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                         DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                                                      DPC #46

                  FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 1993, 12:40 P. M.

         MR. BOUCHER:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  I'd like 
to start off to tell you about the release of some funds for Nicaragua, 
say a word or two on behalf of the Secretary about Cyrus Vance, and then 
I'd be glad to take your questions.

          This morning in Paris at the meeting of the Consultative Group 
of the International Aid Donors for Nicaragua, the U.S. delegation 
announced the release of $50 million in previously appropriated Fiscal 
Year 1992 assistance.

          Before taking the decision to release this money, we conducted 
extensive and useful consultations with the U.S. Congress.

          The Government of Violetta Chamorro is taking a number of 
steps at the urging of the United States to address issues that are 
vital to the consolidation of democracy and to Nicaragua's ability to 
attract aid and foreign investment.

          Nicaragua is also making important strides in cutting the size 
of its army and in reforming the Nicaraguan economy, particularly in 
bringing hyper-inflation down to single-digit levels and in opening up 
the foreign trade sector.  Nicaragua needs our assistance to continue on 
its path of economic reform and reconstruction of the country.

          At the same time, it is clear to us that more progress needs 
to be made in these and other areas for Nicaragua to win the support of 
the Administration and the United States for continued and future 
economic assistance.

          Some of the significant steps which have led to this decision 

          First of all, extending the mandate of the Tripartite 
Commission -- formed by the OAS, the government and the church -- to 
investigate violations of human rights and to recommend corrective 

          Second of all, suspending police officers and others that have 
been named by the Tripartite Commission for violating human rights.

          Third, requesting a two-year extension of the OAS civilian 
mission, with a broadened mandate to monitor human rights throughout 

          Fourth, establishing adequate procedures for resolving 
property claims of U.S. citizens and others.  This includes an 
arbitration system which meets international standards and new 
compensation mechanisms funded by some of the proceeds of the 
privatization program.

          And, finally, I would cite the call for continued dialogue 
with political parties to address the political polarization issues and 
the issue of civilian control over the police and military.

          We think these important steps.  As I said, we think that 
they're further steps and issues that have to be addressed, but we think 
that these are important strides that have been made by the Nicaraguan 
Government.  They need our help to continue this process, and we've made 
the decision to release this money.

          Q    How much?

          MR. BOUCHER:  $50 million.

          Q    Could you tell us how many disputes over confiscated 
properties owned by Americans have been resolved?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have any new numbers in that area, 
George.  I think the important thing is that they have now established 
mechanisms not only for arbitration of these disputes -- and therefore 
should be able to resolve them more quickly than they have in the past 
-- but, second of all, they've established a mechanism for funding the 
results.  So that should lead to a better outcome than we've seen in the 

          Q    Richard, just as a housekeeping matter, how much of the 
statement that you've just read was issued in Paris?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The statement in Paris, as far as I know, was 
not as extensive.

          Q    What more do they need to do to obtain continued aid?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Well, the areas that we've been concerned about 
are ones that you've heard before.  The areas that we're concerned about 
are human rights, the rule of law, the need for strengthened democratic 
institutions, the need for civilian control of the military and police, 
the need to resolve property claims of U.S. and Nicaraguan citizens, and 
the need to overcome a growing political polarization.

          I've told you that we made this decision to release the aid in 
view of a whole number of steps that have been taken in these areas.  
These are important steps.  Some of them establish processes that will 
have to go forward, and we would like to see continued progress in those 

          Q    As a point of background, Richard, when was the aid held 
up?  When was it first appropriated, and when was it held up?

          MR. BOUCHER:  It was appropriated for Fiscal Year 1992, and it 
was held up -- if I remember correctly, it was last fall.

          Q    Earlier.

          MR. BOUCHER:  Earlier?  Someone who knows more than me says 
earlier.  I will check on it.  Some people who are more knowledgeable 
say --

          Q    Wasn't this part of a greater sum that was frozen, and 
what were the reasons at the time for the holdup?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The reasons were the same as the concerns that 
I've laid out here:  at that time the lack of progress in these areas of 
concern to us.  We specified, I think, more or less the same areas at 
the time, and now we've seen some progress in those areas.  And so we 
think that these are important steps that they have taken, and we think 
it's appropriate to release the money at this point.

