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News, 2/2/02-8/2/02 (2)

News, 2/2/02-8/2/02 (2)


*  Syria denies British smuggling accusations [This article suggests,
curiously, that evil Syriaıs membership of the Sanctions Committee (as a
member, or rather observer, of the UN Security Council) renders it
diplomatically immune from the charge evil Britain is levelling against it
of smuggling Iraqi oil. When asked why he was challenging Syria and not evil
Turkey, ŒMiddle East expert, Carne Rosseı replied feebly that Œthe oil
travelling to Turkey by road has dropped in recent yearsı. Has it? It
declined very recently because the Iraqis stopped sending it to put pressure
on Turkey. Is that what evil Carne is thinking about?]
*  Turkey to warn Iraq it faces threat of war, paper reports
*  Iraqi Labor Union Sec-Gen calls on Majlis [Iranian Parliament] deputies
*  Prince says Saudi would help oust Saddam [This isnıt as bad as it
appears. The old torturer, Prince Turki al-Faisal, opposes a Gulf War style
invasion and argues for a covert operation to instal a new Iraqi leader, of
the type that has failed consistently over the past ten years. On Saudi
money going to terrorism he has the temerity to remind an American audience
of US money going to the IRA. What British politician would ever dare to say
such a thing?]
*  Iraq, Tunis discuss relations
*  Iraq accuses Turkey of air intrusion over northern Iraq [the article
calls this Œthe first-ever report on alleged air intrusions from the
neighbouring countryı. Really?]
*  Cheney to Visit Mideast, Iraq Neighbours in March
*  Iraqi president warns Turkey


*  Italian parliamentarian confers with Iraqi minister
*  Russian companies to restore bombed Iraqi power station
*  Coddling Iraq a $40Bln Gamble {On the interest evil Russia has in ending
sanctions on evil Iraq]
*  Iraqi oil exports to US surged in 2001
*  New Zealanders Allowed to Send Humanitarian Goods Parcels to Iraq [We had
another version of this last week, but since its the only piece of good news
weıve had, or are likely to have, for many years we might as well have it
*  EU wants sanctions on Iraq modified
*  Government Says It Owes Iraq Only US $5.8m [Continuing story of Ugandan
governmentıs debt to Iraq]


*  Iraq says sanctions kill 15,000 in December [The figures are of total
numbers who died from particular illnesses without any attempt to calculate
what could be attributed to sanctions]


*  Will Pressure Force Iraq to Admit U.N. Inspectors?
*  Iraq ready for dialogue with UN, says Arab League
*  Powell 'rejects' Iraq talks
*  Solution near for disputed Iraqi oil cargo


*  Four Iraqis Killed in U.S., British Air Strikes
*  SAS 'left soldiers to die in Iraq' [But if British soldiers arenıt
willing to die on the ground, what can they do that the US canıt do for


*  Iraqi native pleads guilty to obtaining fraudulent license
*  Suicidal and angry: Iraqis suffer in PNG detention camp [More Australian
unpleasantness towards refugees who are fleeing the consequences of the
sanctions imposed by Australia, among others, on Iraq]
*  Man Admits Selling Papers to Iraqis


by Richard Valdmanis
Reuters, 2nd February

UNITED NATIONS: Syria's delegate to a U.N. sanctions panel has denied
British accusations that Damascus has imported Iraqi crude oil in violation
of a 10-year-old U.N. embargo, diplomats reported.

Britain, for the second time in a week, confronted Syria at a closed-door
session of the Security Council's Iraqi sanctions committee, using Damascus'
new membership in the 15 member body to make its case and elicit a reply.

Previously Russia had blocked attempts by Britain and others on the
committee to confront Syria, saying not enough evidence had been presented.
It repeated that position on Friday.

Syrian counsellor Fayssal Mekdad, responding to the charges, denied Syria
was importing illicit oil and said instead it was building a new pipeline
that it hoped would be put under U.N. control, diplomats attending the
meeting said.

Britain, represented by its Middle East expert, Carne Ross, presented piles
of news reports and oil industry figures.

British officials believe that an increase in Syrian exports means that
Syria is smuggling in at least 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iraqi crude
over a pipeline that was shut for nearly two decades until November 2000.

Oil industry officials say that in 2002 the rate of smuggling may increase
to as much as 200,000 bpd, which would be worth more than $1 billion (700
million pounds) a year at current prices.

The United Nations oil-for-food program requires Iraq to place its oil
revenues into an escrow account to purchase approved goods for the Iraqi
people. The program was designed to ease hardships on ordinary Iraqis
suffering under U.N. sanctions, imposed when Baghdad's troops invaded Kuwait
in August 1990.

"Our own view is that this is the most serious breach of sanctions on Iraq
since 1990," said a British official, briefing reporters earlier. "It is
flagrant and the Syrians are not telling the truth about it."

Some U.N. diplomats believe Syria's membership of the sanctions panel makes
it immune to the British allegations.

Only the Security Council's five permanent members have veto power. But in
the council's committees, all 15 members have the right to dissent, a
situation that has deadlocked the Iraqi panel for years.

"Syria has veto power," said a Western diplomat after the meeting. "There is
nothing that can be done about these allegations unless Syria agrees to
action, which they will never do."

In addition Russia, Iraq's closest ally on the council and a permanent
council member, has sided with Syria.

France and China say Syria must not be singled out when Iraqi crude is also
allegedly smuggled through Turkey and Jordan. But Britain says the oil
travelling to Turkey by road has dropped in recent years and that the
Jordanian situation has been acknowledged by the council as a special case.

