AUSTRIA: Austria Turns 1,000 In 1996 Austrians marked the 1,000th anniversary of a name--the name sterreich (Austria) itself. On Nov. 1, 996, the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III granted the Bavarian bishopric of Freising 30 royal hides, or about 800 ha (2,000 ac), of land in Neuhofen an der Ybbs in what is now Niedersterreich (Lower Austria). The deed was the first recorded use of the name Ostarrchi (which literally translates as Eastern Realm), from which the name Austria is derived. This area evidently had been known as Ostarrchi for some time, and the emperor's land grant was part of an effort to consolidate control over what was then an insecure eastern borderland of the Holy Roman Empire, subject to periodic raids by warlike Magyar tribes. The millennium celebration was partly an attempt by Austrians to salvage a coherent national identity from a turbulent past. The territory of present-day Austria has known many rulers, including the Romans, various Teutonic tribes, Asiatic Avars, the Frankish king Charlemagne, and the Magyars, who were driven out by Otto the Great in 955 at the battle of Augsburg in Bavaria. From 976 to 1246 the Babenberg dynasty ruled. They were followed by the Habsburgs, during whose regime Vienna would become the centre of the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire. Following the collapse of the Habsburg dynasty in 1918, an area roughly synonymous with present-day Austria enjoyed a brief existence as a federal republic before being annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938. Germany's defeat in 1945 was followed by 10 years of Allied occupation; not until 1955 did modern Austria gain full sovereignty as a nation. The anniversary of the Ostarrchi document was first formally noted in 1946 as the newly liberated nation sought to consolidate its national identity. Though Austria's territorial boundaries and political sovereignty may have been problematic often in the past, there is little dispute that Austria, in particular Vienna, has been home to some of the most remarkable achievements of European culture. It was chiefly this rich cultural heritage that the Austrian millennium celebrated in 1996. In Vienna a musical retrospective featuring performances of Mozart, Johann Strauss, Beethoven, Haydn, and Schubert ran from early February through late June. The principal historical exhibition was The Danube: The Course of a Life, which took place in the huge underground vaults of the ancient Schotten Monastery in Vienna from May through September and chronicled the history of the great European river. In Lower Austria the exhibit Ostarrchi-sterreich: People, Myths, and Landmarks was on view in Neuhofen an der Ybbs from May until November. This exhibit included a facsimile of the Ostarrchi document. Dozens of art galleries, museums, monasteries, and restaurants throughout the country also sponsored special events in recognition of the 1,000th anniversary of the Ostarrchi document. (MICHAEL T. CALVERT) AZERBAIJAN A republic of Transcaucasia, Azerbaijan borders Russia on the north, the Caspian Sea on the east, Iran on the south, Armenia on the west, and Georgia on the northwest. The 5,500-sq km exclave of Nakhichevan to the southwest is separated from Azerbaijan proper by a strip of Armenia. Area (including Nakhichevan): 86,600 sq km (33,400 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 7,570,000. Cap.: Baku (Azerbaijani: Baki). Monetary unit: manat, with (Oct. 11, 1996) an official rate of 4,304 manat to U.S. $1 (6,780 manat = 1 sterling). President in 1996, Heydar Aliyev; prime ministers, Fuad Kuliyev until July 19, Artur Rasizade (acting) from July 20, and, from November 26, Rasizade. Pres. Heydar Aliyev's authoritarian rule showed no signs of weakening in 1996. Proposed tactical alliances between small opposition parties and a failed attempt in February by the parliamentary opposition to force a vote of no confidence in the government had no impact on policy. Delegates to a People's Convention held in April to assess the political aftereffects of the March 1995 insurrection by Deputy Interior Minister Rovshan Javadov castigated the opposition as a threat to the country's sovereignty, which thereby intensified the climate of oppression. Political trials of persons accused of trying to overthrow or assassinate President Aliyev continued. Three senior government officials were sentenced to death in February and March for their roles in an alleged coup attempt in October 1994. Also in March, 26 former police officers were sentenced in connection with the March 1995 insurrection, and the trial of 37 more on similar charges began in October. Twenty-one people, including three former army generals, went on trial in October on charges of planning to assassinate Aliyev in July 1995. In July Prime Minister Fuad Kuliyev stepped down, ostensibly for health reasons, and several other ministers--with responsibility for economic affairs, privatization, and transport--were fired or cautioned for inefficiency. Artur Rasizade, named acting prime minister, was confirmed in that post in November. Parliament Speaker Rasul Guliyev resigned in September after his criticism of the government's economic policy incurred harsh censure