UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
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** ABBREVIATIONS **
Abbreviations of sources used in this publication:
AA © Africa Analysis; AB - African Business; AC - Africa Confidential; AED - Africa Economic Digest via RBB; AFP - Agence France Presse, Paris; AGKED © Arbeitsgemeinschaft Kirchlicher Entwicklungsdienst, Informationen zum Horn von Afrika; 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; EP © Eritrean Profile via Eritrea©L; ER - Ethiopian Review; FOA - Focus on Africa; GI - Guardian Independent; 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 Monitoring Summary of World Broadcasts via RBB; UNIC - United Nations Information Center, Sydney, via NN; WH - The White House via <email@example.com>; WP - Washington Post.
Radio stations are abbreviated as follows:
RE © Radio Ethiopia, Addis Ababa; REE © Radio Ethiopia External Service, Addis Ababa; 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; RNU - Radio National Unity, Omdurman; RSR - Republic of Sudan Radio, Omdurman; RVSP © Radio Mogadishu, Voice of Somali Pacification; VBME - Voice of the Broad Masses of Eritrea, Asmara; VOA © Voice of America; VOEN - Voice of Ethiopia National Service, Addis Ababa.
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The NGO Forum is particularly important to Somalia's women, who will have no official government delegation at the parallel official UN Conference. The women in the Somali NGO delegation are engaged in a joint effort to carry to the world the message that they are united in their struggle for peace.
Somalia's women are not only talking©©they are working concretely for peace. There is a strong predominance of women(TM)led NGOs active in and for their communities. They have all seen that there can be no development in their communities and country without peace, and conversely, there can be no peace without development. It is true that most, or all, of these NGOs are clan©based. It is also true that there is a lot of competition and in©fighting among the women. However, without undue glorification of the Somali women, it is also clear that they have managed to go beyond clan boundaries and factional politics, reaching out across clan lines and joining hands in the struggle to rebuild the country: something which is still rare among the men. For instance, the NGO delegation preparing to go to Beijing has representatives from most regions of Somalia and even two from Boroma and Hargeisa in Somaliland.
The women are showing the way, realizing that one must acknowledge differences, allow for them and cooperate in spite of them if one wants to move from war to peace. If the women of Somalia can continue along this path, they will gain credibility and show the way forward not only in their country, but also in a larger context, Africa and the world.
Most of us see conflict as something negative, something that must be avoided at all cost. This, of course, is true if we define conflict as armed conflict. However, in a nonviolent environment, conflict can actually lead to new insights and enrich discussion, and can therefore be seen to contain a positive element.
Conflicts are a natural part of life. Actually, all human beings are in one way or the other experts at handling conflicts in a nonviolent way. We do it daily, otherwise we would be constantly fighting.
Realizing that not everyone will be, or should have to be, of the same opinion is difficult but necessary to prevent a deterioration of conflict. The important thing is how we handle conflict in the early stages when we still can talk it out and not allow the conflict to deteriorate into violence, hatred and vengeance.
Regarding Sudan, there is of course a government delegation going to the official meeting in Beijing, but it is highly unlikely that it will in any way reflect the reality of the Sudanese women who are living in war zones or in the displacement camps around Khartoum, nor will it reflect the situation of those northern women who are forced into exile around the world. There is a need for an alternative voice which can inform the world about this war which has generated so little media interest and is therefore so little known. Beijing will hopefully offer them an opportunity to make their voices heard.
As in the case of the Somali women, the women of Sudan are also making peace their main message at Beijing, and they too are engaged in conflict transformation by showing a way out of the factional fighting in the south by working across religious, tribal and factional lines. They deserve to be heard.
These women are asking no special favours, just a very basic human right: to be able to participate in the work for a new and better life for themselves, their families, their regions and their countries.
The US Agency for International Development is producing an Inventory of Food Security Activities in the "Greater Horn of Africa". The inventory is intended as a resource to support the co-ordination of the work of NGOs, governments and donors on food security in the Greater Horn region. The co-ordinator of the project, Brian D'Silva, is collecting information and analytical work on existing projects, and documentation related to food security in the Horn so that anyone working on related issues can access up to date data and avoid duplicating work. At present the plan is for the computerised database to be transferred for use in the region in September 1995. In order to maintain the broadest possible accessibility by groups, it is a software package which requires only a computer which operates using `Windows'.
INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT NEEDED FOR DEMOBILISATION
(IPS 25 Jul 95, by Ramesh Jaura)
BONN - The ongoing demobilisation of armed forces in Africa and the reintegration of ex- combatants into civilian life needs continued international support, says a newly published report.
Once attuned to the political, economic, social and cultural needs of a country or a region, international financial and technical assistance will create a climate of mutual trust and encourage human development, adds the report published by the `Bonn International Centre for Conversion' (BICC)...
"In most efforts to support reintegration, policymakers face a dilemma on whether or not to treat the ex-soldiers as a special target group," according to the report.
The report pleads for striking a balance between dealing with the specific needs of the demobilised troops and at the same time not creating discontent among the rest of their often poor communities. In the absence of such a balance, a true reintegration will be jeopardised, the report warns...
The BICC study advises the donors to get involved in demobilisation and reintegration programmes only to the extent a government or parties to a peace agreement wish them to.
The donors should guard against creating the suspicion of"external involvement", which would be counter-productive, the report warns.
Pleading for continued international backing, BICC researcher Kees Kingma said an important reason for lending a helping hand to demobilisation was that the process was closely interlinked with"broader security concerns".
"Freeing large numbers of ex-combatants and arms can have a potentially destabilising effect in a country or a region," nullifying the goals demobilisation had set out to achieve, said Kingma...
The report entitled `Demobilisation in the Horn of Africa' incorporates the proceedings of a workshop held last December in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia...
/HAB/ The workshop was arranged by the secretariat of IRG (International Resource Group on Disarmament and Security in the HoA). IRG is an international group of key experts on disarmament and demobilization issues, and it is convened by a group of North American and European non-governmental humanitarian and policy organizations in the interest of stimulating a more focussed and sustained exploration of alternative security structures and disarmament measures for the HoA region as a whole.
The IRG Secretariat consists of:
* Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPACS©©Canada)
* Arbeitsgemeinschaft Kirchlicher Entwicklungsdienst (AGKED©(TM)Germany)
* Life & Peace Institute (LPI©©Sweden)
OAU SAYS TIME FOR AFRICA TO FACE UP TO INSTABILITY (Reuter 25 Jun 95, by John Chiahemen) ADDIS ABABA - The head of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) said on Sunday Africa could not properly assert itself in international affairs without first tackling instability.
"The issue of security and stability in our continent is pre-eminent," OAU's secretary general Salim Ahmed Salim told Reuters on the eve of the opening of an annual continental summit.
"Clearly the single most important issue before the summit is how we address ourselves specifically to the conflict situations © what can we do about Burundi, what can we do to support the effort in Rwanda, what can we do on Somalia, what can we do on Liberia and what can we do on Sierra Leone?"
Beyond the specific issues, heads of state gathered in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa must tackle the OAU's ambitious plan to strengthen Africa's capacity for preventing or resolving conflicts, said Salim, who is championing the initiative.
"Unless we make decisive progress in this exercise our efforts in making the lives of our people better and efforts at making our continent more relevant in international affairs will be severely undermined," Salim declared.
After three decades of concentrating on decolonisation of Africa, the OAU decided in 1990 to focus on conflict management, taking a step into the minefield of involvement in internal crises in member states...
MOI OPPOSES OAU CONFLICT-RESOLUTION FORCE
(SWB 28 Jun 95 [KBC radio, Nairobi, in English 26 Jun 95]) HE President Daniel arap Moi today vehemently opposed the idea of forming an OAU [Organization of African Unity] conflict-resolution force. Addressing the OAU session in Addis Ababa, President Moi said the formation of such a force would be in contravention of Article Three, Subsection Four of the OAU charter. The article stipulates that the OAU shall adhere to the principle of the peaceful resolution of conflicts by dialogue, negotiation and arbitration. In this connection, President Moi made it clear that Kenya was not prepared to support either morally or financially the formation of such military force. He added that such a force would kill the ordinary people and jeopardize their human rights...
US WANTS PARTNERSHIP WITH OAU
(AA 30 Jun 95, p.5)
The US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, George E. Moose, recently told a group of Washington-based African diplomats that the US was interested in a new partnership with the OAU in the area of conflict resolution and management. Moose made the remarks during a closed seminar at a Washington think-tank. He said that this was possible because the OAU was assuming a more constructive role in the post-Cold War era. He attributed changes in the OAU to new leadership and the democratisation movement on the continent...
The US diplomat said that the US wanted to support OAU capacity-building in the areas of communication, transport and training. He also talked positively about cooperation with France, the US's major rival in Africa, to prevent and resolve African conflicts.
What Moose did not say is as important as what he did. He did not mention new expenditures of US funds for conflict-resolution in Africa. This is indicative of the tight- fisted posture of the Republican-dominated Congress, where there is only lukewarm support for aid to Africa.
TUNISIA HANDS OVER OAU CHAIRMANSHIP TO ETHIOPIA
(SWB 28 Jun 95 [Republic of Tunisia Radio, Tunis, in Arabic 26 Jun 95]) After the setting up of the session's bureau, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali handed over the chairmanship of the OAU to the Ethiopian head of state...
REGIONAL CO-OPERATION©©AN IMPORTANT STEP FORWARD FOR
OF AFRICA, IGADD (NNS June 95)
The Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Desertification which groups Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda may soon take on a broader and more effective mandate and a new name. Following a decision taken in April by the Heads of State to strengthen the organisation, technical experts from each country met for two weeks this month in Addis Ababa to co-ordinate policy and lay the practical foundations for effective future action; they presented their findings to a Ministerial meeting for consideration and final decisions will be taken at the next Heads of State meeting in September.
The proposed new IGADD structure would include the following in its mandate:
- conflict prevention and resolution
- agricultural development and food security
- early warning
- plant and animal disease cntrol
- agricultural research
- natural resources development
- desertification control
- promotion of trade and harmonisation of trade policies and practices including barriers to trade
- transport and communications
- monetary and fiscal policies
- cross border investments
- science and technology
- free movement of people and establishment of residence
Emphasis has been placed on the need for aid to be used more effectively so that as the quantity decreases with tighter donor budgets, quality can increase...
These developments clearly reflect a new determination to cooperate from the regional governments. Although the tensions between states in the region (Uganda v Sudan and Eritrea v Sudan) and within them (Somalia) are reasons to recall the formidable political obstacles to be overcome. The fact that representatives from the countries were able to sit together to streamline approaches is, however, a sign of the willingness to work towards common goals despite such problems. A timetable of activities to develop the decisions taken has been set out for the months up to September.
This is a major development for the Horn of Africa and one which deserves the input of all concered parties. To date, NGOs have been absent from the debate, although a paper outlining issues at the meeting raises NGO-state relations: "NGOs have played a positive role in mobilising resources and implementing emergency and development programmes in the subregion,...they should be encouraged to do more, and to mobilise additional resources, rather than limiting their role to serving as a channel for resources already earmarked for IGADD member states". It also noted that there were concerns about NGOs being `highly politicised'. However, it recognised that "IGADD should acquaint itself more with the activities of NGOs in the subregion", should exchange views and should encourage NGOs to take a subregional approach in their programming...
ADDHL - Djibouti Association for the Defense of Human Rights
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
** FRAGIL PEACE **
(Economist Intelligence Unit via RBB 11 Jul 95) ...Rumours of the ill-health of Hassan Gouled Aptidon, the septuagenarian president, will continue to fuel speculation and infighting within his Somali-Issa entourage over the succession. Under the constitution Aptidon himself will name his successor. Ismael Omar Guelleh, his hardline chef de cabinet, remains by far the most likely candidate. However, Guelleh has many enemies within the elite who feel that, if appointed president, he would reinforce the autocratic, uncompromising style increasingly favoured by Aptidon.
DJIBOUTIAN GUNMEN KILL PRO-PEACE RELIGIOUS LEADER
(Reuter 26 Jun 95)
Gunmen have assasinated a religious leader in northern Djibouti, an incident described by his allies on Monday as an attempt to derail a peace accord ending a three-year uprising in the tiny Red Sea state.
Ali Houmed Soule, a key supporter of the peace process between the government and the former rebel Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD), was killed on Saturday a few metres (yards) away from his home in the village of Randa, a FRUD stronghold in the north.
The cleric's brother, Mohamed Houmed Soule, a leading human rights activist, blamed "elements of the Djibouti army who are hostile to the peace accord" for the attack.
But FRUD chairman Ali Hassan Daoud, who was named health minister in the country's newly-formed coalition government, dismissed the incident as an "isolated event".
The government has made no comment on the murder of Soule but has ordered an official inquiry into the killing.
Djiboutian President Hassan Gouled Aptidon appointed the country's first coalition government three weeks ago which saw two former rebels named ministers.
Under a peace pact in December, FRUD undertook to abandon armed resistance and transform itself into a political party so the former rebels would share power with Issa Somalis.
Hostilities in the arid state effectively ended in July 1992 followed by months of secret talks, which Houmed Soule fully supported, leading to a peace deal.
EIGHT SOLDIERS ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH KILLING OF
(SWB 6 Jul 95 [RFI in French, 4 Jul 95])
According to legal sources in Jibuti, eight soldiers have been arrested in connection with the killing on 26th June of the qadi - the traditional and religious chief - of Randa, 40 km northeast of the city of Jibuti. Charges of murder and complicity to murder have been brought against the eight soldiers.
FOUR INJURED IN RESTAURANT GRENADE BLAST
(SWB 5 Aug 95 [RFI in French, 3 Aug 95])
In Jibuti this morning, an unidentified person threw a grenade into a restaurant, and the resulting explosion injured four people, two of them seriously. This is the latest of a number of mysterious attacks in the past few months...
There is every reason to believe, however, that behind the wave of mysterious attacks are opponents of the peace process which has been developing over the past year between the government and the opposition Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy [FRUD].
** FOREIGN RELATIONS **
GOULED MEETS CHIRAC
(ION 8 Jul 95, p.3) During head of state Hassan Gouled Aptidon's visit to Paris this week, he met with the new French head of state Jacques Chirac, in the presence of Chirac's Africa counsellor Michel Dupuch, Djibouti's foreign affairs and cooperation minister Mohamed Moussa Chechem, the head of the presidential office Ismail Gedi Hared, and Djibouti's ambassador to France Ahmed Omar Farah. A good part of their discussions covered Gouled Aptidon's request for France to assist his country make sure that the conference of international fund donors, scheduled to be held in Geneva in a few months, was a success. Here, Chirac accepted the principle of French assistance, in order to help the Djibouti authorities prepare documents which they will be presenting during negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. An IMF mission is expected to be in Djibouti on July 12.
President Chirac also accepted a second request from his Djibouti opposite number, namely, French financial assistance for rehabilitation (rebuilding schools and dispensaries, etc) in regions in the northern part of the country which have been devastated by years of civil war...
FRENCH POLICE AGAIN TRY TO BREAK UP PRO-AFAR DEMONSTRATION IN
(SWB 11 Jul 95 [RFI in French, 9 Jul 95])
For four days now, 10 or so members of the charity SOS Africa have been demonstrating outside the Jibuti embassy in Paris. They started a hunger strike in protest against the aid given to that country by France. SOS Africa condemns what it regards as repression in Afar territory and is asking to be able to go there. This morning the French security forces once again dislodged the hunger strikers, who nevertheless intend to continue with their action.
DJIBOUTIAN AIR FORCE
(Flight International via RBB 5 Jul 95)
Force Aerienne Djiboutienne
The country's position at the mouth of the Red Sea is of great strategic value to the West. Although the country has no combat capability, at the request of the Djibouti Government France bases a force of 3,250 men in the country, consisting of armoured, artillery and infantry battalions with their integral Puma helicopter support. The French air force detachment includes ten Mirage F.1Cs, a C-160 Transall, one SA.319 Alouette III and two SA.355 [Ecureuil] helicopters, together with ground forces...
YEMEN, DJIBOUTI DISCUSS BILATERAL SECURITY TIES
(Reuter 27 Jul 95)
ADEN - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Thursday received a message from President Hassan Gouled Aptidon of Djibouti on the latest developments in the Horn of Africa, the official SABA news agency said...
Yemen and Djibouti face each other on the Asian and African sides respectively of the strategic Bab al-Mandab straits controlling the southern entrance of the Red Sea.
[Djibouti chief of staff, Brigadier Fathi Ahmad Hussein], who arrived in Yemen on Tuesday, said his talks with Yemeni officials would cover the possibility of creating distinctive security relations and mutual coordination in the joint waters and Bab al- Mandab.
** ECONOMIC NEWS **
(Economist Intelligence Unit via RBB 11 Jul 95) ...[Djibouti's] port is the country's sole viable economic asset. The port authority handled a total of 1.3m tons of cargo during 1994. This represented only a 4% decline from the 1993 total, reflecting a steep recovery during the second half after a poor first six months. Around 60% of total volume consists of unotably [sic] petroleum products, which account for 27% of total cargo. These figures lend support to those who have favoured a policy of investment and constant upgrading of the facilities of the port, notably its capacity to handle container traffic for which demand still remains buoyant.
The port is benefiting from the increasing volume of exports from Ethiopia, Djibouti's main trading partner and the port's largest customer. The Ethiopian Shipping Line operates principally out of Djibouti and the [Eritrean] port of Assab, Djibouti's main Red Sea competitor...
DJIBOUTI UNVEILS AUSTERITY PLANS
(Reuter 16 Aug 95)
DJIBOUTI - Djibouti has announced plans for a 50 percent increase in income tax under an austerity drive to curb public spending and edge closer to a balanced budget.
The finance minister of the small Red Sea state, Mohamed Ali Mohamed, went on state television on Tuesday night and said the only alternative to the tough measures was big cuts in the 7,000-strong civil service.
Mohamed said a special tax known as "the patriotic contribution" would soon increase from 10 percent of all gross salaries to 15 percent. Only a small minority of Djibouti's 500,000 people are formally employed and taxable...' Mohamed also announced a 60 percent reduction in all allowances paid to civil servants and an end to their free housing. He said salaries to civil servants and other government employees © apparently including the army © swallowed up 20 billion Djibouti francs ($113 million) or 80 percent of the state budget.
Mohamed said his austerity measures were intended to trim government spending by 6.6 billion francs ($37 million) between next month and December 1996.
Mohamed will shortly present his detailed plans to the national assembly (parliament) which has to approve them.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) called for spending cuts after two recent missions to Djibouti...
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 - People's Front for Democracy and Justice
PGE - Provisional Government of Eritrea
PROFERI - Programme for Refugee Reintegration and Rehabilitation of Resettlement Areas in Eritrea
** POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS **
DRAFT CONSTITUTION BY NOV 95
(Economic Intelligence Unit via RBB 11 Jul 95) ...[The] 50-member Constitutional Commission anticipates that the draft constitution will be completed by November and submitted to the proposed Constituent Assembly by April or May 1996.
ERITREA MAKES A CONSTITUTION
(NA Sep 95)
Eritrea is nearing the end of a massive two-year process of popular participation to draft a Constitution.
In 1993, the government pledged a four-year transitional period, during which a constitution, laws on political parties and the press would be drafted, and elections to be held in 1997.
In March 1994, the legislative arm, the National Assembly, established the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea (CCE) to draft a constitution. It has 50 members, including 20 women. Its Chair is Dr Bereket Habteselassie, for many years Eritrea's representative at the UN.
Members represent all elements of Eritrean society--ex-fighters and PFDJ members, those who were in the diaspora during the struggle, rural and urban populations and the nine nationalities, but not the opposition parties.
An advisory board is made up of community elders and religious leaders from the provinces and nationalities. A board of advisors consists of foreign experts who bring the experiences of other countries.
CCE branch offices were opened in five zones and the capital, Asmara...
This immense task has involved hundreds of meetings; the CCE held international conferences in July 1994 and January 1995, bringing together political scientists, historians, and sociologists from Eritrea and abroad on aspects of constitutional development.
