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BOSNEWS digest 505 - 20/12/95

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


CONTENTS

  • [01] 1O OOO MISSING IN B-H

  • [02] KINKEL WILL VISIT SARAJEVO

  • [03] BONN CONFERENCE STARTED

  • [04] BOSNIAN SERB ACCUSED OF GENOCIDE - ARRESTED

  • [05] NO SECRET AGREEMENT BETWEEN KARADJIC AND BILDT

  • [06] BLIZZARD KNOCKS OUT SARAJEVO POWER, WATER; MONEY SHORTFALL ALSO CUTS GAS SUPPLIES FROM RUSSIA.

  • [07] WOMAN SHOT IN SARAJEVO STREETCAR.

  • [08] WINTER WEATHER FOULS U.S. TROOP MOVEMENT.

  • [09] FIRST DAYTON MILITARY PROVISION MET.

  • [10] NEW FRENCH COMMANDER IN SARAJEVO.

  • [11] BOSNIAN SERB ASSEMBLY REJECTS DAYTON PROVISIONS.

  • [12] SERBS EXPECTED TO FLEE.

  • [13] STANDARD OF LIVING DROPS IN SUBURB THAT HELPED LAUNCH SARAJEVO SIEGE.

  • [14] UN DOWNPLAYS SARAJEVO ATTACK.

  • [15] CROAT-MUSLIM SHOOTOUT.

  • [16] MAJOR INCREASE IN POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS SYNDROME EXPECTED.

  • [17] PROSTHESIS CLINIC TO OPEN NEXT MONTH IN SARAJEVO.

  • [18] REFUGEES TO BE SENT HOME.

  • [19] NEW NAME REQUIRED.


  • [01] 1O OOO MISSING IN B-H

    Mostar, Dec 18,1995 (Press TWRA) - "According to ICRC data since the war started 1O OOO people has been declared missing only from Srebrenica about 8OOO", said the Head of ICRC office in Sarajevo Liz Budrow, today on the press conference in Mostar. Budrow emphasized that ICRC cooperates with the International Tribunal in The Hague. Asked weather Bosnian Serbs removed the mass graves in Srebrenica Budrow said she can not confirm that. The head of ICRC office in Mostar R. Tamburlin reminded of Dayton agreement's principles relating to liberation of prisoners and said that all sides should deliver the lists with prisoners, names to ICRC and IFOR after which in the 3O days period all prisoners should be released. (end) S.K.

    In a letter to the UN's Security Council, rump-YU delegate, Vladislav Jovanovic, made allegations that nationalist Bosnian Serbs were not to blame for thousands deaths andmissing in Srebrenica. This is in effort to prevent UN SC Resoution condemning the nationalist Bosnian Serb actions and ask that United Nations and Red Cross investigators have access to the area.

    ``Immediately before the takeover of Srebrenica by the army of the Republika Srpska (Bosnian Serbs), disorders and conflict within the Bosnian Muslim army in that enclave erupted... In the clashes that ensued, those units which wanted to continue fighting were mercilessly killing those who wanted to surrender and were in favor of a ceasefire...'' letter states.

    ``This situation was abused by the Bosnian Muslim government to further its propaganda campaign on the alleged mass killings and disappearances of the Muslims from the area,'' Jovanovic added. The "they did it to themsleves" cliche of nationalist Serbs may be seen as an attempt to minimize the crimes they orchestrated or directly committed in the eyes of foreign pand domestic public.

    Their two nationalist leaders have been already indicted for the war crimes, while the chief culprit Serbia's President Milosevic has been spared so far.

    According to some council members, speaking on condition of anonymity, the letter hurt the nationalist Serbs' case and would spur envoys to adopt the resolution quickly.

    ``The full horror has yet to be properly investigated,'' said the report prepared by UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. He said news reports as well as other data ``provide undeniable evidence of a consistent pattern of summary executions, rape, mass expulsion, arbitrary detentions, forced labor and large scale disappearances.''

    Nationalist Bosnian Serbs, who tried to destroy Sarajevo in a 43-month war, met on Monday to discuss creating their own city near the Bosnian capital. The team of experts, which included engineers and architects from the Serbian capital Belgrade, held talks with the nationalist Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, indicted also for war crimes by the International War crimes Tribunal. ``The experts have gone with loads of maps and plans. They are obviously well prepared,'' the source said.

    Throughout the war nationalist Bosnian Serbs have also been removing industrial machinery and other valuable property out of the districts they controlled.

