The Horn of Africa Bulletin, March/April '95

The Horn of Africa Bulletin, March/April '95


                 H O R N   O F   A F R I C A   B U L L E T I N

                         Vol.7 No.2  Mar-Apr 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:

AA - Africa Analysis; 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; EP - Eritrean Profile via Eritrea-L; 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:

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


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LIFE & PEACE INSTITUTE, S-751 70 Uppsala, Sweden 
Tel: (+46) 18-16 95 00; Fax: (+46) 18-69 30 59

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Editor:             Susanne Thurfjell Lunden
Assistant Editor:   Everett Nelson

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In a new African magazine, The Option, Desmond Tutu states that "the ultimate test of a leader is whether what he does benefits the poor and enhances the quality of their life". He goes on to describe how the dream of independence after the colonial yoke was transformed into a "nightmare of military dictatorships, gross violation of human rights and total disregard for basic freedom".

There seems to be a need to reexamine the whole concept of leadership in Africa and there are some hopeful signs that this is under way; however, all too often African leaders are exerting their power in an authoritarian--if not outright dictatorial--way. They are ruling by fear and terror, surrounding themselves with yes-sayers, promoting those who constitute the least threat. As a small elite grows richer the ordinary people become poorer. They cling to money and power and change is often violent.

Colonial rulers set a bad example, not allowing for an indigenous leadership to emerge and mature. Foreign cultural patterns were forced upon African societies, and the traditional, local ways of making decisions, solving problems, and ruling were corrupted as a result.

There is a vacuum between the leaders and the people, who remain passive and victimized without any real means of influencing the political process. The word "democracy" is often used in a cosmetic way to justify the ruling elite and is seldom used in the true sense of the word.

All too often, a multi-party system and "the vote" are seen as a panacea. However, what good are voting rights if elections are manipulated, or if people are not aware of their rights and responsibilities as voters and just vote as they have been told? A "multi-party system" where the parties merely reflect the interests of a tribe or a clan, or is ruled by a clique, in no way guarantees a functioning democracy.

A western style of democracy might not be the solution, but some kind of participatory form of governance is needed, and not just on the top level. It has to allow the involvement of people in the decision-making process from the basic levels of society all they way up to the top. There is a need for redistribution of powers, so that power is shared, the rights of the minorities are protected and change can happen in a peaceful way. New leaders have to be allowed to emerge, grow and mature rather than be appointed from above, on account of their sworn loyalty to the ruler. This transformation can only happen over time, and involves a whole new concept of looking at the people as partners and co-leaders.

Such a transformation entails, among other things, a rejection of governmental corruption. For Issayas Afeworki's thoughts on corruption and leadership, see p. 5 [Eritrea: "President Afwerki on CNN"].

In Ethiopia, many big steps have been taken to break earlier centralized governance. For the upcoming election in May, an important educational effort is being made by Ethiopian human rights groups to instruct people in their rights and responsiblities before they cast their vote. "Free and fair elections" does not only mean that the procedure is correct on the voting day; the whole process leading up to the election must be equally fair and should be closely monitored.

In the wake of UNOSOM's withdrawal from Somalia and in the absence of a national government, the western world is anticipating a renewal of widespread fighting. It might still happen, but in the meantime, it is interesting to see how the Somalis are taking charge of their country on a local level. The traditional leaders, the religious leaders and councils of elders, the "Guurtis", are emerging as legitimate representatives and leaders. The countryside outside of Mogadishu is largely peaceful. Today, in a majority of the 77 districts, councils have been set up through the elders and religious leaders to function as administrative bodies. As many as 1,000 councillors have either already received, or are about to receive, basic training in administration, and the Life and Peace Institute has had the privilege to be involved in this process.

Schools and hospitals are mostly running on a voluntary basis and local NGOs are forming to support the work. Women are often the driving force. No longer content to be bystanders, they take an active part in rebuilding their society. They are practically and concretely engaged in humanitarian work, seeing peace as a prerequisite for all development. They are also driven by a desire to actively take part in decisions concerning their lives and communities--decisions leading to peace or war. In this work they do not seek confrontation as much as cooperation with the men. (See p. 19 [Somalia: Grassroots initiatives].)

In a similar way, women in Sudan are shouldering new responsiblities in their realization that they have both a right and a responsiblity to work for peace. On p. 28 [Sudan: Peace talks and meetings] you will find an account of a workshop on peace that a group of southern Sudanese women arranged in March in order to unite and empower the local traditional leaders of the various ethnic groups in the south so that they could exercise their authority to reach an end to the interfactional fighting which is traumatizing their society.

Women constitute half the population, and most often they represent the grass roots. The fact that they are now coming forward against all odds is one of the signs that positive changes are possible in Africa. It is a slow process that will take a long time, but whatever support and encouragement is invested in this process of empowering the people, is a historic step forward on the path towards true democracy.


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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
(NN/ 26 Mar 95 [Feb 95])
Despite 1992 constitutional changes that permitted the creation of four political parties, President Hassan Gouled Aptidon and the People's Rally for Progress (RPP), in power since independence in 1977, continued to rule the country. Djibouti's two main ethnic groups are the politically predominant Issa (the tribe of the President, which is of Somali origin) and the Afar (who are also numerous in Ethiopia and Eritrea). The Afar comprise the largest single tribe in Djibouti but are outnumbered by the Issa and other Somali clans (Issak and Gadabursi) taken together.

On December 26, 1994, the Government signed an agreement that recognized the Afar-led Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD) as a legitimate political party. The Government is expected to name a number of FRUD members to key posts during 1995. The FRUD had been engaged in insurgency actions against the Government since 1991. Neither of the two officially recognized opposition parties, the Party for Democratic Renewal (PRD) or the National Democratic Party (PND), hold parliamentary seats. The PND boycotted the December 1992 legislative elections, and the FRUD persuaded most Afars not to participate. As a result, the RPP won all 65 parliamentary seats and, with the managed reelection of President Gouled in May 1993, now holds all significant government posts as well. The next legislative elections are scheduled for 1997.

Under the Ministry of Defense, the Djiboutian National Armed Forces (composed of the army, the national security forces, and the gendarmerie) are responsible for internal and external security. There is a small uniformed police force. Since the FRUD insurgency began in the Afar-dominated north, the armed forces have tripled in size, placing an enormous burden on the economy. Even though the insurgency diminished greatly during the year--consisting largely of scattered FRUD attacks on government troops--the Government moved slowly on demobilization, in part because adult male unemployment in the capital was already around 60 percent...

Human rights remained restricted despite the introduction of a new Constitution in 1992 and a limited multiparty political system. The judiciary is still not independent of the executive. While reports of military abuses of civilians in the north ended in March, there were several new reports of security force brutality against Afar civilians, including extrajudicial killings, both in the north and in putting down demonstrations in Djiboutiville. The Government prosecuted, but subsequently released, four political opponents who had signed a FRUD declaration calling for continued armed struggle. At the same time, the Government permitted somewhat increased freedoms of speech and the press and eased restrictions on freedom of movement in the north. The Government permitted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), U.N. representatives, and diplomatic missions resident in Djibouti access to prisoners and insurgent areas. The traditional practice of female genital mutilation continued to be a problem...

Section 1--Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:

a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There were no known instances of politically motivated extrajudicial killings. However, there were credible reports that security forces might have killed civilians in skirmishes with FRUD insurgents and used excessive force in quelling Afar-led demonstrations. The most important incidents included, in January, the alleged killing by government forces of 7 FRUD supporters in retaliation for an earlier ambush on government forces. In March there were unconfirmed reports that government forces killed 36 FRUD supporters, including civilians during fighting. It was impossible to verify the number of casualties or to determine whether the reported victims were civilians or antigovernment insurgents...

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The Constitution states that no one shall be subjected to torture or to other inhuman, cruel, degrading, or humiliating punishments. Under the new Penal Code adopted in October, torture is punishable by 15 years in prison. Senior government officials pressed for and generally succeeded in bringing about an improvement from the situation in 1993, particularly after peace discussions began with the FRUD in the spring. Nevertheless, especially during the first 3 months of 1994, credible reports indicated that security forces abused detainees, particularly Afars in the northern region and persons suspected of links with the FRUD. There were credible reports of the involvement of government forces in the rape of at least one dozen Afar women and girls in the Mabla and Oueima regions in March.

Prison conditions are harsh. There were no reports of abuses leading to the deaths of prisoners or rape of female prisoners. The Government permitted representatives of the ICRC regular access to all prisoners, whether civilian or military.

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

...As far as known, the Government held no political or security detainees at the end of the year. The security forces captured about 30 FRUD combatants during the previous 2 years. Most of these persons gained release during an ICRC-arranged exchange at the end of 1993 or early in 1994. The agreement signed with the FRUD in December grants amnesty to all FRUD militants...

g. Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian Law in Internal Conflicts

The conflict between the armed forces and the Afar-led insurgents resulted in the excessive use of force and violations of humanitarian law concerning treatment of civilians. Most of these abuses occurred early in the year and ended by April after the start of negotiations between the Government and the FRUD. After denying the ICRC and foreign embassies access to the north during the second half of 1993, the Government allowed controlled access to most areas in the spring. Complete access became available after the signing of the peace accord in December.

Low-level fighting took place between the security forces and insurgents during the first months of the year. Following a period of calm, the Government and the FRUD signed a peace agreement in December. The French continued to provide humanitarian assistance to Djibouti. French troops delivered relief supplies or were present in limited numbers in towns like Tadjourah.

Section 2--Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

The Government owns the electronic media, the most important medium for reaching the public, as well as the principal weekly newspaper. The official media do not criticize the President or the Government. However, there are several opposition-run weeklies which circulate freely with open criticism of the Government. The Government permitted television coverage of the annual congress of one of the two legal opposition parties, during which the party leader sharply criticized the authorities.

In contrast to 1993, when the authorities interrogated, arrested, detained, or tried persons who publicly criticized the Government or the President, the Government did not commit such abuses in 1994. The improvement appears to reflect the ending of the insurgency and outside pressure.

The Government also did not interfere with foreign broadcasts or prevent the distribution of foreign publications...

c. Freedom of Religion

Islam is the state religion. Virtually the entire population is Sunni Muslim. The Government imposes no sanctions on those who choose to ignore Islamic teachings on such matters as diet, alcoholic consumption, and religious fasting.

The foreign community supports Roman Catholic, French Protestant, Greek Orthodox, and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches. Foreign clergy and missionaries may perform charitable works but proselytizing, while not illegal, is discouraged.

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

On at least two occasion during the year, the Government razed squatter settlements built on public land by Afars displaced by the civil conflict and others, including illegal immigrants from Somalia and Ethiopia. In one "clean up" early in the year, the Government moved some of the displaced Afar to an alternative site 12 kilometers from Djibouti and rounded up non-Djiboutians and sent them to refugee camps. In June the Government, in attempting to raze an Afar neighborhood, destroyed makeshift homes and a community run school. Security forces used massive force against the subsequent, spontaneous protest, killing 7 persons and wounding 15. The authorities claimed that they responded to attacks on police by residents with stones, clubs, and knives.

Since 1991 about 9,000 civilians, largely Afar, have fled the civil conflict, mainly to Ethiopia and Eritrea. Despite the much improved security situation in 1994, very few Afar returned in 1994...

Section 4--Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights

The Government has been hostile to the formation of local human rights groups. In the case of the Association for the Respect for Human Rights and Liberties (ADDHL), in 1993 the Government imprisoned its Association leader, Mohamed Houmed Soulleh, after he criticized military abuses in the civil conflict, and in 1994 continued to deny the ADDHL recognition (see Section 1.e.). The ADDHL continued to function during 1994, however, with Soulleh as its head. No other known human rights groups exist. No international human rights group visited the country in 1994.

The Government cooperated with some international human rights organizations, including the ICRC which in 1993 played a large role in the exchange of prisoners in the civil conflict.

Section 5--Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, Language, or Social Status

The Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of language, race, sex, or religion, but discrimination against women and ethnic minorities is widespread.


Women legally possess full civil rights, but in practice, due to traditional societal discrimination in education and other areas, play a secondary role in public life and do not have the same employment opportunities as men. With only a few women in the professions, women are largely confined to wage employment in small trade as well as in the clerical and secretarial fields. Customary law discriminates against women in such areas as inheritance, divorce, property ownership, and travel. The French Legal Code does not, prompting many educated women to seek to defend their interests through the Western legal framework...


Although there are a few charitable organizations working with children, the Government devotes virtually no public resources to the advancement of children's rights and welfare.

According to an independent expert, as many as 98 percent of Djiboutian females have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), which international health experts widely condemn as physically and psychologically damaging. In Djibouti FGM is generally performed on girls between the ages of 7 and 10. In 1988 the Djiboutian National Women's Union began an educational campaign against FGM, particularly infibulation, the most extensive and dangerous form of sexual mutilation. The campaign has had only marginal impact on this pervasive custom. Judicial reforms enacted in 1991 stipulate that anyone found guilty of genital mutilation of young girls can face a heavy fine and 5 years in prison. However, the Government has not convicted anyone under this statute...

National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

The Government continued to discriminate against citizens on the basis of ethnicity in terms of employment and advancement. The Issa (the dominant Somali clan in Djibouti) control the ruling party, the civil and security services, and the military. The President's subclan, the Mamassan, is particularly strong and wields disproportionate power in the affairs of state...

(SWB 4 Mar 95 [RFI in French, 2 Mar 95])
In Jibuti 300 former FRUD [Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy, rebel movement] fighters have been incorporated into the ranks of the national army. This is one of the results of the peace agreement signed by the government and one faction of the FRUD. The other group, led by Ahmed Diny, considers this result to be pathetic and says it is continuing the struggle on both the military and the political fronts.

(AC 17 Mar 95, p.8)
The decision to close more than 80 bars will please many Djiboutians. Most belong to Ethiopian refugees and many are patronised by the 4,000 French troops in the country. Criticism of their social consequences has been widespread, if orchestrated. However, some owners have already got round the ban by having their bars reclassified as restaurants, which are allowed to serve alcohol.

Pressure for closure has come from Gulf States, which have promised to make up the estimated 300 million Djibouti Francs (US $1.69 mn.) that the government will lose in duties and taxes. The Saudi Arabian government is providing another $5 mn. for improvements to the King Fahd highway to the north.

President Hassan Gouled Aptidon's goverment is seriously short of cash. In particular, Djibouti port has suffered from high charges and from problems along the railway to Addis Ababa. Much Ethiopian transit trade has shifted to Assab in Eritrea and Berbera in Somaliland.

Islamic influence and attendance at mosques have much increased in Djibouti lately. Djibouti is headquarters of the Muslim World League, ostensibly a Saudi non-govermental organisation. It is widely seen as linked to various Al Itahad Islamist movements in Ethiopia and Somalia, though it strongly denies the charge of spreading Islamic fundamentalism.

France has disappointed Djibouti's government, which hoped that aid would be unblocked after last year's Peace Accord with a faction of the opposition Front pour la Restauration de l'Unite et de la Democratie. But the only reward from Paris was an assurance of support in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund...

(ION 18 Mar 95, p.2)
The forty-five day deadline for Djibouti's diplomats who have been recalled to actually return home is getting very close now. According to information obtained by The Indian Ocean Newsletter, several of the officials hit by the government's budgetary economic measure have not responded to the call. But quite a number of Djibouti's overseas diplomats have not been paid their salaries for several months and some embassies have acumulated arrears on their rent, electricity and water bills, and so on. Some diplomats have either lacked the wherewithal to finance their removal and their family's transportation or simply concealed their refusal to return home by reporting sick and submitting a medical certificate. In both cases, they seem to hope that by lying low for a little while, the government may revise its orders.


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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

(EP 11 Feb 95)
Towards the end of his three-week visit to America, President Isaias Afwerki was interviewed by CNN. What follows is the full text of the interview, broadcast on February 4.

...CNN: As you talked to people here in Washington and perhaps in Europe and elsewhere, I am sure you realized that there is a mood for not spending much money outside the US or other Europian countries. Is that difficult to counteract?

ISAIAS: ...What makes a difference is what we do in our own countries. If we keep our own houses in order, use our domestic resources effectively, use borrowed money effectively, I don't think we need to talk about aid. I believe we need to have a common perspective and understanding of the issue of aid. Africa cannot solve its problems by depending on aid.

CNN: What are the top priorities in Eritrea in the next few years?

ISAIAS: In a country devastated by a very long war, we first of all need to deal with our infrastructure - roads, telecommunications, energy and basic infrastructure for development in the country. If we can overcome that difficulty and can effectively use our domestic resources, then we will be in a position to say that we are self-sufficient and can solve our problems on our own.

CNN: How can you do that?

ISAIAS: It is possible by designing correct economic policies. Encouraging investments internally, combining resources from within and outside the country and having good governance will definitely solve the problems and make programs successful.

CNN: Is fixing roads or fixing telephone systems going to be enough to help solve health and life expectancy problems in your country?

ISAIAS: I don't think it is difficult. The difficult part of it has been the abuse and misuse of resources in many parts of Africa. Domestic resources have not been used effectively. Aid coming from outside has been going to private pockets.That is why we find ourselves trapped in very difficult circumstances. If we can change our attitudes in terms of governance, if we know how to use our resources, human and otherwise, I don't think it's an impossible task.

CNN: Do you have to get together with your counterparts, the leaders of other African countries?

ISAIAS: I think that is a major thing that we have in mind. Given the global economic circumstances we have to live with that reality, not as individual separate states. We have to organize ourselves as regional and sub-regional components. We can then effectively implement programs in a collective manner.

CNN: Does that also mean getting together and dealing with the corruption you just referred to?

ISAIAS: Without dealing with corruption in Africa, without good governance, I don't think any political agenda will be successful. Not only one particular agenda in one country but collectively dealing with such problems, definitely will have its impact on the overall change that would happen any time in the future.

CNN: The superpowers, the colonial powers have effectively left Africa. Have you been left, those of you who have to lead Africa, with enough governance and educational resources?

ISAIAS: I don't think that we have been left alone. We still have problems linked to the Cold War era. African countries and African governments are not fully independent to deal with their own affairs. There is a lot of interference, a lot of pressure, a lot of influence coming from outside. People need to be free in the first place from all these linkages. We need to look forward but we don't need to link our history, which is not a good one, to be an obstacle in formulating new correct policies in implementing them by using the resources available in each and every country.

CNN: Some analysts say that all the money that goes to Africa, the requirements, the details of lending are too much for fledgling governments like yours to handle. Is that the case, what can you do with those requirements?

ISAIAS: I think there is a lot of cynicism in that attitude. Many of these governments and partners from the North, who talk about the abuse of resources, have themselves deliberately corrupted governments for their own ends. It has now become a hangover in many parts of Africa. I think they shoulder responsibility equally with the governments who have misused those resources. When talking about new attitudes, we are talking about changing the whole attitude from within and from without the continent.

CNN: Many people say South Africa is going to be an engine for change throughout the continent. Do you feel that way?

ISAIAS: If many African countries and governments are allowed to make it on their own, are supported to stand on their own two feet, I am quite sure Africa, not only in the South but the whole of the continent will be able to make it.

