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BOSNEWS digest 460 - 09/11/95

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

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


BOSNEWS Digest 460


CONTENTS

  • [01] AMERICAN DEMANDS MADE MILOSEVIC ANGRY

  • [02] NATO WILL DIVIDE B-H IN THREE SECTORS

  • [03] "RESULT OF PEACE NEGOTIATIONS WILL BE PAINFUL FOR SERBS"

  • [04] MOSTAR MAJORS JOIN OHIO PEACE TALKS

  • [05] F. YUGOSLAVIA: NON-ALIGNED GROUP PROPOSE CHANGES

  • [06] APPEAL FOR MORE TRIBUNAL RESOURCES - CASSESE

  • [07] THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE DIPLOMATIC FRONT AND ON THE GROUND IN THE BALKANS

  • [08] THOUSANDS OF `CLEANSED' MUSLIMS, CROATS IN DANGER OF FREEZING TO DEATH.

  • [09] GAS DROPS TO A `TRICKLE' IN SARAJEVO AS BLIZZARD HITS.

  • [10] CROATS BLOCK EVEN SYMBOLIC AGREEMENT FOR REFUGEE RETURN.

  • [11] MOSTAR STILL DIVIDED.

  • [12] BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT ALLOWS ABDIC FOLLOWERS TO GO HOME.

  • [13] PEACEKEEPERS ATTACKED.

  • [14] PRESSURE ON MILOSEVIC.

  • [15] PLEA FOR PEACE AND UNITY.

  • [16] THINLY VEILED PARTITION.

  • [17] ANOTHER TRY FOR BANJA LUKA.

  • [18] DEM WITH DINARS.

  • [19] TENSIONS RISE OVER EASTERN SLAVONIA.

  • [20] CORRECTION/UPDATE.

  • [21] JOURNALIST RELEASED.


  • [01] AMERICAN DEMANDS MADE MILOSEVIC ANGRY

    Dayton, November 6,1995 (Press TWRA) - Peace negotiations in Dayton continue. The center of delegations' attention are documents proposed by American side. According to officials close to negotiations "the plan can not satisfy any of the sides in conflict and no one can avoid the concessions". "There can be neither clear winners nor loosers",said one official.

    According to the same sources Serbian President Milosevic became angry because US peace proposal demands from him the concession which were not mentioned in the previous talks with Holbrooke. American proposals demands from Milosevic to replace leader of Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadjic and General Ratko Mladic, recognize B-H and Croatia and guarantee the human rights to minorities in Serbia. The officials estimated that these are too big concessions for Milosevic, and the Serbian press agency "Tanjug" reported on Sunday that delegation of so called "FRY" will reject any proposal which would be "in contrast with the spirit" of previous agreements.

    However, one anonymous official said that "serious negotiations face to face" are expected this week "when the initial inflexibility eases up".

    Mostar - The EU spokesman in Mostar said that EU Administrator over Mostar Hans Koschnik and mayors of east and west part of Mostar Safet Orucevic and Mijo Brajkovic have been invited to attend peace negotiations in Dayton. "The invitation is unexpected, but the situation in Mostar explains it", said EU spokesman and added that this invitation expressed the negotiators intention to reach overall solution of the conflict.

    [02] NATO WILL DIVIDE B-H IN THREE SECTORS

    Sarajevo, November 6,1995 (Press TWRA) - The member of B-H Presidency Ejup Ganic said for Sarajevo's daily "Oslobodjenje" that NATO forces, when the implementation of peace agreement starts will divide B-H in three military sectors. These sectors will be under US, France and Britain control. French NATO units shell arrive first and land in Ploce, and their headquarters will be in Mostar. British units will be responsible for the second sector, west Bosnia and their base and logistics center will be in Split with the headquarters in Gornji Vakuf. Americans will take over the third sector. Their units will be transferred from Germany and the headquarters will be in Tuzla. The NATO General Headquarters will be in Sarajevo.

    Ganic stressed that B-H Government wants all B-H international borders to be under NATO control.

