The Humanitarian Times

May 30, 2000


- SRI LANKA: THOUSANDS FLEE JAFFNA PENN. TO SOUTHERN SAFE AREAS but rebel Tamil Tigers also inhibit save movement of civilians.

- 7,000 LEBANESE FLED TO ISRAEL IN PAST WEEK, AFTER S. LEBANON CAPTURED by Hezbollah guerrillas, following withdrawal of long-term Israeli troops. Some analysts view the new situation, with Hezbollah troops immediately overlooking Israeli territory as destabilizing; others see it as more stable. Now intl. & internal pressure grows for Syria to withdraw from N Lebanon. The Intl. Comm. of the Red Cross is helping evacuate Lebanese into Israel.

- 800,000 NEWLY DISPLACED IN ERTIREA FROM ETHIOPIAN ARMY ADVANCES, with refugees reaching Yemen & occupying new refugee camps in Sudan. Aid workers are concerned that continued Ethiopian air attacks on the Asmara airport, in Eritrea, would force a halt to humanitarian aid for displaced persons. The Bill & Melinda Gates Fndn. granted $1M to World Vision, Save the Children & Care for famine relief aid in Ethiopia.

- PEACE-ENFORCEMENT TROOPS IN SIERRA LEONE BOLSTERED TO 9,500 & authorized to reach 13,000. US Comm. for Refugees urges that all troops be under a single UN command & that soldiers be properly equipped & trained.

- JOURNALISTS AMBUSHED, KILLED IN SIERRA LEONE: KURT SCHORK OF REUTERS, & Miguel Gil Moreno of Spain were killed & 2 others wounded last Wednesday. Schork was a Rhodes scholar in Oxford along with Pres. Clinton, later was Bill Bradley's first campaign manager, & later became a journalist, covering humanitarian crises in N. Iraq, Chechnya & Bosnia, Schork became a colleague & friend of Fred Cuny who was killed in 1995 during his effort to aid Chechnya. Schork reported from Sarajevo in 1995. 26 journalists killed this year. In this week's Time Magazine, Amb. Richard Holbrooke says when he "went into war zones, (he) usually found Kurt waiting for us... I would take him aside to find out what was really happening." Ten other journalists were murdered in Sierra Leone last year. Also last week, a UN aid worker, Bashir Ahmad, & his family were killed by an aerial bomb launched by the Taliban.

- ELECTION INTEGRITY DISPUTED IN PERU & VENEZUELA; APPROVED IN HAITI; by the Organization of American States & independent election monitors. As a result, Venezuela postponed its election. In Peru, Alberto Fujimoro went forward with his election & won against no contestant, inciting nation-wide protests because his would-be run-off challenger, Alejandro Toledo withdraw from the race because of evident irregularities in the process. The OAS election monitors withdrew from Peru earlier last week stating that the elections could not be conducted or monitored appropriately. In Haiti, long-awaited national elections were held last week, with most legislative seats & mayoral positions won by the Lavalas party.


- MOB VIOLENCE CONTINUES IN INDONESIA'S MALUKU ISLANDS where 34 were killed last Thursday & another 50 this week. This week new riot police were sent to Ambon.


- HEAVY WINDS & RAINS DISPLACE THOUSANDS IN BANGLADESH & killed roughly 40, in Cox's Bazar & Chittagong districts. Panama & Colombia also saw heavy-rain emergencies this week.

- S. KOREA & U.S.SIGNED PROTOCOL LAST WEEK TO SHARE DISASTER INFO in particular, methods of disaster preparedness. The agreement was signed by James Witt of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

- "CHILDREN OF THE GUN" ARTICLE IN JUNE ISSUE, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN JRNL by Save the Children's N Boothby & C Knudsen explains legal prohibitions on child soldiers & reports findings about indoctrination of young children by rebel groups, such as Mozambique's Renamo, children to cross some kind of threshold - "their own self-concept had become solidly entwined with their captors" & less able to separate right from wrong acts.

- "TRANSNATIONAL CONTAGION & GLOBAL SECURITY" REVIEWS EMERGING DISEASES & efforts to establish a Global Emerging Infections System, with military involvement; see:

- "CASE BY CASE ANALYSIS OF RECENT CRISES, 20 YEARS OF HUMANITARIAN action: Iraq, Somalia, Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Burundi, the Former Zaire, Chechnya & Kosovo" by Medecins du Monde (F Trintignac, editor, 1999, Paris: MDM), see:

- "HARVARD INTENSIVE COURSE IN HEALTH & HUMAN RIGHTS" JUNE 26-28 organized by the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Ctr for Health & Human Rights in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Contact:


May 30, 2000 The Humanitarian Times

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