspected liaison between al-Qaida and three of the hijackers who were based in Hamburg, Germany. The mosque was frequented by two Muslim youths killed in Kashmir in January 2002 in an alleged suicide attack on Indian troops. And the school was the target of two minor arson attacks last year. Van Gogh's killing Tuesday shocked the Netherlands and sparked several other anti-Muslim attacks including two weekend attempts to burn down mosques. It was not immediately clear who carried out Monday's attack or what type of explosives were used, police spokesman Henrie van Pinxterens said. The powerful blast did substantial damage to the facade and interior of the building and scattered debris across the neighborhood. Spokesman Cees Dekkers said police suspect the bombing was a retaliation for Van Gogh's murder. ``Eindhoven is shocked, very shocked, by a cowardly deed in the middle of the night when normal citizens are sleeping,'' Mayor Alexander Sakkers told reporters. Sakkers said police would introduce round-the-clock surveilance of Islamic sites in the town of about 200,000 which has five main mosques. Interior Ministry spokesman Frank Wassenaar said the government had spoken to authorities about whether more security was needed following Van Gogh's slaying, but said ``there is no indication that local police cannot deal with this themselves.'' The mayor met with parents of the school's students later on Monday. ``It is essential that we stick together,'' he said. ``One single person who pulls off such an idiot act'' should not affect Dutch society. Van Gogh, an outspoken satirist and columnist, was shot Tuesday while riding his bicycle and then stabbed. His throat was cut and a five-page letter quoting from the Quran and threatening attacks on Dutch politicians was left on his body. He will be cremated Tuesday in a public ceremony in Amsterdam. Ten suspected Islamic extremists were arrested in the murder but four of them have been released. Among those arrested was Mohammed Bouyeri, 26, the alleged killer who is suspected of links to a terrorist group, police said. Mainstream Muslim groups condemned the killing but nevertheless have been the target of anger in the Netherlands. Dutch Interior Minister Johan Remkes has said the killing should not be blamed on the Muslim community. Vandals threw red paint Saturday night on a social center that helps Muslim immigrants in Amsterdam. In the town of Huizen, police arrested two men they said were caught preparing to ignite a fire at the An-Nasr mosque Friday night, national news service NOS reported. A mosque in Breda sustained minor fire damage in another reported arson attempt. Earlier this week, a small fire was set at a mosque in Utrecht, and a pig's head was left in a plastic bag outside a mosque in Amsterdam.

Reuters 15 Nov 2004 Ex - Kosovo Rebels Face First Hague War Crimes Trial By REUTERS Filed at 11:43 a.m. ET AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The first international war crimes trial of Kosovo Albanians began on Monday, with three former rebels accused of imprisoning and murdering suspected collaborators and Serb civilians during the 1998-99 conflict. The trial at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague started after the presiding judge rejected a last-minute defense request to delay it for three weeks over alleged witness intimidation. Three former members of the now disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) -- Fatmir Limaj, Haradin Bala and Isak Musliu -- are accused of torturing and murdering civilians in central Kosovo. All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges. According to the indictment, KLA forces under the command of Limaj rounded up 35 Serb and Albanian civilians from May 1998 and imprisoned them in the Lapusnik Prison Camp, which Limaj and Musliu controlled and where Bala worked as a guard. Prosecutor Andrew Cayley gave details of the round-up, in which some civilians were blindfolded and bound with sacks or bundled into the trunks of cars. He described a series of beatings by people who behaved ``like savages.'' Detainees were routinely subjected to physical and psychological abuse, the indictment says, and 14 were murdered before Serb forces took control of the area in July 1998. ``The captives were forced to lie in their own excrement, unable to move about,'' Cayley told the court. Prosecutors say the KLA then marched 21 detainees from the camp into nearby Berisa mountains where, under Limaj's orders, Bala and two others killed 10 of them, all ethnic Albanians the guerrillas accused of collaborating with Serbs. The three accused sat impassively through the proceedings. Their arrest in early 2003 sparked protests among Kosovo's majority Albanians, who see the former rebels as freedom fighters against harsh Serb rule when Slobodan Milosevic was in power in Belgrade. But some observers say the trial may help convince Serbs of the tribunal's impartiality. The U.N. court wants Belgrade to hand over three Serb generals accused of atrocities in Kosovo. The province was placed under U.N.-led administration in June 1999 after NATO's 11-week bombing campaign forced Milosevic to withdraw his troops. Its Albanians demand full independence. Serb reformers ousted Milosevic in 2000 and sent him to the Hague court the following year, where he is now standing trial accused of genocide and crimes against humanity in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo during the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte has expressed concern over reports of attempts to influence witnesses. One Kosovo Albanian man has already appeared before the tribunal to face charges of intimidating or offering bribes to people expected to testify.


