Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|01/10/02 at 15:02:44|
|This is my rough translation from an article from the French paper "Liberation" Jan 9,2002. I take all the blame for all the mistakes (typos,grammar, etc.. )I keept the style for it's more deeper.|
Oumar Khanbiev, 46 ans, Minister of Health of The Republic of Ichkeria, reminds that the war is not over.
Tchétchène de vie ==>( sorry i couldn't translate it,it's an expression, like one might say a "dog's life")
Le mercredi 09 janvier 2002
Behind him, a wood fire. Beyond the windows, a cold night in the forest. That could have been some where in Russia. But it is here. In the woods of Vincennes . At the Cartoucherie, in front of an audience which happened to be just passing by. ( the spectators who were late after a play at the Theatre du Radeau), Omar Khanbiev speaks. His eyes closed, He will keep on speaking. One night, Three nights. This man has a lot of silence to catch up with, lies to desiccate: Everything which has befallen his country, Chechnya. A land which he describe as suffocated under a growing disconcert which the “11/9” just made worst. In Chechnya the war is still going on. Like before, worst then before. O K, is an imposing fellow with a soft speech, he is a man tired, drained but obstinate. A surgeon who cannot run even one ward any more. A non existing Minister of health of a country where he cannot enter any more but covertly while living with his family (married, 2 kids) " in the region as he put it".
Once again, he repeat it from the very beginning." It has been 400 years that Chechen are trying to leave from the yoke of Russia. And since then the Russians regard us as barbarians. All started with the conquest of the Caucasus, in XVIe century... " At that time, Chechnya was not Islamised. When it become Muslim, Chechen preserved their traditions. "In our land, the women never put on the tchador. And people today would like to present us like a hub of Moslem fundamentalism!" The amalgam in the Russian media and, sometimes, in the western media between the talibans and Chechen, irritates Khanbiev. Admitting as a fact that , there are some bands of "wahhabites", but people hate them. Here and there, one reads that Chechens are fighting along side of Ben Laden. A hand full maybe, undoubtedly, not more than the number of Americans or French fanatics. At best, the (UN, SOEC, the European Parliament) listen to him. Politely . His French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner ( Minister of Health), received him. They agreed: that soon Chechens children should be brought to France for medical reasons. It is always that gained, at least some lives will be spared. And he keeps on hammering: "the war in Chechnya is not a religious war nor an antiterrorist one, it is a colonial war."
And he goes on again explaining the history of his people of which all the members (all, yes, without exception) were exiled in Central Asia by Stalin in 1943. Oumar Khanbiev was born in a village in Kirghizistan. He was 5 years old when his family was allowed to return to their homeland. His father a miner with his mother a worker in a state farm kolkhoz, come back to their ancestors village of Benoi in the mountains.
Khanbiev is the fourth child in a family of eleven children. Pregnant with one of his juniors, his mother came very close to death. It took the doctor 2 days to reach the village, just in time. His mother survived, and he smiled. "It was like a sparkle": he will become a doctor then later a surgeon. In Makhachkala, the capital of Daguestan, he joined the medical institute. Later he went to Moscow for 2 years and specialized in the surgery of the vessel. When the perestroika arrives, he is a the head of a ward in a hospital of Grozny. "With its 19 000 square kilometers, Chechnya was then the 22d of the 23 Soviet republics. Each year, Moscow pumped from Chechnya 23 million tons of oil. When Eltsine come into power, he said to us "take as much sovereignty as you want", we did not hesitate and we declared ourselves independent. Russia couldn't not accept that fact. Later in 1994, when the first war broke, hospitals were the first targets of Russians bombardments"
He organized wandering surgical units on the front line. His courage and tenacity, constancy forced the admiration of the late president Doudaïev who asks him to become his Minister of Health. Khanbiev refuses. But it is an order. He accepts the post, which he will never leave. "After that first war, we rebuild our country, it was difficult". Then came the era of kidnappings behind which Khanbiev affirms to see the hand of FSB (the ex-KGB) it was not always the case , and the attacks in Moscow and Volgodonsk, allotted to Chechen, were a long-lasting official lie. The tens of deaths produced a shock wave, which was used to declare the second war in Chechnya. "One saw no Chechen being delighted by the spectacle of those attacks", noticed Khanbiev.
All started again. A minister as he was, Oumar Khanbiev started operating in a cellar. "We looked after captive Russian soldiers as well". “In Chechnya, when a foreigner crosses the threshold of a house, one must take care of him.". Grozny was encircled for three months when, they decided to leave the city, he was stopped with 18 doctors and 76 wounded. "Like the others, I had to pass between two lines of soldiers who beat me until I become unconscious". The worst, it was to see them beating on the stubs of those who had lost an arm or a leg." Then came the fake death shows. "Facing soldiers with weapons, one thinks that one will die but one does want to believe it. It was a terrible stress. One that we can not forget. After that stage life becomes meaningless, unimportant. At night, we could hear the cries of those who were tortured on the other side of the wall. We couldn't not imagine what was going on. “We couldn't sleep no more thus started to become insane". His close relatives negotiated " to buy him back" through pro Russians Chechen, his respectability made the rest. Khanbiev remained only fifteen days in that hell. But he will spend more than one year to recover from the blows received which broke and damaged his arms muscles to the point that he cannot operate like before. He remain the minister in exile, who cross Europe and try to fight against the lapse of memory so that people won’t forget his cause.
" September 11 did not change anything. The arbitrary arrests continue. They take along men, women. Some disappear. Others return wounded forever. It shouldn't be a surprise today to see suicides-attack made by Chechen, like that 17 year old girl who had lost her brothers and had thrown her self strapped with grenades against a Russian commander who had trampled a pregnant woman? They are not acts of fanatic islamist but acts of revenge". Despaired? No, "optimist" "We can only count on ourselves. With all these deaths, these sick people, we are less and less numerous. We are fighting against the destruction and annihilation of Chechens". Khanbiev counts on the lassitude of the Russian population, on secret negotiations in progress, even on a possible awakening of the Western States. "But how to prove that one is not a camel?", he says (an old Russian saying). In other words: how to prove that Chechen only aspire to live in peace? After France, He went to Denmark. To work with his words. On and on.
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