The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
* Despite sanctions, Iraq nears completion of major dam (CNN) * Iraqi Foreign Minister Al-Sahaf admits there are Kuwaiti prisoners in Iraq (Arabic News) * Report: Qusai Saddam Hussein to be named the second man in Iraq (Arabic News) * Syria and Iraq move closer to diplomatic ties (Arabic News) * PKK claims responsibility for exploding the Iraqi pipeline in Turkey (Arabic News) * US names Iraqi opposition factions to receive US aid (Arabic News) * UN report by Max Van der Stoel on human rights in Iraq (Associated Press) A new UN report on the lack of human rights urges the Iraqi government to come clean about the missing Kuwaitis - Foreign Minister Al-Sahaf admits that Kuwaiti prisoners are being held. The nomination of Saddam Hussein's son Qusai as deputy chairman of the Ba'ath Party Council marks the ominous beginning of "a series of changes in Iraq", while the factions to receive the US $97 million opposition aid have now been determined. Iraq is attempting to end its political and economic isolation through renewing diplomatic relations with Syria. ******************** Despite sanctions, Iraq nears completion of major dam March 23, 1999, Web posted at: 6:47 p.m. EDT (1847 GMT) >From Correspondent James Martone EL AUTHEIM, Iraq (CNN) -- In the parched landscape 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq officials unveiled the country's newest dam. Proof, they say, that an eight-year economic embargo and U.S.-British airstrikes won't stop progress. "This is a civilized, peaceful response to the aggression of the evildoers," said Iraqi Irrigation Minister Mahmoud Dhiab el Ahmed. "The Americans bomb us on a daily basis ... it is one of their objectives to stop us from developing." Officials say the dam, due to open next month, is being built with machines and equipment that date back to before the 1991 Gulf War. It will be fed by rainwater and the nearby Autheim river to provide fertile farmland and much-needed electricity. The Autheim dam is Iraq's sixth major dam but the first to be built under U.N.-imposed economic sanctions. It is set to begin operations April 28, the birthday of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Diplomats touring the construction site expressed admiration and amazement that Iraq found the estimated $10 million needed to build the Autheim dam. "Of course I admire these accomplishments. At the same time, I am wondering, how do they succeed to do this in such circumstances?" said George Tsarllescu, Romania's ambassador to Iraq. The last stop on the tour took the diplomats past the remnants of another dam that stood on the Autheim river 4,000 years ago. A reminder, Iraqi officials said, of the region's deeply rooted traditions. ******************** Al-Sahaf admits there are Kuwaiti prisoners in Iraq Arabic News, Iraq, Politics, 3/24/99 Well-informed Egyptian sources told the Kuwaiti daily al-Qabas that the admission by Iraqi Foreign Minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahaf during his talks in Cairo that there are Kuwaiti prisoners in Iraq is considered a step conducive to the next step, which is Iraq's unconditional recognition of Kuwait's independence and sovereignty. The Egyptian sources added that Cairo views "the expected Iraqi step" as an open apology by the Iraqi government for the invasion of Kuwait and shouldering responsibility for the consequences of this invasion, to give a chance to the 7-member committee, formed by a decision of the Arab foreign ministers' council, to start its work. ******************** Report: Qusai Saddam Hussein to be named the second man in Iraq Arabic News, Iraq, Politics, 3/24/99 The London-based Middle East daily said that according to statements to leading cadres in the ruling Baath Party in Iraq and the regional leadership of the Baath Party and its branches in the Iraqi provinces the party discussed during two-day deliberations the Nomination of Qusai, the second son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, to be the second man in the Iraqi leadership. In a report published on Tuesday, the paper added that the leading cadres in the Baath party approved the appointment of Qusai Saddam Hussein as the deputy chairman of the state's council due to be formed shortly in Iraq. The paper added that Iraqi leading Baathists considered the appointment of Qusai as marking the beginning of a series of changes to take place in Iraq. ******************** Syria, Iraq move closer to diplomatic ties Fox News,11.00 p.m. ET (401 GMT) March 23, 1999 DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - After 19 years of severed diplomatic relations, Syria and Iraq have agreed to establish interest sections in their capitals, officials said Tuesday. In an interview with Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa said the agreement was arranged in February. The Algerian Embassy in Damascus and Baghdad will take care of diplomatic work for the two countries, al-Sharaa was quoted as saying. Damascus and Baghdad broke relations shortly after the start of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war when Syria sided with Iran. Relations worsened after Syria took part in the U.S.