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Voice of America, 00-01-14

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] MONTENEGRO/YUGOSLAVIA (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [02] BOSNIA WAR CRIMES (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [03] CHECHNYA WAR BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] CHECHNYA WAR BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)
  • [05] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (S) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [06] UNHCR / CHECHNYA (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [07] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [08] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] MONTENEGRO/YUGOSLAVIA (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=1/14/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258093
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT: Intro: A top U-S dedense official says the Yugoslav Republic of Montenegro may become a new flashpoint in the Balkans, because it threatened to break away from the Yugoslav federation. But as Stefan Bos reports from Budapest, Under Secretary of Defense Walter Slocombe has warned Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosovic not to intervene in Montenegro. Text: U-S Under Secretary of Defense, Walter Slocombe,said that Montenegro's move towards independence from the Yugoslav federation,does hold all the potential for very serious danger. Mr.Slocombe made the comments to reporters Friday during a one day trip to Albania, which has expressed concern about the situation, as it shares borders with Montenegro. The Government of Montenegro has threatened to break away from Yugoslavia to protest the perceived autocratic policies of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosovic. Recently, Montenegro already took the first steps towards independence, by creating its own police force and introducing the German Mark as a currency alongside the Yugoslav Dinar. Mr. Slocombe warned Yugoslav President Milosovic not to intervene in Montenegro as he did in the Kosovo province, where thousands of independence seeking ethnic Albanians were killed by Serbian forces. The U-S official referred to supporters of President Milosovic, who already held a defiant rally in Montenegro earlier this week aimed at warning Montenegro's Government not to break away. Mr. Slocombe stressed that the United States and NATO will support Montenegro's President Milo Djukanovic, who he said wanted nothing more than rebuilding democracy in his small republic. That became evident last year when Montenegro was largely spared as NATO bombed Yugoslavia to stop the Serb crack down in Kosovo. Mr. Slocombe warned the Yugoslav President and his allies not to violate the cease fire agreement with NATO, which eventually forced the Serb forces to leave Kosovo---and end hostilities.

    /// Rest optional ///

    But U.S. and European officials say that nationalistic conflicts are not the only threats in the troubled Balkans. They say the region is also plagued by a growing number of crimes, especially related to drugs trafficking via the infamous Balkan route. That is one of the reasons why the European Union and United Nations opened in nearby Bulgaria their first first ever anti drugs centre in the Balkans. (Signed)
    NEB/PT 14-Jan-2000 18:40 PM EDT (14-Jan-2000 2340 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] BOSNIA WAR CRIMES (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=1/14/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258072
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The international war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has judged five Bosnian Croats guilty of crimes against humanity for the massacre of Muslims in Central Bosnia in 1993. V-O-A correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels on the verdict and the crime.

    TEXT: In its strongest verdict yet against ethnic cleansing, the war crimes tribunal has punished five Bosnian Croats for the massacre at the village of Ahmici in April 1993. The presiding judge, Antonio Cassesse, says what happened there is one of the most vicious illustrations of man's inhumanity to man. The longest sentence was given to Vladimir Santic, the commander of a police battalion in the Ahmici region. He was given 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity for ordering the massacre of 116 Muslims. In the sweep of the Croatian Defense Force (HVO) through Ahmici, two mosques and 169 houses were burned down. No houses belonging to Bosnian Croats were damaged in the attack. Another man under his command, Drago Josipovic, received a sentence of 15 years in prison. He was convicted of killing a Muslim man. Zoran Kupreskic was given 10 years in prison for his involvement. His brother, Mirjan, received eight years and their cousin, Vlatko, six years in prison. A sixth defendant, Dragan Papic, was set free. The judge said the prosecution's evidence could not prove Mr. Papic's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. There is no doubt about the crime committed in Ahmici. Entire families were gunned down by their former neighbors. The indictment charged the Bosnian Croats with conducting a highly coordinated military operation to empty the area in Central Bosnia of Muslims. A verdict is expected shortly in the trial of General Tihomir Blaskic, the Croatian army commander of the region. His trial concluded last July. More than 30 suspects in the attack are still at large. /// Opt

