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October 15, 1996 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-15

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 15, 1996
Kurdish rebel faction claims new ground in northern Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A Kurdish faction
claimed new gains yesterday in a push through
northern Iraq, and the U.S. and Iraqi govern-
ments were put in the curious position of agree-
ing on something: The feuding Kurds should set-
tle their differences to keep the conflict from
The American and Iraqi positions did not
completely coincide, however. The White House
said both Iraq and Iran should stay out of the
conflict, while Iraq warned against involvement
by Iran.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which is
battling a Kurdish faction allied with Iraqi leader
Saddam Hussein, said yesterday that it was
marching closer to Irbil, northern Iraq's princi-
pal city.
However, there was no indication that PUK
fighters planned an assault on the city - which
is fortified by Iraqi tanks - or that Iraq was

U.S., Iraq say Kurds should settle their differences

planning to intercede.
On Sunday, PUK rebels seized the key city of
Sulaymaniyah, but the group's leader, Jalal
Talabani, said he was reluctant to take on
Saddam's powerful military.
"We have no plans at present to retake Irbil
because it's surrounded by Iraqi tanks," Talabani
was quoted as telling the London-based Arabic
daily al-Hayat on Sunday.
The rival Kurdistan Democratic Party cap-
tured Irbil with the help of Saddam's army Aug.
31 and went on to seize virtually the entire
Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Iraq's assistance
prompted the United States to retaliate with
cruise missiles.
Iraq has urged the two Kurdish groups to
resolve their problems through talks and sternly

warned the advancing faction against "dealing
with foreign powers," a reference to the PUK's
ties to Iran.
Meanwhile, U.S. officials spoke to both
Kurdish factions, also urging them to end the
"We see no constructive role for either Iraq or
Iran in this conflict;' White House spokesperson
David Johnson said.
A statement by Talabani's rebels, faxed to The
Associated Press yesterday, said they routed
their Iraqi-backed rivals from six districts
between Sulaymaniyah and Irbil.
The statement also said PUK forces entered
the town of Halabja, east of Sulaymaniyah, and
rebuffed a major KDP attack.
The KDP, for its part, claimed Iran had

"entered the war" and that thousands of Iranian
Revolutionary Guards, backed by artillery, had
pushed through the border into Iraq.
KDP official Sami Abdurrahman claimed
yesterday that "there has been open Iranian
aggression on our country," involving more than
15,000 Revolutionary Guards who crossed the
border into Iraq.
The PUK denied the allegation, as did the
Iranian Foreign Ministry. Iranian government
spokesman Mahmoud Mohammadi said the
claim was meant to "pacify international forums
regarding (KDP leader Massoud) Barzani's col-
laboration with the Iraqi army."
The Iraqi government said it was prepared to
invite all parties to peace talks in the capital,

The PUK and KDP have long been at log-
gerheads. The KDP accuses the PUK of main-
taining close links with Persian Iran, Iraq's non-
Arab neighbor, while the KDP favors a more
conciliatory approach with the Iraqi govern-
ment in resolving Kurdish demands for auton-
Western countries created the northern sa
area to protect the Kurds from Saddam's militay
after the 1991 Persian Gulf War; since then, .te
two groups have mostly quarreled with each
The United States mediated a cease-fire last
year, but it collapsed Aug. 17.
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a British envoy said
Britain would hold talks between the two
Kurdish factions. Jeremy Hanley, minister of
state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs,
said London also would urge the factions not.
cooperate with Saddam's government.

