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					                    PEACE NEGOTIATION WATCH
                                 September 16, 2002

Contents:

       Indonesia    Jakarta proposes draft peace accord to Aceh rebels: report
                    Papua: More Conflict Likely
                    Indonesia: Government and Aceh Rebels to Seek Peace
                    Rebels kill two policemen in Indonesia's Aceh
                    Three Remain Detained in Indonesia

       Congo        U.S., British officials visit eastern Congo to support peace process
                    Congo's president: Free elections possible if peace deals with Rwanda,
                        Uganda successful
                    Rwandan army chief: Rwanda to begin withdrawing troops from Congo in
                        eight days
                    Belgium announces extra aid to reward peace process in Congo

       Kashmir      Kashmir minister killing is "attack on democracy": India
                    Kashmir key to political power in Pakistan: Musharraf
                    Kashmir Vote Sees High Turnout

       Macedonia    Macedonia Opposition Claims Victory
                    Macedonian P.M. Concedes Defeat
                    Elections Seen as Test of Macedonia's Fragile Peace; Voting Is First Since
                        End of Uprising by Ethnic Albanians
                    Timetable of Macedonia's unrest

       Montenegro   Elections not expected to heal Balkans
                    Serbian premier vows not to allow Serbia to become Montenegro's "victim"

       Somalia      Somali peace talks given new outlook as USA, Saudi Arabia join
                       preparation team
                    Somali president says country could become "terrorist playground"
                       because of international neglect
                    Somali peace talks to begin Oct. 15 in Kenya
                    Women demand greater role in Somali peace talks in Kenya

       Sri Lanka    Sri Lankans hope peace talks will convince Tamil rebels to put down their
                        guns for good
                    Sri Lanka peace talks open in Thailand amid hopes for ending separatist
                        war
                    Observers: Sri Lanka peace talks may provide lessons for Kashmir conflict
                    Sri Lanka talks in tourist hot spot

       Sudan        Sudan's Beshir vows to "impose" peace
                    Sudan rejects "imposed" solutions, pressure to resume talks - minister
                    Sudanese government accuses Israel of supporting southern rebels

       Others       Chechen web site publishes peace plan endorsed by separatist president's
                       envoy
                                            INDONESIA
Jakarta proposes draft peace accord to Aceh rebels: report
Agence France Presse 09/10/02

The Indonesian government has proposed a draft peace agreement to the separatist Free Aceh Movement
(GAM) in resource-rich Aceh province, a newspaper reported Tuesday. "We have taken the initiative to
propose a peace agreement and an end to hostilities," top security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
said according to the Jakarta Post daily.

Yudhoyono said the draft peace agreement had been submitted to the Geneva-based Henry Dunant Centre
(HDC), which has brokered a series of peace talks between the Indonesian government and GAM since
2000. "We are now giving the HDC time to communicate with GAM," the minister said. Yudhoyono
declined to give details on the peace agreement but said that along with the draft, the government has also
proposed late September or early October for a resumption of dialogue with the secessionist group.

In their last talks, in May, the government and GAM agreed to meet again. They also agreed to hold a
"democratic all-inclusive dialogue" in Aceh based on an autonomy law and to set up measures to make a
ceasefire hold. But killings have continued unabated.

The government had earlier insisted that the rebels drop their independence demand first if they wanted the
dialogue to continue. But it later relented saying that it was willing to hold another round of talks with the
rebels without conditions.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Supreme Court turned down an appeal by South Aceh GAM commander
Teungku Diladang, who had been sentenced to six years in jail by a court in Medan, North Sumatra, for
illegal weapons possession, lawyer Sedarita Ginting from the Legal Aid Foundation told AFP Tuesday.
Diladang, also known as Muhammad Sukri, was sentenced in October 2000. The Supreme Court ruling was
received by the North Sumatra appeals court last Monday, Ginting said, adding that his client will bring his
case to the United Nations.

An estimated 10,000 people have died since the conflict began in 1976 in the energy-rich province on
Sumatra island, with rights activists putting the toll for this year alone at around 1,000. To curb separatist
sentiment in Aceh, Jakarta has accorded the province a special autonomy that gives Aceh a greater share of
its extensive oil and gas revenues and allows it to implement partial Islamic law.


INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP MEDIA RELEASE
Papua: More Conflict Likely

Jakarta/Brussels, 13 September 2002: The International Crisis Group warns in a new report released
today that violence in Papua could escalate, particularly if the Indonesian military adopts a hard-line
approach to the independence movement. The warning comes less than two weeks after the killing of three
employees of the giant mining company, Freeport, in a well-planned ambush that the military and pro-
independence guerrillas have blamed on each other.

The new report, Indonesia: Resources and Conflict in Papua, a copy of which is attached, highlights the
role that the struggle over land and resources has played in the conflict, pitting the Indonesian state – and
sometimes mining and logging companies – against an independence movement supported by most of the
indigenous population.

In 2001, the central government in Jakarta offered an autonomy package to Papua, but it fell short of local
aspirations. Sidney Jones, ICG’s Indonesia Project Director, said: “There’s a direct correlation between
injustice in the management of natural resources and the strength of pro-independence sentiment in Papua.
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There’s little hope for the autonomy option unless Indonesia ends the abusive practices associated with
resource exploitation.”

ICG notes that the behaviour of the security forces may be the most important factor in easing or
exacerbating the conflict. Many Papuans believe that the involvement of the army special forces, Kopassus,
in the death of independence leader Theys Eluay in November 2001 was part of a broader strategy to
foment unrest in order to justify a crackdown on dissent. Some are interpreting the Freeport attack in the
same light, despite Indonesian government assertions that pro-independence guerrillas (the Free Papua
Movement or OPM) were responsible. In both cases, independent and credible investigations are critical.

The report calls on the Indonesian government to ensure that to the greatest extent possible, security
disturbances are handled by the police, not the military. It calls on the provincial government to restrict and
gradually end the role of military-linked businesses and contracting companies in the extraction of natural
resources. It also urges the provincial government to set up a commission to handle complaints of human
rights violations which implicate resource extraction companies and to reform management of the logging
industry.

ICG directs a number of policy recommendations to the companies themselves. It urges them to consider
the impact that investments will have on the local population and postpone those that may exacerbate the
conflict. It also urges the companies to invest far more time and resources in understanding local cultures
and concerns and to minimise the role of the police and military in guarding resource projects.


INDONESIA: GOVERNMENT AND ACEH REBELS TO SEEK PEACE
By Prangtip Daorueng Inter Press Service 09/13/02

The Indonesian government and Aceh's separatist rebels are scheduled to meet in a few weeks in a
renewed bid for peace although the two sides are still believed to be far apart on the
independence/autonomy question for the Acehnese people. Aceh province, at the northern tip of Sumatra
island, has been fighting a secessionist war against Indonesia's central government since 1976.

The next round of talks are set to be held in Switzerland, either at the end of September or early October,
but the situation on the ground in Aceh remains tense with a half a dozen civilian deaths reported this
month. Jakarta and members of the Free Aceh Movement, known by its Indonesian acronym GAM, are
going through the motions of courting dialogue and conflict resolution, say critics, who add that what is
lacking is mutual trust. The main stumbling block to a settlement is Aceh's status. The Indonesian
government says Aceh must remain part of the country, and military officials say any independence
referendum like East Timor's in 1999 would be a "mistake". But GAM says it is aiming for independence
and has yet to accept Jakarta's autonomy package.

Late last month, Sjafii Ma'arif, the chairman of Indonesia's second largest Muslim organization,
Muhammadiyah, questioned the government's sincerity in helping the Acehnese. The central government's
"empty promises" to ease the Acehnese's economic woes, worsened by the security situation in the
province, "has only forced Acehnese people to turn their eyes to GAM", he said. Sjafii said the peace
dialogue must continue as a counterweight to Indonesia's military approach. "During its military
operations Jakarta had a lot of power but failed to curb the spirit of independence among Acehnese," he
told Antara news agency. "We must change the old approach to the new one -- dialogue."

A ray of hope emerged during the last round of negotiations in Switzerland in May, but failed to stem the
bloodshed in the province rich with natural resources, including natural gas. After the May peace talks
ended, GAM's spokesman in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, Ayah Sofyan, was shot dead by Indonesian
security forces. The incident was eerily reminiscent of January this year when the military shot dead GAM
commander Abdullah Syafi'ie, also after a round of negotiations. In recent months violence in Aceh has
been directed at unarmed civilians by bands of unarmed groups. Like in many other incidents, the
authorities have failed to capture or identify the culprits.
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At the same time, reports from Aceh suggest that more young Acehnese women have joined the ranks of
the GAM foot soldiers, while GAM says the Indonesian security agencies have been recruiting, sometimes
forcefully, young students as informants. Earlier in September, around 30 Aceh rebels ambushed a
convoy of vehicles carrying several top government and security officials, including the provincial
governor, leaving one police officer dead. While Indonesian securities placed the blame on GAM, a
local source familiar with the Aceh peace process said that many Acehnese were unconvinced: "This group
of people could be any group well-trained in armed operations, as the convoy was surrounded by strong
security."

"It is curious that this is the same pattern of violence that occurred prior to many other previous talks,"
where public figures were killed before the official talks began, he noted. "That is why many Acehnese
suspect that some groups of people may not want the peace process to continue," said the source.

Different statements from Jakarta since May have also been adding to the atmosphere of mutual distrust. In
July, media reports said the Indonesian top brass was toying with the idea of imposing martial law in the
province. The issue sparked strong reactions in Aceh, particularly among civil society groups who said this
would only worsen the security situation.

Jakarta appeared to soften its stance on this after the visit by a government delegation to Aceh in July and
August, only to issue the GAM rebels an ultimatum on Aug. 19 to drop their demand for a separate state
and accept the Indonesian government's autonomy package. The penalty for not taking up the autonomy
offer would be the full onslaught of the Indonesian military machine, before any further dialogue could be
entered into, Indonesian chief security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said.

Then, earlier this month, Susilo released a statement saying that the government was prepared to re-engage
in dialogue with the rebels. He made the remarks after a trip to Rome, where he met with members of the
Henry Dunant Centre, a Geneva-based group that is mediating the Aceh peace talks. GAM negotiator
Teuku Kamaruzzaman responded positively to the news. He identified two key issues to be addressed at
future talks - first, the mechanisms to end the hostilities and bring stability and security for Acehnese
residents, and second, the holding of all-inclusive talks as proposed in the May 10 meeting in Geneva.

Sounding less enthusiastic that Susilo, armed forces chief Gen Endriartono Sutarto told the press: "My
soldiers have been trained to wage war, not to organize dialogues. However, that does not mean that TNI
(the Indonesian acronym for the armed forces) will reject the dialogue, which has been favored by the
government."

Analysts are also watching to see if the U.S. government's recent release of military assistance to
Indonesia's military will have any effect on Aceh. Indonesian media reported that last month, U.S.
Secretary of State Colin Powell and retired Gen Anthony Zinni spoke with Indonesian officials on the Aceh
issue. Zinni, a member of an international panel taking part in the peace talks, also visited Aceh earlier this
year.

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) has estimated that the conflict, fuelled by years of
resentment over rights abuses by the military and the meager benefits Aceh received from the revenues
Indonesia gets from its resources -- killed around 2,000 people last year alone.