    [03] "RESULT OF PEACE NEGOTIATIONS WILL BE PAINFUL FOR SERBS"

    Belgrade, November 6,1995 (Press TWRA) - "The outcome of peace US negotiations will be painful for Serbs", said Bosnian Serbs leader Radovan Karadjic for Serbian Radio Kragujevac. "Serbs are those who moved away from their initial position the most, and that was to unite with Serbia", said Karadjic and added that negotiations should bring peace in B-H and enable Serbs to get back part of the territories in Banja Luka region.

    [04] MOSTAR MAJORS JOIN OHIO PEACE TALKS

    The European Union Administrator, Hans Koshnik, and the two Mostar Majors, Safet Orucevic and Mijo Brajkovic, have been called to join the peace talks in Dayton, Ohio. A spokesman for Koshnik stated that it was an unexpected invitation, but that it could be explained by the current situation in Mostar, and the wish of the international peace mediators to reach an overall peace settlement. Koshnik, Orucevic, and Brajkovic are expected to leave for Dayton sometime today.

    [05] F. YUGOSLAVIA: NON-ALIGNED GROUP PROPOSE CHANGES

    The non-aligned caucus today presented some amendments to the United States draft resolution on human rights violations to the other members of the council.

    These amendments were based on some proposals the Bosnian delegation submitted and essentially contain a number of proposals that would call on the government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) to fully cooperate with the war crimes tribunal in The Hague and with the investigations in the fate of missing Muslim persons from Bosnia.

    The Croatian mission circulated its own paper last night which contained amendments on human rights violations in the FRY. Diplomats told International Report that it was undisputed that the government of the FRY was committing violations of international humanitarian law, but that the Croatian initiative was too obvious an attempt to shift the blame from its own government's violations.

    A European diplomat predicted that the Croatian amendments would not be accepted by Russia.

    The council did not discuss the amendments and the draft resolution today but postponed further deliberations until tomorrow.

    [06] APPEAL FOR MORE TRIBUNAL RESOURCES - CASSESE

    The President of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ANTONIO CASSESE, today appealed to the General Assembly to provide the tribunal with the resources it needed to fulfil its task. "When mass graves are suddenly available for inspection, we should not be agonizing over whether the funding is available for travel", he said.

    Referring to the obstacles the tribunal was facing, Cassese said it was like a giant which had no arms or legs. Unlike domestic criminal courts, it had no enforcement agencies at its disposal. Without the intervention of national authorities, it could not execute arrest warrants, nor seize evidentiary material, nor compel witnesses to give testimony, nor search the scenes where crimes allegedly had been committed.

    The adoption by states of all legislative, administrative and judicial measures necessary for the expeditious execution of the tribunal's decisions was of crucial importance, he said. At present only 15 of the 185 member states had enacted implementing legislation. That lack of cooperation was particularly paralyzing when it came to the execution of arrest warrants. So far, two of the entities of the former Yugoslavia - the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Bosnian Serb administration in Pale, had refused to cooperate. "This lack of cooperation has greatly hampered the work of our tribunal: 41 of the first 43 accused are in their territory, but they have failed to apprehend these suspects and surrender them to our tribunal. Without suspects physically in our presence, we cannot proceed to trial."

    Another obstacle was the tribunal's difficulty in obtaining the financial and practical resources necessary to do its work, he continued. Its 1994-1995 biennial budget was approved only in July 1995. Two months later, the UN's financial crisis had created new problems. "We urgently need to recruit a full complement of staff, we need to provide them with adequate tools to work, and we need to have adequate funds available to cover the initial expenses of setting up the tribunal's working environment", Cassese said.

    Addressing the question of whether the tribunal would become useless if peace negotiations concerning the region of the former Yugoslavia were successful, he replied: "No. If anything, the importance of the tribunal will be even greater. For there to be a lasting peace it must be accompanied by a sense of justice in the minds of all the citizens and, in particular, of the victims of atrocities. If, at the end of a war, torturers and their victims are treated alike, the war's legacy of hatred, resentment and acrimony will not have been snuffed out; rather, it will continue to smoulder. The existence of peace in such a climate would be precarious indeed. If, however, the tribunal, as an impartial body, continues in its work of bringing to justice at least some of the most egregious offenders, those who have suffered through four years of hellish war will be better able to find forgiveness required for peace to last".