By May 1995, it was estimated that over 1,000 meetings had been conducted all over Eritrea, with about half a million people attending, an extraordinary effort at popular participation although disappointingly the participation of women has been minimal. Eritrea has, as a late comer to independence, the opportunity to learn from others.
ERITREA HOPES BATTLEFIELD AUSTERITY WILL WIN PEACE
(Reuter 17 Jul 95, by Nicholas Kotch)
ASMARA - Foreign businessmen dare not offer bribes in Eritrea, Africa's newest state, where austere former guerrillas are firmly in command.
"If there is corruption in a society everything is in ruins.
"There is no corruption in Eritrea now. If we do everything properly, if money laundering, drugs and corruption are kept out, we can achieve our goals," said Tekie Beyene, acting governor of the Bank of Eritrea, the central bank.
Like the rest of the key players in Asmara, the Italianate inland capital, Beyene is an "ex-fighter".
This means he paid his dues with the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), in Beyene's case from 1980 until victory over Ethiopia's then-Marxist government in 1991...
Everyone pays income tax in Eritrea, even foreign aid workers whose occasional squeals are ignored.
The government imposes a two percent levy on the salaries of tens of thousands of Eritreans abroad, whether trading in the Gulf or driving a taxi in Washington, D.C.
Diplomats say foreign businessmen, attracted to the Red Sea state by the lure of oil and mineral reserves and reconstruction contracts on the horizon, are never asked for bribes and offer them at their peril.
"This is the cleanest government by far I have ever had the pleasure of being associated with anywhere. I haven't heard of one piece of corruption," said Robert Houdek, the U.S. ambassador in Asmara.
"There is a big difference here compared with the rest of Africa," said Herbert M'Cleod, representative of the United Nations Development Programme.
"People are much more interested in their country than in themselves. They all made sacrifices."...
Civil service salaries were paid for the first time in June after four years of almost unpaid labour.
"We used to get 130-150 birr ($18-$21) a month, enough for cigarettes and tea. Now we are upgrading to an average of 1,000 birr ($140)," said Beyene, the acting central bank governor.
"Our goal is a small, highly efficient and highly paid civil service.
"As we all know, people who work in government in Africa are badly paid and looked down upon, which pushes them towards corruption," he added...
(AC 4 Aug 95, p.7)
At the end of August, the ruling party is planning a special conference. High on its agenda will be the party's `vision': many policies, such as pruning the bureaucracy and demobilising fighters, have gone down badly. Four years after its key role in defeating Ethiopia's Mengistu Haile Mariam, there is a feeling the party--which has changed its name from Eritrean People's Liberation Front to People's Front for Democracy and Justice--has not made the transition from liberation movement to government. Nor are Eritreans so willing to make great sacrifices in peacetime, as they did in over 30 years of war.
Those concerned about the all-pervading PFDJ and its monopoly on power are a potential, though not yet vocal, centre of opposition. More important in the short term is the restructuring of the military. The government has cut the army to some 55,000 troops from about 95,000. The plan is to end up with about 35,000--still a very large force for Eritrea's two million people. But Asmara aspires to a major regional role and wants to maintain its army's high standing.
After his January visit to Washington, President Isayas Aferworki indicated he wanted a professional army and said the United States would provide funds and training. His requests for arms were turned down. There are now 30 US military advisors/ trainers/ de-miners based in Keren and more are expected. Egyptian and Israeli advisors are more closely involved with National Service training or anti-Sudan government activity. The USA has strongly encouraged Eritrea in its anti-Khartoum policies and was enthusiastic about May's Sudanese opposition meeting in Asmara (AC Vol 36 No 14).
Yet the army is unsure of its future. Size, demobilisation and pay are all open questions. Protests over pay in 1993 led to over 100 alleged ringleaders being gaoled but pushed Asmara to create a formal pay structure. The government also swiftly purged Department 72 (security, previously known as Halewa Sowra) restructuring it as the Department of Political Security.
The National Service programme has had a mixed reception. The second batch of 26,000 youngsters passed out of Sawa military training camp in July: 250,000 are due to be trained in five years. Some soldiers believe the real aim of National Service is to disband the liberation army and build a more malleable force.
Changes in command have fed army unease. At the EPLF's Third Congress in February 1994, one of the most popular military figures, Mesfin Hagos, received the second highest number of votes for election to the Central and Executive Committees, reportedly only one less than Isayas. He then became Defence Minister. This was widely welcomed but his popularity in the army and his reported disagreements with government over army policy saw him replaced within a year by the army Commander at liberation, Sebhat Ibrahim (AC Vol 35 No 23). As Sebhat tried to establish control and weed out potential critics, other leading figured were dismissed, including Filipos Woldeyohannes and other unit commanders. Current army leaders were significant in the liberation war, including: Chief of Staff Haile Samuel `China', Ground Forces Commander Berhane Gebregziabher and the Chief of Operations, Teklai Habteselassie. The debate over the army's future is set to continue: there are still key officers who are not party members...
PRESIDENT TELLS RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS TO STAY OUT OF
(SWB 8 Jul 95 [VBME in Tigrigna, 7 Jul 95])
President Isayas Afewerki yesterday in his office met and briefed religious leaders on the government's policy regarding the role of religious institutions.
President Isayas briefed the leaders on the importance of the separation of politics from religion and vice versa. He clearly stated that religious institutions should depend only on contributions from their congregations and followers and not on the alms of foreigners. He also assured them that the government would try to assist them.
However, he said religious institutions are not allowed to establish relations with or to represent any foreign government or political organization or to participate in any political activities for or against the government [of Eritrea].
Finally, the president said development programmes and social services were first and foremost the responsibility of the government and the people, and not of religious institutions. However, he said they could help with financing [the development programmes] but had no responsibilities for planning or implementing them. He said a decree would be issued in the near future regarding this issue...
** HUMANITARIAN ISSUES **
THE USE OF FOOD AID: LEARNING FROM THE PAST
(ERRA Newsletter Apr-May 95, editorial, p.1)
Eritrea has been depending on steadily increasing amounts of emergency food aid for the last two decades as a result of recurrent drought and war. In recent years, up to four out of five Eritreans have been dependent on food aid. There is now a growing awareness that Eritrea has remained dependent on food aid for too long. There is no doubt that this has serious economic, political and social repercussions.
The people and the government of Eritrea are committed to laying the foundations for a sustainable economic development. One of the major goals that has to be achieved sooner than later is food security through adequate local food production. In this regard, the strategy laid out in the new economic policy of the government emphasizes the need for increased food production including environmental conservation, distribution of required inputs, and infrastructure development.
At present there are various applications of food aid, including free distribution, Food for Work (both used for several years) and, on a limited scale, Cash for Work. However, keeping in view the avowed goal of food self-sufficiency in the long-run, the new government plan stipulates a moratorium on free food distribution, except to the most needy groups. The emphasis will be on a combinaiton of Food for Work and Cash for Work. Both Food for Work and Cash for Work taken separately have some problems. Perhaps a more practical approach for Eritrea is to use a proper mix of the two taking [the] local situation into consideration. This is a more realistic option which, due to its flexibility, serves better the long-term interests of the recipients.
It is against this background that ERRA has decided to initiate a dialogue with donors on issues related to the rational use of food aid in Eritrea. The monetization of food aid for Cash for Work projects, coupled with realistic prices and timely delivery, is essential if Eritrea is ever to achieve food security and ERRA hopes that donors will cooperate in this regard by showing flexibility in the use of food aid...
SEMINAR FOCUSES ON WOMEN'S ROLE IN PEACE
(NN/hrnet.africa 13 Aug 95 [EP 29(?) Aug 95])
A national seminar recently held at the headquarters of the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW) discussed current situations in the Horn of Africa and women's role in promoting peace. The seminar picked "Women in Peace Process" as the central topic of discussions. It brought together 60 women participants from the country's different regions. The participants issued a "Position Statement on Peace" at the end of the seminar besides planting a Peace Tree to manifest their commitment to pecekeeping. Major statements by the July 29 seminar follow:
* Call for Eritrean women's enhanced role in maintaining peace; and joining hands with women counterparts in the region in a unified voice for peace;
* Call upon governments and political factions to reconcile their differences through peaceful negotiations. A similar workshop on peace, organized by Novib and the Fund for Peace, was held in Addis Ababa May 1-3 in which women from the region representing different NGOs resolved to join hands and have a unified voice for peace. They also issued "Strategic Initiative for the Horn of Africa" (SIHA)...
SCHOOL OF MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY OPENS
(EP 10 Jun 95)
A School of Medical Technology was inaugurated in Asmara this week. The new school aiming at training anesthetists, senior ophthalmic assistants, senior laboratory technicians, pharmacy technicians and X- Ray technicians is part of a national effort to overcome shortage of health personnel. 150 ex-fighters have been admitted to the school already and courses are scheduled to begin this month. Training in two other fields - dental therapy and assistant midwifery - are due to start shortly...
** ERITREA--SUDAN **
/HAB/ For more on the Sudanese opposition meeting in Asmara, see "Opposition" under Sudan.
RULING PARTY TO HOST CONFERENCE OF SUDANESE OPPOSITION PARTIES
(SWB 15 Jun 95 [VBME in Tigrigna, 13 Jun 95])
Mr Amin Muhammad Sa'id, secretary of the People's Front for Democracy and Justice [PFDJ], said in a press statement to the Eritrean news agency yesterday [12th June] that the PFDJ would host [a meeting of] all Sudanese opposition forces in Asmara. Mr Amin said these parties and organizations would be holding a meeting embracing all the forces struggling against the existing political regime in Sudan. He added that the PFDJ had very strong ties and relations with all the Sudanese political parties during its 30 years of armed struggle. In the light of the request made by the Sudanese brothers to hold their meeting in Asmara, the PFDJ would do its best to give them excellent hospitality...
SUDAN TIGHTENS SECURITY ON BORDER WITH ERITREA
(Reuter 22 Jun 95, by Alfred Taban)
KHARTOUM - Sudan has beefed up security on its border with Eritrea in response to a meeting in Asmara of Sudanese rebels and political exiles, a senior military official said.
Major-General Mohammad Abdalla Oweida, head of the security and defence committee of Sudan's Transitional National Assembly, said on Wednesday security had been tightened at government buildings and installations in the border areas.
Army and police forces had also heightened vigilance at border posts, bridges, main roads and ports, he added...
ERITREA SAYS SUDAN SEEKS TO DESTABILISE AFRICA
(Reuter 22 Jun 95, by Tsegaye Tadesse)
ADDIS ABABA - Eritrea accused Sudan of seeking to destabilise the African continent on Thursday, dealing a blow to Organisation of African Unity (OAU) efforts to end their dispute.
Eritrean Foreign Minister Petros Soloman, replying to a statement by his Sudanese counterpart to OAU foreign ministers, said Eritrea had long raised the problem with the U.N. security council.
"The deep-seated problem with the government of the Sudan rooted in its well-known policies of expansion and subversion to destabilise not only Eritrea but the whole region and indeed the continent long compelled the government of Eritrea to submit its case to the U.N. security council," Petros said in a statement...
OAU SECRETARY-GENERAL WARNS AGAINST ESCALATION OF SUDAN--
(SWB 27 Jun 95 [RSR in English, 25 Jun 95])
The secretary-general of the Organization of African Unity [OAU], Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, has urged avoiding escalation on the situation between the Sudan and Eritrea.
Responding to a question on the Eritrean position that it does not want the OAU to deal with its dispute with Sudan, Salim said the OAU is responsible in such case[es] and that all states are obliged to abide by any resolution issued by the organization.
** FOREIGN RELATIONS **
PRESIDENT RECEIVES CREDENTIALS
(EP 10 Jun 95)
President Isaias Afwerki yesterday received the credentials of new heads of diplomatic missions.
During a ceremony at the State Guest House on June 9, ambassadors, Rochsjad Dahlan of Indonesia, Caetano da Costa Pereira of Portugal, T. A. G. Makambe of Zimbabwe, Vassilios Vassolos of Greece, and Jan Dubbeldam, head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Eritrea, respectively expressed readiness to further promote friendly relations. The Greek Embassy in Addis Ababa disclosed that Mr. Socratis Bourboulis has been appointed Honorary Consul General in Asmara.
US DIPLOMAT COMMENDS ERITREAN STATESMANSHIP
(EP 10 Jun 95)
The birth of the State of Eritrea was not a miracle but rather the product of "wisdom and foresight" by patriots who abided by a transition process that led to a non-violent process of Eritrea's independence, said career US diplomat Mark Baas.
Mr. Baas, who was U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia immediately following the overthrow of the Mengistu regime in 1991, told a panel discussion on Eritrea, held on Capitol Hill June 2, that after Ethiopia was liberated from the Mengistu dictatorship, "the Eritreans demonstrated very great statesmanship and foresight" in their dealings with the new Ethiopian government.
The United States Information Agency (USIA) quoted him as saying, Eritreans "could have said we are independent today, we won by right of arms, and we are going to declare independence."
Instead, said the diplomat, Eritreans agreed to wait until the end of a two-year transition period to hold a referendum that led to the declaration of independence on May 24.
Mr. Bass, who was an international observer to the Eritrean referendum in 1993, further stated that when he visited Eritrea, he was struck by how "law-abiding" the population was.
Noting that he once had a meeting with President Isaias Afwerki in Asmara, he said: "I was surprised to see him walk into the hotel lobby all alone with no security guards.
This would never be done in America or in any of the neighboring countries."...
SO-CALLED "VOICE OF ERITREA" BROADCAST FROM IRAQ
(SWB 10 Jul 95 ["Voice of Eritrea" in Arabic and Tigrigna 6 Jul 95])
Broadcasts in Arabic and Tigrigna
A broadcast calling itself "Voice of Eritrea" and carried on an Iraqi shortwave transmitter on 17740 kHz is currently being heard at 1600-1700 gmt. This broadcast was first heard on 19th June (poor reception delayed positive identification).
The broadcast is in both Arabic and Tigrigna (in the latter language the announcer does not sound like a native Tigrigna speaker). It identifies itself in Tigrigna as "Ezi nay Eritrea fenewe Demtsi eyu" ("This is the Voice of
AAPO - All Amhamra People's Organisation
ALF - Afar Liberation Front
ARDU - Afar Revolutionary Democratic Union
BPLM - Benishangul People's Liberation Movement
CAFPDE - Council of the Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy in Ethiopia
COEDF - Coalition of Ethiopian Democratic Forces
CRDA - Christian Relief and Development Association
ECS - Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat
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
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
OLF - Oromo Liberation Front
ONLF - Ogaden National Liberation Front
OPDO - Oromo People's Democratic Organisation
ORA - Oromo Relief Association
SEPDC - Southern Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Coalition
SPDO - Sidama People's Democratic Organisation
TPLF - Tigray People's Liberation Front
WSLF - Western Somali Liberation Front
** POST-ELECTION DEVELOPMENTS **
NEW PRIME MINISTER AND PRESIDENT
(Reuter 23 Aug 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's parliament elected former guerrilla leader and president Meles Zenawi as prime minister of the newly-named Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Meles, head of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPDRF), served as president in a four-year transitional government that handed power over to parliament on Tuesday. He was elected prime minister with strong executive powers a day after Negaso Gidada was voted in as president, a figurehead post in the new federation of nine ethnically-based states.
The EPRDF holds a majority of 483 out of 548 seats in the Council of Representatives, which was elected in May in what was billed as the country's first multi-party election.
Meles, who will serve a five-year term, was expected to make a policy statement later on Wednesday and present a 15-minister cabinet to parliament for approval on Thursday.
The previous transitional cabinet had 22 ministries.
Official sources said most ministers who served in the transitional government were expected to be retained...
Negaso served as information minister in the transitional government and is a member of the Oromo People's Democratic Organisation (OPDO), a coalition partner of the EPDRF.
EPRDF SCORE IS WORRYING
(ION 22 Jul 95, p.4)
Ahead of the European Union's African working group meeting in Brussels on July 5 and 6, heads of EU diplomatic missions in Addis Ababa drafted a balance sheet of Ethiopia's elections for the federal and regional councils. Recalling that Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front had gained about 98.6 percent of seats in the federal assembly, the report says that the ballot was carried out "calmly but in relative indifference". The final results showed "an almost total absence of the opposition" in national and regional commissions, raising "the medium-term question of how the opposition will be able to express its views". The vote therefore consolidated "a situation of near-monopoly in favour of the party elected" and "a system with [sic] democratic evolution is not assured."
UK DEVELOPMENT MINISTER SAYS BRITAIN PLEASED WITH RECENT
(SWB 28 Jul 95 [RE in Amharic, 26 Jul 95])
President Meles Zenawi today held talks in his office and with the British overseas development minister, Baroness Lynda Chalker, with whom he discussed British aid for Ethiopia, cooperation on education, food supplies and (national reform)...
She also said that the recently-concluded elections for people's representatives and regional council members had pleased the British government and that she had seen for herself how the people were going about their business freely...
WORKSHOP ON WOMEN AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
("Women and the Making of Regional Constitutions", InterAfrica Group 14 Apr 95) In the second of a series of occasional meetings on "Women's concerns: implications for Democracy", the InterAfrica Group invited women from around Ethiopia to Addis Ababa who work with regional women's bureaux to discuss the making of regional constitutions and women's participation therein...
Fifty women from five regions of Ethiopia (Southern, 5, 4, 13, 3) participated in the workshop on "Women and the making of regional constitutions" on April 14 1995. The women discussed issues presented by the InterAfrica Group, and those raised by two papers presented at the meeting in working groups and as a group during the day. The workshop was intended as an information sharing exercise which would raise issues of concern to the women present and suggest responses to them, and also alert programme on women and constitutional rights.
The discussions covered topics including: the role of the regional women's bureaux, the operations of NGOs in the respective regions regarding women, experiences of women in participating in national constitution making, how to mobilise women to participate in regional constitution making and methodologies for doing so...
TIGRAY COUNCIL APPROVES 1995-96 BUDGET
(SWB 27 Jun 95 [REE in English, 19 Jun 95])
The ongoing conference of the new Council of Tigray has approved a 328.5m birr budget for the 1988 Ethiopian calendar [1995-96] fiscal year. The report on the budget indicated that 62m birr of the annual budget would be secured from various revenue sources in the region, while the balance is expected from the central government and donors.
The preparation of the budget was based on the five-year plan of the region for boosting agriculture, conserving natural resources and expanding development infrastructure. The council is expected to end its first conference today after discussing draft proposals pertaining to members of its executive committees and the federal council, as well as the flag of the region.
AFAR REGION FOUNDING CONFERENCE OPENS
(SWB 25 Jul 95 [RE in Amharic, 23 Jul 95])
The founding conference of the Afar [Region Two] regional government council was held yesterday [22nd July], during which it was decided that (?Zamara) should be the regional capital. In yesterday's meeting seven articles of the regional constitution were debated and approved. There was extensive debate on the two differing views of whether the region should have borders or not. The view upholding the need for defined borders was adopted. Agreement was reached on the basis that the region shares borders with the Amhara, Oromiya, Ethiopian Somali and Tigray regions, as well as with Jibuti and Eritrea. It was decided to insert an article on this in the constitution.
It was also resolved that for the time being Amharic should remain the region's official language, but when the region's activities and language began to develop, Afar should become the official language...
On the subject of the regional government's capital, some participants of the meeting advocated the suitability of Asayita, saying a great deal of construction work had been carried out there and that the government offices were situated there... However, for the time being, all government work should continue to be carried out in Asayita town. The timing of the transfer of the capital would be decided by the participants in the meeting in the future.
On discussion of the article on equal rights for women, the Ethiopian News Agency reported that the view that women should be freed from traditional Afar pressures and have equal rights to men in government was adopted by 39 votes.
/HAB/ According to Ethiopian radio as reported by SWB, similar developments are occurring in other regions.
