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News Briefs, part 2

U.N. Council Sets Command Shift For Haiti Mission

The Washington Post

The U.N. Security Council agreed Monday to transfer the Haitian peacekeeping mission from U.S. to U.N. command, opening the way for a crucial test of the Clinton administration's partnership with the world organization.

The administration, faced with rising hostility from a Republican-controlled Congress, hopes to show that U.N. troops can keep the peace won by U.S. military intervention last fall and at the same time reduce U.S. expenditure on the effort. It is also a chance for the United Nations to repair an image stained by its spectacular and expensive failure in Somalia by demonstrating it can guide Haiti toward stable democracy.

The council scheduled a late-night vote on a formal resolution declaring that the U.S.-led intervention force had achieved a "secure and stable environment" in Haiti and setting the turnover date for March 31.

About 2,400 U.S. troops, many already in Haiti, will remain as part of the U.N. contingent, which will total 6,000 troops. The United States insisted that an American command the force, but Maj. Gen. Joseph W. Kinzer will answer, technically at least, to the political authority of U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, not the Pentagon.

Rules of armed engagement for the U.N. troops will permit them to open fire only when fired upon - much more restrictive terms than those under which U.S. troops operated when they landed in Haiti to usher out a repressive military regime and reinstate ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Lugar Nearing Decision to Seek GOP Nomination for President

Los Angeles Times

Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a recognized expert on foreign policy issues, is nearing a decision to seek the Republican nomination for president in 1996.

Lugar, 62, has decided to demonstrate his interest in the GOP nomination by attending a party gathering in New Hampshire on Feb. 19, which is considered to be the curtain-raiser for that state's presidential primary campaign.

In addition, he is expected to announce the establishment of an exploratory committee on March 18, when he plans a fund-raiser in his home state of Indiana. Later, the committee will likely be converted into a full-blown presidential campaign organization.

Lugar joins a number of other Republican senators who are expected to seek the nomination, including Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas, Phil Gramm of Texas and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

But Lugar's decision could have more impact on another potential contender, former Vice President Dan Quayle, who served as the junior senator from Indiana behind Lugar before being chosen in 1988 as George Bush's running mate. At the time, the choice of Quayle was seen in Indiana as something of an insult to the state's senior senator.