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BOSNEWS digest 462 - 9/11/95

From: Nermin Zukic <n6zukic@sms.business.uwo.ca>

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

From: Nermin Zukic <n6zukic@sms.business.uwo.ca>


BOSNEWS Digest 462


CONTENTS

  • [01] SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON B-H AND CROATIA

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

  • [03] Balkan Summit Enters Crucial Phase

  • [04] Non-NATO Countries Pledge To Join Bosnia Force

  • [05] Red Cross To Resume Work In Bosnia's Banja Luka

  • [06] Sarajevans Now Fear Heatless Winter

  • [07] Kosovo Leader Opposes Sanctions Relief For Serbia

  • [08] WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL


  • [01] SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON B-H AND CROATIA

    New York, November 7,1995 (Press TWRA) - UN Security Council yesterday considered the draft Resolution on B-H and Croatia which, as it is expected, will be adopted this week. Resolution demands from Bosnian Serbs to allow access to UNHCR and ICRC representatives to refugees from Srebrenica and Zepa, to territories of Banja Luka and Sanski Most and to detained members of B-H forces. The resolution draft express the deep concern in relation with the reports on mass killings, detention, rapes, deportation of civilians. In the part of Resolution concerning Croatia the Security Council also expressed deep concern because of the reports on violations of human rights in the sectors north, west and south, which include larceny, plundering and killing civilians. Council demands from Croatian Government to stop any further violation of human rights and demands the investigation of such reports and punishment for perpetrators. Croatia is asked to respect the rights of local Serbs in full which includes the right to stay or return to Croatia. It is also demanded that Croatia cancel all time limitations for return of refugees and their right on property. (end) S.K.

    [02] 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. Secretary of State Warren Christopher reportedly will join the peace talks Friday. There is speculation that agreements concerning the Muslim-Croat Federation and eastern Slavonia may be signed.

    The Clinton Administration announced yesterday that it would supply the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal with 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. The Administration has yet to dedicate the personnel and resources to gather and provide evidence and information to the Tribunal at a level commensurate with its rhetorical support for 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 - despite the otherwise overwhelming mountain of evidence that is available. At the same time, they have attempted to focus public and diplomatic attention on Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, whom some Administration officials have indicated should be removed from power before a peace settlement is implemented in Bosnia.

    A man was gravely wounded by a Serbian sniper in Sarajevo today in the first such incident in two weeks. The U.S.-brokered cease-fire that went into effect on October 12 bars all offensive military action, including sniping.

    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. Both Bosnia and Russia, however, deny that that is the case. Bosnia accused the U.N. of ignoring Serbian sabotage of the pipeline and Serbian efforts to siphon off of gas.

    The U.N. committee overseeing sanctions against Serbia will consider a proposal, backed by the U.S., to allow Russian gas supplies to Serbia on a provisional basis. The agreement might also increase gas supplies to Bosnia. U.S. officials characterized the likely move as a "humanitarian exception" to the sanctions against Belgrade. The Clinton Administration had stated in the past that Serbia would get no sanctions relief until a Bosnia peace agreement was reached.

    [03] Balkan Summit Enters Crucial Phase

    09-Nov-95 DAYTON, Ohio

    The U.S. negotiators on Thursday are preparing to hand Balkan leaders assembled at peace talks a set of revised documents which could lead to a final settlement in the area, senior officials said.

    "These are revised American proposals and they are important documents," a senior official close to the talks said on Wednesday evening. "We are close to signing an agreement on the Bosnian federation," the official said.

    Another senior official from a Balkan delegation said that leaders will receive sets of revised proposals. The Americans are being very tough. We will all know where we stand after Thursday."

    None of the comments could be officially confirmed, but earlier Wednesday another senior Western official said there was progress: "We are not ready to break out the champagne yet, but there is definite progress."

    At the White House, Clinton met for 90 minutes with lawmakers from both political parties to brief them on the Dayton talks "in very broad terms," an administration official said.

    "The president made it clear that he is not seeking our support (for a U.S. force) at this time," Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said. He said Clinton told the group they should "withold judgment until a peace treaty is agreed to, if a peace treaty is agreed to at Dayton."

    [04] Non-NATO Countries Pledge To Join Bosnia Force

    09-Nov-95, BRUSSELS, Belgium

    Countries from central and eastern Europe renewed pledges on Thursday to support a NATO-led force sent to Bosnia to enforce any peace settlement, U.S. Defence Secretary William Perry said. He said that 12 members of the alliance's Partnership for Peace (PFP) scheme had offered to send troops or lend logistical support to the 60,000-strong NATO force.

    "I am confident we are going to have the force fullysubscribed, possibly over-subscribed," he said.

    Countries such as Slovenia and Hungary, which feel they cannot send troops to ex-Yugoslavia, have pledged to send equipment and offered to make their territory available for support operations.

    Non-NATO countries would be absorbed into the alliance's command structure and would not be covered by a parallel line of command similar to one created to allow Russia to take part without its troops coming under alliance orders.

