Horn of Africa Bulletin, Jan.-Feb. 95

Horn of Africa Bulletin, Jan.-Feb. 95

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                          Vol.7 No.1  Jan-Feb 95


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

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

Note of Thanks: We are particularly indebted to our readers for their contributions and to our sources for their invaluable cooperation.


Abbreviations of sources used in this publication:

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

Radio stations are abbreviated as follows:

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


The Horn of Africa Bulletin is published bimonthly by the LIFE & PEACE INSTITUTE, S-751 70 Uppsala, 
Tel: (+46) 18-16 95 00; Fax: (+46) 18-69 30 59

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

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Out of a total population of 80 million in the Horn of Africa, the majority are Muslims. In some of the countries, like Somalia, Somaliland and Djibouti, only a small minority belongs to other religions. In Ethiopia and Eritrea, Christians and Muslims share the realities of life on approximately a 50/50 basis. In Sudan, two thirds are Muslims and one third constitutes an important minority of Christians and Animists.

On a local level, there have been many good examples in the Horn of how the people have accepted their differences and have learned to live together, sharing the conditions and the meager resources that their countries provide for them. There are also examples of how they are working together in the struggle for justice and survival, both in local committees for emergency assistance and development aid programs and in trying to change unjust conditions. Respect and understanding for each other have been their guiding principles.

But we also find sad examples of how religion has been exploited and misused by individuals and groups in their struggle for power and dominance over people and land. We have seen it in the expansion of a Christian empire in Ethiopia, and we see it today in the Sudan where a minority party is enforcing its militant brand of Islam on the entire country, with an expressed aim of eventually including all of Africa.

Religion in the Horn of Africa has always been a vital and dynamic factor and is thoroughly determining the day to day life of the people of the Horn. People in power and those who struggle for power have to reckon with this fact. Recent issues of the Bulletin have focused on many incidents and developments where the religious dimension is clearly seen.

We see it in Somalia, which is bracing for UNOSOMs withdrawal, where warlords and faction leaders are locked in a struggle for leadership of the country. Consequently, both Aideed and Ali Mahdi, as well as Mohammed Abshir in the Northeast, are playing the religious card.

As Ethiopia is adopting a new constitution and is facing general elections in May, Moslem leaders have been giving clear signals about their ambitions for the new Ethiopia in the making; in December, they took to the streets to demonstrate for Sharia. President Meles has realized the importance of including the Muslims in his administration in order to avoid polarization between Muslims and Christians, but for him it is also a way of balancing the earlier Christian Amhara dominance.

The leaders of the National Islamic Front in Sudan, who started with a surprisingly open and pragmatic approach to the new government in Asmara, are now perceived by Eritrea as a serious threat to Eritrea's nation building process. In what looks like an effort to break the dominance of Eritrean Christian highlanders, Sudan is speaking about a holy war and is actively training and supporting Muslim militant groups inside Eritrea.

Lack of law and order, as well as social and political insecurity provide an excellent climate for religious extremism, be it Christian or Muslim. People in that situation are vulnerable to manipulation by ruthless leaders who act in the name of God. Fundamentalism offers clear guidelines and a sense of security where the alternatives are chaos, corruption, failed promises and leadership by corrupt power-hungry politicians.

One example of this dynamic is Somalia. To the people of war-ravaged Somalia, fundamentalist Muslims may offer an increasingly viable alternative to clan warfare. However, there is yet another, Somali, alternative. Newly set-up district and regional councils all over Somalia could provide the much-needed peace and stability. The international NGO community should recognize the positive force of these councils.

Religion is important in people's search for a fair and just world. As the Horn is a meeting point between the Arab world and Africa, as well as between Islam, Christianity and African religions, it could become an example of how religion is a unifying and stabilizing factor in the region.

If that is going to happen, it is crucial that moderate traditional, Christian, and Moslem leaders see their mediating role today and guide their people to accept and appreciate the different religions and cultures in their societies. They must actively help the people in their constituencies to withstand those who want to plant seeds of hatred, oppression and division in the name of religion.

Could religious tolerance and understanding in the Horn be an issue for the agenda of IGADD, which, although started as an organization tackling questions of drought and development, has moved into a mediation role in the conflicts of the Horn? Can it also create a forum for religious dialogue, respect and understanding among the peoples of the Horn?



ADDHL - Djibouti Association for the Defense of Human Rights and Liberties
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



(SWB 28 Dec 94 [RFI in French 26 Dec 94]) In Jibuti, an agreement was signed this morning between the authorities and the rebel faction of the FRUD [Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy]. Christophe Boisbouvier reports on this solemn agreement:

[Boisbouvier] The Jibuti interior minister, Idris Harbi Farah, and the secretary-general of this FRUD faction, Ougoureh Kifle Ahmed, signed the agreement at the People's Palace. President Hassan Gouled and some 100 officials, including the French and US ambassadors, attended the ceremony.

The main points of the agreement are: the end of the armed struggle, an alliance between this FRUD faction and the ruling party, the RPP [Popular Rally for Progress], for the management of affairs - in other words, the inclusion of one or two members of this faction in the government - and the reform of electoral lists before the next general elections.

This agreement has led to a very hostile reaction from the other component of the FRUD, the one led by Ahmed Dini, which believes that this only amounts to the surrender of a couple of men who will now rule with the authorities without getting anything for it.

This agreement has led to very different reactions in the rest of the opposition. On the one hand, [Mohamed] Djama Elabe, of the PRD [Party for Democratic Renewal], and Aden Robleh [Awaleh], of the PND [National Democratic Party], have approved it - they were at the People's Palace this morning. But on the other hand, the opposition united front has said that it sees this as a dangerous manoeuvre led by the regime and dissidents - a manoeuvre which, it says, puts real peace opportunities further out of reach.

[Note: In an earlier report (1230 gmt 24 Dec 94)the radio said that the faction which signed the agreement called itself the New Armed Movement Leadership (French: Nouvelle Direction du Mouvement Arme).].


(29 Dec 94)

1 - The civil war in Djibouti is not a tribal or ethnic matter, but rather a matter of freedom and democracy concerning the whole population which is harassed by Djibouti's autocratic and oppressive government. In its ranks, FRUD has nationals from all factions who are aspiring for freedom, brotherhood and equality in this tiny country.

2- The signing of the so-called "Peace and Reconciliation Agreement" between a dissident and the oppressive regime led by Ismael Omar will not solve this problem, which is a problem of justice which demands the equality of all people in Djibouti.

3 - We are appealing to the international community to take responsibility for what is happening in Djibouti against democracy, freedom and justice...

4 - We are calling for an investigation by the UN and the EU in order to verify the very real ethnic oppression and the fact that the government is destroying everybody who is trying to influence the policy of the country.

5 - In particular, we are appealing to Ethiopia and Eritrea, our neighbors with whom we have many bonds and a common destiny and together with whom we have always struggled. We are applealing to them to care for the cause of peace and reconciliation in Djibouti before our country is turned into a stage for chaos and revenge.

[Signed] Ahmed Dini, President


(FRUD 1994)/HAB/ Unofficial translation from French by HAB.

The Republic of Djibouti, independent since June 1977, has an important French military base.

Wedged in between Ethiopia and Somalia, with an area of 23,000 km2, Djibouti has 500,000 inhabitants. The population consists of two ethnic groups: the Afars and the Somalis.

The Afars live in certain regions and occupy 4/5 of the country (the regions of Tadjourah, Obock and Dikhil). They constitute somewhat more than half the population.

The Somalis live in areas by clans. Issas form an indigenous group and live in the very south of the country, (Ali-Sabich district). Isaqs and Gadaboursi are clans from Somaliland and live mostly in the capital. A Yemenite minority also lives in the capital.

Mr Hassan Gouled, the President, is from the Issa Clan. Issas are nomads like most Somalis and live in Somalia as well as in Ethiopia.

For the last 16 years, a policy of thorough marginalization is being conducted towards the Afars. The Afars are semi-nomads, whose way of living is based on livestock, sheeps, goats, cattle and camels.

Some of the Afars have become residents of the capital and other smaller towns (Tadjourah, Obock, Dikhil, Randa, Yoboki, As Eyla, Khor Angar etc).

After having eliminated the Afars from the administration, the army, and economic life, the Djibouti government has tried to take over their land.

The Afars have reacted, but not without having first tried to find an agreement with the government.

During all these years, human rights organizations like Amnesty International have denounced the torture, the extrajudicial executions, the arbitrary detentions and all the other serious attacks against human rights committed by the government in Djibouti.



(Aid et Solidarite au Peuple Afar, 25 Jan 95) /HAB/ Unofficial translation from French by HAB.

The displaced Afar population has been totally isolated for 3.5 years. They live in absolute destitution and suffer from illnesses caused by serious deficiencies. Children and women are worst affected which seriously affects their chances to survive. It is absolutely necessary to assist them with emergency food and medicines. TB is very widespread...

It is necessary to appeal to the Djibouti government to make them cease the intolerable violence against the civilian population: women and young girls are raped, relatives who try to intervene are killed, young shepherds are killed by the mercenaries who also steal and set fire to people's homes.


(RAPID via RBB 20 Dec 94, Ref IP/94/1215 [13 Dec 94])

The Commission has approved humanitarian aid worth ECU 355 000 for the victims of flooding in Djibouti...

ECU 35 000 of the aid has been earmarked for essentials, which will be distributed by the NGO Save the Children (UK). Medical care will be provided in the capital by Medecins Sans Frontieres Netherlands (ECU 200 000) and in rural areas by Cooperazione Internazionale (It) (ECU 100 000).


(SWB 28 Jan 95 [REE in English, 25 Jan 95])

Some 800 Ethiopians who had fled the country to neighbouring Jibuti have returned home via Dire Dawa town, eastern Ethiopia. The UNHCR office in Dire Dawa told the Ethiopian News Agency that the returnees were repatriated under a tripartite agreement reached among the UNHCR and the governments of Ethiopia and Jibuti. The office said about 8,600 Ethiopians have so far been repatriated since September [1994] by train.



(ION 10 Dec 94, p. 5)

According to an Arab diplomatic source in New York, the United States is believed to have asked the Djibouti delegate to the United Nations Security Council to table a draft resolution calling for the creation of safety zones in southern Sudan, so that local populations could shelter from Sudanese army harassment. The Djibouti government is understood to have refused the proposal despite financial compensation the US offered, out of a fear of annoying member-countries of the IGADD mediation group or certain Arab nations, and to avoid damaging Djibouti's relations with Khartoum.


(ION 28 Jan 95, p.1)

... In a bid to seduce Arab fund donors (such as Saudi Arabia, which has reportedly offered Djibouti DF 1 billion to build schools and repair a road), the government issued a decree at the beginning of January banning all bars and drinking places except those `inside foreign clubs, messes, and cultural societies' or in `hotels with more than ten rooms and restaurants serving alcoholic drinks with food as part of main meals'. Bar owners have until March 15 to get rid of current stocks. As the measure will see the Djibouti government lose some DF 300 million annually in taxes paid by traders, the real reason behind the decision can hardly be put down to the official argument that it is a sudden desire to combat AIDS infection. The `moral environment clean-up' campaign is much more aimed at closing licensed dance halls and `wiping out the image of Djibouti as a garrison town'. This represents a calculated smear for the French government and has been very badly accepted by the general staff commanding French military forces stationed on Djibouti territory. The measure has also upset the Ethiopian government which is not at all keen to see hundreds of Ethiopian b-girls pouring out of Djibouti and returning home.

In a wider context, France is uneasy at Djibouti's latest tendency to look sympathetically toward a certain number of Arab countries and their militant Islamic ideas. A case in point was the mid-January visit to Djibouti of a Pakistani military mission, ostensibly to discuss military cooperation with Islamabad. Many French observers of the scene are taking a much closer look at the fine print in Djibouti's latest political measures...



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



(AC 16 Dec 94, p.8)

Asmara's dramatic snapping of diplomatic relations with Khartoum on 5 December is looking more and more like part of a concerted regional strategy to isolate the National Islamic Front government. Eritrea's move came after a blitz of accusations against Sudan's government not only from Asmara but also from Cairo and Kampala.

The war of words with Egypt heated up again in late November: Khartoum accused President Hosni Mubarak of, among other sins, `wrapping himself in the rags of weakness' to indulge in `persistent begging' in Europe. It said Egypt had `violated Arabism for the benefit of the Jews'. Egyptian State Radio said the `mind-boggling' and `tyrannical' Sudan government had `sold itself to the devil' and added: `The Sudanese people, we pray God, will be quickly ... released from the shackles of this ruling junta.'

Then on 5 December, the Ugandan army said it had strengthened its forces on the Sudan border because Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army rebels were fighting alongside Sudanese troops against the Sudan People's Liberation Army and this could spill over the border. Khartoum denies Ugandan charges that it arms Uganda's rebels. Eritrean President Issayas Aferworki, who is keen on the idea of regional integration, made no bones about the international dimension of his accusations against Sudan. Condemning `the design of the government in Khartoum to destabilise the whole region', he said that Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda were all affected. He accuses Khartoum of funding and training Islamist terrorists (AC Vol 35 No 24): `I don't wand to fight a war ... but sometimes it is necessary; people need to learn the hard way'. Issayas is close to Presidents Meles Zenawi and Yoweri Museveni who, with President Daniel arap Moi (no friend of Khartoum), form the peace committee sponsoring the stalled talks between Khartoum and the SPLA. Moi and Issayas met on 7 December to discuss `regional issues'.


(Reuter 1 Jan 95)

NAIROBI - Talks between Eritrea and Sudan on a dispute that led to the breaking of diplomatic relations last month have failed, Eritrean radio, monitored in Nairobi, reported on Saturday.

The radio said the Eritrean delegation had returned home after inconclusive talks with a Sudanese delegation in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa...


(Reuter 7 Jan 95)

KHARTOUM - Sudan on Saturday denied accusations by Eritrea that it had mistreated and expelled Eritrean refugees.

Ihsan al-Ghabshawi, Sudan's commissioner for refugees, was quoted by the official news agency Suna as saying that voluntary repatriation of refugees was going ahead as agreed with the United Nations and representatives from Eritrea...


(Development Matters Dec-Jan 94/95, p.17)

... The prolonged war that ended in May 1991 has resulted in large numbers of refugees, internally displaced people and unaccompanied children. The estimates compiled by CERA suggest that there are around one million Eritreans abroad. The largest number (some 42 percent) of these live in Sudan.

Eritrean refugees in the Sudan are settled in five zones, including the capital Khartoum, but mostly in the east near the Eritrean frontier. Some of the refugees, mostly senior citizens, women and children, subsist on food aid in camps administered by UNHCR. Close to 35 percent of these households are women headed. The overwhelming majority of the refugees want to return back as soon as possible, however, they need assistance with transport and with getting themselves re-established. The first phase of a $260 million program for refugee reintegration and rehabilitation of resettlement areas in Eritrea (PROFERI) was due to start in July 1993. However, only $32.5 million of the $111 million needed for the first phase was raised. PROFERI aims to bring back home, over the next four years, over 400,000 Eritreans from camps in the Sudan.

The PROFERI pilot program which was officially launched in November will repatriate an estimated 24,000 (4,500 households) voluntary Eritrean refugees from the Sudan to nine selected sites in four provinces in the northwest of the country under conditions which will allow sustainable human development. Under normal circumstances, family loyalties and ties of friendship are common in Eritrea, but many returning refugees no longer have anyone close to them left at their place of origin. And the society at large has little more than goodwill to spare. The urban centers cannot take any new arrivals: the existing population already stretched services to the limit. There are no spare jobs and affordable housing.

Returnees will find that they are not alone when it comes to competing for government help. The 30-year war has left thousands within Eritrea displaced, disabled or deprived of parents and breadwinners. According to a 1992 survey carried out by the Social Affairs Authority, 90,000 children have lost one or both parents--one-sixth of them are children of fighters martyred in the war. One in five orphans have been disabled. For orphans without other support, the government runs a number of homes, the aim being to reunite the children with close relatives so that they can live and grow up in their own communities. Since liberation, over 3,000 children have been reunited with their families in this way.



(NA Feb 95, p.27)

In April 1994 UN agencies warned that Eritrea faced the prospect of renewed famine; now, 10 months later, the government has announced the best harvest in years, and holds out the cautious hope that the drought-ravaged land might never again experience widespread famine.

An effective early-warning system, prompt donor response, efficient aid distribution and generous summer rains helped to avert the threatened famine crisis; but it was the accumulated results of three years of agricultural rehabilitation and development since the end of the 27-year war and the coming to power of the EPLF in Asmara that has made the difference between bare survival and bounty. This has resulted in the early success of what the agriculture minister, Dr Tesfai Ghermazien, calls the "greening of the Eritrea campaign."

Rains had failed for six years, and came only late in 1994 to avert another catastrophe. "I don't think we'll see another famine in Eritrea," declared Dr George Jones, the USAID director in Eritrea. Last year the US provided almost $40m of food aid--their highest in Africa. But, typically of the Eritrean attitude, Dr Nerayo Teklemichael, director of the Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, said: "Emergency food is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it saves lives, on the other, it makes people dependent. We are near a very crucial moment in our history when we will be able to say: Thank you very much, we are on our own."

Reviewing the success of agricultural development, Dan Connell, writes: "From the outset, the new government embarked on a crash programme of economic reconstruction. The objective was food security. The main initial thrust was on rehabilitation of peasant agriculture. Units of the liberation army were dispatched to the countryside to repair roads, build small dams and catchment basins, terrace the badly eroded hillsides and plant tree seedlings. They were joined by villagers on food-for-work programmes, set up to avoid chronic dependence on the emergency relief that fed most of the rural and urban population.

"This year, as the regular army is cut to half its original size, the rural reconstruction campaign will be swelled by 40,000 young men and women in Eritrea's new National Service, which requires everyone over the age of 18 to undergo six months of military training and another year of community service.

"In 1993 alone, 11 micro-dams and 10 new ponds were built, 34 wells dug, 2,100 hectares of cropland terraced and millions of tree seedlings planted. Over 1,000 tons of seed were also distributed to peasant farmers, together with 7,500 sets of tools and 2,000 draft animals. "Starting in 1995, we hope to triple dam construction to 25 per year," says Dr Tesfai. "If we do that, you're going to see a very good change in Eritrea in the near future."

Officials estimate that the country loses 10 billion cubic metres of water each year to run-off that ends up in the Red Sea, taking tens of thousands of tons of valuable topsoil with it.

In the long term, Eritrea plans a shift away from rain-fed agriculture to small and large-scale irrigation schemes. "This will make us certain to reach agricultural self-sufficiency," says Dr Tesfai.

A new land law intended to facilitate agricultural development guarantees every Eritrean man and woman individual use-rights for residential and agricultural purposes, together with the right to inherit the value of improvements to the land. It also offers up to 99-year leases to domestic and foreign investors for large-scale commercial farming.

Meanwhile, the government is providing inputs to demobilised soldiers and returning refugess to promote cooperative projects in which individuals pool resources but enjoy the full return from land designated as theirs. Livestock herds are also being restocked, and plans are being laid to resuscitate the fishing industry.

To make investment in agriculture more attractive and to forestall an exodus into crowded urban centres, there is a massive push to build new infrastructure--roads, schools, clinics and telecommunications-- throughout the remote, less developed areas of the country.

