BosNet NEWS - Sept. 23/24, 95 (NO Talks?!; Krasulje; Brcko)

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

From: Nermin Zukic <>

B o s N e t - Sept. 23, 1995
Bosnian government said on Sunday it would boycott this week's New York peace talks because it disagreed with the nationalist Serbs on constitutional arrangements for the country. According to the President Alija Izetbegovic's office, Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey had been ordered not to attend Tuesday's meeting.

Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic also stated: "If the state is not stable, viable, a source of stability not instability, there won't be any talks..." This may be also a significant blow to Richard Holbrooke's partition efforts.

ALIJA IZETBEGOVIC REPEATED DEMANDS OF BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT Vienna, Sep 23, 1995 (Press TWRA) - At the press conference held in Vienna, Izetbegovic repeated the demand that integral Sarajevo, Brcko and a wide corridor towards Gorazde should be included. He stressed that any sort of secession from B-H remains permanently forbidden. /end/ F.N.
German Defence Minister Volker Ruehe spoke out against sending German troops to oversee a peace agreement in Bosnia-Herzegovina: "I urge all those now calling for the German army to station ground troops in Bosnia as part of a peace force to be cautious... Our soldiers there would be subject to an incalculably high risk, a target for terrorist threats."

This statement comes despite Chancellor Helmut Kohl's comment: "That moment [for decision] has not yet arrived," on Saturday informal EU meeting.

"The German army would clearly become a part of the problem and not a part of the vitally necessary solution... For me, there's no question of that happening."

Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel commented: "First we must agree a peace plan... Then we will have to think about how we secure it. That will need a large number of soldiers."

According to NATO sources, military planners are preparing fine details for deployment of an international force to oversee Bosnian partition. FM Kinkel said he thought troops from Russia, the United States and Islamic nations should all be included in the proposed force.

Official media on Bosnian as well nationalist Serb sides said the other made pre-dawn attacks around NE town of Brcko. Nationalist Bosnian Serb media reported fierce fighting near Sanski Most, south of Banja Luka. Zeljko Raznjatovic "Arkan", whose pramilitary troops "Tigers" committed some of the most vicious crimes in the region at the beginning of the war, was reported to have joined the battle around Sanski Most.

After the discovery of a mass grave near Krasulje, Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic said Bosnian government troops would pursue their advance on Banja Luka. "The operations have not been halted. And they should not be halted because enemy operations have not been halted..."

PM Silajdzic said Bosnian forces found a mass grave containing 540 bodies at Krasulje, a village 10 km (six miles) from the town of Kljuc. "Serb terrorists killed the Bosnians (Moslems) of the town of Kljuc and buried them in a mass grave -- that is genocide," he said.

UN confirmed nationalist Serb claims to have retained control of the towns of Mrkonjic Grad and Sanski Most. "Our assessment is that the confrontation line remains stable but we believe the Bosnian Serb army is mounting limited counter-attacks at the major population points along the line," U.N. spokesman Chris Vernon said in Sarajevo.

According to Bosnian Television, Bosnian Army was poised to enter the northwestern town of Bosanski Novi. Bosnian Army's Fifth Corps had liberated 10 villages and 350 km (130 sq miles) of land in the area in the past two days. Captured were also 16 Serb armoured personnel carriers and a large quantity of artillery pieces.

Adalbert Rebic, head of the Croatian government's refugee department, told Croatian Radio a return of 100,000 refugees to recently liberated areas has been agreed to between the Croatian and Bosnian governments.

"With the loss of refugee status they can no longer exercise the rights linked with refugee status in Croatia... First of all, it means the return of all these people to their homes or to other empty houses in cases where their own houses have been destroyed," Rebic said.

The Zagreb office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had no immediate comment, but it criticised Croatia's last week decision to send newly-arrived Bosnian Croats and Moslems liberated areas of Bosnia. The action, UNHCR said contravened the Geneva Convention on refugees to send people back to areas which might be unsafe. Agency also believed many of them did not want to go back.

"There are currently more than 200,000 refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina in Croatia... Some 100,000 could return to their homes right away. The (details of the) return will be agreed, but it must happen."

Refugees living in hotels would be the first to return, Rebic said.

"This in line with an agreement between Presidents Alija Izetbegovic (of Bosnia) and Tudjman, which stipulates that all refugees from Bosnia in Croatia have the right and obligation to return to their homes," Rebic added.

"There is no guarantee we can reach a settlement... There are still deep, deep divisions among the parties. But there has been genuine progress," US President Clinton said in his weekly radio address. "Thanks to the combination of military muscle and diplomatic determination, there is now a real chance for peace in Bosnia. We must seize it."
``Every day we wait it makes it harder and harder for us to go forward,'' said Bosnian Army's Capt. Muhamed Mehdin, a 43-year-old, in a post about 800 feet away from nationalist Bosnian Serb positions.

``The Serbs are being allowed to create new positions just because they have promised to go along with some peace agreement that will not end this war. Their real goal is to save Banja Luka. Our goal is to take it,'' he said.

Most of the soldiers here lost their homes, along with relatives and friends, in the brutal ethnic cleansing campaigns carried out by nationalist Serbs.

``We fight for two things: freedom and revenge,'' said Mehmet Smajic, a 43-year-old soldier.

