subSaharaAFRICAGrands Lacs
supplemental aggregate archive
2.12.01   6th MONUC report
2.15.00 UN amb. Holbrooke Africa Subcomm
Rwanda's Kagame & Tutsi in Congo
10.21.98 "Congo; Good To Be A Traitor"
Charles Onyango-Obbo The Monitor
Recall that Mobutu became a "dictator" in the press only when his overthrow was imminent; for 30 years, while he brutally raped the Congo, he was Mr. President, our anti-communist ally. The NY Times always referred to the "Pinochet government" succeeding the "Marxist Allende regime, " even though Allende was elected and Pinochet took power in a coup.
footnote 6
KINSHASA   Attackers with guns & machetes shot & slashed to death 6 Red Cross workers on a remote road in eastern Congo, leaving their bodies to be discovered in their burned vehicles, aid workers said Friday. Victims were Swiss nurse, Colombian relief worker and 4 Congolese, some shot, others both shot & cut with machetes, said Boni Mbaka, UN official who saw some of bodies. "No survivors, it's difficult to say what happened." Red Cross immediately suspended operations in eastern Congo. Aid workers were attacked while taking medicine to health center in rebel & Ugandan-held northeast Congo, traveling without armed escort in two Red Cross-marked vehicles. Colleagues became worried when they lost radio contact with the team, and alerted authorities, said Antoine Atawamba, Red Cross spokesman in Kinshasa. Ugandan military patrol found the bodies and the vehicles about 40 miles north of the border town of Bunia. The 2 vehicles were set on fire, Red Cross officials said. That they were left behind was unusual, distinguishing the attack from robberies by bandits or typical attacks by Congolese Mayi-Mayi warriors and Rwandan Hutu Interahamwe militiamen. "We're not blaming anyone, because we don't know who to blame," said Paul Castella, head of the Red Cross delegation in Kinshasa. 4 four Congolese were nurse, staff member in charge of reuniting families separated by fighting & 2 drivers. The ambush Thursday marked the deadliest single attack on the Intl Committee of the Red Cross since 1996, when 6 nurses slain in their sleep at hospital in Chechnya. 3 Red Cross workers were killed in Burundi the same year.
The killings took place in Ituri Province, which is under the control of Uganda and a Uganda backed rebel group led by Jean-Pierre Bemba. Bemba called the killings "inexcusable assassination" and said an inquiry by his movement was under way. Earlier this month, Bemba agreed to pull his forces back from 2 front-line positions after UN promised to establish relief operations in the areas. Bemba has been claiming credit for the work of intl organizations operating in his territory, where public services are scarcely running. Humanitarian groups operating in the area frequently are accused of bias by one side or the other. Herdsmen & farmers in Ituri Province have fought for control of rich grasslands, but the violence had subsided in recent months after peace talks. "We didn't consider that a particularly dangerous area," Castella said. Intl relief officials met late Friday in border town Goma to decide whether to cease operations entirely in the region, where more than a million people, mostly civilians, have died in fighting, disease and hunger related to the conflict. UN now deploying 3,000 armed troops to patrol buffer zones between the govt & opposing sides, including its estimated 2 million displaced.
"Most paramilitary ops were unalloyed failures, except perhaps Congo"
McGeorge Bundy
CIA now releasing hundreds of files for period up to 1951. Many national intel estimates (NIEs) are available for mid1950s. Process begun in 1993 via CIA's Historical Review Group which has essentially completed declassification of political & economic NIEs on the USSR through 1984. 11 Cold War covert actions to be released incl Congo in 1960s.
Studies in Intelligence CIA 1995 p17-26
NSC directive 5412 3.15.54 was all-inclusive, secret, costly & worldwide. "To counter any threat of a party or individual directly or indirectly responsive" to communism in a free-world country. Elections in Italy, W.Germany, France. "To develop underground resistance … & guerrilla ops" VietNam, Laos, Congo, Iran, Guatemala, Cuba
The Declassified Eisenhower B. Cook 1981 p183
42 Cubans who were part of Bay of Pigs invasion brigade participated in 1964 CIA op to protect Congolese president against communist incursion from Tanzania.
The Nation 4.19.86 p554
CIA Cuban exile pilots fles B-26 bombers in support of Mobutu.
The CIA File R.L. Borosage & J. Marks (ed.) 1976
The CIA A Forgotten History W. Blum 1986 p178
The CIA & the Cult of Intelligence V. Marchetti & J.D. Marks 1974
In 1965 U.S. & Belgium used mercenaries throughout Coungo. In late 1964 U.S. began open & covert support. Cubans arrived first, impelling Castro to send Guevara, et al. CIA responded with more Cubans
Endless Enemies J. Kwitny 1984 p84
1960 to 1965 Cuban mercenaries with CIA air force spearheaded ops against insurgents; CIA air unit an absolutely vital resource. American Special Forces also provided support at one point. CIA air force of 10 C-47s, 9 B-26 bombers. Planes repaired by Western Intl Ground Maintenance Org (WIGMO), which employed up to 100 mechanics & a dozen Cuban pilots
President's Secret Wars J. Prados 1986 p237
The Road to Kalamata A Congo Mercenary's Personal Memoir   Mike Cononel Hoare
Lexington Books; ASIN: 0669207160, reprinted 1978 Robt. Hale, 318 pages with pictures, illust. & 7 maps
40% of the budget remains dedicated to defense, 22% of GDP. The economy was in disarray and, despite abundant natural resources, output per capita is extremely low. Angola produces more than 750,000 barrels of oil per day, a total that is expected to rise to over 1 million by the end of 2002. Due to its control of oil revenues, the parastatal oil company Sonangol plays a dominant role in both the economy and government. The country produced an estimated $600 million worth of diamonds in the areas controlled by the Govt. There also are lucrative untapped mineral, agricultural, and hydroelectric resources in the country; however, corruption and mismanagement are pervasive in the public sector and widespread in the private sector. The Govt has begun to liberalize its import regimes and reform its regulatory agencies to better allow the importation of goods and services on which the economy depends. Annual per capita GDP was approximately $450. The country's wealth continued to be concentrated in the hands of a small elite who often used government positions for massive personal enrichment, and corruption continued to be a common practice at all levels. The average monthly salary of urban wage earners (approximately 20% of the labor force) was far below what is required for basic subsistence, and rural wages are even lower because the majority of the rural economy is dependent on subsistence agriculture and is highly vulnerable to political unrest.

NGO: Search for Common Ground
9.15.00 UN Conflict Diamonds Rpt: Angola Following UNITA's rejection of UN monitored 1992 election, SecurityCouncil, under Chapter VII of UN Charter, adopted resolution 864 9/15/93, imposing arms embargo along with petroleum sanctions against UNITA, establishing Sanctions Committee of all Council members monitor and report implementation of mandatory measures. Following signing 1994 Lusaka Protocol UNITA refused to comply with its terms. In response to UNITA's refusal to disarm and implement Lusaka, SecurityCouncil adopted resolution 1127 8/28/97, which imposed mandatory travel sanctions on senior UNITA officials and their immediate family members. Year later, SecurityCouncil adopted resolution 1173 6/12/98 & resolution 1176 6/24/98, prohibiting direct or indirect import from Angola to their territory of all diamonds not controlled through the Certificate of Origin issued by Angola govt & imposing financial sanctions on UNITA.
Resolution 1237 5/7/99 SecurityCouncil established independent Panel of Experts to investigate violations of Security Council sanctions against UNITA. Per Panel's report (document S/2000/203), the Security Council adopted resolution 1295 4/18/00 "Monitoring Mechanism" established to collect and investigate sanctions violations. SecurityCouncil will determine this year whether sanctions violated and what to do in response.

Fowler Report 3.10.00
7/21/00 "resolution passed by the World Diamond Congress in Antwerp two days ago was remarkable, Robert Fowler, Canada's Permanent Rep. to UN told correspondents at HQ press conference this afternoon. … "
Diamond industry to clean up act 7.26.00 Angola Peace Monitor no.11, vol. VI "2 key figures central to efforts to crack down on UNITA's diamond smuggling, Britain's Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Peter Hain, and Canada's UN Ambassador, Robert Fowler, spoke at the conference. "
UN Sanctions Chair Works on Embargo Angola Peace Monitor Issue no. 11, vol. 5 7.28.99 "The chair of the UN Sanctions Committee on Angola, Amb. Robert Fowler, has spent July travelling in an effort to tighten sanctions imposed upon UNITA for its failure to abide by the Lusaka peace agreement."

Canada currently chairs the Security Council's Angola Sanctions Committee responsible for implementing Council-imposed sanctions against the Angolan rebel movement, UNITA. Purpose of sanctions is to diminish UNITA's capacity to pursue objectives through military means by targeting illicit diamonds and other sources of financial support for UNITA's war effort, by reducing UNITA's weapons procurement and access to petroleum supplies, and by limiting the ability of UNITA leaders to travel or be represented abroad.

French arms scandal

2ðø   Jonas Savimbi family, esp. son Yanates
    U.S. lied about Cuban role in Angola
    4.1.02   Anthony Boadle Reuters
WASHINGTON   U.S. & S.Africa intervened in Angola months before Cuban troops arrived in 1975, and not afterward as Washington claimed, according to a historian who recently wrote a book on the subject. Johns Hopkins' School of Intl Studies prof. Piero Gleijeses said Pres. Gerald Ford's administration lied about Cuban military presence to justify its covert operations against Marxist guerrillas. Angola was a Portuguese colony until 1975. Sec.State Henry Kissinger denied then &aqmp; in his memoirs later that U.S. govt knew S.African troops invaded Angola posing as mercenaries in 1975, he said. He also required the CIA to rewrite a document on Angola to show an earlier Cuban presence than was accurate, Gleijeses said in an interview.
"Kissinger had the CIA rewrite its report to serve the political aim of the administration, and so the poor CIA ended up lying," he said, speaking tongue-in-cheek.

Declassified CIA papers for Aug. through Oct. 1975 talk of the presence of only a few Cubans in Angola trying to pass themselves off as tourists, the historian said. The first academic to gain access to archives in Havana, Gleijeses has put together a almost day-to-day account of the arrival of Cuban troops in Angola. With 1975 departure of Portuguese, Angola had a power vacuum that the Marxist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, or MPLA, and conservative UNITA sought to take advantage of. The fighting that marked the struggle for independence became a civil war.
CIA-funded covert operation was launched from Zaire in July, at the same time as S.African operation from south backed the UNITA rebel group, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, led by Jonas Savimbi, who died this year. By Oct. 1975, groups with U.S. and South African support were losing the war and white-ruled S.Africa sent in regular troops. Cuban President Fidel Castro decided 11.4.75 to send soldiers to Angola but did so without informing Moscow, which 2 months later halfheartedly provided Aeroflot IL-62 planes for an airlift. Arrival of 30,000 Cubans tilted the civil war in favor of the MPLA which had controlled the capital of Luanda, Gleijeses said, and the S.Africans withdrew March 1976.

The war stretched on for another 25 years, with the latest cease-fire deal signed just last weekend. "The key element of the covert operation was cooperation with S.Africa, and that was totally denied," Gleijeses said. "Kissinger went to the extreme of saying he only learned a couple of weeks later that S.Africa had invaded." In his book "Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington & Africa 1959-1976," based on U.S. documents & archival research in Cuba & Angola, Gleijeses maintains Cuba dispatched troops as a result of the S.African invasion. He argues Kissinger's account of U.S. role in Angola was misleading, both in testimony to Congress in 1976 and more recently in the third volume of his memoirs "Years of Renewal."
The historian interviewed the then CIA station chief in Luanda, Robert Hultslander who, speaking on the record for the first time, criticized U.S. policy in Angola as "shortsighted & flawed." The former CIA agent told Gleijeses that he was unaware at the time that "the U.S. would eventually beg S.Africa to directly intervene to pull its chestnuts out of the fire."

Gleijeses also argues Kissinger misled Americans by saying an attempt to gain China's help in Angola was thwarted by the refusal of the U.S. Congress to approve funding for the covert operation. In his memoirs, Kissinger recounts 12.2.75 meeting he & Ford had in Beijing with Chairman Mao Tse-tung in which Angola was discussed and Mao suggested China was willing to cooperate. Gleijeses said Kissinger failed to mention a meeting held the following day with Deng Xiaoping in which, according to a White House memorandum, the Chinese president refused to help in Angola while S.Africa was involved. "The reason why China held back was not Congress' refusal to vote additional aid. It was because the S.Africans were there," he said, adding that Mao was very ill by then and Deng was in charge of decisions of state. "Kissinger ignores the other document which contradicts what he wants to say, and that is very dishonest," Gleijeses said.

The Chevron oil tanker Condoleezza Rice sailed into the sunset one day in April 2001 and never was seen again. No problem, however: The 129,000-ton vessel returned shortly thereafter as the Altair Voyager, safely renamed after a real star in the galaxy instead of a political star on President GWBush's national-security team.
As Chevron spokesman Fred Gorell told: "We made the change to eliminate the unnecessary attention caused by the vessel's original name."

The tanker had been named for Rice in 1995 when she was a member of the Chevron board of directors. She resigned from Chevron 1.15.01 when appointed national-security adviser. Chuck Lewis of the Centre for Public Integrity, a Washington-based think tank, first pointed out the incongruity of a tanker named for the national-security adviser. But "I saw no reason to be exercised or concerned because she had already severed her official Chevron ties, resigned from the board and that sort of thing," Lewis tells Insight.
"It is hard to tell the story without laughing."

Nevertheless, Chevron at first had declined to rename the vessel, and did so only after the issue had been raised with White House spokesman Scott McClellan. The matter "has already been addressed," said McClellan in the daily briefing. "She will uphold the highest ethical standards in office."
Yet Lewis wonders whether any official who has held high-level positions in multinational corporations such as Chevron can really disentangle themselves from the corporate point of view. Chevron is a company that has thrived by doing business with every kind of oil-rich dictatorship in the world, incl former Soviet Union, People's Republic of China and Indonesia.

In Africa, Chevron has been a major client of the Nigerian kleptocracy and of the late tyrant Laurent Kabila, whose regime in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) now is headed by his son, Joseph.
But it is in Angola where Chevron has struck it rich. New discoveries in deep waters off the province of Cabinda in the mid-nineties made a dramatic shift in Angola's importance to corp. revenues and to the regime of José Eduardo dos Santos and his revolutionary Movement for the Popular Liberation of Angola (MPLA).

That movement was founded by hard-line communist Agosthino Neto, who went to Moscow for medical treatment in 1979 and died on the operating table. His successor, dos Santos, remained committed to Neto's Marxist-Leninist ideology but in recent years has retooled MPLA's image, downplaying Marxism but giving no sign that it has surrendered the Leninist heritage of acquisition & maintenance of total power by the elimination of all opponents.
In its 26-year war with rival Jonas Savimbi's Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), MPLA well may have given the coup de grace to its political & military opposition by killing Savimbi on Feb. 21, 6 days before dos Santos' face-to-face meeting in Washington with President GWBush, a meeting supposedly intended to encourage reconciliation between the warring factions.

