Horn of Africa Bulletin, Vol.6 No.5 (Sep-Oct 94)

Horn of Africa Bulletin, Vol.6 No.5 (Sep-Oct 94)

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                          Vol.6 No.5  Sep-Oct 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 our sources for their invaluable cooperation.


Abbreviations of sources used in this publication:

AB - African Business; AC - Africa Confidential; AED - Africa Economic Digest via RBB; 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 - Lutheran 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; NYT - New York Times; RBB - Reuters Business Briefing; SCSG - Scottish Churches' Sudan Group Newsletter; 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; UNIC - United Nations Information Center, Sydney, via NN; 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; 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; VOA - Voice of America; VOE - Voice of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa; VOEE - Voice of Ethiopia External Service, Addis Ababa; VOEN - Voice of Ethiopia National Service, Addis Ababa.


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


Sudan is a country full of potential, rich in resources and manpower, yet its people are starving and bleeding to death as its power-hungry leaders refuse to talk about peace except on their own terms, clinging to the notion that the armed struggle will bring a solution to the conflict.

Having returned home to Khartoum from Nairobi after consulting with President arap Moi and the presidents of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda on the continuation of the IGADD peace talks, Sudan's president, Omar Hassan al Bashir, has vowed to keep up the struggle for peace. However, Bashir's way to peace is not entirely peaceful.

On the one hand, Bashir will continue to send delegations to the IGADD talks, although the September meeting was preceded by frantic manoeuvering, whereby the government of Sudan tried to split the IGADD initiative by wooing Kenya into taking on a new and more exclusive role as host to the peace talks. Finally, however, the Sudan government sent a delegation to the September talks--a new, hardline delegation under Ghazi Salah el Din, one of the hawks in the NIF hierarchy.

On the other hand, Bashir has promised to "liberate" the south through military means, or to use another favorite government phrase, to "bring peace from within". Shortly after the talks, news is reaching us that Mundri has been bombed from the air. Only the government has the capacity for aerial bombardment.

It seems clear that the military option is the first choice of the government, and thus far, they have been fairly successful. They have been able to keep up the pressure on the SPLA during the rainy season, and as the dry season is here, we can expect that the bombing of Mundri is just the start of another major government offensive. All the garrison towns in the south have received reinforcements.

The government also knows how to use and exacerbate the split within the SPLA. By arming some of the splinter-groups they have effectively kept up the fight against the two major SPLA factions, without even having to be present. But the government must be aware that to gain a decisive victory over a guerilla movement is not an easy task. Even if the government succeeds in taking all the main towns in the south, the war will be far from over. It can go on for decades in the bush of southern Sudan.

The two main SPLA factions, for their part, have managed to keep on speaking terms as they are bracing themselves to counter the expected offensive from the government. It is rumored that they have received fresh arms supplies, and apparently they are not without military strength. Despite repeated reports that government troops are poised to take Nimule, as HAB goes to press, Nimule remains in the hands of the SPLA.

However, there has also been factional fighting in the south by the splinter groups under William Nyon Bani, Kerubino Kuanyin Bol and other militia groups which the government is said to supply with arms. The factional fighting in the south has for years been targeting the civilian population. It has caused great terror and displaced tens of thousands who flee the fighting. What began as a liberation struggle has in many cases deteriorated into a predatory war on the civilian population, causing the ethnic groups to turn on each other.

In this bleak picture there are some encouraging signs emerging from the people in the south. In Upper Nile there has been a reconciliation meeting between two Nuer groups who have earlier been involved in vicious fighting. It is an attempt at seeking to reconcile the groups through their traditional chiefs, local leaders and the church, to revive the old ways of dealing with conflict in order to heal the rifts between the groups--rifts that have been exploited and exacerbated by ruthless military leaders. It is a spontaneous effort which has grown out of a desperate need for peace and an insight that this peace will not come unless all people are involved in working for it. Peace is not an issue that can be handed over to the professional military. It is a concern of all Sudanese and it must involve groups of people from all levels of society.

Can this traditional way of reconciliation serve as an inspiration and a model for other fighting groups as well? Can this work for healing and peace be recognized and supported as a serious complement to the official peace talks?

The Sudanese churches are also coming forward in a new and clearer way, proclaiming the age-old Christian message of peace and reconciliation, not only between God and mankind, but also between all human beings. Will the international community see the importance of their work and support them?

Women are making their voices heard as well. There is a new and bolder awareness among them that they have a responsibility--and indeed a right--to join the good forces working for peace. They are organizing themselves, and by working together on humanitarian issues they have shown in their own lives that they can bridge the gap between different ethnic, political and religious origins. As they are coming forward on the political arena they deserve to be taken seriously.

Indeed, this kind of work for peace and reconciliation could be properly labelled "peace from within".

The Horn of Africa Bulletin, Vol. 6 No. 5 (Sep-Oct 94)

** 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


(Reuter 16 Oct 94) DJIBOUTI - Djibouti's Minister of Youth, Sports and Cultural Affairs, Muhammad Ibrahim Muhammad, and the Minister of Labour and Training, Ithirow Hamadou, were dismissed on Sunday, an official decree said.

President Hassan Gouled Aptidon's decree said they had been dismissed for behaviour incompatible with their responsibilities as members of the government. It gave no further explanation and made no mention of their replacements.

Both ministers belong to the Afar ethnic group which supports rebels who have been fighting in northern Djibouti for several years. They were appointed when the government was formed after elections in February.


(ION 17 Sep 94, p.3)
Secret peace talks between delegations of the Djibouti government and the opposition movement Front pour la Restauration de l'Unite et de la Democratie at meetings of the joint commissions in recent weeks appear to have made some progress. The meetings were held on Djibouti territory in the Hanle Plain and at Adailou, with the most recent one being held last week at Ribta, 15 km from Tadjourah in the northern part of the country. Discussions centered around a number of subjects such as the quotas of FRUD members integrated into the government armed forces, the powers to be given local administrative bodies (in the perspective of administrative and economic decentralization), and "common management" of a return to peaceful conditions in Djibouti. The last point is a sticky one because it covers the political reforms demanded by FRUD, such as strengthening the authority of the prime minister and parliament, revising electoral lists, and so on. The government delegation has been led by prime minister Barkat Gourat Hamadou and interior and decentralization minister Idriss Harbi Farah. But the Ribta meeting saw Ismael Omar Guelleh, chef de cabinet to head of state Hassan Gouled Aptidon, present in the corridors outside the conference and sources say he may even have attended the closing meeting...

(ION 24 Sep 94, p.3)
The Front Uni de l'Opposition Djiboutienne (FUOD) headed by Mohamed Ahmed Issa (Cheiko) announced on September 21 that second vice-president Galal Abdourahmen Ahmed, who is also president of the Movement pour le Salut et la Reconstruction (MSR), had been dismissed. Other FUOD officials were confirmed in their posts: Mahdi Ibrahim Ahmed (first vice-president), Abdoulkader Djama Rayaleh (spokesman), Mohamed Houssein Hassan (secretary general), and Kamil Ali Mohamed (deputy secretary general and publisher of the newspaper Al Wahdaa. The dismissal of Galal Abdourahman Ahmed was justified, the Front said, by contacts he had with "the new directorate of Front pour la Restauration de l'Unite et de la Democratie" (FRUD headed by Ougoureh Kifleh Ahmed) and by a meeting he is believed to have had with Djibouti's prime minister, Barkat Gourad Amadou. FUOD leaders are refusing to have anything to do with the "secret negotiations" currently pursued by the Djibouti government and FRUD. The FUOD officials claim that they recognize only "the legitimate FRUD" symbolized in their eyes by the group headed by the movement's former president, Ahmed Dini, who also opposes the negotiations.

[ION editorial comment:] This group of refusniks to the negotiations was denounced as "tired old embittered oppositionists" in a September 15 editorial in the government weekly La Nation, which on the other hand praised the "political maturity" of FRUD leaders who are negotiating with the government. The same editorial admitted the existence of a group of politicians inside the government majority who "do not believe in or do not wish to see a peace agreement" since they "wish to seize the monopoly of this peace movement and are even ready to reject it by pretending that they were not its originators"... The newspaper's allegations therefore target members of the Djibouti government who like the minister of justice Moumin Bahdon Farah and of industry Ali Mahamade Houmed, have been excluded from current peace discussions even though they had all pleaded in favor of moderation towards rebel members of FRUD at a time when the government majority wished only to fight.

(Reuter 30 Sep 94)
PARIS - An outlawed Djibouti opposition group reaffirmed on Friday its commitment to armed struggle to achieve the overthrow of the Djibouti government.

The Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD) made the announcement in a statement received in the French capital at the close of a six-day congress in a northern area of the tiny Red Sea republic.

"Those attending the congress unanimously reaffirmed their determination to pursue armed struggle until their political goals are satisfied," the statement said.

The statement signed by FRUD vice president Mohamed Adoyta Youssouf, said the group also chose a new executive committee led by Ahmed Dini Ahmed, a former Djibouti prime minister.

It also appealed to the international community to pressure Djibouti to begin talks aimed at a political settlement.

The group said it convened the new congress to clarify the political situation in the east African nation.

FRUD was apparently referring to reconciliation talks begun last summer by Djibouti President Hassan Gouled Aptidon with a FRUD breakaway faction...

FRUD has denounced the talks as an attempt "to deceive national and international opinion" and has said it backs only the "legal" FRUD leadership headed by Ahmed Dini...

(SWB 30 Sep 94 [AFP in French, 5 Oct 94])
Jibuti: Yesterday, the National Congress of the Afar rebel movement, the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy [FRUD], barred former FRUD Chairman Ahmad Dini Ahmad and former FRUD Deputy Chairman Muhammad Adoyta from exercising "any activity or responsibility" within the movement.

In a communique copied to AFP and signed by FRUD Chairman Ali Mohamed Daoud [name and position as received], the FRUD National Congress stated that the two former executives were no longer qualified "to speak on behalf of the FRUD or to commit it in any manner". This "temporary disciplinary action" is expected to be formally endorsed at a forthcoming FRUD congress, "the only organ competent to decide the dismissal of an executive member", the communique added...

(ION 15 Oct 94, p.3)
The second congress of Parti du Renouveau Democratique (PRD, opposition), due to have been held at Obock in the northern part of the country on September 29 and 30, was finally postponed. PRD official decided they would celebrate only the second anniversary of the party's founding and planned it for October 7 at the Djibouti Sheraton. PRD president (and ex-minister) Mohamed Djama Elabe called for regular meetings with other opposition movements in order to "work out a common program of Djibouti's opposition". He said that although the guns had fallen silent in recent months, "peace is getting bogged down" and he presented three proposals from his party.

First, PRD wants to see the "signature of an immediate and definitive cease-fire" between the belligerents (Djibouti government and Afar rebels in Front pour la Restauration de l'Unite et de la Democratie). Second, PRD is calling for concrete administrative and political decentralization "which extends into the districts and constituencies and even beyond". Finally, the party considers that "nothing positive has appeared so far" during the nine months of negotiations between the government and one faction of FRUD. Elabe indicated that he feared a possible resumption of armed fighting and he called for "a real dialogue" between the government and the country's established opposition.


(ION 3 Oct 94, p.3)
Djibouti's border posts at Loyada (on its frontier with Somaliland) and Galafi (on the western frontier with Ethiopia) have been reopened. The Loyada post was closed by the Djibouti authorities for four months following a number of frontier incidents and during that period, food supplies were shuttled into Somaliland through the ports of Djibouti and Berbera.

Reopening the Galafi post is directly linked with a calm in the armed conflict between the Djibouti government and members of Front pour la Restauration de l'Unite et de la Democratie (FRUD), since political negotiations are presently going on. The post on the Ethiopian frontier had been closed for three years because of Djibouti's civil war. However, reopening it sparks off another "war", that of the khat imported from Ethiopia for Djibouti. Afar tribesmen who had used the Galafi post, in western Djibouti, in 1991 to bring their illegal consignments of khat (nicknamed "Scud" due to each packet's missile-like shape, ION No 481) had been a serious competitor for the state-backed Societe d'Importation du Khat (SOGIK) and a threat for state revenues.

(SWB 10 Oct 94 [VOEE in English, 7 Oct 94])
Ethiopia and Jibuti have issued a joint communique in which both sides reiterated to strengthen their good-neighbourly relations of friendship and cooperation. The communique followed a four-day official working visit to Jibuti by President Meles Zenawi...

The two parties underscored the vital role being played by the Ethio-Jibuti railway in linking the two countries and peoples. They agreed to intensify their efforts to find means and ways of rehabilitating the railway, restructuring the organization and reinforcing security along the railway line. The two parties underlined the need to reinforce their cooperation in the (?domain) of telecommunication, particularly in the utilization of the transit facilities available at Jibuti. The Ethiopian side assured its Jibuti counterpart that it will take all necessary measures to increase its use of the port of Jibuti...

(ION 15 Oct 94, p.2)
According to an Arab diplomatic source, Saudi Arabia and Djibouti are studying the possibility of the Horn of Africa country setting up a well-equipped military camp to receive the hundreds of South Yemeni military who took refuge in Djibouti just before the Yemen northern army captured Aden during the recent Yemeni civil conflict. The military are currently lodged in Djibouti hotels. Head of state Hassan Gouled Aptidon is believed to have agreed in principle on condition that his country is not transformed into an operations base for South Yemenis and that they are merely "passing through". In return, the Djibouti government has asked Saudi Arabia for financial aid to the tune of USD 2 million, a price which the Saudis have reportedly esteemed somewhat high.

(SWB 19 Oct 94 [Voice of Israel external service, Jerusalem, in English 17 Oct 94]) Israel and Jibuti are due to announce diplomatic relations in the near future. The ambassador of the Arab north East African country told Israel's ambassador to the United Nations that his country is favourably considering the move. Israeli sources say the two ambassadors have held secret meetings in the past few months.

(ION 8 Oct 94, p.7)
Djibouti's finance minister Ahmed Aden Yussuf and the United States ambassador to Djibouti Martin L. Cheshes signed an agreement on September 28 covering US annual budget assistance for the year 1994-1995. The aid will amount to US$ 1 million (about 177 million Djibouti francs) which is a reduction of around 50 percent compared with the previous year, when Washington gave Djibouti $2 million in budget aid.

The Horn of Africa Bulletin, Vol. 6 No. 5 (Sep-Oct 94)

** 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

(ANB 1 Sep 94, p.2 [The Courier, Brussels, Jul-Aug 94])
Massawa is the larger of Eritrea's two ports on the Red Sea coast, and its oldest city. Traders from ancient Greece and the Egypt of the Pharaohs used to sail into this natural harbour before the Christian era... Thirty years ago, before Eritrea's war of liberation began, it was a prosperous place with a population of some 80,000 engaged mainly in cement manufacture, salt-panning, ice production, harbour working and commercial fishing. Health, education and transport facilities were good.

Massawa's misfortune

...During the long struggle for independence, Massawa was one of the prizes over which the liberation movements and the central government fought longest and hardest...

In 1990 the EPLF finally returned and captured the major part of Massawa from the forces of the Ethiopian Derg, which then bombed the city repeatedly for six months, from the landward outskirts by day and from warships off the coast by night...


At liberation, only a quarter of Massawa's original population was left. The schools were all wrecked, and the largest hospital, with 1,000 beds, had been bombed out, along with many small clinics. For 20,000 citizens, there was only one bus, and not one public latrine. The antiquated pipes (built during the Italian occupation) which carry the city's water supply were losing half their content in leaks--and the supply was already meagre following 10 years of drought. There were no trucks to pick up the rubbish which choked the streets, and the road surfaces had been pulverised by the Ethiopian army's tanks. When the defeated army fled, it had taken all government and private money out of the banks with it, leaving the city and its inhabitants penniless.

Massawa re-born

One of those who returned to Massawa with the EPLF was the man who is now its mayor, Musa Hussein Naib... Citizens' assemblies were organised to mobilise people for cooperative work, and cleaning the city up ultimately took several months. Working voluntarily and unpaid in their free time, mechanics put up bus shelters and got a few scrapped buses back into running order, so that people no longer had to walk everywhere--a welcome relief in a climate where merciless sun alternates with torrential rain.

Normalisation process

Unemployment was initially serious, but some traders and private entrepreneurs, shops and restaurants, were able to start operating shortly after liberation, and city hall kept on workers at state-owned enterprises, teachers and civil servants.

Although Massawa has very rich fishing grounds, the Derg had forbidden offshore fishing as an alleged threat to security, so work was started to encourage fishermen back into their trade, with the Ministry of Marine Resources helping them acquire or make nets and boats and repair the ice factory.

As income began to be generated, the city continued with the next (and, no doubt, less popular) stage of the normalisation process, collecting taxes, and the technical ministries helped out with supplies and equipment for public works. This meant that schools were soon able to open again in partly repaired buildings, while the doctors and nurses still in the city were all concentrated at a small, undamaged hospital intended for 50 or 60 patients but by then accomodating 600.

Power and water

The power supply system had been severely damaged. The city's three generators were old and lacked spare parts, and all the supply lines were down. After arduous restoration work and the installation of new generators acquired with foreign aid, Massawa now has a capacity of 3000 Kw, a modest figure but enough to meet the existing demand from domestic users and small-scale industries with a surplus left over for the capital, Asmara.

To keep the city supplied with water, work started, even as the Ethiopian bombardment continued, on digging a big underground reservoir, by hand and usually at night to escape detection by overflying bombers. This reservoir has had to be kept filled, however, by trucking water in from outside. There is an ample source of fresh water 60 km to the south which will be more reliable than the present arrangement if the money to tap it can be found...

Steadily recovering

Massawa today is steadily recovering the appearance of a place of human habitation but still displays the gaping scars of war--not just wrecked buildings but large expanses of sandy wasteland where whole streets used to be...

Massawa's port

There are reasons to be cheerful, however. The port is functioning again, and the European Union had financed the construction of large storage sheds on the quayside. At present most of the movements at the docks involve the unloading of international food aid for Eritrea and Ethiopia, but the independence agreement provides for unrestricted use of the port by Eritrea's now landlocked neighbour, so, as and when Ethiopia's trade picks up, Massawa can only benefit from the increased business...

Mayor Musa Hussein Naib is proud that city hall, though poor, is now financially self-sufficient and not a burden to central government. How have he and his fellow citizens achieved this remarkable recovery? "The spirit of the people here is very encouraging," he says. "We get things done."...

(ERRA Newsletter Aug-Sep 94, p.5)
...Reintegration of demobilized fighters or army into civilian life, is an ardous undertaking, which includes vocational training, discharge payments, credit schemes, resettlement (housing and agriculture site) and possibly credits from the bank at a low rate to enable veterans to establish a business or deploy into agriculture...

At the end of the Eritro/Ethiopian war in 1991, the size of the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF) army approached to 95,000. The end of the war had brought a relative peace and stability to the region (the Horn of Africa)...

To keep such a large army in Eritrea thus has no economic or military justification. The Eritrean Government is therefore determined to reduce its combat force by 50-60%.

The main objective of the reintegration programme is to create opportunities for the demobilized fighters to participate in the economic reconstruction to make them self-supporting...

Phase I - demobilization of 26,000 fighters. These are those who joined the liberation struggle in 1990 and subsequently up to the total liberation of Eritrea. Payment was made at the time of demobilization which ranges from 1000 to 5000 Birr for each combatant depending on their service years. In addition, food ration for six months was given and out of the 26,000 fighters demobilized in the first phase, some 21,000 came forward to claim food ration.

It was assumed that ex-fighters demobilized in Phase I due to the shorter period they have been away from the community, would find it easier to reintegrate.

Phase II. Demobilization of about 22,000 fighters. These are fighters who have been participated in struggle for a long period of time. Their prolonged involvement has increased the possibility of sustaining war injury and subsequent disability...

It is clear that reintegration of some 50,000 ex-combatants plus 10,000 dependants is a major undertaking. The total budget estimated for the programme is amounting to 48 Million USD. The government has made available (by borrowing from the bank) as initial disbursement about 18 Million USD in Phase I and about 24 Million USD in Phase II...

