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BOSNEWS digest 434 -- 16/10/95

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

From: Nermin Zukic <>

- UN's Lt.-Col. Vernon: "The Bosnian government has got to realize the implications of what they are doing..."

- Vernon: "... [Agreement] it is not our job nor is it our responsibility to make it happen..."

- Nationalist Koljevic: "I personally don't think he [Milosevic] will stay inactive, but seeing is believing..."

- B&H FM Sacirbey: "The Serbs in the region are welcome to stay there and we will do everything for them to stay there..."

- B&H PM Silajdzic: ``So far so good... It won't be a clear-cut situation. It never is. ''

"The Bosnian government has got to realize the implications of what they are doing. If they threaten these mass centers of population, you can guess as well as i can what the Bosnian Serb and Serbian reaction may very well be. That threat would threaten the overall peace talks," said U.N. spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Vernon, commenting on the most recent advances of Bosnian Army.

"The U.N. welcomes the invitation of the Bosnian Serbs to observe the confrontation line from their side and verify that they are not exploiting the cease-fire by advancing. We now call of the Bosnian government to do the same," said Vernon.

"This is an agreement between the two warring factions and the Bosnian Croats, it is not our job nor is it our responsibility to make it happen, but having said that we have to live with the consequences should it not happen," Vernon added.

The ceasefire agreement appears to be holding elsewhere in Bosnia. "Diplomatic efforts to coerce the warring parties to comply with the cease-fire are continuing relentlessly. The U.N. Security Council has demanded this and the United States is pressuring all sides to put an end to this activity in northwestern Bosnia," U.N. spokesman in Sarajevo, Yuri Chizik said.

Gen. John Shalikashvilli, the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff met in Sarajevo with President Alija Izetbegovic and U.N. military officials, to discuss implementation of the cease-fire.

Nationalist Bosnian Serbs are maintaining checkpoint outside of the town of Gorazde, but the road from Sarajevo to the besieged enclave "was essentially open to U.N. military convoys".

``Murder, torture, inhumane treatment and the other crimes committed by Dragan Nikolic at Susica camp are prohibited at all times in all continents,'' Int'l WCT Prosecutor Teresa McHenry said. ``As such you may be prosecuted and the efforts to bring to light war crimes and to bring you to justice will not cease.''

Nikolic has remained at large in Serb-controlled territory.

McHenry urged the U.N. Security Council, to take action against the nationalist Bosnian Serb administration of Radovan Karadzic which she said had been sheltering Nikolic.

The U.N. criminal tribunal for former Yugoslavia was expected to confirm the charges against Nikolic and issue an international arrest warrant, compelling all U.N. member states to arrest him and surrender him for trial.

Fifteen witnesses testified this week against Nikolic, including the following:

``They started selecting young women. The first was only 14 the second could have been 16 or 17... I knew them all, they were from Vlasenica ... Then they started yelling: 'We want the Muslims to see what our seed is.' That was the expression they used... The women were never seen again... None of them. They're just no longer there. We know that and Dragan Nikolic knows about it very well. That's what he did.''

``He told us himself: I'm the commander of the camp. I'm your God and you have no other God but me,'' Zehra Smajlovic said.

Several witnesses told how Nikolic selected men for savage beatings, leaving them to die of injuries or choke to death on their own blood.

Nationalist Bosnian Serb leader Nikola Koljevic issued the follwoing threat, after Bosnian Army's/HVO advances in the N-NW Bosnia:

"This is the fourth blitzkrieg... It is tragic for us... If this doesn't stop tomorrow, we'll approach Yugoslavia to step out of the peace process and then we'll approach Orthodox and Slavonic [Slavic] countries for military aid to carry on the war... We don't think Milosevic would reject us, because it would really be a disaster for the Serbian nation if the offensive continues. I personally don't think he will stay inactive, but seeing is believing. We will certainly call Yugoslavia."

``We made it clear to the U.N. that if this demand is not met there can be no further discussion on the implementation of the ceasefire agreement,'' vice-president of the Bosnian Serbs' self-styled republic, as saying.

Koljevic also demanded that Bosnian Army and HVO forces withdraw to the lines they held when the cease-fire went into effect.

Serbian President Milosevic has dispatched paramilitary units from Serbia. The are led by Interpol-sought criminal Zeljko Raznjatovic Arkan, whose troops were instrumental in initiating the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as committing some of the most hienous crimes.