from the parliament; an elderly academic, Murtuz Alesqerov, was chosen as his successor. Despite several rounds of negotiations mediated by Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, no progress was made toward a settlement of the conflict with Armenia over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The selection in November of Robert Kocharyan as president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh was condemned as potentially destabilizing by both the Azerbaijani leadership and the international community. The Lezgins, an ethnic minority whose traditional homeland straddles the Russian-Azerbaijani frontier, continued to agitate for an independent state. Russia's ongoing refusal to open its frontiers with Azerbaijan (closed in December 1994 when Russian troops invaded Chechnya) soured bilateral relations and contributed to economic stagnation. Relations with Iran were clouded by the arrest in April-May of five leading members of the pro-Iranian Islamic Party of Azerbaijan. In June Azerbaijan and Turkey signed a bilateral agreement on military cooperation. (ELIZABETH FULLER) This article updates Axerbaijan, history of. BAHAMAS, THE A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, The Bahamas comprises an archipelago of about 700 islands in the North Atlantic Ocean just southeast of the United States. Area: 13,939 sq km (5,382 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 280,000. Cap.: Nassau. Monetary unit: Bahamian dollar, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a par value of B$1 to U.S. $1 (free rate of B$1.58 = 1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governor-general in 1996, Orville Turnquest; prime minister, Hubert Ingraham. A solution to the Cuban refugee problem seemed in sight in January 1996, when The Bahamas signed an accord with Cuba providing for the repatriation of Cubans living in Bahamian detention camps. A similar agreement had been made with Haiti in 1995. Some 250 Cubans living in the camps plus 70 or more living illegally with sympathizers were returned home during the year. The Bahamas extracted a promise from Cuba to treat returnees "fairly," but the refugees themselves were not convinced and staged hunger strikes. Bahamasair, the national airline, was much in the news during the year. In June the Supreme Court quashed the 1995 finding of a commission of inquiry that former Bahamasair chairmen Philip Bethel and Darrell Rolle had taken bribes to agree to purchase aircraft. The court said they had not been given an opportunity to respond. In July the government extended the life of the inquiry by six months. (DAVID RENWICK) This article updates The Bahamas. BAHRAIN The monarchy (emirate) of Bahrain consists of a group of islands in the Persian Gulf between the peninsula of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Area: 694 sq km (268 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 598,000. Cap.: Manama. Monetary unit: Bahrain dinar, with (Oct. 11, 1996) an official rate of 0.38 dinar to U.S. $1 (0.59 dinar = 1 sterling). Emir in 1996, Isa ibn Sulman al-Khalifah; prime minister, Khalifah ibn Sulman al-Khalifah. Antigovernment violence and civil unrest by Shi'ite Muslims continued to ravage Bahrain in 1996. The Shi'ites were seeking restoration of the legislature, dissolved in 1975, and jobs for their unemployed. Shi'ites comprised about 70% of Bahrain's population, while the ruling al-Khalifah family belonged to the Sunnite sect. Relations between Bahrain and the neighbouring country of Qatar were strained because of a dispute over ownership of the Hawar Islands, presumed to have gas reserves. Although the dispute was taken to the International Court of Justice, Bahrain indicated that it might refuse a solution by the court. Instead, it favoured mediation by friendly Gulf countries, primarily Saudi Arabia. (LOUAY BAHRY) This article updates Bahrain, history of. BANGLADESH A republic and member of the Commonwealth, Bangladesh is situated in the northeastern part of the Indian subcontinent, on the Bay of Bengal. Area: 147,570 sq km (56,977 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 123,063,000. Cap.: Dhaka. Monetary unit: taka, with (Oct. 11, 1996) an official rate of Tk 42.10 to U.S. $1 (Tk 66.32 = 1 sterling). Presidents in 1996, Abdur Rahman Biswas and, from July 23, Shahabuddin Ahmed; prime ministers, Khaleda Zia until March 30, Mohammad Habibur Rahman until June 23, and, from June 23, Sheikh Hasina Wazed. Prime Minister Khaleda Zia decided to hold parliamentary elections on Feb. 15, 1996, despite the threat by the Awami League (AL), the main opposition party, to boycott the polls unless she stepped down and allowed a caretaker government to take power before the voting. Before the election at least 13 people were killed and hundreds wounded in clashes between the opposition and government security forces. The AL's call for a boycott was heeded, and fewer than 10% of eligible voters turned out for the polls. About a dozen people were killed during the election. The electoral commission invalidated the results for 100 of the 300 contested seats because of fraud. Following opposition-led paralysis of the Bangladeshi economy and fearing possible military intervention, Zia offered