(ERRA Aug-Sep 94, p.9)
Under the standard bearer of "Emancipation through equal participation", the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEWmn) emerged onto Eritrea's tumultuous, revolutionary landscape in 1979, as one of the national, mass organizations of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF)... Not content to rest on the laurels of wartime progress towards gender equality, the NUEWmn have remained highly active since Independence.

In fact, at its Fourth Transitional Congress in September 1992, the NUEWmn officially declared itself an indigenous Eritrean Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and therefore independent of the Provisional Government of Eritrea (PGE) and the EPLF (since renamed the People's Front for Democracy and Justice). The Fourth Congress marked not only a physical rebirth for the NUEWmn as an autonomous organization, but a renewed symbolic and philosophical commitment, beyond war-time necessity, to the improvement of women's lives in Eritrea.

The NUEWmn's Central Headquarters in Asmara is the locus for ten provincial offices and numerous field workers across the country. With roughly 200,000 Union members from all walks of life (including the Eritrean Diaspora in Europe, the Middle East and North America), the NUEWmn pursues gender equality on village, district, sub-regional and provincial levels. Contesting the traditionally subordinate position of women in Eritrean society, the NUEWmn works extensively at a grassroots level to promote the establishment of women's fundamental rights to land, political participation and influence over family and marriage practices. Additionally, the NUEWmn strives to ensure women's equal access to education, employment and skills development, as well as health and child care services. Although most of these efforts are staged at a rural level, the NUEWmn also lobbies persistently for women's interests at a national level and forges international ties with sympathetic organizations around the world.

Eritrea's period of post-war reconstruction presents a crucial juncture in the lives of Eritrean women, as reactionary social attitudes and customary laws frequently threaten to unravel women's hard-fought progress...

Currently, the NUEWmn spearheads numerous such progressive projects. The NUEWmn's literacy campaign, for example, targets the estimated 85-90% of Eritrean women who are functionally illiterate. Under the logistical auspices of the Education Department of the NUEWmn the literacy effort seeks to develop language skills which would in turn foster business and management skills and aid women in pursuing productive employment. The literacy programme for women in Barka and Gash & Setit, for example, combines qualitative and quantitative research to best gauge the needs of women and help the NUEWmn design appropriate training structures.

The literacy campaign is complimented by vocational training programs in the areas of tailoring and typing with future efforts to aim at such non-traditional areas of work for women like carpentry, masonry, electrical and plumbing service.

The NUEWmn's rural credit program in Barka and Gash & Setit stands out as a bold pilot project geared toward providing women, many times recently resettled refugees, with a sound economic support structure, thereby opening opportunities not previously available to women in Eritrea. Research and data collection on the women within these provinces will provide a foundation for this project and will eventually assist re-settled and de-mobilized women to develop a strong economic base for themselves and their families...

(MSANEWS via NN/ 8 Sep 94
[Swiss Review of World Affairs 1
Sep 94, by Peter Winkler])
...Early this year the Asmara government published reports on the activities of an Eritrean branch of Islamic Jihad in the western part of the country. According to the Asmara reports, armed groups that had crossed the border into Eritrea from Sudan were wiped out in a large-scale military operation. In unusually harsh and unequivocal terms, Asmara accused Turabi and his NIF of having armed, trained and instructed the Islamist units. In late April a high-ranking Eritrean delegation paid a visit to the Sudanese capital. And to make sure that Sudan got the message, a few days earlier Asmara had concluded a defense treaty with Ethiopia.

In conversation, the head of the African Department in the Eritrean foreign ministry emphasizes that Eritrea and Ethiopia together constitute a major potential military threat to Sudan. Eritrea, he says - in collaboration with Ethiopia, if necessary - will make short shrift of militant Islam, which hopes to spread its faith by means of threats and guns. Those who want to spread their faith with prayers, on the other hand, have nothing to fear. This official denies the existence of an indigenous Eritrean militant Islam. And the best way to prevent it from springing up, he adds, is to keep politics and religion strictly separate. "Egypt and Algeria fell into the trap they themselves set, when they permitted [fundamentalists] to play any political role at all," says the foreign ministry official.

The mufti of the Eritrean Republic (the country's highest Islamic dignitary), Sheik Al-Amin Osman, supports the separation of religion and state. The government must remain secular, he insists, in order to represent both major religious communities fairly. Eritrea's Christians and Muslims, who today each comprise about half the population, have lived together in peace since the 14th century, declares the sheik. Problems have arisen only when outside powers have played the two communities against one another and aroused them to hostility.

But in private other words are spoken about the danger of militant Islam here. Fundamentalism is gaining support especially in the Koran schools, it is said. Particularly in the Keren region, observers say, there is fertile ground for fundamentalist theories, since the city of Keren has a long tradition of strict orthodox belief. It was also the birthplace of the Eritrean Liberation Front, which began the country's struggle for independence but later, after a failed punitive expedition against the EPLF which had split off from it, was beaten by it militarily and forced from the political arena. But among the tens of thousands of refugees who still live in Sudanese camps near the Eritrean border, the ELF still enjoys some support, and those camps are a fertile recruiting ground for Islamist troublemakers.

The Eritrean leadership is trying to prevent young Muslims from becoming alienated from the youthful state by insuring that Muslims are represented in the highest levels of government. One Western diplomat regards economic development in predominantly Muslim areas - the western lowlands and the eastern coastal strip - as a key to blocking the Islamists' potential for troublemaking...

(ERRA Aug-Sep 94, p.6)
...ERRA is a non-profit making agency registered in Eritrea. Some 40 International NGO's have been partners to ERRA for about 15 years. There are now about 20 Indigenous and International NGO's registered in Eritrea and operating under the auspices of ERRA...

During this transitional period, the mandate vested to ERRA is the co-ordination of NGO's activities, the planning & distribution of relief supplies and also acts in rehabilitation and development as a link between donor agencies and the implementing ministries and departments of the Government of Eritrea. It is a parastatal organization with high degree of autonomy...

(Moneyclips via RBB 20 Oct 94 [Arab News by Abdul Wahab Bashir]) Jeddah, Sept. 17 - The second-most senior official in the ruling Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front said no political activity outside the EPLF will be tolerated at this stage where the country is being built from scratch but promised that the proposed constitution expected to be passed within two years will guarantee political rights for all Eritreans.

Al-Amin Muhammad Saeed, secretary-general of the EPLF said the front is committed to political pluralism and will not seek to establish an "authoritarian regime" dominated by one faction.

"This is not a passing whim or an attempt from our side to absorb certain (considerations) but it is a matter that has been decided by the EPLF second conference in 1987 and reaffirmed during this year's conference. The political future has to be worked out after the country's first constitution was approved," Saeed told Arab News in an interview...

Speaking while on a short visit to Jeddah last week, Saeed said there is no room at this transitional period for political rivalries. Conflicts and bickering that dominated the activities of various Eritrean organizations in the past will not be allowed to resurface, he said.

Saeed met with members of the Eritrean community in the Kingdom to apprise them of the political situation and future prospects for rebuilding the country shattered by three decades of war.

"We have now moved from the stage of the revolution to that of building a modern state. We want the efforts of every Eritrean at this phase but this should be done with the sole objective of serving the motherland. The door is open before all to join in this process."

Asked on what basis would those outside the Front be allowed to take part in the political process, Saeed said they can join on individual basis and not as representatives of political groups or organizations...

(Reuter 18 Oct 94)
ADDIS ABABA - The newly-independent Red Sea state of Eritrea estimates grain output of up to 317,165 tonnes in the 1994 calendar year - nearly half its total requirements, a state publication said on Tuesday.

The Eritrean Profile quoting the country's Early Warning and Food Information System said imports and expected food aid next year would only be around 90,000 tonnes, leaving a huge deficit.

In a country of three million, the publication said up to one million people will depend on food handouts in 1995.


(Reuter 9 Sep 94)
KHARTOUM - The Sudanese and Eritrean governments have signed an agreement for the voluntary repatriation of 25,000 Eritrean refugees living in Sudan back to their country.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which will be involved in the repatriation, was party to the accord, the Sudan News Agency reported.

The agency on Friday quoted Sudan's refugee commissioner Ihsan al-Gabshawi as saying the repatriation would start this month and end in December.

There are about one million refugees in Sudan, about a half of them from Eritrea. Many of the Eritreans have been staying in Sudan for more than 25 years after fleeing their homeland mainly because of the former Ethiopian province's prolonged secessionist war with forces of the Addis Ababa government...

(SWB 15 Sep 94 [Radio State of Kuwait in Arabic 13 Sep 94]) His Excellency President Isayas Afewerki, president of the State of Eritrea, at 1000 o'clock this morning [local time] visited His Highness the Emir of the country at Bayan Palace, where they held talks.

The Minister of Emiri Court Affairs Shaykh Nasir Muhammad al-Ahmad said that the talks concentrated on the development of bilateral relations between the two friendly countries and the means to consolidate them in the different spheres. The talks also dealt with the totality of the situation in the Horn of Africa...

(Moneyclips via RBB 30 Sep 94
[Saudi Gazette, by Mazhar Hasan Siddiqi,Staff])
Jeddah, Sept. 26: A 30-member Saudi trade delegation will arrive in Asmara on October 15 for exploring possibilities of investment in the war and drought-ravaged Eritrea, Tekie Beyene, Eritrea Investment Centre's managing director, said.

Saudi investors, Beyene said, are "more than willing" to contribute to the newly independent country's reconstruction, rehabilitation and development efforts.

They already have invested in fisheries, industry and tourism sectors, he said.

But the forthcoming assorted mission organised by Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry will boost further the Saudi share of investment in the young state.

Eritrea was looking forward to striking a joint economic co-operation agreement with the Kingdom, he said.

With Ethiopia, he said, the creation of a free trade zone was under "active consideration."...

The Horn of Africa Bulletin, Vol. 6 No. 5 (Sep-Oct 94)

** 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
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

(NNS Aug 94)
Elections to the Constituent Assembly in Ethiopia took place on June 5 in all regions except Region 5 (Somali) and Dire Dawa. Elections in Dire Dawa took place on July 31 and voting for Region 5 happened on August 28.

(SWB 6 Sep 94 [VOE in Amharic, 4 Sep 94])
Candidates of the Ethiopian Somali Democratic League [ESDL] for Constituent Assembly elections in Region Five [Somali region in eastern Ethiopia] held last Sunday [28th August] have won in seven of the 11 constituencies whose results have been announced, the national election board's information and statistics department reported. The head of the department told ENA [Ethiopian News Agency] that the ESDL candidates won in Sheleye [phonetic], Aysha, Tsenot, Fik, Kebri Dehar, Eastern Gamo and Cherit constituencies. Independent candidates won in Werder, Geladi and Segego [phonetic] and the Western Somali Democratic Party won in Dego Mehatso [both elements of name phonetic]. The election results of Gode, Kelafo, Elkere, Lege Hare and Dolo Odo constituencies will be announced after counting ends.

(Reuter 20 Oct 94)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's newly elected Constituent Assembly will meet for the first time on October 28 to discuss a draft document on the country's future constitution, the government announced on Thursday.

The 548-strong assembly was elected in June and is mandated to approve a new constitution following the overthrow of the Marxist military dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991...

Opposition groups ranged against the EPRDF are boycotting the assembly, saying it does not reflect the wishes and interests of the people.

Among main points to be discussed are the right of self-determination for Ethiopia's different regions and ethnic groups, and land ownership.

The present government favours self-determination and would like land ownership to remain a prerogative of government.

Opposition groups say self-determination would destroy Ethiopia's unity and lead to chaos in Africa's most ancient nation. They also favour private ownership of land.

(Reuter 5 Sep 94)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia may hold multi-party elections in February, the first since a Marxist regime was overthrown three years ago, President Meles Zenawi has said.

But Meles said it was up to the country's constituent assembly to fix dates for the polls...

The president said his government has conducted direct and indirect discussions with different opposition groups urging them to participate in the multi-party election.

"The government strongly feels that their (opposition groups) participation is useful in strengethening the democratisation process," he said.

"They will not achieve anything by refusing to take part," he added.

Opposition groups had boycotted polls for the constituent assembly last June in protest against government proposals for local autonomy saying they feared this could destroy Ethiopian unity.


(ION 17 Sep 94, p.2)
Although the visit of former US president Jimmy Carter to Addis Ababa last week was officially meant to boost an agricultural assistance programme of the Carter Center of Atlanta (GA), almost inevitably it took on a political hue. Carter met with several representatives of the political opposition before declaring on September 8 that he would "continue to make strong efforts along with others to bring the opposition into the election this coming year for parliament". He said that Ethiopia's head of state Meles Zenawi and several government ministers had assured him that "everything would be done to ensure the free participation of opposition candidates" in the elections, currently scheduled for February 1995. Although Carter mentioned the "notable progress made" in human rights compared with Ethiopia's previous regime, he said "One issue I disagree with the government is on the degree of press freedom", adding that Ethiopia had "much more restraint on press freedom than I would personally approve"...

(Reuter 16 Oct 94)
ADDIS ABABA - An Ethiopian opposition front grouping some 30 political organisations has threatened to boycott upcoming multi-party elections unless the transitional government stopped intimidating and arresting rival parties supporters.

Beyene Petros, President of the Council of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy in Ethiopia (CAFPDE) told a news conference on Saturday the transitional government led by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPDRF) was heading towards "absolute dictatorship."...

(SWB 26 Sep 94 [AFP in English, 24 Sep 94])
Addis Ababa: Police arrested 500 opposition supporters here and plan to lay charges against 430 of them, the Central Bureau of Investigation said, according to a report [on] Saturday [24th September] by the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA). The opposition [All-]Amhara People's Organization (AAPO) earlier said police had detained more than 1,500 of its supporters [on] Tuesday after a demonstration...

(SWB 3 Oct 94 [VOEE in English, 30 Sep 94])
The central bureau of the police force say some 158 supporters of the All-Amhara People's Organization [AAPO], who were in police custody on charges of staging illegal demonstration and contempt of court, have been released.

The bureau said the cases of the rest of individuals detained on similar charges were under investigation. He said that the detainees had illegally gathered in the premises of the Central High Court disturbing proceedings against [the AAPO] president, Prof Asrat Woldeyes, and other members of the organization, broke the windscreen of a police van and injured two policemen.

Seventeen of the 500 prisoners had earlier been released as they pleaded not guilty. The bureau said legal proceedings against the released and those still in prison had been deferred.


(NN/AI 3 Oct 94, AI Index: AFR 25/24/94])
Arrests of members of the Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM), a recognized political party, are continuing amidst allegations that some have been ill- treated in custody.

Acting Vice-Chairman of the SLM, Lemma Sidamo, was arrested by soldiers at his home in Addis Ababa on 22 September 1994. The precise grounds for his arrest are not known. He has not been taken to court within the prescribed 48-hour limit, when prisoners must be either charged, remanded in court for investigation into a suspected criminal offence, or released...

In August 1994 the government accused the SLM of having an armed group in the south linked to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which the SLM has denied. Up to 300 SLM members and supporters, including the two other SLM officials named above - Getu Tenite and Daniso Borsama - were arrested in Awassa on 16 August 1994 and are currently detained in Awassa and Yirgalem without charge or trial.


The SLM opposition party draws its members from the Sidama ethnic group in the south. It previously belonged to the Council of Representatives (parliament) until it was expelled in 1993 for attending a conference of opposition exiles in Paris. The SLM is a member of the Southern Coalition opposition grouping...

(AI 27 Sep 94, AI Index: AFR 25/23/94)
[HAB: Due to limited space, a list of 11 names, including a 13 year-old school girl, has been omitted.]

Between 7 and 14 September 1994 those listed above were detained in the towns of Ambo and Guder (west of Addis Ababa), following the funeral on 6 September of a local man who may have been the victim of an extrajudicial execution. In total over 70 people are believed to have been detained and arrests are reported to be continuing...

Most of those named above attended the Ethiopian Orthodox Church funeral in Ambo of Derara Kefana, an elderly businessman there (owner of a hotel). Reports indicate that he was shot and killed near his home by soldiers on 3 September after being told to raise his hands to surrender. At the funeral, several people criticised the killing and called for those responsible to be brought to justice. Although full details of the shooting are not yet clear, it seems that Derara Kefana did not resist arrrest. His body was taken to a hospital in Addis Ababa for a post-mortem examination but there has been no inquest yet.

The majority of the detainees are being held incommunicado in Ambo and Guder police stations, where some have allegedly been beaten. They reportedly went on hunger-strike for some days. None of the detainees has been brought to court or charged, although the law requires that they be brought to court within 48 hours and either charged or remanded for investigation in connection with a specific offence, or released...

(NN/AI 26 Sep 94, AI index: AFR 25/22/94)
Mustafa Idris is still "disappeared" after being allegedly abducted by security officers in Addis Ababa on 31 May 1994. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has denied that he is in police or prison custody - but there has been no reply about the suspicion that the security service (also within the Ministry of Internal Affairs) is holding him in a secret security interrogation centre.

Mustafa Idris' sister, Fatuma Idris, has also "disappeared". It is feared she was abducted by security officers on 30 July 1994 in Harar city in eastern Ethiopia, where she lives with her husband and their several children. She had reportedly been privately outspoken about her brother's "disappearance". One report suggests she might be secretly held in a military camp in Garamuleta, a small town west of Harar...

(NN/AI 25 Aug 94, AI Index: AFR 25/18/94)
[HAB: Due to limited space, a list of 16 names has been omitted.]
The 16 people named above, all members or suspected members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), have "disappeared" in military custody. There are serious fears for their safety, particularly in view of recent reports of the extrajudicial execution of suspected ONLF supporters, including some killed after having been kept in incommunicado detention for up to three months...


The ONLF won the regional assembly elections in 1993 and led the regional administration in Region Five. In 1994 ONLF demands for a referendum on independence for the region led to a major dispute with the central government and to the removal of pro-independence ONLF regional assembly members.


(SWB 6 Sep 94 [VOE in Amharic, 30 Aug 94])
Excerpts from report; figures as heard throughout
The Council of Ministers has received a national draft budget totalling 9,900m birr for 1987 [Ethiopia calendar; 1994-95]... Amanuel Abdisa has the details:

[Amanuel - recording] ...The draft budget for 1987 exceeds the 1986 [1993-94] budget, which totalled 8,400m birr, by over 18.4%. Of the budget's total, 5,369m birr will be current expenditure, while the remaining 4,590m birr will be spent on development...

The central government will be allocated 3,300m birr or 61.5% of the recurrent budget, while the regions will receive 2,060m birr or 38.5%. The share of the regions during the fiscal year is relatively lower only because it was decided that certain administrative and general service expenditure, including defence, be covered by the central government. Conversely, of the 1,750m birr budgeted for economic and social services, the regions will receive 1,300m birr or 70%, showing that the regions were given great attention...

Budget allocations to economic sectors: as for the agricultural and natural resources sectors, being the backbone of the economy, will receive 22.3%, while the roads, transport communications, energy, education and health sectors, which have a great bearing on the expansion of basic development infrastructures, will receive 53.2%...

(ION 24 Sep 94, p.1)
Although a number of private investment projects for Ethiopia are still in suspense following the December 1993 promulgation of the law on attribution of urban land leaseholds (the objection is to the very high figures set on new leases), the Ethiopian government has managed to collect favorable overall comments from the International Monetary Fund for the financial adminstration of the country. According to information obtained by The Indian Ocean Newsletter, the report of the IMF mission which went to Ethiopia in July notes very positive results for Fiscal 1993-1994. The report says that the budget deficit has been slashed by half as a result of a slowdown in government expenditure, that the country's currency reserves are equal to some twenty-four weeks' imports, that the balance of payments is in surplus, and that the official exchange rate of the national currency (US$ 1 = Birr 5.58) has come close to its open-market rate as a result of the system of government currency auctions.

