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News for 10 January to 16 January, 2000

News for the period January 10 to January 16, 2000:
* No consensus yet on UNMOVIC head (4-stories)
* Update on five-year old Mariam Hamza <>:
blindness appears permanent, but seizures under control.
* Oil Prices Top $28, a 9-Year High
* Aziz tour: MALAYSIA backs lifting of UN sanctions; China reaction
* Iraq to allow IAEA inspections (2-stories)
* Voices in the Wilderness begins fast in Washington, D.C.
* Ex-U.S. Attorney General Leads 60-Person Anti-Sanction Delegation to Iraq
* Attacks in no-fly zones continue; at least one civilian death reported
* Iraq ready to cooperate over 'the missing'
* Kurdish media reports, including ongoing human rights violations in Iraq
* Iraqi government announcements

Sources: AP, Reuters, AFP, NYTimes, Washington Post, and the Jordan Times. 

Thanks to Ben Rempel for the Kurdish Media items, and to Yasmena Samahy for
the Jordan Times article.  Thanks also to Nathan Geffen for the opportunity
to fill-in for the next few weeks.
- Drew Hamre
January 15, 2000

No Consensus Yet on U.N. Iraq Post

By The Associated Press
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan failed to get Security
Council approval for his top candidates to lead the United Nations'  new
weapons inspection agency for Iraq, and more names may have to be
considered, diplomats and U.N. officials said. 

Russia and China told Annan they opposed his top choice, Rolf Ekeus of
Sweden, the first chief weapons inspector, to be executive chairman of  the
U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC, the
diplomats said Friday. 

Annan's other main candidates, Brazil's former U.N. ambassador, Celso
Amorim, and Finland's ambassador to Israel and Cyprus, Pasi Patokallio,
similarly didn't receive the full support of council members, the diplomats
said on condition of anonymity. 

Consultations were expected to continue by telephone over the weekend, and
other names could be floated, diplomats said. 

U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard would only say: ``The secretary-general hasn't
given up.'' 

U.S. officials, meanwhile, said they hadn't ruled out any candidates,
including Ekeus, who is retiring in June as Sweden's ambassador to the
United States. 

UNMOVIC was formed in December to replace the U.N. Special Commission, known
as UNSCOM, which was charged after the 1991 Gulf War with  uncovering Iraq's
efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. 

UNSCOM inspectors pulled out of Baghdad in December, 1998, ahead of U.S. and
British airstrikes. 

Under the resolution that created UNMOVIC, Annan was given until Sunday to
find an executive chairman for the agency. It wasn't clear Friday  night if
the council would meet Sunday to extend the deadline or let it simply pass
without formal action if a candidate wasn't found. 

Several new names were floated Thursday and Friday, and others thought to
have been passed over were resurrected, including South Africa's  deputy
director-general for multilateral affairs, Abdul Minty. 

The South African mission to the United Nations on Thursday had said Minty's
services were required at home, but diplomats said Annan was asked  Friday
to approach the government and ask it to reconsider. 

New names proposed included two Indonesians: the former Indonesian foreign
minister, Ali Alatas and the former U.N. ambassador, Nugroho  Wisnumurti,
both of whom were deeply involved in the U.N.-organized referendum in East

It wasn't immediately clear if they received support of the key five
permanent members of the council. 
Ekeus Won't Be New Iraq Arms Monitor
By Colum Lynch
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, January 15, 2000; Page A26 

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 14-Rolf Ekeus, the Swedish diplomat who oversaw the
disarmament of Iraq from 1991 to 1997, has been ruled out as head of a  new
arms inspection agency because of opposition from China and Russia,
according to senior diplomats.

Ekeus, one of three candidates proposed by United Nations Secretary-General
Kofi Annan on Thursday, was blocked on the grounds that new blood  is needed
for the inspection agency and that Iraq would never agree to cooperate with
him, diplomats said.

Celso Amorim, a Brazilian with little disarmament experience, also was
dropped from the running because of objections from Washington and  London,
they said. Pasi Patokallio, a Finnish arms control expert, was the last of
Annan's informal nominees in contention.

But China, backed by Malaysia, pressed Annan to search for candidates from
Third World countries to head the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and
Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC.

China's deputy representative at the U.N., Shen Guofang, said he hoped that
Annan would appeal to South Africa to release Abdul Minty, a  foreign
ministry official, from his duties. The South African government declined an
earlier invitation to nominate Minty.

Malaysia's ambassador, meanwhile, proposed two Indonesians for the post:
former foreign minister Ali Alatas and former U.N ambassador Nugroho

Annan is scheduled to name a candidate for the Security Council's approval
by Sunday. "It's been a bit more complicated than one would have  expected,"
he said. 
Friday January 14 6:09 PM ET 
Council Members Deadlocked on New Iraq Arms Chief
By Evelyn Leopold

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Swedish diplomat Rolf Ekeus apparently has been
ruled out as head of a new arms inspection agency for Iraq as U.N.  Security
Council members were stymied on choosing a candidate by their Sunday

The discounting of Ekeus, who was the first chief U.N. inspector from 1991
to 1997, appeared to leave three other main candidates in the  running but
there was no agreement on them either, with lists changing constantly,
diplomats said.

Divisions in the 15-member body, especially its five permanent members
appear to be as strong as ever with supporters and opponents of  sanctions
imposed on Iraq objecting to more than a dozen candidates proposed.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan had hoped to announce on Friday his choice
of a new executive chairman for the U.N. Monitoring, Verification  and
Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) created by the Security Council on Dec. 17
as a successor to the U.N. Special Commission or UNSCOM.