** TIGHTENED SECURITY **
MURDER OF OROMO NATIONALIST
(ION 1 Jul 95, p.2)
In an official communique issued June 18, the Oromo Liberation Front accused the Ethiopian authorities of being responsible for the shooting to death, at 6.30 am on May 21, of one of its members, an Oromo merchant doing business in the main Addis Ababa market of Mercato, Aliyi Yusuf. He was killed outside his shop located near the Ras cinema in the Tekle Haymanot district, which is generally very busy even on Sundays. His killers got away in several cars. Yusuf had been imprisoned and tortured under the regime of former head of state Mengistu Haile Mariam, for having supported the Oromo cause. After the regime fell, he had been a member of the OLF delegation to the Addis conference which, from July 5 to 11, 1991, had drafted and approved the charter for the transitional period. After OLF broke off relations with the transitional government, Yusuf had gone back to his business.
According to OLF, the assassination of Aliyi Yusuf is not an isolated act but forms part of a whole series of eliminations of OLF members and supporters. A young 26-year old farmer, Henok Jonatan, was arrested by government forces in Najjo, in the western Oromia region, on March 16. He is believed to have been tortured afterwards, along with nine other Oromo prisoners, and their bodies were discovered on April 28 at Mucha Fugiso, near the town of Babo Gambel. Similarly, Jafar Ibrahim Utto, a village elder in Kiyyo, in Oborra Province (eastern Oromia), who had been detained by pro-government militiamen, was found dead on April 8. Two months earlier, two of his sons had been arrested, tortured and murdered by members of the same militia.
ETHIOPIAN AUTHORITIES CLOSE DOWN ORA
(Oromo Relief Association UK press release 8 Aug 95, by Lydia Namarra) We have just got the shocking news about ORA's projects in Hararghe, Wallagga and Borana. They have been closed, in fact the office in Borana is occupied by the EPRDF army and its property confiscated. The compound is now being used as an army camp.
Since its formation, ORA has struggled against all odds and managed to bring the plight of needy Oromo to international attention and raise support for them. This continued for nearly two decades. As of August 1991, ORA has been functioning under difficult circumstances, even though it has been legally recognized NGO under the Relief & Rehabilitation Commission of Ethiopia. In these four years ORA has expanded its outstanding work in relief and rehabilitation among the Oromo people.
...[The] government has closed important project [sic] in areas where ORA was legally allocated to work; this agreement had just been renewed.
ORA's project work is just beginning to bear fruit. Stores are filled with food and medical items awaiting distribution. The case of Borana is particularly urgent as the region has been suffering from serious drought and ORA's assistance is badly needed.
The responsibility for the damage done, and the lives that may be lost if food and medicine are not distributed, lies at the door of the Regional Government of Oromia who gave this order, and the Ethiopian Government which permitted it...
RCC REVOKES LICENCES OF 47 AID GROUPS
(Reuter 17 Aug 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia said on Thursday it had revoked licences of 47 international and local relief and development groups.
"Some of these NGOs (non-governmental organisations) were egnaged in raising funds in the name of assistance for Ethiopia and using them for their personal needs," the government-run Relief and Rehabilitation Commission said in a statement.
It said the names of the 47 banned groups would be made public next week and they would be asked to surrender all equipment they had been allowed to import duty-free.
Some 252 NGOs - international and local - are licensed to carry out relief and development activities in different parts of the Horn of African country, according to the commission.
DECREES ON AGREEMENTS WITH FOREIGNERS TO BE OBSERVED FOR SAKE
(SWB 11 Aug 95 [RE in Amharic 1700 gmt 9 Aug 95])
Excerpt from report by Ethiopian radio on 9th August
The police central office has urged Ethiopians who rent out their houses to foreigners to submit their lease agreements to a court for registration. Individuals who rent out their houses and vehicles to foreigners should check and register the name and passport number, and see if the foreigner has a valid visa and legal entry permit and inform the immigration department of the Ministry of Interior, added the office...
Excerpts from statement issued by police headquarters; broadcast by Ethiopian radio on 9th August
It is through strengthening the comprehensive participation of the people and having people contribute towards respect for the law that we can maintain the country's peace, stability and social security...
** THE PRESS **
NEWSPAPER EDITOR SENTENCED TO ONE YEAR'S IMPRISONMENT
(SWB 8 Jul 95 [RE in Amharic, 6 Jul 95])
One of the two editors of (?`Zog') newspaper convicted of publishing baseless allegations by the third criminal jury at the central high court has been sentenced to one year's imprisonment. The court said the editor-in-chief of (?`Zog'), Mr Twedros Kebede, had been found guilty of printing groundless allegations and rumours as if they were facts, knowing full well that he was duty-bound to make sure that what they were publishing was not liable to criminal proceedings.
One of the editors, Alemu Bogale, was set free because he was ill and in bad health at the time the allegations were published. The central prosecutor-general's office in its conviction statement said the newspaper had carried stories about agreements between the Oromo opposition military organizations which alleged that the Oromo Unity Liberation Front was fighting against the Weyane [a name given to the Tigray People's Liberation Front] on various war fronts, vowing not to put down its arms until what it described as the oppressed Muslim people of Oromia had attained freedom...
JUSTICE MINISTER WARNS GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS THEY MUST
COOPERATE WITH MEDIA
(SWB 4 Aug 95 [RE in Amharic, 2 Aug 95])
The justice minister, Mehitema Soloman, today warned that all government officials are obliged to cooperate with the press. Since people have a right to be informed, government officials are obliged to cooperate with the press. He said journalists should also examine their approach in the pursuit of information. Tewodros Neway has the details from the Ethiopian News Agency.
[Tewodros - recording] In response to recent complaints from journalists that some government officials have created problems by not giving them information, Justice Minister Mr Mehitema Soloman said that since government officials are civil servants who draw up and implement plans and strategies, they should let people know what they are doing and allow them to judge it.
The minister said the press law stipulates that citizens are entitled to a balanced understanding of various crucial issues and to comment on government leadership and activities. He added that press institutions and their agents had the right to ask for news and information from any government information or broadcasting institution, to receive this information and to comment on it...
** DOMESTIC NEWS **
ETHIOPIA'S 1995-96 BUDGET PUT AT $1.6 BILLION
(Reuter 26 Jul 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's council of representatives said on Wednesday it had approved a budget of $1.6 billion for 1995-96 with more than half allocated to the central government.
The council, the highest authority in the transitional government, said of the total $473 million would be secured from foreign aid with the rest generated from local revenue.
Ethiopia's annual budget for 1994-95 was $1.6 billion. Most of its income comes from exporting agricultural commodities such as coffee, pulses, hides and skin and livestock. The fiscal year begins on July 7.
The council said $877 million was allocated to the central government while the budget for nine new ethically-based federal regions would be around $650 million, taking into account population size, development and capacity to generate revenue...
AUTHORITY PLANS TO CONSTRUCT 11,000 KMS OF ROAD IN FIVE
(NN/pol.ethiopia 9 Aug 95 [EH 29 Jul 95])
WOLAITA SODO (ENA) - 11,000 kilometers of new asphalted and feeder roads wuld be constructed in the coming five years, an official disclosed. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Sodo-Shashemene road which opened to traffic last week Ato Haile Assegide, Minister of Works and Urban Development, said a plan has already been finalized to construct and repair 10,952 kilometers of road during the stated period.
Ato Haile, who is also board chairman of the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA), said the authority would undertake the construction of about 2,000 kilometers - new and old ones - and the remaining 9,000 kilometers would be carried out by private contractors.
The five-year road construction project includes the maintenance of asphalted and feeder roads and bridges. "Nearly 40 new bridges will be constructed," he added.
The board chairman further said the government would allocate a budget for the projects and at the same time, make efforts to get funds from foreign creditors.
Ethiopia has about 20,000 kms of ashalted and feeder roads, according to ERA publications.
US-ETHIOPIAN TASK FORCE TRAINS LAND-MINE CLEARANCE
(SWB 29 Jul 95 [REE in English, 27 Jul 95])
The commander of the Ethio-American joint operation task force has said (?40) de-mining cadres drawn from the various divisions of the Ethiopian Defence Force are currently taking part in a three-week training that would enable them [to] acquire knowledge. According to Maj Cariel Bishop [both elements phonetic], commander of the joint task force, the programme will start by establishing a project under which the current batch of trainees would act as trainers and teach others who would carry out the remaining programmes.
Mr Haile Selase Wolde Gerima, coordinator of the programme on the Ethiopian side, said well-trained staff were necessary in the safe disposal of mines, which are hurdles to development endeavours.
On the gravity of the problem in Ethiopia Maj Bishop said there were an estimated 10m mines in Ethiopia and Eritrea, reducing land to unproductivity and killing a lot of people and animals each year.
** FOOD SECURITY **
EARLY RAINS MOSTLY GOOD
(NNS July 95)
USAID's Famine Early Warning System in Addis Ababa report that this year's Belg (early rain) was `generally good and much better than 1994'. The report, which covers five months from February, expects good harvests in most areas and at the national level. Pastoral areas also had a good season. The western highlands of North and South Wello and North Shewa alone are suffering their fourth poor season in succession -but food deliveries to those areas have already been underway for some months.
GOVERNMENT ALLOCATES REVOLVING FUNDS TO ASSIST PEASANTS
(NN/pol.ethiopia 1 Aug 95 [EH 1 Aug 95])
ADDIS ABABA (ENA) - An official of the Ministry of Agriculture disclosed that the government has earmarked 47 million Birr revolving and extension service promotion fund to help peasants in seven regional states.
Cooperatives and Extension Promotion Department Head Belay Ejigu said more than 36,000 peasants in 229 woredas of Somali, Benishangul, Harari, Amhara, Oromyia, Tigrai and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional States will benefit from the fund which will be used to buy fertilizers, seeds and other inputs as well as to promote extension services.
Peasants will borrow from the revolving fund and pay back within a year and would borrow again if they need it. The success of the new extension program depends on the timely reimbursement of the revolving fund.
Two hundred and ninety development workers have been deployed in the areas selected for the implementation of the programme. They are rendering counselling and practical services and educating farmers to effectively use the money they borrow from the fund...
INITIATIVE TO STRENGTHEN LOCAL NGOS
(NNS July 95)
The US based Private Agencies Collaborating Together (PACT) will shortly be starting a new initiative to support and develop the NGO sector in Ethiopia.
The Director of the initiative, Mr Eugene Chivaroli, former USAID representative to Nigeria, has begun work in the country, and will be recruiting staff to work with him on the multi-year US$3.6 million programme which is being provided by USAID. The initiative will aim to work with and through existing local consortia and NGOs such as the Christian Relief and Development Association, Consortium of Ethiopian Voluntary Organisations and the InterAfrica Group in providing targeted training, technical assistance and management consulting services to NGOs.
The main areas of NGO work which the initiative aims to support are food security, democracy and governance, education, and support to street children activities - after the initial phase of the programme, the PACT initiative will provide small grants to NGOs to support programmes in these four sectors.
ETHIOPIAN NGOS MEET WORLD BANK EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
(NNS July 95)
Seven of the twenty four Executive Directors of the World Bank passed through Ethiopia as part of a four country tour of Africa on July 26-28. They met with private sector, government and NGOs in Addis Ababa. The NGO meeting gave leaders in the sector the opportunity to put their points of view across to some of the most powerful policy makers in the World Bank. They raised the need for the Resident Mission in Addis Ababa to communicate more with NGOs, concerns about the impact of structural adjustment policies in the country, possible NGO participation in poverty assessments and other missions, and that they would like to get more information on the Bank and its activities...
[Issues raised] include: that NGOs should contribute their experience in, for example, land, agriculture or irrigation; that NGOs should demonstrate to government their capacity to undertake social mobilisation, participation and projects with positive impact; that NGOs should get greater access to national project information - the World Bank has made some improvements in this area but they can still do more to ensure that it reaches people; not only the Bank and governments should participate in discussions on projects - NGOs, grass roots groups, regional governments and local authorities should also be involved; the Bank should encourage NGOs' negotiation with them; it should also support institutional strengthening of NGOs and also public officials, ministries, and local and regional government representatives; finally NGOs should be able to participate in the design, methodology, execution, monitoring and evaluation of projects (i.e. the whole project cycle) starting at the early stage and not at the end, as usually happens.
WORLD BANK FUNDS TWO FARMING PROJECTS IN ETHIOPIA
(Reuter 15 Jun 95)
WASHINGTON - The International Development Association, the lending affiliate of the World Bank, approved two projects valued at $142 million to enhance farming production in Ethiopia, the World Bank said on Thursday.
One project valued at $120 million will help achieve accelerated and sustainable growth in agricultural production and productivity by helping promote growth of a competitive fertiliser sector...
The second project, valued at $22 million, would lay the foundation for development of a broad-based and competitive seed industry...
EU FUNDS FISHING DEVELOPMENT
(AED 19 Jun 95)
The EU has granted the government EB20.15 million ($3.2 million) to finance the development of inland fisheries in the country, the Ethiopian News Agency has reported.
The report quoted Ato Sileshi, a fishery resources development officer, as saying the money would be used by the people interested in involvement in fishery development activities and increasing the consumption of the not-yet-exploited national wealth...
** REFUGEES AND REPATRIATION **
REFUGEES FROM SOMALIA AND SUDAN
(NN/africa.horn 20 Jun 95 [UNHCR Refugees Update May 95])
...There was a slight increase in the number of Somali refugees listed by the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) in the eastern camps in the past one month. The most recent arrivals, since the outbreak of fighting in Burao, N.W. Somalia, last March, now total some 9,000 with the majority in Daror camp in the Aware area. Added to the old caseload and those who fled following the fighting in Hargeisa in November 1994, the total assisted Somali population in the eastern camps has now reached 271,847.
The fighting which broke out late last March in Burao seemed to have been reduced to sporadic hit-and-run attacks.
In the western refugee settlements of Bonga, Fugnido and Dimma, an increase of 2,181 in the number of Sudanese refugees was registered. The assisted Sudanese refugee population stands at 55,443.
Moreover, ARRA informed UNHCR that over 1,200 Sudanese asylum seekers were awaiting screening in Tharpam screening centre in Gambella region. The newly-arrived asylum seekers may have come from Nasir town in the Sudanese Upper Nile Province. Nasir town, once a stronghold of Riak Machar s South Sudanese Independent Movement (SSIM), was recaptured by the Sudanese army in late March.
Repatriation of Ethiopians from Sudan and Kenya continues
Some 2,100 Ethiopian returnees were repatriated this month from Port-Sudan in three convoys...
Meanwhile the airlift repatriation from Dadaab, Kenya, to Gode, in south-eastern Ethiopia, continued with a total of 801 arrivals during May aboard 14 flights. So far, some 1,775 Ethiopian returnees have been airlifted back to Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Jijiga and Gode from Kenya. Another 707 returnees were repatriated overland via Moyale bringing the total number of Ethiopian refugees repatriated this year from Kenya to 2,482...
(United Nations Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia, Monthly Situation Report, July 95)
An estimated 1,000 unaccompanied minors from various ethnic backgrounds (Nibian, Dinka and Nuer) crossed into Ethiopia from Nassir area in July, having initially fled into Mawit before the recapturing of the town by government forces in March 1995. Following registration, the new arrivals were transferred to Fugnido camp. General nutritional status of these refugees seems satisfactory despite the long period of time they have spent in transit between Mawit and Gambella.
The assisted population in the western refugee settlement areas has reached 57, 225 with the following breakdown: Bonga 15,469; Fugnido 31,704; and Dimma 10, 052. This includes the new influx in July.
REFUGEES RETURN FROM JIBUTI
(SWB 28 Jul 95 [RE in English, 26 Jul 95])
Some 1,500 Ethiopians who sought refuge in the Shebele [phonetic] camp of Jibuti have been repatriated and reached the town of Dire Dawa [eastern Ethiopia]...
** FOREIGN RELATIONS **
SECRETARY-GENERAL MAKES ONE-DAY OFFICIAL VISIT TO ETHIOPIA
(UNIC 18 Jul 95 [UN document SG/T/1983 17 Jul 95])
Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali arrived at Addis Ababa today, 17 July, in the late afternoon for a one-day visit to Ethiopia...
The Secretary-General proceeded to the presidential palace to meet with the President of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia, Ato Meles Zenawi, who is also the current Chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). They had an extremely positive tete-a-tete which lasted 50 minutes. The Secretary-General briefed the President on his just completed tour in Africa during which he visited 6 countries: Egypt, Uganda, Rwanda, Angola, Zaire and Burundi. They had a discussion on the political situation in Africa.
The Secretary-General invited the President to come to New York from 20 to 24 October to speak on behalf of the OAU at the summit meeting of the General Assembly to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations. The President stated that he also supported fully the Secretary-General with regard to the need to strengthen cooperation between the OAU and the United Nations...
US EMBASSY DENIES REDUCTION IN AID
(SWB 20 Jul 95 [REE in English, 18 Jul 95])
The US embassy here in Addis Ababa has issued a press release statement concerning misleading reports on aid to Ethiopia that appeared in the international and local electronic and print media. The press release issued by the embassy said that claims that the US Congress is cutting or prohibiting aid to Ethiopia, as it has been reported by some media quarters, were incorrect. It said the amendment that foreign operations appropriations are unanimously accepted by the US House of Representatives did not prohibit or cut off current or future aid to Ethiopia but calls for monitoring of the human rights situation as the fiscal year 1996 aid is being disbursed...
KUWAIT TO OPEN EMBASSY IN ETHIOPIA
(SWB 15 Jul 95 [REE in English, 13 Jul 95])
Kuwait Crown Prince Emir Shaykh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah has disclosed that his country will open its embassy in Ethiopia in a bid to strengthen its relations...
QATAR AND ETHIOPIA ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
(SWB 18 Jul 95 [Wakh news agency, Manama, in Arabic 16 Jul 95])
Text of report by the Gulf news agency Wakh
Doha, 16th July: The State of Qatar and Ethiopia have agreed to establish diplomatic relations on a non-resident ambassador level...
** ECONOMIC NEWS **
EIU COUNTRY UPDATE
(Economic Intelligence Unit via RBB 7 Jul 95)
OVERVIEW: The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front's (EPRDF) overwhelming victory in the elections in May should boost its confidence and ability to push ahead with policy reforms. Further steps towards a market economy are expected.
Nonetheless, doubts remain over the principles underlying reforms and the modalities of changes scheduled, led by proposals for privatisation, joint ventures and the attraction of foreign direct investment. Growth for this fiscal year is confidently expected to attain the target of 5-6%, with inflation remaining below the 10% ceiling.
The recovery in agricultural output and the continued buoyancy of world coffee prices should boost tax revenue, contain the government deficit and restrict the current-account deficit to the target of 3% of GDP...
COFFEE EXPORTS RISE TO 78,000 T IN '94/95
(Reuter 12 Jul 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia has exported 78,000 tonnes of coffee in the 1994/95 crop year (October-September), up from 73,000 tonnes in 1993/94 and 69,362 in 1992/93, the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority said.
Ethiopia has earned $298.2 million and could have exported more coffee but held back some stocks because of fluctuating international prices, the authority said.
Export earnings were $153.8 million in 1993/94 and $130 million in 1992/93...
ETHIOPIA EARNS $66.5 MILLION FROM HIDES AND SKINS
(Reuter 19 Jul 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia, Africa's largest livestock owner, said on Wednesday it earned $66.5 million from exporting animal hides and skin in the fiscal year ending July 7.
The National Bank of Ethiopia, the central bank, said the $66.5 million was the result of an export drive by private and state-owned enterprises. Ethiopia has an estimated 25 million head of cattle.
But because of lack of proper management of livestock, the country usually makes little money from export, economists said...
ASSAB FREIGHT UP 20 PER CENT
(AED 17 Jul 95)
About 1.1 million tonnes of freight entered the country via Eritrea's Assab port during 1994. This represents a 20 per cent increase on the previous year.
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
** HUNGER THREATENS SOMALIA **
USAID SITUATION REPORT
(USAID/BHR/OFDA Situation Report #3, 7 Jul 95) U.S. Agency for International Development Bureau for Humanitarian Response (BHR) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
A tenuous peace continues to hold throughout Somalia in the wake of the withdrawal of UNOSOM forces and the expiration of the U.N.'s mandate on March 30, 1995. The Mogadishu seaport, the main conduit for food and other supplies into the capital and other areas, remains open, albeit sporadically, due to an agreement between rival Hawiye subclans. While localized fighting continues in portions of the country, Somalia has not reverted to anarchy, as many analysts had feared. The international community remains cautiously optimistic regarding the long- term prospects of nation building in Somalia as a result of the relatively positive security situation following the withdrawal of peacekeeping forces.
