News: India, Iraq, Italy, Uganda

1998-06-06

Richard Moore


                   PEOPLES PRESS INTERNATIONAL (PPI)
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                  News: India, Iraq, Italy, Uganda
                       from Guardian Weekly
                         fwd by Bruna Nota


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Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998
From: •••@••.••• (Bruna Nota)
Subject: News: India, Iraq, Italy, Uganda

Front Page / India seeks nuclear convention  /  Guardian Reporters

India seeks nuclear convention

Guardian Reporters

AFTER Pakistan staged a series of nuclear tests last week, India insisted it
would carry out no more for the time being, but indicated that it was not
prepared to sign a test ban treaty without a global commitment to disarmament.
Seeking to deflect criticism of its tests last month, New Delhi called for
the establishment of a Nuclear Weapons Convention, along the lines of
existing agreements that outlaw chemical and biological arms, in "a global
non-discriminatory framework".
But the proposal was dismissed as unrealistic and disingenuous in the face
of insistence by the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France that
under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) no one but them may possess nuclear
weapons.
It came as the French president, Jacques Chirac, called on the international
community to "unite its efforts" to convince both India and Pakistan to sign
the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
The British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, said: "If India wants to get back
to centre stage in the international community then it has got to send
signals that it accepts the rules. The first starting point for that should
be to sign up to the CTBT . . . without conditions."
Foreign ministers of the Big Five nuclear states are to meet later this week
to push for more active disarmament measures.India's defence minister,
George Fernandes, said in an interview  broadcast on Monday that India did
not need to carry out more tests. But he added: "In terms of a country's
security concerns, one doesn't say the last word at any point in time."
The Guardian Weekly Volume  Issue  for week ending , Page The Guardian
WeeklyWeek ending June 7, 1998


International News / Iraq claims damages from Britain  /  Ian Black, and
agencies in Amman

Iraq claims damages from Britain

Ian Black, and agencies in Amman

Iraq has opened a new front in its propaganda war with the West by demanding
compensation from Britain for damage it claims was caused by depleted
uranium shells fired during the Gulf war.
Baghdad, working hard to raise awareness of the impact of United Nations
sanctions, says cases of foetal and bone deformities, hair loss, skin
diseases and child leukaemia have increased in areas where the shells were
used in 1991.
The state-controlled Iraqi News Agency reported last week that a complaint
had been sent to the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, by Iraq's foreign
minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf.
In London, the Ministry of Defence said it had not yet been informed. But a
spokesman added: "The UK has never attempted to conceal its use of depleted
uranium ammunition in the Gulf."
Mr Sahaf's letter focused on what he called an admission by the UK Foreign
Office on April 30 that "British tanks used depleted uranium shells during
the Gulf war on orders from the British Ministry of Defence".
It said: "A number of diseases, unfamiliar in the past, have been
registered, such as foetal and bone deformities and other cases that cannot
be explained, such as loss of hair and strange skin diseases. Individuals
living in the bombarded areas suffer from such diseases, in addition to
rising cases of child leukaemia."
Depleted uranium is used to give added density and weight to shells, making
them highly effective in piercing tank armour. It is not technically
radioactive, though when it burns and oxidises after hitting a target it
forms into small particles which can be toxic.
It has been claimed that the substance could be one of the causes of Gulf
war syndrome. Meanwhile one of President Saddam Hussein's daughters is
fighting for control of money that belonged to her former husband, the head
of Iraq's special guards, who was shot dead in 1996 after briefly defecting
to Jordan.Jordanian newspapers said last Sunday that a bank in Amman had
promised Rana it would honour interest worth $30,500 on an account opened by
her former husband, Saddam Kamel Hassan.
Diplomats said it was the first clear evidence that Iraq was trying to
recover money, possibly tens of millions of dollars, taken out of Baghdad by
Saddam Kamel and his brother, Hussein Kamel Hassan, married to Rana's elder
sister, Raghad.The two men defected to Jordan in 1995, denouncing their
father-in-law and declaring that they would overthrow him, but returned six
months later. Their divorce from President Saddam's daughters was announced
as they crossed into Iraq. Shortly afterwards they were shot dead.
The Guardian Weekly Volume  Issue  for week ending , Page 4


International News / Italy blames officers in Somali case  /  Philip Willan
in Rome

Italy blames officers in Somali case

Philip Willan in Rome

Italy has disciplined 12 military officers for failing to protect Somalis
from abusive Italian troops who took part in United Nations peacekeeping
between 1992 and 1994.
A government inquiry found evidence that Italian troops taunted Somalis with
racist insults and fascist salutes, but said that allegations of rape and
torture could not be proved, despite apparent photographic evidence
published in the media last year.
The report was attacked as a whitewash by campaigners against violence in
the armed forces.
A defence ministry official said the punishments ranged from formal
reprimands to suspensions and confinement to barracks.
The government commission blamed a breakdown in the military chain of
command for the failure to protect Somali citizens....

Le Monde/International / Uganda moves to rehabilitate war children  /
Frederic Fritscher in Gulu

Uganda moves to rehabilitate war children

Frederic Fritscher in Gulu

ON THE outskirts of Gulu, capital of Uganda's Northern province, there is a
compound surrounded by a wire fence and carefully locked gates. This is the
safe haven of 210 Ugandan children, 38 of them girls, who have been through
a particularly hellish experience.
>From 1995 on, they were kidnapped by the rebels of Joseph Kony's Lord's
Resistance Army (LRA) and mostly forced to commit "irreparable" acts before
having to accompany their masters to their rear base in Sudan, which
supports Kony.Some 2,000-3,000 of the 10,000 children kidnapped in northern
Uganda managed to escape from the LRA. Others were taken prisoner by Ugandan
troops in the course of armed clashes.
In the Ugandan government's view, such "fighters" should be  considered as
children, and the sometimes horrific acts they may have committed are to be
put down to the systematic brutality and dehumanising treatment to which
they are subjected by the rebels in order to ensure, they remain obedient.
After questioning the child soldiers, Ugandan troops hand them over to two
NGOs: the American World Vision and the locally based Gulu District Child
Support Organisation (Gusco).
When the child refugees arrive at the Gusco centre, they are given three
changes of civilian clothing and all they need in the way of food and
bedding. Those suffering from malnutrition get a special diet. The sick, the
wounded and those with severe psychological disorders are taken to hospital.
The children are then "put through a routine, which involves waking up,
doing the housework, washing, having breakfast and studying in classes until
noon," says Beatrice Arach, a voluntary teacher.
"Afternoons are devoted to discussions with teachers, drawing, therapeutic
activities and, as soon as it gets a bit cooler, to sport."
The children stay an average of six weeks at the centre so as to get used to
a normal social life before being sent back to their families -- as long as
their safety can be guaranteed.
George Omona, head of the centre, says that 1,013 children aged between five
months and 19 years went through the Gusco centre in 1997. Most of them were
kidnapped in 1995-96, but a number were taken by Kony as early as 1992. They
were all tortured. Some were forced to murder their parents or neighbours. A
number of the children took part in massacres. They were obliged to kill,
torture or commit acts of cannibalism in order to survive.
Omona insists on the need "to organise reconciliation, which has to involve
families, clans and even tribes". According to African tradition, a whole
clan is responsible for crimes committed by one of its members, even if he
is a child.

(May 13)

World Copyright by © Le Monde, Paris
The Guardian Weekly Volume  Issue  for week ending , Page 14

Bruna
>**************************************************************
>If you want peace, prepare for peace (Si vis pacem para pacem).
>**************************************************************
>
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