More recently Arkan's men have been blamed for brutal "ethnic cleansing" in which at least 6,000 Muslims have been expelled from their homes and thousands still missing.

Liberation of Sanski Most and Mrkonjic Grad created an influx of ~40,000 refugees, heading mostly towards Banja Luka.

Regarding the most recent developments in N-NW B&H, Bosnian Foreign Minister Mohammed Sacirbey said on Saturday: "If you look at our military action... it can be viewed in two ways: as liberation or if you would enlargement of federation territory -- or facilitating the opportunity for peace by encouraging the integration of Serb territory into the Republic and not the federation... I would like to think our strategy is in terms of the latter. We have not changed our demands. We have not said we want more territory for the federation... at the same time this process does have an impact on weakening the forces in the Serb entity that wants the division of the country..."

Bosnian Foreign Minister also urged Serbs in northern Bosnia not to flee: "The Serbs in the region are welcome to stay there and we will do everything for them to stay there," at Euro-Mediterranean conference in Malta.

"Although we are... turning the table on the enemy, Bosnia's government prides itself on practicing a policy of inclusion and not exclusion... It seems the situation is still dictated on one side by ethnic cleansing and by our side to defend ourselves against that campaign... our army does not fight to conquer territory... it fights to make sure that Bosnia stays unified, for the integration of our country."

"We have proposed in the past the demilitarisation of Banja Luka that was intended to avoid this type of situation... and make Serb civilians living there feel safe and not feel they were under military threat while avoiding military cleansing... We are holding our own and as a Bosnian government official I must be satisfied but at the same time we do hope that the ceasefire holds and I think seeing these events in succession one sees how tenuous the situation is," Sacirbey added.


Sarajevo, Oct 13, 1995 (Press TWRA) - Clashes between Bosnian army and Serb troops are continuing in western Bosnia, said the UNPROFOR spokesperson Chris Vernon. Fighting is underway in the area of Sanski Most where Serbs, by deploying tanks and artillery, tried a counter offensive as well as near Bosanska Otoka and Bosanska Krupa where another Serb pocket has remained. Bosnian army holds Sanski Most under control strengthening its defence positions in the area, UN reports. We cannot claim which side violates the cease fire as the warring sides did not agree on the cease fire supervision, says Vernon. UN announced that fighting was continuing in the river Vrbas valley and on the south slopes of Mt.Manjaca, south from Banjaluka. UN also states that French engineers have cleared the road between Sarajevo and Pale of mines to be reopened for the UNPROFOR and UNHCR vehicles. Ch. Vernon told journalists that details of the cease fire would be released when the warring parties agreed on details but it was known that the UN forces would not be deployed along the demarcation lines or exposed to hijacking or more seriously jeopardized.

IZETBEGOVIC ON CEASE FIRE Prague, Vienna Oct, 13, 1995 (Press TWRA) - President of Bosnian presidency Alija Izetbegovic who is in visit to Austria and Czech Republic had talks with presidents Klestil (who left for US to talk with president Clinton) and Havel on the situation in Bosnia and hold a press conference. Izetbegovic confirmed that Serb attack on Sanski Most threatened the cease fire saying that Serbs were trying to retake the town but unsuccessfully. "If they continue, we will be forced to respond," said Izetbegovic stating that all B-H army units obey the orders of B-H authorities. Expressing the hope for peace to be reached in B-H by the end of this year, Izetbegovic said the current cease fire could lead to a lasting peace: "It would not be realistic to expect fighting to stop immediately. Still, the cease fire might hold more than two months and even after the winter". /end/ A.S.


New York, Oct 13, 1995 (Press TWRA) - UN SC severely condemned ethnic cleansing committed in B-H expressing its concern due to taking away militarily fit non-Serb males in the Serb hold parts of B-H. Ethnic cleansing is condemned regardless of perpetrators and place while the cases from Banjaluka and Prijedor were specially quoted. Free passage for the personnel of the UN and the International Red Cross is required in that area. Ambassador of the so-called FR Yugoslavia to UN (ex-head of diplomacy) Vladislav Jovanovic was present at the Council session saying it was not fair to put the blame on Serbs only.

Gen. Milan Gvero, deputy commander of nationalist Bosnian Serbs, demanded Friday that the Bosnian Government and Croatian forces ``be punished with all means available'' by NATO forces.