"The possibility of success in this country is better than any I've worked in because of the commitment, dedication and sense of purpose of the people here," says Dr Jones, whose experience includes 30 African countries. "It's a very honest government. We feel very confindent putting money into this country--we know it's going to be used properly."

While Eritreans welcome foreign aid and investment many are wary of the role of donor agencies. "In those areas which we identify where we lack expertise, the international community is welcome, but most international organisations try to prescribe for you what you need," says Dr Tesfai. "I think we know our deficiencies and our problems better than anybody."

Under a new policy, foreign agencies are prohibited from being "operational"--a role reserved entirely for Eritreans. Donor agencies are also restricted from paying Eritrean staff higher than prevailing in-country rates, to prevent them from pulling skilled people out of government service or private-sector activity, and they are required to account for all funds spent in Eritrea, with no more than 10% to be used for office overheads. Most importantly, they are limited to supporting projects that fall within the country's national and regional development plans.

"However, the strongest concerns were reserved for the Eritrean NGOs, which were criticised for being too dependent on foreign sources of income and urged to rely more on financing by Eritreans themselves. "If we put a limit on foreign funding as a condition, the indigenous NGOs would be reduced by half," says Dr Nerayo, who warned that institutional dependence on outside funding is as much a danger as dependence on food aid.

"The basic lesson from our independence struggle is that we were able to win the war on a very self-reliant basis. This is a very important lesson for the future as well," says Yemane Gebreab, who heads the political section of the People's Front for Democracy and Justice, the ruling party.


(ION 24 Dec 94, p.7)

Fund donors who met in Paris on December 19 and 20 for the World Bank's first consultative group meeting on Eritrea gave the Asmara authorities an approving thumbs-up signal. The warmest congratulations came from the head of the United States delegation Gary Bombardier (of USAID's Africa bureau). At political level, delegates of the Arab countries expressed the desire to see a rapid settlement to the diplomatic squabble between Asmara and Khartoum (ION No 650) and this point was underlined in the Group's final communique. Overall, donors identified US$ 250 million in international aid for 1995, this figure including all commitments made for Eritrea (several already announced) which are due for release in 1995.

The World Bank's own aid programme amounts to $25 million for 1995 whilst the African Development Bank has promised to finance $50 million worth of projects. Arab countries made noteworthy commitments: Kuwait put up $20 million and Saudi Arabia $50 million. The European Union, which has already disbursed some ECU 200 million in aid (including food) for Eritrea since 1992, now envisages an envelope of ECU 30 million for 1995. France has earmarked FFr.35 million and Italy has announced $50 million (it should be noted that whilst Italy's announced commitments for East Africa are always high, they are frequently cut back prior to disbursement).

A number of headaches were raised at the meeting. One was the need for Eritrea to administer prudently the financial implications of its public investment programme (although it does get aid at concessional interest rates or even grants to help it in this), particularly in order to avoid any debt pile-up by a country which, for the moment, has no more than a $25-million loan from the International Development Association (the World Bank subsidiary) to repay. Another point, perhaps even more delicate, is the need for Eritrea to respect donors' instructions on obtaining the release of aid funds; some fund donors claim that Asmara wants them to issue blank cheques to use as Asmara sees fit. But the Eritreans are criticizing the usual Western practice of tieing aid disbursements to contract signatures with firms from the fund donor's country. Asmara also wants to cut the number of Western expatriates working as technical assistants, and is reluctant to allow all foreign NGOs full liberty to operate...


(PRNewswire via RBB 10 Jan 95)

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has added Eritrea to the list of member countries eligible to borrow under the IMF's enhanced structural adjustment facility (ESAF). Eritrea shares characteristics -- such as low per capita income, and eligibility for IDA -- with those IMF members that are already eligible to borrow under the ESAF.

The ESAF is a concessional IMF lending facility for assisting eligible low-income developing members who are undertaking comprehensive programs of structural adjustment aimed at fostering sustainable growth and strengthening the external payments position. It allows the IMF to help eligible members both to implement comprehensive macroeconomic and structural reforms and to secure additional concessional financing. ESAF are disbursed over three years, loans carry an interest rate of 0.5 percent, and are repayable over 10 years, with a 5-1/2-year grace period...


(WH 1 Feb 95)

The President met today with President Isaias Afwerki in the Oval Office for thirty minutes. The two Presidents welcomed the excellent relations that exist between the two countries and discussed ideas for broadening the relationship, especially in the areas of commerce and security...

The President expressed his appreciation for Eritrea's good start on the road to democracy and free markets in the nearly two years since its independence. He pledged continued U.S. support for Eritrea's efforts to rebuild after its decades-long struggle for independence and applauded the emphasis that the Eritrean government has placed on encouraging international trade and investment as the engine for Eritrean development.

The two Presidents also discussed the need for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa, especially Sudan and Somalia. They agreed that a peaceful resolution to the civil war in Sudan is essential not only for the long-suffering people of that nation but also for the security of Sudan's neighbors. They reaffirmed their commitment to work together and with the nations of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development to achieve that goal.

The Presidents also underscored their joint effort to promote food security throughout the region. They agreed that the Greater Horn of Africa Initiative, developed by the USAID, provides a solid basis for a preventive approach to food crises in this ten-nation region. They agreed that a regional Horn of Africa conference should be held soon to coordinate measures that could use humanitarian relief as a stimulus for recovery and sustainable development.


(Development Matters Dec-Jan 94/95, p.7)

According to the Eritrean AIDS Control Office, over 1,000 Eritreans are affected by AIDS. In a report issued at the beginning of November, the office said that 494 cases have been reported in the last nine months, bringing the total number of AIDS patients to 1,163. Of these, 68 percent are males and 32 percent females. Over 70 percent of AIDS patients are aged between 20 and 39. The office says the number of Eritreans infected by HIV, the virus which causes AIDS, is estimated to be around 60,000.



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



(SWB 14 Dec 94 [RE in Amharic 12 Dec 94])

... In a speech President Meles made during the handing over ceremony [of the new constitution], he said that the time when Ethiopia's children were dying of famine and starvation while the country was deeply involved in political and economic crisis under previous regimes could not be forgotten.

President Meles, who noted that the adoption of a democratic constitution was the only way to pull Ethiopia out of the problems it was in, said that the participation of the people in the drafting and adoption of the constitution was favourable for its lasting impact and implementation too...

[Meles - recording] The stipulation in the constitution of the right of nations, nationalities and peoples to self-determination up to [and including] secession is not a cause for alarm, as some people might think, but will make it possible to place the unity of our peoples and country on a stronger foundation. The inclusion of this article in the constitution indicates that the centuries-long struggle by various peoples and democratic forces against national suppression and segregation has come to a victorious conclusion. [End of recording]...

The article on land tenure enshrined in the constitution will make it possible to preserve the Ethiopian peoples'struggle and enable our country to emerge from poverty and, [President Meles] noted, once and for all, a lasting solution had been found to the land issue, which had been found to represent a longstanding political and economic crisis. President Meles added that the transitional government was committed to seeing that the forthcoming general elections in our country were carried out in a fully democratic manner and reiterated his call for those compatriots, who really and genuinely stood for democracy and had a clear objective: to participate in the forthcoming elections...


(Reuter 2 Feb 95)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia promised on Thursday to pay compensation or return property confiscated by the state during the 17-year rule of ousted Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.

The council of representatives, the highest authority in the transitional government, said it had approved a proclamation to return the property through a privatisation agency.

"The proclamation allows the return of property confiscated to their rightful owners and the payment of legal compensation to those owners whose extra houses had been taken over by the ousted Marxist regime," the council said in a statement.

It said it had also approved a proclamation allowing the sale of state-owned housing in the capital Addis Ababa.

First to be sold of the 423,050 state-owned houses will be those now renting for more than $15 a month.

While pursuing his disastrous and bloody Marxist programme, Mengistu nationalised all high-rise buildings, large villas and houses not occupied by their owners following the 1974 revolution that overthrew feudal Emperor Haile Selassie.

Since Mengistu was ousted by guerrillas in May 1991, pressure has mounted for the stolen properties to be returned. The move could be seen as a way of muzzling opposition criticism of the government ahead of national elections next year.

Ethiopia's new constitution, published in December, makes clear that urban and rural land is owned by the state but development on it can be privately owned.

This clause is once again highly unpopular with the urban business class. But Western diplomats say it is aimed at the peasantry, the bulk of Ethiopian society.


(pol.ethiopia/NN 3 Jan 95 [Press release by 18 embassies, 20 Dec 94])

A group of 18 embassies* who are actively supporting the democratic process wish to congratulate the members of the Constituent Assembly on their work over the past weeks which has now culminated in a new Constitution for Ethiopia.

This is an important milestone on the path towards the establishment of democracy in Ethiopia and during the Assembly's deliberations we were especially impressed with the open debates on serious issues with minority views receiving a full hearing. Free, unhindered expression of dissenting views is the essence of a healthy constitutional democracy.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes expressed this view most clearly when he said of the American Constitution:

"If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought - not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought we hate."

Ethiopia now faces a greater challenge: the implementation of the democratic principles enshrined in the new constitution through national and regional elections next year. The seeds of democracy have been planted and now everyone must ensure that they flourish.

Many members of the Constituent Assembly and others in the country will soon be standing in these elections or wll be supporting one of the political parties that are now establishing themselves in the country. In doing so they will not agree with some of the views expressed by other individuals and the parties to which they belong. Indeed some may bitterly oppose them. The essence of democracy requires leaders to support the right of all views to be heard and for all parties to take part in the election process.

This involves in particular:

- the right of all political parties to open and operate offices in regions and at local levels;

- the right of free movement, free assembly and free expression and the right to campaign without hinderance; and

- reasonable access to the media for all parties;

We are encouraged that the Transitional Government of Ethiopia has again stated that these principles are fully accepted and will be implemented.

In the interests of all the peoples of Ethiopia and for the success of democracy in this beautiful country, we support President Meles' call for all political forces to put the past behind them and to participate in these elections in a legal and democratic manner. We urge them, as a first step, without preconditions, to respond positively to the call for an All-Party Conference to discuss the preparations for the elections.

In the past three and half years - after years of tragedy and bloodshed - we have at last seen peace and stability restored to Ethiopia. The Transitional Government of Ethiopia is now completing its mission to pave the way for constitutional democracy in Ethiopia. As members of the international community, we are committed to help in the next stages of this process. We call on all parties to come together with resolve and determination to make this dream a reality.

* Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States


(SWB 19 Dec 94 [REE in English, 17 Dec 94])

Mr Anthony Lake, US national security adviser, has said that he called on opposition forces to participate in the forthcoming national elections, the first of its kind in the Ethiopian history. He made the disclosure in a press conference in connection with his visit to Ethiopia...

He said his country would name a team that would closely monitor the national elections and pre-election campaigns in Ethiopia...


(Reuter 1 Jan 95)

ADDIS ABABA - An estimated 250,000 people staged a demonstration in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday in support of a new constitution which restructured the country into nine, ethnic-based federal states...


(Reuter 6 Jan 95)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia will hold multi-party parliamentary elections on May 7, the first since a communist dictatorship was overthrown four years ago, the National Electoral Board said on Friday.

A statement issued by the board gave no further details.

Opposition groups say they will boycott the polls for the two-chamber 550-seat parliament, comprising of a council of people's representatives and one of the federation, because they do not approve of a new constitution ratified last month...

The elections will be the climax of one of Africa's boldest political experiments -- to confront the often divisive problem of ethnicity head on by giving Ethiopia's regions a large degree of autonomy and the right to secession...


(Reuter 7 Feb 95)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia said on Tuesday political parties and candidates contesting seats in federal and state assemblies due in May would be allowed use of state media for their campaigns.

Information Minister Negaso Gidada said state-owned radio, television and press agencies would give free air time to registered political parties as well as individual candidates contesting landmark pluralist elections on May 7...

He added that parties and candidates would also be able to buy advertising space over and above their alloted slots...

Ethiopia's National Electoral Board (NEB) said registration and accreditation of candidates would be between February 24 and April 13 while it set voter registration for April 15 to 25...


(SWB 21 Jan 95 [REE in English, 19 Jan 95])

The Afar People's Democratic Organization, APDO, has said it will take part in the upcoming state and federal election. Adopting its five year plan of action at its first congress, the organization resolves to make sure that elections are conducted fairly and elected deputies are accountable for their actions...


(NA Feb 95, p.33, by Andrew Lycett)

... Since taking power in June 1991, the Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE) has been forced to make a number of important decisions. Out of necessity, but nevertheless with good grace it granted independence to its former northern province of Eritrea. It performed a sharp U-turn in its economic policies, abandoning the Marxist programme of the Tigray People's Liberation Front, which dominates the TGE, and adopting a radical free market policy.

But, because of inherent problems, its prescription for Ethiopia's political future waited three-and-a-half years to be formulated. The reason is that the country is a recent, imperial hotch-potch of several different ethnic peoples. For over a century, it was dominated by one group, the Amharas. The accession to power of the TGE, with its built-in Tigrayan ascendancy, raised widespread fears that the country might have changed one dominant ethnic group for another.

The TGE has sought to allay these fears by opting for its multinational approach. Ethiopia's nine federal states will comprise Tigray, Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, Benshangul, Gambella, Harhari and an entity to be known as the Southern People's state, which in itself comprises 45 different ethnic groups.

President Meles Zenawi has grasped the nettle and insisted that any state will be allowed to secede from the union. He promises to hold multi-party elections at both the national and federal level within the relatively short period of six months. After that his government will dissolve itself and the transition from Marxist dictatorship to democracy will be complete.

Or at least that is the theory. Various opposition groups do not see it quite that way. They argue that the constitution was drawn up by the government to perpetuate its rule. They want further discussions, particularly on the constitution and the composition of the army, which they see as dangerously Tigrayan dominated.

However, the opposition is by no means homogeneous. Three main groups, the Coalition of Ethiopian Democratic Forces (COEDF), the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the All Amhara People's Organisation (AAPO) agreed in November to accept an offer of mediation from a special task force of the US Congress. However, the task force, organised by Harry Johnston, the chairman of House of Representatives sub-committee on Africa, failed to engage the interest of the TGE.

Meanwhile the Council for the Alternative Forces of Peace and Democracy in Ethiopia (CAFPDE), headed by Dr Beyene Petros, has been trying to build itself up as a credible opposition front inside the country. On 4 December, it held a large demonstration in Addis Ababa to oppose the constitution. According to its supporters, CAFPDE's rally in Mesfin Square also attracted the magical figure of 250,000 people...



(Reuter 5 Jan 95)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopian opposition groups on Thursday criticised Western support for a new constitution restructuring the east African country into nine federal states.

Western embassies, in a statement last month, supported the constitution ratified by Ethiopia's constituent assembly in December after negotiations begun in 1991 after the overthrow of Marxist military leader Mengistu Haile Mariam.

A statement by the opposition umbrella group, the Council of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy in Ethiopia (CAFPDE), said Western support for the constitution failed to take account of popular opinion.

"The official communique by the 18 diplomatic missions does not appear to have made a concrete appraisal of the popular sentiment regarding the mode and manner through which the constitution was framed and eventually ratified," CAFPDE said.

Opposition groups oppose the new constitution, which allows regions to secede if they gain a two-thirds majority vote, saying it will break Africa's most ancient nation into ethnic regions...


(ION 11 Feb 94, p.3)

The US Task Force on Ethiopia (ION No 650), set up by the outgoing chairman of the House Sub-Committee on African Affairs Harry Johnston and his colleagues Donald M. Payne and Alcee L. Hastings (all three Democratic Party's congressmen), has resumed its efforts of good offices between the Ethiopian government and its opponents. Backed by the US State Department and in the presence of former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Herman Cohen, the team last week consulted several groups of Ethiopia's political opposition: All Amhara Peoples' Organization, Coalition of Ethiopian Democratic Forces, and Oromo Liberation Front. Beyene Petros, the chairman of Council of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy, and Fitawrari (an old title under the imperial regime) Mekonen Dori also went to Washington to join the discussions.

These meetings continued, from February 7 onwards, with direct (but bilateral) discussions between the opposition parties' delegates and an Ethiopian government delegation, on the following subjects: security conditions required in Ethiopia for political opponents to be active, open access to media, the right to travel and to open political party premises right across the country, a commitment to debate later in Addis Ababa on major differences of opinion. The meetings were chaired by the present US ambassador to Ethiopia, Irving Hicks, and by his British opposite number, who was acting as a delegate of Ethiopia's international fund donors. The three-person Ethiopian government delegation was made up of an official of the Amhara National Democratic Movement (a member of the ruling EPRDF in Addis) Dawit Johannes, the current Ethiopian ambassador to the United States Brehane Gebre Kristos, and his press attache Ms. Salome Tadesse.

Discussions were still continuing on February 9 (as The Indian Ocean Newsletter closed for press) but the chances of their resulting in an agreement appeared to be slim. Dawit Johannes admitted that he had not been mandated by his government and even Western observers, who would dearly like to see the opposition groups agree to participate in the ballot on May 7, 1995, seemed to find his position too rigid... The situation on February 9 seemed to be that discussions between the opposition groups represented in Washington showed nobody considered that conditions were right for agreeing to take part in elections. As an example, the AAPO and OLF delegates did not accept the government's refusal to admit the existence of political prisoners in Ethiopia and to discuss their possible release...

/HAB/ According to a White House press release of February 11 on the conclusion of the Washington talks, National Security Advisor Anthony Lake "said that the Administration will continue efforts to encourage productive dialogue among the parties, and he welcomed the establishment of a multi-party forum to address issues related to May 7 parliamentary elections in Ethiopia."


(ION 21 Jan 95, p.4)

Representatives of three Ethiopian Oromo movements which oppose the Addis Ababa government agreed, at the close of a meeting in Nairobi last month, on the urgent need for an "effective and coordinated struggle" against the regime of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). They decided to cooperate in order to "mobilize resources necessary" for carrying out their fight for liberation. Delegates who signed the agreement claimed to speak for Oromo People's Liberation Front (OPLF), United Oromo People's Liberation Front (UOPLF) and Oromo People's Liberation Organization (OPLO).

OPLF recently published a political programme calling for the abolition of "Ethiopia's colonial-type administration" and the establishment of an independent state of Oromia (ION No 651). UOPLF was founded in 1991 when general Wako Guutu Usu, who comes from Bale Province in the south, walked out of Somali Abo Liberation Front (SALF), which had long been backed by the government in Mogadiscio and later renamed itself the Oromo Abo Liberation Front. UOPLF had one delegate (Abajebel Tahiro) in the former council of representatives (provisional parliament) in Addis but today finds itself split by contradictory political options. OPLO, a small group which sprang up in Ethiopia in 1992 under the leadership of Tilahun Muleta, also signed the Nairobi agreement.

Shortly after signature of the Nairobi agreement, the BBC monitoring service picked up a broadcast on January 12 by the state-owned Ethiopian broadcasting authority which reported an agreement between UOPLF and the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Oromia (IFLO) to unite within a new organization, United Oromo Liberation Front (UOLF), which appears to be headed by Ahmed Mohamed Challo, an IFLO leader who had been a former council of representatives delegate in Addis. Officials of the new Oromo movement say that members will be voting in Ethiopia's general elections in May, which, the officials believe, should "open the way to the formation of a popular government".

