Algeria Rejects UN Violence Inquiry
Mar. 30, 1998
ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) _ The Algerian government today rejected a proposal for a U.N. inquiry into the political violence that has claimed about 75,000 lives in this North African country.
Bill Richardson, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, called Thursday for U.N. experts to be allowed in to conduct an inquiry into the violence in Algeria.
``The No. 1 problem in Algeria is terrorism,'' said Abdelaziz Sebaa, a spokesman for the Algerian Foreign Ministry. ``The allegations that have been put forward ... in no way justify an intervention by special experts.''
International human rights groups maintain the Algerian authorities may bear some responsibility for some of the massacres that routinely occur in Algeria.
Algeria has consistently refused to allow outside, independent investigators to look into the violence, saying the problem is an internal matter.
Sebaa said Algeria has just submitted its annual report on political and civic rights to the United Nations and would be open to questions once the report has been reviewed.
An Islamic insurgency began in Algeria after the authorities canceled legislative elections in 1992 that the now banned Islamic Salvation Front was set to win.