Horn of Africa Bulletin (HAB) Vol.6 No.3 May-June 94

Horn of Africa Bulletin (HAB) Vol.6 No.3 May-June 94

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Vol.6 No.3 May-June 94


The Horn of Africa Bulletin (HAB) is an international media review, compiling and recording news and comments on the Horn of Africa. Reports published in HAB represent a variety of published sources and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors.

Readers are always referred to the original sources for complete versions. When HAB uses a secondary source, the secondary source is given first, followed by the primary source in square brackets. Some items are re-titled to best reflect the content of chosen excerpts. Sections marked with "/HAB/" are introductions or comments made by the editors. Square brackets are used to indicate changes/ additions made by the editors. (Square brackets appearing within a secondary source may also indicate changes made by a previous editor.)

Note of Thanks: We are particularly indebted to our readers for their contributions and to the Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, Uppsala, for their cooperation.


Abbreviations of sources used in this publication:

AB - African Business; AC - African Concord; AED - Africa Economic Digest; AFP - Agence France Presse, Paris; AI - Amnesty International; AN Africa News; ANB - African News Bulletin; APS - Africa Press Service; AR - Africa Report; ARN - Arab News; CSM - Christian Science Monitor, World Edition; DN - Daily Nation; DNR - Dagens Nyheter; DT - Daily Telegraph via RBB; EC - Ethiopian Commentator; EH - Ethiopian Herald; EN Ethiopia News; ENA - Ethiopian News Service; ER - Ethiopian Review; FOA Focus on Africa; GI - Guardian Independent; GN - The Guardian via RBB; GW - Guardian Weekly; HRM - Human Rights Monitor; IHT - International Herald Tribune; IND - The Independent via RBB; ION - Indian Ocean Newsletter; KT - Kenya Times; LICR - Lloyd's Information Casualty Report via RBB; LWI - Luth. World Information; MD - Monday Developments; MEED - Middle East Economic Digest via RBB; NA - New African; NFE - News from Ethiopia; NN - NordNet; NNS - NGO Networking Service's Monthly Update via NordNet; NN/UNIC - United Nations Information Center, Sydney, via NordNet; NYT - New York Times; RBB - Reuters Business Briefing; SCSG - Scottish Churches' Sudan Group Newsletter via NN; SDG - Sudan Democratic Gazette; SHRV - Sudan Human Rights Voice; SN - Sudan Embassy News; SNU - Somalia News Update; SSV - Southern Sudan Vision; STD - Standard; SU - Sudan Update; SvD - Svenska Dagbladet; SWB - BBC Summary of World Broadcasts via RBB; WH - The White House via ; WP - Washington Post.

Radio stations are abbreviated as follows:

RNU - Radio National Unity, Omdurman; RFI - Radio France Internationale, Paris; RH - Radio Hargeisa, Voice of Republic of Somaliland; RM - Radio Manta, Mogadishu; RMO - Radio Mogadishu; RMV - Radio Mogadishu, Voice of the Great Somali People; RSR - Republic of Sudan Radio, Omdurman; VBME - Voice of the Broad Masses of Eritrea, Asmara; VOE - Voice of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa; VOEE - Voice of Ethiopia External Service, Addis Ababa; VOEN Voice of Ethiopia National Service, Addis Ababa.


The Horn of Africa Bulletin is published bimonthly by the LIFE & PEACE INSTITUTE, Box 297, S-751 05 Uppsala, Sweden Tel: (+46) 18-16 95 00; Fax: (+46) 18-69 30 59 Email:

Publisher: Sture Normark
Editor: Susanne Thurfjell Lunden
Assistant Editor: Everett Nelson

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** E D I T O R I A L **


According to one estimate, 22 million people in 10 countries in eastern Africa are affected by conflicts and/or natural disasters which cause widespread famine, displacement and death.

Over the years, NGOs and governments have become increasingly skilled in reading the early warning signs of drought and famine, and mechanisms have been developed to cope with these problems. By mobilizing massive amounts of food and development aid, the international community has on the one hand been quite successful in preventing and treating the symptoms of famine, as well as some of the causes. On the other hand, the international community has not given due attention to one of the recurring basic causes of famine-- war. What are the early warning signals which the international community should identify and act on to prevent conflict? What can we learn from history?

In 1972 in Addis Ababa, the conflicting parties in Sudan reached a peace agreement that had the potential to last. Why, then, did it last only 10 years? One basic reason was that the agreement was never followed up in a thorough way. A peace agreement is never enough. The work for peace must go on. Groups and individuals must be reconciled and rehabilitated so that they are assured a basic decent life with food, security, work, health care, education, etc. In Sudan one very concrete reason why the war boke out again in 1983 was due to the fact that the rebel soldiers of Anyanya 2 were never properly demobilized and reintegrated into society. Should not the precedent of 1983 in Sudan serve as an incentive for the international community to continue its assistance to the new government in Ethiopia, which is trying to cope with the demoblization and rehabilitation of 500,000 government soldiers? The same question applies to Eritrea where up to 90,000 freedom fighters must be integrated into society again. There are signs of unrest among them and they will have to compete for meagre resources with hundreds of thousands of refugees who are waiting to go back home. The Eritrea question was neglected for 30 years; they should not have to struggle alone to preserve the peace for which they paid so dearly.

Eritrea's and Ethiopia's capacities for acquiring food security for their peoples are better today than during the war, but we are talking about two of the world's poorest countries, whose economies have been ground to dust by 30 years of war. Furthermore, population growth in the Horn far surpasses increases in food production. They are fighting an uphill battle and must have longterm outside help to be able to reverse the trend, or we will witness how two relatively stable states collapse into famine and political instability again.

Whereas the early warning signals for conflict in Ethiopia and especially in Eritrea are seen, but not given enough attention by the international community, the warning signals in Somalia reflect support and energies focussed in the wrong area. In Somalia, the UN is intent on legitimizing the very warlords whose quest for power destroyed much of Somalia during the civil war.

Furthermore, Somalia has been faced by an ultimatum from the international community that if there are no positive signs in the peace process before the middle of July, the UN will withdraw earlier than planned. In fact, a powerful signal was given at the beginning of June, when UNOSOM's mandate was renewed for only four months instead of the six that the Secretary General had recommended. An important question in this context is, what "positive sign" is the international community waiting for? If they are waiting for the warlords to give a sign, they will have to wait in vain. Or, will the international community and UN be able to see the positive signs that are already there and that can be built upon? There is a healthy reconciliation and democratization process going on in Somalia among the grass roots in the regions. It is a process in which the Somali people are the actors and which is ensuring broad-based participation at different levels of Somali society. Today, in most of Somalia's districts and regions there are councils which have been set up through elders and local clan leaders. The councils are in place and they are eager to go ahead, but they are very fragile structures. If they are not given support and protection many might succomb to corruption, as there are many parties who have an interest in securing power through these councils.

In Somalia the early warning signs are loud and clear: If the US and the UN, in their eagerness to see something spectacular happen at a negotiation table, hand over the future of Somalia entirely to the warlords, the result will be a renewed civil war.

Amidst UN and US reluctance to remain actively engaged in peacekeeping operations in Africa, there have, however, been some positive trends in the field of conflict resolution and mediation by regional organizations, such as the IGADD initiative in Sudan.

In conclusion, it is of vital importance that the international community recognizes that the famines in Ethiopia/Eritrea in the early seventies and mid-eighties, in Somalia in 1992 and today in Sudan, although initially caused by drought, took on catastrophic proportions as a direct result of conflict and war, which hinders both domestic food production and emergency food distribution. The early warning signs of demobilization difficulties and economic fragility in Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as the emphasis on warlords in Somalia must be recognized as such and acted upon. If not, the international community will one day look back and have to acknowledge that it was possible to foresee the outbreak of yet more armed conflict in this already war-ravaged region of the world.

** T H E H O R N O F A F R I C A **

(Reuter 20 Apr 94)
ADDIS ABABA - More than 22 million people scattered across 10 East African countries could die of starvation without help, a U.S. government aid official said on Wednesday.

Fred Fisher, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development regional office for East and South Africa, said drought and man-made factors created "an emergency crisis" in the Horn of Africa.

He told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa that those especially at risk among 22.6 million people facing hunger in the 10 countries were refugees and those displaced by civil war, tribal clashes, anarchy or drought...

The entire Rwandan population of 7.6 million people should be considered at risk because of war and massacres since the president was killed on April 6, he said.

Fisher said the United States, as the world's major donor of food aid, was preparing to help the needy in the 10 countries against the additional threat of widespread famine if drought worsened...

He listed the famine hit countries as Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.

The United States would provide Ethiopia with 360,000 tonnes of food aid, nearly half the 770,000 tonnes Addis Ababa appealed for to feed its 6.7 million people facing hunger this year, Fisher said.

Washington would give 60,000 tonnes of food to the Red Sea state of Eritrea for its 1.3 million people hit by famine.

He said the situation in Somalia, where international aid had helped cut the number of famine-affected people from 1.5 million to 700,000, was bound to worsen after the withdrawal of U.S. troops and other Western U.N. contingents last month.

(IPS 3 Jun 94)
NAIROBI - Famine threatens a swathe of eastern Africa from Sudan to Tanzania, placing millions at risk, warns the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

The U.N. agency attributes the vicious cycle of famine in the region to drought and civil strife in a report released here Friday.

It describes the food situation in conflict-torn countries - Rwanda, Burundi, Somali and Sudan--as "grave"...

In strife-torn Somalia, cereal production last year was 25 percent below the poor harvest of 1992. An estimated 1.6 million people require emergency food aid this year.

The situation is worse in Sudan. Compounding the problem of the fall in sorghum and millet production last year is the war in the south. A total of 3.7 million people require food aid because of drought and internal displacement.

Conditions are particularly disastrous in the south-west. Fighting has led to mass movements of people towards the Uganda border, and has created an acute humanitarian crisis. Twenty thousand displaced people in the southern town of Wau are in dire need, and deaths have been reported.

In Ethiopia, there were poor harvests last year and the already serious food situation is expected to worsen with the number of drought affected people rising from 4.5 million to 6.7 million.

In the hardest hit areas, destitute villagers having already sold their posessions are on the move looking for food. A catastrophe is in the making which needs urgent international action, FAO stresses.

In Eritrea the situation is said to be deteriorating in the provinces of Barka, Senhit and Sahel, and starvation related deaths have been reported.

Kenya had poor harvests both in the main and short rains seasons. Large numbers of subsistence farmers have become vulnerable, the report says...

(Reuter 26 May 94)
WASHINGTON - President Clinton said Thursday he is sending a special delegation to examine conditions in East Africa, where a possible famine could threaten the lives of nearly 20 million people.

A White House statement said Clinton had asked J. Brian Atwood, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, to head the bipartisan delegation that will include members of Congress and private organisations.

It said the group would try to prevent massive starvation in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya by investigating and then raising and coordinating more assistance from global organisations.

"The crisis in the East Africa region threatens every nation in the region and is caused by drought conditions and civil conflicts," the White House statement said...

It said concerted regional and international action two years ago prevented a similar drought in southern Africa from becoming a major famine.

"Our effort to head off the incipient famine will be both short- and long-term and will help the nations of the region address what have become chronic food shortages," it said.

The delegation was to leave Washington Thursday. It will examine programmes sponsored by the U.S. government and other donors in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Kenya, and meet with heads of state and government representatives...

(RBB 8 Jun 94 [Agence Europe 7 June 94])
Brussels - European Commission vice-president Manuel Marin met Brian Atwood, Administrator of USAID and President Clinton's special envoy to the Horn of Africa, in Brussels last week with whom he decided that, henceforth, American and European Commission officials would meet twice a year on issues ranging from joint assessment of aid requirements to improvement of food security and disaster prevention. Mr. Atwood said on this occasion that crises prevention should become the backbone of international cooperation in Africa, and that his administration was focusing on the Horn of Africa where the situation was worrisome, and where UN Agencies estimate that between 4.5 and 4.7 million people could be victims of famine. Food aid is estimated at 1.19 million tonnes in Ethiopia, 575,000 tonnes in Sudan, 300,000 tonnes in Eritrea and 175,000 tonnes in Somalia, thus a total of 2.24 million tonnes, whereas so far donors have pledged 1.52 million tonnes, 462,000 of which financed by the European Union budget.

Mr. Marin set out the initiatives taken by the Commission in order to combat famine in the Horn of Africa since the mid-80s, these are: - food early warning systems, with various projects having been undertaken at national level to impose monitoring and "mapping" of the risk areas; - food security and market liberalization programmes. In Kenya, eg., the Commission undertook a Mecu 65 programme with a major food security element; - transport infrastructure to facilitate the distribution of aid (eg.: railway communications between Djibouti and Ethiopia).

(IPS 6 Jun 94, by Abdelmajid Bejar)
TUNIS - When African leaders meet next week to discuss the challenges facing the continent, one issue high on the agenda is how the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) should go about trying to solve the ongoing conflicts.

OAU Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim raised the issue Monday as foreign ministers from across the continent began a week-long Council of Ministers meeting to lay the groundwork for the Jun 13- 15 summit which will also be held in the Tunisian capital.

But Salim was happy to report that it is not all doom and gloom on the continent which is still celebrating the successful democratic elections in South Africa. The region can also look forward to the prospect of increased intra-regional trade, he said.

But the immediate business at hand is the Rwandan crisis and the organisation's ability to respond to Africa's security concerns as a whole with wars also raging in Angola and Sudan, and the situation uneasy in Burundi and Liberia.

The reconstruction process of strife-torn Somalia is also a matter being taken up at the Jun. 6-11 60th Council of Ministers meeting...

** D J I B O U T I **


ADDHL - Djibouti Association for the Defense of Human Rights and
DRA - Djibouti Relief Association
FDF - Front of Democratic Forces
FRUD - Front for the Restauration of Unity and Democracy
FNS - Force Nationale de Securite
MND - Mouvement National Djiboutien
MSR - Mouvement pour le Salut et la Reconstruction
MUD - Movement pour l'Unite de la Democratie
PCRD - Parti Centriste et des Reformes Democratiques
PND - Parti National Democratique
PRD - Parti du Renouveau Democratique
RPP - Rassemblement Populaire pour le Progres
UDD - Union des Democrates Djiboutiens
UDSJ - Union for Democracy and Social Justice
UMD - Union des Movements Democratiques


(DRA Situational Report 1 Apr 94)
As compiled from field visit to Allol Region 12-15 March; Alailai Dadda/ Dalha/ Mebla Regions 17-25 March.

1. Drought

Severe drought has extremely weakened both animals and people in all regions. In parts of the northern border regions, Alaili Dadda and Adgeno, rain had not fallen for over one year. The border regions from Boyna/ Siarou, Balho/Allol, Adgeno/Moussa Ali to Alaili Dadda and into the Dalha are the worst affected showing heavy herd losses and, in some districts visited, universal malnutrition among children below 10 years.

2. Animal Herds

Overall, it is estimated that 50% of goat and sheep herds have died, mostly as a direct result of drought or as losses inflicted during war, over the past 6 months...

3. Displacement

Following the brutal killings, widespread destruction of property and multiple civilian arrests and interrogation in the Goda Mont region in late December (see human rights abuses account), some 2-3,000 people fled out of the region. 1,000 such displaced from Dey and Goda were found in the Allol district with their cattle herds...

Again, following the March 2-6 war in the Mebla region, civilian attacks in the districts of Adailu, Ripta, Terdo and Ayree caused substantial population displacement deeper into the surrounding territory. In all accounts, people had lost considerable numbers of goats, either driven off by the Djibouti army or abandoned in flight. When the Djibouti army destroyed by explosive the Isilou water well on March 2 which had supplied the rural populations of Bole, Adailu and Assageila, an estimated 4,000 people were immediately without water and some herds died of thirst. These people [were] displaced mainly to Ayah 'Adou...

/HAB/ The DRA report goes on to document a number of human rights abuses which are reported to have occurred on 31 Dec 93 and during the period of 2-4 Mar 94. All the incidents appear to be in retribution for FRUD ambushes on army convoys at Dey and Bekenef (30 Dec 93) and at Aywali (24 Feb).

Summarizing some of the human rights violations mentioned in the report, 25 people were tortured, 7 people burnt alive (including two children), an Oromo goat herder was killed while cutting trees, two men were shot, a number of homes were set on fire (In Ayree, a fire claimed the lives of 4 people.), and almost the entire town of Adailu was taken hostage and kept in Bekenef from 2 to 18 March.

(ION 14 May 94, p.4)
The commissioner of the republic (head of the Djibouti district) dissolved Syndicat des Enseignants du Premier Degre (primary schoolteachers' trade union) on May 7 whilst it was engaged in a massively-followed strike action commenced on May 3... The same day, members of the Force Nationale de Securite occupied all schools in the capital on government orders. Meanwhile, Syndicate des Enseignants du Second Degre (the secondary schoolteachers' union) called out its teachers on May 8 and 9.

(SWB 9 Jun 94 [VOEE in English, 7 Jun 94])
About 20 people have been injured by gunfire in Jibuti when police dispersed a demonstration against the bulldozing of homes in an Afar district of Jibuti's capital. Afar sources and the United Front of the Jibuti Opposition said four people were killed during Sunday's [5th June] protest in the Arhiba district of Jibuti. The opposition front also claimed that security forces arrested more than 300 people including the front's president, Muhammad Ahmad Issa, known as Cheiko.

The incident was seen as the latest in a conflict between Jibuti's Afars, and the authorities and security forces dominated by Issas, the main ethnic group in Jibuti. The Association for [the Defence of] Human Rights and Freedom quoted witnesses as saying that there were many demonstrators wounded. It said more than 300 people have been left homeless and dispossessed of anything which might be useful to them.


(SWB 7 May 94 [Africa No 1 radio, Libreville, in French 4 May 94])
In Jibuti four detained opposition leaders have been set free. Four senior officials of the United Front of the Jibuti Opposition [FUOD], including the front's leader Mohamed Ahmed Issa alias Cheiko, who have been in detention for over three months were released on 2nd May. The three others are Kamil Ali Mohamed, Mahdi Ibrahim Ahmed and Galal Abdirahman. They were all arrested in late January after they had, at the second FUOD news conference held in Addis Ababa, called for the overthrow of, quote, the dictatorial regime of President Hassan Gouled Aptidon and the stepping up of the armed struggle.

The freeing of the opposition figures followed their court trial on 2nd May. Each of the four opposition figures, who are accused of attempting in writing to incite, and inciting, armed riot, received three-month jail terms. Three other FUOD leaders living abroad, Ahmed Dini, Mohamed Hussein Hassan and Omar Elmi Khaire, who also signed the Addis Ababa appeal, were each sentenced to three-year jail terms. FUOD is made up of several unrecognized political movements including the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy, the Afar guerrilla movement.

(SWB 21 May 94 [RFI in French, 18 May 94])
In Jibuti the former chairman of the [Government] Council, Ali Aref Bourhane, who was recently released from prison, has been prevented from leaving the territory. Yesterday evening the border police withdrew his passport while he was about to board a flight for Paris. The police have given no reason, explaining that they were acting on instructions. The Jibuti Association for the Defence of Human Rights condemned this practice in a communique this morning.

(SWB 6 May 94 [RFI in French, 4 May 94]
In Jibuti, the FRUD [Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy], which yesterday denied the existence of a new leadership, decided today to expel Ougoureh Kifle, who said that he headed the revolt and even announced the opening of negotiations with the Jibuti government. The executive council of the armed movement believes that Ougoureh Kifle is guilty of lack of discipline and usurpation of his post and authority.

/HAB/ See HAB 2/94 p.2.


(SWB 6 May 94 [Yemeni Republic Radio, San'a, in Arabic 4 May 94])
Brother Lt-Gen Ali Abdullah Salih, chairman of the Presidential Council, today received Jibuti Prime Minister Barkat Hamadou, who conveyed to him a letter from his brother Jibuti President Hassan Gouled. The letter dealt with bilateral relations, issues of interest to both fraternal countries, and developments in our country.