``We are not attacking the Serbs, they are provoking us, so we must respond... These are only defensive advances,'' an unidentified Bosnian Army officer stated on the frontlines.

Prijedor has great symbolic and emotional value to the Bosnians and Croats, many of whom were driven out of the area by nationalist Bosnian Serbs in on of the most vicious and brutal ``ethnic cleansing'' campaigns of 1992.

Lt. Col. Chris Vernon, a U.N. spokesman, said Friday: ``There has not been a cease-fire, but purely a continuation of hostilities.''

``It appears that what General Dudakovic told us does not match up with what his intentions are in the area... It is quite possible, despite the government's pledge to honor the cease-fire, that General Dudakovic has decided to continue to fight for a few more days to take the territory he wants. He is in a good position to take Prijedor. But if he takes Prijedor it will be disastrous for the cease-fire,'' a senior UN official said.

``Both sides now have good reason for the cease-fire to be observed,'' he said responding to questions after a speech. ``I'm sure that the cease-fire will hold.''

Radovan Karadzic, leader of nationalist Bosnian Serbs, also indicted for the war crimes, commented: ``The whole world is celebrating peace, but we don't have peace... America has brokered this cease-fire, and it is obliged to stop the Muslims... If the U.N. and international community don't do everything to stop the Muslims and Croats we will consider very seriously stepping out of the peace process and asking Yugoslavia to do the same...''

Following the Bosnian Army offensive Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic said: ``So far so good... It won't be a clear-cut situation. It never is. It is not easy to stop the war machine, but I think it will go well.''

Asst. US Secretary of State Holbrooke told reporters Thursday in Washington that cease-fire violations would not disrupt peace talks, but could prompt NATO air strikes.

``What cease-fire?... We're marching on to Banja Luka,'' a Bosnian Army soldier commented in Sanski Most, recently liberated of the nationalist Bosnian Serbs' troops.

Gen. Atif Dudakovic, commander of the Bosnian Army 5th Corps, met in Sanski Most with Gen. Mehmet Alagic, commander of the central Bosnian 7th Corps, and a local Bosnian Croat commander on Thursday to work out plans for future advances.

Bosnian Army joined by Craotian troops advanced towards the town of Prijedor, which was hosting nationalist Bosnian Serb ``president'' Radovan Karadzic, indicted war criminal.

``We have information from our people that 40,000 people fled Prijedor today,'' Kris Janowski, UNHCR spokesman in Sarajevo said. Aid officials said Banja Luka's fall would unleash a humanitarian catastrophe with up to 700,000 refugees of all ages driven east to find secure Serb territory. A nighttime curfew was imposed on Banja Luka and that the atmosphere in the town was ``extremely tense.''







Sarajevo, Oct, 15, 1995 (Press TWRA) - Two Turkish journalists who disappeared in Bosnia this week are in hands of Karadzic's Serbs, released the UNPROFOR spokesman to Sarajevo, Guy Vinet. "Bosnian Serb liaisons officer informed us the two journalists were guests to Republika Srpska," said Vinet. A semi-official news agency Anadolia and widely read "Hurriyet" daily released that no news on the fate of their journalists from Sarajevo have been received. They were going to make a report from central Bosnia but did not return to Sarajevo on Thursday evening as planned. /end/ A.S.


Prague, Oct 15, 1995 (Press TWRA) - B-H president Izetbegovic and a B-H state delegation, after visit to Austria and two-day-visit to Czech Republic left for Malta. Czech president Vaclav Havel met yesterday morning his Bosnian counterpart at the Prague airport after their common attendance of the closing performance at the manifestation " Month of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Czech Republic". Izetbegovic announced that the Czech statesman confirmed a considerable support of Prague in establishing peace in B-H and the post-war reconstruction of that state. A member of Bosnian presidency Stjepan Kljuic was also a member of B-H state delegation. He said at the press conference that Bosnian Serbs must replace their current leadership at Pale if they want to take equal part in free, democratic and integral B-H. Chairman of the Republican party and a prominent member of Croatian Council of Defence of B-H, Kljuic put forward, on behalf of Bosnian authorities, four conditions for the peace process. First, return of refugees to all parts of B-H. Second, punishment of all war criminals. Third, establishment of democratic regime grounded on human right observance. Fourth, war reparation for the victims of war and implementation of the post-war reconstruction plan of the country. "Material support should be provided for those who observe democracy and human rights in multiethnic B-H," said Kljujic who also endorsed the status of a special district for B-H capital of Sarajevo similar to that of Washington in the US. /end/ A.S.