to step down in favour of a "nonparty" government that would conduct new elections. Sheikh Hasina Wazed (see BIOGRAPHIES), the AL leader, rejected the offer and demanded instead that the Zia administration be replaced by a caretaker government. On March 26 Parliament passed a law allowing the formation of a caretaker government, and former chief justice Mohammad Habibur Rahman was chosen to head it. New elections were set for June 12. Surprisingly, this election campaign was not marred by widespread violence. Voter turnout was as high as 73%, and, according to international observers, the elections were conducted fairly. Nevertheless, Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) claimed that there had been fraud and demanded new elections in 100 constituencies. Having won a plurality, with 146 seats out of a possible 300 (to the BNP's 116 seats), Sheikh Hasina was asked to form the new government. In an ironic twist of history, however, the AL had to rely on the support of Hossain Mohammad Ershad's Jatiya Party for its parliamentary survival. The AL had been instrumental in forcing Ershad out of the presidency in 1990. Moreover, Ershad, who had been serving a prison sentence for corruption and abuse of power, had been accused by Zia of complicity in the overthrow and subsequent assassination of her late husband, Gen. Zia ur-Rahman, in 1981. In her first Cabinet, Sheikh Hasina included Anwar Hossain Manju, the secretary-general of the Jatiya Party. In December Bangladesh and India signed a 30-year treaty to share water from the Ganges River, a sign of improving relations between the two countries. (CLAUDE RAKISITS) BARBADOS The constitutional monarchy of Barbados, a member of the Commonwealth, occupies the most easterly island in the southern Caribbean Sea. Area: 430 sq km (166 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 265,000. Cap.: Bridgetown. Monetary unit: Barbados dollar, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a par value of BDS$2 to U.S. $1 (free rate of BDS$3.17 = 1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governor-general in 1996, Sir Denys Williams (acting) and, from June 1, Sir Clifford Husbands; prime minister, Owen Arthur. The House of Assembly voted in February 1996 to allow the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government to legislate pay for government workers for a two-year period, starting April 1, 1996. This followed the failure of negotiations on proposed increases with the National Union of Public Workers, which represented one-third of government employees. The irony of this was not lost on the workers concerned, since it was the BLP that had castigated the former Democratic Labour Party administration for using wage cuts as an instrument of fiscal policy and had actually amended the law after its return to office in 1994 to prohibit such action in the future. Thus, the government could now regulate only increases in public workers' pay. In May Barbados signed a two-year offshore oil-exploration agreement with Conoco of the U.S. in an effort to extend oil production to the marine areas. (DAVID RENWICK) This article updates Barbados. BELARUS A landlocked republic of Eastern Europe, Belarus borders Latvia on the north, Russia on the north and east, Ukraine on the south, Poland on the west, and Lithuania on the northwest. Area: 207,595 sq km (80,153 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 10,322,000. Cap.: Minsk. Monetary unit: Belarusian rubel, with (Oct. 11, 1996) an official rate of 19,165 rubli = U.S. $1 (30,191 rubli = 1 sterling). President in 1996, Alyaksandr Lukashenka; prime minister, Mikhail Chyhir. Belarus in 1996 was a country that experienced high political tension instigated mainly by an authoritarian leader's attempt to increase his powers. One observer termed Belarus "the black sheep of Europe" because it continued to cling to its Soviet past, rejecting market reforms and clamping down on opposition to the president. Thus, the power struggle persisted between Pres. Alyaksandr Lukashenka and the Supreme Soviet (parliament), backed by the Constitutional Court, which continued to overrule presidential decrees. On April 2 Belarus signed an agreement with Russia that formed an "integrated political and economic community" with a joint legislature and a common foreign policy and economic space. By the end of 1997, it was projected, the two countries would jointly conduct investment, customs, and taxation policies. Both sides hoped other former Soviet states would adhere to the union. Antigovernment (or anti-Lukashenka) demonstrations had taken place in Minsk, however. The first incident was on March 24 after it was announced that the agreement would be signed; riot police dispersed a crowd of about 30,000 protesters. A further 20,000 took to the streets on the day of the signing. The culmination came on April 26, however, when an estimated 50,000 congregated in the capital city to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Though the demonstration began peacefully, it turned violent. Over 200 were arrested, including several prominent members of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) and 17 members of the Ukrainian Rukh and paramilitary UNA-UNSO parties. In September BPF