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October 2000
Vol. 12, No. 5 (A)


This report was written by Loretta Bondì, at the time Advocacy Coordinator with the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch and now Advocacy Director at the Fund for Peace. It is based on research conducted by Ms. Bondì, primarily in two visits to South Africa in January/February 1999 and November 1999. The report was edited by Bronwen Manby, Senior Researcher with the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, and Lisa Misol, Researcher with the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch, both of whom contributed supplementary research and wrote brief sections of the report. The report was reviewed by Dinah PoKempner, General Counsel to Human Rights Watch, and Malcolm Smart, Program Director of Human Rights Watch. It benefited from comments by Laurie Nathan, Executive Director of the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch. Joost Hiltermann, Executive Director of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch, and Ernst Jan Hogendoorn, Researcher with the Arms Division, also made helpful comments. Production assistance and research support for the report was provided by Charli Wyatt, Associate with the Arms Division, with assistance from Christian Phillips, intern with the Arms Division. Patrick Minges, Publications Director for Human Rights Watch, and Fitzroy Hepkins, Mail Manager, made possible the production of the report.

Human Rights Watch is grateful to the officials, nongovernmental colleagues, and individuals who were interviewed for this report. We are especially grateful to Terry Crawford-Browne, Virginia Gamba, Adele Kirsten, Laurie Nathan, and Jakkie Potgeiter. In the absence of strong parliamentary debate on the topic of arms control, civil society groups in South Africa have played a vital role in shaping the national arms control debate, securing important reforms, and generating support for further needed changes.

Human Rights Watch also acknowledges with appreciation the support of the CarEth Foundation, the Compton Foundation, the Winston Foundation for World Peace, the Rockefeller Foundation, an anonymous donor, and Human Rights Watch Board Member David M. Brown, who is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch takes sole responsibility for the content of the report.

Human Rights Watch: Mission Statement

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to bring offenders to justice, to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom and to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime.

We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

We challenge governments and those holding power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.

We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander, development director; Carroll Boger, communications director; Reed Brody, advocacy director; Barbara Guglielmo, finance director; Jeri Laber, special advisor; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Maria Pignataro Nielsen, human resources director; Dinah Pokempner, general counsel; Jemera Rone, counsel; Malcolm Smart, program director; Wilder Tayler, legal and policy director; and Joanna Weschler, United Nations representative. Jonathan Fanton is the chair of the board. Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair.

Human Rights Watch
Arms Division

The Arms Division was established in 1992 to monitor and prevent arms transfers to governments or organizations that commit gross violations of internationally recognized human rights and the rules of war and promote freedom of information regarding arms transfers worldwide. Joost R. Hiltermann is the executive director; Stephen D. Goose is the program director; Mary Wareham is the senior advocate; William M. Arkin is the senior military advisor; Mark Hiznay and Alex Vines are the senior researchers; Lisa Misol is the researcher; Hannah Novak and Charli Wyatt are the associates; Monica Schurtman is a consultant. Torsten N. Wiesel is the chair of the advisory committee and Nicole Ball and Vincent McGee are the vice-chairs.

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