Other effects of UNOSOM's withdrawal do, however, continue to reverberate throughout the country. UNOSOM spent an estimated $1 billion per year in Somalia, primarily in Mogadishu, and served as the country's largest employer. Since March, Mogadishu has experienced hyperinflation, currency depreciation, and rising unemployment as approximately 5,000 Somalis lost their jobs. Coupled with rising food prices in the capital, this decrease in purchasing power appears to have resulted in declining nutritional conditions in Mogadishu, particularly among the highly vulnerable internally displaced population (IDP). Other pockets of malnutrition, unrelated to UNOSOM's departure, were also discovered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Lower Juba. Comprehensive assessments are underway in both areas to determine the full extent of food insecurity.
Food insecurity could increase in the next few months as the upcoming main season ("Gu") harvest is estimated at about 235,000 to 250,000 metric tons (MT). This represents a 20% decrease from last year's main harvest and about 50% of the pre-war average. A comprehensive crop assessment will be conducted by the World Food Program's (WFP's) Food Security Assessment Unit (FSAU) next month. Carryover food stocks from 1994 remain high, so it is expected that the result of the poor harvest will be higher prices in urban areas, rather than widespread food shortages...
Despite the withdrawal of U.N. peacekeepers, international involvement in Somalia continues through the funding and operation of extensive humanitarian programs. The U.N. estimates that 47 U.N. agencies and NGOs are active throughout Somalia. Despite isolated security incidents, program implementation appears to be progressing well in most areas. A recent assessment of the IDP in Mogadishu, conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), resulted in a major revision of IDP roles. IOM concluded that there are only 138,359 people who qualify in this category in the capital-- half of what had previously been estimated by UNOSOM. The majority of the IDP reside in shelters throughout Mogadishu...
AGENCIES FEAR WORSE TO COME IN SOUTHERN SOMALIA
(Reuter 9 Aug 95)
NAIROBI - Aid agencies said on Wednesday that malnutrition rates may increase in Somalia's southern port of Kismayu due to an influx of people driven by a poor harvest in the nearby Juba Valley.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-Doctors Without Borders) Belgium said a nutritional survey in July showed moderate and severe malnutrition in Kismayu and surrounding displaced camps stood at 17.8 percent.
MSF said this was no significant change from a survey last September which put moderate and severe malnutrition at 14.3 percent. But overall the situation appeared to be deteriorating. It said residents of Kismayu town in the survey showed higher malnutrition rates than displaced people in the camps.
"This is because the people in the camps have been there for about five years so they have found ways of making some money and surviving," MSF Kismayu coordinator Gilbert Hascoet told Reuters.
"In contrast we have had 15,000 newcomers arriving in the town itself in the last six months and mostly they haven't been able to find a way of earning money to buy food," he added.
Aid agencies are concerned about increasing malnutrition, especially in the capital Mogadishu, following the withdrawal of the last U.N. peacekeepers in March and fear that famine may return to Somalia unless they are allowed to operate in safety...
WFP TO RESUME FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN KISMAAYO
(SWB 29 Jul 95 [KNA news agency, Nairobi, in English 28 Jul 95])
Nairobi, 28th July: The World Food Programme (WFP) announced yesterday that it will attempt to distribute 140 tons of urgently needed food to the most vulnerable people in Kismaayo this weekend [29th-30th July], following a five-week suspension of WFP operations in the city. WFP was forced to halt activities [on] 19th June, when local militia went on yet another looting spree in its warehouse, stealing 240 tons of wheat flour. They then seized full control of the facility. Other UN agencies also suspended non-emergency operations.
Harassment of international staff, including frequent attempts to extort food and cash from WFP staff, resulted in the withdrawal of WFP internationals from Kismaayo in late April. WFP national staff kept the office open until all operations were suspended on 19th June, a faxed statement from [the] WFP Nairobi office reported.
WFP decided to make a renewed attempt at distribution after community elders promised to ensure that the militia would release the food from the warehouse...
** AID EFFORTS **
ECHO SUPPORTS MEDICAL AND FOOD AID FOR VICTIMS OF CONFLICT IN SOMALIA (European Commission press release via RBB, Ref: IP/95/694, 30 Jun 95) The conflict that has been devastating Somalia since 1991 has left its people very vulnerable and dependent on humanitarian aid. The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) has approved a grant of 350,000 ECU for medical aid and for a survey to check on food needs.
ECHO plans to work with two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on programmes scheduled to last up to six months.
The Coordinating Committee of the Organization for Voluntary Service (COSV), an Italian NGO, will work at the medical centre in Hoddur, where no other international agency is active at present. Its aim is to set up a programme that will benefit a catchment area covering some 100,000 people, and to train personnel to take over in due course. This programme is being carried out in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation and World Food Programme.
Action Internationale Contre la Faim, a French NGO, will carry out a survey to establish food needs in six potentially endangered parts of the country. Somalia has a population of about nine million, and about a third is thought to be vulnerable to malnutrition. This survey will define current needs and set out a framework for future action in this area. It will be carried out in collaboration with the World Food Programme.
An ECHO representative on the spot will continue to monitor these activities for the next six months.
OPERATION ECHO-FLIGHT EXTENDED IN EAST AND CENTRAL AFRICA
(RBB 15 Aug 95 [RAPID Ref: IP/95/907, 9 Aug 95])
Humanitarian aid for crisis-stricken areas of Somalia and Southern Sudan will have the back-up of Operation ECHO-Flight at least until February 1996 thanks to European Union funding for this lifeline. A grant of 3,500,000 ECU will maintain the service for six months from August.
The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) launched the ECHO-Flight service in May 1994. It works with nine aircraft, based in Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Somalia. The grant of 3,500,000 ECU will provide the funding for a C-130 Hercules "heavy lift" aircraft.
The service is essential in a region where overland transport is too hazardous because of security risks. ECHO-Flight aircraft in general are used to fly cargo and passengers, as well as evacuating emergency medical cases. The service has been designed primarily for the benefit of non-governmental organisations working in humanitarian aid operations. It is free of charge to them. The heavy lift aircraft is used mainly to airdrop food aid. It can also land with seeds and tools as necessary...
SAUDI TV TO ORGANISE CHARITY CAMPAIGN
(Moneyclips via RBB 9 Aug 95 [Saudi Gazette])
Riyadh, Aug. 4 (SPA): The Saudi Television will organise a charity campaign in co- operation with the Higher Authority for collecting donations for the Muslims of Bosnia- Herzegovina and Somalia next Friday, August 11, in line with directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahad.
The programme entitled 'Campaign of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for solidarity with the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina' will be a 12-hour programme from 1 pm to 1 am. It will receive offers of cash donations through telephone and fax numbers which will be announced tomorrow.
Meanwhile, a second consignment of relief materials destined for the Bosnian Muslims collected by the authority left Jeddah Islamic Port yesterday, the Okaz Arabic daily reported. A major portion of the urgent dispatch will be distributed among refugees anxiously waiting for food and medical supplies near Tuzla airport who are the victims of the latest Serb aggression in the Bosnian cities of Srebrenica and Zepa.
The Higher Authority for collecting donations is headed by Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Riyadh Region.
** BAIDOA **
(ION 8 Jul 95, p.4)
Lengthy negotiations earlier this year led in May to the creation of a supreme council of the Dighil-Mirifle clans under the chairmanship of Abdulkadir Mohamed (aka Zoppo, an Italian word meaning lame) and under the executive leadership of the lawyer Hassan Sheikh Ibrahim ..., who drafted the "constitutional act" of this new regional unit which includes the administrative regions of Bay and Bakol (with Baidoa as capital). The draft constitution defends the indentity of the Dighil-Mirifle clans, declares Islam to be the state religion, rejects separatism, calls for disarmament of the local population, and proposes a federal type framework for Somalia. The Nairobi-based European Union representative for Somalia, Sigurd Illing, was present in Baidoa on May 25 when the supreme council was officially installed. He said afterwards that an EU representative office would be opened in the town and would be set up in a building made available by the regional body and which is to be renovated at a cost of about US$ 70,000. Other offices have been put at the disposal of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the US agency USAID. The supreme council has already promulgated a fiscal law, another on the detention of firearms, and has made initial contacts with a view to repairing Baidoa airport (which the EU may agree to finance)...
SOMALIS MAKE PEACE TRADITIONAL WAY
(Reuter 19 Jul 95)
MOGADISHU - Clan elders in central Somalia have reached a peace agreement after at least 20 people were killed in violence between ethnic militias last weekend, residents contacted by radio said on Wednesday.
A traditional "peace feast" will be held in the central town of Baidoa and other spots where clashes took place for three days last week between the Leysan on the one hand and the allied Haren and Eley clans on the other, elders said.
The fighting, in which about 45 people were wounded in Baidoa, forced aid workers from the United Nations and other relief agencies to stop work. They were able to resume the work as a result of the peace agreement.
Clan elders have also forged a peace deal between the Hadame and Jirron clans which recently fought in the central Bakool province, forcing expatriate workers of the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) to evacuate.
An estimated 300,000 people starved to death in the 1993 famine, which was worst in Bakool and the Bay province of which Baidoa is the capital...
** HUMAN RIGHTS AND REFUGEES **
INDEPENDENT EXPERT TO STUDY SOMALIA
(UNIC 28 Jul 95 [UN document ECOSOC/5622 27 Jul 95])
GENEVA, 25 July--The Economic and Social Council this afternoon adopted 59 resolutions and decisions on human rights concerns, including the right to development and the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities...
In a decision on assistance to Somalia in human rights, the Council approved the Commission's request to the independent expert to study ways and means of how best to implement a programme of advisory services for that country upon request. That would be effected through the contributions of agencies and programmes of the United Nations currently in the field, aimed at re-establishing respect for human rights and the rule of law and strengthening the police, the judicial and prison systems in Somalia...
ECHO TO AID SOMALI REFUGEES IN KENYA
(RBB 15 Aug 95 [RAPID, Ref: IP/95/911, 9 Aug 95])
Kenya is currently hosting some 48,500 Somali refugees fleeing the breakdown of law and order in Somalia since 1991. The European Union is contributing to an appeal on their behalf with a grant of 329,000 ECU.
The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) will work in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross on a project to provide food, water and sanitation, as well as basic medical care for the refugees. About a quarter of them are now very vulnerable. They are living in refugee camps based in Marafa, Swaleh-Nguru, Hatimi and Jomvu on the Kenyan coast.
ECHO's contribution will cover the costs of hiring staff, both expatriate and local, and transport on the spot for six months.
This operation is being carried out in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Kenyan authorities.
LIBYA EXPELS HUNDREDS OF SOMALIS
(Reuter 20 Jun 95)
TUNIS - Libya has expelled nearly 350 Somalis who are now stranded on the Libya- Tunisia border, travellers said on Tuesday.
The Somali group, including women and children, has since Monday been in the no- man's-land between the Libyan and Tunisian control posts unable to cross to Tunisia because of lack of passports and visas, a witness told Reuters by telephone from the border.
Tunisian officials would not comment.
Libya earlier this year said it would expell about 2.5 million foreign workers, saying that U.N. sanctions imposed on it since 1992 had a negative impact on the work force...
TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS FOR SOMALIS EXTENDED IN US
(Business Wire via RBB 1 Aug 95)
WASHINGTON--Attorney General Janet Reno has ordered an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for approximately 350 nationals of Somalia currently living in the United States. The extension designation, effective immediately, will be valid until Sept. 17, 1996.
Because this is an extension, and not a new designation, all Somali registrants must have been "continuously physically present" in the United States since Sept. 16, 1991, and either already registered for TPS or eligible for late initial registration. This extension will ensure that eligible Somalis will not be forced to return to their homeland while present dangers exist...
** VIOLENCE CONTINUES **
MORE THAN 60 KILLED IN CLAN FIGHTING IN SOMALIA
(Reuter 8 Jul 95, by Aden Ali)
MOGADISHU - At least 61 people have been killed in central Somalia and the capital Mogadishu in fighting between rival clan militias in the past week, Somalia sources and militia officials said on Saturday.
Most of the fighting took place in central Somalia between supporters of General Mohamed Farah Aideed's Habre Gedir clan and those of the Marehan clan of the Somali National Front (SNF) of late dictator Mohamed Siad Barre...
"Inter-clan skirmishes have risen in the three weeks since supporters of Aideed proclaimed him president of the whole of Somalia," Tarabi told reporters. "It is because people are a little more uncertain of political trends."
A spokesman for Aideed's Somali National Alliance (SNA) said that before the fighting broke out, mostly in Aideed-supporting villages in Galgadud, SNF militia had raided the area and killed 23 people to punish them for apparently backing the wrong group.
Tarabi denied that, saying SNF militia were not involved in any massacre of innocent people.
Somali sources said that among other deaths two people were killed and dozens wounded on Friday when rival factions within the SNA shot at each other along the road to the airport in Mogadishu.
Fighting then spread to the airport but died down in the night and on Saturday Mogadishu remain calm.
Tarabi said four Marehan clansmen had been killed in Mogadishu in the past three days, the body of one being found handcuffed on Mogadishu beach. He blamed their deaths of Aideed militia.
The SNA official blamed "blood feuds" for the fighting but Tarabi said jostling for political power led to the fresh wave of fighting.
In Mogadishu, Aideed on a visit to his radio, which he terms his information ministry, said that those who took part in the struggle for Somali emancipation would be honoured.
He also pledged that "the fruits of their treason" would go to those Somalis who he said had sided with the Horn of African country's enemies.
Three weeks ago, after Aideed was ousted as SNA chairman by his one-time financier, Osman Atto, in a party coup, Aideed's followers declared him president of the country.
SOMALI BLAZE TOLL AT LEAST 12
(Reuter 11 Jul 95)
MOGADISHU - At least 12 people, many of them looters shot by guards, were killed in a huge fire in the Somali capital's main market, witnesses said on Tuesday.
The overnight fire in Mogadishu caused millions of dollars of damage to the market which sells everything from food to guns and gold.
Clan militia leader Mohamed Farah Aideed led his men personally in battling the fire which started in south Mogadishu's Bakaaraha market at dusk on Monday.
Gunmen from his arch-rival Ali Mahdi Mohamed's faction in the north of the city also downed their weapons in an attempt to help during the 10-hour struggle against the blaze...
/HAB/ According to reports by pro-Aideed radio as reported by SWB, Aideed has appointed a committee to investigate the blaze, as well as a "peace committee and a force to ensure the security of the market..."
On the other hand, pro-Ali Mahdi radio has reported Ali Mahdi as saying that the fire was not an accident, but "the result of deliberate banditry". Ali Mahdi also accused Aydid of ordering militia members to shoot "indiscriminately" in order to prevent people from extinguishing the blaze and saving property.
MORE THAN 60 ESCAPE FROM MOGADISHU CENTRAL PRISON
(Reuter 12 Aug 95)
MOGADISHU - More than 60 Somalis, former militia gunmen jailed for robbery, indiscipline or killings, escaped from Mogadishu's central prison on Friday, witnesses said.
They said 68 escaped from the prison near the port on Friday afternoon. Prison warders have not been paid since U.N. troops pulled out in March but receive food for work from the U.N. food agency.
The prison is in territory controlled by faction leader Mohamed Farah Aideed, elected "president" of Somalia by supporters in June. His government has received no international recognition.
** KIDNAPPINGS CONTINUE **
GERMAN VETERINARIAN FREED IN SOMALIA AFTER 19 DAYS
(Reuter 14 Jun 95)
NAIROBI - A German veterinarian kidnapped in northeastern Somalia was freed after 19 days and no ransom was paid, the European Union special envoy's office said on Wednesday.
In a statement it said Heinz Stachelsheid who works for the German aid agency Johanniter International was kidnapped by gunmen near from the village of Badhan on May 25.
"No clear reasons have as yet emerged for the abduction," said the statement, adding Stachelsheid was now resting in the Red Sea port of Djibouti and would return to Germany later on Wednesday.
It said his safe and unconditional release was the work of traditional leaders and particularly the sultan of the Warsengeli who showed commitment to international cooperation...
More than a dozen foreign aid workers have been kidnapped in Somalia since 1993 by gunmen demanding ransoms or in financial disputes with their agencies. All have been freed unharmed...
UNICEF INFORMATION OFFICER FREED
(Reuter 4 Aug 95)
NAIROBI - A Somali working for the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) was freed on Wednesday by supporters of faction leader Mohamed Farah Aideed after nearly two weeks in captivity.
In a statement on Friday, UNICEF said Aden Mohamed Ali, an assistant information officer in Mogadishu, was freed and flown to the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Thursday after talks with Aideed's administration and the supporters who arrested him.
It said he had been held "on suspicion of disseminating information harmful to Aideed's recently proclaimed government" but gave no details...
SOMALIS SET CONDITIONS FOR RELEASE OF PAKISTANIS
(Reuter 10 Aug 95)
MOGADISHU - A spokesman for Somali faction leader Mohamed Farah Aideed has set conditions for the release of 12 Pakistani fishermen held in Mogadishu for more than four months.
The spokesman for the government set up by Aideed in June, which has no international recognition, said on Wednesday the men should pay an unspecified fine for intruding into Somali territory.
He also said the government of Pakistan should formally recognise Aideed's group as the legitimate Somali government.
It only became publicly known last week that the Pakistanis and one man of Palestinian origin were being held at a house in south Mogadishu when journalists saw gunmen take them out one- by-one to wash shortly before Moslem prayers.
One of the gunmen told journalists this week the 13 had been held for more than four months in very bad conditions and were fed once every 24 hours. He said they had no change of clothes.
Guards said the Pakistanis and Palestinian were arrested for fishing illegally in Somali waters south of Mogadishu...
** SHARIA **
CLAN LEADER CALLS FOR ISLAMIC SHARIA LAW
(Reuter 10 Jul 95)
MOGADISHU - Clan militia leader Ali Mahdi Mohamed wants Islamic sharia law, with amputations for theft to execution for murder, imposed across Somalia to bring law and order to the anarchic country.
Mogadishu radio, which supports Ali Mahdi, quoted him late on Sunday as saying "implementation of Islamic sharia law is the only way out of the present economic and socio-political problems in the country".
He made this call during talks with religious leaders in the northern enclave of Mogadishu which is controlled by his militias and where sharia courts have been functioning since August 1994.
Sharia has become popular among many Somalis because the harsh system of punishments has helped drive off the streets armed thugs who have terrorised people since the country collapsed into lawlessness four years ago.
But sharia has been opposed by Ali Mahdi's arch-rival Mohamed Farah Aideed, whose clan militia controls parts of south Mogadishu.
Somalia had a secular constitution from independence in 1960 -although it has not been adhered to since all state institutions collapsed with the overthrow of the last government in 1991. Most Somalis have aligned themselves according to their clan in the troubled 1990s. Religion and nationalism have so far failed to bring them together.
Many Mogadishu residents also point out that swarms of Aideed's Habre Gedir clansmen have invaded Mogadishu and the fertile hinterland during the last four years of civil strife, occupying houses and vast swathes of farming land.
In north Mogadishu, the sharia courts have served to return properties to their original owners...
** SPLIT: AIDEED--OSMAN ATTO **
IN SOMALIA, A CHAMELEON THRIVES
(NomadNet [NYT 31 Jul 95, by Donatella Lorch])
A millionaire businessman, reputed arms dealer and drug trafficker, self-styled diplomat and peacemaker, Osman Hassan Ali has his own private army in Somalia. But as he limps into the lobby in Nairobi's Intercontinental Hotel, wearing a jacket and striped shirt and clutching a crutch in one hand, he hardly raises an eyebrow.
Accompanied by only one bodyguard, Osman Ato, as he is widely known (Ato is a nickname that means "skinny"), has come for coffee and a chat with an American Embassy official. The get-together is part of a whirlwind of meetings on Somalia's future that occupy much of his time these days as he commutes in and out of Mogadishu...
