BosNet NEWS - September 13, 1995
From: Dzevat Omeragic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
B o s N e t - September 13, 1995
Donji Vakuf, Jajce, Sipovo liberated
Up to 50,000 Serb refugees move across Bosnia
U.S. urges restraint by Bosnian Croats Army and Bosnian Croats (HVO)
Perry says Serb air defense nearly destroyed
US, British and Russian diplomatic moves
Russian statement and American reaction
Italy said near agreement on "stealth" jets
Kohl says Russian statement on Serbs unacceptable
Serb street protest attacks U.S. and Milosevic
Pavarotti's concert for the children of Bosnia
Albanian president says NATO strikes should continue
The Croatian news agency HINA reported that Croat troops had
captured the key central Bosnian town of Jajce, together with Sipovo and
Drvar to the west.
Before, the United Nations said it appeared the Bosnian Army together
with its Croat allies had captured the crossroad town of Donji Vakuf.
Separatist Bosnian Serb military sources said 6,000 Serb troops were
surrounded near Donji Vakuf.
Bosnian television said BH Army was closing in on Bosanski
Petrovac from the direction of Bihac.
The aim of this offensive appears to be to link the western
enclave of Bihac with central Bosnia via a road passing through
towns which have never been threatened in this war -- Mrkonjic Grad,
Kljuc, Bosanski Petrovac.
Military experts say that the fall of Donji Vakuf and Jajce
would be a disaster for the nationalist Serb Army.
Gen. Rupert Smith, U.N. military commander in Bosnia,
pressed for no let-up in the raids until the beseiging Serbs
removed their guns from Sarajevo.
According to Reuter up to 50,000 Serb civilians were fleeing
towns in central and western Bosnia and heading north toward Banja Luka
after a sudden advance of Croat and Bosnian government forces.
The civilians were leaving towns of Jajce, Drvar, Mrkonjic
Grad, Kljuc and Donji Vakuf, along the main road linking the
northwest Bihac area to the central Bosnian town of Zenica.
U.N. officials reiterated Wednesday that they will not stop
until the Serbs withdraw all their weapons around Sarajevo.
UNPROFOR spokesman Lt.-Col. Vernon said:
"This is not negotiable. ... The heavy weapons have to move."
NATO warplanes on Tuesday attacked a half-dozen Serb military
targets around Sarajevo and in eastern Bosnia -- ammunition dumps,
storage sites, militarily strategic bridges, and command and
Tuesday's pounding was the heaviest in the Sarajevo area since
the intensive air strikes began nearly two weeks ago.
The barracks at Sarajevo suburb of Lukavica was hit
again by NATO Wednesday evening. NATO and U.N. Rapid Reaction
Force artillery bombarded roads, power, communications and industry
around Gorazde in eastern Bosnia and Banja Luka, Prijedor and Doboj.
The news agency of rump Yugoslavia reported heavy losses.
They also reported that 100 bombs had fallen on Hadzici in 24 hours and
that NATO rockets hit targets in the city of Visegrad.
Comander of nationalist Serb Army and indicted war criminal.
Gen. Ratko Mladic has refused to withdraw guns and tanks from around
Sarajevo and other "safe areas".
But U.N. sources said more junior Serb commanders had been
in touch with peacekeepers seeking respite from the heaviest
pummelling they have suffered during 3 1/2 years of war.
The United States Wednesday urged Bosnian Army and Bosnian Croat
forces (HVO) to refrain from military action so as not to damage a
current U.S. peace initiative.
State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said:
"We believe that forbearance from military action is the
only way to enhance the opportunities for peace ... This applies to
all parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, not just the safe areas."
"The United States has repeatedly urged all parties in the
region, at the highest level, not to take actions which could
aggravate the situation in the Balkans. We believe that a
negotiated settlement is the only possible outcome to this very
U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry said the NATO's air
strikes had now virtually destroyed Serb air defenses.
"Within a few days, (NATO aircraft) will be able to fly
with impunity over any Bosnian Serb space, provided they are
flying high enough that they are not subjected to ground fire
from manned portable systems."
The Serb air defense system in eastern Bosnia has been
destroyed by allied bombs and missiles and the same would be
true in western Bosnia in a few days.
"Command and control has been ... dramatically impeded.
A good many of their ammunition dumps have been destroyed. So there
has been a very substantial impact on the Bosnian Serbs.''
Perry also said that NATO was actively working on a plan to
send troops into Bosnia to help enforce any final peace
agreement. He estimated that as many as 15,000 to 18,000 U.S. troops
might be needed as part of such a force but stressed that no
final figure could be determined until a peace agreement was
U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke returned to Belgrade Wednesday
for more talks with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who has
taken on the role as the chief negotiator for the Bosnian Serbs.
A Russian envoy, Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, was to meet
the top U.N. official in former Yugoslavia, Yasushi Akashi in Zagreb,
In London, Britain floated a plan for a Sarajevo cease-fire
aimed at encouraging Serbs to withdraw their heavy guns from
around the city and thereby win an end to the NATO bombardment.