leaders Zyanon Paznyak and Syarhei Naumchyk were granted political asylum in the U.S. On November 24 Lukashenka won a heavily manipulated referendum that allowed him to introduce a new constitution, extending the presidential term of office from four to six years, creating an upper assembly (one-third of whose members he would appoint), reducing the parliament to 110 seats, and creating a new Constitutional Court, 50% of whose members would be presidential appointees. In effect, a presidential dictatorship was created in Belarus. Even the national holiday was changed from July 27 (independence day) to July 3 (the day the capital city of Minsk was liberated from German occupation in 1944). The economy was strained: more than 70% of the population was declared to be living below the poverty line; the Belarusian rubel began to drop sharply against the U.S. dollar by the summer; and inflation was held in check only by the withholding of wages from many workers. (DAVID R. MARPLES) BELGIUM A federal constitutional monarchy, Belgium is situated on the North Sea coast of northwestern Europe. Area: 30,528 sq km (11,787 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 10,185,000. Cap.: Brussels. Monetary unit: Belgian franc, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of BF 31.55 to U.S. $1 (BF 49.70 = 1 sterling). King, Albert II; prime minister in 1996, Jean-Luc Dehaene. Belgium was rocked during 1996 by a child-sex scandal that raised fundamental questions about the country's police, judicial, and political systems. Marc Dutroux, who had been released on parole in 1992 after serving just 3 years of a 13-year prison sentence for the abduction and rape of under-age girls, was arrested in mid-August--more than a year after two eight-year-old girls were kidnapped near Lige. In the following weeks, the bodies of both as well as those of two girls aged 17 and 19 were discovered on property owned by Dutroux. Two other girls Dutroux had admitted kidnapping--one 14 and the other 12--were found alive by police. Investigations into the Dutroux case, which revealed incompetence, rivalry, and patronage on the part of the authorities, gave renewed energy to the stalled five-year inquiry into the murder in Lige in 1991 of Andr Cools, former deputy prime minister and leader of the French-speaking Socialist Party (PS). The latter led to a new wave of arrests, including those of three suspects who had been questioned and then freed in 1993. Among those charged was former PS regional and federal minister Alain Van der Biest. The two investigations revealed rivalry between local and national police forces and between differing legal courts and jurisdictions. The degree of public concern prompted King Albert II to make a rare departure from royal protocol in early September and demand a full investigation into the Dutroux case. He made it clear that he also expected the fullest possible light to be shed on the search for the killer of Cools. The outcry over the girls' abduction and murder prompted immediate calls in autumn for the return of the death penalty, which Belgium had formally abolished just weeks earlier. Other scandals dogged the PS during the year. Guy Come, a former PS vice president and defense minister, became the first Belgian since 1865 to be convicted of having committed an offense while serving as a government minister. He and seven other prominent PS members were found guilty of fraud, embezzlement, and corruption. The court ruled that a research firm, Inusop, had used the income from overpriced opinion polls for government departments to make illegal electoral and other payments to PS branches and members. Come was given a two-year suspended prison sentence, fined BF 60,000 and ordered to repay some BF 500,000. Jean-Luc Dehaene's coalition government adopted an austerity package of BF 82 billion for its 1997 budget. Taxes were to be raised and social security benefits cut. The budget was designed to reduce the total public deficit, which stood at 4.5% of gross domestic product in 1995, from 3% in 1996 to 2.9% in 1997. Dehaene's hand was considerably strengthened in July when Parliament gave his government the power to change budget and social security measures by decree. The government had successfully argued that it needed to be able to raise taxes or cut spending without seeking parliamentary approval if the country was to meet the qualifying criteria for participating in the single European currency, the euro. (RORY WATSON) BELIZE A constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, Belize is on the Caribbean coast of Central America. Area: 22,965 sq km (8,867 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 219,000. Cap.: Belmopan. Monetary unit: Belize dollar, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a par value of BZ$2 to U.S. $1 (free rate of BZ$3.15 = 1 sterling). Queen, Elizabeth II; governor-general in 1996, Colville Young; prime minister, Manuel Esquivel. In his 1996 New Year's Day speech, Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel unveiled his plan to contain expenditures and restructure the government to be more efficient. The new fiscal year started on April 1 with the introduction of a 15% value-added tax (VAT) on businesses that grossed