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News, 10-16/11/01 (2) NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * Saddam meets Kurds, renews dialogue offer [This article, from CNN, has President Hussein addressing a delegation from the KDPı, identified as the KDP in power in the autonomous zone] * Saddam Warns Kurds [Here it becomes a pro-government Kurdish groupı] * Saddam Comments to Kurd Collaborator Group [Here they appear as a Kurd collaborator groupı rather extravagantly so but they are still called the Kurdistan Democratic Partyı. This is a transcript of S.Husseinıs speech., in his own inimitable style, e.g.: Saddam Husayn is a peaceful and poor man who does not frighten anybody and does not use the language of force. Right? (laughs)ı] * KDP And PUK Meet In Dokan [The article refers to continued heavy fightingı between the PUK and the Jund al Islam] IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Iraq lauds Mrs. Mubarak's advocacy of Arab women's causes [In advance of a conference of Arab women being held in Cairo] * Kuwait jails five Iraqis for subversion * Kuwaitis Reported To Be in Iraqi Jail * Kuwait says Iraq fires mortar, complains to UN * Syrian traders violate export conditions for Iraq [It isnıt clear if this is to do with UN sanctions or simply Syriaıs own trade legislation] * Iraq and Iran exchange war dead * US Deploys Troops to Kuwait for Exercise IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Chhabria's Jumbo group bags UN projects in Iraq * Iraq calls on UN members to reject SC authority REFUGEES * No way out for Iraqi refugee [Refugees. Iıve not been posting many stories about the fate of Iraqi refugees but its all part of the same ghastly story and I think I should start] NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN http://europe.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/11/12/iraq.saddam.kurds.reut/index.ht ml * SADDAM MEETS KURDS, RENEWS DIALOGUE OFFER CNN, 12th November BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein met members of the rebel Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Baghdad Monday, Iraqi state-run television said. It said he renewed an offer of dialogue with the KDP, one of two Kurdish rebel groups that run northern mountainous parts of Iraq that are beyond Baghdad's control. In July, the party rejected his first offer. It was not clear who the KDP members were, or whether they had traveled to Baghdad from the north. The party has vowed to topple Saddam's rule. "Countries cannot be divided ... and if there is a lack in rights here or there, we have to solve that through direct contact and dialogue," the television quoted Saddam as saying during a reception for the KDP members. "Now is the time of dialogue." The KDP and its rival, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), have administered mountainous northern Iraq since 1992, protected by U.S. and British warplanes that patrol a no-fly zone over the area set up after the Gulf War. The KDP and PUK have aligned themselves with other Iraqi opposition groups. http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=FD154495-76A3-4DDC BB701F5A86FBB564&Title=Saddam%20Warns%20Kurds * SADDAM WARNS KURDS VOA (Voice of America) News, 13th November Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has issued a veiled threat to the Kurdish parties that control northern Iraq while urging them to enter into a dialogue with his government. The Iraqi leader said his government would not hesitate to restore its authority in the north, but that it prefers dialogue for now. The state-controlled al-Iraq newspaper says President Saddam made the remarks while receiving members of a pro-government Kurdish group. He is quoted as saying that disputes can be solved by wisdom, but that if wisdom fails, the Iraqi sword can be used to recover rights. In televised remarks, the Iraqi president criticized the two Kurdish parties that control the north and accused them of being agents of the United States. The Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan have controlled different sections of northern Iraq since 1991, following a rebellion after Iraqi forces were ousted from Kuwait. U.S. and British aircraft enforce a no-fly zone over the north to keep Iraqi military aircraft from threatening the Kurds. http://mywebpage.netscape.com/kurdistanobserve/15-11-01-irq-tv-saddam-talks kurdish-collab.html * SADDAM COMMENTS TO KURD COLLABORATOR GROUP Kurdish Observer, 15th November (from Republic of Iraq Television November 12) The strugglers of the Kurdistan Democratic Party have presented leader President Saddam Husayn, may God watch over him, with the Sword of Truth and the Shield of National Unity as a gift. The gift came in appreciation of the great role of leader President Saddam Husayn in building Iraq, enhancing its national unity, and defending it against the rancorous enemies, who plan evil deeds against the march of victory and glory, under which Iraqis -- Arabs, Kurds, and