The report says the IMF has re-valued Ethiopia's economic growth rate for fiscal 1992-1993 at +12.3 percent (compared with the +7.6 percent figure forecast last year) but in what appears to be the only discordant note, has noted a collapse in this growth rate for Fiscal 1993-1994 to no more than 1.2 percent (much less than the modest forecast of +2.2 percent). This poor result appears principally to be due to a decline of growth in the agricultural sector (-5.3 percent) following a drought which hit the cereals harvest. IMF statistics showing an annual increase in Ethiopia's cost of living of no more than 1.2 percent are, however, somewhat surprising. After being expected to stabilize somewhere [between] 10 percent and 15 percent annually and head of state Meles Zenawi's forecast at the beginning of September that the annual rate was about 10 percent, IMF apparently claims that inflation was virtually zero from July 1993 to June 1994. Yet on the ground, many prices continue to show sharp rises: telephone and facsimile charges have risen by 75 percent, the price of cigarettes has risen from 7 birr a packet to 9 birr, and sugar is sold by the state to "worthy citizens" living in Addis Ababa kebeles at 2.2 birr a kilo but at 8 birr to other residents of Addis at the market price...

(Reuter 4 Sep 94)
ADDIS ABABA - President Meles Zenawi said Ethiopia's World Bank-recommended structural adjustment programme was the only viable way to revive the economy devastated by years of civil war and Marxist dictatorship.

"It was imperative to implement the structural adjustment programme to uplift an economy bankrupted by years of civil war and wrong policies," Meles told a news conference in Addis Ababa on Friday evening.

Marxist policies of deposed dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam bankrupted Ethiopia and destroyed agricultural production causing huge food shortages exacerbated by drought.

Liberal economic policies implemented by the transitional government since 1992 have helped to revive the economy, which registered 7.5 percent growth in 1993.

Meles rejected allegations that the programme was imposed upon Ethiopia by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

"We introduced the structural adjustment programme because we believed it was the only viable programme to uplift the ailing economy," he added.

The independent Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions has criticized the programme saying it meant a "massive retrenchment" of workers.

Meles also said the devaluation of the birr currency from 2.07 to five to the U.S. dollar had enouraged peasant farmers to produce more cash crops, like coffee and oil seeds.

"Because of the devaluation, Ethiopia was able to earn more foreign currency from its export commodities - which helps the country to implement its development programme," he said...

(ION 27 Aug 94, p.5)
Ethiopian minister for mining and energy Izedin Ali and William C. Athens, who is chairman of an American oil company's subsidiary Afar Exploration Company, recently signed a petroleum exploration agreement in Addis Ababa. The petroleum concession involved extends across 22,240 sq. km in the northern part of the Afar region, around the towns of Tendaho and Sardo, close to the Eritrean border. Sardo is some 460 km north-east of the Ethiopian capital... The agreement also lays down that job priority must go to Ethiopian nationals.

[ION editorial comment:] The Ethiopian government is trying to develop all forms of energy (and in priority, hydroelectric energy) in order to cut back its energy bill, which represents 28 percent of the cost of Ethiopian imports...

(EH 1 Sep 94, p.1 [ENA])
ADDIS ABABA--Ethiopia's Tourism Commissioner Rezene Araya said yesterday that the country has earned about 23 million US dollars in 1994 from its tourism industry.

Speaking at the on-going annual meeting of Ethiopian ambassadors, Commissioner Rezene said 93,000 foreign tourists have visited the country in one year. He described the flow of visitors as an all time high in Ethiopia's tourism history. He said most of the tourists came from the United States and European countries...


ETHIOPIA TO RECEIVE 1.1BN DOLLARS IN LOANS AND GRANTS IN 1994/95. (SWB 30 Aug 94 [VOEE in English, 25 Aug 94])

Ethiopia is to receive 1,100m dollars in loans and grants in 1994/95 fiscal year from donors and creditor nations in support of its various development activities. In a briefing to the annual meeting of Ethiopian ambassadors, Mr Israel Kidane Mariam, vice-minister of external economic cooperation, said member countries of the Paris Club, the IMF and the World Bank pledged to give the amount to the country following the consultative meeting in Paris early in March.

He said 655.9m dollars of the loans and grants will be used for undertaking various development projects and 494.8m dollars for supporting Ethiopia's balance of payments and 3.6m dollars for technical support. Mr Israel said close to 200m dollars of Ethiopia's debt to the Paris Club nations had been cancelled, while an equivalent amount of debt was rescheduled.

(EH 4 Sep 94, p.1 [ENA])

ADDIS ABABA--The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) and the Norwegian Church Aid signed yesterday a 12.8 million birr aid agreement at the headquarters of the Commission.

According to the agreement the Norwegian Church Aid will undertake water wells and spring development projects, maintenance and reconstruction activites in North Omo and Bale zones besides the training of local people in various technical skills...

(SWB 6 Sep 94 [VOE in Amharic, 30 Aug 94])

The British government has given Ethiopia aid worth 48m birr [about 8m dollars] which will be used to assist Ethiopia's economic development programme. The agreement was signed today by Finance Minister Alemayehu Daba and the British ambassador to Ethiopia, Mr Robin Christopher. The aid given to Ethiopia this year by the British government, including today's allocation, is expected to reach 91m birr [about 18m dollars].

(SWB 6 Sep 94 [VOEE in English, 4 Sep 94])

Mrs Christine Stewart, Canadian secretary of state for Latin America and Africa, announced her country's contribution to Ethiopia of a total of over 150,000 dollars from the Fund for Democracy and Development, in addition to the 54m-dollars grant in food aid.

Briefing reporters after concluding her visit to Ethiopia, the Canadian official said 86,515 dollars would be channelled to the Special Prosecutor's Office and 68,500 to the Public Defender's Office for putting war criminals on trial...

(SWB 13 Sep 94 [VOEE in English, 7 Sep 94])

An aid agreement providing for over 7.6m US dollars was signed here in Addis Ababa today between the governments of Ethiopia and Japan at the Ministry of External Economic Cooperation, MEC. Most of the money will be used for small-scale irrigation development activities in Ethiopia, and the balance for the country's state relief services.

The agreement was signed by MEC Minister Dr Abd al-Majid Husayn and Japanese Ambassador Yasuhiro Hamada [phonetic]. Ambassador Hamada said on the occasion that his government will give relief food assistance and an aid that would help Ethiopia increase its food production in the near future. He also assured the ministry that the government of Japan would enhance its efforts to develop and expand cooperation between the two countries.

(SWB 20 Sep 94 [KNA news agency, Nairobi, in English 11 Sep 94])
Text of report by PANA news agency, Dakar

Addis Ababa: Two programmes of assistance totalling 31.7m US dollars were signed in Addis Ababa [on] Saturday [10th September] between the government and the UNDP, reports PANA.

The first programme, amounting to 17.5m dollars, will be used to support a sustained management of the environment and natural resources. The country will attempt to do so by reducing land degradation by protecting the environment, creating employment and generating foreign exchange. It aims to use Ethiopia's natural resources in a sustainable manner.

In the second programme, amounting to 14.2m dollars, Ethiopia is trying to increase access to health, education and training, appropriate science and technology.

The UNDP has earmarked 86m dollars for Ethiopia's fifth country programme for 1993-97. The remaining four programmes will be finalized and signed between the Ethiopian government and UNDP in the near future.

(SWB 4 Oct 94 [VOE in Amharic, 23 Sep 94])

The government of Ethiopia and the Federal Republic of Germany today signed a 8.6m-dollar financial and technical aid agreement. The USA has also pledged 6m dollars'worth of aid for the democratization process taking place in Ethiopia...

(SWB 18 Oct 94 [VOEE in English 6 Oct 94])
Editorial report

The governments of Italy and of Ethiopia have signed an aid agreement providing for the development of private industries. The 19.2m dollars secured from the government of Italy in aid will be used to purchase and import processing machinery, raw materials and spare parts from Italy. The Ministry of Industry has said beneficiaries of the grant will be entrepreneurs who wish to establish new and replace old industrial plants. The ministry added that two-thirds of the assistance would go to entrepreneurs and the balance to state-owned industrial firms. The ministry said only licensed entrepreneurs with certificates from the National Investment Office would be able to take full advantage of industrial machinery yet to be imported.

(IPS 10 Oct 94, by Anaclet Rwegayura)
ADDIS ABABA - It's time for Ethiopians to stand up and be counted -literally.

A nationwide population and housing census kicks off Tuesday to determine the size and social needs of the poverty-ridden Horn of Africa country. The exercise is scheduled to last 10 days...

Currently, Ethiopia's population is estimated at around 55 million, with nearly half of the figure aged below 16.

But the pattern of Ethiopia's population distribution, says a recent study by the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF), is uneven and not matched with the distribution of resources...

The problems that confound development in Ethiopia are those that confront all sub-Saharan countries: burgeoning demand for basic social services, high infant and maternal mortality, and a depressed economy.

Rural privation in Ethiopia yearly drives thousands of people to dirty and overcrowded city slums, adding to the tide of crime and insecurity in urban centres...

(IPS 10 Oct 94, by Susan Litherland)

LONDON - ...[Ethiopia] is once more on the brink of a food crisis, according to a new report by the British charity Christian Aid...

The reasons are varied and so complex they appear unsurmountable, but Chris Robinson, author of the report claims there is still a chance to manage food security so that the country has a less hungry future.

"Ten years after the famine and three years after the end of its civil war, half of Ethiopia's 55 million people still don't have enough food," he said, adding that the key to solving the problem lies in "more investment in agriculture and better planned food aid".

Ethiopia needs an extra 320,000 tonnes of food every year to maintain its population, which grows annually by two million...

Domestic food production needs to increase by almost six percent every year until 2000 if the country is not to become more dependent on food aid. And that would still only keep people fed at the low level of nutrition most can scrape together, the report says.

The transitional government, which took over from the previous communist regime in 1991, is committed to a market-based economy, an emphasis on peasant farming, and reducing poverty.

It has set in place an agricultural development strategy and a five year programme, aid for which will be coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Robinson, who is Christian Aid's European Union (EU) officer, is convinced that major investment is needed if balanced support is to be given to farmers in both high and low potential growing areas.

So far donors have pledged only 48 per cent of the programme's 1.2 billion dollar five-year budget, partly because they feel the government's pace towards privatisation is too slow.

Such cautiousness could end up costing them more. The report claims that funding basic inputs like seeds, tools and livestock, investing in an infrastructure that would boost capacity and in credit schemes, may in the long run be cheaper than the annual 300 million dollar bill for food aid.

Agriculture contributes about 91 per cent of the national food supply, yet both its crop and livestock yields per hectare are among the lowest in the world.

"The international community has a choice," says Robinson. "It can take a business-as-usual, arms-folded approach to Ethiopia; or it can show real understanding on the constraints of food security and a determination not to let cracks in the consensus slow things down."

Whether to increase the area cultivated, or to boost yield per hectare is just one of many questions on which donors and the government must agree. On a far larger scale is the issue of the World Bank-sponsored Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).

Although it is early days, non-governmental organisations say Ethiopia's SAP has avoided the damage caused to food security in other countries, where government's have been pushed to cut subsidies on agriculture, force open markets to cheap food imports, and switch production from food crops to export crops...

Paradoxically the bumper harvest of 1992 led directly to this year's food crisis. With the abundance of home-grown food, donors cut back their food aid for 1993, leaving stocks used to supplement deliveries in the first quarter of 1994 at a low level. When in April it was realised that the harvest would fail, food donors suddenly had to revise upwards their tonnage.

There were fears that later deliveries would not be enough. In the end, due to speedy action by donors and government, the crisis was contained, but it left the realisation that scheduling could be a lot better.

To avoid a recurrence Robinson says that food aid donors should decide each summer on a minimum delivery of about 500,000 tonnes to arrive early the following year. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has already moved in this direction by pre-programming a delivery to arrive next January.

Roger Naumann, a senior representative of another British aid agency, Oxfam, thinks Christian Aid has hit the nail on the head. "The main objection would be that the pre-programmed food might not be needed, but this would almost never be the case as the country's food deficit in a good year is between 500,000 to 600,000 tonnes."

At present, the first food aid of the year often arrives in March. The revised schedule would ensure the food reaches Ethiopia at the beginning of the year and builds up until May, covering the dry period when farmers are available for the food-for-work schemes and need the rations.

"If the food is made available to farmers, they can put energy into terracing, reforestation and other activities that in the long term will boost the quality of land available for agriculture," Naumann says.

The Christian Aid report also urges donors to provide the government with another anti-famine weapon in the form of a fund of foreign exchange to rapidly buy food imports...

(SWB 6 Sep 94 [VOEE in English, 27 Aug 94])

Two amendment agreements were signed yesterday between the governments of Ethiopia and the USA. According to a press release the first amendment agreement provides for 2m dollars, in addition to the 4.2m [dollars] agreed in 1994, for the purchase of 143,000 metric tonnes [t] of wheat and 70,000 t of sorghum to be added to the food reserve of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission. The second amended agreement (?replaces) the final tranche of (?the) assessor for the development of competitive market programme, for a total of 66.5m dollars...

(Jiji Press via RBB 30 Sep 94)

Tokyo--Japan will provide up to 1.5 billion yen in grant aid to Ethiopia to support its efforts to increase food supplies, the government announced Friday.

A maximum 850 million yen is earmarked for a project to increase food production, while up to 650 million yen will be used to purchase provisions.

Notes on the aid were exchanged in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa the same day.



(SWB 23 Aug 94 [VOE in Amharic, 19 Aug 94]) Heavy rains in Fogera district of southern Gonder [in Region Three, northern Ethiopia] last week destroyed crops growing on 7,770 ha of farmland...

(SWB 30 Aug 94 [VOE in Amharic, 28 Aug 94])
Torrential rains over recent days in northern Welo, Wag Humera and Mekit [phonetic] districts [in northern Ethiopia] have killed 84 people while floods have also swept away many animals. In Wag Humera, the floods swept away 5,708 animals, destroyed 119 houses and 742 hectares of grain and left 3,240 people homeless, according to a report by the district's disaster avoidance and preparations committee...

(Reuter 28 Aug 94)
ADDIS ABABA - Two people were killed and over 1,000 houses were destroyed by torrential rain in the Ethiopian capital on Friday, Addis Ababa radio said on Saturday.

Addis regional president Tefera Walewa asked local and international donor organisations to provide assistance.

(Reuter 22 Aug 94)

ADDIS ABABA - A volcano erupted near the southwest Ethiopian town of Harto Burkito last week and was still active on Monday, the Ethiopian News Agency said.

The eruption damaged houses, leaving about 100 people homeless, and destroyed many crops.

The agency gave no name for the volcano. It said this was the first time one had erupted in the Horn of Africa country.


(ION 27 Aug 94, p.3)

Ethiopian head of state Meles Zenawi returned to Addis Ababa on August 17 following a six-day official visit to the United States during which he met with the US president, Bill Clinton...

[ION editorial comment:] A few weeks before president Zenawi's official visit to Washington, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs George Moose and his predecessor in that post Herman Cohen presented their points of view to the House Foreign Affairs Sub-committee on Africa. Referring to Ethiopia's elections for a constituent assembly of June 5, George Moose said that "neither exclusionary attitudes by those in power nor boycotts by those in opposition serve the cause of democratization". What the US government would like to see, the official said, is "a greater dialogue between the government and opposition on Ethiopia's future". The point should be to "bring boycotting groups back into the political process", he said, referring to the decision by opposition political parties to boycott the national elections on June 5. Former assistant secretary of state Cohen's testimony was more favourable for the Ethiopian authorities. But he too criticized the electoral boycott, saying that "boycotts and organizing for violence are not what Ethiopia needs right now". Turning to the issue of war crimes trials, which the transitional government of Ethiopia wants to begin, Cohen said that he was now convinced that the Dergue (former military government) led by lieutenant-colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam was "in a category for which amnesty cannot be justified". Meanwhile, US Agency for International Development (USAID) deputy administrator John Hicks told the same House subcommittee that the United States has "maintained our aid and not increased it" because of US government concern for Ethiopia's progress on human rights.

/HAB/ See HAB 4/94, "Foreign relations" section under Ethiopia.

(EH 2 Sep 94, p. 2)
During his recent visit to the United States, President Meles Zenawi gave interviews to two US television networks and answered questions put to him on a broad range of issues... Following is the text of the interview with Fox Morning News as transcribed by the Ethiopian Television:

Question: Let's begin with your meeting with Clinton. It is like this is the first time in 21 years that a President from your country has come to the US. You came to power three years ago promising democracy. What was it that you will be discussing with President Clinton?

Meles: I came here to discuss with the President both bilateral issues and the Horn of Africa initiative of the President. The "Great Horn", as it is defined by USAID, includes Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and all the region.

Question: You have talked about the role that the US has to take, as you said, a more pro-active role in preventing disaster... What can the US do to prevent those disasters?

Meles: Well the first thing that needs to be done is to understand what the root causes of the disasters occurring in Africa are. Once people really understand what the problem is, then people can take preventive measures. The process so far has been to try to put out fires once they erupt. The Horn of Africa initiative of the President, I think, is a welcome departure from that. He took this initiative to prevent the types of hunger, death and disaster that we saw in 1984 in Ethiopia. We have been able to prevent such a recurrence of death partly because of this initiative.

Question: ...Do you think that Ethiopia is stabilized and that the people are no longer starving?

Meles: Yes, our country has stabilized and I can say people are no longer starving in that sense. I do not mean that people have enough to eat. That is not the case. But people are not starving to death now.

Question: Are you seeking more U.S. dollars?...

Meles: No, that's not why I came here; I came here to plead for a more pro-active approach to helping us resolve our problems and I've got that promise.

Question: This visit really marks a new opening in relations between the U.S. and Ethiopia with your new government being in power and the promise of democracy, and reportedly, the Clinton administration urged your administration to promote the rule of law. What is your response to this?

Meles: There is no difference in principle between the U.S. on this issue. It is a question of the pace of the changes. There are concerns about the human rights in our country. This involves, among other things, the fact that we have about 400 former officials in prison. They are yet being tried. Since three years they have been in prison, we share that belief that "justice delayed is justice denied". But, we are dealing with war criminals, with people involved in human rights abuses and we recognize that even the West, with all the backing of the institutions that it had after the Second World War, needed a rather long time to try the Nazi criminals as it is taking us now.

Question: Your critics also were concerned about the elections coming up, to have international monitors. Is that something that you have promised?

Meles: We have always welcomed international observers.

Question: So that will happen also?

Meles: Yes.

Question: Your critics also accuse you of promoting ethnic division. What is happening between the different ethnic groups in your country?

Meles: Sometimes, people in Africa feel that they can wish away ethnic differences. Experience in Rwanda has taught us that this is not the case; experience in Liberia has taught us this is not the case. What we are trying to do in Ethiopia is to recognize that ethnic differences are part of life in Africa, part of political life in Africa, and try to deal with them in a rational manner, rather than hide that there are ethnic differences. We are saying that people should express it freely. In that way, I think, one can avoid a situation that we saw in Rwanda.

Question: ...What do you hope to take back with you?

Meles: I hope to take back a committment on the part of the U.S., a commitment to persevere in assisting us to solve our problems and a commitment to take a pro-active approach in dealing with our problems. I have that commitment. I am going back completely satisfied with my visit.

(EH 9 Sep 94, p.1 [ENA])
ADDIS ABABA--The Administration for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA) said Wednesday Ethiopia is currently hosting 166,000 Somali refugees in seven camps in the eastern part of the country.

ARRA said the figure was known following a Somali refugee census conducted on September 5, by a group comprising members of ARRA, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) African liaison office, defence force and donor organizations in the presence of international observers...

(SWB 6 Oct 94 [VOEE in English, 4 Oct 94])
About 513 Ethiopians, who fled their country to neighbouring Jibuti for fear of war and starvation, have been repatriated. Ato [Mr] Amin [word indistinct], resident chief of the Administration of Refugees and Returnees'Affairs [ARRA], said that [words indistinct] along with 380 dependants arrived in Dire Dawa yesterday by train. The repatriation was coordinated by ARRA and the UNHCR. Ato Amin said each repatriate would be provided with transportation costs and food rations for two months. He said that about 10,000 more are ready to be repatriated from Jibuti.


(NNS Aug 94)
International Alert and the Ad Hoc Peace Committee have organised a conference entitled "The Challenge for Peace Making in Africa" which will take place from 12 - 15 September 1994 at the Economic Commission for Africa. The meeting follows the May Cairo consultation to promote and enhance the OAU mechanism for conflict prevention, management and resolution and complements the 1995 consultative meeting to be organised by Accord South Africa with the Africa Leadership Forum...