CNN: We hear a lot about problems like Rwanda, Somalia. The West intervenes to try to solve problems and by the time it is over, its troops are pulled out in shame, insulted in some cases. People then say why give money, why give aid, why give expertise?

ISAIAS: That is part of the cynicism that people have in mind - bringing about the ugly side of Africa to justify policies that are misguided. I believe they do not reflect what Africa is doing to get rid of the ills of the past and look forward to change reality. People talk about Rwanda and Somalia to give an image that is distorted. They basically end up justifying wrong policies formulated by those who talk about the ugly side of Africa.

CNN: Is that the media's fault to some extent?

ISAIAS: I think the media has nothing to do with this. It is part of the institutions of the West. We can't single out the media and blame it for distorting the image of Africa.

CNN: Do non-governmental organizations make enough of a difference?

ISAIAS: I don't think they are going to make any difference. We're talking about encouraging meaningful investment from outside , from the business community side to see that opportunities are seriously utilized in mutually beneficial programs. I don't think governmental or non-governmental programs in Africa will help solve the chronic problems we witnessed.

CNN: Imagine that I am a business person, and you are trying to persuade me to invest in Eritrea. What have you got for me?

ISAIAS: I would need to make the climate very conducive for investment and those who are interested in investing. With bad governance, with bad management of the economy you cannot possibly encourage investors to go anywhere in Africa. What we are doing in Eritrea is make it possible for investors to seriously consider having a venture in our country.

CNN: What can they find in Eritrea if they come looking?

ISAIAS: Peace in the first place, a conducive economic climate for investment. The potential resources for investment are there - tourism, mining, industry and fisheries among other things.

CNN: There've been complaints that western industries come in, exploit the people, pay low wages and suck the continent dry of its resources.

ISAIAS: Unequal partnership has been one of the causes of the problems we see in many African countries. Partnership has not been well-defined or designed. We need to revise that too, make external investments or engagements in Africa mutually useful.

(SWB 21 Feb 95 [VBME in Tigrigna, 16 Feb 95])
The government of Eritrea has issued Decree No 67 of 1995 on taxation. The decree particularly targets Eritreans gainfully employed abroad. The main objective of this decree, which was issued on 10th February 1995, is to provide Eritrean expatriates with a legal channel through which they can contribute towards their country's development. According to the decree, every paid expatriate employee must hand over 2% of his net income. The Foreign Ministry has been charged with collecting the tax through its embassies or consulates and transferring the proceeds to the state Treasury.

/HAB/ The law, in practice since independence, caused a heated debate in Sweden last summer. Sweden questioned Eritrea's right to tax Swedes of Eritrean origin. (See HAB 4/94.)


(SWB 4 Mar 95 [VBME in Tigrigna, 2 Mar 95])
Text, as broadcast by Eritrean radio, of a Ministry of Interior statement regarding Jehovah's Witnesses

As may be recalled a presidential statement was issued on 25th October 1994, regarding Jehovah's Witnesses in Eritrea. Some groups have used the said statement to try to portray the government as an oppressor and abuser of human rights, and for the past two months they have been spreading misinformation about the government. However, the accusations by the Jehovah's Witnesses have no basis whatsoever and are total lies. The truth is the following:

The Jehovah's Witnesses lost their right to citizenship because they refuse to accept the government of Eritrea and its laws. The government has refrained from taking action against them, hoping they would cease their repeated unlawful actions.

1. The Eritrean people have felt the consequences of 30 years of bloody war and have lost over 60,000 people, with 20,000 crippled and over 700,000 forced to flee. [Words indistinct] therefore those who watched silently while the Eritrean people were killed indiscriminately, cannot talk about morality now when the only action taken [against the Jehovah's Witnesses] is sacking them from their jobs. There is no family that has not lost loved ones in the war. Those who are not affected are the Jehovah's Witnesses. They refused to take part in the struggle. As a result, the Eritrean people developed a strong hatred of them.

3. In 1991, when the people of Eritrea were casting their votes during the referendum, those people [Jehovah's Witnesses] refused to cast their votes, saying they did not recognize the so-called government of Eritrea, but only the heavenly bodies.

4. The Jehovah's Witnesses cannot speak about human rights regarding a government they do not recognize. They have lost their right of citizenship as a result of not recognizing the government of Eritrea and accepting its laws. What everybody should understand is that the rights of individuals go hand in hand with national obligations.

5. The people of Eritrea were angered when the Jehovah's Witnesses refused to vote during the referendum and asked the government to take the necessary action against them, while some people took action of their own against them. The government, including the president himself, tried to calm the situation and warned those people who were taking action against the Jehovah's believers.

6. The Jehovah's Witnesses refused to do national service.

7. Finally, the government stated that they [Jehovah's Witnesses] would not have rights equal to those of any other citizen since they had refused to accept the government and its laws. [Passage indistinct] Patience has its limits. Based on the above points, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has no option other than to abide by the statement issued on 25th February 1994 [date as heard].

Ministry of Internal Affairs, Asmara, 1st March 1995.

(EP 25 Mar 95)
The Ministry of Education issued on March 20,1995 the following statement

- All students who obtain less than 2.0 grade point average in the secondary school leaving certificate examination should do national service duty for one and a half years. After completing their national service they will be provided with the opportunity to obtain suitable vocational skills and those who succeed will have the chance of pursuing their higher education.

- Students who get above 2.0 grade point average in the secondary school leaving certificate examination will receive a one-year preparatory course which qualifies them to join the university. At the end of the year, however, they will sit for an examination for the entrance of the university.

- Students who pass the university entrance examination will continue their university education without interuption provided that they do their national service duty after finishing their university studies.

- Students who could not pass the university entrance examination will be provided with the opportunity to obtain a certificate or diploma or its equivalent through formal vocational training or other courses, provided that they do their national service duty for one and a half years after finishing their vocational training.

(DM Feb-Mar 95, p.11)
Foundations for a new educational system are the subject of a four-week workshop being held at the Teacher Training Institute in the capital, Asmara, which opened in the middle of January. The 21 participants from the Ministry of Education will discuss upgrading the skills of at least 2000 elementary school teachers over a two-year period. The proposed requalification exercise, which would be carried out in cooperation with UNICEF and the Italian government, will start with 500 teachers during the next summer holidays.

(DM Feb-Mar 95, p.9)
A new adult education program went on the air at the beginning of 1995. Announcing the new broadcast, the Ministry of Education said that 50 villages will be given 50 radio units each in an effort to boost the national literacy campaign in rural areas. The radio program, which includes features on agriculture, health, and civic education, will be broadcast three times a week.

(EP 1 Apr 95)
ERRA and CERA are set to merge in a move aimed at reducing duplication of work and streamlining administration. According to Dr. Nerayo Teklemichael, the head of the Eritrean Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, the new body will probably have the status of a Commission. It will be responsible for the reintegration of ex-fighters and returnees, who are currently dealt with by the two separate bodies. A timetable for the merger has not yet been set but it is likely to happen shortly...

(EP 11 Mar 95, by Jacky Sutton)
...Eritrea lost 65,000 fighters in the war, 90,000 children were orphaned and thousands fled their homes and their country. But the burden of peace weighs most heavily on those 58,500 people, fighters and civilians, who suffered disability or trauma as a direct or indirect result of the war. How many employers go out of their way to hire someone who is blind, in a wheelchair or still suffering from the effects of brutality? Not many. Most offices cannot cater to the needs of disabled people - they lack wheelchair access, lifts, special toilets etc. Another problem is transport. But another is fear and the baseless and irrational belief that disability makes a person unproductive...

On March 9 a conference on disability issues, the first of its kind in Eritrea, opened in Asmara. It brought together over 400 people from Eritrea and abroad to discuss practical ways to ensure that families and communities can support and encourage disabled people to lead active and productive lives. Among the issues discussed were the difficulties caused by physical and mental impairment, blindness and deafness.

In a speech to the conference, the head of the Social Affairs Authority, Ms. Aster Fesshazion spoke of the need for clearcut policies on disability issues. "We must use our limited resources," she said,"to ensure that disabled people enjoy the same rights as everyone else."...

It is up to Eritrea, its government and its people, to ensure that disabled people, now and in the future, take their rightful place in the society that they, fighter and civilian alike, helped to free. And it is time that non-disabled people realise and challenge the fact that all too often their attitude is the biggest problem that disabled people have to face.


(DM Feb-Mar 95, p.19)
The rains in 1994 have generally been normal, providing a more favorable environment for crop production. The spell of normal rain in 1994 (as was the case in 1986, 1988 and 1992) played a major role in boosting agricultural production and in helping to restock herds of livestock which were badly depleted due to the severe droughts of 1982-1984. Despite the favorable rains in 1994, in some areas crops have been affected by worms and hailstorms. Floods in some districts and shortage of rains in others has also influenced overall food production. According to ERRA, the total estimated gross production during the 1994/95 crops season will be approximately 270,000 metric tons, representing a three-fold increase over the previous season. Nevertheless, despite best efforts to reduce the need for food aid. Eritrea will be requiring 200,000 metric tons of food aid from external sources in 1995.

(DM Feb-Mar 95, p.16)
...Three out of four Eritreans have been receiving food aid until recently. In 1993, the country imported, through commercial and aid channels, almost 300,000 MT which covered approximately 60 percent of the annual requirements. At present there are various modalities put in place for dispensing emergency food aid, including:

a) free distribution of food...

b) food for work...

c) cash for work has been introduced on a limited scale in very few areas. The money that has been paid out to the target group comes from monitization of food aid...

It is against this background that ERRA has decided to initiate a debate with international donor organizations on issues related to the rational use of emergency food aid in Eritrea. ERRA, rightly, states that it is unwise to continue using emergency food aid as was done during the war years. There should be a fundamental change in approach in the use of food aid so that it ultimately leads to food security and improves the capacity and capability of the beneficiaries to cope with emerging situations.

ERRA is putting its fingers on two sets of problems which have beset Eritrea's food situation--the immediate and the underlying. Since the first one contributes to the other, the two have merged, in many minds. In the eyes of some outsiders, it may be "neater" to counter visible hunger than to stop its recurrence...

It is to avoid this very pitfall that ERRA wants a "radical revision of donor policies" on relief food aid. According to ERRA, food aid should be used to reduce dependency on food aid. ERRA sees food security as a state when all people at all times have both physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet their dietary needs for a productive healthy life.

In practical terms, this translates into giving Eritreans the necessary elbow room to allow them to use food aid in the way that they consider most appropriate for their own reality but always with the proviso that all actions taken enhance concretely food security for the general population. Flexible use of food aid, including its monitization, is essential if Eritrea is ever to devise homegrown solutions to combat food dependency...

The negative side-effects of free distribution of relief food (with the exception of life-saving situations) in the recipient country are well-known: Many young people in rural and urban areas in Eritrea and elsewhere in Africa are waiting for their quota of food handouts while idling away their time and their energy... Furthermore, imported food aid packages (cereals, pulses, edible oils, etc.) have literally swamped many African rural markets. Certainly, relief food aid is not intended to drive local producers out of the market. When farmers in Europe are being subsidized to stay in business, is it right that farmers living on the edge of survival in poor countries be forced to compete with imported food donations distributed freely?

Today, relief food plays a central role in supplementing the diet of chronically drought affected people in Eritrea. In many instances, the food is handed out to the deserving target groups under so-called `food for work' schemes. Food for work, even though it has some merits, is not the real solution. `Cash for work', on the other hand, is a more realistic option when the long-term interest of the recipient is taken into account. Why? For the simple, yet fundamental, reason that money (as opposed to quotas of grain and vegetable oil) empowers. Money presents choices and, at the same, nurtures the nascent market forces. Nobody with earned cash in his/her hands and with food to be purchased will go hungry.

In the coming months, the Eritrean government is expected to announce a moratorium on free distribution of food aid except for those who are absolutely needy. The criteria for the entitlement to free distribution of food aid would be on account of poor health, old age, physical disability and for female headed households with children under five years of age. The new focus will be on food for work and cash for work, and where situations allow a combination of the two...

(EP 25 Feb 95)
Preventing disasters and coping with emergencies were the focus of discussion at a national workshop held in Asmara this week.

The five-day event was jointly organized by the Eritrean Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (ERRA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), within the framework of the UN Disaster Management Training Program for Africa. It brought together 60 representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, donor agencies and the UN to discuss effective ways of lessening the impact of natural and man-made disasters...

The workshop called for practical steps to establish an integrated mechanism for disaster management. Such a strategy, participants stressed, should include ways to lessen the long-term impact of disasters. The workshop adopted four key recommendations: the establishment of a disaster prevention and management co-ordinating agency with clearcut powers; appropriate legislation covering the activities of such a body; the inclusion of an action program on drought-management in the country's macro-policy; and increased popular participation in the prevention and management of disasters. A department dealing with disaster prevention and management has already been set up under the office of the Director of ERRA.

(EP 1 Apr 95)
Eritrea has yet to adequately exploit its abundant marine resources, according to Dr. Saleh Meky, the Minister of Marine Resources.

In an interview on Monday on Eritrean Television, Dr. Saleh said that Eritreans had so far failed to invest in fisheries, despite the potential for rich returns. He added that people with appropriate skills were reluctant to work in the lowland coastal regions.

Dr. Saleh noted that a wide variety of fish live in the Red Sea; many of them are unique to the area and many are highly nutritious and valuable sources of food...


(ION 25 Feb 95, p.7)
South Korean company Keangnam Enterprises Limited, a member of the Daewoo Group, has begun work on Eritrea's biggest housing building programme, at a ceremony in Asmara on February 15. The Sembel Housing Project will cost US $70 million and will comprise fifty five-story apartment blocks with accommodation for more than 1,300 families. The complex being built on the outskirts of Asmara will include a shopping centre, sporting facilities and a stadium. Work is scheduled for completion in 1997...

(ION 4 Mar 95, p.5)
Speaking at a recent news conference, Eritrean head of state Issayas Afeworki announced that he had signed agreements with the United States during his trip to Washington in order to obtain US support in transforming the Eritrean armed forces into a regular army. The agreement includes Eritrean military being trained in US military training bases. President Afeworki also discussed with his American hosts a possible extension of the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) to countries such as Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania. The subject might also be taken up with Rwanda's strongman, general Paul Kagame, when he makes an official visit to Asmara this week.

(Reuter 14 Mar 95)
ROME - Italy signed an economic cooperation agreement with its former colony Eritrea on Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry said.

It said the agreement was signed by foreign ministers Susanna Agnelli and Petros Solomon in Rome.

A ministry statement said Italy, which ruled Eritrea from 1890 until 1940, would help the newly independent state develop through appropriate financing and had agreed to help fund a national energy project in the country...


(SWB 1 Mar 95 [VBME in Tigrigna, 27 Feb 95])
A senior Rwandan delegation this morning held talks with President Isayas Afewerki. During the talks the Rwandan vice-president, Mr Paul Kagame, briefed the president on the situation in Rwanda and exchanged views on bilateral issues.

For his part, President Isayas noted that the government of Eritrea would do everything possible to help the Rwandan government in its bid to bring about peace in the country.

(SWB 22 Mar 95 [MENA news agency, Cairo, in Arabic 20 Mar 95])
Cairo, 20th March: President Husni Mubarak and Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki held talks at the Presidential Office in Heliopolis this evening. They discussed African issues in general and the problem of the Horn of Africa in particular as part of Red Sea security. In addition they discussed the problem of refugees and its impact on security and stability in a number of African states...

(SWB 1 Apr 95 [VBME in Tigrigna, 30 Mar 95])
President Isayas Afewerki returned to Asmara at 1800 [local time] today after ending his working visits to Kenya and Uganda. President Isayas met President Daniel arap Moi in Kenya and President Museveni in Uganda and held talks on bilateral relations and regional issues. On his way home, President Isayas stopped briefly at Addis Ababa's Bole international airport, where he met President Meles Zenawi...

(ION 8 Apr 95, p.4)
The day that Khartoum saw the opening of the Arab and Islamic conference (held from March 30 to April 2) which brought in the representatives of some three hundred Islamic organizations under the chairmanship of National Islamic Front leader Hassan al-Tourabi, the Eritrean government produced a fresh list of accusations against Sudan. The Eritrean embassy in Addis Ababa issued a communique on March 30 claiming that Sudanese security forces were telling young Eritrean refugees in camps inside Sudan either to volunteer for the Sudanese army or to leave the country. The pressure has seen many of the young men returning hurriedly to Eritrea: out of about 300,000 Eritrean refugees at present in Sudan, 15,000 returned home since the start of the Eritrean repatriation program in November. The Islamic conference delegates in Khartoum did not sit back: they adopted a joint communique at the end of the meeting stating their support for "oppressed Islamic communities" throughout the world and in particular those in Azerbaijan, Burma, Eritrea, Tadzhikistan and Tunisia.[emphasis added]...

(SWB 4 Apr 95 [RAI Due TV, Rome, in Italian 3 Apr 95])
We have received some good news from Eritrea on the Italians kidnapped in the desert between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The news that they are well has come from Maurizio Melani, the Italian ambassador in Addis Ababa, who has been in contact with the kidnappers, who are all members of the Temboid [phonetic] tribe, a strong ethnic group in the Danakil desert. Some members of the area's Council of Elders allowed this contact between our diplomats and the kidnappers.

The kidnappers themselves confirmed that the Italians were well and said they had been kidnapped because they had strayed into the tribe's area without authorization. The kidnappers' demands for the release of the hostages are still not known but Ambassador Melani said that there had been no attempt to ask for ransom.


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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 inEthiopia
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


(ION 25 Mar 95, p.4)
Ethiopia's Council of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy (CAFPD, opposition) nominated five members on March 15 to negotiate with the Transitional Government of Ethiopia, following discussions in Washington at the beginning of February between members of opposition movements and a government delegation led by Dawit Yohannes (ION No 658 and 659). Each of the nominees (Teshome Gebremariam, Nigussie Gizaw, Kifle Abate, Anteneh Merid an Teha Hussein) represents one of the organizations which belong to CAFPD.

According to one CAFPD delegate, the negotiations have begun and "the objective of the discussion is to be able to remove some of the hindrances on the democratization process". He said that it is only after these barriers have been lifted that "the question of the forthcoming elections can be discussed". However, this approach to the discussions has not yet been approved by CAFPD member organizations which are in exile or abroad. The All Amhara People's Organization (AAPO) opposition movement which was also invited to the negotiations has not yet sent a delegate.

Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) chairman Shimber Abdel Kadir and his vice chairman Mohamed Hussein have disclaimed the value of an announcement made on March 16 by an alleged member of the movement's central committee, Mohamed Sarahaye Hidding, that ONLF would participate in the May elections; they said that Hidding was not qualified to represent their movement. ONLF leader Shimber Abdel Kadir said that negotiations were going on "both within and outside Ethiopia" between ONLF and the Transitional Government of Ethiopia, but added that "If the TGE lets this illegitimate group participate in the coming election in ONLF's name it will threaten the peace and reconciliation negotiations".