-led multinational alliance that ousted Iraqi occupation forces from Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War. But ties have improved in recent years with the two countries exchanging visits by businessmen and officials. The moves comes with Iraq trying to ease its economic and political isolation. ******************** PKK claims responsibility of exploding the Iraqi pipeline in Turkey Arabic News, Iraq, Politics, 3/24/99 The Turkish News agency "Deem" quoted a statement issued by the military wing of the Kurdistani Workers Party (PKK) led by Abdullah Ocalan as saying that the party's fighters carried out the explosion operation in the Turkish part of the Iraqi oil pipeline last Sunday. On Monday, an oil source in Baghdad stressed that oil pumping in the pipeline was suspended due to the explosion, which resulted in a large fire. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the UN in Baghdad announced on Tuesday that the UN sanctions committee approved so far some 395 Iraqi requests to purchase oil equipment at a total cost of $237 million. John Mills, the spokesman for the oil-for-food program said in a statement issued in New York, a copy of which reached Baghdad, that requests for oil equipment frozen by the sanctions committee reached 94 with an estimated value of $28 million. ****************** US names Iraqi opposition factions to receive US aid Arabic News, Iraq, Politics, 3/24/99 The Jordanian weekly al-Sabeel said that the US administration has determined the names of opposition Iraqi factions which will benefit from the $97 million in aid to be provided in the context of toppling the Iraqi regime. The Iraqi National Congress, led by Ahmad al-Jalabi was on top of the list. The Jordanian paper said that the benefiting Iraqi organizations are the National Reconciliation Movement, the Kurdistani Democratic Party, the Kurdistani National Party and the Constitutional Royal Movement led by al-Sharif Bin Ali and the Higher Council of the Islamic Revolution. According to Israeli sources, the Jordanian paper added that the Kurdistani Democratic Party pays more than one million US dollars per year to Israel to use an Israeli satellite in order to broadcast a television project on it. The Jordanian al-Sabeel weekly added that the Israeli Bezeq company for telecommunications has for a long time been helping the Kurdish television of Barzani, noting that Barzani stands against Ocalan and is linked with good relations with the US, Turkey and Israel. ******************** U.N. Cites Lack of Iraq Rights By Erica Bulman, Associated Press Writer, Wednesday, March 24, 1999; 12:09 p.m. EST GENEVA (AP) -- Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq has practically eliminated all human rights, creating a situation that is as bad as any regime since World War II, a U.N. expert said Wednesday. Iraq ignores the rights to ``life, liberty and physical integrity,'' said former Dutch Foreign Minister Max van der Stoel in a 21-page report to the annual session of the U.N. Human Rights Commission. He agreed with the conclusions of the U.N. Security Council that Saddam's regime was ``a threat to peace and security in the region.'' Numerous allegations had been received of human rights abuses by Saddam's government, said Van der Stoel, who called for an end to summary executions, disappearances and forced relocations. According to reports, hundreds of prison executions took place in the last months of 1998 as part of an Iraqi prison cleansing campaign, bringing the total number of prisoners said to have been executed in one year to 2,500. Some of those reportedly shot, hanged or electrocuted had been sentenced to death for plotting against Iraq's government or its officials, said Van der Stoel. A disproportionate number of Iraq's minority Shiites and Kurds were among those killed. Van der Stoel also called on the Iraqi government to allow the Red Cross full and unrestricted access to all Iraqi prisons and other detention centers. He also criticized Iraq's failure to resolve the cases of the over 600 persons of Kuwaiti and third-country nationality who disappeared during or after Iraqi's 1990 occupation of Kuwait. With Iraq refusing to allow human rights monitors in the country, van der Stoel, who has been investigating Iraq for eight years, concluded that the truth must ``lie with the allegations rather than with the government of Iraq.'' One Iraqi official strongly criticized the U.N. report. ``Two million people have died because of the blockades and economic sanctions and constant aggressions from the United States and Britain. But Mr. van der Stoel ignores all that and the suffering of the people of Iraq,'' said Saad Hussain, an advisor to Iraq's permanent mission in Geneva. ``His report is politically motivated,'' he said, adding that van der Stoel was using the report to get other countries to gang up on Iraq. He said Iraq had yet to make its official response to the report. ******************** -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html