But while diplomats have been told to be on standby for the weekend, many of
them doubted a decision could be reached before Monday. The  council, in the
December resolution, had put a one-month deadline on choosing a chief

Names frequently mentioned are: Pasi Patokallio, Finland's ambassador in
Israel, Celso Amorim, Brazil's former U.N. ambassador, and Abdul  Minty, a
South African Foreign Ministry official earlier ruled out by his government
but still said to be under consideration.

Chinese and Russian envoys were reported to have told Annan that Iraq
opposed Ekeus and therefore he would not enjoy any cooperation to get the
job done. Iraq has had bitter arguments with all U.N. chief inspectors,
especially Ekeus' successor, Richard Butler, who left his post in June
after two years.

Council members said Malaysia's ambassador, Hasmy Agam, floated the names of
two Indonesians: former Foreign Minister Ali Alatas and former  U.N.
Ambassador Nugroho Wisnumurti. But diplomats expected both to be rejected.

``It's been a bit more complicated than one would have expected,'' Annan
told reporters. ``We all knew that it was going to be difficult, but I  am
continuing my consultations today and I am still hoping to be able to meet
the deadline.''

The new disarmament commission is to succeed UNSCOM, which has been in limbo
for the past year. Baghdad has not permitted inspectors to enter  the
country since they withdrew in December 1998 shortly before the United
States and Britain launched air strikes against Iraqi targets on  grounds
that Baghdad had failed to cooperate with U.N. weapons teams.

To date, one or another of the five permanent council members has opposed
about a dozen candidates Annan has submitted for approval. Russia was
insisting that no one from a NATO member country be eligible, while China is
advocating a candidate from a developing nation.

Patokallio, 50, a Finnish disarmament expert, is among the few nominees who
comes from a nation considered neutral on Iraq. He was a candidate  for the
post in 1997 when Butler was selected, with Iraq's approval, as UNSCOM

Amorim, now at the United Nations in Geneva, chaired several panels on U.N.
policy toward Iraq. Both the United States and Britain were said to  have
opposed him because he did not have a background in disarmament.

Minty, a leader in South Africa's anti-apartheid movement who spent years in
London unearthing the white-led government's nuclear program, had  declined
the post. His government said his services were needed at home but
apparently some council members are trying to persuade Pretoria to  change
its mind. 


Iraq Rejects Ekeus as New Arms Monitor
By Colum Lynch
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, January 13, 2000; Page A12 

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 12-Iraq has told members of the U.N. Security Council
that it will not accept Rolf Ekeus, the former head of U.N.  disarmament
efforts in Iraq and now Swedish ambassador to Washington, as the chairman of
a new arms inspection agency, diplomats said today.

The move by Iraq could complicate the vexing task of selecting a chairman
for the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission,  which the
council voted last month to establish. But a senior U.S. official said that
Iraq's views are irrelevant and that Washington would  never favor a
chairman who met with Baghdad's approval.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan floated the possible candidacy of Ekeus on
Tuesday. Annan is scheduled to nominate a chairman for the  Security
Council's approval by Sunday.

During his years as executive chairman of the former weapons agency, the
U.N. Special Commission or UNSCOM, Ekeus oversaw the destruction of  Iraqi
facilities and equipment suspected of involvement in developing chemical,
biological and nuclear weapons. He maintained cordial relations  with the
Security Council, but his relations with the Iraqi leadership were chilly.
"The nicest thing I can remember the Iraqis saying about  him was 'the
damned Ekeus,' " said one U.N official. "That was his name in Iraq for most
of his stay."

UNSCOM's relations with Baghdad deteriorated even further under his
successor, Richard Butler of Australia, and U.N. weapons inspectors have
been barred from Iraq since they were evacuated in December 1998, on the eve
of a U.S. and British air strike.

China's deputy representative at the United Nations, Shen Guofang, said
today Iraqi officials have told his government that they object to  Ekeus's
candidacy. Guofang added that China is trying to persuade Baghdad to
cooperate with U.N. inspections.

The Iraqi government, meanwhile, told the International Atomic Energy Agency
that it could send a team to Iraq next week to inspect the  country's stores
of low-grade uranium. A spokesman for the Vienna-based agency, David Kyd,
said that none of the nearly 2 tons of uranium  stored in sealed drums at
the Tuwaitha facility in Iraq is weapons-grade.

January 16, 2000

Sickly Iraqi Girl Out of Hospital

By The Associated Press
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- A girl who became a symbol of the plight of Iraqi
children under U.N. sanctions was discharged from an Amman hospital on
Sunday after being treated for neurological disorders that followed leukemia
treatment in Scotland two years ago. 

Five-year-old Mariam Hamza, her father and grandmother were scheduled to
embark on a 12-hour overland trip back to Baghdad later Sunday. U.N.
sanctions ban international flights to and from Iraq. 

Mariam looked healthy as she walked unaided in a corridor at Amman's al-Amal
Center for Cancer Treatment. 

When she was admitted to the center three months ago, doctors said her
disorders -- manifested as seizures, weakness and blindness -- were  linked
to the leukemia treatment she underwent in Scotland a year earlier. 

Dr. Maha Arnaoot, the Amman center's leukemia specialist, said Mariam's
seizures were ``under control'' and will gradually fade, but the  blindness
and physical weakness were permanent. 

``Unfortunately, Mariam will never see again in her life and although she is
going to be permanently weak and will never regain her full  strength, she
will be active and mobile,'' Dr. Arnaoot said. 

She said Mariam underwent several chemotherapy sessions here to ensure there
was no recurrence of leukemia. She said the girl will be given one  last
treatment at the end of the month in Iraq. 