BZ$100,000 or more. The VAT would replace a number of other taxes and import-export duties. Esquivel's 1996-97 budget forecast was BZ$266,800,000. In foreign affairs Belize opened a consulate in the Dominican Republic and signed a cooperative agreement with Cuba in an effort to curb drug trafficking. Archaeologists made a significant discovery beneath the ancient Mayan city of La Milpa. A Mayan king was found entombed and adorned with elaborate jade jewelry. Pottery in the tomb dated his rule at approximately AD 450. (INES PARKER) This article updates Belize, history of. BENIN The republic of Benin is on the southern coast of West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea. Area: 112,680 sq km (43,500 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 5,574,000. Cap.: Porto-Novo (executive offices remain in Cotonou). Monetary unit: CFA franc, with a par value of CFAF 100 to the French franc and (as of Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of CFAF 518.24 to U.S. $1 (CFAF 816.38 = 1 sterling). Presidents in 1996, Nicphore Soglo and, from April 4, Mathieu Krkou. In a stunning rebuff to Nicphore Soglo, the man who led Benin's transition to multiparty democracy, voters in Benin on March 18, 1996, elected the former head of the Marxist regime (1972-90), Mathieu Krkou, as the country's new president. Although Soglo had a slight lead in the first round of the elections held two weeks earlier, Krkou won 52.5% of the tally in the runoff. The Constitutional Court, which had declared 23% of the ballots cast in the first round invalid, rejected Soglo's charges of vote fraud and confirmed the results of the vote on March 24. Krkou formed a government of national unity and appointed Adrien Houngbdji, leader of the majority Party of Democratic Renewal (PRD), prime minister. The new Cabinet was drawn from eight political groups. The economy remained extremely weak, with few prospects for sustained growth. In April the World Bank, indicating that Benin had made little progress toward economic reform, refused to renegotiate a proposed $98 million credit agreement that had been rejected by the National Assembly at the end of 1995. (NANCY ELLEN LAWLER) This article updates Benin, history of. BHUTAN The monarchy of Bhutan is a landlocked state situated in the eastern Himalayas between China and India. Area: 47,000 sq km (18,150 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 842,000 (excluding Nepalese residents declared stateless by the Bhutanese government in late 1990, nearly 100,000 of whom are now refugees in Nepal). Cap.: Thimphu. Monetary unit: ngultrum, at par with the Indian rupee (which is also in use), with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of 35.65 ngultrums to U.S. $1 (56.16 ngultrums = 1 sterling). Druk gyalpo (king) in 1996, Jigme Singye Wangchuk. In April 1996 Bhutan and Nepal held their seventh round of ministerial talks on the repatriation of nearly 100,000 Bhutanese refugees of Nepalese origin who had taken shelter in eight UN-monitored refugee camps in eastern Nepal. As with the previous talks, the participants failed to reach an agreement, particularly on the criteria for determining Bhutanese citizenship. The refugee problem developed after Bhutan launched in 1988 a national policy demanding that everyone adhere completely to Bhutanese Buddhist traditions. Bhutanese of Nepalese origin claimed that this policy was an attempt to suppress Nepalese culture, and, accordingly, thousands fled to Nepal. (CLAUDE RAKISITS) BOLIVIA Bolivia is a landlocked republic in central South America. Area: 1,098,581 sq km (424,164 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 7,593,000. Administrative cap., La Paz; judicial cap., Sucre. Monetary unit: boliviano, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of Bs5.17 to U.S. $1 (Bs8.14 = 1 sterling). President in 1996, Gonzalo Snchez de Lozada Bustamente. The municipal elections of December 1995 shifted the balance of support from the ruling Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MNR) to its coalition partners, Civic Solidarity Union (UCS) and Free Bolivia Movement (MBL). The MNR won 21% of the vote, while the UCS won 17% and the MBL 13%. The opposition party Conscience of the Fatherland won 15%. Pres. Gonzalo Snchez de Lozada Bustamente extended his term of office by one year until August 1998, although a public opinion survey showed little support for the government. The social unrest of 1995 continued in 1996. A four-week general strike, including a 46-day hunger strike, was called off by the Bolivian Worker's Central (COB) at the end of April. Called in protest against the government's economic policies, including the privatization program, the strike failed as unions became more divided. The COB refused to take part in negotiations between the oil workers union and the government over the government's plan to sell the oil company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos. The strike ended with a clear defeat for the unions: a 9% wage increase for all public-sector workers compared with the 12% they had demanded. A minimum wage of $45 per week was agreed upon for all public- and private-sector workers. Opposition to the government's sale of the oil company resulted in