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- Subject: DESIP:Wardatabase/Simmering 2/3
- From: rbleier@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 21 Jan 1996 12:00:00
DESIP: WARDATABASE (2 of 3) January 1996
DEMOGRAPHIC, ENVIRONMENTAL AND
SECURITY ISSUES PROJECT
by Ronald Bleier (rbleier@xxxxxxxxxxx)
WARDATABASE -- Part Two
SIMMERING, POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
AND REGIONS OF DISPUTE
1. Angola -- From 1980-88, there were over 1.5 million
deaths as a result of atrocities carried out by or
supported by South Africa in Angola and Mozambique,
according to the UN Economic Commission on Africa. Reports
from the ground indicate that killing went on at possibly
even a more intense level from 1992. In Cuito alone, there
are supposed to have been about 25,000 killed. During the
Ford administration, in the 70s, Congress ordered the CIA
to halt its support for the war against the Angolan
government. However, CIA efforts continued under the
rubrik of information gathering.
2. Argentina and Chile in dispute over Channel Islands
3. Armenia - Azerbaijan -- An undeclared war which began
in 1988 prompted an exodus that has reduced Armenia's
population of 3.5 million by 20 to 30 percent (Steve
LeVine, NYT, 24 Oct. '95). The war began when majority
ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh declared a desire to
unite with Armenia. A cease fire was agreed in May 1994.
The war has cost Azerbaijan (mid-1993 population: 7.2
million) about a fifth of its territory. The prewar
population of Nagorno-Karabakh was 200,000.
4. Belgium -- Municipality of Voeren against Flanders. When
the Belgian state was divided into a French and a Dutch
speaking part, (Brussel/Bruxelles) the municipality of
Voeren in the northeast was given to Flanders. Nationalist
Flemish go there on weekends to engage in marching and
flag waving and the issue has threatened the position of
the Belgian government on several occasions.
5. Belgium -- "Bende van Nijvel," gang with connections to
rightwing politicians and police against Belgian
civilians. Alleged connections to state-policemen
(Rijkswacht); alleged illegal arms deals with Israel.
Investigating journalists were killed; investigations were
closed even though the identity of one of the killers (of
at least 20 people) was known to the authorities.
6. Canada -- Separatists in Quebec lost a narrow 51%-49%
vote to split from Canada in an October 30, 1995
referendum. In the previous vote in 1980, the vote against
separation was 60%-40%. In Montreal the 1995 vote was
65.5% against separation while the rest of the province
voted 59% to 41% for a split. The close vote has
heightened fears in the immigrant community of some tens
of thousands in Montreal that separatists are xenophobic
and intend to punish the city (NYT, November 27, 1995,
Clyde H. Farnsworth).
Lucien Bouchard, head of Bloc Quebecois, a group of
separatist members of the House of Commons, announced that
he would seek the leadership of Parti Quebecois, which
would lead to making him the next Premier of Quebec.
Shortly after the vote he said he would not press for
another referendum for at least another 2 years.
7. China -- Government authorities admit to thousands of
casualties a year in gun battles with drug traffickers in
southeastern Yunnan Province. China's population is
growing by 15 million a year with the number of unemployed
and underemployed expected to pass 200 million by 2000
(NYT, Patrick E. Tyler, Nov. 15, 1995).
FOOD AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN CHINA
China must nearly double its harvest to feed the 1.6
billion Chinese who will live here by 2025 (NYT, 29
November 95, Patrick E. Tyler).
In the Beijing area, the water table has dropped from 14
feet in 1955 to 160 feet in 1995 and is still falling
while water is increasingly demanded for domestic,
industrial and tourist use. A Chinese scientific report
predicted that unless the present decline is reversed --
not merely arrested -- Beijing would be unhabitable by the
year 2015 (Z Magazine, December 1995, Henry Rosemont,
"China's Inevitable Dilemma: Coal Harms the Environment but
Fuels Growth," (Headline: NYT, 11.29.95, Patrick E. Tyler).
