2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 17, 1996
New attack launched on trapped Liberians
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) -The
plight of 10,000 people trapped in a
barracks most sought out as a safe
haven from Liberia's civil war grew
more desperate yesterday under a
fresh attack from one of the rival
From dozens of refugees who fled
the buildings amid the new fighting
came reports that many of those still
inside are dying of cholera and that
food and water are becoming scarce.
Firing mortar shells and truck-
mounted artillery, forces loyal to
Charles Taylor advanced to about 200
yards from the barracks where fighters
loyal to rival rebel leader Roosevelt
Johnson were holding hostages as hu-
Thousands of others sought refuge
there from the violence that has con-
Fighters inside the barracks returned
fire and appeared to have repelled the
attack as shooting subsided. At least
five Liberian refugees were killed and
one critically injured in the fighting,
according tojournalists inside the com-
"These people will have to stop fight-
ing. They can't kill everybody in the
barracks," said Joseph Brimah, a
Liberian who was one of the first to flee
with his son.
Another who fled the barracks, hos-
pital medic Massa Kpanna, said 10
people were dying there daily from
cholera, and that food and water were
running short. People were bathing with
seawater, he said.
The hostages included 37 West Afri-
can peacekeeping troops from Nigeria
and Guinea, said Gabriel Anyankpele,
the force's chief of staff. An unknown
number of Lebanese civilians also was
There were reports yesterday that
fighters loyal to Johnson were gather-
ing southeast of the capital. A U.N.
source speaking on condition of ano-
nymity said fighters from the Krahn
ethnic group may be headed toward
The source also said radio intercepts
indicated that factions were well aware
of 23,000 tons of food stored in
Monrovia's port by the U.N. World
Taylor's men have been shelling the
barracks since the latest fighting in
Liberia's 6-year-old civil war began
10 days ago. Yesterday was the first
time they attacked with small-arms
Taylor, the most powerful member
of the country's six-man ruling coun-
cil, has refused to negotiate the re-
lease of the West African peacekeep-
ers and Lebanese civilians who are
being held hostage at the barracks. He
has demanded that Johnson surrender
to the U.S. Embassy or the United
All the shops and office buildings
in the seaside capital have been looted
and most of them destroyed since the
fighting began. More than 60,000
Monrovians have been left homeless
by the violence, and most interna-
tional humanitarian agencies have
The United States has evacuated
more than 420 Americans and nearly
1,600 other foreigners to neighboring
Sierra Leone since civil order broke
down April 9. That number includes
29 people flown to Sierra Leone yes-
Another flight later yesterday was
expected to bring out 28 aid workers.
U.S. Ambassador William Milan
remained behind with 18 security of-
ficers to guard the embassy compound
and determine whether more flights
are needed for foreigners stranded in
Officials said about 50 Americans
The Michigan Daily Classified Department is now
accepting applications for Fall '96.
Apply in person at the second floor of the
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(Right next door to the Student Activities Building)
Applications accepted through 4p.m. Friday,
April 19, 1996.
Interviews will be conducted through April.
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remained unaccounted for and 38 oth-
ers chose not to leave.
A boatload of about 700 evacuees
was to arrive in Sierra Leone yester-
day, said Elizabeth Lwanga, a spokes-
person for the U.N. Development Pro-
gram in Freetown. They included 76
U.N. staffers, Liberians, Lebanese,
Sierra Leonians and others.
U.S. Navy amphibious ships are to
reach Liberia's Atlantic coast later
this week, delivering some 1,500
Marines to help secure the U.S. Em-
bassy and its nearby residential com-
pound. Some 20,000 Liberians have
sought shelter and food in the com-
Looting continued yesterday in
Mamba Point, with Taylor's fighters
joining in, witnesses said.
Violence was hampering a new aid
shipment, said a spokesperson for the
U.N. High Commissioner for Refu-
The agency was trying again yester-
day to send a food convoy to 5,000
refugees holed up in a former Health
Ministry building and to 75 children in
a Monrovia shelter.
"There seem to be still spasms of
extreme violence, with drunken ram-
pages by military groups and armed
gangs," spokesperson Ruth Marshall
said from Geneva.
The violence had wider implications,
with an estimated 800,000 people af-
fected. "Food, water and medicine are
really in short supply," said Sylvana
Foa, spokesperson for U.N. chief
Foa warned of a "humanitarian di-
saster" if West African peacekeepers
pull out, as they have threatened, and
appealed to the United States and other
nations to help the 10,000-member force
that has been stationed in Liberia for
"They don't have equipment. They
don't have vehicles. And they haven't
had a lot of pats on the back either," Foa
Many peacekeepers have been ac-
cused of ignoring or even joining in
Liberia's war has killed an estimated
150,000 people and left half of the
country's 2.8 million people homeless.
Continued from Page £
things she's ever done as a Nursing
student and possibly even as an indi-
vidual. "I'm not just doing this to
save lives - I want to make a differ-
"The Nursing students have taken
responsibility for a need that they saw
in the community," said assistant Nurs-
ing Prof. Mary Hunter.
"It shows a real sense of commit-
ment," Hunter said.
Students and Ann Arbor residents
filled the Union's Pendleton Room from
7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. yesterday.