Intelligence sources tell Insight that dos Santos personally gave the command to kill Savimbi. Whether that can be corroborated, it is clear that while dos Santos had it almost within his power to kill Savimbi since Oct. 2001, the prospect of the Bush visit encouraged him to give orders for the kill as soon as possible, the sources said.
Despite oil revenues amounting to some $ 3.5 bn a year, Angolan govt is chronically broke. The Economist magazine reported Jan. 2000 that "the bulk of the money bypasses the budget, disappearing straight into the hands of the presidency." The magazine said that the oil revenues for the next 3 years "had already been spent."

According to industry data source Alexander's Gas & Oil Connections in July 1999 the oil companies, incl Chevron, paid Angola $ 900 million "secretive signature bonuses" for exploration leases. Such up-front payments are not based on production, but are an on-the-books way to get around anti-bribery provisions of the Corrupt Practices Act, US officials suggest.
As for the need for a signing bonus, an intelligence source tells Insight: "They used the money to buy tanks, armament, MiGs, chemical weapons and foreign advisers to hunt down and kill Savimbi." For many years the military arm of the MPLA, the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), had been frustrated in its attempts to take out UNITA's leader because Savimbi's troops had broad support among the local population and had been well-trained in rapid guerrilla movements by the man they called the "Black Cockerel."

"The fish swim in the ocean of the people," says the guerrilla maxim. Moreover, the coalition of tribal peoples that formed the basis of his support deeply distrusted the mesticos, detribalised & assimilated minority that ruled in Luanda.
"MPLA decided to drain the ocean," a congressional-staff African expert tells Insight. "When they learned that Savimbi was in the northern province of Mexico, they instituted a scorched-earth policy. They used chemical weapons to defoliate the trees and kill the crops. Then they burned the villages.

The people had no food & no houses, so they fled. MPLA forces then rounded up columns of as many as 700 refugees when they could and confined them to camps near the provincial capital. The FAA esp. targeted groups trying to get across the border into the Congo [Zaire], because they assumed that women & children incl dependents of UNITA soldiers."
Once the area was depopulated, the FAA could assume that any movements picked up by satellite imagery would be those of UNITA forces, the source says. After that, it was just a matter of time.

Lisbon's Diario de Noticias gave an account of Savimbi's death through the eyes of the enemy FAA commander, Brig. Simao Carlitos Waly, according to a Foreign Broadcast Information Service text. The Lisbon report says Savimbi wascornered with the assistance of foreign commandos. Nevertheless, even the brigadier's account could not avoid a kind of professional admiration of the gallantry of his enemy's last stand.
"By travelling to the Luvuei region, Savimbi would have to pass through dense bush," said Waly. "We continued to pursue him. As soon as he reached the Luvuei River he was caught in an ambush set up by our forces. Upon arriving in the area, Savimbi thought he had lost us. He tried to let his troops rest and reorganize.

... Through reconnaissance missions we learnt that he passed through the area. We began to fire all our artillery. We used all the information we had at our disposal. During the first phase we shot Savimbi 7 times. He [still] tried to pick up a weapon and defend himself when he saw all his guards were dead."
On the same day that Waly gave his account, US State Dept spokesman Robert Boucher released a statement in Washington. "Jonas Savimbi has been killed," Boucher said. "The death of theUNITA leader is yet another casualty in a war that should have ended long ago. We call upon both sides, in conjunction with the peaceful opposition, civil sectors and intl community, to fulfil their obligation to bring peace to the Angolan people."

At the White House press briefing, White House press spokesman Ari Fleischer was asked what impact the Savimbi killing would have on the talks with dos Santos. "Does the White House think that the dos Santos govt set Savimbi up for assassination, in effect, to get him out of the way before dos Santos gets here?" he was asked
. Fleischer, master of the non-answer, was at his smoothest: "Well, the U.S. is still committed to achieving peace development through equitable solutions in Angola. And the president calls upon all Angolans to fulfil their obligations to peace there."

The next day, President Bush met with dos Santos and the presidents of Mozambique & Botswana and issued a brief statement: "Today I met with 3 presidents who can help bring peace & prosperity to southern Africa. The 3 presidents also discussed the tragic wars in Angola & the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We agreed that peace is within reach of both countries.
I urged President dos Santos to move quickly toward achieving a cease-fire in Angola. And we agree that all parties have an obligation to seize this moment to end the war and develop Angola's vast wealth to the benefit of the Angolan people."

UNITA's political leaders immediately turned to Savimbi's second-in-command, Vice President Antonio Dembo, as their man to negotiate reconciliation with the MPLA. 4 days after dos Santos met with Bush, FAA forces in Angola encountered Dembo, who had escaped the original massacre, and shot him down like a dog.
Angola watchers were not surprised at the administration's mild response to these dramatic events. Last Oct., former US amb. Paul Hare, now US-Angolan Chamber of Commerce exec. dir. which represents US corporations operating in Angola, put it bluntly:

Now such matters are in the domain of National Security Adviser Rice, late of the Chevron board. Lewis, of the Centre for Public Integrity, says: "These multibillion dollar oil interests are active all over the world. So how in the world do you recuse yourself from the interests of a company like Chevron?
This may be more of an issue about the recusal process and how it works. I don't see any way at all honestly that she can serve as national-security adviser and fully, 100 %, take herself out of matters that may pertain to Chevron. I think it would virtually be impossible for her to function, in all honesty."

Certainly Rice is very gifted. She attended the University of Denver, entering at age 15 and taking Soviet studies with Joseph Korbel, father of former secretary of state Madeleine Albright. Rice earned a master's degree at the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate from Denver's Graduate School of Intl Studies.
She went to Stanford University in 1981 to study arms control and, in 1986, joined the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a Council on Foreign Relations fellow.

Rice was named to the Chevron board in 1991 after leaving her post on the staff of President GHWBush's National Security Council, where she served as director of Soviet affairs. Now she eagerly was sought after by the establishmentarian intelligentsia.
In addition to her call to serve the board of Chevron, she was chosen to serve on the boards of Charles Schwab, Transamerica, Hewlett Packard, intl advisory council of J.P. Morgan, Carnegie Corp., Carnegie Endowment for Intl Peace and the Rand Corp.
She also was on the board of Notre Dame and provost & vp of Stanford, as well as on the boards of a number of other educational institutions.

This résumé was a good fit with the moderate conservatism of GWBush, whom she had served as foreign-policy adviser during the presidential campaign. When nominated, she filed papers indicating that she had more than $250,000 in Chevron stock and an income in excess of $ 550,000 per year.
Insight attempted many times to reach Rice's office to ask for comment on her service with Chevron, but received no reply. During the decade that Rice served on the Chevron board, the corporation prospered, according to its annual reports, going from total revenues of $38.9 bn in 1991 to $50.6 bn in 2000, with net income rising from $1.2 bn in 1991 to $5.2 bn in 2000. On 10.10.91, Chevron acquired Texaco, resulting in combined revenues inexcess of $100 bn.

Chevron's role in Angola dates back to the days of Portuguese colonial rule, when Gulf Oil Corp. opened fields in the Atlantic Ocean just offshore from the province of Cabinda. (Gulf was acquired by Chevron in 1984.)
Cabindans claim that Cabinda never has been part of Angola. Geographically, it is an exclave separated from Angola by a narrow slice of the Congo (Zaire) and the mighty Congo River delta.

In the late 1960s, 3 revolutionary groups contended to control Angola: MPLA in Luanda & the west, UNITA in the east & the south and Holden Roberto's Front for the National Liberation of Angola (FNLA), a smaller group headquartered in the northern provinces.
The MPLA called on Portugal for assistance, then ruled by a friendly Marxist military junta, and brought in some 30,000 Cuban troops and Soviet advisers & arms. The first thing MPLA did was to march into the Cabinda exclave and seize the prize: the offshore oil fields that, according to recent statements by Chevron, constitute 50% of the Angolan govt's gross domestic product.

The people of Cabinda, more closely related to ethnic groups in the Congo than Angola, have received a mere pittance of the oil revenues taken from their territory. They live in great poverty.
A fourth, much-splintered, revolutionary group known as the Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Exclave (FLEC) has sought independence for Cabinda, conducting a low-level insurgency of harassment & sabotage of oil facilities, seizing villages for a brief time as a demonstration and kidnapping oil co. employees.

Maybe the issue has been those oil royalties; maybe it has been freedom. In 1980, with the election of Ronald Reagan, the new administration backed the MPLA's pro-Western rival, Savimbi. A charismatic leader who spoke 9 languages, Savimbi represented the vast majority of Angolans who lived in tribal societies in the countryside. The new US president saw Savimbi as an anticommunist fighting for freedom.
"Reagan was an admirer of Jonas Savimbi," Reagan's UN amb. Jeanne Kirkpatrick, said recently. "Ron Reagan cared a very great deal about freedom. He detested tyranny. He detested imperialism & colonialism, and he detested communism because it stood for these things. And wherever there were people who had been or were about to be sucked into the Soviet empire and conquered by Soviet forces, who were struggling to preserve or to establish their freedom, Reagan said, 'I want us to stand with those people who are struggling for freedom & independence.'"

Savimbi was able to support his movement by taking over the diamond mines in the north, exporting the diamonds through friendly Zaire and by getting supplies via Namibia to the south. The first Bush administration, listening carefully to Chevron & the oil industry, did little to disturb the status quo but kept pushing for "free & fair elections" between the communist & anticommunist factions.
Savimbi reluctantly agreed, and the elections were held on Sept. 29-30, 1992, in the waning months of the Bush administration. Intl diplomatic elite rushed to pronounce the elections a success, among them U.S. Amb. Herman Cohen, then asst secretary of state for African affairs. "They were free & fair," Cohen tells Insight.

But some election observers had a different conclusion. Long-time Hill staffer Margaret Hemenway, part of UN authorized official delegation, tells Insight: "The first one to report fraud was Holden Roberto. We saw polling places in the morning with no voters. We went in and said 'What's going on?' The ballot boxes were already full. We went back to Luanda & UNITA candidates saw their computer vote tallies actually descending as they watched the screen. They couldn't believe it."
A report issued Nov. 1992 by Washington-based Centre for Security Policy, headed by former top Pentagon official Frank Gaffney, gave more details: Registration of voters was closed 40 days before the election; large numbers of polling stations reported identical numerical results; only the MPLA was allowed access to govt controlled tv; pre-election bribery of voters by MPLA was rife; in some areas as many as 25 % of the ballots cast were nullified; and electricity blackouts took place in a number of key provinces as the votes were being tabulated. Finally, according to the report, UN special envoy Margaret Anstee stated that she "had never witnessed a more unfair election, even in Latin America."

Cohen says Savimbi refused to accept the outcome from the start. "He told me he was going back to war because he had to save the Ovambindu people from being ruled by the Marxists," Cohen says today. "He made that decision early on. He even told me that he had enough troops around the country that he could easily win the war, and he almost did. He went pretty far."
But Hemenway says Savimbi told her that, "Even though there was massive fraud and I was cheated, I will accept." In fact, the terms of the election called for a runoff if neither presidential candidate achieved more than 50% of the vote. Savimbi sent his vp Jeremias Chitunda, Western-educated diplomat well-known in Washington & other capitals, to go to Luanda to arrange the terms for the runoff election.

But on 10.31.92, the capital descended into chaos. Amnesty Intl's 1996 report stated: "Intense fighting broke out in Luanda. Govt forces attacked UNITA offices & residences. The [Rapid Intervention Police] and ordinary police, assisted by civilians to whom they had distributed arms in the preceding weeks, carried out house-to-house hunts for UNITA supporters.
Many hundreds died in the crossfire or were deliberately killed. Hundreds of others were taken into police or military custody. Prisoners were taken in truckloads to the Camama cemetery on the outskirts of the city where they were shot and buried in shallow graves. Another mass grave is reported to be at Morro da Luz, a steep ravine in the Samba area of Luanda where suspected UNITA members were taken to be pushed off."

The most prominent victim of this ethnic cleansing was Chitunda. His official convoy, travelling with a white flag of peace, was ambushed and forced off the road. Chitunda was pulled from the car and shot in the face. Another member of the party also was shot in the head; a third, although wounded, got away to tell the tale.
Both the U.S. State Dept & Human Rights Watch have reported that the dos Santos govt consistently has refused to return Chitunda's body to his family for burial. Hemenway says that this betrayal was the root cause of Savimbi's subsequent distrust in dealing with Luanda.

Cohen's version is more benign: "I don't know whether Chitunda's death had any impact on Savimbi. I didn't speak to him after that. From what I heard, they were killed in an automobile accident when their car went off the road. I didn't hear that they were deliberately murdered, but I don't have firsthand evidence. But anyway, it didn't seem to change Savimbi's point of view, he wanted to go on with the war."
In 1993, Cohen resigned from the State Dept and registered with the Justice Dept as a foreign agent for the Luanda regime. Although the Angolan contract has expired, his firm most recently registered as an agent for the Robert Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, which has just completed a ruthless election based on the Angolan Leninist model.

In 1993 the Clinton administration proclaimed sanctions against UNITA "to deal with the unusual & extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the U.S. by the actions and policies of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA)."
The nature of this unusual & extraordinary threat was not specified. Some say that a key player behind the sanctions was the intl entrepreneur & investment banker
Maurice Templesman, whose diamond interests in Angola had been compromised by Savimbi. … His closest influence may have been on the late Michael LeMoyne Kennedy, who was operating Citizens Energy in Massachusetts, a non-profit set up by Michael's brother, Joseph Kennedy II, to get cut-rate fuel oil to the needy. And never mind that Citizens Energy had a for-profit affiliate, Citizens Energy Intl, where the Kennedy brothers were wheeling & dealing in the oil business.

The Boston Globe reported in 1998 that Michael Kennedy earned more than $622,000 in salary & stock options in 2 years on the for-profit side. A cornerstone of this for-profit business was an oil concession in the Cabinda field that Templesman persuaded dos Santos to award to Kennedy, the Globe says.
In turn, Kennedy was the founder of the US-Angolan Chamber of Commerce, that glittering roster of US firms operating in Angola, and the main advocate of stabilizing the dos Santos regime by forcing the surrender of Savimbi.

Although UNITA (unlike FLEC) never attacked the oil installations and, in fact, had pledged not to do so, the goodwill of the Marxist regime was about to assume greater importance. Until the mid-nineties, Chevron was operating from the continental shelf off Cabinda; but now it was about to move 40 miles offshore to the deep ocean. "Reserves have been in proportions far exceeding anything on shore," commented Alexander's Gas & Oil Connections.
All during this decade of tightening relationships between Chevron and the Angolan regime, Condoleezza Rice sat in the catbird seat as developments were placed before the board. Last Sept. President Bush renewed the sanctions against UNITA, using language identical to Clinton's about "the unusual & extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the U.S." posed by Savimbi.

Renewal of sanctions sent a message to dos Santos that he would not be penalized for eliminating the leadership structure of UNITA. In Oct. 2001, the scorched-earth policy began, dislocating thousands of civilians and destroying their livelihoods. In February the need to accommodate Savimbi was ended with 7 bullets.
Dos Santos shook hands with the president, had a photo-op and a 3 minute speech and went home to enjoy his victory.