Picture caption: "Because its economic boom is powered
largely by coal, China is rising rapidly through the ranks
of the world's big polluters. A coal scavenger looked out
through the smog in Taiyanun, a mining center"
8. China and Taiwan -- A deterioration of relations in
1994-95 has led to increased pressure from the military
sector on China's weak and transitional leadership to
discipline Taiwan and force it to reunite with the
9. Cyprus -- De facto partition of island with 18 per cent
Turkish Cypriots holding 36 per cent of the country backed
by 30,000 Turkish troops who invaded in 1974. Ethnic
cleansing of Greek Cypriots from the north and an
"ingathering" of Turkish Cypriots from the south has
resulted in separate ethnic zones. President of the
Republic: Glafkos Clerides; Turkish Cypriot leader: Rauf
10. Egypt -- More than 900 people have been killed in the
civil insurrection by the militant Islamic Group which
1992. After a lull, a new flurry of attacks, some on
tourists, occurred in November 1995 along a 150 mile
stretch of the Nile in the south (NYT, Nov. 20, 1995,
REPORT ON 1995 EGYPTIAN ELECTIONS
Selections from a Middle East International Report on 1995
Egyptian elections to the People's Assembly.
"Election disgrace" by Steve Negus (15 December 1995),
Observers were "shocked" at the sweeping electoral victory
by the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) "in the
first round of voting on 29 November where not a single
opposition candidate won an absolute majority ... and only
66 made it to the 6 December run-offs."
"As expected, NDP candidates used a variety of forms of
legal and illegal stratagems to ensure their victory.
Police turned a blind eye, if they did not cooperate
outright. In the three days before the election, security
forces arrested 688 Islamist poll watchers, leaving many
of the polling stations without any safeguards against
"A report compiled by the independent Commission for
Electoral Supervision, an ad hoc committee of six human
rights NGOs, lists several varieties of fraud that were
repeated in nearly every district.
* Ballot boxes arrived at the polls already stuffed with
ballots. Police denied entry to opposition poll monitors
at many polling stations during the first few hours of
voting. Baltagiya --rented thugs -- caused disturbances in
the polling stations and NDP monitors stuffed the boxes in
the confusion. NDP supporters were allowed to vote multiple
times. NDP supporters were allowed to vote without voting
cards. Police cars transporting the boxes to the station
to be counted went missing for hours at a time, and the
boxes turned up stuffed to the brim with NDP votes. In
four polling stations in northern Cairo, police announced
that there had been a bomb threat and ejected the
opposition poll monitors, allowing the NDP's
representatives to remain inside."
In connection with the elections, the Egyptian government
sentenced dozens of members of the Muslim Brotherhood
to prison terms and hundreds of supporters were arrested.
Militants have apparently decided to hit Egypt's assets
abroad; e.g., the November 19, 1995 suicide bombing on
Egypt's Embassy in Pakistan; the assassination attempt on
Mubarak in Ethiopia in June '95; a bombing in Croatia in
October '95 and the assassination of an Egyptian diplomat
in November '95.
Egypt's estimated July 95 population: 62.4 million; Egypt
adds about a million people every 10 months; fertility
rate: 3.67 children/per woman.
11. El Salvador -- The civil war which began in 1983 has
resulted in 80,000 deaths. By the end of 1995, there were
reports that death squad activity against leftists and
union leaders had stepped up. There is extensive media
documentation of CIA involvement with death squad
>From New York Times story: "Even with Peace and Rain,
Ethiopia Fears Famine" (1.3.95, Donatella Lorch)
The Ethiopian government has appealed for 250,000 tons of
food aid to feed about 3 million of its people. In 1995
400,000 tons of food aid was delivered. A million
Ethiopians died in the famine of 1984-85. The population
estimate for mid-1993 was 56.7 million. Ethiopia
"faces a legacy of degraded lands, poor road networks, a
high birth rate, disease and an agricultural base
destroyed by years of civil war and government policies."