DILI, Indonesia (AP) - Days after
winning the Nobel Peace Prize,
Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo
recharged his mission yesterday with
a strident condemnation of
Indonesia's military rule in East
Timor and a fresh call to end the 21-
year conflict.
The Roman Catholic bishop, in his
first interview since being named co-
recipient of the award Friday, said he
hopes the prize will increase interna-
tional pressure to stop fighting on the
island for good.
Belo urged a referendum on autono-
my as the best way to do that.
Indonesia has repeatedly rejected the
idea, saying the East Timor issue has
been settled. Belo said the government
was wrong." Then what does it want?"
Belo demanded. "That the 700,000
East Timorese people just bow their
Tens of thousands of people have
been killed in Indonesia's attempt to
crush an independence movement on
the island territory it invaded in 1975,
after Portugal pulled out during a civil
Belo insisted the annexation of East
Timor is not final.
"Have you asked the people in vil-
lages what they really want?" he said
in an interview with The Associated
Press. "Don't think that all Timorese
people have accepted the integration,
and that everything is OK."
"It has not been for the past 20
years, and may not be for the next 20
Belo's statements were his most con-
frontational since being named bishop
13 years ago.
The 48-year-old Belo is the most
influential figure in East Timor, the only
predominantly Catholic region in
Indonesia, which, with 190 million peo-
ple, is the world's largest Muslim nation.
Belo shared the prize with Jose
Ramos-Horta, who was once a leftist
guerrilla in a faction that fought
The bishop suggested the United
Nations sponsor talks among East
Timorese groups and the governments
of Indonesia and Portugal, and said he
hoped the Nobel Prize would add
some urgency to the struggle for a
The Indonesian government of
President Suharto, the long-ruling for-
mer general who ordered the 1975
invasion, has said it won't change its
policies as a result of the Nobel.
"Indonesia has proved that it never
yielded to pressure in the case of East
Timor," its U.N. ambassador, Nurgoho
Wisnumurti, said Sunday.
Suharto plans to visit East Timor on
today to unveil a statue of Jesus Christ
in an attempt to demonstrate his gov-
ernment's religious tolerance.

Shaky Mideast peace
A Palestinian police training officer, front, shows cadets how to strip and re-assemble an AK47 machine gun at a training base in the West Bank town of Jericho,
Rebel leader a no-show for Christopher visit

deal with
Los Angeles Tunes
LIMA, Peru - The cobbler
worked on the street, a vulnerable
place in the best of times.
And it was the worst of timhes:
1993, the height of Peru's bloody
civil war. Police were hunting terro
ists in the gray slums of Lira.
Terrorists were shooting at the
police, civilians and each other.
Every day, however, Julio Loa
Albornoz set up his outdoor stand
and repaired shoes. He stayed out of
politics. He was the father of two
young children, a devout Buddhist.
As long as he worked and kept his
head down, he thought he would
He was wrong.
One day the anti-terrorist police
rolled up in a van. They were tortjr-
ing a suspect in back, Loa says, the
suspect pointed at him. The police
pulled the cobbler into the van and
into the dungeon of Peru's anti-ter-
rorist justice system, where the
judges wear masks and the guilty
verdict is read as soon as the defensl
Although prosecutors admitted
there was no evidence, Loa was
charged with terrorism. He spent 3
1/2 years in prison as his case plod-
ded through a Kafkaesque maze of
military and civilian courts, convic-
tions, appeals.
Loa became one of more than 1,000
Peruvians believed to have been
wrongly imprisoned under emergen
anti-subversion laws -inmates kno W
as "The Innocents.'
"It makes you sick," said Loa, now
34. "It ... was like they were playing
with me. I think they were trying to
drive me crazy."
Loa talked about his ordeal a few
days after his recent release from4 a
maximum-security prison here. Peru's
top military court freed him at a time of
growing consensus that the war left a
legacy of injustices to be redressed.
The plight of the innocents, accoo"
ing to Peruvian leaders, is an unavoid-
able result of harsh policies needed to
fight a dangerous foe: the country's
Maoist rebels. Although the fighting
has abated, Congress voted Friday to
extend current anti-terrorism laws for
another year.
Meanwhile, a special commission
headed by Peru's new defender of .the
people, a public ombudsman, is revie@
ing the cases of the innocents at the utr-
ing of President Alberto Fujimori.
About 200 of the wrongly accused have
been freed this year _ Loa among them.
And earlier this month, the government
announced the first of a series of par-
dons promised by the president.
Some human rights activists criticize
the president's remedy, saying it,. is
absurd to pardon convicts who did
nothing wrong in the first place.