YAOUNDE   Since January, international scientists have been fighting the threat from Cameroon's killer lakes where sprays of toxic gases have already killed more than 1,800 people in surrounding villages in recent years. But the project risking running into funding problems by Thursday, and Cameroon's minister for scientific research, Henri Hogbe Nlend, appealed for international aid to forestall another deadly eruption. Gas from Lake Monoun in West Province killed 37 people in 1984. Two years later, 1,800 were killed by toxic emissions from Lake Nyos, some 50 miles north of Bamenda in Northwest Province.
Scientists agree that the best way to prevent future disasters is to continuously draw gas from the lakes. Work on a system of pipes to do that was started on Nyos in January. "The degassing process is well on course," Hogbe Nlend told Reuters in an interview. However, he said, because of insufficient funds, only one pipe had been installed rather than the five planned. The project, known as the "Nyos Organ," was expected to cost some $2.8 million. Gas was currently accumulating at 1 million cubic feet per day and only 353,000 cubic feet were being removed, he said. On the less dangerous lake Monoun, Hogbe Nlend said, 3 pipes would be installed next year. Until then, an alarm system had been set up near the lake to alert villagers to any serious gas release.

"The problem for us now is to mobilize sufficient funds to keep the safety systems in both lakes working...It is expensive and our government does not have the funds to maintain it. That is why we count on assistance from our friends worldwide," he said. U.S. had already given about $500,000, which had been vital for the project, and it would be difficult to ask it to contribute more, he added. The govt has warned villagers living near the lakes to keep their distance. "The lakes are calm but remain potentially very dangerous," said Hogbe Nlend, who had returned from a visit to both lakes. The carbon dioxide gas normally stays in the depths of the lakes but can break out if the colder upper layer of the water, which acts as a lid, is disturbed, by an earth tremor, for example. Hogbe Nlend said many villagers were going too close to the lakes to farm and there was a risk that some might eventually begin to rebuild permanent homes near the shore.
Apart from Lake Kivu on the border between the DRCongo & Rwanda, the 2 Cameroonian lakes are the only ones known to gather carbon dioxide in the lower strata of their basins.

African NewsWire re Cape Verde
Embassy to U.S. & Canada Visafric Eritrean headlines & news sources
Asmarino online Eritrean community
Eritrea: CNN & BBC

4-5pm EF 100 Capitol Meet H.E Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister Ethiopia

ERITREA - ETHIOPIA: UN to deploy forces to border in Oct. NY U.N. 9.12.00 ANN Deploy troops to the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea in Oct.

NEW YORK   U.S. is backing a 4,200-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission to monitor the cease-fire but has said the troops could not be a substitute for a comprehensive peace agreement. Albright, Zenawi and Afwerki were in New York attending the U.N. Millennium Summit. Both Zenawi and Afwerki thank the United Nations for its help in ending their 2 year border war. Ethiopia was also supposed to address the Millennium Summit but skipped the speech. No official explanation was given, but an official at Ethiopia's mission said Zenawi had ''other engagements.''
Zenawi, however, did meet with SecGeneral Annan on Friday and told him Ethiopia wanted a peacekeeping force to be quickly deployed along the contested border. Afwerki made a similar request in his separate meeting with Annan. Statements issued by Annan's spokesman after the meetings said both leaders reported that the cease-fire signed in June was holding and both called for a swift deployment of peacekeepers.
UN plans to dispatch 23 military observers each to the capitals of both countries next week in line with a Security Council resolution authorizing the deployment of up to 100 military observers, according to the statements.
In a speech to the General Assembly Friday, Afwerki expressed gratitude for the UN and all those organizations and states which helped end the war with Ethiopia, which killed tens of thousands on both sides. "It is gratifying to note that because of the efforts exerted ... the conflict has halted,'' Afwerki told the summit.

The Corporate Council on Africa is facilitating a forum in Wash.DC for the Tribalism dictator Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. Meles is among the most brutal & hated political leader Ethiopia ever had. Read below to determine for yourself some of Meles's records. Dictators deserve isolation not cuddling. Wining & dining with human rights abusers is not at all in the long term interest of Africa and any far thinking corporate leader.

Unless U.S. helps African & Asian countries, their suffering could result in waves of contagious diseases, terrorism and organized crime serious enough to threaten Americas national security, Premier Meles has said. In his speech at Harvard University Meles emphasized the effectiveness of US assistance by pointing out as evidence the transformation of Taiwan & South Korea after WWII.

Misrak Assefa, who attended the speech as a representative of the Boston-area Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association, told Meles that his policy of dividing Ethiopia along ethnic lines ''has caused the country to go backward rather than forward … and kept us from focusing on economic development.'' Several other participants also harshly criticized the policy. Meles rejected the criticisms flatly, and said he has no interest in changing the policy, which creates local government units along ethnic and linguistic lines. Today, a demonstration was held again in front of the TPLF ambassador's residence on Wyoming St in Wash.DC. The demonstration started at noon. Meles Zenawi returned to the residence around 3pm and the foreign minister, Seyoum Mesfin, came at 6:45pm. We greeted both with these chants: Murderer! Fascist! Dictator! We also voiced these messages: Free Dr Taye! Free Fitawrari Mekonnen! Free All Political Prisoners in Ethiopia! We Demand Respect for Human Rights in Ethiopia! We Reject Your Ethnic Apartheid Politics!
The TPLF-run Selam Radio in Washington DC today announced an invitation by Meles Zenawi to all opposition organizations based in Wash.DC for a discussion. The invitation asked each organization to send 2 representatives to the new embassy on Sept. 15 Friday for the meeting. If Meles Zenawi is sincere, why not talk to the opposition parties inside the country who have been calling on his regime for discussion and national reconciliation.
AAPO All Amhara People Organization
Thatcher's son charged over coup plot   8.26.04   China Daily   Victor Bouts ¹ ² ³   Simon Mann

Son of former British PM Margaret Thatcher, an ex-race car driver whose business career has been dogged by accusations of questionable arms deals & shady ventures, was charged Wednesday with helping finance a foiled coup plot in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea. Thatcher, 51, was arrested at his Cape Town home and taken before Wynberg Magistrate's Court to be charged with violating the country's Foreign Military Assistance Act.
"We have evidence, credible evidence, and information that he was involved in the attempted coup," said Sipho Ngwema, a police spokesman. "We refuse that South Africa be a springboard for coups in Africa and elsewhere." Authorities in several African nations announced in March that they had foiled an attempt to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, who is widely accused of torture and other abuses while ruling a nation that has become the continent's third-biggest oil producer.

Magistrate Awie Kotze placed Thatcher under house arrest and gave him until 9.8.04 to post bail of US$300,000. Thatcher, who nervously tapped a pen in his palm during the proceeding, smiled and said, "Thank you," before he was led away to be driven home. Outside court, Thatcher's lawyers said he was arrested on suspicion of providing financing for a helicopter linked to the coup plot.
"Mr. Thatcher is not guilty of any allegations," attorney Alan Bruce-Brand told reporters. "He has nothing to hide and is already cooperating with authorities."
There was no immediate reaction from Thatcher's mother, who was thought to be in U.S.

Police raided Thatcher's home in the upscale suburb of Constantia shortly after 7 a.m. and investigators searched his records & computers. Hours later, he was driven away in a police vehicle. But his court appearance was delayed when he was robbed of his shoes, jacket and cell phone in a crowded holding cell, according to a court official who witnessed the attack. Police recovered the items.
Equatorial Guinea put 19 people on trial Monday in the alleged plot. One other defendant died in custody under suspicious circumstances. 70 suspected mercenaries are on trial separately in Zimbabwe.

Equatorial Guinea's justice minister, Ruben Mangue, sidestepped questions about seeking Thatcher's extradition. "Let's first give an opportunity to the South African authorities and the South African legal system to handle the situation," he told BBC radio.
The alleged ringleader of the plot, former British special forces soldier Simon Mann, was among those arrested 3.7.04 in Zimbabwe, where authorities said they stopped a planeload of mercenaries going to Equatorial Guinea. The men maintain they were headed to security jobs at a mining operation in Congo.
At the trial in Equatorial Guinea, one of the defendants testified Wednesday that Thatcher met with Mann in July 2003. Nick du Toit, a South African arms dealer, said Thatcher expressed interest in buying military helicopters for a mining enterprise in Sudan, but described the meeting as a "normal business deal" unrelated to the alleged coup plot.

Thatcher studied accounting but then pursued an undistinguished career in motor racing. In January 1982, he was lost for 6 days during an auto rally across the Sahara Desert, causing his mother to weep in public for the first time. He started his own company and moved to Texas in April 1984 after a lengthy controversy over reports that he represented a British construction firm that won a US$600 million contract in Oman while Mrs. Thatcher was there on a trade-boosting trip in 1981.
Thatcher also was scrutinized by Britain's Parliament in 1994 over news reports that he was involved in arms sales to Saudi Arabia & Iraq while his mother was prime minister. In one case, the Sunday Times reported that Thatcher made US$15 million in commissions on a US$25 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, but it said there was nothing illegal about the deal.

Thatcher moved to South Africa two years ago after business troubles in the United States. While living in Dallas, he settled a civil racketeering lawsuit for an undisclosed sum. He also faced charges from Internal Revenue Service over his role with a Dallas-based home security company that went bankrupt.
Thatcher and his twin sister, Carol, are the only children of Lady Thatcher and the late Denis Thatcher. His sister expressed shock over the arrest, but declined to comment on the case, saying she didn't know anything about the allegations.
"Mark is in a legal process in South Africa. I haven't spoken to him and I haven't spoken to my mother. So until we've done that I can't say anything more," she said in London. She said she was most worried about how the charges would affect her 79-year-old mother. "She is in America. I haven't spoken to her. I don't know her reaction and I care about her," she said.

Thais detain alleged `Merchant of Death'
3.6.08   Michael Casey, L.Neumeister, L.Jakes Jordan, A.Ahuja, G.Peck, D.Birch, P.Leonard AP

BANGKOK, Thailand - A Russian dubbed the "Merchant of Death" for allegedly supplying weapons to Africa's bloody conflicts over power and diamonds was arrested Thursday in Thailand on suspicion of conspiring to smuggle guns to Colombia's leftist rebels. Viktor Bout, 41, ¹ ² ³   was arrested at U.S. request in his hotel room in Bangkok, said police Lt. Gen. Pongpat Chayapan.

Bout had eluded arrest for years and was finally seized after a four-month sting organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. In New York, federal authorities unsealed a criminal complaint charging that Bout conspired to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons, including 100 surface-to-air missiles and armor-piercing rockets, that he thought were going to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
The leftist group, which has been fighting Colombia's govt for more than 4 decades, is listed by the U.S. as a terror group. Bout and an associate, Andrew Smulian, were charged with "conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization." Thai police Col. Petcharat Sengchai said Smulian was still being sought.

Bout, who has never before been prosecuted for arms selling despite investigations in several countries, has always denied being involved in illicit deals. The paunchy businessman was shown briefly by Thai police to reporters; he stared blankly and made no comment.
The criminal complaint in New York said confidential sources directed by the DEA posed as FARC members while negotiating from November to February to buy arms from Bout. Noting that lengthy investigation, a law enforcement official in Washington said there was no link between Bout's arrest and the weekend seizure by Colombian troops of a top FARC leader's laptop computer. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

In New York, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia would not say how much the weapons involved in the alleged deal were worth but said the cost of transporting them alone was set at $5 million. He said the weapons were to be parachuted to FARC fighters in Colombian territory.
The arrest "marks the end of the reign of one of the world's most wanted arms traffickers," Garcia said. Bout, a former Soviet air force officer, allegedly built his contacts in the post-Soviet arms industry into a business dealing arms to combatants in conflicts around the world. He is generally believed to have been a model for the arms dealer portrayed by Nicolas Cage in the 2005 movie "Lord of War".

Bout's best-documented activities have been in Central and West Africa, where he has been accused of funneling weapons into various civil wars since the early 1990s. In 2000, Peter Hain, then Britain's Cabinet minister for African affairs, called Bout "the chief sanctions-buster" flouting U.N. arms embargoes on the warring parties in Angola and Sierra Leone, dubbing the Russian "a merchant of death."
Bout also reportedly supplied arms to warring parties in Afghanistan before the 2001 fall of the Taliban's Islamic regime. One of his companies also served as a subcontractor involved in transporting U.S. military personnel and private U.S. contractors in Iraq, according to a book about Bout by journalists Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun published last year.

The book, "Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible," also says a plane in Bout's fleet made several airdrops of weapons to FARC guerrillas between December 1998 and April 1999. It says the flights dropped about 10,000 weapons to the rebels, "enabling them to greatly enhance their military capabilities".
In 2005, the U.S. Treasury Dept said: "Bout has the capacity to transport tanks, helicopters and weapons by the tons to virtually any point in the world. The arms he has sold or brokered has helped fuel conflicts and support U.N. sanctioned regimes in Afghanistan, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Sudan".

U.N. reports say Bout set up a network of more than 50 aircraft around the world, owned by shadowy companies with names such as Bukavu Aviation Transport, Business Air Services and Great Lakes Business. Bout's list of alleged customers in Africa includes former dictator Charles Taylor of Liberia, the Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, the late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, now known as Congo, and both sides of the civil war in Angola.
A U.N. travel ban imposed on Bout said he supported the effort of Taylor's regime in Liberia to destabilize neighboring Sierra Leone and gain illicit access to diamonds. West Africa's diamonds have become known as "blood diamonds" for the warring they have inspired.

In October 2006, President Bush issued an executive order freezing the assets of Bout and several associates and warlords in Congo and barring Americans from doing business with them. They were accused of violating international laws involving targeting of children or violating a ban on sales of military equipment to Congo.

The U.S. Treasury's 2005 sanctions announcement said air transport companies controlled by Bout "played a key role in supplying arms to Charles Taylor's regime in Liberia and the Sierra Leone rebel group, the Revolutionary United Front," both of which were notorious for inflicting atrocities on civilians. In 2002, Belgium issued an international arrest warrant for Bout through Interpol, the international police agency, on charges of money-laundering and criminal conspiracy.

Bout is believed to have served in an air transport unit of the Russian military until about 1991. He built his business on the huge drawdown of weapons and aircraft in the former Soviet bloc of eastern Europe as the Cold War waned. A 2005 report by Amnesty International, a London-based human rights group, alleged Bout was "the most prominent foreign businessman" involved in trafficking arms to U.N.-embargoed countries. It implicated Bout in transferring "very large quantities of arms" from Ukraine that were delivered to Uganda via Tanzania aboard a Greek-registered cargo ship.
Bout's businesses included many legitimate operations as well, according to a report by the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

"Bout's companies shipped vegetables and crayfish from South Africa to Europe, transported United Nations peacekeepers from Pakistan to East Timor, and reportedly assisted the logistics of Operation Restore Hope, the U.S.-led military famine relief effort in Somalia in 1993," said the center's 2002 report.
Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Moscow-based Center for Strategies and Technologies, described Bout as a rich "adventurist, one of these guys who emerged at the start of the 1990s and started pumping weapons from the former Soviet Union into Africa."