Straight-talking and focused but coy about his own ambitions, Osman Ato is the chameleon of Somali politicians, showing himself to be a master of survival and adapting to shifting alliances. He financed clan militias during Somalia's civil war; built deadly "technicals," the four-wheel-drive cars mounted with antiaircraft guns and other automatic weapons, and expanded his fortune with United Nations contracts.
Now he says he wants to bring peace to his country so business can thrive and Somalia can rebuild itself. Of all the Somali political players, Osman Ato is the most skillful and pragmatic, Western diplomats say...
In 1992, Osman Ato helped pave the way for the food airlift and later the American troop landing. He was the Americans' main contact and negotiator with General Aidid.
Within half a year as the tension escalated and the United Nations began an all-out assault against General Aidid, the American military bombed Osman Ato's garages, destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars of bulldozers and other equipment as well as equipment that gave him the ability to build technicals. American military officials described him as "General Aidid's evil genius."
As they searched for Mr. Aidid, the American military arrested and imprisoned Osman Ato. In prison on an island off the coast of Somalia for four months, he suffered from malnutrition and severe neglect, former Western diplomats in Somalia say.
A year and a half after his release, Osman Ato's garages are up and running and making technicals again, he says. He is also once again talking and dealing with the Americans, trying to negotiate for funds for reconciliation conferences.
"We had a dispute but that dispute can be settled at a later stage," Osman Ato said about his relationship with the American Government. "We have to work with the Americans. We cannot live without them. We need their help in assisting Somalia. Personal grievances can come at a later date."
His pragmatism has brought at least grudging respect.
"He's very shrewd," said Robert Oakley, a former United States Ambassador to Somalia and its special envoy during the United Nations mission there. "Obviously he knows how to make deals and how to work with the Americans. He understands what makes sense to us.
"Not that he's our man," he said. "Politically, he can't afford to be too close to the Americans. He's one of the people keenly aware of how much damage we did to Somalia."...
"He makes more money than the country is making," Mr. Oakley said.
When the civil war broke out in Somalia in 1991, Osman Ato allied himself with Mr. Aidid and financed his militias. They are both members of the Hawiye clan and its Habr Gedir sub clan.
Mr. Oakley remembers a night in June 1993 when a truck piled high with weapons was smuggled out of Osman Ato's compound just days before his garage was bombed. When United Nations troops dug up the huge sand berms blocking roads near Osman Ato's garage, they found weapons caches. In a recent interview, Osman Ato said his garages were back in business making technicals.
Late last year, his car drove over a land mine in western Somalia and the explosion broke both his feet. He said he was only visiting the area; American diplomats said he was organizing a weapons transaction near the Ethiopian border.
Osman Ato said that when he was imprisoned by the American military, he was handcuffed and blindfolded for long periods of time. American diplomats deny it. But Mr. Oakley said Osman Ato's health had so deteriorated because of neglect and malnutrition that he had to be transferred to a hospital in Baidoa...
UTHMAN ATO SETS UP NEW RADIO STATION
(SWB 1 Aug 95 [KBC radio, Nairobi, in English 30 Jul 95])
Uthman Ali Ato, a former ally of warlord Gen Muhammad Farah Aydid, has commissioned a new radio station in south Mogadishu, his faction said. The new station is to cover a 6,000 km area and will be known as Radio Mogadishu, Voice of the Somali Pacification. It is to broadcast initially in Somali, but later in English and Arabic, and is to operate on the same frequency as the rival warlord's radio station...
NOW SOMALIA HAS TWO PRESIDENTS
(NA Sept 95, p. 29)
Alice in Wonderland would appreciate Somalia now that General Aideed is the second man to declare himself President. Aideed was unanimously elected by a conference of 15 political organizations meeting in June. But most of the 15 were factions of factions, som e not even representative of the parties they claimed to represent.
General Aideed also conveniently ignored the fact that his main rival Ali Mahdi Mohamed was also theoretically elected national president by a majority of factions in February 1991. So Somalia now has tow presidents, not one.
Within a couple of weeks of the attempted seizure of power by Aideed, heavy fighting broke out in the streets of Mogadishu between his faction and that of Ali Mahdi. At least four people were killed.
Aideed's precipitate action was caused by his chief rival Osman Hassan Ali Ato, who three days earlier had been elected head of the United Somali Congress and the Somali National Alliance, effectively deposing Aideed.
About 140 delegates elected Ato, but Aideed did keep the loyalty of some prominent USC leaders who were made vice presidents. Aideed and Osman Ato are both of the Saad sub- clan of the Habr Gidir clan of the Hawiyes. The division between the two has weakened Aideed's support base even among his own people. Ato's strength is that he is a wealthy businessman who has control over large amounts of heavy weapons and "technicals".
Aideed took the opportunity of his opening address to tell a large rally in Mogadishu that now the colonialists would not be able to poke their noses into Somali affairs.
He went on to attack the Somaliland government and said that the war there was between SNM supporters who wanted to preserve Somali unity and a group led by the President Mohamed Egal. Within a couple of weeks Aideed was pleading with the international relief agencies, asking them to return to Somalia to urgently tackle "malnutrition and widespread hunger". People are dying of hunger in many parts of the country, including Mogadishu.
AYDID OFFERS TO PAY FOR SURRENDERED WEAPONS
(SWB 18 Aug 95 [Radio Mogadishu, Voice of the Masses of the Somali Republic, in Somali 15 Aug 95])
Excerpt from report by Somali pro-Muhammad Farah Aydid radio on 15th August
Mr Muhammad Farah Aydid, the president of the Republic of Somalia, has today issued Decree No 2...
Article One: With effect from 15th August 1995, all heavy and light weapons and explosives which are in the hands of communities, fighters, companies, agencies and Somali people in general are to be surrendered to the government of the Republic of Somalia so that they become national property.
[Article] Two: The government will pay a reasonable sum of money, within six months, for any weapons collected in line with Article One...
** SOMALI FACTIONS MEET IN KENYA **
SOMALIA ORGANIZATIONS' MEETING IN KENYA REPORTEDLY REACHES AGREEMENT (SWB 15 Aug 95 [RVSP in Somali, 12 Aug 95]) Text of report by Somali pro-Uthman Ali Ato radio on12th August
Reliable reports from Nairobi, Kenya, today said that the Somali organizations meeting there have agreed on 11 articles which are in the common interest of the Somali people, and which will be elaborated later.
This meeting was greatly facilitated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference and some Muslim countries, especially Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Malaysia. The Kenya government also expended a lot of energy in making the Somali organizations agree on reconciliation and national reconstruction. The government of Ethiopia was also closely following the debate at the Somali organizations' meeting in Nairobi.
UN WELCOMES FACTIONS' AGREEMENT IN KENYA
(Reuter 17 Aug 95, by Nicholas Kotch)
NAIROBI - ...The U.N. representative for Somalia said he welcomed Thursday's initiative by Somali factions and communities towards forming a common platform to resolve the crisis in Somalia.
But Abdul Kabia, who represents U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, in a statement urged the factions to include supporters of Egal and Aideed in their initiative.
"The United Nations also implores the supporters of these two individuals (Egal and Aideed)...to enter into genuine dialogue with their compatriots in achieving a peaceful political settlement of the Somali crisis," the statement added.
Representatives of Ali Mahdi Mohammed, who also calls himself president and controls north Mogadishu, endorsed Atto's stand [against Aideed's claim of being president] at the news conference but did not comment on Mahdi's current status.
"We are saying there is no government in Somalia. But we are not pointing the finger at anyone," was Atto's response...
** RIVAL GROUPS CLAIM EMPTY OAU SEAT **
RIVAL SOMALI GROUPS TRY TO CLAIM EMPTY OAU SEAT
(Reuter 22 Jun 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Delegations from rival Somali militias are trying to claim their destroyed country's vacant seat at the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) before the annual heads of state summit starting on Monday.
Mogadishu warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed, whose supporters unilaterally declared him "president" last week, sent his new "foreign minister" Jama Mohamed Qalim on Thursday to Addis Ababa...
Meanwhile, a delegation representing Aideed's bitter rival Ali Mahdi Mohamed - who has claimed since 1991 he is the true president - is reported to have arrived in Addis Ababa to also lobby for the vacant seat.
At its head is Osman Hassan Ali Atto, Aideed's former financier and right hand man who fell out with him before United Nations forces abandoned Somalia in March.
OAU spokesman Ibrahim Dagash said Aideed had requested the organisation hand over the seat at the foreign ministers' talks, but the official said:
"The secretariat will not allow Aideed's delegation to occupy the Somali seat at the council unless the foreign ministers decide otherwise."
He said the foreign ministers were expected to discuss the issue of what to do with Somalia's seat on Thursday or Friday...
OAU DECIDES TO KEEP SOMALIA SEAT VACANT
(Reuter 6 Jul 95)
ADDIS ABABA - African leaders have decided to give Somalia's seat in the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) to none of the warring Somali factions, OAU officials said on Thursday.
They said the OAU summit in Addis Ababa last week had decided to recognise no party in Somalia as the legitimate government and to keep Somali's seat vacant until a broad-based government was formed there...
** FOREIGN RELATIONS **
ALI MAHDI HITS OUT AGAINST LIBYA
(Reuter 19 Jul 95)
MOGADISHU - Somali clan militia leader Ali Mahdi Mohamed accused Libya on Wednesday of aiding rival Mohamed Farah Aideed and said it would be held responsible for any new fighting in Somalia.
Speaking to reporters at his north Mogadishu home, Ali Mahdi urged the international community to discourage Libya from backing Aideed's proclamation by supporters as president of Somalia...
MOI SUPPORTS AIDEED
(Reuter 26 Jul 95)
NAIROBI - ...Kenya's President Daniel arap Moi said at an Organisation of African Unity (OAU) heads of state summit in Addis Ababa last month that Aideed's election as president was a step in the right direction...
KENYA ARRESTS, RELEASES OSMAN ATTO
(Reuter 27 Jul 95, by Nanna Mwaluko)
NAIROBI - Kenyan authorities released Somali clan militia chief Osman Hassan Ali Atto overnight after holding him for nearly 24 hours, relatives said on Thursday.
No comment was available from the authorities on the arrest of Osman Atto, a former right- hand man of militia chief Mohamed Farah Aideed and now a major rival of his.
"He was released last night. He is now holding talks with government officials over the matter. It is only after the meeting that we will know why they arrested him in the first place," a relative told Reuters.
Between 30 and 40 Kenyan police officers, some in uniform and others in plain clothes, raided Osman Atto's Nairobi home on Tuesday night.
"They left early on Wednesday with Mr Atto and about 20 other Somalis under arrest and took his documents," another relative said. He said Atto and the other Somalis had valid visas for Kenya...
KENYA APOLOGISES FOR SOMALI FACTION CHIEF'S ARREST
(Reuter 28 Jul 95, by Peter Smerdon)
NAIROBI - Somali faction leader Osman Ali Hassan Atto said on Friday Kenya's president had apologised for his arrest and assured him he did not support any individual as Somalia's leader.
Osman Atto told Reuters President Daniel arap Moi was apparently unaware of his arrest by Kenyan police with 20 other Somalis in Nairobi early on Wednesday and the government had intervened for their release.
Moi met Osman Atto and representatives of other factions on Thursday and warned them not to use Kenya as a base to attack each other and said the government should be informed in advance of their meetings.
"His (Moi's) main topic was he did not support any faction or individual and there was no Somali government. He apologised for our arrest and said he was sorry for the incident," he said...
** CLASHES **
ISSA REBELS CLASH WITH SOMALILAND TROOPS
(SWB 12 Aug 95 [RFI in French, 10 Aug 95])
The Jibuti army has this morning been put on alert along the country' s border with the self- proclaimed Republic of Somaliland. The Jibuti authorities fear a flare- up of clashes between the Somaliland army and the Issa militias of the United Somalia Front [untraced; in French: Front de la Somalie Unifiee]. Yesterday the militias attacked the locality of Barisle, less than five kilometres from the border. According to Radio Hargeisa, two soldiers and nine militiamen were killed. The Issa rebels admit to five deaths from among their ranks and say that 31 soldiers were killed. Our reporter is Abdi Aden:
[Aden] Today the Somaliland soldiers and the Issa rebels are facing each other at Tokhoshi, some 20 km from the Jibuti border, and fighting is likely to flare up anew.
The reason for the fighting is to see who can win control of a nine- square- kilometre area claimed by Issa nomads, who are also demanding regional autonomy based on the Boorama charter. The charter is supposed to regulate intertribal affairs in Somaliland. The government of Muhammad Ibrahim Egal does not see things that way, however. He wants to set up an administration which, he says, will represent the three main tribes that live in this area bordering on Jibuti. The tribes in question are the Issa, the Gadaboursy and the Issaq. The Somaliland Issas have categorically rejected this formula, which they suspect is a ploy to manoeuvre them out of the Somaliland political arena.
Jibuti, for its part, has put its troops along the border with Somaliland on a state of alert in order to prevent any fighting from spilling over the border.
Abdi Aden in Jibuti for RFI.
SOMALILAND TROOPS ATTACK REBELS, GOVERNMENT RADIO
(Reuter 15 Aug 95)
DJIBOUTI - Troops loyal to the president of self- declared Somaliland attacked rebels in a region in the southwest and broke through their lines, government radio said on Tuesday.
Radio Hargeisa said government troops launched a massive attack on rebel positions in southwestern Burao and immediately broke through rebel lines in fighting that lasted for several hours.
It was the latest in a series of confrontations since last month between President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal's forces and the rebels from the Issaq clan, known as the Somali National Movement.
A pro- government newsletter, the Voice of Hargeisa, said on Tuesday rebels used mortars in a weekend battle with Egal's troops at an airport near the Somaliland capital Hargeisa.
The newsletter said rebels were beaten back and suffered heavy losses in Saturday's battle with government troops.
It said up to 10 government soldiers were killed and 20 wounded at the airport, where fighting pitting clan militiamen against the president's forces in Hargeisa and the west began last November.
No comment was available from Egal, who said last November that he expected the insurrection to be put down within days...
SOMALILAND ARRESTS PLANE, SCANDINAVIAN DIPLOMATS
(Reuter 22 Aug 95)
DJIBOUTI - Government troops in self- declared Somaliland have seized a light plane and its passengers, including two Scandinavian diplomats, Radio Hargeisa reported on Tuesday.
It said the seven passengers and crew under arrest included diplomats Mikael Glas of Sweden and Oeyvind Nordgaren of Norway, both based in Nairobi...
Reports reaching Djibouti, quoting official Radio Hargeisa, said the King Air plane was seized by troops for "landing illegally" after it arrived from Nairobi on Monday.
The radio said a rebel militia in Somaliland, called the Somali National Movement Alliance (SNMA), was forced out of positions in the southern part of Hargeisa airport on Monday by troops loyal to President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal.
Without further explanation, the radio said the plane's arrest was linked to a SNMA statement on Sunday night broadcast from Mogadishu, the Somali capital. The radio said the statement claimed the militia controlled 70 percent of Hargeisa...
Radio Hargeisa said in Monday's fighting at the airport, pro- Egal forces captured an SNMA tank and destroyed one of its "technical" battle- wagons. It said three militiamen were captured while the rest fled.
One government soldier was killed and four were wounded, the radio said.
FREED NORWEGIAN SAYS FIVE STILL HELD IN SOMALIA
(Reuter 27 Aug 95)
NAIROBI - A Norwegian diplomat freed in northwestern Somalia said on Sunday five other foreigners were still held after flying in to repatriate three Somalis deported from Sweden.
Oeyvind Nordgaren, 42, a police officer with diplomatic status attached to Norway's embassy in Kenya, told reporters in Nairobi he was released on Saturday and flown to the Kenyan capital.
He said he was freed after a telephone conversation between Norway's deputy foreign minister and Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, the president of the self- proclaimed break- away state of Somaliland, and felt sure that the talks had helped secure his release.
The foreign minister of Somaliland, which has received no international recognition since it was set up in 1991, personally drove Nordgaren to an airport on the coast at Berbera from where he flew to Nairobi.
Nordgaren said he was held at a police compound in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa with Swedish diplomat Mikael Glas, two Kenyans and the French pilot and Italian co- pilot who flew them there last Monday.
He said they were arrested after landing in Somaliland without proper permission to repatriate three Somalis deported from Sweden. Nordgaren went on the trip because there was a spare seat.
He said the other five were still held and he found it hard to leave them but Sweden was conducting negotiations with representatives of Somaliland for the release of its diplomat.
Egal announced on Friday Nordgaren had been released. Asked by a Norwegian television station by telephone about the other detainees, he only said: "That is a different story altogether."...
"We were treated well and the food was okay," said Nordgaren, adding however they received no information and the uncertainty about what was going to happen to them was worrying...
/HAB/ As HAB goes to press, we have not received any further information on the status of the detainees from our local representative in Hargeisa, Mr. Jama M. Omar, who has been facilitating communication between the Somaliland authorities and the detainees.
** PEACE TALKS IN HARSHIN **
SENATORS IN ETHIOPIAN TOWN FOR PEACE CONFERENCE WITH OPPOSITION CLAN ELDERS
(SWB 21 Jul 95 [RH in Somali, 7 Jul 95])
Preparations for the peace conference in Harshin [in Ethiopia's Region Five] is proceeding well and without complications for the Somaliland senate delegation led by Mr Shaykh Yusuf Shaykh Madar, the Senate chairman. This was reported today by our conference correspondent, journalist Abdullahi Isma'il Fir. The Harshin peace conference is being attended by the Somaliland senators and elders of the Salahley community. About 150 elders from Salahley and 25 Republic of Somaliland senators were warmly welcomed by Ali Aw Abdullahi, the chairman of Harshin town, the town council, Sultan Isma'il Muse, religious scholars, elders and the people of Harshin...
The agenda of the peace conference and the manner of opening it will be discussed. The mood of the Harshin people and of the delegates is positive and full of optimism and hope for durable results and understanding as the keys to peace.
** NEW CONSTITUTION **
EGAL SAYS NEW CONSTITUTION SHOULD BE COMPLETED WITHIN 12 MONTHS
(SWB 13 Jul 95 [RH in Somali, 1 Jul 95])
Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, the president of the Republic of Somaliland, said at the presidency today that the process of drafting the constitution should be completed within 12 months. He said this after a session of the Somaliland parliament and a meeting held by the national constitution drafting committee. The meeting was chaired by the president and discussed the country's constitution. Mr Egal said that he hoped the constitution would be a wise and lasting one. He said everyone was required to express his views when asked. Foreign experts would also take part so that a clear and understandable constitution would result. He said that once the constitution had been drafted, the public would be informed on the mass media and asked to comment. Thereafter a referendum would be held. The 10- man constitution drafting committee has reported on how it is carrying out its duties and what has been achieved so far.
** INTERNATIONAL/ REGIONAL RELATIONS **
EGAL MAKES HONOURABLE AMENDS
(ION 24 Jun 95, p.3)
Somaliland's president Mohamed Ibrahim Egal went to Nairobi last week to meet with the Kenyan- based European Union special envoy for Somalia, Sigurd Illing of Germany, who had been declared persona non grata in Somaliland one month earlier (ION No. 672). The outcome of the June 15 meeting was a brief communique from Egal saying that after "lengthy and constructive discussions" between the president and the envoy, "all outstanding differences were ironed out and mutually acceptable working relations were firmly established". It was understood that the EU "intends to continue funding projects in Somaliland as long as circumstances allow" and the communique added that "President Egal noted with satisfaction the assurances given by Ambassador Illing that he will keep him informed about all project activities to undertaken by the EU in Somaliland".
Egal said he would like to have another meeting with Illing, this time in Hargeisa, to "enhance cooperation between the EU and the Hargeisa Adminstration", the term the European Union prefers to "Somaliland" since it does not recognize Somaliland's sovereignty as an independent state. Flights of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) to three points in Somaliland which had been suspended were expected to resume this week. Moreover, the EU technical representation office in Berbera would shortly be reopened and would then also cover the whole of northern Somalia, including the Mejertein region in the northeast. A similar EU office would be opened in Baidoa to cover the southern part of Somalia...
