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BOSNEWS digest 422 -- 05/10/95

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


Sarajevo, Oct 3, 1995 (Press TWRA) - "Organizing the bodies of=20 B-H Federation is in a sort of delay but the relations between Croats and Bosniaks are improving - trust seems to be restored among them. Military operations are temporarily stopped to include Serbs in the peace process. If there are no results, the offensive of the joint forces of Federation will be renewed with Banjaluka as a likely goal", said president of B-H Federation, Kresimir Zubak in the interview for "Dnevni Avaz".

In the interview for the same papers, president of Bosnian presidency Izetbegovic announced a demand to Croatia for extradition of F. Abdic. Izetbegovic also said that interior carve-up of B-H with the 51:49 ratio remains a permanent basis for peace settlement. It can be changed only if the US initiative fails and B-H army actions are successfully resumed. "To continue liberating the territories will not be an easy task as it seem that Croatians will not continue fighting," says B-H president. In case of cutting off the Serb corridor in northern Bosnia, Serbia would send ten more divisions in B-H, and Croatia does not want to join till there is an option of peaceful reintegration of eastern Slavonia, says Izetbegovic. /end/ A.S.


New York, Oct 4, 1995 (Press TWRA) - Security Council adopted the presidential statement on Croatia. This month Council's president, Ibrahim Gambari (Nigeria) warned to some issues at which Croatia neglects its responsibilities and acts contrary to conventions it signed. Particular concern is expressed due to decision of Croatian govt. to deny the status and the aid guaranteed to refugees from B-H in Croatia. Deep concern is expressed over impeding the refugees from Croatia to return and deprive them from their right to citizenship and hard position of Serbs who stayed in Croatia. The Council stresses demands stated in Resolution 1OO9 requiring complete and immediate compliance with all rights of Serb and other population, such as possession, just compensation, citizenship and protection.

Zagreb - UN spokesman Ch. Gunnes said the UN personnel had found the corpses of the Varivode residents in freshly dug graves in Knin. UN military observers (UNMO) visited Varivode on Sept. 11, and recorded 17 civilians. Nine killed persons were on the list. Traces of violence were found in about eight houses, and some people were killed at their threshold. One person witnessed the slaughter and is likely to bear witness to the crime, says UN. Croatian Helsinki Committee (HHO) releases that Vukica Beric (8O) and Mirko Dobrijevic are alive and taken to the geriatrics unit in the Knin hospital. Vukica Beric is treated for burns she suffered while trying to extinguish the fire in her house set up by attackers. Milan Pokrajac (77) knowing nothing on the event, was found in his yard. Bojanka Milosevic, maiden name Beric (42), was questioned for two days in the police station in Knin and then taken to Sibenik where she disappeared. As UN list included 17 persons, 3 persons are still missing, says HHO. It also states its members discovered a fresh mass grave in Gracac, but Croatian police is permanently on guard denying access to anyone. HVO says referring to EU, that on average six civilians are killed daily on two months ago liberated Croatian areas and then transported by helicopters to the mass graves in Gracac, Knin and elsewhere.

Paris - Patrick de Saint-Exupery wrote in "Le Figaro" a report from the Plavno village (the liberated Croatia's area), where a 67-year-old Serb Dusan Jovicic lives. He talks about his decision to stay in Croatia having heard the Tudjman's invitation to all those who had not committed any crime. In the beginning, says Dusan, in the village were professional Croatian soldiers who were very kind. Later came soldiers who did not fight and civilian-looters, arrogant, full of oaths, ready for any sort of violence. "I was Tito's partisan at 15, proud of my fight. At 47, I left the Communist Party as they lied. At 63 I heard Milosevic speaking nonsense of his dream about Serbia. I learnt at school there was no ethnically pure state and I knew he was a fool. Now, at 67 I wonder if Croats want ethnically cleansed Croatia. I hope they are not as fool," says Dusan Jovicic.


Skopje, Oct 4, 1995 (Press TWRA) - With some complications, the condition of president Gligorov is stabilizing, was released in Skopje. President Gligorov underwent an operation, as his left eye was badly hurt and he might lost the sight. He suffered injuries of head, arms and legs. During the operation, US and French doctors provided assistance via satellite. At 3 pm a medical team from Belgrade arrived to Skopje, 3 hours later a team of French doctors, while US medical experts are arriving today. Similar help was offered from Germany. Although he suffered slight brain injuries, Mr Gligorov is conscious.

Police released the first results of the investigation for which a team of FBI experts and some others were invited. Kiro Gligorov was injured and his driver Alexander Spirovski killed when 2O kg of explosive in a car "Citroen" parked near hotel "Bristol", was activated by remote control. Nearby windows were broken and many persons injured, one seriously. Some of the arrested persons are released as their only guilt was a panic=20 escape from the explosion site. The fact that the car-bomb had a plate from Kumanovo, a town on the north of state where large communities of Macedonians, Albanians and Serbs live, does not say anything about the assassinator. Albanian extremists are not believed to be suspects as the assassination was committed at professionally higher level rather than members of Albanian community in Macedonia could do, and as Gligorov was benevolent to Albanians though sometimes rigid. Serb terrorist organization "Black Hand", responsible for many terrorist attacks in this century, is not yet to be blamed. It seems that blockade to all roads leading to Skopje and all border crossings from Macedonia has not given any results.