9/28/00 "Rounded Up in Camps & Roasted Ghanaians in Libya Massacred"   R.Archer Accra Ghanaian Chronicle   Govt official sources are refusing to give exact figures but Chronicle has learnt scores of Ghanaians have been roasted and others beaten to death by marauding bands of Libyans in Tripoli, ironically a country whose leader is perceived as a friend of Ghana and closest ally of President Rawlings. No clear reason has been fathomed but there has been consistent reports that an increasing crime wave in the country has caused Libyans to look at black Africans in general and Ghanaians in particular as criminal elements because on some occasions, Ghanaian passports have been found at crime scenes.

colonial view of future

map Chocolate … comes from a world of misery. Beatings, slavery and terror … contribute to the production of chocolate, activists say. More than 90% of cocoa from Ivory Coast, world's biggest producer of cocoa, procured with the help of child labor, according to Slavery documentary broadcast on Britain's Channel 4 last year. Today, senior delegation from W. African nation arrived in London to address the allegations. The Ivorians say the use of child labor is linked to the low price of cocoa, and their prime minister said cocoa would have to rise almost 10 times in price for the slavery problem to disappear.

The Low-Price Connection
Cocoa prices are at 10 year low, caused by deregulation of market & overproduction. That has led to slavery. Traditionally, Ivory Coast farmers used young men & boys from Mali as laborers, contracting them for farming season and paying them after the crop is sold. But other farmers, unable to turn a profit in recent years, have refused to pay their laborers, and instead kept them working without pay through beatings, intimidation and threats of magical spells, say activists like UK's Fairtrade Foundation. Other young men have been lured to the plantations with false promises of well-paid work, only to wind up being bought & sold in open markets, according to Slavery. Ivory Coast's PM Pascal Affi N'Guessan blamed multinationals for child trafficking in Africa. He says they encouraged more & more developing countries to grow cocoa, forcing down the price.
But chocolate trade groups, like London-based Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate & Confectionary Alliance, as well as the Ivorian govt, say reports of slavery in the cocoa trade are exaggerated & not representative of conditions on most plantations. The Ivorians also say they have signed an accord with Mali to tackle the issue. Nevertheless, Ivorian Ag. Minister Alphonse Douati told Reuters today low prices could not be used as an excuse for the mistreatment of children in plantations. "In my opinion, if the price was better, all producers would be encouraged to use legal work methods. Those who do use children are often immigrants who were themselves laborers in plantations," he said.

From the Flesh of Babes
The issue of child slavery in Africa was thrust into the spotlight last month when reports emerged of a ship traveling along the West African coast carrying up to 250 children bound for slavery. Although the ship was eventually found to be carrying only about a dozen suspected child slaves, the incident revived fears of a thriving modern slave trade. Those fears first came to light last Sept. with broadcast of Slavery about 18 young men & boys enslaved on Ivory Coast cocoa plantation. The filmmakers said they got their story when one of the boys managed to escape and notified a countryman. When the filmmakers asked the former slave, known as Victor, if he had ever tasted chocolate, he said "no." They then asked him what he would say to the millions of Britons who ate chocolate daily. He answered: "If I had to say something to them it would not be nice words. They buy something I suffer to make. They are eating my flesh.

photo by author Yamoussoukro   Nearly 300km into Ivory Coast's interior lies a lost city, known only to the natives & privileged few. Built by a mighty ruler as a monument to his own power & glory, the city of Yamoussoukro still amazes travellers in this antique land. There stand vast deserted public buildings, empty highways, echoing temples and vacant hostelries, gleaming by night among the encroaching bush. The few thousand people who live there squat like intruders among the relics of somebody else's civilisation. Many are foreigners, cattle and goat herders from Mali and Burkina Faso, who drive their beasts to market down ancient trade routes from the north. Their makeshift corrals stand near a man-made lake that still swarms with sacred crocodiles. Yamoussoukro is a strange, almost eerie place, not least because it is still the official capital of the Ivory Coast, and most of it was built in the past 20 years.
40 years ago this was Ngokro, a tiny village of 500 souls, but it happened to be the birthplace of Félix Houphouët-Boigny, the man who led the Ivory Coast to independence from France in 1960 and ruled it, mostly as a one-party state, until his death in 1993. Houphouët-Boigny, once ensconced as president in the then capital, Abidjan, renamed his home village after his mother, Nana Yamoussou, and began stealthily transforming it into a monument to himself and his ancestors. First, he criss-crossed the empty bush with a grid of well-paved roads lined with more than 10,000 street lights. Then he built elite colleges, party headquarters, presidential and parliamentary palaces and, among other luxuries, a 14-storey, five-star hotel. The dirt airstrip was refashioned to accommodate long-haul jets, and an artificial lake was stocked with crocodiles, held sacred by the late president's Baoulé tribe. Finally, in 1983, he persuaded the National Assembly in Abidjan to shift the seat of power to Yamoussoukro.

Yamoussoukro has never supplanted Abidjan as the real heart of Ivoirien political and economic life. Guide books reckon fewer than 100,000 people live in the sprawling town, most dependent on government subsidies. Now that power has finally passed from Houphouët-Boigny's Baoulé tribe, the subsidies, and the city's long-term survival, are no longer guaranteed. Before it was partly cleared for cultivation, this was the heart of the west African coastal forest. On the edge of town the thick bush is already leaning over the motorways.
How much it cost remains obscure. The late president claimed to have financed the entire project from his own wealth. Though he was a successful planter of cocoa. the Ivory Coast's main crop, cynics say the basilica still represents a whole heap of chocolate bars. In the event, the project provoked division, not unity. Angered by the extravagance at a time of falling cocoa & coffee prices, many Ivoiriens began pushing for an end to Houphouët-Boigny's one-party rule. While he was able to win subsequent rigged elections in 1990, an increasingly fractious opposition bedevilled him until his death seven years ago. His weak successor, Henri Konan Bédié, had to ban rival candidate Alassane Ouattara and others from running to win in 1995. Ouattara was disbarred because, like many northerners, he has family ties across the border and had used a Burkina Faso passport while working for the United Nations.
He was again banned from presidential polls won three weeks ago by minority candidate Laurent Gbagbo, after a short-lived military dictator, General Robert Gueï, tried and failed to rig the poll in his own favour. An estimated 171 Ivoiriens were killed in post-election clashes in normally peaceful Abidjan, first between soldiers and mass protesters, then between rival supporters of Ouattara and Gbagbo. With ethnic and religious tensions now running high, the peace that Houphouët-Boigny prided himself on seems seriously threatened for the first time in the young nation's history.

On a low hill to the north of the town, at an estimated cost of $US150 million ($284 million), the founding father built what is still claimed to be the tallest Catholic basilica in the world. Modelled on St Peter's in Rome, the domed Basilica of Our Lady of Peace looms 158 metres over the adjacent coconut groves. According to guide books, it took 1,500 workers three years to build. The dome is 100 metres in diameter and weighs nearly 100,000 tonnes. With the giant portico and colonnade, the central basilica swallowed a year's production of French white concrete. The pews, which seat 7,000, are individually air-conditioned. They are made from kotibe, a local hardwood that was sent to Italy to be shaped. The altar stands under a giant gilt canopy whose columns conceal 14 massive loudspeakers. Over it hangs a two-metre-tall cross made from 50 kilograms of gold. Surrounding the basilica are 36 stained glass windows more than 30 metres high, a greater area of glass than in France's Chartres Cathedral.
In the tradition of the medieval cathedral builders, the makers of Our Lady of Peace immortalised themselves in a stained glass window, with the Lebanese architect Pierre Fakhoury, European building contractors and others portrayed as apostles bearing Christ through a garden. Houphouët-Boigny has, of course, the place of honour. When it was completed in 1990, the Pope flew in for the consecration. He travelled more than a kilometre to the basilica from the main gate, along a piazza paved in marble from Portugal, Italy and Spain. Few tourists pass this way now. Mass is said once a week. Most local people go to the cathedral in town.

Smith Hempstone, Bush ambassador to Kenya & former journalist, "was very good with the press. We could call him at home, any time. He was great with a quote. One of the Kenyan ministers accused Hempstone of meddling in Kenya's affairs and overstepping the lines of an ambassador. Hempstone was called by a reporter at night and asked for a reaction to this. And Hempstone says, 'Well, you tell the minister that if he doesn't stop telling lies about me, I'm going to start telling the truth about him.' " Those who live in what used to be "the city of many lights" but which has lately turned into the city of many thieves - also called Nairobi - know of two tribes of Kenyans. One tribe is called chokora, if you want to call them by a bad name. This is the tribe that once went to a place where the Son of the Soil - or yours sincerely - has never been. Some two years ago, members of the tribe were invited to the biggest house in the land, also called State House, and had lunch with the main man there. I hear that as they had lunch with the man who was born and brought up in Sacho. They wondered why he had not kept cows and goats in State House yet the place is so big and green it could become a cattle ranch.
I don't know in which language the main man spoke to the fellows who sniff glue for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper and escort it with a slice of bread imported from a dustbin. I guess he took some lessons in Sheng before he invited them to lunch. Thus he could have told them, "Ma-beste, hii bash ni yenu. Kuna kuku porno na nyama choms na pia machipo. Mangeni kama world inadedi." (In other words, "My friends, there is plenty of grilled chicken, roast meat and chips. Eat as if it is the end of the world.") The other tribe consists of members of the female species and these days they are called commercial sex workers. This tribe charges a fee to smile at you and say they love you like roast chicken. I have seen them at night on a road called Koinange Street in the city of many thieves. They wear skirts the size of shrunk foolscaps and have the habit of shouting, "Darling!" to any creature in trousers, especially if the creature is driving anything resembling a car. Their normal greetings to a complete stranger are delivered at the speed of lightning. It goes something like, "Hi-I'm- Ivy. I-love-you-darling. And-I-drink-Tusker-baridi".

When I was growing up in the Slopes of Mount Kenya where I was born, this tribe had very few members from the Slopes and they operated only in the city. They were known by name and had certain peculiar habits other skirt- wearers never did. One of them was to eat the African sausage, which was supposed to be for men only. The African sausage is something made from the intestines of a cow or a goat and is filled with blood and some meat then roasted. When I was growing up in the Slopes of Mount Kenya, it was called Mu-ten or the ten-cent piece. It was called so because a piece cost ten cents. The ten-cent piece was the size of the width of the blade of the butcher's knife. When a real man ate a piece or two of Mu-ten, he escorted it with a mug of soup in a cup called Mu-South, a sizeable tin cup. It was called so because it was imported from South Africa. It was so sizeable that when you drank from it, it covered most of the face.
One of the members of this second tribe who operated a Mu-ten joint then was called Wanjiru Ki-Nylon. I have whispered something about her before and if you have forgotten, she was called Ki-Nylon because when finally retired from her profession, she was the owner of only one dress made of nylon material. Nylon was also called wash-and-wear because it needed only a few minutes to dry. Wanjiru used to wash her only nylon dress at night and wear it in the morning. Her trademark thus was that dress that had red dots. When she retired and came back to the village, she was "kept", as they said, by a man from Kavirondo. In the language of the Slopes, to be "kept" meant a woman living with a man to whom she was not married, or rather, whose clan had not delivered goats and beehives full of bees to the elders of her clan.
A person from Kavirondo was anyone who came from anywhere near Lake Victoria. This particular Kavirondo was a man who had been trained at the Kiganjo Police College in the science of arresting criminals. He had been posted to the Slopes. It was in those days when the men who were trained in Kiganjo could shoot so straight that when they pursued a most wanted criminal, they just crippled their kneecaps. In those days, the most wanted criminals were not armed like a whole army. All they owned was a homemade club when they went about the business of reaping where they had not sowed. In those days, the word chokora was not known. Children were supposed to know their fathers and their fathers knew them. A man was not allowed to sow wild seeds all over and flee. Even Wanjiru Ki-Nylon could not allow herself to get a child with a father who would be absent as soon as the mother's belly started getting big.

Lately, the members of the two tribes have become so many that I won't be surprised at the chokora supporting their own candidate as a councillor come the next election. They could go ahead and ensure he actually becomes the mayor of the city of many thieves. I also won't be surprised if the women who wear shrunk foolscaps decide to support their candidate for the mayorship. That will indeed happen one day and so we shall have a mayor who retires to his chamber to sniff glue after deliberations on what to do with garbage in the city. That should not shock anyone in this country where maize roasters are translated into councillors who then become "his worship the mayor". It should not shock anyone in this country where former and very junior men in blue have ended up in the honourable house and then become whole ministers with flags on their cars. It will not shock me to have a glue- sniffing character for a mayor since I have a feeling that some Members of Parliament sniff and smoke illegal things of senior proportions.
That is the only way I can explain why they take warrior tactics to Parliament and are given to saying some things that are not very honourable in that honourable house. I did not mean to talk about the chokora and the commercial sex worker becoming mayors. I mean to ask what happens when the small chokora grows beards. I also mean to ask what happens when the commercial sex worker gets old and her voice is hoarse from telling total strangers, "Hi-I am-Ivy-I love you darling-and-I-drink-Tusker-baridi" much too often. I guess you will tell me that the chokora don't die when they reach the age of getting beards. A fellow who has fed on half-baked sweet potato peels, meat of unknown animals that even the vultures have refused to eat and chips mixed with water from the mopping pail all his life - and survived - cannot die just because he has become of age when a man gets a beard.

When a chokora reaches that age, he does not become a priest or go into farming since he was born and brought up on the cold cement floors in the city and has no idea whether maize is born or harvested. Those who know will, of course, say that when the chokora grows a beard, he now has the licence to do all what he has wished to do all his life. If the man who lives in State House and who had invited the chokora for lunch one day is reading, let me tell him to take a walk in the night and without escort in the city and he will learn what senior chokora have wished to do all their lives. Let him take the walk at nine. Let him look as if he has just come from selling a big herd of goats at Mogotio market and got senior money. Suddenly, someone jumps onto his back like a lion onto a buffalo. A pair of hands go for his throat and immediately cut off air supply to his voice box.In the meantime, other hands are working on his shoes and others through his pockets at lightning speed. In a minute, the man who was born and brought up in Sacho is on the floor, almost knocking on the door of heaven. Or hell. He revives after three minutes with his throat feeling as if it has swallowed a stone. For the next one week, he is not able to talk. He also realises that quite a number of people walk without trousers at night and it is not out of their will. He concludes this because, on reviving, he discovers he does not have trousers - the senior chokora has taken them.
The man who occupies the main seat in the country also finds out why many people in Nairobi speak in whispers as if they are suffering from a cold. He will discover that they speak so after an encounter with a senior chokora trying to practice what he has wished to do all his life. The boss of this country might then declare the chokora a national disaster and start a fund to buy a farm for them somewhere where they can be taught that maize is harvested and not born. I would also be glad if the man who was born and brought up in Sacho could find out why people drive with the windows of their cars closed even when the heat inside makes it feel like an oven. There is only one way he could find out: by driving an ordinary car alone in the city. Let him put on a smile and he will discover how those kinds of smiles are wiped from people's faces in an instant. He comes face to face with something in the hand of a chokora who is aspiring for greater things in life, like improving his tactics in the art of ngeta. The thing in the hand of the chokora is what has gone through the digestive system of another person. It has many names but for now, let us call it "the product of the digestive system". The chokora is holding it like a rugby ball and his hand is held high in a manner likely to suggest that he does not need any persuasion to land it on the smiling face of the driver. The other hand is outstretched and the driver is supposed to get the obvious idea that the young fellow is saying, "Your money or I colour you face with the products of the digestive system." The young fellow might make another hint and say, "Mdosi chota ama nifyatue."
It is obviously not good manners to drive in town with the products of the digestive system of a person you don't even know all over your face, so when that happens to the man born and brought up in Sacho, he wakes up one day and decides that those boys (or men) need far more than one lunch at State House once every five years. For now, I think he imagines they retire to become bishops and the commercial sex workers nuns. If the man who was born and brought up in Sacho thinks otherwise, let him tell me through .