(EH 13 Sep 94, p.1 [ENA])
ADDIS ABABA--Information Minister Dr. Negasso Gidada said yesterday that Africa's socio-economic decline would continue unabated if it fails to focus on broadly conceived preventive measures.

Speaking at the opening conference organized by International Alert [and the Ad Hoc Peace Committee] on the Challenge for Peace Making in Africa: Conflict Prevention and Resolution, the minister said unless Africa and its friends focus not only on the preventive diplomacy but also on preventative measures in the economic and social areas, it would be difficult to reverse the process of decline whose major manifestation are conflicts currently raging on the continent...

(LWI 16/94, p. 8 [APS/LWI 25 Aug 94])
ADDIS ABABA--The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) has resolved to hasten the participation of women in church and society by involving them in the church's decision-making bodies, the All Africa Press Service (APS) reported in August...

The debate to involve women, who constitute 52 percent of the EECMY membership, has been going on for the past 30 years but without any progress, with the church giving little or no attention to the matter, the APS observed. The women's desks in the church were previously attached to the other departments and had no forum within the church to make independent decisions. With this new development, said EECMY communications coordinator Shiburu Galla, the church will give women the possibility to independently decide on matter concerning church and society. They will, however, be answerable to the general secretary's office...

The church is discussing the ordination of women, but has yet to reach a conclusion...

The Horn of Africa Bulletin, Vol. 6 No. 5 (Sep-Oct 94) ** 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


(UNIC 26 Sep 94 [UN document S/1994/1068, 17 Sep 94]); The Somalia Task Force Oct 94

/HAB/ Due to space limitations, we have combined excerpts from the UN report of 17 September with the Somalia Task Force's critique. Although the STF's critique quotes the UN report extensively, we have chosen to reprint even more of the UN report. Each section of the UN report is prefaced by "UN:"; all UN text is in quotes. Each section of the critique prefaced by "STF:".

STF: The Somalia Task Force is an independent policy discussion group composed of academic specialists and representatives of NGOs, as well as observers from U.S. and U.N. agencies. It serves as a forum for interaction between research specialists and practitioners in Somalia, in order to generate policy proposals that best serve the long-term interests of the Somali people. The following is one of a series of planned critiques and discussion papers regarding the present and future role of the international community in Somalia.


The report on Somalia issued by the Secretary-General to the Security Council on September 17, 1994 (S/1994/1068) comes at a critical moment in U.N. policy toward Somalia, as the Security Council deliberates on the future mandate of UNOSOM (United Nations Operation in Somalia). The document in question is the first of a two-part report. Part one is intended to give "a factual account of recent developments in Somalia;" part two, to be submitted in mid-October, will provide recommendations for the Security Council, based in large part on the results of the visit to Somalia undertaken from September 15-19 by Mr. Kofi Annan, the Under-Secretary-General for Peace-Keeping Operations.

Disturbingly, the September 17 report to the Security Council contains some inaccurate and misleading analyses of the situation on the ground in Somalia. While distortions in earlier UN reporting on Somalia have been cause for concern, the inaccuracies in the section "Political Developments" of the most recent report are especially egregious and require clarification. In the critique which follows, the Somalia Task Force attempts to correct some of the most serious misreadings contained in the Secretary-General's report.

We also raise more general concerns about the need for honest, depoliticized, and accurate reporting by the UN administration to its member- states. The criticism we level at the reporting of the UN Secretariat is intended to be constructive, based on our collective desire to see the UN function more effectively, in Somalia and elsewhere. To be effective as it takes on new and complex challenges, the organization must, at a minimum, build and maintain a reputation for truthful and transparent reporting.


he Making of a Secretary-General's Report Routinely, the Security Council requests of the office of the Secretary-General progress reports on the growing number of U.N. peacekeeping missions. The report is generally due one month prior to the Security Council's decision to renew the mandate of the mission in question - usually once every six months. The Secretary-General's report carries both a factual account and analysis of the situation and a set of recommendations regarding the mandate of the peace operation. While key member-states lobby for their own proposals during the drafting of the report, the UN Secretariat clearly is able to protect its own organizational interests as well. Once the final report is submitted, it is unusual for the Security Council to deviate significantly from the recommendations made by the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General's report is, therefore, of considerable importance.

In the case of Somalia and UNOSOM, the first drafts of the Secretary-General's many progress reports to the Security Council have been written by UN officials in Mogadishu. Though the document reflects continuous dialogue with New York, the officials in Mogadishu have considerable influence in shaping both the analysis of the current situation and the recommendations submitted for the Security Council's consideration. Yet the officials in Mogadishu also have the strongest personal and organizational interests to protect the mission from criticism, budget reductions, and premature closure. As a result, UNOSOM officials have been tempted to cleanse reports of unpleasant realities facing the mission. It is likely that this dynamic affects the reporting practices of other UN field operations as well. For a number of reasons outlined below, it is a corrupting and potentially dangerous practice.


3. ...[The] Council will recall that, in my previous report (S/1994/977), I expressed agreement with the assessment of my Special Representative that conflicts within the Hawiye clan constituted the major obstacle to national reconciliation and that the successful conclusion of a Hawiye peace conference would greatly facilitate the national reconciliation process."

STF: In reality, top UNOSOM officials in Mogadishu have acknowledged in interviews that they never believed that a pan-Hawiye peace conference was possible in the short-term. Moreover, virtually no one in New York, either in the Secretariat or among Security Council member-states, believed it either, as UN officials admit. Throughout the summer and into September of 1994, heavy intra- Hawiye clashes occurred outside the walls of UNOSOM in south Mogadishu, making the proposition that a Hawiye reconciliation was within grasp seem unlikely. Yet that was the premise on which UNOSOM sought, and secured, justification for the renewal of its mandate.

UN: "4. Since my last report, my Special Representative has been engaged in intensive consultations with Mr. Ali Mahdi, General Aidid and the Imam of Hirab, Imam Mahamoud Imam Omar, concerning arrangements for convening the Hawiye peace conference and the national reconciliation conference. During their discussions, the Imam of Hirab confirmed to my Special Representative the willingness of both Mr. Ali Mahdi and General Aidid to participate in the conferences. In separate discussions with my Special Representative, both General Aidid and Mr. Ali Mahdi assured him of their support for the initiative of the Imam to resolve differences among the Hawiye subclans (Abgal, Habr Gedir, Hawadle and Murusade) as a prelude to the national reconciliation conference."

STF: This was in fact what UNOSOM has been led to believe, by both the faction leaders and the Imam of Hirab. But at the same time that the Secretary-General's report was released, General Aideed unexpectedly told UN officials that he believed the focus on a Hawiye reconciliation was divisive and was creating tension among non-Hawiye clans; therefore he would not support the process. In this instance, the Secretary-General's report was simply overtaken by events on the ground, and is no longer accurate.

UN: "...6. Over the past few weeks, the Imam has held meetings with various subclan leaders. His efforts culminated in the convening on 20 August 1994 of a meeting attended by 36 representatives from the Mudulood clan family (including Abgals) and the Habr Gedir. The participants unanimously agreed that, in order to facilitate the restoration of peace in Mogadishu, their respective "technicals" must withdraw to their original areas of control. A committee was accordingly established to monitor and oversee the removal of the "technicals"..."

STF: The report is at this point guilty of omission. In a full page reporting on developments toward Hawiye reconciliation, the report fails to mention any of the very serious incidents of armed hostilities which have occurred within the Hawiye clan, including: the Habr Gedr attack on the Hawadle clan in Beled Weyn and surrounding towns; Hawadle-Habr Gedr clashes in the airport area of south Mogadishu; the fighting within the Murosade which has divided along SNA-USC lines and threatens to spill over into broader factional clashes in Mogadishu; and Murosade-Habr Gedr fighting in the Medina neighborhood of South Mogadishu. A "factual account of recent developments" should not have omitted these important setbacks in the search for Hawiye reconciliation; they are critical prerequisites for clear assessment of the likelihood of successful Hawiye peace initiatives.

UN: "12. The Lower Juba Reconciliation Conference was successfully concluded on 18 June 1994. There have been no major violations of the Lower Juba peace agreement and the cease-fire is holding. The implementation committee has been meeting in Kismayo with a view to formulating a plan of action for the implementation of the agreement. The leaders of the Lower Juba Reconciliation Conference and the Absame Reconciliation Conference have continued to meet in an effort to merge the two peace processes in order to consolidate peace in both the Lower and the Middle Juba regions. The Chairman of the Lower Juba Reconciliation Conference, General Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed "Liqliqato", held successful meetings from 7 to 9 September 1994 with Imam Sayed Hussein, Chairman of the Absame Reconciliation Conference, and General Mohamed Said Hersi "Morgan". Agreement was reached at these meetings to set priorities for the Juba regions and to expedite the implementation of the Lower Juba and Absame peace agreements."

STF: This summary of the situation in the Juba/Kismayo region is misleading and omits important contrary information:

--The lower Juba reconciliation conference was not as successful as UNOSOM has portrayed it. In fact, it was seriously flawed, as it omitted one of the two main parties to the conflict - the Ogadeni clan - from the conference. The signing of a peace between Morgan and the Habr Gedr representatives in the Juba valley will not resolve the underlying conflict in the region between the Ogadeni and Harti clans.

--Recently the Habr Gedr have withdrawn their militia and representatives from the lower Jubba valley, leaving the "administration" of the region in the hands of Ogadeni Col. Omar Jess, who rejected the lower Jubba accord. This very likely means that the lower Jubba accord is dead in the water. --UNOSOM's own internal reports acknowledge that the Absame reconciliation meeting, far from representing another successful local peace, essentially broke up without resolving most of the differences still dividing the clan.

--Fighting has broken out in two locations in the Juba region. In Jilib, armed clashes have taken place on several occasions between the Habr Gedr and their former allies, the Ogadenis, with numerous casualties; and fighting between the Aulihan (Ogadenis) and the Ajuraan clan in Buaale has led to casualties and instability.

--Tensions in Kismayo are extremely high, as the Marehan clan and most of the Dolbahante clan have broken ranks with General Morgan over the signing of the peace treaty with the Habr Gedr. This tension was especially high during the meeting between Sayid Hussein, Liqliqato and Morgan, which was not successful, contrary to UNOSOM's assessment.

--Virtually all international NGOs and UN agencies have withdrawn from Kismayo and the Jubba region due to continued security problems and extortion.

In sum, the situation in the Juba region is much more troubled than the Secretary-General's report portrays it.

UN: "13. The Fifth Congress of SSDF, following two months of intensive consultations, elected Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf as its new Chairman on 22 August 1994. The election of Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf has been accepted and Mr. Abdirazak Haji Hussein, the nominee of the supreme committee of the Sultans of the north-east to the chairmanship of SSDF, has recognized the election of Abdullahi Yusuf. The Congress was concluded on 26 August 1994 and consultations are continuing to consolidate its outcome. Following his election as SSDF Chairman, Colonel Yusuf has affirmed his commitment to assist in bringing together the southern factions in Mogadishu in order to facilitate national reconciliation, on the basis of the Addis Ababa agreement and the Nairobi Declaration."

STF: This assessment of the political situation in the north-east of Somalia is extremely deceptive. In reality, there is considerable confusion over the leadership of the SSDF and the Mijerteen clan. After the committee of sultans nominated Abdirazak - a surprise choice - Abdullahi Yusuf rejected their nomination and convened his own congress, which named him Chairman of SSDF. This meeting was by no means representative of all of the Mijerteen, however, who remain divided over leadership of the SSDF. Abdirazak left the north-east under physical threat by the Yusuf militia, which does not, as UNOSOM falsely implies, constitute an endorsement of Yusuf on the part of Abdirazak. Gen. Mohamed Abshir Moussa, Abdullahi Yusuf's rival, did not participate in the conference which selected Yusuf, and rejects the outcome. Most observers fear that tensions within the Mijerteen clan may soon spill over into armed clashes, which would be especially tragic since the northeast has been the one region to escape armed conflict during the Somali civil war. But nowhere does the Secretary-General's report reflect this concern. Nor does it adequately capture the level of complexity and flux which now characterizes politics in the northeast of Somalia.

UN: "14. With respect to developments concerning the participation of SNM in the national reconciliation process as called for under the Nairobi Declaration, the SNM Chairman, Mr. Abdirahman Ahmed Ali, met with the chairmen of the other three north-west-based political factions (Somali Democratic Alliance (SDA), United Somali Party (USP) and United Somali Front (USF)) in Djibouti, from 13 to 17 August 1994, to consider the situation in the north-west. At the end of their meeting, they issued a joint statement declaring, inter alia, that secession of the north was neither feasible nor desirable and that the national reconciliation conference envisaged under the Nairobi Declaration was long overdue and should be convened not later than September 1994. The statement also proposed the adoption of a federal system of government for Somalia and conveyed an offer by the four factions to use their good offices to mediate between the factions in the south..."

STF: This paragraph is also extremely misleading, as it falsely implies that there is broad support in the northwest, or "Somaliland," to rescind the declaration of secession and rejoin efforts at national reconciliation in the south. In reality Abdiraman Ahmed Ali "Tour" repesents very few of his Isaaq clansmen and has been repeatedly and explicitly rejected as a representative of the people of the northwest by the "government" of Somaliland. UNOSOM is aware that Tour possesses almost no constituency and therefore does not meaningfully represent anyone in these meetings. Indeed, it was in part because of its continued dealings with Tour that UNOSOM was expelled from "Somaliland" by the Egal government in August, a serious setback that the Seretary-General's report fails to discuss, referring only once to the lack of any UNOSOM presence throughout northern Somalia. This section of the report thus bears very little resemblence to political reality in the northwest of Somalia. In this instance UNOSOM seems to be willfully misleading the Security Council, and in the process raising false expectations of an impending political settlement of the northwest issue.

Furthermore, since the issuing of the September 17 report, Tour has publicly distanced himself from this initiative and denounced the possibilities of reaching a southern reconciliation. Therefore, the UNOSOM initiative with Tour is no longer relevant to national reconciliation efforts in Somalia. [/HAB/ See the "UN expelled" section under Somaliland for the reaction of President Egal to the SG's report.]


[Paragraphs 17-27 review the first steps of the UNOSOM miltiary drawdown, and comments on recent security problems, including the attacks on UNOSOM forces at Beled Weyn (29 July) and Bale Dogle (22 August), in which a total of eight UN soldiers were killed. These incidents are reported as follows:]

UN: "26. The most serious of the recent incidents happened in Belet Weyne and in the Indian area of responsibility. On 29 July, in Belet Weyne, troops of the Zimbabwean contingent were completely overrun by a strong militia force. One UNOSOM soldier was killed and the UNOSOM troops had to abandon all their equipment to the militia. The Indian contingent had to face two serious incidents during the same week. On 22 August, an Indian unit escorting a supply convoy was ambushed by armed militia near Burlego, on the Baledogle-Baidoa road. Seven Indian soldiers were killed during this incident. On 31 August, three Indian doctors were killed in Baidoa when a rifle grenade exploded as they were leaving the officers' mess..."

STF: The report omits a critical aspect of these and several other security incidents that have resulted in UNOSOM casualties - that they were unprovoked attacks by the militia of the Habr-Gedr, the clan of General Aideed. This fact has been a major political complication for UNOSOM in its dealings with Aideed, and should be an important factor in the Security Council's deliberations over UNOSOM's relationship with the Somali faction/militia leaders and its current negotiating strategy.


There is ample evidence to suggest that the September 17, 1994, Secretary- General's report on Somalia bears little resemblence to actual political developments on the ground. Moreover, while some of the inaccuracies in the report are the result of changing circumstances in the months of August and September, many appear to be willful misreadings and misrepresentations, designed to portray the situation in Somalia in a much more positive light than the situation warrants.

There are a number of dangers inherent in misleading and possibly politicized reporting within the UN. First, it is possible that the Security Council will act on faulty information, issuing resolutions that do not serve the best interests of either the host population (in this case, the Somali people) or the international community. More realistically, however, most of the Security Council members have their own independent sources of analysis and will not be misled by poor reporting on the part of the Secretariat. But that presents a different kind of danger to the office of the Secretary-General - namely, the erosion of the credibility of the institution. In the case of Somalia, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, member-states, the media, and the Somali people are all well aware of the actual political situation in Somalia. The UN only damages its own credibility by issuing reports that distort or omit the truth.

The Somalia Task Force appeals to the office of the Secretary-General to insure that its reporting to the Security Council, and, by extension, the international community, reflects the highest levels of integrity and accuracy. In particular, we appeal to the Secretary-General's office to insure that the upcoming October 15 report on Somalia, which will contain important policy recommendations on the future of UNOSOM, reflect a realistic assessment of the situation in Somalia rather than the largely illusory one presented in the September 17 report...

(UNIC 18 Oct 94 [UN document S/1994/1166 14 Oct 94])

...8. During their meeting at Mogadishu on 16 September 1994, the leader of SNA, General Aidid, informed the Under-Secretary-General that it was now the view of SNA that the ongoing consultations within the Hawiye clan provided a sufficient basis for the political process in Somalia to proceed directly to the convening of the preparatory meeting at the end of September, to be followed immediately by the National Reconciliation Conference, which should not last more than three weeks. General Aidid contended that that new position of SNA made the convening of the Hawiye Reconciliation Conference unnecessary.

9. The reactions of the leaders of the other Hawiye subclans to this development have been mixed. Mr. Ali Mahdi, who was originally reluctant to participate in the clan conference but was eventually persuaded to do so, expressed his surprise. The Imam of Hirab, for his part, wanted more time for consultations. As at the time of writing of this report, the preparations for a Hawiye Reconciliation Conference, of which so much had been expected, had not begun. Given the hopes placed in the Hawiye Reconciliation Conference, the proposal to bypass it would seem to be a negative development.

10. As for the preparatory meeting and the National Reconciliation Conference, my Special Representative has reported that General Aidid is insisting on convening the former himself. For their part, Mr. Ali Mahdi and the group of 12 have insisted that invitations for both the preparatory meeting and the National Reconciliation Conference should be issued by my Special Representative and they have made it clear that they would not attend any meeting convened by General Aidid. However, as a result of extensive negotiations which Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF) has held with both General Aidid and Mr. Ali Mahdi, my Special Representative has recently been informed that General Aidid has now agreed in principle to UNOSOM issuing the invitations for the preparatory meeting. General Aidid's decision is expected to be confirmed in writing in the next few days. My Special Representative will continue to extend all possible support to the efforts of the Somali parties...

(UNIC 18 Oct 94 [UN document S/1994/1166 14 Oct 94])

15. As endorsed by the Security Council in a presidential statement of 12 August 1994, a gradual reduction of UNOSOM's strength is under way. By the end of October 1994, its force level will have been reduced to 15,000 all ranks. The deployment and capabilities of the reduced force will be concentrated in three major centres: Baidoa, Kismayo and Mogadishu. It will maintain a mobile reserve unit to respond to emergencies. In the Force Commander's judgement, the 15,000-troop strength is the minimum viable force level for continued implementation of the present mandate and the initiation and execution of a safe and orderly closure of the mission if this is decided by the Security Council.

16. With respect to security during the period of withdrawal, recent incidents at Belet Uen and Balad, in which UNOSOM personnel were attacked and assets looted, indicate that the withdrawal of UNOSOM troops and assets could be difficult and dangerous in some areas. In the worst-case scenario, UNOSOM forces would have to withdraw in face of hostile action by Somali factions and/or widespread banditry, which would prevent the use of commercial air and sea transport. In order to cope with this threat, it will be necessary for Member States to provide UNOSOM with the support required to extricate personnel and equipment safely from Somalia... While hoping that its withdrawal can proceed smoothly, UNOSOM must prepare for the worst-case scenario. It is my estimation that a secure and orderly withdrawal of UNOSOM troops and assets will require a period of between 60 and 120 days, depending on security conditions...

22. ...The Council has already decided that the mission of UNOSOM II should end in March 1995. If the Council maintains this decision and all UNOSOM II forces and assets have to be withdrawn, time will be required to ensure that the withdrawal takes place in a secure, orderly and expeditious manner. As indicated in paragraph 16 above, this may take as long as 120 days. It may also require extensive air and sea support from Member States and it is important that the availability of such support is confirmed as soon as possible. In the light of these considerations, I recommend that the Security Council extend the Mission's mandate until 31 March 1995...