www.theglobeandmail.com (Canada) 2 Nov 2004 Will use any tactic, Chechen warlord warns By MARK MacKINNON Shamil Basayev, the notorious Chechen warlord who took responsibility for the recent hostage-taking at a school in southern Russia that ended with more than 350 people dead, says he will use any means -- including chemical and biological weapons against civilians -- to force Russia to end its bloody five-year war in the Muslim region and give Chechnya independence. In an e-mail exchange with The Globe and Mail -- his first public comments since taking responsibility for the Sept. 1 hostage-taking at Middle School No. 1 in Beslan -- Mr. Basayev said he is prepared for 10 more years of war with Russia, but also said he will respect "international law" if Russian soldiers do the same. The man often called "Russia's bin Laden" expressed regret at the way the school siege in Beslan ended, but, as in the past, put most of the blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Basayev said he intended the operation to be a repeat of a 1995 hostage-taking at a hospital in the southern Russian city of Budyennovsk that eventually forced the Russian side to negotiate and a year later bring an end to the first Chechen war. Three years after Chechnya was effectively given autonomy from Moscow, Mr. Putin sent Russian troops back in, saying it was necessary to root out "terrorists" such as Mr. Basayev who had taken over the breakaway republic and established training camps for Islamic militants. "The Russians have been holding the entire Chechen people hostage for five years and nothing happened. We held 1,000 people hostage only for three days to stop the genocide of the Chechen people, and the whole world is shocked. What is this if not hypocrisy? . . ." The e-mail exchange was arranged through the Kavkaz Center website, which Mr. Basayev has used for several years to communicate with the outside world. The questions were sent in late September to an e-mail address the warlord had used in the past. The responses, written in Russian, came 24 days later. While there is no way to prove that the sender was Mr. Basayev, the answers and rhetoric are consistent with past statements believed to have come from him. Russia's Federal Security Bureau, however, believes that someone else has always written Mr. Basayev's public statements, which they say are too eloquently crafted to be from the man they portray as an illiterate buffoon. Mr. Basayev, who since the Beslan siege has had a $10-million (U.S.) bounty on his head, said he had sent the e-mail from the Zavodskaya region of Grozny, the Chechen capital. If true, it would mean he was still able to operate deep behind enemy lines, since Grozny has been under the control of federal forces since shortly after the latest war began. Russian officials dismissed the possibility that Mr. Basayev could have sent the e-mail from Grozny. "He hasn't appeared in Grozny for a long time. His imagination oversteps the limits of any logic. Basayev has nothing to say and begins to invent some tales," said Buvadi Dakhiyev, deputy commander of the anti-terrorist unit set up by Chechnya's current pro-Moscow regime. Funding abroad has dried up since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, Mr. Basayev complained, and his fighters now receive only a dribble from abroad -- less than $20,000 from unnamed sources in Turkey, Germany and the United Arab Emirates. "I am ashamed of the Muslims," he wrote. "In the three years after Sept. 11, no one has helped us. They are all afraid to be associated with 'the terrorist' and I am also not very good at asking."

Background item: BBC 17 Sept 2004 Excerpts: Basayev claims Beslan Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev has claimed responsibility for the Russian school hostage siege in which at least 320 people were killed. He blamed the Russian authorities for the deaths in Beslan. He further claimed recent bomb attacks on two Russian airliners and a Moscow metro station. The wide-ranging statement also contains a denial of any plans to attack UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, described as a "slug". Excerpts from his statement, published in Russian on Chechen rebel websites, follow: Basayev is Russia's most wanted man In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate... Who is responsible for the attacks on Rusnya [derogatory word for Russia]? By the Grace of Allah, the Shakhid [martyr] battalion, Riyad us-Saliheen [Gardens of the Righteous] has carried out several successful operations on the territory of Rusnya. The regional Shakhid unit of Moscow was responsible for the blasts on Kashirskoye Road [main approach road to Domodedovo Airport] and the Rizhskaya metro station in Moscow. The downing of the [Tu-134 and Tu-154] airliners [which left from Domodedovo] was carried out by the special operations unit. And the second battalion, under the command of Col Orstkhoyev, was responsible for the "Nord-Vest" operation in Beslan [pun on the Moscow Dubrovka theatre siege, where the musical Nord-Ost was playing]. We insist that the storming was carried out by the Russian special services, which had planned that from the very start Putin screamed like a scalded pig and said that Rusnya was under attack and that war had been declared on Russia. He wants to link the rest of the world to the blood spilled in Beslan, he appeals for help - but forgets at the same time that "Chechnya is Russia's internal affair". What happened in Beslan is a terrible tragedy: the bloodsucker from the Kremlin killed or wounded 1,000 children and adults by ordering the storming of the school to satisfy his imperial ambitions and to keep his job. In the most impudent manner Putin is now trying to blame us for that, accusing us also of international terrorism and appealing to the world for help. The battalion of Shakhid, Riyad us-Saliheen, thinks that Putin and leaders of the world community, who blessed the slaughter, are fully responsible for what happened. We demand a public investigation into the Beslan events from the United Nations, the European Union and everyone who has one-sidedly condemned our actions. We are prepared to help them in every possible way in the inquiry into the incident and provide them with virtually any kind of information. We insist that the storming was carried out by the Russian special services, which had planned that from the very start. Beslan There are facts to prove that: The mujaheddin made clear-cut and precise demands: - We demand that the war in Chechnya be stopped immediately and that the withdrawal of forces be carried out; - We insist that Putin immediately resigns from his post as president of the Russian Federation; - We insist that all hostages, be it children or adults, go on hunger strike in support of our demands; Also, the mojahedin set the following conditions: There is one magic word which needs to be said to stop all wars and evil on this planet. This word is Justice - We will give water to everyone provided Putin immediately stops the war, sends all his troops to the barracks and begins the withdrawal of his troops; - We will give food to everyone provided Putin begins the withdrawal of his troops in reality; - We will release children under 10 as soon as they start withdrawing the troops from mountainous areas; - We will set others free after they complete the withdrawal of the troops; - If Putin submits a letter of resignation, we will release all the children and go back to Chechnya with others... Appeal to Putin I also sent a personal message to Putin... Vladimir Putin, you were not the one to start the war, but you could be the one to end it, that is if you find the courage and resolve to act like [French statesman Charles] de Gaulle [who pulled France out of Algeria]. The Chechen nation is not fighting to humiliate Russia or destroy it. We are offering you peace on a mutually beneficial basis in line with the principle "independence for security". We can guarantee that if you withdraw the troops and recognise Chechen independence, then: - We will not strike any political, military or economic deals with anyone against Russia; - We will not have any foreign military bases even temporary ones; - We will not support or finance groups fighting the Russian Federation; - We will join the Commonwealth of Independent States; - We will stay in the rouble zone; - We could sign the Collective Security Treaty, although we would prefer the status of a neutral state; I have not planned any attempt on the life of Blair - I have nothing to do with that slug - We can guarantee that all of Russia's Muslims will refrain from armed methods of struggle against the Russian Federation, at least for 10-15 years, on condition that freedom of religion be respected... The Chechen nation is involved in the national liberation struggle for its Freedom and Independence and for its preservation. It is not fighting to humiliate Russia or destroy it. As a free nation, we are interested in a strong neighbour. We are offering you peace and the choice is yours... Justice I have not met bin Laden. I received no money from him, but I would not have declined the offer... I have not planned any attempt on the life of Blair, I have nothing to do with that slug, but I do respect Elizabeth II. We regret what happened in Beslan. This is simply a war declared by Putin five years ago, which has killed more than 40,000 Chechen children and crippled more than 5,000... We ask the whole world: All right, we are bad guys and one could kill us, the 7,000 bad guys. But why kill the other 250,000 civilians and the killing is still going on? They are fighting us without any rules with the direct connivance of the whole world, we are not bound by any commitments and we will fight as we know how and in accordance with our rules... There is all that shouting and outrage. Various words are being said, but there is one magic word which needs to be said to stop all wars and evil on this planet. This word is Justice. We have no choice, they offered war to us, and we will fight till victory despite what they say about us and how they label us. This world will sooner be set on fire than we refuse to fight for our freedom and independence! God is Great! [signed] Abdallah Shamil Basayev, amir of the Riyad al-Salikhin martyrs' brigade BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