Liberia tries to forget homemade film
6.14.01   Tim Sullivan AP

MONROVIA, Liberia  The production quality is terrible - a tangle of distorted voices, jerky angles, blurry images. But every once in a while a few words punch through the garble, and the video's sickening reality becomes clear. "I will talk,'' pleads panic-stricken Liberian President Samuel K. Doe, half- naked and tied up on the floor of a nondescript office. "I will tell you something ... Please, please let me go. I beg you.'' His captor, a militia leader named Prince Johnson, stares back drunkenly from behind a large desk, guarded by a dozen soldiers. The militia leader turns away from the just-ousted president, a barely literate man whose repressive regime savaged this West African country through the 1980s. A framed painting of Jesus watches over the scene. Johnson looks bored. He waves his hand: "I say cut off one ear.''
For years, this was the most-watched movie in this war-shattered nation - a Camcorded chronicle of bloodshed. Filmed in September 1990 by a friend of Johnson's, it is a horrific record of Doe's last hours, ending with an excruciatingly long close-up of his mutilated corpse. Now, with Liberian trying put the war behind it, the video has become an uncomfortable memory. The tape has been pulled from stores, thrown away, purposefully forgotten. The government banned its sale. Many Liberians, desperate for reconciliation, won't even discuss it. "I hate that movie,'' said Kekura Kamara, a struggling filmmaker who was, before the

The Liberian horror film we didn't miss
4.23.00  Tom Kamara Smyrna, Georgia

… British Channel 4 television team, currently in detention for alleged spying …

Catholic Justice & Peace Commission ¹ ²

Rights Advocate Fears for His Life
3.31.01  IRIN

The director of a prominent rights advocacy group in Liberia, James Verdier, says he has received threats from "prominent individuals", the Panafrican News Agency (PANA) reported on Thursday. Verdier, who heads the Justice and Peace Commission (JPC), fears that he will be attacked, flogged and detained, PANA reported. His car has already been attacked once, the agency said. It also said the JPC's previous director, Samuel Woods, had left Liberia after receiving similar threats. The threats stem from the fact that the JPC's latest country report on Liberia was critical of the government's human rights record, Verdier told PANA. Amnesty International recently reported that repression had escalated since July 2000 when insurgents attacked the northern county of Lofa, and following a December 2000 UN report on Liberian military support to rebels in Sierra Leone.

war, Liberia's biggest TV star. "I don't want to hear about war, I don't want to see it.'' Many people already have seen it.

Through much of the 1990s, while Liberia was being devastated by one of the most vicious civil wars in West African history - a seven-year nightmare that killed 150,000 people and destroyed nearly every city and town - the video was a hit. In a country increasingly callous to violence, the movie celebrated a dictator's downfall with a surreal blend of documentary and horror. Liberians crowded into Monrovia's tiny, generator-powered theaters to watch it. Johnson distributed hundreds of copies. The movie circulated quickly throughout West Africa. "People would come in and ask for it all the time,'' said Tony Hane, who works in a Monrovia video shop. "That movie gave a very bad name to the country.''
But things have changed in Liberia. The civil war ended five years ago with one final spasm as feuding warlords fought for supremacy. In 1997, the most powerful of those warlords, Charles Taylor, was elected president. If Liberia is trying to escape its past, however, it's not getting far. "The country remains divided,'' said James Verdier Jr., director of the Justice and Peace Commission, Liberia's foremost rights group. "National reconciliation is a farce.'' Years after the war's end, members of Taylor's old militia dominate the government. The security forces, a thuggish collection of ex-fighters, harass ordinary civilians for money and frighten government critics into silence.

Diplomats say Taylor and his inner circle have grown rich while the country remains mired in 80% unemployment and widespread poverty. Few Liberians have seen a working electrical outlet or water faucet for 11 years. For more than a year, the country has faced a rebellion along its border with Guinea. Paranoia runs high; officials warn of infiltrators and Taylor doesn't move without an army of soldiers around him. A billboard, not far from Taylor's mansion, urges "Total Reconciliation by 2024.'' Twenty-three years sounds likely to Verdier, who wonders if watching the movie could help Liberia. "Let people see what happened,'' he said. "They don't want to admit the atrocities they committed.''
Ask quietly in the right places and the tape can still be bought. But these days, it's seldom Liberians doing the purchasing. "Most of them are foreigners - Lebanese, Americans. One guy came from Europe,'' said a video store clerk who occasionally sells the tape and asked his name not be used. "They just want to see how he acts before he dies.'' That raises the obvious question. Why would anyone want to watch it? Why would a nation bathed in violence - yet still famed for its friendliness - revel in such a film? It doesn't take war to breed such a hit. In 1980s America, a once-obscure video, "Faces of Death,'' became a brief sensation among teen- agers, and suburban TVs filled with images of human autopsies, suicides and slaughterhouses. Americans worried over its popularity, its meaning. Few found acceptable answers.
Likewise, Liberians can't explain the hold the Doe movie had on their nation. "Liberians are very good people. They're kind. They're intelligent,'' said Hane. "How can people who are so friendly be so bloody? I don't know.''

NGO Africa Fund:
2/25/00 U.S. Religious Leaders Call for end to Trade Benefits Until Slavery Has Ended Khaddafi in the 1960s alt.culture.morocco
NGO Africa Fund:
US Policy Toward Nigeria: An Agenda for Justice
last ones out the door: sons of Nigeria's late military dictator Sani Abacha
State Dept vs Randall Robinson & State of Maryland   4.6.98 The Nation
"Guerrilla Journalism in Nigeria" Media Matters series
5.18.98   Sunday Dare The Nation n/avail@Nation site
"Divide and Confuse" Selling Nigeria to American Blacks
5.20.96   Ron Nixon The Nation n/avail@Nation site
"The National Newspaper Publishers Assoc. trade organization of black newspapers is promoting Nigeria; understandable, perhaps, given Africa's chronic under-representation in the U.S. press. But behind NNPA.'s slick "advertorial" & media campaign is brutal & repressive Nigerian govt aided by army of U.S. public relations firms, lobbyists, front groups"
Index on Censorship
Space plan aimed at satellites, mining 8.1.01   Reuters

LAGOS   President Olusegun Obasanjo has said Nigeria's new space agency, dismissed by critics as a joke, does not aim to land a Nigerian on the moon but to develop its own satellite technology and identify areas for mining. Nigeria plans to use advances in remote sensing, weather forecasting and satellite communications "for the exploration and exploitation of our mineral resources, and the development of information & communication technologies," the semi-official Daily Times quoted Obasanjo as saying.
He made his remarks at the inauguration of Nigeria's Honorary Presidential Advisory Council on Science & Technology on Tuesday, a day after the space program was criticized by the Financial Times of London. An FT editorial faulted Nigeria for earmarking nearly $100 million for the space program after missing most economic reform targets set by the IMF.

HOUSTON   Securities & Exchange Commission & Dept of Justice are investigating Baker Hughes Inc. in connection with its operations in Nigeria & other related matters, the company has announced. Last week, a former region operations manager for the company's oil & gas drilling operations in Nigeria filed a lawsuit against his former employer, claiming the company fired him for refusing to pay a bribe to a Nigerian oil official. "Baker Hughes' policy is to provide full cooperation to the govt and it is doing so in connection with this matter," the company said in a statement Friday.

British national Alan Ferguson was overseeing Baker Hughes' division operations in Nigeria, filed the lawsuit last Monday. He said he lost his job 5 months after refusing to give a share of the company's contract revenues to the Nigerian official. According to Ferguson's lawsuit, Houston-based Baker Hughes was bidding on an oil & gas project with the Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria in 1999. Ferguson & another Baker Hughes manager in Nigeria were allegedly informed by a manager of Western Geophysical, company now owned by Baker Hughes, that his company had an inside contact at Shell Nigeria who agreed to give Baker Hughes a 2-year contract to drill the wells if he received a percentage of the gross revenue.

Ferguson complained to the company's human resources dept about the bribes. He was then transferred to another project in the U.S., according to Ferguson's atty. 5 months later in Oct. 2001, he was laid off. Baker Hughes said before the lawsuit was filed, it had begun an investigation of its operations in Nigeria. The probe is still ongoing. "Baker Hughes is committed to integrity in all its activities and will not tolerate improper payments or other improprieties by any employee or in any of its business dealings," the company said. The lawsuit, filed in state district court in Houston, comes 6 months after Baker Hughes settled with the SEC in connection with allegations it bribed a Indonesia govt official to cut the company's tax liability from $3.2 million to $270,000. The company settled the complaint without admitting or denying the charges.

    Reprisal fears in Nigeria
    2.5.02   CNN
LAGOS, Nigeria   Nigerian troops are on alert for reprisals after gruesome tribal clashes in Lagos left at least 60 dead. A stream of hundreds of people side-stepped charred corpses at Mushin on the outskirts of Lagos on Monday as a lull in fighting allowed them to flee battles between gangs wielding bows and arrows, crude hunting guns and machetes. "Human beings are being roasted back there," a man who gave his name only as Kingsley told Reuters as he fled with a treasured red armchair on his shoulders.
Thousands of Hausa tribe members, mostly Muslims from the north of Nigeria, left Lagos in terror carrying their few possessions on their shoulders and backs after clashes with Yoruba tribesmen, who are mainly from the more Christian and animist southwest. CNN's Jeff Koinange said he was in "the middle of hell," as he witnessed dead bodies along the roadside, 4 of whom were on fire and smouldering.

For the city of Lagos, Africa's biggest with more than 10 million people, the fighting came on top of an ammunition dump fire which caused 1,000 deaths, most in a stampede into a nearby canal. Red Cross workers told Reuters they believed at least 60 had died in Mushin with more than 200 were treated for injuries. Scores of people were slashed with machetes or shot. Police, reinforced by the army, fought gun battles on the streets with members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), an ethnic Yoruba militia blamed for the violence.
In the Hausa north, troops were on standby to stamp out reprisals. Five trucks of soldiers were stationed at key positions in the highly volatile mostly Muslim city of Kano, where hundreds died last year in ethnic rioting. Police said they had also reinforced Jigawa state, which borders Kano. "We've been going to the villages telling people they should not see the clashes in Lagos as an attack on Hausas by any particular tribe, but the activities of hoodlums," said the police chief in Jigawa State, Shehu Adedayo Adeoye.

The sight of soldiers on the streets has become routine in Nigeria after ethnic disturbances which have killed thousands since President Oluesgun Obasanjo took office in 1999. Tension in Lagos has been fuelled by anger among soldiers over their treatment after the January 27 ammunition dump blast, which flattened most of the Ikeja barracks and left thousands homeless. Despite a purge of many top northern officers since the Yoruba former military ruler Obasanjo became president, Hausa northerners remain a very strong component of armed forces they traditionally dominated. The city has been tense since the tragedy.
The cause of the inter-tribal violence has not been confirmed, but the Hausas said members of a Yoruba militant group, Odudua, attacked Hausa homes on Saturday and that a young Yoruba man desecrated a mosque in Idi Araba. Hausas apparently turned on him and beat him to death. Yorubas saw this and retaliated. The Yoruba fighters said the Hausas made the first move.

Many others said the fighting began with a neighbourhood squabble after someone allegedly defecated in front of another person's home. The fighting resumed on Monday when some witnesses said Odudua members burnt homes believed to be owned by Hausas, shot at residents and threw homemade petrol bombs.

    Nigeria police mutiny wanes
    2.2.02   Reuters
LAGOS, Nigeria   Nigeria's police mutiny showed signs of crumbling on Saturday after ringleaders were arrested and troops drafted in to stop Africa's most populous nation tumbling into anarchy. Calling out the army was a big gamble for President Olusegun Obasanjo, facing the most critical moment of his rule and with anger boiling at a key barracks in Lagos following an armoury fire that caused the deaths of hundreds of people. The arms dump explosion had sparked speculation about a possible coup in the volatile West African oil-producing nation. Many police in Lagos donned uniforms and returned to the job on Saturday after walking out on Friday over pay and other grievances. Police had also stopped work in Ibadan and the southern oil industry hub of Warri. "The ring-leaders have been arrested," Assistant Inspector General Sunday Gabriel Ehindero, police commander in Nigeria's southwest, told Reuters. "The fact is the others are returning to work. They are here. You can see them."

A police spokesman in the capital Abuja said coordination of the action had been broken by the arrest of four ringleaders at the central town of Makurdi, from where they had been distributing tracts urging their colleagues to mutiny. The police action came as Nigeria struggled with its worst cycle of violence in 30 years and preparations begin for 2003 general elections in a country torn by ethnic and political rivalries. Nigeria's first police strike since independence in 1960 began in southeastern Cross River state on Thursday. Police Affairs Minister Steven Akiga said in a statement that what started as a minor strike had spread to other regions and that the government regarded it as a mutiny.
"In recognition of the fact that some policemen have abandoned their duty posts, all sensitive points will be manned by the military," he said. It did not name the areas where troops would be stationed but they were certain to include banks, airports and sea ports in what could be the biggest deployment since military rule ended in 1999.

Banks close
A separate presidency statement said Obasanjo had approved the immediate release of funds for the payment of outstanding police salaries, but it said payments would be jeopardised where the mutiny was not called off. "We hear our grievances are being addressed. That is why I am returning to work," said one policeman in Lagos. Nigeria was already uneasy after Sunday's explosion in Lagos. Most of those killed died in a stampede to escape that ended in the filthy waters of drainage canals. Police throughout Nigeria had threatened to strike to demand prompt salary payment, rent allowance arrears, barracks refurbishment and better pay for officers with qualifications.
Fearing armed robbers would take advantage, many banks shut in cities hit by the strike. In Lagos, witnesses said a bank was robbed not long after police stations were locked up. Nigeria suffered years of coups and decline under corrupt army regimes before Obasanjo's election in 1999, but a strike by police would have been unthinkable during military rule. Since the return to civilian administration, rising crime has overwhelmed police, pushing some states to set up vigilante groups. Scores of police officers have been convicted of robbery or aiding bandits over the past year. The feeling of insecurity in Nigeria was stoked by the mystery assassination of Justice Minister Bola Ige on Sept. 23.
On Friday, thunderous explosions caused further unease in Lagos as foreign experts began controlled detonations of unexploded bombs at the battered Ikeja barracks.