    In his statement, U.S. Ambassador EDWARD GNEHM said that his government "has recently been in contact with President Milosevic of Serbia-Montenegro and it elicited from him a firm commitment to cooperate with the work of the tribunal whether or not armed conflict continues. We expect these encouraging words to be matched by deeds. Similar assurances have not been forthcoming from the Bosnian Serb administration in Pale."

    Gnehm promised further financial contributions to the work of the tribunal. The U.S. commitment to date totals 13.5 million USD.

    The election to fill the vacancy in the International Court of Justice will take place on February 28, 1996, the Security Council decided today. The elections have to be conducted in the Security Council and in the General Assembly at the same time, and the candidate who obtains an absolute majority vote in both bodies is elected.

    The vacancy was created by the death of Judge ANDREAS AGUILAR MAWDSLEY of Venezuela. The new member of the court will serve out the remainder of the nine-year term of Judge Mawdsley until February 5, 2000.

    [07] THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE DIPLOMATIC FRONT AND ON THE GROUND IN THE BALKANS

    Peace talks continue between Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, leaving Croatia today to return to the Dayton talks, renewed Zagreb's threat to liberate eastern Slavonia, the last area of Croatia still occupied by Serbian forces, by force if a peace settlement is not reached in Dayton by November 30.

    Secretary of Defense William Perry and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev today agreed that Russian troops will participate in the planned NATO-led peace implementation force. NATO commander Gen. George Joulwan's orders will pass to Russian troops through Russian Gen. Leonty Shevtsov, who will be Joulwan's deputy. This arrangement will ameliorate Russian objections against taking military orders from NATO. However, the issue of political control for the force remains unresolved.

    The Clinton Administration announced today that it would supply the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal with any intelligence information relevant to its inquiries. The Administration was responding to Tribunal Chief Justice Richard Goldstone's reported disappointment in the "quality and timeliness" of U.S. intelligence on Serbian war crimes provided to the Tribunal.

    Many observers suspect that the Clinton Administration is still reluctant to provide the Tribunal with information that might lead to an indictment of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes, particularly in connection with the fall of Srebrenica. The current U.S. peace initiative is largely dependent on negotiating with and effectively appeasing Milosevic for success. Administration officials have repeatedly denied having hard evidence against Milosevic - as though a smoking gun were needed to indict or convict him. At the same time, they have attempted to focus public and diplomatic attention on Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, whom the Administration has indicated should be removed from power before a peace settlement is implemented in Bosnia.

    Serbian forces today released Christian Science Monitor journalist David Rohde after several days of U.S. demands for his freedom. Serbian forces had imprisoned Rohde last week and charged him with forging documents and spying. Rohde was the first journalist to expose Serbian massacres of thousands of Muslims after the fall of Srebrenica, and had recently returned to the area to follow up on his previous articles.

    Sarajevo is facing a severe energy crisis. Winter weather has increased demand for natural gas at a time that supplies are decreasing due to damage to the pipeline crossing Serbian-occupied territory. U.N. officials claim that the shortage is due to lack of payment by the Bosnian government to the Russian supplier of the gas. However, both Bosnia and Russia deny that that is the case. Bosnia accused the U.N. of ignoring Serbian sabotage of the pipeline and siphoning off of gas for their own use.

    [08] THOUSANDS OF `CLEANSED' MUSLIMS, CROATS IN DANGER OF FREEZING TO DEATH.

    "Muslims and Croats evicted from their homes around Banja Luka were forced to sleep in the open despite heavy snow, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday, and warned that some could soon freeze to death," Reuters reports.

    "There is a lot of snow on the ground, it's freezing weather, and many of these people who are being evicted are elderly and ill," UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond told Reuters. "Some of them are still sleeping out in the open so I think we can expect to begin hearing stories about people freezing to death."

    Serb forces have been killing, imprisoning, or expelling non-Serbs in northern Bosnia since overrunning the area in 1992. The UN estimates that only 13,000 non-Serbs are left in the Banja Luka region -- out of a pre-war non- Serb population of half a million.

    [09] GAS DROPS TO A `TRICKLE' IN SARAJEVO AS BLIZZARD HITS.