    /// Judge Cassesse says Ahmici will take its name alongside Dachau and My Lai on the list of hamlets and towns that make us shudder with horror and shame. ///
    End Opt /// The War Crimes prosecutor says the verdict against the five Bosnian Croats will become a benchmark for future cases of ethnic cleansing that will be brought before the Hague tribunal. Lawyers for the five convicted men say they will appeal. (Signed)
    NEB/RP/GE/JP 14-Jan-2000 11:00 AM EDT (14-Jan-2000 1600 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] CHECHNYA WAR BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=1/14/2000
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-45251
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The war in Chechnya is beginning to resemble the previous one of 1994-96 - a rapid Russian advance stalled by increasing Chechen resistance and guerrilla tactics. While Russian casualties mount, generals start to bicker among themselves, and the Moscow press grows more critical. At this point, the designated foreign minister of Chechnya is visiting Washington in search of some solution to the conflict. V-O-A's Ed Warner reports.

    TEXT: What to do with a foreign minister who is not exactly a foreign minister? That was the dilemma facing Washington as Ilyas Akhmadov arrived from Chechnya looking for some help in ending the war with Russia. Designated foreign minister of the Republic of Chechnya, Mr. Akhmadov represents a county not recognized by the United States, which considers the region still part of Russia. As a result, no senior U-S officials have met with Mr. Akhmadov, who has to be content with talks in a hotel lobby rather than the State Department. A U-S spokesman emphasized there is no change in policy toward Chechnya. Even so, Russia's foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, complained the United States is supporting terrorism by allowing any meetings at all with Mr. Akhmadov. Mr. Akhmadov did meet with private groups, including the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. There, he derided Moscow's reasons for invading Chechnya, such as blaming Chechen terrorists for bombing Russian buildings:

    /// Akhmadov Act, from Russian to English
    ///
    The Russian government several months ago announced that it had discovered the home of international terrorism, and it turned out to be our republic. It also had the technology for fighting that terrorism, and now the whole world knows what that technology is. It is now fighting terrorism with all kinds of weapons, airplanes, bombs, artillery and a huge army.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Akhmadov said Moscow seems intent on the total destruction of Chechnya. He stressed such human rights violations as the internment of civilians. Mr. Akhmadov saw little prospect of negotiations unless there is outside pressure. But the Clinton administration has ruled out any mediating role, saying that is the job of Europeans. The current fighting had its origins in a raid into Dagestan last summer by Chechen rebels. Their leader, Shamil Basayev, is a free-wheeling warlord who operates on his own and has aroused considerable suspicions about his motives, even among Chechens. At the Johns Hopkins University meeting, Wayne Merry of the Atlantic Council asked Mr. Akhmadov about some of these suspicions:

    /// Merry act ///

    There have been many conflicting reports about Shamil Basayev's invasion of Dagestan last summer, including many rumors that he was working on behalf either of the Russian security services or for (Russian mogul and media czar) Boris Berezovsky in order to provoke this war.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Akhmadov doubted this charge of double-dealing:
    /// Akhmadov Act, from Russian to English
    ///
    I don't not think that Shamil Basayev is working for Russian intelligence, and even if he does, he does not realize that.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Akhmadov also spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Chris Swift, who closely follows the war for C-S-I-S, says Mr. Akhmadov is proud of the Chechen resistance, but wary of increasing Russian brutality, especially the use of highly destructive fuel air bombs against civilians. Mr. Swift says the Russians do not want a protracted war that could jeopardize Vladimir Putin's Presidency:

    /// Swift Act ///

    To that extent, they will look for an objective that can become a political end to the war. An example of that would be storming and seizing Grozny, perhaps capturing Basayev - something along those lines that would allow Putin's Russian government to say they have won their political victory in Chechnya and would allow them to withdraw before any rear action guerrilla battles could really undermine public support for the campaign.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Swift says Russia needs to achieve something it can call a victory, because a clear victory is not possible. (signed)
    NEB/EW/JP 14-Jan-2000 16:19 PM EDT (14-Jan-2000 2119 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] CHECHNYA WAR BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=1/14/2000
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-45251
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The war in Chechnya is beginning to resemble the previous one of 1994-96 - a rapid Russian advance stalled by increasing Chechen resistance and guerrilla tactics. While Russian casualties mount, generals start to bicker among themselves, and the Moscow press grows more critical. At this point, the designated foreign minister of Chechnya is visiting Washington in search of some solution to the conflict. V-O-A's Ed Warner reports.