[ION editorial comment:] ... The principal Oromo opposition movement Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) recently announced, through one of its officials Taha Abdi, that it rejects Ethiopia's new constitution and refuses to take part in the May elelctions...


(ION 4 Feb 95, p.2)

Armed units of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF, opposition) invaded the towns of Humruna and Jarte, Horo Gudru Province, for several hours over the past fortnight. The rebels were reported to have taken 10,000 birr (about US$1,800) and various documents from official buildings, and then to have set the documents alight on the spot. During the same period, another group of OLF militants attacked soldiers of the governmental Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) at Yargedu, in the same province. In each place, the OLF members called local inhabitants together and explained the OLF movement's political objectives...


(SNU 14 Dec 94)

Addis Ababa, December 5 - The Ethiopian government fired Ugaz Abdulrahman as President of Ethiopia's Ogaden region (Region 5) last week. Details about his dismissal remain unclear but the stated reasons are said to be charges of corruption and incompetance - the same reasons that led to the ousting of the last two presidents of Region 5.

The firing of the President coincides with Ethiopia's admission that troops of the transitional government engaged on action with rebel forces in the Ogaden region's southeastern parts that share border with Somalia.

In a statement issued November 30, Ethiopian Prime Minister Tamrat Layne said some Oromo dissidents and Islamic groups in the adjacent regions of Harar and Ogaden were doing "illegal things."

The clashes have been confirmed by independent travelers to the area...


(SWB 22 Dec 94 [RFI in French, 20 Dec 94])

More leaders of the Amhara opposition have been arrested in Ethiopia. Three members of the central committee of the Ethiopian opposition movement were arrested on Monday [19th December] and joined three other leaders in prison, including the chairman of the movement who had been arrested previously. The Amhara opposition is against the new Ethiopian constitution, which envisages the right of secession for the peoples of Ethiopia and makes the state the sole owner of the land.

According to Ato [Mr] Zenebe [phonetic], member of the AAPO [All-Amhara People's Organization] central committee, 28 other people - all of them Amharas - have already been arrested throughout the country. Ato Zenebe was recorded by Farida Ayari speaking about the campaign of harassment to which his movement is being subjected:

[Zenebe - recording in English with superimposed French translation] AAPO is the main opposition party and the government is trying to arrest all the leaders in order to decapitate our party. The government cannot be seen to ban the party officially, but it is closing its offices, especially in the north of Ethiopia, and preventing us from making contact with the people to inform them about our cause. For example, in northern Shewa more than 20 offices have been closed and several of our members killed in broad daylight...



(GN 14 Dec 94, by John Balzar [Los Angeles Times])

They killed, tortured, despoiled and terrorised an ancient country - and wrote it all down. In ghastly detail. They affixed their signatures and stamped the official seal to their 17 years of tyranny and filed it away. Then they lost a civil war.

Now, their deeds are counted on 309,215 pages, which become court evidence as the new government of Ethiopia yesterday started prosecution of 3,400 officials of the former Communist regime on charges of "crimes against humanity" and other malefactions.

With the help of the American Bar Association and governments on three continents, Ethiopia believes it is undertaking the largest, most richly documented trial of systematic government genocide since the second world war.

The victims could number more than 100,000. Ready witnesses could reach 10,000. The charges against the first defendants consume 296 leather-bound pages and require a full day to read aloud. About 1,300 men are in custody; 1,100 are out on bail. The remainder have fled and are being sought. The process could last years.

Unique among the accusations is that the government of exiled President Mengistu Haile Mariam withheld and manipulated food aid in one of Ethiopia's periodic droughts to suppress dissent.

The trials are probably the ending chapter of the last hard-line government to rise under sponsorship of the former Soviet Union. Ethiopians are transfixed and wishing for catharsis. They hope, too, that in this improbable place the world will find a precedent for the trials of human rights atrocities in Rwanda and Bosnia.

The first defendants to go on trial and those facing the most serious genocide charges are 66 men - 45 in custody, the others, including the exiled Mengistu, being prosecuted in absentia. All face death by hanging, if convicted.

Asked how detailed the evidence was, Abraham Tsegaye, of the Ethiopia Special Prosecutor's Office, said: "We have minutes of meetings in which it is stated, `We hereby agree that revolutionary measures be taken against A, B and C.' In this context you should know, revolutionary measure was a synonym for execution."

Prosecutors also assert that the meticulous bureaucrats of the Mengistu government left behind tape-recordings of torture sessions. There are known to be repositories of skeletons. Reports circulate widely that prosecutors have photographs and videotapes of torture and executions. "This was a campaign of annihilation against all political groups and individuals suspected of being counter-revolutionaries," said Mr Tsegaye.

According to the special prosecutor, the government systematically executed hundreds of students on a single day to forestall a street demonstration. Another 600,000 Ethiopians were forcibly relocated. Billions in aid were spent enlarging the army from 50,000 troops to 500,000.

The epic storehouse of evidence and the legal case were compiled with help from several nations. Argentina provided forensics investigators, the Americans and Swedes computer equipment and the British and Dutch money.


(Reuter 16 Dec 95, by Tsegaye Tadesse)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia on Friday adjourned to March next year the trials of the country's former Marxist rulers, charged with mass murder during a 17-year rule of terror.

The presiding judge said the lengthy adjournment was necessary in order to give defence lawyers time to study a catalogue of charges.

"Considering the seriousness and complicated nature of the charges and taking into account the request made by defence lawyers for more time to study the cases, the court has decided to adjourn hearing until March 7," he said...


(ION 10 Dec 94, p.8)

In a telephone interview with The Indian Ocean Newsletter, Ethiopia's former head of state, who has been living in exile in Zimbabwe since 1991, systematically denied all charges laid against him in the trial in absentia started in Addis Ababa against him and dozens of other former Ethiopian leaders. Unexpectedly, Mengistu Haile Mariam put the responsibility for the Red Terror on to other persons. He said that Ethiopia was governed today by "a minority government of Tigreans" and added that he was "writing about the present situation in Ethiopia to inform future generations". Living in a comfortable villa in Harare but forbidden to receive visitors freely or to move outside of the Zimbabwean capital, Mengistu makes most of his contacts by telephone. His telephone bill for the six months of 1994, paid by the Zimbabwean government, came to US$ 28,413.


(SWB 11 Jan 95 [KNA news agency, Nairobi, in English 10 Jan 95])

Excerpt from report by PANA news agency, Dakar, carried by Kenyan news agency KNA

Harare, Zimbabwe: A Zimbabwean opposition leader, Ndabaningi Sithole, has challenged President Robert Mugabe's government to extradite former Ethiopian leader Mengistu Haile Mariam, who is facing charges of genocide in his country.

In a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Nathan Shamuyarira, Sithole said that this was necessary if Zimbabwe "is to set a precedent which will serve as a shining example for all African countries"...


(ION 14 Jan 95, p.2) The Italian delegate on the European Union's Africa Working Group has submitted a proposal to his colleagues for a joint approach to the Ethiopian government seeking an assurance that a death sentence will not be demanded (or will not be applied if passed) on the leaders of the former Ethiopian regime under ex-head of state Mengistu Haile Mariam. Some European countries who might back the Italian proposal have nevertheless counselled patience until the outcome of the mass trial becomes a little clearer...

The Italian move is motivated by the fact that the Italian embassy in Addis Ababa is still playing host to three former high officials of the Mengistu regime who took refuge there in 1991: Tesfaye Gebre Kidane, the vice-president under Mengistu who became president himself for just one week after the dictator fled to Zimbabwe and until the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front seized power, ex-foreign minister Berhanu Baye, and ex-armed forces chief of staff (and DERG economic expert) Addis Tetla...



(ION 24 Dec 94, p.7)

The national airlines Eritrean Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines decided last week to set up a joint company to operate air traffic rights which the Eritrean company on its own is not able to use fully. The agreement includes the companies sharing international facilities. Eritrean Airlines, which was created in May 1993 after the country became independent, is currently operating the Addis Ababa--Massawa route, using an aircraft acquired under a leasing agreement with Hungary. Ethiopian Airlines has been functioning since 1945 and serves more than thirty capitals across Africa, Asia, Europe and Middle East. A source said the company is considering concluding similar joint ventures with other airlines in the region.


(SWB 3 Jan 95 [RE in Amharic, 21 Dec 94])

Editorial report

Technical cooperation agreements worth 9.7m dollars were signed by the governments of Ethiopia and Germany on 21st December. Under the agreement, 5.8m dollars was allocated for the implementation of a forestry project in Adaba Dolo in Bale Zone (southeastern Ethiopia), while the remaining 3.9m dollars will be used for the completion of the German-funded ongoing potable water projects in Tigray and Oromia regions (Regions One and Four respectively).


(SWB 10 Jan 95 [REE in English, 2 Jan 95])

Editorial report

A preliminary study on launching natural gas prospecting in the Abay basin and Serdo and Tendaho areas of Afar region in eastern Ethiopia is under way. The head of the Petroleum Exploration Department said that the government had allocated 407,000 birr, equivalent to about 65,000 dollars, for the collection of samples and the mapping of the areas. The America Oil Company, which has won a bid for exploration rights, is also preparing to prospect in the Afar area.

The department head said that similar studies were being undertaken in Wereilu locality in northern Ethiopia, where oil-bearing sediments had been discovered, and that an international oil company, ILP, was bidding to prospect for oil in Gambella region in western Ethiopia, where samples of oil-bearing rocks similar to those in the Sudanese oilfield had been detected.


(PRNewswire via RBB 25 Jan 95)

DENVER -- As announced recently by the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and Energy, Golden Star Resources Ltd. has been awarded the Dul permit area in Ethiopia. Dul is one of several gold prospects for which Ethiopia invited applications during 1994. The detailed terms for development of the project are being discussed by Golden Star and the Transitional Government of Ethiopia.

The Dul permit covers 1,801 square kilometers and is located in western Ethiopia about 800 kilometers from the capital Addis Ababa. The permit area covers several Proterozoic "greenstone" belts which contain a number of identified primary gold occurrences, of which the Dul Mountain gold prospect is the most important...

Golden Star has proposed an integrated exploration program, working closely with the Ethiopians, to evaluate the Dul Mountain gold prospect. In addition, it is proposed to conduct a comprehensive regional evaluation of the entire 1,801 square kilometer Dul permit...


(Reuter 31 Jan 95)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia, pushing ahead with reform in its key coffee industry, set up a new coffee authority to streamline the sector and improve marketing of the crop.

A government statement said the new body would be called the Coffee and Tea Development Marketing Authority. It replaces the ministry of coffee and tea development which has been abolished.

"The authority shall have the power and duties to formulate and draft policy, laws and regulations that can promote the country's coffee and tea development," the statement said...

Ethiopia is Africa's third largest producer of coffee after Ivory Coast and Uganda. Officials estimate output to reach 120,000 this year, up from 72,000 tonnes last year.

Coffee is Ethiopia's main export commodity and accounts for 60 percent of total foreign currency earnings.

Last year it also exported 450 tonnes of tea for the first time, earning $400,000. Ethiopia plans to export some 2,000 tonnes this year and earn an estimated $2.5 million, official statistics show.


(SWB 7 Feb 95 [REE in English, 25 Jan 95])

The National Bank of Ethiopia has announced that it has organized a 210m birr [nearly 30m dollars] treasury bills auction effective today in a bid to help the government obtain loans from the business community. The executive committee for treasury bills at the bank said all commercial banks are designated as authorized dealers for the sale of the bills. The bank said any person or resident in Ethiopia including firms, companies, corporate bodies, banks and financial institutions could purchase the treasury bills. The treasury bills auction, run jointly by the bank and the Ministry of Finance, would stay active for about three months. The National Bank said bidders who win the tender for the amount they tendered will collect their money after the auction is over.


(Moneyclips via RBB 16 Jan 95 [Arab News, by K. S. Ramkumar, Arab News Staff])

Jeddah, Dec. 2 - Ethiopia is keen to establish a joint economic commission with Saudi Arabia to further boost mutual relations. This was stated by Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Suyom Mesfen when a high level 17-member businessmen's delegation from the Kingdom called on him recently...

The mission returned with the impression that the country, where Organization of African Unity was founded, is a virgin land for Saudis to invest, moreso because of its close proximity-just an hour and 40 minutes flying time, and also that it is a gateway to the rest of the African continent. An invitation was also extended by the visiting group to the Ethiopian chamber mission to visit the Kingdom...


(SWB 20 Jan 95 [REE in English, 18 Jan 95])

An Ethio-Sudanese joint meeting is under way in Addis Ababa to discuss ways and means of revitalizing and fully implementing cooperation agreements signed between the two governments. The three-day meeting, which began yesterday [17th January], is expected to find ways of putting in practice friendship and cooperation agreements signed between the leaders of the two countries on 21st October 1991. The Ethiopian delegation to the meeting is headed by Mr Wend Wesen Kebede, economic adviser in the Prime Minister's Office and the Sudanese delegation by Mr Abd al-Wahhab Ahmad Hamza, minister of state in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning...



(Reuter 22 Dec 94)

ADDIS ABABA - An AIDS research centre opened in the Ethiopian capital on Thursday to study Africa's HIV virus compared with its counterparts in Europe and the United States.

The Netherlands embassy said the $8.1-million centre financed by the Dutch government would concentrate on the African HIV virus because its epidemiology and virus strains were different from those in Europe and the United States.

It said any possible treatment for AIDS developed in the United States or Europe might be poorly adapted for Africa.

Africa has the highest incidence of HIV and AIDS in the world. There are an estimated 10 million adults infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Health Organisation.


(NNS Dec 94/Jan 95)

1993/94 saw some 63 new Community Based Organisations, or CBOs, spring up in the Eastern Ethiopian city of Dire Dawa. Their number is evidence of an expanding civil sector in the city as the population increases and there is some space for locals to organise. While this expansion may be new, CBOs are rooted in tradition, often built around the demands of burial and marriage ceremonies or economic need, where better off community members lend to the worse off through rotating credit. Meanwhile, working with them exemplifies what international organisations preach for `participatory development.'

Yet evidence of international agencies, including NGOs, working through existing CBOs in Ethiopia is scant. ACORD, a European NGO with a development mandate has just spent a year developing a four year project to increase the capacity of CBOs in Dire Dawa. NNS spoke to their Country Co-ordinator, Ali Adam, a Sudanese with over ten years experience of development work in the Horn.

"Their eyes are on the grant" when you first talk to them, he says, "and that's for a clear practical reason - but we have to work with them to move away from practical to strategic needs." ACORD has spent a year conducting a baseline survey on the structure and needs of the CBOs in Dire Dawa (as well as on the city itself). As a result one of their main focuses in the programme is on women who comprise 60% of the total population of the city (80% in some districts) while 32% of all households are female-headed. Programme support in terms of grants to CBOs will be 80% to women and gender issues will be at the forefront of programme strategy.

More generally, CBOs suffer because, as informal groups, they are not eligible for loans from the Ethiopian Development Bank. "While we do not want to formalise them," says Adam, "it will help to at least have access to being a legal entity, if they want, then they can access credit." This is an example of one lynch-pin of the programme: `linkage'. By putting CBOs in touch with NGOs, local administrators and with each other, avenues of opportunity can open up. "They rarely come together to sit and discuss problems jointly, which may be a legacy of the previous regime, but we'll organise visits so that they can see each other's work and they may, through time, learn that working together would be to their advantage - but we will only open that door, we won't push them through."

Similarly ACORD is shy of creating or encouraging artificial structures, but they do plan to facilitate an advisory committee which will include representatives of the city administration, the district council, ACORD and the CBOs. This will make project funding decisions and is also intended to provide access for CBO representatives to local officials...


(SWB 13 Feb 94 [REE in English, 11 Feb 95])

The third bench of the Central High Court has passed a suspended sentence of one and [a] half year[s] on the editor-in-chief of the `Mogad' newspaper on charges of violating the press law and publishing unfounded stories. The court said that it found Yohanes Abebe guilty of committing the crimes he was accused of by the prosecutor's office. The defendants published [an] unfounded story on [as heard] the 23rd June 1994 issue of the newspaper under the headings: Ethiopia was encircled by wars from all direction[s] for which the EPRDF [Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front] government was responsible. The newspaper said that the Black Lion and Kefagne Army [both opposition forces] were fighting from [the] northwest to the central part of the country and unidentified guerrilla fighters were taking offensive measures which put the country's peace at stake...



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



(DT 20 Dec 94, by Scott Peterson)

United Nations troops are accelerating their withdrawal from Somalia, as news that American forces will take part in the final evacuation, setting foot again on Somali soil, has increased fears of violence.

Although Somalia's strongest warlords have promised not to disrupt the UN pull-out, rumours are growing among Somalis that America plans to re-colonise their country. Apocryphal as these rumours may be, they influence many.

Gunmen have taken control of the streets of Mogadishu since the withdrawal of US forces in March. Extremists among them are likely to take up arms against the Americans once more.

President Bill Clinton has ordered up to 3,000 US Marines to serve as offshore back-up and - saying that "it's the right thing to do" - plans to send several hundred ashore in the final days of the evacuation.

On Radio Mogadishu yesterday, General Mohammed Farah Aidid, the warlord who survived a US-led manhunt, questioned the need for American troops to return. His lieutenants had far stronger words.

"They killed thousands of Somalis, whose fathers and brothers will not forgive that or forget," said Osman Ato, the chief financier for Gen Aidid's militia. "They will shoot the Americans if they have the chance."

Despite Gen Aidid's promises of peace, his senior security officers have warned civilian UN and relief agencies planning to stay that their safety cannot be guaranteed after UN troops depart.

Clashes, and possibly renewed civil war, are expected to erupt as clan militias fight for control of the port and airport, and over the booty from the lavish UN compound.

The UN army in Somalia now stands at 12,000 Third World troops, mostly from Pakistan and India. They will be cut to 10,000 by the end of the year and will abandon the newly built UN compound - 80 acres of pre-fabricated offices and housing with first-class sewerage, water and lighting services - by the middle of January. They should be gone by the first week of March...


(SWB 4 Jan 95 [KNA news agency, Nairobi, in English 2 Jan 95])

Mogadishu, Zimbabwe [as received]: UN special envoy to Somalia James Gbeho says the OAU should make "last ditch efforts" to pressure the UN into extending its mandate in Somalia beyond 31st March. This extension, he said, would avert a return to full-scale civil war. "They (OAU) should use collective weight in order to still keep it (the UN) interested and involved in Somalia," he told Zimbabwean journalists.

Gbeho, who fell short of describing the withdrawal as premature, questioned whether the UN's reason for its pull-out after two years would be acceptable to Africans.

The UN said it was leaving because Somalis had failed to form a government in this anarchic East African nation of almost 8m people; but Gbeho said the withdrawal would set a complicated precedent. It would mark the first time since its formation that the organization abandoned a mission before achieving its objectives. In future situations similar to Somalia, he said, Africans might be unwilling to participate. Zimbabwe completed its withdrawal from the country [on] Saturday [31st December].