AP 2 Nov 2004 Former Russian cop involved in school massacre MOSCOW — A former police officer from the southern Russian region Ingushetia was among the attackers who seized more than 1,000 hostages in a school, the Vremya Novostei newspaper reported Wednesday. The report underlined police corruption that is considered a key factor in the terrorists' ability to organize and carry out the attack, which ended in the killing of more than 330 hostages in a hail of explosions and gunfire. Bashir Pliyev was an operative in the Ingush Interior Ministry's internal-security department. Investigators accuse him of helping prepare a series of co-ordinated militant attacks on Ingush police and security services in June by personally driving radical Chechen leader Shamil Basayev and his aide Doku Umarov into Ingushetia, where they met an Arab terrorist named Abu Kuteib, Vremya Novostei reported, citing Ingush Interior Minister Bislan Khamkhoyev. Ingush security forces confirmed Pliyev's role in the June attacks in August but he was tipped off to their plans to arrest him and escaped. Pliyev's body was found among the attackers who were killed in the school seizure in Beslan, the newspaper said, citing investigators who identified him using fingerprints. Khamkhoyev, however, said Pliyev had not been in Beslan and he said the fugitive was in Chechnya.

BBC 5 Nov 2004 Life ebbs away from Russian villages By Damian Grammaticas BBC Moscow correspondent There are growing fears that Russia is facing a population crisis that could see the country lose up to 50 million people in the next 50 years. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, birthrates and male life expectancy have suffered sharp declines. The effects are particularly visible in rural areas, where populations have been dying off or moving to towns and cities. The Russian heartland is being reclaimed by the woods It is having a dramatic effect on Russia's traditional rural villages. Many villages are shrinking in size, and thousands have been abandoned altogether. Five hours' drive north east of Moscow, you can see the change happening in the Kostroma region, where the problem of abandoned villages has reached epidemic proportions. This is the ancient heartland of Russia. The Volga river winds through a region of rolling hills and expansive forests. Centuries ago, Russians cleared patches of Kostroma's woodland for their farms. Dotted here and there are the old villages where they made their homes. Houses built from wooden logs cluster in clearings in the forest. Many are picturesque places, but they are emptying and the life is ebbing out of them. Wooden hearts Isupovo is typical of Kostroma's problems. There used to be around 30 families in the village, their log cabins stretched along a hillside. Isupovo has a pond surrounded by bulrushes, and a crumbling old church, the cross atop its onion domes hangs at a crazy angle. Vasily Bykov is the last person left in his village. Everyone else has abandoned Isupovo. When I arrived, Vasily stumbled out of his home to greet me, surprised to see a visitor. Vasily is now an old man, with thick, bushy moustache. He's lonely here, but he has no relatives and nowhere else to go. Ruefully, Vasily told me: "There is an old song called My Wooden Village. It's about people who leave their village, people who have wooden hearts, they betray the land that fed them. They just leave everything behind." Vasily showed me where Isupovo used to have two schools, a post office, a church. The old wooden houses are slowly rotting away, roofs have caved in, saplings sprout through the floors, and cobwebs hang from the eaves. Homes hewn from the trees are being reclaimed by the woods. Last man: Vasily Bykov has no relatives and nowhere else to go Across Russia rural communities are dying. The most recent census found that of Russia's 155,000 villages, 13,000 have been deserted, and another 35,000 have seen their populations dwindle to fewer than 10 inhabitants. Underlying this change is the dramatic decline of Russia's population. In the decade after 1992 Russia's population fell from 149 million to 144 million, and the problem is getting worse. The UN's Population Division projects a "medium case scenario" under which Russia's population could drop by another 20 million over the next 20 years. Russian projections of a "worst case scenario" show Russia's population could decline to around 100 million by 2050. It was in the late 1980s that birth rates in Russia began to fall sharply and death rates to rise. The social shocks delivered by the collapse of the Soviet Union led to poverty and economic crisis. Women began having fewer children, and deaths rates, particularly among men, have climbed dramatically. Memories Alcoholism and poor diet, coupled with diseases like tuberculosis and a crisis in health care, have all meant more and more Russian men dying younger. Average life expectancy for a Russian man is now just 59 years. Many traditional rural buildings are decaying Runovskoye is slowly slipping the way of Isupovo. It is a couple of hours' drive away in the region of Yaroslavl, one of Russia's ancient kingdoms. Its wooden houses are better kept, some have pretty gardens full of flowers in summer. But already they stand next to homes that have been abandoned. There are only a dozen inhabitants left in Runovskoye, mostly retirees who have been unable to move away. I find Katerina milking her cow, part of a small herd which is all that is left of Runovskoye's communist-era collective farm. The rural economy in places like this was already in decline before the collapse of communism. Since then the process has accelerated. Mass migration to towns means only the old remain. "I don't feel bitter, just sad," Katerina tells me. "We've worked here for nearly 50 years. But we earn so little. I only hope I will have enough money to last me until I die." Nearby, washing her clothes in the village pond, is Tatiana. She lived in Runovskoye through World War II, and times of famine. For her, its best days were when Leonid Brezhnev ran the Soviet Union. After this winter she does not believe her village will survive for long. "Nobody will be left, new people won't come here, there is nothing to do, we old people will just die," Tatiana says. So hidden in Russia's forests is a way of life that has lasted for centuries, but which is dying off. The result can be seen most starkly in Isupovo, where Vasily Bykov remains the last survivor. A whole village reduced to just one man and his memories. Soon there will be nothing at all.

