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BOSNEWS digest 486 - 02/12/95

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

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


BOSNEWS Digest 486


CONTENTS

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

  • [02] REACTION TO PEACE ACCORD


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

    The White House announced today that President Clinton will attend the December 14 signing ceremony in Paris for the Bosnia peace accord. The accord will then officially come into effect.

    Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Secretary of Defense William Perry, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili testified today before the House International Relations Committee. Christopher warned of dire consequences in Bosnia if the U.S. did not participate in the NATO-led Implementation Force. Perry announced that the mission is now expected to cost $2 billion, up from the $1.5 billion estimated recently.

    Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole announced today that it was time for "a reality check in the Congress." He stated that the President would deploy U.S. troops to Bosnia regardless of Congressional action. Therefore, the Congress must now act to ensure that the possibility of U.S. casualties and mission creep is reduced by urging the Administration to develop a clear exit strategy, which is clearly lacking in the Administration's plans. Dole stated that the most sound exit strategy would "ensure that the Bosnians are provided the means to defend themselves when we leave." He further stated that the U.S. should take a leading and active role in arming and training the Bosnian Army, and that it would be "an abdication of responsibility" to rely on third parties to carry out this essential task. He said that he would be working on a resolution in the coming days incorporating these considerations and the final NATO plan that was to be released today.

    [02] REACTION TO PEACE ACCORD

    Premier says Dayton agreement restores recognition to a sovereign Bosnia Radio Bosnia-Hercegovina, Sarajevo

    Bosnia-Hercegovina Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic has said that the key element of the Dayton agreement was the recognition of Bosnia-Hercegovina as a sovereign and integral state, by the international community and by Yugoslavia. The following is the text of a poorly-received report by Miralem Suskic on a news conference given by Silajdzic in Sarajevo on 23rd November, including recorded statements by Silajdzic:

    [Reporter] Most of the questions, which is understandable, concerned the Dayton agreement. The prime minister first answered questions on the central bodies of authority, the voting system, and the reintegration of our country.

    [Silajdzic] As far as the scope of authority of the central bodies is concerned, we see this peace project, the plan that was initialled in Dayton, as a plan for the restoration of democratic Bosnia-Hercegovina, that is, the restoration of an integral state. The key element in the reintegration of Bosnia-Hercegovina, in the reintegration of its unity and its development as an integral and unified state, is of course the recognition by the international community and now the recognition that we have from Serbia and Montenegro, that is, the recognition that Yugoslavia, as a neighbouring country, has given to our integrity and sovereignty. These are authorized signatories, who have signed this on behalf of part of the Bosnian Serbs. This is the first element in the reintegration.

    The second element in the reintegration is the fact that we will hold democratic elections. There is no reintegration of the country without democracy. The truth is that we will have direct elections - so we will not have a delegated democracy, but direct elections - we fought for these, and won with great difficulties, I might add. We did not want a delegated democracy. We wanted a one-man-one-vote system, the direct vote of the people. It was very hard to achieve this and this is one of the reasons the Dayton talks went on for such a long time. However, the two entities will have separate elections. We wanted joint elections in all of Bosnia-Hercegovina. We could not get this, but we hope that it will be possible in the future. However, for the time being, we have agreed that all the political parties properly registered in Bosnia-Hercegovina will have the right to operate throughout the territory, but the key element in the reintegration of the country is the central competences, that is, the scope of the central authorities. This is in answer to your question. So, fortunately for all the citizens of Bosnia-Hercegovina, both in the Federation and in the occupied areas, democracy has prevailed and the concept of reintegration has won [passage indistinct].

    However, there will be no peace without the forces to implement this agreement [words indistinct], and I hope that the international community [words indistinct] will not allow this peace agreement to go the way that all the others have. We hope that we will soon have the implementation force [words indistinct]. The arrival of NATO is a must [words indistinct] immediately after the signing of the agreement.

    [Reporter] Among many questions - how long will it take for the reintegration to be completed?

    [Silajdzic] That largely depends on us. I know and I am sure - I think that we are all sure, we all agree on this - that the vast majority of us, including those in the occupied territory, want peace, and that a group of people should not be allowed to spoil the opportunity we now have. The international community has offered to mediate. It has offered to deploy its forces to bring about peace. It has offered to help with reconstruction of the country. This is a chance that we must not miss. So it depends on us. If we allow the group of people who created this tragedy to remain in their positions, to continue to lead people into war, if we continue to think war and not peace, then the reconstruction will take a long time. It will still take place, but not quickly enough. If we opt for peace in our hearts, as they say, and if we start thinking peace, then this project will succeed.

    Two days after the signing of the peace agreement all the details contained in the Dayton package have not yet been made public. There are still many uncertainties and unclear points and one of these is the question of the fate of the Brcko corridor which, it was agreed, would be decided by international arbitration. The agreement on the corridor reads:

    1. The sides agreed to be bound by arbitration with regard to the contested sections of the borders of the two entities in the Brcko region which are indicated on the map.