    When asked about the U.S.-led NATO deployment, Karadzic said, ``I do not envisage any incidents and we do not consider Americans as our enemies.'' Karadzic has said rump Yugoslavia has promised to raise the necessary funds for the project.

    ``We have a number of commercial, military and, in fact, NATO satellites involved in this operation. And we have done some minor repositioning of those satellites,'' Air Force Major General David Vesely told reporters at a Pentagon briefing. ``We are using a number of imaging systems to include military systems,'' he said in response to questions.

    The 60,000 soldiers strong NATO troops, including 20,000 Americans, will make a use of communications satellites traveling a stationary orbit over Bosnia as well as imaging satellites that use infra-red technology.

    ``It's on the order of well over a dozen'' satellites, said the general. ``The Global Positioning System satellite constellation is providing p recise navigation support to the military forces in Bosnia'' he said.

    [02] KINKEL WILL VISIT SARAJEVO

    Sarajevo, Dec 18, 1995 (Press TWRA) - German Foreign Minister K. Kinkel will visit Sarajevo tomorrow on invitation of B-H Prime Minister H. Silajdzic. The reason for this visit is putting in operation the underground cable for transmitting the electricity to Sarajevo. This will lessen the city dependence on too exposed long distance power lines. This cable will enable the delivery of additional 8O MW of electricity to Sarajevo from the direction of Jablanica which means 6 KW per household per day. The whole operation has been financed by German Government with 12 million DEM. During the visit to Sarajevo Kinkel will have talks with B-H President Izetbegovic. (end) S.K.

    [03] BONN CONFERENCE STARTED

    Bonn, Dec 18,1995 (Press TWRA) - In the castle Ethersberg near Bonn today started the preliminary Conference on the Measures for Establishing the Trust and Arms Control in South-East Europe. Representatives of 4O countries are attending the conference. The task of this conference is to prevent the arms race on the Balkans and denote the measures for establishing the trust and arms control. According to Peace agreement for B-H by January 26,1996 the security measures for establishing the thrust in B-H must be agreed by July 6,1996 and regional limitation for heavy arms on the lowest level and the monitoring measures. The side which fails to cooperate in the negotiations will exclude itself from the program for reconstruction and will be isolated from the international community, warned Klaus Kinkel in his introductory speech. (end) S.K.

    [04] BOSNIAN SERB ACCUSED OF GENOCIDE - ARRESTED

    Karlsruhe, Dec 18,1995 (Press TWRA) - Bosnian Serb accused for war crimes and genocide has been arrested on the Dusseldorf airport, reported Federal Public Prosecutor in Karlsruhe. Nikola J. (48) who had been living in Germany from 1969-1992. in 1992 was a leader of a group of Chetnik's who committed ethnic cleansing on Doboj territory. In May 1992, he brought to Doboj hospital 18 people killed at the close range. In the same months he leaded the attack on village Grapska and detained all the inhabitants of the village. In June,1992 in the village Mala Bukovica Nikola J. beat up 15 men. Public Prosecutor announced that the accused will be extradited to The Hague's Tribunal where he will be put on trial.(end) S.K.

    [05] NO SECRET AGREEMENT BETWEEN KARADJIC AND BILDT

    Sarajevo, Dec 18,1995 (Press TWRA) - Michael Steiner, Carl Bildt's deputy, during his visit to Sarajevo where he talked with high representatives of B-H authorities and Bosnian Serbs stated that the talks focused on the situation in Sarajevo. Serbs got all necessary guarantees, and the first step toward restoration of thrust on the territory of Sarajevo is to establish telephone lines between the parts of the city under B-H Government control and Bosnian Serbs. In order to illustrate the situation on the ground Steiner said that the first demand of the Serbian representatives put forward to the High Representative of International Community's office was to secure 1O OOO containers for transport of furniture of those Serbs who want to move from Sarajevo and 1OOO coffins so they can take their dead, too.

    B-H Foreign Minister Sacirbegovic said that they agreed on arrival of the international police forces which would be deployed in the "sensitive areas" like Sarajevo, Mrkonjic Grad, Sipovo and Banja Luka. Sacirbegovic said that Steiner denied the Serbian leader Karadjic's statement on the secret agreement with Carl Bildt and international community.

    Bosanski Samac - Nikola Koljevic, as some circle foresee the Karadjic's successor said that the transfer of territories under Bosnian Serbs' control to B-H Federation will be possible only in 1O years. "Until then, the main task of the international community and Serbian authorities is to build the big Serbian city for about 15O OOO citizens, said Koljevic. Koljevic said that he will demand from the B-H Federation to move the population from the territories which Serbs now belongs to Serbs because "Serbs have to live somewhere". (end) S.K.