minorities -- are living in comfort. It also came to express the Kurdish people's feelings of affection for and loyalty to our wise leadership and appreciation for the architect of the autonomy in the Iraqi Kurdistan. [passage omitted; details of ceremony during which the Kurdish party's Secretary General Ahmad Muhammad Sa'id al-Atrushi gives Saddam the sword and shield; Saddam exchanges greetings with the party delegation; Al-Atrushi gives a speech, in which he lavishes praise on Saddam and reiterates loyalty to him; lashes out at whom he calls collaborators in the Kurdish autonomous region; and says the United States and Britain do not care about the rights of the Kurdish people] I thank you my brothers for the symbolic gift considering its timing and meanings. I don't want to repeat things you and the entire people of Iraq know. God Almighty chose the Iraqi people to exist on earth thousands of years ago. In this, they are not like any other people who came into being in some parts of the world in later stages. The time factor has its meaning when wondering if our people are one or two people. They are one people because they existed thousands of years ago. [.....] You all are following events in Afghanistan. You must have heard statements by a man who was a former prime minister. He is Hekmatyar. Patriots and opposition leaders should follow Hekmatyar's example. Hekmatyar differed with the Taliban group and with other groups. Because of these differences, he went to stay in Iran. When the US aggression against Afghanistan began, and even before that, he said: I am against aggression and will fight against it if it takes place. He proved his truthfulness following the US aggression. According to reports, he contacted the Afghan leadership and offered to fight at their side. [.....] We are interested in dialogue with our people. Our Kurdish people are good and blessed. If a political leader does not talk to us, we will talk to the Kurdish people. I am happy with your quiet speech. Yes, brothers, this is how we work, through good argument and persuasion. Our people are the most important thing to us. Once our people become convinced of a certain formula and get to see that it is the best formula, and once they come to us and to you to say they cannot tolerate this formula anymore, then the issue wouldbecome easy. As you can see, what you have heard from us does not mean that we are unable to use arms because of the US aircraft flying in the north and the south. Damn these planes. They are there daily and we open fire at them daily. They say the Iraqis fire at our planes. We say yes, we fire at you and gouge your eye out. This is because you are coming to commit aggression against our homeland and skies. The Kurdistan skies are Iraqi. But if someone is angry, someone is having a dialogue with you, and someone is having a dialogue with the devil, then this is a only temporary situation. Eventually, only right will prevail. The Iraqi people have been one nation for thousands of years. Can somebody in the past 20 or 10 years change that and make them more than one nation? This would show shortsightedness and lack of wisdom. Yes, the Iraqi people are one nation. Still, it does not harm to say that the Iraqi people are made up of Arabs, Kurds, Muslims, and non-Muslims. They are made up of people from Basra, Tikrit, Al-Sulaymaniyah, Arbil, Dahuk, Karbala, and Al-Najaf. This does not harm us. There is nothing wrong with that. Our people are made up of such groups. Good judgment requires that we pursue different ways for dealing with each group of our people. This is part of the laws of life. This does not harm the march in anyway. What harms a human being is to abuse his father and strips his mother. He who harms the homeland and the unity of the people is like the one who abuses his father and strips his mother in the street. If such a person does not have full mental faculties, we would tell him, this is not right. If he does something wrong, we would give him a light slap, but if he does it again, then that would be a different matter. The punishment would be harsher. Is not this right? Can this be a cause for anger? No. Some persons whom you may not know where they came from may issue a statement declaring: No to dialogue with Saddam Husayn. Well, this is up to them. Saddam Husayn is a peaceful and poor man who does not frighten anybody and does not use the language of force. Right? [laughs] There are brainless people, whom we have to bear with. If you want to prevent your son from approaching fire, he would kick you with his legs and make a lot of noise. No problem. He is still a child, but when he grows up enough to tell what is right and what is wrong, and still acts recklessly, then in that case, you would give him a slap. You would tell him to behave himself. Right? If you see a Kurd, say hello to him twice. Tell him I miss him twofold. If you see an Arab, tell him I miss him once. This is because we go to some