Mariam was treated for leukemia in Scotland in 1998. Her treatment was
initiated by British Member of Parliament George Galloway, who spotted  her
in a Baghdad hospital during a trip designed to publicize the effects of
sanctions on ordinary Iraqis. 

Sanctions were imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. In an
effort to ease the impact on ordinary Iraqis, the United Nations allows
Iraq to sell $5.2 billion worth of crude oil every six months to buy food,
medicine and humanitarian supplies. Iraq insists on a total lifting  of the

January 14, 2000

Oil Prices Top $28, a 9-Year High

By The Associated Press
Oil prices roared 5 percent higher to a new nine-year high Friday, topping
$28 a barrel for the first time since 1991 and the Gulf War. The  gain came
after OPEC removed virtually all doubt it will extend its agreement on
lowered production for several more months. 

Frigid weather in the northeastern United States also contributed to a sharp
rise in crude as well as gasoline, heating oil and natural gas  futures. 

In other markets, coffee prices sank to a six-week low and soybeans moved
significantly higher for a third consecutive day. 

Crude climbed as high as $28.10 a barrel, the highest since Jan. 16, 1991,
before the Allied military strikes on Iraq that brought about an end  to the
Gulf War. <...>

Thursday, January 13 11:40 AM SGT 

KL backs lifting of UN sanctions on Baghdad
MALAYSIA has reiterated its support for the lifting of the 10-year-old
United Nations sanctions on Iraq following Iraq's defeat in the Gulf  War.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in expressing
Malaysia's support to visiting Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz for
the lifting of sanctions, underlined the importance of continuing
discussions at the UN.

"These sanctions have been imposed for a long time and caused suffering to
the people of Iraq and all efforts must be made to lift these  sanctions,"
he told reporters after meeting his Iraqi counterpart at Putrajaya

Tariq, who is on a four-day visit to Malaysia, is accompanied by six senior
officials. He arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. His visit is  aimed at
developing closer ties with Malaysia and explaining Iraq's stand on the
sanctions imposed since the Gulf War.

Malaysia, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, has often
criticised the sanctions.

"Malaysia supports Iraq in that sanctions be lifted and we understand that
Unscom (UN Special Commission) did not give hope that sanctions will  be
lifted," said Abdullah.

Iraq has rejected the resolution adopted last December 17 which called for
the setting up of a new arms inspection agency.

A Wisma Putra official who attended the meeting yesterday said that Tariq
expressed doubts over the new agency and referred to its as "old wine  in a
new bottle".

Malaysia abstained in the vote which sees the setting up of a new arms
inspection commission named the UN Monitoring, Verification and  Inspection
Commission (Unmovic).

Prior to Kuala Lumpur, Tariq visited Beijing which was one of the three
permanent members of the UN Security Council which also abtained in the
vote. The other two are Russia and China.

Abdullah pointed out that Iraq too has a role to play and Iraq is prepared
to cooperate as long as its sovereignty and security are not  jeopardised.

"But for the moment, the Iraqis reckon that there are matters relating to
Unmovic that do not help Iraqi interests," he added.
Friday, January 7 7:37 PM SGT 

China Asks Iraq To Cooperate With UN Weapons Inspectors
BEIJING (AP)--China on Friday urged Iraq to cooperate with U.N. weapons
inspectors to speed the lifting of sanctions against the country,  Chinese
state-run media reported. 
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan told visiting Iraqi Deputy Prime
Minister Tariq Aziz that China was opposed to sanctions but Baghdad  needed
to respect U.N. Security Council resolutions, the Xinhua News Agency said. 

Attempting to end a year-old standoff with Iraq, a divided Security Council
last month demanded Baghdad resume working with weapons inspectors  before
the United Nations would suspend sanctions imposed after the Iraqi invasion
of Kuwait in 1990. 

In coaxing Baghdad, Tang also told Aziz that the council should "be fair and
objective" in assessing Iraq's cooperation and "gradually ease and
eventually lift the sanctions," Xinhua reported. 

China and Iraq have drawn closer in recent years for strategic and
commercial reasons. Baghdad is keen to find friends and emerge from the
isolation brought on by the Gulf War, while Beijing wants to expand its
influence in the region and secure access to Iraqi oil. 

China has often championed Iraqi interests in the Security Council, seeking
an early end to the sanctions. But Beijing abstained rather than  veto
December's resolution, pushed by the U.S. and Britain, which, along with
China, Russia and France, are veto-weilding council members. 

Before his meeting with Tang, Aziz said Iraq appreciated Beijing's support. 

"China has always taken a principled position vis-a-vis the question and
Iraq and many international affairs. And we are satisfied," Aziz told
January 13, 2000

Iraq to Allow Nuclear Inspections Again
NITED NATIONS, Jan. 12 -- Iraq said today that it would allow inspectors
from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the country next  week
to check its uranium stockpiles, ending a monthlong standoff between the
agency and the government of President Saddam Hussein. 

The inspections, however limited, will be the first by any outside agency
concerned with clandestine weapons programs to take place in Iraq  since
December 1998. Inspectors from the atomic agency were withdrawn then in
advance of American and British bombing raids, along with United  Nations
inspectors who monitored biological, chemical and missile programs. 

The new inspections are not related, however, to the monitoring systems
imposed on Iraq after the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf. Next week's
inspections are related solely to the 1968 nuclear nonproliferation treaty,
which Iraq signed and which demands annual inspections of materials  that
could be used to make nuclear weapons. Iraq has 1.8 tons of low-enriched
uranium and 13 tons of natural uranium. Both could be transformed  into
bomb-grade material with the right equipment. 

