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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFFICE OF THE SPOKESMAN
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
NOVEMBER 22, 1994



                     U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                       DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                             I N D E X

                     Tuesday, November 22, 1994


                              Briefers:  Robert Gelbard
                                         Christine Shelly


HAITI
   Opening Remarks by Asst. Secretary Gelbard ......1-2
   Judicial System/Training ........................2-3
   Police Force/Training ...........................3-6
   US Troop Withdrawal .............................5-6
   Economy .........................................7

BOSNIA
   Fighting/No-Fly Violations/Discussions at UN ....7-10
   --  Refugees ....................................10

RWANDA
   Refugee Camps/Food Distribution/Security ........10-12

DEPARTMENT
   Secretary's Meeting with Senator Dole Today .....12-13
   Secretary's Relations with Congress .............13-14

NATO
   Role/Senator Dole's View ........................12-13

MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
   Civil Order in Gaza .............................15
   Donors Group Meeting/PLO Budget/Pledges .........15-16

DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

DPC #164

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1994, 1:13 P.M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'm pleased to have Assistant Secretary for International Narcotic Matters, Robert Gelbard, with us today. He visited Haiti last week and is here to provide you with an update on some of the issues that he's working on. Those include the international police monitor program, police selection and training, and our efforts to help Haiti reform its judicial system.

Following our usual format, I'll be happy to take your questions on other subjects after he finishes. So without any further ado, Assistant Secretary Gelbard, please advance to the microphone and take your turn.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: As Christine said, I was in Haiti last week for four days, coming after a time in which we have been working with the Haitian Government to put into place the fundamental elements of an interim public security force which comprises the current 820-person international police monitor group, led by Ray Kelly whom I think many of you met when we were here sometime ago and the interim police, a group which will eventually comprise some 3,000 trained members of the Haitian armed forces who will have gone through, and some of whom have gone through a week- long course run by ICITAP -- the International Criminal Investigation and Training Assistance Program of the Justice Department.

Meanwhile, we are also beginning to put into place the elements for what will be the permanent police force -- to begin that training in January, particularly once the Haitian parliament passes the new police law, effectively separating the police from the armed forces. And meanwhile, we are working with the Haitian Government to provide assistance in the Justice sector. In fact, last Thursday our Ambassador and the new Justice Minister, Ernest Mallebranche signed a project implementation letter to strengthen the justice system, to begin the project funding. One million dollars was initially allotted for that with a significantly greater amount of funding to be permitted later on.

This project will include technical assistance and training to start an emergency training program for justice personnel; second, procurement of equipment for the adequate functioning of the judicial system; and, third, assistance and training to conduct the justice sector inventory.

In addition to that, we have been working with President Aristide and the members of his government on the auxiliary police who we have been training in Guantanamo, the 1,000- person police trainee group. Two dozen of that group have already been working in Cap Haitien as part of the public security force there.

The Haitian Government has decided to make all 1,000 of those people government employees and will be bringing them into Haiti in coming days where they will be exercising a variety of functions as originally envisioned when we first worked out this program with President Aristide when he was still here in Washington.

All in all, I have to say, I visited some police precincts that were functioning extremely well in Port-au- Prince. This came right after the tropical storm "Gordon" and there was extraordinary devastating damage. Some 400 people were killed in Haiti from the storm. But the police precincts appear to be functioning quite well.

I also visited Cap Haitien and Gonaives where we have programs functioning with varying degrees of efficiency.

On the interim police training so far, of the projected 3,000 who will be trained with the project finishing up on December 24, some 1,400 have been trained so far. Four of the nine classes have graduated. The fifth class is occurring right now, and each of these classes will be occurring weekly until, as I say, December 24. But the program is working exceedingly well. Very close collaboration with not only President Aristide but his new governmental officials -- the Minister of Justice, the new Secretary of State for Police, the Minister of Defense, and a variety of others. I think all of us have been extremely pleased to see how well this is working thus far. We have every reason for confidence that it's going to continue to work along these lines for the future.

Questions?

Q You made a brief referral to the justice system. We were told -- we used to be told they did not even have the most rudimentary justice system at the time that President Aristide went back. What is the United States doing, and what can we expect in terms of a more efficient justice system in Haiti?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: First, at the call of President Aristide, a lot of the judges, in a variety of places around the country, have come back to work. In Port- au-Prince, Cap Haitien, and Gonaives, I saw a functioning judiciary.

The efficiency of that functioning judiciary varies. Many of these judges were actually appointed by the de facto government. In many places throughout the country, the system is not functioning. Whether it's the judiciary or the police, they are sorely lacking on training and equipment.

