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BOSNEWS digest 472 - 20/11/95

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

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


BOSNEWS Digest 472


CONTENTS

  • [01] CONGRESSIONAL UPDATE

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


  • [01] CONGRESSIONAL UPDATE

    On Friday night, the House passed by 243 votes to 171 a binding House bill (HR 2606, the Hefley-Rohrabacher Bill) addressing President Clinton's plans to deploy 20,000 U.S. troops to implement a Bosnia peace settlement. The bill, which received the backing of 214 Republicans, 28 Democrats, and one independent, would prohibit the use of Department of Defense funds for any U.S. troop deployment in Bosnia unless Congressional approval is granted by law. It would also prohibit the Department of Defense from using any existing funding to pay for such a deployment. President Clinton recently estimated the cost of deploying U.S. troops to Bosnia to be $1.5 billion a year.

    On October 30, House members approved by a bipartisan vote of 315-103 a non-binding measure (the Buyer-McHale Resolution) stating that the President should obtain Congressional approval for a Bosnia troop deployment and that Balkan leaders should not count on U.S. troops to enforce a peace agreement reached in Dayton.

    Although the President has pledged to seek Congressional support for the deployment, he and top Administration officials have repeatedly warned that U.S. troops would be deployed regardless of Congressional action.

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

    On Saturday, Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey resigned. Sacirbey, a Muslim, stated that he was leaving to make way for a Bosnian Croat in one of the government's top positions. It is believed that the move will promote closer cooperation between the Bosnians and the Bosnian Croats in talks regarding the future of their federation.

    President Franjo Tudjman, who returned to Zagreb on Thursday, announced Friday that Croatia would establish normal diplomatic relations with Serbia. Bosnian Croat leaders criticized Tudjman Friday for supporting Serbian demands in the Dayton peace talks to widen the strategically vital Posavina corridor, which links Serbian-occupied lands in eastern and western Bosnia. Tudjman also reportedly supports giving Serbian forces territory in western Bosnia recently liberated by Croatian and Bosnian forces.

    The U.N. announced Friday that Serbian forces continue to persecute non-Serbs in the Banja Luka region. The U.N. War Crimes Tribunal Thursday issued new charges against Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. The two were charged with orchestrating the suspected massacre of as many as 6,000 Bosnian Muslims after the fall of Srebrenica. The Red Cross estimates that as many as 8,000 are missing from Srebrenica and believed killed. Chief Prosecutor Richard Goldstone, speaking Thursday after meeting in Washington with U.S. officials, stated that it would be "objectionable" if Karadzic and Mladic were allowed in a settlement reached at Dayton to step down from power but not be prosecuted by the Tribunal.

    The Dayton peace talks continue. Secretary of State Warren Christopher cut short an Asian trip Friday to join the talks. Secretary of Defense William Perry and NATO commander General George Joulwan have also joined the talks. The Bosnian delegation has demanded in writing that a peace accord require that the signers commit themselves to "arrest, detain, and transfer" to the custody of the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal individuals indicted by Tribunal. Any party to the peace agreement that failed to comply with this requirement would be subject to U.N. sanctions. So far, the U.S. negotiators are refusing to support this demand.

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