Agence France-Presse 14 Nov 2004 300 civilians kidnapped in Chechnya so far this year: rights group MOSCOW, Nov 14 (AFP) - Nearly 300 hundred civilians have been kidnapped so far this year in conflict-torn separatist Chechnya, the respected Russian human rights group Memorial said on Sunday. Memorial said that its researchers, who only had access to a quarter of Chechnya's territory because of military restrictions, had identified 294 Chechen civilians who have kidnapped from January to October. "Of this number, 146 have been freed, 20 found dead and 128 are still missing," Dmitry Grushkin of Memorial was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. "In our opinion, representatives of various law enforcement structures mostly are behind the kidnappings," he added. International bodies have often criticised human rights abuses on both sides of the Chechen war, which started in October 1999 when Moscow poured troops into the rebellious republic. Chechnya's local pro-Russian administration itself acknowledges that at least 162 civilians had disappeared this year alone. Rights groups say Russian troops and Chechnya's pro-Moscow authorities are responsible for the vast majority of the disappearances.

AFP 15 Nov 2004 Russian soldiers' mothers set date with Chechen rebels in Europe by Marielle Eudes MOSCOW, Nov 15 (AFP) - Chechen rebels will meet next week with European parliamentarians and a group representing mothers of Russian soldiers, officials said Monday, for informal peace talks in Brussels likely to infuriate the Kremlin. The announcement by the Russian soldiers' mothers committee and a European parliament deputy is likely to irritate President Vladimir Putin, who brands the rebels as foreign-sponsored "terrorists" that must be wiped out rather than given a seat at the negotiating table. The talks, which will be held on November 23 or 24 in the European Parliament, herald some of the most high-profile meetings between rebels and representatives from Russia or Europe in months. "We are currently looking for a hall (in the European Parliament) where the meeting can take place," Bart Staes, a deputy from the Green Party representing Belgium, told AFP by telephone. Staes said the meeting would involve Akhmed Zakayev, a Chechen spokesman currently living in exile in London but whom Putin wants extradited to Russia for trial, and would last "for half a day." The meeting is likely to further complicate Moscow's relations with Europe, whose governments have questioned Russia's rights record during the five year war in the secessionist republic, and comes on the eve of Putin's summit with the European Union in The Hague. The soldiers' mothers committee offered the meeting last month, and Chechnya's rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov accepted the proposal. There was no official reaction to the announcement from the Kremlin. "We cannot just meet, have coffee together and then leave again," said Valentina Melnikova, who heads the Mothers of Russian Soldiers committee. "Both we and the Chechens need results," she told AFP. "The goal is to discuss with one of the warring parties, the Chechens, what they can offer the Russian warring party, and then see what compromises are possible so that no one looses face," she said. "If the Russian leadership is reasonable, it should be happy that a group like the soldiers' mothers ... is trying to find out what Maskhadov is ready to offer in way of compromise, and how truthful his promises are," Staes later told Moscow Echo radio. Russia currently has 56,000 troops stationed in the north Caucasus republic, according to latest official figures quoted by ITAR-TASS, where they are engaged in a brutal guerrilla standoff against a few thousand warlords allegiant to various field commanders. Putin has officially proclaimed the war over and won on repeated occasions, saying the Russian soldiers were now only engaged in policing operations despite nearly daily casualties on both sides. The Chechen rebels have recently stepped up their attacks against Russian targets, killing hundreds of civilians in suicide bombings of planes and then attacking a school in the southern town of Beslan. The attacks prompted Putin to re-evaluate Russian security and step up spending on defense. Moscow has already introduced a new Chechen government and a new Chechen constitution that makes the republic a formal part of Russia, in two highly controversial votes that were condemned as fixed by European rights groups. A hardline nationalist member of the Russian parliament, Viktor Alksnis, charged last month that the mothers group - which is currently in the process of launching a formal party - was illegally using funding from foreign sources for political purposes and said he had requested a judicial investigation. See www.ucsmr.ru/english

UN Children's Fund 16 Nov 2004 Healing Beslan's wounds: Education to promote peace and tolerance in the aftermath of Beslan GENEVA, 16 November, 2004. UNICEF has announced plans for a new programme to promote peace and tolerance across the troubled North Caucasus. Coming in the wake of the Beslan tragedy in September, the new programme will promote much-needed dialogue between children from different ethnic groups and religions. "It is time to look to the future and try to heal age-old wounds," said Carel de Rooy, UNICEF Representative in the Russian Federation. "This part of the world has suffered from more than a decade of violence and fear as unresolved disputes and divisions have re-emerged. In the aftermath of Beslan, we fear that things will get worse unless we work with children and young people to build tolerance and understanding." The new programme, to be launched in January 2005, will bring together key players from government, NGOs, schools and communities from every republic in the North Caucasus to create a common syllabus for peace and tolerance education. The aim is to introduce the syllabus into schools across the region over the next two years. "It seems fitting, after the tragic events in Beslan, that schools should be at the heart of efforts to build peace and reconciliation" said Carel de Rooy. The programme will begin with a study tour to existing peace education programmes supported by UNICEF, and will include art competitions, sports contests, youth discussions, exchange visits and summer camps for children and young people from different ethnic groups and religions. The programme is scheduled to run - initially - from January to December 2005, and will require US$ 500,000. UNICEF provided medical supplies to the survivors within hours of the September siege at School Number One in Beslan. It has provided education materials for the remaining schools in the town to make them more welcoming for children. UNICEF is also supporting psychological counseling for the survivors, their families and other affected children in Beslan. For further information: Angela Hawke, UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS and Baltics: Tel: (+4122) 909 5433. Mobile: (+4179) 601 9917. E-mail: ahawke@unicef.org .

Serbia and Montenegro

RFE/RL 1 Nov 2004 Hague Ready To Hand First War Crime Case To Serbia 1 November 2004 -- The chief prosecutor for the UN war crimes tribunal has, for the first time, asked the court in The Hague to transfer one of its cases to judicial authorities in Serbia and Montenegro. Prosecutor Carla del Ponte asked to transfer the case of a former Yugoslav Army officer facing charges linked to the 1991 Serbian shelling of Dubrovnik. Vladimir Kovacevic is charged with six counts of violating the laws or customs of war, including murder and cruel treatment, during the shelling of the Croatian town. Del Ponte said today that she is confident the Belgrade District Court and its judges are capable of handling the case according to internationally recognized standards of justice.