Rebels kill two policemen in Indonesia's Aceh
Agence France Presse 09/14/02

Separatist militants in Indonesia's Aceh province on Saturday killed two policemen in the latest violence
between rebels and government troops. The two members of the elite police mobile brigade unit were shot
dead by two Free Aceh Movement (GAM) rebels at a street market in the Seuneudon area of North Aceh
district, local GAM spokesman Teungku Jamaika told AFP. One of the policemen died on the spot while
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the other was shot dead a few yards from his colleague after trying to escape, Jamaika said. Aceh police
spokesman Commissioner Taufik Sutiyono confirmed the killing.

Following the mid-day incident, angry police troops set fire to dozens of wood-based stores at the market
after they failed to apprehend the shooters, witnesses said. Sutiyono claimed he had no knowledge of the
incident.

An estimated 10,000 people have died since the conflict began in 1976 in the energy-rich province on
Sumatra island, with rights activists putting the toll for this year alone at around 1,000. Both sides have
tentatively agreed to hold peace talks in Switzerland later this month or in October, media reports have
said.


Three Remain Detained in Indonesia
Associated Press 09/16/02

A Scottish woman, an American woman and their Indonesian translator remained in police custody for a
sixth day Monday in the war-ravaged Indonesian province of Aceh, officers said. The women have not
been charged with anything, but were being questioned over their activities in Aceh, police Maj. Taufik
Sudiono said. They were allegedly carrying a computer disc with digital images and documents relating to
separatist rebels. Lesley Jane McCulloch, a Scottish academic from Tasmania University in Australia, and
Joy Lee Sadler, a retired American health worker from Waterloo, Iowa, were transferred Sunday from a
southern Aceh police station to Medan in North Sumatra, along with interpreter Mitra Binti Amin.

On Monday they were moved to Banda Aceh because police feared that rebels from the Free Aceh
Movement might attack the station where they were previously held, Sudiono said. Government troops
arrested the three women Wednesday in southern Aceh's Keuleut district and handed them over to local
police.

Sadler's family said she had gone to Aceh to treat the sick and injured in refugee camps there.

Her family has appealed for her release, contacting government agencies and civil rights groups in the
United States and Indonesia. "I feel like I am in the dark," Sadler's daughter, Rosilyn Wortham of
Waterloo, said Sunday. "I feel helpless because she is so far away. It is very, very scary. I think about her
and wonder if she is hungry or hurt." U.S. Embassy officials said they had requested access to Sadler but
had not received it. It was not immediately clear why McCulloch was traveling through the war-torn
province.

Rebels have been fighting for independence since 1976 in Aceh, a resource-rich province about 1,100 miles
northwest of the capital, Jakarta. More than 12,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the conflict
in the past decade.

                                                CONGO
U.S., British officials visit eastern Congo to support peace process
By Rodrique Ngowi Associated Press 09/12/02

The United States and Britain are ready to help Congo and Rwanda implement a peace deal, but the two
African nations must first demonstrate a commitment to the agreement intended to end the four-year war in
Congo, a U.S. official said Thursday. "The first thing that has to happen in order for the accord to be
implemented is that the parties themselves have to show that they intend to do so," Alan Eastbarn, head of
the U.S. State Department's office of Central African Affairs, said.

Eastbarn and Nigel Bowie, deputy head of the African department at the British Foreign and
Commonwealth Office, were in Kindu in rebel-held eastern Congo to assess how to assist Congo and
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neighboring Rwanda to implement the peace deal signed on July 30 in South Africa. On Friday, Congolese
President Joseph Kabila, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and South African President Thabo Mbeki were
to meet with President George W. Bush at U.N. headquarters in New York to talk about peace.

Rwanda agreed in the accord to withdraw troops it sent to back Congolese rebels in 1998 in return for
Congo's pledge to disarm and repatriate thousands of Rwandan militiamen who fled to Congo in 1994 after
being implicated in the Rwandan genocide. The Rwandan soldiers and Interahamwe militiamen, who
belong to Rwanda's Hutu majority, fled after the 100-day slaughter in which at least 500,000 people were
killed, most of them from the country's Tutsi minority. The former soldiers and militiamen have been using
Congo as a base from which to attack Rwanda.

The U.S. and Britain are considering offering political, military and humanitarian support to the two central
African nations during implementation of the deal. "We are assessing all these aspects, we are looking at
the whole picture, the entirety of the situation with a positive attitude," Eastbarn said in Kindu where the
Rwandan rebels are supposed to assemble as part of a U.N. program to disarm and demobilize them under
the peace deal.

War broke out in Congo in August 1998 when Rwanda and Uganda backed Congolese rebels seeking to
oust then-President Laurent Kabila, Joseph Kabila's father, who they claimed was backing rebels who
threatened their security. Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia sent troops to back Kabila's government.

Rwanda and Congo are preparing to implement the deal within 90 days after South Africa and the United
Nations complete a secretariat to verify compliance, officials said.



Congo's president: Free elections possible if peace deals with Rwanda, Uganda successful
By Edith M. Lederer Associated Press 09/14/02

Four years after civil war broke out in Congo, President Joseph Kabila held out the prospect Saturday of
national reconciliation and free elections if recent peace deals with Rwanda and Uganda are successful.

Kabila appealed to the U.N. General Assembly to help restore peace and stability to Congo and not react
with "indifference" to the suffering of millions in the country. He urged the United Nations to organize a
conference on peace, security and development in central Africa. Kabila addressed the 190-nation body a
day after answering questions alongside Rwanda's President Joseph Kagame at a closed-door meeting of
the 15-nation Security Council, which has been trying to promote a peace settlement.

Diplomats said the session focused on turning the peace deals - which call for the withdrawal of Rwandan
and Ugandan troops - into practical action. South Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said
"the two presidents expressed their commitment to the agreement." She urged the Security Council to
expand its 3,700-strong U.N. force in Congo to ensure implementation.

Kabila told the General Assembly that a commitment by Kagame to start withdrawing its 30,000 troops
from Congo next week "may mark a decisive phase" in fulfilling Rwanda's promises under a peace deal
signed in Pretoria, South Africa in July. Uganda is already starting to pull out soldiers as called for in the
Sept. 6 peace agreement reached in Luanda, Angola, he said.

Implementation of those agreements will help advance the political process "aimed at national
reconciliation and reunification of the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo with a view to the
prompt holding of free democratic and transparent elections at all levels," Kabila said.

The Congo conflict erupted in August 1998 when Rwanda and Uganda and later Burundi backed
Congolese rebels seeking to oust then-President Laurent Kabila. Troops from Zimbabwe, Namibia and
Angola backed Kabila's government. The peace process picked up after Kabila's January 2001 assassination
and the succession of his son, Joseph.
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Rwandan army chief: Rwanda to begin withdrawing troops from Congo in eight days
By Rodrique Ngowi Associated Press 09/14/02

Rwanda will begin withdrawing thousands of its troops from eastern Congo within days to comply with a
deal to end Congo's four-year war, the Rwandan army chief said Saturday. "We shall begin the pull out in
maybe three or four days in Kindu," a strategic town held by Congolese rebel and allied Rwandan troops,
Maj. Gen. James Kabarebe told The Associated Press.

The withdrawal is in line with a peace deal signed by Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan
President Paul Kagame on July 30 in South Africa. War broke out in Congo in August 1998 when Rwanda
and Uganda-backed Congolese rebels seeking to oust then-President Laurent Kabila, Joseph's father, who
they claimed was backing rebels who threatened their security. Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia sent troops
to back Kabila's government.

Rwanda has an estimated 30,000 troops in eastern Congo. Kagame agreed to the withdrawal in return for
the Congolese government's pledge to disarm and repatriate thousands of Rwandan rebels who fled to
Congo in 1994 after taking part in the genocide in Rwanda.

The former Rwandan soldiers and Interahamwe militiamen, who belong to Rwanda's Hutu majority, fled
after the 100-day slaughter in which at least 500,000 people were killed, most of them from the country's
Tutsi minority. The former soldiers and militiamen have been using Congo as a base from which to attack
Rwanda.

Rwanda has provided the United Nations and South Africa - guarantors of the peace deal - with information
on its plan for withdrawing its troops from Congo, as well as details on the Rwandan armed groups
operating in Congo, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said earlier this week.

Congo's government is yet to submit information concerning the Rwandan rebels in the territory it controls,
particularly information on the whereabouts of their known leaders as agreed in the peace deal, Annan said.

On Friday, Zimbabwe started withdrawing its troops from the key diamond-center of Mbuji-Mayi, one of
the hardest-defended targets during the central African nation's war. And last week, Kabila and his
Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni ratified a peace deal in Luanda, Angola, which includes the
withdrawal of Ugandan forces from Congo within 100 days. Ugandan troops have been backing Congolese
rebels controlling northern and eastern Congo. Namibia had already withdrawn its several hundred troops
and Angola has a "token" force in the country, the U.N. mission in Congo said recently.


Belgium announces extra aid to reward peace process in Congo
Deutsche-Presse Agentur 09/16/02

Belgium wants to reward the peace process in Congo with additional aid, Belgian Premier Guy Verhofstadt
said in Brussels on Monday after a meeting with Congolese President Joseph Kabila. Without giving any
details about the amount of aid intended, he said he was optimistic that the Congolese peace process was
going to be completed by the end of the year. Verhofstadt announced that his country particularly wanted to
help Congo to set up a working administration.

"This is the most important challenge because such an administration does not exist at this stage," he said.
He stressed the importance of the recent peace treaty between Congo and its neighbours, which ended four
years of civil war in the republic.

Seven countries had ultimately been involved in the conflict, with Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia backing
Congo while Uganda and Burundi sided with Rwanda. The warring nations first signed a ceasefire
agreement in 1999. But the foreign armies were slow to withdraw from Congo and the Congolese
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government slow to comply with its pledge to round up the militants inside its borders blamed for
Rwanda's 1994 genocide, observers say. A peace deal was finally signed in late July between Kabila and
his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame, to be implemented by the end of October.

Aid agencies estimate that more than 2 million people have died as a result of the war, mainly from
illnesses and malnutrition brought about by displacement.

                                              KASHMIR
Kashmir minister killing is "attack on democracy": India
By Biman Mukherji Agence France Presse 09/11/02

 India's Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani Wednesday said the killing of an Indian Kashmir state
minister was an attack on democracy and aimed at disrupting the upcoming elections in the state. "These
incidents of violence... are an attack on democracy and intended at subverting the will of the people who
would like to exercise their right to elect an assembly," he said. "If you kill innocent people to achieve
political motive, we cannot call it a freedom struggle. It is just terrorism," he told reporters. Kashmir's law
and parliamentary affairs minister Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, was killed when suspected militants opened fire
as he was addressing a public gathering in the village of Rathnag in the northern Kupwara district. Three of
his police guards were also killed.

Indian Kashmir is due to hold the first stage of a four-phase election for the state assembly on Monday,
when five districts including Kupwara will head to the polls. "We are giving our full attention at this
moment to ensure that the polls in Kashmir are held smoothly and peacefully," Advani said.

But Islamic rebels fighting to end Indian rule in Kashmir have vowed to attack anyone participating in the
polls, while leading separatists have pledged to stay away from the vote. Two groups claimed responsibility
for the attack, the pan-Islamic movement Lashkar-e-Taiba and a previously unknown group called the al-
Arifeen squad. Lashkar was one of two groups which India blamed for an attack on its parliament in
December which triggered a military standoff between India and its arch-rival Pakistan.