the resignation in mid-April of Irving Alcarz del Castillo, minister for social communication, who was blamed for failure to stem the opposition. In mid-March another Cabinet minister, Alfonso Revollo, was accused by jailed banker Jorge Cordova of having demanded a $50,000 election contribution to secure the merger of two leading banks. The secretary-general of the opposition Movement of the Revolutionary Left, Oscar Eid Franco, was jailed on charges of maintaining links with drug lords. (ALAN MURPHY) BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA A federal republic of the western Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina borders Croatia on the north, southwest, and south, the Adriatic Sea on the south (via a narrow extension), and Yugoslavia on the east. Area: 51,129 sq km (19,741 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 3.2 million (excluding about 1.3 million refugees in adjacent countries and Western Europe). Cap.: Sarajevo. Monetary unit: Bosnia & Herzegovina dinar, with (Oct. 15, 1996) a par value of 100 dinars to DM 1 (free rates of 153.78 dinars = U.S. $1 and 243.48 dinars = 1 sterling). Head of the three-member presidency in 1996, Alija Izetbegovic. After three and a half years of bloodshed, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina entered 1996 in relative peace. By the year's end, however, it appeared to be on the verge of regional violence involving the repatriation of refugees. Major developments of the year included general elections, the enforcement of the internationally brokered peace accords (negotiated in Dayton, Ohio, and signed in Paris on Dec. 14, 1995), and the beginning of the reconstruction of the war-ravaged republic. At the end of the year, the process of restoring the rule of law and of achieving economic and social rehabilitation was further complicated by continued divisions between the republic's three main ethnic groups--Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians (Slavic Muslims). The military aspects of the Dayton accords were implemented at the beginning of 1996 without major problems. Observing the civilian provisions proved, however, to be another matter altogether. The relative peace secured by the presence of some 60,000 troops of the NATO-led Implementation Force was plagued by differences in goals and strategies. For the most part, military muscle was not used to enforce the civilian provisions of the treaty. As a result, the parties to the Dayton accords (the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its two constituent entities--the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska) had not created the conditions for establishing a democratic country with free elections. A politically neutral environment was absent, and the nationalists on all three sides were well on their way to setting up separate, ethnically "pure" states. Under such handicaps the elections on September 14 were bound to confirm the de facto division of the country along ethnic lines. As in 1990, when the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina had last voted in multiparty elections, the three nationalist parties swept the board. In the key battle for the triumvirate presidency of the nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which according to the constitution had to consist of one Bosnian (Muslim), one Croat, and one Serb, the Bosnian Alija Izetbegovic of the Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA), the Croat Kresimir Zubak of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), and the Serb Momcilo Krajisnik of the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) in Republika Srpska were elected. Izetbegovic polled 724,733 votes, Krajisnik 698,891, and Zubak 297,976. Izetbegovic thus became head of the federation until the next elections, in 1998. In the House of Representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina the SDA became the largest party, with 19 of the 42 seats. Late in December the Serb leaders said they would not take part in the new government. Reports by international monitoring groups revealed a highly imperfect vote, which provided ample reasons for concern about Bosnia's troubled future. President Izetbegovic later warned the UN General Assembly that the conflict could resume in Bosnia and Herzegovina if the Dayton accords were not enforced, adding that the continuation of an international military presence past the initial departure date on December 20 was necessary. After conferring with NATO allies, U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton announced in mid-November that the deployment of U.S. and NATO troops would continue well into 1998. The announcement came at a time of renewed violence over the resettlement of refugees in certain regions of Bosnia. Bosnia and Herzegovina established bilateral relations with Yugoslavia on October 3. Though establishing relations with Belgrade may have signaled some breakthrough on the diplomatic front between the two countries, questions remained as to whether outstanding bilateral and regional problems could be resolved soon. (MILAN ANDREJEVICH) This article updates Bosnia and Herzegovina, history of. BOTSWANA A landlocked republic of southern Africa, Botswana is a