CNN, 3rd February

ANKARA, Turkey (Reuters) -- Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is
preparing a letter to Saddam Hussein warning him to allow U.N. weapons
inspectors back into Iraq or face the threat of war, a Turkish newspaper
said on Saturday.

Sabah daily said Ecevit, who met U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington
in January, and his advisers had prepared the letter on Friday and would
send it in the coming week.

"Allow the United Nations weapons inspectors to enter your country. Stop the
production of weapons of mass destruction," Sabah quoted the letter as

"If you do not, the United States, which has fears about the production of
chemical weapons, may consider an operation against Iraq, and the whole
region will be dragged into war."



Tehran, Feb 3, IRNA -- Visiting Secretary General of the Iraqi Labor Union
Jamil Salmani Ahmad al-Jabouri here Sunday discusses issues of mutual
interest with the Head of Majlis Social Commission Abolqasem Sarhadi-Zadeh
and Member of Majlis Presiding Board Soheila Jolodar-Zadeh.

Sarhadi-Zadeh pointed to the principled policies of the Islamic Republic in
broadening ties with Muslim states of the region, and voiced Tehran's
determination to boost amicable relations with Baghdad in different fields.

He highlighted the need to encourage mutual cooperation given the prevailing
'critical' conditions in the region.

Also in the same meeting, Jolodar-Zadeh recalled commonalties between
Iranian and Iraqi labor unions and called for enhanced cooperation between
the two sides.

She said Tehran and Baghdad have to launch cooperation by taking into
account the dictates of globalization, and the ensuing pressures on the
labor class of society.

Al-Jabouri, for his part, hoped Tehran and Baghdad would expand cooperation
in various fields considering that the two countries have stepped into a new
era of bilateral cooperation.

He said Tehran and Baghdad have same stances and goals in their fight
against the global arrogance, and their strife to champion the rights of the
Islamic Ummah.

Al-Jabouri stressed the need to promote mutual ties so as to bring about a
joint cause for encountering the challenges and threats to the Islamic

Swissinfo, 4th February

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia would work closely with the United
States if it tried to foment revolution against President Saddam Hussein
inside Iraq, a leading Saudi prince has said.

"We believe the way to go is from inside Iraq," Prince Turki al-Faisal, who
served as the kingdom's intelligence chief for 24 years until leaving the
post in August, said on NBC Television's "Meet the Press."

"And the U.S. can help in that, and we will work closely with you on that,"
he said.

But the prince warned Washington against another Gulf War-style attack on

"If you send an invasion force to Iraq ... you're going to create not just
resentment and fear and anger at the United States, but you may succeed in
rallying the Iraqi people behind Saddam Hussein, because they see you as a
foreign invader," he said.

"But if it is an Iraqi who is doing the toppling of Saddam Hussein and then,
after he does that, you help him, in the way that we have proposed to your
country, then that would be the way to do it," the Saudi prince said.

He expressed confidence that a U.S. covert operation could depose Saddam,
who invaded neighbouring Kuwait in 1990. His forces were driven out of
Kuwait by an international alliance early in 1991.


Prince Turki is among several Saudi officials who have given U.S. media
interviews recently in an apparent attempt to counter a spate of negative
stories about what some Americans see as the kingdom's inadequate
cooperation after the Sept. 11 attacks in which about 3,100 people were

Asked about the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in the attacks
were from Saudi Arabia, the prince, citing the white supremacist Ku Klux
Klan, said the United States also had a dark side.

As for charges that Saudi charities funnelled money to Osama bin Laden's al
Qaeda network -- blamed for the September attacks -- the prince said the
charities were never intended to be used to breed terrorists.

He said Americans contributed money to charities in Ireland that funded the
Irish Republican Army, an armed group resisting British rule in Northern

The prince said Saudi Arabia was indebted to the United States for
protecting the kingdom against Iraq at the time of the invasion of Kuwait,
but "we think that the U.S. owes Saudi Arabia some gratitude for our
positions on the various issues that we agree upon."

Arabic News, 6th February

President of Tunis Zien al-Abedien Ben Ali received Tuesday Iraqi Foreign
Minister Naji Sabri. He "affirmed support for Iraq in facing up to the
unjust embargo.. Mr. Sabri said that Iraq highly appreciates Tunisiaıs
stands in support of Iraq," INA reported today.

Kyodo (Japanese press agency), 6th February

BAGHDAD: Iraq on Wednesday accused Iraq of violating its airspace in
northern Iraq four times in January and warned that it reserves the right to
self-defense, the official Iraqi News Agency said in the first-ever report
on alleged air intrusions from the neighboring country.

The agency said the Iraqi government has delivered a letter on the alleged
air intrusions to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York.

The Iraqi government alleges that formations of Turkish warplanes flew over
Iraqi Kurdistan from the Iraq-Turkey-Iran border triangle over four days
from Jan. 15 to 21.

The letter did not refer to any attack by the planes, INA said.

According to the official Iraqi media, Turkey constantly pushes into
northern Iraq allegedly to chase fighters of Turkey's Kurdistan Workers
Party, which has fought in southern Turkey for two decades demanding
national rights for the 12 million Turkey-based Kurds.

The Iraqi letter described the Turkish flights as ''acts of aggression'' and
said Turkey ''bears the full responsibility for the consequences of these
aggressions,'' INA said

The Iraqi government also condemned Turkey -- a member of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization -- for providing bases to U.S. and British planes flying
reconnaissance missions over Iraq's northern no-fly zone.

Reuters, 7th February

WASHINGTON: U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney will visit the Middle East in
mid-March, making stops in Israel and four states bordering Iraq to discuss
future steps in the war on global terrorism, a top aide said Wednesday.