At least 36,500 people have died in Kashmir since the start of the insurgency in 1989, according to security
forces. Separatists put the death toll twice as high. India accuses Pakistan of backing militants waging an
armed insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Advani said there was no possibility of dialogue or other diplomatic initiatives with Pakistan until it
stopped infiltration of militants. "For India, we can only say that we have been facing an undeclared war
called terrorism for the last two decades. It is an undeclared war," he said. "Therefore, if India feels we
should hold peace talks with Pakistan only if this undeclared war ends, it is a justified and legitimate
approach. Our response will depend on the action on the ground (by Pakistan)," Advani said. Pakistan says
it has already clamped down on infiltration.

Advani, who was attending a memorial event in New Delhi for the victims of the September 11 attacks,
said the government was confident of restoring peace in Kashmir because a similar and seemingly-
intractable problem of militant-linked separatist violence in the northern state of Punjab in the 1980s was
resolved. "I used to feel then that perhaps Punjab will never be same again. But today the situation has
totally changed," he said. "It is this which gives us confidence that we will bring about normalcy in Jammu
and Kashmir as we did in Punjab," Advani added.


Kashmir key to political power in Pakistan: Musharraf
Agence France Presse 09/13/02

 Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said Friday he would be forced from power if he ever dropped the
stipulation that Kashmir was the core dispute governing relations with arch-rival India. While calling on
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India to return to the negotiating table, Musharraf said any talks had to accept the "reality" that the bitter
territorial dispute over Kashmir was the main issue undermining peace in South Asia.

"No leader. No government of Pakistan can ever sidestep on the issue of Kashmir ... because the people of
Pakistan, each individual, is involved," he said in an address to the Asia Society in New York. "It is not
possible. Nobody can do it. He'll be eliminated. He'll be out of government. He'll be defeated. His
government will be defeated."

Previous Indo-Pakistan peace talks have usually foundered before they could begin because of
disagreements on how to approach the Kashmir issue -- cause of two full-blown wars between the nuclear-
capable neighbours. Pakistan argues that resolving the Kashmir dispute is a pre-condition to peace and
should therefore be the prime focus of any negotiations. India wants Kashmir to be discussed as just one of
many issues within the overall sphere of bilateral relations. Recent tensions over Kashmir and Indian
allegations of Pakistani-sponsored cross-border terrorism, have resulted in both countries deploying an
estimated one million troops on their shared frontier.

Musharraf said it was also time that India dropped its opposition to outside mediation in the Kashmir
question. "We have been trying for all these years through a bilateral approach to move forward on
Kashmir, and where has it ended? Nowhere," the president said. "If bilateralism is not producing results
then certainly mediation or third party involvement is the answer," he said, adding that the United States
was better positioned to play a role than a regional grouping like the South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation. "SAARC is an impotent organisation quite frankly," he said.

Kashmir Vote Sees High Turnout
By Tim Sullivan Associated Press 09/16/02

Voters in Kashmir defied threats by Muslim militants and turned out in greater numbers than expected
Monday for state elections in Indian-controlled Kashmir, electoral officials said. Though one civilian was
killed and there were scattered acts of violence, thousands of soldiers were deployed across the Himalayan
province and the separatists failed to significantly disrupt the voting.

Kashmir, a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for five decades, had seen increasingly bloody attacks in
recent weeks, with militants opposed to the election - and in favor of independence or union with Pakistan -
stepping up their campaigns. The militants have threatened to kill anyone who participates in the vote,
which will be held over four days stretching into October. No results are expected to be made public until
Oct. 12. The relatively high turnout of 44 percent reported Monday by elections officials - intelligence
officials had anticipated a 35 percent showing - may partly be in response to separatists who ran as
independent candidates. In legislative elections in 1996, voter turnout was reported at 54 percent, but that
figure is widely believed to have been inflated.

While the state's largest separatist alliance called for an election boycott, the independent candidates said
voting was necessary to drive the ruling National Conference party from power. "The locals found saviors
in these independent candidates because they want someone to save them from the oppression of the
government and the security forces," said independent candidate Abdul Haq Khan. Many voters agreed.
"The ruling party has done nothing for us," said Abdul Khaliq Malik, a civil servant. "Whatever they get
they kept in their pockets." He said he voted and the militant threats did not frighten him: "This is our
freedom, to choose who we want, so why should we be scared?"

Kashmir's main separatist alliance claimed many voters were forced to cast ballots. "The army security
forces and police entered into villages and coerced people to vote," said Abdul Ghani Bhat, chairman of the
All Parties Hurriyat Conference. "We are scared, but if we don't come out the army will force us," said
Ghulam Qadir Malik, a 65-year-old farmer. "In the morning, the army searched our house and told us to
vote." He said that in 1996, soldiers came to the town and beat those who did not vote.

Despite the tight security, a 16-year-old boy was killed and voting was briefly disrupted by a rocket fired at
a polling booth in the village of Seri Khwaja. Elsewhere, two civilians were injured in a grenade explosion.
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An Indian army said five militants were killed Monday in a clash with soldiers. The army said the guerrillas
belonged to the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba.

Few voters turned out in the town of Baramula, 40 miles north of Srinagar. "I don't see the possibility of
many people voting here," said Farooq Ahmad, a vegetable seller, peering out his door on a desolate street.
People are afraid, he said. An Associated Press correspondent in Baramula saw soldiers walking door to
door, urging people to vote. The district recorded the lowest voter turnout Monday, 37 percent. Nearly all
shops and businesses remained closed in the Kashmir Valley in response to a call for a strike by the
Hurriyat Conference.

More than 60,000 people have been killed in fighting between the government and insurgents in Kashmir
since 1989. The former princely state is divided between India and Pakistan, nuclear-armed rivals that have
twice gone to war over the Himalayan enclave.

India says Pakistan is trying to sabotage the elections by sending Islamic militants to stage terror attacks.
Pakistan said Monday the elections were a sham, with Foreign Ministry Spokesman Aziz Ahmed saying
"The Kashmiri people have rejected the elections." The United Jehad Council in Pakistan-controlled
portion of Kashmir said the boycott was successful, and its chairman, Syed Salahuddin, issued a statement
thanking Kashmiris.

Separatists allege the government has fixed previous elections. The Indian government is trying to show
that these elections are free and fair. For the first time, electronic voting machines were used in Kashmir.
Foreign diplomats from a dozen countries, including the United States, Britain, Canada, France and
Germany, were monitoring the polls.


                                           MACEDONIA

Macedonia Opposition Claims Victory
By William J. Kole The Associated Press 09/15/02

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) - Claiming victory, opposition supporters fired guns into the air in celebration
Sunday night after Macedonians and ethnic Albanians set aside bitter rivalries to vote in the first elections
since ethnic warfare engulfed the country.

Although the first unofficial results were not expected until Monday, an opposition Macedonian bloc led by
a former communist and a new party headed by a popular ex-rebel leader said their own vote counts
showed they had ousted the current ruling Macedonian and ethnic Albanian parties.

Arben Xhaferi, leader of the Democratic Party of Albanians, conceded victory late Sunday to former rebel
leader Ali Ahmeti, whose Union for Democratic Integration claimed a landslide win. ``We will cooperate
with Ahmeti's party and work for the Albanian cause,'' Xhaferi said.

Jubilant supporters were celebrating at Ahmeti's campaign headquarters near the northwestern city of
Tetovo, chanting, singing and playing traditional Albanian instruments as bodyguards armed with
Kalashnikov rifles stood guard outside. Celebratory gunfire also could be heard in the capital, Skopje.

Ethnic Albanians praised Ahmeti for helping to lead last year's six-month guerrilla uprising, an effort to
win greater rights for the minority, which accounts for about a third of Macedonia's 2.2 million people.
Ahmeti, who now advocates ethnic reconciliation, enjoys almost hero status among many ethnic Albanians,
although Macedonians consider him a terrorist and the authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest.

On the Macedonian side, the Together for Macedonia coalition led by former communist Branko
Crvenkovski was celebrating victory over Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski's ruling VMRO party, which
acknowledged it was trailing in many voting stations.
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                                                 09/16/02


Signs outside polling stations warned voters to leave their guns at home, but the parliamentary vote - a
crucial test of Macedonia's fragile peace - was free of major violence. State television said the turnout
surpassed 70 percent, the strongest in 20 years. ``We have suffered so much. It's time for change,'' said
Macedonian voter Elenica Janevska, 75, summing up the national mood.

Ahmeti said the strong response reflected ``a big desire to install a real democracy.'' ``With their votes, they
will establish peace and stability,'' he said.

Security was tight for the elections: 3,500 specially trained police officers were deployed nationwide, and
NATO-led troops monitoring the Western-brokered peace agreement that ended the insurgency in August
2001 patrolled into the night in some restive areas. To guard against fraud, the Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe mobilized 900 observers in its largest-ever election mission.

Although authorities reported no significant unrest, members of rival ethnic Albanian parties clashed in a
village in the volatile northwest, and a party activist was injured when he was struck on the head with a
rifle butt, the state electoral commission said. Outside Tetovo, a rebel stronghold, police arrested four
Macedonians after unidentified gunmen entered a small polling station, beat up an election worker and took
ballot boxes, firing in the air as they left. In Ohrid, the southwestern city where the peace accord was
hammered out, a Macedonian television cameraman suffered slight head injuries while filming a quarrel
between rival parties.

``We did not have major incidents. The general picture of these elections is that they were calm and rather
peaceful,'' said OSCE spokesman Florin Pasniku.


The vote for the 120-seat parliament was the fourth since Macedonia peacefully split from Yugoslavia in
1991. It was considered critical in defusing lingering tensions between Christian Orthodox Macedonians
and minority Muslim ethnic Albanians. Ethnic Albanians held just 24 seats going into Sunday's elections,
where more than 3,300 candidates from 30 parties were competing for seats.

The real test comes later this month, when the parties that win the most Macedonian and ethnic Albanian
votes attempt to form a coalition government. The peace deal that ended the conflict gave the ethnic
Albanians broader rights in return for the disarming of the rebels. But the reconciliation process remains
threatened by hard-liners on both sides.


Macedonian P.M. Concedes Defeat
The Associated Press 09/15/02

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) - Macedonia's prime minister conceded defeat for his ruling party early Monday
after the troubled Balkan country's first elections since convulsing in ethnic warfare last year. Prime
Minister Ljubco Georgievski confirmed that the ruling Macedonian party, known as VMRO, was ousted
from the government in Sunday's parliamentary elections by the opposition Together for Macedonia
coalition led by former communist Branko Crvenkovski. ``At this moment, it is fully clear that we will not
be able to form a new government, and we are congratulating the winner,'' Georgievski said. ``These were
the most democratic elections in the history of Macedonia.''

Georgievski's concession came just hours after the leader of the Democratic Party of Albanians, the junior
partner in the governing coalition, also acknowledged defeat to a new party headed by a popular former
rebel leader. Arben Xhaferi, leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Albanians, conceded the election late
Sunday to former rebel leader Ali Ahmeti, whose Union for Democratic Integration claimed a landslide
win. ``We will cooperate with Ahmeti's party and work for the Albanian cause,'' Xhaferi said.

Jubilant supporters were celebrating at Ahmeti's campaign headquarters near the northwestern city of
Tetovo, chanting, singing and playing traditional Albanian instruments as bodyguards armed with
                                         Peace Negotiation Watch 2
                                                 09/16/02

Kalashnikov rifles stood guard outside. Celebratory gunfire also rang out in the capital, Skopje. Ethnic
Albanians praised Ahmeti for helping to lead last year's six-month guerrilla uprising, an effort to win
greater rights for the minority, which accounts for about a third of Macedonia's 2.2 million people. Ahmeti,
who now advocates ethnic reconciliation, enjoys almost hero status among many ethnic Albanians,
although Macedonians consider him a terrorist and the authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest.

