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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] This is an automated compilation of submissions to email@example.com Articles for inclusion in this daily news mailing should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a full reference to the source of the article. Today's Topics: 1. Mercenaries in Iraq _ Whose Paying Them? (farbuthnot) 2. Iraqis stranded by passport freeze (Mark Parkinson) 3. The terrible human cost of Bush and Blair's military adventure: 10,000 civilian deaths (Mark Parkinson) --__--__-- Message: 1 Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 12:51:18 +0000 Subject: Mercenaries in Iraq _ Whose Paying Them? From: "farbuthnot" <asceptic@DELETETHISfreenetname.co.uk> To: casIemail@example.com CC: firstname.lastname@example.org [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] =A0Date: =A0Monday,=A0February=A009,=A02004=A008:07=A0am =A0Subject: =A0[iraq-tribunal] Mercenaries in Iraq - Who's paying?Star FRON= T PAGE Sunday February 8, 2004=A0South African hired guns flock to IraqFebrua= ry 4, 2004=A0By Beauregard Tromp=A0More than 1 500 South Africans are believed= to be in Iraq under contract to various private military companies.=A0And the number will grow as the hired guns increasingly fill the void left by departing American and British forces.=A0According to a United Nations repo= rt, South Africa is already among the top three suppliers of personnel for private military companies, along with the UK and the US.=A0"There are definitely more than 1 500 South Africans doing duty there (Iraq). More of them will be killed, because as the Americans are pulling out, South Africans are filling the void," said a respected security analyst.=A0Last week, former Koevoet member Francois Strydom died when a van laden with explosives blew up at the hotel in which he and other South Africans were staying.=A0Former Vlakplaas policeman Deon Gouws was injured in the blast a= nd is reportedly in a serious but stable condition.=A0The two were contracted = to Erinys International, a subcontractor of SAS International. Local subsidiar= y Erinys Africa has distanced itself from the work in Iraq.=A0The Regulation = of Foreign Military Assistance Act, passed in July 1998, prohibits South African citizens from direct participation as a combatant in armed conflict for private gain. Such engagement includes recruitment, training, or financing and applies to South Africans acting outside the country as well.=A0All security companies working outside the country are required by = law to register with the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), headed by Minister of Education Kader Asmal.=A0So far two companies, Meteor= ic Tactical Solutions and Grand Lake Trading 46 (Pty) Ltd, have submitted applications to operate in Iraq.=A0=A0Meteoric Tactical Solutions is provid= ing protection and is also training new Iraqi police and security units. Erinys= , a joint South African-British company, has received a multimillion-dollar contract to protect Iraq's oil industry.=A0Neither company has yet received formal approval from the NCACC, while Erinys failed to apply at all.=A0"It seems as though foreign companies are using South Africans. If this is a loophole, we need to try to close it," said Democratic Alliance MP Raenette Taljaard.=A0The security source says most companies were acting in breach o= f the act. He added that some companies were involved in commercial security work only, such as protecting buildings and private individuals.=A0A popula= r loophole is for companies to register as landmine removers - which exempts many from the law as their efforts are seen as humanitarian. "They go in under the auspices of removing mines, but do everything but," the source said.=A0South African mercenary Richard Rouget is also reportedly in Iraq, although his activities there are unclear.=A0Rouget was recently sentenced = to five years in jail or R100 000 for recruiting pilots and infantry for the civil war in Ivory Coast. The South Africans trained government soldiers an= d participated in the fighting themselves. Each was paid about 6 000 euros (about R52 500).=A0"You can get well-trained, disciplined South Africans fo= r less than R35 000 (a month) whereas British and Americans won't work for less than R70 000," said our source.=A0=A0=A0?2004 The Star. All rights res= erved. --__--__-- Message: 2 From: "Mark Parkinson" <mark44@DELETETHISmyrealbox.com> To: email@example.com Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 21:45:59 -0000 Subject: Iraqis stranded by passport freeze http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/5C1E4BDF-6C63-4F6C-861D- 70F844E81D2C.htm By Ahmed Janabi Sunday 08 February 2004, 15:52 Makka Time, 12:52 GMT Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been trapped inside their own country since the occupation of Iraq last year because of an inoperative immigration department. "We are living in a big cage," said Azhar Husayn, an Iraqi accountant who wants to travel abroad to look for work. "That's how I felt when I went to the immigration department in Baghdad. They told