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February 07, 1996 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-07

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 7, 1996


Haitians already impatient with President-elect Preval


Rene Preval isn't even in office yet, and
already Haitians are impatient.
The new president takes office today
without the overwhelming popular sup-
port enjoyed by his predecessor and
with widespread frustration over the
government's inability to relieve grind-
ing poverty.
"We'll give the new government a
month. If nothing changes, then we'll
show them," said Jean Junior, an unem-
ployed mechanic trying to hustle a job
washing a car at a downtown street
"We'll demonstrate. We'll protest,"
others shouted.
It was a sorry mood for the first
peaceful transition of power from one
popularly elected president to another
in the 192-year history of Haiti, the
world's oldest black republic.
The current president, Jean-Bertrand
Aristide, will retire to his walled-off,
newly refurbished mansion in a Port-
au-Prince suburb with his new Haitian-
American wife.
Aristide says he'll return to doing
charity work for street kids and try to
resume his role as a "voice for the
voiceless." But many suspect he also
will be a major force guiding his suc-

cessor, the man he once called his
Preval has his work cut out for him.
He will need foreign aid to appease
a hungry and angry people. But such
aid is tied to stringent economic mea-
sures that would cut thousands ofjobs

Many ofhis former allies object, say-
ing that extending the mandate would
prolong a military occupation of Haiti.
The U.S.-ledforce intervenedin Sep-
tember 1994, ousting the military rulers
who had deposed Aristide in a coup

three years earlier.

in a nation where
two-thirds of the
work force al-
ready is under- or
Aristide's gov-
ernment rejected
those conditions,
but Preval has in-
dicated he will
adopt the auster-
ity measures.
He may have
little choice. If

"We'll give the
new government a
month. if nothing
changes., then
we'll show them."
-- Jean Junior
Unemployed mechanic

Aristide returned
from exile the fol*
lowing month.
Aristide re-
mains Haiti's
most popular fig-
ure, but by law
could not seek a
consecutive term.
Most Haitians had
wanted him to
make up the three
years he lost it
exile, but undeW
U.S.' pressure

protesters take to the streets, they could
overwhelm the new National Police, an
ill-equipped force hurriedly trained by
U.S., Canadian and French instructors
and which has been accused of being
trigger-happy and abusive.
Acknowledging those concerns,
Preval has asked the United Nations to
keep peacekeepers in Haiti for six
months after the current U.N. mandate
expires on Feb. 29.

Aristide abandoned that possibility.
That left the elections to Preval, a 52-
year-old agronomist. He won 87.9 per-
cent of the ballots, but only 27.9 percent
of the electorate voted.
An air of hopelessness surrounded
the Dec. 17 election, which Preval won
more because of his association with
Aristide than because of his own blea
campaign message that Haiti's extrem
poverty won't end soon:

Celestin Charlamagne puts the finishing touches on a mural of Haitian President-elect Rene Preval (left) and current Haitian
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide yesterday. Aristide will hand over power to Preval today.

.N otKoreaslk
loris e es A

U.N., Imaq begiontalks
on limited oil sales

The Baltimore Sun
WASHINGTON - North Korea,
which two years ago extracted billions
of dollars worth of concessions from
the West as the price for halting a nuclear
weapons program, is now having to ask
the world for food.
It is nearly impossible to know for
certain what is happening in North
Korea, a Stalinist hermit kingdom with
a million-man army that keeps the Ko-
rean peninsula on constant alert. But
the United Nations is convinced that a
half-million people there are severely
malnourished and that without interna-
tional aid the country will run out of
food this summer.
The Clinton administration has taken
thereports seriously enough to announce
$2 million in aid, even at the risk of
criticism from South Korea and its Re-
publican allies on Capitol Hill.
North Korea's humbling transforma-
tion from open belligerency to desper-
ate neediness has occurred in part be-
cause of a natural disaster, the cata-
strophic flooding last July and August
in Ia prime food-producing region,
Hwanghae. But the floods just exacer-
bated a chronic North Korean food
shortage. Each year, the country falls 1
million to 3 million tons short of the
rice it needs.
' There was a long-term structural
problem, but the floods made that situ-
ation much, much worse," said Michael
Ross, a spokesperson for the World
Fopd Program, the U.N. agency that

There was a
problem, but the
floods made that
situation much,
much worse"
- Michael Ross
World Food Program
has led the aid effort.
Only 20 percent of North Korea's
landscape is suitable for farming. The
regime tried to boost output with major
irrigation projects. But it maintained its
Communist system ofcollective farms,
refusing to follow China's example of
increasing farmers' incentives to pro-
duce more, according to Selig Harrison,
a senior associate at the Carnegie En-
dowment for International Peace.
During the Cold War, North Korea
could rely on its patron, the former
Soviet Union, for steady supplies of
cheap oil, which it used to power trac-
tors and produce fertilizer. With the
collapse of the Soviet Union, these sub-
sidized imports stopped.
China, another longtime ally, recently
halted its own food exports to North

Students hurl firebombs and rocks toward riot police during a clash outside Yonsei
University after an anti-government rally demanding the resignation of President
Kim Young-sam yesterday. More than 3,000 students attended the rally.