[ION editorial comment:] Yet another Ethiopian opposition movement made its appearance in Washington last month: the Tigrean Alliance for National Democracy (TAND). It is reported to be grouping together several Tigrean organizations such as Multi National Congress Party of Ethiopia (MNCPE), Tigray People's Democratic Movement (TPDM), and Ethiopian Democratic Coalition (EDC), as well as individuals who were formerly members of Tigrean People's Liberation Front (a coalition member of he ruling EPRDF government in Addis Ababa). TAND is denouncing the "anti-democratic" character of the Ethiopian government whilst at the same time calling for the use of "peaceful methods of protest."

(SWB 23 Mar 95 [REE in English, 21 Mar 95])
Three political organizations have demanded for the setting up of a neutral body that will oversee the election process in Afar region, eastern Ethiopia. The demand was made by the Afar People's Democratic Organization, the Afar National Liberation Front and the Afar National Democratic Movement at a joint meeting in Asayita.

They said the electoral board, heads and section executives deployed at all levels have been mischievous, and biased in favour of and against some parties throughout their registration process and collection of endorsement signatures. The three parties said the election executives have been engaged in hindering the registration process by hiding and changing addresses. They said it was paradoxical to see at work individuals who had been caught red-handed while committing acts of treachery during the election of the Constituent Assembly...

(SWB 3 Apr 95 [RE in English, 31 Mar 95])
Independent candidates here in the capital [Addis Ababa] have sharply criticized the Ethiopian Television Enterprise [ETE] which, they said, had allocated less airtime to them than to party candidates. They said the fact that the ETE has allocated 15 minutes to party and only five [minutes] to private candidate is a clear testimony to ETE' s partnership to candidates fielded by political parties. The independent contestants added [that] what they described as the biased airtime allocations by the ETE was a direct violation of government's decision on equal use of the state media.


(Reuter 28 Feb 95)
ADDIS ABABA - More than 280 members of the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) are on trial in central Ethiopia, accused of waging war against its interim government.

The state-run Ethiopian News Agency said on Monday the OLF members had been on trial in the central high court at Zeway town, 200 km (120 miles) south of Addis Ababa, since January 17.

The OLF withdrew from the transitional government set up after the overthrow of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991 and tried to revive a guerrilla war in Oromo region in southern Ethiopia.

The Oromo are the largest single ethnic group in Ethiopia with about one third of the country's 50 million people...

(ION 25 Mar 95, p.5)
Armed conflict between elements of the Oromo Liberation Front and Islamic Front for the Liberation of Oromo (IFLO) resulted in many dead and wounded between February 7 to 9 at Julcha, in Garamuleta Province east of Hararghe and about 40 km from Grawa, where local farmers are reported to be led by IFLO.

(SWB 1 Mar 95)
Voice of Oromo Liberation (VOL), which broadcasts on behalf of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and in opposition to the Ethiopian government, has been heard again for the first time in over two and a half years. It now appears to be broadcasting via a private shortwave station in the USA.

VOL's previous series of broadcasts, which were last heard on 29th June 1992, were believed to emanate from a transmitter in Sudan and the cessation of these broadcasts was linked at the time to an improvement in relations between the Sudanese and Ethiopian governments...


(Reuter 7 Mar 95, by Emelia Sithole)
HARARE - Zimbabwe denied on Tuesday press reports that former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam and his family had been granted Zimbabwean citizenship and passports.

"He (Mengistu) has not been given Zimbabwean citizenship and a passport, neither has his wife and family," Home Affairs Minister Dumiso Dabengwa told Reuters.

Zimbabwe's independent Sunday Gazette had reported the exiled Mengistus had been granted citizenship although they had not stayed in the country for a required minimum five years...

The Zimbabwean government has repeatedly refused Ethiopian requests to extradite Mengistu, arguing he was a refugee entitled to asylum...

Thousands of black guerrillas fighting white rule in Rhodesia, which became independent Zimbabwe in 1980, were trained in Ethiopia during the 1970s.

(Reuter 14 Mar 95, by Tsegaye Tadesse)
ADDIS ABABA - A defense lawyer for two soldiers accused of strangling Emperor Haile Selassie to death nearly 20 years ago said on Tuesday his murder was not proved.

The lawyer spoke at the resumed trial of former members of the "dergue" military junta under dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam charged with genocide and crimes against humanity during 17 years in power.

"Unless it was aimed at creating public resentment against members of the dergue, the prosecution has not proved that the emperor was strangled to death by a person," the lawyer said.

Speaking for defendants Major Nadew Zekaria and Sergeant Getahun Aboyi, he also told Addis Ababa central high court that they rejected the charges of murder brought against them and called for their cases to be dismissed as unsubstantiated.

The 269 pages of charges against the former dergue members say Selassie was held at a palace for a year after being deposed by the military and was strangled to death on August 26, 1975, in his bed...

Defence lawyers argued on Tuesday that the cases against the defendants should be referred to an international tribunal.

"The U.N. Security Council has resolved that those accused of genocide in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia should be tried by an international tribunal," a defence lawyer told the court...

The trial is one of the largest of its kind since leaders of Nazi Germnay faced justice at Nuremberg after World War Two.

/HAB/ On March 16, the trial was adjourned for 2 months to give time to the prosecution to prepare its arguments.


(ION 4 Mar 95, p.4)
Nine persons were reported killed and 130 others injured when violence flared up in Addis Ababa on February 21 around the Anwar mosque, the capital's largest mosque situated in the teeming Mercato district, which also has the capital's largest open market. Several sources claimed that an unidentified person opened up with automatic fire over the mosque's minaret, during prayers. Muslims at prayer tried to capture the gunman whilst police tried to calm the furious crowd by claiming that several persons suspected of being the attackers had been arrested. The crowds retaliated by calling on the police to hand over the suspects and violence broke out which lasted another four hours. Two different Islamic factions dispute control of Ethiopia's Muslim community: the old Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs whose vice chairman is a Tigrean, Mohamed Awel Raja, and the Provisional Organizing Committee of Ethiopian Islamic Affairs headed by Grazmatch Hadis Nur Hussein. The latter has accused his rivals of corrupt practices and reproaches the Ethiopian authorities and in particular the mayor of Addis Ababa, Tefera Walwa, of backing them. The provisional committee laid on a large Islamic demonstration in Addis on November 28 (ION No 650) to call for the dismissal of Mohamed Awel Raja.

Ethiopian police arrested about fifty leaders and members of the two rival groups, including Mohamed Awel Raja and Fuad Mohamed Mussa for the old Islamic council, and Grazmatch Hadis Nur Hussein, Mohamed Amadi and Abd al-Rahman Sharif for the rival group...

(SWB 24 Feb 95 [MENA news agency, Cairo, in Arabic 22 Feb 95])
Addis Ababa, 22nd February: An Arab diplomatic source in Addis Ababa today stated that the two disputing Islamic groups in the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Ethiopia, which yesterday exchanged fire inside the Anwar Mosque - the largest mosque in Addis Ababa - receive financial aid and support from two foreign Islamic organizations. In an exclusive statement to MENA on the implications of yesterday's massacre in which dozens in the congregation were killed or injured inside the mosque, the source, who refused to reveal his name, added that one of the groups, represented by the old dissolved Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, enjoys the support of the more intransigent Sudanese Islamic Aid Organization. The other, newly formed, provisional council, which represents the other group, receives the support and backing of the pro-Saudi Arabia Islamic World League...


(Reuter 24 Feb 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's president has urged his people to back a campaign to avoid a repeat of the famine and drought that killed an estimated one million people a decade ago.

In a nationwide address to mark the 10th anniversary of the famine, President Meles Zenawi said peace and development were vital to prevent any similar drought and famine and called for the people's support for a government disaster prevention plan.

"Peace and development are matters of life and death and the instruments for the prevention of a...similar drought," said Meles...

Speaking on Thursday night, he said a programme of disaster prevention, preparedness and mitigation implemented since last year had good results fighting the effects of recurrent drought.

Among the programme measures are a plan to lessen the country's dependence on rainwater by utilising rivers, which an official report has said could be harnessed to develop 2.4 million hectares (5.9 million acres) of land through irrigation...

(Irish Times via RBB 27 Feb 95)
A warning that famine might again be imminent in a southern Ethiopian province has come from the Irish relief agency GOAL.

On his return from Ethiopia, GOAL's director, Mr John O'Shea, said that acute food shortages, caused by drought and a failed harvest, have put at risk some 80,000 people in the Sodo region.

"Hopefully nothing on the scale of the 1984 famine will occur here again, but the signs are ominous," said Mr O'Shea. He added that the bulk of the population was subsistence farmers and when the crop fails as it had, it suffered. "Substantial quantities of food will have to be provided quickly."...

(Reuter 24 Mar 95)
ADDIS ABABA - More than 93,000 Ethiopian refugees living in three neighbouring countries since 1991 will be repatriated this year, a United Nations official said on Friday.

Marawn Pierre Khoury, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Addis Ababa said that $8.2 million had been earmarked for the repatriation of refugees currently in Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya.

UNHCR will spend $6.6 million of that to repatriate and reintegrate the 60,000 Ethiopian refugees in Sudan who will be brought to their original homes in the north of the country in an operation beginning next month, he said...

Khoury said the repatriation of 30,000 Ethiopian refugees in Djibouti was in progress with 17,165 of them already back home. The remaining refugees are also expected to be repatriated within the next 15 weeks.

Khoury said repatriation of some 3,000 Ethiopians sheltered at Dabaab Camp in north-eastern Kenya is expected to start next month. UNHCR has no plan to repatriate the 360,000 refugees from Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya who are living in Ethiopia.

Khoury said Sudanese refugees were mostly young men and women who fled their country to escape forced recruitments into the military both by the government and rebels.

(NN/ 28 Mar 95 [Feb 95])
...The Government was consistent and forceful in its verbal commitment to respect human rights, but serious problems remain. The judicial system remains weak, understaffed, and at times subject to political influence. There were credible reports that members of the security forces committed a number of extrajudicial killings and beat or otherwise physically abused criminal suspects and detainees, although these practices do not appear to be widespread. The Government seldom tried, convicted, and appropriately punished security force members and police who committed such abuses. The Government harassed and detained without charge numerous journalists and a number of opposition party members, holding some for as long as several months. In September the authorities arrested approximately 500 members of the All-Amhara People's Organization (AAPO) on charges of unlawful assembly. Numerous reports alleged that EPRDF forces, opposition separatists, and Islamic militias all committed humanitarian violations, including the summary execution of civilians, in continued clashes in the eastern parts of the country. The TGE's sometimes heavyhanded tactics and an opposition boycott ensured an EPRDF victory in the June Constituent Assembly elections. Discrimination and violence against women and abuse of children continued to be serious problems...


(ION 11 Mar 95, p.3)
Two grenades were thrown at the downtown premises of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Addis Ababa on February 26, on the eve of resuming the trial of dozens of high officials of the previous Ethiopian regime... The grenade attack caused no victims but some damage to property, the US embassy said. It came the same week that the Ethiopian defence ministry announced that a joint Ethiopian-US peace-keeping exercise code-named "Nectar Band" would start soon. The exercise will include the use of combat engineers to remove mines, of ordinance experts to make safe and dispose of ammunition, and of medical units for orthopaedic reconstructive surgery. The objective of the peace-keeping operation is to reinforce the capability of the Ethiopian armed forces when working under a United Nations peace-keeping umbrella.

(SWB 20 Mar 95 [RE in Amharic, 18 Mar 95])
The five hijackers who had hijacked and forced the Ethiopian Airlines' aircraft to land in western Sudan with its 92 passengers on board have surrendered today to Sudanese officials, Ethiopian Airlines stated this evening... The identity of the hijackers is not yet known but their plan was to go to Sweden. The plane is expected to arrive here in Addis Ababa with all its passengers soon, the airline stated.

(SWB 24 Mar 95 [RNU in Arabic, 22 Mar 95])
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Ghazi Salah al-Din reaffirmed Sudan's commitment to the bilateral agreement concluded with Ethiopia in 1966 on extradition of criminals as well as its commitment to the national law on extradition of criminals issued in (?1967)...


(Reuter 16 Feb 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia says it will soon start to sell off state-owned businesses including three hotels in the capital, drinks factories, restaurants and supermarkets.

Privatisation Agency Board chairman Assefa Abraha said state-owned enterprises and factories with assets not exceeding $8 million each would be sold at auction to local investors.

They would include the Ras, Ethiopia and Harambee hotels in Addis Ababa, the main mineral water producer, five soft drinks factories, 11 cooking oil and food processing plants, 20 restaurants, scores of retail centres and supermarkets and several agricultural businesses and dairy farms, Assefa added.

Speaking on state-run television on Wednesday night, he said employees of government-owned businesses would have the choice of organising themselves to buy up their firms or working for the new owner...

(ION 25 Feb 95, p.7)
The International Monetary Fund, in a recent issue of its publication, encourages the Ethiopian government to remain "firmly attached to the implementation of its reform programme" in order to hit the targets fixed for 1994/1995. For that, says IMF, the government must "broaden the field already open to private investors and simplify the rules of the game" whilst at the same time cutting back on the total number of public enterprises and stepping up the efficiency of the remainder...

(Reuter 20 Mar 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Japan has given Ethiopia up to $32.7 million for development projects, the state news agency reported on Monday.

The agency said part of the grant would be used for buying machinery for road maintenance.

Japan has taken an active interest in Ethiopia since dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam was overthrown in 1991...

Japanese assistance to the Horn of Africa nation was $66 million in 1994, the agency added.

(Moneyclips via RBB 4 Apr 95 [Riyadh Daily, by Furqan Ahmed])
RIYADH-The Leader of a 40-member Ethiopian trade mission currently in the Kingdom has said that the Saudi private sector is evincing keen interest in investing in Ethiopia's agro-industrial projects.

Ezra Worku, general manager, Investment Office of Ethiopia, said that his country offers tremendous investment opportunities due to the environment created by the transitional government. It encourages and facilitates the participation of foreign investors in the development effort of Ethiopia's national economy...

He said the delegation which arrived here Saturday held talks with the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry's members and other industrialists and potential investors. They have shown their interests in agriculture, textile, hide and skin industry, tourism and mining sector. Ethiopia is rich in mineral wealth. Hence this sector offers splendid opportunities for closer cooperation between the Kingdom and Ethiopia, he noted.

Gold exploration is a field of common interest because both Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia have rich deposits of gold and their experiences could be exchanged for their mutual benefit, Worku added...

(SWB 14 Feb 95 [REE in English, 9 Feb 95])
The Kalu gas share company says it would begin actual production after 30 months [from now] with an annual output of 65,000 tonnes of benzine, butane, kerosene and naphtha.

Mr Jihad Aba Koya [last element of name phonetic], the general manager of the company, said yesterday [8th February] that a deposit of 68bn cu.m. of natural gas was discovered at the Kalu locality of Region Five [eastern Ethiopia]. He said that the quantity was comparable with the deposit of countries of great potential like the USA...


[This message is only one part of a larger publication. Re-posting or reproducing this message is prohibited without the permission of the Life & Peace Institute. Send inquiries to Everett Nelson (



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


(Economist via RBB 4 Mar 95)
Skittering through the dust from retreating United Nations tanks came the looters, grabbing any rubbish they could lay their hands on, abandoned army cots, mattresses, planks of wood and - an item likely to prove valuable in the months to come - razor wire. They had waited all night to ransack what remained of the UN's base at Mogadishu airport, but the spoils were meagre and their spree brief. Almost at once they were driven out by General Muhammad Farrah Aideed's militiamen in their heavily armed battle-wagons. A deal with the militia ensured that the evacuation of the last 1,500 Pakistani troops was a text-book affair. The peacekeepers, the rearguard of a force that once numbered 30,000, were themselves guarded by 2,000 American and Italian marines who held a strip of ground about three kilometres (two miles) long and 100 metres wide. By arrangement with Somalia's warlords, the marines would not fire on the militia unless they posed a threat. To secure this deal, say non-military sources, the Americans paid large sums to various faction leaders...

For a time, it looked as if General Aideed's power was indeed waning. He stayed out of circulation, adopting the security measures that kept him safe when the best of America's high-tech and intelligence services were hunting him for his alleged part in killing American and Pakistani peacekeepers in 1993...

Things don't look all that good for anyone living in southern Mogadishu. In some ways it is better in the north - so long as you do not fall out with the authorities. Northern Mogadishu, though still under the nominal control of Ali Mahdi Muhammad, has fallen into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists who have imposed sharia law at its most intolerant. Street crime, given the punishments, is almost unknown. But, provided it is done in the privacy of the home, a blind eye is turned to boozing and other non-Islamic pastimes.

Cross to the south of the city, through the shell-shattered centre, and tension mounts immediately. Gunmen lurk at street corners, urchins snatch through car windows at the faces of drivers wearing dark glasses, and after sunset only the criminal or the insane venture abroad.

General Aideed, having reasserted his power by grabbing the airport, is now set for a confrontation with the Islamists in the north; from the areas they control they can stop ships from docking and aircraft from landing. "We must try to achieve reconciliation. There is no point and no future in endless lawlessness," says Borhan Dhalmas, a businessman who was once an Aideed loyalist. But the general is back on top, and the militias, with the UN gone, have no source of income but crime. People may be needing that razor wire.

(Jane's Defence Weekly via RBB 11 Mar 95, Volume 023/010, by Ian Kemp)
The seven-nation Operation `United Shield' task force has dispersed following the successful evacuation of the last UN peacekeepers from Somalia...

Since the UN assumed command of the mission from the USA on 4 May 1993, 135 peacekeepers, including 26 US personnel, have been killed.

UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said efforts to bring peace and humanitarian aid to Somalia will continue. "The UN will not abandon Somalia," he said, but warned that distribution of aid would depend on the co-operation of Somali leaders.

Erling Dessau, the UN co-ordinator of humanitarian assistance to Somalia, said that nine UN agencies and 38 private aid groups are planning to provide health care, education and agricultural assistance. Relief groups have withdrawn their international staff until they can assess the security situation following the withdrawal of the peacekeeping force.

(Reuter 11 Mar 95, by Aden Ali)
MOGADISHU - Clashes erupted between Somali militiamen inside Mogadishu airport, witnesses said on Saturday, and local newspapers said at least four people were killed...

Clan elders intervened to broker a truce and on Saturday Mogadishu residents said the airport area was calm.

The clash underlined the fragility of the agreement between rival clans, reached after the U.N.'s departure, to share control of the airport and sea port.

Both facilities are effectively under the control of the Habre Gedir militia of Mohamed Farah Aideed. Under the accord, members of the Abgal and militias from other clans are supposed to join them.

But even within the Habre Gedir ranks, militia gangs from different sub-clans have already carved up the airfield, which comprises a tarmac runway and a few terminal buildings, into a mosaic of family "turfs".

Members of the U.N.-trained Somali police, the only symbol of national security in a nation without a government, have stood by helplessly because they are unarmed.

In a country devastated by war and without much employment, control of a chunk of the airport, or anything from a stretch of road to a water well, means the largely youthful militiamen can live by extorting money from anyone needing to pass...

Looting has gone on unchecked, often with the militias leading the frenzy to strip the airport of everything the U.N. left, witnesses say.