    TEXT: What to do with a foreign minister who is not exactly a foreign minister? That was the dilemma facing Washington as Ilyas Akhmadov arrived from Chechnya looking for some help in ending the war with Russia. Designated foreign minister of the Republic of Chechnya, Mr. Akhmadov represents a county not recognized by the United States, which considers the region still part of Russia. As a result, no senior U-S officials have met with Mr. Akhmadov, who has to be content with talks in a hotel lobby rather than the State Department. A U-S spokesman emphasized there is no change in policy toward Chechnya. Even so, Russia's foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, complained the United States is supporting terrorism by allowing any meetings at all with Mr. Akhmadov. Mr. Akhmadov did meet with private groups, including the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. There, he derided Moscow's reasons for invading Chechnya, such as blaming Chechen terrorists for bombing Russian buildings:

    /// Akhmadov Act, from Russian to English
    ///
    The Russian government several months ago announced that it had discovered the home of international terrorism, and it turned out to be our republic. It also had the technology for fighting that terrorism, and now the whole world knows what that technology is. It is now fighting terrorism with all kinds of weapons, airplanes, bombs, artillery and a huge army.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Akhmadov said Moscow seems intent on the total destruction of Chechnya. He stressed such human rights violations as the internment of civilians. Mr. Akhmadov saw little prospect of negotiations unless there is outside pressure. But the Clinton administration has ruled out any mediating role, saying that is the job of Europeans. The current fighting had its origins in a raid into Dagestan last summer by Chechen rebels. Their leader, Shamil Basayev, is a free-wheeling warlord who operates on his own and has aroused considerable suspicions about his motives, even among Chechens. At the Johns Hopkins University meeting, Wayne Merry of the Atlantic Council asked Mr. Akhmadov about some of these suspicions:

    /// Merry act ///

    There have been many conflicting reports about Shamil Basayev's invasion of Dagestan last summer, including many rumors that he was working on behalf either of the Russian security services or for (Russian mogul and media czar) Boris Berezovsky in order to provoke this war.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Akhmadov doubted this charge of double-dealing:
    /// Akhmadov Act, from Russian to English
    ///
    I don't not think that Shamil Basayev is working for Russian intelligence, and even if he does, he does not realize that.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Akhmadov also spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Chris Swift, who closely follows the war for C-S-I-S, says Mr. Akhmadov is proud of the Chechen resistance, but wary of increasing Russian brutality, especially the use of highly destructive fuel air bombs against civilians. Mr. Swift says the Russians do not want a protracted war that could jeopardize Vladimir Putin's Presidency:

    /// Swift Act ///

    To that extent, they will look for an objective that can become a political end to the war. An example of that would be storming and seizing Grozny, perhaps capturing Basayev - something along those lines that would allow Putin's Russian government to say they have won their political victory in Chechnya and would allow them to withdraw before any rear action guerrilla battles could really undermine public support for the campaign.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Swift says Russia needs to achieve something it can call a victory, because a clear victory is not possible. (signed)
    NEB/EW/JP 14-Jan-2000 16:19 PM EDT (14-Jan-2000 2119 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (S) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=1/14/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258063
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russian troops continue to battle for control of Chechnya as federal casualty figures rise. Moscow officials say they may reconsider recent measures that called for all Chechen males between the ages of ten and 60 years to be blocked from travelling to and from the breakaway republic. V-O-A Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports.

