- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 2, 2002

Lawmakers criticize Iraq inspection plan

Members of Congress and former weapons inspectors yesterday criticized the Bush administration's plan to press Iraq to allow the international inspectors to return, saying it won't deter Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, but will allow him more time to delay democratic process.

Sen. Fred Thompson, the top Republican on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee's proliferation panel said, "It just means another cat-and-mouse game, at which point [Saddam] would run to the United Nations and get his friends there to protect him with regard to whatever he's doing,"

Former weapons inspectors say there's no indication Saddam will drop plans to develop weapons of mass destruction and the ability to deliver them to distant shores.

"It appears that most of the proposals for getting inspectors back into Iraq are based on the premise that 'any inspectors are better than none,'" said Richard Spertzel, who was the United Nations' chief biological-weapons inspector in Iraq from 1994 to 1999.

NATO continues search for Karadzic

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina Another pre-dawn NATO raid in remote eastern Bosnia yesterday failed to locate a former Bosnian Serb leader who is the U.N. war-crimes tribunal's most-wanted suspect.

This was the second NATO operation in 24 hours chasing Radovan Karadzic, a past ally of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who is now being tried by the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague for purported war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.

Mr. Karadzic and his top general, Ratko Mladic, are charged with genocide and crimes against humanity in Bosnia during more than three years of war that began in 1992, when the republic declared independence from Yugoslavia.

Bosnian Serb officials said the raid yesterday, which began before dawn, lasted several hours.

U.N. says it plans to phase out tribunals

NEW YORK Striking a defensive note, the United Nations said yesterday it has been ahead of Washington in planning the phase-out of its tribunals weighing charges of war crimes and genocide in the Balkans and Rwanda.

"It is the presidents of the two international tribunals Judges Claude Jorda and Navanethem Pillay who have taken the lead in outlining the process by which the tribunals will complete their work," U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe said.

She was responding to a query about accusations of lapses in management and professionalism leveled by the U.S. ambassador at large for war crimes, Pierre-Richard Prosper, in testimony to Congress on Thursday.

Colombian general quits after rebel attacks

BOGOTA, Colombia A Colombian army general resigned and a police colonel was fired after a FARC rebel offensive that included the bombing many parts of Colombia into darkness, cut off towns and kidnapped a presidential candidate, the military said yesterday.

Saying "terrorism forces me to step down," Gen. Gustavo Porras, commander of the 12th Brigade in the southern region of Caqueta one of the hardest hit by the onslaught by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia presented his resignation Thursday.

National police chief Gen. Luis Ernesto Gilibert yesterday dismissed the police commander of the oil-rich eastern Arauca province, Col. Jesus Antonio Moya. FARC rebels had dynamited a power station, leaving 50,000 people without electricity in the area.

Greek navy chief resigns; replacement due

ATHENS The commander of the Greek navy, Vice Adm. Giorgos Theodoroulakis, resigned yesterday, the navy said in a statement.

Adm. Theodoroulakis, who had served in the post since February 2001, handed in his resignation at a meeting of military commanders on promotion and retirement.

The statement did not give details, but sources said he had stepped down after a dispute with Defense Minister Yannos Papantoniou. His replacement is due to be announced today.

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