The world body took away vital equipment such as fire engines and control tower communications. It says these items, plus tug boats from the port, will be returned when the Somalis make peace.

The sea port has functioned well since the U.N. departed. At the weekend, a fuel tanker, two cargo ships and three of the traditional timber dhow cargo vessels that ply between the Gulf and Africa were unloading.

Market prices of food and fuel which rose in anticipation of fighting ahead of the U.N.'s departure have now dropped sharply, a sign of confidence in security at the port, Somalis said...

(SWB 14 Mar 95 [RMV in Somali, 12 Mar 95])
Text of report by pro-Muhammad Farah Aydid radio...

Mr Muhammad Farah Aydid and Mr Ali Muhammad have jointly released a 12-point programme on how to administer the port and airports of Banaadir region [in and around Mogadishu].

In the light of the joint agreement of 20th February 1995 on how to administer the port and airports in Banaadir region, and of the joint agreement on forming an administrative and operational committee for the port and airports of Banaadir region on 5th March 1995, and of the opening of the port [of Mogadishu] on 5th March [as heard] 1995 and also of the dire need for the smooth administration of the ports and airports, the leaders [Aydid and Ali Mahdi] resolved:

1. To form a technical peace committee to mediate between port and airport officials.

2. This committee will be answerable to the joint ports and airports committee.

3. The technical peace committee is solely responsible for ensuring the safety of all workers at the ports and airports, whether Somalis or foreigners, and the smooth business administration and international communications of the ports and airports.

4. The technical peace committee is responsible for checking all matters and factors that may pose a threat to safety, stability and cooperation in all the branches of the security organs entrusted with the security of the ports and airports, with the full authority to use any powers at their disposal to tackle anything that may threaten the safety of the ports and airports.

5. The technical peace committee is required to unite all security organs and put distinctive marks on all the technicals [battle wagons] to be used for the purpose of ensuring the safety and the security of all the ports and airports.

6. Ports and airports are out of bounds to all forces and technicals other than those clearly marked and being used by the technical peace committee.

7. The technical peace committee will decide on the number of security personnel to be deployed at the ports and airports, and the logistics of the security personnel will be the responsibility of the joint ports and airports committee.

8. The police force will be deployed inside the ports and airports while the other security organs will be responsible for the safety and security of the outer perimeter of the ports and airports and all roads where merchandise to and from the ports and airports pass.

9. The technical peace committee will have to take full responsibility for the safety of all goods, food and medicine brought into the country by the international humanitarian organizations. The committee must facilitate the easy access of humanitarian personnel to the ports and airports in order for them to serve the general public of Somalia, so long as they [the aid officials] do not run counter to the interests and laws of the country.

10. All foreigners entering or leaving the country must be cleared by the immigration authorities.

11. Anyone who commits crimes against the security of the state and is apprehended will be handed over to the judicial authorities of the country and justice will be administered by the joint judicial authorities.

12. The joint ports and airports committee will specify to all concerned, by way of circulars and publications, any offence which may not currently be very clear to all users of ports and the airports of Banaadir region.


(Reuter 24 Mar 95, by Aidan Hartley)
NAIROBI - The European Union's special envoy to Somalia said on Friday the situation in Mogadishu had improved dramatically since United Nations forces evacuated at the end of their failed mission early this month.

"It was the best thing that UNOSOM (the U.N. Operation in Somalia) did in the last year - get out," special envoy Sigurd Illing told Reuters in Nairobi.

"There's been more progress in the last three weeks than in the last four years. There's no doubt about that," he said.

Thousands of foreign troops patrolled Somalia for the last two years while the U.N.'s diplomatic officials tried to broker peace between the warlords at a series of conferences...

"They (the Somalis) had resources lavished on them by UNOSOM which kept the strife going and as you know much of it went into their pockets. UNOSOM became part of the problem," Illing said.

Illing visited the Somali capital this week and met a wide range of Somalis, from faction leaders Mohamed Farah Aideed and his rival Ali Mahdi Mohamed to clan elders and businessmen.

The envoy, who is chairman of the Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) - an umbrella for relief agencies - said he was impressed that the Somalis had agreed to share control of the air and sea port...

The Somalis have appealed for UNOSOM to return equipment that it took away but which is vital for the running of the facilities, such as tug boats, control tower communications and fire engines.

The U.N. said it would hand the material over when the Somalis agreed to establish their first government since the state collapsed into anarchy four years ago - but at the end of this month, UNOSOM's mandate expires and it will be disbanded.

Illing said he would recommend a return of the equipment once a regional administration was set up in the Benadir region, which includes Mogadishu and the hinterland.

The Somalis also told him they wanted aid to pay for public services such as the police force, a U.N.-trained body that was left without wages when the U.N. left.

The police have helped militias take control of the port and airport and keep looters out.

Illing added that relief agencies needed to have a Somali authority to deal with rather than rely on contacts with militia leaders or tribal elders...

(Los Angeles Times via RBB 17 Mar 95, by Stanley Meisler)
Now that the United Nations has dismantled its troubled and lamented mission to Somalia, the key players are producing the first post-mortems.

In two of the most important, a pair of Americans disagree about what went wrong but agree that the United Nations must not abandon peacekeeping.

The Americans are Ambassador Robert B. Oakley, who served as the special envoy of Presidents George Bush and Clinton on two separate assignments to Somalia, and retired Rear Adm. Jonathan Howe, who served as the chief U.N. official in Somalia during some of its most controversial moments.

Oakley believes that the political inexperience of Howe and his staff led to the futile manhunt for warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid that ended in October, 1993, with the death of 18 American troops.

This is denied by Howe, who insists that the United Nations had to make Aidid accountable for his misdeeds. The deaths of the U.S. troops prompted Clinton to announce the eventual withdrawal of U.S. peacekeepers, a decision that crippled the mission and led to its demise earlier this month.

Oakley's views are set down in a book, "Somalia and Restore Hope," written with his deputy, John L. Hirsch, and scheduled for publication later this month. The publisher, the U.S. Institute of Peace, has made advance copies available.

The Washington Quarterly will publish Howe's assessment of the Somalia mission in its May issue. Howe discussed his views in a telephone interview with The Times.

To illustrate what they regard as the United Nations' lack of understanding of Somali politics and culture, Oakley and Hirsch say that soon after the United Nations took over from the American-led operation in May, 1993, Aidid and his followers concluded that the United Nations was biased against them. Aidid, according to Oakley and Hirsch, "believed that Howe had deliberately attempted to embarrass him and harm his political prospects by renouncing (U.N.) support for a Mogadishu peace conference that Aidid had convened in mid-May."

But Howe, defending his role in the U.N. withdrawal of support for Aidid's conference, said he did so only because Aidid "kept reneging on the agreements and changing the rules of the game."

Howe said the United Nations was trying to help Aidid and his opponents find some "common ground" in preparation for the conference.

Howe said the United Nations had started out trying not to play favorites in Somalia.

But, when Aidid's followers ambushed and killed 25 Pakistani peacekeepers, Howe said, "something had changed - Aidid had changed sides against us." The United Nations then mounted the manhunt for Aidid because "there needed to be accountability," Howe said.

Oakley and Hirsch criticize the Clinton Administration for failing to explain to Congress and the public that the peacekeepers in Somalia, unlike most peacekeepers, had the authority to use military power to enforce the peace.

"Thus it is unsurprising that the Oct. 3 events (when the U.S. troops were killed) generated an immediate political explosion, obliging Clinton to change Somalia policy rapidly and precipitating a general loss of support for peacekeeping," they say.

Oakley and Hirsch make a plea for backing up peacekeeping with heavy force...

Oakley and Hirsch urge the U.S. government not to abandon an active role in peacekeeping...

(Reuter 24 Feb 95, by Aidan Hartley)
MOGADISHU - The United Nations special envoy in Somalia said on Friday that money paid out by the world body had ultimately helped fund the war machines of rival clan militias.

Victor Gbeho, the last of five special envoys in the U.N. Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) which is about to evacuate the anarchic Horn of Africa country, said militias had been taxing salaries of 2,500 Somalis employed by the mission for months.

"You can be sure that did not go towards building schools or hospitals," he told reporters in Mogadishu.

"You may say that indirectly, we contributed to the fighting."

UNOSOM has poured enormous sums into Somalia's economy since it first arrived in 1992. Estimates of the mission's cost run well over $3 billion dollars - and Gbeho said one of the reasons why it was being closed was financial.

In the view of most Somalis, the south Mogadishu clan militia of Mohamed Farah Aideed profited from the presence of the United Nations more than most, despite being at war with it at one stage.

"Nobody can deny that Aideed controlled this area (of south Mogadishu) for the last two years with the funds of UNOSOM," said one Somali critic of Aideed...

Most relief agencies based themselves in his territory in the south of the city...

When a larger UNOSOM "II" mission backed by 30,000 troops from 28 nations took over from U.S. command in May 1993, it made the old U.S. embassy in south Mogadishu its headquarters.

Somalis from the city's south won lucrative contracts running everything from the U.N.'s sewage to building the UNOSOM $160 million headquarters...

And despite several conferences of clan factions which UNOSOM paid millions of dollars directly to the Somalis to persuade them to attend, the mission is leaving without having brokered any kind of peace...


(Reuter 20 Mar 95, by Aden Ali)
MOGADISHU - Rival Somali militias battled fiercely in Mogadishu on Monday despite efforts to avert a descent into all-out clan war following the departure of foreign troops.

Witnesses said militias from the Abgal and Murusade clans pounded each other's positions in the city centre with mortars and heavy machine-guns for several hours during the day, but that the fighting subsided towards dusk.

Casualties from the fighting, in the district of Bermuda - named after the Bermuda Triangle because militias boast that those who enter are lost forever - were not known.

Witnesses described the fighting as the worst in Bermuda for months. The two clans have been fighting on and off, quarrelling over anything from political alliances to whether Islamic sharia law should be imposed.

The clashes have not so far spread to other parts of the city, or drawn in other clans which would crank up hostilities to a more lethal, city-wide level.

Mogadishu has been relatively peaceful since the last foreign troops pulled out on March 2...

(Reuter 26 Mar 95)
MOGADISHU - Hopes of reconciling the main Somali warlords fell on Sunday when Ali Mahdi Mohamed, head of the Somali Salvation Alliance (SSA), accused rival Mohamed Farah Aideed of the Somali National Alliance (SNA) of sabotaging the peace process.

Addressing a news conference at his residence in north Mogadishu, Ali Mahdi said: "I'm not going to meet with General Aideed until he accepts and endorses a widely represented national reconciliation conference."

Ali Mahdi said a conference called in south Mogadishu by Aideed was "not serious".

Aideed's supporters, however, say their conference will soon open the way for the establishment of a national government following the departure earlier this month of an ill-fated U.N. peace mission.

The SNA-sponsored negotiations, which have been going on for weeks, are at present adjourned to allow participants to consult their respective factions - which do not include Ali Mahdi's SSA.

On Sunday, Ali Mahdi called on all Somalis, including Aideed, to attend a national reconciliation conference, but gave no indication of when it would take place.

(AA 10 Mar 95, p.10)
MOGADISHU--Somalia's banana exporters have added a new dimension to the country's already complex civil war: supported by their own private armies, rival fruit companies Somalifruit and Sombana are wrestling for control of the 200,000 boxes of bananas shipped monthly to Europe.

Already nine people have been killed, including an Italian journalist hired by one European buyer to monitor the activities of local rivals here. Plantations at Shalambot, 60 miles south of Mogadishu, are now patrolled by militiamen wielding AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade-launchers.

At stake is the traditional banana trade with Italy. The current EU restrictions on imports from South America have obliged buyers such as Dole and De Nadal to continue importing from Somalia in order to maintain supplies and protect their shares of the Italian market.

Commercial banana plantations were first developed by the Italians during the colonial era. In the Juba valley in southern Somalia. With the nationalisation of all foreign assets after independence, monopoly control of the trade was taken over by Somalfruit, a joint venture between Italian interests, the Somali state and local growers. Until recently this group had the exclusive right to handle ex-ports to Italy, where its fruit was marketed under the Somalita brand by the family business headed by Bianca de Nadai, who has been careful to maintain contacts with the various clan leaders here.

But in recent years, the dominance of Somalfruit and De Nadai has been challenged by a newcomer, Sombana, which was chosen as a supplier by Dole Fresh Fruit, one of the EU's major importers.

Sombana is supported by clans that are loyal to the warlord General Mohamed Farah Aidid, who controls the roads on the southern side of Mogadishu that give access to the city's port.

The situation has now been further complicated by the withdrawal of the United Nations troops who were controlling the docks at Mogadishu, through which most shipments were exported. This will further strengthen the hand of Aidid in any negotiations with banana traders. Dole and De Nadai could try to get shipments out through the southern port of Kismayu--but neither firm seems willing to strike a new deal with the southern clan leaders who control the surrounding countryside...

(Reuter 5 Apr 95, by Aden Ali)
MOGADISHU - ...At least seven people were killed and dozens were wounded in a battle between militias in the southern town of Gilib on Wednesday, travellers reaching the capital Mogadishu said on Thursday.

The clash erupted between Habre Gedir militias of warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed and clansmen of the local, weaker Sheekhaal people.

Gilib, some 250 km (155 miles) south of Mogadishu, was deserted by its civilian residents while the two militia groups battled on until dusk, travellers said.

Clan elders then intervened to settle the argument, which started when unidentified gunmen murdered a local relief worker...


(Reuter 21 Feb 95, by Aidan Hartley)
MOGADISHU - Italy's special envoy to Somalia said on Tuesday the former colonial power would no longer attempt to broker peace in the anarchic country as the last United Nations troops prepared to evacuate.

"Italy has made many attempts at reconciliation between the Somali factions...The situation is now at a loss," Giorgio Vecchi told reporters on the Italian aircraft carrier Garibaldi off Mogadishu's Indian Ocean coast.

"The Somalis must make peace themselves."...

SAUDI ARABIA CALLS ON SOMALIS TO END THE BLOODSHED (SWB 3 Mar 95 [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Radio, Riyad, in Arabic 1 Mar 95]) An official source made the following statement to the Saudi news agency SPA:

On this happy day, in which the Muslim nation is rejoicing over the Id [al-Fitr; feast marking the end] of the blessed month of Ramadan and in which Muslims are aspiring to serve the interest of Islam and the Muslims, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia calls on the brothers in Somalia to remember the significance of this special day and urges them to end the bloodshed and start rebuilding the country in the interest of the Somali people. This can be achieved through solidarity and brotherliness and by avoiding the mistakes of the past and putting public interest above personal interest.

(Reuter 5 Mar 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Leaders of major Somali ethnic clans in Ethiopia left for Somalia on Sunday in a new initiative to bring peace to the war-ravaged Horn of Africa country.

Sultan Mohamed Hassan Gabbab, head of the 15-man delegation, told reporters at Addis Ababa airport they would try to meet all clan leaders in Somalia to build reconciliation and peace.

"The republic of Somalia and Ethiopia are close neighbours with shared cultural and ethnic ties...It was only right that we as Ethiopian Somalis try to attempt to bring peace," he added...

Gabbab said his party was carrying a message from Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi to be delivered to all clan leaders.

Ethiopia abandoned an initiative last December to arrange peace talks in the Ethiopian capital between rival warlords self-styled Somali president Ali Mahdi Mohamed and Mohamed Farah Aideed.

Gabbab said the peace mission would first visit Hargeisa, Bossaso [sic] and Borama in self-declared Somaliland in northwest Somalia before going on to the capital, Mogadishu.

An Ethiopian ministry of foreign affairs official with the delegation said the trip was the first phase of a new initiative to end conflict in Somalia and an enlarged delegation including leaders of Somali clans from Djibouti and Kenya might follow...

(SWB 14 Mar 95 [Voice of Russia, Moscow, in English 12 Mar 95])
A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Grigoriy Karasin, has expressed concern that prospects for restoring peace, law and statehood in Somalia remain bleak. The statement follows the withdrawal of the last remaining UN peacekeeping troops from that African country. With the details, here is Vladislav Chernukha.

[Chernukha - recording] ...Meanwhile the Russian Foreign Ministry has called on the warring factions in Somalia to realize that they are wholly responsible for their country's future. It is time they started looking for constructive ways for reconciliation, with an eye to a longer-term political solution. Russia, the ministry spokesman said, was a long-standing friend of the Somali people, and would do all within its power to help it in restoring peace in the country. [End of recording]

That was a commentary by Vladislav Chernukha.


(Reuter 26 Mar 95, by Manoah Esipisu)
MARERE, Somalia - Elders in southern Somalia say only a grassroots peace campaign will avert a new threat of clan fighting and give the stability needed to start development in the war-torn Horn of Africa country.

"The problem with trying to reach a political settlement in Mogadishu (the capital) is that not every interested group is present. Some groups find it difficult to stick to agreements they are not directly party to," Maalim Omar Ali told Reuters at the weekend.

"We should start from the bottom...from villages, sub-clans, regions to clans and then to the country. Otherwise I see no immediate solution to our problems," he said.

Ali is heading exploratory talks in the desolate Marere settlement of Jubba Valley to "create access for everyone in this area to move freely, make possible co-existence among clans, in order to achieve lasting peace and stability".

Marere, until a few years ago a thriving sugar estate built with European and World Bank aid, is now a desolate ruin. Only 70 km (43 miles) from the Indian Ocean port of Kismayu, civilians from any faction can move freely here, but armed militias are barred.

On the banks of the mango tree-lined Jubba river, youths stand guard to ensure that no armed men cross the river.

The residents of Marere are wary of travelling to Kismayu, which is controlled by warlord Mohamed Said Hersi, known as Morgan. Marere is controlled by Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess, once an ally but now a rival of Morgan.

"We are trying to solve that. Talks with Morgan's people are high on the agenda," said Mah'ud Hire, another elder.

The communities of Marere, like those of neighbouring areas, are settling in after trekking back from refugee settlements in Kenya to reclaim the homesteads they abandoned in 1991.

Anarchy that followed the 1991 ouster of former Somali dictator Mohamed Siad Barre completely emptied the fertile Jubba Valley - except for a few Somalis who had no clan allegiance, elders in the area said...

[ICRC's Boris] Michel said he had received unprecedented cooperation in the Marere region, where Somalis readily repaired and cleaned the airstrip and gave accurate information on politics and security.

"These people have been nice and reasonable. They do not complain, they just seek a peaceful ordered life," he said.

(Reuter 8 Mar 95, by Aden Ali)
MOGADISHU - Hundreds of Somali women demonstrated in the war-ravaged Somali capital on Wednesday, calling for peace in a nation abandoned by U.N. troops last week.

In marches to mark U.N. International Women's Day, women in separate rallies in northern and southern Mogadishu hailed peace between rival warlords Mohamed Farah Aideed and Ali Mahdi Mohamed and spoke out against inter-clan conflict in Somalia.

"Somali women want peace, not war," shouted one march leader at a south Mogadishu parade ground while other women staged a rally in front of the gates of the airport, held by police and militiamen...