    TEXT: Russian forces are on high alert, digging trenches outside Russian-controlled towns to fend off possible counterattacks. But Moscow officials say they will re-examine the order blocking Chechen civilian males from entering or leaving the war zone. More than thirty federal soldiers were reported killed in recent clashes. Russia's military later denied the high figures. Russian news agencies quote General Anatoly Kvashnin, as saying the capital, Grozny, would soon be "liberated" from Chechen fighters. He said troops were advancing step-by-step to limit casualties because, in his words, "it would be madness to rush in." Russian news agencies say troops are shelling Grozny and even fighting rebels from trenches in some neighborhoods. Clashes were also reported on the outskirts of Russian-controlled Gudermes. (Signed)
    NEB/EC/GE 14-Jan-2000 05:26 AM EDT (14-Jan-2000 1026 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] UNHCR / CHECHNYA (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=1/14/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258069
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The United Nations Refugee Agency, U-N-H- C-R, reports a sharp drop in the number of refugees returning to Russian-controlled safe areas in Chechnya from the neighboring Republic of Ingushetia. Lisa Schlein in Geneva has more.

    TEXT: The U-N Refugee Agency reports 300 refugees returned from Ingushetia to Chechnya on Thursday. This is a significant drop from previous days when daily returns reached more than one-thousand-500.

    U-N-H-C-R spokesman, Ron Redmond attributes the decline to the resumption of fighting and artillery bombardment around Gudermes and Shali. He says both of these Chechen towns had previously been regarded as relatively quiet and safe. Mr. Redmond says another reason for the decline is that Chechen men considered to be of fighting age had not been allowed to cross the border for several days. And he says the agency is concerned by recent statements by Russian military commanders that men going in and out of Chechnya will not be considered refugees.

    /// REDMOND ACT ///

    This is of concern to U-N-H-C-R. We've asked the Russian government for clarification of the military statements. All of those fleeing the war in Chechnya are in need of international protection regardless of their gender or age.

    /// END ACT ///

    The U-N Refugee Agency is continuing to provide humanitarian assistance to the tens of thousands of Chechens in Ingushetia. More than 180- thousand Chechens remain there. Most of them are living with host families. But some 25-thousand are staying in camps and another 28-thousand in makeshift spontaneous settlements. Mr. Redmond says the U-N agency sends weekly convoys of food and other relief supplies to Ingushetia. In addition, he says this week the agency sent an 11-truck relief convoy to the Russian Republic of Dagestan. He says Dagestan is hosting about seven-thousand people displaced from Chechnya during the current round of fighting. This is in addition to some six- thousand people who were displaced during a Chechen rebel incursion into Dagestan last August. (Signed)
    NEB/LS/GE/KL 14-Jan-2000 09:42 AM EDT (14-Jan-2000 1442 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=1/14/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258092
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were up strongly today (Friday). Good corporate earnings reports and some benign inflation news gave Wall Street a rally before its three-day weekend. The U-S stock market is closed Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson has more from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 140 points, just over one percent, closing at a record 11- thousand-722. The Industrials gained 200 points for the week. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose 15 points. And the technology-weighted Nasdaq composite gained two and three-quarters percent. Stocks rose on the strength of a strong earnings report from leading computer-chip maker Intel, which beat analysts' expectations for the first time in four quarters. Also, softer-than-expected inflation numbers on consumer prices eased concerns that the U-S central bank will adopt an aggressive policy on interest rates.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan spoke in New York late Thursday about the booming U-S economy and the need to prevent it from overheating. Analyst John Lipsky of Chase Manhattan Bank's securities division says Mr. Greenspan implied short-term interest rates will likely go up this year, but only modestly:

    ///LIPSKY ACT///

    He was giving a justification for the "Fed" to continue raising rates, I suspect, at a gradual and steady pace. There's no emergency, he said. There's no reason to get worried that there's something seriously unsound here. But there is justification for action.

    ///END ACT///

    ///END OPT///

    The Federal Reserve Board is expected to raise rates only 25 basis points when it meets in early February. Financial stocks - normally sensitive to interest rate movement - rallied on the positive signals.