AFP 3 Nov 2004 Ex-Yugoslav capitals pressed over warcrimes suspects BRUSSELS (AFP) Nov 03, 2004 Chief UN war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte issued a new appeal Wednesday for the Serb, Bosnian and Croatian governments to arrest war criminals still on the run. Speaking after talks in Brussels with European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana and NATO ambassadors, she singled out the government in Belgrade for particular criticism. "Serbia is much more of a problem. The government of Serbia has publicly said 'we'll not arrest the fugitives.' It is a scandal," she told reporters. The UN war crimes court, based in The Hague, is seeking a list of war crimes suspects, at the top of which are wartime Bosnia Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, on charges including genocide. In an address to NATO diplomats, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) tribunal lamented that "unfortunately, Serbia and Montenegro has become a safe haven for our fugitives." "Unfortunately, (Serbian) Prime Minister (Vojislav) Kostunica and members of his government made it clear to me that they were not prepared to arrest and transfer the 15 indictees who live in Serbia," she added. Bosnian Serb authorities were not much better, she indicated. "The authorities of (Republika Srpska) have still not located and arrested one single indicted fugitive to date." She also blasted Croatian authorities over the continued flight of fugitive Croatian general Ante Gotovina. "It is a great disappointment for the ICTY that Croatia did not arrest general Gotovina to this day." General Gotovina has been on the run despite his indictment by the ICTY in 2001 over the massacre of at least 150 Croatian Serbs at the end of the Serb-Croat war from 1991-1995. "Gotovina is still in Croatia," she added. She also noted that another suspect, Miroslav Bralo, had disappeared despite having been pinpointed in Croatia earlier this year. "I expect the Croatian authorities to achieve results on these two issues before my next report to the (UN) Security council on November 23. By results, I mean the arrests of Gotovina and Bralo," she said. Reacting to del Ponte's comments, Croatian authorities in Zagreb said they were doing their utmost. "Relevant authorities are doing all they can to find Gotovina," deputy justice minister Jaksa Muljacic told the HINA news agency. The UN court revealed the indictement against Bralo in mid-October. He has been charged with 21 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity including rape and torture of Bosnian Muslims, who fought Bosnian Croats for 11 months in 1993-1994, during Bosnia's 1992-95 war. "Bralo is not a Croatian citizen. As a third country Croatia is doing everything to possibly find him, but apparently he is not on the Croatian territory," Muljacic added.

Serbia - Kosovo

OSCE 2 Nov 2004 Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Central Election Commission approves final results of Kosovo Assembly election PRISTINA, 3 November 2004 - The Central Election Commission has approved the final results, following a recount of ballots, for the Kosovo Assembly Election. The final results show little difference from the preliminary results. They mean that 17 of the 33 political entities which contested the election have won seats in the 120-member Assembly. "The recount, while not significantly affecting the results, has shown that mistakes can be corrected while ensuring the integrity of the electoral process," said Jens Modvig, Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo and acting Chair of the Central Election Commission. Of the main Kosovo Albanian parties, the LDK, which won 45.4% share of the vote, has taken 47 seats. The PDK, with 28.9% of the vote, has won 30 seats, the AAK, with 8.4% of the vote, has won 9 seats, and ORA with 6.2% of the vote, has won 7 seats. A further 4 Kosovo Albanian entities - PShDK, PD, LPK and PLK - took a total of five seats. Twelve entities were certified to contest the 20 seats reserved or 'set-aside' for Kosovo's smaller communities in addition to the 100 multi-ethnic seats. The Kosovo Serb entities Serbian List for Kosovo and Metohija and the Citizens' Initiative Serbia will receive 8 and 2 seats, respectively. The Bosniak entity, Vakat, has taken 3 seats, including 2 set-aside seats. The SDA has taken the other seat set-aside for the Bosniak community. The Turkish party, the KDTP, has won a total of three seats, including the two seats set-aside for their community. The IRDK has taken two of the four seats reserved for the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities, while PDAK and PREBK took one each. And the one Gorani seat was won by GIG. "These results do reflect the will of the voters and now it lies with the elected representative to rapidly form a new government and, with increased vigour, continue to make progress in implementing the Standards," said Modvig. The 2004 Kosovo Assembly election results will be certified by the UN Special Representative, Søren Jessen-Petersen, following a 48-hour period for any further complaints on the count process. Several of the 120 new Assembly members are already serving on a Municipal Assembly. No-one is permitted to hold a dual mandate, so they will have to decide whether to resign their municipal seats. The members have been elected in the order they appeared on the certified list of candidates submitted by their party, coalition or citizens' initiative. Women will make up 29% of the new Assembly, 35 of them having been elected. The confirmed turnout in the election, in which 1.3 million people in Kosovo were eligible to vote, was 53.57%. The final results are available on the OSCE Mission in Kosovo website at www.kosovoelections.org. Sven Lindholm Mission Spokesperson OSCE Mission in Kosovo


BBC 1 Nov 2004 Turkish human rights row erupts By Jonny Dymond BBC correspondent, Istanbul Kurds have long complained of a lack of human rights in Turkey Advisers to the Turkish prime minister have come close to blows over one of their own reports on human rights. A trades union leader tore the chairman's notes from his hand before heckling him and denouncing the report. The document, on the protection of minorities, strongly criticised a lack of rights and freedoms in Turkey. Ankara recently rushed through a series of political reforms meant to improve its human rights record and its chances of gaining European Union membership. For weeks there has been bitter controversy about the report by the prime minister's human rights advisory board. 'Paranoia' Many members of the board say that it does not represent their views. That bitterness became very public indeed when the trade union leader intervened as the report was to have been launched at a news conference. The report has many strong things to say about Turkey's protection of minority rights and cultural freedoms. It says that the declaration in the constitution that Turkish is the official language of the republic is "impossible to understand" given Turkey's international treaty commitments to minority rights. It criticises what it calls the "paranoia" that granting cultural freedoms to minorities might lead to the break-up of the republic. Decision pending It says that parliament is now unable to supervise the government, that torture continues in the security services and that the courts protect the accused rather than the victims of crime. The government has distanced itself from the report. It comes at a very bad time for Turkey. A month ago the European Commission gave the country a qualified yes for EU membership but the final decision will be made by the heads of member states in mid-December. There are some ready to use a report such as this to delay once again a move towards membership negotiations.