          Q    Do you have a figure on the number of former Contras who 
have been assassinated over the past two years, and the number of 
convictions since then?

          MR. BOUCHER:  George, I don't have a specific figure on that.

          Q    Richard, any plans for aid in coming years or next year?

          MR. BOUCHER:  At this point the budgets for future years are 
not settled -- total assistance budgets for '93 and '94.  We'll have to 
work with Congress, and we'll have to consult with the Nicaraguans to 
see that our concerns continue to be addressed.

          Q    Richard, I take it that by this decision the 
Administration is saying that it puts no credence in the report that was 
released, oh, about a week ago by Helms which detailed or alleged 
bribery and other forms of corruption --

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't have any comment on that specific 
report.  I've cited the reasons for which we thought it was necessary 
and appropriate to go ahead.  I can repeat them for you again, if you 
like; but basically I think I've stated our reasons for doing this.

          Q    Pardon me for pressing this, but will the release occur 
all at once, and will there be any conditions attached to it?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The release is -- I'm not sure when the actual 
money will flow.  These will be funds available, you know, as soon as 
the normal process is gone through.  We're no longer holding them back.  
We're going to go forward with them.

          The $50 million breaks down into $5 million to support the 
Organization of American States International Support and Verification 
Commission, known as CIAV.  There's another $5 million for democratic 
institutions such as municipalities, labor groups and the justice 
system; and this money is being funneled through the grass-roots level.

          There's $12.3 million to meet Nicaragua's current obligations 
to international financial institutions; and there's $27.7 million that 
will pay for non-lethal -- I'm sorry -- non-military oil imports and for 
private-sector productive imports.  Funds for the private sector imports 
will be channeled through private commercial banks.

          Q    So nothing's going directly to the government?

          MR. BOUCHER:  No, that's not complete --  I wouldn't describe 
it that way, Sid.  I've described the areas where they're going.

          If I can say just a few words, now that Cyrus Vance has 
confirmed that he'll be leaving the Bosnian talks or the Yugoslav 
Conference.  The Secretary did talk to him yesterday, and they had a 
warm discussion.  I believe Cyrus Vance told him that Vance would stay 
on through the end of the month for the purposes of transition and hand-
over and obviously in order to see, as we all would hope -- to see what 
further progress can be made in that time.

          With the announcement yesterday that Cyrus Vance will step 
down as U.N. peace negotiator for the former Yugoslavia, Secretary 
Christopher wants to express our profound gratitude for his efforts to 
build peace in the Balkans.  The work of Cyrus Vance on behalf of the 
peoples of former Yugoslavia reflects his entire career of selfless and 
principled public service.  He's a man who has embodied the highest 
ideals of the American people, and in this case in his work here he has 
furthered the cause of peace and understanding among peoples.

          With that, I'd be glad to take any other questions you have.

          Q    Richard, on Bosnia, since we are there at the moment, the 
United Nations is continuing to help people get out of Srebrenica.  The 
question is, isn't the U.N. basically participating in ethnic cleansing 
by helping that town get evacuated?

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, those are questions that the United 
Nations and the humanitarian workers in Bosnia have faced before in 
situations where there are people in desperate straits.  I understand 
the question you raise.  These are very difficult questions to decide, 
but they have to be decided by the humanitarian workers on the ground to 
do what's best for the populations and the people that they're trying to 
take care of.

          Certainly, we have made strenuous efforts to get in the 
supplies to people in their homes, in their villages where they live.  
We've made these efforts to get convoys in.  The U.N. has done this 
despite great odds many times, and you see some of the extraordinary 
efforts that have been made by the United States and other governments 
in the form of airdrops to get people what they need.

          In fact, last night we had another set of airdrops. They 
continued -- this is the 32nd continuous consecutive mission in eastern 
Bosnia.  France and Germany have continued to participate in the airdrop 
operations.  Last night there were six U.S. planes, one French plane, 
one German plane.  The total was 55 tons of food and 0.9 tons of medical 
supplies to Srebrenica, Zepa and Goradze.  This is the 24th drop to 

          So we have indeed been taking care of people, getting them 
supplies they need, despite the odds in the place where they live.  But, 
as you say, these questions of the need to evacuate wounded and evacuate 
others who want to leave do raise the prospect of the relationship to 
ethnic cleansing, but these things have to be looked at by the people 
who are trying to care for needy people.