One of the real issues and challenges for the international community, including but not linked to the United States, will involve the training of this new public security force but also the training of the new judiciary under the guidelines established by the Government of Haiti -- not just the Executive Branch but also the parliament.

We're deeply committed to being involved in that, but I think other governments will be, too. The U.N. will be very involved once UNMIH. I think there are some countries, in particular, which have a special interest in wanting to be involved in this.

Q Is there a criminal code there on which to base --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: Yes, there is. It's basically, I think, founded on the Napoleonic Code, as I understand it. We have a number of experts who have worked on this before since the Napoleonic Code is used throughout much of Latin America. But, as I said, there are other governments which have even greater expertise in this.

We acknowledge and recognize that this is going to be a critical component. Working on the police and having a successful police force is a necessary but insufficient condition to having a solid, serious, and trusted by the populace, justice sector. So we recognize that we have to work to establish a solid, honest police force but also a solid, honest, respected judiciary, too.

In my visits, it was quite clear that in certain places the judges were operating honestly and seriously. In other places, they didn't seem to be. The people are clearly recognizing that. I reported this, in fact, to President Aristide.

I should also add one point that I didn't mention earlier. In terms of the police training, we are not the only country that's working on this right now. There is a 12-person Canadian -- RCMP -- contingent that is fully integrated into this program. Now we have approximately five or six French police trainers who have become involved over the last two weeks in the program, too. It's something we really welcome.

Q I was just curious what this interim police force can learn in a week's worth of training that turns it into such an effective interim force?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: First, the training program is much more values-oriented than skills-oriented. I dropped in on a couple of the classes, including the ethnics class, where there was very explicit discussion and lessons about treatment of prisoners, about dealing with the public, about not taking gifts. There was very open discussion about these issues.

The fact of the matter is, these are basically people who have never had any training. They were very open, very curious. The view of the instructors was that they are potentially quite capable, if given the four-month program which will be put into place after the beginning of the year, of being serious and competent police, for the most part.

Once they get out, we obviously recognize that they don't have the skills to be fully functional skilled police officers. That's why we have this 820-person international police monitor group. They're providing on-the-job training. They're providing classes, and they are out there doing such things, as I saw on the street; they're showing them how to direct traffic. They're showing them how to patrol streets and neighborhoods properly. But it's really a very important on- the-job component.

I talked to a lot of these people. They're very appreciative about this. They said they're being received by the public in a very different way than they ever were before, which is to say positively.

Q You said that there are 3,000 former members of the Haitian army --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: There will be.

Q -- among these people?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: By the time the training program is done, 3,000 members of the Haitian army will have gone through this training course.

Q Is there any idea in attitude to disband the whole armed forces and make it a country like Costa Rica, for example?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: You must have read today's Washington Post?

Q Yes, I did.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: Former President Arias was in Haiti, in fact, at the same time I was there and was very open about his view that this had worked very well in Costa Rica and therefore it was something that the Haitian Government and Haitian people ought to consider. That, we certainly feel, is an issue for the Haitian people and the Haitian Government.

Current plans call for the reduction of the army from -- currently there is an army and police together which comprises some 7,000 people. Under Article 287 of the Haitian Constitution, the idea is to split the police off from the army. What President Aristide would like to do is reduce the army to approximately 1,500 people who would have very specific tasks related to civic action, which is to say construction projects. There would be a small coast guard; something that is very needed.

There would be a border patrol on their border with the Dominican Republic. It would be those kinds of functions. But the police would become the predominant force in terms of size and would be about 5,500 to 6,500 or so.

Those are President Aristide's views. But this is a subject that is of some debate in Haiti right now, and we're not entering into that. That's really for the Haitian people to decide.

Q To what extent is the success of this project, both in terms of the police and the judiciary, going to be a factor in the decision as to when U.S. troops or the bulk of U.S. troops should get out? And, indeed, if it is an important factor, how does it look?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: First of all, our troop redeployments have been occurring in conjunction with on-the- ground assessments about how safe and secure the actual environment is. This was my second trip to Haiti since the troops had deployed. I saw visible differences -- clear differences -- in places as varied as Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien from when I was there six weeks ago. There's no question that there is an environment that we consider to be quite safe and secure.

How consolidated that safety and security is as of yet is a subject of ongoing evaluation. As I say, our troop redeployments have been ongoing. We are deploying the international police monitors out further into the countryside. They are now in some ten locations. We hope to deploy them either further out into a lot of the areas where the special forces are located in the rural areas.

But the issue of security is one which we will continue to watch, as will the Haitian Government.