On the Macedonian side, the Together for Macedonia coalition led by former communist Branko
Crvenkovski was celebrating victory over Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski's ruling VMRO party, which
acknowledged it was trailing amid widespread voter discontent with a government seen as corrupt and
detached.

Signs outside polling stations warned voters to leave their guns at home, but the parliamentary vote - a
crucial test of Macedonia's fragile peace - was free of major violence. State television said the turnout
surpassed 70 percent, the strongest in 20 years. ``We have suffered so much. It's time for change,'' said
Macedonian voter Elenica Janevska, 75, summing up the national mood.

Ahmeti said the strong response reflected ``a big desire to install a real democracy.'' ``With their votes, they
will establish peace and stability,'' he said.

Security was tight for the elections: 3,500 specially trained police officers were deployed nationwide, and
NATO-led troops monitoring the Western-brokered peace agreement that ended the insurgency in August
2001 patrolled into the night in some restive areas. To guard against fraud, the Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe mobilized 900 observers in its largest-ever election mission.

Although authorities reported no significant unrest, members of rival ethnic Albanian parties clashed in a
village in the volatile northwest, and a party activist was injured when he was struck on the head with a
rifle butt, the state electoral commission said. Outside Tetovo, a rebel stronghold, police arrested four
Macedonians after unidentified gunmen entered a small polling station, beat up an election worker and took
ballot boxes, firing in the air as they left. In Ohrid, the southwestern city where the peace accord was
hammered out, a Macedonian television cameraman suffered slight head injuries while filming a quarrel
between rival Macedonian parties.

``We did not have major incidents. The general picture of these elections is that they were calm and rather
peaceful,'' said OSCE spokesman Florin Pasniku.

The vote for the 120-seat parliament was the fourth since Macedonia peacefully split from Yugoslavia in
1991. It was considered critical in defusing lingering tensions between Christian Orthodox Macedonians
and minority Muslim ethnic Albanians. Ethnic Albanians held just 24 seats going into Sunday's elections,
where more than 3,300 candidates from 30 parties were competing for seats.

The real test comes later this month, when the winning parties attempt to form a new coalition government.
The peace deal that ended the conflict gave the ethnic Albanians broader rights in return for the disarming
of the rebels. But the reconciliation process remains threatened by hard-liners on both sides. The runup to
the election was rocked by a series of ethnically motivated slayings and kidnappings. Distrust between the
two communities remains high in former front-line villages like Ljuboten on the outskirts of Skopje, which
was shelled for three days by government forces last year. ``How can we trust the Macedonians after what
they did to us?'' asked Osman Mehmeti, a Ljuboten resident.


Elections Seen as Test of Macedonia's Fragile Peace; Voting Is First Since End of Uprising by Ethnic
Albanians
By Nicholas Wood Washington Post 09/14/02

A year after ethnic divisions brought Macedonia to the brink of civil war, voters in this Balkan country will
take part Sunday in elections widely seen as essential to cementing a fragile peace process. Some 800
election monitors, the most ever deployed for an election in Europe, will be on hand for the vote, joining
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                                                09/16/02

700 NATO troops and nearly 200 foreign observers posted in Macedonia since the country's ethnic
Albanian minority abandoned a six-month uprising last summer.

Intense lobbying from U.S. and European diplomats has since spurred Macedonia's parliament to pass
reforms giving minorities greater rights, and international pollsters said last year's conflict may not be
foremost in voters' minds as they fill out their ballots.

"The majority of Macedonians are concerned with the economy, the 40 percent jobless rate," said Steven
Susens, senior manager for communications at the Washington-based International Republican Institute,
which works to advance democracy worldwide. "Their main concern is that the government helps to get
people back to work."

In a sign of how much has changed since the rebellion's end, one of the leading candidates is Ali Ahmeti,
former commander of the National Liberation Army, the now-disarmed Albanian guerrilla group. "We
guarantee we will have peace and security in this place for a long time," Ahmeti told a crowd of about
10,000 people in the ethnic Albanian-dominated town of Gostivar. "I am not a chauvinist; I am not a
nationalist."

Nevertheless, ethnic tensions remain a concern. Seven people, including three policemen, have been killed
in political violence in the last three weeks. On Friday, police shot an ethnic Albanian in a gunfight in the
village of Celopek, northwest of Skopje, the capital.

During its campaign to retain power, the coalition government's main party, the Internal Macedonian
Revolutionary Organization, has appealed to nationalist sentiment and blamed preelection violence on
Ahmeti's supporters. "We ask for your trust so we will not be blackmailed by various international
organizations or any Albanian extremists," Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski, the party's leader, told
supporters Thursday at his final campaign rally in Skopje. The government's hawkish interior minister,
Ljube Boskovski, said at the same rally: "There is one thing I promised but couldn't fulfill, and that was
that I was going to arrest Ali Ahmeti. . . . After our victory, Ahmeti is going to surrender to our new
government and end as all criminals do."

The campaign has been fought almost entirely within the two separate ethnic camps, with Macedonian and
ethnic Albanian parties competing for the votes of their own communities and little voting expected across
ethnic lines.

A survey conducted by a local polling organization, the Institute of Solidarity and Democracy, suggests
Ahmeti's party, the Democratic Union for Integration, has at least twice the support of any of its ethnic
Albanian rivals. In the Macedonian community, however, there is friction between the two main parties,
and the question of whether they will accept the election results has concerned some diplomats. Many
Macedonians remain extremely uncomfortable with the prospect of Ahmeti's party entering a coalition
government, and Georgievski's party has called on its main rival, the Social Democratic Union, to publicly
reject the idea of sharing power with the former guerrillas.

The Social Democrats' leader, former prime minister Branko Crvenkovski, adopted a conciliatory note
during his final campaign speech in Skopje. "A man who cannot forgive is not a man," he told supporters at
a rally that more resembled a rock concert than a political gathering. Crvenkovski has threatened to hold
mass demonstrations in Skopje if the government "cheats" the electorate: "I say to those who are going to
lose not to play with our nation. . . . I tell you that we will go to the end -- either their end or our end."


Timetable of Macedonia's unrest
Agence France Presse 09/15/02

 Macedonians went to the polls Sunday for elections seen as the crucial final stage of a peace deal agreed
last year after a seven-month uprising by ethnic Albanian guerrillas which threatened to spark another
Balkan war. The accords avoided all-out civil war in the former Yugoslav republic of some two million
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                                                09/16/02

people, but tensions remain and peace is still far from assured. Following is a timetable of the troubles in
Macedonia and the peace process:

January 2001
22: One policeman is killed and two others are injured in a rocket attack on a police station in Tearce, near
the northwestern town of Tetovo. The attack is the first to be claimed by the Macedonian ethnic Albanian
group the National Liberation Army (NLA). February

12: Fighting breaks out between Macedonian security forces and NLA rebels in mountainous northwest
Macedonia.

March
14: Rebels occupy a dozen villages around Tetovo before being chased out by Macedonian forces on the
25th. Fighting shifts further east.

April
28: Eight soldiers and police are killed by ethnic Albanian rebels in ambush near Tetovo.

May
8: Formation of a government of national unity with general elections to be held before January 2002. State
of war lifted as Skopje bows to international pressure.

June
11: Army and rebels announce a ceasefire.

12: The government adopts President Boris Trajkovski's peace plan, which calls for an amnesty for the
guerrillas and NATO support in disarming the rebels.

15-20: Talks between government and rebels break down. Trajkovski accuses ethnic Albanians of wanting
to "federalise" the country.

24: EU envoy Javier Solana brokers a ceasefire.

July
4: EU and US representatives achieve a breakthrough by getting agreement on discussions for reform of the
constitution.

5: A NATO-mediated ceasefire takes effect between warring factions, but fighting continues.

19: Bomb attacks in Skopje. Guerrillas regroup as ethnic Albanian parties pull out of discussions.

26: The NLA agrees to withdraw from zones it occupied for three weeks in the northwest.

28: Internationally mediated peace negotiations begin in the southwestern town of Ohrid.

August
1: Agreement is reached on a key sticking point in the peace talks: the Albanian language is to become
official in areas where Albanian-speaking people make up at least 20 percent of the population.

5: Agreement is reached on reform of the police force in areas inhabited by ethnic Albanians.

8: Ten Macedonian soldiers are killed in a rebel ambush on an army convoy, the deadliest attack of the
uprising. Intense fighting ensues.

10: Seven soldiers are killed by a landmine explosion. Hundreds of protesters try to storm the US embassy.
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                                                09/16/02


12: Macedonian forces declare a unilateral ceasefire.

13: Macedonian and ethnic Albanian parties sign a peace accord.

14: Ethnic Albanian guerrillas sign an agreement with NATO to disarm.

15: NATO approves in principle sending 3,500 troops to collect weapons from rebels.

17: An advance party of British, Czech and French troops arrives in Macedonia.

22: Official launch of NATO's Operation Essential Harvest.

September
26: NATO ends operation Essential Harvest, having collected 3,875 weapons, and launches the Amber Fox
peacekeeping mission the next day.

October
22: Macedonian police begin to re-enter areas controlled by the rebels during the uprising.

November
15: Parliament adopts new constitution guaranteeing better rights for the ethnic-Albanian population.

March 2002
7: Parliament approves amnesties for former rebels, another key condition of the peace accord.

July
15: Albanian becomes the second official language.

August
26: Ethnic Albanian gunmen kill two Macedonian policemen south of Tetovo.

28: Government threatens to arrest former NLA political leader Ali Ahmeti, a candidate for the upcoming
elections, despite the amnesties agreed at Ohrid.

29: Five Slav Macedonians kidnapped by ethnic Albanians and released two days later.

September
12: An ethnic Albanian policeman is killed during a gun battle at a police post near the Kosovo border.

13: A suspected militant is killed in a shootout with police in the flashpoint northwest Macedonian town of
Tetovo, fueling fears that extremists could disrupt the elections. The same day, three gunmen open fire on a
Macedonian army patrol at the border.

15: Parliamentary elections.

                                         MONTENEGRO
Elections not expected to heal Balkans
Reuters and The Associated Press 09/12/02

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- The billboards of Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro are plastered
with posters this month for an autumn of elections that may help repair the shattered politics of the Balkans.
But no one expects a great leap forward. In a decade that saw the old Yugoslav federation fly apart, the
foundations of society were fractured too deeply by war and Western intervention to expect full recovery so
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                                                 09/16/02

soon.

The one chapter due to close for good is that of Yugoslavia itself: The federation that collapsed from six
republics under Marshal Tito to two today will be dead and buried by the year's end if a new association
deal between Serbia and Montenegro sticks. Macedonia kicks off the round of balloting with a general
election Sunday, the first poll since its 2 million people were rescued from a violent ethnic conflict last year
by international intervention.

A power-sharing coalition of Macedonians and ethnic Albanians is assured, possibly including a new party
led by ex-guerrillas who accepted a peace deal a year ago. But violence or fraud could throw the country
back into ferment and revive questions about its long-term viability as a single republic. The small NATO
force of 700 is not yet packing to go.