A Russian government statement accused NATO of genocide and
said Russia could not be indifferent to "the tragic fate of the children of
our brother-Slavs." The statement said:
"The survival of the present generation of Bosnian Serbs,
which is threatened by genocide, is called into question."
The United States took steps to ease Moscow's concern about the air
strikes. U.S. President Bill Clinton rejected Russian charges that the
two-week-old NATO campaign had threatened the Serbs with genocide.
President Clinton told reporters in Washington:
"There has been no genocide there. There has been an
extraordinary amount of care and discipline, with firmness and
strength, and they (the air raids) were appropriately done."
Defense Department spokesman Ken Bacon told reporters that
discussions were under way with Italy on basings the "stealth" jets.
Bacon declined to discuss the dispute. But Italian diplomats
in Rome said privately on Tuesday that Italy was holding out for
a bigger role in the Bosnia peace process in return for allowing
the Stealth jets into the country.
U.S. officials said the Italian government was angered in
part because the Italians were not given a role in a press
conference in Geneva last Friday by U.S. Assistant Secretary of
State Richard Holbrooke.
According to some dilomat the planes should be in Italy as early
as next week.
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on Wednesday described a Russian
statement accusing NATO of genocide against Bosnian Serbs as unacceptable.
At a Johannesburg news conference, Kohl said:
"I consider the form in which the statement was made to be
unacceptable. I support the policy of the United Nations and NATO.
This whole discussion would have evolved if the very reasonable demands
made to the Bosnian Serbs to withdraw their heavy weapons (from around
Sarajevo) had been met by them"
Hundreds of angry Serbs demonstrated in front of a U.S.
diplomatic building in Belgrade Wednesday. The crowd was burning
American flag and some of them described Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic as a traitor as he met U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke.
In a sign of discontent at Belgrade's refusal to do more to
aid fellow Serbs in Bosnia, demonstrators chanted slogans and
stuck up a poster portraying Milosevic as a fascist collaborator
with the West. They plastered a nearby wall with posters reading
"USA - World number one serial killer" and "Clinton - Hitler".
As the protest went on, Holbrooke, an assistant U.S.
secretary of state, held talks in Belgrade with Milosevic, who
is negotiating with international mediators on behalf of the
U.S. officials would not immediately comment on the details
of the meeting.
Two music super-stars, Pavarotti and Meatloaf, joined other stars
of rap, rock and opera Tuesday to sing for the children of Bosnia.
"If one child gets helped, God's looking down on us and God
will smile," rock giant Meatloaf told Reuters.
A night of music attended by 15,000 people including Britain's
Princess Diana, the guest of honor.
Among others, there were:
Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries,
American Michael Bolton
Italy's blues king Zucchero,
Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran
Irish folk group The Chieftains.
Singer Bono and guitarist The Edge of Irish supergroup U-2
and former Roxy Music musician Brian Eno pooled forces with
Pavarotti for a new song, "Miss Sarajevo."
RAI television, which broadcast the concert live in Italy,
cut during the song to black and white film of a beauty pageant
in the Bosnian capital at which swim-suited contestants paraded
with a banner reading: "Don't let them kill us."
The audience at the open-air concert, held in a central park
in Pavarotti's northern home town of Modena, paid between $20
and $155 for tickets to the 2 1/2 show.
All receipts, plus donations from Italian television viewers
and proceeds from sales around the world of audio and video
recordings of the concert, will go to the small British charity
Pavarotti told the crowd:
"We believe that when this war is over for the children,
they will want to sing.
I know because I was 10 when the war ended here and the
first thing I wanted to do to show we were alive was sing."
The night ended with Pavarotti and his friends all on stage
to sing a new song, "The Bridge is Broken" and the opera
maestro's signature aria "Nessun Dorma".
Written by composer-conductor Michael Kaymen, "The Bridge
is Broken" was inspired by the famous Ottoman Turkish bridge in
the Bosnian city of Mostar, where War Child hopes to set up a
musical therapy center for children traumatised by war.
Albanian President Sali Berisha met President Clinton Tuesday.
He praised U.S. efforts in the Balkans and said NATO air strikes
should continue. He said:
"I think it is the right way to contribute to peace and
stability, because these air strikes are undoing what (the)
embargo did wrong."
He said Clinton told him that the U.S. supported the
restoration of human rights of ethnic Albanians in the Serbian
province of Kosovo, which has more than 90 percent Albanian population.
Albania has protested against the resettlement of about a
thousand Serb refugees from the Krajina to Kosovo, saying it was
an effort to change the ethnic structure of the area.
A White House spokesman said that during the meeting Clinton
announced the U.S. intention to equip and outfit the Albanian
contingent participating in the Partnership for Peace, a loose
military association with the NATO alliance.
[Hellenic Recources Institute]
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