By refusing visas to the atomic agency's inspectors, Iraq had violated the

Iraq's decision to admit the inspection team comes at the same time that
efforts are being made here to resume other United Nations arms
inspections. This week, Secretary General Kofi Annan is expected to name a
chief arms inspector for the new monitoring commission that the  Security
Council created in December to replace the United Nations Special
Commission, known as Unscom, which has been unable to return to Iraq  after
the American-led bombing. Unscom's executive chairman, Richard Butler,
resigned last year. 

The Security Council, which has been consulting with Mr. Annan as he makes
his choice, has yet to agree on a nominee. Several lists of  candidates have
come and gone, and sometimes come again, as one nation or another rejects
them. In recent days, the leading compromise  candidate has become Rolf
Ekeus, the Swedish diplomat and arms control expert who set up Unscom in
1991 and led it until 1996. Mr. Ekeus, now  Sweden's ambassador to the
United States, has remained in touch with Secretary of State Madeleine K.
Albright, with whom he worked when she was  the American representative

Mr. Annan is likely to name the new chief inspector on Friday, officials and
diplomats said. The deadline set by the Security Council is  Sunday. 

As the new inspection system begins to take shape, Iraq is finding little
diplomatic support in its threats to defy monitoring. Although  Russia,
China, France and Malaysia abstained in the voting for the new surveillance
and disarmament panel, to be known as the United Nations  Monitoring,
Verification and Inspection Commission, neither Russia nor China was
prepared to veto the plan, as the Iraqis had hoped. 

In recent weeks, the Russians have been very active in persuading the Iraqis
to end their defiance of the atomic energy agency, a senior  European
diplomat said. Furthermore, on a visit to China this week, Deputy Prime
Minister Tariq Aziz of Iraq apparently did not receive much  encouragement
as a long diplomatic battle to force Iraqi compliance with new inspections

Today in Malaysia, a nonpermanent Security Council member with a reputation
for voting against the United States, Mr. Aziz was more or less  told to get
in line with the program, although the government of Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohamad said it understood some of Iraq's grievances. 
Thursday January 13 10:39 AM ET 
Diplomats say Baghdad Flexible on U.N. Inspections
By Hassan Hafidh

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Diplomats in Iraq said on Thursday that the Iraqi
leadership appeared to be showing some flexibility in an attempt to find  a
solution to its impasse with the United Nations over arms inspections.

The diplomats said Iraq's announcement that it would allow a team from the
Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to carry out  routine
inspections could be intended to increase pressure on the United States and
Britain to find an acceptable solution to a standoff  between Baghdad and
the U.N. over a wider resumption of arms inspections in Iraq.

``The message that Baghdad wants to communicate to the world is that its
position can be changed if it sees some signs of softening from the
opposite party,'' one diplomat said.

``Baghdad is engaged in an indirect dialogue with the United Nations
Security Council to find a solution acceptable by all parties to the  return
of U.N. weapons inspectors,'' he added.

The United States and Britain, permanent members of the U.N. Security
Council, want Iraq to accept a new U.N. resolution which calls for  sending
arms inspectors back to the country and an easing of sanctions if Baghdad
cooperates with a new disarmament agency.

Baghdad has rejected the resolution adopted on December 17, 1999.

Russia, France and China, also permanent members of the Security Council,
abstained from voting on the resolution which was adopted by 11-0.

``Iraq has been also advised by friendly states like China, Russia and
France to implement the resolution,'' another diplomat said.

Wednesday, Iraq's Foreign Minister Mohammaed Saeed al-Sahaf said the
resolution was ``not practical, not realistic and cannot be implemented.''

But Sahaf repeated that Iraq had complied with previous U.N. resolutions,
and added: ``We want a neutral party to decide whether we abided (by
previous resolutions) or not...We are not in conflict with the Security
Council. Everybody knows that the Security Council is in the hands of  the
Americans followed by the British.''

Iraq's Foreign Ministry undersecretary Nizar Hamdoon said in remarks
published Tuesday that his country would have accepted the resolution if  it
had been practical.

Wednesday, Hamdoon said Iraq had agreed to allow a team from the IAEA to
launch routine inspections to check whether Iraq possesses nuclear  weapons.

The team would arrive in Iraq on January 21 and consist of four or five
experts. It would be the first inspection to be carried out in Iraq  since
December 1998 when U.N. weapons inspectors departed Baghdad a day before
Washington and London launched attacks against Iraq in  mid-December 1998
for failing to cooperate with a previous arms inspection body.

The December 17 U.N. resolution sets up a new arms inspection body -- the
U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) --  to
replace the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) charged with dismantling Iraq's
prohibited weapons. 

[From Kathy Kelly and others in 'Voices in the Wilderness']
January 13, 2000 

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow, several of us leave for Washington, D.C., where we will undertake
a month-long fast. We officially begin the fast on January 15, the  birthday
of Martin Luther King and the 9th anniversary of the Gulf War.

Our agenda and motivation - quite simply - is to engage in an action that
approaches being commensurate to the crime committed every day in our  names
against the Iraqi people. The fast is carried out in the nonviolent
tradition of King and Gandhi. We believe that by forsaking food for  one
month to focus our energies and minds, we are taking a step towards
elevating the level of action to end the sanctions.

This fast, we hope, expresses our resolve to bring this issue into the
hearts and minds of mainstream America. It is a moral question - the
imposition of humanitarian deprivation towards a political end - and we want
it to be considered one. Quite honestly, we have tried many things  -
writing, actions, arrests, and protests - and sense again and again when we
visit Iraq that the hopes and dreams of children are continually  being
beaten to death by political and economic whims of powerful nations and
players. During the fast we will visit with members of Congress,  bother the
State Department, and visit likeminded organizations in D.C. to ask for
their support in our campaign. 