governorates, for reasons of which you are aware. Nobody can prevent us. If I want to go to Arbil, I do not think that anybody would stop us. Nobody would stop us, because this is our homeland. However, for psychological circumstances and reasons which I appreciate, I have not seen the citizens in Al Sulaymaniyah, Arbil, and Dahuk. So if you see any of those citizens, tell him hello twice. Tell him Saddam misses you. May God be with you. http://mywebpage.netscape.com/kurdistanobserve/13-11-01-gulan-kdp-puk-meet.h tml * KDP AND PUK MEET IN DOKAN Kurdistan Observer, 13th November KDP and PUK delegations meet for talks in the city of Dokan Monday. The meeting is taking place in the PUK-dominated area of Southern (Iraqi) Kurdistan, while unofficial reports say heavy fighting between PUK forces and militant Muslim rebels of Jund Al Islam continue in Halabja and Bjara districts. There are no official or unofficial statements by either PUK or KDP about the clashes, although KDP has repeatedly expressed its sympathy and support for the PUK in fighting terrorist activities in Kurdistan. IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/011110/2001111034.html * IRAQ LAUDS MRS. MUBARAK'S ADVOCACY OF ARAB WOMEN'S CAUSES Arabic News, 10th November An Iraqi delegate Thursday night praised Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak's efforts in championing causes of Arab women in statements upon arriving in Cairo to lead the Iraqi delegation to an extraordinary Arab women's summit. Hoda Saleh, a member of the Iraqi Baath Party added that Mrs. Mubarak's efforts were highly regarded across the Arab world. She added that she would post the summit on the worsening conditions of Iraqi women under an all-out UN embargo. The summit opens in Cairo on Sunday. On the other hand, Mauritania Thursday said it would take part in the Arab Women's extraordinary summit to open on Sunday by Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, according to an official source. The Mauritanian delegation, led by Minister of Women's Affairs Mintata Mint Hedeid, will leave for Cairo on Friday to attend the two-day conference. The conference will discuss a draft charter of the Arab women's organization which will be officially launched by Mrs. Mubarak. The conference is organized by Egypt's National Council for Women (NCW), the Arab League and the Lebanese Hariri Foundation. Twenty countries have approved the draft. The conference will also discuss a report conducted by Egypt's (NCW) on the outcome of the forums that were held in 2000 on women. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=32134 * KUWAIT JAILS FIVE IRAQIS FOR SUBVERSION Gulf News (Reuters), 11th November A Kuwaiti appeals court yesterday upheld a 10-year prison sentence against five Iraqis accused of a plot to overthrow the state's rulers. Kuwaiti citizen Faleh Faheed Mahammad, 27, was also sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the plot, the official Kuwait News Agency reported. It said the court upheld the 10-year hard labour sentence against Iraqis Khaled Meza'al, Mutcher Radi Dahsh, Khaled Nayef Al Thamer, Khaled Saad Jassem and Ayed Faraj. A Kuwaiti court had found them guilty on June 30 but at the time they were referred to as two Iraqi intelligence agents and three resident Arabs. Kuna said yesterday all five were actually Iraqi citizens. They were arrested in May 2000 when Kuwait said it stopped two Iraqi spies trying to cross the border from the former occupier with anti-government pamphlets and illicit drugs. Kuwait often announces the arrest of Iraqi infiltrators who stand trial mainly on sabotage charges. It also complains to the United Nations following each incident. In late September, two Iraqis were shown on Kuwait state television confessing to trying to enter the country to survey military targets and collect information for Baghdad. http://www.iht.com/articles/38723.html * KUWAITIS REPORTED TO BE IN IRAQI JAIL by Chris Hedges International Herald Tribune (from New York Times), 13th November BEIRUT: Two Iraqi defectors, veterans of the country's intelligence service, say they worked in a secret site outside Baghdad where 80 Kuwaitis captured during the 1991 war were detained in an underground prison. "I guarded them in two-hour shifts with 14 other soldiers from the Fedayeen Saddam," said one of the defectors, referring to an all-volunteer unit named for Saddam Hussein. The two defectors said that they had worked at the prison for five years, starting in 1995. The report contradicts the Iraqi government's longstanding contention that it has not been holding any Kuwaitis. But the Kuwaiti government has received "hundreds of reports" of people being held, senior officials said, adding that in the shrouded atmosphere of the Iraqi state, the reports could not be confirmed. Short of tangible evidence, like fingerprints, signatures or photographs, such sightings must be treated with skepticism, the Kuwaiti officials say. Rabea Adsani, director general of the