    [06] BLIZZARD KNOCKS OUT SARAJEVO POWER, WATER; MONEY SHORTFALL ALSO CUTS GAS SUPPLIES FROM RUSSIA.

    Sarajevans are again shivering in dark unheated apartments, without running water -- and the UN said Sunday it will be 10 days at least before electricity is restored.

    In addition, natural-gas supplies from Russia -- vital for heating and cooking in most Sarajevo homes -- have been cut because the Bosnian government can't afford to pay Moscow full market rates. So far, foreign governments have balked at requests for aid to pay for more gas so that Sarajevans -- weakened and exhausted by four years of siege -- can keep from freezing.

    "Since Sarajevo is suffering from its harshest winter since the 43-month war began, the result is that peace has brought little change from the misery of wartime living conditions," according to Reuters.

    "`We are in darkness and we are cold again. What kind of peace is this?' Hana Kanlic, 28, said bitterly, sitting in her unlit and unheated apartment, fully dressed in her winter coat and scarf," AP reports.

    Heavy snow -- the worst since before the 1984 Olympic games, city officials say -- knocked out five pylons along the war-battered Jablanica main power line into the city. This cut electricity supplies, already tightly rationed, by more than 50%, leaving roughly 30 megawatts for a city of 350,000. Sarajevo's main water-pumping station is powered by the Jablanica power line, leaving the city again without running water.

    "Snow and ice and mines are making it very difficult to get in there to replace the pylons and repair the lines," which are 45 km southwest of the city, UN spokesman Major Herve Gourmelon told Reuters.

    [07] WOMAN SHOT IN SARAJEVO STREETCAR.

    Thirty-year-old Evilja Kevlic was shot in the arm and hit in the eyes by flying glass Monday when a Serb gunner hit a tram on so-called "Sniper's Alley." Doctors say Kevlic may be permanently blinded, according to AP.

    "This is outrageous," said Behija Alirejsovic at Sarajevo's Kosevo Hospital. "And they (Serb nationalists) are complaining they have to leave Ilidza?"

    Streetcars have been a favorite target of Serb snipers throughout the war.

    [08] WINTER WEATHER FOULS U.S. TROOP MOVEMENT.

    After three days of freezing fog prevented U.S. military planes from landing in Tuzla, a break in the weather Monday finally allowed America's military airlift into Bosnia to resume with 16 flights.

    Other U.S. troops are heading toward Bosnia by train through Hungary and Croatia. An advance unit will secure territory for army engineers to begin work on pontoon bridges over the Sava River into Bosnia. That bridge building is expected to take at least two weeks.

    Weak railway tracks and inadequate bridges have left some U.S. soldiers stranded in Austria and Croatia, AP reports.

    Some UN and Bosnian officers have privately criticized the U.S. military for not taking local conditions into account, arguing lighter tanks could have used roads that need less repair. "We warned them not to bring Abrams tanks, that they were too heavy for the angles they would have to negotiate and not necessary here," a Norwegian officer told AP. However, the U.S. wants its heaviest armor in Bosnia.

    [09] FIRST DAYTON MILITARY PROVISION MET.

    NATO officials report full compliance with a Dayton provision that all anti-aircraft radar be turned off within 72 hours of last week's treaty signing in Paris. In addition, U.S. Gen. George Joulwan, NATO's senior military commander, said armies in Bosnia appeared to moving out of buffer zones slated to be demilitarized and patrolled by NATO.

    "It's encouraging so soon into this, that we see that movement," Joulwan told Reuters.

    [10] NEW FRENCH COMMANDER IN SARAJEVO.

    Brig. Gen. Louis Zeller is the new French UN commander in Sarajevo, replacing Gen. Rene Bachelet. Bachelet was recalled to Paris after criticizing the Dayton peace agreement as a Clinton re- election ploy unfair to Serbs in Sarajevo.

    [11] BOSNIAN SERB ASSEMBLY REJECTS DAYTON PROVISIONS.

    The Bosnian Serbs' self- declared "parliament" voted Sunday to reject parts of the Dayton peace agreement that transfers some Serb-occupied suburbs around Sarajevo to Bosnian government control. "And in what some analysts saw as a provocative gesture, the assembly voted to transfer its institutions to the largest of those Serb suburbs, Ilidza, according to Bosnian Serb television," the Los Angeles Times reports.

    Bosnian Serbs also voted to defy a Dayton provision barring indicted war criminals from holding office, saying an international war-crimes tribunal could not dictate who would lead them.