Q I guess my question really was, is the United States going to feel comfortable pulling out all of its troops except for those which will be part of Phase II of the U.N. if there isn't a functioning, acceptable judicial system and police system in place? And how long will it take?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: We think there will be. Our plans are, of course, as I say, to have the interim police fully deployed before the end of the year. We plan to start training the permanent police by early January, and then move the rhythm of training and graduation along pretty rapidly, trying to front-load it as much as possible.

We hope to have some 4,000 members of the permanent police, as I said, of the 5,500 to 6,500 graduated and functioning by February or March 1996. So in other words, within one year, within 14-15 months. So we feel this is going to be functioning quite well.

As I say, I visited a number of areas, and I would urge all of you to go to Haiti, too, to see this. It's quite impressive in places like Cap Haitien. I was in one of the worst slum areas where there is a police building -- the court burned down but the judges are operating in a police station operating very well.

So it's early, still, but the signs are all very hopeful. And, as George Gedda knows, I'm not often optimistic.

MS. SHELLY: Last question.

Q Could I ask one last question. Have you briefed Senator Helms yet about this? (Laughter)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: I have not yet, but we feel quite strongly that it's very important to try to get -- and I'm speaking on behalf of Ambassador Swing in this regard -- we feel it's extremely important to have a many congressional visitors get to Haiti as early as possible.

We think there's a very good -- some very good things to see. This is a very successful operation. The economy is beginning to recover. As I say, when I compare it to what I saw six weeks ago, stores are open, merchandise is being sold on the streets, the economy is beginning to get up and moving, prices are reasonable, another oil tanker just arrived yesterday with another shipment of oil, the economy's moving along. If anything, there's too much traffic.

President Aristide -- in fact, the day I met with him last Wednesday -- had just come from having a meeting with 300 or so of the leading businessmen in the country. By his account and by their accounts -- because I met with several of them -- it was the most successful meeting he'd ever had with them. They were incredibly optimistic about the prospects for the future of the country. The economic team that's been put into place is outstanding. I say this as an economist.

I feel very confident about this police program and about the future of that country.

MS. SHELLY: Thank you.

MS. SHELLY: Other questions, other subjects.

Q What's happening around the Bihac pocket?

MS. SHELLY: Let me give you an update on the fighting. It's going to take a minute to go through this. I've been trying to get as much detail as I could before the briefing.

Heavy fighting continues in the Bihac pocket of northwest Bosnia. Serb forces have crossed the Una River to encircle the towns of Bosanska Otoka and also Bosnaska Krupa. Large numbers of refugees are being pushed ahead of the advancing Serb army.

Also in the Bihac pocket, Serb forces are advancing on Gata Llidza and were supported by helicopter firing rockets.

According to U.N. no-fly zone provisions, only UNPROFOR- approved flights are authorized to fly over Bosnian airspace. Needless to say, the Bosnian Serb helicopters did not have such approval.

Serb forces near Banja Luka fired two SA-2 surface-to- air missiles at two British Harrier jump-jets on regular NATO patrols. The planes escaped undamaged.

In Sarajevo, rocket attacks continued yesterday. Two Sagger missiles hit the presidency building, injuring three civilians. A rocket struck the Tito Barracks and another fell on the Holiday Inn.

Sniper fire killed a Bosnian Government soldier in front of the Sarajevo Holiday Inn.

I can report also within the last hour or so, our Ambassador in Sarajevo has been contacted by President Izetbegovic. He reports that the advance is continuing, and he expressed very deep concern about the potential fall of Bihac and what all of that would entail.

We are engaged in discussions with our allies in NATO capitals. Our Ambassador to the U.N. has been having talks also up in New York with her counterparts in the Security Council. We also expect that the NATO Council will be taking this up fairly shortly with a view to discussing the whole range of options which exist, which hopefully might be considered and with measures actually taken, which could help deter further aggression and to, of course, try to prevent the fall of Bihac and stop the attacks on the Bihac pocket.

Q What are those options -- bombing attacks?

MS. SHELLY: I'm not in a position to discuss the specifics of that. Air action is certainly a possibility and one of the things that will be discussed. But as these conversations are underway at this point, I'm not in a position to provide greater detail.

Q Christine, given the fact that everybody yesterday said that the bombing raid on the air base was meant to send a message to the Serbs, it would seem from their actions that they didn't get the message that was intended to be sent.

Does that suggest that the next step would have to be somewhat more robust than the last one?

MS. SHELLY: I don't want to speculate on that. Yesterday's action had a very specific target, and the Secretary also addressed that last night. In terms of the Krajina Serb reaction, their forces, as you know, yesterday in response to the air strike, they briefly detained some Czech U.N. troops which were serving in the Krajina region.