(Life & Peace Institute Mar 95)
At the beginning of March a workshop was held in Galcayo for Somali women in Mudug and Nugal regions. Galcayo is an interesting example of how local clan war has been solved through the efforts of community leaders and elders, as the three former enemy clans are now living together peacefully, cooperating on all major issues.

The purpose of the workshop was to provide opportunities for women who are already active in humanitarian work in their home communities, to come together over clan barriers and exchange ideas on how to work together for peace and reconciliation. They all expressed a willingness to reach out across clan divisions in order to form networks for cooperation and support of each other. The workshop discussed issues such as how to organize local NGOs, what constitutes genuine NGOs as compared to private income generating projects, democratic styles of leadership, and how can women take part in the decision-making processes.

The participants were convinced that peace and security must come from the Somalis themselves, and they said they were willing to work towards this end within their own immediate neighbourhood. They also expressed a strong sense of self-reliance as many of them had seen that--against all odds--they had been able to contribute to the rebuilding of their societies, even without the help of the international community.

The workshop was part of the Life & Peace Institute's ongoing work to support local Somali inititatives for peace.


(Reuter 19 Feb 95, by Buchizya Mseteka)
KISMAYU, Somalia - ..."Personal ambitions between the two men will ignite fresh fighting in Mogadishu after the U.N. pullout," General Mohamed Said Hersi - better known by his nickname "Morgan" - told Reuters on Saturday night.

Morgan, surrounded by gun-toting aides, condemned the persistent differences between south Mogadishu warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed and his arch rival, north Mogadishu warlord and self-styled president Ali Mahdi Mohamed...

Morgan said both men now had little or no control over their militiamen, who might want to loot whatever the U.N. would leave behind.

"Even if they had the will to abide by a peace accord, I doubt the control they have over their men," Morgan said, describing Aideed as the bigger problem of the two.

Morgan, who reigns supreme over the fertile southern farmlands surrounding Kismayu, described the U.N. Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) as a "hopeless failure".

"We will be glad to see the back of the U.N. For them Somalia was all about Mogadishu. The peaceful countryside was neglected and never encouraged at all in its efforts to restore stability," Morgan said.

Kismayu is Somalia's second largest port and capital of the country's richest farmlands. A large sugar estate, now in ruins, was built up with international aid, and at one time the European Community planned to finance a massive irrigation and hydro-electric scheme nearby.

Unlike in Mogadishu, where tension and lawlessness rise as the world body steps up its pullout, residents of Kismayu are back cultivating their fields.

Morgan, a former defence minister in Barre's government, is credited with orchestrating the killing some 20,000 people in northern Somalia in a two-year bombing and execution campaign against anti-Barre rebels.

But he now appealed to the international community to support the peaceful areas away from Mogadishu...

Morgan took control of Kismayu after a two-year war against his rival and Aideed ally, Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess.

He has imposed authority through an intricate clan alliance and the city is now calm, with few guns and "technical" battlewagons visible on its streets.

(DT 21 Feb 95, by Louise Tunbridge)
...Baidoa suffered more than any other region in Somalia in the famine that peaked towards the end of 1992, when 600 people died a day.

Today, the main street is crowded and vendors sit at stalls laden with food and the narcotic khat leaf. Boys steer donkey carts carrying water, and labourers haul sand and rocks to a building site.

But amid the bustle, the fear is that clan warfare will again spread from Mogadishu at a time of failed efforts at national reconciliation and when United Nations peacekeepers prepare to pull out.

Having suffered before, and being mindful of the continuing lack of central authority, the people of Baidoa have decided they will not let militias return to plunder their full granaries. Malak Mukhtar, the elder, said: "Baidoa is not sleeping like before. If it comes to war we will defend ourselves."

The new strategy has passed its first test. When the last Indian peacekeepers left in November, militiamen loyal to Gen Mohamad Farah Aidid, the Mogadishu warlord, tried to take the airport but were repulsed.

The local Rahanwein, like every other clan, has its share of disputes, and had been divided in its support for Gen Aidid and Ali Mahdi Mohamed, his arch rival.

But leaders such as Malak Mukhtar, whose role was underestimated by the UN's political mediators, have taken on a renewed strength. He convinced community leaders that Baidoa's fate should not be tied to events in Mogadishu. Mohamed Moalim Hassan had just returned from Mogadishu, disillusioned with his erstwhile affiliation to Gen Aidid. "Every day there's fighting," he said. "They rule by the gun. The issue now is the community, not the factions."

Mohamed Ali Hamud, who was nominated to Ali Mahdi's transitional government announced in 1991 in Djibouti, said it was time for Baidoa to look inwards.

"These Mogadishu leaders committed crimes against us," he said. "But we have wise people here. We must solve our own problems."...

Malak Mukhtar said: "The UN wasted its time trying to force a national government. The money went to wrongdoers. We pushed for regional autonomy all along. If they had listened to us, by now everyone would be safe in areas they can defend."...


(Reuter 5 Mar 95)
NAIROBI - Two Italian aid workers kidnapped in Somalia for five days arrived in Kenya on Sunday, saying they were seized by gunmen in a local power dispute.

Salvatore Grungo, 39, and Guiseppe Barbero, 49, landed in high spirits in the Kenyan capital aboard a plane chartered by the International Federation of the Red Cross, from the Somali town of Garoowe.

"After a few days (in captivity) we had a long discussion with the family who decided on the kidnapping," Grungo said.

"The problem is only internal... The target of the kidnappers was not Italian cooperation. That is for sure. It was a problem of distribution of power among the Garoowe families."

The two worked for the Italian branch of Lay Volunteers International Association (LVIA) on a project to install and repair windmills in Garoowe in north-central Nugaal region...

The Italian foreign ministry in Rome had said the incident highlighted the risk to Italians in Somalia, a former Italian colony, and urged volunteer groups to recall workers from the anarchic Horn of Africa country...

(SWB 8 Mar 95 [KTN TV, Nairobi, in English 6 Mar 95])
...European Commission Special Envoy to Somalia Sigurd Illing said today [6th March] in Nairobi that banditry and other criminal activities like kidnapping are likely to jeopardize rehabilitation and development assistance to the war-torn nation. Illing was speaking in his office after he received two Italian workers, Salvatore Grungo and Giuseppe Barbero who were kidnapped in Somalia last month but were released over the weekend.

[Illing - recording] Even in such an area, an act of banditry of this kind can happen. The outcome is a good one because they were released. That was unconditional release and more. There were apologies presented in the most sincere way by the authorities. If, in the future, we cannot avoid all acts of criminal nature, which you can't in any country of the world, to just admit that, at least it seems to be sure that the authorities are aware of the necessity that they have to act rapidly and they have to act in the right way otherwise they would lose all support from the international donor community...


(UNIC 6 Mar 95 [UN document DH/1843, 3 Mar 95])
The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Peter Hansen, said Friday that the United Nations was not switching off Somalia's life support. Mr. Hansen told correspondents that United Nations agencies and international non-governmental organizations were staying in the country. International agency staff had been temporarily withdrawn from Mogadishu and redeployed to other parts of Somalia and to Nairobi. About 50 international staff members from various United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations were still managing operations in 14 regions of the country.

Mr. Hansen said the international staff would work in those areas where security had been established. Members of the United Nations Coordination Team were combining their resources and making arrangements to ensure that they would have the transportation, communications and evacuation facilities necessary to maximize their security and mobility. He stressed that Somali cooperation and donor support were necessary. However, less than 10 per cent of the $70 million requested for the January-June 1995 consolidated inter-agency appeal had been received.

(Reuter 6 Mar 95, by Manoah Esipisu)
NAIROBI - Aid groups on Monday laid down terms for returning to anarchic Somalia now their United Nations protectors have left, saying they would not risk their lives.

But a leading official told a news conference he would meet clan leaders in the Horn of Africa country next week to present demands for security and freedom of movement for aid groups...

Sigurd Illing, European Commission special envoy for Somalia and a member of the standing committee of Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) said in Nairobi a new code drawn up by aid agencies asked Somalis to punish anyone who attacked aid workers or harmed their operations.

"We are not willing to take the risk of life anymore in Somalia," he said.

"SACB will monitor closely the implementation of this code and advise donors and other international partners to take appropriate action whenever deemed necessary, including suspension of activities," Illing added.

The SACB also wants Somali clan elders to provide offices and accommodation, allow agencies to decide how to meet their own transport and staffing needs and make sure personnel and aid-related cargo are exempt from extortion by militias...

Many Somalis have said the presence of aid agencies actually fuelled fighting, because they injected huge supplies and sums of cash into the local economy which eventually found their way into the pockets of militia leaders.

Warlord Mohammed Farah Aideed on Sunday urged donors and relief workers to return, saying he was "ready to forget" past clashes with U.N. forces now that they had left...

(European Commission press release IP/95/157, 21 Feb 95)
A feeding programme for children in Somalia will get continuing support from the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) this year. Funding has also been earmarked for the running of Merka regional hospital, the only one currently meeting the needs of 50,000 people in southern Somalia.

A total of 615,000 European Currency Units (Ecu) will enable two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to run these programmes in Somalia over the next six months.

Action Internationale Contre La Faim (AICF), a Paris-based organisation, will implement the feeding programme it started last year. It aims to reach some 50,000 beneficiaries, children under the age of five, as well as pregnant women and those breast-feeding their infants. AICF is also implementing health education programmes for displaced people in Mogadishu.

The Coordinating Committee of the Organisation for Voluntary Service (COSV), an Italian NGO, will look after the hospital project it started, along with primary health care for the region. It aims to train local staff to take over as soon as it is practical.

(WFP 21 Feb 95)
People are no longer dying of hunger in Somalia. This is not to say that people in this drought-prone country are no longer vulnerable to famine. Even in a stable country such as Ethiopia, it takes years to fully recover from a famine of the magnitude which hit Somalia in 1991/92. With no central Government, little commercial activity, high unemployment, and scarce donor assistance for recovery and development, the majority of Somalis remain poor and food insecure.

Since March 1993, when the emergency response to the famine began to subside, WFP's main efforts have been concentrated on using food aid in creative and useful ways which are more development-oriented. Generally, this has meant providing food in exchange for work ("food-for-work"), and selling high-value commodities not produced in Somalia to generate cash for rehabilitation/ reconstruction projects ("monetization") which pay for salaries or project material costs. As food is one of the few resources available in Somalia, these programmes help generate thousands of new jobs each month while also paying a component of the salaries of thousands of Somalis, including professionals such as teachers and health workers.

By late 1994, 'relief' food - food which is provided to vulnerable people who are displaced, or temporarily without food, or have little or no purchasing power - comprised a maximum of 10% of WFP's overall programme in Somalia. Instead, at least 90% of our programme, which benefits an average of 250,000 people each month, focuses on rehabilitation (ie the repair of canals, feeder roads, community infrastructures). More than 80% of these projects are implemented by local NGOs, administrations and communities.

WFP's 1995 budget for Somalia totals US$ 45 million. In financial terms, WFP programmes are the largest of any of the specialized UN agencies operating in Somalia...

The "Gu" harvest (the most important harvest) of Sept/Oct 1994 in the Bay and Bakool regions of Somalia, which are considered the main grain baskets of the country since they make up 70% of the rain-fed agricultural area in Somalia - reached up to 80% of pre-civil war levels. In surplus areas, WFP has been procuring cereals from local farmers to support the markets and to avoid bringing in relief food which could further depress post-harvest prices. This food is subsequently distributed to targeted programmes and food deficit areas.

The "Deyr" season harvest is presently being brought in. The main crops of this season traditionally constitute sesame, water melon and various vegetables. However, this season about fifty percent of the cultivated land in the Middle and Lower Shabelle areas was planted with maize...

Overall production from the Deyr harvest is expected to be some 50% to 60% of pre-civil war levels, and immensely better than 1994...


(IND 4 Mar 95 [AFP])
Geneva - Refugees are still returning home voluntarily under a UN programme, after more than 900,000 fled in 1991 and 1992, a UNHCR spokesman said yesterday.

Since December, it has recorded more than 9,000 returns with a further 6,000 in Kenya signed up to go home. Last year 60,000 were repatriated.

(Reuter 24 Mar 95, by Manoah Esipisu)
HARGEISA JEREY, Somalia - Somali refugees have been forced to hit the road for home as camps are closed down in neighbouring Kenya - but they are returning to a wasteland of disease and death.

Four people, including a 12-year-old boy, have died from cholera in the small settlement of Hargeisa Jerey in southern Somalia over the last week and dozens more are afflicted with bilharzia and malaria.

"There is hardly any medical support here. People are likely to die from any illnesses," said a nurse at the settlement.

Rains have begun in southern Somalia but this settlement in the fertile Jubba Valley still has no seeds to plant and so must hope for handouts from foreign relief agencies after the next harvest time is due...

Hargeisa Jerey is 60 km (38 miles) from Somalia's coastal city of Kismayu. It is a collection of 60 to 70 new houses - structures built with sticks and roofed with plastic sheeting provided by [Boris] Michel's ICRC field team.

On Friday, the ICRC flew mosquito nets, plastic sheets and fishing nets to returnees to help them settle in.

"These are basic items the returnees need to settle in. This place has been completely empty of any assistance. People get back having nothing to start with. The only thing they have is hope," said the ICRC's Michel.

A youth trying to coordinate a school programme there said he had "no chalk, no blackboard, no books, nothing...". The Kenyan government has in the last two years closed down most of the camps dotting its coastal strip and the north, which once teamed with close to 500,000 refugees.

Relief workers say refugees have felt more obliged to leave after the Kenyan government this month said it wanted the U.N. refugee agency to repatriate all refugees still in the nation.

"It is good to struggle on your own... So many Somalis are now on the move back home," said Hassan, dignified in his tattered clothes.

(PRNewswire via RBB 6 Mar 95)
MINNEAPOLIS - The American Refugee Committee (ARC) announced today that it will expand medical services and training programs in Somalia, despite last week's withdrawal of U.N. peacekeeping forces from the country.

Karen Johnson Elshazly, director of American Refugee Committee's international programs, said community leaders in Afmadou, a city of about 30,000 in inland Somalia, have asked ARC to expand primary health services and medical training for Somalis who are returning to or passing through the Afmadou area.

The American Refugee Committee had reduced its operations in Afmadou following a shooting incident during the landing of ARC personnel in April 1994, in which a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees was killed. ARC had previously closed its Somalia operations in Bardera and Sael Huen because of direct threats to its volunteer workers and materials...

"With the support of Afmadou community leaders, the American Refugee Committee will expand operations to provide full time basic health services, including immunizations, mother and child health care, and a mobile clinic. In addition, we will help upgrade the skill-base of the society by training Somalis as traditional birth attendants and as maternal-child and community health workers...


(Observer via RBB 5 Mar 95, by Mark Huband)
Twenty tonnes of automatic weapons and heavy machine guns were secretly handed over by United Nations troops to militiamen in the Somali capital just before last week's evacuation of UN forces from the city, The Observer has learnt.

An official close to the north Mogadishu faction leader Ali Mahdi Mohamed confirmed last week that eight containers filled with AK-47 assault weapons, anti-aircraft guns, ammunition and other military equipment, which had been confiscated by UN troops in north Mogadishu during the past two years, were returned to Ali Mahdi's militia when Pakistani UN troops withdrew from positions at the old port in the north of the city.

The official, who requested anonymity, said that many of the weapons had originally been handed over to the UN by Ali Mahdi's militia voluntarily when the UN began disarming Somalia's warring factions in 1993.

He later asked for the return of the weapons as a counter to the power of the rival clan leader General Mohamed Farah Aidid, who had been unsuccessfully hunted by US troops through the streets of Mogadishu in 1993.

The official said: 'Unosom refused to return the weapons ... [They] remained stored in Mogadishu's old port, which is in our territory, first under Italian guard, then Nigerian, then Pakistani. But we kept telling them that we wanted them back, and they were returned to us just before the Pakistanis withdrew ... What the UN did was extremely controversial and serious, so we have taken all eight containers from the old port to a safe place.'...

Ahmad Fawzi, deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary-General's office, denied last night that the UN had deliberately given any weapons to the Somalis. He suggested that the arms which had fallen into Somali hands were from confiscated containers which had been 'left behind' in the haste of withdrawal. 'There is no policy to return any confiscated arms to any of the factions. Ali Mahdi's men must have got to some of the containers, but they were sprayed with salt water so they were useless anyway.'...

(Reuter 2 Mar 95)
MOGADISHU - The following is a chronology of U.S. and U.N. military intervention in Somalia where the last U.N. troops withdrew on Thursday just before a U.S.-led protection force.

- - - - Dec 9, 1992 - U.S. marines hit Mogadishu's beaches under the glare of television arc lights in "Operation Restore Hope". They fan out to stop a reign of terror by bandits and militiamen and end a famine fuelled by civil war that killed 300,000 people.

Jan 15, 1993 - At U.N.-brokered talks in Addis Ababa feuding clan militias sign the first of many pacts to stop fighting.

March 17 - U.N. suspends Addis talks after renewed clan fighting in port city of Kismayu.

March 28 - Warlords agree to set up first government since the 1991 fall of president Mohamed Siad Barre. None is formed.

May 4 - U.S. hands over command to the U.N. Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM), headed by retired U.S. admiral Jonathan Howe.

June 5 - Gunmen ambush Pakistani troops in Mogadishu, killing 24 and kidnapping five. Up to 35 Somalis are killed.

June 12 - U.N. forces begin assault to curb militiamen. U.S. AC-130 "Spectre" gunships blast buildings controlled by south Mogadishu warlord General Mohamed Farah Aideed.

June 13 - At least 20 Somali civilians killed in a crowd of anti-U.N. demonstrators by Pakistani U.N. troops.

June 17 - UNOSOM orders Aideed's arrest for killing Pakistani troops and launches air and ground assault on his stronghold. Militiamen kill five Moroccans and one Pakistani. Hospitals report 63 Somalis killed and 123 wounded.

July 12 - U.S. Cobra helicopters attack the house of an Aideed deputy. The International Red Cross estimates Somali dead at 54. Mobs kill four foreign journalists at the scene.

Aug 24 - Four hundred U.S. Army Rangers fly to Mogadishu.

Sept 5 - Somalis ambush Nigerian troops, killing seven.

Sept 9 - One Pakistani soldier killed and eight other U.N. peacekeepers wounded in clashes with militiamen. U.N. helicopters wound more than 100 and kill at least 16 Somalis.

Sept 25 - Three U.S. servicemen killed and two wounded when Somali gunmen shoot down a U.N. Black Hawk helicopter on routine patrol. Six peacekeepers are injured in a ground battle.

Oct 3 - Eighteen U.S. Army Rangers and one Malaysian killed and 74 U.S. servicemen wounded when Somali militias shoot down two U.S. helicopters in Mogadishu. The corpses of Americans are dragged through streets by mobs. Red Cross reports 500 Somalis wounded and reporters see truckloads of dead. Somalis capture U.S. helicopter pilot Michael Durant and Nigerian peacekeeper.

Oct 4 - U.S. President Bill Clinton orders 5,300 more troops, warships and AC-130 "Spectre" gunships to Somalia.

Oct 7 - Clinton announces he is reinforcing U.S. task force, narrowing their mission and setting a deadline of March 31 for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Somalia.