The letter stressed Jibuti's concern for stability in our country and its support for Yemen's unity and democratic policy as well as Jibuti' s willingness to do anything or offer any good offices to help our country circumvent the challenges imposed by the crisis. The letter pointed out that Yemen's security and stability were of concern to Jibuti and other regional states, led by the Horn of Africa states...

(Reuter 9 May 94, by Ashraf Fouad])
DJIBOUTI - French, German and Italian aircraft shuttled all day between Yemen's capital Sanaa and Djibouti as evacuations continued on Monday of foreigners fleeing civil war.

Hundreds more people left the war-torn Red Sea Arab state by ship.

The French air force flew 395 foreigners from Sanaa to Djibouti on Sunday.

An Italian C-130 transport plane evacuated 100 people from the city on Monday, and another was on its way in to fly out 50 others, an air force spokesman in Rome said...

(SWB 3 May 94 [VOEE in Amharic, 28 Apr 94])
Ethiopia and Jibuti have signed a 16-point agreement aimed at further strengthening existing relations and cooperation between the two countries. They have also issued a joint communique. Of the 16 points in the agreement - signed at the end of a working visit to Jibuti by a senior Ethiopian delegation led by Prime Minister Tamirat Layne - six were new and the rest had been signed earlier and needed amending...

Various protocols and memorandums of understanding in the political, economic, social and cultural fields were also signed by the relevant officials of the two countries. The new points on cooperation signed by the two prime ministers during the meeting related to agriculture, industry, border patrols, exchange of criminals and customs. Existing agreements which were amended were approved again and include the use of port facilities, culture and sports, training, capital, trade subsidy and movement of commercial goods...

** E R I T R E A **


ARDU - Afar Revolutionary Democratic Union
ARDUF - Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front
CERA - Commission for Eritrean Refugee Affairs
CRS - Catholic Relief Secretariat
ECE - Evangelical Church of Eritrea
EDLM - Eritrean Democratic Liberation Movement
EDM - Eritrean Democratic Movement
ELF - Eritrean Liberation Front
ELF-RC - ELF-Revolutionary Council
ELF-UO - ELF-Unity Organisation
EPLF Eritrean People's Liberation Front
ERRA - Eritrean Relief and Rehabilitation Association
ERD - Emergency Relief Desk
PFDJ - Popular Front for Democracy and Justice
PGE - Provisional Government of Eritrea
PROFERI - Programme for Refugee Reintegration and Rehabilitation of
Resettlement Areas in Eritrea


(Reuter 24 May 94, by Jacky Sutton)
ASMARA - The Red Sea state of Eritrea, Africa's youngest state, celebrated its first birthday in style on Tuesday, honouring its dead heroes but also focusing on a tough path ahead.

Eritreans woke up to a 21-gun salute to honour those killed in a bitter 30-year war of secession from Ethiopia.

But it was the only military activity planned for the day. Festivity organisers instead arranged soccer matches and street parties to celebrate. Colourful bunting hung from all the main buildings in the attractive Italianate capital.

In his anniversary speech, President Isayas Afewerki focused on the difficult tasks of recovering from Africa's longest civil war.

The 47-year-old leader said a shortage of skilled professionals and capital investment was of grave concern to an administration trying to tackle a shattered economy, soaring unemployment and emerging tribal and religious tensions.

"Massive problems lie ahead," Afewerki told Eritreans in remarks broadcast by radio.

"On-going discussions with the World Bank had opened the way for loans to rebuild the country's infrastructure but also raised the question of debt dependency that the government had always been anxious to avoid," Afewerki added.

Eritrea's rulers estimated late last year they needed about $2 billion in emergency aid alone to kickstart the economy. It is not known how much of this money has been negotiated and Afewerki offered no details on the loans negotiations.

"A national reconstruction effort involving ex-fighters and civilians has simply not been able to reverse the effects of civil war," a government economist said...

CHAIRMAN OF CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION APPEALS FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE (SWB 4 May 94 [VBME in Tigrigna, 29 Apr 94]) Dr Bereket Habte Selasie, the chairman of the Eritrean Constitutional Commission, at the Eritrean embassy in Addis Ababa yesterday briefed foreign diplomats about the commission...

The commissioner noted that the commission would require about 4.5m US dollars. So far the commission has received a building for its offices and 100,000 US dollars from the Eritrean government. In conclusion, the commissioner called on government and nongovernmental organizations to assist the commission.

(SWB 18 May 94 [VBME in Tigrigna, 16 May 94])
President Isayas Afewerki, this morning at the Asmara city hall gave a briefing on the Eritrean Defence Ministry's directive on the first round of national service. During the meeting, which was attended by leaders of the Central National Youth Service, administrators of Asmara city zones and combatants and workers directly involved in the deployment of the activities of the National Youth Service, President Isayas noted that national service was an exercise which generated psychological and physical strength, gave ability to face problems, abolished the spirit of idleness which had for long been inculcated in the youth, brought about new impetus in them and prepared them to defend their country at times of travail. It also served to educate the youth about their country, acquaint them with their culture and their society and performed an important role in defending the country's unity. Performance of national service was therefore the duty of every individual, the president noted.

President Isayas noted that the delay in implementing this exercise was a loss to the nation, the delay was incurred because the government had found essential technical requirements lacking in some ministries.

President Isayas said about 10,000 youths in Asmara Province would be registered within two weeks and deployed in this first round of national service being carried out under the full responsibility of the Ministry of Defence. National service would last for 18 months. The first six months would focus on military training, while the remaining 12 months would be devoted to reconstructing the nation's agricultural sector and learning about the country, he noted.

During this occasion, the head of military logistics at the Ministry of Defence, Mr Tekle Habte Selasie, and the deputy administrator of Asmara city, Mr Fisehaye Haile, gave additional briefings...

(SWB 26 May 94 [VBME in Tigrigna, 23 May 94])
The Eritrean government has granted an amnesty to 132 political prisoners who had served the enemy as spies and security officers and committed crimes against the Eritrean people. The amnesty was granted to mark Eritrea's first anniversary of independence, according to a statement issued by the Eritrean President's Office. The statement added that the purpose of the amnesty was to give the beneficiaries a chance to reconstruct their country which they had destroyed and to compensate the people they had wronged. It is to be recalled that the Eritrean government has earlier amnestied people who worked as the enemy's spies and security agents and committed crimes and atrocities against the Eritrean people.

(SWB 7 May 94 [RFI in French, 5 May 94])
RFI's midday guest is Isayas Aferwerki, the president of Eritrea, who left Paris this morning after a three-day visit to France. It was his first official visit to the West since the independence of his country. His visit ended with the signing of a protocol worth some 20m francs to rehabilitate the airport and the water supply system of the Eritrean capital. In the diplomatic field, the situation in the Horn of Africa was at the centre of the talks that Isayas Aferwerki held with Francois Mitterrand among others. Paris welcomes Eritrea's stabilizing action in this area of the continent. Will the Eritrean president be able to act as a mediator in the crisis rocking Jibuti, among other places? Isayas Aferwerki spoke to Francois Picard [phonetic] and Ghislaine Dupont:

[Isayas - recording, in English with French superimposed] I don't think we can be mediators in regional questions. We are our neighbours' partners. Eritrea is coming out of a war that has been very long and very destructive but the stability of the region concerns us all and the development of the region can only come about through peace and stability...

[Q] The Eritrean government is working on a new draft constitution which should come into force in three years' time. Does this constitution provide for a multiparty system?

[A] We are not linking the question of political parties with the constitution. You can see that the constitution of the United States doesn't talk about political parties. That doesn't necessarily mean that we don't accept a multiparty system in Eritrea. We are already in the process of drawing up the law on the press, which we expect to be the basis of all multiparty activity in the country. What is certain is that a law on parties will follow and it will give the opposition parties the possibility of being active during the transition period.

We are putting the emphasis on state institutions: we can have an elected parliament, an executive that is responsible to the institutions and an independent judicial system. We believe that these are the pillars of a nation and of a democracy. It is in this context that we can speak of a multiparty system, of press freedom and of other basic laws that would guarantee the rights of every citizen in the country.


(FBIS 12 Apr 94 [Al-Hayah in Arabic, 19 Mar 94, p.7])
...Merchants' Complaints

[Dahli] Every single Eritrean merchant is today complaining of the tax burden imposed on him by the government, to the degree that some say their slim profits are used to pay the government tax bill. What is your response?

[Issaias] This isn't just in Eritrea. In every country in the world merchants cry and complain about the terrible tax burden. In Eritrea's case, I firmly believe that there is a certain exaggeration in the volume of merchant complaints. I have heard the merchants' complaints because their voices are loud, and that is because they control the markets. The simple consumers, on the other hand, complain of price-gouging and hardly anyone hears them...

[Dahli] Where have the raw materials disappeared to--the gold, oil, natural gas, uranium, and other things that the Eritrean Front's pamphlets spoke of before independence?

[Issaias] I am extremely cautious about what is said about the existence of minerals in commercial quantities in Eritrea.

[Dahli] Why?

[Issaias] We don't want to give people ideas about things we aren't sure exist.

[Dahli] But there are civil studies conducted by Italian experts between the world wars. And the Ethiopian Government gave oil concessions to foreign countries--etc.

[Issaias] True, some foreign companies did surveying and exploring in the era of the Derg, which proved the existence of natural gas in substantial quantities. But with oil, no one knows now whether it's there in commercial quantities, or very limited quantities.

[Dahli] Have you signed agreements with foreign companies to explore for oil?

[Issaias] We are in the process now. The surveying process, then exploitation, will take some time. The trouble is that people are in a hurry.

In addition, we are currently reviewing the contracts the colonial Ethiopian authorities signed with international commercial establishments, which are trying to monopolize the Eritrean market at the expense of other companies. It is in our interest to open the door to global competition among all companies before giving concession rights to this one instead of that one.

The important thing, in my view, is that Eritrea possesses considerable agricultural possibilities and priceless marine resources, but, unfortunately Third World countries have a tendency to dream about oil wells as the solution to their problems...

The Press and Opposition Parties

[Dahli] The question of economic development is linked to political stability. Do you have a specific timetable for the implementation of political pluralism, which can open the way to broad participation in all fields?

[Issaias] The important thing, the central thing, in my view, is that the conference members confirmed the principle of political pluralism. Translating it into reality requires objective terms. Thus it is difficult to specify a time table for the formation of opposition parties.

[Dahli] There are Eritrean leaders abroad expressing their desire to establish parties. Where do you stand on this?

[Issaias] So far there is no desire to form parties with the people who are active in some Arab and Western countries. The whole has to do with some elements who still have mentalities of the past, stuck to the legacy of the ELF...

[Dahli] What would your conditions be for any party to pursue its political activity officially?

[Issaias] I do not want to get ahead of events, but in general, and in order to safeguard Eritreas national unity and Eritrean political independence, we believe it is essential for parties to be independent of direct and indirect outside influence. Nor should they be founded on religious, ethnic, regional, or tribal bases.

These are the redlines that must be respected. it does not mean that there can be no discussion of this very sensitive issue. On the contrary, discussion will be initiated, so that Eritreans can give their views on every single issue.

[Dahli] How can that happen, when the very few media in the country are under government control?

[Issaias] Modern Eritrea, the only official newspaper published in Arabic and Tigrinya, has worked hard from the beginning to open its columns to Eritrean writers in a limited fashion. Thus the dialogue that is underway, I think, cannot continue without a law for the freedom of the press, which will be introduced in the next few days. Only then can the provisions of the Constitution, the laws, and party rules be discussed. It will be up to the Eritreans to draw the broad lines of the modern state.

[Dahli] Will there be laws regulating the freedom of the press?

[Issaias] One cannot allow things to take a rambling course. There have to be rules.

[Dahli] Such as?

[Issaias] Not tampering with national unity; the avoidance of cursing; and avoiding vituperative and litigious methods, to the greatest extent possible. In return, we will reconsider erroneous decisions, expose negative stands, and bring citizens' complaints and expectations into the open. And, in line with neighboring countries' experiences with press freedom, we will permit no foreign funding for our local newspapers, to eliminate foreign disruptions...

(Eritrea-Info 1 Jun 94 [Wall Street Journal 31 May 93, p.1, by Geraldine Brooks])
...At a bar in Massawa, a group of young fighters nurse glasses of tea and discuss their predicament. For some, peace has brought bitter sweet changes. Fatieha, a slightly built 20-year-old, is glad she won't have to witness any more of wounding and killing that were a constant during five years in the trenches. She has gladly shed her kaki shorts for a silky dress. She has styled her hair and forced newly grown finger nails. Still, she misses the sexual equality of the front.

"Some of the civilians don't understand that a woman must be free to go out, to work, to sit in a bar like a man," she says. While the society sees her as a heroine, she worries that it doesn't necessarily see her as an eligible bride. Some fighters who married at the front have been divorced by husbands under family pressure to take submissive civilian wives.

Meanwhile, Fatieha's "friend Saleh misses a different kind of Equality. At the front, he says, university graduates shared the same status as fighters who had never had a chance to go to school. Now, he works at an unpaid job alongside non-fighters earning fat salaries from the U.N. "It's hard, when you've been at war and they've had the chance to get an education," he says. "When we were at the front, we didn't need money, but in town, you need clothes, you need cash to have a beer."

The rebels' success in war also has raised high peacetime expectations that aren't easily met with a shattered infrastructure and an empty treasury. So committed to education that they carried blackboards in to the trenches for literacy classes during breaks in fighting, the Eritreans now have too few teachers to serve the civilian population. In some areas, children draw lots to see who will go to school.

Health care, too, is a problem. "Their health-care system in war was excellent, but it was an emergency system," says Cesar Manetti, an Eritrean born pathologist from Rockford, Ill. "When it had to meet the needs of a civilian population, it faltered. People in the cities felt 'Now our brothers are here - they'll help us.'" Faced by pent-up demand created by neglect during Ethiopian rule, barefoot doctors from the front lines couldn't cope. For at least a year, the health minister, a surgeon, had to divided his day between the operating theater and his government office because demand for his surgical skills was high.

Dr. Manetti is trying to set up a volunteer program to have U.S. experts help the Eritreans with the training. But the government, faced with an acute housing shortage, hasn't yet been able to figure out where to put the volunteers when they arrive.

The short-term answer is an infusion of foreign aid, but with the demands from Eastern Europe and the former Yugoslavia, Eritrea hasn't enjoyed the attention from donors that it might have merited a few years ago.

That makes one U.S. aid official wistful. Of more than 20 countries he has worked in, he says, Eritrea "is the one where you feel comfortable that every nickel you put into the place is going to be used properly." He hopes the U.S. will open its purse a bit wider. "They're on a take off here," he says. "All they need is a little wind."

(AB May 94, p.18)
Eritrea's economic recovery is hampered by a lack of energy. The country's three power stations produce a mere 20 megawatts, barely adequate for the capital, Asmara. Diesel is used in rural centres and by several of the country's 42 state-run factories, but it is expensive and eats into foreign exchange earmarked for spare parts and capital equipment.

Wood stoves and lamps are the most popular domestic alternative to electric power, but the indescriminate cutting of trees, compounded with the effects of the 30-year war, have led to a drastic decline in Eritrea's forest area, from 30% of the country to a mere 0.4%, or 53,220 hectares. Scarcity of wood has led some households to burn dung, thereby depriving the land of natural fertiliser.

Eritrea does have abundant reserves of energy in the shape of the wind, water and the sun. Preliminary feasibility studies indicate a hydropower potential of over 5.7m kilowatts, and work is under way to identify sites for the construction of riverine dams.

It is solar energy, however, which has the most promising potential in the short term. Eritrean forces used solar power for their underground hospitals, schools and cultural centres. Independence has brought this suberranean technology into the open.

So far, 37 schools and three hospitals have been built and equiped to run on solar power. According to Debesai Ghebrehiwot of the Ministry of Energy, there are plans to develop a further 20 solar-powered health centres and dozens of schools across the country. "Our children", he laughs, "can even learn during the night."...

(Reuter 13 May 93, by Alan Raybould)
NAIROBI - The African Development Bank ended its annual meeting on Friday with a crucial reform of its lending policy left up in the air and its soft loan fund bare...

There was one happy development. The Bank started the week with 51 members and ended it with 52, when Eritrea was admitted.

And, in the week of President Nelson Mandela's inauguration, the new South Africa formally applied to join. When it is admitted, the whole of Africa will be united in the AfDB.

(European Commission press release via RBB 24 May 94, IP/94/423)
A mission from the European Commission, headed by Vice-President Manuel Marin, responsible for development cooperation and humanitarian aid, visited Eritrea on 22 May 1994.

The purpose of this visit was the signing of the "National Indicative Programme" for Eritrea under the Lome Convention, by Vice-President Manuel Marin and His Excellency the President of the State of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki.

The European Union's support to Eritrea given under this Programme for the next two years amounts to 35 million ECU (just over 250 Million Ethiopian Birr). All these funds are grants and therefore require no repayment. This substantial programme of assistance covers many areas and projects of national and regional significance and makes the European Union one of the largest donors to Eritrea.

The main focal areas under this cooperation agreement will be the rehabilitation of the infrastructure of Eritrea and the launching of several studies including sectorial studies of the transport sector and water resources in preparaton of the next financial protocol of the Lome IV Convention.

Since 1992, Eritrea has already received from the European Union's budget an assistance of approximately 105 million ECU (just over 650 million Birr).

The European Union and 66 ACP States signed on 15 December 1989 the Fourth Lome Convention. Two new Caribbean States, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, joined the Convention. Namibia and Eritrea also became members immediately after their independence; the Lome Convention thus comprises a total of 70 African, Caribbean and Pacific States, including all the countries of Sub-saharan Africa except South Africa.


(ELF-RC press release 011/94 F.1.0, 3 May 94)
We inform that several members of the leadership and cadres of the Eritrean Liberation Front--Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC) who were active in Ethiopia have been detained on 29.04.1994 and are now in custody by the TG of Ethiopia. We have since been following the circumstances surrounding their arrest and have also made contacts with several Ethiopian officials in Addis Ababa concerning the case, but have so far not been able to learn of the reasons behind the measures taken against them or when they will be released. To our knowledge, no charges have as yet been brought against them either.

On our part, we are fully convinced that we have not given the Ethiopian government any reason that would have compelled it to take the measures it has taken. And we know of no crime that our colleagues could have committed against the Ethiopian people or their government, neither have our activities in Ethiopia posed any danger to the genuine and brotherly relationships of the two peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia...

At this point, we don't know yet as to whether this would mean a change in the policy of the Ethiopian government in regard to this issue. For us, the measures taken were in any case sudden and unexpected. Whatever the outcome, we believe also that the Ethiopian government could have handled the matter differently than they have done...

(ION 7 May 94, p.4)
According to an eyewitness quoted by the Amharic-language newspapers Tazabi and Tobia, Eritrean military personnel arrested 480 Ethiopian civilians (aged between 7 and 28 years) in the Eritrean port of Assab on March 29. They were detained for six days in a hangar 15 km outside the town before being deported at the frontier post of Bure. Several Ethiopians are believed to have been hospitalized afterwards and the others made their way 400 km west to Kombolcha, arriving on April 13.

(EH 14 May 94, p.1 [ENA])
The Ethio-Eritrean Joint Ministerial Commission first follow-up meeting which started on Wednesday ended yesterday by issuing a joint communique...

The members of the high level delegation of the two countries were led by Ato Tamirat Layne, Prime Minister of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia, and Mr. Mohammud Ahmed Sherifo, Minister of Local Government of Eritrea, respectively.

With regard to political affairs, both sides expressed their appreciation of the efforts undertaken so far in foreign relations, defence, justice, security, and information and thus signed detailed programmes of action with a view to implementing the protocol agreements signed in these areas.

In the economic field the parties reached a common undertaking on the need and mutual benefit of a closer and stage by stage integration between the two economies.