The Croatian Serb leader Martic has commented also publicly on casualties that results from the strike, but we haven't seen any reports of a specific reaction. We understand that the Czech troops were subsequently released, who had been detained.

So a point was certainly made, and the point again was also -- I think as the NATO Secretary General also said yesterday -- the point was not to try to achieve a kind of military victory, it was trying to convince the Serbs to stop their military activities and get back to the conference table and to get back into serious discussion of the Contact Group plan.

So that's still certainly very much our objective, but the military actions of the Bosnian Serbs certainly at this point don't suggest that that's the message that they have received.

Andrea, welcome.

Q Thank you. Given the helicopter action today, does the United States believe that the U.N. should ask the NAC for some sort of response?

MS. SHELLY: I think that, as you know, with the dual- key system, there would have to be some kind of a request on the part of the United Nations, or else if NATO were to propose an action, there would have to be U.N. concurrence. So that's one of the reasons that we're working this in tandem in New York at the U.N. and also out in the field and through the NATO fora as well.

So the actions that were taken yesterday, we wanted to obviously wait and see what the situation would be militarily today. The situation is certainly very worrisome. It is certainly our hope, if not our expectation, that further actions could and would be taken in full agreement between both the U.N. and NATO.

Q Are you concerned that if there were no action taken, that this would send a very bad signal.

MS. SHELLY: I think our concerns are certainly reflected in the intensified pace of our diplomacy in those contacts. The Secretary is also having contacts with his European counterparts to discuss exactly which actions we should be considering and what we could agree on in terms of the next steps.

As you know, there's also a Contact Group ministerial meeting which will be coming up on December 2. We expect that there will be a number of meetings between now and then as well that will not only address the immediate situation but also preparing the work for the Contact Group ministers when they meet immediately following the NATO Ministerial.

Howard.

Q There are reports that the Serbs are literally on the fringes of Bihac, to the extent that there's hand-to-hand fighting. You've noted already that refugees from outlying towns are being driven ahead of these Serb forces. Are there any contingency plans or discussions at this point with the Secretary's European counterparts about taking care of the refugees, opening up a corridor for relief, should Bihac indeed fall?

MS. SHELLY: Certainly, the consequences for the humanitarian situation -- as you know, the supply situation there is very desperate in any case, but the possibility of 100,000 or 200,000 refugees obviously being increasingly crowded into the center of the town is a very, very worrisome situation; and it is one which I believe we are also consulting on, and I think that the UNHCR is also obviously very, very concerned with the situation in trying to get the best possible information and presumably also direct some planning toward that end.

I don't have a lot of details for you on that, but certainly our indication, our information on the refugee flows is certainly that their number is going way up.

Q I'm moving you to another subject -- Rwanda. Mr. Boutros-Ghali said yesterday that he wants the U.N. troops to be sent to Zaire in the refugee camps to stop the former army to go back to Rwanda. What is the U.S. position on that?

MS. SHELLY: We have been very, very concerned for some time about the whole question of the food in the camps. It's not simply an issue of supply. The U.N. World Food Program has been reporting that enough food has been getting in, but the problem has really been in the inequity in the distribution of food aid.

Former government officials and militia have also been manipulating the distribution of relief. A few relief agencies have said that their distribution system is working, but most of the other agencies involved there have been very, very frustrated, because they have been unable to ensure that those who are most in need of getting the food are actually getting it.

Many relief workers also have fears for their own personal safety. One relief agency has already pulled out and another has left a particular area due to their concerns about the misuse of the aid.

As we said last week, the U.N. Secretary General was going to be reporting on this to the Security Council. He did present his report on Friday, and the report very specifically addressed the growing problems of security in the Rwandan refugee camps in Zaire.

Boutros-Ghali concluded that decisive action is needed to take control of the camps away from the militias and to allow the refugees to return to Rwanda. The report was based on recommendations of the team of experts who went to the camps and reported on the growing control of the armed militias in the camps.

These militias are also composed of the same people who participated in the genocide that killed half a million people in Rwanda earlier this year.

The Secretary General's report discussed several options for providing greater security in the refugee camps. There are basically two main options. The recommended option would use two battalions of troops to establish security in one camp area at a time. This would require something in the range of 3,000 to 5,000 troops.

There's also a second option which would use a larger U.N. peacekeeping force to separate former Rwandan government leaders, the army and the militias from the refugee camps and to resettle them away from other refugees.

The Secretary General estimates that this would take a rather considerably higher numbers of troops, something in the range of 10-12,000 who would obviously need to have the requisite enforcement authority to go with that.