Projections: Ethiopia will face more competition for food
in the next few years. By the year 2000, Africa will be
growing less than 3/4 of the food it needs. Aid is drying
up. Global availability of food aid in 1996 will be 7.6
million tons -- one million tons less than 1994 and the
lowest since the mid 70s.
Ethiopia is the world's poorest country in the world after
Mozambique. It was self-sufficient in food until the 80s
when its farming was destroyed by civil war, the policies
of the Marxist government of Mengistu Haile Mariam and the
forced relocation of 1.5 million farmers (Donatella Lorch,
13. France -- Muslim fundamentalist bombing campaign in
connection with the war in Algeria has elevated tensions.
Internal EC borders are patrolled intensively, much to the
chagrin of French drugs addicts in Northern France, who
used to go to the Netherlands for their purchases.
14. France: Corsica -- The Corsican National Liberation
Front has claimed responsibility for many bombings.
According to their statements, the attacks are intended
to pressure French authorities to concede more authority
to the island.
15.Greece and Turkish dispute over territorial waters.
Both fleets are on alert and facing each other. The only
thing that keeps them from shooting is strong NATO
pressure, and Turkey's desire to join the EC. Greece
intends to enlarge their territorial waters, thereby
making the Aegean Sea a Greek one.
16. Haiti -- Mid-1993 population estimate: 6.5 million.
President Jean Bertrand Aristide was overthrown by a
right-wing military coup with connections to the CIA in
1991 and was restored to office on October 15, 1994.
By the end of 1995, there were rising tensions between the
Haitian government and the U.S. One concern was that
Aristide would not step down on the scheduled date of
February 7, 1996 following December 1995 elections for
president. For its part, the Haitian government felt
threatened by the continued operation of right-wing death
squads who killed Aristide's cousin, Jean-Hubert Feuille, a
close political associate, among others.
According to a report in The Nation, recently discovered
evidence "indicates that starting in mid-1993, FRAPH [a
right-wing paramilitary group] was launched on its reign of
terror with secret shipments of U.S. arms, and that still
active FRAPH members have been used recently in U.S.
occupation operations, sprung from jail with Washington's
help, freshly recruited by the CIA and, as a matter of
high-level U.S. policy, allowed to keep their arms."
(Allan Nairn, January 8/15, 1996)
President Aristide has estimated that during the period
that he was ousted, 5,000 of his supporters were killed
by right-wing death squads such as FRAPH and the attaches.
Haitian boat people. Fewer than 300 boat people were
picked up by U.S. authorities in the 13 months ending
November 15, 1995. But by the end of 1995 the pace
dramatically increased. In November 1995 more than 1,100
Haitian boat people were picked up aboard two large
freighters and 47 were drowned when a smaller ship sank in
the same month (NYT, November 30, 1995, Larry Rohter).
17. India and Pakistan --
18. India -- the Naxalite (People's War Group of the
CP-I(M/L)) struggle in Andra Pradesh; the Sikh campaign
for a homeland (Khalistan) has recently begun claiming
19. Israel and Palestine -- An indication of the looming
crisis between the Arabs and Jews is the employment
situation in Gaza where the work force has grown from
136,290 in 1994 to 150,000 in 1995 while those finding
work in Israel dropped from a high of 60,000 to 80,000
(both legal and illegal) in pre-intifada 1987 to a low of
16,500 receiving work permits in September 1995 (Workers
Hotline Organization). Other issues: Israeli control of
water resources; land confiscation for settlements and for
road building, etc.; about 5,000 Palestinian prisoners
remain in Israeli jails. Travel to Jerusalem is severely
restricted as is travel between localities on the West
Bank and Gaza.
The campaign for Palestinian elections slated for January
20, 1996 have been marred by reports of censorship and
jailings of opposition leaders and journalists by Yasir
Arafat's forces. In addition, according to the Society of
St Ives, a Catholic human rights group based in Jerusalem,
Israeli authorities arrested 100 Palestinian intellectuals,
activists, and community leaders associated with the
political opposition days before the Israelis withdrew from
Palestinian cities. Also, the Society found that
over 50 administrative detainees had their detention
extended until the end of the Palestinian elections.