Cheney's trip will take him to 11 nations, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan,
Turkey and Kuwait, all of which neighbor Iraq, which President Bush last
week named as part of an "axis of evil" along with Iran and North Korea.

There has been widespread speculation that Iraq could be the next target of
the war on terrorism following the U.S.-led campaign that toppled the
Taliban rulers of Afghanistan who hosted accused Sept. 11 mastermind Osama
bin Laden.

"The vice president will hold wide-ranging discussions on matters of mutual
interests, including our ongoing campaign against terrorism and other
regional security issues," top Cheney aide Mary Matalin told Reuters.

She said Cheney, the U.S. secretary of defense during the 1991 Gulf War,
would visit Kuwait, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Saudi
Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Turkey, Oman, Jordan and Israel. He will visit U.S.
troops in the region.

Aides sought to tamp down expectations that the trip might seek to promote
the Middle East peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, with
Matalin saying Cheney had no plans at present to meet Palestinian President
Yasser Arafat.


CNN, 8th February

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- In response to a warning from Turkey, Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein warned its neighbor not to side with the United States in any
future conflict.

Hussein's message was in a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit
released by the Iraqi News Agency late Friday.

Hussein also said Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction and no intention
of producing them. The United States has repeatedly expressed concern that
Iraq is working on such weapons, and just this week, said it is up to Iraq
to prove it is not.

Ecevit, after a visit to Washington in January, sent a message to the Iraqi
president urging him to immediately allow United Nation's weapons
inspectors, or risk a U.S. attack.

The Iraqi president replied: "We expect from Turkey to stick to rules of
good neighborliness and principles of international law and to contribute
seriously to protecting security and stability in the region."

He said the United States is using the issue of weapons inspections as a
pretext for a planned attack.

The statement was the first comment on weapons inspections by the Iraqi
president since Baghdad offered last month to reopen talks with the United
Nations. Diplomats say those talks could potentially lead to the return of
U.N. weapons inspectors, who withdrew from Iraq in 1998 just before the
United States and Britain began a major bombing campaign, saying Iraq was
not cooperating with inspectors.

"As for weapons of mass destruction, Iraq no longer has any of these weapons
and it has no intention to produce them," Hussein said. He said seven years
of inspections in Iraq had shown that the country's deadliest weapons
programs had been dismantled.

The United States has charged that Iraq did not allow inspectors access to
all potential weapons sites.


Arabic News, 2nd February

Deputy chairman of the Italian Senate Lamberto Deni on Friday met with a
delegation representing the Iraqi government chaired by the minister of
state Abdul Razzaq al-Hashimi, currently visiting Italy.

The Iraqi delegation which arrived in Rome two days earlier at the
invitation of the Italian- Iraqi society. Chaired by senator Jian Foleini,
is composed of the two deputies for the Iraqi ministers of transport and

The Italian sources did not refer the nature of the talks the Iraqi
delegation held in Italy.

Hoovers (Financial Times), 3rd February
Source: ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in English 0106 gmt 1 Feb 02

Kuwait, 1 February: A consortium of Russian companies has won a tender to
restore power plants in Iraq, the Iraqi newspaper Al-Thawrah says in its
Friday [1 February] issue.

A group of Russian companies have engaged in the restoration project at the
al-Yousifiya power plant 30 kilometres off Baghdad, the paper says.

The plant has a generating capacity of 1.2 million MW and its
re-commissioning will help resume normal supplies of electricity to Baghdad.
The contract value is not disclosed, Al Thawrah said.

The al-Yousifiya plant was destroyed by the US bombing raids against Iraq
during the 1991 Gulf war. The international blockade of Iraq has so far made
it impossible to begin restoration works there.

by Michael Wines
Moscow Times (New York Times Service), 4th February

U.S. President George W. Bush may have plenty of reasons why Russia, his new
ally in the war on terrorism, should stop cozying up to Iraq, one of the
states he sees as part of an "axis of evil."

But Leonid Fedun has 20 billion reasons why Russia should not.

Fedun is vice president for development at LUKoil. He oversees a 23-year
contract to develop Iraq's West Qurna oil field -- 667 million tons of
crude, half a million barrels per day and one of the world's largest oil
deposits. It is potentially, he says, a $20 billion moneymaker. But only

Thanks to UN sanctions on Iraq, LUKoil has not pumped a drop from West Qurna
since it won drilling rights in 1997.

With the United States now talking openly of ousting Iraqi President Saddam
Hussein from power, Fedun wonders whether West Qurna will ever pay off.

"If the Americans start military operations against Iraq," he said, "we may
lose a contract, and American oil companies will come in our place. No one
has ever said the opposite."

For two nations that have jointly pledged to stem the spread of terror,
weapons and the despots who would use them, agreeing on what to do about
Saddam is the first serious test of their wobbly new friendship, with
pragmatism and suspicion rife on both sides.

"I'm very critical of Russian supporters of Saddam," said Andrei Kozyrev,
former President Boris Yeltsin's first foreign minister and one of the
United States' more consistent supporters in Moscow. "But speaking about
Washington, it's a very, very awkward, very simplistic and inflexible
approach they take toward Iraq. There's a lot of room for improvement."

Some U.S. experts are no less confounded. "Do I want to curry favor with the
Iraqi regime?" said Eugene Rumer, a State Department policy strategist in
the Clinton administration who is now a Russia scholar at the National
Defense University in Washington. "Or do I want to maintain a solid
relationship with the United States and, to a lesser degree, with Europe?
The answer to that ought to be fairly obvious."