We are still in the process of studying the report. We certainly favor a very prompt action to ensure the safety of the refugees, and we would like to have the circumstances exist so that they could have their voluntary return, their repatriation, to Rwanda encouraged. So we are evaluating the Secretary General's report in that light.

Clearly, two problems have to be addressed before that can occur. The refugees must be confident that it's safe for them to return, and, of course, there are certain consequences which flow from that. UNAMIR troops and the human rights monitors must be able to have access to all of the parts of Rwanda, and the refugees must be able to feel safe when they do return. Obviously, the camps themselves must be made safe, and only then will the refugees really feel that they are free to return.

So we certainly support a prompt action to establish security in the camps. But as to where we come out specifically in terms of one option or the other, we are still considering what we think is the best way ahead on this.

Q But you think one of those two would be appropriate?

MS. SHELLY: We certainly recognize that the recommended option involves a smaller number of troops, and from a practical point of view would probably be easier to put together than the larger option; and the larger option, certainly when it involved with the separation of the groups that I've mentioned -- that is obviously going to be a much more complex task.

It was a pretty full and comprehensive report, and we have a lot of concerns about this. We're also having some meetings with some of the other countries who have been key players in trying to address the Rwanda situation. So we'll also want to hear their views as well. But we haven't taken a formal position yet in terms of one option versus the other.

Q Christine, I understand that the Secretary is meeting with Senator Dole this afternoon. I was wondering if the principal subject will be Bosnia?

MS. SHELLY: I'm certain that that will be one of the topics discussed, and I think that a meeting with Senator Dole is scheduled for later this afternoon. The Secretary, of course, wanted -- as soon as he got back from his trip to Asia -- wanted to take advantage of this current time frame to have as many consultations as he could with key congressional leaders. So he is beginning this process, and I'm sure you'll be hearing about more meetings that he'll be having. But we certainly expect that it will be a full exchange and would certainly expect that Bosnia would be a major element in their discussion.

Q Is the Secretary somewhat concerned about pronouncements that the Senator has been making of late which bring into question the very existence of NATO, whether it's relevant to the world or not?

MS. SHELLY: I think that the Secretary certainly is aware of what Senator Dole has said recently, and he certainly knows what Senator Dole's position is. But I think that he also felt that the presence of the NATO Secretary General here these past few days has been very, very useful in terms of making very clear to Senator Dole that even though NATO's role in support of the United Nations in Bosnia is a key function for NATO, it certainly is not the only reason for NATO's existence.

There are a lot of key issues which are on the NATO agenda at this point as NATO heads into its December ministerial, not the least of which, as you know, is the whole issue of NATO expansion and ultimately how the security needs and requirements of other potential members may be met in the interim period.

So I think that we feel that it was a very, very good visit for the NATO Secretary General here and it gave him, since he had his own separate meeting with Senator Dole, the opportunity to make some fundamental points about, not only NATO's current tasks in support of the U.N., but also about the fundamental purposes and NATO's role within the structure of European security architecture in the coming months and years, which are certainly also views very much embraced by Secretary Christopher.

Andrea.

Q Is the Secretary concerned and will he raise with Senator Dole some of the pronouncements by the incoming Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, including the most recent being that "The President would need a body guard to go to North Carolina because he is so unpopular?" Is that an appropriate kind of comment from the Foreign Relations Chairman? And does the Secretary have concerns about that?

MS. SHELLY: Andrea, I think that I don't want to comment specifically on that one remark. But I think the Secretary is very, very committed to a very strong, bipartisan effort in foreign policy. Throughout the past two years, when the Administration has briefed key Congressional leaders, that has included Republican leaders as well as Democratic leaders. The Secretary has been a very, very strong proponent of bipartisan support for foreign policy.

He mentioned the Middle East. He's mentioned our policy toward Russia. He's mentioned many other areas. He, I think, is every bit as committed to that and wants to talk about -- as the changes are taking place in the Congress, in the leadership, I think he feels that we can use this interim period to exchange views, to identify the areas where there may be disagreement, but also to focus on the areas where there can be agreement and to try to make sure that we can have broad bipartisan support, as the Secretary continues to pursue the agenda that he himself has outlined.

Q Doesn't it become difficult when the differences are not just ones of policy but when they're expressed in such a personal way by the Chairman of the Foreign Relations?

MS. SHELLY: I think the Secretary has a very -- he has a very long-term view of this. He's also aware of the fact, in a transition period, that certain statements may be said and they also may be picked up and reported in a way which was not necessarily their intention.