(GN 30 Aug 94 [WP, by Thomas Lippman])

The United Nations' failure to restore order in Somalia was due largely to the incompetence and arrogance of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the UN secretary-general, according to the former head of the UN Somalia operation.

Mohamed Sahnoun, an Algerian diplomat, accuses Mr Boutros-Ghali of taking actions that undermined Somali confidence in the UN, undercut Mr Sahnoun's authority and tolerated corruption.

In his memoir Somalia: The Missed Opportunities, Mr Sahnoun also blames the organisation's inherent weakness for its failure to bring peace.

If Mr Sahnoun's assessment is accurate, Mr Boutros-Ghali bears personal responsibility for much of what went wrong in Somalia and, by extension, for the Clinton administration's disillusionment with the UN as an instrument of multilateral peacekeeping: the Somalia experience led it to develop guidelines restricting United States participation in UN peacekeeping operations.

Mr Sahnoun criticised the UN performance in Somalia while he was head of its operations there in 1992, and attributed his resignation to "bitter experiences with the UN bureaucracy". He quit after being reprimanded by Mr Boutros-Ghali for criticising UN agencies.

Mr Sahnoun drew praise from relief agencies for his work in Somalia. His account is consistent with previous studies indicating that the UN moved too slowly to head off catastrophe and took sides in the clan conflict after assuming responsibility for the international military operation in May 1993...

The overall problem with the UN, in his view, is that it is ill-equipped organisationally and politically to be the engine of peacekeeping efforts.

"The current system ... routinely reacts to crisis through improvisation," Mr Sahnoun said. "This explains why there are so many delays and contradictions in the UN's response to crisis."

In Somalia, many people harboured hostility toward Mr Boutros-Ghali that predated his selection to the top UN post. As a senior official of Egypt's foreign ministry, he supported Mohammed Siad Barre, the Somali president whom the clan leaders fought successfully to overthrow in the late 1980s.

Mr Sahnoun's assignment was to persuade the clan leaders to accept the UN as mediators and win their confidence - a mission, he says, undercut by ineptitude and misjudgement throughout the UN...

(Letter to the Washington Post 30 Aug 94, by Ismat Kittani)

Having read the article by your correspondent Thomas Lippman entitled "U.N. Chief Faulted in Somalia Mess", I thought your readers might be interested in a few pertinent comments from someone who succeeded Mr. Mohamed Sahnoun as Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Somalia.

It should be recalled that it was the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who took a very early lead in persistently drawing attention to the tragedy of Somalia. Barely a few weeks after taking office, he urged the international community in public and in private to come to the aid of Somalia.

When I arrived in Mogadishu on 8 November 1992 to take over UNOSOM I, I found the operation in a shambles:

1. The 500 Pakistani troops had arrived 2 months before in order to secure the airport and the seaport and to escort the distribution of humanitarian aid. Instead, they had been completely idle on the beach and prevented from deployment;

2. The airport of Mogadishu had been closed for all traffic for over 2 months;

3. Due to banditry and obstacles at every turn, a fraction of the humanitarian aid, so generously donated by the international community, was reaching the people for whom it was intended;

4. No political reconciliation meeting was in sight.

When I reported these dismal conditions to the Secretary-General, he did not hesitate to inform the Security Council and urge it to take strong action to remedy the situation. Among the five options presented by the Secretary-General, the Security Council choose to set up UNITAF under U.S. command and control.

It was noteworthy that when I left Somalia in March 1993 to be replaced by Admiral Howe:

1. The backbone of the famine had been broken due to close coordination and cooperation between UNOSOM I and UNITAF in the distribution of humanitarian aid;

2. As early as 4 January 1993, the first political reconciliation conference was held under the auspices of the Secretary-General, who personally opened the meeting in Addis Ababa. More than 14 factions agreed to disarm and to hold another conference in March of the same year.

Far-reaching decisions on political reconciliation and the setting up of an interim government within 2 years were decided upon at that conference.

As for lost opportunities, one must recall that it was the Secretary-General who insisted in public and private from the outset of the UNITAF operation that the disarming of the warring factions in Somalia was a prerequisite for creating a secure environment for rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation in Somalia. A swift and effective disarming of the warring factions by UNITAF, which had the means and the mandate to do so, would undoubtedly have paved the way for an early achievement of the above goals. I am sure that this view is shared by many members of the Security Council...

(The Economist via RBB 24 Sep 94)

MOGADISHU - ...The country has pretty well returned to the anarchy that prompted the UN's arrival in the first place. Victor Gbeho, the Ghanaian who now runs UNOSOM, insists that a glimmer of hope is provided by the latest "reconciliation" conference, this one organised by General Muhammad Farrah Aideed. The result, says Mr Gbeho, could be a "broad-based" government. In Somali, broad-based translates as "big-buttocked" and the supporters of Ali Mahdi Muhammad, the ruler of north Mogadishu and the general's main rival, have vowed to kick such a government where it hurts.

General Aideed has invited leaders from the warring clans to a meeting at his house, rebuilt after it was bombed flat by American aircraft last year. Mr Ali Mahdi declined, and Muhammad Egal, the president of "Somaliland", which unilaterally seceded in 1991, was not asked. Instead, the general has gone behind Mr Egal's back, trying to lure a rival from exile in London.

Few people expect much from the conference. But Mr Gbeho exudes optimism: "There is a better promise of peace than before," he says. "I believe we will see the formation of a government inside the next month or so, which will allow us to reduce our presence slowly and be out by March 1995 [the original date set for the end of UNOSOM back in 1993]." His aides are more honest: "What we are really trying to do", says one, "is to install the sort of junta that America is trying to get rid of in Haiti, and then run like hell."

Military men echo this cynicism. Somalis, they say, are fighting to be in the best position for looting when the time comes for the UN to go. As the peacekeepers cut their numbers from 18,000 to 15,000, some wonder whether they will escape Somalia with anything more than their underwear.

Last month a Zimbabwean company of 168 men were stripped to their briefs and robbed of their weapons, uniforms and vehicles by General Aideed's militia, in an assault led by women and children. Apart from the Indian contingent, which performs bravely (ten Indian peacekeepers were killed in August), UNOSOM's military organisation is collapsing.

David Morris, who has a big catering contract with the UN in Mogadishu and is based in the port, has twice been threatened with murder if he did not bow to Somali demands for half of his profits - threats made in front of two Egyptian officers. The Egyptian unit gained such a reputation for graft at the port that it has been moved to the airport. There, say sources in the UN's transport section, the Egyptians look the other way, for a fee, while Somalis loot or even steal UN vehicles. UN jeeps and minibuses sell for $3,000 to $4,000 in the market...


(IPS 27 Aug 94, by Horace Awori)

NAIROBI - The United States says failure by Somalia's warring clans to bury the hatchet has hampered the work of its diplomatic staff in Mogadishu, forcing it to relocate its liaison office there to the Kenyan capital.

The relocation, to be carried out in September, "is a direct result of the continuing absence of progress toward national reconciliation" in Somalia, according to a statement issued by the U.S. state embassy here...

More than 20 UN peacekeepers have been killed since Mar. 31 when the United States and other Western nations pulled out most of their staff and handed over the job of averting chaos in Somalia to a UN force drawn from third world countries...

(Reuter 6 Sep 94)

MOGADISHU - International aid workers and U.N. peacekeepers evacuated a remote Somalia outpost as part of a secretive countdown for the retreat of forces from the lawless country, U.N. sources said on Tuesday.

Brenda Barton, spokeswoman for the U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP), said the agency had pulled two expatriate workers out of Hoddur village on Monday because a company of Indian peacekeepers was withdrawing from there.

"There's no question that the departure of UNOSOM, which was done at short notice, put our people at risk," Barton told Reuters, adding that WFP had only been told the Indians were leaving on Sunday.

Barton said the only reason why WFP had pulled out was because UNOSOM (United Nations Operation in Somalia) troops were leaving.

U.N. sources said a force of 160 Indians had left Hoddur, on the fringes of the zone where most of the 300,000 people who died during a 1992 famine perished.

The sources said it was part of UNOSOM plans to abandon outlying military posts for larger garrisons this month...

Barton said that WFP would return to Hoddur when it received assurances for the safety of foreign staff from village elders.

She added that elders had promised that a warehouse full of 900 tonnes of food would be safe...


(UNIC 10 Oct 94 [UN document DH/1746 7 Oct 94])

Roble Olhaye of Djibouti told the General Assembly yesterday that the prospect of a functioning civil society in Somalia was now more remote than ever. Meaningful inter-faction talks had ceased, security had evaporated, and the dream of national reconciliation is fading. Meanwhile, the United Nations Opertion in Somalia (UNOSOM II) was focusing on the process of withdrawal, with possible departure scheduled for 31 March 1995. For too long, the United Nations had sought voluntary disarmament, conferences on national reconciliation, and a government elected by the people. However, the warlords wanted the [political process] to end with them, without passing through to the people. They wanted the United Nations to withdraw so that they could settle scores among themselves...

Leaving Somalia with nothing in place and so many lives at risk would be abhorrent and unacceptable--a case where a "failed State" had been abandoned by the United Nations. Walking out on a society before restoring it as a functioning entity would set a precedent in United Nations history. Such an action would be far from the hopes, promises and commitments of the Charter.


(Reuter 21 Aug 94)

MOGADISHU - Somali warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed has demanded compensation for his gunmen who he says were among 12,000 of his supporters killed by U.N. forces.

In a radio broadcast from Mogadishu marking celebrations of the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad, Aideed said on Saturday at least 12,000 of his supporters had been killed by the "foreign aggressors" over the last three years.

He did not specify what compensation should be paid, but said the issue would "affect the future relationship between the Somali people and the U.N."...

(SWB 23 Sep 94 [KBC radio, Nairobi, in English 21 Sep 94])
The United Nations Security Council and the international community will not tolerate any further delays in moving forward the political process in Somalia. The UN undersecretary for peacekeeping operations, Mr Koffi Annan, said in Nairobi.

Addressing an international press conference after a visit to Somalia and Rwanda, Mr Annan told journalists that Somalia will only retain the respect of the international community after they [the Somalis] have shown genuine interest in the country's political process.

Mr Annan, who was accompanied by the military adviser to the secretary-general, Mr Morris Derel [phonetic], said the faction leaders in Somalia had expressed their wish to hold a national reconciliation conference in October but added that any delays towards the formation of a broad-based interim government in Somalia will result in the withdrawal of the United Nations Operation in Somalia, Unosom, by the Security Council...

(SWB 5 Oct 94 [RMV in Somali, 3 Oct 94])
Excerpts from report broadcast by pro-Muhammad Farah Aydid radio

Mr Muhammad Farah Aydid, the chairman of the Somali National Alliance, SNA, who is also the chairman of the United Somali Congress, today attended a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the massacre of Somali people by US-Unosom [UN Operation in Somalia] forces.

The ceremony, which was held at 1st July Square, was also attended by Mr Ahmad Umar Jays, the chairman of the Somali Patriotic Movement; Mr Muhammad Nur Aliyow, the chairman of the Somali Democratic Movement; Dr Abd al-Aziz Shaykh Yusuf, of the Southern Somali National Movement; Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad, the chairman of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front [SSDF] and leaders of the delegation of northern-based organizations...

Speaking at the ceremony, Abdi Hasan Awaleh Qaydid, the director of the SNA's internal affairs, said 3rd October would be remembered by the Somali people as the day of their victory, struggle and salvation. Mr Qaydid said the aim of the war was to recolonize Somalia. He said that in the war 13,000 Somali nationals had been killed and 45,000 others injured.

Speaking about the purpose of their coming to Mogadishu, officials of the northern-based organizations and the SSDF said it was important to work towards achieving the unity of the Somali people and to form a government based on justice. They offered condolences for those who sacrificed their lives to save their country from the USA and Unosom...

Speaking on behalf of the SNA and of himself, Mr Aydid congratulated Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad for his election as SSDF chairman. Mr Aydid spoke at length about the massacres perpetrated by the USA and Unosom against the Somali people, most of whom were children, women and elderly.

Mr Aydid welcomed proposals by brother northerners to join in a federal system with the south. He called on the UN to work towards peace and reconciliation in the country. Finally, Mr Aydid offered his condolences for the martyrs of the US-Unosom attacks and wished recovery for the injured.

(Reuter 15 Oct 94)

MOGADISHU - Somali warlord Ali Mahdi Mohamed said on Saturday he would refuse to attend a peace conference called by his main rival, Mohamed Farah Aideed.

Mahdi ... said the conference announced on Friday would lead the country back to chaos.

"I will not give recognition to the meeting," Mahdi, who controls northern Mogadishu and considers himself Somalia's president, told a news conference.

He also hit out at U.N. special envoy Victor Gbeho, who welcomed the Aideed conference, and accused him of "interfering in exclusively Somali affairs."

Aideed, his Somali National Alliance and 11 allied factions called the conference for October 27, four days before the expiry of a one-month extension of the U.N. mandate in Somalia.

They asked the U.N. Operation in Somalia to give "financial, logistic and other necessary support" to the Mogadishu conference and to invite 16 leaders named by them.

"We take it upon ourselves to solve all outstanding differences by ourselves," the announcement said.

Gbeho responded by urging all Somali leaders to intensify their talks to allow the conference to convene, a move seen by Mahdi as support for Aideed and his allies.

"The United Nations will continue to support such efforts and will extend all necessary assistance for the conference, which is expected to include the representatives of all the recognised factions and to be broad-based," Gbeho added.

The Aideed announcement, however, did not cover all factions.

It made no mention of Ali Mahdi, General Mohamed Abshir Musa and General Mohamed Said Hersi "Morgan" and President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the breakaway Republic of Somaliland in the north, which is not internationally recognised.

As head of the United Somali Congress it listed not Ali Mahdi but Mohamed Qanyare Afrah, who fell out with him three months ago.

(DT 17 Oct 94, by Scott Peterson)
MOGADISHU--Rival Somali warlords are working to extract the maximum cash from the United Nations efforts to reconcile them, as a deadline looms threatening UN withdrawal unless there is progress on peace talks...

The warlords are playing a dangerous, but lucrative, game, trying to give the UN enough hope of a peace breakthrough so it will stay on, while leaving room to criticise the UN efforts for angry Somalis.

Senior UN officials confirm details of payments listed in the Somalia News Update published by Uppsala University in Sweden.

For example, an ally of Gen Aidid's from northern Somalia, Abdirahman "Tuur", was reportedly promised $200,000 ([GBP] 129,000) for his militia's participation in the "peace process", even though he cannot at the moment even set foot in his homeland on account of the political opposition, and has recently been living in exile.

The money has bought little in the way of security for UN civilian workers or troops, who daily run a gauntlet of often hostile Somalis who wait for their final pull-out to loot the newly-built UN compound.

Much Somali anger is the result of huge expenses that appear to benefit no one but the UN. Last year, $166 million ([GBP] 107 million) was spent on building and refurbishing the UN compound.

Even Somalis doubt the will of their "leaders" to find peace: "The war depends on the warlords," said one well-educated Somali. "They are only powerful when there is fighting.

"If there was something worthwhile keeping them apart, that would be different. But here is a power struggle with prizes for the winner, so this peace process is a big joke."

(ION 15 Oct 94, p.2)
Lisane Yohannes, the permanent representative in Mogadiscio since 1992 of the Inter-African Committee of Reconciliation (the five-nation body presided by Ethiopia which has been charged by the Organisation of African Unity with responsibility for the Somali dossier) is reported to have had difficulties in paying is day-to-day bills in the Somali capital since June, apparently as a result of UNOSOM 2 ceasing to pay his rent costs since then. A Tigray civil servant who has been chef de cabinet of Ethiopian foreign minister Mesfin Seyoum since the EPRDF came to power in Addis Ababa in 1991, Yohannes is a personal friend of general Mohammed Farah Aideed, the head of Somali National Alliance (SNA). The official also thinks highly of the controversial president of Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF, Mejertein), colonel Abdulahi Yussuf Ahmed. In private, Lisane Yohannes does not hesitate to state that "sooner or later, Aideed will finish up being right", and says the leader of the Hawiye-Abgal clan north of Mogadiscio, Mohamed Ali Mahdi, who is Aideed's principal rival, has been "a puppet of the Darod" (Somalia's dominant clan under the former regime). Yohannes refers to the Group of Twelve (the alliance of twelve factions who are hostile to Aideed and group themselves around Ali Mahdi) as "a bad mess" and has always avoided discussions with this group as a whole, although he has talked to representatives of its several factions. After having managed to influence the stands of both the Addis Ababa government and UNOSOM 2 on the Somali dossier, Lisane Yohannes is today the "most listened-to counsellor" of the UN representative in Somalia, Ghana's Victor Gbeho.


(Reuter 25 Sep 94)
MOGADISHU - Faction fighting in Somalia at the weekend killed four people and wounded seven, a United Nations spokesman in Mogadishu said on Sunday.

Those killed in the clash in Bossaso on Saturday included the Commissioner of the northeastern Gardho district, Said Mohamed Haji, and a bodyguard of General Mohamed Abshir of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).

U.N. officials said two rival wings of the SSDF were vying for control of Bossaso, the main port of northeast Somalia, and the clash appeared to be linked to the struggle between them.

Two rival warlords each claim to lead the SSDF.

/HAB/ See "UN and Somalia" section under Somalia for more (i.e., paragraph 13 of UN report).

(IPS 31 Aug 94)
UNITED NATIONS - U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali Wednesday condemned the attack on an Indian-run field hospital in the Somali town of Baidoa, in which three doctors were killed.

U.N. spokesman Joe Sills said the field hospital was apparently hit by a mortar or rifle grenade, although the exact cause and the culprits have yet to be determined.

Sills added that special U.N. envoy James Victor Gbeho has immediately begun an investigation into the motives behind the attack on the hospital.

In addition to condemning the attack, Boutros-Ghali asked Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Kofi Annan and U.N. Military Adviser Gen. Maurice Baril to go to Somalia immediately to review the situation on the ground there...

Initial U.N. investigations cast suspicion on faction leader Gen. Mohammed Farah Aidid, a longtime U.N. opponent, for involvement in the raid, a charge Aidid denies.

Although details of the Baidoa attack remain sketchy, the town has repeatedly in recent months been a battleground between members of the Aidid-led Somali National Alliance (SNA) and loyalists of Gen. Said Hersi Morgan, a relative of ousted dictator Mohammed Siad Barre...

(Reuter 1 Sep 94)

MOGADISHU - A Swiss journalist was killed and five other people were injured when they got caught in crossfire between warring Somali clans, a U.N. official said on Thursday.

Pierre Anceaux was killed on Wednesday in the southern town of Buale, about 500 km (310 miles) from Mogadishu, U.N. military spokesman Major Zubair Chatta told reporters.

Chatta said one expatriate and four Somalis were wounded in the same incident. It was not clear where the dead man's remains were or where the wounded had been taken.

He had no other details of which organisation Anceaux worked for or what his assignment was in Buale, which has become so dangerous because of renewed clan fighting that all aid workers were evacuated 10 days ago.

Anceaux was the seventh journalist to be killed while covering lawless Somalia since last year.

(CSM 2-8 Sep 94, p.20, by Robert M. Press)

This small, riverside town of dusty streets, donkey carts, and - once again - big guns is militarily important in Somalia.

Like a tempting plum, Belet Uen sits on the main road linking central and northern Somalia to the Indian Ocean-side capital, Mogadishu. Whoever controls the town can control the flow of arms into Mogadishu from militia bases in the interior.

In late July, the man who wants to force his way into becoming Somalia's next president, Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed, plucked this plum from both the dominant rival ethnic group, the Hawadley, and 169 United Nations soldiers from Zimbabwe.

People here, as in any conquered town, are afraid to speak in favor or against the new masters - General Aideed's Somali National Alliance (SNA). They also fear speaking out against the old masters, the Hawadley - an ethnic group accused of lording it over residents - because the Hawadley may regain power.

"The main problem is selfishness" on the part of both the Hawadley and Aideed, says one cautious resident.

SNA officials see the UN presence in Somalia as useless, and justify their presence here as one of liberating the local people.

But a resident sees the SNA presence differently: "They have captured the city."