They have specifically agreed to further expand Ethio-Eritrean economic cooperation in the expansion of free trade, fiscal policies, agriculture, transport and communications, natural resources and environment, mining and energy, tourism, construction, and industry. They have also reaffirmed their commitment to vigorously continue their cooperation in civil aviation, telecommunications, road construction, and in upgrading different infrastructures for the mutual benefit of both countries and peoples...

Both sides expressed their conviction that the promotion of close exemplary relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea will have a vital contribution to the well-being of their peoples and to the promotion of peace, stability and eventual economic integration of the sub-region, the communique stated.


(FBIS 26 Apr 94, p.6 [VBME in Tigrinya, 23 Apr 94])
Statement issued by the Foreign Ministry in Asmara on 23 April.

It is obvious that the relations between the people of Eritrean and Sudan are historical and long standing. On the basis of this view, and believing that the government of the national salvation revolution of Sudan would place its national interest and the peace and stability of the region above all else, our relations with Sudan were very special before the independence of Eritrea. To further strengthen and develop these relations, we have been working jointly with the Sudanese Government.

However, the National Islamic Front of Sudan, from its political bases in Sudan, wished to control a force in Eritrea and formed a group called the Islamic Jihad of Eritrea in 1989. It continued to support this group until and after the independence of Eritrea.

As the Government of Eritrea, we have placed those considerations regarding relations between the two nations above everything else and we hope that we will overcome the obstacles through communication and dialogue. We have made every effort to further strengthen and develop cooperation between the two peoples. It is true that we have noticed the positive role played by the Sudanese Government in controlling and containing the movements of this Eritrean group [Islamic Jihad], but since the middle of 1993 up to now this group has been carrying out its destructive activites, coming all the way from Sudan to collaborate with other groups from other regions.

This new development compelled us to tell our people and the international community everything about this. So the main reason for the deterioration in relations was that the destructive activites which had been directed against Eritrea had been emanating from Sudan. [passage omitted] The practical implementation of the agreement reached will guarantee positive developments in relations between the two countries.

(SWB 14 May 94 [VBME in Tigrigna, 12 May 94])
The Foreign Ministry has issued a statement on Eritrea's position regarding the continuing war in Yemen. In the statement, issued this afternoon, the Eritrean government noted with amazement the false information that was emanating from the media of some Arab countries. The false information alleged that Eritrea had taken part in one opposition general's side of [word indistinct]. This false information was aimed at spoiling the good relationship between Eritrea and all Yemenis, the statement noted.

Today's statement reiterated that Eritrea's position on the Yemeni conflict had been clearly expressed in a Foreign Ministry statement issued on 5th May 1994. The Eritrean government noted that the continuing war among the Yemeni brothers was unacceptable to the government and again urged both the conflicting Yemeni sides to halt the war and solve their problems through dialogue.

(Moneyclips 24 May 94 [Times of Oman])
Muscat - The Sultanate of Oman and the state of Eritrea have decided to establish diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level with effect from yesterday, a joint statement said.

Both countries hope that the establishment diplomatic relations would strengthen the bounds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

** E T H I O P I A **


AAPO - All Amhamra People's Organisation
ADU - Afar Democratic Union
ALF - Afar Liberation Front
APDO - Afar People's Democratic Organisation
ARDU - Afar Revolutionary Democratic Union
ARDUF - Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front
BPLM - Benishangul People's Liberation Movement
CAFPDE - Council of the Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy in Ethiopia
COEDF - Coalition of Ethiopian Democratic Forces
CRDA - Christian Relief and Development Association
ECS - Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat
EDAG - Ethiopian Democratic Action Group
EDC - Ethiopian Democratic Organization Coalition
EDUP - Ethiopian Democratic Unionist Party
EECMY - Eth. Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus
ENDP - Ethiopian National Democratic Party
EPDA - Ethiopian Peoples' Democratic Alliance
EPDM - Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement
EPRDF - Ethiopian People's Rev. Democratic Front
EPRP - Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party
ESDL - Ethiopian Somali Democratic League
ESDM - Ethiopian Somali Democratic Movement
GDU - Gamo Democratic Union
GPDF - Gurage People's Democratic Front
HPDO - Hadia People's Democratic Organisation
IFLO - Islamic Front for the Liberation of Oromia
IGLF - Issa Gurgura Liberation Front
KPC - Kembata People's Congress
MEISONE - All Ethiopia Socialist Union
OALF - Oromo Abo Liberation Front
OLF - Oromo Liberation Front
ONLF - Ogaden National Liberation Front
OPDO - Oromo People's Democratic Organisation
ORA - Oromo Relief Association
OSAFU - Oromo Students Association of Finfine University
SEPDC - Southern Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Coalition
SGPDO - Sodo Gordena People's Democratic Organisation
SPDO - Sidama People's Democratic Organisation
TPLF - Tigray People's Liberation Front
TWU - Tigri-Worji Union
UODO - United Oromo Democratic Organisation
UOPLF - United Oromo People's Liberation Front
WPE - Workers' Party of Ethiopia
WPDF - Wolaita People's Democratic Front
WSLF - Western Somali Liberation Front


(SWB 4 Jun 94 [VOE in Amharic, 2 Jun 94])
Prime Minister Tamirat Layne began touring the famine-striken districts in southern Ethiopia yesterday [1st June]. He visited a village in Bolosso District where many famine-striken people are currently being sheltered. During this visit, the prime minister said it was feared that the number of famine victims throughout the country might now have increased to beyond seven million. According to a report, in Bolosso District alone, over 5,000 people have so far died as a consequence of the prevailing famine as well as a malaria outbreak. Tedros Newaye has sent us the details from Awasa by telephone:

[Tedros - recording] The prime minister first visited a village in Bolosso District... Out of the 5,000 people who have perished in Bolosso District 60% are children. A large number of cattle have also perished because of the severe drought in the area. Over 295,000 famine victims are registered in Bolosso District alone...

(UN Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia Situation Report, Apr 94)
...Emergency needs and operations

Following the late onset of rains, belg-dependent areas of Wello, Southern Tigray, North Shewa, Bale and Wolaita are likely to face grave problems in the coming months. Resources are now being mobilised, with food aid being pre-positioned at strategic sites. However, shortfalls in the overall national pipeline are of great concern for these areas in particular.

Food aid requirements for the second quarter of the year have been estimated by the RRC at 270,000 tons. This can be met by existing port and in-country stocks, expected deliveries, loans from the State farms and the Emergency Food Security Reserve (EFSR). However, meeting this need will exhaust the food stocks within the country as no shipments have yet been confirmed for the third quarter of 1994....

Pledges and food shipments

According to WFP, as of 5 May total pledges had reached a satisfactory 896,972 tons of which, 646,389 tons was either ear-marked for relief or could be available to meet emergency needs if required (excluding pledges for the EFSR). This is about 72% of the total relief food requirement for the year given in the revised appeal. The increase in pledges is principally attributable to the confirmation of the U.S. Title III commitment of 190,000 tons, of which 100,000 tons have been allocated to relief and regular requirements, 50,000 tons to EFSR and 40,000 to monetization.

Figures released in the revised RRC food assistance appeal, show port stocks at 39,366 tons and in-country stocks at 97,605 tons as at 31 March. A further 74,276 tons is available in the EFSR; however, 50,000 tons of this is currently being drawn by the RRC. The Government has also arranged a loan of 100,000 tons from the State Farms and the EGTE to be used for relief and regular purposes.

The issue of most concern remains the status of the food pipeline, which has hardly improved at all since the end of February. As at 5 May, total expected shipments stood at only 50,203 tons. Of this, 20,703 tons is ear-marked for refugee and returnee programmes and 10,000 tons for monetization, leaving just 19,500 tons specifically intended for emergency use. There are no confirmed scheduled shipments due after 13 May...

(SWB 23 May 94 [VOEE in English, 20 May 94])
Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner Simon Mechale had said only 20% of the total humanitarian aid pledged by donors has arrived in the country so far. During a (?WorldNet) interactive discussion between Addis, Nairobi and Washington, Commissioner Simon said Ethiopia's 6.7m people are on the brink of death and was highly concerned by the delay of the already-pledged humanitarian aid.

The commissioner said unless donor countries and the international agencies send their pledges on time, [a] massive displacement of people and human tragedies are inevitable. He said [the] lack of accessible roads and communications in remote areas of the highly drought-affected parts of the country has become a strain on the smooth and timely delivery of relief, thus making the situation much worse...

(Reuter 27 May 94)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia has launched a massive operation involving thousands of trucks and some aircraft to shuttle relief supplies to drought-affected areas.

The transport and communications ministry said on Thursday that over 3,000 heavy trucks and several planes and helicopters were deployed in a one-month operation to ferry relief assistance to drought-stricken districts.

"The operation is part of a one-month national plan aimed at transporting 134,000 tonnes of food, 25,000 tonnes of fertilisers, 7,000 tonnes of seed as well as medicines from ports and other surplus production areas to areas affected by drought," the ministry said in a statement.

It added that the food would be airlifted to areas which were inaccessible by road.

The office of Ethiopia's prime minister said up to 7.5 million people were affected by famine. Government officials have previously put the figure at 6.7 million...

(Reuter 27 May 94)
WASHINGTON - A senior U.S. official and a member of Congress are going to Africa for meetings on ways to avert another famine.

Representative Tony Hall said Friday that he and Brian Atwood, the administrator of the State Department's Agency for International Development, would visit Eritrea, Ethiopia and Kenya over the next week to discuss the threat of another famine in East Africa.

They will also have meetings with United Nations and Red Cross Officials in Geneva and with the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome before returning next Friday...

(IPS 3 Jun 94)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's endless dependence on food aid and a rapidly increasing population are driving the donor community to doubt whether the Horn of Africa country will ever be able attain food self-sufficiency...

The latest analysis of the Ethiopian population trends by the Central Statistical Authority (CSA) shows the population of 54.9 million is increasing by over three percent per year.

The growth projection over the next six years is even more alarming, according to analysts.

Economic development planners had assumed that Ethiopia's population growth rate was between 2.9 percent and three percent per year.

The CSA forecasts a 3.8 percent annual population rise between 1995 and 2000, a 3.4 percent yearly growth rate up to 2005 and a slight reduction after that period.

In absolute figures, Ethiopia's urban population will almost double by 2005 and multiply by 4.6 times by 2010, particularly due to the increasing drift of rural dwellers to urban centres.

The projections envisage the urban sector absorbing 7.73 million additional people by 2005 and 29.64 million by 2020. Harsh living conditions and poverty are considered the main causes pushing more people from the countryside to towns.

In contrast, the rural population is growing at a slower pace. But, in 10 years time there will be 63.4 million people in the countryside, accounting for 80 percent of the total population.

By 2020 the rural dwellers will have doubled, but their share of the total figure would by then fall to about 70.8 Percent.

Food experts take fright in these projections - so are development planners in the fields of employment and provision of social services...

Agricultural output growth throughout the 1980s was below 0.5 percent per annum...

In order to achieve the daily per capita calorie intake recommended by the World Health Organisation and the FAO, Ethiopia's food production must increase by 6.5 percent a year...

"This means even the bold assumption of a 5.8 percent growth rate of grain production over the next 17 years will not guarantee the country's ability to feed its population."

(NNS Apr 94)
Elections for the Constituent Assembly in Ethiopia are now just over a month away. There have been two registration processes going on since February, one for political parties who wish to retain legal status in the country - deadline May 26 - and the other for candidacy in the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections (as independent individuals or as representatives of political parties) deadline was April 1.

The CA candidate list includes about 60% independents, with twenty political parties registered - the EPRDF parties and around fifteen smaller parties representing Kembata, Gambela, Burji and other groups. While the AAPO has registered as a party in the country it will not be contesting the elections. Nor will the OLF: Gelassa Dilbo, the organisation's General Secretary, issued a statement on April 12 which included a denial of their participation.

Two parties which would have taken part but missed the deadline are the Ethiopian National Democracy Party (whose establishment was covered in the March Update) and the Harari National League. High level lobbying by the parties has yet to succeed in persuading the National Election Board (NEB) to extend the deadline, however some observers think that this may still be a possibility.

Three local groups are considering involvement in the elections as national observers: A-BU-GI-DA (the Ethiopian Congress for Democracy), the Ad Hoc Peace Committee and the National Election Observer's Group (NEOG) - a group including Trade Union, NGO and religious representatives. The latter monitored the previous elections in June 1992 and is hoping to expand the number of its observers to around 100. On the international side, the European Union is already involved in discussions regarding observers and an invitation has also been extended to NGOs to serve in this role...

(SWB 6 May 94 [VOEE in English, 4 May 94])
Text of report; as heard throughout

The Council of Representatives has ended its deliberations on the draft constitution after approving it unanimously. During weeks of deliberation, the council debated on the issues of the document presented to it by the constitution commission. The council decided that certain controversial items like the property rights and rights of self-determination [for ethnic groups], up to secession, [are] to appear before the Constituent Assembly for final decision. The amended document will be presented for the public debate in the near future.

(NA June 94, p.31)
...Even at this late stage, relations between the various political parties which might contest the elections remain fragile. Following the establishment of the Council of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy (CAFPD) after the Conference for Peace and Reconciliation in Addis Ababa in December (see NA March 1994), it seemed that the Transitional Government might be prepared to discuss a modus vivendi with the Council, which comprises the main opposition groups including the leftist-leaning Coalition of Ethiopian Democratic Forces (COEDF), the Ethiopian Mehdin Democratic Party (Mehdin) and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

On 14 March, former US President Jimmy Carter offered to mediate in talks between the opposition and the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which dominates the TGE, at a meeting proposed in Addis Ababa two weeks later, on 28 March. But Meles Zenawi, President of the TGE, was quick to reject President Carter's proposal. He refused to include three matters in the proposed negotiation, which Carter had been prepared to put forward for discussion. These were the formulation of a new broad-based transitional government, the restructuring of the military and the police, and the postponement of the June election.

According to Jimmy Carter, President Meles was willing to discuss only with those who "first publicly renounce violence and wish to have discussions on the modalities of participating in the political process."...

In the absence of the Council of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy, five other parties in the ruling government coalition peeled off in early April to form their own new "opposition" party, the Ethiopian National Democratic Party. Its members include parties from Gurage, Kembata and Wolayita in the south. It originally aimed to take part in the June election. But by the of the month [sic] it had withdrawn from the polls, reportedly in protest against the rejection of its demands for an extension of the deadline for candidate registration.

Meanwhile the Oromo Liberation Front, which for many years has been the dominant political force in the numerically important Oromo areas of the south, has been losing support. Its Moslem members in the east have drifted to the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Oromia, while a new group, the Oromos of Ambo, has emerged in the west. And not to be forgotten is the government-supported Oromo People's Democratic Organisation (see NA October 1993) which has been making ground, largely because it has adopted the OLF's programme of self-determination without adopting enthusiasm for secession...

That is not to say secession is off the political agenda. The secessionist Ogaden National Liberation Front is established in the east of the country. The government has gone to the trouble of stating publicly that the ONLF is backed by Libya, Iraq and Syria, and has Egyptians within its ranks.

But generally opposition to the TGE has been ineffectual. Perennial bickering has meant that no dominant opposition party has emerged to challenge the EPRDF and its allies...

Thirty-nine organizations take part in 5th June Constituent Assembly elections

(SWB 6 Jun 94 [VOE in Amharic, 4 Jun 94])
Tomorrow the Ethiopian people will march to around 26,865 polling stations to elect the 548 members of the Constituent Assembly. The people will start voting as early as 0600 [local time] to elect the right candidate out of the 1,471 candidates. Out of this number 937 are independent candidates, 42 of them being women candidates. The National Electoral Board has issued permits to nearly 600 international observers and journalists...

(SWB 6 Jun 94 [VOE in Amharic, 4 Jun 94])
The National Electoral Board has noted that in the current Constituent Assembly election 937 independent and 534 party candidates from 39 political organizations are expected to take part in the election...

(Reuter 6 Jun 94)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia said 90 percent of registered voters turned out in Sunday's constituent assembly elections, an important stage in entrenching democracy after centuries of feudal rule followed by Marxist dictatorship.

"It was a smooth sail all the way. We are happy about the way it was conducted," said Samson Gethahun, legal affairs head of Ethiopia's Electoral Board.

A total of 15 million of Ethiopia's 50 million people were registered for the vote to elect 547 members to a constituent assembly.

Ballot counting at 29,000 polling stations across the country was completed after polls closed on Sunday, Gethahun told Reuters. Officials were collating votes at constituency level and provisional results should be known later this week.

Most foreign observers who watched the process declined comment in line with a legal ban on such observations before full results are out.

But one monitor, who asked not to be named, said he thought polling was fair, certainly better organised than regional elections in June 1992.

"The ballots were secret. Some people who registered to vote had some difficulty mainly due to lack of education. Otherwise I saw no harassment or intimidation," he said.

A hot issue in the draft constitution to be debated by the elected members is whether it should include a provision on the right of any of Ethiopia's regions to self-determination.

Some opposition parties, which draw most support from the Amhara ethnic group in the capital, boycotted the polls because they believe the new constitution could fragment one of Africa's most ancient empires.

The Red Sea province of Eritrea seceded last year after opting overwhelmingly for independence in a self-determination referendum after years of civil war.

Outsiders criticised the 1992 elections, alleging interference by the government of President Meles Zenawi...

The new assembly has the power to adopt the draft constitution or draw up a new one ahead of multi-party polls expected in the next two years.


(SNU 21 Apr 94)
Addis Ababa - While the remains of the Somali Republic still have no government, ethnic Somalis in Ethiopia's Region Five are cursed with two. A bloodless coup in the Regional Council backed by the central government appears to have backfired...

The present crisis started with a meeting of Region Five council members in Jijiga ending on April 6. An announcement was made to the Ethiopian News Agency that the incumbent Regional Executive Committee had been removed from office for neglect of their duties and financial irregularities. The new president, according to the group, was Ugaz Abdulrahman Abdukenu, formerly a businessman in Mogadishu...

The Executive Committee hit back in a statement yesterday, saying that only 14 members of the council and 21 "new faces" were present at the Jijiga meeting, and as such it was illegal and its decisions invalid. It also claimed that the expenses of the meeting were paid by the central government's Election Board. Last week, the statement claimed, a legal session of the regional council was held in Jijiga, but was ignored by the Ethiopian News Agency and the central government. The press statement defends the record of the present executive committee and bluntly accuses the central government of political interference, military intimidation, and delays in the transfer of the region's $10 million budget from Addis Ababa.

To confuse the picture even further, in the same statement, the Ogaden National Liberation Front, and the Western Somali Liberation Front, the two largest parties in the regional council, claim that President Meles, in a visit to Gode on 17 April, reassured elders that he neither knew nor condoned the breakaway Jijiga group. Dr Abdul-Mejid Hussein's interview on BBC World Service on April 21, muddied the waters still further, denying the allegations of the Executive Committee emphatically.

To make sense of these events, the story starts with the elections of 1992. Much delayed and unobserved elections in late 1992 produced results released by the Election Commission in February of 1993. Of 107 seats, the Ogaden National Liberation Front won 38, with the Western Somali Liberation Front taking 22. The remainder were won by independent candidates, and eight other parties, mainly representing smaller clans. Unlike in most other regions, the dominant Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) had no satellite party organized to defend its agenda.

Controversy began immediately when the Council decided that Gode should be the capital, while the other parties representing smaller clans, favoured Jijiga. The Oromo region had already claimed Dire Dawa. The ONLF again managed to upset the other clans by insisting the name of Region Five should be Ogadenia, despite the fact that at least five other clans are living in the region.

Until the latest upset, the Region Five administration was headed by Hassan Jire Kalinle, a former Air Force pilot in Somalia, born in Ethiopia at Kelafo. The first regional council's President and other ministers had been removed from office towards the end of 1993, accused of expropriating about $1 million of missing funds from the region's budget.