We'll gratefully welcome your support in:

i-contacting your congressional representatives:

The Campbell-Conyers letter to President Clinton has gathered 34 signatures.
Hopefully this number will reach 100 by the deadline, January 27.  Please if
you have not already done so, call your representative, and urge that he or
she not only sign the letter, but also call for hearings  on the sanctions,
and sponsor legislation that will end them.

ii --  notifying your local media about the fast

iii - if at all possible, coming to D.C. to visit your congressional
representatives and other influential organizations

Fasters include Kathy Kelly, Nicholas Arons, Simon Harak, S.J., Bert Sacks,
Mark Maguire, Ramsey Kysia, Raed Battah, Ruthy Woodring, Phil  Runkel, Erik
Yandell, Anne Montgomery, and Joe Morton. Over the course of the month, we
will sustain a daily vigil on the Capitol Steps. There  are also many people
fasting in solidarity with us, who cannot make it to Washington, but who are
working locally for this month on Iraq  organizing.

One exciting element of the fast will be a blood drive, in which we will
give our blood symbolically in the name of an Iraqi child who has  died. We
plan to be joined at this event by several members of Congress,
Arab-American and Muslim organizations, religious leaders, and the  press.

Finally, we ask for your thoughts and prayers during this month. Please help
us focus on how to best use the next few weeks as a time of  massive
education and compassion for the people of Iraq.

About one year ago, VitW received the pre-penalty notice from the Treasury
Department, informing us that bringing medicine and toys to Iraqi  children
was a crime punishable by extraordinary fines. And nine years ago, a
firestorm of bombs and weaponry shattered Iraq to its core,  paving the way
for the misery that we find there today. The US political leaders - with the
widespread support of our people - targeted  civilian infrastructure, sought
"long-term leverage" by bombing electrical grids and water sanitation
plants, used weapons coated with depleted  uranium establishing a toxic
legacy in Iraq, and succeeded in the presaged mission: bombing Iraq "back to
the stone ages."

Should you decide to join us in Washington, D.C. during this time, know that
we will warmly welcome you to fast, lobby, and organize with us.  Jeff
Guntzel and Ken Hannaford-Ricardi will be in Chicago for this period,
manning the offices, and they will know how to reach us.

Our last delegations met with Hans von Sponeck, the UN Humanitarian
Coordinator for Iraq. He said in closing, "In twenty years, your fine
universities will be using the sanctions on Iraq as an example of how not to
pursue foreign policy... Your nation is trying to cage a wild  tiger. But
you are killing a rare and beautiful bird."

We bring this information with us to Washington, D.C. But we have with us
also the truth. The truth is 500,000 children who are no longer with  us.
The truth is 143 people who have been bombed to death during the last year
in what is now the longest bombing campaign since the Vietnam  War. We look
forward to remaining in touch with you.

Nick Arons, Kathy Kelly, Jeff Guntzel


Sunday January 16 12:52 PM ET 
Ex-Attorney General Supports Iraq Against Sanctions
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark, a long-time
opponent of U.N. sanctions against Iraq, led a delegation to Baghdad  Sunday
to show solidarity with Iraqis.

Clark, heading a 60-member delegation representing humanitarian
organizations that oppose the sanctions, arrived after travelling the
600-mile  road between Amman and Baghdad.

``Now for nine and a half years, the people of Iraq have been deprived of
essentials -- medicines for the sick and food for the hungry,'' Clark  told
Reuters Television.

``It's a tragedy, and I feel very ashamed that my country has done this,''
Sue Kelly, a member of the delegation from the United States, said.

The visit coincided with the ninth anniversary of the Gulf War. Iraqi troops
invaded Kuwait in August 1990 and were driven out again in a brief  but
violent offensive by a U.S.-led coalition in early 1991.

Clark opposed the war and the sanctions imposed on Iraq for the invasion and
has visited the country several times.

Sunday, Clark brought with him some $2 million worth of medical supplies.
Last year, he had offered medicine valued at $4 million, saying the  aid was
in defiance of Washington's support for continued sanctions
'Sanctions most dangerous weapon of mass destruction'
By Amy Henderson 
AMMAN - A former U.S. official on Saturday said that economic sanctions are
the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction on earth. 
"The principle excuse that the U.S. uses to maintain sanctions is that of
preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction," said former  U.S.
attorney General Ramsey Clark. "Never doubt that sanctions is the weapon of
choice for people in power. [Sanctions are] cheap, silent and  like a bomb,
but better, because they only kills people; they don't destroy property. So
they can steal what's left when everyone else is  dead." 

Clark, in open defiance of U.N./U.S. sanctions and U.S. federal law,
departed Amman for Iraq on Jan. 15, along with a 60-person delegation,
known as the Iraq Sanctions Challenge (ISC). 

The ISC will transport approximately $2 million of medicine and medical
supplies to Jordan's eastern neighbour. 

All American citizens on the delegation could be fined up to $1 million in
fines and 12 years in prison for violating the sanctions. 

While in Iraq, the delegation will visit hospitals, schools and other
institutions weakened by the sanctions. The delegation is composed of
students from seven U.S. colleges, members of Plowshares, the International
Action Centre, New Hampshire Peace Action, American Muslims for  Global
Peace and Justice, and Save the Children as well as delegates from Italy,
Japan, England and Canada. 