    "Sarajevo shivered as Russian gas supplies slowed to a trickle," Reuters reported Monday, after a late-autumn blizzard hit the Balkans this week. UN officials said Sarajevo is receiving only half the gas it needs from the pipeline, which runs through Serbia and Serb-occupied Bosnia before reaching the city.

    As a result, residents now only receive gas -- the main source of heat in the city -- every other day, despite sub-freezing temperatures. Officials forbid Sarajevans to use electricity for heating, because the city's war- battered power grid can't withstand the additional demand.

    Restoration of gas and electricity to Sarajevo was supposed to be a key condition of a 60-day ceasefire throughout Bosnia. Without utilities for most of the last three winters under siege, Sarajevans have already been forced to burn furniture, old clothing, tires, and books to keep from freezing.

    Bosnian officials requested an increase in their natural-gas supply from Russia, source of the fuel. However, Associated Press reports that the request was denied -- "not by the Russian supplier but by the the UN Sanctions Committee." No reason was reported for the denial, but the sanctions committee may have decided to deny Sarajevans additional gas fearing it would just be siphoned off by Serbia.

    The early-season snowstorm also forced the closure of the treacherous road over Mt. Igman after several severe traffic accidents. The winding Igman trail is the lone route into Sarajevo not physically blocked by Serb checkpoints.

    [10] CROATS BLOCK EVEN SYMBOLIC AGREEMENT FOR REFUGEE RETURN.

    The presidents of Bosnia and Croatia agreed to allow 600 families to return to their homes in Bosnia: 300 Muslim families to Croatian-controlled Jajce and Stolac, and 300 Croat families to government-held Bugojno and Travnik.

    That agreement was mostly symbolic, making little dent in the problem of an estimated 2.5 million displaced Bosnians. And, Serb nationalists, who are continuing to drive out all non-Serbs from territory they occupy, were noticeably absent from even this modest accord.

    But Bosnian Croat officials are blocking even the symbolic return of several hundred. In Jajce, AP says, "Muslims are kept outside town in ghettos."

    However, some Croat refugees have already gone back to their homes in Bugojno as agreed, AP reports. "All my neighbors have been around to welcome me back,'' said Milica Lovric, 64, who returned three weeks ago -- before the Dayton announcement. "Nobody has been anything but kind to us."

    Bosnian President Izetbegovic expressed optimism this week that his government and Bosnian Croat nationalist forces will come to an agreement on rules to govern the Muslim-Croat federation. Mayors from both the Muslim and Croat sides of now-divided Mostar are scheduled to join the talks in Dayton.

    [11] MOSTAR STILL DIVIDED.

    Croats have conducted their own "ethnic cleansing" campaign in Bosnia, and Mostar saw some of the worst. Although Muslim-Croat fighting has ended, Muslims are still banished to the war-ravaged east side of Mostar -- where the "hospital" has been built from "shipping containers, a few chunks of concrete and much wishful thinking," Reuters reports.

    Dr. Nedzad Imamovic, who worked at a hospital on the city's west side for 26 years, is now barred from even crossing into that part of Mostar. He yearns for the city to be reunited. Notes Reuters: "When Imamovic's skills as a facial surgeon are needed, his colleagues in the west have to summon a substitute Croat doctor from Split in neighboring Croatia."

    [12] BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT ALLOWS ABDIC FOLLOWERS TO GO HOME.

    Supporters of Muslim businessman-turned-warlord Fikret Abdic -- who cut his own deal with Serbs besieging Bihac and helped blockade and bombard the enclave -- have been allowed to return home to Velika Kladusa.

    Abdic's forces were defeated when the Bosnian Army's Fifth Corps joined with heavily armed Croatian soldiers to break the blockade of Bihac. About 20,000 Abdic supporters now live in a makeshift camp on the Croatian border.

    Although Abdic and his fighters were instrumental in blocking food and medicine from reaching starving people in Bihac -- the UN confirmed deaths by starvation during the siege -- the Bosnian government is working with the UN to encourage civilians who supported Abdic to return and reclaim their homes.

    Some of the refugees have already returned to their homes without problem, Ron Redmond at UNHCR told AP.

    [13] PEACEKEEPERS ATTACKED.

    Seven French soldiers from the UN's "Rapid Reaction Force" were wounded Monday after assailants fired guns and threw grenades at their base near Mostar. UN officials say they don't know who carried out the attack.

