Nuclear Dumping in Sudan and Somalia?

I am not a subscriber, but find your magazine worthwhile enough to pick up more often than not at a local bookstore. The September 1985 issue on Sudan was particularly good. Gayle Smith’s article on George Bush’s visit mentioned discussions on nuclear waste disposal in the Sudan desert. The November-December Africa Report mentions a Kenya complaint to the UN in September about alleged talks between Barre and Deputy Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci on possible nuclear waste burial in the Mudug and Hiran regions of Somalia. Just what is going on here? There’s been some scuttlebutt about how some defense transuranic wastes may be inappropriate for both the New Mexico WIPP dump and the future commercial repositories, and this sketchy information makes it appear as though regions of the Sahel are being analyzed for possible dumping grounds. Does anyone on your staff have any more information on this?

Also, it would be interesting to see MERIP devote some more space to Yemen, the PDRY in particular. There were individual articles on both Yemens in recent issues on the Arabian Gulf, but the recent civil war between the Muhammad and Ismail factions in South Yemen seem to indicate that it’s time to do a dedicated issue on that region, of the depth characterized by the Sudan issue. It would be particularly valuable to get some solid information on Soviet and East German military interest there, particularly communications/intelligence and berthing facilities. As you are no doubt aware, there has been a lot of press speculation and controversy about what facilities do or do not exist in Aden and Socotra.

Anyway, keep up the good work. If your quality continues at the level it’s been for the last few issues, I may have to break down and subscribe.

Loring Wirbel
Burlingame, California


Credit Where Credit’s Due

I refer to the review published in your October-December 1985 issue of Emile Habiby’s The Secret Life of Saeed, The Ill-fated Pess-optimist.

The reviewer failed completely to mention the names of the translators or of PROTA, the Project of Translation from Arabic Literature which oversees the translation of worthy books of literature from Arabic. I would have thought that the editorial board would make sure that such an obvious omission is rectified before the article appears. The amount of work that particular translation has taken was enormous.

I am speaking not only as one of the two translators of the work, but also as founder and director of PROTA who feels that translators ought to be honored and at least rewarded on the intellectual level.

Salma Khadra Jayyusi
Cambridge, Massachusetts

We regret the omission.—Eds.

How to cite this article:

"Letters (March/April 1986)," Middle East Report 139 (March/April 1986).

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