Oct 14 - Aideed militiamen release Durant and Nigerian.

Nov 16 - U.N. Security Council calls off hunt for Aideed.

Nov 26 - U.N. conference on Somali billed as last chance for peace opens in Ethiopia but is boycotted by main warlords.

March 2 1994 - Somali factions meet in Cairo to discuss formation of central government. Aideed refuses to attend.

March 14 - U.N. opens peace talks to bring peace to Kismayu.

March 17 - Self-styled president Mohamed Ali Mahdi and arch-foe Aideed meet for the first time in a year in Nairobi.

March 24 - Aideed and Ali Mahdi sign a ceasefire pact.

March 28 - U.S. mission formally ends. On the same day two Indian U.N. peacekeepers are shot dead in a bandit attack.

April 18 - $3.9 million stolen from UNOSOM main compound.

Sept 30 - Security Council renews Somali mandate for one month despite strong protests from the United States.

Nov 4 - Security Council orders withdrawal by next March 31.

Jan 2 1995 - Former President Mohamed Siad Barre dies.

Jan 22 - French aid worker Rudy Marq is freed after five weeks of captivity in Mogadishu. Several foreign aid workers were kidnapped in Somalia last year but all were freed unharmed.

Feb 9 - Italian television cameraman in Mogadishu is killed in an ambush blamed on a "banana war" between rival gunmen as Western naval forces build up strength off the Somali capital.

Feb 28 - Some 1,800 U.S. Marines and 400 Italian troops storm ashore onto Mogadishu's beaches to cover the withdrawal of a rearguard of 1,500 Pakistani troops at the start of Operation United Shield backed by a 32-ship flotilla and air support. U.N. Special Envoy Gbeho leaves Mogadishu and UNOSOM commander hands over to U.S. Marine Lieutenant-General Tony Zinni. Two Italian aid workers are kidnapped in north-central town of Garoowe.

March 1 - Mayhem erupts at Mogadishu airfield after U.N. troops abandon the outer perimeter and hundreds of gunmen and looters invade. A U.S. marine shoots and kills a Somali gunman after he fires a rocket-propelled grenade towards U.S. lines.

March 2 - Evacuation winds up.


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(SWB 21 Feb 95 [RH in Somali, 10 Feb 95])
Mr Hasan Ali Diriyeh Henry, the Berbera District administrator-general, who is also the minister of state for foreign affairs, has said administrative operations in Berbera district are proceeding smoothly. He told Radio Hargeisa that administrative operations and social services were functioning normally, adding that the work of the various government departments in the district was constantly supervised. Mr Henry said collection of government taxes had officially been resumed, while the police force in the area had been reorganized, trimmed and streamlined. He said of the district's 440 police officers only 200 had been retained, because security in Berbera town had improved.

(AC 31 Mar 95, p.6)
After a shaky period when fighting broke out last October, Somaliland's President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal is in charge again. He is now confidently talking of extending his two-year mandate, which runs out in May, the fourth anniversary of Somaliland's self-declared and still unrecognised independence. A few months ago, Egal was protesting that he wouldn't want to stand for re-election; now he argues that his continued presence is needed to solve current political problems and bring fighting to an end. Few of his countrymen agree.

This year, Egal finally mustered sufficient money and arms to go on the offensive against a rebel militia unit from the Eidegalla sub-clan which had refused to join his national army. Having controlled Hargeisa airport for 18 months, extracting payment (usually US$20) from all those arriving and departing, the militia had taken exception to being expelled from the airport last October. A month later, after government forces had seized its 32 artillery pieces, the militia attacked central Hargeisa, sparking off nearly two months of spasmodic clashes. Tens of thousands of people fled the capital, leaving its centre virtually empty, until Egal's army drove the intruders away.

The possibility of full-scale clan war loomed. Much of the opposition to Egal since he took power in May 1993 has come from the Eidegalla and their close allies, the Habr Yunis. Both groups belong to the Garhajis clan of the Issaq clan family. The stakes were raised when political opponents of Egal appeared in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, last year, speaking out against Somaliland independence and calling for a federal arrangement with the rest of Somalia. Particularly significant and vocal were Egal's predecessor as Somaliland President, Abdurahman `Tour' (Habr Yunis), and former Somalia police chief General Jama Ghelib (Eidegalla), Egal's opponent and critic for nearly forty years.

Gen. Mohamed Farah `Aydeed' exploited this dissent to advance his own political ambitions in the South and quickly flew arms and ammunition up to small airfields outside Hargeisa. His main opponent in Mogadishu, Ali Mahdi Mohamed, in turn offered Egal political backing, though seemingly no arms. Like most Southern leaders, both Aydeed and Ali Mahdi say they want a united Somalia (AC Vol 35 No 11)--a line oft repeated by the United Nations. Yet none have the will or the means to try to reunite the country by force...

Meanwhile, Egal has been acquiring arms--mainly Kalashnikovs and ammunition, it seems. He says he bought these from Albania, which flew them in urgently. According to Egal, North Korea agreed to supply arms but refused to send them by air. The new weapons allowed him to go on the offensive in January. He was able to increase his national army to over 3,000 men, composed of militias from his own Habr Awal and other groups, notably the Gadabursi/Dir and the Arab (an Issaq sub-group). The Eidegalla militia, although driven away from Hargeisa, is likely to continue guerrilla activity. Egal's opponents in Nairobi and Mogadishu say its numbers are increasing; the government maintains it has only 300 or so men.

Nevertheless, the government is finally managing to get negotiations going with some of the dissatisfied clans. In February, the Rer Isahaaq, a Habr Yuni sub-clan which had been involved in some of last year's fighting, was reconciled with the government after a 25-day meeting of elders. Significantly, its 360-strong militia, which had operated along the main road from Hargeisa to the port of Berbera, then agreed to serve in the national army which Egal has set up. Other Habr Yunis elders from Burao (Tour's home town), where inter-clan tensions have been high, were also talking to Egal by mid-February, before the end of Ramadan.

The government has consistently protrayed the conflict as a political confrontation between supporters of federalism and of independence. Clan power struggles are a more convincing cause. There is no doubt that the vast majority of people in Somaliland want continued independence. Tour's advocacy of federalism and his support from Aydeed have not gone down well. However, rejection of the opposition's political arguments does not necessarily translate into support for Egal to continue as President.

Yet Egal's achievements are considerable. He has created a functioning administration, including police, judiciary, army and civil service. A committee was set up in October to decide on civil service numbers for central government and for the regional and district councils that are now being set up--2,500 is the likely total. Crucially, Egal has managed to pay the present staff of these institutions.

Government revenue comes from the fast growing trade through Berbera, much of it destined for Ethiopia, and from taxes on the lucrative trade in qat, the highly popular narcotic leaf. Two lorry loads and 12 jeeps full of qat arrive in Hargeisa daily; several qat planes supply Boroma, Berbera and other towns. The government also made big profits by changing the currency last year. New notes, printed abroad for some US$1.4 million, are now circulating well in Somaliland, at the rate of one new Somaliland shilling to 100 old Somali shillings. The old notes were recalled by the government but not destroyed. Instead, they were sold to merchants (upsetting some aspiring buyers as most went to members of Egal's own Habr Awal clan). The purchasers paid in dollars, thereby helping to finance the war, which Egal said had cost three million dollars by the end of January. The merchants were, of course, able to use the cheaply acquired shillings, as they remain legal currency in Somalia and in Ethiopia's Somali region, Region Five...

Although Egal's position is currently strong, the extension of his mandate would be controversial. He is currently ruling by decree under the 1994 state of emergency. He has hinted that the 75-strong assembly of elders and the clan-appointed members of the lower house of parliament might renew this for six months or even longer. A short extension might be acceptable if unpopular. Another possibility is for the larger National Assembly of elders, the national Guurti, to meet again, as it did at Boroma in 1993 when Egal was chosen as president, and simply renew the government for two more years. This would again be highly controversial. Several personalities from different clans might expect to be candidates, among them former Somali National Movement Chairman Ahmed Silanyo and Education Minister Suleiman Gaal, who is currently in charge in Burao (both Habr Jallo); Hussein Ali Duale `Awil', former Ambassador to Kenya and now in Nairobi or Osman Jama, a former minister under President Mohamed Siad Barre (both Habr Yunis); ex-Prime Minister Omar Arteh, who stood against Egal in 1993, or Ibrahim Meygag Samatar, a leading SNM intellectual (both Habr Awal). There is widespread feeling that, if he persists in trying to stay on in power, he will put at risk everything he has achieved over the last two years.

(Reuter 23 Mar 95)
DJIBOUTI - ...Clansmen of the Issa attacked militias loyal to Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, "president" of the unrecognised breakaway Somaliland republic, at the hamlet of Barisle on Wednesday, said reports reaching neighbouring Djibouti.

Egal's militias repulsed the Issa, but up to 10 men on both sides were killed...

Northwestern Somalia and Djibouti rely heavily on each other for their economic well-being. Somali businessmen use Djibouti money lenders and there is a lucrative cross-border trade.

Somalis said that the conflict stems from Egal's attempts to assert his power in multi-ethnic Somaliland, in particular the authority he has given for his followers to administer and collect levies in the region.

This meant that Issa clansmen were ousted from controlling taxation of trade in the border areas near the town of Zeila.

(Reuter 30 Mar 95, by Christophe Farah)
DJIBOUTI - An estimated 60 gunmen were killed in battles between rival clan militias on Tuesday in a town in northwestern Somalia, residents said on Thursday.

Speaking to Reuters in Djibouti by radio, the residents said 50 of the dead in Burao town were fighters of the Garhajis clan alliance and 10 were loyal to Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, leader of the breakaway republic of Somaliland in the northwest.

They said fighting broke out on Tuesday when Garhajis gunmen attacked Egal's forces in the town, 150 km (75 miles) east of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland...

It was the biggest battle since the Garhajis alliance led by Egal's predecessor, Abdurahman Ahmed Ali Tur, declared all-out war at a tribal council in Burao this month...

(SWB 18 Mar 95 [RH in Somali, 12 Mar 95])
The Somaliland National Army of the Western Zone yesterday [12th March] seized two fishing vessels found fishing illegally in Somaliland territorial waters. The number of foreign fishing vessels seized by the National Army for illegal fishing off the western coast of Somaliland has reached five over the past seven days. The Somaliland National Army based in the Western Zone has intensified their patrolling of territorial waters to counter illegal fishing.

(SWB 28 Feb 95 [RH in Somali, 5 Feb 95])
The minister of agriculture of the Republic of Somaliland, Mr Habib Diriyeh Nur, has called on the International Desert Locust Control Organization [as heard, IDLCO] to help the Republic of Somaliland fight locusts which have invaded the Gerisa Heights and areas between Seylac and Laas Cawaleh [phonetic]...


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


(SWB 29 Mar 95 [RSR in Arabic, 27 Mar 95])
The president of the republic, Lt-Gen Umar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, has declared a unilateral cease-fire on behalf of the government for two months beginning midnight [local time] tomorrow [28th March], in support of the efforts of the Carter Foundation for Humanitarian Service and in appreciation of former American President Jimmy Carter and Sudan's participation in his campaign to eradicate guinea worm disease and river blindness. This was stated during a joint international press conference he [Bashir] gave together with the former American president at Friendship Hall this evening...

(Reuter 30 Mar 95)
ATLANTA - Former president Jimmy Carter said on Thursday that he will send his son Chip to the Sudan to help ensure the success of a two-month ceasefire in the war-torn African nation...

"For Rosa and me to send our own son there is obviously a demonstration of good faith and seriousness."...

/HAB/ There seem to be some unanswered questions around this ceasefire. It is unclear whether President Carter's initiative has any formal links with the State Department or with the existing peace efforts under the IGADD umbrella. It is equally unclear whether the ceasefire is tied to any new initiatives towards peace talks or whether the Nuba Mountains are included.

(Reuter 30 Mar 95, by Buchizya Mseteka])
NAIROBI - ..."In response to President Carter's call for a ceasefire, we have declared a unilateral ceasefire from today for the next two months," [SPLA chief John] Garang told a news conference in Nairobi.

He said it would take effect at 3 p.m. (1300 GMT). He called for the deployment of international observers arguing that Khartoum had violated several previous ceasefire accords.

"Several ceasefires have been declared by both the government in Khartoum and the SPLA but each one of them have been violated by the government as soon as they have been announced," he said. "We want international monitors so that ceasefire is not abused by Khartoum."...

(Reuter 28 Mar 95)
NAIROBI - The rebel-held south Sudan town of Waat was bombed by an aircraft, apparently belonging to the government, hours before a unilateral ceasefire declared by Khartoum came into effect, aid workers said on Tuesday.

"There were eight bombs. We have no figures on injured or dead," a relief worker in radio contact with the town from Nairobi told Reuters...

(Reuter 2 Apr 95)
NAIROBI - The rebel South Sudan Independence Movement (SSIM) said on Sunday its forces had repulsed an attack by Sudan government forces on Lafon, 120 km (80 miles) east of Juba, south Sudan's largest town.

A SSIM spokesman said in a statement issued in Nairobi that their forces inflicted heavy casualties on the government force on Friday, capturing its commander, Colonel Khalid Mohamed Osman, two tanks and other vehicles.

It was not immediately possible to independently confirm the SSIM report, which said the incident showed that the ceasefire recently announced by the Sudanese government was "a fake"...

(Reuter 3 Apr 95, by Buchizya Mseteka)
NAIROBI - ...Riak Machar's South Sudan Independence Movement (SSIM) said the ceasefire effective from midnight on Monday could not be announced earlier because of repeated attacks from Sudan government forces in the last week.

"All SSIM forces have been ordered to observe this ceasefire and be confined to the SSIM-controlled areas, and only act on legitimate self-defence. This ceasefire shall take effect as from April 3," Machar told a news conference in Nairobi...


(AC 3 Mar 95, p.3)
Reports of the military situation are confused, not least because deteriorated communications mean factions are not well informed of their rivals' activities. Recent fighting includes:

1. Nimule front: Khartoum trying to take Nimule from SPLA-Mainstream; heavy fighting early February as army moved from Parajok; SPLA claims it killed over 1,000 troops and captured a T-55 tank, 600 rifles and a BM-24 multiple rocket launcher; says around 2,000 troops attacked, mostly PDF militia with artillery and tank support;

2. Morobo-Yei and Kajo Kaji-Kaya-Nimule fronts: fighting since October; SPLA says it beat back army.

3. Torit-Ashwa: SPLA says it beat back army trying to go from Torit to Ashwa;

4. Kapoeta: fighting, especially on Kapoeta-Boma road; SPLA claims to occupy part of town but reportedly failed to take it because of dispute with Taposa people.

5. Rokon-Mundiri and Tali Post-Amadi fronts: SPLA claims to have contained army; Eastern Equatoria fighting has driven thousands of new refugees into Uganda (over 50,000 in four months, says the UN) and Kenya. Western Equatoria seems mainly quiet: SPLA controls main towns.

6. Sobat front: Riek says army has three-pronged attack since 10 February in bid for Nasir; army took Baliet and Adong; second prong from Kurmuk along Ethiopian border to converge at Jokau and Nasir; third prong from Pibor, where troops flown from Khartoum by C-130 (can carry 2-300 men), with 25 flights by mid-month; heavy fighting at Dajo Post for two months: SSIA claimed to have taken it on 20 February;

7. PDF and army attacking Adok area, Upper Nile: heavy artillery air bombardment, tanks.

8. Several months' heavy fighting in Bahr el Ghazal: blamed by Riek on raids by Karabino (based north-east of government-held Gogrial); others blame Riek's Nuer fighters; PDF scorched earth attacks continue round Aweil and elsewhere, especially Southern Kordofan (Nuba Mountains, Ayei).

(Reuter 26 Mar 95)
KHARTOUM - The Sudanese army said it has captured a key town in southern Sudan from rebel forces, state television said on Saturday night...

Nasir has for several years been held by the SPLA faction headed by Riak Machar...

(SWB 28 Mar 95 [RSR in Arabic, 26 Mar 95])
The president of the republic, Staff Lt-Gen Umar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, this morning at the Armed Forces' General Command Square addressed a huge public gathering held to celebrate the recapture of the town of Nasir and its liberation from the rebellion filth at the hands of the armed forces and the People's Defence Force...

Concerning those who talk about the inclusion of the Islamic shari'ah issue on the agenda of talks with the rebels, Lt-Gen Bashir pointed out that negotiations on the issue of the shari'ah would only be conducted through the barrel of the gun. He stressed that Sudan would remain united...

(Reuter 16 Feb 95)
KHARTOUM - Sudan has directed its regional governors to step up a drive to swell the size of the country's Islamist militia force to one million men.

Military leader General Omar Hassan al-Bashir ordered governors of the country's 26 states this week to provide 30,000 recruits each to the Popular Defence Force militia, the government-owned al-Ingaz al-Watani reported on Thursday.

The government has not disclosed the present size of the popular militia, which is pivotal to Sudan's drive against southern rebels...

The militia, formed in 1989 after Bashir overthrew Sudan's elected government, is not part of the country's armed forces numbering more than 82,500 male conscripts.

Al-Watani said Bashir issued the recruitment order on Wednesday when he addressed the graduation ceremony of more than 60,000 popular defence force recruits in Kassala, in eastern Sudan on the border with Eritrea, with whom Sudan has had strained relations lately.

Bashir said the recruitment did not signal any aggression towards neighbours but was to defend "our homeland and frighten our enemies", the newspaper said...

(SNV 16 Mar 95)
...The Southern Sudan Independence Movement (SSIM) led by Riak Machar, on the other hand, issued a statement accusing Lam Akol of attacking and looting civilians in Kurkan and Wadi el-Zeraf areas south of Malakal in Upper Nile and of collaborating with Khartoum government. The statement also said that four of the SSIM fighters and five of Lam's men were killed in a clash between the two factions on 11 March 95.

(Reuter 20 Mar 95, by Aidan Hartley)
NAIROBI - Marauding fighters in Sudan's south have laid to waste several villages, causing widespread misery in a civil war that never seems to end.

Philip O'Brien, head of the U.N.'s Operation Lifeline Sudan, said on Monday he had just returned from northern Bahr el-Ghazal province where villages had been devastated in recent months by forces nominally fighting for the hardline Islamic government.

In one case, O'Brien said conscripts from Khartoum's Popular Defence Forces (PDF) had destroyed the village of Malualkon while escorting military goods trains from the north to the southern garrison town of Wau.

"Houses were gone and there was widespread looting of crops," O'Brien told Reuters from his Nairobi office.

The PDF is an ill-trained force fighting alongside regular troops in the 12-year war against southern rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

Those who were plundered between November and January are civilians from the Dinka tribe, which has fed the ranks of the SPLA since it first rebelled in 1983.

The SPLA is supposed to be fighting to end domination of the mainly Arabised and Moslem north over the animist and Christian south. But in reality, the aims of the war have been blurred by years of infighting between SPLA factions and tribes.

These have often inflicted more deaths than the war with the north and aid workers have long described SPLA methods with their own people as brutal.