zaman.com 11 Nov 2004 Sunday Yerevan Mellows about Genocide Claim It is reported that this year the Armenian government has not included an article about the so-called genocide in the 2005 budget draft that has been sent to Parliament. According to the Armenian Arminfo news agency, the decision to improve relations with Turkey, Georgia and Iran was included in the draft of foreign policy priorities of the government. While the news has not been officially confirmed, Ankara evaluated Armenia's omission of the so-called genocide article from the budget draft as a positive step. Diplomatic sources said that although this omission was important, it would not be enough to normalize relations between the two countries. There remain articles in Armenia's constitution, which are against Turkey's territorial integrity. In the draft sent to the Parliament, there were some expressions such as providing for the security of the country, maintaining stability and democracy and providing a peaceful and fair solution for the Nagharno Karabagh problem. The Azerbaijani daily Express reported that Turkish and Armenian diplomats would meet in Istanbul next week to discuss the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and also how Yerevan's policy about the so-called genocide would be handled, but there was no official confirmation of the meeting. Ankara indicates that Armenia should first take some steps to solve the Karabagh problem. In Armenia's former budget drafts, there was an apparent policy about the recognition of the so-called genocide by Turkey by other countries. Commentators claim that the article about the 'security of the country' was related with the genocide claims and that Yerevan cannot give up its claims about genocide in the short term. In the 11th article of the Declaration of Armenian Independence it states, 'Armenia will support activities to provide the international recognition of genocide in Ottoman Turkey and West Armenia (East Anatolia).' 11.07.2004 Baku, Yerevan, aa; Ankara, Zaman

AFP 28 Nov 2004 US committing "genocide" in Fallujah: Turkish lawmaker AFP: 11/28/2004 ANKARA, 25 Nov (AFP) - A leading lawmaker from Turkey's governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Thursday accused the United States of committing "genocide" in the Iraqi rebel stronghold of Fallujah. "The US is committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Iraq," the Anatolia news agency quoted Mehmet Elkatmis, who chairs the parliament's human rights commission, as saying. Elkatmis called on Washington to end the "massacres and the barbarity" in Fallujah, which has been the target since November 8 of the biggest US military operation since the proclaimed end of the war in Iraq. Citing recent TV footage of a US Marine gunning down what appeared to be a wounded, unarmed Iraqi in a Fallujah mosque, Elkatmis said "genocide of such proportions was committed neither under Mussolini, nor Hitler," referring to the World War II dictators of, respectively, fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Speaking before an extraordinary session of his commission, called to discuss the situation Iraq, the deputy wondered whether US forces had not "used the atom bomb" there. "They may have used this weapon," he said, "because we are told that hundreds of thousands of people have died in Iraq." Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP is a conservative party that has its roots in a now-banned Islamist movement in this Muslim-majority but secular country, whose parliament last year voted against allowing US use of its territory to open a northern front in the war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Public opinion surveys regularly show that an overwhelming majority of the Turkish population is opposed to the US presence in Iraq, which borders Turkey to the south.


