Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 12th 2013 Contents A27
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THE HAGUE---Efforts to eliminate chemical
weapons won a Nobel Peace Prize yesterday
for the global watchdog trying to destroy
Syria s stockpiles of nerve gas and other poi-
By giving its prestigious prize to the Organ-
isation for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons, the Norwegian Nobel Committee
turned the spotlight both on Syria s devastating
civil war and on a type of weapon that has
horrified nations since World War I.
The reaction in Syria was notably polarised.
A senior Syrian rebel called the award a "pre-
mature step" that will divert the world s atten-
tion from "the real cause of the war," while
a lawmaker from Syria s ruling party declared
the Nobel to be a vindication of President
Bashar Assad s government.
The OPCW was formed in 1997 to enforce
the Chemical Weapons Convention, the first
international treaty to outlaw an entire class
of weapons. Based in The Hague, Netherlands,
it has largely worked out of the limelight until
this year, when the UN called upon its expertise
to help investigate alleged chemical weapons
attacks in Syria.
"The conventions and the work of the
OPCW have defined the use of chemical
weapons as a taboo under international law,"
the Nobel Committee said in Oslo.
"Recent events in Syria, where chemical
weapons have again been put to use, have
underlined the need to enhance the efforts to
do away with such weapons."
Yesterday s award comes just days before
Syria officially joins as OPCW s 190th member
state on Monday. OPCW inspectors are already
on a risky UN-backed disarmament mission
based in Damascus to verify and destroy the
government s arsenal of poison gas and nerve
"Events in Syria have been a tragic reminder
that there remains much work still to be done,"
OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu told
reporters in The Hague.
"Our hearts go out to the Syrian people
who were recently victims of the horror of
"I truly hope that this award and the
OPCW s ongoing mission together with the
United Nations in Syria will (help) efforts to
achieve peace in that country and end the
suffering of its people," he said.
He said the $1.2 million prize money would
be used "for the goals of the convention"---
to eliminate chemical weapons.
By giving the peace award to an international
organisation, the Nobel committee highlighted
the Syrian civil war, now in its third year,
without siding with any of the groups involved.
The fighting has killed more than 100,000
people, devastated many cities and towns and
forced millions of Syrians to flee their homes
UN war crimes investigators have accused
both Assad s government and the rebels of
wrongdoing, although they say the scale and
intensity of regime abuses are greater than
the rebel abuses.
Louay Safi, a senior figure in Syria s main
opposition bloc, called the Nobel award "a
"If this prize is seen as if the chemical
weapons inspections in Syria will help foster
peace in Syria and in the region, it s a wrong
perception," Safi told the AP in a phone inter-
view from Qatar.
"But demolishing the regime s chemical
weapons alone will not bring peace to Syria,
because many more people are dying because
Assad s troops are killing them with all types
of conventional weapons."
After an August 21 chemical weapons attack
that killed hundreds in Syria, Assad faced the
prospect of possibly devastating US strikes
against his military. To avert that, he admitted
his chemical weapons stockpile and his gov-
ernment quickly signed up to the Chemical
Weapons Convention and allowed OPCW
inspectors to enter the country.
The first OPCW inspection team arrived in
Syria last week, followed by another this week.
They have already begun to oversee the first
stages of the destruction of Assad s chemical
The EU won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for
uniting a continent ravaged by two world wars
and divided by the Cold War. Established by
Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the Nobel
Prizes have been handed out since 1901. The
2013 winners in medicine, physics, chemistry
and literature were announced earlier this
week and the Nobel economics award will be
announced on Monday.
Nobel Prize Investigators take samples from sand near where a missile that was suspected of carrying
chemical agents landed in the countryside of Ain Terma, Syria, last month. The Organisation for
the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, a watchdog group, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
yesterday. AP PHOTO
CARACAS---The son of a provincial
Venezuelan journalist says members of
the national investigative police showed
up at his father s radio station and
arrested him ten minutes after he com-
plained on the air that they were driving
around in luxury cars.
Danny Donaire says Victor Hugo Don-
aire remained in jail yesterday, a day after
four plainclothes officers interrupted his
morning show at Radio Los Morros...
Donaire said his 50-year-old father
was being held on charges of resisting
arrest and mistreating a public official.
A police detective referred a reporter
inquiring about the case to prosecutors,
who could not immediately be reached.
Venezuela s socialist government has
consolidated control of most news media
but an on-air arrest is unusual. (AP)
Venezuelan radio host arrested on air
NAIROBI---A Western official briefed
on the Kenya mall attack investigation
says the bodies of the attackers have
not been found.
Investigators, including FBI agents,
are working their way through the col-
lapsed mall rubble following the four-
day siege on Westgate Mall that began
on September 21. At least 67 people
died in the attack.
The official said yesterday that the
attackers bodies could be under the
rubble but that it was not yet con-
firmed. Kenyan officials have said mall
security video shows at least four
attackers, though there are indications
that perhaps two more attackers took
The official said the real names of
the attackers are not yet known.
Names released by Kenya s military
previously are only operational nick-
The official insisted on anonymity
because the information has not yet
been publicly released. (AP)
Kenya mall attackers'
bodies still not found
released by the
upper car park
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