President Gligorov has been consistent in his moderate anti nationalism, a democratic post-Communism, balanced affairs with all four neighboring states - Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia ("Yugoslavia"). Gligorov alone commented the option saying: "We are among four fires and we must warm up ourselves, not burn." Observers in Skopje do not agree about the fire which has burnt Gligorov. The fifth fire is not ruled out - some groups within Macedonians, particularly extremely nationalist wing made of "All-Macedonian Movement MAAK", pro-Serb and anti-Albanian VMRO DP and the largest party: pro-Bulgarian, anti-Serb, anti-Albanian VMRO DPMNE (Macedonian Interior Revolutionary Organization, Democratic Movement of Macedonian National Unity). Assassination on Gligorov was condemned by Ljupco Georgievski, the head of VMRO DPMNE, i.e. political wing of former terrorist group which killed former Yugoslav king Alexander in Marseille in 1934 and is angry with Macedonian govt. due to tolerance towards Greece (change of arm of Philip Macedonian on the flag). In the eve of the attack, Gligorov visited Belgrade and agreed soon mutual recognition with Milosevic refusing his demand to recognize exclusive Serbia's and Montenegro's right of succession of ex-Yugoslavia.

* Cease-Fire In Bosnia on October 10th? * Frontlines, Bosnia and Herzegovina * General Dudakovic Wounded? * Croats Move Into Bosnia * NATO Planes Fire On Serb Targets * NATO -- Bosnia * Pope and Clinton On Bosnia * New US ambassador In Bosnia

Oct. 5, 1995 WASHINGTON, United States Cease-Fire In Bosnia on October 10th?

President Clinton has announced a US brokered cease-fire in Bosnia Thursday. He said that, given the right conditions, ground war will cease on October 10. "At the same time," he added, "the governments of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia have agreed to proximity peace talks in the US." The president supplied scant details in his press conference, but it seems that the agreement requires an end to all offensive operations, all reconnaissance and all sniping. Also, the cease-fire would be contingent upon the restoration of gas and electric power to Sarajevo, and the assurance of free passage from Sarajevo to Gorazde. It would last 60 days, or until a peace agreement is reached. The cease-fire would be enforced by UN forces in the region. A NATO peacekeeping force, including US troops, would take over to enforce any peace settlement. According to a senior US official briefing reporters, all prisoners will be exchanged after the cease-fire goes into effect. After the cease-fire goes into effect, the warring parties would take part in talks in the US to be held in what the senior US Official called a secluded location outside Washington. The international talks would follow in Paris.

American peace envoy Richard Holbrooke is holding more talks on a cease-fire in Bosnia with President Alija Izetbegovic in Sarajevo. Mr. Holbrooke earlier discussed what he called a serious Government cease-fire proposal with Serbian President Slobodan M ilosevic in Belgrade. After that meeting, the US envoy said there still where differences about a truce. He implied, though, that the differences were being narrowed.

The nationalist Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, says that he is ready to accept a cease-fire throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also said the Serbs are prepared to allow civilians to use one road into and out of the besieged Muslim enclave of Gorazde.

Oct. 5, 1995 FRONTLINES. Bosnia and Herzegovina

As reported on Tuesday Bosnian government troops launched a major attack south of Sarajevo in an attempt to cut a key Serb supply route, sources close to the UN mission in Sarajevo said. The same sources said hundreds of explosions were heard Tuesday morning in a frontline area south of Sarajevo. This appeared to confirm a Bosnian Serb radio report that "the Bosnian army launched an artillery and infantry attack in the Treskavica mountain region with the aim of taking control of the Sarajevo-Trnovo road." The UN reports nationalist Serb forces have regained more territory during a counter-offensive against Bosnian Government troops in Northwestern Bosnia.

Oct. 5, 1995 ZAGREB, Croatia General Dudakovic Wounded?

EU monitors said on Wednesday the commander of the army 5th Corps in Bihac, General Atif Dudakovic, was hurt and seven soldiers were killed in "friendly fire" between allied Moslem and Croat forces in western Bosnia. A Bosnian army source denied it. A Bosnian army officer contacted in Bihac by telephone said, however, that the report was false. "It's rubbish," said the officer who did not want to be named. "Whoever told you this is spreading lies." The president of the Bosnian-Croat Federation conceded, however, that there had been some conflicts between the two allied forces but played down their significance. "There have been differences and that is not disputable," Kresimir Zubak told Bosnian news agency Onasa. "They weren't of such scope as to be worrisome," he added. "It is possible that conflicts arise within units if they do not have enough coordination." The two armies were attacking Serb-held Mrkonjic Grad last week and their forces reportedly met in the area at the weekend. "Friendly fire" incidents were reported twice before. Two weeks ago eight soldiers were killed on both sides when Bosnian army and regular Croatian army troops met but failed to recognize each other on the Ostrelj mountain pass north of Drvar, according to Bosnian army sources. Another incident was reported around the same time near Jajce when Bosnian army 7th Corps troops from Travnik met Bosnian Croat soldiers.