member of the Commonwealth. Area: 581,730 sq km (224,607 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 1,478,000. Cap.: Gaborone. Monetary unit: pula, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of 3.51 pula to U.S. $1 (5.58 pula = 1 sterling). President in 1996, Sir Ketumile Masire. On Feb. 12, 1996, Vice Pres. and Minister of Finance and Development Planning Festus Mogae presented Botswana's 1996-97 budget. Revenue totaled 5,421,000,000 pula and expenditures 6,057,000,000 pula. The resulting deficit of 636 million pula was to be made up from government cash balances. Exchange controls were relaxed to promote diversification away from diamonds and to remove any limit (after tax) of remittances by temporary residents. An old-age pension of 100 pula a month was introduced for everyone over 65. Botswana and Russia agreed to regular exchanges of information to harmonize their methods of selling diamonds and to ensure that they obtained equitable shares of the market. Botswana was the largest diamond producer after Russia. (GUY ARNOLD) This article updates Botswana, history of. BRUNEI The sultanate of Brunei is located on the northern coast of the island of Borneo, on the South China Sea. Area: 5,765 sq km (2,226 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 300,000. Cap.: Bandar Seri Begawan. Monetary unit: Brunei dollar, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a par value of B$1 to Singapore dollar (free rates of B$1.41 to U.S. $1 and B$2.22 = 1 sterling). Sultan and prime minister in 1996, Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu`izzaddin Waddaulah. Even as Brunei planned for a time when its oil and natural gas no longer bought the tiny nation prestige beyond its size, there were unmistakable signs in 1996 that, at least so far, its stature remained undiminished. A stream of high-level visitors illustrated Brunei's importance. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mahathir bin Mohamad arrived in April, following earlier visits by Prime Ministers Banharn Silpa-archa of Thailand and Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan. Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong paid an informal working visit in May, and Prince Hitachi of Japan arrived in August. Business also went to Brunei in 1996. Malaysia made Brunei the first foreign market for its Kancil automobile. The sultan continued to support the idea that Brunei should attract Southeast Asian business by becoming the region's hub for business services. (TIM HEALY) This article updates brunei, history of. BULGARIA The republic of Bulgaria is situated on the eastern Balkan Peninsula of southeastern Europe, along the Black Sea. Area: 110,994 sq km (42,855 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 8,366,000. Cap.: Sofia. Monetary unit: lev, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of 216.95 leva to U.S. $1 (341.76 leva = 1 sterling). President in 1996, Zhelyu Zhelev; prime minister, Zhan Videnov. Petar Stoyanov, candidate of the united opposition, was elected president of Bulgaria on Nov. 3, 1996, easily defeating Ivan Mazarov of the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) by winning 59.96% of the vote in a runoff election. By mid-July the Bulgarian lev, which stood at 71 to the U.S. dollar in December 1995, had fallen to 181 to the dollar. Because of a general weakness in the banking sector, the Bulgarian National Bank, facing imminent foreign payments, had insufficient reserves to defend the currency. On May 22 Pres. Zhelyu Zhelev declared that the country was on the verge of collapse. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) demanded action as well as promises of structural reform. Prime Minister Zhan Videnov therefore announced that he would close 64 unprofitable state enterprises and restrict credit for a further 70. Other measures to decrease the budget deficit included the raising of the value-added tax from 18% to 22%, a 5% import levy, hikes in excises on alcohol and tobacco, and huge increases in fuel and public utility costs. In the third quarter the IMF was still not convinced and refused to sanction the second installment of a $580 million standby loan. The crisis had serious consequences. Inflation rose rapidly; there were public protests that brought an estimated million people onto the streets on June 7; and in August there were rumours of an imminent military coup. Relations between Zhelev and the BSP deteriorated further, there having been disagreements already over Bulgaria's relationship to NATO, a new law on electronic media, and the state emblem. On May 25 King Simeon II, who had left Bulgaria in 1946, returned for the first time to visit his native land. A more ominous shadow of Bulgaria's past was cast on October 2 when former prime minister Andrey Lukanov was murdered in Sofia. (RICHARD J. CRAMPTON) This article updates Bulgaria, history of. BURKINA FASO Burkina Faso is a landlocked country of West Africa. Area: 274,400 sq km (105,946 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 10,615,000. Cap.: Ouagadougou. Monetary unit: CFA franc, with a par value of CFAF 100 to the French franc and (as of Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of CFAF 518.24 to U.S. $1 (CFAF 816.38 = 