Even in the wake of Sept. 11, Russia has clung to its position as Iraq's
chief protector against new UN sanctions or a new U.S. attack. The Kremlin
also wants an end to British and U.S. patrols of the no-flight zones imposed
after the Gulf War to prevent Saddam's jets from bombing Iraq's Kurdish and
Shiite minorities.

Russia argues that the United Nations never specifically approved such
zones. Rumer argues -- and some Russians agree -- that the Kremlin has let
Russia's best interests in Iraq take a back seat to the agendas of a
powerful oil industry and a bureaucracy still nursing Cold War resentments.

For its part, however, the United States has done almost nothing to allay
Russia's very real fear: that if Saddam goes, Russia's multibillion-dollar
stake and its influence in Iraq will go with him. Baghdad still owes Russia
at least $8 billion from the days of the Cold War when, as a client state,
Iraq outfitted its military with armor bought on Soviet credit. Then there
are billions of dollars in oil contracts with Russian companies, and
billions of dollars more trading that could be done with a pro-Russian
government in Baghdad.

The U.S. silence on Russia's actual and potential stake in Iraq only
solidifies the conviction of some Russians that the White House cannot be
trusted to play fairly, new friendship or not. So far, Saddam has played
deftly on the United States' rage and Russia's fears. He gave Russia by far
the largest share of Iraq's contracts last year -- $1.3 billion -- under the
UN oil for-food program, which allows Iraq to sell oil to buy supplies to
help Iraqi civilians.

In late September, days after President Vladimir Putin cast Russia's lot in
with the West's war on terrorism and the White House began expressing its
concern about Iraq, Baghdad announced plans to award Russian companies
another $40 billion in contracts as soon as UN sanctions were lifted.

Iraq also has courted Russian politicians with trips and other inducements
-- Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the outspoken nationalist, has made several visits.

"It's safe to say that there is a strong pro-Iraqi lobby in Russia," said
Alexei Mitrofanov, a State Duma deputy from Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic
Party. "Just as there is a strong pro-Taiwan lobby in the United States."

The week before last, as U.S. strategists pondered the prospects for
Saddam's demise, Iraq's deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, was in Moscow. He
returned to Moscow last week after talks in China, but left without meeting
any senior officials. Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said during Aziz's
earlier visit that Russia and Iraq saw eye to eye on questions of extremism
and terrorism and that the U.S.-backed sanctions against Iraq were
counterproductive and should be lifted. More pointedly, he said Russia
solidly opposed "spreading or applying the international anti-terror
operation to any arbitrarily chosen state, including Iraq."

The Kremlin offers some diplomatic arguments for its policy: that the United
States has overstepped the UN mandate on Iraq and that it is unproven that
Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction or supporting terrorism.
Russia pointedly does not say that Saddam is a friend, because he is not.
"There are no emotional bonds between the Russians and the Iraqis," said
Dmitry Trenin, a top expert on Russian foreign policy at the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace in Moscow. "It's not Yugoslavia or Serbia.
You have to talk about interests -- very specific, very easily identifiable

Those interests are largely in places like West Qurna. Soviet wildcatters
and engineers had probed the West Qurna deposit earlier, sinking 300 wells
in 1979 alone in preparation for pumping oil. Iraq's war with Iran halted
work in the 1980s, and Saddam's invasion of Kuwait kept it at a standstill
in the 1990s. Iraq revived the project in the mid-1990s as tensions over the
presence of UN weapons inspectors inside Iraq were peaking.

The new production-sharing agreement gave LUKoil rights to more than half of
all oil pumped there during the life of the contract. Iraq got another 25
percent. But the Kremlin got a stake, too: Two Russian government agencies
gained another quarter of the oil rights as part of a scheme to repay some
of Iraq's Soviet debt. Russia was explicit that it would not pump oil until
sanctions were lifted. But Iraq was not without leverage: In November 2000,
Saddam threatened to void the West Qurna deal for nonperformance.

That December, the Kremlin sent a letter to Baghdad proposing an end to the
no-flight zones and a deal in the United Nations to lift economic sanctions
against Iraq in exchange for the return of weapons monitors. The Kremlin
continues to pursue that deal, and although Iraq rejected it again last
week, Aziz's visits here and in Beijing almost certainly center on reaching
some UN accord that would stave off U.S. military action.

No one professes to know where Putin really stands regarding Saddam. Among
experts here and in the United States, there is a growing sense that the
Kremlin's control of its Iraq policy is being taken over by Russian industry
and the Soviet holdovers, in both the bureaucracy and parliament, who still
see Iraq as part of a grand game to thwart U.S. influence. Equally, it is
not clear whether the United States cares about Russia's stake in Iraq.
Experts on both sides say a savvy Kremlin almost surely would grab any U.S.
compromise that offered reassurances on Russia's economic interests and
unpaid debt in exchange for Moscow's help in ratcheting up the pressure on

Even Fedun of LUKoil, holding a $20 billion contract he cannot execute,
suggests that his firm might welcome U.S. oil companies in a venture to
spread the risks of the West Qurna project -- if only the sanctions would

"I don't see why one can't make sure that those interests are taken good
care of," said Trenin of the Carnegie Endowment. "I think this calls for a

World Oil (from AFP), 4th February

Iraq's oil exports to the United States surged during 2001 under the United
Nations programme despite political antagonism, the Middle East Economic
Survey (MEES) reports.

Exports of the two main Iraqi crudes, Basrah Light and Kirkuk, rose
substantially over 2000, the Cyprus-based industry newsletter says in its
February 4 edition.

For Basrah Light, 79 percent of liftings went to North America in 2001
compared with 58 percent in the previous year, MEES said. And 31 percent of
Kirkuk liftings were exported to the United States compared with just four
percent in 2000.