The withdrawal, he added, could turn Somalia into a "battleground for ambitious Western powers". Somalia has vast untapped mineral resources like oil, uranium and gas.

He criticized Somalia's faction leaders, who include the two main protagonists, Somali National Alliance leader Gen Muhammad Farah Aydid and the Somali Social [as received: should be Salvation] Alliance one, Ali Mahdi Muhammad, for their "intransigence and selfishness".


(The Economist via RBB 4 Feb 95)

NEW YORK - All that now remains for the United Nations to do in Somalia is to get out as quietly and decently as it can. Over the next month, the UN plans to withdraw its last 8,000 troops-Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Egyptians-and as much of their equipment as possible. The withdrawal, as Somalia's still-warring clans gather like vultures, will be complicated and dangerous. Much worse, it will leave Somalia as vulnerable as it ever was to the havoc of warlords and the threat of famine.

The Somali mission, which lasted about 20 months and was preceded by America's unilateral operation, failed abysmally to impose political order but did save an unknown number of people from dying of hunger. It is ending at a time of good harvests. But if fighting spreads, food could become as scarce, over the next few months, as it was two years ago. The handful of UN political people who have been told to remain in Mogadishu, the capital, will be able to do nothing to protect any relief worker who bravely decides to stay on: no armed guards, no helicopters, no flights out of Somalia. The UN's is not an honourable retreat.

But the Security Council decreed in November that it should be a deliberate and orderly one--not hasty, let alone enforced--and this is now the height of the UN's ambition. The Indian troops left the port of Kismayu at the end of December, with the Indian navy off-shore. Now the whole UN presence is concentrated in Mogadishu.

By February 8th, an American-Italian naval task-force will be gathered off the coast with 2,600 American and 800 Italian marines on board. France will offer air protection from Djibouti. Until the last week of the withdrawal, the task-force will act only when requested to do so by the UN chief of mission. But then, come the end of February or the beginning of March, the UN's own commander will have left and the marines will go in, with their American commander in full control, to replace the rearguard of 2,000 Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. When the last peacekeeper is gone, the marines themselves will leave.

Stories of widespread looting of UN equipment-by peacekeepers and by Somalis-are, says the UN, based on fact but exaggerated by the press. The hope is to shift most of the stuff to either Rwanda or Angola or to the new storage base the Italians have given the UN at Brindisi. Some things, air-conditioners and telephones, will be passed on to the wretched relief agencies. Fine, in theory. But on February 1st, as UN troops left their headquarters in Mogadishu to take up position at the airport and harbour, Somali militia moved in at once, stripping the place bare. The next day two mortar bombs were fired into the UN-controlled port. Nobody was hurt but the evacuation of civilians was brought forward. Orderliness is within a hair's breadth of breaking down.

Is the military withdrawal from Somalia a rehearsal for the bigger, far more daunting prospect of retreat from ex-Yugoslavia? Up to a point, perhaps. But that operation, according to a NATO estimate, would cost $10 billion-14 billion. This sum, out of all range of penny-pinching UN peacekeeping, highlights the fact that it is much harder to get out of a country than to get in.


(Feb 95, by Ken Menkhaus and John Prendergast)

This month US Marines provide cover for the inglorious withdrawal of the last UN peacekeeping forces in Somalia...

Aid organizations -- donors, UN agencies and private voluntary organizations -- are now faced with the same set of dilemmas that confronted them during Somalia's terrible war and famine of l99l-92. How can we most effectively channel assistance to responsible and needy Somalia communities in the midst of ostensible "Mad Max" anarchy? At issue is not only our continued commitment to Somalia; we will be setting a precedent for how the international community copes with other zones of protracted state collapse.

The birds of prey in Somalia are counting on aid agencies to continue to cut deals with local militias, pay extortionate wages to armed "guards", provide ransom to kidnappers -- in sum, to do whatever it takes, so that at least some aid gets to communities in need. This philosophy, however well-intentioned, bankrolled the militias and helped fuel the very conflicts that triggered Somalia's recent famine. It must not happen again.

Aid organizations have slowly come to understand that one of the main assets over which Somalia militias and bandits fight is international assistance. It is a welcome if belated realization and challenges aid-givers of all persuasions to fundamentally revise the principles on which they operate in complex humanitarian emergencies.

In the case of Somalia the corrosive and centralizing effect of foreign aid has a long history. It helped create a bloated, artificial and heavily militarized state which collapsed, never to return once donors froze aid in the late 1980s. It fostered a "cargo cult" mentality in Somalia towards foreign aid which is still very much alive today.

Somali militia leaders are keenly aware that foreigners and their international agencies have institutional imperatives to provide aid. They know from experience that an accusation that Western aid agencies are failing to respond to emergency needs -- an irresistable story for the media -- is a quick and easy way to prompt headquarters in New York, Washington and Geneva to give the order to "do whatever it takes" and the aid flows.

This has led to a situation in which several powerful Somali clans and militias have held weak, agricultural populations in southern Somalia hostage, looting them until they starve, then crying for the international community to stop the famine. We pay the ransom but the hostages are never released. Famine, refugees and deprivation are a big business in Somalia.

There are those who argue that Somalia should just be left completely alone, but this is simply not going to happen and is not fair to the many honest and victimized Somalis who deserve help in their efforts to rebuild their lives. A more realistic alternative is for a united donor community to set and maintain strict standards for permissible environments for foreign assistance until the militias come to understand that the rules of the game have changed. An important first step has already been taken when aid agencies suspended activities last month until an international aid worker was released by kidnappers. Watchdog donors should monitor implementing agencies and cut funding to those which gravitate back towards the old rules. It will take time and induce hardships but a "tough love" approach is now the only way to break the cycle of extortion.

Aid should also be radically decentralized, channeled through and in partnership with local community authorities in small areas of operation. There are functional and effective local leaders -- elders, intellectuals, responsible politicians, clerics and local self-help organizations -- who can and will see to it that outside help is properly used. But aid agencies will need to put in considerable time on the ground to learn who is a legitimate community representative and who is not.

Aid must be provided in small, manageable quantities, lest it attract the unscrupulous. Large levels of assistance will place too much pressure on local authorities and may even undermine them. Non-governmental organizations and UN agencies need to adapt a patient, labor-intensive approach which stresses quality of input rather than quantity. A number of small, commited agencies have long embraced this approach with good results.

It is not so much that "small is beautiful" in Somalia; small is simply the only viable course of action in a collapsed state. The only legitimate authority that exists and thrives in contemporary Somalia is at the local level, in villages, neighborhoods, and the pastoral range. Though the UN remains preoccupied with reviving a central state in Somalia, for the foreseeable future what we call "Somalia" will be a mosaic of fluid, localized communities. Let's work with them and not against them.

Ken Menkhaus is an assistant professor at Davidson College and is currently a visiting professor at the US Army Peacekeeping Institute. John Prendergast is Director of the Horn of Africa Project of the Center of Concern. Both are co-directors of the Somalia Task Force.



(Reuter 6 Jan 95)

MOGADISHU - Rival Somali militiamen, violating a day-old ceasefire agreed by clan elders, clashed in the capital Mogadishu on Friday, killing four people and wounding a dozen.

Witnesses said gunmen of the Abgal and Murusade clans fought in the battered Bermuda district bordering on the U.N.- held seaport with machineguns and anti-tank rockets in the worst fighting since the ceasefire took effect on Thursday morning.

Both sides accused the other of shooting first. Witnesses said four people were killed and a dozen wounded in the clash which followed sporadic shooting in Bermuda throughout Thursday.

The three-point ceasefire calling for an end to hostilities from Thursday was signed in Mogadishu on Wednesday by Abgal and Murusade elders after at least 23 people were killed and more than 300 wounded.

The pact called for opening all roads to Bermuda district...


(Reuter 1 Feb 95)

MOGADISHU - United Nations troops abandoned the world body's former headquarters in Mogadishu on Wednesday and withdrew to the airport ahead of a final evacuation from Somalia, officials said.

U.N. spokesman George Bennett said that Somali militias immediately moved in and seized the complex, looting the place bare.

"The (U.N.) Pakistanis finally left their positions in the early hours of this morning. As soon as they moved out the Somalis moved in and started taking all the equipment that was left," Bennett told Reuters.

He said the final armoured column of several hundred U.N. troops was given air cover with combat helicopters and tanks were on hand to guide them to the U.N.-controlled airport.

The militias who seized control of the old U.N. complex were from warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed's Habre Gedir militia...


(LICR 31 Dec 94)

London, Dec 29 - Following received from the Maritime Liaison Office Bahrain, dated Manama, today: The situation around Mogadiscio continues to deteriorate with repeated reporting of ship attacks and piracy. Piracy also continues along the Somalia coast especially in the area of Cape Guardafui where there have been repeated reports of piracy conducted by the Somalia Coast Guard. Commercial shippers are advised to remain at least 50 nautical miles offshore when transiting the area.



(Reuter 13 Dec 94)

TUNIS - A group of Libyan Moslem clerics and teachers, who went to Mogadishu last week upon the wishes of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, met Somali faction leaders, the official Libyan news agency JANA reported on Tuesday.

The panel, made up of mosque preachers and teachers of the Koran, Arabic language and Islamic studies held talks with Somali warlords to "complete a mission of reconciliation between parties and restore stability," said JANA, monitored in Tunis.

The report of talks coincided with the start on Tuesday in Morocco of a summit by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference which will discuss the issue of Somalia.

The agency said the mission was inspired by Gaddafi last year when he met pr


(Moneyclips via RBB 5 Jan 95 [Riyadh Daily])

Cairo (KUNA) - An Arab League mission, sent to resolve the conflict in Somalia, will be returning Monday from Mogadishu, apparently without accomplishing any breakthrough, according to a League source here on Sunday.

Speaking to the press, the source said that League Secretary General Esmat Abdul Meguid has recently received a message from the mission that "it has failed in the assignment of bringing closer viewpoints of different Somali factions."

The mission to Somalia, including head of the League's Arab department Ahmed Ben Ali and Samir Hussni in charge of the Somali conflict visited Mogadishu 10 days ago in a bid to reconcile Somali warring factions before withdrawal of international peacekeepers from the African Horn state, scheduled for next March.

In its message, the mission attributed failure of its efforts to insistence of the three Somali leaders on their hardline stances, especially General Mohamed Farah Aidid, interim president Ali Mahdi Mohamed and Mohamed Abdul Rahman Egal who announced a separate state in the north under the name of Somaliland.

The mission said in its message that given the hardline position of each Somali faction, conditions in Somalia are expected to deteriorate with wide possibilities for renewal of civil war after expiry of the international forces' mandate under Security Council resolution 954...


(Reuter 23 Jan 95, by Tsegaye Tadesse)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia on Monday called on African foreign ministers meeting in Addis Ababa to pressure Somali factions for a new initiative aimed at averting further chaos in their country.

Prime Minister Tamirate Layne told the ministers in the country for a five-day ministerial council of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) the impending withdrawal of United Nations forces from Somalia gave the matter extra urgency.

"It would be appropriate for the council to call on all factions in Somalia, in the clearest language possible, to come to their senses and save their country and people from what can only be further anarchy and destruction," he said.

Tamirate expressed "disappointment and frustration" over the lack of progress in reconciling Somali groups at war since the government of Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown in early 1991...


(Reuter 26 Jan 95, by Tsegaye Tadesse)

ADDIS ABABA - African foreign ministers meeting in Addis Ababa appealed to warring Somali factions on Thursday to set up an interim government before the March 31 U.N. troop withdrawal...


(Reuter 31 Dec 94, by Aden Ali)

... In a last ditch attempt to reconcile Somalia's clans, U.N. Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) spokesman George Bennett said leaders of 50 clans would meet next week in Khartoum, Sudan.

U.N. officials said the reconciliation meeting would not include political and clan militia leaders such as Aideed...



(AC 6 Jan 94, p.6)

Despite growing support from Ethiopia and Eritrea, real power still eludes General Mohamed Farah Hassan `Aydeed'. In theory, he is set to announce a `government of national unity', but this means alienating many of his key supporters, who would inevitably be left out. It is a situation uncannily reminiscent of that facing the nominal President, Ali Mahdi Mohamed, in 1991 - well over a year before United States' and UN troops first landed. Now as the last contingents of UN troops start their withdrawal, it is Aydeed who has to weigh his options carefully: run the risk of breaking up his often fragile domestic support base by trying to form a government or, as the best armed and prepared leader in the country, return to the battlefield and bludgeon his way to power.

Bloody guerrilla conflict continues between Habr Gidir and Hawadle in Hiran (Belet Weyne area) and to a limited extent in Mogadishu; clashes between Murosade and Abgal (AC Vol 35 No 22) have been raging in Mogadishu's Medina and Bermuda quarters; in Kismayo tension has risen between Harti and Marehan militias since India's UN contingent left in mid-December; Aydeed's supporters may try to retake Baidoa by exploiting the fighting among the Rahanwein.

Since the beginning of November, two rival `peace conferences' have been going through the motions in Mogadishu. One is organised by Aydeed, who belongs to the Saad sub-group of the Habr Gidir sub-clan of the Herab clan of the Hawiye clan family and heads the Somali National Alliance. This aims to set up a `government of national unity'. The one held by Ali Mahdi (Abgal/Herab/Hawiye), head of the Somali Salvation Alliance, is a reaction to the first. Ali Mahdi hopes to maintain SSA cohesion in the wake of defections to the SNA, notably by the United Somali Front (Issa), Somali Democratic Alliance (Gadabursi), Somali National Democratic Union (Leykasse/Darod) and Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed's wing of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front. Ali Mahdi's conference is also trying to show it could form its own government if Aydeed dared appoint one without first unifying the two conferences. Unification does not look likely.

Asmara and Addis Ababa have become key players and the only governments visibly backing Aydeed. Ethiopia needs a friendly government in Mogadishu that will refuse refuge to its Ogaden Oromo dissident groups. It is also looking for its first regional policy success. Eritrea, whose presence is very evident in Mogadishu, is backing its twin and hoping to widen the growing rift between Aydeed and Sudan (AC Vol 35 No 25), which has begun to notice that Aydeed's overtures were more opportunistic than Islamist. Within Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea keep declaring their neutrality. But they use much franker language abroad: a bad government is better than no government and only Aydeed can set one up. Memories of dictatorship have quickly faded, it seems.

Only government aid could enable Aydeed to spend the 6-10,000 US dollars a day that his conference is estimated to have cost since 1 November. The daily hire of just one `technical' (armed pickup truck) costs him some four million Somali shillings. Furthermore, the weapons consignments he receives across the Ethiopian border look too large to come solely from the black market. Yet who is paying remains unclear.

Aydeed still has many problems. These stem firstly from the weakness and lack of popular legitimacy of his conference delegates, such as Mohamed Qanyere Afrah (Habr Mohamed/Murosade/Hawiye), head of the United Somali Congress-SSA, who went over to Aydeed in September, and Somaliland's ex-President Abdirahman Ahmed Ali `Tour' (Habr Younis/Garhajis/Issaq), head of the Somali National Movement, which imploded at the end of 1991. Many leaders see their only option as pushing for war while manipulating clan differences, which they exacerbate to give themselves some kind of support-base.

Mohamed Qanyere's case also illustrates the deeper clan forces at work, especially the changing elite: each clan had its economic and political elite sub-group in President Mohamed Siad Barre's time but these are now contested by other sub-groups, which is what much of the war is about. Qanyere witnessed Aydeed's rise to power in the USC, thanks to Ethiopian assistance in 1990, and developed what then looked like eternal hatred for him. Furthermore, the Murosade and Abgal (Ali Mahdi) are neighbours and have therefore developed a modus vivendi. Their business leaders united in the 1990 Manifesto group and later in the USC-Mogadishu. Both organisations were very hostile to Aydeed.

The Murosade-Abgal alliance endured through the height of the civil war (1991-92) though animosity built up over various issues. Several Musorade leaders, such as Mohamed Farah Siad and the extremely wealthy ex-Finance Minister, Mohamed Sheikh Osman (both from the Abukar sub-clan) dropped their support for Ali Mahdi because of his political mediocrity and their own exclusion from the political and financial inner circle.

After months of apparent neutrality in the War of Mogadishu, the Murosade went to war against the Habr Gidir but were defeated within a day without receiving any help from their Abgal allies. The Murosade felt betrayed by the January 1994 Herab peace agreement (principally between Abgal and Habr Gidir) since their Abgal allies failed to consult them. Qanyere was finding it hard to be Ali Mahdi's eternal deputy as Hawiye representative in the SSA, particularly since the Hawiye felt continually marginalised by the multiplicity of unrepresentative Darod organisations. And Qanyere had begun to flex his muscles, thanks to the ineptitude of Unosom which recognised him as a faction leader. This means he is party to every faction agreement and can sign for the USC-SSA even when its Abgal majority disagrees.

Competition within the Murosade is a further factor here. Their elite belongs mainly to the Abukar sub-clan. Qanyare, who belongs to a much poorer but more numerous sub-clan, the Habr Mohamed, now has the opportunity to promote his group (and thus himself) at the expense of the old elite by forging an alliance with a small but fairly rich group, the Abdallah, which is well reporesented in his entourage by controversial businessman Hiri Qassem.

This is the context of the fighting in Medina. The immediate cause was Murosade opposition to the Islamic courts set up by the Abgal. The real cause was the mobilisation of the clan behind its fighters. Since these are mainly Habr Mohamed, who support Qanyere, the Murosade are also obliged to back him. In this conflict, the Murosade have the benefit of substantial support from Aydeed's supporters. Meanwhile, the Abgal have been able to move arms and ammunition around in vehicles belonging to the police force set up by Unosom and directed by Gen. Ahmed Jilow.

Qanyere's strategy is suicidal in the long term as the Abgal are more numerous and better armed but it could pay in the short term, particularly if the Murosade-Abgal ceasefire signed on 4 January fails to hold, since Aydeed has still to convince the Hawiye that he represents them and to weaken Ali Mahdi. Despite everything, Ali Mahdi remains the biggest obstacle to Aydeed's taking power: if it were not for him, the question of Hawiye unity would be far easier to resolve...



(Financial Post via RBB 17 Jan 95)

A Canadian officer charged in the beating death of a Somali teen will face a court martial after losing a bid yesterday to have his case thrown out. A military judge-advocate at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa has ruled Capt. Michael Sox will face a court martial on charges stemming from the beating. Shidane Arone, 16, was killed in March 1993, while in the custody of Canadian peacekeepers in Somalia. Sox is charged with unlawfully causing bodily harm and negligent performance of duty.


(Reuter 18 Jan 95, by Sue Pleming)

BRUSSELS - A Belgian paratrooper was sentenced to five years in jail on Wednesday after being found guilty of manslaughter while serving with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Somalia.

"Five years may seem like a lot, but when one looks at the facts in this case, it is a mild sentence," the military judge told Private Philippe Dechilly, who served in Somalia in 1993.

Dechilly was involved in an exchange of gunfire with a group of Somalis after an argument over the illegal sale of weapons to Belgian troops. Two Somalis died in the shooting.

"You should not kill because you were afraid that the (sale of weapons) would be known to your commander...What you did was despicable," the judge said, adding that Dechilly had acted like a bandit rather than a peacekeeper...

