The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 26, 1992- Page 7
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -
An American plane delivering food
to the starving in the central town of
Baidoa was struck by a bullet yes-
terday, and the United States
consequently suspended its airlift.
Relief agencies are caring for an
estimated 80,000 people in Baidoa,
which is among the towns hardest hit
by Somalia's famine. However, re-
Jief officials say the situation has
'improved with increased deliveries
of food, and the daily death toll has
dropped from a high of about 350 to
Drought and war have killed
more than 100,000 people in
Somalia this year, and another 2 mil-
lion are on the verge of starvation.
Clan warfare and banditry have
periodically forced the suspension of
international food airlifts, underscor-
, ng the difficulties relief workers
face. As much as half of the nearly
200,000 tons of relief supplies deliv-
ered to Somalia this year have been
It was the second time a U.S.
plane was hit by gunfire since the
Americans began their emergency
airlift of food Aug. 21. Another C-
130 was hit by a stray bullet Sept. 18
in the western town of Belet Huen,
causing a two-week suspension of
U.S. flights to that town.
During last week, a German
relief plane was hit by a bullet at
.Mogadishu's airport, and Saturday
two planes for the International
Committee of the Red Cross were
"One bullet hit the aircraft," said
Sam Donnelly, a relief offical. "We
don't know how many shots were
fired or where the bullet was fired
He said the bullet hit the right ex-
ternal fuel tank and it was only dis-
covered when a crew member
looked out a window and saw fuel
leaking. No one was hurt, and the
plane returned to Mombasa.
Donnelly said there was no ap-
parent increase in tensions in
Baidoa, which has been a center of
relief work since international efforts
stepped up three months ago.
"But one thing that characterizes
all of the places we fly into is
volatility," he said. "One minute it
can be calm, and 15 minutes later
there can be a fire-fight."
Since starting its airlift, the
United States has delivered close to
11,000 tons of food.
In addition to the United States,
other nations running airlifts to the
hungry are Canada, Germany,
France and Belgium.
Meanwhile, the United Nations
has begun helping some Somalis
leave refugee-9logged towns in
Kenya and resume farming in their
nearly deserted villages, an official
About 800 Somalis have returned
in the past week, and 5,000 more
have indicated an interest in going,
Panos Moumtzis, spokesman for the
U.N. High Commissioner for
Refugees, said in Nairobi, Kenya.
Survey says reported
crime has decreased
WASHINGTON (AP) - The amount of
crime reported to police declined 2 percent in
the first half of 1992 compared to the same
period the previous year, the FBI said yester-
Some criminal justice experts expressed
surprise at the drop, particularly a dip in the
number of murders.
By contrast the number of reported forcible
rapes increased in the FBI survey. Some ex-
perts suggested that women, in the wake of the
Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas sex harassment
case, may be more willing to report rapes.
Violent crime reported to law enforcement
agencies increased 3 percent compared with
the same period last year, while property crime
dropped 3 percent, the FBI said.
Since the volume of property crimes is far
greater than the number of violent crimes, the
overall crime rate was down.
About 16,000 law enforcement agencies
nationwide contribute information to the FBI
crime index. The agency did not provide a
state-by-state breakdown. All figures in the re-
port compared the first six months of 1992 to
the first half of 1991.
FBI officials noted that the timing of the
report is routine and coincidentally was re-
leased about a week before the presidential
A similar report - showing an increase in
crime - was released by the FBI at this time
Some regard the FBI figures as less reliable
than a report due out soon from the Justice
Department based on a household survey that
is not limited to crime reported to police.
It is believed that less than 40 percent of
major crimes are reported to police.
The FBI report showed a 3 percent drop in
the number of reported murders, a 1 percent
decrease in robberies, a 4 percent rise in
forcible rapes and a 6 percent jump in aggra-
Alfred Blumstein, dean of the school of ur-
ban and public affairs at Carnegie Mellon
University in Pittsburgh, said he is surprised by
the decline in the number of murders.
He said he has heard reports that murders
committed by people who were strangers to
their victims may be increasing, while the
number of murders among acquaintances is
"But I don't have a good explanation," he
said. "I must say, it surprises me."
By contrast, Blumstein said a reported dip
in property crimes is easier to understand.
There are fewer people nationally in the 15 to
19 year-old age group that accounts for most of
The FBI - which does not break down
statistics by age group - said burglary
dropped 4 percent, larceny-theft 3 percent and
car theft 2 percent. Arson increased 6 percent,
the only rise among property crimes.
University of Massachusetts professor Jeff
Sedgwick said, "Some of the figures are the
exact opposite of what I would have expected."
Particularly surprising is the drop in mur-
ders, he said, since usually more murders are
committed by older felons, and the change in
demographics does not easily account for the
"We need to be focusing on explanations
other than demographics," Sedgwick said. But
he did not offer any immediate theories.
Middle East talks
A U-M alumnus cheerleader sings "The Victors" during Saturday's homecoming victory
Abandoned children remain
clasuaties of Yugoslav war
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) -
From a dingy crib in the pediatrics ward of
Kosevo Hospital, Darko Plecic casts brown
eyes on a stranger and whimpers a wordless
plea to be picked up.
Although Darko is basically healthy, his en-
tire world for seven months has been the inside
of this frequently shelled hospital, filled with
the maimed and dying, often lit only by candle-
light due to electricity shortages.