O'Brien said that one former SPLA leader from the Dinka, Kerubino Kwanyin Bol, had completely devastated another Bahr el-Ghazal village called Turalei.

Kerubino had been imprisoned by SPLA chief John Garang for 10 years before being released last year. He defected to Riak Machar, Garang's rival in the rebel movement, then split from him and began fighting allegedly with government military support.

Using a small force numbering less than 200, Kerubino has been scorching the earth in his own Bahr el-Ghazal home region - apparently in revenge against those who will not support him...


(Reuter 7 Mar 95, by Alfred Taban)
KHARTOUM - Kenya wants a regional grouping mediating in Sudan's civil war to arrange peace talks next month between the Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), a government newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Kenya had proposed that talks be resumed in April, coordinated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD), according to al-Ingaz al-Watani (National Salvation) newspaper.

Kenya heads the Sudan mediating committee set up by IGADD, a regional grouping in the Horn of Africa. The committee also includes Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Sudan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Osman Mohammad Taha met Kenyan Ambassador Philip Mwanzia on Monday to discuss the peace process and state television said Taha had expressed confidence in committee head President Daniel arap Moi...

Taha also held talks with the U.S. Ambassador in Khartoum Donald Petterson and discussed the next IGADD meeting, state television said. It quoted Taha as saying Sudan was committed to the IGADD peace initiative...

(SDG Mar 95, p.3)
...Last month, during his visit to the USA, the Eritrean president, Issaias Afeworki, explained the IGADD process to various government officials there. He outlined what the process is all about and what has been achieved so far. He explained how peace, security and development within the Horn of Africa is intrinsically linked to the political situations within all the states of the region. There cannot be successful development for Eritrea or any other neighbouring country without commensurate development in all the others. War is an obstacle to development and war in any of the states of the region adversely affects development in the others.

...Therefore, President Afeworki told his American hosts that all the IGADD countries have a vested interest in finding a lasting political settlement to the Sudanese conflict...

Peace in Sudan means peace for the whole country and its entire population. The Islamic Fundamentalists seized power in a military coup and have held on to it through force and repression. The Khartoum regime does not represent the broad mass of the Sudanese people, not even in the north of the country. For the IGADD process to remain consistent with its declared position of finding a broad based and comprehensive peace in Sudan, it should widen participation in the process to include other groups, notably from the Sudanese opposition, because they are more representative of the broad mass of Sudanese people.

Those opposition groupings within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which have political agendas that accept the IGADD's Declaration of Principles, ought to be invited to participate in future talks...

The convening of the next IGADD session ought not to depend on whether Khartoum chooses to attend. The logic of the process would suggest that it is not only dependent upon the belligerents being present, namely the Khartoum regime and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). A peace settlement must be something that all Sudanese can adhere to, if it is in any sense going to be a lasting one. There would be little point in negotiating a peace which could be easily denounced and violated by the successors to the Khartoum regime...

(Life & Peace Institute Mar 95)
During the first days of March, traditional leaders from southern Sudan, chiefs, elders, church leaders, men and women, Muslims and Christians, came together in Lokichoggio, just south of the Sudanese border. Many had walked for days to be able to participate in the meeting and they had come in order to find new ways of exerting their traditional, ethnically rooted ways of solving conflicts, believing that together they could have a real influence on the fighting factions in the south. Most of the larger ethnic groups were represented.

The meeting centered around how to empower traditional local civil leaders and through them spread a non-violent grassroots movement for peace in the south.

The initiative had been taken by the Sudanese Women's Voice for Peace, a group of Christian and Muslim women from different ethnic backgrounds, living in Nairobi, engaged in humanitarian work inside southern Sudan. The group's stated objective is to rally Sudan's women to work for peace with non-violent means among the grass roots in southern Sudan.

(NN/africa.horn 7 Mar 95 [Sudan-Info 3 Mar 95])
Following on their resolution to establish links with similar networks elsewhere, HAPG [Horn of Africa Policy Group, Canada] (and its members, incl. the Sudan Action Group) is taking part in the International Campaign for Peace in Sudan. This campaign is conducted by three partners:

- the European Working Group on the Horn of Africa (EWGHA);

- HAPG-Canada;

- the Coalition for Peace in the Horn of Africa (CPHA-USA), which coordinates the drafting of the campaign statement.

Here is the campaign statement as it was communicated to us this January `95.

"We call for the following:

1. Endorsement of the IGADD Declaration of Principles

We call on governments, human rights organizations, non-government organizations, religious bodies and other independent agencies around the world to follow the lead of the Heads of State of Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda in affirming the Declaration of Principles as the basis for a negotiated settlement of the Sudan conflict. We support a process that includes on-going revisions in the DOP based on mutual discussions with all parties and call on the Government of Sudan to accept the Declaration of Principles as a starting point for serious negotiations.

2. Support of a Multi-Track Peace Diplomacy at the National, Factional and Communal levels

We call for a fresh coordinated effort to encourage peacemakers both within and outside Sudan to simultaneously work in formal and informal ways to bring peace at all levels of society. Participants should be drawn from governmental, non-governmental, church and religious groups and indigenous communities.

National: the IGADD initiative must be the exclusive arena for national mediation between the Government of Sudan, the SPLM, the SSIM and other Sudanese groups who may be added to the process representing significant population groupings.

Friends of IGADD, governmental and non-government, must be enlisted to lend support to the peace process. Efforts to undermine IGADD must be resisted by all as a sabotaging of the national peace process.

Inter-Factional: the international community and Sudanese civilian, church and women's groups must insist that the factions implement an immediate cease-fire between one another, accept a mutually agreeable mediator or mediation process and negotiate ways to live side by side in a manner that respects the human rights and needs of civilian populations and strengthens indigenous cultures.

Communal: Indigenous peace efforts among Sudanese neighbouring peoples offer the greatest hope for peace at a community level and create an atmosphere and momentum for peace that can have significant effects on both inter-factional and national efforts. When indigenous peoples, acting through their chiefs, churches, religious organizations, women's associations and civil administrators, initiate peace efforts, the international community, governments and non-governmental agencies, must be ready to provide material and personnel support to strengthen and facilitate the process.

3. Focus on Self-Reliance and Principles of Access and Accountability

The international donor community must move from an over reliance on food aid to a policy strengthening local capacity that builds on the social capital inherent within the cultures and requires both freedom of access and open accountability. This includes :

- conditioning all aid on respect for humanitarian principles and focusing emergency aid on the resettlement of displaced peoples into locations of relative security, thus enhancing self-reliance.

- Refusing to deliver aid by air to places which can be reached by road, barge or rail, forcing a restoration and practice of the principle of corridors of tranquillity.

- Focusing on non-food assistance that enhances local food production and seed banks, builds internal commerce, trains local personnel for primary health care, education and animal health. - Strengthening local organizations and institutions that respect cultural and traditional patterns.

Traditional and civic structures, religious organizations, women's organizations and indigenous non-government organizations build on traditional social capital and methods of self-reliance that resist dependency pressures in crisis settings.

4. Generate Pressure for Peace, Justice and Human Rights Peacemaking, humanitarian relief and self-reliance activities must be linked with strong multi-track pressure on all parties until they embrace peace with justice. These pressures should include the following :

- Challenge the Government of Sudan, SPLM/A and SSIM/A to live up to their rhetoric of democracy, autonomy for non-military institutions, protection of human rights, and promotion of women's rights.

- Advocate the placement of human rights monitors in both government and rebel areas of suspected abuse, including among the Nuba, Beja, Fur, Zaghawa, displaced around Khartoum and along dividing lines of factional groups.

- Ensure the observance by all member countries of the European Union's Arms Embargo of Sudan and work toward an expansion to an arms and energy embargo that could be adopted by the EU and the UN.

- Oppose all multilateral bank credits to Sudan.

- Find an international broadcast news mechanism that could beam radio news on a weekly basis into all of Sudan, giving news about the war, peace initiatives and the cost of waging war. Objective information puts pressure on leadership groups and provides hope for all peoples in Sudan working for a peaceful future.

All 3 partner groups mentioned above, HAPG-Canada, CPHA-USA and the EWGHA invite individuals and groups to join them in this campaign for peace in Sudan. A strategy will be worked out in months to come.

(ION 8 Apr 95, p.3)
...[ION editorial comment:] ...The Sudanese government now faces the task of converting the military victories into political ones, which explains its efforts to relaunch negotiations with Southern Sudan movements. It has asked France to act as go-between in organizing a peace conference in Khartoum to which the opposition leaders John Garang and Riak Machar would be invited. Officials in the French foreign ministry clearly do not share the pro-Sudanese infatuation of French interior minister Charles Pasqua and remain very reserved on the initative. On the other hand, a similar request that Sudanese foreign minister Ali Osman Mohammed Taha addressed to Norway hit its target: Oslo is very interested. Meanwhile, the Arabic language daily Al Hayat announced on April 4 that National Islamic Front leader Hassan al-Tourabi would soon have talks with Garang in Nairobi in a joint meeting with Kenyan head of state Daniel arap Moi, thanks to Sudanese businessman go-between Abdul-Hakam Taifour.


(SCSG Feb 95 [al-Sharq al-Awsat 30 Jan 95, 7 Feb 95, 14 Feb 95; AC 3 Feb 95])
Senior opposition leaders met in Asmara, the Eritrean capital on 27/12/94, to discuss prospects for peace. The four leaders, including John Garang of the SPLA and leaders of the Umma and the Democratic Unionist parties, the two main Northern opposition parties, along with a dissident brigadier who heads the Sudanese Allied Forces came to an agreement which acknowledges the country's religious and racial diversity, and allows for Southern independence if satisfactory federal arrangements cannot be made after the fall of the present regime. It commits all parties to the "non-use of religion in politics". Our last issue reported a similar agreement between the SPLA and the Umma party, signed in Chukudum, South Sudan in December. The Chukudum agreement differs from the Asmara one in that the former has much more detail, dealing at length with arrangements for the period after the predicted fall of the government. The agreement was only made public at the end of January, and on 30/1/95 the Democratic Unionist Party issued a statement saying that the Asmara agreement differed fundamentally from the Chukudum agreement, whose ideas are rejected by the DUP. The DUP has always opposed Southern secession vigorously and did not want to be associated with a meeting which took it so seriously. One week later the leader of the DUP, Muhammed Othman al-Mirghani, denied that there were any serious differences between his party and the Umma.

(AC 3 Mar 95, p.1)
Important shifts in policy and strategy are emerging in response to the continuing war in Sudan. Western officials have made a subtle switch from supporting the Nairobi peace process as such to hinting that a new government in Khartoum is needed to implement it. Officials of various factions of the Sudan People's Liberation Army, who once spoke as if a peace agreement with the National Islamic Front were possible, now talk of the prior need for a new government. And a new armed Northern opposition force looks set to play an important role in the new alignments.

The United States has caught and fed this mood. We understand that, following Sudan's incursions into Eritrea and Uganda and reports of Khartoum arming Egyptian Islamists, Washington plans `to strengthen the military capability' of neighbouring states, especially Uganda and Eritrea. This would open the way for arms supplies to the SPLA, which already gets arms via Uganda, and potentially to the Northern opposition via Eritrea.

Yet superficially, little change is apparent. The NIF government plans no-party elections soon and political parties remain banned. It has strengthened the ultra-hardliners by making National Islamic Front number two, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, Foreign Minister, with his uncompromising ally, Ghazi Salah el Din, as his deputy...

Beneath the surface the political dynamics are changing. The government is not as strong as it was. Two main factors keep it in power: its security network, which crushes opposition in the North, and the lack of coherence and cohesion of the exiled opposition...

(SWB 18 Mar 95 [MBC TV, London, in Arabic 16 Mar 95])
Col John Garang, leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement [SPLM], which has been fighting the Sudanese government for 12 years, has announced that he has decided, in cooperation with the northern party opposition, to take the continuing war to northern Sudan, including Khartoum. Garang, who spoke in Arabic in an exclusive interview with MBC in the jungles of southern Sudan, said he was awaiting the arrival of a delegation from the Sudanese opposition to discuss the formation of a committee to act as a government-in-exile. The following report was sent by Ahmad al-Qurashi from southern Sudan:

[Qurashi - recording] For the first time since the SPLM was established in 1983, SPLM leader Dr John Garang has announced a new programme called the New Sudan Brigade. He denied that the formation of the New Sudan Brigade would affect the SPLM's alliances, especially with the other Sudanese forces:

[Garang] ...The [Islamic National] Front government must leave. In order for it to leave, there must be cooperation between the SPLA [Sudan People's Liberation Army] and the other opposition forces in Sudan. So [previous word in English], for the front government to leave, the Ummah and DUP [Democratic Unionist Party] must cooperate with us and we must cooperate with them...

[Qurashi] Former Sudanese Foreign Minister Dr Mansur Khalid explained the details of the new programme.

[Khalid] For historical and geographical reasons, the SPLM has not been able effectively to move the struggle to the north of the country. This brigade will deal with the struggle issues in the north. This initiative for the first time provides an opportunity in the movement for the northern elements and for sympathizers among the northerners both inside and outside Sudan. It accepts all Sudanese regardless of their race, origin, party loyalties or religious doctrines...

(Reuter 18 Mar 95)
KHARTOUM - Sudan's Minister of the Interior, Brigadier Al-Tayeb Ibrahim Mohammad Khair, on Saturday decreed the formation of the High Council for Civil Defence...

No reasons were given for the formation of the council but on Wednesday the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) said it would hit at targets in northern Sudan, including in Khartoum, in coordination with banned political parties to help overthrow the government of Lieutenant-General Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

The Sudanese army dismissed the threats as psychological warfare.

(AC 3 Mar 95, p.2)
...The SPLA now consists of the following groups:

1. SPLA-Mainstream, under Col. John Garang de Mabior; deputy, Salva Kiir Mayardit; forces in Eastern Equatoria (Ugandan border), Western Equatoria (holds towns), southern Bahr el Ghazal, northern Upper Nile and south Southern Kordofan; uneasy relations with other factions: slams breakaways for `collaboration' with government though, since 1993 Washington Agreement, not Riek Machar.

2. Southern Sudan Independence Army/Movement (SSIA/M): head, Riek Machar; key figures are Cdr. Gordon Koang Chol, Daniel Koat Matthews (`D.K'), Richard Mulla; forces in north Upper Nile, some in central East Equatoria; founded with Lam Akol Ajawin, split from Garang in 1991 as SPLA-Nasir, later SPLA-United; joined by William Nyuon, Major Arok Thon Arok, Karabino Kuanyin; 1994: Riek sacked Lam Akol, prompting Arok Thon's resignation; Riek then sacked William and Karabino.

3. SPLA-United: reformed 1994 by Lam, Arok and Peter Sule (Bari); forces are new `Shiluk army' in north U. Nile (Tonga); SSIA, like Mainstream before it, accuses them of collaborating with Khartoum; Arok and Lam have both denied this to Africa Confidential.

4. SPLA-United: reformed 1994 by Karabino (Commander in Chief) and William; forces are William's east of Juba which have fought Garang's while Karabino's (deputy: Faustino Atem Gualdit) based in Gogrial area have fought Reik's; relations with Lam's group still fluid: Arok told us they hadn't consulted before setting up new SPLA-United: `We should compare notes'; Mainstream and SSIA accuse William and Karabino of fighting for Khartoum...

Though Mainstream is the strongest faction, Garang is still widely contested, particularly for his repeated references to `national unity'. The need for a referendum on `self-determination' is now received wisdom and it is assumed this would lead to independence. Members of all factions, even his own, say Garang will have to accept this or disappear. Riek has lost much political ground since 1993 and has been having trouble with his commanders, particularly Gordon Koang Chol (whom he briefly arrested in 1994) and Gordon Kong Banypiny and Nyang Chol. Kong Banypiny's militia (which last month seized eleven expatriate aid workers, later releasing them) was also working for Khartoum, Riek claimed to us. Riek's presence in Britain in February during a government offensive in his Upper Nile fief fuelled rumours of his overthrow. The two SPLA-United groups have smaller followings than their parent movements but both command loyalty in significant areas. Governments and aid agencies have tended to ignore them, partly in a bid to stem fragmentation. This may be a misreading of a complex situation: all will count in an eventual settlement. Despite what one Mainstream source called `a chaotic situation', supporters of various factions still talk of reconciliation. Factionalism is increasingly seen as a matter of personalities and the wider focus is on `self-determination' - code for `independence'...


(IPS 7 Mar 95, by Nhial Bol)
KHARTOUM - Foreign observers have declined invitations to monitor Sudan's one-party general elections - due to begin Wednesday.

"The international observers have not turned up as requested," according to a spokesman at the state-run Electoral Commission.

Only a week ago, the Commission's chairman, Abdel Moneim Al Nahas, told journalists that some foreign observers had already arrived to monitor the polling which begins first in the remote state of Darfur, on the border with Chad.

"We shall now rely on local observers consisting of senior magistrates and advisers from various Sudanese institutions to monitor the elections," Al Nahas said on Tuesday.

The international community, led by the United States, has continually urged the military junta which seized power in June 1989 to restore civilian rule in Sudan.

The U.S. Ambassador in Sudan, [Donald Petterson], ruled out any Washington support for the elections, called by the fundamentalist government of General Omar Hassan Al Bashir.

The Roman Catholic Church authorities advised minority Christian community to boycott the elections.

"We cannot participate in a poll where no political parties are allowed to stand and where people are forced to follow pre-defined policies and orientation of the government," six Catholic bishops, headed by the archbishop of Khartoum, Gabriel Zubeir, said in a pastoral letter.

The clergy feared that "no member of parliament will be permitted to go his or her way after the elections."

The letter, a copy of which was sent to President Al Bashir, warned that: "Many things could go wrong if the elections are imposed on the citizens". It did not elaborate...

(ION 18 Feb 95, p.8)
Sudanese head of state Omar Hassan al Bechir rejigged his cabinet on February 10 and named Ali Osman Muhammad Taha, the National Islamic Front's number two official, as foreign minister. He takes over from Hussein Abou Saleh, who has been seen as about to leave for several weeks and who will become Sudan's permanent representative to the United Nations in Washington. Another radical Islamic person, Ghazi Salah ed-Din Attabani, who was formerly the head of state's counsellor on political affairs, has been named secretary of state for foreign affairs. Ali Osman Muhammad Taha was born in Dongola province in 1950 and was a student leader during the 1970s, then joining the radical wing of NIF. He was elected MP in 1986 and was chairman of the NIF parliamentary group. He was a liaison agent with the Sudanese army while the coup d'etat of June 30, 1989 was being prepared, and shortly before it occurred he toured army officers' barracks in southern Sudan's garrison towns. He was later a member of the famous "Council of Forty", a NIF backroom circle which represents the real power in the Sudanese government, but came out of the shadows in July 1993 to be minister of social planning, a flexible post which has made him, for the past eighteen months, the real decision-maker in Sudan's domestic politics. His transfer to the foreign ministry and the simultaneous nomination of his close ally Salah ed-Din mark a sharp strengthening of radical Islamic grasp on Sudanese foreign policy...