    [05] Red Cross To Resume Work In Bosnia's Banja Luka

    08-Nov-95, BELGRADE, Serbia

    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Wednesday it would resume activities in the Serb-held town of Banja Luka in Bosnia, suspended after an attack on a relief worker.

    "We will resume all our activities in Banja Luka on Thursday. The authorities are now taking measures to make the place more secure," an ICRC official told Reuters.

    The ICRC, which suspended its humanitarian work on Monday is especially active in the Banja Luka region where tens of thousands of homeless Serb refugees and many local Moslems and Croats face severe winter conditions. The ICRC said the incident was the first of its kind in the Banja Luka region.

    [06] Sarajevans Now Fear Heatless Winter

    08-Nov-95, SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Gas rationing is being implemented in the Bosnian capital, and any given area in the city will only get gas every second day. "My message is very simple: it is winter and there is not enough gas coming into the city to keep the whole city warm 24 hours a day," said William L. Eagleton, the U.N. special coordinator for Sarajevo. More money is needed if the supplies are to continue.

    "The figure I was given this morning at the meeting with the mayor and others indicates approximately $5 million are needed to get the city through to the end of the year," Eagleton said.

    "We urge those in the international community to look at their humanitarian fund and see what can be done to get Sarajevo to the end of the year," he said.

    Water and electricity supplies are also an increasing problem. Electricity demand has strained the war-battered sub-stations and cables to breaking point. Water is on about six hours a day and there are frequent power cuts.

    [07] Kosovo Leader Opposes Sanctions Relief For Serbia

    08-Nov-95, WASHINGTON, United States

    A leader of the Albanian majority in Serbia's Kosovo region urged the United States on Wednesday not to ease sanctions on Belgrade until a solution to tension in Kosovo has been negotiated.

    "The Government of the Republic of Kosovo urges Secretary Holbrooke to keep economic sanctions off the bargain table until the Kosovo issue is settled," he said. He added that no sanctions should be lifted until the Kosovo issue was addressed. "If we make concessions to Milosevic, this is a message to Milosevic to continue with his policy," he said.

    [08] WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL

    09-Nov-95, SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina BONN, Germany, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio

    The U.N. Special Representative to former Yugoslavia Kofi Annan said on Tuesday in Bonn, Germany, he expected Bosnian Serb leaders to face trial in due course for war crimes but cautioned against letting the issue prevent a peace settlement. Asked at a news conference what he thought would happen to Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and military commander General Ratko Mladic, Kofi Annan said: "I think in time they will be probably put in the dock and convicted."

    A U.N. tribunal charged three senior Serbian officers, General Mile Mrksic and aides Miroslav Radic and Veselin Sljivancanin, of the former Yugoslav Federal Army (JNA) with war crimes on Thursday as the Balkan summit was reported nearing a breakthrough.

    The charges are related to the killing of 260 men at Vukovar in eastern Croatia in November 1991 when JNA and Serb paramilitary forces captured the town after a three-month siege of its Croat defenders. The victims, all described as non-Serbs, were shot after being taken from Vukovar hospital by the JNA when Vukovar fell.

    The indictment was the first against JNA officers by the court which has already charged Bosnian Serb leaders and some Croats over their activities during 4 1/2 years of war in Croatia and Bosnia.

    "This indictment is a clear illustration of the prosecutor's strategy to go as high as possible up the chain of command," spokesman Christian Chartier said.

    A defence ministry spokesman in Belgrade refused comment on the indictment. The move came a day after the U.N. investigator Elisabeth Rehn asked the summit in Dayton, Ohio to give priority to human rights abuses by all sides in former Yugoslavia where scores of thousands of people have been killed. She urged that billions of dollars of reconstruction aid "must be made conditional on meaningful progress on human rights."

    After eight days of negotiations with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, and pressure from the United States, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic now appears "likely" to support a constitutional measure forbidding alleged war criminals from holding office in Bosnia-Herzegovina, U.S. and Balkan officials said Wednesday.

    "That is no longer a major sticking point with Milosevic," a Balkan official close to the talks told United Press International on condition of anonymity. "He will not let that break up the talks."

    The United States, joined by the Bosnian government, wants Milosevic to endorse a provision in the proposed constitution requiring the extradition of alleged war criminals.

    White House spokesman Michael McCurry said that point is "a central issue the parties are wrestling with in Dayton."

    The Clinton administration's full support of the war crimes tribunal has been called into question in recent days. The president of the panel, Antonio Cassese, and its chief judge, Richard Goldstone, have complained that the United States is withholding sensitive intelligence material relating to alleged war crimes. The Washington Post said tribunal Chief Justice Richard Goldstone had demanded from Washington additional information on Srebrenica where about 5,000 men were reported killed.

    The Post cited U.S. officials as saying they had no knowledge of an alleged transcript of the talks between Mladic and Yugoslavian army commanders that could prove their complicity in the attack on Srebrenica.

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