me that no passports were available and I'd have to wait until further notice," she said. During Saddam Hussein's rule certain groups of Iraqis, such as army personnel and post-graduate degree holders, were banned from travelling abroad for security reasons and to prevent a brain drain. Immigration departments across Iraq were extremely attractive to looters after Baghdad fell on 9 April 2003. Thousands of passport books and stamps were stolen and remain missing. The Iraqi authorities have been unable to issue new passports or use the passport books that survived the looting. Only those holding valid passports issued before the invasion are able to travel. Hasanayn Hadi Fadhil, the third secretary of the Iraqi Embassy in Doha, told Aljazeera.net they were not currently issuing new passports. "We are only extending Iraqi passports for two or four years. As for new passports, they are not available at present," he said. "We do not know when we shall receive new passport books. A passport is a sign of sovereignty; issuing new passports will be sorted out when an Iraqi government takes office," he said. The occupation authorities have started to issue interim travel documents for Iraqis who want to travel abroad. The document is valid for one trip and is accepted only in Syria and Jordan. "In the past we had to pay $200 to get a passport," says Abd al-Majid Abd al-Rahman, an engineer who wants to work in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. "It was a relatively high fee, but at least we could have passports whenever we wanted," he said. He travelled to Jordan with the document issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to find himself stuck. "I want to go to Dubai. There are no jobs in Iraq. But I can't because I don't have a passport. We don't even know when we shall be able to get passports," he said. Fadhil confirmed that Qatar, like the UAE, does not accept the interim travel document issued by the CPA. "We contacted the immigration department in Doha and they do not accept the interim travel document", he said. One Aljazeera reporter in Baghdad, Abd al-Adhim Muhammad, said the lack of passports was the main contributing factor to increasing unemployment in Iraq. "A lot of professional Iraqis are willing to travel abroad to look for job opportunities, but they are trapped because they cannot get passports." Aljazeera.net spoke to Ayad al-Wattar, a retired army officer living in Baghdad who said he now wanted to travel abroad to get medical care for his wife. "My wife is ill and needs special treatment. We want to go to the US where she has a brother, but we are unable to because we do not have passports," he said. "We were hoping for a better life, now we are very disappointed." Al-Wattar added: "They promised us that the new passports would be ready with the release of the new Iraqi banknotes, but that simply did not happen." The authorities in Iraq have linked the resumption of passport issuing to the installation of a new Iraqi government, but the question remains whether or not Iraqis will be willing - and able - to wait that long to get their basic rights. Mark Parkinson Bodmin Cornwall --__--__-- Message: 3 From: "Mark Parkinson" <mark44@DELETETHISmyrealbox.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 22:33:21 -0000 Subject: The terrible human cost of Bush and Blair's military adventure: 10,000 civilian deaths Will the BBC report this? The terrible human cost of Bush and Blair's military adventure: 10,000 civilian deaths 09.02.2004 [07:10] UK and US authorities discourage counting of deaths as a result of the conflict. But academics are monitoring the toll and have identified a grim new milestone More than 10,000 civilians, many of them women and children, have been killed so far in the Iraqi conflict, The Independent on Sunday has learnt, making the continuing conflict the most deadly war for non-combatants waged by the West since the Vietnam war more than 30 years ago. The passing of this startling milestone will be recorded today by Iraq Body Count, the most authoritative organisation monitoring the human cost of the war. Since the invasion began in March, this group of leading academics and campaigners has registered all civilian deaths in Iraq attributable to the conflict. They do this in the absence of any counts by US, British, or Baghdad authorities. Iraq Body Count's co-founder, John Sloboda, said: "This official disinterest must end. We are now calling for an independent international tribunal to be set up to establish the numbers of dead, the circumstances in which they were killed and an appropriate and just level of compensation for the victims' families." His call was backed by Bob Marshall Andrews, Labour MP for Medway. He said: "These are figures which are airbrushed out of the political equation and yet are central to whether it is possible to create a stable and democratic Iraq." Iraq Body Count said last night that deaths are only recorded by them when reported by at least two media outlets. Its leading researcher Hamit Dardagan said that its careful, but necessarily incomplete, records are in contrast to "the official