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News, 10-16/11/01 (2)

News, 10-16/11/01 (2)


*  Saddam meets Kurds, renews dialogue offer [This article, from CNN, has
President Hussein addressing a delegation from the ŒKDPı, identified as the
KDP in power in the autonomous zone]
*  Saddam Warns Kurds [Here it becomes Œa pro-government Kurdish groupı]
*  Saddam Comments to Kurd Collaborator Group [Here they appear as a ŒKurd
collaborator groupı ­ rather extravagantly so ­but they are still called the
ŒKurdistan Democratic Partyı. This is a transcript of S.Husseinıs speech.,
in his own inimitable style, e.g.: ŒSaddam 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 Œheavy
fightingı between the PUK and the Jund al Islam]


*  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


*  Chhabria's Jumbo group bags UN projects in Iraq
*  Iraq calls on UN members to reject SC authority


*  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]


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.

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

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.

Kurdish Observer, 15th November (from Republic of Iraq Television  November

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

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.

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.


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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.
CatOID=45C9C78D 88AD-11D4-A57200A0CC5EE46C

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

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.


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.

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".


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

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

Ahmed and his compatriots have tried to escape to safer neighbouring
countries, but in vain, and now, near penniless, they are running out of

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.ˆPż½E­ion to close‡Ŭ 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.

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