I think he focuses on his long-term relationship with Senator Helms, for example. They have had a good relationship and certainly a respectful relationship. On many of the times that the Secretary has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, even though Senator Helms has outlined areas where they had some differences, he has always credited Secretary Christopher for doing a very good and a very tough job. The Secretary is confident that their relationship and the degree of seriousness and harmony and mutual respect is something that will carry over into the coming period.

Q Are you saying that the media has not accurately reported Senator Helms' comments?

MS. SHELLY: George, I'm not suggesting that. I'm just saying that I think we all know that sometimes an individual remark or comment is often bounced off of someone for a quick reaction. I'm just suggesting that rather than respond to any particular statement or comment that is made, I think the big point is that we are very committed here, and the Secretary is personally committed, to achieving as broad a bipartisan support for our foreign policy as possible. That's the key point.

Q The Senator said it twice now. He keeps revisiting the issue.

MS. SHELLY: I think I've said what I want to say on that also.

Q Ambassador Mondale visited South Korea in the last day or two. Was that just a fact-finding mission or was it more substantive than that? Is he involved in this North Korean nuclear business now?

MS. SHELLY: I'm going to have to check on that, because I actually don't have any details on that trip although I can say, as a general rule, it's not unusual for ambassadors from one country in a region to visit other countries for exchanges of views on issues of mutual interest.

Certainly, Ambassador Mondale has been involved in our diplomatic exchanges with Japan on the North Korean nuclear issue. So he certainly has been involved in this and interested in it with the very strong obvious Japanese interest and connection. But I'm not aware of any specific agenda that Ambassador Mondale had in this visit, but I'll check into it and see if there are any other details we can provide.

Howard.

Q I wondering when you can fill us in on what's going on in Gaza? Has a truce, in fact, been effected between Arafat's people and Hamas? Are the Hamas people been let out of jail yet? What's going on?

MS. SHELLY: I don't have a lot of details on this. As to whether or not they've reached a truce, we've seen some conflicting reports on this. Overall, I think we believe the situation remains tense. But as best as we've been able to determine, the major clashes have subsided.

Certainly, the situation is complicated. I can't go, really beyond what was said, certainly, by the Secretary yesterday. The situation is complicated. There are those who oppose peace and the Palestinian authority.

We believe very strongly the Palestinian authority must be in a position to demonstrate that it can deliver on the economic benefits of peace and to try to establish its control in the face of those who seek to undermine that process.

We believe the PLO, Israel, and the international donor community all share in the responsibilities in creating that environment in which the historic opportunity can succeed.

I would also just mention, in the context of our interest and participation in the economic assistance side, as you know, we are coordinating very closely with Norway in their context as the Chair of the ad hoc liaison committee, and the EU, the World Bank, and other donors, to prepare for an upcoming meeting of the ad hoc liaison committee. That's going to be in Brussels at the end of this month, November 29-30.

That issue is going to deal with donor efforts to address some of the immediate Palestinian start-up costs which are associated with the Gaza-Jericho Agreement and also the early empowerment agreements and also to try to identify funding for emergency job creation projects to try to ease what is certainly a dire economic situation in Gaza.

We understand that at that meeting the PLO will actually be presenting a detailed budget for Gaza and Jericho. They'll also be presenting the budget associated with the early empowerment and the police needs. It should reflect the revenue collection by the Palestinians, together with the donors' pledges for these spheres.

So I'm sure that after this meeting takes place, we'll have more to say on that, but we will continue to work in that context for a very strong participation by the donor community in the economic development.

Q Thank you.

(Press briefing concluded at 1:52 p.m.)

(###)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE BRIEFING ON HAITI NOVEMBER 22, 1994

[EXCERPTS FROM DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OF TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1994]

BRIEFING ON HAITI BY ROBERT GELBARD ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS MATTERS

November 22, 1994

MS. SHELLY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'm pleased to have Assistant Secretary for International Narcotic Matters, Robert Gelbard, with us today. He visited Haiti last week and is here to provide you with an update on some of the issues that he's working on. Those include the international police monitor program, police selection and training, and our efforts to help Haiti reform its judicial system.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: As Christine said, I was in Haiti last week for four days, coming after a time in which we have been working with the Haitian Government to put into place the fundamental elements of an interim public security force which comprises the current 820-person international police monitor group, led by Ray Kelly whom I think many of you met when we were here sometime ago and the interim police, a group which will eventually comprise some 3,000 trained members of the Haitian armed forces who will have gone through, and some of whom have gone through a week- long course run by ICITAP -- the International Criminal Investigation and Training Assistance Program of the Justice Department.