Clark, who is on his tenth trip to Iraq, where ten years of sanctions have
ravaged the economy and devastated infrastructure and healthcare,  spoke on
Saturday at the Professional Associations Complex in Shmeisani ahead of his

"Sanctions weaken and permanently debilitate the strongest of a society and
kill the weakest and most vulnerable," he said, alluding the  often-repeated
expression by leaders of the sanctions regime that the U.S. and U.N. have
"no grudge" against the Iraqi people, but against the  Iraqi regime.
"Everyone knows that these are precisely the people that sanctions kill

"These sanctions say that our international community, our United Nations,
the people of those nations [who support the sanctions] have so  little
awareness or understanding or caring that they permit that to happen. 

"Sanctions are the most direct and immediate means to impoverish a whole
people," Clark said. 

"These sanctions are a severe abuse of human rights," Clark said. "Since
they were first imposed in 1990, more than 1.7 million Iraqis have  died.
The most vulnerable members of Iraqi society have suffered catastrophic
conditions due to U.S. policy. There is no sign that these  conditions will
abate in light of the recent U.N. vote." 

Clark was referring to the Dec. 17, 1999, Security Council vote, in which
four members of the council abstained, three from the five permanent
members and one from rotating members. 

"This insistence on new weapons inspection is a ruse to violate the
sovereignty of Iraq," Clark said. "Punishing Iraq for rejecting new weapons
inspections is nothing more than U.S. sanctioned genocide." 

"The `oil-for-food' programme is the best example of this. `oil-for-food'
was the U.N.'s provision to relieve mass starvation in Iraq. However,  50
per cent of the escrowed proceeds from oil sales are never used for food.
The money is paid to U.S./British oil companies, the Kuwaiti royal  family
and even Israeli El Al Airlines as war reparations. The remainder pays for
the administration of the sanctions. This is the thin edge of  the wedge of

Meanwhile, Mariam Hamza, who caught the world's attention when British MP
George Galloway flew her from Iraq to Scotland for cancer treatment  two
years ago and who returned to Amman's Al Amal Cancer Centre late last year
after her health deteriorated, will again return to Iraq. 

A press release from the National Jordanian Mobilisation Committee in
Defence of Iraq said doctors will release the child today, after
stabilising her health. They said her eyesight will be permanently damaged. 

Galloway, who travelled to Iraq in November, announced during the Holy Month
of Ramadan the launch of a campaign to collect funds for a suite  to treat
cancer at the Saddam Hospital in Baghdad, the press release said. 

According to the United Nations, more than 1.5 million Iraqis have died as a
direct result of economic sanctions, the vast majority of them  children
under five years of age.
Thursday January 13 3:08 PM ET 
U.S. Jets Hit Iraqi Defense System

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - U.S. warplanes bombed an Iraqi air defense system
Thursday after Iraqi artillery fired at the planes as they patrolled  the
no-fly zone over northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

The planes dropped the bombs after being fired on from a site near Bashiqah,
250 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. European Command said in a  statement.

None of the warplanes was hit. The planes are based at Incirlik air base in
southern Turkey.

The official Iraqi News Agency, quoting a military spokesman, confirmed the
attack and claimed that civilian and residential areas were  targeted. The
agency also said U.S. and British warplanes flew over southern Iraq, but
reported no conflict.

On Wednesday, Iraq reported one civilian was killed and another was wounded
in a raid by U.S. and British warplanes. The allies have denied  attacking
civilian targets.

Iraq does not recognize the no-fly zones that were set up shortly after the
1991 Gulf War to protect Shiite Muslims in the south and Kurds in  the north
from the forces of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

U.S. and British planes have frequently targeted Iraqi air defense
installations since Iraq began challenging the patrols in December 1998.
Iraq is ready to cooperate over the missing
Iraq, Politics, 1/10/2000

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahaf has expressed his country's
readiness to work with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in order to learn the  fate
of hundreds of missing since the Gulf War in 1991.

In a statement issued in the United Arab Emirates daily al-Bayan on Sunday,
al-Sahaf, currently visiting Qatar, said that a team including  Iraqi and
Saudi experts may start work shortly in order to return the remains of an
Saudi pilot who was buried in an Iraqi minefield after his  plane was downed
in 1991.

Al-Sahaf added that Iraq may shortly start a sort of cooperation with Saudi

He continued that Iraq informed Saudi Arabia through the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that it had found the ruins of the  Saudi
plane in 1991 and that the Iraqi army officer who had buried the Saudi pilot
told the Iraqi authorities about the information he had in  this respect.

Al- Sahaf added that the Iraqi army officer had endangered his life and
entered the mined area once again to show the place where the Saudi  pilot
was buried.

Al-Sahaf stated that Iraq does not keep any prisoner from Kuwait or from
other nationalities. He indicated that the Kuwaitis deny that there  are
1,500 Iraqis who are missing in Kuwait, and therefore, his country calls for
joint cooperation between it, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia under  the supervision
of the ICRC and in line with UN Security Council resolution 687 in order to
learn about the fate of all missing among the  Iraqis, Saudis and Kuwaitis.

But the Iraqi minister stated that Baghdad refuses the participation of each
of Britain, the US and France in this issue, saying that the fate  of
missing persons from these countries has been settled and that the three
countries have political inclinations behind their participation in  the
Iraq's Reap of 1999 - Ordeals, Disasters and Resistance! 
Kurdish Media - Jan 4, 1999
By: Sad KAKEY  - Kurdish Media Analyst

TORONTO, Canada (Kurdish Media) - On 1 Jan 2000, Issue 96, the News Of Iraq
- a news bulletin issued by the Iraqi Communist Party's (ICP)  Foreign
Information Office - had published the same opening editorial of TARIQ
AL-SHA'AB, ICP's official organ, which it had appeared in its
1/1/2000. The ICP editorial had went through the reap of Iraq for the year
1999, stating that the Iraqi people had accounted another year  paying the
price of Iraq's dictatorship madness.