On January 28 1994, the ONLF repeated its proposal a referendum on independence for the region at a press conference in Addis Ababa. Despite the right of regions to self-determination "up to and including secession" enshrined in the Transitional Charter, the EPRDF was alarmed at the prospect, and stepped up its contacts with the minority parties in the Regional Council. The ONLF, supported by Amnesty International, alleged the extra-judicial killings of three of its officials and the detention and torture of others.

The result was the formation of the Ethiopian Somali Democratic League, led by Dr Abdul-Mejid Hussein, Minister for External Economic Cooperation in Addis Ababa in early February. The party is a conglomeration of 10 smaller parties, at least three of whom had hardly been heard of before. The formation of the party "signals a blow to those disgruntled elements and anti-peace forces" said Dr Abdul-Mejid, referring to ONLF and Al-Ittihad, the armed Islamic fundamentalist group.

It remains to be seen whether the combined forces of the ESDL, which does not count the WSLF among its members, can force out the ONLF, WSLF and Hassan Jire's party, the Western Somali Democratic Party. Previous pacts among Ethiopian Somali parties have dissolved almost as soon as the ink dried on the agreement, but then again, they never had a government Minister for a leader before...

(NN/ 22 May 94 [AI 19 May 94, AFR 25/14/94])
... The former President, former Vice-president and eight other ONLF representatives in the Regional Assembly (regional parliament) in Region Five were arrested by government troops on 13 May 1994 in the regional capital of Godey. They had earlier been removed from their posts and a new regional government appointed, with Jijiga designated as the new regional capital. Hundreds of other ONLF supporters are also reported to have been arrested in other parts of the region.

Hassan Jirreh Kalinle and Ahmed Ali Dahir are said to have been transferred to detention in Addis Ababa, where their whereabouts are not known. Many other detainees are held in military custody in Godey. There have been allegations of ill-treatment of detainees.

In view of these allegations and reports of the torture of others arrested recently in the Region Five, Amnesty International fears for the physical safety of the detainees listed above...

(Reuter 29 Apr 94)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's defence minister said on Friday government forces cracking down on Moslem fundamentalists had seized their main base in the east of the country.

Seye Abraha told a news conference the measures taken last week against al-Ittihad (Unity) movement in an area northeast of the eastern Ethiopian town of Ogaden was not a major offensive.

"It was a punitive measure aimed at containing disruptive activities of the group," said Seye.

The minister said that most people and community leaders in the arid, war-ravaged east wanted to concentrate on development except for "a few disruptive fanatical groups like al-Ittihad".

He added elders and community leaders in the region played a major role in settling the problem through political measures.

The government had offered an amnesty for al-Ittihad members and urged people in the region to abandon the fundamentalists.

He declined to say whether foreign forces supported al-Ittihad.

He denied accusations by an opposition group that the army was involved in a campaign of intimidation and coercion in the east to strengthen pro-government organisations.

He disclosed there had been recent clashes between Ethiopian and Sudanese forces but said they were caused by over-zealous Sudanese officers who backed a Sudanese farmer who took Ethiopian land...

(SWB 11 May 94 [VOEE in Amharic, 9 May 94])
The Ogaden National Liberation Front [ONLF] today rejected as baseless allegations contained in the "Zog" publication on 24th Miyazia 1986 [Ethiopian calendar, corresponding to 3rd May 1994] claiming that the front's forces had carried out attacks. In its statement to the "Zog" editor in chief entitled "the front has not carried out any attacks", a copy of which was received by the Ethiopian News Agency, it said claims by the newspaper that the ONLF had killed more than 620 people and wounded over 251 were incorrect. The statement said the paper's report alleging that the Ogaden National Liberation Front's military stronghold which is in Region Five - had been engaged in a fierce battle and scored victories was false. The report that the ONLF had engaged in battle with TPLF [Tigre People's Liberation Front] fighters 31 times was a complete lie. This had never occurred in the region and never would, the front said in its statement.


(NN/ 20 May 94 [American Association for the Advancement of Science Human Rights Action Network - Update of Alert, 18 May 94])
...The Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Ethiopia second to China in its Annual Report, "Attacks on the Press in 1993." Although the Ethiopian Government has committed itself to freedom of expression in the Transitional Period Charter of Ethiopia, in effect the interim constitution, through intimidation, harassment, and arbitrary arrests the TGE is clearly violating Article One of the Charter which provides that "individual human rights shall be respected fully in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," and specifies that everyone shall have the "freedom of conscience, expression, association and peaceable assembly..."

Ethiopia ratified the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on June 11, 1993. Their first report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee is due on June 11, 1994. Having ratified the covenant, Ethiopia has a legal obligation to guarantee the security of the person and prohibit arbitrary arrest (Article 9 of the Covenant), must inform individuals of the charges against them and individuals must be tried within a reasonable time or released (Article 9 of the Covenant), must presume individuals innocent until proven guilty and individuals must be tried without undue delay (Article 4 of the Covenant)...

(GN 19 May 94, by Lucy Hannan)
ADDIS ABABA - One of the main architects of political terror in Ethiopia has been extradited by Djibouti and now faces charges of crimes against humanity.

Known as the "Butcher of Gondar", Melaku Tefera, whose real name translates as "angel of fear", is accused of political assassinations, including the execution of 60 ministers, the manipulation of famine relief, and the "Red Terror" - a brutal political campaign of the 1970s aimed at opposition groups and students.

Mr Melaku is infamous for his nine years as party chief in Gondar under the 17-year communist dictatorship of the former president Mengistu Haile Mariam. A mass grave exhumed near Gondar airport two years ago uncovered more than 1,000 bodies.

The Ethiopian government has a "top 10" list of wanted men, headed by Colonel Mengistu, who fled to Zimbabwe, and is seeking extraditions from Africa, the United States and Europe.

Mr Melaku has complained about being extradited while under the protection of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Amnesty International says it is "obliged" to oppose the extradition on the grounds that Mr Melaku could face the death penalty.

Ethiopia's special prosecutors office claims it has 200 documents implicating Mr Melaku. But Mr Melaku, who is detained in Addis Ababa with more than 1,000 other former communist officials and party members, says he is innocent of any crime and believes he will walk free if the forthcoming human rights trials are "fair".

He defends the Red Terror as a responsive measure, saying Gondar was "full of counter-revolutionary groups". And he maintains: "If you put Melaku on trial, you put socialism on trial."

(GN 23 May 94)
Ethiopia's pursuit of the former regime may spawn the biggest trial for crimes against humanity since Nuremberg, writes George Alagiah in Addis Ababa

The Ethiopian government, despite facing a famine which may be even more serious than that 10 years ago, is launching a political experiment unprecedented in Africa. It is to try 1,200 senior officials of the Mengistu regime for crimes against humanity.

The former president, Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam, and his colleagues stand accused of the murder of tens of thousands of "dissidents" in the late 1970s; the systematic targeting of civilians during the wars against rebel groups; and the exploitation of the famine for political ends.

"It's very important to prove to Ethiopians that those who mess around with the law, human rights law, those who consider themselves above the law, are not really above the law - that there will be some day of reckoning," President Meles Zenawi said.

The trials may be the most comprehensive test of international human rights legislation since the Nuremberg tribunals after the second world war.

In Argentina, after the defeat of the generals following the Falklands/Malvinas war, the democratic government of President Raul Alfonsin tried senior members of the junta but stopped short of a wider purge for fear of an army backlash.

In El Salvador, the commission for truth exposed the death squad atrocities of the 1980s but did not press charges. The United Nations-sponsored tribunal on former Yugoslavia has yet to achieve anything, despite its #20 million budget.

In Ethiopia, there will be no shortage of evidence. The special prosecutor's office set up to oversee the trials has so far received 250,000 pages of government documents, from death warrants to calculations of the cost of execution - so relatives could be charged to remove the corpses. Col Mengistu's was a vicious but highly bureaucratised system - virtually every decision was noted, and copies sent to superiors...

On June 22 1988, the Ethiopian air force bombed the market town of Hausien in Tigray province, the heartland of the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front, the precursor to the present government.

Market days attracted traders and farmers from surrounding provinces. While Soviet-made MiG jets unleashed their bombs, two helicopter gunships blocked escape routes. At least 1,800 civilians were killed in that single war crime.

That Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, should be attempting such an ambitious judicial process is a measure of how far it has come since the days of the Mengistu regime.

The country is at a point of transition from violent dictatorship to nascent democracy...

But the transitional government's dealings with opposition groups are not above criticism. The constituent elections this year will test the government's commitment to pluralism...


(Reuter 28 May 94, by Tsegaye Taddesse)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi said on Saturday efforts to rebuild a country devastated by civil war and Marxist dictatorship were now drastically hindered by drought.

In a speech to mark the third anniversary of the toppling of Marxist ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam, Meles conceded that a plan for economic reconstruction under the government's new liberal economic policy had not made as much progress as expected.

"Overall economic performance which was forecast to register a six percent growth in 1994 is expected to be reduced drastically due to drought," Meles told a rally.

Meles said Ethiopia recorded an impressive 7.5 percent growth in 1993 following the launch of a market-based policy that has unfettered an economy burdened by years of Soviet-style policies...

(Reuter 6 May 94)
BRUSSELS - The Development Council agreed on Friday to forge closer relations with six developing countries on an experimental basis, diplomats said.

Bangladesh, Ivory Coast, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Peru have been chosen for the test as EU member states are represented in their capitals in large enough numbers to make closer consultations feasible.

"The countries chosen are countries that need EU cooperation...We will look at how we can improve cooperation on the spot," EU diplomats said.

The development council asked the European Commission to draw up a report on the best ways to promote this new policy.

(Reuter 17 May 94)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia devalued its birr currency by 8.065 percent on Tuesday to 5.58 to the dollar from 5.13 at the official rate in its third devaluation in two years.

The central bank said the new official rate applied to imports of petroleum, pharmaceuticals and fertilisers, official debt servicing and government contributions to international agencies and foreign offices.

Ethiopia devalued the birr last month to 5.13 to the dollar from five to the dollar, which was set in 1992 in a devaluation from 2.07 birr to the dollar - the official rate for more than 25 years.

The bank did not give reasons for the latest devaluation.

(EH 13 May 94, p.1 [ENA])
ASSAYITA - The Transitional Government of Ethiopia has earmarked 14 million birr for the construction of a 335 kilometre gravel road in Afar Region in a bid to alleviate the existing transportation problems of the Afars, regional urban bureau said Wednesday...

(SWB 31 May 94 [VOEE in English, 20 May 94])
The Ethiopian roads authority has received vehicles and machineries worth about 49m birr [approximately 10m US dollars] in aid from the government of Japan...

(EN Apr 94, p.10)
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will give more than 100 million US dollars to Ethiopia for the execution of programmes intended to promote the welfare of children and women in the country in the coming two or three years, Mr. James Grant, Director General of UNICEF, said. Mr. Grant made the statement during his five-day working visit to Ethiopia aimed at getting first hand information on government's efforts to improve the health situation of children in the country.

During his stay in Ethiopia, Mr. Grant held talks with President Meles Zenawi and senior government officials on UNICEF's programmes launched throughout the country.

In a similar development, Ethiopia adopted the International Convention on Child Protection and Development which was ratified in New York in 1991. The document was signed by President Meles Zenawi on March 15, 1994 in the presence of Mr. Grant and other officials...


(SWB 4 May 94 [VOEE in Amharic, 28 Apr 94])
Ethiopia and Jibuti have signed a 16-point agreement aimed at further strengthening existing relations and cooperation between the two countries. They have also issued a joint communique...

The joint communique, which was released today at noon in the Jibuti capital, was signed by Prime Minister Tamirat Layne and his Jibuti counterpart Barkat Gourad Hamadou.

Various protocols and memorandums of understanding in the political, economic, social and cultural fields were also signed by the relevant officials of the two countries. The new points on cooperation signed by the two prime ministers during the meeting related to agriculture, industry, border patrols, exchange of criminals and customs. Existing agreements which were amended were approved again and include the use of port facilities, culture and sports, training, capital, trade subsidy and movement of commercial goods...

(SWB 12 May 94 [VBME in Tigrigna, 11 May 94])
A senior Eritrean delegation left for Addis Ababa yesterday [10th May] to take part in the second Eritrean-Ethiopian joint cooperation meeting. This delegation is composed of officials from all ministries and headed by Mr Muhammad Sharifo, minister for local government.

Mr Muhammad Sharifo briefed local journalists before his departure. In his statement, he said the objectives of this visit were to assess the outcome of the previous agreements between various committees and the joint supreme committee, and also to discuss future plans.

The four-day meeting is expected to start today. The first session of the Eritrean-Ethiopian joint cooperation meeting was held in Asmara on 23rd September 1993.

(SWB 24 May 94 [KNA news agency, Nairobi, in English 13 May 94])
Editorial report from item by PANA news agency, Dakar

Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to set up a trade centre in each others'countries, which will be a way of boosting commercial relations. The officials who signed the agreement also reviewed the implementation of the border trade agreement and the commercial protocol signed earlier by the two countries.

(SWB 20 May 94 [Suna news agency, Khartoum, in Arabic 15 May 94])
Khartoum: Operations for the voluntary repatriation of Ethiopian refugees, which began last Sunday [8th May], continue with the repatriation overland so far of 3,739 of the original 7,000 refugees. Their repatriation is expected to be complete by the end of this summer and before the beginning of autumn. Repatriation operations are being conducted in the refugee camps in Twa and Hawatah [both names phonetic], in Damazin in eastern Sudan and towards the areas of Kawkit and Khawajah [both names phonetic] in Ethiopia. They are being organized by the refugee commission.

It may be recalled that there are nearly 300,000 Ethiopian refugees who are to be voluntarily repatriated in accordance with an agreement between Sudan and the government of Ethiopia under the auspices of the UNHCR...

(Israel Business Today via RBB, 6 May 94)
Israel and Ethiopia will widen their cooperation in the area of trade, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Masha Lubelsky announced. Lubelsky met with the head of the Trade Promotion Division of the Ethiopian government to discuss practical ways to expand trade between the two countries.

Israeli exports to Ethiopia were $1.4 million in 1992, versus imports of $360,000 the same year. Sixty-one percent of Israeli exports were chemical products, 25 percent machinery and tools, and 10 percent non-metallic minerals, resins and plastics. Imports from Ethiopia consisted primarily of cotton (92 percent), and tools and machinery (8 percent)...

(SWB 27 May 94 [VOEE in Amharic, 25 May 94])
The Foreign Ministry today stated that Ethiopia had accepted the request of the UN to send her troops to Rwanda. Ethiopia accepted the request in accordance with the UN Security Council's Resolution 918 on 17th May 1994, asking all member states to send troops towards the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda, which was passed to Ethiopia through the secretary-general of the organization [UN]...

** S O M A L I A **


SACB - Somalia Aid Coordination Body
SAMO - Somali African Muki Organisation
SDA - Somali Democratic Alliance
SDM - Somali Democratic Movement
SLA - Somali Liberation Army
SNA - Somali National Alliance
SNDU - Somali National Democratic Union
SNF - Somali National Front
SNM - Somali National Movement
SNU - Somali National Union
SORRA - Somali Relief and Rehabilitation Agency 
SPM - Somali Patriotic Movement
SSA - Somali Salvation Alliance
SSDF - Somali Salvation Democratic Front
SSNM - Southern Somali National Movement
USC - United Somali Congress
USF - United Somali Front
USP - United Somali Party


(Africa Recovery Dec 93-March 94, p.6, by Tom Malinowski)
In a breakthrough for the peace process, Somalia's 15 major movements signed a long delayed declaration on national reconciliation on 24 March. The declaration, which followed 10 days of talks bokered by UN Acting Special Representative Lansana Kouyate of Guinea, calls on accord participants and the Somali National Movement (SNM) to meeti in mid-April to prepare for a major converence to appoint a President, Vice-Presidents, and Prime Minister on 15 May. It also sets out the signatories' commitment to implementing a cease-fire, disarming their militias and renouncing violence.

The April meeting will set out voting rules and procedures and criteria for participation in the National Reconciliation Conference. It will also discuss ways and modalities to establish a new National Legislative Assembly, to be set up after a new government is formed.

One of the first major challenges will beto bring the SNM, which has declared 'Somaliland' independent, on board the peace process. The SNM did not participate in the March talks and the declaration urges the movement to attend the Apil meeting and all subsequent national reconciliation conferences.

The more immediate challenge will be to ensure that the momentum for peace is sustained while the UN adjusts its peace-keeping operations following withdrawal of the last US troops...

(NA May 94, p.7)
Will the new Somali agreement, signed in Nairobi on 24 March 1994 succeed any better than the old peace plan, signed almost exactly a year earlier on 27 March 1993 in Addis Ababa?

The earlier Addis Ababa agreement adopted a bottom-up approach. All 15 Somali factions agreed to form a new government by first creating district and regional councils and then a Transitional National Council.

The new Nairobi agreement was signed by Gen Mohammed Farah Aideed on behalf of the four factions of his Somali National Alliance (SNA) and by Ali Mahdi for the dozen or so factions allied to his Manifesto Group. It adopted a top-down approach by creating first a national government before setting up the lower levels.

Last year's agreement was much longer and worked out in considerably more detail than the current one which was drafted in haste and under intense UN pressure.

This time, just before the hurried signing, the UN said that negotiations were proceeding too slowly and threatened to stop paying the first class hotel bills for the delegates. (They paid for all delegates except the SNA of Aideed).

This pressure prompted the delegates to hastily put something together at the last moment. Broad outlines were agreed and the details postponed to future conferences...

(SWB 1 Jun 9)
Editorial report

AFP news agency (Paris, in English 1636 gmt 27 May 94) reported that peace talks between Somalia's warring factions were due to begin in Nairobi on 30th May. The talks were due to prepare the ground for a national peace and reconciliation conference, the agency said. Africa No 1 radio (Libreville, in French 1215 gmt 30 May) reported that the talks had been postponed, "for the fourth time in two months".


(Africa Recovery Dec 93-March 94, p.6, by Tom Malinowski)
...UNOSOM II has laid a foundation for civil government where the rule of law had collapsed. Under the Addis Ababa agreements, it has supervised the creation of governing councils in 53 of Somalia's 81 districts, and in 8 of its 13 regions. The councils are taking charge of public safety, educaiton, health and reconstruction. UNOSOM II has also set up 107 police stations in the districts, and trained police officers, judges and prison guards.

Councils have not been established in self-declared "Somaliland" in the northwest...

With the expansion of political institutions expected to complete a process of national reconciliation by March 1995, UN Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali has urged the world not to "abandon the people of Somalia as long as the vast majority of them desire the presence of the UN."


/HAB/ Key actors from a two-year cooperation in the reconciliation process in Somalia, from UNOSOM's Political Division and the Life and Peace Institute (LPI), met in Uppsala, Sweden, June 10-12 for an assessment meeting and an evaluation of their joint efforts in search for peace and reconciliation in Somalia.

In spite of the reported shortcomings of the UN intervention in Somalia, the assessments pointed to several important factors to consider, if events thus far are to be viewed in terms of the goal. Failure to make the warlords and the leaders for political factions agree does not mean lack of progress in other sectors of the Somalia society:

a) 17 successful reconciliation conferences and meetings have been held in different parts of Somalia since 1991. Somali elders and traditional leaders have been the initiators and actors at these meetings. The limited role of outsiders like UNOSOM and LPI has been a facilitating role.

b) These meetings have been crucial in the creation of the 55 district councils and 9 regional councils set up so far all over Somalia.

c) 800 councillors from 42 district councils have been trained so far in programs sponsored by UNOSOM, LPI and the Eastern and Southern Management Institute (ESAMI).

d) In order to support further training of councillors, 12 Somalis have gone through "training for trainers programs" in Arusha, Tanzania.

e) In order to support the councils, financial assistance is provided to each council to repair district sites, and basic office equipment is provided.

f) A special program for empowering the women in the reconciliation process has been set up. Women conferences will be held in each region. The first was held in Benadir region (Mogadishu) March 29-31, 1994.

g) 23 women from 13 regions of Somalia have gone through a "training for trainers program" in Arusha May 9 - June 3.