National Committee for Missing and POW Affairs in Kuwait, said that his government was convinced that "many Kuwaiti prisoners are still alive in Iraq." The defector who had worked as a guard said that "the prisoners were all men. They were kept in an underground cell. They were rarely let out, usually once for a very brief time every three or four months, and only when the camp was empty." He added: "We had to refer to them by their numbers. And we were not allowed to have any conversations with them." Nor were the prisoners supposed to speak at all, except in the presence of the general who acted as warden. This defector said that over time he had developed a relationship with a few of the prisoners, though he was ordered not to fraternize. He provided four names of those he said were held, names that Kuwaiti officials confirmed as missing. These Kuwaiti officials asked that the names not be made public. Following the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in 1990, thousands of Kuwaitis were imprisoned by the Iraqis, although most were eventually released. Kuwait says, though, that 605 detained Kuwaitis were never heard from again. Most of them were civilians who refused to cooperate with the occupying Iraqi forces. More than 120 were students, 50 were teenagers and three were nurses whose crime apparently was to have treated wounded Kuwaitis. The two defectors said they worked in a secret facility known as Salman Pak outside of Baghdad. The prison, they said, was covered by a grove of trees with only an air vent visible above ground. It was operating when they arrived in 1995. The second defector, a former lieutenant general in the intelligence service, said that he knew of the imprisoned Kuwaitis but had not been inside the cell block. Leaders of the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition group that helped arrange the meeting between the defectors and reporters for The New York Times and the PBS program "Frontline," said that prisoners often disappeared for years in the Iraqi prison system. "It would be a mistake to look for any logic in this," said Nabil Musawi, one of the leaders of the opposition group. "Not everything makes sense. My father died after torture in 1981, yet to this day the authorities have never admitted that he was arrested. My family paid thousands of dollars in bribes to find out unofficially that he had been dead for 14 years." The prisoners, the former guard said, were well treated by the standards of the Iraqi prison system. He said he did not witness any beatings or abuse. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=32430 * KUWAIT SAYS IRAQ FIRES MORTAR, COMPLAINS TO UN Gulf News, Reuters, 13th November Kuwait said on Monday former occupier Iraq had fired a mortar bomb across its border on Sunday and that it had lodged a complaint about the incident with the United Nations. A senior Kuwaiti official told Reuters that the U.N. Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) "has confirmed the attacks. Iraqi soldiers also rose on top of a sand mound and fired their guns." "We have people living in the area and police forces," he added. UNIKOM spokesman Daljeet Bagga said a mortar round had been fired into Kuwait's side of a dimilitarised zone (DMZ) at around 9:45 am (0645 GMT). "There were two incidents on Sunday... On inspection, we found that an 82mm mortar round was fired from inside Iraq, probably from Safwan," Bagga told Reuters. UNIKOM said the first incident involved two men in military fatigues firing bullets from AK-47 assault rifles into Kuwait. "They fired several rounds into Kuwait," Bagga added. The Kuwait police patrol did not return fire. The only forces for either side allowed into the UNIKOM- patrolled zone are limited police troops carrying side arms. "We have launched a complaint with the U.N.," the Kuwaiti official said of the incidents which have once again raised the level of concern in the small country. UNIKOM and Kuwait said the weapons used violated DMZ regulations. The DMZ - 10 km (six miles) on the Iraqi side and five km (three miles) on the Kuwaiti side - was set up after a U.S.-led military coalition ended a seven-month Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War. A senior Kuwaiti official said the attack was "unwarranted", but stressed its significance following a newspaper interview by deputy Iraqi Prime Minister Tareq Aziz in which he renewed Iraq's claim on oil-rich Kuwait. "Four days earlier Aziz renewed the claim that Kuwait was part of Iraq and that it was stolen away from it and that Iraq still has a right in Kuwait," he added. The United States, and to a lesser extent Britain, have forces deployed in Kuwait to serve as a deterrent to what they see as continued threats to Kuwait by its much larger neighbour. The forces are also involved in patrolling a no-fly zone over southern Iraq. Baghdad said one person was wounded on Sunday during an attack by Western aircraft launched from Kuwait on civilian targets in the no-fly zone in southern Iraq. "This is a direct attack on us... What does a mortar have to do with Iraq firing at warplanes... This is part of a continuing scenario," said the Kuwaiti official. "There is a pattern of Iraqi escalation. Iraq is after something, provocation? It wants to provoke the world. We are not speaking of seeking to change the rule in Iraq, all we want is to live in peace and full implementation of U.N. Security Council resolutions" relating to the Gulf crisis, he added. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/011112/2001111206.html * SYRIAN TRADERS VIOLATE EXPORT CONDITIONS FOR IRAQ Arabic News, 13th November The London- based al-Hayat daily said in its Sunday's issue, according to well-informed economic sources that the Syrian minister of the Interior Dr. Muhammad Harba has released a circulation [sic - PB] provided for banning three main Syrian traders from travelling to Iraq because of their violation to export conditions to this country. The paper added that the said circulation included the name of the deputy chairman of the federation of the Syrian chambers of commerce, the chairman of the Aleppo chamber of commerce Muhammad Saleh al-Mallah, the deputy chairman of the Aleppo chamber Hassan Zeidou and the independent member of parliament for the city of Damascus Hashem Anwar al-Aqqad. http://europe.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/11/14/iraq.iran.reut/index.html * IRAQ AND IRAN EXCHANGE WAR DEAD CNN, 14th November BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- Iraq and Iran have exchanged the remains of almost 100 soldiers killed during the 1980-1988 war. The state Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported on Wednesday that the remains of 96 men had been handed over. It said the two sides swapped on Tuesday the bodies of 18 Iraqis and 78 Iranians at al Fakah border post in the Iraqi southern province of Meisan. It said an exchange of more remains of soldiers would take place in the same sector early next year. An estimated one million Iranians and Iraqis were killed in the war. Thousands of soldiers listed as missing in action and prisoners of war are among the main issues blocking the normalisation of ties between the two Muslim countries. http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=664B1C64-1FC2-4850 B25B39A21699E596&Title=US%20Deploys%20Troops%20to%20Kuwait%20for%20Exercise& CatOID=45C9C78D 88AD-11D4-A57200A0CC5EE46C * US DEPLOYS TROOPS TO KUWAIT FOR EXERCISE Voice of America, 15th November About 2,000 troops from a heavy armored division in Fort Hood, Texas, are being deployed to Kuwait. The U.S. Defense Department says the troops will take part in an exercise called "Desert Spring," which acts as a deterrent to potential Iraqi aggression. A Defense Department spokesman says the troops are from the First Cavalry Division, and they are going to Kuwait as part of a rotation unit. He says the deployment is larger than in the past. IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=655207221 * CHHABRIA'S JUMBO GROUP BAGS UN PROJECTS IN IRAQ Times of India, 12th November DUBAI ( PTI ): Dubai-based NRI businessman Manu Chhabria's Jumbo group has won three major utility contracts worth dh 150 million (Rs 180 crore) in Iraq under the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme. Jumbo's Indian wing Hind Dorr-Oliver company won the contracts beating stiff bidding from firms from UAE, Russia, France, Syria, Turkey and Egypt. Under the contracts, the company will set up two turnkey projects for the Al Qush and Tarmiya water facilities. It will also supply equipment and establish the Al Karbala unified water project, the Khaleej Times said. Hind Dorr-Oliver had set up Asia's largest water treatment plant in Mumbai to supply 1,500 mld water to the metropolis. Jumbo group chairman M R Chhabria confirmed that the company had bagged the project. It was earlier involved in the supply of water pumps to Iraq, the report added. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1131017486 * IRAQ CALLS ON UN MEMBERS TO REJECT SC AUTHORITY Times of India, 15th November UNITED NATIONS (AFP): Iraq called Wednesday on other members of the United Nations to reject the authority of the Security Council in imposing sanctions on Baghdad. Council decisions are legally binding on all UN member states, but Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri, told the General Assembly that the council had become "a tool" of US policy since it slapped sanctions on Iraq in 1990. He said the council must be reformed to enlarge its membership and overhaul its decision making processes: a reference to the veto power of its five permanent members. The council has 10 other members, elected for two years. "Pending the completion of the process of reforming the Security Council... members of the United Nations should reconsider their authorisation to the council to act in their behalf," Sabri said. "There is no more obvious case in this regard