Darko's parents sent him to the capital last
March 17 from his.hime in Visegrad, 50 miles
east of Sarajevo, for treatment of an intestinal
Then war came. Now no one at the hospital
knows whether Darko's parents are alive.
"We have no idea what is going on with his
parents because we are surrounded by a fascist
army, and so are they." said Dr. Lutvo Hodzic,
the pediatrics director.
Sarajevo and other Muslim-dominated
Bosnian cities have been besieged by Serbian
rebels in a six-month war that has killed over
Parents often beg the hospital to keep their
children as long as possible. "Here they (the
children) have three meals a day and it's prob-
ably less dangerous," Raic said.
However, most other parents eventually
return to the hospital to see their children,
'We have no idea what is
going on with his parents
because we are surrounded
by a fascist army,'
-Dr. Lutvo Hodzic
Hodzic said. He added that because he hasn't
even heard from the family he wonders if they
But Hodzic said shortages are starting to af-
fect the hospital.
"It's not only that Darko is hungry and
thirsty to be touched," he said. "You should
see him when I offer him a piece of bread. He
is jumping in his bed for joy. He can't wait to
get it in his mouth."
Hodzic said hundreds of children like
Darko could die if the international community
doesn't start sending more food instead of
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - The Arabs
have a saying: "There can be no Middle East
war without Egypt and no peace without
That was never so apt as it is now, with the
U.S.-sponsored Middle East peace process ap-
proaching its second year.
Increasingly, the negotiations between
Israel and Syria, its most implacable foe for 44
years, are progressing in a way that no one
would have thought possible a year ago.
This has raised hopes that an end to one of
the world's most intractable conflicts could be
within reach - possibly less than what all the
parties want, but workable and binding.
Privately, Syrian officials say President
Hafez Assad, whose harsh Baath Party regime
has been built around the struggle against
Israel and recovering the Golan Heights cap-
tured in 1967, understands that he must adapt
to the new world order.
But not at any price and not by breaking
Arab ranks as Egypt did when it signed a peace
treaty with Israel in 1979.
"Syria wants a just, honorable and durable
settlement - but the Golan is as Syrian as
New Jersey is American and there can be no
equivocation on that," said Mohammed Aziz
Shukri, dean of Damascus University's law
school and a respected expert in international
London's International Institute for
Strategic Studies has characterized the talks as
"the most complex peace effort since
Versailles" after World War I.
To be sure, the peace process could take
But the fact that the Syrians, as well as the
Palestinians, Jordanians and Lebanese, have
been sitting down face-to-face with long-re-
viled foes for a year has irrevocably altered the
fundamentals of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
When the talks began in Madrid Oct. 30,
1991, the Syrians and Israelis hurled insults at
Now, with hard-line Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir out of office and succeeded by
the pragmatic Yitzhak Rabin, both sides appear
to be preparing for some hard-nosed horse-
The seventh round of talks began in
Washington last Wednesday.
The Syrians have dropped their insistence
that nothing of substance can be discussed un-
til Israel withdraws from the territories cap-
tured in 1967.
They now say an Israeli commitment to the
principle of withdrawal will suffice to get ne-
For their part, the Israelis now acknowledge
Syria's security needs and say that compromise
is possible for relinquishing the Golan, the
strategic 3,200-foot-high volcanic plateau
Israel annexed in 1981.
Up front, the Syrians demand the complete
return of the Golan.
Privately, some officials and diplomats in
Damascus say the Syrian position is more
flexible - if Israel recognizes Syrian
sovereignty over the Golan, a phased Israeli
pullback might be acceptable.
Both sides say that the process is inching
forward. So much that the Palestinians, their
talks with the Israelis bogged down, fear
Damascus might be tempted to make a sepa-
rate peace if the Israelis are prepared to cut a
deal on the Golan.
The Syrians insist they will only accept a
comprehensive settlement. But what that
means is open to interpretation.
Bush signs bill increasing aid to former Soviet Union
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -
President Bush signed into law a bill
providing the former Soviet Union
with $410 million in U.S. assistance
and underwriting billions of dollars
more in international aid yesterday.
The measure also provides assis-
tance for the destruction of nuclear
weapons in Russia and other former
Soviet states, and also for the con-
version of military facilities for
In a statement issued as he began
a nine-day campaign trip, Bush said
-the bill demonstrates the U.S. com-
mitment to democracy and free mar-
kets in the former Soviet Union. The
bill had been stalled in Congress for
before giving aid overseas.
"Once again the American people
have united to advance the causes of
Once again the American people have united
to advance the causes of freedom, to win the
peace, to help transform former enemies into
- President George Bush
The bill authorizes $410 million
in direct U.S. assistance for humani-
tarian purposes, improvement of the
food distribution system, health and
human services programs, civilian
nuclear reactor safety and environ-
It also endorses a $12 billion in-
crease in the U.S. contribution to the
International Monetary Fund. "The
IMF quota increase will ensure that
the IMF has adequate resources to
promote free markets in the former
Soviet Union and elsewhere
throughout the world," Bush said.
months amid arguments that the
deficit-ridden United States should
spend money on its own problems
freedom, to win the peace, to help
transform former enemies into
peaceful partners," Bush said.
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