The Uppsala meeting stressed the importance of giving these bottom-up approaches to peace building full support, and it urged the United Nations and the international community to follow the so-called "two-track approach" recommended by the Secretary General in his Further Report of January 6, 1994. (See HAB 2/94.)


(Reuter 26 May 94)
UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, saying the Somali people "deserve a last chance," Thursday recommended a six-month renewal of the 19,000-strong U.N. Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM).

"Renewal would signify the member states' determination to fulfil the United Nations vision of assisting Somalia towards political reconciliation, national reconstruction and peace," he said in a report to the Security Council.

Deciding to phase out the operation would signify the abandonment of that vision and the risk of the country's "sliding back into the abyss from which it was barely rescued less than two years ago," he added, referring to the famine and factional fighting which prompted U.N. involvement.

UNOSOM's current mandate expires May 31 and the Security Council has previously set an objective of completing the mission by March 1995

The United States and a number of other countries withdrew their contingents in recent months, reducing UNOSOM's strength from more than 29,000 last November to 19,000, although the council in February authorised up to 22,000.

It also amended the force's mandate, abandoning any attempt to forcibly disarm Somali factions responsible for hampering famine relief and carrying out attacks on U.N. personnel.

The secretary-general said UNOSOM was stretched thin and he was trying to obtain additional troops.

Giving what he called a "somewhat negative assessment of the political and security situations," he said: "I believe that the Somali people deserve a last chance. But this must be firmly tied to evidence of serious and productive pursuit of the reconciliation process."

It must also entail strict observance of the ceasefire and cooperation with UNOSOM in preventing the recurrence of clashes and in resolving local clan and factional conflicts.

"I accordingly recommend that the Security Council reaffirm its objective ... that UNOSOM complete its mission by March 1995, and that, to this end, it now extend the UNOSOM mandate for a period of six months."

Calling the political situation difficult but "not entirely devoid of hope," he noted a unanimous commitment by the Somali parties to pursue reconciliation and achieve disarmament and a permanent ceasefire, although some factions had used their military strength to increase the areas under their control to enhance their negotiating positions.

(Reuter 31 May 94, by Evelyn Leopold)
UNITED NATIONS - The Security Council Tuesday, at the instigation of the United States, renewed the 19,000-strong U.N. operation in Somalia for only four months rather than the six months most members wanted.

A resolution, adopted by a 15-0 unanimous vote, also calls for a review in mid-July of the operation which the United States demanded.

The Clinton administration originally wanted to begin withdrawing troops in four months and cut the renewal to 45 days but was persuaded by council members not to impose such conditions. The four-month renewal was a compromise.

The United States wanted to send a strong message to Somali factions to make peace in a move most diplomats ascribe to President Clinton's new directives on U.N. peacekeeping.

The directive, first applied to Rwanda last month, has translated into a cautious approach, a forseeable end to each operation and a cut-down in costs...

(IPS 13 May 94, by Farhan Haq)
UNITED NATIONS--New U.S. concerns about U.N. peacekeeping operations in Rwanda and Somalia are angering African nations and Washington's European allies alike.

Washington refused this week to go along with a recommendation by U.N. Scretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and several Security Council members to dispatch 5,500 peacekeepers to try to protect the innocent from the ongoing slaughter in Rwanda.

And in Somalia, a press leak this week suggested that Washington is pushing for a July 15 deadline for the U.N. mission in Somalia (UNOSOM).

Unless feuding Somali clan leaders agree to a peace settlement by May 31, according to the report, the administration of President Bill Clinton will push for a total withdrawal from the East African nation 45 days later.

One British diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, noted, that the proposed U.S. deadline actually would end UNOSOM's new mandate even before peace talks are scheduled to take place.

"What kind of signal does that send?" he asked bitterly.

Meanwhile, African diplomats express concern that Washington's new positions on these peacekeeping operations herald a policy that calls for Africa to be left to its own devices.

"There is a trend, and Africa is the casualty," noted Ambassador Roble Olhaye of Djibouti, an African member of the U.N. Security Council.

The debate over Rwanda and Somalia follows by just one week the adoption of a new U.S. President Decision Directive (PDD) by Clinton which is supposed to guide Washington's decisions on whether to fund or participate in future U.N. peacekeeping operations.

The directive marks a major reversal from the early days of the administration when Clinton embraced an "assertive multilateralism" as the best policy to ensure peace and security in the world without making Washington the planetary policeman.

That policy was undone when 18 U.S. Rangers were killed in a raid on a Mogadishu slum last October. The disastrous raid effectively ended Washington's participation in UNOSOM and opened a new, and more skeptical chapter in Clinton's commitment to U.N. peacekeeping operations.

The problem now is that Africa is feeling singled out. Even while Washington has pushed for additional troops for the U.N. operation in Bosnia and for the United Nations to launch a new operation in Georgia, it seems to be pulling back from African troublespots...

(SWB 26 May 94 [RMV in Somali, 21 May 94])
Lansana Kouyate, UN special envoy to Somalia, has attended a ceremony for the handing over of military equipment to the Somali police force. The ceremony took place at Mogadishu airport and was addressed by Brig-Gen Abd al-Jalil Bilfaqrani [phonetic], the commander of the Egyptian troops, whose forces and government have donated 2,000 light arms, 200,000 rounds of ammuniton and explosives, communication equipment and officers, to train the police...

(SWB 31 May 94 [RMO in Somali, 28 May 94])
Mr Ali Mahdi Muhammad... today in his office received Iqbal Riza, the UN undersecretary for peacekeeping operations... The two sides discussed issues pertaining to the UN operations in Somalia, particularly peacekeeping. The meeting, which was also attended by Ambassador Lansana Kouyate, the UN special envoy to Somalia, ended positively.

(SWB 31 May 94 [RMV in Somali 28 May 94]) Mr Muhammad Farah Aydid, the chairman of the Somali National Alliance leadership council and of the United Somali Congress, USC, has met a UN delegation led by UN envoy Iqbal Riza. Mr Aydid expressed his happiness with the delegation's visit and the meeting. He briefed members of the delegation on the overall situation in the country, saying that, regarding peace, the country was fine. He explained that since March no interclan or intergroup fighting had taken place, though banditry incidents had occurred here and there. Mr Aydid said Unosom-2 [UN Operation in Somalia - 2] had not delivered the required goods, adding that it had only assisted a limited number of people...


(Reuter 12 May 94, by Julian Bedford)
MOGADISHU - Battlewagons full of Somali gunmen patrol the streets of Mogadishu these days while United Nations soldiers who once hunted them down watch meekly.

On Wednesday, 30 "technicals", the vehicles mounted with mortars or machineguns in the service of warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed's militia, were parked 300 metres (yards) from the gates of the U.N.-controlled airport.

Egyptian soldiers with egg shell-blue helmets watched as the "technicals" then slowly patrolled the streets outside in a bizarre parody of law and order Somalia still does not have after three years of anarchy.

The days when a "technical" was a legitimate target under United Nations rules of engagement disappeared when the last U.S. marine left Mogadishu's shores on March 26.

These days, the Asian and African U.N. force is meant to escort humanitarian operations and nothing more, abandoning the aim of restoring law and order while the militias plunge the African nation back into clan feuding.

Mogadishu is recovering from the heaviest fighting residents have had to endure for two years.

Aideed's Habr Gedir sub-clan took on the rival Hawadle sub-clan in streets around the airport and drove them out of the vicinity after 10 days of fighting.

Aid workers say the feud began not in the capital, but far across the desert wastes of central Somalia in the town of Belet Huen on the frontier with Ethiopia.

Hawadle gunmen killed Muse Dir "Tosane" - a nickname that means The Upright One - who was the head of Aideed's militia in Belet Huen. The gunmen then triumphantly carted his body about the streets on May 2.

The same day Habr Gedir "Moryan" (country warriors) took their revenge at night, stealing into Hawadle houses and killing at least seven of their foes in cold blood, residents said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has been unable to confirm these executions, but a spokesman said the agency was disturbed at the reports and planned a series of local radio spots to remind Somalis of basic human rights...

Efforts by Lansana Kouyate, acting U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Somalia, to get the 15 faction leaders to hold peace talks they agreed to pursue in a much-heralded document in March have so far failed time and time again.

One set of talks that did not take place was supposed to deal with the crisis developing in the southern port of Kismayu, hit by clan fighting in recent weeks.

In the past month there have also been battles in Merka, 150 km (100 miles) south of Mogadishu, and in the central town of Belet Huen.

Aid workers say Aideed's militias are advancing on Baidoa, the inland town devastated by the Habre Gedir and rival militias in feuding that gave rise to the 1992 famine, which killed 300,000.

For the people of Baidoa, the only good news is that heavy seasonal rains should assure a good harvest this year - as long as fresh clashes do not drive them off their land again.

(Reuter 16 May 94)
MOGADISHU - Five Nepalese U.N. peacekeepers were killed and another was wounded when they tried to stop fighting between Somali clan militias in south Mogadishu, a U.N. military spokesman said.

Witnesses said several Somalis were killed or wounded in the fighting in a maze of streets near the U.N.-controlled airport.

"I understand there was inter-clan fighting in the area prior to the attack. The Nepalese went in to mediate and were fired upon," U.N. military spokesman Major Chris Budge told Reuters.

"I don't know whether they were caught in crossfire or directly attacked. At present I am leaning towards a direct attack," Budge added.

Budge said that after coming under small arms fire, "the Nepalese returned fire and as the situation developed the Egyptian and Pakistani Quick Reaction Forces (QRF) were deployed as a means of precautionary protection".

The fighting was between members of warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed's Habre Gedir clan and their rivals of the Hawadle, witnesses said. The same district was the scene of a 10-day clash between the clans in late April and early May.

Witnesses said the Habre Gedir, also blamed for killings of U.S. peacekeepers last year which prompted a withdrawal of American peacekeepers, were behind the attack on the Nepalese.

They were the first U.N. casualties since two Nepalese were killed in the same area of Mogadishu on April 18...

Dozens of U.N. and American soldiers have died in Somalia since the first U.S. Marines hit the beaches of Mogadishu in December, 1992, aiming to end famine and chaos.

The last U.S. marines left Mogadishu on March 26 this year...

(Reuter 2 Jun 94, by Mohamed Hassan)
MOGADISHU - ...In the troubled southern port of Kismayu, warlords who led the country into clan feuding, famine and disease three years ago quarrelled at yet another round of peace talks brokered by the United Nations.

Machine-gunfire echoed around Mogadishu and black plumes of smoke rose into the sky from morning after truck drivers hired city youths to protest against new port tariffs introduced at the U.N.-managed facility.

The U.N. wants the tariffs to help the port finance itself, but whenever it has tried to introduce them in recent months, the truck drivers have prevented a return to the days when they were taxed before the government collapsed in January 1991.

Other youths were mobilised by metal scrap dealers to protest at a decree issued by warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed that they should not be allowed to export from areas under his control.

Scrap metal was big business in Somalia during the clan wars, when looters tore down everything from the factories built with Western aid money to the bronze statues of Somali heroes.

The man widely blamed for most of the looting was Osman Hassan Ali "Ato" - "The Thin One" - who is Aideed's right hand man and financier.

Aideed's militia radio also banned the exports of charcoal, which is responsible for much of the deforestation in the arid nation, and female goats - which Somalis traditionally do not like selling because they want to maintain breeding stock.

"SNA (Aideed's Somali National Alliance) security men, police and port authorities are all required to seize such things as scrap metal, she-goats and charcoal. Handle them with great care and then bring the perpetrators to a court of law," said Aideed's decree broadcast by radio.

Aideed, whose militias battled U.S. troops on the streets of Mogadishu and caused Western forces to pull out in last March, arrived back in May after months abroad and apparently wants to establish a de-facto government in his areas.

He has been unable to reach agreement with his many rivals despite an accord much-publicised by the U.N. in March which promised a series of talks to set up a new government.

In Kismayu, tensions mounted again as Ogadeni clan warlords Aden Abdullahi Nur "Gabio" - "The Poet" - and Ahmed Omar Jess condemned peace talks opened by the U.N. Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) last week.

The militias of Gabio and Jess fought a series of bloody feuds for control of Kismayu town and the fertile hinterland, but have recently mended relations.

In U.N.-brokered deals, the clans were supposed to agree that the Ogadenis would take control of the farming lands outside Kismayu but that the city, port and airport would fall under the authority of the rival Harte clan group.

The Ogadenis appear to have now rejected this concept and want a part in controlling the lucrative facilities in the town.


(ANB 15 Apr 94 [The Standard, Kenya, 20 Mar 94, by Haroun Wandalo])
An interview with Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Children Fund representative in Somalia

...[Q] What are your activities in Somalia?

[A] We are doing two things. One line is to try to make sure that women and children survive the tragic events of 1991 and 1992. We also have some basic support in terms of vaccination, water and sanitation, primary health and education for children.

[Q] How do you go about all these programmes?

[A] At UNICEF, we are a practical people, so we try to go to the very bottom line of what we do. We have chlorinated wells to make sure such facilities are not contaminated which could contribute to the outbreak of disease. In fact, more than 3,000 wells have been chlorinated in the past months. In an area called Bosaso, we have chlorinated 237 wells. Regarding sanitation, we are training the people in this matter. So far we have trained about 4,000 local staff and have a programme to extend the training facilities to others. Through health centres, we are able to reach more than 280,000 people. We have vaccinated 753,000 children and have also assisted at least 63,000 children to go to school.

[Q] How dangerous is Somalia now?

[A] It is not true that all Somalia is dangerous and that there is war everywhere. But it is also very true to say that some localities have problems. In fact we are hopeful that the Somalis will find a better solution to the problems than outsiders can offer. I hope there will be no civil war after the departure of the UN troops. At this point, let me say that the Kenyan authorities are contributing very much to discussions on this matter of peace in Somalia...

[Q] How big is the UNICEF staff in Somalia. Is it coping?

[A] Our staff is one hundred and thirty of which one hundred are composed of local workers. Only thirty of our workers are expatriates. Can they cope? I would say, in normal circumstances--yes. This is because many Somalis are also helping us in all of these programmes. In fact most of the vaccinaitons were done by the Somalis.

[Q] Given that the donor community have shown reluctance in supporting you, what is your next course of action?

[A] Well, the figures speak for themselves. Two years ago our budget was 50 million dollars annually. This year alone we are struggling to reach 18 million dollars. This shows that there is donor fatigue and it makes us seriously concerned. At the moment we have only managed to secure 12 million dollars to run the programmes.

(Reuter 30 May 94)
MOGADISHU - Cholera in Somalia has killed 675 people out of 17,000 cases since the epidemic broke out in late January, the United Nations said on Monday.

A statement by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) said that while the number of cases had peaked in some areas, the situation was worsening in two southern regions and in the northwest.

It said 10 tonnes of medical supplies had been sent to the northwest, known as Somaliland since the region seceded from the rest of chaotic Somalia in May 1991, to cope with "the worsening epidemic" there.

The epidemic swept through large towns, including the capital Mogadishu, the southern port of Kismayu and the northeastern port of Bossaso almost unchecked for weeks in February but it appears to have burned itself out in these urban areas...

(Agence Europe via RBB 19 May 94)
BRUSSELS, 18 May 94 - The European Commission decided on Wednesday to grant emergency humanitarian aid of 688,000 ecus for the people of Borhache, Gedo and Giohar, victims of the continuing civil war in Somalia. This aid will finance three medical assistance programmes, namely: (i) 170,000 ecus for a project to stem a cholera epidemic in Giohar (creation and supervision of an epidemiology centre, public awareness raising programme and medical assistance for three months; this project will be carried out by the Spanish division of Medecins sans Frontieres); (ii) 330,000 ecus to ensure six months of functioning of a hospital in the Gedo region; (iii) 185,000 ecus for six months of supervision by Medecins du Monde of essential health care in the town of Borhache, the operation of mobile clinics in neighbouring villages, basic training for local teams and a vaccination programme for children under five years of age.

This aid comes on top of the 3.7 million ecus of humanitarian aid the Commission has already granted to the people of Somalia.

(NN/UNIC 31 May 94 [UN document DH/1654, 27 May 94])
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called for an international ban on the production, use and sale of anti-personnel land-mines. A UNHCR official said yesterday that the increasing indiscriminate and unrecorded use of anti-personnel land-mines was inhumane, and had far-reaching consequences for civilians, including refugees and returnees. In the absence of such a ban, the 1980 "inhumane weapons" Convention should be altered to cover internal conflicts. Those who produced or laid land-mines should be responsible for clearing them, and keeping records of mine-laying such as maps should be mandatory.

An estimated 100 million mines are scattered around the world, with another 2 million laid each year, according to the UNHCR. Clearance is dangerous and extremely expensive. The presence of mines seriously impedes the repatriation and reintegration of refugees in countries such as Mozambique, Somalia, Cambodia and Afghanistan. Some 20,000 civilians have been killed and 400,000 wounded by land-mines in Afghanistan in the past 15 years. In Cambodia, between 8 and 10 million mines have made huge areas of land unusable and hindered reconstruction and development.

(Reuter 25 May 94)
GENEVA - Red Cross and United Nations refugee officials said on Wednesday they had evacuated 800 Somalis trapped in a camp along the front lines in Yemen.

The evacuation took place overnight after days of negotiations with the north and south Yemeni forces to obtain security guarantees, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the U.N. refugee agency reported.

The Al Koud camp, located some 50 kms (30 miles) east of Aden, is now virtually empty except for a handful of Somalis, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

More than 100 of the Somalis living in the camp died after being caught in the crossfire of the civil war which broke out three weeks ago, according to reports received by the UNHCR.

The camp, which once held 13,000 Somali refugees who fled fighting and hunger in their homeland two years ago, had about 6,000 people living there when civil war broke out in Yemen. The rest are thought to have fled to Aden or elsewhere in Yemen...

(NN/ 31 Mar 94 [AI 30 Mar 94, AFR 52/WU 01/1994])
As the last of almost 20,000 US and Western troops in the United Nations peacekeeping operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II) leave the country, Amnesty International appeals to the UN and Somali political groups to work together for peace and human rights. It urges both to make human rights a priority for the remaining year of this embattled UN humanitarian operation.

Amnesty International is criticizing the weak emphasis placed on human rights so far in the UNOSOM operation. "The UN must be seen to be seriously protecting and promoting human rights", the human rights organization said. A UNOSOM Human Rights Office was established in November 1993 and an Ombudsman's complaints office has been proposed. Yet these offices do not yet have sufficient funding or support to deal properly with human rights abuses, whether by UN or Somali forces, Amnesty International said.

Alongside new human rights proposals which it is making to the UN, Amnesty International is calling on the rival Somali political groups to make a reality of the new peace and reconciliation declaration which General Aidid and Ali Mahdi signed in Nairobi on 24 March. The human rights organization urges them to assert control of their armed militias and supporters and stop the killings and ill-treatment of members of opposed political or clan groups. The Somali political groups must themselves make a real start to establish the rule of law and respect for human rights, the human rights organization said...

The killing by UN and US troops of hundreds of Somali civilians in Mogadishu, including women and children, raised serious questions about whether their use of lethal force was lawful. In a 23 March 1994 letter to the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Keeping Operations, Amnesty International criticized the inadequacy of investigatory mechanisms into killings by UN and US troops. For example, on 13 June 1993 Pakistani UN forces reportedly shot dead some 20 Somali protestors in Mogadishu, including women and children; and on 12 July 1993 US forces killed more than 50 Somalis in a house compound, including unarmed clan elders and sheiks who had earlier been in talks with UN officials.

Amnesty International has repeated its request to the UN to report publicly on investigations into these and other more recent incidents of possibly unlawful killings by UN and US troops. By its own standards the UN should conduct "prompt, thorough and impartial investigations" and make public reports.