The SNA do not hide their real ambition. "We hope soon to have a [national] government," says Mohamed Ahmed Muhamood, a senior SNA official here.

Belet Uen is the latest of several towns seized in recent months by Aideed in an ambitious attempt to claim control over enough territory to enable him to announce a new national government.

The Hawadley and Aideed's Habar-Gedir are both subclans of the Hawiye clan, one of the main clans or ethnic groups in Somalia. The two groups, former allies, clashed earlier this year in southern Somalia and then in Mogadishu.

In apparent retaliation for Hawadley advances in those places, the H

abar-Gedir seized several towns in this area, including Belet Uen.

Thousands of Hawadley have fled to the bush, where they "live a dog's life on mountain tops and along the [Scebeli] River," according to another local resident. "They need help," he adds. Some 20 children among those who fled have died, he says...

Inside, Mr. Muhamood and Abdi Rizak Sheikh Ali Anooc, a SNA security official, offer a briefing that to outsiders sounds like Orwellian doublespeak: The SNA seized Belet Uen after a large massacre of residents by the Hawadley, they say. But independent analysts have heard of no such massacre.

Capture of the Zimbabwean soldiers, one of whom was killed, was done to "save their lives," they claim. Yet diplomats say the UN soldiers were unwilling to fight against a large show of SNA arms...

(SWB 4 Oct 94 [AFP in English, 1 Oct 94])

Mogadishu, 1st October: New interclan fighting erupted in the Somali capital Mogadishu [on] Saturday [1st October] between the Habar Gedir subclan of warlord Gen Muhammad Farah Aydid and another Hawadle subclan, the Marrusade, UN military spokesman Maj Rick McDonald said here.

McDonald said the fighting started at 1330 (1030 gmt) around the junction of Madina and Uganda streets, with the combatants exchanging rocket propelled grenades and mortar fire. The fighting spread and was still in progress in the Bermuda area of central-southern Mogadishu, forcing residents of the area to abandon the surrounding streets, the UN spokesman said...


(Reuter 4 Sep 94)

MOGADISHU - A cholera epidemic in Somalia is now under control after killing 1,197 people, a World Health Organisation (WHO) report said on Sunday.

The agency said 27,863 cases of the disease had been reported since June. NGOS PULL OUT
(NNS Aug 94)

The deaths in August of a Swiss journalist in Bu'aale, seven UNOSOM military on the road between Mogadishu and Baidoa and two Indian military doctors in Baidoa are indications of rising tension in areas of Somalia which had been considered relatively stable and secure... While NGOs suspended operations for a few days in Baidoa, it has since returned to business as usual, but for how long?

Meanwhile, in Kismayo, a number of international NGOs are ready to withdraw following the departure of a UNOSOM military contingent which had been providing protection to NGO and UN compounds. While alternative protection is available, the choice is limited to guards selected by the local militia under General Morgan, and at a price set by them - a situation which at least two NGOs are not prepared to accept. In Mogadishu, Swedish Church Relief withdrew on August 28 as a result of death threats to staff.

"There is no clearcut answer to why this is happening" says Christine Hjelt of USAID Somalia in Nairobi, "as always in Somalia it's a complex situation", however she says "the militias are jockeying for position with a view to claiming the assets which UNOSOM will leave behind". Mary Hope Schwoebel, a consultant, adds that militias are keen to "hurry UNOSOM out of the country" so that they can continue their movements into new territory.

There has been a response to this from some UNOSOM contingents through tightening their terms of engagement - the Indian troops in Baidoa have now reasserted their demand that there should be no technicals inside the town save those passing through. But still Hjelt says "UNOSOM is pretty much powerless within an urban environment, if they used their military strength it would be a bloodbath".

Yet there are success stories elsewhere and even in the very same regions. Where the community believes a programme is in its interest, commitment and co-operation are found. In the recent battle against the menace of Quelea birds around Baidoa - which managed to destroy some 3,000mT of crops - villagers cut roads through to the nesting sites and guaranteed security for project workers who had to travel and work before dawn and up to 11 at night - hours when staff would normally be safe inside their compounds. Yet such protection was clearly not afforded the hospital and its workers in the town...

Most people are coming round to believe that the potential short term problems of a withdrawal are overwhelmed by the potential long term benefits, while we stay as we are, we will be an impediment to the healing of the social process in the country. Still", Hjelt says, "it's very hard to disengage".

(DHA Information Report-Kenya 1-31 Aug 94)

On 12 August, 234 Somali refugees repatriated voluntarily from Mombasa to areas of Bulahawa, Bardera, Garbahre and Luuq districts. The nine-truck road convoy was given security escort by the Kenya police up to the border town of Mandera.

After having experienced several constraints in launching a traditional and fully organized programme of repatriation from Utange to the Middle and Lower Juba, UNHCR has now opted for an approach which will respect the expressed wish of the refugees to return home in safety and with dignity while preserving UNHCR necessary political neutrality and the aim for equity and fairness in any of its transactions. Final arrangements are being made for this new approach to start in the near future in order to respond to the strong wish to return expressed by the refugees.

UNOSOM gave a negative reply to a request made by UNHCR to utilize UNOSOM flights to repatriate some 100 urban refugees from Nairobi to Galcayo. These refugees have expressed a wish to return home. Implementation of 44 Quick Impact Projects funded by UNHCR continued during the month in the areas of Buaale, Sacoweyn, Kismayo and Afmadu, eight additional QIPs were approved, 5 in Buaale and 3 in Kismayo.

(ION 27 Aug 94, p.5)

The Zimbabwean firm Mine-Tech has won a United Nations-financed contract to set up a school in Somalia to train de-miners. Mine-Tech director colonel Lionel Dyke did not say how much the contract will be worth but the entire project has been estimated at about US$ 2 million. Mine-Tech was bidding against eleven other competitors in a contract which provides for setting up a de-mining school in Mogadiscio and deploying two mobile schools to supervise de-mining operations in the country, where there are an estimated one million landmines. The school will train engineers, supervisors, medical personnel, and more instructors for a year, with the possibility of renewing for another year. After that, the Somalis should be able to take over. Mine-Tech is currently clearing mines in Mozambique and according to colonel Dyke, is also bidding for another contract in Somalia to train security guards for service in Somali harbours (body-guards, convoys, and sensitive installations)...

(SWB 23 Aug 94 [KTN TV, Nairobi, in English 18 Aug 94])

British authorities have expressed fear that profits obtained from qat, locally known as miraa, a drug making big business among the country's 20,000 Somali community, may be helping to fuel the civil war in Somalia. The authorities have also taken a keen interest in an American report which linked qat-chewing Somali militiamen to violence in Mogadishu.

However, many Somalis challenge the assertion from the authorities that qat is harmful. They believe that the British are overreacting to a plant largely seen as part of traditional Somali culture. They have also dismissed the issue as an American way of justifying the failure of Operation Restore Hope in Somalia.

Figures obtained from the Somali community, the report adds, show that seven tonnes of qat arrive at London's Heathrow Airport each week. Part of the consignment is put on sale in Britain, while the rest is sent out to other major European capitals, including Italy, where there is a sizeable Somali community.

The Horn of Africa Bulletin, Vol. 6 No. 5 (Sep-Oct 94)

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


(SWB 24 Aug 94 [AFP in English 22 Aug 94])

Nairobi, 22nd August: Representatives of the United Nations have been expelled from Somaliland following accusations that they had been interfering in the internal affairs of [the] self-declared republic, the president's office said in a statement...

/HAB/ See HAB 3/94, "Debate over secession" section under Somaliland.

( Sep 94 [Letter 25 Sep 94])

[Letter from Mohamed Ibrahim Egal to the UN Secretary-General and all members of the Security Council]

Your Excellencies:

I have with me the Secretary-General's report to the Security Council of the 17th September, 1994. Since this present letter to the Security Council is my 8th unanswered message to the Council, I do not entertain any hope that my message would either carry weight in the rarefied exalted chamber of the Council, or receive an audience with any of its illustrious members. But since it is the faith of humanity that this Council, be what it may, is the nominal guardians as well as the architects of the new world order, we are condemned to cry or shout in the wilderness of your jurisdiction.

This document, the 17th September, 1994 Report of the Secretary General on Somalia, is mostly a fabrication concocted in the Secretariat in New York. If the Security Council is really and truly interested in the facts and realities of what is happening in Mogadishu, they should read the pages of the independent Electronic Newspaper produced in Uppsala, Sweden, Somalia News Update edition of the 14 September, 1994...

In paragraph 14 Mr. Abdirahman A. Ali "TOUR" was projected to the Council as the Chairman of the Northern faction of the SNM. This gentleman, after a disastrous term of office as the President of the Republic of Somaliland was rejected and ignominiously turned out of office by the electoral college of the National Council of Elders convened in Borama and he had then retired, in shame, to an exile in England where the amanuenses of the Secretary-General recruited him and turned him into a turncoat and an instrument for their political designs.

The Security Council is not informed of the pertinent fact that with the exception of General Aideed's SNA, the factions in Mogadishu have rejected him as a participant in their deliberations. And yet the report to the Security Council paints him as a prominent arbiter who is reconciling the factions in the south. What is even a worse fabrication is the statement in the Report that Mr. Abdirahman TOUR and his associates are the "North-West-based-factions". That is a deliberate deception of the Security Council because these factions have neither a base nor a foothold in Somaliland.

I will confine my commentary on UNOSOM's activities in Mogadishu to that brief commentary out of deference to the Council and in fear of the inevitable loyalties of its members to their Secretary-General...

As regards my own constituency, the Republic of Somaliland, the Secretary-General in all his reports has persisted, quite inexplicably, in ignoring the existence and the secession of this Nation and of its reconstitution as a republic separate from Somalia...

[After] the defeat of the dictator in 1991, Somaliland was able to conquer the ensuing anarchy and had almost immediately established peace and stability while Somalia sank further and further into chaos, anarchy and bloodshed. This made it an imperative necessity of self-interest for Somaliland to separate itself from the unfortunate plight of their southern brethren.

Had we failed to do that we would have been today, as they are themselves, under the control of vicious war-lords. The Secretary-General's manipulation of the situation in Somalia is now clearly leading us to such an impasse.

The thrust of UNOSOM's policies in Somalia is to bamboozle the Security Council into accepting a fictitious scenario whose aim is to construct a house of cards in Mogadishu and sell it as an effective national government. I am not an advocate for the unfortunate Somali people of the south, whom a cruel fate has put their destiny in the hands of men who neither care nor know what they are doing. I speak for the Republic of Somaliland and I declare with all the emphasis I am capable of that we will not allow our fate and our future to be put into the hands of megalomaniacal war-lords, the most prominent of whom has only recently had a Security Council price on his head. If [the] Secretary-General is allowed by the Council to fulfil his designs in Somalia, I shall be forced to immediately reverse the process of disarmament and hand over authority to military men to protect the interest of this nation. We are a peaceful, law-abiding nation willing to accept the authority of the Security Council and live in peace with the international community. Every measure or action that has emanated from the UN and its Secretary-General has been calculated to undermine our stability and to deny our existence. For some reason unknown to us the UN authority and power are being used repeatedly to alienate us from the international community. This is all the more inexplicable since it is emanating from a man who gave to his special representative on the 1st of October, 1993 the following instructions, and I quote, "...with respect to UNOSOM's relations with Mr. Egal and the north-west, we urge the greatest sensitivity. It was not the intention of the Security Council resolution No. 814 to interfere in any way in the political arrangements in the north-west... It is the firm belief of the UN that political differences must be resolved by the Somali people themselves."

Even before the ink was dry on that noble undertaking, the Secretary-General's amanuenses in the field were interfering in the political arrangements in the north-west. and, while denying the existence of the elected representatives of the people, were aiding and abetting shadowy figures in Mogadishu as the representatives of the north-west. We have now come to the end of our forbearance and unless the Security Council takes our demarches seriously, we shall have to make appropriate arrangements for the protection of this nation. Our objection is to the granting of sovereignty over our state to a cabal of war-lords. If the Security Council recognized a Central Government or a sovereign Transitional Council in Mogadishu before a resolution of the Somaliland question is arrived at, then a state of war between Somaliland and Somalia would be made inevitable. To forestall such an eventuality, we invite the Security Council to send some of its members to the area to ascertain facts and acquire first-hand knowledge and information about a tragedy which is now brewing because of UNOSOM atrophied role except the dubious role of dispensing political funds to sponsor short-term schemes as well as unworthy individuals. All we ask is to be left alone to sort out our own affairs as almost every Security Council resolution has consistently urged.

I have the honour to remain, Your Obedient Servant

(Signed) Mohamed Ibrahim Egal


(SWB 3 Sep 94 [RH in Somali, 27 Aug 94])

A statement issued today by the presidency of the Republic of Somaliland in Hargeisa says that all flights to Hargeisa have been stopped with effect from today, Saturday 27th August, for security re


However, the statement adds that aircraft can use Berbera airport, 150 km from Hargeisa, Borama airport, 120 km from Hargeisa and Kala Baydh airport, 70 km from Hargeisa. The statement also says that any aircraft which defy these directives and land at Hargeisa airport will be responsible for the consequences and the government of the Republic of Somaliland will not help.

(SWB 18 Oct 94 [AFP in English, 16 Oct 94])

Nairobi: Tribal militiamen battling Somaliland security forces in the territory's capital Hargeisa have been dislodged after a day of fighting, the president of the self-proclaimed independent republic, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, said [on] Sunday [16th October].

In a telephone conversation with AFP from his residence in Hargeisa, Egal said the militias had initially occupied the trunk road to the Indian Ocean port of Berbera and the airport. After security forces chased them out of the area on Saturday, they started shelling the city with artillery, Egal added.

He said the 300-strong militia forces were armed with some half a dozen armoured cars, nicknamed "Technicals", one of which was captured and its four occupants killed, but could not confirm if there were other casualties in the conflict.

The Somaliland leader... said that by 9.00 a.m. (0600 gmt) on Sunday, the road and the airport had been cleared of the tribal militias. "I have today removed the last obstacle to Somaliland's destiny," Egal declared. He stated that the insecurity caused by the tribal militias in Somalia's former northern region, which declared itself the independent Republic of Somaliland after the overthrow of dictator Muhammad Siyad Barreh in January 1991, had been used by the UN Operation in Somalia (Unosom) to deny it international recognition.

Asked whether he would attend the Somali reconciliation conference scheduled for the Somali capital Mogadishu on 27th October, if invited, Egal declared that "Somaliland seceded from the rest of Somalia three years ago and will never have anything to do with what is happening in Mogadishu."...

(SWB 15 Sep 94 [RH in Somali, 30 Aug 94])

The president of the Republic of Somaliland and the high-powered delegation he is leading on an official visit to Egypt are due to leave for Alexandria for a two-day visit, during which he will be received by the Egyptian president, Mr Muhammad Husni Mubarak. The president of the Republic of Somaliland was yesterday received by the Egyptian foreign minister and the minister of state at the Presidency in charge of foreign affairs...

(SWB 1 Sep 94 [MENA news agency, Cairo, in Arabic 30 Aug 94])

Cairo: Mr Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, president of the so-called Republic of Somaliland, has met Ambassador Ahmad Bin Hala, head of the Arab League's Arab Department.

During the meeting, they had a detailed discussion of topics that the Somali delegation had presented to Arab League Secretary-General Dr Ismat Abd al-Majid during his meeting with the delegation at the Arab League's headquarters yesterday. Ibrahim Egal stated that the citizens of northern Somalia were true Arabs, that they had suffered from not being appointed to key official positions since Somalia gained its independence from British colonialism and that their role in government was being marginalized. He said that he informed Dr Ismat Abd al-Majid of the stable situation in the north and that politicians, intellectuals and tribal leaders had unanimously agreed to set up an independent state.

For his part, Ambassador Hala said that the Somali delegation had renewed its demand that the Arab League recognize the Republic of Somaliland and provide humanitarian aid and services to enable it to build its state structures. He added that the delegation raised the issue of the Arab countries' disregard for the Republic of Somaliland and the isolation it was suffering as a result. The director of the Arab League's Arab Department said that Dr Ismat Abd al-Majid had affirmed to the Somali delegation the Arab League's commitment to Somalia's unity and the need to restore security and stability for all its sons.

The Arab League secretary-general also ruled out the idea of recognizing the Somaliland state, demanding that the security and stability in the north be used to serve the building of a united Somali state and for Somali reconciliation. Dr Abd al-Majid told the Somali delegation that the Arab League placed the problem of Somalia high on its list of interests. In addition, the Arab League had worked politically to resolve this crisis and participated in providing it with 100m dollars in humanitarian aid from Arab countries.

Dr Abd al-Majid criticized the change in Mr Egal's stance on Somali unity. He pointed out that Egal had been the main organizer of the national unity conference held in Jibuti in 1991. In addition, Abd al-Majid also denounced Egal's current stance of insisting on secession...

(SWB 1 Oct 94 [RH in Somali 27 Sep 94])

The ordinary session of the Somaliland parliament under the chairmanship of the president, Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, met today at the Presidency in Hargeisa. In today's session the deputies resolved that the Loyada customs border post [between Somaliland and Jibuti] be re-established since the border between the two countries has reopened. The session therefore directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Customs Department to implement the directive with immediate effect.

The session also debated the introduction of the new currency which was endorsed in yesterday's session. It also approved the preparation of the government budget for the months of October and December of this year. The session delegated a parliamentary committee and officials of the central bank to come out with a clear document on the introduction of the new currency and a period of grace for the old currency. The government said the proper procedure should be worked out on the introduction of the new currency and the recalling of the old one. The minister of finance has been directed to ensure that all the resolutions regarding the new currency and customs matters are implemented accordingly and to prepare the new budget within 14 days.

The Horn of Africa Bulletin, Vol. 6 No. 5 (Sep-Oct 94)

** S U D A N **


DUP - Democratic Unionist Party
IGADD - Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development
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

(Reuter 11 Sep 94, by Jonathan Clayton)

NIMULE, Sudan - Southern Sudanese rebels... are braced for a fresh government offensive on their last strongholds after the collapse of peace talks in Nairobi last week.

"Our forces are on maximum alert, we are expecting an attack at any time," Kuol Manyang, commander of rebel forces around Nimule, their main base a few dozen km (miles) from the Ugandan border, told Reuters.

The forces of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) were sandwiched into a small strip of land running along the Kenyan and Ugandan borders after a string of government victories in March and April this year.

They now face Khartoum's army across the waters of a swollen Nile at Aswa, about 20 km (12 miles) north of Nimule.

A military barge convoy of some six steamers was beaten back by the rebels a few weeks ago, but Khartoum is believed to have reinforced its forces by air from the southern capital of Juba.

"The rebels blew the last bridge when they retreated. We expect a push as soon as the water level goes down sometime in the coming weeks," said Todd Cornett of Catholic Relief Services - one of only two aid organisations still working in the area...

Aid workers say the government push will trigger a new humanitarian crisis as thousands of homeless pack their goods once more and flee the fighting...

"People are very nervous, particularly when they see the aid organisations scaling down their presence," said Marion Casey, an Irish nurse with Norwegian People's Aid which runs a makeshift hospital outside Nimule...

Most worrying for aid workers has been the resurgence of a bizarre Ugandan rebel group called the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) which attacks all aid convoys destined for south Sudan and have effectively cut the land supply route...

Two months ago the LRA, supported largely by Acholi tribesmen who straddle the border, killed three U.N. drivers. In recent weeks it has killed as many as 18 civilians in landmine attacks on the main road to Sudan.

Khartoum denies aiding the LRA - which professes to want to rule in strict accordance with the Ten Commandments - but several independent sources say they believe they are receiving weapons through one of the government's proxies in the region.

They say the attacks began after the government took the town of Torit in the last offensive. Torit is surrounded by fighters loyal to Willian Nyon, one of the defectors from the mainstream SPLA.

U.N. officials say there is little hope the fighting would end even if the government overran the SPLA's last holdouts.

"The SPLA will just melt into the bush and revert to guerrilla tactics at which they are good. There is no end in sight, just more suffering for the people," said one U.N. source.

