Newsletter : 4fax1216.txt
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>PD Dec. 16, 1994, V2, #226
Dispute over holy sites in jerusalem
Jordan's King Hussein walked out of a conference of Muslim
countries in Casablanca over a dispute with the PLO regarding
responsibility for Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. Hussein
reportedly left Morocco after participants postponed considering a
document that included a provision about Jordan's role in managing
Muslim affairs in Jerusalem.
Palestinian Peace Talks Deadlocked
By Kim Reid (Cairo)
Israel and PLO negotiators were tight-lipped about details at the
end of two days of talks in Cairo. Negotiators would say only that
PLO Chief Yasir Arafat will meet Israeli leaders face-to-face to
discuss security issues, before the Cairo talks can resume. The
peace talks have been deadlocked over security issues.
Palestinians insist on a permanent Israeli troop withdrawal from
populated areas before Palestinian elections. Israelis have
advanced the idea of a temporary withdrawal that would be made
permanent only after Israel and the PLO draft a new security
protocol to help stop militant terrorism.
An Israeli official in Cairo says Israel presented no new ideas
at this round of talks, but the delegation led by Uri Savir
clarified the proposal for Israeli troop movement. The official
says troops would leave populated areas in the West Bank during
Palestinian elections, but would redeploy to potential West Bank
trouble spots afterward.
Rabin Meets with South Korean President
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin met Thursday with South Korean
President Kim Young Sam. Rabin, currently on a four-day visit to
South Korea, is the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit the
North Korean missile sales to Iran and Syria were reportedly the
main topic in talks between the two leaders, which also included
discussions on economic and security matters. Speaking in Seoul,
Rabin said North Korea is developing, with aid from Iran, a
surface-to-surface missile with a range of about 830 miles.
"North Korea also supplies Scud missiles to Iran and Syria," said
Rabin, adding that one of the two Middle Eastern states already has
the capability to produce launchers for the missiles.
The Prime Minster expressed his hope that South Korea and the
United States will be able to pressure North Korea to curb its
military sales to the Middle East.
Davar: Hamas Funds Arrive Via Iran's Embassy in Amman
A U.S. Congressional Middle East researcher, Kenneth Katzman,
says most of the funding for Hamas activities in the territories
arrives from Teheran via its Jordan and also from the
Iranian-backed Hizbullah in southern Lebanon.He said Iran's
ambassador in Amman coordinates the transfer of funds to Hamas.
The researcher said he believes the United States is able to
decrease, and even halt, Iranian financing for the Hamas. The
General Security Service has warned of an expansion and
strengthening of Hamas activities in Jerusalem. More that 3,000
Hamas activists are now operating in Jerusalem, as compared to 220
three years ago.
Ethiopian Genocide Trial Starts
By Scott Stearns (Addis Abada)
War crimes trials opened in Ethiopia this week. Several thousand
people will be charged with murder, torture and crimes against
humanity committed during the rule of Mengistu Hailie Miriam.
The crimes may be old but Ethiopia is just beginning to come to
grips with the Red Terror of the 1970s. In court Thursday Morning,
eight men who once served on Mengistu's ruling council, stood
silently as the charges were read.
Thirty-nine people shot dead in prison -- their bodies scattered
in nearby fields. Thirty people strangled in police custody.
Twenty-eight people taken from prison in the night -- their
corpses dumped on the streets of Addis Ababa. Six people detained
without charge, tortured and finally executed for not attending
weekly discussion groups on Marxism.
In all, 211 counts of aggravated homicide, unlawful arrest and
abuse of power. The accusers say the result of the abuses was a
systematic elimination of those the Mengistu government felt were
counter-revolutionaries. When the names of all the victims were
read after two and a half days, the justice who finished the list
said "we are through -- finally."
But the process has just begun. About 3,000 suspects have been
detained since investigations began in 1991. It was not until this
week that the first defendants were formally charged. Observers
here estimate the entire process could last as long as six years.
Prosecuting those believed responsible for the violence has been a
priority for the transitional government that drove Mengistu from
power. But Mengistu himself has been granted political asylum in
Zimbabwe, and the three remaining members of his ruling council are
living in the Italian embassy. All four are being tried in
Former Prime Minister Fikre Selssie Wagderes, denounced the charges
against him. He said the trial violated his human rights. "I have
been in prison for more than three years," he said. "I was not
arrested by the police but by certain armed people. I was not
brought to court within 48 hours as the law demands. I am a
Defense attorneys are likely to face an uphill battle in this case.
The Mengistu regime may have been brutal, but it was meticulous in
its record-keeping. The logistics of torture appear in volumes of
documents seized by the transitional government.
Execution orders in triplicate, films of torture and the testimony
of more than 2,000 witnesses will be presented as evidence along
with forensic results from dozens of mass graves.
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