IPS 11 Oct 2004 LATIN AMERICA: Women Murdered, Raped - and Ignored María Cecilia Espinosa SANTIAGO, Nov 11 (IPS) - Women, especially if they are young, working class and poor, run the risk of having their murdered, mutilated and raped bodies show up some morning in the streets of numerous Latin American cities, as evidenced by the more than 1,500 cases reported in the last decade that remain unsolved and unpunished. The critical situation throughout much of the region, and most especially in places like the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez, Guatemala City, and Alto Hospicio, Chile, as well as Brazil and El Salvador, led Amnesty International (AI) to organise a conference entitled Day of Reflection: Femicide in Latin America, held in Santiago, Chile on Nov. 5 and attended by women's rights activists, academics, lawmakers and officials. According to the conference participants, these crimes weigh upon the conscience of the region's governments, because they have failed to take action in accordance with their obligations as established in international law, and have thus permitted the impunity of femicide -- the murder of women who are killed specifically because they are women. Anthropologist Isabel Espinosa, one of the speakers at the conference, told IPS that femicide typically involves sexual violence. ”Quite often these women are found with their genitals mutilated, and most of them have been raped,” she said. ”Their bodies are positioned so that their sex organs are exposed...There is an intentional sexual connotation in these murders of women,” she added. The London-based Amnesty International, which organised the Day of Reflection, launched a global Stop Violence Against Women campaign on Mar. 8, 2004 -- International Women's Day. The organisation has stressed that the problem of violence against women is a human rights problem, and should be addressed on the basis of the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of these rights. The steps needed to stop the violence include promoting gender equality, seeking justice for gender-based human rights violations, and clearly defining the responsibilities of individual governments and the international community in punishing the perpetrators of these crimes, according to AI. Femicide has cost the lives of thousands of women in Latin America over the last decade. Women in the region have been made particularly vulnerable by the decline in socio-economic indicators, added to the deep-rooted patriarchal culture of machismo, in which misogyny is more easily tolerated, and violent death can be used as a form of intimidation to ”keep women in their place”. One of the most highly publicised cases is that of Ciudad Juárez, a Mexican city on the border with the United States. Since 1993, at least 300 women have been kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered. All of the victims were young and poor. Some were migrants on their way to the United States, some were students, others were workers in ”maquiladoras”, for-export assembly plants located along the border that are primarily foreign-owned and completely unregulated thanks to trade liberalisation. International pressure forced the Mexican government to open an investigation in 2001. According to the information gathered by Espinosa, however, not only have the original murders remained unsolved and unpunished, but there have also been an additional 400 to 4,000 reports of missing women and between 30 and 70 unidentified female corpses found. ”The discrepancy between the figures provided by the government and women's organisations is suspicious,” the anthropologist added. In the meantime, in the impoverished Chilean town of Alto Hospicio, 1,800 kilometres north of Santiago, 17 young women, of whom 11 were under 18 years of age, were kidnapped, raped, beaten and murdered between 1998 and 2001. Each time another young women was reported missing, the authorities blamed the victims themselves, alleging that they had run away from abusive homes or were involved in prostitution or human trafficking, reflecting an attitude described by specialists as criminalisation of the poor. ”The women of Alto Hospicio were not treated as full citizens while they were missing, nor after they were found dead,” said sociologist Sonia Vargas, another of the conference's speakers. In the case of Chile, the government offered financial compensation to the families of the victims of Alto Hospicio, but they are still marked by the stigma of being poor, which deprives them of their right to justice, she said. Guatemala is another example of critical levels of violence against women that have been largely ignored, a situation that AI would like to remedy. Since 2001, the bodies of over a thousand women who have been strangled, decapitated or otherwise mutilated have been found in hotel rooms or on the street. In many cases, a sign has been placed on their corpses, reading ”death to the bitches,” reminiscent of the torture used by government troops against women human rights activists during the country's bloody 36-year civil war (1960-1996). The victims lived in working-class or slum neighbourhoods, and most were either domestic workers or students. They ranged in age from 13 to 36. Last year alone, there were 383 violent cases of femicide reported in that Central American country, and 306 of those cases remain unsolved, according to the only study carried out on the matter, by the Non-Violence Network, a Guatemalan non-governmental organisation. In February, the United Nations acknowledged that the number of femicide cases in Guatemala, while almost completely overlooked, far outstripped those reported in Ciudad Juárez, which has been much more widely publicised. Yakin Erturk, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on violence against women, personally visited Guatemala and concluded, among other things, that the high degree of impunity for violence against women made it likely that at least some of the violence was committed by the authorities. For women's organisations, these murders are a result of the patriarchal system that prevails throughout Latin America, where power is exercised almost exclusively by men, and women who dare to break with cultural expectations place themselves in a vulnerable situation. In the case of many of the victims in Guatemala, Espinosa noted, ”These were girls who didn't follow traditional gender roles. They were young students who went to discotheques, and weren't afraid to go out at night, which was seen as a transgression.” Ingrid Wehr, a political scientist from the University of Chile, commented that in all of the different cases, the apathy shown by the police in responding to the murders ”reflects the stereotypes of patriarchal societies where violence is tolerated as a form of domination over women, who are seen as lesser beings.” Claudio Nash, the coordinator of the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Chile, told IPS that the lack of concern on the part of the authorities ”results from cultural and institutional factors that permit not only serial violence, as in these cases, but also domestic violence, which are both essentially ignored by the state.” As a consequence, he said, the state is indirectly responsible for violence against women, for having failed to act with due diligence in ensuring the investigation and punishment of these crimes and providing compensation for the victims and their families, as it is obliged to do by virtue of international law. For Nash, there is also a cultural gender bias that serves to downplay these problems. ”It's as if for the simple fact that they are women, the violence or poverty they endure is not important, and being subjected to these kinds of attacks is almost intrinsic to being a woman. They are not seen as violations of basic human rights.” The concept of femicide has yet to be incorporated in any national legislation, and is still used primarily in academic circles and the feminist movement, because ”it is more political. It doesn't refer solely to an individual aggressor, but also alludes to the existence of a state structure and legal system that permit these crimes,” Espinosa explained. The Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women -- also known as the Convention of Belém do Pará, in reference to the Brazilian city where it was adopted by the Organisation of American States (OAS) in 1994 -- established precise definitions of violence against women and clearly specified the rights of women and the duties of the states in ensuring that those rights are fulfilled. The Rome Statute, which is the 1998 treaty that established the International Criminal Court, also specifically refers to persecution on the grounds of gender and defines crimes against humanity as acts committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack, both of which are basic elements of femicide.

antiwar.com 12 nov 2004 A Libertarian Explanation of Genocide by R.J. Rummel Often it is said that we should understand genocide to prevent it. This is wrong. Understanding is not the key. An explanation is: specifically, explaining genocide as due to unlimited power. Let's first consider the Holocaust, which is the paradigm case of genocide. Scholars and historians have tried to understand the Holocaust in terms of Nazi racism, their hatred of the Jews and belief that the Jews were "vermin"; their idea that the betterment and future of German society demanded purifying it of these "bloodsuckers"; traditional German submission to authority, even to their racist Nazi rulers; and so on. But to prevent genocide or mass murder generally, understanding the Holocaust in this way is not enough, not if one wants to know as well why Jews were murdered in earlier times by the Poles, Romanians, Hungarians, Croatians, Ukrainians, Russians, etc. Nor is this understanding of the Holocaust sufficient to have prevented the Rwandan rulers' murder of up to a million Tutsi; the Young Turks' murder en masse of nearly 2 million Armenians; the Pakistani military's mass murder of over a million East Pakistan Bengalis and Hindus; the Khmer Rouge's murder of hundreds of thousands of Buddhist monks, Chams, and Vietnamese-Cambodians; and so on. To deal with these genocides, we need an explanation. An explanation provides the basis for predicting a behavior will occur. Understanding helps form an explanation, but also may inhibit it. That is, understanding that the Nazis characterized the Jews as vermin that they were eradicating does not help in predicting genocide elsewhere. For example, the belief of top leaders that the Jews (or some other minority group) are something like vermin would not have forecast many other major genocides in the 20th century. For example, some French and Polish political and military leaders held this view, and yet did not try to promote a large-scale genocide of Jews in their respective countries. Many sociologists and political scientists have been searching for an explanation of genocide and mass murder that would give us a warning of when it might happen. The problem has been that what seems predictive via understanding in one national/cultural context has not been in another. Accordingly, some of us have taken a different approach. Can we find a condition X, such that its presence or absence makes it more likely for situationally unique factors to result in genocide and mass murder? We have studied many such possible predisposing conditions, such as education, ethnic/racial diversity, population density, religion, ethnicity or race, regional location, and culture. For example, is genocide more likely when there are many ethnic groups in a country and when one particular ethnic group dominates others? The answer is no, not generally. But, one condition does stand out in all such research, and that is the kind of political system that a nation has, and particularly, the power at the center. Virtually all genocides and non-genocidal mass murders obey the following social law:The more power those who rule have, the less libertarian the government, the more likely the rulers will commit genocide and mass murder. Note that throughout contemporary Europe, including Germany, Rumania, Hungary, Russia, and Ukraine, any repeat of a mass murder of Jews is inconceivable at present. So it will be as long as these countries remain free. For free countries commit no such murder of their citizens; totalitarian regimes murder in the millions, and some in the tens of millions, such as the Soviet Union, China, and Nazi Germany. Power kills, absolute power kills absolutely. This is the explanation of the Holocaust and almost all genocides. It says that when any regime, such as the Nazis, can command their subjects as they wish, then those unique elements, such as hatred, economic envy, threats to power, etc., can have their lethal effects. So understanding does have a crucial role. It provides insight into why, given authoritarian or totalitarian rule, something like the Holocaust can occur. But alone, this understanding will not provide much help to prevent it or other genocides. The explanation in terms of power does, however. Therefore, how do we try to assure "never again"? Foster freedom – reduce power at the center. See www.hawaii.edu/powerkills