Meanwhile, we are also beginning to put into place the elements for what will be the permanent police force -- to begin that training in January, particularly once the Haitian parliament passes the new police law, effectively separating the police from the armed forces. And meanwhile, we are working with the Haitian Government to provide assistance in the Justice sector. In fact, last Thursday our Ambassador and the new Justice Minister, Ernest Mallebranche signed a project implementation letter to strengthen the justice system, to begin the project funding. One million dollars was initially allotted for that with a significantly greater amount of funding to be permitted later on.

This project will include technical assistance and training to start an emergency training program for justice personnel; second, procurement of equipment for the adequate functioning of the judicial system; and, third, assistance and training to conduct the justice sector inventory.

In addition to that, we have been working with President Aristide and the members of his government on the auxiliary police who we have been training in Guantanamo, the 1,000- person police trainee group. Two dozen of that group have already been working in Cap Haitien as part of the public security force there.

The Haitian Government has decided to make all 1,000 of those people government employees and will be bringing them into Haiti in coming days where they will be exercising a variety of functions as originally envisioned when we first worked out this program with President Aristide when he was still here in Washington.

All in all, I have to say, I visited some police precincts that were functioning extremely well in Port-au- Prince. This came right after the tropical storm "Gordon" and there was extraordinary devastating damage. Some 400 people were killed in Haiti from the storm. But the police precincts appear to be functioning quite well.

I also visited Cap Haitien and Gonaives where we have programs functioning with varying degrees of efficiency.

On the interim police training so far, of the projected 3,000 who will be trained with the project finishing up on December 24, some 1,400 have been trained so far. Four of the nine classes have graduated. The fifth class is occurring right now, and each of these classes will be occurring weekly until, as I say, December 24. But the program is working exceedingly well. Very close collaboration with not only President Aristide but his new governmental officials -- the Minister of Justice, the new Secretary of State for Police, the Minister of Defense, and a variety of others. I think all of us have been extremely pleased to see how well this is working thus far. We have every reason for confidence that it's going to continue to work along these lines for the future.

Questions?

Q You made a brief referral to the justice system. We were told -- we used to be told they did not even have the most rudimentary justice system at the time that President Aristide went back. What is the United States doing, and what can we expect in terms of a more efficient justice system in Haiti?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: First, at the call of President Aristide, a lot of the judges, in a variety of places around the country, have come back to work. In Port- au-Prince, Cap Haitien, and Gonaives, I saw a functioning judiciary.

The efficiency of that functioning judiciary varies. Many of these judges were actually appointed by the de facto government. In many places throughout the country, the system is not functioning. Whether it's the judiciary or the police, they are sorely lacking on training and equipment.

One of the real issues and challenges for the international community, including but not linked to the United States, will involve the training of this new public security force but also the training of the new judiciary under the guidelines established by the Government of Haiti -- not just the Executive Branch but also the parliament.

We're deeply committed to being involved in that, but I think other governments will be, too. The U.N. will be very involved once UNMIH. I think there are some countries, in particular, which have a special interest in wanting to be involved in this.

Q Is there a criminal code there on which to base --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: Yes, there is. It's basically, I think, founded on the Napoleonic Code, as I understand it. We have a number of experts who have worked on this before since the Napoleonic Code is used throughout much of Latin America. But, as I said, there are other governments which have even greater expertise in this.

We acknowledge and recognize that this is going to be a critical component. Working on the police and having a successful police force is a necessary but insufficient condition to having a solid, serious, and trusted by the populace, justice sector. So we recognize that we have to work to establish a solid, honest police force but also a solid, honest, respected judiciary, too.

In my visits, it was quite clear that in certain places the judges were operating honestly and seriously. In other places, they didn't seem to be. The people are clearly recognizing that. I reported this, in fact, to President Aristide.

I should also add one point that I didn't mention earlier. In terms of the police training, we are not the only country that's working on this right now. There is a 12-person Canadian -- RCMP -- contingent that is fully integrated into this program. Now we have approximately five or six French police trainers who have become involved over the last two weeks in the program, too. It's something we really welcome.

Q I was just curious what this interim police force can learn in a week's worth of training that turns it into such an effective interim force?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: First, the training program is much more values-oriented than skills-oriented. I dropped in on a couple of the classes, including the ethnics class, where there was very explicit discussion and lessons about treatment of prisoners, about dealing with the public, about not taking gifts. There was very open discussion about these issues.

The fact of the matter is, these are basically people who have never had any training. They were very open, very curious. The view of the instructors was that they are potentially quite capable, if given the four-month program which will be put into place after the beginning of the year, of being serious and competent police, for the most part.

