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BOSNEWS digest 463 - 11/11/95

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


CONTENTS

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


  • [01] 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. Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman initialed an agreement Thursday to strengthen the Muslim-Croat Federation within Bosnia. The accord calls for the unification of Mostar, which has been sharply divided largely due to Bosnian Croat opposition to reintegration. It would also allow refugees to return to their homes in regions controlled by the Bosnian Army and the Bosnian Croat militia. A similar agreement last week was undermined when Bosnian Croat militiamen forcibly prevented Muslim refugees from Jajce from returning to visit the graves of relatives.

    The U.S. announced an agreement Friday to allow Russian gas supplies to Serbia. The agreement will also increase gas supplies to Bosnia. U.S. officials characterized 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.

    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 claimed earlier this week that the shortage was due to lack of payment by the Bosnian government to the Russian supplier of the gas. Both Bosnia and Russia, however, denied that that was the case. Bosnia accused the U.N. of ignoring Serbian sabotage of the pipeline and Serbian efforts to siphon off of gas.

    The U.S. airlift of food and other humanitarian assistance to Sarajevo has been suspended for three weeks to allow the replenishment of warehouses in Ancona, Italy.

    U.S. and European observers reported Friday that significant numbers of Croatian troops have moved toward eastern Slavonia, the last area of Croatia occupied by Serbian forces. Speculation has risen is recent days that fighting might break out over the region's future even as negotiators in Dayton have reported modest progress toward an agreement between Croatian President Tudjman and Serbian President Milosevic.

    The Clinton Administration announced Wednesday that it would supply the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal with intelligence information relevant to its inquiries. 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.

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