Los Angeles Times
LUANDA, Angola - U.S. Secretary of State
Warren Christopher flew yesterday to this war-rav-
aged capital to try to jump-start the process to end one
of the world's deadliest conflicts.
But the visit from the highest-ranking U.S. official
since Angola became independent in 1975 was
marred by the nonappearance of Jonas Savimbi,
leader of the rebel movement known as National
Union for the Total Independence of Angola or
Christopher called for a swifter Angolan peace and
said the United States "would not tolerate" any
resumption of conflict by UNITA during its talks with
the freely elected government of President Jose
Eduardo dos Santos. "With the U.N. leaving in a mat-
ter of months, it is imperative that both sides move
more rapidly to meet their obligations," Christopher
In a bid to keep the much delayed process on track,
Christopher asked George Moose, an assistant U.S.
secretary of state, to fly to Dailundo, the UNITA cen-
tral highlands headquarters, to warn Savimbi that he
faced more U.N. sanctions next month if he does not
keep the peace.
UNITA, which was a funnel for U.S. covert aid in
the 1970s and 1980s when Angola was a Cold War
battleground with the Soviet Union, has fallen signif-
icantly behind in both political and military compli-
ance with a 1994 peace accord, signed in Lusaka.
Savimbi said he did not meet Christopher in Luanda
because of security concerns; one of his demobilized
generals was killed there weeks ago. But the U.S. del-
egation downplayed this concern, saying it was no rea-
son to boycott yesterday's meeting. Savimbi also did

not show up for a meeting with Southern African lead-
ers last week.
The peace process now hangs in the balance, with
U.N. troops in the world's most expensive peace-keep-
ing operation due to begin withdrawing in February.
Meantime, this Central African country effectively
remains partitioned between two factions that have
been at war for two decades.
"We are obviously concerned as are others, about
the delays in the process and the
impact of those delays on the
confidence and the future process"
of implementation of the peace :: it t,
agreement," Moose told reporters -
traveling with Christopher. Imperaill
Although Angola is among's -both id
the world's most war-racked
countries, it also has oil and dia- more rap
mond riches. About twice the size
of Texas, it provides 7 percent of meet the
imported U.S. oil - about as
much as supplied by Nigeria. oblgatlo
Private investment in Angola by
Chevron, Texaco, Occidental, - War
Exxon, Conoco and Ranger oil U.S. se
companies totals $4 billion - a
figure expected to grow in the
next decade as new areas are
exploited, U.S. officials say.
Because of these interests, Washington has played
a key diplomatic and financial role in the Angolan
peace process, underwriting 25 percent of the $1
million-a-day peacekeeping operation here and
pledging $190 million more last year to support
development and reconstruction, demobilization of


warring troops, de-mining and food aid.
"The stakes (in Angola) are huge," a senior
administration official told reporters. "It's the last
piece of the puzzle in Southern Africa. If it's
peaceful and stable, Angola can emerge as an
engine for economic growth for the subregion and
But the challenges here are equally huge. There
were up to 20 million land mines planted here during
the conflict. More than
70,000 Angolans are
amputees. More than
S 500,000 of Angola's 10 mil-
tat lion people have died since
ye Nrival militias began fighting
each other in 1975.
And the killing is not
over. "There are more land
mines in Angola than peo-
ple," Christopher said at a
U.N. de-mining demonstra-
tion. Although the fighting
has abated, 150 to 200
rren Christopher Angolans still die each
cretary of state week from mines.
Christopher called on
Savimbi, as he has
promised to do, to provide
26,000 volunteers from 62,500 demobilized UNITA
fighters for the new combined armed forces. He said
the rebel leader should send his remaining generals
to Luanda.
Savimbi also has yet to participate in forming a
national coalition government, which was scheduled
to be functioning by mid-1996.

/ ° T tW i t 4T~ V 1 *
F .10~z *

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