TALKS HELD IN HARGEISA BETWEEN PRESIDENT AND BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO ETHIOPIA
(SWB 29 Jun 95 [RH in Somali, 13 Jun 95])
Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, the president of the Republic of Somaliland, has today received at the Presidency in Hargeisa Mr [Robin] Christopher, the British ambassador to Ethiopia in Addis Ababa.
The ambassador arrived in the country yesterday [12th June] and the objective of his visit is to find out what they have done [unspecified] in Somaliland and to find out about the true situation in Somaliland and also to find out how we see the problem of Somalia and about our organizational relations. Mr Egal told the ambassador about efforts being made by the government and the people of Somaliland towards tackling the problems left by the dictatorship era of Afweyne [former president in Somalia, Siyad Barreh]. Mr Egal also talked about the work being done to ensure security and efforts being made to settle differences peacefully...
EGAL LEAVES FOR CONFERENCE IN ZIMBABWE
(SWB 29 Jun 95 [RH in Somali, 14 Jun 95])
Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, the president of the Republic of Somaliland, has taken off from Hargeisa airport, the capital, for a working visit to Zimbabwe.
He was accompanied by Mr Ail Garad Mahmud Ali, the deputy minister for livestock, forestry and ranches, and they are due to attend a conference to discuss ways in which governments in Africa can overcome future problems and their remedies. The conference is being attended by African heads of state and former officials. The president said he was attending the conference in an official capacity and was invited by Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, and that he was required to report on the affairs of Somaliland and Somalia and their problems and ways of resolving them given that the Organization of African Unity is to hold a meeting in Addis Ababa at the end of this month...
SOMALILAND VICE- PRESIDENT REJECTS AYDID'S ASSUMPTION OF PRESIDENCY
(SWB 29 Jun 95 [RH in Somali, 17 Jun 95])
Mr Abd al- Rahman Aw Ali Farah, the vice- president of the Republic of Somaliland, said today that the self- styled president and the five vice- presidents who have just been named in south Mogadishu by the man called Aydid are of no concern to the Republic of Somaliland.
The vice- president was briefing government press and independent journalists and clarified that this country had been independent, with its own government and assemblies, since May 1991, when our independence of 1960 was regained and declared. He said he [Aydid] was dreaming and said that it was up to the people of Somaliland to discuss their future and what action to take. He went on to say that those using the name of Somaliland there [in Mogadishu] were criminals who had committed crimes against the people and the country. He described them as mercenary personalities who had been used...
** ECONOMIC NEWS **
CABINET APPROVES CENTRAL BANK AND GOVERNMENT BUDGET
(SWB 20 Jun 95 [RH in Somali, 29 May 95])
Today's Council of Ministers' meeting approved the budget of Somaliland's central bank for the period between 1st April and 31st December 1995 totalling 107m [Somaliland shillings] for the five operative branches and other planned branches which have not yet opened, these latter being the branches of Burco, Laascaanood, Ceerigaabo, Badhan, Saylac and Dumbuluq of Hargeisa.
The Council of Ministers in their meeting also accepted the general government budget for 1995 which totals 1,879,943,580 Somaliland shillings...
The meeting also resolved that official working hours in government offices would be [all times local] from 0700 to 1200 and 1400 to 1700 every day except Thursday, when the hours would be from 0700 to 1200. The working hours will be effective from 1st June 1995. The Council of Ministers called on officials and government workers to observe the official working hours.
DOLLAR EXCHANGE RATE FIXED
(AA 11 Aug 95, p.16)
The self- declared Republic of Somaliland has fixed exchange rates at US$1 to 80 Somaliland shillings. The authorities have threatened `swift action' against businessment and currency dealers who refuse to deal in Somaliland currency but continue to trade in US dollars.
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
SSIM - South Sudan Independence Movement
** CARTER CEASEFIRE **
CARTER CENTER STATEMENT ON RECENT PEACE AND HEALTH INITIATIVES IN SUDAN
(Carter Center News 25 Jul 95)
ATLANTA, GA--Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said today upon returning from a trip to Sudan that all sides in that nation's civil conflict had agreed to continue observing the cease- fire as long as good faith talks are being held under the auspices of the Inter- governmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD), chaired by Kenya President Daniel Arap Moi. The cease- fire, originally set to expire July 28, has allowed international health workers to implement interventions to prevent Guinea worm disease, river blindness, and other diseases.
During the trip, President Carter delivered peace talk invitations from President Moi to the Sudanese government, Sudanese People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), and the Southern Sudanese Independence Movement/Army (SSIM/A). All sides accepted the invitations for peace talks to begin soon in Nairobi.
"All sides agreed to continuation of the four- month cease- fire as long as significant progress was being made toward achieving a lasting peace," President Carter said...
MINISTER SAYS RELEASE OF 72 HELD BY REBELS CONDITION FOR START OF TALKS
(SWB 26 Jul 95 [RSR in Arabic, 24 Jul 95])
The president of the republic, Lt- Gen Umar Hasan Ahmad al- Bashir, has reiterated Sudan's firm stance to establish peace in the south within the framework of a united Sudan. He praised the efforts of the former US President Jimmy Carter in this respect...
Meanwhile, Dr Ghazi Salah al- Din, the minister of state at the Foreign Ministry, referred to Carter's efforts to halt the bloodshed in the south. He said: The extension of the cease- fire and the commencement of serious talks with the rebel factions are conditional on the release of 72 people held by the rebel movement.
KHARTOUM MAXIMIZES MILITARY GAINS UNDER THE UNSUPERVISED CEASE- FIRE
(SDG Jul 95, p.9)
...At the end of May, Khartoum received a consignment of Chinese weaponry. Two ship loads docked at Port Sudan including tanks, artillery pieces and assorted heavy weaponry and spare parts. In addition, some aircraft were delivered including the remodelled old planes which the Chinese had been maintaining over the past year. The equipment has since been reassembled and transported to Southern Sudan.
It is not clear who is financing this consignment. In the past, Iran has taken care of such things. Although the publicly available documents of the latest agreement between Khartoum and Tehran do not mention any payments for military equipment, it does speak of military cooperation in vague terms. This suggests that the Iranians have at least guaranteed Khartoum's ability to pay the Chinese.
Military equipment has also been supplied to the regime from rather surprising quarters in the Arab world. Jordan is believed to have contributed weaponry. Iraq's involvement comes as no surprise to anyone. Russia has agreed to supply arms on a strictly down payment basis, which, if it is true, will severely limit Khartoum's ability to make purchases unless a third party is willing to pick up the bill for them...
SUDAN ARMY ENDS CEASEFIRE BY TAKING BORDER TOWN
(Reuter 13 Aug 95)
KHARTOUM - A four- month ceasefire between Sudan's government and separatist rebels in the south ended over the weekend when the army attacked and took Kaya, a small town near the border with Uganda and Zaire.
A statement issued by the Sudanese army's general command and read on state television said that the armed forces, after being subjected to "repeated agressions," had taken Kaya at sunset on Saturday from the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA).
Ugandan military sources in Kampala confirmed the claim...
Each side has accused the other of breaking the ceasefire accord, but the Sudanese army's capture of Kaya was the first major offensive reported.
Sudanese rebel sources said the attack marked the end of the cease- fire.
The army statement said the Sudanese army has "proceeded to crush the remnants of the traitors, agents and outlaws, and entered Kaya at sunset on Saturday."
With the recapture of Kaya, the whole of Bahr- el- Jebel (White Nile) region was now "free of rebellion," the Khartoum statement said...
** PEACE EFFORTS **
INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR PEACE IN SUDAN
(Press release May 1995)
/HAB/ A draft version of this statement appeared in HAB 2/95. In light of subsequent revisions, the latest version appears here.
European Working Group on the Horn of Africa; Horn of Africa Policy Group - Canada; Coalition for Peace in the Horn of Africa - USA
After consultation with faith, business, labor, women's, and political groups of Sudanese both within and outside Sudan...
WE CALL FOR THE FOLLOWING:
1. Endorsement of the IGADD Declaration of Principles.
We call on governments, human rights organizations, non- government organizations, faith groups and other independent agencies around the world to follow the lead of the Heads of State of Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda in affirming the Declaration of Principles as the basis for a negotiated settlement of the Sudan conflict. We call on the Government of Sudan to accept the Declaration of Principles, which most of the major political groups in Sudan have done, as a starting point for serious negotiations.
2. Support of Multi- Track Peace Diplomacy at the National, Factional and Community levels.
We call for a fresh coordinated effort to encourage peacemakers both within and outside Sudan to simultaneously work in formal and informal ways to bring peace at all levels of society. Participants should be drawn from governments, non- governmental organizations, faith groups and indigenous communities.
The war in Sudan is not only a "Southern Problem," but a national problem with major implications for regional security. The IGADD initiative, whose members are now having to address regional security issues, must be the arena for national mediation between the Government of Sudan, the SPLM, the SSIM and other Sudanese groups who may be added to the process representing significant population groupings. Friends of IGADD and friends of Sudan, whether governmental or non- governmental, must continue to be enlisted to lend support to the IGADD initiated regional peace process. Efforts to undermine an African led regional process must be resisted by all as a sabotaging of the peace process. We call for the appointment of a Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) to support the IGADD process and to follow its lead in working for peace in Sudan and for regional security. We also call for an immediate unconditional cease- fire to be declared by all parties. The Government of Sudan, its militia and Popular Defense Forces, the SPLM/A, SSIM/A, and all commanders must observe the Geneva Conventions and expect to be held accountable by international bodies for their actions.
The SPLM/A and SSIM/A must fully implement their declared cease- fire, pursue a mutually agreeable mediation process and negotiate ways to live side- by- side in a manner that respects the human rights and needs of civilian populations and indigenous cultures. Where conflicts cross the lines of factional authority, we call on the factional leaders and local commanders to fully embrace and participate in community level indigenous peace processes involving elected southern politicians, faith groups, women's organizations and other civic groups.
Indigenous peace efforts among Sudanese neighboring peoples offer the greatest hope for peace at a community level and help create an atmosphere and momentum for peace that can have significant effects on both inter- factional and national efforts. When indigenous peoples, acting through their chiefs, elected representatives, faith groups, women's associations and civil administrators, initiate peace efforts, governments and non- governmental agencies must be ready to provide material and personnel support to strengthen and facilitate the process.
3. Focus on Self- Reliance and Principles of Access and Accountability:
The international donor community must lend further support to the policy of strengthening local capacity that builds on the social capital inherent within local cultures and requires both freedom of access and open accountability. This includes:
* Conditioning all aid on respect for humanitarian principles and focusing emergency aid on the resettlement of displaced peoples and enhancement of self- reliance.
* Expanding cross- border aid and commerce routes from neighboring countries, minimizing aid by air, and pressing for a restoration and practice of the concept of "corridors of tranquility".
* Focusing on non- food assistance that enhances local food production and seed banks, builds internal commerce, and trains local personnel for primary health care, education, and animal health.
* Strengthening local organizations and institutions that respect cultural and traditional patterns. Traditional and civic structures, faith organizations, women's associations and indigenous non- government organizations build on traditional social capital and methods of self- reliance that resist dependency pressures in crisis settings.
* Resourcing independent monitoring, evaluation and assessment.
4. Generate Pressure for Peace, Justice and Human Rights:
Peacemaking, humanitarian relief and self- reliance activities must be linked with strong multi- track pressure on all parties toward ending the war a establishing a just society. These pressures should include the following:
* Challenge the Government of Sudan, SPLM/A and SSIM/A to live up to their rhetoric of democracy, autonomy for non- military institutions, protection of human rights, religious freedom, press freedom and promotion of women's rights.
* Promote and support the deployment of an international civilian human rights monitoring group that can place monitors in both government and rebel areas of suspected abuse. Enhance the capacity of the UN Human Rights Rapporteur.
* Ensure the observance by all member countries of the European Union's Arms Embargo of Sudan and work to include an embargo of police, security and intelligence equipment and cooperation. Support an international debate and study on the wisdom of an energy embargo as called for by numerous Sudanese opposition and civic groups.
* Oppose all multilateral bank credits to Sudan.
* Find an international broadcast news mechanism that will beam radio news on a weekly basis into all of Sudan, giving news about the course of the war, the cost of waging war, and peace initiatives. Objective information puts pressure on leadership groups and provides hope for all peoples in Sudan working for a peaceful future.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND ACP PARTNERS TO VISIT SUDAN
(NNS July 95)
This month a delegation of representatives from Joint Assembly of European Parliament and ACP [African, Caribbean, Pacific] members of the Lome convention (a multilateral aid framework of the European Union) are going to Sudan - a member state - to review the Human Rights situation there. Funds to Sudan under Lome's Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance provisions have been frozen for some years although Humanitarian Aid continues.
The Joint Assembly has had frequent debates on the situation in Sudan, and has agreed to send a delegation on the basis that they would be able to go wherever they choose and visit anyone they ask to see...
The group will visit Khartoum from August 28, and plans to travel to the Nuba mountains, Asmara and Nairobi. Its report will be presented to the Joint Assembly meeting in Brussels on September 27/8.
In the meantime the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning the government of Sudan for its Human Rights record on July 13. The resolution condemns the "massacre of the Southern Population" and calls on the goverment to respect human rights across the country. The Parliament is also urging the European Union to exert pressure for an international arms embargo.
MARIDI DIOCESE PEACEMAKING SEMINAR ENDS
(NSCC Partner Update July 1995)
Peacemaking has become one of the most important concerns of the NSCC member churches. Since the beginning of the war church leaders have been undertaking great efforts, often risking their lives, [to] mediate between conflict factions as well as in communal violence.
The NSCC concept of grassroot peacemaking seems to be gaining ground among many church leaders. Early this year the Presbyterian and the Catholic churches launched successful peace conferences at Akobo and Torit respectively. 18th- 24th May, it was the turn of Episcopal Church of Maridi Diocese to strengthen traditional peacemaking skills.
Rt. Rev. Joseph Marona, the ECS Bishop of Maridi Diocese, took the opportunity of the conference to call on his flocks to choose sixty people who will act as peace monitors...
** OPPOSITION **
/HAB/ For more on the opposition meeting and subsequent relational difficulties with Eritrea, see "Eritrea--Sudan" under Eritrea.
OPPOSITION MEETING IN ASMARA
(ION 1 Jul 95, p.1)
Financed by Egypt, housed by Eritrea, and supported by the presence of numerous Western diplomats (including US ambassador Robert Houdek), the conference of Sudanese political opposition movements last week fired off a declaration of war aimed at Khartoum. Not without difficulty, the Asmara conference achieved the revival of the National Democratic Alliance (which was then joined by the new "ethnic opposition" movements - Beja, Four, Nouba), the creation of a politico- military committee to prepare to overthrow the regime of general Omar Al Bechir, and a joint orientation on reorganizing the country. NDA came out in favour of State- Church separation, devolution of centralized administration, and a referendum on self- determination after a transition period (of unspecified length).
The organization plan of NDA (with Mohamed Osman Al Mirghani of Democratic Unionist Party as chairman, general Fathi Ahmed Ali as vice chairman and head of military affairs, Mubarak Al Fadil Al Mahdi of Oumma as secretary general, Mansour Khaled of SPLA as deputy secretary general and head of foreign affairs) strongly favours pro- Egyptian and moderate pro- Saudi elements. However, the strategy of armed struggle against Khartoum will play into the hands of colonel John Garang's SPLA, the ethnic oppositions, and ground- root members of SSIM (represented at the conference by majors Gatkuoth Gatkwot, James Biel Bak and Steven Duol Chuol). It means opening up new military fronts (in the east or the west, or both together) and preparations for a revolutionary insurrection in the north. Fracture lines are clearly visible within the Sudanese opposition: Mohamed Taher Abubakar, secretary general of Beja Congress, wants self- determination for Eastern Sudan, but Al Mirghani is against it. Ahmed Ibrahim Draig, longtime political leader in Darfour, joined DNA despite some misgivings about DUP and Oumma. The ultra- federalism of the "ethnic opposition" groups does not suit NDA centralists who want to maintain Sudanese unity, a theme on which Garang is attentive. And the non- Arab Muslims within NDA are more open to suggestions of a lay state than the Arab members.
As conference chairman, colonel Garang tracked down every possible compromise since he urgently needs an alliance with the "ethnic opposition" in order to give life to his project of destabilizing the Khartoum regime militarily. On this point, Mohamed Taher Abubakar (who was elected to the committee, as was general (in exile) Abdelaziz Khaled Osman) makes no mystery of his intentions: according to him, Beja supporters have been preparing for armed conflict against the Sudanese government for more than a year, they already control the buffer zone along the Sudanese- Eritrean frontier, and are now getting ready to launch fresh military operations in eastern Sudan. The Eritrean government is not deaf to this radical theme. One of their representatives summed up the situation, in private, as he saw it: the Islamic regime in Khartoum must be swept away, Asmara cannot mount any military operations against it, but will nevertheless give some backing to operation mounted by the Sudanese opposition in this direction. Egypt does not see things that way at all, even after the failed assassination attempt on head of state Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa and makes a distinction between NIF headed by Al Turabi which it would indeed like to see removed, but the government headed by general Al Bechir is tacitly offered an agreement with DUP and Oumma in order to install a "military system" similar to earlier regimes under Abboud and Nimeiri. Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia are therefore very wary of the presence of Garang's SPLA and the Sudanese Communist Party in NDA. On the sidelines, the United States are not budging for the moment but are keeping all their irons in the fire.
A VOTE FOR ARMED STRUGGLE
(AC 7 Jul 95, p.3)
...Key decisions of [the NDA] meeting [in Asmara, June 15- 23] include:
1. Accept right of and referendum on self- determination (with reluctant and fudged independence option) before end of transitional government period for South and Abyei area (Ngok Dinka, Southern Kordofan) but not southern Blue Nile (Ingessana area) or Nuba Mountains (South Kordofan).
2. `Efforts to remove disadvantage' for Nuba and south Blue Nile with referendum on political/administrative future.
3. To reach `just and decisive' settlement of war, with adherence to principles and mechanism of Inter- Governmental Authority on Drought and Development (a signal to neighbours and West).
4. Adherence to international human rights instruments.
5. Equality of citizenship, regardless of religion, gender, ethnicity, culture.
6. No political party on religious basis (problem for Umma and DUP?). The secular constitution issue was again fudged: though the above three clauses supposedly avoid Sharia without saying so, they allow Umma/DUP obstruction.
7. Legitimacy of armed struggle to remove regime (contradicts Sadig el Mahdi's stress on peaceful `civil jihad'; victory for SAF and allies.
8. Transition: decentralised state; four years maximum.
9. Maulana Mohamed Osman elected NDA Chairman, Fathi Ahmed, Vice- Chairman (John Garang declined); powerful, controversial Secretary General is Mubarek el Fadil; LC and SAF failed to reunite (a condition of Eritrean military facilities--SAF's NDA membership should satisfy President Isayas); SAF's Brigadier Abdel Aziz Khalid Osman refused executive post because of LC hostility; John Garang outmanoeuvred SSIA: helped ensure they were not invited by appearing as South's true representative and stressing national unity; many secularists wanted SSIA invited.
IGADD AND THE NDA CONFERENCE IN ASMARA
(SDG Aug 95, p.3)
...Now that the results of the Asmara Conference have been received approvingly by the Sudanese public, both the IGADD peace committee and the international community should move to endorse them. That endorsement need not be a practical one but certainly should be a political one. It is important that the international community acknowledges the principles of Democracy and Self- determination as the basis for reaching peace in Sudan and expresses this openly...
Pressure needs to be brought to bear so that the regime negotiates with the NDA in its entirety and not merely with the SPLA.
The IGADD peace committee now needs to call a conference which will involve the NIF regime and the entire NDA so that the Asmara agenda can be discussed and moved forward. If the regime refuses to attend, then the NDA should be invited separately so that its new agenda can be formally received. Neither the IGADD nor the international community should force the South to make a peicemeal peace with the regime when it is possible to have a comprehensive peace for the whole of Sudan...