In a balanced panoramic style, the aforementioned editorial had indicated
that the Iraqi people had lived through all kinds of ordeals in  between the
UN economic embargo and the Iraqi state terrorism.  The editorial maintained
that the living standards, social, medical and  psychological levels of the
Iraqis had been deteriorated, and adding, that the gap between the social
classes have vastly widened because of on going governmental tax extortion
policies that had been drawn to benefit the power circles of the Iraqi
regime.  It has emphasized that aside from members of the ruling Ba'ath
Party, members of the other killing governmental instruments, namely the
military, security and intelligence were the beneficiaries of extortion and

Counting for disorder within the ruthless circles of power, the ICP
editorial furthers that Saddam Hussein's had revived the Iraqi tribal
institutions in order to balance his grip of power on the one hand, and to
use them for the purposes of propaganda, security and political advantages
on the other.

Thereafter, the editorial portrays the terrible images of the Iraqi regime
in mass executing its opponents, widely destroying the houses of those who
have ties with the Iraqi opposition and mass deportation of people (500,000
Iraqis) from Baghdad to the southern and northern provinces of Iraq, by
which it had topped the list of those countries which regularly violate
human rights according to the records of international human rights

Adding to the above miseries of the Iraqis, the ICP editorial is accuses the
USA and the UK for their War of Exhausting Iraq.  It claims that  the Allied
Forces air petrol over the Northern and Southern no fly zones "had weakened
our people's abilities to recover from the madness of destruction, be it by
hitting a civilian or a military target in Iraq."

"It was a bitter reap that our people had gained in 1999", goes on the
editorial, adding that the reality of the Iraqi picture has another face
which can be seen through the endless will for change.  It furthers that by
resisting, combating and getting rid of the terrorist rulers in Baghdad,
Iraq would be saved and brought back to row of the civilized nations of the
world in order to preserve peace, human rights and democracy.
ICP: Iraq executed 40 armed forces members 
Kurdish Media - Jan 6, 2000

SHAQLAWA, Kurdistan (Kurdish Media) - In a press statement, the Iraqi
Communist Party (ICP) stated that the Iraqi regime in Baghdad executed
40 members of the armed forces.

The statement listed the names of 10 of the victims.

The ICP accuses Ali Hassan al-Majeed, a cousin of Saddam Hussein and a
member of so-called the Revolutionary Command Council, for the  executions.
Al-Majeed is known to Kurds as 'Ali chemical' for gassing Kurds in
Kurdistan, in particular in Halabja, where 5000 people were
killed on March 16, 1988.

Ali Chemical was also responsible for the operation codenamed 'Anfal' in
which over 180 thousand Kurds, men, women and children, were  disappeared.
It is believed that they are in mass-graves in Southern Iraq, where they
were executed and buried, most of them alive. This was
a campaign of Kurdish genocide that was clearly stated in government
documents captured by Kurds during the uprising of March 1991, after the
Gulf-War. However, despite having a mandate, the UN has never shown any
interest in this genocide.

Executions in Iraqi are a daily routine and only a limited number of the
incidents leaks out of Iraq.

The UN resolution 688 (1992) gives UN the mandate to investigate human right
abuses in Iraq, but hardly any investigation has been carried out.
It appears that UN is more concern about returning its arm inspectors to
Iraq than human right abuses by Saddam.


Sunday, January 16 11:37 AM SGT 

Defiant Iraq prepares victorious Gulf War celebrations
BAGHDAD, Jan 16 (AFP) - 
A defiant Iraq on Sunday prepared "victorious" celebrations to mark the
ninth anniversary of the Gulf War as it vowed to continue the fight  against
its enemies and their plots at the United Nations.

Some 45 days of festivities are to be launched Monday, the anniversary, and
"reflect Iraq's determination in the face of the US, British and  Zionist
aggressors who continue to harm our people," the Ath-Thawra newspaper said.

Rallies are to be held "to denounce the US-British aggression and demand the
immediate lifting of the unfair embargo" imposed on Iraq after it  invaded
Kuwait in August 1990.

Although the Gulf War against Iraq, waged by a US-led international
coalition, ended in February 1991, Baghdad maintains it is still fighting
the battle against the "savage imperialist aggression".

Iraqis "inflicted a defeat on America during the 'Mother of All Battles',"
the Al-Qadisssiya newspaper said Saturday in a reference to the Gulf  War
that drove occupying Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.

"The battle, which continues, was a victory for the Arab nation and for
humanity as a whole in the face of the savage imperialist aggression  which
aims to control the world and bring its people to its knees," the daily

Iraq continues to be regularly bombed by US and British warplanes patrolling
no-fly zones over the north and south of the country, in a war of  attrition
that Baghdad says has cost more than 150 Iraqi lives.

But Iraq maintains the key battle has switched from the field to the United
Nations, where Washington has been "hatching new plots which will  allow
them to achieve their illusions".

The latest target of Iraqi vitriol has been a new UN resolution approved in
mid-December covering sanctions and arms inspections in Iraq.  Baghdad has
attacked the resolution without rejecting it outright.

Foreign Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf last week suggested Baghdad might
accept the resolution if parts of it are altered.

The new resolution offers Iraq a temporary lifting of sanctions if it
cooperates with a new arms inspection body, UNMOVIC, whose chief was due  to
be appointed by Sunday.

