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Center for Balkan Development
2 CLOCK TOWER PLACE #510
MAYNARD, MA 02118
TEL : 978-461-0909
FAX: 978-461-2552
info@friendsofbosnia.org
www.friendsofbosnia.org


E-mail Notice
June 7, 2000

Follow up on U.S. funds for UN peacekeeping

Dear Friends: As a follow up to the Action Alert Friends of Bosnia sent out last week regarding U.S. funds for UN peacekeeping operations, see the AP article below. To quote Albright in the article:

"Troublemakers in these regions cannot simply be wished away, they must be contained, captured, convicted or converted, which, in every case, requires resources,''


U.S. To Free Funds for Sierra Leone
By GEORGE GEDDA, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Judd Gregg plans to release $50 million in U.S. funds for the U.N. peacekeeping operation in Sierra Leone after the administration satisfied his concerns about American policy toward that country, a spokesman said today.

Gregg, who had been single-handedly holding up the money, planned to make a formal announcement of his decision in a speech on the Senate floor later in the day.

Gregg, R-N.H., drew sharp criticism from the administration and from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan for putting holds not only on funds for Sierra Leone but also for Kosovo, East Timor and Congo.

Earlier, Gregg released his hold on $40 million for U.N. operations in Kosovo.

As chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee overseeing State Department expenditures, Gregg used his power to block the funds even though it was money already appropriated by Congress.

The combined total of the holds on the four peacekeeping operations was $368 million.

Gregg's spokesman, Edmund Amorosi, said the senator decided to release the Sierra Leone money after receiving a clarification about U.S. policy from Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Gregg put the hold on the Sierra Leone money last month at a time when a rebel group was holding about 260 U.N. peacekeepers hostage. All have since been released. Gregg had indicated he would tie release of the funds to release of the hostages.

The multiple holds drew the wrath of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who described the action as a ``grave mistake.''

``Troublemakers in these regions cannot simply be wished away, they must be contained, captured, convicted or converted, which, in every case, requires resources,'' Albright said in a speech three weeks ago.

Gregg's spokesman said the senator ``feels the United States needs to be engaged in world affairs, but these particular instances, he disagrees with the Clinton administration's policy.''

Amorosi cited Sierra Leone specifically as a peacekeeping effort ``gone awry.''