SUDANESE OPPOSITION TO START RADIO BROADCASTS
(Reuter 5 Aug 95)
CAIRO - Sudanese opposition groups said on Saturday they would start radio broadcasts next week within Sudan aimed at mobilising opposition to Khartoum's Islamist- backed military government...
** REGIONAL/ FOREIGN RELATIONS **
SUDAN AND ERITREA SQUARE UP FOR A FIGHT
(AED 3 Jul 95)
Sudanese foreign minister Ali Osman Mohammad Taha says his country is prepared to confront Eritrea following reports of military tension on their border.
"We want the world to know the truth behind the situation between Sudan and Eritrea and to know that we have the right to confront the government of Asmara with all means," Taha told the London- based Arabic newspaper al- Hayat.
"But we will not be the ones who will start any aggression against our neighbours," he added.
Sudan's government had evidence of Eritrean involvement in military activities in Sudan and that it has complained to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
"We kept hearing Eritrean accusations that Sudan is sheltering rebels to its government and extending backing to Eritrean opposition groups but we haven't received one single proof," Taha said.
"But we noticed that the government of Isayas Afewerki is supporting - publicly and shamelessly - elements opposing the Khartoum government."
Mohammad Abdalla Oweidsa, head of the security and defence committee of Sudan's Transitional National Assembly, says security has been tightened at Sudanese government buildings and installations on the border areas.
Army and police forces had also heightened vigilance at border posts, bridges, main roads and ports, he added.
He said the move was in response to a meeting last week in Asmara of Sudanese rebels and political exiles.
Sudan had close ties with the former Eritrean rebels during most of the guerrilla group's 30 years of struggle for self- rule from Ethiopia, giving it logistical facilities and allowing it to open representative offices on its territory...
/HAB/ For more news on Eritrean- Sudanese relations, see "Eritrea--Sudan" under Eritrea.
FORMER MINISTER ON SUDAN'S PLANS TO ISLAMIZE REGION
(The Observer via RBB 25 Jun 95, by Mark Huband])
Rusted metal sheets welded into a 5ft sculpture of an iron fist stood red hot as the heat rose to 40C in the garden of the Hamas militia office, hidden in a maze of sandy streets on the edge of Khartoum, the Sudanese capital. Neat coils of barbed wire topped an iron fence surrounding the Palestinian group's two- storey building...
Along with Hamas, officials of Hizbollah, the Abu Nidal Group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Algerian Islamic Salvation Front regularly travel through Khartoum. Sudan and these groups see themselves as the radical revivalists of the Islamic world. `The Islamic model is considered incomplete until its political component is implemented,' said Ghazi Salah el Din Atabani, Sudan's Foreign Minister and a key member of the inner circle now forging Sudan's Islamic programme. `It's affecting our relations with other Islamic countries adversely, at least in terms of relations with governments...
Mohamed Ahamed Abdelgadir Al- Arabab, a former Minister who is now hiding in exile, said: `The Front has a long- term plan which will mean that all Ministers, state officials and soldiers will be Front members by 2002. It intends to be the leader of the Islamic world by then.
'It has targeted 10 African countries for military action by fundamentalist groups, which are being trained at eight different camps in Sudan.'
The targeted countries are Sudan's neighbours, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Zaire, Central African Republic and Chad, as well as Djibouti, with a total population of 200m.
As a Minister, Al- Arabab said he had been involved in preparing the training camps for Sudanese and foreign Islamists. `No decisions are being taken by the government - everything is decided by Tourabi. President Omar Beshir is just a front man. This is why I fled,' he said.
Al- Arabab, who left Sudan in March, said Uganda and Eritrea were the immediate targets of the Sudanese government...
UGANDA/SUDAN--BORDERING ON WAR
(AC 21 Jul 95, p.3)
Relations between Kampala and Khartoum are far from restored: that much is confirmed by Uganda's offer of a radio station to the Sudan People's Liberation Army. The radio station deal was made at a 9 July meeting between Uganda's Minister of State for Security, Colonel Kahinda Otafiire, and SPLA representatives Stephen Wondu, Phillip Lomondong and Michael Garang, we hear. The station, said to be in Eastern Equatoria, Sudan, is due to open in late July. The SPLA has decided to go it alone after a dispute in Sudan's opposition National Democratic Alliance (to which it belongs) over who should control a transmitter offered by Eritrea. The new station is believed to have United States' backing. The USA supports the SPLA via Uganda but denies this: the only support to Uganda it acknowledges is training for the National Resistance Army.
Kampala severed diplomatic relations with Khartoum on 23 April...
The decision to `gradually' restore relations came after mediation by Malawian President Bakili Muluzi but has little to do with reality on the ground. On 11- 12 June, Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Omer el Beshir met in Blantyre. Muluzi, whose government's lacklustre performance was crying out for a foreign policy success, mediated as Chairperson of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, to which Sudan and Uganda belong. They agreed to form a multilateral border monitoring team and a permanent joint ministerial team...
Yet only two days after Blantyre on 14 June, Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister Ruhakana Rugunda handed Khartoum a set of further conditions, including dismantling LRA camps at Paloteka and Parajok and a West Nile Bank Front camp at Morobo (all in Sudan), plus expelling Kony and the WNBF chief, Col. Juma Oris, once President Idi Amin's Foreign Minister. Khartoum did not respond, so the Blantyre accord is dormant. Ugandan Foreign Ministry officials insist Uganda is committed to Blantyre, yet on 9 June (Heroes Day), only a day before he left for Malawi, Museveni had warned: `We have the arms and the means and the will. We shall fight anybody or any force that wants to antagonise the peace of Ugandans'...
SUDANESE FOREIGN MINISTER PRAISES MOI FOR BOOSTING REGIONAL COOPERATION
(SWB 29 Jul 95 [RNU in Arabic, 26 Jul 95])
Text of report by Sudanese radio on 26th July
The foreign minister, Mr Ali Uthman Muhammad Taha, has praised the great role being performed by Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi in boosting regional cooperation and towards bringing about peace in the region and in Africa...
The foreign minister said President Moi's recent visit to Sudan had opened the way for boosting cooperation between the two countries.
PRESIDENT BASHIR RECEIVES MESSAGE FROM ETHIOPIAN COUNTERPART
(SWB 21 Jul 95 [RSR in Arabic, 28 Jul 95])
Text of report by Sudanese radio on 28th July
Lt- Gen Umar al- Bashir, the president of the republic, has received a written message from the Ethiopian president, Meles Zenawi, within the framework of the continuing contacts between them about issues of common interest. Lt- Gen Bashir this morning received, at the guesthouse in Khartoum, Mr Hagos Gebre [phonetic], the special envoy of President Zenawi.
The president of the republic commended the developing relations between Sudan and Ethiopia and called for greater cooperation between the two countries in various fields in the interests of the two brotherly peoples.
USA SAYS NO
(AC 23 Jun 95, p.8)
In a clear snub to the Sudan government, Washington has turned down Presidential security advisor Major Fatih Erwa as Khartoum's next Ambassador, Africa Confidential has learned. Though his name, which Sudan put forward in May (AC Vol 36 No 10), must still go to the Senate, it has little or no chance of going further, we understand...
** EGYPT ACCUSES SUDAN **
CALLING THE SHOTS AFTER ADDIS ABABA
(AC 7 Jul 95, p.1)
President Hosni Mubarak's insistence that Khartoum was behind the attempt on his life on 26 June marks a point of no return. This is a political rather than military confrontation. Egypt will try to undermine the Sudan government and will support--and attempt to control--the Sudanese opposition. Mubarak's condemnation of the National Islamic Front government as a `gang of criminals' which it could `overthrow within ten days' and his warm welcome for the Sudanese opposition will give way to discreet and covert action...
Ethiopia said little. But after a band of Egyptian security officers arrived in Addis Ababa, Egyptian media started quoting Cairo officials as saying there might be Ethiopian security involvement in the plot. Ethiopia issued a furious statement on 3 July, denouncing the `Egyptian appetite for the fabrication of lies'. Egypt's Information Minister Safwat el Sharif responded next day that `no responsible Egyptian source' had implicated Ethiopia. On the same day, Egypt's El Gama'a el Islamiya claimed the attack. Also on 4 July, Sudan's London Embassy circulated the Ethiopian statement, inserting, under the Egyptian government heading, its own opening paragraph claiming the statement showed Sudan was `victimized by baseless Egyptian allegations'. The statement, which had not mentioned Sudan, looked at first glance like a joint declaration.
Sudanese links are clear. President Meles Zenawi was already aware Khartoum- trained Islamists had infiltrated Ethiopian security, we hear (which may explain the spat with Cairo). Ethiopia noted that Sudanese had previously rented the house allegedly used by the presumed Egyptian attackers. Soon after the attack, it arrested a Sudanese, Siraj Mohamed Hussein, claimed to work for the Addis branch of Moafak el Hairiya (`Blessed Relief'), an NIF agency. Siraj, we understand, is married to a Cairo- based Egyptian and a Jeddah- based Saudi Arabian. The Toyota Land Cruiser used to block the path of Mubarak's armoured Mercedes is thought to have arrived two months earlier from Sudan and acquired Ethiopian number plates. Abandoned Kalashnikovs and RPG- 7 shoulder- held rocket launchers may provide further evidence: Mubarak declared that arms seized a few days earlier in the southern town of Kom Ombo had been smuggled from Sudan. He also publicly accused Sudan Security's Horn of Africa expert Fatih Erwa and Military Intelligence Director Mohamed Ahmed el Dhabi of involvement...
(SU 15 Jul 95 [VOA 30 Jun 95; AP 3 Jul 95])
At least two Sudanese were killed in a border skirmish in Hala'ib at the end of June that left another six soldiers injured. In a response, a group of Sudanese attacked Egyptian diplomatic residences in Khartoum and evicted the families living there. On 30 June Sudan accused Egyptian troops of killing another Sudanese soldier in the disputed border area of Hala'ib. Khartoum complained to the United Nations Security Council about alleged Egyptian attacks in the disputed Hala'ib area, and asked for the Arab League to mediate. In Cairo, military officials denied that any units had been moved south, although they did not rule out redeployments within the southern region.
MUSA SENDS MESSAGE TO UN SECURITY COUNCIL REJECTING SUDAN'S CLAIM TO HALA'IB
(SWB 15 Jul 95 [MENA news agency, Cairo, in Arabic 13 Jul 95])
Excerpt from report by the Egyptian news agency MENA
United Nations, New York, 13th July: Egypt's Foreign Minister Amr Musa has stressed that Egyptian sovereignty over all the territories to the north of the 22nd parallel was historically and legally confirmed since before Sudan's independence in 1956 to this day.
In the message he sent to the Security Council chairman on 10th July and which was released today in the United Nations as an official document, Musa said that Sudan's doubts about Egypt's sovereignty over the Hala'ib area had no historic or legal basis and were no more than untenable claims which conflicted with the sound legal interpretation of the nature of arrangements made to some Sudanese tribes so as to deepen the historic ties between the two peoples...
SUDAN CHANGES VISA RULE
(DN 7 Aug 95 [AP])
KHARTOUM, Sunday--Sudan today ended its policy of allowing all Arabs and Muslims to enter the country without visas, a move that follows Egypt's recent requirement that Sudanese have visas to enter its territory...
The radio quoted a Ministry statement as saying citizens of countries that accepted Sudanese without visas would also be allowed to enter Sudan without the travel documents...
** SPLA--SSIM **
SSIM IS DECOMPOSING
(ION 8 Jul 95, p.2)
The leader of Southern Sudan Independence Movement, major Riak Machar, is increasingly contested within his own movement and an SSIM clone which opposes him has begun to take shape. This faction was represented at the Sudanese opposition conference in Asmara by majors Gatkuoth Gatkwot, James Biel Bak and Steven Duol Chuol. Machar has already expelled Daniel Koat Mathews, John Luk and George Maker Benjamin from the movement and recently had to face up to opposition from William Nyuon...
GARANG, MACHAR, AKOL TO MEET
(SNV 15 Aug 95)
...It [has been] reported that a meeting will be held on 15 August in Nairobi between the three factions in an effort, initiated by USAP (United Southern African Parties), for re- unification. The meeting will be attended by the faction leaders John Garang, Riak Machar and Lam Akol.
This latest initiative comes in the wake of fierce fighting reported between Garang and Machar forces in Western Upper Nile province. SSIM claims that Garang forces had burnt down 35 villages, killing 147 people mostly women and children, destroyed crops and looted 4,000 cattle. The SPLA denied it had carried out the attack, adding it might have been the result of cattle rustling which is common in the area.
UNITED STATES CONDEMNS SOUTHERN SUDAN MASSACRE
(Reuter 23 Aug 95)
KHARTOUM - The United States on Wednesday called on the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) to investigate the massacre of more than 200 villagers in Western Upper Nile province last month.
A statement released by the U.S. embassy in Khartoum said that independent sources indicated SPLA soldiers had been involved in the killings, which took place on July 30.
The embassy statement condemned the killings and called on the SPLA to investigate and take appropriate measures against those responsible.
It said most of the dead were civilians, more than a half of whom were children already rendered homeless when their villages were burned down.
Three weeks ago one of the SPLA's rival rebel groups in southern Sudan accused it of carrying out the killings.
South Sudan Independence Army (SSIA) said a total of 145 people, mostly women and children, were killed and more than 250 wounded.
It said SPLA gunmen took 4,000 head of cattle, burned down 35 villages, destroyed crops and looted mosquito nets, fishing nets and hooks in the attack.
The SPLA has denied attacking Ganyliel and breaking a peace agreement with the SSIA, which split from it in 1991...
/HAB/ The peace agreement with the SSIA is the so- called Lafon Declaration of April 27. (See HAB 3/95 pp.29- 30.)
WFP HOSTAGES IN SUDAN RELEASED
(WFP 21 Jul 95)
ROME, 20 July--Sudanese rebels released five hostages on Thursday, 13 July, including two World Food Programme (WFP) staff members held captive for a month and a half.
The staff members were taken prisoner by the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) on 8 June. Their freedom came two days after the release of two doctors, an Italian and a Sudanese, who had been held by the Government of the Sudan since late May.
The hostages were picked by a United Nations plane and flown to the town of Lokichokkio, Kenya.
The WFP staff members, Kodendera Beliappa, a logistics officer and an Indian national, and El Fateh Hassan Bakhlet, a warehouse supervisor and native of the Sudan, were captured by the SPLA when they flew to the area to pick up the doctors held by the Sudanese Government.
Also taken prisoner were Nabawi El Hag, a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) programme assistant, and two Sudanese government officials. The government officials were along to ensure that the Sudanese military released the doctors...
The current hostage situation developed when the doctors, working for Comitato Collaborazione Medica, an Italian non- governmental organization, landed in Pariang in the Nuba Mountains area without clearance from the Sudanese Government. They were immediately arrested.
The WFP obtained clearance to pick up the doctors from both the Sudanese Government and the rebels. However, the WFP airplane became stuck in mud upon landing. Instead of being met by Sudanese military authorities, members of the SPLA showed up the next day and took all aboard into custody.
The release followed long- running negotiations among the parties involved.
** HUMAN RIGHTS **
JAILED SUDANESE MOTHERS AND CHILDREN SET FREE
(Reuter 4 Aug 95)
KHARTOUM - All women prisoners in Sudan who were jailed with their children and women who committed minor offences have been freed, a Khartoum newspaper said on Friday.
The privately- owned Akhbar Al- Youm paper quoted Safiya Abdel- Rahim, head of parliament's Social Affairs Committee, as saying only extreme cases should be punished with jail.
The paper's report followed a warning late last month by Sudan's director- general of prisons Major General al- Shaikh al- Rayah that there had been a marked deterioration in the country's jails.
He said prisoners were going hungry and some were dying for lack of medical care. Financial assistance to prisons was totally inadequate, he added.
There were 1,000 sick women in jail and 300 children with their imprisoned mothers, he said, and called for the release of all prisoners with children and those serving sentences shorter than six months.
SUDAN SAYS POLITICAL PRISONERS TO BE RELEASED
(Reuter 23 Aug 95)
KHARTOUM - Sudan will free all political detainees within 72 hours and has urged political opponents in exile to return home, state radio said on Wednesday.
The radio said the decision to free detainees "without exception" was taken at a meeting of the national security council headed by President Omar Hassan al- Bashir.
It quoted Minister of Justice Abdel Aziz Shido as saying that the council urged opposition elements living abroad "to return home to contribute to security and stability in the country."...
The radio gave no indication of how many detainees would be covered by the amnesty.
Sudanese officials have said in the past that there were only a couple of dozen political detainees but foreign diplomats and human rights groups have disputed this, saying the real figure is much higher...
AL- MAHDI `TO BE CHARGED WITH ATTEMPT TO TOPPLE REGIME'
(Guardian via RBB 16 Aug 95, by Kathy Evans)
Sudan's main opposition leader and former prime minister, Sadiq al- Mahdi, is to be tried in the next few days for attempting to overthrow the government, according to the speaker of the country's national assembly, Mohammed Amin al- Khalifa, who is visiting London.
He said Mr Mahdi faces a jail sentence of between one and 12 years.
Mr Mahdi, aged 59, leader of Sudan's Umma party, was arrested three months ago and taken to Khartoum's notorious Kober prison after giving a speech accusing the National Islamic Front, led by Hassan Turabi, of spending too much money on support to foreign Islamic militants...
UNLICENSED JOURNALISTS IN SUDAN RISK JAIL, FINE
(Reuter 2 Aug 95)
KHARTOUM - Journalists in Sudan who are not licensed with the state- run press council risk being jailed and fined, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Al- Fatih al- Seed of the journalist's committee, an affiliate of the government- appointed National Council for Press and Publication, warned that unlicensed journalists face a one- month jail term and a fine of 500,000 Sudanse pounds ($910), according to the private Akhbar al- Youm daily.
Seed said committee members would pay unannounced visits to newspaper offices to find journalists who were working without the necessary certificate from the council, which was formed in 1993 and is supervised by President Omar Hassan al- Bashir...
GOVERNMENT CAMPAIGN AGAINST FAX MACHINES
(SNV 15 Aug 95)
The security forces in Khartoum had recently raided a number of offices and houses of Sudanese businessmen who owned fax machines, searching for foreign press cuttings and opposition literature which are believed to be received by fax from abroad, and distributed widely in Khartoum. Many fax machines were confiscated.
One prominent businessman, Sid Ahmed Abdalla Akod, almost 70- years of age, had been arrested on July 16. He is still being kept in detention, and Amnesty International had started a campaign for his release. To be able to use a fax machine in Sudan, you have to obtain the approval of the Ministry of Commerce, a license from the Ministry of Telecommunications and a cleaance of the security forces.
EURO- PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR TOUGH STAND ON SUDAN
(Reuter 13 Jul 95)
STRASBOURG, France - The European Parliament urged the European Union on Thursday to intensify pressure for strengthened U.N. sanctions against Sudan for human rights abuses, including an international arms embargo...
It said the aim of the sanctions would be to "bring pressure to bear on the Sudanese government to stop the massacre of its southern population and respect human rights throughout the entire country."...
ECOSOC EXTENDS MANDATE OF SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR
(UNIC 28 Jul 95 [ECOSOC/5622 27 Jul 95])
GENEVA, 25 July -- The Economic and Social Council this afternoon adopted 59 resolutions and decisions on human rights concerns, including the right to development and the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities...
In a decision on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the Council approved the Commission's decision to extend the mandate of the Special Rapportur on that subject for an additional year...
** SUDAN ACCUSED OF GENOCIDE **
AFRICAN RIGHTS ACCUSES SUDAN OF GENOCIDE
(Reuter 21 Jul 95, by Peter Smerdon)
NAIROBI - A human rights group accused Sudan's Islamist- backed government on Friday of a 10- year campaign of "genocide by attrition" against the Nuba people of central Sudan.
In a 350- page report, London- based African Rights said its findings were the result of the first on- the- spot investigation of rights abuses in the Nuba Mountains since the start of war.
The government in Khartoum has repeatedly denied previous reports of human rights violations against the 1.5 million Nuba who follow Islam, Christianity and traditional religions.