Dechilly was one of eight paratroopers to appear before a military court over the past month in connection with abuses committed while serving with the U.N. in the southern Somali port of Kismayu...



(Reuter 2 Jan 95)

MOGADISHU - The death in exile on Monday of former Somali president Mohamed Siad Barre was unlikely to cause much grief in his devastated homeland.

Siad Barre, who died in a Nigerian hospital aged about 84, ruled Somalia like a dictator for most of his 22 years in power.

Many blame him for fanning the clan rivalries that ruined the Horn of Africa country and are expected to erupt with a vengeance when U.N. troops withdraw by March 30.

Driven by rebels from his palace in Mogadishu in 1991, Siad Barre was forced out of his stronghold in the southwest a year later. He fled first to Kenya with 1,200 supporters and members of his huge family before finding asylum in Nigeria in May 1992.

He was army commander when he seized power in 1969, pledging to preserve democracy and outlaw corruption and tribalism.

But his years in charge saw a failed dalliance with communism, a disastrous war with neighbouring Ethiopia over the Ogaden region in 1977-78 and economic stagnation.

Apart from periods of drought and famine, Somalia under Siad Barre had to grapple with man-made ills like refugees, insurgency in the north and widespread dissent.

Somalia achieved independence in 1960 as the result of the merger of the British Somaliland Protectorate and Italian Somaliland.

Despite these colonial divisions, Somalia had the advantage that its ethnic groups have a common language, religion and ethnic background.

Siad Barre's efforts to promote literacy and development earned him some popularity. Historians say his only lasting achievement will probably be the introduction of Latin script in 1972 and the promotion of Somali as the language of education and government in the place of English, Italian and Arabic.

In 1974 he served as chairman of the Organisation of African Unity and took his country into the Arab League, a success considering Somalia's ethnic and linguistic uniqueness.

But his ambition to build a "greater Somalia", including lands outside the colonial frontiers, led to war in Ethiopia's Ogaden region. Somali forces were repulsed in 1978 by an Ethiopian army backed by thousands of Soviet and Cuban troops.

The campaign produced hundreds of thousands of refugees and Siad Barre's popularity plummeted.

Border clashes, complicated by Somali and Ethiopian government support for armed dissidents on either side, continued for years.

Clan-based groups rebelled in much of the country until by the end of his reign Siad Barre controlled so little territory he was nicknamed the "Mayor of Mogadishu".

But he refused to step down until forced out, his resistance fuelled by a diet of countless cigarettes and cups of black espresso coffee.

He was born in 1910 -- the exact date is uncertain -- in what was then Italian Somaliland, the southern part of the present republic. His parents died when he was 10 and he was brought up by relatives.

He joined the police force, taught himself English and Italian, and reached the rank of chief inspector, the highest post then open to Somalis.

As president his official policy was to end Somalia's clan rivalries. In practice he concentrated power within his small Marehan clan and appointed family members to top jobs.

Experts on Somalia say the policy helped extend his years in power but created a bitter harvest that was reaped after his downfall.

"He will be remembered for destroying his country both economically and for fragmenting Somalia's clans, a terrible legacy for the people who come after him," Professor I.M. Lewis of the London School of Economics said in 1991...


(SWB 14 Jan 95 [RMO in Somali, 12 Jan 95]) Text of report by Somali pro-Ali Mahdi Muhammad radio

Mr Umar Haji Muhammad, the chairman of the SNF [Somali National Front], has attended the burial of the late Muhammad Siyad Barreh, the former Somali president. The late Muhammad Siyad Barreh, who died in Lagos, Nigeria, and whose body was flown back by a Nigerian air force aircraft, has been buried in Garbahaarrey town [Barreh's home town], Gedo Region...



(AI 16 Dec 94, AFR 52/WU 02/94)

The stoning to death of a man in Mogadishu earlier this month by sentence of an Islamic court, which has already sentenced many people to amputations and floggings, could signal more such extreme and cruel punishments in the next few months, Amnesty International said today.

This informal religious court has already handed down sentences of amputations of limbs for 12 men and a woman, and of floggings for more than 160 others since its establishment in August.

These trials flagrantly violate internationally recognized standards of justice and Amnesty International is concerned by indications that informal religious courts such as this, which fail to guarantee the right to a fair trial and inflict cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments, could spread more widely in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia, a war-torn country without any central government.

On 8 December after a summary trial, Abdullahi Weheliye Omar, 25, was brutally stoned to death for 20 minutes by a group of men in the crowd hurling concrete blocks at him at close range while he lay shackled. He had been convicted of rape by the court, which was composed of 12 religious leaders.

The execution, witnessed by a western journalist and filmed with the court's encouragement by a Somali cameraman, took place before a cheering crowd of hundreds of men, women and children.

The court which condemned Abdullahi Omar was established in August by increasingly active Islamist groups. It functions in a part of north Mogadishu controlled by militias of Ali Mahdi, chairman of the Somali Salvation Alliance (SSA) -- the clan coalition opposed to General Mohamed Farah Aideed's Somali National Alliance (SNA). A spokesman of the court is reportedly closely connected to Ali Mahdi and the SSA.

Defendants have no legal counsel, there is no right to appeal to any higher court or to petition for clemency, trials are informal and summary, procedures are arbitrary, and penalties are carried out immediately.

Another man pleading guilty to also raping the same woman was sentenced to 100 lashes, which left him unconscious and profusely bleeding. He escaped a stoning death sentence because he was unmarried and an Islamic legal provision invoked by the court decreed death for married rapists only. Abdullahi Omar tried to explain as he was being led to execution that he too was unmarried but this was ignored.

Five women were previously stoned to death in January last year in the break-away Somaliland Republic in the north west. They were sentenced to death for adultery by an informal Shari'a court set up by an Islamist group. This court was then dissolved by the Somaliland authorities and the Islamist group's leader was arrested, but was later released and no further steps were taken to bring him to justice.

Amnesty International considers amputation and flogging to be cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments -- violations which are prohibited by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment. The Human Rights Committee, established under the ICCPR to monitor implementation of that treaty, has stated that the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment "must extend to corporal punishment, including excessive chastisement ordered as a punishment for a crime". Somalia is a party to both treaties and all persons exercising governmental authority such as judges and police officers, are bound by these international instruments.

Amnesty International also opposes the death penalty unconditionally everywhere as a violation of the right to life...


(Reuter 28 Dec 94)

MOGADISHU - Thousands of Islamic sharia law supporters have demonstrated in the war-shattered Somali capital Mogadishu against an attack on the head of a court committee.

In one of the biggest rallies staged in northern Mogadishu, marchers took to streets on Tuesday chanting Allahu Akhbar (God is Greatest) and demanding the four-month-old sharia court keep operating.

Witnesses said the demonstration was in protest against an attack on Monday on Sheikh Sharif Muhiddin, head of the sharia court committee, by gunmen. No casualties were reported from the attack.

The committee checks court punishments are implemented. It has overseen penalties including death by stoning for adultery and rape, amputation for theft and flogging for lesser offences.

Self-styled president and north Mogadishu warlord Ali Mahdi Mohamed vowed to the marchers he would never accept a position of national leadership unless Somalis agreed to sharia law for the country.

Sharia law has been widely welcomed by residents of northern Mogadishu in the absence of any other strict system of law and order since Somalia was torn apart by rival clan militias with the toppling of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in January 1991.

Islam is Somalia's state religion but before the start of the war its legal code, apart from district courts for Islamic law, was largely based on that of former colonial power Italy.



(Reuter 22 Dec 94)

NAIROBI - The United Nations appealed Thursday for $70.3 milllion for emergency relief and rehabilitation in Somalia for the next six months despite a U.N. military pullout that leaves them exposed to banditry.

"Failure to do so will result in a predictable new emergency which will, as in the past, exact a tragic toll in human lives and have severe consequences for stability in the sub-region," the agencies said in an appeal for funds.

Their statement said they would try to decentralize the aid and not concentrate it in the capital of Mogadishu, where fighting and looting is the worst in the country.

But in New York, Peter Hansen, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told reporters he thought much of the food aid from the World Food Programme would still go through the port of Mogadishu and local security guards might have to be hired.

He said the U.N. troops would continue to protect humanitarian aid workers until they pulled out in March but that the Security Council had turned down an appeal for U.N. troops or police to stay longer to help the agencies.

The council ordered the withdrawal of the 15,000-strong U.N. force in Somalia by the end of March because of the failure of rival factions to agree on peace and a new government. Diplomats said the wrong message would be sent if security forces remained behind for any reason...

But in 1991-92, the U.N. aid agencies were severely criticised by former U.N. special envoy Mohammed Sahnoun for centralizing operations in Mogadishu, spending too much time in Nairobi and not fanning out to more secure areas.

Aware of the criticism, Hansen said "the humanitarian agencies are active all over the country and looking for ways and means for which we can maintain that presence."

The $70.3 million would be used to educate children, help demobilize combatants and to provide food aid to support reconstruction from January until the end of June.

Action would be taken to support community health centres, sustain water supplies, repatriate refugees and resettle people displaced within the Horn of Africa country.

In the latest of several kidnappings of foreign aid workers this year, gunmen abducted a 24-year-old Frenchman in Mogadishu Saturday and are demanding $20,000 in ransom.

The World Food Programme needed $24.8 million for food aid, particularly for rehabilitation, while the U.N. Children's Fund estimated it would need $14.6 million for health care, food and water for children and mothers and educational aid...


(Reuter 9 Jan 95)

ROME - Food supplies in Somalia improved in 1994 but the country will still require substantial food aid in 1995, the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday.

"The August harvest was very encouraging, reaching an average ninety percent of pre-war levels," the United Nations agency said in a statement.

"While much more food is available in Somalia than during the last three years, many people are still without jobs or without sufficient income to feed their families."

The WFP said it needed 115,270 tonnes of foodstuffs for its aid programmes in Somalia in 1995. It has already secured 49,000 tonnes of its requirement from pledges and stock carried over from 1994.

The remainder has been valued at $44 million including transport. An estimated 300,000 Somalis died in a famine fuelled by civil war in the Horn of Africa state prior to the arrival of United Nations relief organisations in December 1992.


(RAPID via RBB 10 Jan 95 [20 Dec 94])

The European Commission has approved a further grant of ECU 1 million in humanitarian aid for the people of Somalia.

Medical relief aid will be provided out of the annual humanitarian aid budget. Medicines and medical equipment will be sent urgently to Hargeisa in the north-west of the country, the scene of recent factional fighting; three further aid allocations will ensure that current medical aid projects in Luuq, Mogadishu and the province of Middle Shabelle are able to continue functioning.

1. Emergency aid of ECU 30 000 will be used to replenish the central medical stores at Hargeisa with medicines and basic medical equipment in order to meet the recent increase in demand; this will ensure that medical aid programmes in the region can continue to function and treatment be provided for the injured and those recently made homeless. Save the Children Fund will be responsible for the purchase and delivery of this aid.

2. Aid totalling ECU 520 000 is to be given to Medecins Sans Frontieres-Spain in order to finance medical assistance programmes in Giohar and Adan Yabal (Middle Shabelle) and Mogadishu for a period of six months. These programmes will help improve health facilities, both in terms of supervision and through the provision of primary health care and distribution of medicines. In Mogadishu, the aid will be specifically directed towards helping displaced persons and treating mothers and children suffering from malnutrition.

3. A grant of ECU 200 000 implemented by Medecins du Monde (France) will provide funding for a further six months for a current medical programme in the town of Borhache (20 000 inhabitants) and its surroundings. The aid will finance primary health care supervision, the operation of mobile clinics, a child vaccination campaign and a project to monitor the nutritional situation in the region.

4. An aid allocation of ECU 160 000, implemented by the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF - Germany), will provide necessary ongoing funding for the hospital at Luuq for a period of three months.

This financing decision brings to ECU 8 278 000 the total amount of humanitarian aid which the Commission has so far accorded to the people of Somalia.


(SWB 30 Dec 94 [KNA news agency, Nairobi, in English 28 Dec 94])

Mombasa: A group of 438 Somali refugees from the Utange Camp in Mombasa left today by ship to Kismaayo, being the first lot after the repatriation exercise stalled [in] mid-November this year. According to the officer in charge of the repatriation exercise, Mr Leerschool [name as received], 11 trips have been organized by the UNHCR to transport 5,000 refugees from the Utange Camp with three flights from Moi International Airport in Mombasa to Kismaayo...



(Reuter 17 Dec 94)

PARIS - Gunmen in the Somali capital Mogadishu kidnapped a French relief worker on Saturday, the French LCI television channel reported.

The 24-hour news channel said Marc Rudy, 24, who works for the agency International Action Against Hunger (AICF), was abducted while driving to the airport in the south of the capital, which is controlled by warlord Muhammad Farah Aydeed.

There was no immediate confirmation from AICF.

LCI said two Somali guards were wounded during an exchange of fire with the kidnappers and that Rudy had been working for AICF for only six months...


(Reuter 12 Jan 95, by Peter Smerdon)

MOGADISHU - Nearly a dozen aid agencies suspended non-emergency operations indefinitely in the Somali capital on Thursday after kidnappers failed to free a French aid worker held for four weeks.

The non-governmental organisations (NGOs), hanging on in this lawless city devastated by clan warfare, said they had closed their doors at 6 P.M. (1500 GMT) until 24-year-old Rudy Marq was freed.

"We are putting a sign on the door saying we accept no new projects and are stopping all work that does not involve a life or death situation," Nancy Smith, Somalia representative for Oxfam UK and Ireland, told Reuters.

In a major blow to relief operations, U.N. agencies decided to evacuate all international staff from the central town of Baidoa following the killing of a Somali driver working for the U.N. Childrens' Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday...

"Rudy Marq must be freed by his kidnappers and I am very optimistic this action will work and there will be no necessity for further measures."

Marq, a logistics officer with Action Internationale contre la Faim (AICF, International Action against Hunger), was seized on the Mogadishu airport road on December 17 by gunmen demanding a ransom.

His chief kidnapper has demanded up to $52,000 in payment for a vehicle stolen and a son killed in an attack eight months ago. AICF denies involvement with the vehicle and the dead security guard.

Clan elders in Mogadishu have offered money to secure Marq's release but were turned down by the kidnappers...

This was the first time aid agencies in Somalia have taken concerted strike action to end a kidnapping. Several aid workers were abducted last year but freed unharmed.

Aid officials said United Nations agencies would decide at a meeting in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Friday whether they should also suspend their non-emergency work and accept no new projects.

"All U.N. agencies are very sympathetic and support this action," said an official with the U.N. World Food Programme, the largest agency operating in Somalia...


(Reuter 19 Jan 95)

NAIROBI - An international aid coordination body for Somalia on Thursday recommended donors freeze contributions until a kidnapped French aid worker is released.

The Somali Aid Coordination Body (SACB), whose executive committee is based in Nairobi, said in a statement action on a $70.3 million aid appeal should be halted until Rudy Marq was released...


(Reuter 23 Jan 95, by Peter Smerdon)

NAIROBI - Agencies and donors are likely soon to recommend all foreign aid workers pull out of Mogadishu despite the release of a kidnapped Frenchman, officials said on Monday.

The aid agency and donor officials hailed Saturday's release of French aid worker Rudy Marq held for five weeks in the Somali capital as a triumph for a united stand against kidnapping.

But they added that parts of Somalia, especially southern Mogadishu, remained highly insecure and security could not be guaranteed during or after a U.N. troop withdrawal by March 31.

Speaking at a news conference with Marq, the officials said some agencies such as his had decided last year to pull foreign staff out at least temporarily before the U.N. withdrawal was completed.

"It may very well be that very soon there will be a recommendation by U.N. agencies, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) and donors who are funding expatriates to leave Mogadishu at least for the time being," said Sigurd Illing, the European Commission special envoy to Somalia.

More than 60 foreign aid workers remain in Somalia including some who strongly welcome the withdrawal of U.N. forces, arguing that the costly U.N. presence indirectly destabilised Mogadishu...


(Reuter 5 Feb 95)

MOGADISHU - Somali gunmen released 15 United Nations aid workers late on Saturday after blockading them in their house in Mogadishu for three days, U.N. officials said on Sunday.

The aid workers, all foreigners, were freed after negotiations with their captors by members of the Somali National Alliance of warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed, Somali sources said.

U.N. officials said all the aid workers were unharmed. Some had been flown to neighbouring Kenya, while others were continuing negotiations with the gunmen.

The gunmen had demanded an estimated $420,000 which they said was owed in salaries and allowances for Somalis employed in Mogadishu by the U.N. World Food Programme before 1992...



(SWB 28 Dec 94 [RH in Somali, 2 Dec 94])

A statement released by the presidency of the Republic of Somaliland has said that a state of emergency has been imposed on the Republic of Somaliland. The statement added: After considering Public Protection Law No 21, enacted on 21st October 1962; after taking into account Article 30 on the pledge made towards the Republic of Somaliland; in line with the approval given by the Somaliland council of elders; after considering the situation in the Republic of Somaliland; the president of the Republic of Somaliland has decreed that:

(1) A state of emergency shall be implemented.

(2) The state of emergency will remain until it is clear that the country has returned to normal.

(3) During the state of emergency the president of the Republic of Somaliland has the power to order the arrest and detention of anyone believed to have been involved in activities detrimental to peaceful coexistence and the very existence of Somaliland.

(4) Anyone found guilty of anti-government propaganda and other anti-Somaliland activities through the use of telephone, radio or by means of land, sea and air transport, shall be arrested, detained and then brought to court to answer for their crimes.

(5) Telephones, radio equipment, vehicles and transport, as mentioned in point (4) above, shall be confiscated.

(6) Before the president reaches a decision to confiscate assets, he will seek advice and suggestions from the security committee.

(7) During the state of emergency, the security committee will be made up as follows: the president of the republic of Somaliland, the vice-president; the minister of internal affairs; the minister of defence; the commander of the national armed forces and the commandant of the national police force.

(8) This decree shall be known as the executive decree for the state of emergency.

(9) This decree shall last as long as the state of emergency remains in place.


(SWB 28 Dec 94 [RH in Somali, 10 Dec 94])

A statement released last night by the presidency of the Republic of Somaliland has disclosed the appointment of a general administrator for the Awdal Region [northwest Somaliland] until the [security] situation changes there. The statement said the situation in the Republic of Somaliland was very sensitive, hence the need for regional orientation and the implementation of the state of emergency declared on 1st December 1994.

During the state of emergency it was planned to restructure the administration in the region's districts, implement disarmament, (?identify) areas for the implementation of the central government revenue [as heard] and mobilize a national emergency army. Therefore, Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal decided to appoint Mr Ahmad Husayn Omaneh, the assistant minister of fisheries and maritime resources, as the general administrator of the Awdal region.


(SWB 28 Dec 94 [RH in Somali, 12 Dec 94])

A statement by the Republic of Somaliland presidency today disclosed that Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, the president of the Republic of Somaliland, has appointed a general administrator for Berbera district. After considering the sensitive situation in the Republic of Somaliland; after taking into account the continuing fighting in Hargeisa; after considering that Berbera is the most important town for the [economic] existence of Somaliland and the need to defend, properly administer and maintain the district's security; and also in view of the state of emergency declared in the country: the president has decided to appoint Mr Hasan Ali Diriyeh, the minister of state for foreign affairs, as the general administrator of the district.