MEES noted that Iraqi oil exports to the Far East fell in 2001, but gave no

Iraq exported an average 1.7 million barrels of oil per day in 2001 under
the UN oil-for-food scheme set up in 1996 to soften the impact of UN
sanctions imposed on Baghdad for invading Kuwait in 1990.

It allows Baghdad to export crude oil under strict UN supervision and to use
part of the revenue to import food, medicine and other necessities.


WELLINGTON, February 4 (Xinhuanet) -- New Zealanders will be  allowed to
post small parcels of humanitarian goods to Iraq  without ministerial
consent, New Zealand's acting Foreign Minister Jim Sutton has announced.

All parcels sent to Iraq have required consent from the New  Zealand
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade since sanctions  against Iraq came
into effect in 1991.

"The lifting of postal restrictions means the New Zealand  Post will accept
parcels weighing two kilograms or less to Iraq,  providing it is clear from
the accompanying customs declaration  that they contain humanitarian goods
such as medicines, foodstuffs or items of clothing,"Sutton said in a
statement released  recently.

Previously, such items required specific ministerial consent  before the New
Zealand Post would accept them for postage.

"This is a small step towards enabling contact between Iraqi  families in
New Zealand and Iraq, alleviating the humanitarian  crisis affecting the
Iraqi people as a result of economic  sanctions," the acting minister said.

Parcels weighing over two kilograms or not of humanitarian  nature will
still require ministerial consent via the Ministry of  Foreign Affairs and
Trade's Legal Division, Sutton said.


Brussels, Feb 5, IRNA -- The European Union was working with the United
Nations and Russia to have the international sanctions on Iraq modified,
said a EU spokesman.

The EU ''is eager to have the sanctions modified,'' EU spokesman for
external relations Gunnar Wiegand told a press briefing Monday.

He, however, clarified that the EU was not holding direct talks with Iraq on
the issue.

by Jude Etyang
New Vision (Kampala), 6th February

THE Government has admitted owing the Iraqi government US$5.8m and not
US$10m as claimed in the commercial court suit filed by the latter.

The Attorney General (AG) represented by The Commissioner of Civil
Litigation, Cheborion Barishaki, admitted facts in the suit yesterday,
before Justice Okumu Wengi.

The Iraqi government represented by Charles Odere sued the Uganda Government
seeking the repayment of a $10m loan that it said was inherited from the
1970's Idi Amin regime.

Iraq filed the suit last year after Uganda wrote a letter demanding for the
debt to be cancelled under the World bank Highly Indebted Poor Countries

Barishaki reiterated the Government's stand that only US$4,566,110 was

He said of the amount received, US$1,960,278 had been paid back to Iraq and
therefore the principal outstanding amount plus interest as by June 30, 2000
is US$5,847,507.

The Iraqi government claims that on May 9, 1979 the two governments signed
an agreement under which Uganda benefited from a US$10m loan aimed at
financing industrial projects.

It is also alleged that another loan agreement for US$4.8m was executed
between the two governments on June 3, 1981, and it's payment was scheduled
to commence on January 15, 1982.

However, the AG in defence said the outstanding amount Uganda owes Iraq is
$5.8m not $10m.

He said although the agreements were executed, the disbursements were not
effected as scheduled.

The AG said no disbursement was ever made on the second loan "and therefore
no liability from it is admitted."

Saddam Hussein is the president of Iraq.


Reuters, 5th February

BAGHDAD: Over 15,000 Iraqis died in December due to diseases that Baghdad
blames on the regime of United Nations sanctions imposed 11 years ago, an
Iraqi newspaper has reported.

The embargo, punishment for Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, has ruined
Iraq's infrastructure and caused living standards to fall.

The Health Ministry was quoted by Al-Jumhuriya as saying 7,007 children
under the age of five had died of diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition
diseases, while 8,329 people had died of heart and kidney problems, diabetes
and cancers.

Iraq said last month it had received less than half of the medical supplies
it had ordered under the U.N. oil- for-food programme, accusing the United
states and Britain of delaying arrival of supplies.

The oil-for-food programme allows Iraq to sell unlimited quantities of oil
to buy goods for civilian use. But the oil revenues are controlled by the
United Nations, which pays the suppliers of the goods Iraq orders.

The United States and Russia began two days of talks in Geneva on Wednesday
on a plan to revise the sanctions and ease the flow of food and medicines
while keeping a tight embargo on its access to arms.

Washington has proposed so-called "smart sanctions" that would go some way
towards meeting international concern that the measures hit too hard at
Iraq's long-suffering population.

Al-Jumhuriya quoted the Health Ministry as saying 184,764 people, including
84,012 children under the age of five, died last year.

It said the latest figures brought to 1,629,593 the number of people who
have died since the imposition of sanctions in 1990, to December 2001.

Benon Sevan, executive director of the U.N. humanitarian oil programme,
criticised the nearly $5 billion in blocked supplies to Iraq. Sevan is in
Iraq to review the programme with U.N. and Iraqi officials.

Another Iraqi newspaper said on Wednesday Iraq had defused over 11,000
unexploded bombs from the 1991 Gulf War, in the southern province of Meissan
last year.

Al-Qadissiya newspaper quoted the head of the region's civil defence force
as saying the bombs were found in residential areas and on farms.

Iraq's official press carries occasional reports of people being killed or
wounded by bombs dropped during the U.S.-led campaign to oust Iraqi troops
from Kuwait.


by Paul Taylor
Reuters, 3rd February

NEW YORK: Mounting international pressure and tough talk from the United
States may convince Iraq to admit U.N. weapons inspectors after a nearly
five-year break, leaders attending the World Economic Forum said this

But Arab and European leaders cautioned Washington that waging military
action against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could wreck the global
coalition against terrorism and further destabilize a region reeling from
Israeli-Palestinian violence.