          Q    So the question is, is the evacuation of these towns by 
the U.N. basically helping the goal of the Serbs to clean out the 
Muslims from this area?

          MR. BOUCHER:  John, it's not a cut-and-dry situation, as you 
know.  They are evacuating some people.  We have supported their 
efforts.  We continue to support their efforts. They've evacuated people 
who are needy and desperate. There are many people not being evacuated 
who are being taken care of.

          Q    On Haiti?

          Q    One more on Bosnia.

          Q    How does it stand with the convoys?  The last I heard 
there were three convoys which were being blocked bringing food in.  Is 
that still the case?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The latest on the convoys is from Belgrade.  
There was a 10-truck convoy for Sarajevo from Belgrade that's currently 
in Pale.

          There are two convoys -- well, three convoys being blocked.  
The Bosnian Serbs, in what is clearly another demonstration of their 
disregard for the international humanitarian law and their own solemn 
commitments at the London conference, are currently blocking an eight-
truck convoy for Zepa and a 10-truck convoy for Gorazde at the U.N. 
checkpoints -- sorry, at their checkpoints in Podromanija.  I think 
that's on the border.

          Bosnian Serb warlord Mladic is still refusing to allow trucks 
carrying humanitarian relief supplies into Srebrenica. The U.N. High 
Commissioner for Refugees Field Staff originally planned to send an 
eight-truck convoy to Srebrenica today but, because of Mladic's 
intransigence, was unable to do so.  They'll attempt to send a 16-truck 
convoy tomorrow.

          Q    So as it stands then, he will allow empty trucks to go 
through and the U.N. humanitarian workers will not agree to empty their 
trucks, so it's a stand-off?

          MR. BOUCHER:  It's a stand-off, with the continued delivery of 
supplies from the air.  As you know, we work very closely with the UNHCR 
and coordinate with them in terms of what needs to be supplied by air 
versus what they can get through on the ground through convoys.  So when 
you have a situation such as we had last week and we have again in 
recent days where the ground convoys haven't been getting through, 
they've asked us to up the ante, up the amount of stuff that we drop 
from the air; and you saw that we dropped 55 tons last night.  I think 
that was for the second day in a row.

          Q    Do you now regard Mladic as a "warlord" as opposed the 
general in charge of the Bosnian Serb forces?  Is that some new 
definition on your part?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Various terms can be used -- "local commander," 
"warlord," "the guy in charge."  He's the man who's blocking the relief 
supplies right now.


          Q    The NATO allies have apparently blessed the "no-fly" zone 
enforcement.  What does that mean for us?  And are we going to take some 
action soon?

          MR. BOUCHER:  The NATO allies -- we met today with our NATO 
allies in Brussels to discuss a response to the U.N. Security Council's 
passage of the "no-fly" enforcement resolution.  That occurred on March 
31.  We understand the response will be positive.  And for more details, 
the NATO Spokesman would be able to provide those.

          The background is that the NATO Foreign Ministers agreed on 
December 17 that if the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution on 
enforcement of a "no-fly" zone over Bosnia-Herezgovina and if violations 
continued after that, NATO would be prepared to support the U.N. in 
enforcing the resolution.

          Pursuant to that decision, NATO Secretary General Woerner has 
provided the United Nations with contingency planning designed to 
support the possible efforts to ensure respect for the "no-fly" zone.

          Since the first plans have been shared with the U.N., NATO 
military authorities have continued to review the options and refine the 
contingency planning, so that is work that continues.

          The resolution provides that enforcement action may commence 
seven days following the adoption of yesterday's resolution -- or 
Wednesday's resolution.  That would be April 8, and enforcement action 
should commence no later than seven days following the date of 
authorization; that would be April 15.

          We intend to participate in the enforcement through NATO.  
NATO military authorities, as I've said, have been reviewing their 
previous planning to see whether and what adaptations will be necessary.  
We also anticipate that NATO will coordinate enforcement action with the 
Secretary General, the Security Council, and UNPROFOR headquarters.

          I would point out that non-NATO member states are welcome to 
participate in a NATO-led operation, and the U.S. of course will play a 
vital role in the NATO enforcement operation.  But as to the exact 
military resources to be committed, you would have to ask the Pentagon.