(SWB 30 Jan 95 [RH in Somali, 4 Jan 95])

The speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Somaliland, Hon Ahmad Abdi Hadsadeh [last element phonetic], today during a press briefing spoke about the general situation in Hargeisa and accused a group of people whom he described as hired saboteurs of having caused massive destruction of innocent civilian life and property in Hargeisa. He described those responsible for the heinous acts against the people and their property as hired mercenaries ordered to dismember the Republic of Somaliland which had opted to break away from the rest of the country. He accused Abd al-Rahman Tur of being a traitor to his country and people.

The speaker said the situation in Hargeisa was calm despite the immense damage the town had suffered. He said what remained now were final mopping-up exercises to flush out the remaining diehards.

The speaker said the Hargeisa fighting had not affected other regions and districts of the country. Administration and other government activities in those areas were continuing and businesses were in full swing.


(NNS Dec 94/Jan 95)

The government of the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland has invited international NGOs and UN agencies to return to Hargeisa as they claim to have regained control of the city and its main airport. To date the organisations remain in Burao and Borama from whence they have been directing their operations for the last ten weeks. Outside of Hargeisa, UN and NGO work on health and infrastructure projects continue according to UNICEF reports, which also confirm that there has been no fighting for the past three weeks.


(ION 11 Feb 95, p.5)

According to the February 2 issue of Al Mujeehid, a small weekly published in Hargeisa, the government headed by president Ibrahim Mohamed Egal confirmed an order for 35 tons of arms and ammunition on January 7. The consignment was airfreighted from Luanda (Angola) to Berbera on an Ilyushkin 76 bearing the registration number KA 7683 and the call sign EPA 042/41. The operation was mounted by Trans Avia Travel Agency of Sharjah (UAE).


(AC 6 Jan 94, p.6)

... The current fighting in Hargeisa also reflects the need for leaders to make war in order to maintain their support base. Abdirahman Tour would like to recreate the conditions for a Garhajis alliance by allying himself to the Idegalle/Garhajis/Issaq militias which control the Somaliland capital's airport and which allowed him to become President of the self-proclaimed Republic in May 1991. But his subsequent condemnation of Somaliland's independence did not go down well, including within his own clan. The idea of Independence is till powerful among a Somaliland population that looks askance at the chaos in the South. His clan seems divided on how much to support him, notwithstanding the financial and other aid supplied by his ally Aydeed. The Habr Jello/Issaq are no longer willing to serve as a stepping stone for his ambitions as in the past, particularly since renewed fighting has dimmed prospects of a settlement in the South.

Aydeed's conference is riven by basic disagreements, notably over the future structure of the state and government. Aydeed favours a federation between the two parts of Somalia. He envisages an Issaq prime minister for the whole country and a distribution of portfolios based on the clan families. His ally Abdullahi Yusuf wants five or six federal states, wants to be premier and wants to distribute ministerial positions on a Darod/non-Darod basis. Tour, who knows that he needs to obtain more than the premier's job to win over the northern population, backs a two-state federation but is demanding 40 per cent of posts for Somaliland. No one has any idea yet precisely how power would be devolved in a federal system. Meanwhile, Ali Mahdi favours national unity, probably federal: there is no real discussion on the subject in his group since he knows he cannot form a government...


(ION 4 Feb 95, p.4)

According to information obtained by The Indian Ocean Newsletter, Issa militia controlling the zone around Zeila and Guerissa in western Somaliland, close to the frontier with Djibouti, were attacked by Samerone (Gadaboursi) troops on the afternoon of January 27, and their positions in Guerissa (the birthplace of Djibouti head of state Hassan Gouled, lying some 80 km east of Djibouti between Borama and El Gal) were overrun by the attackers. The Mohamed Ace subclan of Gadaboursi, whose members live near Somaliland's coastline, has for some time now been at war with Issas in this region. Last week's attack took the Issa militia by surprise while they were in a rest area, and reports say there were a number of dead and wounded... About one hundred of the defenders of Guerissa took to their heels and are now believed to be holed up in the bush not far from their former positions, where the attackers were able to recover food and personal belongings...


(INCS Forum News Jan 95)

Attention has been focussed on the Hargeisa airfield and the struggle for its control. The Eidagella militia had been occupying it for about eighteen months and had been levying tolls on all passengers. The Government first set up an alternative airport about 14 kms west of the city, but it does not seem to have been brought into use. Subsequently they advised airlines to use the fields at Berbera and Borama, as they could not accept responsibility for security at the Hargeisa airport.. This provoked an Eidagella reaction against Government troops in which some casualties were caused.. Subsequently the Government occupied the airfield without further bloodshed...

Visitors to UK from Somaliland recently have provided the following items of information:

- A Civil Service Commission has been set up in Hargeisa. The objective is to develop a smaller, better qualified Civil Service.

- GTZ (the German equivalent of ODA), US Aid and the EU have all set up offices in Hargeisa in the past few months.

- About 50% of Ethiopian trade now passes through Berbera, due to the lack of competition from Mogadishu and Bossaso, while Djibouti is proving too expensive and unreliable.

- UNDP has set aside $20 million for the development of Berbera's port facilities. Engineers started working there in November.

- The Berbera runway is used by an average of eight aircraft per day, but it lacks air traffic control and other facilities, so its capacity cannot be increased very much without major expenditure. Night landings are not possible.

- A National Bank has been set up and the new currency was introduced in November at the rate of 50 shillings to $1. The currency has gained acceptability and is reported to have been used successfully in both Kenya and Djibouti.

Each Ministry now has its own budget. The objective is for Regional and District budgets to be introduced next and for Regions and Districts to be self sufficient by 1996...


(SWB 30 Jan 95 [RH in Somali, 14 Jan 95])

The president of the Republic of Somaliland, Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, has said that the use of the former Somali currency as legal tender within the Republic of Somaliland ends on 31st January 1995. The president further said that, after that date, the country will use as legal tender only the new currency of the Republic of Somaliland.

Addressing journalists in his office in Hargeisa yesterday [13th January], he said that all businessmen will have to pay for all services in the new currency of the Republic of Somaliland...



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


IGADD SUMMIT ENDS, SAYS PEACE IN SUDAN THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SUDANESE (SWB 7 Jan 95 [KBC radio, Nairobi, in English 4 Jan 95]) The Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development [IGADD] committee on the Sudan (?peace initiative), which met at State House, Nairobi, today, made it clear that the burden of securing peace in the Sudan was primarily the responsibility of the people of Sudan themselves. The members at the summit today were President Daniel arap Moi, who is the chairman of the committee, President Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, President Isayas Afewerki of Eritrea and the vice - president of Uganda, Dr Specioza Wandira Kazibwe.

In a statement after the summit the IGADD committee reaffirmed their commitment to pursue the peace initiative based on the declaration of principles. The committee also stated that they had agreed to a request by the United Nations to send an observer to be stationed in Nairobi for the (?continued) IGADD initiative...


(SWB 13 Jan 95 [RSR in Arabic, 10 Jan 95])

...The statement [by the Foreign Ministry] further noted that the proposal of the IGADD [Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development] states made in their recent meeting [in Nairobi], concerning the appointment of a new side in the mediation effort consisting of a UN observer, did not meet with the approval of Sudan. The statement stressed that the IGADD states had not consulted Sudan on the matter nor had they even consulted Sudan on the convening of the meeting held on 4th January.

The statement added that, in the light of these facts, the government of Sudan considered the appointment of a UN observer inadmissible and would therefore not work with him.

The statement stressed the importance of total neutrality within the mediating committee. It said Eritrea's recent sudden decision to sever its relations with Sudan, and the complaints against Sudan it had forwarded to the Security Council, disqualified it from participating in the mediating committee of IGADD.


(SWB 26 Jan 95 [SAPA news agency, Johannesburg, in English 24 Jan 95, by Angela Quintal])

Johannesburg: A report on alleged South African military involvement in the civil war in Sudan has been submitted to the Cameron Commission of inquiry into Armscor [Armaments Corporation of South Africa] armaments deals.

The report commissioned by the South African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) was compiled by the Netherlands branch of Pax Christi, an international Catholic peace movement. It has also been submitted to Defence Minister Joe Modise...

Pax Christi has asked the Cameron Commission to investigate claims of South African military involvement in the Sudanese civil war.

According to the report South Africa transferred arms to Sudan and assisted in "training, maintenance, advice and technology".

Certain claims made in the report were made public in early 1994 by the Oslo-based "World campaign against military and nuclear collaboration with South Africa".

The allegations include the transport of arms and ammunition which "intensified dramatically in 1993" and the presence of 15 South African military experts in Khartoum in January 1994 allegedly to advise the Sudanese government in the use of chemical weapons.

The report states further that South Africans assisted in maintaining Soviet and American-made aircraft "used for the indiscriminate bombings of civil targets in southern Sudan".

It adds that former Deputy Defence Minister Wynand Breytenbach visited Khartoum in late 1992 or early 1993 where a military procurement protocol was signed.

In its reaction, the South African Defence Force [SADF] denied that any member of its force was in Sudan, while an Armscor spokesman said it had issued a permit in consultation with the SADF and the Department of Foreign Affairs to Denel subsidiary Atlas Aviation to carry out maintenance on Sudanese air force helicopters.

The allegations were taken up by Pax Christi with the TEC [Transitional Executive Council] subcouncil on defence and later with Mr Modise.

Prominent South African church leaders including Dr Beyers Naude and Archbishop Desmond Tutu were also approached, after which a church delegation met with Mr Modise and his deputy, Ronnie Kasrils, on 25th July.

Mr Kasrils then issued a statement saying Armscor was only involved in servicing certain aircraft involved in humanitarian aid. He said it was decided to withdraw the existing authorization and terminate all aid programmes which might have a military connotation.

He added that according to his information South Africa was not involved in the supply of "any other (sic) military aid and equipment to the Sudanese".

According to Pax Christi, however, the claims by Armscor and SADF spokesmen that Atlas Aviation was involved in maintaining military helicopters for humanitarian assistance were "questionable"...


(IPS 30 Jan 95, by Angeline Oyog)

PARIS - Human rights organisations have warned French authorities against delivering assistance to the Sudanese regime that could fuel the massacres of defenceless populations and contribute to the abuse of individual liberties.

Francois-Xavier Verschave, director-general of the non-governmental organisation Survie (Survival), said that the Rwandan massacres should serve as a pointer to France not to simply send arms to irresponsible governments, yet Paris seemed set to repeat its mistake...

"France has been stepping up its efforts to sell to Sudan the same military services it had sold to Rwanda, to allow Khartoum to better wipe out the Sudanese resistance," he charged...

A top French expert on Sudan and adviser to the foreign office said: "Officially, Paris says it has limited aid to the Sudanese government, but I am not saying that assistance has not transited through secret circuits."

The expert ruled out the handing over of satellite photos since by the time they reached Khartoum, the photos would no longer be accurate and the rebels would have moved positions. Besides, he added that raw military information could also give away the way the French military gathers their information.

"I'm not saying that France has indeed given these, but what it can give are a limited number of sensitive material like means of communication, or listening or targetting devices, or military information to allow Khartoum to fight the rebels more effectively," the expert said.

More credible, he said, would be reports of the training by the French military of the Sudanese secret service, loans to Sudan by French banks with guarantees by the French government, or support of Sudanese efforts to renew ties with the IMF...

"But I deplore the French policy towards Sudan. It is regrettable," the expert admitted. The arrest of Carlos was a spectacular operation, but the capture of a terrorist at the end of his career has meant little use."

He said that Paris had thought that by courting Khartoum, it would have access to information about Islamic groups and countries. Paris remains under threat from Islamic fundamentalists -- particularly in Algeria -- who say Paris has taken sides with the military regime.

France, he said, saw the possibility of negotiating with the Algerian Islamic groups, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) and the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) -- which are fighting a violent war with the ruling Algerian military regime -- via Khartoum.

"Well, we have seen how that has not worked," he pointed out...


(Pax Christi press release, 8 Feb 95)

... Last October, Pax Christi published a report titled "The French Connection". The report disclosed growing political, economic and military collaboration between Paris and Khartoum. The report claimed that France facilitated the use of the territory of the Central African Republic and Zaire as the use of the Springboard for actions of military units of the Sudanese army against the SPLA. Moreover, France provided the GOS with satellite pictures of southern Sudan, made by the French-owned remote sensing Spot satellite, which reportedly has been used for the bombing raids of the Sudanese air force. The report recommended "to extend the European Arms Embargo against Sudan to the transfer of military, security and police equipment, intelligence, technology, personnel and training as well as logistical or financial support for such transfers when these can reasonably be assumed to contribute to the continuation and prolongation of the war and violations of human rights and international law."...

/HAB/ The full report The French Connection. Report on the Political, Economic and Military Collaboration between Khartoum and Paris can be ordered from Pax Christi, PO-box 19318, 3501 DH Utrecht, The Netherlands. Tel 00 31 30 333346, fax 00 31 30 368199. PAX CHRISTI PRESIDENT CARDINAL DANNEELS BARRED FROM SUDAN

(Pax Christi press release, 8 Feb 95)

Pax Christi president Cardinal Danneels barred from Sudan "in view of hostile attitude towards Sudan", after an entry visa was granted.

The Government of the Republic of the Sudan (GOS) refused entry to an international Pax Christi delegation, headed by its president Godfried Cardinal Danneels. This refusal is a novelty in the 50 years of existence of Pax Christi International; Sudan has also never witnessed a Cardinal of the Catholic Church declared `persona non grata'...


(ION 28 Jan 95, p.8)

An "intellectual" in the National Islamic Front headed by Hassan al Tourabi and regarded as a moderate person who might be able to hold discourse with rebels in southern Sudan, Al Tayeb Zein al-Abidine, who is director of research at the University of Khartoum, is likely to give NIF extremists an additional reason to see him as their black sheep. He has had an article published in the official government newspaper Al-Inkaz Al-Watani in which he openly defends the idea of holding a referendum in southern Sudan under the auspices of the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity, and the Arab League, in order to allow the civilian population there to make a choice between a federal state linked with northern Sudan, or the option of a state which is separate from the north. According to al-Abidine, it is more than probable that the southern people would choose to set up their own state; in that case, he considers that the Khartoum government would have to accept the decision and halt the civil war once and for all. He says it is "high time to look reality straight in the eyes in Sudan, for the country is sinking deeper and deeper into economic misery without the political leaders being capable of solving the challenges facing the country". Noting that Sudan is "increasingly isolated at international level", al-Abidine forecasts that if the United Nations Security Council were one day to decide to "punish" Sudan, Khartoum "would not be able to count on the support of any [UN Security Council] members".



(Reuter 21 Dec 94)

KHARTOUM - Sudanese leader Lieutenant-General Omar Hassan al-Bashir has acknowledged that the 11-year-old war in the south is sapping his country's ability to develop.

Addressing soldiers in Wad Medani, Sudan's second largest city, Bashir said the war had become a major problem hindering development throughout the country...

The war swallows up a large part of the country's budget. The government rarely discloses its spending on the armed forces but unofficial reports say the army has been spending about $1 million a day in its operations against the rebels.

This amounts to more than the country's annual export earnings.


(Reuter 1 Jan 95)

NICOSIA - Sudan's President Lt-Gen Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Sunday that more than one million Sudanese would receive military training this year to be ready to defend the country from its enemies.

Sudanese radio, monitored by the British Broadcasting Corporation, said Bashir was addressing a rally in Port Sudan to mark the nation's 30th anniversary of independence...


(SDG Nov 94, p.8)

The Khartoum regime has admitted that it now faces an armed rebellion in Eastern Sudan, the last of Sudan's marginalised areas to take this option. The nature of the Sudanese state, with heavily centralised power based in Khartoum and controlled by a small Arab elite, meant that rebellion from the regions would come sooner or later. Rebellions elsewhere in the South, the Nuba Mountains, Darfur and the Ingessina Hills have all been about the equitable distribution of power and resources...

For nearly four decades the Beja tribes have remained largely loyal to the Khatmiya religious sect and its political representatives, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The DUP has gained power in Khartoum through its electoral successes in Eastern Sudan. Unfortunately, the DUP did little when in power to reward the Beja for their support and this has led to a build up in bitterness over the years. The current rebellion in the East is probably directed at the DUP as much as it is at the Khartoum regime. The rebellion is about the concentration of power in the hands of an Arab elite which has consistently ignored the needs of Eastern Sudan...



(NSCC Partner Update Jan 95)

Insecurity forced all UN/NGO staff to evacuate from Akon and Lietnhom on 22 and 23 December. SRRA reported that 12 bombs were dropped on Akon on 27 December, killing 10 goats. UN/NGO staff have still not returned to these locations as of the writing of this article.


(NSCC Partner Update Nov 94)

NGOs have returned to their work in the Akot area of Bahr el Ghazal following fighting there.

On the morning of Saturday, 22 Oct., 1994, Nuers attacked Akot at 5:30 a.m. This resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and property. Outside Akot, the Nuers went to cattle camps and fired upon women and children. They killed many people and went away with large numbers of cattle.

Local official reported:

- 106 people dead, including 20 SPLA

- 89 wounded, including 18 SPLA

- 2,094 cattle still unaccounted for

- 7,500 cattle recovered from raids

- 20 villages looted

- 35,000 people displaced

Akot Hospital was looted of its equipment, bedding, etc., so was rendered useless in the care of the wounded.

It is not clear who the Nuers represent. Some stories claim they were soldiers of Riek Machar, others say militia, other claim they were Nuers revenging other raids. Whoever was responsible, the attack is thought to have been well planned since attacks were also carried out simultaneously in cattle camps further north. Much of the looting, however, was done by the SPLA (Garang faction) and the local people.


(Reuter 24 Jan 95)

NAIROBI - Fighting between Sudanese government forces and southern rebels near the border town of Nimule has intensified in the past week, forcing relief agencies to relocate to north Uganda, the U.N. said on Tuesday.

The U.N. Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) said in a statement that relief agencies temporarily moved some staff from Nimule, on the border between Sudan and Uganda, by road on Tuesday.

"Some agencies, including Catholic Relief Services and (Catholic) Diocese of Torit will leave skeleton staff in Nimule to continue relief activities pending further developments," OLS said.

It said the decision to scale back was taken in Nimule on Tuesday following shelling in the village centre on Monday night which killed two civilians.

"Since January 15, there have been several reports of shelling in the Nimule area, including some near the hospital and airstrip. The village is currently held by the SPLA (Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army)," OLS said.

It said the relocation had disrupted a menengitis vaccination campaign.

In other areas of the Sudan, OLS reported that fighting continued to disrupt relief activities in northern Bahr El Ghazal, from where relief staff were temporarily withdrawn on Christmas Eve, and in Kapoeta area of the Eastern Equatoria...


