- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 20, 2000

Jakarta scolds Cohen over aid threat

NEW YORK Responding to an aid-at-risk warning by U.S. Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, Indonesia's foreign minister said cutting off humanitarian assistance because of violence by militia in Timor was not the way to resolve chaos on the island.
Mr. Cohen, visiting Jakarta Monday, urged Indonesian officials to disband rioting militiamen intimidating refugees in Indonesian West Timor and U.N. peacekeepers in East Timor, run by the United Nations.
Yesterday, the U.S. defense chief flew to South Korea for security talks, saying the two countries had made good progress toward a new agreement on the status of 37,000 U.S. troops in the South.

Ex-Soviet states now 10 times poorer

PRAGUE Poverty in countries closely linked with the former Soviet Union has increased tenfold since the collapse of communism, the World Bank reported yesterday.
In its first study of poverty and inequality in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the international lending institution said it was disappointed its $35 billion in loans to the region have not paved a smoother transition to a free-market economy.
"It's clear that in a system where the government is weak, the overall effectiveness of our loans is not, and can't be, as effective as in areas with stronger, efficient governments," World Bank Vice President Johannes Linn said in releasing the 500-page study at a press conference.
"It's disappointing, and with the benefit of hindsight, we would have done some things differently," Mr. Linn added.

Flooding to stunt Cambodian economy

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen warned yesterday that economic growth in poverty-stricken Cambodia would likely slow because the worst flooding in 70 years has devastated rice paddies and other farmland.
More than 140 persons have died in Vietnam and Cambodia in two months of flooding, while 1 million people have lost their homes, belongings, land or livestock.
Speaking in the southeastern province of Prey Veng, Hun Sen said huge areas of rice paddies and fields used for other crops have been submerged.

Ivory Coast junta bans political rallies

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast The Ivory Coast junta has banned all political rallies and demonstrations until the start of the electoral campaign, Interior Minister Lt. Col. Mouassi Grena said in a statement yesterday.
But the junta also announced it would convene a "consultation meeting" tomorrow of junta members, military chiefs and political leaders, state television said.
The ban on rallies "was made necessary," the statement said, after the attack of the head of state Robert Guei's residence last weekend.

War crimes panel firm on Milosevic

THE HAGUE, Netherlands The U.N. war crimes tribunal will "never, never, never" accept an immunity deal for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, the chief prosecutor said yesterday.
Prosecutor Carla del Ponte said investigators were in fact preparing to expand the Yugoslav leader's indictment for war crimes in Kosovo to include atrocities during the 1992-95 Bosnian War and genocide.
Responding to reports earlier this year that the U.S. government might offer Mr. Milosevic an immunity deal if he steps down from politics, Mrs. Del Ponte said she would never allow such an outcome.

Hunger in Kenya ignored abroad

NAIROBI, Kenya A severe drought has left millions of Kenyans hungry or destitute, but the response of the international community has been unenthusiastic, the U.N. special envoy to the Horn of Africa said on yesterday.
Catherine Bertini, also executive director of the U.N. World Food Program, said that 3.3 million Kenyans were in "dire need" of food relief, but that nearly one-third of $130 million needed had yet to be raised.
"We haven't had a lot of food over the summer, so some of the rations levels have been cut," Mrs. Bertini told reporters in the capital, Nairobi.

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