Many Palestinians have complained of Yasir Arafat's
authoritarian rule. The first prisoner died in Palestinian
custody in July 94 and since then 6 men have died in
Palestinian jails. 3 Palestinian newspapers have been
closed for long periods and journalists refuse interviews
for fear of detention (NYT, op-ed by Palestinian
journalist, Bassem Eid, 1.19.96).
The situation is particularly tense in Hebron where 450
Jewish settlers are strategically placed to intimidate and
harass the local population. Hamas has ordered
its followers to abstain from the January elections in
order to embarrass Arafat.
20. Israel and Syria -- The impasse is over Israeli
occupation of the Golan Heights which began in 1967 when
130,000 Syrians were expelled and the governing Israeli
Labor Party began to establish settlements there. Syrians
insist on complete Israeli withdrawal while the Israeli
negotiating position is to demand some kind of military
presence. Many see the water issue as critical since
Israel obtains about 20% of its water from sources in the
Golan. In December 1995, newly designated Prime Minister
Shimon Peres said: "The Golan Heights is the only mountain
we have. I am not prepared to give it away for skim milk"
21. Italy -- South Tirol was taken from the
Austro-Hungarian Empire after WWI. The language was
traditionally German and there are those who still want to
separate 'Lombardy' from the south and rejoin Austria.
22. Iran -- GOP/AIPAC Force U.S. Confrontation With Iran
According to an IPS report, the Republicans, led by Newt
Gingrich are pushing the Clinton Administration into a
confrontation with Iran. European and Japanese allies are
upset with a Senate bill passed in 1995 imposing financial
sanctions against foreign companies eager to capture
contracts worth an estimated $6.5 billion to help Iran
develop its oil and natural gas fields. The law would
sanction foreign companies investing in Iran.
Also, Republicans forced the Clinton administration to go
along with a covert program to "moderate" Iranian
behavior and recruit disillusioned Iranians into a broader
opposition. The powerful, pro-Israeli lobbying group,
AIPAC, has been urging Gingrich to make Iran a crusade.
When the Houston based Conoco oil company won a billion
dollar oil exploration deal in early 1995, Republicans and
pro-Israeli democratic legislators succeeded in getting
Clinton to block the deal and ban all U.S. Iranian ties
and stepped up lobbying efforts to persuade Iran's
creditors to deny it finance (IPS, Jim Lobe, 12.25.95).
The 1989 Khomeini fatwa against author Salmon Rushdie is
still in effect.
23. Kenya -- mid-1993 population: 27.7 million. President:
Daniel Arap Moi. There are hundreds of thousands of
Rwandan refugees living in camps in Kenya.
NYT article on Kenya: "As Population Swells, Nairobi
Plunges Into Poverty" (12.12.95, Donatella Lorch)
Picture caption: "A man reached to retrieve his child from
a pile of garbage in downtown Nairobi. Once a model for
east Africa, the Kenyan capital has neither the money nor
the resources to cope with its bounding population
NYT Report on Kenya's Turkana people: (10.16.95, Donatella
Headline: "Fiercest of Warriors, Crushed by a Savage Land,"
"Loporot [Kenya] Journal"
Picture caption: "The future looks bleak for the Turkana
people of Kenya, nomads and fierce warriors who inhabit one
of Africa's harshest regions."
The Turkana population has tripled in the last 40 years,
reaching an estimated 350,000. It has outstripped the
increase of the herds and the capacity of the land, said
Nigel Pavitt, a historian and author of "Turkana," a book
to be published this year. Mr. Pavitt, who came to Turkana
in 1957 as a British Army officer, has studied the tribe
"The future is bleak," Mr. Pavitt said. "Twenty or 30
percent of the Turkana will become miserably poor. There
are only three solutions. People die but that will not
happen because food aid keeps them alive. People migrate.