Amnesty International has also written to the Pakistani, Canadian, Belgian and United States governments about allegations of abuses by their troops in Somalia. Only Canada and Belgium replied. A Belgian commission of inquiry reported its findings to parliament and the press, and military courts investigated 13 cases. A Canadian military investigation resulted in prosecutions being initiated against seven soldiers, and in the first concluded court martial earlier this month, a Canadian soldier was found guilty of the torture and manslaughter of a Somali teenager and imprisoned for five years. Said Amnesty International: "We hope that the Canadian action will be seen as a positive example by the UN and countries participating in this UN operation. It is vital that a humanitarian operation like this must at all times meet the UN's own human rights standards. Those who commit abuses should have no impunity from being brought to justice"...

Amnesty International is urging the UN to start a program of human rights assistance as soon as possible, including public education about human rights. UNOSOM's legal arm should assist in developing constitutional and legal protection of human rights and the UN should organize training in international human rights standards for UN troops and civilian police. Newly-recruited UN-funded Somali police and prison officers should all receive human rights training. No one implicated in gross human rights violations under the Siad Barre Government (1969-1991), or in the subsequent clan wars in which tens of thousands more were killed and there was widespread rape of women and torture, should be allowed to hold any public office in which they might again commit human rights abuses.

(NN/ 11 Apr 94 Apr 94])
UDC member Colleen Roach, working with Armando Rollenberg and Ramss Ramos of the International Organization of Journalists, has produced a preliminary report on the situation of media workers in Somalia based on the IOJ's August 1993 visit to that country. The report, which is available from the IOJ (Calle Mayor, 81, 3x Izquierda, Madrid, 28013 Spain), gives details of the IOJ's mission to Somalia which followed the murder of four journalists on July 12. The IOJ mission investigated the overall security conditions for journalists and sought to establish the circumstances of the deaths. (Five Somali CNN employees and six Somali distributors of the U.N. newspaper Maanta were also killed that month.) In addition, the IOJ sought to draw the attention of the United Nations system to the increasingly dangerous conditions in which journalists must work and to underscore the need for action.

The situation for journalists in Somalia is extremely dangerous because of the proliferation of weapons, the unpredictability of the situation, and the location of the main hotel serving journalists in the center of the battle zone...

The report offers security suggestions for journalists considering working in Somalia, and suggests that the fact that the conflict is being covered almost exclusively by Western news organizations may feed into popular hostility--especially against CNN, which has begun local broadcasts aimed at the U.N. troops.

The preliminary report concludes by urging an international forum on the protection of journalists and media workers in armed conflicts, and greater attention to the issue by the UN Committee on Information. Finally, "The deaths of journalists in Somalia should draw attention not only to the plight of their profession, but also that of the Somali people. Journalists are in danger because the international community has not yet found a way to make peace its top priority. We look forward, with hope, to the distant day when war correspondents no longer have a job to do."

** S O M A L I L A N D **


(SWB 10 May 94 [RH in Somali, 30 Apr 94])
Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, the president of the Republic of Somaliland, last night commented on [former Somaliland leader] Abd al-Rahman Ahmad Ali's news conference last night during which he [Abd al-Rahman] said Somaliland was reversing its decision to secede. The president said Somaliland's stand regarding its existence would not change. President Egal said there was nothing that could change the people's desire for secession and that Abd al-Rahman could not change this policy.

(SWB 10 May 94 [RH in Somali, 1 May 94])
A huge demonstration by Hargeisa residents was held today in Kheriyada Square, Hargeisa, to protest against Abd al-Rahman Ahmad Ali's announcement in Addis Ababa. The demonstrators displayed patriotism, their support for the existence of the Republic of Somaliland and their objection to the statement made by Abd al-Rahman Ahmad Ali, who betrayed the people living in Somaliland. The demonstration was attended by Mr Abd al-Rahman aw Ali Farah, the vice-president, and Mr Musa Bihi Abdi, the minister of internal affairs...

The vice-president also spoke about the bitter struggle to ensure the Republic of Somaliland's existence, saying that the Republic of Somaliland's existence was irreversible. He said no announcement by individuals could revoke Somaliland's genuine desire for secession, and that the government and the SNM [Somali National Movement] were one and the same...

(SWB 2 May 94 [MENA news agency, Cairo, in Arabic 2 May 94])
Cairo: This evening Foreign Minister Amr Musa met the leader of the northern Somali National Movement, Abd al-Rahman Nur [as received, the nom-de-guerre of the SNM leader is Abd al-Rahman Tur] and the delegation accompanying him [which] currently visiting Cairo. Nur said that they had discussed the situation, particularly in northern Somalia. He said that the delegation was working for rapprochement between the north and south, despite the fact that there were elements that were calling for division. He noted that the delegation had asked for the postponement of the reconciliation conference, which was due to be held in Nairobi at the end of this month, to have sufficient time to explain the current situation in northern Somalia. He explained that all the factions that had been contacted had approved the postponement.

He affirmed that Egypt was playing an important role to achieve national reconciliation in view of its good relations with Somalia. Most factions had total confidence in the Egyptian role and hoped that the Egyptian efforts to achieve national reconciliation in Somalia would succeed.

Foreign Minister Musa reaffirmed Egypt's position on Somalia, and emphasized the importance of achieving national reconciliation and a solution, based on the Addis Ababa resolutions, that would protect the interests of all parties.

(SNU 28 May 94)
On Tuesday the secretary-general of the UN presented his latest report to the security council...

The report contains relatively few surprises; the final date for UNOSOM's engagement is still March 1995 and during the six-month period to come, a cautious phasing out of the UN troops is to be initiated. However, a novelty in the report is that before the withdrawal begins, the secretary-general wants additional troops to be sent to the north-east. This part of Somalia has throughout the war been characterized by remarkable stability, with the exception of turmoil during the promulgation of the UN-designed district councils. Even more remarkable is the size of the contingent requested: including troops directed towards the central regions, the secretary- general writes that "at least two battalions" would be needed. In terms of number of troops this would mean the deployment of 900-2000 UN soldiers in an area whose major problem is the dispute with the neighbouring Somaliland, the independence of which is not recognized by the UN.

On the Somaliland issue, the secretary-general reiterates the phrasings of the last security council resolution on Somalia (No 897) by emphasising that the March accord between SSA and SNA asserted the territorial integrity of Somalia.

The paragraphs 14 and 15 of the report are the most remarkable. They account for the recent attempts to reinstate the former president of the Somaliland republic, Abdirahman "Tuur", as the spokesperson for the people of the northern break-away republic. Ridiculing the massive protests that occurred in Somaliland following Tuur's denunciation of the independence, by putting both Somaliland and President within inverted commas, the report goes on to acknowledge the UN's awareness that Abdirahman "Tuur" no longer holds neither the chairmanship of the SNM or the presidency of Somaliland. The report carefully uses past tense to refer to "Tuur"; "...Mr. Abdirahman Ahmed Ali, who had been Chairman of SNM before the Boroma Conference which elected a new administration...".

Somalia News Update has been informed by UNOSOM's spokesman George Bennett the legitimacy of leaders signing UN-brokered peace agreements is of little concern for UNOSOM. Bennett writes that the fact that Abdirahman "Tuur's" chairmanship in the SNM expired well over a year ago is of little importance and points out that there are other factional leaders whose terms of office are also long overdue.

Last week UNOSOM's Hargeysa office were asked by Mogadishu to confirm a rumour that Abdirahman "Tuur" had been denied entry to Somaliland at the Hargeysa office, but the rumour turned out to be without foundation. Later on, however, Djibouti declined to issue a visa for "Tuur" on the grounds that they could not guarantee his safety. He has now returned to London where the exiled Somaliland community, including many members of his own clan, are currently seeking to persuade him to withdraw his denunciation of Somaliland.

In a parallel development, Osman Jama has now withdrawn his support for Abdirahman "Tuur" and SNM's taking part in the southern peace conference. Jama was one of the persons who appeared together with Abdirahman "Tuur" at the press conference in Addis when the announcement to join the southern movement's peace conference was first made. He has recently appeared at conferences organized by the international right-wing movement Moral Rearmament (MRA) and was presented in Addis Ababa as a member of the newly founded "Executive Committee" of Abdirahman "Tuur"...

(SWB 27 May 94 [RH in Somali, 16 May 94])
The ordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Somaliland chaired by the president, Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal was held today at the presidency in Hargeisa...

Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal also gave details of talks he held with the Unosom delegation which had arrived in the country. The president said that he had passed on to the delegation the position of the government of the Republic of Somaliland concerning the [anti-secession] announcement made by Abd al-Rahman Tur [former Somali National Movement leader who said Somaliland should rejoin Somalia]. The president pointed out that the announcement did not concern the Republic of Somaliland. He went on to say that his government was sorry about the impression Unosom had given to the world regarding Abd al-Rahman Tur's announcement. He said this was a wrong done to the people of Somaliland. The president warned Unosom if it continued behaving like this, the government of Somaliland would not tolerate such behaviour. He said that he had reminded the Unosom-2 delegation of the UN's statement that the UN would not interfere in the affairs of Somaliland, neither would it infringe on its administration...

(NA May 94, p. 8, by Jack L. Davies)
The attempt to link the issue of Somalia with Somaliland is one of the major defects of the Nairobi agreement of March 1994. The government of Somaliland refused to attend the meeting and said that its independence was not for discussion. But the international community, by insisting that this issue is linked to an overall settlement is blocking the formation of a democratic government for Somalia.

The international community must recognise that the vast majority of Somalilanders are still very strongly opposed to any kind of reunification with the south. They were subjected to a massive pogrom by Gen Barre directed specifically against the Isaq clan, which constitutes 67% of the population of the north. Barre referred to the Isaq as the jews of Somalia. His commander Gen. Morgan killed tens of thousands of Isaqs and destroyed their property and infrastructure.

The Isaqs are so bitter that they want their former oppressors brought before a war crimes' tribunal. They did not fight a long and destructive war of liberation to be asked to be returned to rule by Mogadishu.

They objected to Ali Mahdi's Manifesto group, when it created an "interim government" in Mogadishu in January 1991, saying that it had authority over Somaliland. In fact it was this that caused the Somalilanders to declare their independence in May 1991.

The international community repeated the same blunder in the Addis Ababa agreement in March 1993, when it said that the new Transitional National Council would have sovereignty over Somaliland.

Under the new agreement a third of the seats in the new national parliament has been assigned to Somaliland delegates, but the Somalilanders have already refected this offer. It would then be a major mistake if the UN or Somalia government tried to get delegates "elected" from expatriate communities.

The Somalis in the south have enough political problems of their own without starting off with a third of their parliament filled by bogus northerners.

(Reuter 23 May 94)
NAIROBI - Breakaway south Yemen got its first international recognition on Monday - from a government no other state acknowledges.

Somaliland... said it would "place at the disposal of the government of the Democratic Republic of Yemen all our material and military resources."

"We, the people and government of the Republic of Somaliland, hasten to recognise the constitutionality and the legitimacy of their sovereign republic," said a statement faxed to Reuters from the Somaliland presidency in Hargeisa.

Yemen plunged into a north-south civil war on May 4. Southern leaders, who merged their country with North Yemen in 1990, declared on Saturday that the union was no more...

Northern Somalia has little of its own to offer the Yemenis, but the whole of Somalia is awash with arms.


(NNS Apr 94)
An end of March meeting in Hargeisa, with representation from the government's of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, UN agencies and NGOs looked at the proposals for voluntary repatriation of several hundred thousand Somalis. The deadline for completion of the repatriation had been March 31, but no agreement had been reached on the required procedures between the Ethiopian and Somaliland governments and UNHCR delaying implementation.

Marwan Elkhoury, information officer at the UNHCR Regional Liaison Office in Addis Ababa says that "while the question of repatriation has been agreed on both sides, discussion now surrounds the revalidation of refugee ration cards and the package of rehabilitation measures required". UNHCR expects to finalise agreement on these issues by June and to proceed some time in September. The numbers of refugees who have already spontaneously repatriated are contested, with the Somaliland authorities questioning the UNHCR's estimate that two thirds of the refugees have already returned.

A recent report from SORRA says "the position of the Somaliland government and NGO community is that, though they are ready to welcome back home their brothers and sisters across the border, the country is too traumatized and war torn to accommodate the returnees and that the crucial issue of disarming, demobilising and demining should be first addressed."

Elkhoury admits that they will place a strain on the country's fragile economy, but says that UNHCR is planning to phase the repatriation so as not to disturb the process of repatriation. As for the issue of mines, he says that it will take ten years to remove all the mines from the area and UNHCR is undertaking a mine awareness programme in the camps and in Somaliland and will be involved in support of demining and isolating mine fields (a much quicker means of avoiding accidents.) once a group has been identified to do this. The UNHCR office for NW Somalia has been given the role of co-ordinating lead agency for projects, and data analysis.

Donors are supporting the repatriation by participating in a joint committee with UNHCR and the Ethiopian government. They are in fact putting some pressure on UNHCR and the governments to ensure that the process moves ahead quickly - "the US government (UNHCR's main donor) has withdrawn its support from care and maintenance projects in the camps" says Elkhoury, and the message is clearly received in Somaliland, SORRA writes "the donors made it very clear that they are not ready to support any longer the several hundred thousand Somaliland refugees residing in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Yemen etc." Given this the NGOs are clearly concerned that all efforts should be made to ensure that the return is secure and that facilities are available for the returnees so that they do not become like refugees in their own land...

(National Demobilisation Commission of Somaliland report, "Interim Emergency Programme", 10 Feb 94)
...On 1 February 1994, the disarmament of heavy weapons units commenced in Hargeisa. The authorities have been making preparations for a general disarmament and demobilisation programme for several months principally through the National Demobilisation Commission (NDC). The NDC, assisted by a UNDP/OPS Advisory Team from Zimbabwe, have been undertaking detailed preparations and planning for disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration since December 1993.

The commencement of disarmament in Hargeisa on 1 February 1994 was not anticipated, however, arising from an unexpected change in the political situation which resulted in a spontaneous voluntary surrender of heavy weapons by armed units in Hargeisa. By the 10th of February 8 tanks, 17 "technicals", one Katusha rocket launcher and a total of 57 mortars, artillery pieces and anti-aircraft weapons had been surrendered in Hargeisa...

...As part of the planned demobilisation programme a project to register 25 000 armed mujahidiin, militia, and demobilised SNM veterans in Somaliland (Northwest Somalia) will be carried out by the NDC assisted by the Advisory team. This exercise should be completed by 30 April 1994.

The current disarmament exercise is intended to be confined to the disarmamnet of heavy weapons units only. The estimated number of persons involved (the crews of heavy weapons systems) is 2500 persons. This figure is based on assessments made by the National Demobilisation Commission and the Advisory Team during the preliminary surveys carried out during the planning stages of the overall demobilisation programme.

This interim proposal anticipates the disarmament of all main heavy weapons units throughout Somaliland (Northwest Somalia). The quantities of weapons to be surrendered and secured in this programme cannot be reliably estimated. However, it is known that some 60 percent of the heavy weapons of the former Siad Barre forces were concentrated in Somaliland at the time of his overthrowal and this represents a large quantity of weapons...

Heavy weapons which have been/are to be surrendered are to be removed from their present locations to regional assembly camps. These camps will be selected by the NDC acting on the advice of local elders and military commanders, according to appropriate security and political criteria.

The assembled weapons are held under the joint authority of the central authorities and the local elders, utilising a two-key system under which their removal or use can only be authorised by both parties. The weapons will be guarded by personnel from the Disarmament Security Unit of the Police, to be administered by the existing police command...

(National Demobilisation Commission Monthly Activities Report, Mar 94)
During March the disarmament of the 4th Brigade was successfully completed. This brings the numbers of surrendered weapons currently assembled and under guard in Birjeeh Camp, Hargeysa to the following totals:

29 Technicals mounted with various calibre weapons
1 Milan anti-tank missile

1 105mm Field gun
6 106 Recoilless anti-tank guns (unmounted)

8 Strellar M2 82mm guns (unmounted)
2 M30 122mm guns (unmounted)

1 BM-21 40 barrel Katusha (truck mounted)
4 BM 107 12 barrel (trailer mounted)

6 120mm Mortars

The 12th Brigade, which formerly occupied the Hargeysa to Berbera road has removed its technicals and heavy weapons to an assembly point, Warshadda Kabka, in Hargeysa. The brigade will presently be completing negotiations for final disarmament. Following disarmament the brigade personnel will be moved to the former military training centre at Adadleh situated 40 km from Hargeysa.

At Gebiley heavy weapons from the 99th Brigade have been assembled and secured at Gaalah.

In Berbera the 6th Brigade have disarmed their units and assembled their heavy weapons at Sheikh. Personnel from the 6th Brigade are preparing to move to Adadleh where they will join members of the 12th Brigade at the former military training centre.

Between Berbera and Hargeysa the 11th Brigade are preparing to assemble at Daar Budhuq.

In Erigavo the local forces have largely disarmed and are awaiting an imminent visit from the NDC.

Booraama groups are in the process of preparing a local assembly site for the collection of their heavy weapons following an NDC visit to the region at the end of February. The proposed site will be at Gory Awal, a former military camp approximately 10 km from Booraama town...

(SWB 27 May 94 [RH in Somali, 17 May 94])
The Council of Ministers'meeting yesterday, chaired by Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, the president of the Republic of Somaliland, discussed the problems suffered by Somalis as a result of the fighting in Yemen and the request made by the UNHCR concerning Somali refugees in Yemen...

The Republic of Somaliland criticizes the UNHCR for evacuating its workers before the start of the fighting. For this reason the Republic of Somaliland is ready to settle the Somali refugees stranded in Yemen temporarily, as guests of the Republic of Somaliland. The Republic of Somaliland calls upon the UNHCR and the donor countries to speed up the work to prepare, repatriate and care for the Somaliland refugees where they are staying.

** S U D A N **


DUP - Democratic Unionist Party
NDA - National Democratic Alliance
NIF - National Islamic Front
NSCC - New Sudan Council of Churches
NUP - Nationalist Unionist Party
PDF - Popular Defence Forces
PRMSS - Patriotic Resistance Movement of South Sudan
RASS - Relief Association for Southern Sudan
RCC - Revolutionary Command Council
RCCNS - RCC of National Salvation
SCC - Sudan Council of Churches
SEOC - Sudan Emergency Operations Consortium
SPLA - Sudan People's Liberation Army
SPLM - Sudan People's Liberation Movement


(SWB 24 May 94 [KNA news agency, Nairobi, in English 21 May 94])
Nairobi: The second session of the Sudanese peace talks which started in Nairobi last Tuesday [17th May] under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Agency [Authority] on Drought and Development (IGADD) standing committee for foreign affairs ministers, adjourned yesterday.

The talks, which were chaired by the Kenyan minister for foreign affairs and international cooperation, Mr Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, were adjourned until 18th July 1994, to give time to the parties to the conflict to consider the draft declaration of principles which will form the basis of future negotiations.

The next third session will be preceded by [the] IGADD foreign ministers' meeting scheduled for Nairobi on 16th July. The parties to the conflict, which are the Sudanese government, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM-SPLA) and [the] Sudan People's Liberation Movement Army-United (SPLM-SPLA-United) [name as received] submitted their position papers and exchanged views on the agreed agenda.

The agreed agenda sets the declaration of principles for resolving the conflict in southern Sudan and interim arrangements and steps to be taken to resolve the conflict.

The ministers who attended the second session were Dr Paul Ssemogerere, second deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs of Uganda; Mr Mesfin Seyoum, minister for foreign affairs of the transitional government of Ethiopia; Mr Petros Solomon, minister for foreign affairs of Eritrea; Dr Zachary Onyonka Kenyan minister for research, technical training and technology.