(ION 24 Sep 94, p.3)

Kenyan head of state Daniel arap Moi vainly tried this week to get current peace talks on southern Sudan out of the dead-end they have been in since the collapse of the fourth meeting of delegates last week in Nairobi (ION No 638). Moi met with Hassan al-Tourabi, leader of Sudan's National Islamic Front, in Kenya on September 17, and the following day, Sudanese head of state Omar Hassan al-Bechir was in Nairobi for the September 19 meeting of heads of state from four of the region's countries (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda) who are trying to arbitrate the southern Sudan conflict.

Although president Moi tried to get delegates' positions closer at the meeting, his Kenyan opposite number Yoweri Museveni took a much harder stance vis a vis Sudan's president. He openly threatened to head a diplomatic crusade in calling for sanctions against Sudan if Khartoum failed to find an understanding with the southern rebels. President al-Bechir, followed apparently by the NIF leader, dug his heels in on the position the Sudanese delegation took at the fourth meeting: a flat refusal of any self-determination for southern Sudan and of any separation of state and religion. As soon as he got back to his capital on September 21, general al-Bechir contested president Museveni's right to be a mediator in the conflict.

(Reuter 20 Sep 94)

NAIROBI - The presidents of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea have agreed to continue their campaign to negotiate an end to Khartoum's 11-year-old war with rebels in southern Sudan.

In a statement on Monday night after talks in Nairobi, they noted the Sudan peace talks were deadlocked over the questions of self determination and the relationship between the state and religion.

But they said the peace initiative begun last year under the auspices of the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) should continue.

"The heads of state consider the declaration of principles agreed to during the talks as being a valid basis for the talks to continue," the four presidents said.

"The heads of state will seek collective and appropriate means to reinforce the ongoing IGADD initiative with a view to reaching a final settlement of the problem," the brief statement concluded.

It gave no date for talks to resume between the Sudanese government and rival wings of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), which has been fighting Khartoum's forces in the south since 1983...

(SPLM/SPLA Update No.34, Vol.III/94, p.4)

[The following is the Declaration of Principles which the IGADD Standing Committee on Peace in Sudan issued as the basis for resolving the conflict in Sudan. On September 19, the IGADD presidents declared the Declaration of Principles to be "a valid basis for the talks to continue".]

We, Representatives of the Government of the Republic of Sudan (hereinafter referred to as the GOS) the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement/Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement/Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army - United (hereinafter referred to as the SPLM/SPLA and SPLM/SPLA-United respectively);

Recalling the previous peace talks between the Government of the Sudan on the one hand, the SPLM/SPLA and SPLM/SPLA-United on the other, namely Addis Ababa in August 1989, Nairobi in December 1989, Abuja in May/July 1992, Abuja in April/May 1993, Nairobi in May 1993, and Frankfurt in January 1992;

Cognisant of the importance of the unique opportunity afforded by the IGADD Peace Initiative to reach a negotiated peaceful solution to the conflict in the Sudan;

Concerned by the continued human suffering and misery in the war affected areas;

Hereby agree in the following Declaration of Principle (DOP) that would consititute the basis for resolving the conflict in the Sudan:-

1. Any comprehensive resolution of the Sudan conflict requires that all parties to the conflict fully accept and commit themselves to that position...

1.1 The history and nature of the Sudan conflict demonstrate that a military solution can not bring lasting peace and stability to the country.

1.2 A peaceful and just political solution must be the common objective of the parties to the conflict.

2. The right of self-determinaiton of the people of South Sudan to determine their future status through a referendum must be affirmed.

3. Maintaining unity of the Sudan must be given priority by all the parties provided that the following principles are established in the political, legal, economic and social framework of the country.

3.1 Sudan is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society. Full recognition and accommodation of these diversities must be affirmed.

3.2 Complete political and social equalities of all peoples in the Sudan must be guaranteed by law.

3.3 Extensive rights of self-administration on the basis of federation, autonomy, etc., to the various peoples of the Sudan must be affirmed.

3.4 A secular and democratic state must be established in the Sudan. Freedom of belief and worship and religious practice shall be guaranteed in full to all Sudanese citizens. State and religion shall be separated. The basis of personal and family laws can be religion and customs.

3.5 Appropriate and fair sharing of wealth among the various people of the Sudan must be realized.

3.6 Human rights as internationally recognized shall form part and parcel of this arrangement and shall be embodied in Constitution.

3.7 The Independence of the Judiciary shall be enshrined in the Constitution and laws of the Sudan.

4. In the absence of agreement on the above principles referred to in 3.1 to 3.7 the respective people will have the option to determining their future including independence, through a referendum.

5. An interim arrangement shall be agreed upon, the duration and the tasks of which should be negotiated by the parties.

6. The parties shall negotiate a ceasefire agreement to enter into force as part of the overall settlement of the conflict in the Sudan. Nairobi, 20th July 1994.

(SDG Oct 94, p.1, by Bona Malwal)

Now that the leaders of the four countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) have resolved to press ahead with the search for peace in Sudan, the international community should give them all the political, as well as the material backing they need to succeed in their noble mission. The mediation process undertaken by IGADD came to an inconclusive end in Nairobi on 8 September when the Khartoum regime refused to discuss either of the principle issues on the agenda, namely, Self-determination and a secular democratic state...

The IGADD mediators had requested in July that all parties return in September with clear cut policy positions on the principles at stake. Khartoum's answers were both frank and honest and provided the clarification which the IGADD mediators were looking for. The IGADD leaders have nonetheless wisely voted to stay the course and pursue the quest for peace in Sudan...

The four countries making up the mediation team are clear in their minds that the quest for peace in Sudan is as much in their own interests as it is for the Sudanese.

The conflict in the South has led to large numbers of refugees entering the IGADD countries. They cannot afford to support such a large influx of destitute people. War in Sudan also affects the socio-economic development of these countries. In addition, Khartoum has used the conflict as a pretext for interfering in the internal affairs of these neighbouring countries. There are several reasons, therefore, why peace in Sudan is very much in the interest of the region as a whole...

Now that Khartoum has felt the seriousness of the process and wants to find alternative, softer mediators, the international community must stand firm and rebuff any such approaches.

Furthermore, the Khartoum regime should be isolated further, as long as it refuses to co-operate with the IGADD mediators. Practical steps should be taken to enforce this isolation, perhaps including an arms embargo, which would certainly hinder Khartoum's ability to pursue the war option. Only by denying the regime the resources and publicity it desires can the international community force Khartoum to co-operate with IGADD.

(SWB 1 Oct 94 [AFP in English, 29 Sep 94])

Khartoum: The Sudanese government is to "liberate" from the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) all areas of the country still controlled by the rebel force, head of state Umar al-Bashir said here [on] Thursday [29th September]. He billed the offensive as part of a two-pronged strategy of fighting and negotiating to end 11 years of civil war...

Official media here quoted Bashir as saying that "the government will adopt a strategy to liberate regions under SPLA control while pursuing efforts to negotiate" with the rebels to end the war in the Christian and animist south...

(SWB 29 Sep 94 [RNU in Arabic, 27 Sep 94])

Lt-Gen Umar al-Bashir, the president of the republic, has issued a republican decree establishing a Supreme Council for Peace under his excellency's [Bashir's] chairmanship. Members of the council will be George Kongor Arop, the vice-president of the republic; Mr Muhammad Amin Khalifah, the speaker of the Transitional National Assembly; and 85 people including politicians, ministers, independent personalities, leaders of people's committees in the states and religious leaders.

The council's task will be to participate in supporting the unity of the country, its security and stability, to protect its borders, consolidate the bond of brotherhood and cooperation with its neighbours, supervise the peace process in the country, deepen its meaning thus (?strengthening) tolerance and brotherhood, and direct people's efforts and resources to the cause of peace and stability in the country, and to work towards ending the war and removing reasons for its renewal... Mr (?Ngor) Deng has been appointed secretary-general of the council.

(SWB 26 Sep 94 [Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1,Tehran, in Persian 25 Sep 94])

...The latest round of talks failed, more than anything, because of the lack of neutrality on the part of the mediators and their overt support for the demands and stances of the rebels. It was not unexpected that with the failure of the political efforts, the Sudanese leadership, which considers solving the dispute in the south as its main priority and the country's urgent need, should again resort to the military solution.

The call to the people to participate actively in this regard indicates the categorical determination of the Sudanese government to decide the issue finally with war and return peace and stability to the country.

In view of the great victories that the Sudanese armed forces achieved in the past year and the presence of differences and a weakening of morale among the rebels, it appears that, militarily, Khartoum can achieve its objectives. This is based on the condition that it can stand steadfast in the face of the political pressure of the Western and regional supporters of the SPLA...

(ION 1 Oct 94, p.2)

The approaching dry season in Sudan means that Khartoum is once again making military preparations to attack the Sudanese Peoples's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels in southern Sudan. A large government convoy got under way from Kosti by river for Juba, taking reinforcements for that garrison in heavy equipment. Attacked by mortar fire from the riverbank by colonel John Garang's SPLA in the Jonglei region, the government units managed to force a passage. Government reinforcements have also been flown out to Juba and Wau. Some sources report that thanks to intervention by the French government, Khartoum has been authorized to set up a military base inside northern Zaire, at Isirio, which the Sudanese army will now use to attack Equatoria Occidental province, the last bastion of colonel Garang. Aerial satellite photographs which France has supplied to Sudan could be used by Sudanese troops to pin-point their ground positions in the thick northern Zaire bush and avoid getting lost, a misadventure they suffered in 1993. Khartoum also intends to make good use of dissident SPLA members: Willian Nyuon Bany, the SPLA dissident in Equatoria Orientale, could coordinate his attacks in the Imatong region with Juba-based government operations. Colonel Kerubino Kwanyin Bol is expected to do the same in the Abyei region, in liaison with regular army units from Wau. Contrary to the last two years, Khartoum is thought to have received no external financial aid for the new offensive. On the other hand, according to an Arab diplomatic source, Israel has resumed sending military supplies to SPLA via Uganda.

(IPS 29 Sep 94, by Horace Awori)

NAIROBI - A breakaway southern Sudanese rebel faction, headed by Commander Riak Machar, has changed its name to comform with the movement's objective to fight for self-determination for the war-ravaged region.

Commander Simon Mori Didimo told journalists here on Thursday that the name change from the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA-United) to the South Sudan Independence Army (SSIA) was taken at a convention held in southern Sudan this week.

"The objective is now to establish a free, independent, and sovereign state of south Sudan", he explained...

(Southern Sudanese Community in America 23 Sep 94)

[The following excerpts are from a letter to UN Secretary-General Boutrus Boutrus Ghali from the Southern Sudanese Community in America]

...We, the members of the Southern Sudanese Community in America hereby submit to you, for the third time, this petition concerning the heinous atrocities waged by the present Islamic Fundamentalist regime in Sudan against our people in Southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, and Southern Blue Nile Province. We know, based on the extensive reports issued by your esteemed agencies and many other organizations, that you are fully aware of the scale and magnitude of the tragedy in Sudan. We also acknowledge and appreciate the attention that the United Nations has paid to this issue, as evidenced by the previous resolutions of the U.N. General Assembly condemning the current Government of Sudan, and by your appointment of Special Envoys to Sudan within the last two years. What is unfathomable to us is that despite your own knowledge and awareness of the escalation of atrocities in Sudan, the United Nations has failed to take the next step and institute more vigourous and decisive actions to head off the extermination of the Africans in Sudan by the Islamic Fundamentalist regime. Yet, you have spoken out zealously and intervened forthrightly to save terrorized civilians in countries, such as Iraq, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Somalia, Haiti, and Rwanda, among others. We wonder what else has to happen in order to sensitize the community of nations to the plight of the Africans in Sudan...

Specifically, we are appealing to the United Nations to:

1. authorize member states to impose economic and military embargo against Sudan;

2(a). establish effective safe havens and no-fly zones in civilian territories in Southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains, and Southern Blue Nile;

(b). sponsor and organize the return of displaced Southern Sudanese in Northern Sudan to safe havens in Southern sudan, Nuba Mountains, and Southern Blue Nile;

(c). provide security to international organizaitons, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs) so that they can deliver urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the civilians trapped in the war zones in Southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile Province;

3(a).create and enforce a United Nations Anti-Slavery Demarcation line and deploy a multinational Anti-Slavery Force along the border between Arab territories and African territories in Sudan;

(b).establish an anti-slavery organ for tracing African Sudanese taken into slavery both in Sudan, Libya, and other Arab countries;

(c). bring the perpetrators of slavery and genocide to justice by trying them for crimes against humanity;

4(a). call for, monitor and enforce a comprehensive cease-fire between the Government forces and all factions of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA);

(b). Organize and convene a comprehensive peace conference on Sudan which recognizes the fundamental right to self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan, the Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile Province, a right that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

5. urge the Egyptian Government to allow displaced African Sudanese currently trapped in Egypt to seek sanctuary in countries that are willing to grant them political asylum...


(NSCC 15 Sep 94, by Carolyn Schrock)

A Reconciliation Conference is being held in Akobo, Sudan from early September, 1994...

1) The Jikany and the Lou represent the two largest Nuer clans on the east side of the Nile. The Lou traditionally have occupied the belt between Kongor and Akobo including the Ayod, Waat and Yuai areas. The Jikany are located along the Sobat River including Ulang, Nasir, Chotbura, Jekou, and Maiwut. The clans extend across the Pibor and Akobo Rivers into Ethiopia. The Lou have had their rainy season grazing areas and permanent villages in the area where there is no river. But from December through May they have traditionally come to the Jikany area along the Sobat to graze and fish during the dry season.

2) Disputes between the two groups have always been there, but have intensified in the last two years which has resulted in over a thousand deaths of civilians including many women and children. Homes have been burned in addition to the normal cattle raiding. These represent new dimensions to traditional conflicts...

4) Tension over fishing and grazing areas burst out in 1993 with lynchings and murders due to the large numbers of guns now interjected into the fighting, formerly carried out with spears...

5) The SPLA leadership tried to reconcile the clans in 1993, but the process was sabotaged and some important people were not present.

6) Early in 1994 a real full scale fight broke out along the Sobat and Pibor Rivers and in the toich. Some chiefs fought with guns and others failed to control their people...

8) The bulk of the SPLA soldiers in the area are from the Lou and Jikany clans, and it has been discovered that they have supported their own clan with arms. Thus the SPLA soldiers have become involved in the fighting rather then stepping in to stop it. This makes the whole situation much more complex.

9) The fighting has also taken place on the Ethiopian side and as a result the Ethiopian army has also been involved.

10) The present reconciliation process has been organized under the combined leadership of the SPLA, the chiefs, and the Presbyterian Church. The conference is to find out the causes of the conflict, both generally and specifically and to find a reconciliation...

The Reconciliation Conference has been set up using a variety of means to promote information collection. These include ad hoc committees, the traditional Nuer court style of working, a conference setting where anyone can ask questions from the floor, and technical committees which can bring recommendations.

Chiefs from the Bentiu area were present to function as the court of chiefs who would hear the case and manage the process of reconciliation in the traditional ways. Malwal Wun, an elder drawing on his 44 years as a chief, was in charge of the conference.

Some issues that arose from the pre-conference committees are:

* Social institutions have broken down since 1983.

* There is no longer respect for indigenous institutions or religious institutions. This is a result of the Marxist influence from Ethiopia, and has been solidifying for 11 years now. It will not be easily fixed.

* Some chiefs have fought with guns and some have failed to control their people.

* How will people now relate to the military?

* The system of the chiefs needs to be strengthened so problems can be resolved locally.


(Observer via RBB 21 Aug 94, by David Orr)

...Photographer Jack Picone and I had both travelled before in southern Sudan, covering the rebels' struggle for survival against government forces. But we had repeatedly failed to find a way into the Nuba Mountains, which lie deep within the war-torn interior of one of the world's most inaccessible regions.

For more than a decade, only a few outsiders have been allowed into the mountains by Khartoum, and those visits have been on its terms only. The only access now is across rebel territory but, with the government in control of the South's main towns, security cannot be guaranteed...

This summer we eventually secured a promise from Youssef Kuwa, the SPLA commander for the Nuba Mountains. There are no safe airstrips in the mountains but if we could find our way to the lowland hamlet of Periang, 500 miles northwest of the Kenyan border, an SPLA escort would try to take us in on foot...

With the advent of each new dry season, government troops and locally recruited tribal militias advance into the countryside, burning villages. Whole communities are displaced and crops abandoned. No one knows how many hundreds of thousands have died from fighting, famine and disease.

The conflict spread to the Nuba Mountains with the infiltration of the region by the SPLA in 1985 and the establishment in 1987 of a Nuba SPLA battalion. Khartoum's increasing control of the Nuba was intensified in 1989.

The Nuba Mountains - 30,000 square miles of emerald hills, craggy massifs and fertile valleys - are home to more than a million people who practise a mixture of Christianity, Islam and traditional beliefs, and speak more than 50 dialects from 10 language groups. Little is known about the origins of these farmers and herders except that they are indigenous to Sudan and migrated here many centuries ago with the onset of Arab expansion into the interior.

The echo of automatic gunfire and the explosion of mortar rounds became familiar accompaniments during the latter stages of our 100-mile route into the mountains.

The Nuba village where we spent our first night was attacked soon after our visit. In a makeshift clinic we were shown a middle-aged man who had been shot through both legs while trying to protect his cattle. His thigh bone was shattered and he seemed to be in great pain, but there were no drugs for his treatment. His leg would be set by the local witch doctor.

We saw countless villages which had been razed by marauding government soldiers and Arab militias earlier in the year.

The family of Zacharia Kuku had suffered an all-too-typical fate when their homestead was attacked early one March morning. Two of six children had been captured; a third, an unsmiling little boy, was permanently disabled after a vicious beating by soldiers who had left him for dead. They had lost their cattle and were having a hard time scratching a living from their stone-walled plot of land.

This is harvest time in the Nuba Mountains and the people did not want for food. What they desperately lack, however, are medicines and clothing: they go naked or in rags. The UN says no aid agency has been here in more than a decade. There are no hospitals and no doctors...

Physically unable to retrace our steps through the mountains and swamps, we solicited rebel help to carve an airstrip out of a piece of flat bushland in the hills. We sent a coded message by hand-cranked radio to northern Kenya and SPLA security clearance was eventually secured. We lit fires to show our position and an aircraft flew in to take us out.

It was, said the Canadian former fighter pilot, 'the hairiest landing' he had ever made. Perhaps some enterprising aid agency can use this airstrip to deliver the medicines so urgently needed by the Nuba.


(Reuter 15 Sep 94)

WASHINGTON - The United States Thursday faulted Sudan for "rejecting out of hand" evidence provided by Washington on terrorist activities in Sudan and said this raises doubts about Khartoum's willingness to discuss the issue seriously.

State Department Mike McCurry said the information was shared because Khartoum has "repeatedly expressed its desire to engage the U.S. in dialogue on the issues that separate us" and specifically requested evidence of Washington's charge that Sudan was supporting international terrorism.

"In response to those requests, Ambassador Donald Petterson, on the instructions of the United States government, recently gave the government of Sudan specific information about a facility which has been and, we believe, continues to be used to train non-Sudanese extremists," he said in a statement.

But Khartoum responded by "rejecting it out of hand," publicising the information in the press and "using the government-controlled media to attempt to discredit and insult Ambassador Donald Petterson," he said.

McCurry called this response unhelpful and said it "raises serious questions about Sudan's willingness to engage in a genuine dialogue on terrorism."...

McCurry said the United States believes reports of training in Sudan of militant extremists who commit acts of terrorism in neighbouring countries are credible and that the training has included the use of small arms.

Evidence also shows Sudan allows the use of its territory as a sanctuary for radical groups such as the Abu Nidal organisation, Hizbollah, Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad, he said...

McCurry added that the United States still hopes Sudan will end its support for international terrorism and enter into a constructive dialogue with Washington.

(Reuter 20 Oct 94)

KHARTOUM - Sudan's most powerful Islamic leader on Thursday praised Hamas militants, widely believed to be behind the bombing of an Israeli bus in Tel Aviv, as "freedom fighters".

Hassan al-Tourabi, widely regarded as the power behind Sudan's military Islamic rule, told reporters: "Hamas are freedom fighters... these people are fighting for their freedom."

Asked if he considered the Tel Aviv attack an honourable action he replied: "Yes, as long as...illegitimacy uses force against the Palestinians."...