But to where? Or there has to be conflict."
24. Liberia -- War began in 1989 when forces led by
Charles Taylor overthrew the regime of Sgt. Doe. By the
time of the shaky cease-fire of August 1995, 150,000
Liberians were killed by 5 warring factions. 3/4 of
Liberia's population are refugees -- one-half in capital
Monrovia, and one-third in neighboring countries:
(mid-1993 population estimate: 2.8 million).
Fighting erupted by the end of 1995 between the forces of
Charles Taylor and Mr. Kroma, the leader of another
As 1996 began, dozens of people were killed in the worst
fighting since the August cease-fire. The clashes have
sent 80,000 people fleeing into Tubmanborg. Liberia's
diamond-rich northwestern region is controlled by rebels of
the ethnic Krahn branch of the United Liberation Movement
called Ulimo-J, led by General Roosevelt Johnson. Members
of the 7,000 troop peacekeepers of the Economic Community
of West African States (Ecomog) have been taken hostage by
rebel forces. They were spread out across Liberia to
prepare for the disarmament of 60,000 combatants, a key
component of the cease-fire (AP, in NYT, 1.4.96).
25. Mauritania -- Mid-1993 population estimate:
2.2 million). Since Mauritania achieved its independence
from France in 1960, it has been dominated by
light-skinned, Arabic speaking Moors. Mauritania expelled
70,000 of its black citizens ( who make up as much as 40%
of its population) to neighboring Senegal in several
The conflict originally began over grazing rights and
subsequently exploded into a full-blown crisis between the
two countries with hundreds of people killed in weeks of
rioting and reprisals (in 1995?). Mauritania has long been
under attack by human rights groups as one of the last
bastions of slavery (NYT, 1.11.96, Howard W. French)
26. Mexico -- In the Chiapas rebellion by the indigenous
Indian people led by Subcommander Marcos, 196 people were
killed in 12 days in January 1994. On January 12, 1994, a
cease fire was agreed. Peace talks have been ongoing since
April 1994 and are expected to continue until January
1997. Mexico's Indian peoples number 10 million of Mexico's
90 million people (mid-93 estimate).
The Chiapas rebellion put the spotlight on the thorny issue
of Indian rights. 80% of Mexico's Indian community suffer
high levels of poverty. They hold no major office in
Mexico's government and only a few of Mexico's 600 federal
congressional seats (NYT, 1.13.96, Anthony DePalma).
27. Nicaragua -- 3/4 of all Nicaraguan families live in
extreme poverty. 35% of children between 6-9 don't go to
school (20% of children this age are working); 24% of
Nicaraguan children suffer from malnutrition (La Tribuna,
October 9, 1995, as quoted in The Nation, 12.25.95,
28. North Korea -- Ruler: Kim Song Il. Mid-1993
population: 22.7 million. Famine may be widespread after
the worst floods in 100 years devastated the August 1995
harvest when 1.5 million tons of grain were lost and half
a million people were left homeless. The World Food
Program's appeal for $8.8 million has thus far yielded
only $200,000 (AP, reported in NYT, 12.14.95). In early
January, National Public Radio reported that the shortfall
in donations was $1.5 million of a total of $4.5 million.
29. Papua New Guinea (PNG) -- mid-1993 population: 3.9
million. The nearby island of Bougainville is the main
island in the Solomon Islands and was "given" to PNG by
the British as an independence day present after WWII. It
used to have the world's largest copper mine (CRA), but
this was shut down by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army
because, like the situation at Ok Tedi, the tailings from
the mine were dumped straight into the river destroying
the livelihood of the people living on it - it flooded out
to a toxic delta five miles wide. Australia has been
supplying PNG with helicopter gun ships and patrol boats,
and a blockade has been set up to stop medicines and
supplies and arms getting into Bougainville - which has
resulted in the death of approximately one quarter of the
30. Peru -- 23 million people. Half the population live
below the poverty line and almost 1/5 live in extreme
poverty. Only 1/3 of workforce has proper employment.