Differences within the Security Council have continued to hinder the
appointment and Baghdad has repeatedly predicted that "this body is
still-born and doomed to fail because it will be no better than what
preceded it."

The previous arms body, UNSCOM, was dissolved in December. Baghdad regularly
accused it of being a vehicle for spies.

In a January speech Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said Baghdad could not
rely on the Security Council to lift the embargo, since it was  controlled
by the "forces of evil", a reference to the United States and Britain.

Iraq has instead launched a diplomatic offensive to win support for its
opposition to the resolution, with top-level visits to China and the  Gulf
state of Qatar.

"The best attitude to adopt is to wait for developments at the United
Nations and take adequate measures after that," an Iraqi official told  AFP,
asking not to be named.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi people mostly continue to live miserably under
sanctions, with only minor relief coming from an expanded UN oil-for-food
programme, allowing oil sales in return for humanitarian aid.

Baghdad says that some 1.25 million people, mostly infants and the elderly,
have died as a direct result of the sanctions first imposed a  decade ago.

A team of aid workers led by former US attorney general Ramsey Clark and a
delegation of Spanish MPs and trade unionists are due in Baghdad for  the
anniversary to draw attention to the sanctions' impact.

Iraq blames U.S., Britain for environment disaster  
BAGHDAD, Jan. 15 - Iraq accused Western powers on Saturday of inflicting a
creeping health and environmental disaster on the country by  blocking
medical and humanitarian supplies.  
       ''The environment in Iraq is still in dire need of improvement
because of lack of requirements,'' Health Minister Umeed Madhat Mubarak
told reporters after opening a meeting on the environment. 
       ''What we need in Iraq are the spare parts to rehabilitate water
supply and sewerage systems,'' he said. 
       Mubarak said an oil-for-food deal with the United Nations had done
little to improve Iraq's environment. The oil deal allows Iraq to  sell
$5.26 billion worth of oil to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian
needs for the Iraqi people. 
       Iraq welcomes the deal but says that, in practice, it does not
function properly because of Western obstruction. 
       Mubarak accused U.S. and British representatives at the U.N.
sanctions committee on Iraq of blocking contracts to purchase humanitarian
needs. ''The American and British envoys are still creating problems in
order not to approve contracts signed with the Iraqi side to supply  needs. 
       ''Still the electrical power, the sewerage system and water supplies
are not adequate despite more than three years since the imposition  of the
memorandum of understanding (with the U.N.),'' he said. 
       With its health services devastated by almost 10 years of sanctions
imposed for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Iraq says it cannot afford
expensive drugs to treat its people let alone the huge cost of preventing
diseases from areas described as the poorest and worst-hit by the
       ''The genocide (against the Iraqi people) which has been continuing
for the last 10 years is still having impact and producing much more
mortalities,'' Mubarak said. 
       Health Ministry statistics published two weeks ago said that more
than 1.25 million Iraqis had died because of the embargo. 
       The United Nations Children's Fund said in a report in August last
year that deaths among under fives had doubled over the past decade  in
central and southern areas controlled by the government. 
       Iraq blames sanctions while the United States says Baghdad is
responsible for the sharp rise in deaths. 
       Several officials who spoke in the meeting, organised by the ministry
to mark Iraq's environment day, blamed environmental disaster in  Iraq,
particularly in its southern provinces, on depleted uranium ammunition used
by the Untied States and Britain in the 1991 Gulf War. 
       Iraqi officials say allied forces estimated they had used 300 tonnes
of depleted uranium munitions against Iraqi forces. 
       According to a U.N. document based on Iraqi government figures
published in 1998, cancer cases soared as much as six-fold in parts of
southern Iraq after the 1990-91 Gulf crisis. 

Iraq says U.N. plan to ease embargo impractical    
BAGHDAD (R) - Iraq would have accepted a U.N. resolution to suspend
sanctions but found the proposal to ease sanctions in return for resumed
arms inspections impractical, Iraq's deputy foreign minister was quoted as
saying on Tuesday. 
"If it did not harm our independence and if it was practical and a step
toward lifting the embargo, we would have accepted it," Nizar Hamdoon  told
Al Rafideen monthly magazine, which is owned by President Saddam Hussein's
eldest son Uday. 

Hamdoon said his country would have agreed to the proposal easing of
sanctions had it been a step towards a complete lifting of the embargo
imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. 

The Security Council narrowly adopted a resolution on Dec. 17, which could
lead to U.N. weapons inspectors being sent back to Iraq and an  easing of
sanctions if Baghdad cooperates with a new U.N. disarmament agency. 

Baghdad rejected the resolution saying it wanted no part of measures seeking
to return weapons inspectors to the country in return for the  suspension. 

"There is no guarantee that these (inspection) teams would come to Iraq
without provoking us in this or that site and then saying Baghdad has  not
cooperated with us," Hamdoon said. 

The issue of who would chair the teams and how they would be formed were
also unanswered questions, he added. 

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has floated the names of a Hungarian and a
Canadian to head a new U.N. weapons inspection agency for Iraq,  Security
Council diplomats said on Monday. 

But diplomats in New York said the two, Mark Moher of Canada and Istvan
Gyarmati of Hungary, both of whom have experience in disarmament  affairs,
would not remain the only candidates that the 15-seat Security Council,
particularly its five permanent members, would have to  approve. 

Iraq, which says it has long been rid of any weapons of mass destruction,
has not allowed U.N. arms inspectors back into the country since
mid-December 1998. 

They left shortly before the United States and Britain launched air strikes
against Iraq for failing to cooperate with the inspectors. But the  Security
Council is setting up the new weapons commission anyway as its first order
of business on Iraq this year.
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