Serbia, with nearly four times as many people, will vote Sept. 29 in round one of a presidential election
with little risk of violence but with a political outcome that could be momentous.

There is plenty of intrigue as Slobodan Milosevic's successor jockeys for power in a new post in
Yugoslavia's dominant republic.

Vojislav Kostunica, a moderate nationalist, has been Yugoslavia's federal president ever since Milosevic,
now on trial for genocide and war crimes, was ousted in October 2000. Hopes were high that Kostunica
would lead the country out of years of Milosevic-era ruin. Instead, he has been preoccupied with a long-
running feud with Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

And, while Serbs in the NATO- and U.N.-controlled province of Kosovo may take part in the election, the
overwhelming majority of ethnic Albanians will ignore it. The only future they want is independence,
which no one is offering them. The NATO-led peace mission in Kosovo is to slim down to 33,200 troops
from 38,000 by the year's end but has no fixed date for its ultimate exit, and few people would take bets.

Bosnia-Herzegovina will hold general and presidential elections Oct. 5, organizing everything on its own
for the first time since NATO and the United Nations came in as mentors of the war-ravaged republic in
1996. It will be the country's fourth major election in six years, but observers see little prospect of change
in voting patterns that favor nationalist parties in the Serb- and Croat-dominated areas and multiethnic
parties in Muslim regions. Frustratingly for the West, which has poured billions into Bosnia, the Serb
Democratic Party of fugitive war-crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic is expected to preserve its status as the
strongest party in the Bosnian Serb part of the country. The Western alliance will maintain 12,000 troops in
Bosnia into 2003.

The fate of Montenegro's 650,000 people is supposed to be on hold for three years under a deal engineered
by the West that puts off a decision on independence and maintains their union with Serbia for that period,
albeit in a much looser form. But ultimate independence is likely to be the main theme on voters' minds as
they go to the polls in an early general election Oct. 6. President Milo Djukanovic, whose independence
drive is being thwarted by a European Union averse to the prospect of yet more small Balkan states, will
fight to retain power.


Serbian premier vows not to allow Serbia to become Montenegro's "victim"
Text of report by Serbian news agency Beta BBC 09/13/02

Belgrade, 12 September: Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic said this evening that he would not allow
Serbia to fall victim to "the smaller federal unit" and promised to take care of the interests of the people of
Serbia. “A federation with Montenegro is not good for Serbia, but, for various reasons, it is good for Serbia
to have a common state with Montenegro,” Djindjic said in this evening's interview for Belgrade's Studio B
television.

He stressed that a rational state should be formed with Montenegro, which, in his view, should be done
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                                                09/16/02

"without any great love". The common state consists of "95-per cent Serbia and 5-per cent Montenegro"
and therefore "the right measure should be struck" to make sure that Serbia should not become "a victim of
a small federal unit", the Serbian prime minister said. He stressed that his job is to protect the people of
Serbia as taxpayers in the future common state with Montenegro.

"We have struck a deal that ensures that Serbia and Montenegro should manage a part of the wealth they
create," Djindjic said. He noted that "there is too much drama being enacted" about the way of electing
deputies to the future parliament of the common state of Serbia and Montenegro as the only remaining
question in dispute in the drafting of the Constitutional Charter.

Djindjic said also that DOS had proposed that the constitutional charter should include the formula that the
parliament would reflect the will of the people, that it would be elected in conformity with European
standards and that it would be elected within 60 days of adoption of the charter in the parliaments of the
federal units .

The Serbian prime minister said that he, Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, and Dragoljub Micunovic,
Speaker of the Yugoslav Assembly's Chamber of Citizens, had the same goal and the good will to see the
charter adopted, but did not have the same approach. Djindjic said that, if he were in the shoes of the
Montenegrin negotiators to the talks on the future state, "he would embrace Serbia and say: I want
brotherhood and unity, and I want us to share everything down the middle. Most politicians in Serbia would
say, 'excellent, let us make a federation with a strong parliament, elected by direct ballot, and go half and
half in all bodies of power. Luckily, the desire for independence has carried the day in Montenegro at the
expense of their best interests," the Serbian prime minister said.

                                              SOMALIA
Somali peace talks given new outlook as USA, Saudi Arabia join preparation team
Text of report by Somali newspaper Xog-Ogaal BBC 09/10/02

 Reports reaching us from Nairobi, Kenya, say that in a meeting held recently by the Inter-Governmental
Authority on Development IGAD ministers , which, during its conclusion, was attended by other countries
interested in Somali affairs, an agreement was reached that the interested countries should assume a bigger
role in the preparations of the upcoming Somali peace talks, scheduled to be held in Kenya. In order to
discuss this, the two sides convened a special session on the matter.

According to the report, countries interested in Somali issues include the USA, the EU and the Arab
League, particularly Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which will consistently have their representatives in the
organization of the Somali peace talks, and which will be entitled to be involved and informed on all
matters relating to the talks. The report further said that many issues earlier announced by Kenya's minister
of foreign affairs at the IGAD ministerial meeting have been changed, including postponement of the date
of the talks to 15 October from late September . The fresh date was requested by the interested countries,
which called for broad-based Somali peace talks.

It was agreed that the technical committee designated to organize the talks, together with some members
from countries interested in the Somali affairs, should revisit all Somali regions with the intention of
holding further consultations with the Somali factions, earlier met by the committee.

The main reason why the talks had to be delayed this time round is reportedly due to the fact that many
countries were planning for the UN General Assembly. There was also a lack of a readily prepared list of
participants for the talks, contrary to many popular assumption.

Issues that remained unaffected as announced by the Kenyan minister include the participation in the talks
by all Somali faction groups and the Transitional Government of Somalia TGS , which will be attending
the talks in its capacity as interim government of Somalia.
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                                                09/16/02


The ministerial meeting also agreed to send a strong delegation to the Somaliland administration to
ascertain its resolute stand concerning its participation in the forthcoming Somali peace talks.


Somali president says country could become "terrorist playground" because of international neglect
By Andrew England Associated Press 09/10/02

A year after Somalia was branded a possible haven for terrorists, President Abdiqasim Salad Hassan says
the claim could come true because the international community has failed to help his troubled country. If
Somalia does not receive help from the United States and Europe, he said he feared the country would
become "a playground for terrorists."

After Sept. 11, U.S. officials cited the fractured Muslim nation awash with weapons and split into clan-
based fiefdoms as a possible target in Washington's war on terrorism. "The international community did not
help Somalia, unlike other countries like Sierra Leone, like Bosnia," Abdiqasim said in a telephone
interview Monday from Mogadishu, the Somali capital. "The international community failed Somalia; it
seems that there is only nice talk about peace and reconciliation in Somalia, but there is no help."

Abdiqasim and 245 legislators were elected at a peace conference in neighboring Djibouti in August 2000,
which in theory gave Somalia its first central authority since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in
January 1991. But the cash-strapped, weak government has brought little change to the devastated Horn of
Africa nation. Armed factions clash regularly, and civilians die in the process.

Abdiqasim, whose government is scheduled to hold peace talks with opposition faction leaders next month,
said interest in Somalia - largely hostile - was only generated after the terror attacks on New York and
Washington. "Instead of helping Somali people who have suffered for 10 or more years, we see hostile
propaganda ... especially from the West and the Americans," he said. "When the only superpower is saying
it's going to bomb Somalia, everybody is scared, and nobody is helping us."

The United States put al-Itihaad al-Islami, an Islamist group, and Somalia's largest business, Al-Barakaat,
on a list of entities suspected to have links to Osama bin Laden. Al-Barakaat, a telecommunications and
money transfer operation, was forced to close after its assets were frozen, resulting in thousands of lost jobs
and a decline in living conditions of thousands of people in the already impoverished country who depend
on cash remittances from Somalis living abroad. No evidence has been produced to prove the U.S.
allegations.

Abdiqasim said the United States should now realize there are no terrorist training camps in Somalia. But
he warned that individual terrorists could still find in the country because of the general lawlessness and a
3,200-kilometer (1,985-mile) coastline. "We have local terrorists, and we may have ... in that village or that
town, terrorists in hiding. Nobody knows," he said. Without assistance from the international community,
he said, it would be impossible for the government to disarm the hundreds of thousands of gunmen
throughout the country.

In late 1992, a U.S.-led United Nations mission went to Somalia to protect the delivery of relief food to
hundreds of thousands of people threatened with starvation because of drought and fighting. The mission
was forced to leave Somalia in March 1995 after a failed U.S. attempt to remove a key warlord.

Abdiqasim's government, whose three-year term expires next August, has little influence outside
Mogadishu and appears impotent when gun battles break out in the war-ravaged capital. He said the latest
round of peace talks expected next month in neighboring Kenya will be successful if the international
community is serious about helping bring peace to the nation. "How can we overcome all the difficulties
and destruction of 10 years without the help of the international community?" he said. "You just name one
country in the world, from Cambodia to Sierra Leone, which was not helped."
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                                                 09/16/02

Somali peace talks to begin Oct. 15 in Kenya
By Andrew England Associated Press 09/11/02

 Talks aimed at ending more than 10 years of violence and chaos in Somalia will take place in Kenya on
Oct. 15, an official said Wednesday. The talks will involve 300 Somalis from all sectors of society,
including the country's numerous factions leaders, said Elijah Mwangale, Kenya's special envoy for
Somalia.

Previous efforts to bring the fledgling Somali transitional government of President Abdiqasim Salad
Hassan and faction leaders together have failed, both because of disagreement among Somalis but also
because of differences among the countries that make up the regional organization sponsoring the talks.
Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi has hosted two rounds of talks, but a number of Somali faction leaders
backed by Ethiopia have refused to attend.

Abdiqasim's government and independent observers have accused Ethiopia of meddling in Somali affairs in
pursuit of its own interests. The two Horn of Africa countries share a long border and an often acrimonious
history.

"The only opportune time left to resolve the crisis in Somalia is now," Mwangale said. "The leaders of this
continent ... the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic States have demonstrated a new, heightened
commitment and responsibility toward a sustained and well-coordinated peace process for Somalia.”
Mwangale said the talks will be Somali-driven with the first phase concentrating on the Somali groups
deciding who should represent them and what the desired outcome of the peace process should be. He said
the talks would be aimed at the construction of a viable, decentralized Somali state.

From 1969 until his ouster in 1991, President Mohamed Siad Barre ran Somalia as a tightly ruled
centralized state. The leaders of clan-based political factions that overthrew him began fighting with each
other, turning the nation of 7 million into battling fiefdoms ruled by heavily armed militias. The country
that gained independence in 1960 grew out of British-administered Somaliland and the Italian colony of
Somalia.

The first round of talks under the auspices of the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development is
expected to last three weeks, Mwangale said. Abdiqasim and 245-legislators were elected at a gathering of
clan representatives in neighboring Djibouti in August 2000, but the transitional government has little
influence outside Mogadishu, the capital.


Women demand greater role in Somali peace talks in Kenya
Text of report by Kenyan newspaper East African Standard BBC 09/15/02

Somali women have demanded to be given a bigger role in the Somali peace and reconciliation talks
scheduled for 15 October in Nakuru. The chairman of the International Resource Group (IRG) on
governance and the rule of law in the Horn of Africa, Mrs Asha Elmi, complained that women's role in the
peace talks has not been stated. "Until now, it looks like we shall be left out in the cold despite our integral
importance in such talks," Elmi said. She added: "We want our role stipulated. We want to be told what we
will do and what part we shall play in the talks." She said women were still "very much worried" about the
Nakuru peace talks that will be chaired by President Moi.