Hundreds of military attacks were carried out in 1995 by the
Communist Party of Peru (PCP).
31. Peru and Ecuador: Their border dispute broke out into
hostilities in late January 1995. The Aguaruna and Huambisa
peoples of Peru and the Shuai and Achuar peoples of
Ecuador have suffered the brunt of the combat.
32. Saudi Arabia -- Population: mid-1993 estimate:17.5
million; one quarter are foreign workers; 20% of
university graduates are unemployed.
The car bomb blast in Riyadh, on November 13, 1995 which
killed five people may have been the responsibility of
militant Islamic groups originally trained by the CIA in
connection with the covert 80s war in Afghanistan.
33. South Africa -- mid-1993 population: 39 million.
President Nelson Mandela. Tensions are high over the
October '95 arrests of 10 former high ranking military
officers associated with the (white) National Party. One
of those arrested, General Magnus Malan, is implicated in a
1987 raid in which 13 people holding a prayer meeting were
shot. General Malan was head of South Africa's armed forces
when it came to light that Mr. de Klerk's Government was
secretly financing a violent rival to Mr. Mandela's African
* Clashes have erupted between rival African National
Congress and Inkata forces in Kwazulu Natal with a number
of deaths reported.
* NYT article on South Africa by Suzanne Daley, December
12, '95: "As Crime Soars, South African Whites Leave"
Picture caption: "The fear of violence is leading Heidi
Moller's family, and other white South Africans, to leave
their fortified homes for distant lands."
34. South China Sea -- A highly volatile flashpoint for
serious interstate war springing from the dispute over the
Sprately and Paracell Islands oil reserves by the
contending countries of China, the Philipines, Vietnam
35. Suriname -- (pop. 400,000) Rainforests under attack by
foreign investors. Hostilities broke out in 1989 between
indigenous Indian peoples and Maroons broken by an
unsteady peace in 1992. Ongoing skirmishes between settlers
and native peoples.
36. United States
* Prison issues
* Nuclear waste
* Loss of farmland
"Every day more than 2,700 acres of farmland are bulldozed,
developed and paved over...forever." (American Farmland
* Military Spending
* Cost of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal -- $4 trillion = 1/4 of all
70,000 warheads: $375 billion
67,000 missiles: $371 billion
4,000 bombers: $200 billion
59 strategic missile silos; 1041 test explosions; 3,160
ICBMS, 2,975 strategic sea launched missiles
Command control and communication: $182 billion
Strategic defense and anti-missile systems: $400 billion
Spy satellites: 270 billion
Intelligence gathering: 230 billion
(NYT, 12.14.95, Paul Passell)
37. Western Sahara -- Fighting began in 1975 when Spain
pulled out of the region which it had colonized in 1904.
Morocco had long claimed Western Sahara, while the
Saharans' Polisario Front, which was formed in 1973, wanted
independence. Fighting all but died away after a 1991 cease
fire. However, Morocco has long hindered a referendum
which would allow the Sahrawi to determine their future,
while Algeria supports it and war could resume if no
progress is made on the diplomatic front (NYT, December 8,
1995, Barbara Crossette). There are 165,000 Western Saharan
refugees in Algeria (MEI).
38. Zimbabwe -- mid-1993 population: 10.7 million. One
million black farmers with small holdings are restricted
to about half the total arable area while the rest belongs
to about 4,500 large scale farmers, mostly white.
END OF PART TWO
Comments, information, contributions, requests, welcome.
Write to: Ronald Bleier (rbleier@xxxxxxx).
Part 1. ONGOING WARS; CHILDREN AS CASUALTIES OF WAR
Part 2. SIMMERING AND TROUBLE SPOTS
Part 3. MILITARY OCCUPATIONS, MINORITIES, PEACE TALKS,
REFUGEES, FORTHCOMING SECTIONS OF DESIP