"Genocide need not be perpetrated by huge massacres. There are more insidious but equally effective ways of committing the crime," African Rights said in a statement after visiting the area which it said had been sealed off for the past six years.
"The Sudan government is committing genocide by attrition: it is slowly and methodically grinding down the society and economy of the Nuba to a point where they simply do not exist."
"Meanwhile in the garrison towns, 'peace camps' and mechanised farming schemes, the government is remoulding the political and social identity of the Nuba by force; the aim is to transform them into a deracinated underclass, the loyal servants of an extremist Islamic state," the rights group said.
The Nuba Mountains are closed to foreign aid agencies, which operate in government- and rebel- held areas of southern Sudan where rebels have been fighting Khartoum's forces since 1983.
The report said spearheading the strategy of genocide were huge "combing" operations by the military in which the troops avoided confronting the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) but burned undefended villages, looted and destroyed.
"The people who remain in rural areas are dressed in rags, without medicines, and reduced to destitution," the group said.
"The aim is to create permanent famine so that SPLA soldiers surrender or run away and the villagers submit themselves to government "peace camps", hoping at least to be fed," it added.
African Rights accused the government of systematically eliminating all independent Nuba leaders and said anyone with an education was liable to be arrested, tortured, executed or to disappear...
/HAB/ To order a copy of "Facing Genocide: The Nuba of Sudan", contact African Rights at 11 Marshalsea Road, London SE1 1EP, UK. Tel: (+44) 171 717 1224. Fax: 171 717 1240.
THE NUBA: LIVING ON THE BRINK
(IND 23 Jul 95, by Julie Flint)
...The Nuba are already on the brink - an amalgam of African tribes located not in the tribal south of Sudan but in the Islamic north, just above the great fault line that divides both continent and country. As black Africans, the Nuba have suffered for decades at the hands of greedy northern elites who have monopolised power and seized much of their land; as a result, in 1985 they threw in their lot with the southern rebels of the SPLA, fellow black Africans who have been fighting the government since 1983. The Nuba rebellion, however, poses a more fundamental challenge to the government than the rebellion in the south. Not only are the Nuba part of the north, and so an example for other northerners, but they also have a tradition of religious tolerance that threatens Khartoum's ambition of establishing an Islamic state. And so they now face, alone, a genocidal war in which the international community, silent and submissive, is complicit...
A collection of more than 50 tribes with different traditions, customs and languages, the Nuba live peacefully among themselves and know no discrimination of class or religion. Christianity, Islam and older, animist religions are all accepted and often found within a single family. Kuwa is Moslem, his wife Christian; their children will decide for themselves. "Inter- marriage between Moslems and Christians is permitted and anyone who preaches or agitates against it shall be disciplined," Nuba religious leaders declared last December at the end of a four- day religious dialogue conference held in the mountains after reports that some preachers had been making "divisive" noises. The conference also asserted that "all people have the freedom to practice games and leisure, including dancing and the consumption of alcohol, without undermining community values." To the fundamentalists in Khartoum, such a doctrine is anathema, but the Nuba are proud of their tolerance...
Today, fewer than a quarter of an estimated 1.5 million Nuba remain in the rebel- controlled mountains, stubbornly defending their heterogeneous, non- Arab culture against a regime determined to remake Sudan in its own conformist, extremist, image...
** HUMANITARIAN ISSUES **
NGOS AT WORK: WHO NEEDS CAPACITY BUILDING?
(NNS June 95)
"Capacity building and relief work should go together," says Alison Ayers, co- ordinator of the Operation Lifeline Sudan Institution Capacity Building programme "in fact, we think it makes no sense to separate them". A five day workshop on June 26- 30 which UNICEF/OLS and Catholic Relief Services organised, challenged local and international NGOs and donors to take a hard look at what building capacity should be about...
Some 35 people, including four Southern Sudanese NGOs, SRRA, RASS, 12 international NGOs (operational and non- operational), UNICEF/WFP and donors signed onto a final statement which called on international donors and NGOs to commit more resources to building capacity. It also set out their views on what capacity building must be if it is going to work (see text of Nairobi Joint Statement attached to this MU)...
THE NAIROBI JOINT STATEMENT II
1. The future of civil society in South Sudan lies in the establishment and development of indigenous organisations which can enable its people to become as self- reliant as possible.
These indigenous organisations include churches, traditional community groupings, the new non- government non- profit organisations and the humanitarian wings of the movements - all having been formed to deal with the needs of the people of South Sudan...
We, the participants in the Capacity Building Workshop at the Fairview Hotel, (26- 30 June 1995) are convinced that the future of international assistance to South Sudan must be linked to the development of indigenous organisations. It must involve helping them to develop into strong, competent and effective organisations with the mission of increasing the self- reliance of the people of South Sudan.
2. The implication of this belief is that:
(i) international NGOs working in South Sudan should commit a significant portion of their resources - human, material and financial - to building the capacity of indigenous organisations, thereby improving their effectiveness and sustainability.
(ii) donors sincerely interested in the future of South Sudan should consider committing their resources to capacity building processes, either directly to indigenous organisations or via international NGOs committed to this process.
3. We recognise that support to organisations must address all the necessary components of a healthy organisation...
4. We encourage all international agencies in South Sudan to lend their support to the processes, principles and practices outlined above.
Nairobi, June 30 1995
(WFP report #23, 9 Jun 95)
...As a result of limited donor response to WFP cash funding needs contained in the consolidated appeal launched in January 1995, WFP is considering scaling back operations during the second half of the year. Most urgent funding needs remain for support costs, monitoring and special transport. To date, WFP special operations for humanitarian assistance in Southern Sudan have received in cash donations of USD 7.44 million against required cash needs of USD 25.4 million...
SUDANESE GOVERNMENT WANT CENSUS OF ERITREAN AND ETHIOPIAN REFUGEES
(NNS July 95)
The Sudanese cabinet has ordered a census of refugees from Ethiopia and Eritrea, to take place very shortly. They claim that there are 300,000 Ethiopians and 500,000 Eritreans living in Sudan as refugees. According to UNHCR reports, Ethiopian refugees number between 50 and 60 thousand only and there are around 450,000 Eritreans - although here the discrepancy may be a result of counting numbers in camps only (which UNHCR do), and including those living in towns who do not request assistance. The proposed census is linked to the fact that the government of Sudan has complained about insufficient funds being provided for refugees - some aid agencies have suggested that the inflated numbers are a ploy to get more money.
** DOMESTIC NEWS **
BASHIR ORDERS SECURITY SHAKE- UP
(Reuter 12 Aug 95)
KHARTOUM - Sudan's military leader Lieutenant- General Omar Hassan al- Bashir announced on Saturday he had dismissed his interior minister, police commander and heads of security in a government shake- up.
Bashir's presidential decrees announcing more than a dozen changes were carried by the official news agency Suna. No reasons were given for the reshuffle, believed to be the 10th since Bashir seized power from a civilian government in 1989.
Brigadier Bakri Hassan Saleh, an adviser to the president, was made minister of interior, replacing Brigadier al- Tayeb Ibrahim Mohammad Khair who was transferred to the ministry of labour and administrative reform.
Saleh had been a member of the military council that ruled from 1989 until it dissolved itself in 1993.
Police force commander Lieutenant General Hassan Ahmad al- Siddig was replaced by Major General Abdel Moneim Said Suleiman.
Major General Mohammad Mustafa was put in charge of external security, replacing Nafie Ali Nafie, while Brigadier al- Hadi Abdalla Hassan was appointed head of internal security, replacing Hassan Dhahawi. Both new men were previously state ministers.
Commerce Minister Taj al- Sir Mustafa was dismissed and replaced by Mohammad Tahir Aila who had been minister of tourism and environment...
AL BASHIR ATTACKED FROM THE MINARETS
(AA 30 Jun 95, p.3)
KHARTOUM--Sudan's Islamist regime is facing a new challenge from a seemingly unexpected quarter--conservative Islamic purists. But like the traditional political opposition, the new enemies of General Omar al Bashir's regime are weak and lack the wherewithal to stage a successful insurrection. So far their opposition is uncoordinated and is restricted to diatribes in mosque sermons against the Khartoum regime.
In the forefront of the new onslaught are a number of imams (religious leaders) in Khartoum and Omdurman as well as members of the Ansar al Sunnah al Muhammadiya--a grouping of puritanical followers of the Sunnah (the way of the Prophet Muhammad). The group has several eminent imams--all attacking the government. The most prominent of these are Sheikh Abu Zeid, the imam of a mosque in al Thawra town in Omdurman, where a number of worshippers were killed in February 1994, and Professor Al Hibir Yusuf Nur el Daim, an imam of a mosque in Shambat in Khartoum North. He belongs to a splinter group from the Muslim Brothers (Ikhwan al Muslimin) but which has retained the original name. Another surprising opponent of the regime is the popular Dr Issam, the imam of the mosque in the Amarat neighbourhood of Khartoum. Known as a `good Islamist', Dr Issam is also a member of the transitional national assembly, the country's legislature.
The disident imams attack the government on strict Islamic teachings and are united in their belief that the rulers in Khartoum are using Islam as a cover for nefarious ends. Corruption is the principal charge levelled against the regime. Business is tightly controlled by members of the ruling clique who are said to operate `Mafia- style'...
HOW THE NIF RUNS SUDAN
(AC 7 Jul 95, p.2)
Power lies not in the overt structure of government (central and federal ministries) but in a covert parallel government headed by a secret secretariat, often known as the `Council of 40' (though numbers are uncertain), which meets on Thursdays; headquarters are in Manshiya Extension, Khartoum, where Hassan el Turabi owns a block of four houses. Lieutenant General Omer el Beshir is nominal national President, while the real ruler is Turabi, head of the National Islamic Front (which, in theory, is illegal as all parties are banned). Many names can be found in both structures (NIF stalwarts only) but the structures do not overlap: the covert system controls the overt one, in both administration and planning.
1. Top names are well known (AC Vol 33 No 15), for example Ali Osman, Ghazi Salah el Din, Naf'i Ali Naf'i. Major Ibrahim Shams el Din and Colonel El Hadi Abdullah control the armed forces through the Specialised Committee, which regularly purges army and police.
2. Influential figures unknown to the public include El Fatih Hassanein: in charge of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bosnia- Herzegovina affairs; Abdel Mohsen: Turabi's office manager; Brigadier Abbas Medani: ex- soldier, ex- Nimeiri security man, now at Faisal Islamic Bank; Abdel Waheb Gandi: based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, handles finance from Gulf.
3. The overt central and state (regional) governments include a minority of non- NIF figures; this confuses the picture: many journalists still describe the government as `NIF- backed' when it is NIF- run.
4. There is a separate, parallel system for women, which feeds the system at high and low levels but is subordinate to the main (male) system.
5. The ubiquitous security services are woven into the structure. NIF men from State Security control the committees. Distinct security organs include Revolutionary Security, Turabi's private security, State Security, Military Intelligence, police security, foreign security (monitoring exiles).
6. Control techniques have become more subtle. There has been less gaoling and torture in Khartoum because of: external human rights pressure, most politicians in exile, cost of detention, climate of fear fuelled by increased harassment (`suspects' reporting daily to security, pressure from neighbourhood Popular Committees).
7. But there were hundreds of arrests in May (El Sadig el Mahdi, Umma Party activists, non- Umma trades unionists); the government did not deny them when contacted by the United Nations.
8. Detention and torture have increased in the provinces, especially the war zone. `The overall situation has deteriorated', UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur Gaspar Biro told us. He is planning another mission to Sudan this year, which he said was `very much needed'.
[/HAB/ Diagram on state structure omitted.]
SUDANESE CAMPS READY TO PROVIDE MILITARY, RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL TRAINING
(SWB 10 Jul 95 [Suna news agency, Khartoum, in Arabic 8 Jul 95])
Khartoum, 8th July: The Department of Popular Defence in Khartoum State has made preparations and set up programmes to train citizens in open camps. Lt- Col Abdullah Umar al- Sharif, commander of the Popular Defence Force in Khartoum State, said preparations for training programmes in the city's various districts had been completed.
He said (?the first) batch graduated as part of the celebrations of the sixth anniversary of the National Salvation Revolution under the auspices of the governor of Khartoum State. He pointed out that the training was military, religious and spiritual. He appealed to everybody to take part in this patriotic activity.
SUDAN PLAYS DOWN ANTI- GOVERNMENT STUDENT RIOTS
(Reuter 30 Jul 95, by Alfred Taban)
KHARTOUM - The Sudanese press on Sunday played down a student riot at Khartoum University against the Islamic government of President Omar Hassan al- Bashir, calling it an incident staged by a small isolated group...
Sudanese students demonstrated on Saturday at Khartoum University, Sudan's oldest and most prestigious institution of higher learning, as al- Bashir addressed them in an open meeting.
Riot police used tear gas to disperse the students who shouted slogans against Bashir's military government...
ISLAMIC EDUCATION FOR THE NON- MUSLIM SOUTH
(IPS 1 Aug 95, by Nhial Bol)
KHARTOUM - Sudan has decided to impose Islam- inspired education throughout the country, including the non- Muslim south, by next year.
According to Education Minister Kabashour Kuku, changes introduced by his ministry are aimed at bringing up children according to the tenets of Islam.
By the end of the year, he said, new books written for his ministry will be distributed to all regions, including non- Muslim southern Sudan which had been exempted from the Islamic laws imposed in september 1983.
He said about 1,000 school teachers had been trained to teach Arabic and Islam in the south and that by the end of the year, all southern teachers would be trained to read Arabic books as part of the government's plan to arabise the region.
Kuku said there would no longer be a special education system for southern Sudan, where the medium of instruction has been English since the days of British rule, which ended in 1956.
In 1991, thousands of students from secondary schools in Juba, the main town in the south, fled en masse to Uganda and Zaire, or joined the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) after the government attempted to impose Arabic as the medium of education in the southern states.
Khartoum shelved the idea for a time but brought it up again last year. When the governments of southern states objected, the central government appointed southern Muslims to head state ministries of education in the south to prepare the arabisation.
Sudanese President Omar al Bashir decreed last year that people who memorise the entire Koran would be absorbed at some universities or appointed as senior teachers in schools across the country.
Khartoum strongly believes that Arabic and Islam will help unite the northeast African country, split between the Arab Muslim north and the south, whose people are mainly Christians and followers of traditional African religions...
** ECONOMIC NEWS **
CANADIAN CHURCHES LAUNCH CAMPAIGN AGAINST ARAKIS DEAL
(Inter- Church Coalition on Africa 19 Jul 95)
Earlier this year we learned that a Canadian oil exploration firm, Arakis Energy Corp., had purchased Sudan's State Petroleum Corp., giving Arakis a 100% interest in blocks covering five million hectares and options on another 12 million hectares. These were fields perviously abandoned by Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. It has been Arakis' goal to raise US$750 million dollars to build a pipeline from the Hegleg and Unity oil fields, in the Bentiu region, to Port Sudan. ICCAF's sister coalition, the Taskforce on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility (TCCR), has written twice to Arakis' president, Terry Alexander, to raise concerns about his company's business dealings with the Sudanese regime, one of the world's most egregious human rights abusers. Obviously, the Government of Sudan stands to benefit from Arakis' oil production activities. As the potential profits are considered to be quite substantial, money generated could be used by the regime to significantly boost its war effort. Neither letter has received a response.
Given the unstable climate of civil war, we did not think Arakis would be successful in raising what would surely be considered high- risk capital to build the pipeline. We were wrong. Two recent reports in The Financial Post detail Arakis' success in this regard...
Today's report also indicates that Arakis believes it can complete the pipeline as early as October 1996 and swing into partial production (65,000- 85,000 barrels a day) shortly thereafter, reaching full production (100,000 barrels a day) by January 1997. If such rapid development is actually feasible, the Government of Sudan could be reaping the fruits very soon. In view of this concern, it is imperative that as much pressure as possible be put on Arakis. Pressure should also be applied to the Government of Canada...
/HAB/ ICCAF is a project of Anglican Church of Canada, Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Joint Ministry in Africa--Disciples of Christ/United Church of Christ.
SUDAN CHURCHES OBJECT TO OIL EXPLORATION BY ARAKIS
(APS 21 Aug 95)
NAIROBI--Churches operating in southern Sudan have protested to the Canadian Government over the oil exploration activities of a Canadian multinational corporation, Arakis Energy Corporation, in the region and its implications for peace initiatives to end the Sudanese conflict.
In a strongly- worded letter the New Sudan Council of Churches draws the attention of the Canadian Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Andre Quellet, to "the consequences of Arakis Energy Corporation business dealing with the Sudan Government and on the future of IGADD peace initiatives in which your Government is one of the supporters"...
...The oppressed people of southern Sudan feel let down by the Canadian Government because of the action of Arakis, the NSCC says, adding that: "While we acknowledge with appreciation that Canadian policy towards the Islamic Government is one of diplomatic pressure, we feel dismayed at your policy, which separates human rights concerns from trade related matters."
How can business opportunities exist in a country like Sudan," asks the letter, "where citizens are humiliated, tortured and killed just because they happen to belong to a different religion and race or colour?"
The letter signed by the NSCC Executive Secretary, Rev (Dr.) Haruun L. Ruun asks the Canadian government to "do everything in your power to encourage Arakis to disinvest in Sudan in order to persuade the Sudan to opt for peaceful solution in the current civil war."
SPLA THREATENS ARAKIS
(Lloyd's List via RBB 15 Aug 95)
Opposition groups in Sudan have reportedly threatened to disrupt development of oil installations by Canada- based Arakis Energy Corp.
The Sudan People's Liberation Movement and Sudan's People's Liberation Army both warned that Arakis' production, pipeline and port facilities will all be regarded as legitimate military targets...
SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE ARAKIS DEAL
(Reuter 24 Aug 95, by Cynthia Osterman)
VANCOUVER - Canada's Arakis Energy Corp. won shareholder approval Thursday for a controversial $750 million financing deal with a Saudi prince for its Sudan oil project, but there was no word on when the company's battered stock would resume trading.
"I am happy to announce that the transaction ... has been approved by our shareholders, and we are proceeding with the financing," Arakis President Terry Alexander told reporters after the meeting.
Arakis stock, which was halted from trading Tuesday, has tumbled in recent days amid investor worries that the financing for Arakis' huge Sudan oil project would unravel...
IMF DEFER COMPULSORY WITHDRAWAL PROCEDURES
(MEED 14 Aug 95)
The executive board of the IMF decided on 4 August to defer a decision recommending that the IMF board of governors initiate compulsory withdrawal procedures against Sudan. Finance Minister Abdalla Hassan Ahmad said after the meeting of the executive board that the IMF appreciated what he called Sudan's commitment to pay its $1,700m of debt and the continuation of its economic reforms.
"The Sudanese authorities were urged to develop and implement quickly a detailed and comprehensive economic programme to allow Sudan to continue and strengthen the economic progress made to date and resume repayment of its arrears to the IMF," the fund said in a statement sent to MEED on 8 August. "The staff will monitor the programme and report to the executive board which will give further consideration to this matter in the next few months."...
SUDAN'S IRRIGATION PLANS BLOCKED BY CASH CRUNCH
(Reuter 10 Aug 95, by Alfred Taban)
KHARTOUM - Sudan's ambitious plans to divert Nile waters to irrigate large areas of agricultural land have been put on hold because of cash shortages, a Khartoum newspaper reported on Thursday.
The privately- owned Akhbar al- Youm paper quoted Irrigation Minister Yacoub Musa Abu- Shora as saying total money available for irrigation was less than half the $65 million needed for the plan to divert waters from the Blue Nile.
He said work on two canals, which would have added an extra 1.5 million acres (600,000 hectares) to Sudan's current four million acres (1.6 million hectares) of irrigated land, had now stopped.
The canals, which would have been 200 km (125 miles) and 300 km (190 miles) long, would have branched off from the Blue Nile near Damazine, close to Sudan's eastern border with Ethiopia.
The government said the canals, due to have been completed in 1997, would have guaranteed the country's food security irrespective of climatic changes and drought...