Elmi made the remarks at Leopard Beach Hotel in Kwale District southeastern Kenya during the closure of
a three-day international seminar on governance and the rule of law. Participants were drawn from the Horn
of Africa states that included host Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti among others.

The chairlady said the last talks on Somalia held in Djibouti gave women their identity "as a clan" for the
first time. "We were very happy in Djibouti during the last peace talks. We were, for the first time,
recognized and identified as the sixth clan. There had been only five male-dominated clans before," she
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said. Elmi reiterated that women hoped the peace talks will be fruitful enough to build a foundation for
future peace in Somalia and the Horn of Africa.

In a related development, the Kenya police skipped a forum to discuss the problems on small firearms
proliferation into the Horn of Africa. The Africa Peace Forum International Resource Group manager,
Ambassador Ochieng Adala, said the Kenya police, one of the major targets of the forum, did not attend the
meeting nor send an apology. He said the deputy police inspector-general of Uganda and ambassador
attended while Kenya was only represented by an official from the Office of the President.

                                             SRI LANKA
Sri Lankans hope peace talks will convince Tamil rebels to put down their guns for good
By Dilip Ganguly Associated Press 09/13/02

 Sri Lankans are not expecting miracles at peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels starting Monday. But they
hope the international exposure will force the rebels to think twice before taking up their guns again. The
three-day talks are scheduled to open in Thailand at a secluded naval base.

"The dream and desire of most Sri Lankans is that the Thailand talks will put the final nail on the coffin of
violence and gun culture in Sri Lanka,” said Jehan Perera, a leading Sri Lankan political analyst. He said it
would take time to consider the core issues of the conflict, but most Sri Lankans hope the international
exposure from the opening peace talks would put pressure on the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam not to
take up arms again.

After 19 years of civil war, one of Asia's longest-running conflicts, the Sri Lankan government and the
rebels signed a Norwegian-brokered cease-fire in February. That deal silenced the guns that have killed
more than 64,500 people on both sides and displaced another 1.6 million people on this tropical island. In
general, the cease-fire has held, though both sides have accused each other of violating provisions of the
agreement on several counts.

On Friday, a Norway-led mission monitoring the peace process said the number of cease-fire violations
dropped from 98 in July to 71 in August, a decline of 28 percent. "This is a clear sign that restoration of
normalcy is underway in Sri Lanka. Both parties are showing considerable restraint and a common
responsibility for restoring peace," a statement quoting mission head Trond Furuhovde said.

Still, the Sri Lankan government is downplaying expectations that a peace deal would be reached in the
first round of talks. Constitutional Affairs minister G.L. Peiris said progress would only come after a series
of meetings. "It is not like an envelope that you put the issue in and seal it and be happy that all is over,"
said Peiris, who will be leading the Sri Lankan delegation. He said the first meeting would be largely
ceremonial with negotiators setting an agenda for future talks and both sides making comments to the
media.

The Sri Lankan government is pleased that their Thai hosts intend to invite all Bangkok-based diplomats,
with special emphasis on G-7 leading industrial nations, to the opening ceremony. The rebels were
expected to say they would shun all violence. "We hope that the first round of talks will focus on
developing a positive atmosphere for future negotiations," said R. Sambanthen, president of the Tamil
National Alliance, a grouping of Tamil political parties that shelved the idea of a separate Tamil nation.
The alliance now backs the rebels in hopes that they will join Sri Lanka's political mainstream.

The cease-fire agreement, though it halted the war, does not mention any arms surrender by the rebels and
this is one factor that is worrying average Sri Lankans most. The rebels have all sorts of military hardware,
including long-range, multi-barrel rocket launchers and anti-aircraft missiles.

Knowing the unreliability of the rebels in the past, the government has not lowered its guard. "I have
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always instructed the army to continue to be in a state of preparedness while strictly observing the cease-
fire," Defense Minister Tilak Marapone told The Associated Press.

The government hopes the peace talks also will bring foreign aid and investment to rebuild the country's
tattered economy. "The peace talks are a curtain raiser to lifting Sri Lanka's profile. The linkage to
investment and economic development is obvious," said Arjunna Mahendran, chairman and director
general of the Board Of Investment of Sri Lanka. The government is hoping for a significant peace
dividend, with a target gross domestic product growth of 3.7 percent this year, from an economic
contraction of 1.4 percent in 2001. "Certainly the launch of peace talks is a significant milestone to trigger a
response. There is currently a very active discussion among development partners," said Peter Harrold, the
World Bank's country director for Sri Lanka. The World Bank is assessing needs in the island's war-
affected areas. The bank's officials have said some dlrs 40 million could be available in an initial aid
package for reconstruction.


Sri Lanka peace talks open in Thailand amid hopes for ending separatist war
By Vijay Joshi Associated Press 09/16/02

The Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels opened landmark peace talks Monday, pledging to do
their utmost to end a 19-year conflict that has claimed at least 64,000 lives. The two sides launched their
first face-to-face talks in seven years with a ceremony at a secluded Thai naval base, The talks, which
lasted about three hours, are scheduled to continue through Wednesday. "Together we repudiate today a
legacy of rancor and hatred, which has torn asunder the fabric of our nation for decades," said G.L. Peiris,
the head of the Sri Lankan delegation.

"We are seriously and sincerely committed to peace and ... we will strive our utmost to ensure the success
of the negotiations," responded Anton Balasingham, the head of the Tamil Tiger delegation. The
negotiations, brokered by Norway, come seven months after Sri Lankan government forces and the Tamil
Tigers signed a cease-fire that has produced the longest period of peace since the war started.

The war "is now behind us," said Peiris. "Our nation has resolved ... that a sea change is necessary, now
that the tempests have abated."

In Colombo, the capital, Sri Lankans flocked to temples, mosques and churches to pray for success. "Our
only prayer is that both parties will work with sincerity. This island has suffered enough," said Surangani
Jayasundere, a secretary who stopped at a Buddhist temple on her way to work. Jeyaraj Kumar, 56, has
worked in a bicycle shop in Colombo since being driven from his home in the northern Jaffna Peninsula by
fighting in 1995. "It has been my dream for the last seven years to go back home and it is only if these talks
are successful that this will be possible," the former trader said.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam have been fighting since 1983 for a separate state for the island's 3.2
million Tamils, claiming discrimination at the hands of the majority Sinhalese. The fighting has killed at
least 64,500 people and displaced another 1.6 million people in the north and the east where most of the
Tamils live.

Although previous attempts at negotiations have failed quickly, political analysts say this time peace has a
real chance because of the commitments both sides have made in the presence of the international
community. "They do realize that there is no championship of a unitary state or establishing a separate state
through force of arms, that there is need to compromise," said Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu of the Peace
Support Group of Sri Lanka. He is in Thailand to observe the talks. The talks will mainly focus on
hammering out the agenda for future talks as well as rehabilitation and reconstruction of war zones.

Balasingham said it was crucial the rebels play a "leading and pivotal role in administration as well as the
economic development of the northeast." Norwegian diplomats and Sri Lanka officials say that several
rounds of talks - perhaps lasting years - are necessary before a final peace accord can be reached. The two
sides plan to meet regularly in Thailand.
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The opening ceremony was held at a beach resort hotel in the presence of international media and
Bangkok-based diplomats - apparently reflecting the government's confidence in achieving success. "The
rewards of peace are great and amount to far more than the absence of war. Peace is about restoring
normalcy in people's daily lives," said Vidar Helgesen, the deputy foreign minister of Norway, a key
mediator. The last round of negotiations broke down in 1995 when the government accused the rebels of
avoiding discussion of substantive political issues.

The international community is also watching the peace talks keenly, as any future aid will depend on the
security situation and accountability of the money spent. In a statement Monday, the Australian Foreign
Ministry announced $4.2 million in aid for Sri Lanka, marked for mine clearance, food aid and
rehabilitation.

Observers: Sri Lanka peace talks may provide lessons for Kashmir conflict
By Vijay Joshi Associated Press 09/16/02

By agreeing to set aside their 19-year-old conflict to talk peace, Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels could set
an example for resolving the Kashmir conflict in neighboring India, Sri Lankan peace activists said
Monday. Sri Lankan government negotiators and the Tamil rebels opened historic peace talks Monday at a
Thai naval base in a bid to end a Tamil separatist war that has claimed more than 64,500 lives.

If India does take tips from the Sri Lankan peace process, it would be a historic irony: India had tried to
broker a peace process between the Tigers and the Sri Lankan government in 1987, which failed miserably
and embroiled India in an unwanted war. "Conflict resolution processes are learning experiences. While no
single case is replicable in another there are indeed broad general lessons to be learnt," said Paikiasothy
Saravanamuttu of the Peace Support Group, a Sri Lankan voluntary group. He is in Thailand to observe the
peace negotiations.

Like Sri Lankan forces, the military in Sri Lanka's giant neighbor India is also trying to put down an
Islamic separatist insurgency in Kashmir. More than 60,000 people have been killed in the Himalayan
region since 1989. "If our (peace) process is successful, the Indian government will be able to learn a
lesson. The question is will India want to," said Jehan Perera, a political analyst, who is also a member of
the Peace Support Group.

There are many similarities between the Tamil and Kashmir conflicts. Tamils are a minority in
predominantly Buddhist Sri Lanka, but form a majority in the north and the east where they want a separate
homeland, complaining of discrimination in jobs and education. Muslims are a majority in Kashmir but a
minority in the predominantly-Hindu India. Their insurgency also was born out of complaints of
discrimination.

But there also are differences between the two wars. While the Tamil insurgency was a one-on-one war, the
Kashmiris are supported by neighboring Pakistan, at least morally and diplomatically. India claims the
support extends to arms and training. While the Tamils and the Sri Lankan army were almost evenly
matched on the battlefield, the Indian army has a vast superiority. It also controls Kashmir, albeit by force
while the Tigers have enjoyed virtual autonomy in the north for the last decade.

Perera said that the Sri Lankan government also tried to follow the Indian strategy of weakening the
militants while trying to win the hearts and minds of the civilians. In a bid to show that the common
Kashmiris are with India, the government held state elections in Kashmir on Monday.

But, Perera said that the Sri Lankan government could neither win the war or the hearts of the Tamils. But
in a valuable lesson for India, Sri Lanka will be able to show "that the peace process is not harming either
side. Both sides are gaining from it," he said.


Sri Lanka talks in tourist hot spot
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By Frances Harrison BBC 09/16/02

The public events of the Sri Lankan peace talks are being held in Thailand's largest resort hotel - a vast
sprawling complex with thousands of rooms. The 250 accredited journalists covering the talks are obscured
by hoards of bucket-and -spade holiday makers wandering around in swimming trunks. It seems to have
passed most people by that peace talks are taking place here that will determine the future of millions of Sri
Lankans. Many hotel staff look blank when asked where the talks are taking place and one Sri Lankan
journalist was horrified to find his taxi driver from the airport initially could not place his country. But then
he suddenly recognised it saying," Ah! Sri Lanka people come for massage!"

The negotiations are taking place behind closed doors in a naval base 30 kilometres away from the hotel. It
is a beautiful spot on the Gulf of Thailand - an oddly serene place to discuss a civil war that the chief
negotiator for the Tamil Tigers, Anton Balasingham, described as "brutal and savage" in his opening
address.