``We hear the Americans may arrive if there is an agreement... Why do they want to come here? And how do you expect us to feel about foreign troops on our soil? If the Americans really come in peace, then they will be welcome. But if not, they will have to leave. We will wait and see what these Americans try and do,'' said Sedik Lubianic, a 23-year-old lieutenant.


Zagreb, Sep 23, 1995 (Press TWRA) - At the press conference in Zagreb, Bosnian prime minister Haris Silajdzic talked about relations between Croatia and B-H and Croats and Bosniaks. Concerning the issue, he mentioned the problem of refugees from Velika Kladusa, the followers of F. Abdic, many of them still in Croatian town of Vojnic. "Those people are returning to their homes but not in a satisfactory number. Our government has done its best, gave the guarantees, accepted mediating role of friendly governments, organized return. Amnesty includes all apart from the perpetrators of crimes." Silajdzic states that Croatian-Bosnian relations are "good but could be better. Regrettably, we have moved a little from the Washington agreement but it is important that we are settling disputes in agreement. Asked by TWRA about the chances for Bosniaks to return to Jajce and the HVO permit for free passage to B-H army through the area, Silajdzic said: "As for return of Bosniaks to Jajce it must be permitted and without any impediment as the reverse act would be a sever violating the international conventions and contrary to the Washington agreement and the least in accord with friendly relations with B-H and Croatia and Croats and Bosniaks. Regarding access of B-H army 7th Corps to that area to be joined the 5th Corps and to establish normal logistic operation and coordination of B-H army, we hope that agreement on the issue will be reached between Bosnian and Croatian side. /end/ F.N.

QUESTIONABLE 51:49 %, FIGHTING IN WESTERN B-H DECREASED Zagreb, Sarajevo, Sep 23, 1995 (Press TWRA) - A. Ivanko (UN) said that Karadzic's Serbs have less than 5O% i.e. hold 49.7% of the B-H territory under control. B-H army has 29.4% and HVO and HV 2O.9% of Bosnian territory under control, total of 5O.3% of the B-H territory. At the same press conference, Ivanko said that UNMO (UN military observers) were permitted to visit frontlines in western Bosnia and found out that B-H army and Croatian=20 forces hold the counties of Donji Vakuf, Bosanska Krupa, Bosansko Grahovo, Sipovo, Drvar, Glamoc, Bihac (with Kulen Vakuf), Bosanski Petrovac, two thirds of Kljuc and Jajce and half of the Sanski Most county. Continuation of the fighting around Mrkonjic Grad and Sanski Most was reported today. At today's press conference in Zagreb, Bosnian prime minister H. Silajdzic was asked about the speculations saying the offensive launched by B-H army, Croatian army and HVO was stopped when the territorial ratio 51:49 was gained and if the offensive had changed the ratio 51:49 as offered in the Contact group plan last year and the US initiative this year. Silajdzic said that 51:49 was a part of a diplomatic plan while military actions were something different. We will undertake military actions as long as the peace is achieved. In the period with no peace, the only plan valid is liberating the whole territory of the Republic of B-H. The power of arms is now backing the B-H diplomacy. The change in percentage and lines on the maps with interior separation lines in B-H depend exclusively on Serb terrorists. If they had adopted the proposal of the Contact group last year, as we did, we would have had peace today within the current peace plan. If any changes are made on maps and in international peace initiatives, they will be in favour of legal authorities of the Republic of B-H. Our forces in western and central Bosnia and other parts of B-H will be active undertaking all what is needed to liberate the whole territory. As war is still underway, the army is to resist aggression. Until there are no serious indications that the enemy withdraws the arms and accepts demilitarization of Banjaluka, our forces will take active stand towards the enemy troops." Washington - US adm. spokesman said that the US government, despite the changes on the ground, still holds that the interior division of Bosnia 51:49% is adequate to peace solution. Split - "Pressure of the international community, particularly the USA have become great. Republics of B-H, Croatia and the B-H Federation were demanded to stop the military operations. Vital strategic aims have been gained what improves negotiating positions. USA and EU hold that the new positions will fasten negotiating process but also improve its results, " said the head of Croatian diplmacy M. Granic in the interview for "Slobodna Dalmacija" daily to the question about the reasons for cessation of the successful offensive in western Bosnia. UN spokesman Ph. Arnold reports that reinforced Croatian forces are withdrawing from Dvor, Kostajnica and Dubica on the left bank of the river Una from which they had tried to reach the right river bank and push Karadzic's Serbs back. /end/ F.N.

US COMMANDOS INJURED ON SEP. 9, NEARBY PALE Washington, Sep 23, 1995 (Press TWRA) -Two US commandos were injured in the NATO rescue attempt to save two pilots of the french "Mirage 2OOO" downed by Serbs on Aug 3O. First rescue operation was on Sep 5, with 16 Americans participating in it. In the second operation, on Sep 6, (all the actions were performed by night) when Americans and the French took part but with no success. The third night, Americans and the French landed in the Pale vicinity and were exposed to severe machine gun fire. Commandos got on safely to helicopter and returned to the base. Rescue actions have not been taken any more. The story was released by the US NBC TV. Pentagon have not issued any comment. Rescue operation, according to NBC was taken after German reconnaissance plane made a photograph of a man showing a sign with letters and numbers which remind to a secret code "EBRO 33" having been used by the missing Frenchmen. /end/ F.N.

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