(SNV 16 Mar 95)
Riots broke out in Umbaddah area (a suburb in western Omdurman) on Tuesday night, 7 March 1995, in a protest by residents in the area (Hara 14 - known as Angola), against the demolition of their houses, considered by the authorities as illegal and unplanned. The demonstrators set fire to the local Land Registration Office which houses more than 6 thousand documents...

Sixty people, including five women, were arrested and are being interrogated at present.

(IPS 20 Feb 95, by Nhial Bol)
KHARTOUM - ...Health minister Abdel Halim said Saturday that his ministry was planning to introduce regulations which would expose companies importing alcohol-based drugs to sanctions provided for under the Sharia (Islamic law).

The warning came on the heels of calls by Islamic groups in parliament for a total ban on medicines that violate the Sharia. Parliament has formed a committee to study the issue and come up with recommendations...

Al Beshir Hassan el Beshir, a senior official of a Croatian-financed pharmaceutical firm here charged that when Sudan banned medicines containing alcohol by imposing the Sharia in 1983, it failed to introduce alternative drugs against fevers, malaria and other diseases...

"Our people are dying of malaria and if the decision to ban medicines is effectively implemented malaria will spread and many more will die," he said at a press conference he held on Saturday...


(SNV 16 Mar 95)
Lt. Gen Omer al-Bashir, President of Sudan, had expressed his government's desire to re-establish normal relations with Eritrea. He said that the Eritrean side showed no desire for the normalisation of relations, but we are not convinced with their reasons.

In a press statement, published in Khartoum, Bashir said "we do not see any reasons for severing diplomatic relations with Eritrea. Therefore reasons for establishing the relations are still valid". He attributed Eritrea's actions to its inexperience in dealing with other countries and organisations. He pointed out that Yemen had made an extensive effort to mediate, but the lack of desire from the Eritreans had resulted in the failure of this initiative.

On the other hand, the Eritrean President, Isayas Afowerki, had said, in an interview with Al-Hayat newspaper (11 March 1995), that Sudan is building up its military on the border between Sudan and Eritrea. He said "We are not worried because we know Sudan's military capability and its inability to stage any military action against us. This is just a show-off which has no military, political or moral effect on us".

In another interview with Al-Hayat (12 March 1995), the President of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, said that his country will not hesitate to declare war against Sudan if it does not stop interfering in Ethiopia's internal affairs and stop supporting fundamentalist Islamic groups in Ethiopia.

Khartoum had also accused Uganda of collaborating with Eritrea against Sudan. The government-owned al-Sudan al-Hadith newspaper said that the visit by the Ugandan army chief, Major-General Mugisha Muntu to Asmara recently, is part of a conspiracy against Sudan. It also accused Uganda of assisting the SPLA in its fight against the government in Southern Sudan...

(SWB 25 Mar 95 [KTN TV, Nairobi, in English 23 Mar 95])
The Sudanese government and its opposition are now locked in a war of words over the existence of a guerrilla movement in northern Sudan plotting against the Kenya government. The Sudanese ambassador, Yasir Muhammad Ahmad, absolved his government from accusations, saying that it was unthinkable for a guerrilla movement to operate from [the] far north hatching an attack on Kenya in the far south. If anything, Ahmad argued, the movement exists in the southern Sudan with its members having undergone training in Tanzania and fought in Mozambique.

Yesterday [22nd March] the leader of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army, John Garang, claimed that the unregistered Islamic Party of Kenya was engaged in subversive activities against the Kenya government from a base in Khartoum government-controlled Nile Region.

[Ahmad - recording] The north is very far for this training. And we know what ties we have with Kenya, so we cannot dare to do anything like this. If you look into the schools of thoughts between the three [Museveni, Garang and Odongo] - and you can name them, I will not name them for you - they are from one school of thoughts. They are all trained in Tanzania. They have all fought in Mozambique. So there is something joint between these three and not with the north [of Sudan].

(Reuter 28 Mar 95)
KAMPALA - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is to chair a meeting between officials from Uganda and Sudan in a bid to end a row between the two neighbours, officials said on Tuesday...

(SWB 30 Mar 95 [RSR in Arabic, 28 Mar 95])
Mr Ali Uthman Muhammad Taha, the foreign minister, today [28th March] met Mr Amr Musa, the Egyptian foreign minister in Cairo. The meeting discussed issues facing the Arab nation and relations between the two countries.

Mr Ali Uthman explained that the meeting was a good starting point for reaching a common understanding on all issues and opening a new page in relations in the interest of the Arab and Islamic nation. He said Mr Amr Musa, the Egyptian foreign minister, had promised to visit Khartoum on a date to be fixed later...

(Reuter 15 Feb 95, by Alfred Taban)
KHARTOUM - Sudan on Wednesday denied any involvement in the 1993 bombing of New York's World Trade Centre and protested at the conditions in which Sudanese linked with the bombing are being held.

U.S. federal prosecutors have placed the Sudanese mission to the United Nations on a list of 173 people and institutions possibly involved in the bombing, in which six persons died and more than 1,000 were injured.

The Sudanese foreign ministry challenged the United States to come up with a single piece of evidence to show the involvement of the Sudanese mission...

(ION 11 Mar 95, p.1)
Paris never misses a chance to try to charm Khartoum. But the option is a strictly geo-strategical choice: hopes that Sudanese mediation might help find peace in Algeria, determination to cock a snoot [?] at the United States, or simply a search for a foot-in-the-door for French companies hunting future trade contracts. Sometimes it hides inter-state cooperation in highly sensitive areas of security and intelligence (ION No 608), but as often it cloaks proceedings which are more symbolic and so revealing. An example was the case of eleven foreign members of several international NGOs who were taken hostage last month in the village of Waat, south-east of Malakal, by a commando headed by Gordon Koang Banypiny, an SPLA defector protected by Khartoum (ION No 659). France's diplomats hastily followed in Khartoum's footsteps in describing the event as no more than another element of the internecine fighting among the southern rebels. Unfortunately, after the hostages had been released, Gordon Koang placed himself under the protection of the government garrison in Malakal and then gave himself up at the headquarters of army operations for the Upper Nile region, located in a village some 30 km south of Malakal.

Around the same time, Daniel Yves Taupenas, the first counsellor in the French embassy in Khartoum..., ordered an official of the Paris-financed Malakal hospital rehabilitation project to hand over medicaments to the Sudanese army. The official's flat refusal and the fact that he might testify that Gordon Koang had indeed been in Malakal shortly after the hostage-grab episode earned him a scorching reprimand from the French embassy. He was also instructed to sign a statement for media denying that he had ever seen Gordon Koang in Malakal and when he refused that too, he was bundled out of Sudan and back to Paris on February 28 by French embassy officials, perhaps on the grounds that the Sudanese authorities had asked for him to be expelled. His contract with an organization known as "Action Humanitaire France", which is the front-hall manager for the hospital rehabilitation project, was cancelled on the spot for alledged "non-respect of the duty to remain silent". The organization is a pseudo NGO controlled by France's junior minister for humanitarian action, where the chef de cabinet is Robert Noel Castellani, a senior civil servant (with prefect's ranking) who is often seen as close to French interior minister Charles Pasqua.

The whole episode highlights both the systematically low profile maintained by France's diplomats in Khartoum and also the limits of state-assisted humanitarian aid. In private, a Khartoum embassy counsellor showed the measure of constraints applied when he indicated that because of official secrecy, it would not be possible to raise the alarm if a French doctor were to be killed at Malakal. The French government's hospital project is therefore virtually classified "Official Secret". Despite its expenditure already hitting the $2-million level, the French government refrains from excessive publicity on its projects in Malakal and French journalists are not encouraged to go there either. Commenced under the former socialist goverment's minister for humanitarian action Bernard Kouchner and implemented from 1993 onwards by a Chinese enterprise and Egyptian architects working through Action Humanitaire France, the project has been controversial right from the start. Although the Malakal hospital project is intended to serve the town's civilian population, in point of fact it is an instrument of Khartoum's war effort in this region. The Action Humanitaire Francaise mission has now been handed over to the military and two French army doctors have been despatched there. As for Gordon Koang, the man who stirred the hornet's nest in the first place, he is believed to have been summarily instructed by the Sudanese government army to get out of Malakal and is thought to be wandering somewhere in the region.

(SWB 18 Mar 95 [RSR in Arabic, 16 Mar 95])
Talks between Sudan and Iran opened at the Foreign Ministry this morning [16th March]. The Sudanese side was led by Umar Yusuf Baridu, the first undersecretary at the Foreign Ministry, while the Iranian side was led by Mr Hoseyn Sheykh ol-Eslam, the Iranian deputy foreign minister. The two sides discussed cooperation between the two countries and ways of promoting bilateral relations...

(SNV 16 Mar 95)
Salem Ahmed Salem, General Secretary of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), will visit Khartoum on 6 April 1995 in an official visit for 5 days. Mr. Salem will meet President Bashir to discuss issues of the Horn of Africa and the situation in Southern Sudan. The visit has been postponed three times before based on requests by the Sudanese government. The reason given for the last request to postpone the visit from its scheduled date of 9 March to 6 April, was that the President will be busy and the Minister of Foreign Affairs will not be available.

(Reuter 3 Apr 95, by Dominic Evans)
KHARTOUM - A worldwide Islamist meeting in Sudan that resolved to support armed struggle against Israel offered Moslem radicals and militants a rare chance to coordinate strategy, delegates and diplomats said.

After three days of conference hall rhetoric and a final session which threw together resolutions barely changed from the last meeting in 1993, delegates said the main aim of attending was the opportunity for networking with sympathetic groups.

Western diplomats following the meeting said they were more interested to know what practical links might have been forged between militants waging campaigns of violence across the Arab and Islamic world that in the final resolution...

Delegates from more than 80 countries included figures from Hizbollah, Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Algerian Islamists from an-Nahda and the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) as well as Egypt's fundamentalist Moslem Brotherhood.

"We are worried about what sort of meetings might have been going on on the sidelines," one Western diplomat said...

In a final resolution issued on Sunday, the conference rejected the PLO-Israeli accord for Palestinian self-rule, supported an armed struggle against Israel, called for the lifting of U.N. sanctions against Iraq and Libya, and urged Moslem countries to implement Sharia (Islamic law)...


(African Rights Feb 95)
This is a brief outline of a new 60-page report by African Rights.

The government of Sudan is inflicting appalling suffering on several million of its citizens who are displaced from their homes, through a systematic and brutal policy of forcible change of cultural identity, discrimination through the law, the demolition of their houses and forced relocation. Migrants, almost all non-Arab Sudanese from the South and west of the country, are encamped around large Northern cities, with nearly two million within a few kilometres of Khartoum itself. The tragedy of these `displaced people' is on a scale with few parallels. However, the displaced in Northern Sudan are politically invisible. They are systematically oppressed by their government and shunned and ostracised by the majority of the Northern townspeople...

International concern for the displaced has been at best sporadic, and almost entirely ineffective. The UN has been drawn into assistance programmes that, while they mitigate some of the material suffering of the displaced, give a spurious veneer of respectability to the government's policy. Most international agencies persist in regarding the displaced as a technical problem facing the government, rather that a human rights and political question...

Without any advocates, up to three million non-Arab displaced people in Sudan face a future as invisible, disenfranchised citizens.

/HAB/ To order "Sudan's Invisible Citizens", contact African Rights, 11 Marshalsea Road, London SE1 1EP, U.K.; Tel:+44 171 717 1224; Fax:+44 171 717 1240.

(NN/ 26 Mar 95 [Feb 95])
/HAB/ The following excerpts have been reordered and subheadings added for editorial reasons.


...The dismal human rights situation showed no improvement in 1994. Both the Government and insurgents committed serious human rights abuses, including massacres and extrajudicial killing, kidnaping, and forced conscription. A myriad of official and secret government security forces routinely harassed, detained, and tortured opponents or suspected opponents of the Government with impunity. Despite some improvement in overall cooperation with U.N.-sponsored relief operations, both the SPAF/PDF and SPLA/SSIM periodically obstructed the flow of humanitarian assistance to affected populations.

The Government and rebels continued to restrict most civil rights, including the rights to free speech and association. In the context of the Islamization and Arabization drive, pressure--including forced Islamization--on non-Muslims remained strong. Fears of Arabization and Islamization and the imposition of Shari'a (Islamic law) have fueled support for the southern insurgency. Serious abuses against women and children continued...


...In addition to the regular police and Sudan People's Armed Forces (SPAF), the Government maintains an Islamic militia, the Popular Defense Forces (PDF), and an Islamic police force, the Popular Police, whose mission includes enforcing proper social behavior, including restrictions on alcohol and "immodest dress."...


...Some aspects of Sudanese law and many traditional practices discriminate against women. Gender segregation is commonplace. In keeping with Islamic law, Muslim women are not accorded the same property, inheritance, and family rights as Muslim men. Women typically inherit half as much of the estate of a man with the same degree of kinship, and only men may initiate legal divorce proceedings. These rules apply only to Sudanese Muslims and not to those of other faiths. Women are discriminated against in employment, and only a small number of women worked in the professions, the police, and the military...

...Women may not travel outside of Sudan without the permission of their husbands or male guardians...


..Government practice, as opposed to government rhetoric, demonstrated no significant concern for the rights and welfare of children. A considerable number of children suffered serious abuses, including occasional enslavement, in the war zones. There were recurrent reports that the SPLA held thousands of children in camps against their will and used them as a reservoir of recruits for its military forces.

There continued to be credible but unconfirmed reports of the existence of special camps where people from the north or from abroad come to purchase women and children. In his report to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, the U.N. Special Rapporteur noted eyewitness accounts which revealed consistent reports of the locations of camps. Young girls and women are reportedly purchased for housekeepers and in some cases wives. The boys are reportedly kept as servants...


...Although the law prohibits forced or compulsory labor, slavery persists. The taking of slaves, particularly in war zones, and their export to parts of central and northern Sudan continued in 1994. Captives were forced to do agricultural and domestic work, and some women were forced to serve as concubines. Although in some instances local authorities took action to stop instances of slavery, in other cases the authorities did nothing. There were also several unconfirmed reports that some captives were exported to Libya. In its 1993 World Labor Report, the ILO noted that traditional slavery survived and is increasing in modern-day Sudan in the context of the ongoing civil war.

The SPLA and SSIM continued to force southern men to work as laborers or porters or forcibly conscripted them into their fighting forces...

(SCSG Feb 95 [Sudan Focal Point Dec 94-Jan 95])
Five child slaves arrived in Khartoum in October 1994, and their stories have reached us. Here are some of them.

D.A.D.: "My name is D.A.D. I am 11 years old. I am a Dinka but I cannot remember my parent because I was captured by Arab Murahileen [tribal militia] when I was very young. We were taken from our village which I can't remember to M., where we were divided up among our captors. Y.A. took me into his household. I looked after his cattle. One day, Y.A.'s bulls got lost in the bush. This earned me a serious beating. He is very unkind, this Y.A." A.M.A.: "My name is A.M.A. and I'm 10 years old. I am a Dinka from M.B. near N. It was one morning when some Arabs came on horseback and killed my father and took me with them. They took me and other children to S. near D. where they divided us among themselves. I was taken by A.R.O. He assigned me to look after his cattle. I might have stayed with him for seven years - I don't know. I was often mistreated and fed on sour milk. Two of us Dinka children were in A.R.O.'s household, the other was A., a girl older than me. I'm glad I have been freed from torment."

W.M.A.: "My name is W.M.A., aged 14, I am a Dinka from Northern Bahr al Ghazal. The day the Murahileen attacked our village 22 villagers, including me, were captured. They speared my uncle and his son dead. We spent four days walking from our village to a place called G. in Arabland. They divided us among themselves ... A.A. took me ... He is a nomadic cattle keeper ... and we were wandering the wilderness with him in search of pasture for the cattle. A.A. was fond of beating me, especially whenever a calf went astray. He used to buy an araki [a cheap robe] and he would not buy me another until the first one was worn out. In the beginning he warned me that if I did not convert to Islam he would kill me. I was renamed [a Muslim name] and I used to pray with him five times a day. But since I was retrieved from him I have stopped praying because I know now that I am a Christian."

(Reuter 8 Mar 95)
GENEVA - Sudan was condemned at the United Nations on Wednesday for abuses including torture, summary executions and slavery.

In one of the fiercest censure resolutions it has ever adopted, the U.N. Human Rights Commission also urged Sudan to stop violating the rights of children.

The resolution was passed by the commission, the U.N.'s highest human rights forum, as it wrapped up its annual six-week session.

The Commission expressed "deep concern at continued serious human rights violations in the Sudan, including summary executions, extrajudicial killings, arbritrary arrests, detentions without due process, violations of the rights of women and children, slavery and slavery-like practices, forced displacement of persons and systematic torture"...

The resolution was largely based on a report by Hungarian lawyer Gaspar Biro, the Commission's special rapporteur on human rights in Sudan...

He said both Sudan's Islamic government and factions of the opposition Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) were committing abuses against civilians.

Biro said the government was continuing to round up children from the streets of Khartoum and other major northern towns and send them to special camps for ideological indoctrination and conversion to Islam...

(Reuter 10 Mar 95)
KHARTOUM - Sudan has rejected a United Nations Human Rights Commission resolution condemning it for abuses including torture, summary executions and slavery.

Sudan's Minister of Justice Abdel Aziz Shido described the resolution as illogical, the official press reported on Friday...

"Sudan strongly protests at the charges... the situation of women in Sudan is distinguished - a position not found anywhere else in the world," Shido said, adding that Sudan respects all international laws dealing with women.


(AED 13 Feb 95)
Gold will become the country's leading export in the next 10 years, says energy and mines minister Salah al-Din Karrar.

Karrar told the privately-owned al-Bar al-Youm newspaper that the government had drawn up a plan to mine 4,000 kg of gold in the current year.

A Franco-Sudanese firm, ARIAB, has been mining and exporting small quantities of gold since 1991.

Karrar says the country has deposits of gold in a belt stretching from Kapoeta in the south near the Kenyan border to the east of the country.

(SWB 14 Mar 95 [RSR in Arabic, 8 Mar 95])
The minister of energy and mining, Mr Salah al-Din Karrar, has announced that a contract will be signed in the coming few days between the Ministry of Energy and Mining and a major Chinese gold prospecting company for the prospecting of gold in the Blue Nile region.

Mr Salah Karrar announced that, according to the contract, the company would be granted a concession to prospect for gold in a region located in southern Blue Nile state. His Excellency added that there were companies from South Africa currently negotiating for gold prospecting concessions in the Red Sea region.

(AED 27 Feb 95)
Total production of sorghum last year was over 4 million tonnes, compared to 2.3 million tonnes the year before. Millet production saw a record rise to 1 million tonnes from 220,000 tonnes.

Groundnut production grew 89 per cent, but sesame production fell from 185,000 tonnes to 22,000 tonnes. Gum arabic production is up to 35,000 from 29,000.

(AED 27 Feb 95)
The rate of GNP growth might reach 10 per cent by the end of this year and inflation could be down by 55 per cent, says finance minister Abdalla Hassan Ahmed.

The agricultural sector grew by about 23.6 per cent last year, compared with average growth of about 12 per cent the year before, while both industrial and services sectors grew by 5 per cent.

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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