Excitement

Many Sri Lankans who come to Thailand remember the days when both countries were on an economic par
and they blame the civil war for holding them back while Thailand surged forward in development. At
Sattahip the Thai navy have made available five villas - two for each delegation and one for the Norwegian
mediators. There are plans for 12 hours of formal discussions spread over three days. But the organisers
have not ruled out informal meetings in the relaxed setting of the base away from the public eye. Some
members of each delegation have already met one another but this first session is clearly an opportunity for
relationship building.

If the atmosphere at the opening ceremony was anything to go by there will in private be a real effort by
both sides to put the past behind them.

Optimism

The excitement was palpable - the Tigers describing the talks as "an historic peace making event" and the
government calling it "an epoch making exercise in rapprochement" that would "impact profoundly on the
destiny of a nation". There was an overriding sense of optimism which superseded all attempts at caution -
the many warnings that there were no quick fixes to a war that has lasted two decades.

The Norwegian mediator Erik Solheim closed the ceremonies by reminding everyone that what was at
stake was human happiness. He spoke of his lasting impression of a Tamil Tiger policeman who had been
able to visit his family again after seven years because of the peace process.

In this neutral venue, far divorced from the ground reality of a conflict that has killed more than 64000
people, both sides have to keep in mind the millions of individuals who need a peaceful settlement.




                                                  SUDAN
Sudan's Beshir vows to "impose" peace
Agence France Presse 09/10/02

Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir vowed to "impose" peace in Sudan despite a recent offensive by
southern rebels, Sudan's SUNA news agency reported Tuesday. "Peace is coming, despite... the rebels,
agents and traitors," Beshir said while inaugurating Monday a plant producing tanks, armored vehicles,
other military equipment and agricultural machinery in Giad industrial city, 45 kilometers (28 miles)
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southeast of Khartoum. "We manufacture weapons and arm ourselves, not for war but for imposing peace,"
said Beshir at the opening of the Ibrahim Shams Eddin plant, named after an army colonel who died in a
plane crash in southern Sudan last year.

"We and all the Sudanese people were pleased when peace came into sight, but the rebel movement spoiled
this pleasure," Beshir said, referring to a preliminary agreement reached between his government and rebels
of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in July during talks at Machakos, Kenya.

Beshir however broke off the promising talks after rebels captured the garrison town of Torit on September
1.

Government officials said in remarks published Monday that Khartoum will only resume peace talks with
the SPLA if it halts attacks and withdraws a demand to renegotiate some issues settled in the Machakos
agreement. The SPLA had stated after the accord was signed that a ceasefire in the south should be the last
item on the agenda, aimed at ending the 19-year civil war between the Muslim and Arab north and the
Christian and animist south. SUNA reported that Beshir also inspected Monday a newly-expanded
ammunition factory at Khartoum's Shajarah neighbourhood, and claimed that his country now
"manufactures all the sorts of ammunition it needs."


Sudan rejects "imposed" solutions, pressure to resume talks - minister
Al-Sharq al-Awsat, London BBC 09/14/02

Sudan's foreign minister has told a London-based newspaper that Sudan will resist any attempt to impose a
solution on the country, or to force the government to resume talks with the southern rebels. Foreign
Minister Dr Mustafa Uthman Isma'il told the paper that in his forthcoming trip to the USA he would
explain the suspension of negotiations with the rebels and propose "some important overtures". He added
that he was optimistic about achieving peace and that there was "complete coordination" between Sudan
and Egypt on the peace process in Sudan. The following is the text of a report by Zayn al-Abidin in Cairo;
published by London-based newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat on 14 September:

Sudan's Foreign Minister Dr Mustafa Uthman Isma'il has said that the Sudanese government is facing
pressure to return to the negotiating table, stressing that Khartoum will not accept any imposed or unfair
solutions. He said: "If any party, Sudanese or foreign, wants to impose a new situation that is not in step
with the principle of Sudan's sovereignty, he will be met with categorical rejection." He added: "No means
of pressure whatsoever would be of any use; we will continue to resist every attempt at arm-twisting, just as
we have done for so many years." In a statement to Al-Sharq al-Awsat, Dr Isma'il stressed: "The Sudanese
people have faced pressure for many years and have grown used to it. Those who brandish their weapons at
us had better understand consider the experience of the past few years, during which time we were in
constant confrontation with the US administration, and were in worse economic and political situation than
we are now." He pointed out: "In the past few years, the USA imposed sanctions on us and neighbouring
countries interfered in our domestic affairs. Nevertheless, we did not cave in. That experience proves that
we will not accept any solution that runs counter to the homeland's interests."

Isma'il said: "Sudan has now restored its relations with many foreign countries, and many of the Sudanese
opposition leaders have returned home. We have surmounted many problems. This situation should serve
as a message to those who believe that pressure can change our convictions."

Asked if during his forthcoming visit to the USA he would discuss the issue of the Sudanese government's
withdrawal from the negotiations with the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement, SPLM , Dr Isma'il said
he would meet with a number of US administration officials as well as some US congressmen to explain
the Sudanese government's views on the suspension of the negotiations with the SPLM and to propose
some important overtures. He noted that he would tell the US officials what the US administration is
required to do if it wants Sudan to resume the negotiations.

Asked whether there are differing hawks and doves within the Sudanese regime triggering the differences
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over the Machakos agreement, Dr Isma'il said: "Talk of differences within the Sudanese government is
groundless and mere speculation. However, there are different views on certain issues, which is normal in
any government. The government institutions settle differences in views by a majority vote. We do not
deny the existence of different views on certain issues, but the political establishment tries to reach
workable solutions that everyone respects."

In reply to a question about the Sudanese government's efforts to revive the Eritrean track of negotiations,
despite earlier rejection, Dr Isma'il said: "The Sudanese government shoulders greater responsibility than
other groups for unifying the domestic front and closing national ranks." He added: "I would rather use the
term 'running after others' until we arrive at common terms. The government will never reject any call for
dialogue and accord, whatever the intentions of the opposition party. We have to presume that the other
party has good intentions, particularly because the government realizes that the cause of peace is a major
responsibility. If the government succeeds in having all Sudanese forces share in devising a solution, it
would be better. However, if it does not succeed, the government will seek to have the largest number
possible of the Sudanese groups share in decision making."

Isma'il added: "When an invitation was sent to us to meet with the opposition, we agreed forthwith. When I
met with Muhammad Uthman al-Mirghani, I immediately affirmed to him the government's commitment to
the deliberations of the Asmara meeting. This is because the government feels that it is erroneous and also
it is in no position to decide unilaterally on all Sudanese issues. Likewise, the opposition party will be
mistaken if it thinks it can rely on foreign powers to impose what it wants on the Sudanese government.
Such an approach would only widen the gap between the two sides and open the way for broader foreign
interference."

Asked if he is optimistic about the possibility of achieving peace in Sudan, Isma'il said: "Yes, I am very
optimistic. My conviction stems from the fact that the Sudanese people want peace, a fair peace, and that
most of the political forces in Sudan, both in the opposition and the pro-government groups, put the
homeland's interests above all narrow interests. There is now a stronger desire for, and determination to
work for, peace than at any other time before. Furthermore, the regional and international powers are
seeking to establish peace in Sudan. This shows that all parties are convinced that the continuation of war,
even for one day, would only cause more losses in lives and destruction to Sudan's infrastructure."

Responding to a question about Egypt's role in the peace process in Sudan, Isma'il said there is complete
coordination between Egypt and Sudan, particularly between the countries' institutions that are in charge of
the peace process and other issues. He said: "Both parties coordinate their efforts at meetings in Egypt or in
Sudan as part of their constant consultations on technical and higher levels." He added: "Coordination is the
best way to settle past differences or any differences that might crop up in the future." He added: "Both
countries coordinate their efforts on regional and international issues, on security and peace, and even on
ways of facilitating travel and transportation between the two countries."


Sudanese government accuses Israel of supporting southern rebels
Associated Press 09/15/02

A Sudanese official accused Israel of giving southern rebels logistical and military support in a bid to
"divide" Sudan and the Arab world. The claim was immediately rejected by the rebel Sudan People's
Liberation Army.

In Muscat on Sunday, Sudanese Parliamentary Relations Minister Abdel-Basit Sabdarat told a news
conference that Israel and Sudan's radical Christians want to divide Africa's largest country, where civil war
has raged for 19 years. "How can the rebels obtain tens of tanks, missiles and advanced communications
systems if not from Israel?" he asked. "It is in Israel's interest to divide Sudan and the Arab world."

An SPLA spokesman in Kenya, Justin Arop, rebuffed the claims, telling The Associated Press by telephone
that "we do not have any connection with Israel." Arop said Khartoum accuses anybody of backing the
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                                                09/16/02

rebels "whenever we score a victory." When asked how the rebels got the tanks, he said: "The Sudanese
army supplies them to us when they run away."

Sabdarat's claims could be an attempt by Khartoum to smear the rebels, who took up arms against Sudan's
Islamic-oriented government in 1983 in a bid to obtain greater autonomy for southern Sudanese, most of
whom follow Christian and animist beliefs. Earlier this month, the SPLA took over the southern town of
Torit following clashes with Sudanese army forces. The government has vowed to retake the town.

The fighting over Torit led Khartoum to suspend peace talks it had been holding with the rebels in the
Kenyan town of Machakos. In July, government and SPLA negotiators signed a framework agreement to
guide peace talks on a final deal to end Sudan's war, which has claimed more than 2 million lives through
fighting and related famines.

Sabdarat's visit to the Gulf state of Oman comes as Khartoum tries to explain its suspension of peace talks
to Arab and African leaders. Sabdarat said he met on Saturday with Oman's Sultan Qaboos, who expressed
his country's support for the Machakos peace talks. The Sudanese official also said Khartoum wants to
convince the United States to drop Sudan's name from a list of countries sponsoring terrorism. "We
managed to some extent to clarify Sudan's image to Washington as a peace-loving nation. But sanctions are
still imposed and we are determined to continue our efforts to convince the U.S. that we do not sponsor
terrorism," he said. Sudan was listed as a country sponsoring terrorism in 1993. U.N. sanctions were
imposed over Khartoum's alleged role in a 1995 assassination bid by Muslim extremists on Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak.

                                               OTHERS

Chechen web site publishes peace plan endorsed by separatist president's envoy
Chechenpress web site, Tbilisi BBC 09/10/02

The official news agency of the separatist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria has published on its web site a
peace plan, proposed by former Russian parliament speaker, Ruslan Khasbulatov. Khasbulatov addresses
the plan to the Russian authorities, international organizations and individuals who are able to stop the war
in Chechnya. The draft plan, drawn up in March 2002, was endorsed by President Aslan Maskhadov's
representative, Akhmed Zakayev, in April and approved at a conference on Chechnya in Liechtenstein in
August. It recommends a special status for Chechnya, under which the republic will be independent on
issues on its own territory, able to conduct independent foreign relations, demilitarized and a subject of
international law. It will have to maintain administrative borders with Russia, common citizenship and a
common currency and will have to undertake not to harm Russian interests in its own foreign policy
dealings and not to allow anyone involved in corruption to serve on state bodies. International
organizations, such as the OSCE, could have their observers in Chechnya to act as guarantors of peace. In
order to stop the war the peace plan recommends that an initiative group be set up, consisting of former and
current officials, Russian MPs and MPs from the last Chechen parliament and representatives of the
Chechen diaspora. The group will help the Russian authorities to start talks with the Chechen Republic's
president and parliament, elected in January 1997. The following is the text of the plan, as published by
Chechenpress news agency web site on 7 September; subheadings are as published on the site:

Peace plan for the Chechen Republic proposed by the former speaker of the Russian parliament Prof
Ruslan I. Imranovich Khasbulatov I. The key point in resolving the problem - in establishing a durable
peace on the territory of the Chechen Republic - is a "special status" for Chechnya under international
guarantees   (recognizing     international patronage    as     a    means    of   achieving    peace).