Once they get out, we obviously recognize that they don't have the skills to be fully functional skilled police officers. That's why we have this 820-person international police monitor group. They're providing on-the-job training. They're providing classes, and they are out there doing such things, as I saw on the street; they're showing them how to direct traffic. They're showing them how to patrol streets and neighborhoods properly. But it's really a very important on- the-job component.

I talked to a lot of these people. They're very appreciative about this. They said they're being received by the public in a very different way than they ever were before, which is to say positively.

Q You said that there are 3,000 former members of the Haitian army --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: There will be.

Q -- among these people?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: By the time the training program is done, 3,000 members of the Haitian army will have gone through this training course.

Q Is there any idea in attitude to disband the whole armed forces and make it a country like Costa Rica, for example?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: You must have read today's Washington Post?

Q Yes, I did.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: Former President Arias was in Haiti, in fact, at the same time I was there and was very open about his view that this had worked very well in Costa Rica and therefore it was something that the Haitian Government and Haitian people ought to consider. That, we certainly feel, is an issue for the Haitian people and the Haitian Government.

Current plans call for the reduction of the army from -- currently there is an army and police together which comprises some 7,000 people. Under Article 287 of the Haitian Constitution, the idea is to split the police off from the army. What President Aristide would like to do is reduce the army to approximately 1,500 people who would have very specific tasks related to civic action, which is to say construction projects. There would be a small coast guard; something that is very needed.

There would be a border patrol on their border with the Dominican Republic. It would be those kinds of functions. But the police would become the predominant force in terms of size and would be about 5,500 to 6,500 or so.

Those are President Aristide's views. But this is a subject that is of some debate in Haiti right now, and we're not entering into that. That's really for the Haitian people to decide.

Q To what extent is the success of this project, both in terms of the police and the judiciary, going to be a factor in the decision as to when U.S. troops or the bulk of U.S. troops should get out? And, indeed, if it is an important factor, how does it look?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: First of all, our troop redeployments have been occurring in conjunction with on-the- ground assessments about how safe and secure the actual environment is. This was my second trip to Haiti since the troops had deployed. I saw visible differences -- clear differences -- in places as varied as Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien from when I was there six weeks ago. There's no question that there is an environment that we consider to be quite safe and secure.

How consolidated that safety and security is as of yet is a subject of ongoing evaluation. As I say, our troop redeployments have been ongoing. We are deploying the international police monitors out further into the countryside. They are now in some ten locations. We hope to deploy them either further out into a lot of the areas where the special forces are located in the rural areas.

But the issue of security is one which we will continue to watch, as will the Haitian Government.

Q I guess my question really was, is the United States going to feel comfortable pulling out all of its troops except for those which will be part of Phase II of the U.N. if there isn't a functioning, acceptable judicial system and police system in place? And how long will it take?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: We think there will be. Our plans are, of course, as I say, to have the interim police fully deployed before the end of the year. We plan to start training the permanent police by early January, and then move the rhythm of training and graduation along pretty rapidly, trying to front-load it as much as possible.

We hope to have some 4,000 members of the permanent police, as I said, of the 5,500 to 6,500 graduated and functioning by February or March 1996. So in other words, within one year, within 14-15 months. So we feel this is going to be functioning quite well.

As I say, I visited a number of areas, and I would urge all of you to go to Haiti, too, to see this. It's quite impressive in places like Cap Haitien. I was in one of the worst slum areas where there is a police building -- the court burned down but the judges are operating in a police station operating very well.

So it's early, still, but the signs are all very hopeful. And, as George Gedda knows, I'm not often optimistic.

MS. SHELLY: Last question.

Q Could I ask one last question. Have you briefed Senator Helms yet about this? (Laughter)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY GELBARD: I have not yet, but we feel quite strongly that it's very important to try to get -- and I'm speaking on behalf of Ambassador Swing in this regard -- we feel it's extremely important to have a many congressional visitors get to Haiti as early as possible.

We think there's a very good -- some very good things to see. This is a very successful operation. The economy is beginning to recover. As I say, when I compare it to what I saw six weeks ago, stores are open, merchandise is being sold on the streets, the economy is beginning to get up and moving, prices are reasonable, another oil tanker just arrived yesterday with another shipment of oil, the economy's moving along. If anything, there's too much traffic.

President Aristide -- in fact, the day I met with him last Wednesday -- had just come from having a meeting with 300 or so of the leading businessmen in the country. By his account and by their accounts -- because I met with several of them -- it was the most successful meeting he'd ever had with them. They were incredibly optimistic about the prospects for the future of the country. The economic team that's been put into place is outstanding. I say this as an economist.

I feel very confident about this police program and about the future of that country.

MS. SHELLY: Thank you.

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