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September 16, 1996 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-16

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NATION/WORLD

The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 16, 1996-- 7A

Monitors question accuracy of
Bosnian weekend election results

Los Angeles Times
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Independent
monitors yesterday assailed Bosnia's first postwar
elections, saying technical flaws and political
obstruction prevented large numbers of people from
voting and raised questions about the validity of the
poll.
Even as an increasingly troubled picture of the elec-
tions emerged, U.S. officials rushed to apply their
stamp of approval on the proceedings, in which
Muslim refugees were bused to separate and often
substandard polling stations.
The elections were held Saturday with little vio-
lence thanks to the presence of 60,000 NATO troops.
But there were complaints yesterday that some of
those troops permitted Bosnian Serb police to block
and intimidate non-Serb voters returning to the towns
from which they were expelled during the 3 1/2-year
war.
Only 20,000 refugees crossed the ethnic boundary
line from the Muslim-Croat federation into the
Bosnian Serbs' Republika Srpska to vote, with 4,000
going in the other direction, according to NATO fig-
ures. Up to 150,000 had been expected. The turnout
was reported between 68 percent and 70 percent.
"It is quite disturbing that such a small number
actually crossed," said Kris Janowski, spokesperson
for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. "A
large part of the problem is they were simply afraid."
With the counting of ballots under way, the test now
comes in whether monitors will be able to recommend
certification of the election results, given the extent of
the irregularities they observed.
Critics contend that the Clinton administration,
eager to make the Bosnian conflict appear more set-
tled than it is so that U.S. troops can be withdrawn,
will put a decidedly rosy glow on the elections -
which will usher in a three-person presidency and an

observing the elections was sharply critical of the han-
dling of both the voting and the campaign that led up
to it. Under the U.S.-brokered peace accord that
stopped Bosnia-Herzegovina's war nine months ago,
national elections were to be held if "free and fair"
conditions existed. By all accounts, those conditions
do not exist, but the elections went ahead under U.S.
pressure.
"You cannot use those two words ... 'free and fair,"'

said Doris Pack, a German who
chaired the EU delegation.
She complained of deficient
voter lists, unnecessary over-
crowding and poorly organized
voting stations that required
some Bosnians to wait up to 10
hours to cast their ballots.
In one Serb-held city, near
Gorazde, Pack pointed to
"grossly inadequate facilities"
that gave priority to Serbian
voters over Muslim refugees
who had returned to vote.
By midday Saturday, 10
times more Serbs - some being1

The
inadegua
been so g
call intoq
the poll if
-- EU comn
bused in from else-

and newspapers during the campaign and found that
especially in Serb and Croat-controlled areas, the
media were biased, abusive of opposition and "part
and parcel of the power structures of (nationalist)
regimes."
"The inadequacies have been so great as to call into
question the poll itself" an EU-commissioned report
concluded.
Critical assessments of the elections contrasted with
a more upbeat portrait
from Washington. The U.S
diplomat in charge of
supervising the voting,
cies have Robert Frowick, will issue
the final report on whether
treat as to the elections were "reason
ably democratic" and rec
nesfion ommend whether the
results should be certified
tself." Within days of certifica
tion, economic sanctions
nissioned report against Serbia and the
Republika Srpska, levied
because of their roles in
starting the war, are set to be lifted.
- taking away from the West one of its key tools
of leverage.
In the latest election glitch, Bosnian Serb officials.
yesterday halted the counting of ballots throughout the
Republika Srpska.
The officials wanted lists of voters' names to
accompany absentee ballots that were being delivered
to counting centers from abroad.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe, which was overseeing the elections, refused,
holding to its pledge to offer a "veil of secrecy" to
absentee refugee voters, most of whom are Muslim
and Croat.
The OSCE ordered Bosnian Serb election officials
to resume the count. It was not known whether they
did.

where - had been allowed to vote than displaced
Muslims, she said.
The EU delegation also observed numerous cases
of voters who could not find their names on revised
registration lists. Although this problem popped up all
over the country, the delegation said, it was particular-
ly troublesome for refugees who were channeled into
designated polling stations.
In Republika Srpska, for example, Serbs who could
not find their names on the registration list could con-
sult a master list in a Central Election Committee
office.
But Muslims who had crossed into Republika
Srpska had no way to appeal because their movement
was restricted by NATO and the Bosnian Serb police.
The EU also focused on the role of television, radio