"There are some signals and reasons to believe that we come, through the
political arena, to the appropriate solution," Russian Prime Minister
Mikhail Kasyanov told the WEF Saturday.

"Everyone should have patience," he added.

A Middle Eastern leader involved in the diplomacy Sunday used similar terms
to describe hints from Baghdad that Hussein may elect to cooperate with the
United Nations rather than risk possible U.S. military action aimed at
toppling his rule.

Iraq had recently intensified diplomatic activity and sent "some signals we
have to build upon," he said Sunday.

The leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, forecast a crisis in May
2002 when the U.N. Security Council is due to adopt a new "smart sanctions"
resolution, vehemently opposed by Baghdad, that would facilitate civilian
imports while denying Iraq's rulers money and weapons.

President Bush raised the pressure on Iraq last week by branding it part of
an "axis of evil," along with Iran and North Korea, and warning that the
United States would not stand by while it developed weapons of mass
destruction that could threaten the West.

U.S. and Middle Eastern officials stressed Bush has not made any decision to
take military action against Iraq after the war in Afghanistan, but was
keeping his options open.

Hard-liners in the Bush administration have been pressing for action to
overthrow Saddam, Washington's enduring nemesis since a U.S.-led coalition
drove Iraqi invasion forces out of Kuwait in 1991 but stopped short of
ousting him.

Arab officials attending the annual conference of the global business and
political elite warned that with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict deepening,
the Middle East region could ill afford another crisis over Iraq.

"I don't think we can take more shocks in the Middle East," the Arab leader
said, calling for more dialogue to seek a solution to the Iraqi problem.

"We don't believe that there is evidence that would (justify) this action,"
said Russia's Kasyanov, adding that Moscow was ready to discuss any such
evidence should the United States produce it.

International monitors charged with inspecting and destroying Iraq's alleged
weapons of mass destruction have not been allowed to work in the country
since the United States and Britain launched a military strike on Baghdad in
December 1997 [sic. Should be 1998 - PB] to punish Saddam for obstructing
arms inspections.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution in 1999 offering to suspend
sanctions on civilian goods if Iraq cooperated with a new arms inspection
regime, but Baghdad, sensing that sanctions were eroding anyway, rejected

Now diplomats say Saddam may be recalculating in light of the Bush
administration's use of massive military force in Afghanistan and mounting
rhetoric against Iraq.

"If Saddam were smart, he'd let the inspectors in now. The Americans would
be completely wrong-footed because they don't agree among themselves on what
to do," a European envoy said.

Washington did not trust the U.N. arms inspection regime, he said, and was
unwilling to let Iraq off the hook of sanctions but could be upstaged by a
bold gesture of Iraqi cooperation, backed by Russia and European nations.

Times of India (from AFP), 5th February

UNITED NATIONS: Iraq has told Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa that
it is ready to resume dialogue with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
unconditionally, the United Nations said after the two men met on Monday.

"Mr. Mussa had been to Baghdad and returned with a message from Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein, saying that the Iraqis were prepared to resume
dialogue with the secretary general, without any preconditions," Annan's
spokesman's office said in a statement.

"The secretary general indicated that he was prepared to receive a
delegation from Iraq to discuss implementation of relevant Security Council
resolutions," the statement added.

"He will check his calendar to find a mutually convenient date."

BBC, 5th February

The US Secretary of State Colin Powell has reacted coldly to Iraq's offer of
"dialogue", repeating his demand that United Nations weapons inspectors be
allowed to return.

On Monday, Iraq said it was ready to meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
for talks "without preconditions".

But Mr Powell told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that any
discussion with Iraq should be "very short".

Mr Powell said the inspectors had to go back in, under the UN Security
Council's terms and no one else's.

"The burden is upon this evil regime to demonstrate to the world that they
are not doing the kinds of things that we suspect them of," he said.

Iraq has accused the inspectors of spying, but the US secretary of state
said if Baghdad did not have programs to develop weapons of mass
destruction, it should not be hesitant to admit them back.


by Carola Hoyos
Financial Times, 8th February

The US treasury and Trafigura, one of Europe's biggest commodities traders,
appear close to a compromise over $10m of crude oil the US believes was
smuggled from Iraq.

The agreement could end a four-month odyssey for Trafigura. The company has
said it risks bankruptcy because the tanker it chartered in August has been
forced to circle the tiny Caribbean island of Curacao, unable to dock or
offload its crude oil, since the US authorities intervened in October.

Trafigura's shipping costs have exceeded $5m and US authorities have frozen
several million dollars more of the company's future proceeds from the
disputed oil.

Diplomats say the US has agreed to permit Trafigura to sell the oil as long
as the proceeds - expected to be $10m-$20m - are placed in an escrow account
until the US investigation is completed.

Trafigura is cautious about the breakthrough. A company director said: "At
this stage we do not wish to speculate as to the outcome of our

The story of the Essex emerged on September 21 last year when Chiladakis
Theofanis, its captain, wrote a letter to the UN claiming the tanker had
been involved in two cases of sanctions busting.

On both occasions Trafigura chartered the Essex and bought oil from Iraq
through Ibex, a small intermediary company. Most of the oil was bought
legally under the terms of the UN oil-for-food deal that allows companies to
buy oil from Iraq as long as the funds are sent to a UN-controlled account.
The UN ensures that the money is spent on humanitarian goods.