than that of the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq." The sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 included a ban on all trade, oil and weapons embargoes, a freeze of Iraq's foreign assets and a ban on international flights. In April 1991, the council said the sanctions would be removed only when it was satisfied that Iraq had eliminated all its weapons of mass destruction. Since then, it has allowed Iraq to export unlimited amounts of crude oil under UN supervision and to import food and other necessities, including oil industry equipment and spare parts. The ban on international flights is no longer respected, but the weapons ban remains. Sabri also condemned what he called "the current discriminatory theories of non proliferation and the mindset of drawing a distinction between safe and unsafe possession of weapons of mass destruction." He noted that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had said the elimination of such weapons should start with "the huge arsenal of such weapons stockpiled primarily in the United States and secondarily in the Zionist entity". REFUGEES http://www.news24.co.za/News24/Africa/East_Africa/0,1113,2-11 997_1108315,00.html * NO WAY OUT FOR IRAQI REFUGEE City Press, South Africa (Sapa-AFP), 14th November Mogadishu, Somalia - After a journey that began and ended with gunfire, Iraqi refugee Amir Shehab Ahmed feels he has reached the end of the line, dumped in one of the world's most lawless and dangerous cities with no way out. Ahmed is one of about 12 Iraqis left to fend for themselves in Mogadishu, a city where the culture of the firearm is so entrenched it is not unusual to see gangs riding through the ruined streets in trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns. Such is the risk of kidnapping that Western visitors - almost all of them aid workers or journalists - cannot venture out of their hotels without an escort made up of a dozen young men dripping with a fearsome array of hardware. Ahmed and his compatriots have tried to escape to safer neighbouring countries, but in vain, and now, near penniless, they are running out of hope. He told AFP that his odyssey began in Iraq in 1991 when he joined the armed opposition against Saddam Hussein. "We had to leave because of this Intifada, the army came into the cities. They knew who we were," said Ahmed. This Horn of African country has been ravaged by factional violence since civil war broke out in 1988. The government collapsed three years later leaving a power vacuum that has yet to be properly filled despite the installation last year of a transitional regime. Ahmed said he fled to Iran, ending up in Tehran and other cities, where he eked out a living doing odd jobs for the next nine years so. In November 2000 he headed for the United Arab Emirates, where work was said to be more plentiful. "We went illegally. We didn't have papers. Some of us were caught by police when they got out of the boat, but I managed to get to the city with a Pakistani man," recalled Ahmed. After 10 days in Dubai, he was picked up by police and arrested, tried and jailed for a month for entering the UAE illegally. "When I finished my punishment they told me you can go to Iraq. I said I cannot go because I fought in the intifada. The police there are like the Gestapo in Germany," he said. Instead, Ahmed said he spent eight months in a deportation centre in Abu Dhabi, putting up with overcrowded cells, insect-infested food and belligerent Afghan prisoners. "After I said again I could not return to Iraq, the manager of the jail said he could make a Somali passport and send me to Mogadishu. They said there was a United Nations office there. "All I knew is there is a war in Mogadishu. But they said there was no problem," he added, explaining the prison head seemed to be acting without the full knowledge of the UAE authorities. "They didnıt send us to Kenya because there is a government there. We would have been sent right back." Ahmed arrived in Mogadishu in mid-August 2001 with $200 in his pocket and quickly hooked up with other Iraqis in a similar predicament.P ż½Eion to closeŬ border with Somalia foiled an attempt to reach Nairobi by road. "Now, there is nowhere to go. I am eating up my dollars. I would like to go as a refugee to the US, or Canada or Australia," he said. "Most people here are nice. But some are not. A friend had a gun battle outside his house. Most people have guns or at least knives. Now when we go to any place, we don't go alone." "We saw a man from UNCHR [the UN's refugee agency] here. But he said he could not do anything. No money, no food, no anything." In Nairobi, UNCHR spokesperson Paul Stromberg explained that the agency was powerless to help such people in "immigration limbo". "In Somalia we are not able to assist people with relief aid or evaluation the way we would in other countries just because of the chronic instability," he said. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.