La Valetta, oct 15, 1995 (Press TWRA) - Bosnian head of diplomacy M. Sacirbey who attends the meeting of Mediterranean forum of Crans Montana in Malta's capital of Valetta, called yesterday Bosnian Serbs not to leave their homes fleeing from Bosniak and Croatian forces which advance in some parts of B-H particularly western part of the country. "Bosnian government will not let any crime be committed on its behalf as Karadzic's Serbs did", said M. Sacirbey. He added that Bosnian government would continue seeking persons for future cooperation. /end/ A.S.=A0## CrossPoint v3.02 ##


Bonn, Stockholm, Oct 15, 1995 (Press TWRA) - Carl Bildt in the interview for German daily "Der Spiegel" speaks about the peace process in ex-Yugoslavia. "I do not believe the peace settlement will be reached soon. The peace plan implementation is so complex that it will be certainly prolonged in late 1996," Bildt says. =20 Bildt cooperated with newly appointed UN rapporteur on human rights in ex-Yugoslavia, E. Rehn who belongs to the biggest ethnic majority in Finland - a Swedish. Bildt has no mediating role in Croatia as Zagreb proclaimed him unwanted but he goes on with the activity elsewhere in ex-Yugoslavia, specially B-H. M. Sacirbey, head of Bosnian diplomacy sent recently a letter to Bildt demanding, on behalf of the B-H govt, EU advisory assistance in making new constitution of B-H. In the letter, Sacirbey, as the citizen of B-H and the USA claims the US peace plan is not a sufficient ground for the Constitution as the peace initiative settles each disputable question separately, so it is hard to make a sensible whole out of it. /end/ A.S.


London, Zagreb Oct 15, 1995 (Press TWRA) - Correspondent of Croatian daily "Vecernji List" from London reports today on the estimates of the situation in Bosnia as given by British analysts and media and renewed London criticism of the USA due to the US tolerance towards offensives launched by the forces of the governments from Zagreb and Sarajevo. British "experts for the Balkans" estimate that Serb para- state in B-H has reached a critical stage when its very existence is questionable. Karadzic's deputy Nikola Koljevic, a frequent visitor to England, this week, allegedly demanded in panic from the UN Com. to Bosnia Gen. sir R. Smith that Croatian-Bosnian offensive in western Bosnia be urgently stopped, "as", according to Koljevic, "Republika Srpska could fall in 36 hours." Koljevic also threatened the new round of the peace process with boycott of "Bosnian Serbs" and called for military assistance of Slavic countries. He apparently thought of Russia but it is not certain that Moscow could go so far. R. Smith asked Koljevic if S. Milosevic endorsed breaking negotiations, Koljevic answered negatively but added he believed he would obtain it as "refusal of such ultimatum would be one more in a sequence of catastrophes for Serbs." Some estimates say the first Serb front lines are 15 km far from Banjaluka and 9 km from Prijedor and after initial success, all Serb attempts for counter attack on Sanski Most via the village of Vasiljevici failed. London resents Washington for condemning only Serb terror against Bosniaks in Banjaluka without any attempt to stop the actions of Croats and Bosniaks. British media say the US Ambassador to Sarajevo John Menzies prevented the assults of RRF on B-H army being accused by UN of violating the heavy arms exclusion zone around Sarajevo.=20 Advisor for the US national security, Anthony Lake arrives at London to discus with the British head of diplomacy the peace operation in B-H and negotiations in Ireland. /end/ A.S.









Sarajevo, Oct 16, 1995 (Press TWRA) - Bosnia's vice-president E. Ganic told Bosnian TV that 51:49 % internal division of Bosnia was not actual nor reasonable anymore. "Since the Contact group plan was proposed, important events took place, and Serbs made more crimes and went on genocide throughout the country" Ganic said. On the area controlled by Karadzic's forces lives around ten per cent of pre-war Bosnia's population, what is result of ethnic cleansing, committed by Serb para-authorities, he added, saying the NATO forces, if come to Bosnia, should be deployed on the whole occupied area, because it is the only way to ensure free and democratic elections there. (end) A.S.


