- The Washington Times - Monday, April 22, 2002

General to face judges
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia Retired Gen. Dragoljub Ojdanic, who commanded Yugoslav forces during the 1998-99 Kosovo campaign, will go to The Hague this week to face U.N. war-crimes charges, his attorney said Saturday.
His voluntary surrender would mark the first success for a Yugoslav law passed April 11 requiring citizens indicted for war crimes to cooperate with the U.N. court. A list of 23 indicted suspects was published by the government last week.
The United States, which holds the key to Yugoslavia's access to much-needed international loans, says it welcomes the move.

Peacekeeper hunted
SUVA, Fiji Interpol was preparing to arrest a former peacekeeping officer and senior Fiji soldier in New York after his nation's military listed him as a deserter, a newspaper reported.
On Friday, the Fiji Military Forces listed Lt. Col. Filipo Tarakinikini, suspected of involvement in the 2000 coup in the country, as a deserter, the Daily Post newspaper reported yesterday.
Police tracked him to an address in New York and expected to escort him home soon, the paper said.

Fox in the henhouse?
GENEVA Human Rights Watch says countries with "disturbing" records of their own are blocking key votes on the United Nations' top rights commission.
The U.S.-based organization said in a statement that in recent years "many highly abusive governments, which had faced censure by the Commission on Human rights, successfully fought to gain seats on the U.N. body as a way of fending off criticism."
"Countries with disturbing human rights records now command a significant bloc of votes," the group added. Among the "paragons of human rights virtue that now boast commission membership," the nongovernmental group listed Algeria, Burundi, China, Congo, Cuba, Indonesia, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Togo and Vietnam.

Africans block E.U. bid
HARARE, Zimbabwe The Zimbabwean government welcomed an Africa-led vote that blocked a call from the European Union for a U.N. human rights probe of the country.
"Once again we have been able to frustrate the machinations of imperialist forces," Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the Herald, a state-run daily.
On Friday, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights voted 26-24 not to take action on a draft resolution presented by EU countries, which would have urged Harare to invite U.N. rights specialists to visit the country.
"I am pleased once again that [Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw] has not succeeded," said Mr. Chinamasa. Britain ruled the country as a colony until 1965, when a white-supremacist government took over. Zimbabwe won independence in 1980.

Afghans flock home
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Nearly 300,000 Afghans have returned home from Pakistan and Iran in the past seven weeks as peace starts to take hold in large parts of Afghanistan, the United Nations says.
About 285,000 had returned home from Pakistan since a voluntary repatriation program began in the past month, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, said Friday in Islamabad. Another 10,000 had left Iran since a similar program began there this month, he added.
The returns are "shaping up to be the biggest and fastest since 800,000 refugees went home to Kosovo in 1999," the United Nations said.

Israel told to comply
CAIRO Egypt and China called on Israel over the weekend to withdraw immediately from Palestinian cities it had reoccupied and sought a complete cease-fire to stop the bloodshed.
Egyptian Information Minister Sawfat el-Sherif said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and visiting Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji discussed the Middle East crisis on Saturday and underlined "the danger of continuing this situation."
They also urged the international community to take a firm stand to ensure that Israel would implement resolutions from the 15-member U.N. Security Council, which in March and early April demanded an immediate cease-fire and a withdrawal from West Bank cities "without delay."

Betsy Pisik is on assignment; her column will resume when she returns.

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