Korea, as China struggles to feed its
own growing, and increasingly afflu-
ent, population. "For North Korea," said
Harrison, "this was a tremendous blow."
According to some reports, North
Korea's elaborate public rationing sys-
tem allows people only one meal a day.
A defector was quoted in January as
saying that hunger had even caused
unrest in the army.
North Korea's appeal for help from
the United Nations was a strikingly
untypical move for that willfully iso-
lated country, one that has prided itself
on its self-reliance since 1953, when a
cease-fire ended the Korean War. The
West is uncertain as to who is really in
charge. Kim 11 Jong, son of late ruler
Kim I Sung, is described as the top
leader, but he has yet to assume some of
his father's titles.
North Korea apparently preferred to
ask for aid from the West than from its
neighbor and enemy, South Korea,

which has demanded that in exchange
for food the North hold formal talks
with it. South Korea sent 150,000 tons
of rice last year.
Administration officials said they
didn't expect South Korea to object
strongly, but a top Clinton aide - Na-
tional Security Adviser Anthony Lake
- was en route to Seoul for talks with
South Korean officials when the an-
nouncement was made.
North Korea wants to expand ties
with the United States and offer South
Korea as little recognition as possible.
Seoul, for its part, wants to increase
its influence on North Korea by being
both its link with the West and its main
source of aid.
As part of the agreement that per-
suaded North Korea to freeze its nuclear
program, Seoul is to furnish the tech-
nology and much of the personnel and
money to build light-water reactors in
the north.

Resolution would allow
Iraq to sell about
700,000 barrels of oil
a day for humanitarian
relief efforts
The Washington Post
officials began talks here yesterday on
whether Iraq will accept terms.it previ-
ously has rejected for a U.N. plan that
would let Iraq make limited oil sales to
raise money to buy food and medicine
for its hard-pressed population.
At issue is Security Council resolution
986, which offers Iraq partial relief from
five years of U.N. sanctions. It would
allow Iraqtosell $2billionworthofoil-
about 700,000 barrels a day - over six
months, provided that the sales are car-
ried out in specified ways and are moni-
tored by the United Nations to ensure that
all proceeds are used to provide humani-
tarian relief for the Iraqi people.
Iraq previously had rejected the U.N.
terms as a violation of its sovereignty,
but council members, including the
United States, insist there can be no
deal unless Iraq agrees to abide by all
aspects of the resolution.
Chief Iraqi negotiator Abdel Amir
Anbari said as he entered the opening
session that the U.N. conditions were
"not a problem," but he did not elabo-
rate. He acknowledged that there is a
"critical" need for food and medicine in
Iraq and added: "I would like to empha-
size that if we are left alone - the
(U.N.) secretariat and the Iraqi delega-
tion - without pressure or interference
from other parties, I believe we would

be able to work out a workable solu@
Anbari's discussions with a U.N.
team, headed by Hans Corell, the U.N.
legal counsel, are limited to what U.N.
officials described as "technical mat-
ters" concerning implementation of the
U.N. plan. Anbari saidhe expected them
to last seven to 10 days, and if they are
successful, there is expectation on both
sides that another round would be held
at a higher level.
Amongtheprincipal U.N. conditions
that Iraq has previously rejected are
requirements that part of the proceeds
from any oil sale be used to provide
food for rebel Kurds in the north of Iraq,
that most of the oil be shipped through
Iraq's pipeline with neighboring Tur-
key, and that some of the money be
used as compensation for Iraq's victims
in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
Speculation that Iraqi PresidentSaddano
Hussein's government is preparing to ac-
cept the strict terms of the U.N.'s oil-for-
food proposal has touched off widespread
speculation that Iraq may soon resume the
role ofa significant oil exporter. It was one
ofthe world's biggestoil merchants before
August 1990 when its invasion of iwkvait
exposed ittoU.N.santionsandthe b-
ing devastation of the war.
Reports from Iraq in recent day -
Cate that the mere fact of the tall
touched off a spectacular rise m
value of the Iraqi currency, the na
and a buying spree by people wia-
parently believe the sanctions soi4
end. However, diplomats here t
is likely to be several weeks befor
have a clear idea of whether con
inside Iraq are so bad that the Irag
ready to accept the U.N. conditi.
Pope visits!
this week
The Washington Post
Paul II began a seven-day Latin Amen-
can tour Monday that isintended to stem
erosion in one of the Catholic Church's
traditional strongholds and show sup-
port for struggling new democracies beset
by crime, violence and poverty.
The visit - John Paul's first over-
seas trip since a bout with influenza
forced him to cancel his traditional
Christmas Mass at the Vatican and
raised new concerns about the 75
year-old pontiff's health - starte
here in Guatemala and will continue
through Nicaragua, El Salvador and
Venezuela under extremely tight se-
In Nicaragua, where 18 Catholic
churches have been bombed in recent
political turmoil, more than 6,000 po-
lice officers are being deployed for the
pope's nine-hour stop.
"A real peace is urgent," the pope sai
in brief remarks minutes after his plan
landed here yesterday afternoon. Ad-
dressing government and church leaders
of the nation with the last and longest-
running civil war in Central America, he
added that he believes the end of a35-a
year-old conflict that has killed 120,000:


Evenings at the Rackham.
Galileo Probes Jupiter:
Unlocking the Secrets of a Giant Planet
7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 7, 1996
Rackham Auditorium (main floor)
UM scientists will use slides and videotape to highlight their account of
the Galileo spacecraft's mission to Jupiter, including the daring launch
of a 750-pound probe into the planet's turbulent atmosphere.
Sushil Atreya
Professor of Atmospheric and Space Sciences
College of Engineering
George Carignan
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education
College of Engineering


r 1''t'
_Y .


RAZA Open-Mic Night
Wednesday, February 7, 8-10 PM
Not Another Cafe, 1301 South U.
Poetry Reading with
Trinidad Sanchez, Jr.
Friday, February 9,1-3 PM
Kalamazoo Rm., Michigan League
It's An Alianza-Thing, Baby !
Sponsored by OAMI, Student Affairs Programming
Council and Student Multicultural Initiatives.


Global Internship
and Language
-J_ r

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