(ION 7 Jan 95, p.4)

Claim and counter-claim continue to flow from Sudan, with the Khartoum authorities reporting in mid-December that government forces still held the are around Kapoeta, in the outhern part of the country. The members of colonel John Garang's Sudanese People's Liberation Army counter-claimed that the Sudanese army had collected a severe military defeat in fighting east of Torit, along the road linking the town to Kapoeta, after being encircled by SPLA units at the beginning of December. The Kapoeta garrison radioed for reinforcements and Sudanese general Haroun Mohamed Haroun led a government relief column of 1,200 to 1,500 men out of Torit on December 6, heading for Kapoeta. According to SPLA sources, these units suffered heavy losses 30 km east of Torit in fighting which reportedly lasted a whole week and left seven hundred dead, dying and wounded in the government ranks. General Haroun is reported to have died during the fighting.

[ION editorial comment:] The relative defeat of Sudanese army units seems unlikely to prevent it from launching its dry-season counter-offensive against SPLA positions. However, it does underline the quantity of arms and munitions which have apparently reached Garang's units recently. According to missionary sources in southern Sudan, the US military hardware for SPLA arrived from Rwanda via Uganda. Other sources say that a report by Sudanese army chief of staff general Ibrahim Suleimane sent to head of state general Omar Hassan al-Bechir puts government losses on the southern Sudan front over the period 1989-1994 at five hundred officers and 35,000 other ranks. The army has undergone a general shake-up during this period with more than half of its senior officers and some three-quarters of its other officers summarily retired. The vacuum has been filled progressively by local defence forces assisted by members of Hassan al-Tourabi's National Islamic Front. President al-Bechir's long-term aim appears to be to set up some kind of elite guard on the lines of Iran's Pasdarans and Iraq's presidential guard. To this end, general Sid Ahmed Hamad Assaraje is expected to take over as chief of general staff towards the end of January, giving up his present posting as head of logistics and first deputy chief of staff, general Farouk Mohamed Ali Mohamed, would probably keep his own post as head of operations.


(Reuter 18 Jan 95)

KAMPALA - Fresh fighting between government forces and rebels in southern Sudan is sending an estimated 500 refugees into northern Uganda daily, officials said on Wednesday.

Ulf Kristoffersson, Uganda representative for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said there had been no major problem with the influx -- up from 200 daily at the end of December -- but numbers were expected to rise further.

A Ugandan official said Sudanese government troops were lined along the border with Uganda and since last week fighting was fierce.

A member of Uganda's Constituent Assembly from a constituency in north Uganda said "bombing and ongoing fighting" in southern Sudan could be heard well inside Uganda...


(Reuter 1 Feb 95)

KAMPALA - Uganda said it was ready to deal with any military incursions from Sudan, which it accuses of supporting rebels fighting the Kampala government.

"We are organised and prepared for any incursions from Sudan," State Defence Minister Amama Mbabazi told The Monitor newspaper in Kampala on Wednesday.

The hardline Islamic Sudanese government has long accused Uganda of supporting southern rebels against the Khartoum army.

In turn, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's government has said that Khartoum is harbouring Christian fundamentalist rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) who want to overthrow the Kampala government.

Diplomats said that Museveni and Sudanese military leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir would soon hold talks in Khartoum on ways to defuse tensions between their two nations.

The LRA, led by Joseph Kony, has been waging a low-level guerrilla war in Uganda's northeast and wants to establish a government that would rule by the tenets of the Bible's 10 commandments.

"There is no doubt that the Sudan is arming Kony's LRA rebels and therefore the NRA (Uganda's government National Resistance Army) is not taking chances," Mbabazi told The Monitor.

"Sudan has on several occasions violated Uganda's airspace, bombing and killing civilians."

Sudan's ambassador to Kampala, Einayat Abdel Hameed Mohamed, said Ugandan allegations that Sudan was harbouring the LRA were "a mystery to our government and we challenge Uganda to produce evidence".

He repeated the allegation that Uganda is supporting Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels across its northern border, used as a vital supply route for the guerrilla effort...



(Reuter 19 Jan 95)

NAIROBI - U.N. Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) denied accusations by Khartoum on Thursday that it and other aid agencies were helping arm rebels in the country's southern war zone.

"They are completely unfounded accusations. OLS in the past has been accused by both sides of supporting the other but we did not," said OLS spokeswoman Sally Burnheim in Kenya's capital Nairobi...


(Reuter 21 Jan 95)

NAIROBI - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has denied accusations from the Sudanese capital Khartoum that it was ferrying arms to rebels in southern Sudan.

In a statement sent from Geneva, LWF said it had only delivered humanitarian aid in its airlift to southern Sudan since 1992 and had never carried arms of any nature to any place in the country...


(SWB 23 Jan 95 [RTBF Radio 1, Brussels, in French 20 Jan 95])

Sudan is closing its air space to the Belgian air force. Sudan is accusing Belgians of having dropped ammunition on its territory on 15th January. The Belgian ambassador to Kenya, who is also in charge of Sudan, strongly denied. In fact, Belgian air force C-130 Hercules aircraft have been dropping food supplies in Sudan for the past seven months on behalf of the European Union. However the Belgian armed forces say that no Belgian aircraft flew over Sudan between 10th and 15th January. The [Belgian] air force hopes that the flight ban will be lifted very rapidly so as not to jeopardize humanitarian operations.



(SDG Jan 95, p.1)

In what must be regarded as a milestone achievement, the SPLA and the Umma Party signed a formal agreement on 12 December, committing themselves to political cooperation, working for the restoration of freedom and democracy, and recognising the right of the South to Self-determination...

Both the SPLA and the Umma Party have called on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to join them in the agreement and to show leadership at this crucial time. Although the NDA has not in the past shown a great deal of leadership for the opposition in the struggle to overthrow the Khartoum regime, it should now respond positively to bring all the opposition groupings behind the agreement...


(AC 3 Feb 95, p.8)

A high-level opposition agreement is sharply increasing pressure on the National Islamic Front government and reflects growing regional hostility towards Khartoum. This `Declaration of Political Agreement' was drawn up in Eritrea and blessed by President Isayas Aferworki.

The signatories are Colonel John Garang (Sudan People's Liberation Army-Mainstream); Omer Nur el Deim (Umma Party Secretary General); Democratic Unionist Party chief Mohamed Osman el Mirghani and Brigadier Abdel Aziz Khalid Osman, head of the Sudanese Allied Forces, which broke from General Fathi Ahmed Ali's Legitimate Command on the grounds of its inertia and now form the majority of the armed forces' opposition, which is based in Egypt.

The 27 December Agreement, still unpublished as Africa Confidential went to press, tackles the war directly, acknowledging it as a national, not just Southern issue. Though it stresses national unity, it also opens the door to Southern independence: in the `case of violation or digression from the agreed principles' (which include a `multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society' and the `non-use of religion in politics') there would be the right to `referendum which will include all options'.

The accord avoids other reference to a secular constitution, without which it is hard to imagine Sudan remaining united. Ambivalence in this area is characteristic not only of the religious-based leaders, Mohamed Osman and Dr. Omer, but also of Garang, who consistently oscillates between unity and independence.

Absent are Garang's rivals, notably Riek Machar, who last week sacked Karabino Kuanyin Bol and William Nyuon Bany from his Southern Sudan Independence Movement (ex-SPLA-United). With the Agreement stressing autonomy (undefined), Garang has again stolen Riek's clothes. Sources close to the accord say other groups, South and North, will be included in future, as the pact indicates. Veteran Southern politicians and Northern secularists are busy behind the scenes.

Indicating a new momentum in the opposition, the accord stresses international involvement, backing the peace process of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development--Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya. The United States' enthusiasm for IGADD has been growing.

Reports persist of US military aid to the SPLA, which recently received large ammunition consignments. Arms made in the USA, Britain, France and South Africa are seen all over the area but their immediate origin is unclear...



(Rapid via RBB 19 Dec 94, Ref: IP/94/1186)

The Commission has granted a humanitarian aid package worth ECU 8 million for Sudan.

This is the second such overall package this year. On 20 April, ECU 17 million was granted for an initial general humanitarian aid plan for the country...

1. This five-month aid package is mainly for the south of the country. ECU 5 707 000 will go towards twenty or so medical, food and health (including drinking water) projects, the aim being to make displaced communities more self-sufficient (by providing farming and fishing implements and vaccinating cattle, etc.).

Most of the projects will be carried out by NGOs which have partnerships with Echo.[1] Echo is also contributing to the Unicef water programme...


(MEED 2 Jan 95)

Vice-President Major General George Kongor appealed to the international community to give more aid to over one million refugees on its territory. Speaking at a refugee conference in Khartoum on 21 December, Kongor said that despite the country's economic problems it had still not closed the border on the refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia. The commissioner for refugees, Ihsan al-Ghabshawi, said that the UNHCR had halved to $6m its pledge for refugees in Sudan in 1995.


(Reuter 30 Jan 95)

KHARTOUM - The United Nations on Monday launched an appeal for $101 million to meet the 1995 needs of vulnerable groups in war-torn Sudan.

Robert Painter, the emergency unit coordinator at the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) in Khartoum, said the world body would have appealed for more had it not been for Sudan's improved agricultural output and the late arrival of 1994 pledges which meant that ample supplies were in the pipeline.

According to the U.N. the number of people in need of emergency food aid in Sudan has dropped from 4.3 million in 1994 to 1.2 million in 1995.

It says that improved security in southern Sudan, where a civil war has been raging since 1983, has allowed it to move cautiously from relief work towards rehabilitation.

"We want to encourage the populations to move from receiving to producing," said Christop Jaeger, the U.N. coordinator for relief and emergency in Sudan.


(Reuter 11 Feb 95)

NAIROBI - Five foreign aid workers kidnapped by gunmen three days ago in southern Sudan were freed unharmed on Saturday and flown to Kenya, aid officials said.

They said the five men -- two Ethiopians, two Kenyans and a Swiss -- were handed over to U.N. officials at Doleib hill, 30 km (19 miles) south of the government-held town of Malakal.

"They're smelly but smiling," Trevor Harvey, U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) manager of its camp at Lokichokio in northwest Kenya, told headquarters in Nairobi as he flew to Kenya with the former hostages.

"They are fine and in good spirits," said Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) spokeswoman Sally Burnheim, adding nothing was given to the kidnappers, led by a former rebel commander, to win their release.

Harvey was aboard a U.N. plane that set out from Lokichokio earlier on Saturday to search for the five foreign aid workers, who were kidnapped on Wednesday and were last seen heading north with 130 gunmen.

The five were among 11 aid workers abducted in Waat town in Jonglei province during an attack by gunmen led by Gordon Koang Banypiny, accused by his former rebel group of being an agent for Khartoum. Six of the hostages were freed on Thursday night and Friday.



(Human Rights Watch/Africa Nov 94)

Gross human rights violations continue in Sudan five years after a military coup overthrew the elected civilian government in June 30, 1989, and brought to power a military regime dominated by the National Islamic Front (NIF), a minority party that achieved only 18,4 percent of the popular vote in the 1986 elections... This report highlights human rights abuses in northern Sudan, focusing on individual testimonies to supplement the evidence of violations in the south detailed earlier.

As the current regime completes its fifth year in power, all forms of political opposition remain banned legally and through systematic terror. The regime has institutionalized changes in the character of the state through extensive purges of the civil service and by dismantling any element of civil society that disagrees with its narrow vision of an Islamic state. Political power over the whole country has been entrenched in the hands of a tiny ideological elite.

Human Rights Watch/Africa does not question the right of a people to adopt any system of law and government through the genuinely free choice of the population. This is integral to a people's right to self-government. A military regime, however, is by definition not the choice of the citizens, who had no voice in its coming to power, no participation in the formulation and implementation of its policies, and no ability to change it. Any military regime is necessarily the negation and repudiation of the national right to self government. Here the loss is more total because military rule is coupled with an exclusivist ideology, alleged to be founded on religion, that flouts minority rights...

This report highlights excerpts from the diary kept by a resident of Kordofan from late 1992 to April 1993 that describes the large-scale displacement of Nubans, their forcible relocation under intolerable conditions, the abduction of children, the forced recruitment of boys as young as thirteen into military services, the destruction of churches, the abuse of women in displaced persons' camps, and the manipulation of relief for Islamic proselytization purposes, among other abuses. This diary reinforces the findings on the situation in the Nuba Mountains presented in the February 1994 report of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Sudan.

This report also covers the plight of displaced persons and squatters in urban areas of northern Sudan, including Nubans and southerners displaced by the war. In 1992 hundreds of thousands of the displaced and urban squatters were summarily evicted from their homes in urban areas. Their property was destroyed under a purported urban renewal campaign which targeted the large non-Arab and non-Muslim population of the capital. This campaign continued in 1993, and in 1994 an estimated 160,000 more people were similarly displaced from Khartoum and moved to unprepared sites far from water, work, or education.

One group of displaced has been especially targeted by the government: boys. On the pretext of taking care of street children, hundreds of boys, mostly southerners, are rounded up in the markets and on the streets and summarily dispatched to camps run by Islamists. No attempt is made to contact their families or to follow the Juvenile Welfare Act's procedure for removing a child from his family. The boys are beaten for small breaches of discipline and given a religious (Islamic) education regardless of their or their families' prior beliefs. At age fifteen they are incorporated into the government militia...

/HAB/ For the full report, contact Human Rights Watch/Africa at 485 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017-6104 Tel: (212) 972-8400 Fax: (212) 972-0905 or 33 Islington High Street, London N1 9LH, England Tel: (71) 713 1995 Fax: (71) 713 1800.


(Reuter 15 Dec 94)

KHARTOUM - Sudan has rejected a U.N. report highly critical of this country's human rights record.

The report was prepared by Hungarian lawyer Gaspar Biro, who was appointed by the United Nations to report on Sudan, which has persistently denied violating human rights.

The official Sudan News Agency SUNA said on Thursday Ali Mohammad Osman Yassin, the country's permanent representative to the United Nations, has sent a letter to the U.N. secretary-general condemning Biro and the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

Yassin told the secretary-general that Western countries had tried to turn the commission into an instrument to achieve their own political and strategic objectives.

The commission, Yassin added, had acquired a reputation for selectivity in cases of human rights abuses, a lack of democracy in its procedures and bias in its staffing.

In a resolution approved on Tuesday, a U.N. committee singled out Khartoum for arresting those who met U.N. human rights monitors, conducting air attacks against civilians and impeding international relief efforts.

The resolution was approved by a vote of 91 in favour, 13 against with 47 abstentions by the General Assembly's social, humanitarian and cultural committee. A decision by this panel means a near-identical poll when the full assembly votes next week.

Yassin said not much fairness could be expected from Biro because he was proposed by a government that pursued a confrontational approach towards Sudan and he was determined from the start to condemn Sudan.

Ambassador Yassin denied Biro's allegations of bombing raids by government forces, saying such reports were circulated by circles that support the rebel Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA)...


(European Parliament press release 15 Dec 94)

The European Parliament,

... 1. Condemns all acts of terror committed in Sudan, whether by government forces or rebel factions, and condemns the Government of Sudan for the continuing civil war in the south and for the killing, massacres, torture and other human rights abuses that it inflicts on the civilian population of southern Sudan and on displaced people throughout the country, particularly in the Khartoum area; also deplores the conflict between the two rival factions of SPLA that is causing additional suffering, hunger and refugees;

2. Re-emphasizes its support for the IGADD initiative for peace in the Sudan and urges the Government of Sudan and all factions of the SPLA to declare and observe an immediate ceasefire and conclude peace negotiations under the auspices of IGADD at the Nairobi peace talks;

3. Expresses its desire to cooperate with the IGADD host governments in order to make European Union support for IGADD appropriate and complementary to the established regional peace initiative;

4. Calls on the Government of Sudan to put an end to the use of detention without charge or trial, torture and ill-treatment in secret detention centres, and to release without delay all political prisoners; also calls on the government to halt its violent campaign against the inhabitants of the squatter settlements in and around Khartoum;

5. Calls on the international community to reinforce the sanctions against the Khartoum regime, to bring pressure to bear on the Sudanese Government to stop the massacre of its southern population and respect human rights, including freedom of religion, throughout the entire country;

6. Asks the OAU to intensify its efforts through the established mechanism for conflict prevention, management and resolution to bring an end to the conflict;

7. Urges the international community and in particular the EU to give their strongest backing to this initiative to help resolve the Sudanese conflict;

8. Calls on the Member States to extend their arms embargo on Sudan to include the transfer of military, security and police equipment, intelligence, technology, personnel and training, and calls on the Commission and the Council to establish effective mechanisms to monitor the implementation of the Union's established arms embargo against Sudan by individual Member States;

9. Calls on the Sudanese Government to grant access to the United Nations Human Rights Committee's Special Rapporteur so that he may carry out impartial investigations into allegations of human rights violations;

10 Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the OAU and UN Secretaries-General and the warring parties in Sudan.


(Sudan Memo Dec 94/Jan 95, p.5)

For Christmas there are more demolishing in Abu Said town, Fitihab are 5 km South and West of Omdurman. Demolitions started again on December 10 in the are but was halted by some attempts at legal interventions by some house owners. Their claims were rejected and early in the morning of Dec. 14 the army again moved in with troops and bulldozers. By Dec. 16 demolitions had left about 500 families homeless and living on the ruins of their former houses/huts. some have taken up temporary residence in a nearby empty construction (Hagar building) but they expect to be dispersed again soon...

"I am come all along from Kaya from Southern part of the country," explained one women. "I have been here for the last six years. Unfortunately last year I lost my husband, I am left with a child who is three years old now. They have destroyed my house and I am left on the cold ground with this poor child."

Another woman added: "My husband is a soldier. He is in the war zone in Southern part of the country. I have just given birth to a baby child who will be two weeks on Dec. 18. I will be living in the Hagar building which is about three kilometres from here. But I will be living with fear of being chased away from the house since this is the policy of the government."...


(IPS 25 Jan 95)

NEW YORK - The Sudanese government and both factions of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) are guilty of widespread atrocities and human rights abuses, Amnesty International declares in a report released here Wednesday...

"The carnage in the war-torn south is only half the picture, because even in areas less affected by civil war, the brutal violation of human rights has also divided the population," Amnesty International director Pierre Sane said Wednesday in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Amnesty report argues that "some of the most extensive human rights violations of the war have been perpetrated in the Nuba mountains, an area administratively outside southern Sudan and populated by around one million people."

According to Amnesty, the Arab-dominated government of President Omar al-Bashir and the two SPLA factions (under rebel leaders John Garang and Riak Machar) are all responsible for killing and abducting thousands of people in the Nuba.

Similarly, the human rights group uncovered what it claims is a pattern of abuses by all sides of the Dinka and Luo people living in a northern Sudanese region, Bahr al-Ghazal.

"Both the government and the SPLA have exploited ethnic differences and competition over resources in ways which have pitted community against community and resulted in the massive abuse of human rights," the authors add.

The Amnesty report disputes claims by all sides that the civil war, begun in 1983, has been largely based on ethnicity and religion, even though it notes that Bashir's military regime has imposed Islamic `Sharia' rulings that have been harsh on non-Muslims...

Sane called for the United Nations to create an international human rights team of civilian monitors to report on the Sudan.

"Having international monitors on the ground would make it more difficult for government and opposition forces to get away with the killings, torture and arbitrary detentions that have fractured Sudanese society and deepened political hatreds over the past five years," he said.

/HAB/ To obtain the full report contact Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 8DJ, UK Tel: (+44) 71-413 5500 Fax: 956 1157.