    [14] PRESSURE ON MILOSEVIC.

    U.S. negotiators are reportedly pressuring Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to remove two key Bosnian Serbs from power: political leader Radovan Karadzic, and commanding Gen. Ratko Mladic. Both have been indicted by an international tribunal for genocide and crimes against humanity.

    The U.S. reportedly seeks a provision in a new Bosnian constitution barring indicted war criminals from holding office.

    "Milosevic is upset because he thinks the Americans brought him to Dayton on false pretenses," one official involved in the talks told AP. The talks are expected to last several more weeks.

    The president of the UN war-crimes tribunal asked the U.S. to demand that indicted criminals be turned over for prosecution. "If, at the end of the war, torturers and their victims are treated alike, the war's legacy of hatred, resentment and acrimony will not have been snuffed out," said Antonio Cassese.

    [15] PLEA FOR PEACE AND UNITY.

    Mothers of Sarajevo children killed under siege vowed to meet each day in a city park until a peace agreement is reached in Ohio. The park is site of a makeshift memorial, featuring an alter with the photographs of toddlers killed by sniper and artillery fire.

    "The children's tears, the children's screams, were not a strong enough weapon for defense," the mothers wrote in a letter sent to negotiators in Dayton. "Don't divide Bosnia. It is like a heart, when you split it the patient dies. Don't even try to divide the graves of our children, they cannot be divided."

    [16] THINLY VEILED PARTITION.

    However, "the future being mapped out behind closed doors in Dayton is a scantly shrouded partition," charges journalist Samantha Power in a Boston Globe opinion piece. "Anybody loyal to multiethnic living or born to a mixed marriage will soon be left stateless."

    A draft constitution leaked to the New York Times would even allow the two portions of a supposedly unitary Bosnia to maintain their own separate armies. Supporters of the proposal say it is the only chance of bringing the carnage in Bosnia to an end, and Bosnia will remain one nation -- although comprised of two parts.

    [17] ANOTHER TRY FOR BANJA LUKA.

    John Shattuck, America's assistant secretary of state for human rights, arrived in Sarajevo Tuesday hoping to travel to Serb -occupied Banja Luka to discover what happened to 2,000 Muslim men separated from their families when women and children were expelled from the region.

    Western leaders and aid workers "fear the men have been or will be slaughtered by Serbs, the same fate that befell thousands of men when Serbs captured the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica in July," AP reports.

    [18] DEM WITH DINARS.

    At the advice of the World Bank, the Bosnian government has agreed to adopt the German mark as the country's official currency along with the Bosnian dinar, Bosnian media report. The Deutschemark (DEM) has long been the only currency accepted in city markets.

    [19] TENSIONS RISE OVER EASTERN SLAVONIA.

    Croatian President Franjo Tudjman has repudiated the first agreement announced at the Dayton "peace talks." After agreeing to seek a peaceful resolution of the status of eastern Slavonia (the last part of Croatia occupied by Serb forces), Tudjman said that he would resort to military means if an agreement isn't reached by Nov. 30.

    [20] CORRECTION/UPDATE.

    At least one UN translator reported (by Oslobodenje) to have been killed in Srebrenica has in fact been found alive. Hasan Nuhanovic, 27, was permitted to leave the UN compound in Srebrenica with Dutch soldiers, the Washington Post and AP report. However, his father, mother, and 21-year-old brother were ordered out of the UN compound on July 13 with other refugees -- denied UN protection. "They were last seen passing through the compound gate behind which the Serb soldiers were standing," according to a statement signed by 3 UN military observers. They haven't been seen since.

    It is believed that Serbs massacred up to 8,000 people, mostly unarmed civilians, when they overran the "UN-designated safe area" this summer.

    [21] JOURNALIST RELEASED.

    Serb nationalists released Christian Science Monitor reporter David Rohde Wednesday, after imprisoning him for two weeks when he crossed into territory under their control.

    Karadzic called the release a "good-will gesture." However, Serb nationalists also accomplished the goal of preventing Rohde from further reporting on Serb atrocities. This summer, Rohde was the first Western journalist to see first-hand evidence of mass slaughter in Srebrenica.

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