(Reuter 23 May 94)
KHARTOUM - Mohammad al-Amin Khalifa, head of the Sudanese delegation to peace talks with the rebel Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), says the government is serious about reaching peace in the next round of negotiations...

Khalifa, who is also speaker of Sudan's parliament, was quoted on state television on his return to Khartoum on Sunday as saying the talks tackled basic issues and came up with a declaration of principles.

He stressed the necessity of continuing dialogue with the SPLA in order to build confidence, adding that the next round of talks would be extremely important.

Khalifa said the SPLA delegation arrived for the talks three days late, but SPLA leader John Garang said the delay was because of attacks by Sudanese aircraft on areas of southern Sudan controlled by the SPLA...

(IPS 23 May 94, by Horace Awori)
NAIROBI - ...Meanwhile, Commander Yusuf Kuol, who has been deputy leader of the SPLA delegation to the peace talks which adjourned Friday in Nairobi, said negotiations between Khartoum and his organisation made significant strides.

The sides will meet again Jul. 18.

"We are returning to southern Sudan for further consultations with the national executive council on the principles presented at the talks," said Kuol. He confirmed that self-determination was one of the principles presented.

The SPLA leader also pointed out that although there are two separate SPLA delegations, "we are presenting the same principles as agreed in the common agenda".

Kuol also said relations with the rival SPLA-United led by Dr. Riak Machar were getting better and the situation on the ground in the south was quiet...

/HAB/ According to sources close to the IGADD negotiators, progress was made in the following areas:

1. Difficult talks on routes for humanitarian aid finally reached an agreement.

2. Significant progress was made on the discussion of the principles involved in future discussions on issues such as the unitary state, self-determination, referendum, etc.

3. The discussion was more forthright than ever before.

4. The SPLA factions acted as one delegation and were able to differentiate self-determination from separation.

5. The two month delay was to allow the GOS to return to Khartoum to observe the Id and allow the parties to think through how they can and will proceed.

6. This session was the first time that the issues have been clearly set out without pre-determining the outcome.

7. The involved mediators from IGADD were very sharp and did and excellent job.

(Sudan Working Group (AACC) "Progress Report", April 94)
...The current IGADD on the Sudan began on Nov. 4, 1993 in Kampala, Uganda. On this occasion four IGADD heads of state were present as well as representatives from the conflicting parties. A basic commitment to an IGADD peace process on the Sudan was affirmed.

A second meeting was held, December 14-17, 1994, in Nairobi, Kenya. At this meeting the foreign ministers from the four IGADD countries giving direction to the peace process met to consider the modalities to be followed in the peace process.

In a third meeting on January 4, 1994 the IGADD foreign ministers again gathered in Nairobi. At this meeting, agreement was reached on a joint SPLA Mainstream/ SPLA United agenda:

cease fire


interim arrangements

On March 9, 1994 the four IGADD heads of state had a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya during which they establihsed an IGADD Secretariat to guide the peace process on the Sudan. The Secretariat operates under the auspices of the Kenya Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The four IGADD heads of state met again in March 17-23, 1994. After a brief formal meeting of the heads of state, negotiating teams engaged representatives from the conflicting parties in discussion leading to the following agreements:

1. Agreement on a three-point agenda for the next session of the IGADD peace talks...

2. Agreement on Relief Supplies and Humanitarian Assistance to the War Affected Areas...

3. Agreement on May 16, 1994 as the beginning date for the next session of the IGADD process.

(Note: With regard to No. 2 agreement, the parties to the Sudan conflict signed a declaration of principles of relief delivery on March 23, 1994. Because of differences between the SPLM and the Khartoum Government on the implementation of the agreement, the discussions were adjourned to be resumed on May 3, 1994.)

(SU 20 May 94, p.3 [Al-Hayat 7 May 94])
Mohamed Osman al-Mirghani, leader of the banned Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), has told al-Hayat newspaper that his party supports the unity of Sudan, while he understands "the injustice which our Southern brethren have suffered". He claimed that calls for self-determination will subside whenever the national opposition succeeds in toppling the regime. He denied that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)'s Nairobi declaration had called for a secular Sudan, and said it did not call for the separation of religion from the state or secularism, but talked of a democratic state. He declared his support for democracy and pluralism.

Al-Mirghani also denied the existence of divisions within the NDA, but admitted that there were disagreements on the means--such as the leadership--and on self-determination. He claimed that his party's suggestion of alternating leadership was accepted by all, while calling for all problems within the NDA to be sorted out internally.

The DUP leader claimed that the IGADD talks in Nairobi would end in failure because of the exclusion of "all major [Northern] Sudanese forces", and because the Khartoum regime represented "a very limited and small part of the population". He said that even in the case of an agreement between the government and the SPLA, such a settlement would lack the popular support necessary to guarantee its success. He affirmed his party's support for the unity of Sudan, adding that self-determination is "not as simple as some people think" and that no decision should be made in the absence of the will of the people. He added that African public opinion supported unity for Sudan, and warned of the dangers secession in Southern Sudan might bring. Al-Mirghani described speculation about reconciliation [of northern political forces] with al-Bashir as "nonsense".

(SN 1 Jun 94, p.1)
President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir arrived in Khartoum yesterday after three days of talks in Austria with Austrian President Thomas Klistel and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, centring on efforts to bring peace to Sudan. The talks were hosted by the Austrian President and took place at his summer retreat outside Vienna. The talks ended with agreements aimed at boosting the IGADD peace initiative for peace in Sudan so as to bring a quick end to the war. The talks also succeeded in bringing Sudanese and Ugandan views about how to end the war [sooner]...

(Reuter 1 Jun 94)
OSLO - A seminar on African countries in Oslo was bizarrely mistaken on Wednesday for secret peace talks between guerrillas and the Sudanese government modelled on Israeli-PLO negotiations in Norway last year.

"There are no peace talks. This is a seminar on Sudan and other countries," said Gunnar Soerboe, an organiser of the meeting of African and European academics at a hotel on the outskirts of Oslo.

"This is no new Norwegian back channel," he told Reuters...


(SWB 18 May 94 [RNU in Arabic, 16 May 94])
The Juba political conference ended today in the provincial capital of Bahr al-Jabal, and issued its resolutions and recommendations and the Juba Declaration document.

The closing session was addressed by Mr Angelo Beda, deputy speaker of the Transitional National Assembly and chairman of the conference' s steering committee...

His excellency then read out the conference's resolutions and recommendations, which broadly called for adherence to national unity and rejection of foreign interference aimed at attenuating the country. The resolutions and recommendations condemned the desperate attempts by some southern factions to introduce proposals inconsistent with the views of the majority. The recommendations also stressed the need to establish a just, permanent and comprehensive peace; speed up the ending of the war; adhere to the principles laid down by the National Salvation Revolution...

(IPS 23 May 94, by Horace Awori)
NAIROBI - The Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) Monday dismissed last week's Khartoum-organised convention in the southern government-held city of Juba as "a conference of hostages".

"And in any case, the few people in Juba cannot claim to speak for the rest of the southern Sudan people," said the movement's spokesman in Nairobi, Stephen Wondu.

Wondu was reacting to the reported acceptance by some internal groups in southern Sudan of the concept of federalism proposed by Khartoum that will create 10 states in the south in a united Sudan. The SPLA wants self determination for the mineral-rich region.

The spokesman said the Juba convention was "a ploy by Khartoum to play down the very successful convention the SPLA Mainstream held in Chukudum from Mar. 28 to Apr. 14 in liberated territory"...


(SU 20 May 94, p.1 [Al-Hayat 20 Apr 94])
Following its first general congress in April, reports al-Hayat, the "Mainstream" SPLA faction led by Col John Garang has announced the creation of a political and administrative entity to be called "New Sudan". The conference resolutions determined the boundaries of "New Sudan" and established judicial, civil and military administrations as well as a parliament. The newspaper says the step is interpreted as preparation for the announcement of a southern state or as a push towards a confederal system in the country.

The "New Sudan" entity would encompass the South, Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile, according to an SPLA-Mainstream press statement quoted by al-Hayat. The congress formed a five-year 'parliament' and appointed Col Garang as both Speaker and Chairman of the Executive Council. Cdr Salva Kiir was appointed as his deputy. The parliament, called the Liberation Assembly, has 182 members, 132 of whom are elected, with 38 more representing the SPLA-Mainstream and 10 to be chosen by the assembly. The congress reportedly 'empowered' the executive council to:

a - Work for self-determination using all means including armed struggle.

b - Use the resources of New Sudan to support the war if this is necessary.

c - Separate the civilian adminstration from the military one.

d - Form the necessary infrastructure for the civilian administration.

e - Establish a judicial system which must be independent from the legislative and executive system.

f - Ensure respect [for] the rule of law and human rights.

h - Issue a general amnesty to those who rebelled from the movement.
[HAB: items lettered as they appear in SU]

SPLA-Mainstream spokesman Steven Wondu said that Col Garang had assured the meeting that the executive council would abide by the resolutions and had announced a general anmesty, adding that returnees would enjoy full rights and privileges. Garang insisted that the council would do its best to achieve the unity of the people of the "New Sudan"...

/HAB/ Apparently, no representatives from SPLA-United were invited to the SPLA convention.

(IPS 3 May 94, by Nhial Bol)
Khartoum - The Sudanese government has ridiculed the rebel decision to create an independent state in the Sudan and said it would not recognise it.

Mahdi Ibrahim, a senior official at the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told journalists here Friday that the recent decision to proclaim the "New Sudan" showed that the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) was not serious for a negotiated peaceful settlement...

(Sudan: News & Views 19 May 94)
Lam Akol, who has been sacked by Riak Machar from his post as Foreign Relations Officer in SPLA United, issued a statement in Nairobi in mid-April, in which he attacked his former colleague Riak Machar for lacking seriousness and for staying away from the battle fields 'which made him isolated from his soldiers'.

Akol, who belongs to the Shiluk tribe in Upper Nile Province, has returned to his tribal base in Malakal. Many sources has reported that negotiations had taken place in meetings on 15 and 28 April 1994 between Lam's group and the Government of Sudan officials.


(Reuter 18 May 94, by Manoah Esipisu)
NAIROBI - Sudan said on Wednesday it was pushing its military drive against southern rebels despite signing an accord with them to open transport links.

"We are fighting a war. We push forward. It is all about good management of war," said Ali Elhag Mohamed, government chief negotiator at stalled peace negotiations in Nairobi.

He said the Khartoum government's stand was not incompatible with peace talks and an agreement signed with the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) opening river, land and train routes across battle lines.

"Our position is not incompatible with peace negotiations. We seek peace but before that, we fight," he told reporters.

He added he hoped the accord on "food corridors" signed in the Kenyan capital Nairobi late on Tuesday was a forerunner of a comprehensive peace settlement to Sudan's 11-year civil war which has created untold misery for thousands of refugees.

Delegates from the Khartoum government and rebels of the splintered Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) signed the pact after weeks of talks.

The agreement opens roads into south Sudan's battlefields from Kenya and Uganda and should also ensure the delivery of food by train from the north and on river convoys on the main tributaries of the Nile, aid workers said.

It also declared April-June as a special period of immunisation of children under the age of five against diseases such as measles and polio in all areas of southern Sudan.

U.N. special envoy for Sudan Vieri Traxler said he hoped the landmark humanitarian pact would lead to peace talks...

(NA Jun 94, p.29)
Idealistic young Sudanese are being recruited by Dr Hassan Al-Turabi's Peoples Defence Force to go and fight a "holy war" in the south. But they are dying in large numbers at the hands of the equally determined guerrillas of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army, who are just as committed to their liberation struggle. Our correspondents report.

When Dr Hassan Al-Turabi's youngest brother was killed fighting the guerrillas in the south of the country, it put the spotlight of publicity on the increasing use of civilians in the 11-year-old civil war.

Abdel-Halig Abdalla Al-Turabi had only just graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Khartoum. The young man, in his first flush of youth, had gone to fight the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) as part of the Popular Defence Force (PDF) set up by his father.

The PDF was formed four years ago to recruit young idealists who think that they are fighting a religious war against the infidel. They think they are doing their heroic duty. Dozens of young educated youth have already laid down their lives in the vain struggle. Last year, in the south eastern town of Damazine, over 45,000 members of the force graduated. The driving force behind the PDF is Dr Hassan al Turabi, who has been calling for some time for civilians to fight alonside the army, saying that the war in the south cannot be left to the armed forces alone.

The force has attracted doctors, engineers, university lecturers, students and other professionals and a special wing has been created for women.

On the day that Al-Turabi's son died, the younger brother of General Al-Bashir was shown on state television, in action in the south, as a member of the Popular Defence Force. He is a qualified medical doctor.

The PDF gives its recruits military training for a period of two or three months, they are then dispatched into the battle zones. Fired with Islamic fundamentalist fervour, some fight even more bravely than the regular soldiers they are supposed to assist. But their lack of training and their religious fanaticism means they often pay with their lives...

Abdel-Halig Al-Turabi, the youngest brother of Dr Al Turabi, was killed when a land-mine blew up his vehicle as he was travelling in a convoy in Western Equatoria, following fierce fighting in the area. Eight other members of the PDF perished in the same incident...

The families of the Islamic martyrs are well cared for by the government. They also get support from the Martyr's Organisation whch was set up specifically to help them...

/HAB/ As reported by Reuter in HAB 2/94 p.35, the Sudanese Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research was quoted as saying that failure to appear at PDF camp would cost students their university places.

(SDG Jun 94, p.5)
There are indications that the newly elected democratic government of South Africa may cancel the arms agreement between the former Apartheid regime and the Islamic Fundamentalist regime in Khartoum. At least, the request to cancel the arms trade between Khartoum and Pretoria is before the new government, which has promised to take an early decision on it.

The request to cancel the deal was made to the Transitional Executive Council (TEC) by a number of European human rights and humanitarian organisations, who provided the South Africans with accurate and authentic evidence, including some contained in reports from this publication. The request was passed on to the Subcouncil on Defence.

On the eve of its departure from office, the Subcouncil on Defence wrote to Pax Christi of the Netherlands, one of the organisations making the request, informing them that the matter would be transferred to the new democratic government for a decision. There were indications that cancellation of the arms deal would be one of the earliest decisions taken by President Mandela.

In his letter to the Secretary for African Affairs of Pax Christi, Mr Jan Gruiters, the Managing Director of the Subcouncil on Defence, Mr Anton Roskam, wrote:

"I am instructed to inform you that the Subcouncil on Defence is totally opposed to the supply of arms by the South African Defence Force (SADF) and Armscor to the Sudanese Government.

The Subcouncil on Defence has made its position known to the South African Government, South African Defence Force and Armscor and recommended to the Transitional Executive Council (TEC) that the supply of arms to the Sudanese Government be halted forthwith.

As you know, the TEC is almost at the end of its life-span. If this matter is not discussed by the TEC it will be handed over to the new Minister of Defence and the Government of National Unity..."

(Reuter 2 Jun 94)
NAIROBI - Government forces are closing in on the rebel-held southern Sudan town of Nimule, forcing the relocation of aid workers there, aid agencies said on Thursday.

The U.N.'s Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) said government troops had reached Aswa, 25 km (15 miles) north of Nimule.

"On Sunday four bombs were dropped on an area north of Nimule, and another exploded in the area over Nimule village," OLS said in statement issued in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

The government offensive prompted the immediate withdrawal of 18 staff of the children's agency UNICEF operating under the OLS umbrella...

"From Uganda the organisations will continue to provide food, medicines and emergency relief services for more than 90,000 displaced people who began fleeing last February from three large displaced camps in the area," OLS said.

An OLS official said a few Norwegians were the only remaining aid workers operating in Nimule...

The so-called "Triple A" camps near Nimule - Ame, Aswa and Atepi - were established after an earlier round of fighting between the army and the SPLA.

An estimated 56,000 people from Ame and Atepi and another 36,000 from Aswa were moved to two new camps further east and southeast of Nimule after government air raids in February.

"These people are extremely vulnerable," said Philip O'Brien, OLS coordinator and UNICEF's chief of operations. "They are difficult to reach because the roads are very poor, and have become even worse with the onset of the rains."

A survey in one of the two new camps in March showed 37 percent of children there were malnourished.

"These figures are devastating. We had managed to reduce malnutrition levels in Ame camp from 80 percent to 11 percent in 1993 and it is very sad to see young people suffering so badly again," O'Brien said.

(Reuter 12 Jun 94, by Buchizya Mseteka)
NAIROBI - The Sudanese army says it has recaptured the strategic southern town of Kajo Kaji, a key supply point for rebels battling the Islamic government.

Khartoum reported on Saturday that Kajo Kaji, near the Ugandan border, had been retaken from the mainstream Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) led by John Garang.

It is the government's latest advance in an offensive which has regained over a dozen towns and villages from rebel control in the past two years and has continued after inconclusive peace talks last month.

"We know there was fighting near that area a few weeks ago but we have no way of verifying the government claim because we do not have our own people on the ground there," a U.N. official told Reuters.

Members of an SPLA faction opposed to Garang said the government victory would be a serious blow to Garang's fighting capability because Garang has used the town to resupply his forces from Uganda.

In a Radio Omdurman broadcast, monitored in Nairobi, Sudanese armed forces spokesman Brigadier-General Muhammad Bashir Sulayman said Kajo Kaji fell at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) on Saturday...

(Reuter 18 May 94)
ADDIS ABABA - At least 10,000 starving Sudanese have fled their country and sought refuge in western Ethiopia, a regional Ethiopian official said on Wednesday.

The National News Agency quoted the official as saying new arrivals in the town of Jikao "were on the brink of death from hunger". It said the refugees reached Ethiopia in the last month.

An official of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Addis Ababa said he could not confirm the new arrivals.

"We are still investigating," the official said.

Peter Gaded, a government official in the western town of Gambella said the influx of refugees fleeing fighting in southern Sudan had risen since April.

"Children and the elderly among the refugees are the most affected and unless urgent measures were taken it might be catastrophic," the agency quoted Peter as saying.

He appealed to the government, local and international aid groups to send emergency assistance.

The UNHCR says 44,000 Sudanese refugees already live in three camps in western Ethiopia...

(Reuter 11 Jun 94)
UNITED NATIONS - Sudanese rebels have hijacked a relief aid barge steaming down the White Nile to the southern city of Jonglei and taken prisoner the 11 U.N. staff on board, the United Nations said Friday.

Spokesman Joe Sills said radio contact with the barge, filled with food, was lost four days ago as it attempted to deliver relief supplies to people living in both government and Sudanese People Liberation Army-controlled areas.

Subsequently, flights over the area by U.N.-leased planes in Likichokio, Kenya, "have confirmed the location of the barge and that the U.N. staff are being held prisoners," he said.

The prisoners included international U.N. staff and local staff working for the World Food Programme and the U.N. Children's Fund.

Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali condemned the seizure and called on all parties "to do everything necessary to secure the safe release of the U.N. staff being held prisoner."

The food deliveries are part of Operation Lifeline Sudan, a major operation to alleviate the effects of drought and years of civil war between the SPLA in the south and the Islamic government in Khartoum.

The barge had left from Kosti, south of Khartoum, and was travelling to Juba, the south's largest city, with stops along the way to deliver food to remote areas.

The operation also includes sending supplies by train and air to meet the 486,000 tons of supplies required in the south this year. So far about 26,600 tons have been delivered, according to the government.

The government on June 2 accused the rebels of looting a relief train headed south, saying the SPLA had no intention of allowing safe corridors for humanitarian needs.

With relief supplies falling far short of demand, aid agencies in Juba have opened up feeding stations for 35,000 of the most vulnerable people in the area. Cereal prices are reported to be so high in Juba that most people cannot afford to buy enough for subsistence.


(IPS 29 Apr 94, by Horace Awori)
NAIROBI - More than 30 aid agencies Friday appealed to the international community to send more food to the starving population in war-torn southern Sudan.

The agencies, which have grouped under 'The Sudan Emergency Operation Consortium' (SEOC), attributed the shortage of food in southern Sudan to lack of funding from the international community.