(SWB 3 Feb 95 [RSR in Arabic, 1 Feb 95])

The Consultative Council for Human Rights decided, at its meeting yesterday, not to permit the Organization, Amnesty International, to visit Sudan as it was due to do at the end of next March because of claims recently reiterated by some officials belonging to the organization about the state of human rights in the country which they had not proved.

Dr Ahmad al-Mufti, rapporteur for the Consultative Council for Human Rights, said Sudan was keen to work together with organizations that show a measure of neutrality and objectivity in dealing with human rights. He said Sudan had in the past repeatedly extended invitations to a number of UN officials and people working in the field of human rights to visit the country...



(Comboni Press Network 7 Dec 94, by Joseph Bragotti, mccj)

The Inter-religious Dialogue Conference, called by the Khartoum government earlier this year, is being revealed for what it really was: a fraud perpetrated against the local Church with the connivance of diplomatic and foreign circles...

Meanwhile the following events have taken place.

1) The scourging and crucifixion of four Christian leaders last August has been confirmed. Observers believe that the news was kept quiet, in order not to distrub Moslem leaders about to gather for the Cairo Conference..

2) The abolition of the Missionary Societies Act is being followed by a tougher Act that will make it even more difficult to practice Christianity.

3) The Sudan is persecuting NGOs that help the poor. The St. Vincent de Paul Society of Khartoum which, among other things, cares for hundreds of street children, is being suppressed. Khartoum police have seized several thousand boys and girls (5,000?) found in the streets and taken them to the Kobar prison, where they are given new identities before being shipped to "re-education" camps...

6) Non-Muslim women who refuse to wear the Moslem garb are the object of discrimination and violence on a regular basis.

7) On Monday, November 14, Deacon Kamal, who runs the social activities of the Archdiocese of Khartoum, was severely beaten by security people during a routine interrogation (the first such incident involving a foreign Church person.)

8) Open discrimination of Christians in school, public life, the place of work, continues on a regular basis.

Yet, during the Inter-religious Conference eight members of the italian Parliament were urged by Hassan el Turabi to help create a better public opinion abroad: they have made promises to that effect. On the spot observers say that the Italian embassy in Khartoum is not adverse to the idea. In early October el Turabi contacted members of the Spanish government for the same purpose...


( 7 Dec 94 [Contemporary Islamic Political Views Nov 94])

In the context of the Inter-Religious Dialogue conference held in Khartoum Oct. 8-10, members of the Sudanese leadership opened up to the press on a wide variety of issues. Questions were posed at meeting with Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi, the chairman of the Popular Arab and Islamic Conference, and with Dr. Ghazi Salahuddin Al-Attabani, state minister for political affairs...

Q: There have been accusations of religious discrimination in the Sudan. What is your response?

Turabi: There is no consciousness of religious identity in any social association in this country. Color, or ethnic or religious identity, is not a factor of consciousness, let alone discrimination. At the legal level (I'm a lawyer myself), I challenge any lawyer in the world to tell me that there is legal discrimination in this country...

I would like to know in what other country minorities, like the Christians in the country, who are only 5%, can reach up to the vice presidency, to speakers, to the house of parliament, ministers all over the country. In America, for example, if you are Catholic, it's very difficult for you to become President, and if you do, look at what happened to Kennedy...

Q: How are Christians treated equally within Sharia [Islamic law]?

Turabi: Private law is their own. Any court will adjudicate any case regarding family law according to their law. With respect to criminal law, there are four provisions in the criminal law court which are derived specifically from Islamic law, and those provisions are not applicable in the south, not because it is predominantly Christian, but because it is predominantly non-Muslim. There are as many Muslims as Christians there. These Islamic provisions are not applicable there, there are alternative provisions; for instance, instead of flogging, you receive a prison term...

I have not heard of any case of discrimination here. There are stories about it, the farther away from Sudan you are, the more stories you hear. But if you come very close, you hear few stories, if you come to the reality itself, I have not heard of a case of discrimination...



(SWB 13 Jan 95 [RSR in Arabic, 11 Jan 95])

The president of the republic, Lt-Gen Umar al-Bashir, has stressed that the elections will be held on schedule, pointing out that this was a political obligation that must be discharged...

[Mr Abd al-Mun'im al-Zayn al-Nahhas, the director of the National Electoral Commission] pointed out that the voter registration exercise had kicked off in all states of Sudan on 7th January and was expected to be completed in two weeks' time...


(SWB 20 Jan 95 [Sudan TV, Omdurman, in English 17 Jan 95])

Mr Muhammad al-Amin Khalifah, the speaker of the Transitional National Assembly, announced that the Sudan government welcomes receiving foreign observers to oversee the integrity and neutrality of the forthcoming elec-tions...


(SCSG Jan 95 [al-Sharq al-Awsat 4 Jan 95])

Khartoum University has issued instructions to its female students to wear "modest dress which covers entirely the body and the head." The university called on fathers to buy their daughters these clothes so that they would not be barred from entering the university precincts.


ERITREA WARNS SUDAN "DON'T PLAY WITH FIRE" (Reuter 13 Dec 94, by Gerrard Williams) ASMARA - Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki warned Sudan on Tuesday not "to play with fire" a week after his government severed diplomatic relations with Khartoum.

Eritrea accuses its giant neighbour of subversion by training "terrorists" and supporting Islamic fundamentalists...

He said the current diplomatic crisis was not just a problem for Eritrea whose population of less than four million is only one-seventh of Sudan's.

"The design of the government in Khartoum to destabilise the whole region is a potential threat for everyone not only Eritrea.

"Everyone in the region is very much worried about (Sudan's) expansionist policies. Ethiopia is being affected, Uganda is being affected, Kenya is being affected and I believe it is a regional problem."

The president said that previous appeals to the international community had been to " no avail".

He described Sudan's version of Islam as alien to Eritrea.

"Moslems and Christians have lived side by side here for centuries. We have no history of conflict between Moslems and Christians. This new version of Islam is totally alien, it is not only alien to our society it is alien above anything else to Moslems in this country."


(IPS 1 Feb 95, by Nhial Bol)

KHARTOUM - A move by Egypt to liquidate a joint venture it shares with Sudan has sparked anger here, prompting some government officials to demand the scrapping of all other projects between the two neighbours.

Transport Minister Osman Abdelgadir disclosed this week that "the Sudanese government has received an official request from the Egyptian government, calling for the liquidation of the 17-year-old River Nile Transport Company."

Expressing regret at the decision, Sudanese Foreign Minister Hussein Abu Saleh said "We always tell our brothers in Egypt that political differences are normal. Let's sit down and negotiate the interests of the two peoples."

Pointing out that the move would affect trade between the two countries, he urged Cairo to reconsider its decision because "the company was serving the citizens of the two countries, not governments."

The transport company has operated a regular ferry service between Wadi Halfa in northern Sudan and Aswan in southern Egypt since January 1978, when the two countries signed an economic, political and military integration agreement...


(SWB 24 Jan 95 [MENA news agency, Cairo, in Arabic 22 Jan 95])

Cairo: Egypt has turned down a Sudanese request to place the Hala'ib problem on the agenda of the 61st ordinary session of the OAU Foreign Ministers' Council due to open in Addis Ababa tomorrow, Monday [23rd January].

The `Rose al-Yusuf' weekly reports in its Monday edition that Egypt has informed the OAU secretariat that the bilateral committee that has been formed to resolve the dispute over Hala'ib by diplomatic means has not completed its task and that an agreement will be reached to resume the committee's work in the coming months.


(Reuter 11 Jan 95)

NDJAMENA - The impoverished central African state of Chad on Wednesday rejected talk of merging with neighbours Sudan and Libya as "baseless fantasy".

President Idriss Deby's office issued a statement expressing surprise and indignation at the suggestion, which it attributed to a Tunisian newspaper.

"During the many meetings between President Idriss Deby and his Libyan and Sudanese counterparts and in the various meetings between Chadian and Libyan delegations and Chadian and Sudanese delegations there has never been any question of merger or any other sort of union," the statement said.

"Any steps taken by the Chadian head of state concerning the two neighbouring countries have been aimed at establishing good relations in the form of cooperation and exchanges while strictly respecting the sovereignty and independence of Chad."

Sudan's interior minister said in Tunis on Friday the three countries' leaders discussed the issue of unity in September during Libyan Revolution anniversary celebrations...


(SWB 20 Jan 95 [REE in English, 18 Jan 95])

An Ethio-Sudanese joint meeting is under way in Addis Ababa to discuss ways and means of revitalizing and fully implementing cooperation agreements signed between the two governments. The three-day meeting, which began yesterday [17th January], is expected to find ways of putting in practice friendship and cooperation agreements signed between the leaders of the two countries on 21st October 1991. The Ethiopian delegation to the meeting is headed by Mr Wend Wesen Kebede, economic adviser in the Prime Minister's Office and the Sudanese delegation by Mr Abd al-Wahhab Ahmad Hamza, minister of state in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning...



(SWB 6 Jan 95 [Radio Message of Freedom in Pashto, 2 Jan 95])

Brother Hekmatyar, Leader of the Islamic Revolution and Amir of Hezb-e Eslami Afghanistan, met the day before yesterday [31st December] esteemed Shaykh Hasan al-Turabi and his accompanying delegation...

The aim of the delegation of the government of Sudan in calling on brother Hekmatyar is the formation of an interim government and the ensuring of peace in the country [sentence as heard].


(SWB 4 Jan 95 [RSR in Arabic, 2 Jan 95])

The Sudanese and Iraqi sides today issued a communique on their talks in Khartoum at the end of an official visit by an Iraqi parliamentary delegation led by Mr Sa'di Mahdi Salih, the speaker of the Iraqi National Assembly, at the invitation of Mr Muhammad al-Amin Khalifah, the speaker of the Transitional National Assembly.

The two sides agreed to enhance and develop bilateral relations, especially at the parliamentary level, and to derive benefit from the experiences and experiments of their respective countries in the legislative area. They also agreed to strengthen other relations and the frameworks of cooperation in all fields.

The two sides expressed their aspirations, in the interests of the two fraternal peoples, to extending relations, both horizontally and vertically [as heard], following the disappearance of the conditions prompting the imposition of the blockade against Iraq and of the pressures against Sudan.

The two sides participated in a joint meeting chaired by the speakers of the two parliaments, during which the Sudanese side briefed the Iraqi side on Sudan's achievements in the fields of self-reliant development, peace, indigenization of laws and strengthening the Islamic (?orientation) in the country...


(Reuter 23 Jan 95, by Alfred Taban])

KHARTOUM - Sudan and China have signed several agreements for the setting up of five factories in Sudan, the official Sudan News Agency, SUNA, said on Monday.

The cost or financial terms were not available.

The agency said contracts for a textile mill, a drugs plant, a packaging factory and a sportswear enterprise had been signed between Sudanese private firms and Chinese companies as part of an ongoing meeting of the Sino-Sudanese Economic Committee.

Representatives of 55 Chinese firms are participating in the joint economic committee which on the Chinese side is led by the deputy commerce minister.

SUNA said the Chinese companies will provide equipment, vehicles and expertise. Sudanese will carry out the civil works.

Sudan has thriving relations with China which has already set up several enterprises such as textile mills. The Chinese have erected a number of high-profile buildings including the Friendship Hall where military president Lieutenant-General Omar Hassan al-Bashir maintains an office.

The Chinese have just handed to the Sudanese government a 150-bed hospital they built in Omdurman, Khartoum's twin city.

During a recent visit to China of a delegation representing the Sudanese business association, contracts for the establishment of a tractor assembly plant, a tannery and flour mills in several of Sudan's states were signed. The cost and terms were not disclosed.

The government-owned al-Sudan al-Hadith newspaper said on Monday more agreements will be signed in the next two days for factories manufacturing electricity metres and cables. Other deals will include a bicylce assembly plant, fish and cattle farms and a poultry and vegetables project in Khartoum state.

One Sudanese official said the new projects would push Sino-Sudanese cooperation in the economic and commercial fields to new horizons.


(SWB 27 Jan 95 [RSR in Arabic, 22 Jan 95])

Azerbaijan has said it is ready to supply Sudan with oil industry equipment and expert advice on oil extraction, Sudanese radio reported.

At talks between Sudanese Industry and Commerce Minister Taj al-Sirr Mustafa abd al-Salam and Azerbaijani Trade Minister Miri Gambarov in Sudan on the 21st, "The Azerbaijani side expressed its readiness to meet Sudan's urgent needs in terms of equipment and tools for use in the oil sector, as well as to provide experts to help Sudan with oil extraction," the radio reported.

Both sides agreed that a special technical committee should study these issues ahead of any visit by Sudanese President Lt-Gen Umar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir to Azerbaijan.

The two ministers signed the minutes of the meeting on economic and trade cooperation, and al-Salam said that the government and people of Sudan were keen to develop and continue relations with Azerbaijan in the mutual interest of the two countries.

Gambarov praised the developing relationship between Sudan and Azerbaijan, the radio reported.


(Reuter 11 Jan 95)

LONDON - Britain on Wednesday announced it was appointing a new ambassador to the Sudan, replacing one expelled a year ago in a row over a visit to rebel-held southern Sudan by a leading Anglican churchman.

The Foreign Office said Alan Goulty had been appointed to replace ambassador Peter Streams and would take up his post in March.

Streams left Khartoum last January after a farewell reception where guests included former civilian prime minister Sadeq al-Mahdi, ousted by the present strongly Islamic regime.

His forced departure followed a row over a visit to rebel-held southern Sudan by the Archbishop of Canterbury Peter Carey who declined to visit the capital.

Sudan accused Streams of attacks on the government of Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir and of visiting areas held by the rebel Sudan Peoples Liberation Army without government consent. They also blamed him for Carey's failure to visit Khartoum.

Britain reacted to Streams's expulsion by giving the Sudanese ambassador to London, Ali Osman Yassin, two weeks to leave. Sudan has not sent a new ambassador to London...

Officials in Khartoum have said that Sudan wants good relations with Britain, and that another British ambassador would be welcome...


(Reuter 30 Jan 95)

WASHINGTON - The U.S. State Department on Monday warned American citizens against all travel to war-torn Sudan because of potential violence within the country.

Travel anywhere outside the capital city of Khartoum requires the permission of the government of Sudan, the department said...

The United States decided to halt humanitarian aid to Sudan last year following allegations that Khartoum was harbouring and training "terrorist groups," and added Khartoum's name to the list of countries supporting terrorism.



(AC 6 Jan 95, p.8)

The International Monetary Fund looks about to break the isolation of Sudan laboriously built up by Western and Arab governments. Though nearly expelled by the Fund in August 1993, Sudan may now be heading for agreement: terms are to be discussed at a 13 January meeting of IMF governors. Khartoum's position has improved mainly thanks to French support and Dutch and Scandinavian compromise at 1994's IMF/World Bank annual meeting...

The National Islamic Front government is confident it will completely normalise relations with the IMF, which would fuel chances of foreign investment (AC Vol 35 No 21). Several, mainly Arab, banks have already shown interest. Negotiations have begun with the World Bank which should lead to repayment of part of the $25mn. arrears before Bank loans restart. According to Sudan government statistics, exports rose to $417.3 mn. in 1993, a rise of 30.7 per cent on 1992, when the rains failed. Imports were still double exports but were held at $944.9 mn., 15.1 per cent up on 1992. This has little to do with the real economy, where hunger remains most people's main preoccupation. The question remains of where Sudan is getting the money. Its IMF arrears repayment proposal tallies with the request it submitted to French banks, with the full knowledge of the Paris government, in spring 1994. Discussions on a $15 mn. loan were well under way with one bank (reportedly the Banque Lazare) but apparently halted suddenly in June. Paris denies any loan has been made...


(Reuter 19 Jan 95)

WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund has lifted its ban on technical assistance to Sudan, a spokesman said, as loan repayments by the country have been sufficient to head off the possibility that it might be expelled from the lending institution.

Sudan is about $1.5 billion in arrears on loans from the IMF and has been making periodic payments on this shortfall, causing the IMF board last Friday to back away from expulsion proceedings.

The spokesman said the IMF would try to assist Sudan on a technical level to help the authorities reform policies and lead the country back on track.

The IMF will review progress on loan repayments and other factors in the country again in May, the spokesman said.


(AED 2 Jan 95)

The country began printing its own currency on 1 January. The first consignment of banknotes will be handed over in the next few days. The country's currency was previously printed in the UK, at an annual cost of $25 million. Other African countries have expressed an interest in using the country's facilities.


(IPS 3 Jan 95, by Nhial Bol)

KHARTOUM - Sudan has marked the new year by opening its first ever stock exchange and launching a factory that will print the country's banknotes.

State-run radio Omdurman announced Tuesday that both the stock exchange and the printing press were opened on Monday night.

Khartoum's search for a stock exchange goes back over 30 years when it formed a stock exchange and securities department at the Central Bank of Sudan.

The state-run "al-Ingaz al-Watani" newspaper said Tuesday 24 companies had been registered at the exchange while 72 others had yet to complete their registration and pay their duties.

The government has fixed just one hour (from 10 am to 11 am) each day, except Thursdays and Fridays, for trading. On the first day of business, only two firms, both public hare-holding banks, made available their shares for trading...


(Reuter 5 Jan 95)

KHARTOUM - Sudan, continuing its drive to liberalise the economy, has lifted the ban on the importation of consumer goods, the official News Agency SUNA said on Thursday.

The lifting of the nearly total import ban, introduced in parts over the past two years, was designed to bring down prices and arrest the rapid decline in the value of the Sudanese pound against the U.S. dollar in Sudan's active black market.

The value of the dollar to Sudanese pounds has in recent weeks been some 20 per cent higher on the black market than the exchange rate offered by banks.

SUNA said the government decree lifting the import ban excluded alcohol, narcotics, gambling equipment, firearms, ammunitions and explosives.


(SCSG Jan 95 [al-Sharq al-Awsat 4 Jan 95; al-Hayat 23 Dec 94])

Economic conditions in Sudan are getting worse, according to Dr Hassan al Turabi, the spiritual leader of Sudan's Islamists who is sometimes regarded as the de facto ruler of the country. "We expect that the economic distress will be aggravated" he was quoted as saying in the London daily al-Hayat, "but we think that the path we have taken is sound and straight, like that of the Prophet." Members of Sudan's unelected parliament agree: Radio Omdurman reported that the MP's said that even with the recent pay rises taken into account, ordinary people could not afford basic necessities, and poverty levels were increasing greatly.


(Reuter 1 Feb 95)

KHARTOUM - Sudan's Finance Minister Abdalla Hassan Ahmad said in a dispatch on the official Sudan News Agency on Wednesday that the country owed $15.4 billion.

He said that of that amount $12.3 billion was repayable while $3.1 billion did not need to be repaid, but he did not say if that portion had been forgiven.

Ahmad disclosed the figures, which have been a subject of conjecture in international financial circles, during a meeting of the Transitional National Assembly, SUNA said.

The World Bank estimated Sudan's external debt in 1991 at $9.7 billion.

Ahmad said Sudan's relations with financial institutions and donor countries are making good progress...

Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 08:56:38 GMT
From: Everett Nelson []
Message-Id: []
Subject: HAB (Jan-Feb 95)

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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