Numarul 2 / 30 august 2004 /
saptamanal de politica internationala / publicatie personala / Realizator: Nicu Ilie
Fiul 'Doamnei de fier' a fost arestat ROM
Mark Thatcher, fiul fostului premier britanic, Margaret Thatcher, este anchetat de poliţia sud-africană în legătură cu rolul pe care l-ar fi jucat în finanţarea unei lovituri de stat în Guineea Ecuatorială.
El a fost arestat la locuinţa sa din Cape Town. După amiază a fost dus în faţa unui judecător, pentru a i se citi acuzaţiile. Poliţia sud africană afirmă că are informaţii credibile că Mark Thatcher ar fi contribuit la finanţarea unei lovituri de stat în Guineea Ecuatorială.
Puciul ar fi trebuit să aibă loc în luna martie, dar a fost înăbuşit înainte de a începe. Cei 70 de mercenari care ar fi trebuit să răstoarne guvernul au fost capturaţi în Zimbawe. Alţi 14 complotişti au fost arestaţi în Guineea Ecuatorială şi sunt acum judecaţi.
Analistul în probleme africane, Anthony Goldman, afirmă că Africa de Sud a avut un rol esenţial în dejucarea puciului. "Sud africanii au fost implicaţi de la început. Toate arestările din Zimbabwe şi Guineea Ecuatorială s-au făcut pe baza informaţiilor furnizate de serviciile secrete sud africane." "Chiar şi la Londra se ştia cu o lună înainte că se pregăteşte un puci şi că la el urmau să ia parte mercenari din Africa de Sud".
La procesul care se desfăşoară acum la Malabo, capitala Guineei Ecuatoriale, s-a spus că lovitura de stat fusese finanţată de oameni de afaceri din Londra şi de câţiva cetăţeni sud africani. Obiectivul lor era să instaleze în fruntea ţării un lider al opoziţiei, aflat acum în exil, urmând să primească pentru acest serviciu contracte avantajoase în exploatările de petrol.
Urmărit de ghinion şi controverse
Mark Thatcher nu este la prima controversă majoră din viaţa sa. În Marea Britanie a fost urmărit de acuzaţii că s-a îmbogăţit pe seama relaţiilor mamei sale. Deşi a studiat la o şcoală privată, a terminat cu note mici şi nu a mers mai departe, la universitate.
A încercat mai multe slujbe, dar nici una nu a durat mai mult de un an. În 1977 a înfiinţat o companie de curse auto şi s-a făcut de ruşine în '82, când s-a rătăcit în Sahara, în cursul raliului Paris - Dakar.
Afacerile sale au fost subiect de interpelări stânjenitoare pentru doamna Thatcher. Pentru a scăpa de toate acestea, Mark Thatcher a plecat mai întâi în Texas, şi apoi s-a stabilit în Africa de Sud. Cazul în care este implicat acum arată că nici aici nu şi-a găsit liniştea pe care o dorea. ©BBC
Negocierile de pace in Congo au inceput in Africa de Sud ENG
KINSHASA, Congo -- Former rebels and loyalists now in Congo's transitional government headed to South Africa on Friday for talks on reviving the country's shaky peace process and improving regional security, officials said.
The latest crisis was sparked by last week's massacre of 160 Congolese Tutsi refugees in neighboring Burundi and has led to the main rebel group in Congo's war, RCD-Goma, returning to its traditional stronghold and calling for a "pause" in the transition.
"I can confirm that a delegation from RCD-Goma and President Joseph Kabila's camp are on their way to South Africa for talks," Sisa Ngombane, South Africa's ambassador to the Congo, told Reuters by phone from Pretoria.
Diplomats in Kinshasa said both parties were invited by South African President Thabo Mbeki for crisis talks to present their cases and attempt to rejuvenate a peace process that is due to lead to elections next year.
U.N. radio said the two delegations would meet Mbeki in Pretoria Saturday.
South Africa brokered months of talks that officially ended Congo's five-year war in 2003. The conflict sucked in six neighboring countries and killed 3 million people, most of whom died from hunger and disease.
The former warring factions remain deeply divided, and following the massacre, RCD-Goma, whose leadership is dominated by Congolese Tutsis, said the peace accords needed to be re-examined.
"Our delegation is on the way there (to South Africa). We will be having meetings to relaunch the transitional process, which has been let down by the lack of respect for the agreements we signed," said RCD-Goma spokesman Crispin Kabasele Tshimange.
"Political reunification and national reconciliation, the main objectives of the transition, are not being achieved."
A spokesman for Kabila said there was no question of renegotiating the peace agreement and that the talks would focus on regional security.
With the former rebels back in their traditional stronghold of Goma, a border town in eastern Congo, and repeated threats of war from RCD-Goma hard-liner General Laurent Nkunda, analysts fear the transitional government may collapse.