          Q    Richard, what does the Administration hear from the 
deliberations of the self-styled Serb parliament on the Vance-Owen plan?

          MR. BOUCHER:  What do we hear from that?  We hear that they 
were discussing it.  The so-called Bosnian Serb parliament was 
discussing it this morning.  I've not heard any results, and we checked 
just a little bit before I came out.

          Q    Richard, let us back up a moment.  When you said the 
resources that would fly, are there in fact other country aircraft being 
used in this other than United States aircraft?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I really have it to leave it for the other 
countries to describe that.  But I believe some may have already said 
something in public.

          Q    Richard, in his testimony before the Senate Armed 
Services Committee, Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell referred to the 
"no-fly" enforcement as basically symbolic.  I know we don't discuss 
rules of engagement, but there's a press report out of Brussels saying 
that the U.S. and allied aircraft will give repeated warnings to the 
Serbian aircraft before they shoot.

          My question is, if you're going to give repeated warnings, 
what is the enforcement value of a "no-fly" zone?

          MR. BOUCHER:  You're right, I don't discuss rules of 
engagement.  I refer you to the Pentagon, and then they don't discuss 
them over there.  (Laughter)

          I think it's just important to say that we have long supported 
enforcement of this resolution.  The U.N. has now passed the authority 
to enforce this resolution, and we intend to see this resolution 

          Q    Richard, before you have to leave, do you have anything 
on the Haiti negotiations and where that stands and when Aristide is 
going to be meeting with the folks here and when Caputo is going to be 

          MR. BOUCHER:  The short answer is, not a whole lot of detail 
on those points.  Mr. Caputo left Haiti on Wednesday for New York.  He 
was to meet with U.N. officials to discuss his latest round of 
negotiations in Haiti.

          I understand he'll also be coming to Washington to meet with 
the OAS and with our officials.  Of course, Ambassador Pezzullo and 
Ambassador Redman down in Haiti have been in close contact with him all 
along, but I don't have a specific time that he'll be coming to 
Washington to meet with us.

          I would leave it to him to describe the progress of his 
negotiations.  Of course we've been strongly supportive of his efforts 
all along.

          Q    Is there any indication that Cedras has agreed to step 

          MR. BOUCHER:  Once again, I'll leave it to Caputo to describe 
the status of his efforts.

          Q    Is Caputo coming here to Washington?

          MR. BOUCHER:  I just said he was coming to Washington. I don't 
have a precise time for you.

          Q    Just back to Central America for a second.  Does the U.S. 
Government have -- or does the State Department have any reaction to the 
decision by the Government of El Salvador to grant amnesty to a number 
of people who had been accused of murders, including the rape and murder 
of American nuns?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Steve, we're aware that the Salvadoran 
Government decided that an amnesty law was necessary for national 
reconciliation; but it's our considered view, as the Secretary stated in 
testimony, that those involved in this case should be punished for their 

          We believe that persons who commit serious human rights abuses 
should be held accountable and that future human rights violators must 
not believe that they can act with impunity.  I think that's all I will 
say at this point on that.

          Q    Richard, on yet another subject.  The reports from New 
York say that the U.S. attempt to strengthen sanctions against Libya 
appear to be a non-starter.  The French, at least, are opposed to it.

          Is that the reading you're getting?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Jim, we, I think, discussed this in the last few 
days.  What happens next in New York is that on April 9 there is a 
review to determine if Libya is in compliance with the resolutions.  In 
our view -- and I think the objective facts show -- Libya is certainly 
not in compliance, and so that would result in the continuation of the 
present sanctions.

          As the Secretary has made clear, we intend to raise, and 
indeed we have raised, with other governments these other issues about 
stiffening the sanctions, including raising the question of the oil 
embargo.  We'll continue to work on that. We're going to make a good 
effort in that respect, but that's something that is work in progress.

          Q    Have you encountered a lack of enthusiasm on the part of 

          MR. BOUCHER:  I don't want to characterize others' views.  
They can state their own views, but it's something that I told you we'll 
continue to work on.

          Q    You ready to go?

          MR. BOUCHER:  Thank you.  I appreciate it.

          (Press briefing concluded at 1:00 p.m.) 

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