NEW YORK   A Congo Republic rain forest rich in rare animals and trees, described by scientists as the most pristine rain forest left in Africa, will be protected from logging under a deal announced on Friday. Under a deal with the Congo govt, timber company Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB) said it agreed to give up its harvesting rights to the 100-square-mile Goualogo Triangle forest in the country's remote north. The area is densely populated by chimpanzees, forest elephants, red colobus monkeys, gorillas and other large mammals, and it contains vast tracts of mahogany trees and other valuable hardwoods. "The Goualogo Triangle is a very special place. Timber industry companies, mine included, are not in the habit of walking away from timber-rich forests," CIB President Hinrich Stoll said at a news conference at the Bronx Zoo's Congo gorilla forest exhibit.
The Congo govt will protect the area by adding it to an existing national park. Participants in the deal said this was the first time an African timber company had voluntarily given up its harvesting rights in the name of conservation. CIB decided to withdraw after studies showed the area, which runs between the Ndoki and Goualogo rivers, was virtually untouched by humans, Stoll said. The deal was announced in New York because it was backed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which is based there. Calling the forest Africa's "last Eden," the group said scientists believe it is the most pristine rain forest left in Africa and a wildlife area of global significance.

Surveys conducted by the WCS and CIB showed some of the triangle's wildlife, particularly the chimpanzees, showed little evidence of previous human encounters, which led scientists to believe the area never experienced human intrusion. Surrounded by swamp forests and two rivers, the area's geographic isolation has kept humans out. Chimpanzees in the triangle showed curiosity rather than fear toward researchers and did not flee when approached, unlike chimpanzees familiar with humans, particularly hunters, said Paul Elkan, WCS conservationist. "The most important aspect is that there was no sign of human activity. You feel like you're violating the place, you just don't belong," Elkan said. The privately held CIB leased the land from the Congolese government, which depends heavily on forest resources for economic development.
But Henri Djombo, the nation's minister of forestry economy, said an investment in conservation was not necessarily a loss. "In fact, it is an investment in the future which can include eco-tourism, scientific work and possibilities of game hunting. A sacrifice today is a clear investment in the future," said Djombo. Stoll said logging in the triangle could potentially have been worth $40 million to CIB. Although the company is not getting anything in exchange for giving up its harvesting rights, he said there was plenty of other land in the African nation available for logging.

9/22/00 "Uganda's Museveni in Rwanda" Who won 10/28 soccer match?
"Had the U.N. Security Council showed the necessary determination, it would have intervened in Rwanda in 1994 as the atrocious genocidal killings there started and as the UN Force Commander, Romeo Dallaire, urged it to do. If that had happened, then much of the tragedy which unfurled in Rwanda and Zaire might have been lessened or avoided. "
"DRCongo - has the UN Security Council Fallen Asleep ? " UNAssoc. of U.K.

Carlsson Report Rwanda 12/15/99 ISSA "eyewitness" testimony 4/21/00 re Pres. Kagame's regicide, trigger of genocide
Rwanda's Kagame & Tutsi in Congo
12/16/98 French parliamentary mission final report on Rwanda, set up in March 1998 & headed by socialist legislator Paul Quiles.

Keith Richburg, author Out Of America
"There was this mass denial. After the French troops came in and kind of calmed the situation about three months after it erupted. I was able to go into other parts of Rwanda. There was one area where there was a church service going on. The congregation members, all Hutu because the Tutsi had all been killed in that town, were still going to the same church, they hadn't been evacuated in the southwest zone. The bodies had been buried in mass graves right beside or underneath the church. The stench would come up through the church, and you could smell death. You would ask people in the town, `What happened to all the Tutsi? This town used to be about half Tutsi, half Hutu. Where are the Tutsi?' Holding a handkerchief to their nose to keep away the stench of death, they would just say, `Oh, there were never any Tutsi in this town.'

I got all kinds of explanations from Hutu. A million Hutu walked out of the country, moved into refugee camps in Tanzania and Rwanda, so that gave us a great opportunity to try to find some of these killers and talk to them, figure out what went on. I got a lot of defensiveness. I was quite nervous because a lot of them were very jittery. They still had their machetes, even in the refugee camps. A lot of them still had the blood of their victims on their shirts. And they would say, well, it wasn't their fault. The Tutsi attacked first. They were defending themselves. Some of them said they were defending their president. The president was a Hutu, very popular, especially among these young militias. He formed these militias, that carried out these attacks with the backing of the Rwandan army. Some of these kids had the picture of the president emblazoned on their T-shirts, and they would say, `What we did was defending our president who was assassinated by the Tutsi."

State Dept Crocker on Zimbabwe. Africa Subcomm hearing 6.13.00 9.20.00 Zimbabwe Democracy Act
5.9.00 Blood diamond hearing Africa Subcomm.
6.13.00 Crocker on Zimbabwe
FY 2000 Int Affairs CJS Budget
Atonte Diete-Spiff Sr Policy Advisor U.S. Rep. Wm Jefferson email
202.225.6636 f.1988   240 Cannon H.O.B. WashDC 20515
    US said To Export Torture Weapons
    2.26.01   AP
Dozens of U.S. companies sell weapons and other equipment used overseas for torture, Amnesty Intl said Monday, calling for a ban on the sales. The items include high-tech electroshock weapons, leg irons and serrated thumb cuffs designed to tear flesh if a detainee tries to get free, said a report by the U.S. chapter of the London-based human rights group. "No U.S. company should profit from torture,'' said William F. Schulz, head of the chapter. "The global manufacture, marketing and export of the equipment for torture is a moneymaking business that turns a blind eye to the suffering it causes,'' said the report, "Stopping the Torture Trade.''
Although it is illegal to own some of the equipment in the U.S., Amnesty Intl said the Commerce Dept has granted export licenses for sales valued at $97 million since 1997 under the category of "crime control equipment.'' It said some 80 American companies were involved in the manufacture, marketing and export of the items. An analysis of Commerce data shows Saudi Arabia, Russia, Taiwan, Israel & Egypt as the major recipients of the U.S. equipment, Amnesty said. The report said the group has documented that torturers in those countries use such technology.
  [ what democracy looks like ]

The equipt could also be used for legitimate law enforcement reasons, including to restrain or subdue detainees. But Amnesty spokesman Alistair Hodgett said the group still believes some of them, such as the flesh- tearing thumb cuffs and a belt that emits electric shocks, are "inherently cruel'' and their export thus should be banned outright. Other devices have not been tested for their medical effects, and their export should be suspended, he said. Amnesty released the study as the State Dept was issuing its annual report on human rights around the world. "It is unconscionable that while the U.S. State Dept promotes human rights, the U.S. Commerce Dept has approved export licenses to countries &

G7 Banks on U.S.-Led Rebound

ROME   The Group of Seven richest nations on Saturday sought to calm worries over a slowing global economy and cool a transatlantic spat about who was most responsible for ensuring a recovery. U.S. Treasury Sec. Paul O'Neill said U.S., suffering its sharpest economic slowdown in a decade, is recovering and would return to higher growth rates soon. Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti, host of the afternoon G7 meeting in Rome, said the U.S. economy was expected to grow by 3.0 percent in 2002, from just over 1.0 percent this year. Tremonti said the overall tone of the meeting was fairly positive in terms of the outlook for European growth.
O'Neill was also quick to deny any row with European delegates had developed. He said he had no disagreement with French Finance Minister Laurent Fabius, who issued an unusually blunt pre-meeting statement on Friday saying the U.S. was the main cause of global economic slowdown. …

The G7 also expressed support for International Monetary Fund initiatives in Argentina & Turkey and called for their full implementation, a document drawn up for G7 finance talks and obtained by Reuters showed on Saturday. Emerging markets around the world have been roiled in recent weeks.

Mainstream economists deny basic facts about poverty   8.2.01   Jeff Madrick NY Times

There has been little headway made in the fight against world poverty in the last decade. Yet when G8 leaders met in Genoa, Italy, two weeks ago, they chastised protesters with warnings that they would only obstruct progress for the poor. Considering the facts, that was quite a display of arrogance. The World Bank calculates that a third to a fourth of the world's people still live in severe poverty, and this is based on minimal rates of $1 to $2 a day. The overall proportion has fallen only slightly the last 10 years, and poverty levels have risen in many countries. Moreover, in poor regions, except Asia, income inequality has widened.

The insensitivity to the stunning facts is not limited to Western leaders. Mainstream economists have been notable for their silence. At the John F. Kennedy School of Govt at Harvard, a weekend seminar was held in June on the Clinton administration's economic policies. Yet hardly a word of criticism was raised about the Treasury's heavy- handed advocacy of the rapid liberalization of capital flows, which many mainstream economists now concede contributed to the Asian financial crisis in 1997 & 1998, sending many into poverty. Today, Argentina & New Zealand, once models for the liberalizing policies so widely encouraged by economists and global investors, are in serious trouble. Argentina, which linked its currency to the dollar in 1991, amid plaudits from disciplinarians, totters on the brink of a financial crisis that could sweep up Brazil as well. New Zealand's growth rates are among the worst in the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development. Yet there is little public outcry about mistaken policies.

In June, a small dissenting group of international economists & political scientists met to discuss this absence of a full public discourse. The conference was organized by two Harvard professors, Dani Rodrik, an economist at the Kennedy School, and Roberto Unger, a law professor. In the spring, the two had taught a standing-room-only course at Harvard Law School on alternative development strategies. The participants essentially found themselves up against a wall. Nations have little leeway to adopt policies that deviate from those accepted by institutions like the Intl Monetary Fund or those demanded by the financial markets. If they do, capital flees, interest rates rise and loans are not renewed.
But the truly regrettable paradox is that the strategies advocated by the economic & financial mainstream — reduced govt spending, privatization, unrestricted capital flows and completely free trade — are not the policies that gave rise to the rapid growth of developing nations in the recent past. Had South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand or Brazil been restricted to the policies considered acceptable today, they would not have been such success stories.

As Mr. Rodrik points out, Taiwan & South Korea adopted aggressive industrial policies to subsidize crucial industries. Many of the fastest-growing nations owned & ran major industries and protected infant industries with high tariffs. Govt investment in education was often strong in these nations. Most slowly depreciated their currencies, rather than adopt the floating currencies advocated today (or the fixed-currency regime used by Argentina). In sum, these nations integrated their economies with the advanced world — not right away, but only when they had matured & grown more prosperous.
Moreover, not only are successful policies often abandoned, but as the current plight of Argentina & New Zealand suggests, liberalizing policies often fail, too. Robert Wade, a political scientist at the London School of Economics, argues that few nations that were largely dependent on commodity exports, like New Zealand, have been able to transform themselves into successful producers of advanced goods based on such policies.

For Mr. Wade, such a transformation still requires an industrial policy. At times, to take one example, it may require an import- substitution policy of high tariffs to protect developing domestic industries. But such policies were widely criticized as the main source of failure in Latin America in the 1980's. Mr. Wade counters that it was the indebtedness of many Latin American nations that created crises & poor growth in the 1980's, not import substitution, and that the establishment has essentially twisted the argument in its favor. Neither Mr. Wade nor Mr. Rodrik, whose most recent book is "The New Global Economy & Developing Countries: Making Openness Work" (Overseas Development Council, 1999), says he thinks there is one policy to fit all sizes. Import substitution may be appropriate to some, but not others. Both argue strongly that local conditions should be allowed to determine the right course, not international institutions with universal formulas.
To Mr. Unger, however, the author of "Democracy Realized: The Progressive Alternative" (Verso Books, 1998), only more sweeping change has a chance to work. Mr. Unger proposes not so much a blueprint but a profoundly new direction that includes high levels of govt investment & taxes, required voting and forced savings to buffer states from the influence of intl investors. Mr. Unger says his ideas have certainly not caught on among the establishment, but he is attracting a lot of interest from the younger generation. Given the levels of poverty, this is no surprise.

Yet the protesters in Genoa & elsewhere also naïvely denigrate the value of economic growth. Mr. Wade, for example, points out that there is no evidence that local participation in devising economic strategies, so widely advocated by protesting groups, will provide an answer to alleviating poverty unless it is accompanied by other pro- growth strategies. What is surely the case, however, is that if nations remain under the thumb of single- minded intl investors & their institutional surrogates, there will be little room for new ideas. Mr. Rodrik says the financial turmoil in Turkey, for example, has been made worse by the immediate demands by institutions for liberalization. Mr. Wade says serious industrial policy is hard to undertake in current circumstances. To mitigate the power of the financial markets requires leadership from the powerful themselves. But such leadership is absent not only in Washington & most other Western capitals but also in America's major academic centers.

Dick Cheney Beijing   A $4.05 billion contract signed this weekend between oil giants Shell Chemicals & China National Offshore Oil Corporation marks the biggest ever joint venture in China, state media said on Sunday. The complex, which will in the first phase produce ethylene and petrochemical products, also appears headed for govt approval, judging by the presence of top leaders at the signing ceremony & splashy coverage in state newspapers. The People's Daily ran a front page story on the signing, noting in the headline the attendance of Li Peng, the chairman of China's parliament. Xinhua news agency called it China's largest Sino-foreign joint venture. The first phase of construction on the plant in the southern city of Huizhou, Guangdong province, will allow the complex to produce 800,000 tonnes of ethylene and 2.3 million tonnes of petrochem products annually beginning in 2005, Xinhua said.
Shell Chemicals, unit of Royal Dutch/Shell Group will hold 50% stake in the joint venture, Xinhua said. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and the Guangdong Investment & Development Co., both state- owned, will own the other half of the venture, called CNOOC & Shell Petrochemicals Company Ltd. It was unclear whether the investment burden would be shared equally by the two sides. $4.05 billion covers only the first phase of the project, with major construction slated to begin in 2003. Subsequent phase "will involve a huge sum of investment in oil refineries", Xinhua said, without giving details.

The signing marked the culmination of 12 years of negotiations; the project was first put forward in 1988. A framework agreement was reached in the Netherlands in 1997, and the details of the official agreement signed on Saturday were hammered out in August this year, Xinhua said. Zhai Hongxing, who heads the Chinese side of the project, said detailed studies had been conducted on every aspect of the project in order to avoid costly mistakes. "We would rather proceed a little slower and make sure every step is taken correctly," Xinhua quoted Zhai as saying. Shell, which has more than 20 petroleum & petrochemical projects in China, will incorporate several patented technologies in the project to allow production of lower-end chemical products that China is currently incapable of making, Xinhua said. The project is one of several mega-investments by foreign corporations in China this year, including an announced $1.9 billion chip making complex by Motorola Inc ,MOT.N.. China has utilised $330 billion in direct foreign investment since it began market opening reforms in the late 1970s, Xinhua said.

    Statoil Makes Stock Exchange Debut
    6.18.01   AP
OSLO   The Norwegian state oil company Statoil ASA made its debut on the stock exchange on Monday with heavy trading as the govt sold 17.5 percent of its stake to private investors for more than $2.8 billion. The govt set a price of 69 kroner ($7.46) for each of the 383 million shares sold, valuing the entire company at 151 billion kroner ($16.3 billion). The price initially jumped to 72 kroner ($7.38) a share in trading on the Oslo Stock Exchange, but closed at its offering price. Shares worth 5.16 billion kroner ($557.8 million) were traded. Statoil, Norway's largest concern, was created as a entirely state-owned company in 1972 to watch over the Scandinavian country's interests after it became an oil producer following finds in the North Sea.