SEOC chairman Gerhara Meir, who attended a four-day general assembly organised by the consortium which ended here Friday, said the situation had "placed thousands of lives at risk".

SEOC, an umbrella body which include the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Caritas International, began relief operation in the south in 1991.

Between May 1993 to April 1994, the consortium supplied food aid worth 11.3 million U.S. dollars to Kongor, Mankien, Juba, Yirol and Nimule in the south.

"This money was donated by churches and governments from 31 countries, including the European Union," explained Meir...

"For the coming months, it will be necessary to shift a part of the operation to air drops as other means of transportation are severely limited due to the rainy season," said Meir...

War and poor harvest have contributed to the shortage of food in the Sudan this season.

UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has forecasted Sudan's total cereal production in 1993/94 at 3.1 million tons, down by 12 percent compared with 1992/1993 projection...

(NNS Apr 94)
Following the IGADD brokered March 23 agreement on "Relief Supplies and Humanitarian Assistance to war affected areas", between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the two SPLA factions, negotiations to implement the accord could not be completed. The April 7 - 12 meetings were adjourned and are slated to resume on May 3.

The GoS representative insisted on signing a text on which consensus appeared possible, to demonstrate the positive attitude of his delegation, but two irresolvable issues remain. The SPLM Utd insisted on the mention of the possible opening of a corridor from Gambella in Ethiopia into their territory, (which was unacceptable to the GoS delegation), and no agreement could be reached regarding the number of cross border road routes from Uganda and Kenya between the GoS and SPLM Mainstream. Mainstream were not prepared to open corridors through the heavily militarised Boma and Torit zones causing the GoS to deny any of the other proposed cross border road routes.

SPLM Utd are without access to an international border making a route into Gambella, Ethiopia attractive to them, however the GoS is probably wary of the possible re-establishment of the SPLA there and is not prepared to agree. The Transitional Government of Ethiopia has made its position clear: under the Addis Ababa Agreements of 1992, they must open corridors for humanitarian needs, but only as a result of a request from all parties.

The UN delegation agrees to the opening of all corridors on principle, but in practice is not convinced that major humanitarian needs will be met by opening this route - partly because the area is already serviced by rail from Malakal and also because the ports of Assab and Djibouti, through which supplies would come, will be required to serve the enormous needs in Ethiopia...

(Reuter 17 May 94)
NAIROBI - Delegates from the Khartoum government and rebels of the splintered Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) signed an agreement on Tuesday opening land, river and train routes across battle lines after weeks of talks.

"This agreement marks an important milestone towards achieving the cherished overall objective of peace in the Sudan," said Kenyan Science minister Zachary Onyonka who led mediation.

"With this improved access to the needy, we would like to reiterate our appeal to the international community to come forward as a matter of urgency and provide for the humanitarian needs including farm implements and seeds at this time when there are rains in order to break the hunger circle."

Ibrahim Abuoaf, Sudan state minister for social planning, signed on behalf of the government of military ruler Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Deng Alor Kuol signed for the mainstream SPLA of John Garang and Simon Mori Diduma for the rival SPLA-United...


(Sudan: News & Views 25 Apr 94)
The following is a translation of part of an interview with Dr. Hussain Abu Salih, the Sudanese Foreign Minister, published in Al-Khartoum newspaper on Sunday 3 April 1994:

Q: It seems that the involvement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the issue of human rights in Sudan is very limited. The government has dealt with it as a purely legal issue left to the Attorney General to tackle.

Abu Salih: No.. there is no sensitivity here. Everybody who can contribute in this matter is welcome. We have not abandoned our duty. We have a legal administration which is dealing with this matter. We have left this matter to the justice and judiciary systems because they are more capable of defense. I, for example, is convinced that the Islamic system is the best system for human rights in the world, but I might not be able to explain this to the world. I am not articulate, but lawyers are.

Q: But is the issue here a theoretical debate on human rights in Islam or is it about certain practices and violations in Sudan?

Abu Salih: All..All. Comparing our record with that of Israel and America, we are angels. Our record is far better. There is no one without mistakes, but we cannot be compared with America or Israel. This issue is only for political pressure. We will not discuss this matter anymore because it is nonsense.

Q: But the Sudanese people who raise this issue do not compare between Sudan and America or Israel. They compare between Sudan and Sudan, because these practices are new to Sudan and has not been experienced before, throughout the history of Sudan.

Abu Salih: There are a lot of lies created by the opposition. Do not draw me into talking about the Opposition. I do not want to talk about these people who have dishonored Sudan and its people more than anybody else. Please pardon me, I don't want to talk about them.

Q: What about the extension of the mandate of Caspar Biro as a Special Rapporteur for human rights in Sudan and ....?

Abu Salih: [interrupting] ..Look, this Biro will never set foot in Sudan again. From now on, he is not going to enter Sudan. He is a kid with little legal experience. I think the biggest mistake committed by the government of Sudan is to accept this little kid to come and investigate us. It is our mistake.

(NN/ 15 Apr 94 [AI 14 Apr 94, AFR 54/13/94])
Sara Nugdallah, opposition politician and lecturer (f)

Abdel Rasoul al-Nur, opposition politician

Sara Nugdallah and Abdel Rasoul al-Nur, prominent politicians from the banned Umma Party, have been detained in Khartoum, Sudan's capital. Amnesty International believes them to be prisoners of conscience arrested because of their non-violent opposition to the government and fears that they may be subjected to ill-treatment or torture.

Sara Nugdallah, a university lecturer and member of the executive and women's committees of the Umma Party, was arrested on 7 April 1994...

Abdel Rasoul al-Nur, a former governor of Kordofan region, was detained on 9 April 1994. He was briefly held on 5 April and ordered to report to the security headquarters four days later. Security officials are reported to have returned with him to his home which was searched. Abdel Rasoul al- Nur's whereabouts in detention are unknown. He is thought to be detained in either the security headquarters or a secret detention centre, commonly known as a ghost house in Sudan. He has also been arrested on previous occasions, most recently from 5 April to 25 September 1993 when he was held in a ghost house...

(NN/ 20 Apr 94 [AI 19 Apr 94, AFR 54/14/94])
Mahjoub Mohamed al-Hassan Erwa, journalist and editor

Ahmad Ali Bagadi, journalist - released
Mutwakil Abdel Daff'eh, journalist - released

Amnesty International has received news that two of the journalists working for the daily newspaper al-Sudani al-Doulia who were arrested on 4 April 1994 for allegedly spreading "false news", were released on 18 April.

Mahjoub Mohamed al-Hassan Erwa, however, remains in detention and still reportedly faces charges under Section 66 of the Penal Code which provides for prison sentences of up to six months. His whereabouts are unknown, but it is likely that he is being detained at the security headquarters in Khartoum...

/HAB/ Due to space limitations, we cannot reprint all AI concerns of recent months in their entirety. Therefore we have provided a summary of some recent AI appeals on Sudan below. (All information has been obtained from the APC electronic conference ""):


20 Apr 94 (AFR 54/15/94): Sid Ahmad al-Hussein, senior member of Democratic Unionist Party

18 May 94 (AFR 54/18/94): Baha' Zaki, Ashraf Adli, Magdi Chelata-- Egyptian aid workers

2 Jun 94 (AFR 54/21/94): Release of Baha' Zaki, Ashraf Adli, Magdi Chelata


26 May 94 (AFR 54/20/94): Mahjoub Sherif, poet; Salah al-A'alim, trade unionist; Bushra Abdel-Karim, lawyer and Secretary General of Sudanese Youth Union


(Reuter 30 Apr 94)
KHARTOUM - A Khartoum court on Saturday sentenced nine Sudanese in their absence to 10 years in jail for allegedly plotting to blow up installations, kill prominent people and overthrow the government last May, state radio Omdurman reported.

The Sudanese authorities have accused a total of 28 people in connection with the alleged plot but 18 of them, including several senior army officers, are in exile abroad.

State radio said the court was chaired by judge Zubeir Mohammad Khalil who handed down two 10-year sentences to run concurrently.

The nine sentenced on Saturday included General Fathi Ahmad Ali, who was commander in chief of the army when Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir took power in 1989, General Abdel Rahman Saeed, a former deputy chief of staff of the army and al-Hadi Bushra, a former intelligence chief.

The trial of the 10 Sudanese still in Sudan began in Khartoum in December. One man, Mubarak Jaden, was jailed for seven years while three others were acquitted and released two months ago. The fate of the six others was unclear.

The exiled opposition has denied the plot allegations.

(SCSG May 94 [Al Hayat 21 Apr 94])
Sudan's unelected parliament, the Transitional National Assembly, is made up of government appointees, and President Beshir chose three new members on 19.4.94. Anjelo Beda, a Southerner, was made Assembly vice-chairperson, replacing Aldo Ajou, who defected to the UK in January 1994. Other appointees were Ahmed Abdel Halim and John Anjol, another Southerner.


(NN/ 14 Apr 94 [Washington Post 2 Apr 94, by Keith B. Richburg via MSANEWS])
KHARTOUM - ...The fuel pinch is a sign of economic crisis here that many believe poses the most serious threat yet to Sudan's government of Islamic fundamentalists and military officers.

A major cause of the collapse is the government's costly war against Christian and animist rebels in the south. Sudan's finance minister, Hassan Abdalla Ahmed, said the war is costing at least $ 1 million a day. "The inflation, the deficit - definitely the war is a major component of it," he said.

The war is "a drain on our economy, on our political stature in Africa ... on everything," said Ghazi Salahuddin Atabani, a senior political advisor to Sudan's president, Gen. Omar Bashir...

Ahmed said his government has no foreign exchange reserves - not a cent. Most foreign aid has been cut, and the International Monetary Fund is about to start formal procedures to expel Sudan because it has made no payments on its $ 1.5 billion debt since 1992. Last year Sudan did manage to export $ 300 million worth of agricultural products, but Ahmed said it spent it all in cash just to buy oil and gas...

Sudan's economic free-fall is caused only partly by the war. The government's radical, Islamic fundamentalist policies and military orientation have isolated it from once-generous foreign donors. Many of its Arab neighbors cut Sudan off from aid after it supported Iraq against them in the 1991 Persian Gulf War...

Sudanese officials say they are trying to stake out an independent path for the Third World that rejects traditional patterns and institutions they see as dominated by the West. Government statements urge "self-reliance" and a new slogan proclaims "We eat what we grow, we wear what we make." "Sudan is seen as a threat because it's developing a new way of handling its own affairs," said Atabani. "It's an outlaw country because it is striving to become independent of the West."...

Since 1992, Atabani said, "we did not receive anything from the West. We don't receive aid from anyone - and we really feel quite relieved. To sense that you are free from the shackles of international economy and pressures makes one ecstatic, really."...

Western diplomats, opposition politicians and Sudanese scholars interviewed here said much of the defiant talk of "self-reliance" is for public consumption. The regime is hard-pressed, they say, and the ruling clique is worried that a continuation of the downward economic spiral may produce a popular backlash that could prove difficult to contain. Public running thin...

(SCSG May 94 [Al Hayat, Al Sharq al Awsat])
The London Arabic press reported a number of demonstrations in Khartoum and neighbouring Central Region in the week from 20.-27.4.94. On one day alone, 3 people were killed in clashes between citizens and the security forces in Wad Medani, a city 100 miles south of Khartoum. The disturbances, a protest against the dire economic conditions, were also reported in Al Kamilain, Hilaliya, Hassa Heisa in Central Region; Omdurman (part of the capital), and Atbara in Northern Region. The government responded by re-affirming its commitment to Islamic law and putting the police on full alert.

(SU 20 May 94, p.3 [Al-Sharq Al-Awsat 27 Apr 94])
In the aftermath of the demonstrations in several towns of the central region, the Vice Chancellor of Gezira University has issued a decree dismissing twenty nine students because of their alleged role in the protests.

(IPS 5 May 94, by Nhial Bol)
KHARTOUM - A few years ago, Asha Yusuf could have earned the wrath of her family by begging on the streets for a living.

"They could have declared her an outcast and swear never to have anything to do with her again," says Musa Hassan, referring to Asha's strict nomadic background...

But now boys can no longer boast of being on the streets alone. They have been joined by a bevy of girls sleeping rough on the streets.

The reasons, however, vary. Explains asha: "We come from Darfur in western Sudan. We lost all our livestock following the devastating drought which hit our area...

All the drought-victims from western Sudan, on the border with Chad, have settled in make-shift shanty towns around the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

Their number has been boosted by displaced persons from southern Sudan...

The total number of squatters and displaced is not known accurately...

"Possibly the most reliable estimate was compiled from several sources, including Khartoum state government, the commission for the displaced and voluntary agencies in 1992, which came up with a figure of 520,000 displaced and 873,000 squatters in and around the three towns of Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum north," said 'Africa Watch'.

The situation has forced thousands to turn to begging as a means to eke out a living.

A recent study carried out by the University of Khartoum's Social and Economic Research Centre says more than 18,000 boys and girls do full-time begging in the capital...

(Reuter 9 May 94)
KHARTOUM - Sudan has raised the official value of its currency by 12.5 percent against the dollar after giving it a boost on the black market by closing loopholes in regulations.

The government-appointed foreign exchange committee set a new buy/sell rate of 350/353 pounds to come into effect today, the government-owned newspaper al-Ingaz al-Watani reported. The old rate was 400/402 to the dollar.

The paper said the pound has risen about 10 percent on the black market in recent days, to 480 pounds to the dollar, after the central bank issued directives on hard currency dealings.

The changes included an order that Sudanese receiving hard currency transfers from abroad must deposit them in their own accounts, not trade them with other people.

Previously, foreign currency transfers could be deposited into any account stipulated by the beneficiary.

The newspaper said the bank also set $5,000 as the maximum sum that Sudanese going abroad could take out of the country.

(MEED 16 May 94)
The government began talks with the IMF in Khartoum at the end of April about the arrears problem. The executive board of the IMF voted in February to begin procedures to withdraw Sudan's membership after Khartoum refused to co-operate with a strategy to correct the country's economic problems and repay arrears of about $1,700m. According to international banking sources, the government gave positive signals during the talks, which were continuing in early May, that it plans to co-operate with the fund.

(SWB 31 May 94 [Suna news agency, Khartoum, in English 26 May 94])
Khartoum: President of the Republic Gen Umar al-Bashir has announced that the main objective of the new government budget for fiscal 1994-95 is the reduction of inflation to less than 50%.

Speaking during his regular meeting with national mass media leaderships [on] Wednesday [25th May], the president explained that this would be achieved through increasing revenues and curbing expenditure. He said the new budget would be tabled before the Council of Ministers for discussion next week...

He announced that the new financial year would witness the start of printing the national currency locally, describing the move as a great achievement and a sign of sovereignty.

The Sudan service in the field of banknotes printing will be at the disposal of all friendly and sisterly countries, Bashir said.


(SWB 12 May 94 [RSR in Arabic, 10 May 94])
Ambassador Umar Yusuf Baridu, the first undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, has denied reports carried by some news agencies and media organs on Sudanese troops taking part in the current war in Yemen. He added that the propagation of such allegations might be aimed at widening the scope of the war, using it as a pretext for foreign intervention in the continuing conflict in Yemen...

(Reuter 3 Jun 94)
SANAA - The leaders of Egypt, Syria and Sudan have pledged support for the unity of Yemen, where southern leaders have seceded after four years of union with the north, Sanaa Radio said on Friday.

The radio said the pledges were made to northern President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose feud with southern leader Ali Salem al-Baidh over power-sharing in united Yemen sparked the country's civil war on May 4...

(Reuter 23 May 94, by Alfred Taban)
KHARTOUM - Sudanese-Egyptian relations, strained for years, have taken a turn for the worse with Sudan accusing Egypt of waging a media campaign against it.

The neighbours are at loggerheads over a number of issues, the main ones being terrorism and a two-year-old dispute over the Halaib triangle, an area of desert on their common border.

Egypt also accuses the government of Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir of training Egyptian Moslem fundamentalists and sending them back to hit at targets in Egypt.

Sudan denies the charge and accuses the Egyptian government of providing sanctuary to Sudanese opposition elements bent on toppling al-Bashir...

The latest dispute erupted last week when Egypt protested against what it said was seizure by Sudanese police of houses in Khartoum belonging to Egyptians.

Dr Anwar al-Hadi, director of political affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the official Sudan News Agency on Monday that the houses occupied by the Egyptians actually belonged to the Sudanese government.

He said the Egyptians' leases had lapsed and the state of Khartoum had asked the tenants to leave, but a foreign ministry official said nobody had yet been thrown out.

Al-Hadi went on to blast the Egyptian government for keeping up a high level of anti-Sudanese rhetoric despite an agreement last year for both countries to soften such attacks.

He also accused Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa of not taking talks with Sudanese Foreign Minister Hussein Suleiman Abu Saleh seriously. He said Moussa had cancelled five scheduled visits to Sudan since last August.

The Foreign Ministry official said that although the Egyptian government claims to stand for the unity of Sudan, it has allowed the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) to operate in Cairo and has given it invaluable moral support...

(SWG 4 Jun 94 [KNA news agency, Nairobi, in English 1 Jun 94])
Excerpts from report by PANA news agency

Khartoum: Sudan says it is considering taking its dispute with Egypt over Hala'ib border area to international arbitration, because a bilateral solution seems to have failed.

In a press briefing [on] Tuesday [31st May], Undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Umar Baridu said in Khartoum that Sudan would either go to the International Court of Justice or an international arbitration committee...

(SWB 24 May 94 [KNA news agency, Nairobi, in English 13 May 94])
Editorial report from item by PANA news agency, Dakar

Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to set up a trade centre in each others'countries, which will be a way of boosting commercial relations. The officials who signed the agreement also reviewed the implementation of the border trade agreement and the commercial protocol signed earlier by the two countries.

(SWB 20 May 94 [Suna news agency, Khartoum, in Arabic 15 May 94])
Khartoum: Operations for the voluntary repatriation of Ethiopian refugees, which began last Sunday [8th May], continue with the repatriation overland so far of 3,739 of the original 7,000 refugees. Their repatriation is expected to be complete by the end of this summer and before the beginning of autumn. Repatriation operations are being conducted in the refugee camps in Twa and Hawatah [both names phonetic], in Damazin in eastern Sudan and towards the areas of Kawkit and Khawajah [both names phonetic] in Ethiopia. They are being organized by the refugee commission.

It may be recalled that there are nearly 300,000 Ethiopian refugees who are to be voluntarily repatriated in accordance with an agreement between Sudan and the government of Ethiopia under the auspices of the UNHCR...


(WH 20 May 94)
The President announced today the appointment of Ambassador Melissa F. Wells as his special representative on Sudan. In this position, Ambassador Wells will assist regional efforts to achieve a cease-fire and permanent peace agreement to end the long civil war in southern Sudan and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance. She will work closely in these efforts with U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Donald Petterson and with the leaders of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Eritrea within the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD).

The President praised Ambassador Wells as one of our nation's most respected and talented career diplomats. He cited Ambassador Wells' long and distinguished experience in Africa, including her service as Ambassador to Zaire, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. He noted that Ambassador Wells also has substantial experience in the field of humanitarian relief, including service as Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General for Relief Operations in Uganda.

Ambassador Wells has just completed service as the United Nations Undersecretary for Administration and Management...

/HAB/ CORRECTION: In HAB 2/94, we erroneously reported that Congressman Stephen Solarz was appointed as Clinton's special envoy.

(SN 1 Jun 94, p.1)
Sudan welcomed the appointment of US envoy to Sudan Miss Melissa Wells and will co-operate with her mission, Mr. Omar Baridu said yesterday. Sudan welcomes all efforts from friendly countries to assist with the peace efforts, as long as these efforts come in full co-ordingaiton with Sudan and support the IGADD initiative, he added.

Sudan has earlier rejected the nomination of another US envoy because he was reputed to be hostile to Islam. Miss Wells will visit Sudan later this month.

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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