    ///REST OPT for long ///

    Drug stocks joined the market surge after Britain's second and third-biggest drug companies - Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham - re-opened merger talks. If successful, the deal would create the world's largest pharmaceutical firm. Analysts say this is positive for the entire sector. When deals get done, they get done at higher prices, which raises valuations and share prices. Motorola, the number two maker of cellular phones, is expected to report next week that its fourth quarter profits more than tripled. The increased earnings apparently were due to surging demand for mobile phones and some effective cost-cutting by Motorola. (Signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/PT 14-Jan-2000 17:06 PM EDT (14-Jan-2000 2206 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=1/14/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11633
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: The conflict between the federal government and Florida's anti-Castro Cuban community over the fate of a Cuban refugee boy continues to attract the attention of many editorial writers in the U-S press. Other commentaries deal with the fate of former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet; others focus on the latest development in the case of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan. There are also comment on the Russian military assault on Chechnya; a new U-S aid plan to help Colombia combat narco trafficking; and U-S domestic politics. Now, here is ___________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: The six year old Cuban boy, Elian Gonzalez, pulled from the sea off Florida, after his mother and other shipmates drowned while trying to flee Cuba, is still drawing editorial comment. The U-S government has told a Florida State court judge she does not have jurisdiction over the case, and plans to send him back to his father in Cuba proceed. In New Jersey's capital, The [Trenton] Times says, "Let the law prevail."

    VOICE: Attorney General Janet Reno is right. The controversial case . is an immigration matter that must be settled in federal court. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has ordered that he be returned to his father . who wants him back and is, from all evidence, a suitable parent. Elian's U-S relatives have a right to challenge that decision, but not in Florida's state courts.

    TEXT: USA Today, the national daily published in Arlington, Virginia, outside Washington, is upset at what it says is the "exploiting" of the boy's plight by everyone from Fidel Castro to U-S politicians.

    VOICE: The key element in determining the future of six-year-old Elian Gonzalez ought not to be political. It ought to be what is best for the child. . [However] as it stands, [Fidel] Castro is the sure winner. If Elian stays, [Mr.] Castro can call it a kidnapping. If the child is returned, he can call it a victory for the "glorious revolution." Either way, south Florida's anti-Castro activists have succeeded in making his point.

    TEXT: Still with Latin American affairs, the fate of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who is under house arrest in Britain and was recently ruled too ill to stand trial for alleged crimes during his rule, elicits this from today's San Francisco Chronicle.

    VOICE: The decision . sounds like a victory for the former strongman and his bloody regime. But despots who prey on their people and then hide in foreign countries should hardly celebrate. . The 84-year-old caudillo [Latin American slang for a "strongman" leader] will likely be sent back to Chile where several dozen lawsuits await, charging him with directing a campaign of torture, death and disappearance that began in 1973. . [Mr.] Pinochet lost an important court case last year when British judges said that as head of state, past or present, he was not immune from human rights charges. A major message was sounded: There is no safe harbor . afforded to a leader facing human rights charges.

    TEXT: To Turkey next, where the fate of another, sometimes ruthless leader, Abdullah Ocalan, head of Turkey's feared P-K-K guerrillas, is facing a death sentence for terrorism. Word of its postponement, suggests today's Chicago Tribune, is the right move for the Ankara government.

    VOICE: Despite the dissent and division it engendered, Turkey's decision to delay the execution . was the right one. The move will certainly boost Turkey's chances of being accepted, eventually, into the European Union, a club in which Turkey has long craved membership. It also could lead to reconciliation with Turkey's separatist Kurds and perhaps even an end to that war. . The decision delays an execution for at least a year, while [a]. review proceeds.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: The New York Times, recognizing that Turkish resentment against the Kurdish guerrillas is strong, points out that other former "terrorist" leaders have made a transition to political leaders, seeking peace.

    VOICE: Others . like Yasser Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Gerry Adams of the Irish Republican Army' political wing, Sinn Fein, have swapped violence for political bargaining and contributed to peacemaking. [Ankara] should give Mr. Ocalan a chance to do the same.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Turning to events in this hemisphere, several papers, including the Miami Herald, are pleased with the latest U-S offer of additional aid to Colombia, to counter narcotics trafficking.

    VOICE: . it is heartening to see the Clinton administration's substantive bet for Colombia: a proposed one-point three billion dollar increase in U- S aid over two years. Critics may quibble with the finer points of the . plan . But there is no doubting the benefit: Aid of this magnitude finally raises Colombia to a well-merited priority. . The . proposal would be better balanced if it gave more assistance to Colombia's rural poor and war refugees. . Even so . the stakes are too high to do less.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from the Friday editorial pages of the U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/KL 14-Jan-2000 11:57 AM EDT (14-Jan-2000 1657 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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