Norway is now the world's second largest oil exporter, after Saudi Arabia, and Statoil has been the major player on its continental shelf with major interests in most fields. The govt controls most offshore oil reserves through Statoil and the state's direct investment in the fields. Proposals to sell off part of Statoil caused sharp debate in this northern European country of 4.5 million people, because many saw it as selling off the nation's crown jewels. However, parliament endorsed the sale of up to 20 percent of Statoil as the govt and Statoil argued that a partial privatization will give the concern greater flexibility. Partial privatization allows Statoil to raise money through stock sales and potentially trade its stock for those of other oil companies in building international alliances.

How Wall Street created a nation
10.26.01   Russell Mokhiber Corporate Crime Reporter & Robt Weissman ed. Multinational Monitor, auth.
Corporate Predators 1999 Common Courage Press

Oviodio Diaz Espino was working as a corporate lawyer at J.P. Morgan in New York when he went to a Christmas Party in 1997. At the party, Diaz met movie producer Webster Stone. Stone noticed Diaz had a foreign accent and asked him where he was from. Diaz said Panama. Stone asked Diaz who he worked for. Diaz said J.P. Morgan. Stone excitedly threw his arms in the air and said "Oh my God; you are the man I've been looking for!
Did you know that J.P. Morgan was the treasurer of Panama during its first year of existence? Are you aware that the Republic of Panama was created in Suite 1162 of the Waldorf Astoria?"
Stone worked on a script for Robt Redford about a group of Wall St movers & shakers who created Panama. Garry Trudeau was writing the script. The movie project was eventually dropped (too many villains, no heroes), but Stone turned over his files to Diaz, who spent 2 years in records at the New York Public Library for his book,

Somewhere in Africa, a dictator sits in his presidential palace, alone & forlorn. Just recently, he deployed troops to quell an opposition rally and a few unarmed civilians were killed. Nothing out of the ordinary, really; but this time the intl press have descended on his capital. Foreign govts are calling for democratic reforms. And embarrassed intl financial institutions, which have long subsidized the corrupt regime, are openly discussing a loan cutoff.
As he ponders the gross unfairness of his current predicament, the dictator is momentarily despondent. Abruptly, though, a smile comes to his face. There is still plenty of money in his personal checking account, the state treasury, so all is not lost. Far from it. The dictator flips through his Rolodex and reaches for the telephone.

Who's he gonna call? In all likelihood, lobbyist Herman Cohen in Arlington, VA. In recent years, Cohen has emerged as the influence peddler of choice for African despots in need of a public relations buff-up. His access & client list are both sure to grow even more now that GWBush, under whose father Cohen served as asst sec.state for Africa, occupies the White House.
Lobbying for foreign govts almost always poses ethical dilemmas. Adwoa Dunn-Mouton, former Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa staff dir., worked as a lobbyist for several African govts after leaving Capitol Hill. She says that she tried to prod clients to take concrete steps toward democracy that would change intl perceptions about their govts. "They didn't want to hear it," recalls Dunn-Mouton, who resigned after a brief career at the Washington Strategic Group, a Beltway lobbying firm. "The whole point of hiring a lobbyist was to have someone spin the situation so they wouldn't have to make real changes."

"Putting a happy face on murder & mayhem" is how Chas. Lewis, Ctr for Public Integrity exec. dir, describes lobbyists like Cohen who represent foreign dictators. "Most of the countries who hire them have virtually no money, but they need professional schmoozers to promote their regimes," he says. "They're paying for respectability & stature in Washington and, they hope, foreign aid & access to American markets."
Though a relative newcomer to the profession, Cohen has quickly become one of Washington's best-known lobbyists for foreign nations. A key to his success is the contacts he formed, at home & abroad, during 38 year State Dept career where he was Senegal then Gambia ambassador before he was asst Africa sec.state. Cohen cultivated close relations with Mobutu Sese Seko . In 1992 Mobutu's power was eroding and there was a strong internal push for a transition to civilian rule. Pro-democracy forces hoped Cohen, who went to Zaire, would press the tyrant to step down. Instead, he appeared on govt-run television and announced the aging kleptocrat was "enthusiastic for democracy." In S.Africa, Cohen & Bush pere adm lifted all sanctions on the apartheid regime in July 1991, a step opposed by Nelson Mandela, who didn't become president of the country until 3 years later.

After leaving govt service, Cohen became head of the Global Coalition for Africa ¹, World Bank-affiliated org that preaches orthodox pro-business recipes for the continent. In 1994 he & James Woods, dep. asst sec.defense for African affairs under Ronald Reagan & Bush pere, formed Cohen & Woods Intl (CWI). Cohen boasted to Legal Times about the wide range of contacts from heads of state to Central Bank governors that he & his partner enjoyed in Africa. "You can count on one hand the number of [top leaders] we don't know," he said. TransAfrica Forum pres. Randall Robinson asserts in Defending the Spirit: A Black Life in America that Cohen failed to promote democracy while in office, something he could have done "with any competence and half a heart", and that he seeks to collect "representation fees from the very African countries whose interests he formerly held in callous disregard."

In addition to offering clients strategic advice and chasing up foreign investment & aid, CWI staffers write speeches, arrange official U.S. visits, prepare briefing papers, testify before Congress, and spin the media. Disclosure reports reveal regular contact between firm employees and Wash. power centers incl White House, Pentagon, intl lending agencies, and think tanks. CWI also serve as bigwig escorts: They may accompany Mozambique's commercial attaché to a meeting with Edwin Barber at Treasury Dept's Office of African Nations; or they may introduce a top economic adviser of Ivory Coast's president to Michael Newell, Sub-Saharan Africa country manager at U.S. Trade & Development Agency to discuss "grant criteria".
Cohen has an especially easy time getting doors to open in the capital. During 4 month stretch in 1999, he attended a breakfast fundraiser for Rep. Edw. Royce, CA - R who chairs House Intl Relations Subcommittee on Africa; he lunched with Gayle Smith of National Security Council; and he had dinner at his home with Wm Swing, U.S. Congo amb.. He's a Hill regular where he meets with Congressmembers & key aides. "His name carries a lot of weight, with Democrats & Republicans," says Charisse Glassman, staffer for Rep. Donald Payne NJ - D who also sits on the Africa subcommittee.

One of CWI's first big lobbying contracts came in 1995 when the firm agreed, in exchange for $300,000, to coordinate media relations for Gabon pres. Omar Bongo. The firm's stated mission was to present Gabon as a "politically stable & economically successful country" and to "generate awareness of President Bongo and his national & intl accomplishments."

Among those accomplishments was establishing the "very concrete process of democratization & democratic reforms." As ink dried on the contract, State Dept released annual HRts report that found Bongo's security forces were responsible for "many confirmed extra-judicial killings" and that govt-sanctioned torture in Gabon was routine. ("Eyewitnesses reported seeing prisoners tied to chairs, doused with ice water, or made to crawl on their stomachs over gravel or sun-baked asphalt.") As to "the very concrete process of democratization" that had supposedly taken place under Cohen's client who has been in power since 1967, State Dept said the previous election in which Bongo allegedly won 51% of the vote was "marred by serious irregularities, incl a secret vote count that excluded all but govt observers. In Bongo's home region of Haut Ogoue, the number of votes cast for Bongo was greater than the population reported in the 1993 census."
Bongo is not only a thug but a crook as well. It's impossible to know exactly how much money he has stolen from the national treasury, but a 1999 Senate report on money laundering indicates he deposited $130 million with Citibank's private banking dept. The report incl memo that Citibank's Alain Ober, private banking officer who handled the account, sent to several colleagues, which reads: "[I] never asked our client where his money came from. My guess ... is that in view of the importance of our client's country as a provider of cheap oil to France, it was (and still is) important that our client stayed in power and thus the French govt/French oil companies (Elf) made 'donations' to him (very much like we give to PACs in the U.S.!)."

CWI's Gabon contract lasted only a year, but there's been no shortage of business since. Firm's clients included Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, and even Angola despite strong Bush admin support for guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi who waged war on the country. Angola is stronger than Savimbi. Perhaps most notorious CWI client was Charles Taylor of Liberia. He took power following 7 year civil war that Kenneth Cain describes in HRts Quarterly article as "a relentless campaign of sadistic, wanton violence unimaginable to those unfamiliar with the details of man's capacity to visit the abyss." According to Cain, Taylor "inaugurated the use of grade school-age children as scouts, spies, and cannon fodder [and] explicitly employed terror tactics, ethnic cleansing, and political assassinations."
Taylor brought this style of rule to the presidency, which he assumed July 1997. 4 months later, security forces kidnapped prominent oppositionist Samuel Dokie, his wife, a niece, and a cousin as the family was traveling to a wedding. A week later, the 4 were found dead. All had been tortured; Dokie's eyes had been gouged out before he'd been burned & beheaded. In foreign policy, Taylor is chiefly known for his support of Revolutionary United Front rebel group in neighboring Sierra Leone that routinely amputates the hands, legs, ears, and lips of anyone who opposes it.
A 1999 contract provided CWI would be paid $300,000 to assist Taylor in "overcoming obstacles to a constructive relationship" between Liberia & the U.S. govt and otherwise help to ease the country's intl isolation. Targets of CWI's lobbying included govt officials plus "the business community, the press, NGOs, and the academic world." A Capitol Hill staffer who asked not to be identified said CWI understandably under circumstances adopted a low-key approach on behalf of Liberia. "They never tried to say that Taylor was a good guy; they knew they couldn't get away with that," he says. "They'd talk about how cutting off Liberia would be counterproductive and would result in a lessening of U.S. influence." Despite its best efforts, CWI had only mixed results for Taylor. Clinton's admin never imposed the broad sanctions sought by human rights groups, but it did shun the regime and bar all Liberian officials from entering the U.S.

Among CWI's most recent clients until he was murdered in January was Congo pres. Laurent-Desire Kabila who drove Mobutu from power. He was paying the lobby shop $250,000 to build "a more constructive relationship" between Congo & the U.S.. Cohen was working on the project with Edward van Kloberg, who stands out, even within the amoral world of Washington lobbying, for handling accounts that few will touch. His clients have included Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania, and Samuel Doe of Liberia. (Van Kloberg's exertions on behalf of the last two came to a sudden halt when they were murdered in office following years of brutal rule.)
One of Cohen's specific tasks for Congo and for another client, Burkina Faso is to water down legislation that would bar U.S. imports of "blood diamonds," whose sale allows African govts & rebel groups to finance their wars. Industry officials say that blood diamonds account for about 4% of world's $6-billion-a-year trade, while human rights groups argue that 15% is a more accurate estimate. Last year Rep. Tony Hall OH - D introduced legislation that would require diamonds sold in U.S., where two-thirds of all diamond sales take place, be accompanied by a certificate of origin to ensure no blood diamonds would be allowed in the country. Hall staffer Deborah DeYoung recalls Cohen came by the office to voice his opposition to the bill. "He said that our proposal wasn't workable and that we should look at other types of control measures, like monitoring ports," she says. "He was advocating an approach that wouldn't shut down an industry that's important to his clients." In addition to African nations involved in the trade, the diamond industry fiercely lobbied against the legislation. So Hall & other supporters have altered the bill in hopes of getting it through Congress.

CWI's most recent contract, a 5 year deal at $600,000 per annum, was signed last Sept. with Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe govt. At the time, Mugabe was in desperate need of a PR face-lift. His nation's economy was in shambles and 32 people, mostly opposition supporters, had been killed during parliamentary elections held 3 months earlier. Meanwhile, Mugabe's land reform plan which would seize 3,000 properties without compensation and give them to landless blacks was generating criticism, partly at home but mostly abroad.
The contract calls for CWI to take the "necessary steps to overcome recent negative publicity, and to restore enduring trust, confidence & mutual respect between Zimbabwe & the intl community." Firm lobbyists are specifically asked to smooth relations between Zimbabwe & the Intl Monetary Fund, and to "counter anti- Zimbabwe content in the intl media." As part of the latter effort, CWI is to establish a Web site that will provide news from Zimbabwe as well as information about business & tourism opportunities there.
CWI has been working especially hard to head off congressional passage of Zimbabwe Democracy Act, which sailed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last June but stalled on the House side. The bill would cut off American aid to Zimbabwe and require the U.S. govt to oppose any loans to Mugabe's govt by intl lenders. Last Sept., to oppose the bill, Cohen personally met with Rep. Amo Houghton NY - R. According to disclosure forms, Cohen "expressed the view that, while the objectives of promoting democracy & respect for the rule of law were certainly laudable, Zimbabwe should be given a few months to resolve its political crisis rather than rushing to impose external sanctions." Houghton's office refused to comment on the meeting with Cohen.

In an interview with TAP, Cohen defended the role of the lobbyist in general and his firm's work in particular: "We advise clients on their situation in the U.S. and tell them that if they really want to improve relations, here are some things you have to do. We aren't able to get them any privileges that they don't deserve." He said that CWI has turned down clients, for example, former dictatorship of General Sani Abacha in Nigeria, which he called "beyond the pale" and that the firm resigned from the Liberia account after 3 months. "We saw there was nothing to be done, that the govt just wanted us to wave a magic wand [to make its problems go away]." At the same time, Cohen said he'd be happy to renew his firm's contract with Congo if the new govt there so desired, and he acknowledged that CWI hasn't been able to convince the govt of Zimbabwe to improve its record on civil & human rights. "That's beyond our influence," he said.
Given the scope of Africa's troubles, particularly armed conflicts & human rights-abusing govts, Herman Cohen's future prospects are rosy. After all, murder & mayhem are good for business. So, too, is a lack of conscience.