But RCD-Goma officials have said they are committed to peace and do not intend to pull out of the administration.
Under deals signed in 2002 and 2003, Kabila heads the power-sharing government which includes former rebels, the political opposition and representatives of civil society.
Critics say the structure of a president and four vice presidents is cumbersome and has, alongside a lack of political will, contributed to the failure of the government to implement much of the peace deal. ©Reuters (reprodus de CNN)
ONU se opune unor masuri dure impotriva Sudanului ENG
By ED JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
LONDON - A majority of U.N. Security Council members oppose immediate heavy sanctions on Sudan if it fails to quell ethnic violence in its western Darfur region by a deadline at the end of the month, Britain's Foreign Office said Friday.
Some countries opposed sanctions on principle; others feared that vested interests in Sudan would be damaged by economic embargoes; and others - including Britain - were wary of giving the impression that the "international community is beating up on the government of Sudan," a senior Foreign Office official said.
On July 30, the Security Council gave Sudan 30 days to disarm the Arab militia, known as Janjaweed, or face economic or diplomatic punishment. More than 30,000 people have been killed and a million forced to flee their homes in Darfur, which the United Nations has deemed the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Days before British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's visit to Sudan, officials briefing reporters Friday said council members were still debating what to do if Sudan misses its deadline - but that swift, severe action was unlikely.
"The natural center of gravity in the council is not the immediate imposition of heavy-duty sanctions on Sudan," the senior official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The natural instinct of the majority of the council will not be on August 30th, 'Let's slap on some heavy-duty sanctions on Sudan.'"
The Darfur conflict began 18 months ago, when black African rebel groups rose up against Sudan's Arab-dominated government, claiming discrimination in the distribution of scarce resources in the large, arid region. Since then, the Arab militias have gone on a rampage, destroying villages, killing and raping across the region.
International rights groups have accused Khartoum of backing the Janjaweed in an ethnic cleansing campaign against the African villagers. Sudan has long denied that, saying the fighting was a result of tribal conflicts.
However, a U.N. official told The Associated Press on Friday that the Sudanese government demonstrated it has influence over some of the Arab militiamen by promising to give the United Nations in the coming week a list of fighters believed to be involved in the bloodshed.
"The government used to refer to the Janjaweed as a bunch of thugs and absolutely denied any ties with them," Radhia Achouri, spokeswoman for the U.N. Mission in Sudan, said in telephone interview from a Darfur refugee camp.
"But by promising to provide this list, they are admitting they have influence on some members of the Janjaweed militias, which marks a huge progress on the position of the Sudanese government. Simply put, they have control over them," she said.
Sudan's North Darfur governor, Othman Mohammed Youssef, told Al-Arabiya TV the Janjaweed have committed acts of violence, but denied the government backed them.
"They (the Janjaweed) have killed, we don't deny. They have burned, we don't deny. But what we confirm is that this wasn't at the orders or directions of the government," Youssef said.
In New York, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said the Sudanese foreign minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, met with the U.N. envoy to Sudan in Khartoum on Thursday and indicated "that the names and numbers of the militia would be provided shortly."
In deciding what to do, the Security Council will consider how much progress Sudan has made in giving access to humanitarian groups, tackling human rights abuses, providing security to people in Darfur and negotiating with rebel groups, the British official said.
Possible action ranged from the soft option of rolling over the deadline for another 30 days, to severe sanctions such as an oil embargo. Travel bans on Sudanese ministers and freezing assets were other possibilities, said the official, who will accompany Straw on a two-day trip to Sudan starting Monday.
The Darfur conflict has grave regional implications, with some 180,000 refugees already crossing over the volatile border into Chad. The United Nations on Friday warned that tens of thousands more refugees could flee Darfur, further straining Chad's resources.
African Union-sponsored peace talks are scheduled for Monday in Nigeria, bringing together Sudanese government officials and high-level delegations from the two rebel groups fighting government forces.
The African Union has sent 80 observers to monitor a rarely adhered to April 8 cease-fire. Rwanda already has 150 troops on the ground in Darfur to protect the observers, and Nigeria is expected to send 150 troops to Darfur later this week to bolster the AU force.
Like other Western nations, Britain is keen for the African Union to take the lead, finding African solutions for African problems. It is providing financial and logistical support behind the scenes but has refused to rule out military intervention of its own.
Britain welcomes an African Union proposal to beef up its forces in Sudan to 1,800, but does not believe the mandate of the force should be extended to protecting the people of Darfur. "We think that the best way to deliver security to the people of Darfur is to get those with primary responsibility for it to do it ... the government of Sudan," the official said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said Friday that more aid is needed in Darfur because many people there are reluctant to go far from their villages to find supplies and work the land. With around a million people living in mostly crowded and unsanitary conditions without regular access to clean water, aid groups fear massive disease outbreaks. ©Yahoo News, dupa Associated Press
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