Date: Feb 4, 1999 [ 0: 0: 1]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 2 Feb 1999 to 3 Feb 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 2 Feb 1999 to 3 Feb 1999
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There is one message totalling 111 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. An Ideal to Die For


Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 19:35:04 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: An Ideal to Die For

An Ideal to Die For

By Nora Boustany

Wednesday, February 3, 1999; Page A14

Only in the most sinister corners of the globe do people give up what is
worth living for to say: "It would be better to die standing up." This
is how Bernard Kolelas, the former prime minister of the Congo Republic
and ex-mayor of Brazzaville, summed up the mood of militiamen entrenched
in the country's jungles to battle government forces of Gen. Denis
Sassou-Nguesso, Kolelas's alternate political enemy and ally.

Sassou-Nguesso seized power on Oct. 15, 1997, ousting President Pascal
Lissouba -- who had defeated Sassou-Nguesso in an election four years
before -- with the decisive help of Angolan troops. The fighting that
led up to the coup, Kolelas said, started on June 5 of that year with
skirmishes that erupted when Sassou-Nguesso insisted on entering a
village -- whose headman he had liquidated -- on the shoulders of his
men, as was traditional. That incident, Kolelas said, led to violence
elsewhere by Sassou-Nguesso gunmen, whose defiance drew Lissouba's
troops into the fray.

Explaining why he rejected urgings by France that he enter the current
Sassou-Nguesso government, the former premier said he had fought against
Marxists and Leninists for decades and would never serve a leader who
was not elected. "I said no, I am not here for power's sake, to serve a
regime that does not serve democracy," Kolelas recalled.

Now, Kolelas's previously demobilized militiamen -- known as Ninjas --
have taken up arms against Sassou-Nguesso, and Kolelas said he regrets a
past alliance with the general. The Congo Republic's constitution,
Kolelas said, calls for "civil disobedience when the constitution is not
upheld." Kolelas himself is in the United States, keeping an eye on
developments back home and talking to State Department officials about
how to steer his country out of the mess it's in.

He is demanding that Angolan troops and Chadian, Libyan, Cuban, Rwandan
and Moroccan mercenaries leave the country before the beginning of any
peace talks that could lead to "a consensual management of the
situation" among the Congo Republic's many factions. He is asking also
that a multinational intervention force be deployed for a year that
would conclude with elections supervised by international observers.
Militia groups would then be disarmed with the object of integrating
some of them into an "apolitical, republican army," he added. At
present, the nucleus of the army is loyal to Sassou-Nguesso.

Aligned With Mecca?

Two decades after Iran's Islamic Revolution scrambled political and
religious landscapes of the Middle East and of Muslim states beyond,
Arash Farouhar, 30, the son of Iranian dissidents who were stabbed to
death late last year, offered a glimpse into the unresolved and heroic
struggle for freedom and democracy in his country.

His father, Daryush Farouhar, a lawyer and secretary general of the
opposition Iran National Party, and his activist mother, Parvaneh, were
assassinated Nov. 22. They were victims of a wave of killings and
kidnappings -- which moderate government leaders have blamed on
extremist security and intelligence elements in the regime -- that was
aimed at paralyzing a growing challenge to the legitimacy of Islamic

Arash Farouhar, who lives in exile in Germany, said he is touring the
United States to call for an international nongovernmental group to
investigate the killings. The Tehran government has acknowledged that
elements of its security apparatus were implicated in the terror
campaign and has called for an investigation, but no one has been named,
charged or brought to justice, Farouhar said in an interview Monday. A
cleric close to President Mohammed Khatemi who was sent to express
condolences to the family told the young Farouhar that "international
pressure" was needed because "Khatemi cannot do it alone." A commission
assigned by Khatemi to investigate the killings announced recently that
"the motivation was not political." That infuriated students and
activists who say that failure to identify the culprits will discourage
intellectuals and encourage a "reign of terror."

"Those . . . who expected to improve the establishment were suppressed
by the very same establishment," Daryush Farouhar said in an interview
three weeks before his death. A week later, he wrote in an underground
journal that Khatemi was "distancing himself from what he has promised
as days go by. Expecting something from him is a major deviation from
the path we must follow."

At the Farouhars' funeral in Tehran, which drew more than 100,000
people, one mourner went down on his knees facing the freshly dug grave
and away from Mecca, Arash Farouhar recalled. Daryush Farouhar, who had
fired the imagination of young Iranians, had been stabbed 11 times in
the chest and placed on a chair facing the qiblah -- the point to which
Muslims turn to face Mecca when they kneel in prayer. So the mourner,
turning his back to Mecca, declared: "They said they killed you and
directed you toward the qiblah. You are my qiblah."

Students, who formed protective chains around Arash Farouhar when he
came for his parents' burial, told him that the time will come when
Khatemi must choose between the rule of clerics and of the people. "I
don't want to defend Khatemi, and I don't want to condemn him," Farouhar
said. "He will only make a difference when he puts his life on the

Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 2 Feb 1999 to 3 Feb 1999