The Secret Battle for the American Mind March 1999   interview John Stauber The Sun   Burson-Marsteller, world's largest PR firm
Stauber: "In its latest reporting year, Burson-Marsteller claimed more than a quarter of a billion dollars in net fees from its clients. And it's only one of a number of PR firms owned by the Young & Rubicam advertising agency. Ironically, I owe my inspiration to Burson- Marsteller, because it was after I caught them infiltrating and spying on a meeting of public-interest activists that I decided to start PR Watch and shine light on this sordid industry."
How Wall Street Created a Nation J.P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt & the Panama Canal (Four Walls Eight Windows, 2001) about corporate hijacking of U.S. foreign policy, govt and corporate interests so entwined you can't tell the difference. As Sen. S.Hayakawa put it years later, "we stole it, fair and square." Last week, we called up a Sullivan & Cromwell managing partner here in Washington and asked if the law firm had any reaction to the allegations that the firm's founding father had engaged in such skullduggery. The partner says, "Well, David McCullough wrote The Path Between the Seas about the Panama Canal ; take a look at it." Diaz says, "McCullough does not dedicate one page to the question about conspiracy & speculation by Wall Street financiers."
Sullivan & Cromwell partner also asked us, "What is the relevance of this story 100 years later?" "A chapter in world history that brought down a French republic, a Colombian govt, created a new republic, shook the political foundations in Washington with corruption and gave birth to American imperialism in Latin America," Diaz says. "It was one of the biggest scams in history." An Embassy official named Larry Richter took over, and assured me that the rumor that the talks had broken down was a result of a misunderstanding; the two sides had merely concluded the latest in a series of negotiations. Richter was candid and friendly. The shooting at lunch, an employee told him, had resulted in the death of a demonstrator; nervous soldiers had fired on the procession. He thought I had more to worry about in Gikondo, where burglars dressed as policemen were said to be entering houses and beating the occupants, and where other opposition demonstrators had been brutally attacked. He warned me to be careful, and wrote down the phone numbers of his Embassy office and his residence. "Give a call if you're still here on Sunday; we play volleyball at my place," he said. I tucked the numbers into my back pocket. A red motorbike-taxi took me back … We alighted at the entrance to the yard … When we had walked no more than twenty paces toward the steep hill leading to the Snake, two soldiers armed with carbines stopped us. They were dressed in fatigues, with jackboots and berets. One bore his rifle properly, with the barrel behind his shoulder, but the shorter one had his reversed, so that the barrel pointed up into the nose of anyone he spoke to. They appeared to be 16 or 17 years old, and both, it soon became evident, were drunk.
Thus began a fearful several-hour saga in which the soldiers, illiterate and unable to speak any language but Kinyarwanda, followed us to the Snake, harassed the concierges, and demanded that I surrender my passport & accompany them to an undisclosed location. That seemed like a bad idea, so I stalled, and took refuge in my room. Once, when they had left momentarily, the concierge came running in to say he'd heard that the surlier of the two planned to return and stab me. … Several soldiers had by this point gathered at the gate to the Snake. I used the owner's phone to call Larry Richter at his home. Not long before midnight, the owner opened his door to a small, armed contingent of tall blond men from the Embassy who grabbed me by either arm, brushed past the Rwandan militia, and spirited me away in a Mitsubishi Montero left running at the gate.
    Intelligence agencies   links
"The CIA is not now nor has ever been a central intelligence agency. It is the covert action arm of the president's foreign policy advisers. In that capacity it overthrows or supports foreign govts while reporting "intelligence" justifying those activities. It shapes its intelligence, even in such critical areas as soviet nuclear weapon capability, to support presidential policy. Disinformation is a large part of its covert action responsibility, and the American people are the primary target audience of its lies."
  Ralph McGehee, Deadly Deceits
CIA says no to hearing on its cooperation record
7.71.01   Reuters

WASHINGTON   CIA Director George Tenet on Tuesday declined to testify at a hearing on the spy agency's record of cooperation with Congress, saying the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee "urged me not to testify." Tenet was listed as the lead witness for Wednesday's hearing titled: "Does the CIA's Refusal to Cooperate With Congressional Inquiries Threaten Effective Oversight of Federal Operations?" But on Tuesday, the CIA chief sent a letter declining to appear to Rep. Stephen Horn, the California Republican who chairs the House Govt Reform

subcommittee on govt efficiency, financial management, and intergovernmental relations.
"I regret to say that neither I nor any CIA representative will testify," Tenet said in the letter obtained by Reuters. Tenet said his decision was "fully compatible with the wishes" of the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who "urged me not to testify" at the hearing. "I am appalled, but not surprised," Horn said in a statement.

"This agency arrogantly appears to believe that it answers only to the (intelligence committees)," he said. "This subcommittee has oversight responsibility for all departments and agencies in the executive branch, and that includes the CIA, whether it likes it or not," Horn said. In his letter Tenet said a House rule stipulated that the intelligence committee had "exclusive" responsibility to review the intelligence community's sources and methods. Horn set this week's hearing after CIA officials in May canceled at the last minute an appearance at a closed-door subcommittee hearing on security of the agency's classified computer systems, an aide said.
Tenet in his letter said the CIA had sought to respond to the subcommittee's request for information about the CIA computer systems and security. "For instance, although we did not answer directly the information systems security questionnaire you sent me, we did advise you that: computer security has been and is a top Intelligence Community priority..." the letter said. The subcommittee planned to have an empty chair at the witness table to mark Tenet's absence on Wednesday. The remaining witnesses for Wednesday's hearing include former CIA Dir. James Woolsey and former Cong. Lee Hamilton D-IN.

9/21/00 Peter Hain Ministerial Conf. on Diamonds Pretoria UN Peacekeeping
2.12.01   6th MONUC report
8/29/00 Sunshine Project   UN Drug Control Program UNDCP administers US-funded work in Uzbekistan & promoting Fusarium testing in Colombia

9/2/00 "How the UN sold its soul to big business" G.Monbiat R.Mader
The Age   UN's metamorphosis began at 1992 Earth Summit. UN Centre on Transnational Corporations, which tried to help weak nations to protect themselves from predatory companies, had recommended that businesses should be internationally regulated. UN refused to circulate its suggestions. Instead summit adopted proposals of Business Council for Sustainable Development, composed of chief executives of big corporations. Unsurprisingly, council had recommended companies should regulate themselves. In 1993 UNCTC was dissolved. In June 1997, president of General Assembly announced that corporations would be given a formal role in UN decision-making. SecGen Kofi Annan suggested he would like to see more opportunities for companies, rather than govts or UN, to set global standards. At beginning of 1998, UN Conference on Trade & Development revealed it works with Intl Chamber of Commerce to help developing countries "formulate competition & consumer protection law" and to facilitate trade. UN until a few years before had sought to defend poor countries from big business, now helping big business to overcome resistance of poor countries. ICC repaid favor by asking world's richest nations to give the UN more money. Annan launched new agency Jan.99 called Business Humanitarian Forum jointly chaired by UN High Commissioner for Refugees & president of Unocal. at the time only major US company still operating in Burma. It was helping Burmese govt build massive gas pipeline which construction involved slave labor, torture & extrajudicial killings. "The business community," Annan explained to Unocal, Nestle, Rio Tinto & other members of the new forum, "is fast becoming one of UN's most important allies. … That is why organisation's doors are open to you as never before." … By making peace with power, the UN has declared war upon the powerless.
Medicin sans frontiere   re Srebrenica
HR Watch Congo campaign
Kremlin said creating 'substitute' for civil society
7.10.01   RFE/RL

According to an article by former State Duma deputy (Yabloko) Viktor Sheinis in "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 7 July, the Kremlin is seeking to "imitate" the institutions of civil society, because "the imitation of democracy require[s] the imitation of civil society." Sheinis suggested that the Kremlin-created Union of Unions is one such imitation and stands in sharp contrast to the Democratic Conference that in fact is an effort by civil society to advance its interests.

HRts commissions to be set up in federal districts
Interregional human rights commissions are to be set up in all seven of the federal districts, Interfax-Eurasia reported on 10 July. Sergei Kirienko, the presidential envoy to the Volga federal district, told a meeting in Nizhnii Novgorod of human rights representatives from the seven districts that these groups will work to ensure that local laws correspond to federal legislation in the human rights area. He said these bodies will also play a role in promoting the reform of the judicial system and in giving advice on interethnic and interconfessional relations. Viliam Smirnov, the deputy chairman of the human rights commission in the Office of the Russian President, said that Putin backs the idea.
A region-level court in Yaroslavl Oblast upheld an earlier decision by the same court liquidating the regional branch of the human rights group Memorial, RFE/RL's Russian Service reported on 11 July. The group is being liquidated because it failed to reregister by September 2000. The group in Yaroslavl was created in 1988 and participated among other things in the construction of a monument to the victims of political repression in the cities of Yaroslavl and Tutaevo. The group also worked together with a television studio to create a series based on interviews with the victims of political repression.

Fred Schauer, acting Dir.   Harvard Univ. Carr * Ctr for Human Rights   ( RFK Ctr )
"focus on the tools and techniques for realizing existing norms" in places of chaos where jurisprudence (re)built from scratch: Kosovo, Mandela's S.Africa, etc.
Programs, press & links
Rwanda connection: served as film premiere theater for Tribunal's promotional feature "funded by the US State Dept's Office of War Crimes Issues, Open Society Institute, & Soros Documentary Fund."
  [ Foggy Bottom = Ivy League aka Skull&Bones;
  affil. is
inevitable: ]
"In our research, we have found a constantly growing group of organizations & individuals [ incl. Carr Ctr ]
pursuing & studying the interaction of information & communications technologies and intl development.
  [ clearcut path to future profit, hegemony & dominion ]
… list of some partners & collaborators in eDevelopment:
IT Group, Harvard U. Ctr for Intl Development
    more Schauer:
Universities Study Group on Catastrophic Terrorism, published by Stanford Univ., in Preventive Defense: An American Security Strategy for the 21st Century, by Ashton Carter & Wm Perry.
Members of the group, which was convened by the Kennedy School of Govt's "Visions of Governance in the 21st Century" Project, are
Universities Study Group on
Catastrophic Terrorism, published by Stanford Univ., in Preventive Defense: An American Security Strategy for the 21st Century, by Ashton Carter & Wm Perry.
Members of the group, which was convened by the Kennedy School of Govt's "Visions of Governance in the 21st Century" Project, are Graham Allison, Zoe Baird, Victor DeMarines, Robert Gates, Jamie Gorelick, Robert Hermann, Philip Heymann, Fred Ikle, Elaine Kamarck, Matthew Meselson, Joseph Nye, William Perry, Larry Potts, Fred Schauer [ likely on panel because group convened by his employer ], J. Terry Scott, Jack Sheehan, Malcolm Sparrow, Herbert Winokur, and Robert Zoellick.

JFK School of Govt homepg "Academic Dean and Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment"   "Schauer's teaching & writing focus on constitutional law, freedom of speech and press, political philosophy, the philosophy of law, and legal constraints on policymaking … He frequently appears before various congressional committees on issues relating to freedom of speech and other questions of constitutional law."
"In addition to appearing before many congressional committees on issues of constitutional law, in recent years he has taught and advised on issues of legal and constitutional development in Australia, Belarus, Chile, Estonia, Mongolia, and South Africa, and has also lectured on legal theory and constitutional law in Canada, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and Taiwan."
[ this much intl exposure makes me think he's CFR/TriLatCom mouthpiece ]

11.8.00 pro-Electoral College Q&A
blessing of Supreme Court rush to judgement on Florida E2K

This panel will explore the question of whether political parties are public or private entities. To what extent do public sector rules apply to parties—concerning issues pertaining to race, sex, sexual orientation, etc. To what degree can and should govt use financial inducements, free air time for candidates, limits on spending or negative advertising, to accomplish its wishes concerning the political process?
Jan Baran, Wiley, Rein & Fielding
Prof. Samuel Issakaroff, Columbia Univ. School of Law
Commissioner Dave Mason, Federal Election Commission
Prof. Fred Schauer
Prof. Jonathan Macey, Cornell Law School … "Everything you do can be watched," cautioned Reitinger, a U.S. Justice Dept official, speaking on privacy rights and the role of the media Friday. Reitinger was one of 12 speakers who gathered for a two-day symposium called "Privacy in the System of Free Expression," held jointly by the Medill School of Journalism, the Law School and the School of Speech. … Commentator Fred Schauer, dean & professor at Harvard University, said citizens worry less about public agencies like the Internal Revenue Service and fret more about private institutions knowing their records. "I am not surprised that courts are giving deference to well-meaning govt attempts to protect the privacy of its citizens," he said.

Stephen Rickard In-house lobbyists for Amnesty International USA 1998
As exec. director of Amnesty International USA, Stephen Rickard works to limit weapons sales to non-democratic regimes and those with persistent human rights violations. Rickard: "if U.S. is going to provide weapons, they should be weapons to countries that aren't keeping dictators in power, that they should be used for external defense not external aggression, and they should be used to defend the people of a country not to repress the people of a country."

11.16.00   speak for RFK Fdtn re award to Dalits (India untouchables) advocate

Authored book on Taiwan HR   China by the UN Commission on HRts in Geneva. "Since the Commission met last year there has been virtually no progress on human rights in China and in many areas conditions have gotten worse," said Stephen Rickard, Legislative Director for AIUSA.
12.8.99 IOHR Hearing on "China, the WTO, and HRts"

3.12.99   at CSCE hearing on Turkey: "There is something Orwellian about calling units that torture and beat children and sexually assault their victims 'anti-terror'police."

9.10.97 HIRC FREEDOM FROM RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION ACT OF 1997, PART II—PRIVATE WITNESSES HEARIN G Washington Office director of Amnesty International, USA. And from 1994 to 1996, Mr. Rickard served as the Senior Advisor for South Asian Affairs in the Department of State. " Twenty-one years ago, I was a sophomore at a little Methodist college in Michigan. I was a preacher's kid, but I was not doing much about human rights, even caring much about persecution of Christians, much less doing anything about it. But fortunately, one day, I read a report about Christians who were being tortured in Brazil. "

RFK Fdtn for HR   sitemap
reports   Human Rights Award $30K.
Now in its 32nd year, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards were founded in 1968 by a group of reporters who covered Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. Dedicated to Robert Kennedy's youngest child, Rory, it is the largest single program that honors outstanding reporting on the problems of the disadvantaged. Known as the "Poor People's Pulitzers," it is one of the few journalism awards in which the winners are judged solely by their peers.
Rep. John Lewis got the 1999 book award

5.99 Human Rights Action Camp w/ Ruckus Society [ Seattle WTO'99 prep ]

1997 : coaching multinational resource extractor on meeting HR demands "controversy surrounding the naming of the new molecular biology building at the Univ. of Texas at Austin (UT) for Jim Bob Moffett, chairman of Freeport- McMoRan Copper & Gold" … "Indonesia once again drops below the cut-off point for civilized life."

An EIR team probing the causes behind the genocidal wars that have been ravaging East and Central Africa over the last four years, has uncovered a covert arms and logistical supply network run out of the U.S. State Department, which mirrors precisely the notorious Iran-Contra arms supply operation of the 1980s. As in the case of then-Vice President George Bush and Col. Oliver North's covert Iran-Contra operations, the arms and logistical supply to marauding forces in East and Central Africa is being organized "off the books," and in direct violation of the official, public policy of the U.S. govt toward the conflicts involved.

The parallel to the Bush-North operations is precise: Incontrovertible evidence accumulated by EIR demonstrates that the same extra-governmental "assets" used by North in widespread illegal narcotics & arms-trafficking, are channelling arms and military aid into Central Africa. In this new "Central African" supply operation, standing in for the drug- smuggling gangsters of the Nicaraguan Contra operation, are the African "rebels" fighting the govts of Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and any other Central African nation targetted by British intelligence's leading warlord in the region, Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni.
The two leading operatives who have been caught red-handed in such dirty operations toward Central Africa are U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Susan Rice, and Roger Winter, executive director of the U.S. ommittee on Refugees. EIR has uncovered two, overlapping operations. First, is the covert supply of arms to the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) of John Garang, which has waged a totally unsuccessful but nevertheless genocidal war against the Sudan govt since 1983. The second involves covert military logistical aid to the so-called rebel forces arrayed against the govt of Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo, an operation being run directly out of the U.S. State Department with the oversight of Rice.

Uganda's 'Dollar' Churches: Legacy of the U.S. Pentecostal Cult. Alleged origin s: "Druid Infiltration of Pentecostalism"

more LaRouche on Africa

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