1 sterling). President (chairman) of the Popular Front in 1996, Capt. Blaise Compaor; prime ministers, Marc Christian Roch Kabor and, from February 9, Kadr Dsir Oudraogo. At the end of 1995 the new, second chamber in the National Assembly, the House of Representatives, was inaugurated. Of its 178 members, 114 (including 10 chiefs) were chosen by Burkina Faso's traditional and religious authorities. The remainder were appointed by the government. In February Prime Minister Marc Christian Roch Kabor and his Cabinet resigned, and Kadr Dsir Oudraogo, also of the ruling Popular Front, formed a new government. In anticipation of the 1997 legislative elections, a complete realignment of existing political parties took place in March. New coalitions were formed; of the more than 60 separate parties that had contested seats a few years earlier, only 4 remained. The economy continued to improve, with a 5% growth rate projected for 1996. On June 14 the International Monetary Fund approved a new three-year $57 million loan for the Structural Adjustment Program. (NANCY ELLEN LAWLER) This article updates Burkina Faso, history of. BURUNDI Burundi is a landlocked republic of central Africa. Area: 27,816 sq km (10,740 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 5,943,000. Cap.: Bujumbura. Monetary unit: Burundi franc, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of FBu 220.46 to U.S. $1 (FBu 347.29 = 1 sterling). Presidents in 1996, Sylvestre Ntibantunganya and, from July 25, Pierre Buyoya; prime ministers, Antoine Nduwayo and, from July 31, Pascal-Firmin Ndimira. During the last months of 1995, increasing numbers of signs were pointing to a new wave of ethnic violence in Burundi. In his review of 1995, Pres. Sylvestre Ntibantunganya warned that the fanaticism of both Hutu and Tutsi could lead to the disintegration of the nation. In February 1996 the UN reported that civil war was taking place in many parts of Burundi and recommended that the world take action rather than wait for genocide to occur. Prime Minister Antoine Nduwayo, however, rejected suggestions for intervention. In April both the United States and the European Union suspended their aid to Burundi on reports that the government lacked the will to end the violence. On April 26, after an estimated 500 people had already been killed during the month, 235 villagers were killed in Buhoro in clashes between government forces and rebel Hutu. Fears of massacres on the same scale as earlier had been seen in Rwanda grew through May, and at the end of the month, France suspended military cooperation with the government. On June 25 a regional summit was held at Arusha, Tanz., between Burundi and Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda to discuss the deteriorating situation, and Burundi reluctantly accepted the principle of intervention. Subsequently, however, Nduwayo's Unity for National Progress party condemned the agreement as a betrayal, and both the president and prime minister were accused of treason. In July the prime minister reversed his earlier stand and said he was opposed to an international peacekeeping force. A massacre of more than 300 Tutsi by militant Hutu at Bugendena in mid-July provided the spark that led to a coup. When the president arrived at a memorial service for the victims, angry demonstrators forced him to withdraw (he took refuge in the U.S. embassy), and on July 25 the military seized power and installed Pierre Buyoya as president. Buyoya said, "We have done this [the coup] to avoid genocide. We want to restore peace and protect the population." He ruled out intervention from outside. Reacting to the coup, the leaders of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Zaire imposed sanctions on Burundi. By mid-September the Hutu rebels were claiming that 10,000 people had been killed by the army since the coup, and they called upon the country's neighbours to maintain their embargo. (GUY ARNOLD) This article updates Burundi, history of. CAMBODIA A constitutional monarchy of Southeast Asia, Cambodia occupies the southwestern part of the Indochinese Peninsula, on the Gulf of Thailand. Area: 181,916 sq km (70,238 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 10,081,000. Cap.: Phnom Penh. Monetary unit: riel, with (Oct. 11, 1996) an official rate of CR 2,300 to U.S. $1 (CR 3,623 = 1 sterling). King, Norodom Sihanouk; first prime minister in 1996, Norodom Ranariddh, and second prime minister, Hun Sen. A dry season offensive in early 1996 against Khmer Rouge bases at Phnom Malai and Pailin in western Batdambang province proved ineffective. The bases fell into government hands later in the year, however, without a single shot being fired. In June rumours surfaced that Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot had died of malaria. The reports were later denied by the government. In August the government dropped a bombshell: it had been negotiating for three months with top Khmer Rouge official Ieng Sary and the commanders of rebel divisions defending the two Batdambang strongholds. All three, with more than 1,000 rebel troops, later broke away from the hard-line Khmer Rouge and began open peace talks with the government. The fat

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