indifference" to counting either the Iraqi lives lost or those blighted by injuries. Neither the US or British military, nor the Coalition Provisional Authority have kept a record of Iraq civilian or military casualties, and Washington and London have both rejected calls for them to compile such totals. This attitude extends also to the provisional Iraqi government. Until late last year, an official at the Iraqi Health Ministry, a Dr Nagham Mohsen, was compiling casualty figures from hospital records. But, according to a barely noticed Associated Press report, she was, in December, ordered by her immediate superior, director of planning Dr Nazar Shabandar, to stop collating this data. The health minister Dr Khodeir Abbas denied that this order was inspired or encouraged by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority. Several other groups have attempted to make educated guesses of the war's true total of dead and injured. Among them is Medact, a organisation of British health professionals, most of whom are doctors. In November it published a report on the war's casualties and health problems in post-conflict Iraq. Omitted from this report was a suggestion that the total dead and wounded on both sides could be as high as 150,000-200,000. But in the end it was felt that the lack of scientific basis for this figure would undermine a carefully worded report. One of the issues confusing any attempt to arrive at an accurate figure for the war's toll is the unknown number of Iraqi military who died. This is in marked contrast to the precise records of coalition service fatalities and injuries, which are kept by service arm, age, circumstance, and, in the case of wounded, by severity. Meanwhile, no one knows Iraqi military deaths to the nearest 20,000. Iraq Body Count concentrates on quantifiable civilian deaths. On its website, the organisation says: "So far, in the 'war on terror' initiated since 9/11, the USA and its allies have been responsible for over 13,000 civilian deaths, not only the 10,000 in Iraq, but also 3,000-plus civilian deaths in Afghanistan, another death toll that continues to rise long after the world's attention has moved on. "Elsewhere in the world over the same period, paramilitary forces hostile to the USA have killed 408 civilians in 18 attacks worldwide. Adding the official 9/11 death toll (2,976 on 29 October 2003) brings the total to just under 3,500." Munitions that ended up in the hands of children Ali Abdul-Amir was one of many Iraqi civilians injured or killed by munitions left behind or not cleared by both sides in the conflict. At 2pm on 3 May the eight-year-old put a match to a piece of explosive ordnance outside a school in al-Hay al-Askari, a neighbourhood of Nasiriyah. The explosion left him with severe burns and shrapnel injuries (pictured left). Six days later in Baghdad, Muhammad Keun Jiheli, 16, brought a piece of ordnance home to use for cooking fuel. An explosion killed four members of his family. Muhammad suffered burns over 72 per cent of his body, and Jamil Salem Hamid, also 16, received burns over 54 per cent of his body. Iraqi forces left behind more than 600,000 tons of munitions. Many had been stored in civilian areas, and were not secured or cleared by coalition forces quickly enough to prevent casualties. The town of al- Hilla was the worst affected by cluster submunitions used in battle that failed to explode on impact as intended. Easily discovered and picked up by children, they were still causing death or injury months after the conflict ended. Research by Bonnie Docherty, Human Rights Watch US air raid on Saddam's half-brother kills civilians Four-month-old Dina Jabir was the only survivor when American bombs fell on the family home. Her father Zaid Ratha Jabir, 36, an engineer, and his family returned to their home in al-Karrada, Baghdad, on the night of 7 April to gather some belongings. They had been staying a mile away with Dina's great-uncle, Sa'dun Hassan Salih, shown here holding the baby. A strike levelled the Jabir home just after 9pm, killing six people. Dina was found the next day in a neighbour's yard. She had broken arms and legs, shrapnel in her skull and internal injuries, but was alive and would recover. The intended target, Saddam's half-brother Watban Ibrahim Hasan, was captured alive a week later. Family wiped out by British cluster bombs in Basra British forces caused dozens of civilian casualties when they used ground-launched cluster munitions in and around Basra, including a strike in the neighbourhood of Hay al-Zaitun on 25 March. Jamal Kamil Sabir, 25, lost his right leg to a blast while crossing a bridge with his family. His nephew took shrapnel in his knee and his wife still had shrapnel in her left leg two months later because doctors were afraid to remove it while she was pregnant. Submunitions had also fallen on al-Mishraq al-Jadid on 23 March, killing Iyad Jassim Ibrahim, 26, sleeping in the front room of his home, and 10 relatives with him. ????????: David Randall, The Independent, Feb 8 Mark Parkinson Bodmin Cornwall End of casi-news Digest _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk