Stop NATO News: December 31, 2011: West Blocking Kosovo Organ Trafficking Probe: Russian UN Envoy

31 December 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Central Asia, Afghanistan: U.S. Seeks New Drone Bases
  • U.S. Air Force Buys Fastest, Largest Hunter-Killer Drone
  • U.S. Civilians Now Helping Decide Who To Kill With Military Drones
  • Boeing Wins $3.5 Billion Bid For Long-Range Interceptor Missiles
  • Pakistan Seizes 250 Containers With U.S., NATO Military Equipment
  • Almost 3,000 NATO Fatalities: Deadly Cost Of Afghan War
  • Australia Quadruples Base Used For Afghan War Training
  • Pacific Command Nomination Signals Pentagon’s Shift To Asia-Pacific
  • Japan’s Worrisome Return To Militarism
  • India, Japan To Conduct Joint Naval Maneuvers In Indian Ocean
  • West Blocking Kosovo Organ Trafficking Probe: Russian UN Envoy

Central Asia, Afghanistan: U.S. Seeks New Drone Bases

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/30-Dec-2011/us-looking-for-new-drone-bases-after-pakistan-s-refusal

The Nation
December 30, 2011

US looking for new drone bases after Pakistan’s refusal
By Sikandar Shaheen

-Including the covert base in Khost, the US has seven operational military bases located in Kandahar, Herat, Parwan, Helmand and Nimroz provinces.
With the exception of the Khost base that is under the operational command of CIA, the US Army, Air Force and Navy jointly administer the remaining six bases.
-According to officials at a diplomatic mission, the US was actively considering establishing covert military bases in Central Asia for continuing drone-hits in Pakistan but the Central Asian Republics (CARs) refused to provide launching pads owing to Russia’s pressure.
-78 drone attacks in the ongoing year have killed 607 persons including militants and civilians in the Pakistan’s tribal region while 306 drone strikes claimed 3659 lives in this region since 2004.

ISLAMABAD – The CIA-sponsored drone campaign in Pakistan‘s Northwestern Tribal region is likely to remain stalled amid the reports that the US may not find a feasible alternative venue to target Pak-Afghan borderlands after having become entangled in a deadlock with Pakistan over the Mohmand attack row.

Till the middle of last month, the Central intelligence Agency (CIA) oversaw drone hits in Pakistan’s Waziristan region mostly from the Shamsi base in Balochistan province and partly from a US base in Khost province, Afghanistan.

After US AC-130H Spectre gunship choppers targeted a couple of military check posts in Mohmand Agency killing two dozen Pak soldiers on November 26th, Pakistan gave a 15-day deadline to the US to vacate the Shamsi base that followed its evacuation by December 11th. Since then, there has been a complete halt in drone hits.

Including the covert base in Khost, the US has seven operational military bases located in Kandahar, Herat, Parwan, Helmand and Nimroz provinces.
With the exception of the Khost base that is under the operational command of CIA, the US Army, Air Force and Navy jointly administer the remaining six bases.

Reportedly, the United States mulled over using the Shindand base in Helmand, the Bagram base in Parwan and the Camp Leatherneck base in Nimroz province as launching pads for drone hits in Pakistani borderlands but the idea ceased to work owing to the engagements of these bases in extensive aerial operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s refusal to allow the CIA to carry on with the covert drone programme in its tribal area in the post-November 26th scenario.

Talking to The Nation, Abdullah Khan, Director of the Conflict Monitoring Centre (CMC), an Islamabad-based think-tank that monitors conflict scenarios in South Asia, said the CIA had the option of using the Khost base for drones but things were to be different compared to the Shamsi base.

‘Its not as convenient and easy as it used to be. There are too many operational constraints involved in launching drone strikes from Khost compared to Shamsi. Secondly, given that Pakistan has completely disrupted intelligence sharing on drones, it’s next to impossible for them (CIA) to continue with drones here’’ he said.

Elaborating on the operational constraints for the drone programme at the Khost base, Khan said: ‘It’s not only about drones. There’s a whole lot of surveillance, spying and military movements that were being overseen from Shamsi. That’s not possible from Afghanistan due to the proximity factor. The Khost base had come under a deadly suicide attack last year.’

According to CMC figures, 78 drone attacks in the ongoing year have killed 607 persons including militants and civilians in the Pakistan’s tribal region while 306 drone strikes claimed 3659 lives in this region since 2004.

The last drone hit was reported in the Shawal area of North Waziristan that killed some six to nine persons. The Khost provincial government spokesman Mubarez Zadran expressed ignorance regarding the presence of a covert military base for drones in Khost. ‘This is something nobody would want to speak on.

‘Yes, the US military bases are there and that’s no hidden affair but these bases are not being used for drone-hits in Pakistan. I think you better consult US military on this,’ he suggested to this scribe.

Neither the US Embassy in Islamabad nor the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) officially comments on the CIA drone programme.

NATO officials in Afghanistan, when contacted on prior occasions, had denied having any involvement with drone hits in Pakistan. According to officials at a diplomatic mission, the US was actively considering to establish covert military bases in Central Asia for continuing drone-hits in Pakistan but the Central Asian Republics (CARs) refused to provide launching pads owing to Russia’s pressure.

Russia has serious disagreements with the US presence in Afghanistan.

In October this year, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Pakistan along with top military officials had followed a secretive agreement on drones as part of renewed Pak-US military cooperation after a spree of hostility. Unearthed by The Nation on October 22nd, the agreement envisaged resumption of intelligence cooperation between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the CIA for hunting down militants on both sides of the border.

====

U.S. Air Force Buys Fastest, Largest Hunter-Killer Drone

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-stealth-drone-20111231,0,2148856.story

Los Angeles Times
December 31, 2011

Air Force buys an Avenger, its biggest and fastest armed drone
The new radar-evading aircraft, which cost the Air Force $15 million, has a maximum takeoff weight of 15,800 pounds and can fly at 460 mph. The drone, built near San Diego, is for testing purposes
W.J. Hennigan

-With a length of 44 feet and a maximum takeoff weight of 15,800 pounds, the Avenger can carry more weaponry than its predecessors…
The Avenger…has an internal bomb bay like other modern fighter and bomber jets. It was designed to carry 2,000-pound bombs, as well as missiles, cameras and sensor packages.

The Air Force has bought a new hunter-killer aircraft that is the fastest and largest armed drone in its fleet.

The Avenger, which cost the military $15 million, is the latest version of the Predator drones made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., a San Diego-area company that also builds the robotic MQ-9 Reapers for the Air Force and CIA.

The new radar-evading aircraft, also known as the Predator C, is General Atomics’ third version of these drones…

The Avenger represents a major technological advance over the other Predator and Reaper drones that the Obama administration has increasingly relied on to hunt and destroy targets in Central Asia and the Middle East, defense industry analysts said. It may be several months — even years — away from active duty, but the Avenger represents the wave of the future, said Phil Finnegan, an aerospace expert with the Teal Group, a research firm.

‘As the U.S. looks at threats beyond Iraq and Afghanistan — where it has complete air dominance — it needs aircraft that are going to be stealthier and faster so they won’t be shot down by enemy air defense,’ Finnegan said.

With a length of 44 feet and a maximum takeoff weight of 15,800 pounds, the Avenger can carry more weaponry than its predecessors.

The Reaper, for example, is 36 feet long and has a maximum takeoff weight of 10,500 pounds. The largest bombs it carries weigh 500 pounds and hang from its wings.

The Avenger, on the other hand, has an internal bomb bay like other modern fighter and bomber jets. It was designed to carry 2,000-pound bombs, as well as missiles, cameras and sensor packages.

Both the Reaper and Avenger have 66-foot wingspans and can reach a maximum altitude of about 50,000 feet.

The Reaper can stay aloft for 30 hours at a time –- 10 hours longer than the Avenger. But with the power of a turbofan engine, the Avenger’s top speed is about 460 mph, much faster than the propeller-driven Reaper’s 276 mph.

The Avenger is considered one of the contenders to replace older Predators and Reapers. It’s also likely to be in the running for the Navy’s upcoming carrier-launched drone program.

====

U.S. Civilians Now Helping Decide Who To Kill With Military Drones

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-civilians-are-now-helping-decide-who-to-kill-with-military-drones-2011-12

Business Insider
December 30, 2011

US Civilians Are Now Helping Decide Who To Kill With Military Drones
Robert Johnson   

-The Air Force owns 230 Reapers, Predators, and Global Hawks — flying 50 of them at any given time.
But it’s the 730 more drones being added to the fleet over the next 10 years that may explain why military personnel are now being asked to fly four drones at once.

President Obama’s enormous expansion of the U.S. drone program may be pushing too fast for military staffing to keep up.

David S. Cloud of The Los Angeles Times reports the military is now forced to rely on a string of civilian contractors placed at all levels along the ‘kill chain.’ These are the people who analyze incoming drone video and decide when to fire Hellfire missiles.

The practice is not new.

According to Cloud, an American civilian played a ‘central’ role in the Predator attack that accidentally killed 15 Afghans in 2010, information that ‘surprised’ the investigating Army officer.

Manning the drone fleet is a mounting issue in the Air Force.

It takes more staff to fly a drone than an F-15, and with more drones than ever in the air, non-government employees are increasingly employed to analyze video, and keep the UAVs in the air.

The Air Force says it takes 168 people to fly a Predator for 24 hours, and 300 people to keep a Global Hawk aloft for the same time.

The Air Force owns 230 Reapers, Predators, and Global Hawks — flying 50 of them at any given time.

But it’s the 730 more drones being added to the fleet over the next 10 years that may explain why military personnel are now being asked to fly four drones at once.

Announced last week and received with a wealth of concerns, the four drone per pilot program raises further concerns about an already legally muddled program.

Despite public resistance, legal questions, and additional pilot stress, military officials in the U.S. and Britain are already claiming to see ‘great promise’ with the four drone program.

Unless the military drastically increases its recruiting efforts, with the defense cuts a huge improbability, there is likely to be an increasing number of civilians, working for profitable corporations, helping make decisions on when to fire U.S. weapons.

While the Air Force tries to maintain certain standards within its ranks, attempting to root out those with questionable legal backgrounds, and poor ‘moral standing,’ every corporation within the kill chain is guided by its own hiring practices.

====

Boeing Wins $3.5 Billion Bid For Long-Range Interceptor Missiles

http://news.yahoo.com/boeing-wins-3-48-billion-u-missile-defense-222356972.html

Reuters
December 30, 2011

Boeing wins $3.48 billion U.S. missile defense contract

Boeing Co beat out Lockheed Martin to retain its position as the prime contractor for the U.S. long-range missile shield, the Pentagon said on Friday.

The U.S. Defense Department said it was awarding Boeing a $3.48 billion, seven-year contract to develop, test, engineer and manufacture missile defense systems.

A team led by Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co had vied with Boeing to expand and maintain the Ground-based Midcourse Defense, or GMD, hub of layered antimissile protection.

GMD uses radars and other sensors plus a 20,000-mile fiber optic communications network to cue interceptors in silos in Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

(Reporting By Jim Wolf and Karey Wutkowski; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

====

Pakistan Seizes 250 Containers With U.S., NATO Military Equipment

http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/pak-forces-claim-seizing-us-nato-military-equipment/944561.html

Press Trust of India
December 30, 2011

Pak forces claim seizing US, NATO military equipment

Karachi: Pakistani security forces today claimed that they had seized and confiscated sensitive military equipment in around 250 containers belonging to US and NATO forces.

Television channels reported that the military equipment was seized on security grounds by the paramilitary Pakistan Rangers. According to Ranger officials, the equipment will remain under their control until further orders are received from the government. ‘The military equipment was found in around 250 containers which have now been parked in a yard at Port Qasim,’ a security official said.

The seizure comes at a time when the United States has announced it was planning to withdraw all its military hardware and arms out of Pakistan after the Pakistan government closed its Afghan border for supplies carried out through containers and oil tankers to US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The ‘Express News’ channel quoted security sources as saying that the ban on supplies to US and NATO forces in Afghanistan had prompted the US government to weight various options to move around the cargo stranded at various locations in Pakistan. According to these sources, US cargo, stranded in Pakistan, is worth millions of dollars and US authorities have serious concerns over the safety of the cargo as it includes hammer vehicles, dumpers, anti-aircraft guns, special carriers of anti-aircraft guns, vehicles specially built to jam communications, cranes and sophisticated weapons.

====

Almost 3,000 NATO Fatalities: Deadly Cost Of Afghan War

http://www.smh.com.au/world/565-the-deadly-cost-of-afghanistan-involvement-20111231-1pg4n.html

Agence France-Presse
December 31, 2011

565: The deadly cost of Afghanistan involvement
Joe Sinclair

Foreign troops fighting in Afghanistan continue to pay a high toll, with more than 560 killed in 2011, the second highest number in the 10-year war against the Taliban-led insurgency.

Commanders from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) say violence is declining following the US military surge which saw an extra 33,000 troops on the ground.

But the UN says violence is up, while recent mass casualty strikes by the Taliban on civilians and coalition troops have fuelled analyst predictions that more bloodshed is likely as NATO hands control for security to Afghan forces.

The death toll of coalition service personnel in 2011 was 565.

According to the independent website icasualties.org, 32 Australian defence personnel have died in Afghanistan since 2002.

A total 417 from the US, 45 from Britain, and 11 from Australia died in 2011, according to an AFP tally based on figures from icasualties.org.

The number is down from a wartime high of 711 in 2010 after the start of the surge but up from 521 in 2009.

The fatality count, which includes 11 Australians, has been worsened by several devastating attacks, including the car bombing of an ISAF convoy in Kabul in October which killed 17, and the shooting down of a helicopter in Wardak, south of the capital, in August in which 30 US troops perished.

But it is Afghan civilians who have paid the highest price.

The deadliest attack saw at least 80 people killed in a shrine bombing in Kabul on the Shi’ite holy day of Ashura in early December.

Since the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban from power in 2001, a total of 2,846 foreign troops have died in the conflict.

The UN said the number of civilians killed in violence in Afghanistan rose by 15 per cent in the first six months of this year to 1,462. A full-year report is due out in mid-January.

====

Australia Quadruples Base Used For Afghan War Training

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-30/cultana-training-base-expansion-agreement/3753122?section=sa

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
December 30, 2011

Agreement reached over controversial military base
Nicola Gage

Traditional owners in South Australia’s north say they have reached an agreement with the Defence Department over a proposed army base expansion.

The department wants to expand the Cultana Training Area near Whyalla to make it one of the biggest military training bases in Australia.

The department will hold a final meeting in the new year before the Aboriginal Land Use Agreement is signed.

It still needs to acquire the necessary land from affected pastoralists before the expansion will go ahead.

Project history

The expansion was first announced by the Liberal Defence Minister, Robert Hill, in 2005.

The project will see the base nearly quadruple in size, requiring the compulsory acquisition of about 150,000 hectares of land.

The Cultana base is used to train soldiers for conditions in Afghanistan.

A soldier was killed there in 2009 during a live-firing training accident.

====

Pacific Command Nomination Signals Pentagon’s Shift To Asia-Pacific

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-12/30/content_14354600.htm

China Daily
December 30, 2011

Nomination signals Washington’s ‘focus on Asia-Pacific’
By Cui Haipei

-Liu Lin, a researcher with the Academy of Military Science of the People’s Liberation Army, said the nomination of the well-known figure to some extent reflected the US government’s growing attention to Asia-Pacific affairs – Locklear directly commanded the operation in Libya…
‘Because there are several emerging countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as China, India and Indonesia, the USPACOM’s strategic importance is rising rapidly for US troops,’ Liu said.
Locklear, a graduate of the US Naval Academy, is currently commander of US Naval Forces Europe, commander of US Naval Forces Africa, and commander of Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy.

BEIJING: Chinese experts said that US President Barack Obama’s nomination of navy Admiral Samuel Locklear as commander of US Pacific Command (USPACOM) on Wednesday is a sign of the US government’s growing attention to Asia-Pacific affairs.

If confirmed by the Senate, Locklear will replace Admiral Robert Willard as head of the largest of the six US military Unified Combatant Commands.

USPACOM has about 325,000 service members, or about one-fifth of the US military strength, and covers an area stretching from the waters off the US west coast to the western border of India.

Liu Lin, a researcher with the Academy of Military Science of the People’s Liberation Army, said the nomination of the well-known figure to some extent reflected the US government’s growing attention to Asia-Pacific affairs – Locklear directly commanded the operation in Libya which made him popular.

‘Because there are several emerging countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as China, India and Indonesia, the USPACOM’s strategic importance is rising rapidly for US troops,’ Liu said.

Locklear, a graduate of the US Naval Academy, is currently commander of US Naval Forces Europe, commander of US Naval Forces Africa, and commander of Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy.

Since the Obama administration took office in early 2009, it has realized the strategic importance of the region and adopted a back-to-Asia strategy in a bid to maintain the US leadership in both economic and security arenas in Asia, Liu said.

Liu said the admiral, as chief of Pacific Command, would likely continue the policies of his predecessors, and focus on China’s growing economic and military strength and the uncertainty on the Korean Peninsula, especially after Kim Jong-il’s death.

‘Actually, soon after the Cold War, the US already decided to transfer its strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region, but the anti-terrorism war then came to the top of the focus list,’ said Liu, adding that Obama announced last month the deployment of up to 2,500 US Marines in Australia, another piece of its Asia-Pacific strategy adjustment.

The disadvantage of Locklear, compared with his predecessor Admiral Robert Willard, appointed in October 2009, is that Locklear has never dealt with any matters in the Asia-Pacific, Liu said.

‘These senior military officers to some degree are also diplomats, so before he actually gets familiar with the region, it is too soon to speak of specific impacts of the nomination,’ she added.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

====

Japan’s Worrisome Return To Militarism

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-12/31/content_14361807.htm

China Daily
December 31, 2011

Japan’s case of flawed priority
By Wang Hui

Tokyo’s decision to ease arms exports ban is fraught with danger, for it could start a new arms race in Asia and worsen Mideast security

-Japan has been strengthening its military might since the Cold War days and especially after the first Gulf War under various pretexts, including the need to defend against non-existent enemies and bolster its global presence. That it has been nurturing expansionist ambitions, covertly and overtly, is evident in its Self Defense Force, for it is as good as any sophisticated army, endowed with advanced weapons and equipment and capable of conducting missions overseas whenever necessary.

Japan’s decision to effectively lift the long-standing ban on export of arms is shortsighted, if not dangerous. Worse, it could backfire on domestic, regional and international fronts in the long run.

On Tuesday, Osamu Fujimura, chief secretary of Japan’s Cabinet, announced that Tokyo was easing its decades-old ban on arms exports to pave the way for joint development and production of advanced weapons with other countries.

It is widely perceived that huge defense costs prompted Tokyo to relax the rules, which it had been mulling for years. Such concerns may be seemingly relevant given the financial pinch Japan is feeling in reviving the national economy after the triple disaster of the earthquake, tsunami and the subsequent leak from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The triple disaster dealt a heavy blow to the Japanese economy, which had already been suffering from slow growth since the country’s asset-price bubble burst in the early 1990s.

But compared to the economic benefits that arms exports could bring, the social and political repercussions of lifting the ban would be much greater and might even lead Japan onto a dangerous path. For example, the decision has already sown the seeds of social division. While some right-wing media and groups have lauded it as epoch-making, others have denounced it as being detrimental to Japan’s image as a pacifist power and even violating its pacific constitution.

Indeed, a country that has followed a war-renouncing doctrine for decades could unleash its arms manufacturing capability when it departs from its pacifist path. Japan’s decision to ease the ban on arms exports cannot be interpreted as a move to uphold its pacifist constitution, for it is an open declaration to boost its military might. Fujimura’s statement on Tuesday makes that obvious.

Although Fujimura gave an assurance that Japan would adhere to its pacifist principles, his other statement revealed Japan’s real intentions. ‘We should acquire the most advanced defense technology to upgrade the capability of Japanese defense industry,’ he said.

In fact, Japan has been strengthening its military might since the Cold War days and especially after the first Gulf War under various pretexts, including the need to defend against non-existent enemies and bolster its global presence. That it has been nurturing expansionist ambitions, covertly and overtly, is evident in its Self Defense Force, for it is as good as any sophisticated army, endowed with advanced weapons and equipment and capable of conducting missions overseas whenever necessary.

Japan has sent troops beyond its border since the first Gulf War, and participated in international peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. It has taken steps to fight piracy and joined the United States in the ‘war on terror’. It has set up a military base in Africa too, without bothering to clarify its intentions. So it’s no surprise that the US has welcomed Japan’s decision to relax the arms exports ban.

As a result of these developments, Japanese society is turning increasingly to the right, and right-wing politicians have made sizable gains in Japanese politics. No wonder, some Japanese are worried that their country would discard its pacifist constitution sooner or later.

The latest move to relax the ban on arms exports will fan military sentiments in Japanese society by giving the country access to cutting-edge military technology. Japan’s defense industry is the most advanced in Asia, capable of manufacturing destroyers with Aegis Combat System, advanced fighters, military satellites and submarines.

A country that is widely believed to have lost its identity in recent years will not help cultivate a normal national psyche by trying to expand its military clout. The gains Japan makes from arms sale will be more than offset by the damaging implication it will have.

The decision is not good for Japan’s Asian neighbors either, because they were already feeling alarmed by its persistent military expansion. There is no guarantee that a country that has never owned up to its past military aggressions would honor its pacifist image and not turn its military machine against another country.

Japan’s unrepentant attitude toward its militaristic past has been a constant hurdle for it to have normal and smooth relations with its Asian neighbors. Its ambition to strengthen its military only adds to the suspicion of its neighbors and intensifies the distrust between them.

On the global front, there is already speculation about India’s eagerness to buy arms from Japan. And India has been the leading arms procurer in the world over the past five years. Besides, some Japanese media outlets are worried that some of the weapons Japan makes could be sold to Israel, creating tension between Japan and the Arab world.

If any of these fears come true, the least it will do is to trigger a new arms race in Asia and make the security outlook in the Middle East bleaker.

The author is a senior writer with China Daily.

====

India, Japan To Conduct Joint Naval Maneuvers In Indian Ocean

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20111229x1.html

Japan Times/Kyodo News
December 29, 2011

MSDF to join security exercises
Japan, India hike defense, economic ties

NEW DELHI: Japan and India have agreed to bolster cooperation on security and economic issues, according to a joint statement Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Indian counterpart signed Wednesday in New Delhi.

Noda and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy will conduct joint exercises next year to beef up maritime security in the Indian Ocean, and protect a major sea lane Japan uses to import crude oil from the Middle East, according to the statement.

Noda’s trip to New Delhi is part of Japan’s efforts to strengthen ties with India ahead of the 60th anniversary next year of the establishment of diplomatic ties and amid China’s growing military and economic might in the region.

The two leaders also agreed that Tokyo will invest $4.5 billion over the next five years to promote the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project, aimed at developing an industrial zone that spans six Indian states.

On the economic front, Noda and Singh agreed to boost trade and investment based on a free-trade agreement between the two nations that took effect in August.

They also agreed to try to resume talks on a bilateral pact on civil nuclear energy cooperation. The talks were suspended after the Fukushima disaster.

As for natural resources, Noda and Singh expressed hope that Japanese and Indian companies will form joint ventures to produce and trade rare earth metals.

The visit is the first by a Japanese prime minister to India since December 2009, when Yukio Hatoyama went. Singh visited Japan in October last year, and accepted Noda’s invitation to visit again in 2012.

Senior officials from Japan, the United States and India held their first trilateral meeting last week and are thought to have discussed maritime security.

====

West Blocking Kosovo Organ Trafficking Probe: Russian UN Envoy

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=12&dd=30&nav_id=78057

Tanjug News Agency
December 30, 2011

West refuses to probe organ trafficking – Russian envoy

-’I fear that after five or six years of confidential investigations they will announce that they were not able to discover anything, that witnesses are deceased or murdered in the meantime, and that everything is over,’ Churkin explained.
He underlined that Russia did not want silence to wrap this monstrous crime, but that for some reason that were unknown to him, there was a certain resistance in his western colleagues regarding a full investigation into the crime contained in the report by Council of Europe Special Rapporteur Dick Marty.

MOSCOW: Russian Ambassador to UN Vitaly Churkin says he does not understand why the West refuses to carry out an investigation into human organ trafficking in Kosovo.

‘We are very upset over this fact. We do not understand why our western colleagues in the UN refuse to implement measures which would confirm legitimacy of the EULEX investigation in Kosovo and find perpetrators of these crimes,’ he told Russia Today.

The Russian envoy stressed that the Serbian delegation in the UN in cooperation with Russian diplomats had drafted a relatively simple resolution which envisaged appointment of a special representative of the UN secretary general in charge of control of the EULEX mission and protection of witnesses.

‘I believe that EULEX mechanism is insufficient for implementation of an appropriate investigation, protection of witnesses and reporting to the UN Security Council. I fear that after five or six years of confidential investigations they will announce that they were not able to discover anything, that witnesses are deceased or murdered in the meantime, and that everything is over,’ Churkin explained.

He underlined that Russia did not want silence to wrap this monstrous crime, but that for some reason that were unknown to him, there was a certain resistance in his western colleagues regarding a full investigation into the crime contained in the report by Council of Europe Special Rapporteur Dick Marty.

‘Nevertheless I think that we will continue to work in this direction in 2012 as well, and that this resolution will be accepted so that the crime would not be forgotten,’ Churkin concluded.

Members and leaders of the ethnic Albanian KLA are suspected to be the perpetrators of the atrocities, targetting kidnapped Serb and other civilians in Kosovo in 1999 and 2000.

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