Concepts

The common political and strategic goal for the conflicting sides is to establish a durable and guaranteed
peace and tranquility in the Chechen Republic. The sides understand and acknowledge this reality.
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The means (or methods) to achieve this foremost goal are talks between the conflicting (warring) sides with
the fully-fledged participation of the people in the talks process.

This draft "Peace Plan" is the main methodological, theoretical and legal base for starting the talks,
understanding their gist and the tasks of the sides (including both the Russian federal and the warring
Chechen sides), and it considers not merely the interests of the "conflicting sides", but also the people's
opinions and long-term aspirations for peaceful coexistence, regardless of the forms of organizing this
coexistence.

The suggested "Peace Plan" with its key point, "special status" (or "international autonomy" status), which
allows the warring sides and Chechnya's peaceful population to reach an agreement to end the war and to
establish peace, is regarded as the main basis for starting the talks.

What is "special status"?

a) The first circumstance (of a theoretical and methodological nature): the "special status" (or the status of
international autonomy for the Chechen Republic) is a really "special case", a historical and political
exception that cannot be confined to understanding (and decisions) based on precedent. This historical and
political exception per se demands an exceptional solution. On the strength of this peculiarity and using the
expertise of resolving world conflicts of this kind, it is, nevertheless, necessary to resort to other ways and
means that can effectively and practically resolve the organic problem of confrontation between small
Chechnya and huge Russia.

b) The second circumstance (a state and legal definition, a concept such as an international legal category)
of Status. In particular, we understand the special status or the status of international autonomy for the
Chechen Republic as the nature of mutual relations between the Russian Federation and the Chechen
Republic, the gist of which is based on specific treaties and agreements, that do not allow a wilful
interpretation, depending on the Russian rulers' mood.

This status is based on a high level of autonomy of the Chechen Republic (registered in appropriate treaties
and agreements with the direct involvement of international organizations).

There are limits to the Chechen Republic's autonomy (sovereignty) and, therefore, it is not fully
autonomous and independent from Russia.

It is a fact that the Chechen Republic is (will be) no more a subject (part) of the Russian Federation,
although it is (and in our opinion should remain) within the Russian Federation's state and legal reach.

Note:
1. The aforementioned is the gist of the "special status" exclusively for the Chechen Republic. Comments
of a legal nature were made on the recommendations of participants in an international meeting in
Liechtenstein.
2. No changes were incorporated into the text without the consent of representatives of the warring
(conflicting) sides.

R.I. Khasbulatov
19 August 2002, Liechtenstein

II. Reasons that made this necessary

Without going into detail, we note that two wars (1994-96 and 1999-2002) have been carried out on the
territory of the Chechen Republic by the Russian armed forces with especial cruelty and vengefulness, with
the clear objective to kill as many civilians as possible. Mass violence, abuse, torture, looting and pillage,
encouraged by military commanders, was carried out (and is being carried out to this day), the entire people
are being humiliated. Tens of thousands of people died (it is claimed that 200,000 people, citizens of
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                                                 09/16/02

Chechnya, died in the two wars). At the same time, the open persecution of Chechens, citizens of Russia,
began on the territory of Russia. Extremely harsh living conditions were created for these people (frequent
police raids, discrimination in employment, abuse and offensive treatment that have become routine and so
on).

The result is that almost all the population of the Chechen Republic (most of the Russian-speaking
population that survived the aircraft and artillery attacks of the Russian armed forces have already fled its
territory) does not believe the Russian federal authorities any more and openly wishes to distance itself
from them, in particular, by means of international guarantees.

III. Content of the special status, which reinforces Chechnya's independence
Main points:
The Chechen Republic is fully independent on any issues in Chechnya's territory, including the
organization of power, elected by and subordinated to its people.

The Chechen Republic independently conducts its foreign political and economic relations in line with its
internal objectives.

The Chechen Republic becomes a demilitarized country and only law-enforcement bodies act on its
territory (no military bases, no garrisons, militarized groups and so on, which concerned Chechnya's
neighbours in the years preceding the second war).

International organizations (OSCE Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe PACE
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and others), which could have their permanent observers
on Chechnya's territory, could become international guarantors of the Chechen Republic's special status of
international autonomy - to be very frank - guarantors that no "crimes", such as the 1944 deportation, or the
wars in 1994-96 and 1999-2002, are committed again against the people of the Chechen Republic.

The Chechen Republic's being a subject of international law is also connected with the international
guarantees against future arbitrariness.

IV. Limitations of the republic's independence

The maintenance of administrative borders between Russia and the Chechen Republic.

The maintenance of common citizenship.

The maintenance of a common currency (special agreements regulating this area must be prepared and
reached in this regard, as well as on some other issues).

While conducting independent foreign activity, the Chechen Republic undertakes not to do any damage to
Russia's interests. In turn, Russia is going to assist the Chechen Republic in foreign relations, which it
needs and which result from its special status (the status of international autonomy).

The Chechen Republic must undertake that people involved in corruption under various puppet regimes
cannot serve in state, administrative or municipal bodies.

How to stop the war?

At present, when Russia's high-ranking officials incessantly instil into the population, often using TV, ideas
about the "normalization process steadily going on in the Chechen Republic", the rebuilding of ruined
towns and villages, the return of the population, including refugees, to a peaceful life, and so on - the
opposite is actually the case. First, the situation is characterized by federal authorities' and their local
flunkies' regime of military occupation. Second, the increasing guerrilla movement is not only not abating,
it is becoming a mass movement. Third, a mighty military formation of officers and men, 100,000-strong,
is located in Chechnya. In addition, police units from all districts of Russia, officially not registered as part
                                        Peace Negotiation Watch 2
                                                09/16/02

of the formation, are sent into Chechnya. This surplus of troops has become an actual problem, resulting in
mass excesses. I suggest the following:

Because the sides to the conflict - Russian servicemen and fighters of the Chechen resistance - cannot find
a way out of military operations on their own, it is necessary to set up an authoritative international non-
governmental initiative group, made up of former and incumbent officials, deputies of the Russian Federal
Assembly and of the last Chechen parliament, as well as representatives of the Chechen diaspora.

With the active assistance of this initiative group, the Russian authorities have immediately to start talks
with the only legitimate authorities, namely the president and the parliament of the Chechen Republic of
Ichkeria who were elected on 27 January 1997, and recognized both by Russia and the international
community.

The talks have to be trilateral (not bilateral as was the case in Khasavyurt, when two conflicting sides did a
deal).

In the catastrophic situation in the Chechen Republic, for which there is no name but "ethnic cleansing", it
is necessary to stop rapidly and without any conditions all military actions and "clearance operations",
which are criminal and a disgrace to Russian servicemen and which lead to ultimate alienation between
Russians and Chechens.

Since high-ranking military officials have repeatedly claimed that the militants' combat-capable formations
were defeated and destroyed, the immediate withdrawal should begin of the bulk of the federal armed
forces from the republic's territory; no more Internal Affairs Ministry staff should be sent to the republic
from Russia's regions; the number of the Chechen Internal Affairs Ministry's staff should be increased and
reinforced, making it responsible to maintain internal order.

Normal working conditions have to be created for international organizations, especially the OSCE group,
which could significantly contribute to the normalization of the situation in the Chechen Republic.

Note: I do not comment on elections in Chechnya on purpose, because the elections have to be preceded by
a stage of general stability, including the reaching of an agreement with the federal centre on "how to build
relations between Chechnya and Russia".

Economic reconstruction of the Chechen Republic

The reconstruction of the economy is inconceivable without the transformation of the social and economic
basis of Chechnya into the system of international economic relations and without consideration of the
rules and requirements of the international economy. The sides that recognize this document as the basis for
negotiations take into consideration this global reality.

Economic, social, cultural and ecological reconstruction is no less important a task than the end of the
military punitive activities and declaration of peace.

The damage inflicted by the two wars on the Chechen Republic is so great that Russia alone cannot
compensate for it (according to various assessments, the damage amounts to 100bn to 150bn dollars, taking
into account the destruction of the houses and apartments of almost one million people). Funds allocated
from the federal budget, even if corruption and theft are not taken into account, comprise only a hundredth
of the financial resources absolutely required to ensure social stability in the republic.

The participation of the international community in rebuilding the Chechen Republic is required. An
international fund for Chechnya should be established and international councils on the issue should
convene. The UN and its organizations and agencies, leading Western countries, the Organization of the
Islamic Conference and other international organizations (the IMF, World Bank, EBRD and so on), capable
of rendering financial assistance to the population of the Chechen Republic (through appropriate
                                       Peace Negotiation Watch 2
                                               09/16/02

programmes and through any forms of monitoring of their implementation) should actively participate in
the process.

The ecological situation in the Chechen Republic is extremely dangerous and has not been studied or
researched by federal authorities. It is not even known whether rebuilding the city of Groznyy can produce
the proper environment for human life. Bombardment of the city with superheavy bombs has led, as many
specialists assert, to shifts in the geological strata and oil is being squeezed to the surface everywhere
within the city limits.

Hence, it is expedient to establish a commission of international experts and make an examination of the
ecological situation not only in Groznyy, but also all over Chechnya. An international ecological
conference should be held in Groznyy after this authoritative group of international experts in ecology
produces a report.

With consideration of the data released by this group, it may be worthwhile to prepare and hold an
international conference on urban development, dedicated to rebuilding the barbarously demolished
Chechen towns and villages and establishing a lasting and guaranteed peace.

I address these suggestions to the Russian authorities, international organizations and individuals all over
the world, to all those who are willing and able really to stop an ongoing catastrophe, first of all the
extermination of the Chechen people, to those who want to bring peace to Chechnya and assist in dealing
with the consequences of the cruel war that befell our small republic and its people.

R.I. Khasbulatov, 4 March 2002, Moscow
The text was agreed with Akhmed Zakayev, plenipotentiary representative of the head of the armed
resistance, the president of Ichkeria, Aslan Maskhadov, at a meeting in Istanbul on 17 April 2002 and
approved at an international meeting in Liechtenstein (with the participation of the members of the Russian
Duma, Aslanbek Aslakhanov and Yuriy Shchekochikhin, former speaker of the Russian parliament Ivan
Rybkin and Akhmed Zakayev) on 17 August 2002.

18 August 2002, Liechtenstein, R.I. Khasbulatov
hechen people, to those who want to bring peace to Chechnya and assist in dealing
with the consequences of the cruel war that befell our small republic and its people.

R.I. Khasbulatov, 4 March 2002, Moscow
The text was agreed with Akhmed Zakayev, plenipotentiary representative of the head of the armed
resistance, the president of Ichkeria, Aslan Maskhadov, at a meeting in Istanbul on 17 April 2002 and
approved at an international meeting in Liechtens tein (with the participation of the members of the Russian
Du ma, Aslanbek Aslakhanov and Yuriy Shchekochikhin, former speaker of the Russian parliament Ivan
Rybkin and Akh med Zakayev) on 17 August 2002.

18 August 2002, Liechtenstein, R.I. Khasbulatov

				
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