But twice, once in May and once in August, extra crude oil was added to the
boat without the approval of UN inspectors, Mr Theofanis claimed, alerting
the US authorities, which then intercepted the tanker in Curacao.

Trafigura's lawyer says a UN inspector was aware of the extra oil and that
the company had no way of knowing the money it paid for the oil was not
destined for the UN account.



BAGHDAD, February 4 (Xinhuanet) -- A total of four people were  killed when
warplanes of the United States and Britain bombed  northern Iraq on Monday
morning, an Iraqi military spokesman said.

The spokesman told the official Iraqi News Agency that at 11:45  a.m. (0845
GMT), U.S. and British planes bombed "civil"  installations in the Mosul
city of the northern Neineva Province.

Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery opened fire at the hostile planes  and "forced
them to flee to their bases in Turkey," the spokesman  said.

Neineva, along with provinces of Dohuk and Erbil, are located  inside the
northern no-fly zone set up by the U.S.-led Western  allies after the 1991
Gulf War with the claimed aim of protecting  the Kurds from the persecution
of the Iraqi government.


by Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian, 8th February

A former SAS soldier has defied the Ministry of Defence by revealing how his
patrol was stranded behind enemy lines during the Gulf war by senior
officers who, he said, regarded it as expendable.

The soldier, who wants to be known as Mal, was a member of the eight-man
Bravo Two Zero patrol, two of whom were killed by Iraqi troops. One died in
the desert, and four were captured. One escaped.

He said he decided to tell the story, which the government has spent £2m in
the courts trying to suppress, because he felt betrayed by the regimental
hierarchy. The story will be broadcast on BBC1's Panorama programme on

Mal's claims are backed by another member of the patrol, Mike Coburn - a
pseudonym - whose book the government has been trying to ban in the New
Zealand courts. Government lawyers have warned the BBC that the two former
SAS soldiers remain bound by confidentiality contracts.

The patrol was deployed late on Tuesday January 22 1991 without any vehicle
- a decision taken by Andy McNab, the pseudonym of its leader who has
written a bestselling account of its exploits.

Its mission was to sabotage Iraqi Scud missiles threatening Israel. The
patrol was soon in trouble - it had been dropped close to an Iraqi troop

On three successive days, between January 24 and 26, the patrol appealed for
help via a normal radio, a satellite communication system, and a "Tacbe"
tactical beacon which could send a distress signal to passing aircraft.

The SAS team believed the lack of response was due to faulty equipment.
However, it has now emerged that the messages were received back at their

An SAS daily record, or log, which the BBC said it has seen, revealed that
the first message was clear - the patrol had been compromised.

The log, which defence officials yesterday admitted appeared genuine, also
indicated that a second message was received by the Tacbe a day later.

It said: "B20 [code name for the patrol] made Tacbe contact again. It was
reasonable to assume that they were in contact - a firefight - and that they
were moving south."

According to the log, a rescue helicopter finally took off on Saturday but
turned back because of bad weather.

Mal said that after he was released his commanding officer "said in effect
that he was prepared to risk a squadron of SAS for a scud missile and that
we were in effect expendable".

A Question of Betrayal will be broadcast at 10.15pm on Sunday on BBC1


by Judy Lin
Seattle Times, 3rd February

An Iraqi refugee from Everett has pleaded guilty to a felony count of paying
$1,000 to fraudulently obtain a Pennsylvania commercial driver's license.

In Pittsburgh, U.S. District Judge Robert Cindrich on Friday accepted the
guilty plea entered by 27-year-old Haidar Al Tamimi, listed in court
documents as Haider Al Tamimi.

Al Tamimi remained free on bond and was to return to Pittsburgh for
sentencing May 3.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, but under
federal-sentencing guidelines, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nelson Cohen
recommended up to six months.

Al Tamimi was among 21 people of Middle Eastern descent arrested as part a
nationwide investigation of a Pittsburgh licensing examiner accused of
helping them fraudulently obtain licenses, most of which allowed the
transport of hazardous materials. The men were arrested in Pennsylvania,
Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Washington state.

The arrests came amid concerns that terrorists might use chemical or
biological weapons after the Sept. 11 attacks. Federal authorities have
since said they found no link between the licenses and the attacks.

Defense attorney Stephen Capone said Al Tamimi is a legal U.S. resident who
fled with his family from their native Iraq in 1992 because of terror
against them by Saddam Hussein's government. They came to the United States
after spending five years in a Saudi Arabia refugee camp, Capone said.

"His father was killed by Hussein's government as well as an uncle and four
cousins," Capone said. "More family are in jail."

Al Tamimi flew to Pittsburgh on Dec. 14, 1999, with another defendant,
Hussain Sudani, 33, after learning they could buy a Pennsylvania commercial
driver's license for $1,000, Cohen said Friday.

License examiner Robert Ferrari, 57, sold them commercial licenses without
making them take the proper tests or surrender their noncommercial
Washington licenses, Cohen said.

Upon returning home, Al Tamimi unsuccessfully attempted to transfer his
bogus Pennsylvania license into a legitimate Washington state commercial
license, Cohen said.

Ferrari faces separate state charges, but could receive 1-1/2 to two years
in prison as part of a plea bargain if state authorities agree, according to
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Teitelbaum, the lead prosecutor on the case.

Ferrari has been scheduled to plead guilty on Friday, according to court

Al Tamimi, who works at a window-manufacturing plant, said he can't go back
to Iraq because authorities there are still looking for him.

"This is my country now," he said.

Sydney Morning Herald, 5th February

The 'Pacific solution' is causing mayhem on PNG's Manus Island, reports Greg
Roberts, the first Australian journalist to visit the detention centre

Asylum seekers sent by Australia to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea have
been injured in escape attempts, have potentially fatal diseases, and have
staged hunger strikes and wrecked property during protests.