LSA sophomore Dan Yu got on the
register last year, and registered with
other members of Lambda Phi Epsi-
lon fraternity to help out this year.
"It's important to get on the registry
- you can really help save a life," he
"Besides, there's really no side effects
to donating a bone marrow--only a little
pain, but it's worth the price because
you're saving a person that otherwise
would have no chance of surviving," Yu
Art first-year student Sean DeSantis
said he was just in the area and wan-
dered in. "The (volunteers) downstairs
said I could save a life, and I had extra
time so I donated," DeSantis said.
Gavin said the drive was successful.
"I'm pleased that we had such a good
turnout, especially with all the different
Organizers of the drive said they did
not know how many people registered
in yesterday's drive.
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FBI blocks Michigan
Militia leader's visit
JORDAN, Mont. - Federal agents
increased security around the barricaded
Freemen compound yesterday while a
militia leader turned away from federal
headquarters said he was trying to avoid
"a field of battle."
Michigan militia leader Norman
Olson said he was trying to meet with
the FBI field commander at the tempo-
rary headquarters in Jordan, about 30
miles from the compound.
"We are trying to come with an ex-
tended hand, tryingto find some resolu-
tion, so that his people and the militia
do not have to converge on a field of
hittle where there is going to be blood-
shed and there's going to be violence,"
Olson said in an interview aired on
Afterward, Olson drove to the main
FBI checkpoint outside the compound
to announce that he would try again
today to meet with FBI officials. He
didn't attempt to go on the Freemen
Securitydwas noticeably tighter yes-
terday around the 960-acre farm com-
Widows have say at
EAST LONDON, South Africa -
The woman wailed, sobbing loud and
long in aching cries that echoed across
the crowded hall.
Nomonde Calata, long-suffering
widow and victim of apartheid, was
finally having her say.
Her husband, Fort Calata, was butch-
ered and burned with three other promi-
nent black resistance leaders in June
1985. The still-unsolved mutilation and
murderof the so-called Cradock Four is
one of the best known and most grue-
some of apartheid-era atrocities.
It is also the first major case to come
before South Africa's new Truth and
Reconciliation Commission, which met
here yesterday for the second day to
document the crimes of apartheid. And
as three of the four Cradock widows
shared their pent-up pain, several com-
missioners and many in the audience
openly wept as well.
The common thread for the women
was not just the murders that shattered
their lives. They were also cruelly per-
plex where the anti-govement extrern-
ists have holed up for 23 dlays. A nor-
mally open road leading to the com
pound was blocked and vehicles were
searched more thoroughly.
Congress may limit
death penalty appe
Court reduces competency standards
WASHINGTON - Reaffirming an individual's right not to stand trial unless
he comprehends the charges against him, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that
states may not force defendants to show they are mentally incompetent by the
demanding standard of "clear and convincing" proof.
In an opinion signed by all nine justices, the-court stressed that the trial of an
incompetent person - someone unable to understand and participate in the proce
ings against him - offends principles of justice rooted in the nation's traditions
While the ruling will have immediate effects on only a handful of states, its
broader significance lies in the strong affirmation of the fundamental notion that
persons unable to participate in their defense should not be forced to face a trial.
"While important state interests are unquestionably at stake," Justice John
Stevens wrote for the court,"... the defendant's fundamental right to be tried only
while competent outweighs the state's interest in the efficient operation of its
criminal justice system."
The court said a defendant should have to prove incompetence only by a
"preponderance" of the evidence.
Unlike an "insanity" defense which relates to a defendant's responsibility for a
criminal action, yesterday's involves a defendant's ability to even stand t.
irrespective of his defense.
WASHINGTON - With little fan
fare, Congress is poised this week t
approve a fundamental change in th
Habeas Corpus Act and to strip federa
judges of most oftheir power to revie
the cases of state Death Row inmates.
The legal changes - long sought b,
state prosecutors and the families o
murder victims - are attached to ai
anti-terrorism bill that Republican 1-
ers hope to pass by Friday, the one-y
anniversary of the Oklahoma Cit
While the anti-terrorism provision.
have divided Republicans andprovoke
bitter debate, the sweeping changes af
fecting death penalty cases have wo
The authors of the bill say theydwan
to halt the seemingly endless and dupli
cative appeals for convicted killer-4
secuted for years after the deaths. Secu
rity forces raided their homes, got them
fired from jobs and confiscated condo
lence cards and photographs.
Russia attacks rebel
MOSCOW -Russian forces shelled
and bombed Chechen rebels yesterday
while promising to go ahead with plans
to withdraw thousands of troops from
the separatist republic.
Gen. Vyacheslav Tikhomirov, the
commander of Russian troops in
Chechnya, told the ITAR-Tass nes
agency that Russia would withdraw Wx
battalions from peaceful areas of north-
ern Chechnya this week.
Russia began its phased pullout o
troops from Chechnya on Monday by
withdrawing a regiment of Interior Min-
istry troops in keeping with a peace plan
proposed by President Boris Yeltsin.
The pullout is meant to show that
Yeltsin, who is running for re-election
in June, is serious about ending the
- From Daily wire services
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