Banja Luka, Oct 16, 1995 (Press TWRA) - "Representatives club of SDS = Serb democratic party" (illegal terrorist group) in the so called parliament of Republika Srpska, led by Radovan Karadzic, requested four Serb para-military generals - Milan Gvero, Djordje Djukic, Zdravko Tolimir and Grujo Boric - to be moved from their positions. They are blamed for military defeats of Bosnian Army and Croatian Army, in various parts of Bosnia, particularly in western Bosnia. Movement of the Serb para-military command from Han Pijesak (eastern Bosnia) to Banjaluka was also demanded. R. Mladic, Serb para-military main commander, was not presented to the session. These days, a group of former Karadzic's associates, led by Radoslav Dodik, requested Karadzic and Mladic to be moved, as the most guilty for series of military defeats. (end) A.S.


Milano, New York, Oct 16, 1995 (Press TWRA) - "We achieved the cease-fire thanks to three elements. The first was presidential elections victory of J. Chirac in France, since when Paris has been decisive in peace effort in Bosnia. Than happened Srebrenica and I thought in that moment that Sarajevo 1995 will be as Saigon 1975, which means defeat and humiliation. But, the second element was when Croats entered Kraina, opposite to advice of Europeans, but not us. Finally came Clinton's decision: if we have to spend two billion US$ and intervene, than something should be achieved by that. Our psychology changed when three our men, including R. Frasure, died. It was not incident. We used that road, because the airports were closed. We buried our men, returned, and were welcomed by Serb with one more massacre in Sarajevo. Than, they were surprised when we assaulted them. The British told us Serbs will use UN personnel for hostages if we bombard them. It was wrong. UNO made many mistakes, with troops from various nations and bizarre structure of command" US diplomat R. Holbrooke told Italian paper "Corriere della Sera". (end) A.S.


Sarajevo, Oct 16, 1995 (Press TWRA) - Karadzic's terrorists said they will release Turkish journalists Munira Acim (Hurriyet) and Ali Kocak (Anatolia) after freeing of two journalists, who have been in Tuzla's prison, since they were captured in a Serb paramilitary unit on the Mt. Ozren. The Turks were kidnapped at Serb checkpoint "Siera 4" in Kasindolska street in Sarajevo. They are since then in Serb prison Kula nearby Sarajevo, where is also Serb dissident Vladimir Srebrov (real name: Dragan Nikolic). The news on the Turkish journalists' destiny was confirmed by editors of Hurriyet, and by the UN staff in Sarajevo. UN demanded M. Acim and A. Kocak to be released now, unconditionally, but it is not likely that Serbs will follow that request. (end) A.S.


Tuzla, Oct 16, 1995 (Press TWRA) - Bosnia's Army Second Corps press service informed its defense positions in Donja Brka (north Bosnia - Bosanska posavina) were shot by Serb mortars. B-H Army's positions on Mt. Trebavac, west of Tuzla, and Mt. Majevica, east of Tuzla, were exposed to fire of Serbian snipers, mortars and grenade launchers, the same source claims. (end) A.S.


Washington, Oct 16, 1995 (Press TWRA) - Quoting well-informed sources in Pentagon, "The Washington Post" writes the USA found the second half of the next month to be final dead-line for US and other forces to be deployed in Bosnia, to implement the peace settlement. If forces are not on the ground till than, weather will be disable their arrival, due to coldness, snow, more chance to be attacked by Serbs, less maneuver skills for the vehicles, and lower capabilities of the peace forces's weapons. (end) A.S.


Travnik, Oct 16, 1995 (Press TWRA) - Travnik's Mufti (regional Islamic religious head), Nusret Avdibegovic, planned last friday to visit Muslim graveyard in Lazine, village ruined and burnt by HVO (Croatian defense council) two years ago. However, HVO from nearby Novi Travnik, prevented that visit of Mr Avdibegovic. This month, Bugojno mayor Dzevad Mlaco and Slobodan Lang, Croatia's president Tudjman envoy, agreed on return of Croats to Bugojno and other B-H Army-controlled areas, and Bosniaks' return to areas of B-H controlled by Croatian authorities. That accord, "Bugojno project of return", was refused by president of HDZ B-H party, Dario Kordic, who said: "We do not need Muslims' mercy nor we accept their conditions. We will return to Bugojno, regardless of Muslim's opinion, because it is our town". (end) A.S.

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