    2. At the latest six months after the agreement comes into force, the [Muslim-Croat] Federation will appoint one arbitrator and the [Bosnian] Serb Republic will appoint one arbitrator. The third arbitrator will be selected on the basis of an agreement between representatives of the two sides within 30 days. If they fail to agree, the third arbitrator will be appointed by the International Court of Justice.

    3. The third arbitrator will be the chairman of the arbitration court.

    4. Unless agreement is reached to the contrary, the region indicated in this article will remain under the present system of administration.

    5. The arbitrators are to reach their decision no later than one year after this agreement comes into force.


    [ Milosevic "Now" ]

    Yugoslav Left supports single Bosnia, undivided Sarajevo Source: `Politika', Belgrade, in Serbo-Croat 23 Nov 95

    Text of a statement by the Yugoslav Left, of which Mirjana Markovic, President Slobodan Milosevic's wife, is an important member, published by the Belgrade daily, `Politika'.

    The Yugoslav Left [JUL] welcomes the signing of the peace agreement in Dayton. We believe that peace is in the interests of all the nations that are at war, JUL said in a statement yesterday [22nd November].

    Since the day it was formed the JUL has considered peace its priority. The signing of the peace accord is a sign that our commitment was right.

    We have always insisted that the war on the territory of the former Yugoslavia is senseless and tragic for all those who have taken part in it. There are no winners in this war. Its victims have been poor people, women and children. We look forward to peace particularly for their sake.

    We believe that after the war economic and cultural ties should be established among all the nations on the territory of former Yugoslavia. We believe that the refugees should return home and that the communities to which they return will respect the agreement on their right to a safe life in equality.

    When it comes to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, we believe that - now that it has been freed from the demons of war in its neighbourhood, and everything else that it had to endure as a result - it should dedicate itself to its own economic and cultural development and efforts to rejoin the international community.

    We support the concept of an integral Bosnia as outlined in the documents accepted in Dayton, with the hope that the nations that are now in separate entities within Bosnia will live in peace and bear in mind the fact that multi-ethnicity is the future of not only the Balkans but the entire world. We also support the agreement that Sarajevo should be an undivided city. We believe that all war criminals, warmongers and war profiteers should be held accountable for their acts and bear the consequences.

    We hope that peace will indeed come to the territory of former Yugoslavia and we hope that the citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will take advantage of peace to promote their economic and cultural development, the statement reads.

    [ And Real Milosevic... ]

    From Foreign Affairs, Volume 74, Number 2 THE LAST AMBASSADOR - A Memoir of the Collapse of Yugoslavia By Warren Zimmermann

    [Selected Excerpts] .. [Milosevic] He is a man of extraordinary coldness. I never saw him moved by an individual case of human suffering; for him, people are groups (Serbs, Muslims) or simply abstractions. Nor did I ever hear him say a charitable or generous word about any human being, not even a Serb. This chilling personality trait made it possible for Milosevic to condone, encourage, and even organize the unspeakable atrocities committed by Serbian citizens in the Bosnian war. It also accounts for his habitual mendacity, as in his outrageous distortion of Serbian behavior in Kosovo. For Milosevi'c, truth has only a relative value. If it serves his objectives, it is employed; if not, it can be discarded. ..

    Neither Milosevic nor Tudjman made any effort to conceal their designs on Bosnia from me. As a place where Serbs, Croats, and Muslims had coexisted more or less peacefully for centuries, Bosnia was an affront and a challenge to these two ethnic supremacists. ..

    There is no doubt, however, that the two [RK & SM] were partners in war crimes. Copying Milosevic's strategy in Croatia, Karadzic's followers -- beginning a year before the Bosnian war broke out -- declared three "Serb Autonomous Regions" in Bosnia, began an arms supply relationship with the JNA, and accepted JNA intervention in September to define their borders. They established artillery positions around Sarajevo and other towns, created a "Bosnian Serb" army (effectively a branch of the JNA, commanded by a JNA general and using JNA-supplied heavy artillery, tanks, and air power), established their own parliament, and attempted a putsch in Sarajevo on March 2, 1992. In March 1992 -- before any country had recognized the independence of Bosnia -- they declared a "Serbian Republic." These steps, particularly those involving the JNA, would not have been possible without Milosevic's direct involvement. ..

    The attack on Bosnia showed that Milosevic and Karadzic are apostles of the most aggressive form of nationalism. Milosevic-style nationalism has proven singularly resistant to economic inducements, penalties, or any other pressures short of force. ..

    The attackers across the Drina, however, were barbarians, pure and simple. ..

    During one of the meetings in which, on Washington's instructions, I accused Milosevic of aggression in Bosnia, he asserted, "There isn't a single Serb from Serbia involved in the fighting in Bosnia."

    "But," I said, "I saw Arkan on your own Belgrade television boasting about his capture of Bosnian villages."

    "Our television is free to broadcast whatever it wants," said Milosevic. ..

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