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Military

Updated: 11-May-2004
 

SHAPE News Morning Update

11 May 2004

TERRORISM
  • Jordanian court convicts three Muslim militants of anti-American terror conspiracy
  • UN Council, Annan condemn bombing in Chechnya
  • Pro-Taliban Pakistan tribal leader denies sheltering foreign militants

BALKANS

  • EU's Patten warns Kosovo of losing much-needed investment

EU

  • EU leaders lack vision, driven by media, Havel says

TERRORISM

  • The court said the men conspired to attack Jordanian tourist attractions frequented by Americans and Israelis, and sentenced them to three years in prison with hard labor. The men were arrested a year ago, and no attacks were carried out. In a separate hearing Monday, the same court found two other Jordanians of Palestinian origin guilty of planning to infiltrate into Israel to mount armed attacks against the Jewish state. Buqour sentenced each to three years in jail, but he later commuted the sentence to two years with hard labor, saying he wanted to give the convicts a "chance for self-improvement." (AP 101804 May 04)

  • The UN Security Council and Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared unacceptable on Monday the bombing in Chechnya that killed the region's president and others during ceremonies marking the Second World War defeat of Nazi Germany. The 15-nation body then adopted a statement that "condemns in the strongest terms the perpetrators of this heinous act committed against innocent people at the stadium when celebrating the Victory Day -- the most solemn national holiday in the Russian Federation." No one claimed responsibility but officials pointed at separatist rebel Chechen leaders fighting Russian soldiers and their allies in the province. The council members also urged all nations to cooperate with Russia to bring the perpetrators to justice. They said "terrorism in all its forms" constituted a serious threat to peace and international security and were "criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivation. (Reuters 102121 GMT May 04)

  • A pro-Taliban, Pakistani militant leader accused of harboring al-Qaida men near the border with Afghanistan told tribal elders Monday that no foreign militants were hiding in areas under his control. The government later rejected the claim, saying foreigners were present in the region. Nek Mohammed appeared before it and said his tribe was not sheltering al-Qaida. He said the only foreigners in areas under his control were Afghan refugees. Authorities say that under the peace deal, Mohammed was bound to convince foreign militants in the area to lay down arms. Mohammed denies it. "There was not even any verbal agreement on this issue ... We only agreed to respect Pakistani laws, and keep our soil clean from terrorists." Last week, the U.S. military chief in Afghanistan urged Pakistan to continue military operations against foreign fighters in the region, saying that a "significant" number of Arabs, Chechens and Uzbeks had to be "killed or captured." (AP 101717 May 04)

BALKANS

  • A senior EU official warned Kosovo's leaders Monday to stabilize the province or lose hope of receiving much-needed foreign investment. Chris Patten, the outgoing EU external relations commissioner, encouraged leaders in the troubled province to meet a set of standards on tolerance and reconciliation. Patten also urged leaders to continue the reconstruction of hundreds of Serb homes and churches so that Kosovo could "build a community in which people are able to live side-by-side." Patten said that the creation of "harmonious community" would attract foreign investment. Local officials are desperate to attract investment, hoping to create jobs. Unemployment among Kosovo's population of 2 million is estimated at 57 percent. (AP 101736 May 04)

EU

  • European Union political leaders lack vision and are hounded by an insatiable media, and EU institutions are incomprehensible to the ordinary citizen, Czech elder statesman Vaclac Havel said on Monday. Speaking at a conference 10 days after Prague joined the European Union -- fulfilling one of his main goals – Havel called for leaders with vision and for people to focus on the quality of life rather than endlessly increasing output. Despite his criticisms, Havel said he was delighted his country had joined the bloc. "I spent a lot of time and energy to ensure our country became a member of NATO and the EU, so for me this is a great feeling. As a young dissident I certainly couldn't imagine this." (Reuters 101720 GMT May 04)


 



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