(IPS Aug 94, by Alex De Waal)

LONDON - ...Radical Islam has a long history in Sudan. The Moslem Brothers, led by Dr. Hassan al Turabi, have been an increasingly powerful force in the country since Turabi returned from completing his studies (in France) in 1964.

Since the 1989 coup the Moslem Brothers have effectively controlled the government. Now regarded as fundamentalists and pariahs, they were in fact for years ideological bedfellows with the West in the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

The reason: the Moslem Brothers were engaged in a holy war against Communism. Wherever they were active, their first enemy was the communists. Turabi was eager to promote himself as a liberal intellectual, a far cry from the Iranian Ayatollahs.

And in addition, until 1980, the Brothers were not a military movement - their strategy was to gain power by peaceful means, through elections or through placing their cadres in influential positions.

This was transformed by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The resistance against the invasion, the ultimate Jihad, attracted radical Islamic activists from across the Moslem world. They received military training and arms - and brought the two wings of militant Islam, the Iranian Shias and the Sunni Moslem Brothers, together in a common cause for the first time.

Since the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, bands of demobilized former fighters, known locally as "Afghanis" despite the fact that they include every nationality, have roamed the Islamic world. Many of them are in Algeria, Egypt and Sudan. An attempted invasion of Eritrea from Sudan by a group called "Islamic Jihad" earlier this year included fighters from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Pakistan and Sudan - all brought together in Afghanistan.

The irony is that American weaponry and finance made all this possible. The CIA poured billions of dollars and almost unlimited weaponry into the Afghan resistance. Having defeated one "great Satan"--the USSR--the radical Islamic fighters are now taking on the other--the West--with its own weaponry.

The other side of the coin is that these two arch-enemies know each other intimately. Every extremist Islamic security officer is known to his former colleagues in Washington and Paris; their weapons, methods and intelligence sources are also known in detail.

Whatever deal was struck between France and Sudan, it is unlikely to be the last time Eastern and Western security agencies collaborate.


(IPS 29 Sep 94, by Nhial Bol)

KHARTOUM - Sudan's... to play host next week to an international inter-faith conference to back a "Khartoum call for peace" declaration.

Mustafa Osman Ismail, chairman of the preparatory committee disclosed that 700 Islamic and Christian scholars, former heads of state and representatives from African, Arab and Islamic countries will attend the Oct 8-9 meeting...

Ismail said the delegates would back his country's call for religious dialogue and co-existence between Muslims and Christians, adding that the Vatican would be represented by a high level delegation...

(SWB 13 Oct 94 [AFP in English, 10 Oct 94])

Khartoum: Sudanese Islamic leader Hasan Abdullah al-Turabi urged [on] Monday [10th October] the creation of a broad front of religious believers to counter the "irreligious" value systems presently dominating the globe.

Turabi, secretary-general of the Khartoum-based Popular Arab and Islamic Conference [PAIC], said the major challenge facing believers worldwide was countering irreligious trends trying to impose themselves as international law.

Speaking at an inter-religious conference currently in session here, Turabi said the building of a religious front was based on the unity of heavenly faiths striving for happiness, security and stability. He noted that the world was falling victim to a general movement aimed at distancing humanity from a religious vision of the universe and of life...


KHARTOUM - Two years ago Stephen Wani had high hopes of making a career in engineering after he graduated from the university of sciences and technology.

But this year he quit his studies. His colleague Santino Manut Ngot (20) also dropped out from the University of Juba, based here.

Both have the same problem: they cannot follow lectures in Arabic, Sudan's official language.

"I neither speak nor write Arabic," admits the 19-year-old Wani.

The problem is not only confined to the two students, but also to most people from the non-Arabic speaking communities in the south who are being forced out of further education.

Lt-Gen. Omar Hassan al Bashir's government, backed by Sudan's extreme National Islamic Front (NIF), has changed the medium of instruction in Sudan's colleges and 18 universities from English to Arabic.

Under the 1972 peace agreement, which provided limited autonomy for southern Sudan within a united Sudan, students from the region were exempted from learning Arabic...

But two years after Bashir came to power in a coup in 1989, he decreed that all schools in southern Sudan should use Arabic, a language understood by a few in the region, as the medium of instruction...

Despite the complaints raised by southern students, Sudan's education and scientific research minister, professor Ibrihim Ahmed Omer insisted that the Arabicization of Sudanese universities has raised intellectual standards, "because students struggle to get rid of foreign languages from their vocabularies."...

CALL UP FOR STUDENTS, (IPS 5 Oct 94, by Nhial Bol)

KHARTOUM - Sudan...Wednesday decreed that its 33,000 university students will undergo six weeks compulsory military training.

Education and scientific research minister Prof. Ibrahim Ahmed Omer told the press here that "military training is a must for any student in Sudan and we want students to have that before thinking of going to university."

"We in the ministry of education consider that popular defence training is part of the higher education system and it is a precondition for university admission," he added...


KHARTOUM - Sudan, angered by U.S. charges of brutality over the demolition of a large urban squatter settlement, has defended its actions and accused Washington of stepping up a "hostile campaign" against Khartoum.

Sudan's foreign ministry said in a statement published in newspapers on Friday the demolition of settlements in the Khuddeir area of Omdurman, twin city of the capital Khartoum was "normal, legal and usually takes place worldwide".

A number of people were reported killed in clashes with troops when bulldozers first rumbled in last Saturday to start the demolition of an area where some people say they have been living for over 20 years.

The United States described the incident as "unjustifiable and a clear abuse of force by the government of Sudan".

"The incident underscores the brutality and callousness of the policy of forcible resettlement of squatters in the Khartoum area which has been proceeding for years," it said.

Sudan's foreign ministry "expressed sorrow over the United States' exploitation of the incident in order to escalate the hostile campaign against Sudan's civilisational orientation"...

A few determined squatters, sitting under makeshift shelters and guarding their few possessions, have shunned the government lorries carrying people off to camps miles outside the city where they have little chance of finding work.

"I came here with my family in 1976. The government told us we would be allowed to live in the city but now they have destroyed our home and tried to force us out to a camp," said 46-year-old Abbas...

The squatters say hundreds of troops cordoned off the area before dawn last Saturday before the bulldozers moved in. A few dozen men, women and children gathered to protest the destruction of their houses. When they started throwing stones at the bulldozers the army opened fire, they said.

A number of squatters said eight people were killed in the clash. They said a dozen people, including women, were injured and about 100 were arrested.

Western diplomats said they heard reports that between four and 16 people died.

"The concerned authorities were only removing illegal houses within an action preceded by legal measures," the ministry said in the first public acknowledgement of the incident...


KHARTOUM - Sudan's chief justice Obeid Haj Ali has ordered the release of most female prisoners in Omdurman prsion, Sudan's largest jail.

The pardon excluded women convicted of murder.

The official Sudan news agency, SUNA reported that the chief justice ordered 102 female inmates freed when he visited the jail in Omdurman, Khartoum's twin city on Sunday...



CAIRO - An Egyptian state newspaper said on Saturday that an Egyptian invasion of Sudan to overthrow the Khartoum government would be fully justified.

Ibrahim Saada, editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper Akhbar El-Youm, wrote in a front-page editorial that the Sudanese government had done much more against Egypt than the Haitian government had ever done against the United States.

The time had come for Egypt to call Sudanese rulers to account for their alleged misdeeds, rather than adopting the current policy of treating them with indulgence, he added.

"The Egyptian people have tolerated from the rulers of Sudan behaviour which I do not believe can be ignored... It was high time long ago that they were held responsible for it," he said...

Saada gave a long list of alleged anti-Egyptian acts by the Khartoum government - expelling an educational mission, stealing the members' possessions, impounding an Egyptian plane, impounding an Egyptian ship and holding the passengers hostage, claiming the Halaib triangle on the border and training Moslem militants for acts of violence in Egypt.

In an interview published on Thursday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he still had no plans to take part in a war of words with the Sudanese government.

Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, in an interview in the government newspaper al-Ahram on Saturday, said he expected to meet Sudanese Foreign Minister Hussein Suleiman Abu-Saleh during the U.N. General Assembly in New York within a few days.

Sudan had wanted Moussa to make a visit to Khartoum but Moussa said Egypt refused when Sudan tried to block Egyptian membership of the Preferential Trade Area in East Africa.

Moussa said Egypt's dispute with the Islamist-dominated government in Khartoum was ideological in origin and he singled out Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi, spiritual leader of the Sudanese rulers, for complicating relations with Egypt...

TWO SUDANESE DIPLOMATS EXPELLED, (SWB 1 Oct 94 [AFP in English, 30 Sep 94])

Cairo: Egypt has ordered the expulsion of two Sudanese diplomats on charges of threatening state security, the Sudanese embassy here said [on] Friday [30th September].

The Foreign Ministry told the embassy on Wednesday that adviser Ibrahim Matar and second secretary Yassa Abd al-Rahman had to leave the country within five days. Press attache Salah Ibrahim told AFP that the ministry charged the two diplomats were "threatening the security of the state".

According to an authoritative Egyptian source, the decision was taken in retaliation for Sudan's expulsion on Monday of an adviser at Egypt's embassy in Khartoum, Usamah Yasin. The diplomat was accused of "activities incompatible with his status" and of having made contact with opposition leaders, the source said, declining to be identified.

Foreign Minister Amr Musa and his Sudanese counterpart Husayn Abu Salih met on Tuesday in New York but without making progress on easing the strains between the two countries, an Egyptian official said...


/HAB/ See "Regional relations" section under Eritrea for Sudanese-Eritrean agreement on repatriation of refugees to Eritrea.


HARARE - Sudan's foreign minister said on Thursday he hoped ties between his country and Zimbabwe, at odds over alleged support by Harare rebels in south Sudan, would improve following his visit to smooth relations.

Foreign Minister Hussein Suleiman Abu Saleh told reporters before leaving the southern African country that his government was satisfied with Harare's denial of allegations that it was arming the rebels fighting Khartoum's Moslem-led state...


KAMPALA - Uganda has protested to Sudan against what it says are hostile activities and a smear campaign by the government in Khartoum, foreign ministry officials said on Friday...

They said Brigadier Jim Muhwezi, head of domestic intelligence, and foreign ministry officials delivered a protest note to Sudanese Ambassador Sinayet Abdel Mohamed Hamed Mohamed this week.

The note complained at what officials said was a propaganda campaign launched by Khartoum against Uganda featuring old film of former dictator Idi Amin's troops and indicating Museveni's own National Resistance Army was preparing to invade Sudan.

It also took issue with remarks made by Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir last month about Museveni during talks in Nairobi to end 11 years of civil war in southern Sudan.

On his return to Khartoum after the collapse of the talks, Bashir said Museveni could not be an independent mediator over the south as he was biased against the Khartoum government.

Museveni last month called for economic sanctions against Sudan, blaming the government for the failure of the peace talks with the rebels mediated by Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea and Ethiopia...


TUNIS - Leaders of Algeria and Sudan held talks in Libya on Wednesday to try to mend ties strained by Algeria's battles with Islamic militants.

Sudan's military ruler General Hassan Omar al-Bashir and Algerian head of State Liamine Zeroual had a close look at links between the two states, Algeria state-run radio said.

"Sudan is completely backing Algeria security and we hope a continual contact to clarify any position or information that will emerge in the future", Omar al-Bashir was quoted by the radio as saying after the meeting.

Zeroual told Omar al-Bashir his government was angered by Sudanese declarations and statements, the radio reported from Tripoli without elaborating.

Algeria's official news agency APS said earlier on Wednesday the two leaders would discuss "indispensable conditions for improving relations".

APS quoted Zeroual's diplomatic adviser, Mihoub Mihoubi, as saying the two leaders would make a frank assessment of ties.

Algeria recalled its ambassador to Khartoum early last year (last year), accusing Sudanese authorities of backing and harbouring Moslem militants fighting its army-backed government...

Hassan Tourabi, the presumed mastermind of Sudan's Islamic-dominated military government, was reported this month as offering to act as a link with Algeria's Islamic leaders...

SUDANESE FOREIGN MINISTER OPENS EMBASSY IN PRETORIA,(SWB 25 Aug 94 [SAPA news agency, Johannesburg, in English 23 Aug 94])

Cape Town: Sudanese Foreign Minister Husayn Abu Salih arrived in Cape Town this week for talks aimed at strengthening relations with South Africa. Dr Salih, who heads a high-ranking delegation, met Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo on Monday [22nd August] and is scheduled to discuss trade, mining and other issues with other ministers and senior officials...


In a letter to South Africa's deputy defence minister Ronnie Kasrils dated August 29, the humanitarian organization Pax Christi says it hopes that "South Africa's new elected government will have more political courage to adopt a restrictive arms export policy" by excluding countries which are at war or are guilty of human rights violations. Although Kasrils has indicated earlier that South Africa "is and was not involved in the supply of any other military aid and equipment to the Sudanese" than non-military transport aircraft, Pax Christi claims that on the contrary, there is "a clear military involvement of South Africa in Sudan quite recently". Whilst the organization says it is satisfied with the South African undertaking to suspend the servicing of aircraft sold to Sudan, Pax Christi nevertheless urges the South African government "to explicitly join the European arms embargo against Sudan" and also to "support initiatives for a UN arms embargo against Sudan".



(Working Group of the Sudanese Women's Voice for Peace, no date) The voice of the Sudanese women is unheard, lost in the tragedy that affects the country. Women cry in silence, as mothers for their sons who kill one another! As widows and the dark future that lies before them.

Their voices can't reach the world, for there is no proper channel...

Women and children are the majority of the suffering population in the war affected areas, the permanent settlers of displaced camps; the hungry and the sick, caught in a never ending battle for survival...

Today the voice of the women in all the marginalized areas of the Sudan is loud in search for peace. Too much human suffering has moved us to address the Sudanese issue as equal partners, from different political, cultural and religious backgrounds, as one body with one interest and commitment to participate in a peace process by working together; as we have a right to determine our political future through the democratic means...

Today we are sad. Sad, because of interfactional fights amongst our people...

Reconciliation is a moral obligation that needs both the leadership and civilian population to co-operate, so as to translate our cause into a living reality. Our real cry for you is to stop building walls that isolate people from each other, let us concentrate on building bridges. Bridges of peace and reconciliation.

As mothers of the future Sudan, we urge you to bury the past, come together, allow dialogue to flow. We are determined to work with each other so as to break the silence and fight for a common cause. We come together for the cause of the people. For justice and peace. You are obliged to lead and defend...

We want to take care of the aged, the disabled, the orphans and the thousands of abandoned children wandering alone, frightened and forgotten in the hinterland. To build in them the hope of going back home, where each and every one feels free and dignified...

AI REPORT, (AI Sep 94, AI index: AFR 54/31/94), Summary

The civil war between the Sudan government and both factions of the armed opposition Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), which is mainly being fought in the south and adjacent parts of the country, continues to cause immense human suffering. The violation of basic human rights is at the heart of the conflict. Ending the war - with full human rights safeguards built into the peace agreement - is a vital step towards reducing gross human rights violations in the country.

The serious human rights situation in the war zones is clearly recognized internationally. However, as pressure on the warring parties for peace is maintained, Amnesty International again underlines that human rights are also violated in Sudan in places far from the fighting for reasons largely unconnected with the war. Political opposition in northern Sudan remains banned and still leads to arrests and, often, torture...

/HAB/ For the full report see "Sudan: Outside the war zones: secret detention and torture in northern Sudan" (AI Index: AFR 54/31/94), issued by Amnesty International in September 1994.

** HUMANITARIAN ISSUES ** LAND MINES THREATEN RELIEF, (SU 30 Sep 94, p.1 [World Disasters Report, International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies 94])

Between 500,000 and two million land mines have been laid in Sudan, mostly in the South, says World Disasters Report. 'Large areas around the principal towns, Juba, Wau, Bor, Torit and Kapoeta, have been mined by both sides [in the civil war], and mines continue to be laid at a rapid rate.' Access to wells and arable land has also reportedly been mined, as well as major roads, 'severely hampering the transport of relief food and supplies to the people of the area and, in effect, threatening them with starvation... While the conflict continues, de-mining is impractical.'

ICRS runs orthopaedic centres in Khartoum, established in 1990, and Kassala, established in 1984 [for amputees]. There is a small orthopaedic workshop attached to ICRC's surgical hospital in Kenya at Lokichokio on the Sudanese border, which serves injured people from southern Sudan.


The civil aviation corporation has set up an air bridge between Khartoum and Dongola to transport sackcloth and supplies to counter the flood threat there. More than 1m canvas sacks have been transported in the last two days. Police Maj-Gen Ba Bikr Ibrahim, director of the civil defence department, said the water level in Northern State, particularly in the Dongola area, had risen by an average of 1.5 metres above the 1988 flood level. He added that the situation was serious and that the flood would peak this week and continue for another week.

KALA-AZAR AND DEPOPULATION, (SU 30 Sep 94 [Africa Health Marketletter Sep 94])

'The various agencies operating under the umbrella of the UN Operation Lifeline Sudan complain that world attention has been diverted by the unfolding tragedy in Rwanda, and that they have only thirty per cent of the airlift capacity needed to prevent widespread famine,' reports Africa Health Marketletter. In Upper Nile, it says, an epidemic of kala-azar (leishmaniasis) has claimed some 200,000 victims. A doctor with MSF (Medecins sans Frontieres) in Duar explains that 50-60 per cent of the local population has died for lack of treatment: "The government soldiers have no work to do here. The kala-azar epidemic is doing their work for them."...


As funding and interest in capacity building grow among bilateral and Northern NGO donors, there is an expanding debate about how best to support and assist fledgeling indigenous organisations.

While they have advantages over their international counterparts, "we can stay where international NGOs can't" says James Wole, Programme Co-ordinator of the recently founded Community Development Association, they also face sever limitations "we only know South Sudan, we have no experience and few skills". They also lack the basic administrative necessities for fundraising and project preparation.

For this reason the capacity building section in Operation Lifeline Sudan is working on a plan to provide office space and phone lines for a group of six Southern Sudanese NGOs. Wole's group will benefit from the planned support and he suggests that an expatriate should also be included in the assistance plan "to get us established".

But others differ. Achol Mariol Deng of Cush, an organisation which already has its own office and facilities, and which will therefore not benefit from the project, is sceptical of its long term impact. He stresses that management is the problem for new groups and "if you spoil NGOs early in the process it could have a negative impact at the end of the day" - an opinion which he is sharing with OLS.

The co-ordinator of the OLS capacity building project, Iain Levine, is conscious of the need to ensure that responsibility is firmly in the hands of the NGO leaders - he is at present chair of the monthly joint meeting of Southern Sudanese groups, a position which he is keen to hand over to a Sudanese from among them.

Similarly the project reflects an awareness that indigenous NGOs need to develop away from the 'public service contractor' model towards community development and participation, "which will doubtless be a long process" Levine says. So far most project proposals are large and focus on the supply of material inputs and assessments need to place more emphasis upon participation.

But there are signs that the Southern Sudanese NGOs understand their potential to impact in other areas, Wole again: "unless there is a civil society they (military groups) will not take the ordinary citizen seriously, and that (civil society) won't happen unless we are there"...



The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $8.7m loan to rehabilitate the lower sluice gates of the Roseires dam on the Blue Nile south of Khartoum. The dam provides flood protection and water to irrigate 1.3m hectares of land as well as supplying the country with about half of its electricity needs. The IDB loan will cover about 85% of the project cost. The scheme, which is expected to take six years to complete, is being carried out by the Irrigation and Water Resources Ministry.


WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund executive board has delayed consideration on the expulsion of indebted Sudan until the middle of January, monetary sources said Wednesday.

The sources said the IMF, in a number of meetings with Sudanese officials, believed that the country was committed to restoring normal relations with the institution and had agreed to some "token" repayments on its loans...

Sudan, which is about $1.7 billion in arrears on payments to the international lending institution, could actually have been removed from the IMF, although such an action would require a vote of the other member-countries...

Editorial report

The minister of agriculture said on 10th September at a meeting of the higher harvest committee that the country had been blessed with heavy rains. He said reports from the areas of production confirmed that the conditions and growth rate of the crops were very reassuring and "bumper" harvests were expected.

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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