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UN food aid chief blasts 1284

 Source: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 16 Feb 2000


UN food aid chief joins protest against UN resolution on Iraq

BAGHDAD, Feb 16 (AFP) - The UN World Food Programme (WFP) chief in Baghdad
on Wednesday joined in criticism of the latest UN resolution on Iraq,
after adding her resignation to the humanitarian programme for this
sanctions-hit country. 
"I find it increasingly difficult to be legally bound as we are told by
New York to implement (Security Council) resolution 1284," Jutta Burghardt
said in an interview with CNN television. 

"I do not see that resolution 1284 can be implemented for its humanitarian
part in the near future," she said, adding it would need the approval and
cooperation of Iraqi authorities. 

Burghardt, the WFP representative in Baghdad, handed in her resignation on
Tuesday, just a day after UN humanitarian aid coordinator Hans von
Sponeck, a fellow German, stepped down in protest at the same resolution. 

His resignation takes effect at the end of March. "It might look like a
coincidence that I'm sort of backing in solidarity Mr. von Sponeck. I came
to this conclusion that I had to resign on my own and within my own range
of activities," said Burghardt. 

She cited as an example that the WFP could purchase food supplies locally
under resolution 1284, but noted that unlike with the oil-for-food
programme, there was no "memorandum of understanding" between UN agencies
and the Iraqi government. 

Von Sponeck, who was in charge of the programme allowing Iraq to import
crude to finance imports of essential goods under UN supervision, has also
said that resolution 1284 was unworkable. 

And the programme on its own has failed to meet even the "minimum
requirements" of Iraq's 22 million population, he said. 

"I fully support what Mr. von Sponeck was saying," said Burghardt. 

"It is a true humanitarian tragedy what is happening here and I believe
any human being who looks at the facts and the impact of the sanctions on
the population will not deny that he is right," she said. 

Resolution 1284 offers Iraq a suspension of sanctions in return for its
full cooperation with a new arms control panel, as well as easing
humanitarian imports. Iraq has condemned but not formally rejected the

hc/mb AFP 

Copyright (c) 2000 Agence France-Presse
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 02/16/2000 04:25:33 

)AFP 2000: The information provided in this product is for personal use
only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the
express permission of Agence France-Presse

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