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BOSNEWS digest 437 -- 19/10/95

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

From: Dzevat Omeragic <Dzevat@ee.mcgill.ca>


DEVELOPMENTS ON THE DIPLOMATIC FRONT AND ON THE GROUND IN THE BALKANS:

For a second straight day, the Clinton Administration's Bosnia policy and plans to send US troops to Bosnia came under sharp criticism during Congressional hearings. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Secretary of Defense Perry testified before the House committees on International Relations and National Security.

Beginning on October 31, the U.S. will host peace negotiations between Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. The Press will not be allowed access to the proceedings.

On October 17 Croatia rejected a new round of negotiations with Serbian forces occupying eastern Slavonia. The move increases speculation that Zagreb might soon attempt to liberate the region by force. Croatian Army movements in recent days have provoked calls by Western powers for restraint on the part of Croatia.


20 Oct 1995 - SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina UN Details Massacre Of 100 Bosnian Muslims

Nationalist Bosnian Serb soldiers massacred about 100 Muslim civilians who earlier this month resisted being forcibly expelled from their homes in northern Bosnia, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said Wednesday. The report by the UNHCR, made available to reporters Wednesday, quoted a Muslim refugee as saying the victims had refused to leave their homes in Bosanski Novi because they had relatives working in Serb forced-labor camps. It said they were taken away and killed by soldiers wearing black uniforms and red or black berets -- believed to be members of a paramilitary unit lead by notorious warlord Zeljko "Arkan" Raznjatovic. The woman said her son was involved in collecting the bodies, it added. The incident occurred earlier this month but the report was not clear about the precise date.

Kris Janowski, UNHCR spokesman in Sarajevo, said that UNHCR have "no corroboration of this incident, but many of the accounts we have received from expelled civilians are deemed quite credible." The massacre, if verified, would be the worst of numerous atrocities reported by Muslims forced out of Serb-held Bosnia into government-controlled territory this month in a new round of "ethnic cleansing." Rapes, robberies and beatings were commonplace during the expulsions which drove more than 6,000 Muslims from their homes. In Prijedor, one 55-year-old woman was stabbed to death after she persistently refused to leave, the UNHCR report said. Two young girls aged around 17 or 18 were missing after they were taken off a convoy from Prijedor. "They were taken away by Serb soldiers and as they heard screams from the woods they fear they were raped and maybe even killed," the report said. At Teslic, 30 men of draft age were separated from a convoy, the report said. No one knows where they went. Many of the expellees were robbed of money, rings, watches and ear-rings. One woman showed where soldiers had ripped apart her dress and shoes to see if she was concealing cash. Nationalist Serbs also stole wheelchairs from invalids, the report said. In one such incident, a woman offered the soldiers money to carry an invalid relative across a river. They charged her $425. UNHCR officials say the latest campaign is an attempt to clear the areas of Prijedor, Banja Luka and Sanski Most of Muslims once and for all. The UNHCR report said that in Prijedor between Oct. 6 and Oct 9, Serb soldiers went from house to house and gave Muslims just a few minutes to pack before herding them into the local sports stadium. They were later loaded aboard buses for the frontline but were made to walk the last part of the journey. In Bosanski Novi, Muslims were rounded up and held for five days without food and water at the bus station. Children who cried were forced to be silent.

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