NYT 20 Nov 2004 BELIEFS The Brutality of War, and the Innocents Lost in the Crossfire By PETER STEINFELS arfare is so brutal that it is easy to understand the cynicism that doubts whether the words war and morality even belong in the same sentence. That is not the way that the military looks at it, however. In the years since the war in Vietnam and revulsion at events like the My Lai massacre, leadership of the armed forces has probably been way ahead of civilian policy makers in giving heed to traditional standards of ethical conduct in battle. No one imagines that these standards will be perfectly observed in the heat of combat, but they provide precious barriers against the descent into utter inhumanity. Most of this growing ethical concern has centered on sparing civilians. The principles are simple, even if observing them is not. First, civilian casualties must be an unavoidable side effect of military action, not an intended and purposeful part of it. Second, there must be some proportionality, however hard to define precisely, between the military objectives and the extent of civilian death and suffering. World War II saw a breakdown of this kind of traditional distinction between enemy forces and civilian populations. The civilians were finally judged to be as liable to direct attack as the former. The bombings of Germany and Japan were extended not only to hit traditional military targets, but also to wreak widespread death and destruction on civilians in hopes of breaking the enemy's morale. That wartime collapse of an ancient moral distinction carried over into cold war military planning, which often contemplated civilian deaths in the millions as a consequence of direct nuclear attacks or even biological warfare against population centers. Attitudes have changed. One reason, admittedly, is the existence of more discriminating weaponry. Another reason is the sense that much of what distinguishes the legitimate uses of military power from terrorism hangs on the special moral consideration given civilians. It is true that in the 1991 Persian Gulf war or the intervention to block ethnic cleansing in Kosovo the destruction of dual-use public works like power plants and communications and transportation systems raised a new category of moral questions. But the postwar suffering of civilians that resulted would scarcely have gnawed at Western consciences to the extent it did had not the goal of sparing civilians become so vigorously affirmed. This evolution in attitude appears all to the good. Unfortunately, the recent debate about tallying civilian casualties in Iraq has raised questions about its seriousness. Three weeks ago, The Lancet, the British medical journal, released a research team's findings that 100,000 or more civilians had probably died as a result of the war in Iraq. The study, formulated and conducted by researchers at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University and the College of Medicine at Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, involved a complex process of sampling households across Iraq to compare the numbers and causes of deaths before and after the invasion in March 2003. The 100,000 estimate immediately came under attack. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw of Britain questioned the methodology of the study and compared it with an Iraq Health Ministry figure that put civilian fatalities at less than 4,000. Other critics referred to the findings of the Iraq Body Count project, which has constructed a database of war-related civilian deaths from verified news media reports or official sources like hospitals and morgues. That database recently placed civilian deaths somewhere between 14,429 and 16,579, the range arising largely from uncertainty about whether some victims were civilians or insurgents. But because of its stringent conditions for including deaths in the database, the project has quite explicitly said, "Our own total is certain to be an underestimate." It has refrained from commenting on the 100,000 figure, except for noting that such a number "is on the scale of the death toll from Hiroshima" and, if accurate, has "serious implications." Certainly, the Johns Hopkins study is rife with assumptions necessitated by the lack of basic census and mortality data in Iraq. The sampling also required numerous adjustments because of wartime dangers - and courage in carrying out the interviews. Accordingly, the results are presented with a good many qualifications. Ultimately, the researchers are saying that these are the best estimates available and that better ones could be obtained if the occupying forces and the Iraqi authorities wanted them. "This survey shows that with modest funds, four weeks and seven Iraqi team members willing to risk their lives, a useful measure of civilian deaths could be obtained," the researchers wrote in The Lancet. "There seems to be little excuse for occupying forces to not be able to provide more precise tallies" that could be confirmed by independent bodies like the International Red Cross or the World Health Organization. What is Washington's response to this argument? The dismissive statement by the head of the United States Central Command, Gen. Tommy R. Franks of the Army, that "we don't do body counts" has been repeatedly quoted as more or less the final word on American policy. (An official at the Defense Department confirmed this week that American casualties were "as far as I know the only casualty information we track.") General Franks's dictum implies that the method, often disparaged as a measure of progress in Vietnam, is equally irrelevant or unreliable for measuring tragedy elsewhere. Can this position withstand scrutiny? To a lot of ears, it sounds like a pharmaceutical company that swears it doesn't want to market drugs with dangerous side effects but then avoids the studies that might determine just how dangerous those side effects might be. What would one think of doctors who stressed the importance of combating fever but refused to take anyone's temperature? To be sure, the morality of waging war in Iraq is not automatically resolved by establishing whether 4,000 civilians have died as a consequence or 17,000 or 100,000. But whether one figure or another is closer to the truth is surely relevant. Doesn't it mock any otherwise admirable moral concern for civilian losses not to want to find out?

news source abbreviations

AFP - Agence France-Presse
All-Africa - All-Africa Global Media
AI - Amnesty International
Al Jezeera - Arabic Satellite TV news from Qatar (since Nov. 1996, English since 2003)
Anadolu - Anadolu Agency, Turkey
ANSA - Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata - Italy
Antara Antara National New Agency, Indonesia
AP - Associated Press
BBC - British Broadcasting Network
DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
EFE - Agencia EFE (Spanish), www.EFEnews.com (English)
FANA - Federation of Arab News Agencies

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

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

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