AP PHOTO
A Bosnian helps to sort and count votes cast in Bosnian elections at a Rajlovac
warehouse of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

ethnically mixed legislature.
A delegation from the European Union

Parliament

Smart guns allow only
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Newsday
WASHINGTON - This is a hand-
gun with a difference. Pull the trigger,
and nothing happens - unless the gun
recognizes you as someone authorized
to fire it.
This is the "smart gun," which gov-
ernment researchers, academics and
industry hope will curb the frightful toll
of gun violence in America, especially
the one in six police officers killed in
the line of duty who have been shot
with their own service weapons.
"Manufacturers can personalize guns
so that only the authorized users can
operate them," said Stephen Teret,
director of the Center for Gun Policy
and Research at Johns Hopkins
University, who has seen prototypes.
That "could eliminate many of the
unintentional and suicidal gun deaths
(and) some of the gun homicides that
occur with stolen guns:'
Besides filling the holsters of a mil-
lion or more peace officers across the
country, public health researchers such
as Teret see broader applications for the
new gun. That potential was under-
scored for Teret when a friend's 22-
month-old son was shot to death by his
baby sitter's 4-year-old son, who was

playing with a handgun kept in the
home for protection.
That personal tragedy in 1983 caused
Teret, a lawyer and health policy pro-
fessor specializing in injury prevention,
to shift his professional focus to
firearmssafety.
"Smart-gun" technology, developed

- that would be read by the gun's
miniature computer-chip brain. It could
be programmed to allow use by more
than one person, such as a police offi-
cer's partner.
The idea for a smart gun has been
around for years - actually, patents for
some low-tech versions date back

I

/

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by the Colt
Manufacturing
Co. and being
showcased for
law enforce-
ment agencies
throughout the
country, typi-
cally involves a
code that is
required before
the gun can be
fired.
The code
could be con-
tained in a tiny
transponder
embedded in a
ring or wrist-
band worn by
the authorized user.
control device that

(smart guns)
could eliminate
many of the
unintentional and
suicidal gun
deaths. "
-- Stephen Teret
Director of the Center for Gun
Policy and Research

decades. But only
now does the
concept seem to
be reaching criti-
cal mass.
"T h e r e 's
potentially a big
market," said
D o u g I a s
Overbury, Colt's
vice president of,
engineering, who
has been showing
the company's
"evaluation pro-
totypes;' a pair of
sleek, squarish
.40-caliber pis-
tols known as
EP-1 and EP-2,
audiences across

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It coul
sends

d be a remote
a signal to a

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be a fingerprint - or a voice command

Colt hopes to begin commercial pro-
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The Washington Post
KABUL, Afghanistan - A new
coalition government here has risen
above being just another warring fac-
tion and has made peace with several
foes, but faces an increasing challenge
from its last remaining foe-an Islamic
militia that holds two-thirds of the
country.
Since factions of Islamic warriors
called mujaheddin drove Soviet occupa-
tion troops from Afghanistan in 1989
and toppled a communist Afghan gov-
ernment three years later, four years of
civil war have seen many military rever-
sals, broken alliances and defections
among Afghanistan's factions, which
tend to be ethnically based and support-
ed by other nations in the region.
Since May, however, the government
of President Burhanuddin Rabbani has
persuaded three major factions to
accept peace terms that have brought
key militia leader Gulbuddin
Hekmatyar back to the prime minister's
office and reopened a strategic highway
to Central Asia.

Despite continued friction over accu-
sations that Pakistan has aided the
Afghan government's adversaries, offi-
cials here say they have improved rela-
tions with its eastern neighbor, which
has promised to reopen an embassy in
Kabul after a year's absence.
Yet even as Rabbani's government
has consolidated its position here in the
besieged capital, militia forces of an
Islamic group known as the Taliban
have swept through three southeastern
provinces in the past week and now
control roughly two-thirds of
Afghanistan.
The militia has been attacking the
capital from the south and west with
rockets since October, and opening a
third front on the east could stretch gov-
ernment forces and threaten the only
airport currently serving Kabul.
The Taliban has responded to the
government steps toward peace by rain-
ing rockets on Kabul, as it did when
Hekmatyar rejoined the government,
when the link to Central Asia was
reonened and when a new I N. media-

tor, Norbert Holl of Germany, arrived in
the city.
The high cost of food, fuel and other
essential items has made many of the
capital's residents eager for any leader
who can bring peace, whether from the
current government, the Taliban, or
deposed king Mohammad Zahir Shah.
"Whoever can bring peace here and
whoever can bring food for the people,
we will accept," said Ghulam
Mohiudin, who runs a sidewalk bicy-
cle-repair shop in a section of south
Kabul that lies in ruins.
The Taliban emerged as a fighting
force suddenly in 1994 and draws its
name from students of Islamic religious
schools in bordering provinces of
Pakistan.
The militia controls 17 of 33
provinces, compared with the seven in
government hands and in Taliban-con-
trolled areas has established a strict
Islamic regime that does not allow girls
to attend schools or women to work
outside the home except in the health
nrofessions.

a y.h .Q :Q'

LI1'THF'fi HUT'IPJF'USeek kind. atient.

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