One Iraqi man has reportedly tried to kill himself at the Australian-funded
detention centre, built at the PNG Defence Force's Lombrum Naval Base.

Doctors at nearby Lorengau Hospital in the island's main town confirmed that
at least 15 of the asylum seekers, including several young children, have
malaria in a region with a high rate of the disease.

They said it was likely that at least some, if not all, had contracted the
disease on the island, and not in holding camps in Indonesia before setting
out for Australia.

Doctors confirmed that no medication to prevent malaria was given initially
to the first batch of 216 asylum seekers sent to Manus Island after being
rescued by HMAS Adelaide off Ashmore Reef last October.

The Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock, who visited the centre on Sunday,
has denied that asylum seekers there had contracted malaria.

An Immigration Department spokeswoman said last night that the Government's
latest information was that there were "five confirmed cases of malaria
among asylum seekers in Manus". She said boat people often arrived with

Other asylum seekers at the centre are suspected of having tuberculosis and
typhoid fever. An x-ray machine to screen for contagious diseases arrived
just last Thursday.

Another 144 asylum seekers were flown to Manus Island from Christmas Island
last week. Most of those being held at the centre are Iraqi.

In what some lawyers see as a breach of human rights, the asylum seekers
have been denied access to independent legal advice on the instructions of
the Australian Government, according to PNG officials.

Several sources on Manus Island said that none of the first batch of asylum
seekers was told that Manus Island was the destination. All were told they
were going to Australia.

"It wasn't until they got here that they saw all these black faces around
them and they were very, very angry," said Lucas Kuwoh, a University of PNG
law student who has been appointed by PNG and Australian lawyers to make
contact with the boat people.

Mr Kuwoh said he had been trying for three months without success to gain
access to them.

"The fact that they are being denied access to legal advice is contravening
international human rights standards in a manner which all decent people
should deplore."

A PNG Foreign Affairs Department official on the island, Lawrence Bunbun,
said the Australian Government had told Port Moresby it did not want the
asylum seekers to have access to independent legal advice. "They thought it
wasn't necessary, that everything should just proceed through the normal

Two local men, Popai David and Klopil Komet, travelled by boat to the
detention centre the night after the asylum seekers from HMAS Adelaide

"We saw them trying to get out, screaming that they didn't want to be there,
that they were promised they were going to Australia," Mr David said. "They
tried to get over the barbed wire but they got all cut up. They had blood
all over them."

Mr Komet said PNG soldiers had forced the boat people back. "They had guns
pointed at them, they were telling them they would shoot them if they didn't
get down off the fences."

A Manus Island policeman who was sent to the camp said one man had pulled
out a light bulb and put two of his fingers in the socket. "He was very
distraught; the others told us he was trying to kill himself because it got
too much for him."

The policeman said that several days after they arrived asylum seekers had
rioted in the food hall, destroying tables and chairs and smashing windows.
"They went berserk, crazy, like they were wrecking anything they could get
their hands on."

In the first view of the asylum seekers by the media at the detention
centre, the Herald this week saw groups of people in units segregated for
single men and families behind three metre fences topped with barbed wire.
Private PNG security guards patrolled the fences, from which hung signs with
messages such as "Our children going to die here" and "We refuse to live

One doctor said it was "some time" before medication to fend off malaria was
provided to the first batch of boat people. "There was no time, there was
such a big hurry to get them here."

The doctor said there were several suspected cases of tuberculosis and
typhoid among the asylum seekers, and further screening was required before
these could be confirmed.

The hospital at the naval base had been in a "state of total disrepair" when
the boat people arrived. "We're only just now getting to the point where it
is functioning. We have at times used the Lorengau Hospital facilities, but
the direction is that this is a last resort."

Doctors and police said about 20 Iraqis had staged hunger strikes, and that
"several ring leaders" had been isolated.

The Federal Government has asked Port Moresby to refuse the media access to
Lombrum. Mr Ruddock said during his visit that this was not to save his
Government from embarrassment, but to "protect the interests of the asylum
seekers and their families that could be prejudiced" by publicity.

Mr Ruddock's office said last night they were unaware of the Herald's visit
and had no comment. Manus Island and Nauru are the destinations for asylum
seekers trying to reach Australia by boat as part of the Howard Government's
"Pacific solution".

8th February

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A fired Pennsylvania driver's license examiner pleaded
guilty Friday to selling 20 Iraqi men bogus commercial licenses that
authorized most of them to haul hazardous materials.

Robert A. Ferrari, 57, could get up to two years in federal prison under a
plea bargain that also requires him to admit to related state charges.

Based on information provided by Ferrari, 20 Iraqi men were arrested in
Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and Washington
state in late September amid fears that terrorists might be planning attacks
using trucks hauling hazardous materials. Federal authorities have since
determined those men had no terrorist ties.

U.S. District Judge Robert Cindrich said that between the Sept. 11 attacks
and Ferrari's first interview with the FBI on Sept. 23, Ferrari must have
been worried that he had sold licenses to terrorists.

"To me, that would be like being in the lowest circle of hell for 12 days,"
the judge said.

Three men who bought the licenses have pleaded guilty.

Ferrari admitted responsibility for 20 bogus licenses. Eighteen of them were
for hauling hazardous materials.

Authorities said the men paid up to $1,000 for their licenses, or agreed to
buy things for a middleman. Ferrari's cut was as little as $50 or $100 for
some licenses, prosecutors said.

Ferrari faces state charges of tampering with public records and unlawful
use of a computer for selling 56 additional licenses.

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