Oct. 5, 1995 ZAGREB, Croatia Croats Move Into Bosnia

UN spokeswoman Rida Ettarashany said in Zagreb more than 100 Croatian soldiers had crossed into Bosnia's northwestern Bihac pocket in the last two days. It was not clear if the troops were the vanguard of a larger force. Croatian troops are raising fears of increased fighting even as a cease-fire accord was announced in Washington. At the same time the return of well-armed and well-trained Croatian troops in Bosnia could signal a new joint counteroffensive. "Croatian presence would be of great importance" for allied Bosnian government troops, said Col. Erik Dam, the UN commander in the Bihac enclave. The Croatian army was also massing artillery near Dvor, a town near the Bosnian border. Croatian troops had to pull back into that Dvor region from Bosnia several weeks ago, after being unable to hold territory it seized from Serbs. UN reported ``heavy military activity'' in the area of Topusko, 25 miles north of Dvor. Croatian army had tried to cross the Una River -- the border between Bosnia and Croatia -- earlier this week but were forced back by Bosnian Serb fire.

Oct. 4, 1995 WASHINGTON, United States NATO Planes Fire On Serb Targets

NATO sources said US planes taking part in the enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina fired radar-seeking missiles three times Wednesday at two radar sites in Bosnia after being targeted by Serb radars. The sources said the planes, on routine reconnaissance, were "illuminated" by fire-control radars, and responded in self-defense with high-speed anti-radiation missiles. Two of the missiles were fired at a radar site in central Bosnia, southwest of Banj a Luka, and one was fired at a site south of Sarajevo in southern Bosnia. NATO said its planes have continued to enforce the no-fly zone, but they have been avoiding areas protected by surface-to-air missiles. Over the past several days, NATO has tracked several planes it believes were Bosnian Serb aircraft violating the no-fly zone, but in each case the planes landed or disappeared before NATO planes could intercept them. A NATO spokesman denied enforcement o f the no-fly zone was ever suspended, but sources admitted operations have been reduced in areas of heavy Serb missile defenses.

Oct. 5, 1995 WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia NATO -- Bosnia

NATO Defense Ministers have begun a two-day meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia, to plan for enforcing a Bosnian peace agreement, which could follow a cease-fire. The Allies have promised tens-of-thousands of troops to keep the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, once a final accord is reached. However, the key elements of the plan are still unclear. There are disagreements over a US proposal to upgrade a postwar Bosnian-Government Army. France says the idea would only cause more violence. Defense Secretary William Perry sought to ease the allies' concerns by saying he does not want a new arms race i n the Balkans. NATO must also find ways to accommodate Russia, which wants to take part in peacekeeping, but says it will not put troops under Allied command. Mr. Perry will discuss the matter with Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev this Sunday in Geneva.

Oct. 5, 1995 UNITED NATIONS, New York Pope and Clinton On Bosnia

White House officials say efforts to bring peace to Bosnia was the focus of the 30-minute meeting between president Clinton and Pope John Paul. A joint statement issued by the Press Secretaries of both men says Mr. Clinton discussed US efforts to help bring about a negotiated settlement in Bosnia and end the suffering. The statement says the Pontiff told the President he has invited all the bish ops of the ex-Yugoslavia to meet in Rome on October 17th. While not addressing specific solutions, both men discussed general ways in which they could agree in seeking the resolution of conflicts. Mr. Clinton asked the Pope to continue his prayers for peace and his efforts to encourage ethnic and religious reconciliation. The Pontiff is expected to renew his appeal for such reconciliation during his Speech to the UN on Thursday.

Oct. 5, 1995 SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina New US ambassador In Bosnia

New US ambassador John Menzis arrived in Sarajevo Wednesday. "Like another city I have served -- Berlin -- Sarajevo is a symbol of an age," he said at his swearing in ceremony. Before the diplomats took up that work, there was an important round of thank you's from the US delegation. US Army Gen. Wes Clark recognized six Bosnian soldiers who tried to save several members of the US negotiating team. In August, an armored car carrying Robert Frazure and other negotiators plunged off of the steep Mount Igman road. Frazure and two other US delegates died. The six soldiers managed to pull three people out of the burning vehicle. "Thank you for your help that day on Mount Igman," Clark said as he pinned a medal of valor to a soldier's uniform.

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