    "Another sign that the Bosnian Serb leadership was digging in came with a new order to seal off the Bosnian Serb territory around Sarajevo, ending a rare freedom that allowed journalists to travel in Serb-held districts over the last couple of weeks."

    With Serbian President Milosevic and many Serb leaders in Banja Luka supporting the peace plan, it is unclear what impact the vote will have. The Bosnian government considered it irrelevant.

    "I do not believe that anybody listens any more to what they say," Hasan Muratovic, Bosnia's minister for UN and NATO relations, told AP. And, apparently bowing to the inevitable, the Serb nationalists' "government" also authorized Radovan Karadzic -- an indicted war criminal -- to negotiate terms for NATO deployment on Serb-held territory.

    "We do not consider the Americans our enemies," AP reports Karadzic as saying.

    Karadzic has left a state of war in place around Sarajevo, but changed the status in other Serb-held territory to a state of "immediate war danger."

    [12] SERBS EXPECTED TO FLEE.

    In occupied suburbs of Sarajevo, meanwhile, Serbs meeting international mediators reportedly demanded 1,000 coffins so they can carry the remains of their dead with them when they flee, as well as 10,000 containers to take their personal possessions.

    Diplomats are trying to reassure Serbs in districts slated to come under Bosnian government control that they will be safe if they stay. Soldiers, many of whom were involved in bombarding and strangling Sarajevo, fear prosecution or vengeance from their victims -- even as they deny any wrongdoings.

    "There was no siege of Sarajevo. We defended our homes against the Muslims," Vlad, a Bosnian Serb soldier at an Ilidza checkpoint, told Reuters. A UN war-crimes tribunal concluded that Serb snipers purposely targeted civilians throughout the siege, gunning down unarmed women and children. Mortar and shellfire was also deliberately aimed at civilian targets, to cause maximum carnage and terror.

    If the Serb soldiers flee, it is unlikely their families will stay behind.

    However, journalists say that others in occupied districts are ready to live in a reunified city and some are even looking forward to it -- particularly those from ethnically mixed families. Government-controlled parts of Sarajevo have remained ethnically mixed throughout the war.

    Returning the suburbs to Bosnian control would effectively end the Serb siege of Sarajevo.

    [13] STANDARD OF LIVING DROPS IN SUBURB THAT HELPED LAUNCH SARAJEVO SIEGE.

    In Ilidza, one of the "ethnically cleansed" suburb from which the long brutal Serb siege of Sarajevo was mounted, residents lived far better than in the besieged city just a few miles away, Reuters notes. Now, though, with the siege of Sarajevo eased and Serb-occupied territories still under international sanctions, the situation is changing. For example, gasoline sells for $2.80 per gallon in Sarajevo -- but 2.5 times that in Ilidza, Reuters reports. (Nevertheless, few Sarajevans can afford gas. Most exhausted their savings during the war; and salaries even for engineers and doctors in the city run about 20 German marks [$14] a month.)

    The International Red Cross is about to launch a large-scale program to deliver stoves, plastic sheeting, and baby-care products to ethnically cleansed Serb-held territories. "Relief officials admit that aiding people who have taken over homes of people expelled or worse creates an ethical dilemma," according to AP.

    [14] UN DOWNPLAYS SARAJEVO ATTACK.

    Serb nationalists launched several rocket- propelled grenades and a 60-mm mortar into Sarajevo last Thursday, as a peace treaty was signed in Paris. A UN spokesman said the attacks were a "political protest" not meant to wound or kill people, and the mortar had been deliberately aimed at an empty building.

    "The latter claim brought guffaws from reporters and military personnel in the briefing room who doubted Bosnian Serb gunners were so accurate or meticulous with mortar fire around Sarajevo," Reuters reports. "While the UN took a soft line on Serbs, it vociferously protested the action of government troops who fired on a French helicopter." The craft made an emergency landing but there were no injuries.

    [15] CROAT-MUSLIM SHOOTOUT.

    Five Islamic fighters from the Middle East were killed in a shoot-out with Bosnian Croat police in central Bosnia after the men refused to stop at a checkpoint near Zepce, according to Croatia's HINA news agency.

    Foreign Islamic fighters, known as mujahadeen, are starting to leave Bosnia, AP reports. The Croatian embassy in Sarajevo confirmed that some have passed through Croatia after leaving Bosnia.

    [16] MAJOR INCREASE IN POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS SYNDROME EXPECTED.

    Sarajevo is likely to experience a major increase in post-traumatic stress syndrome if the Bosnian peace holds, mental-health workers say.

    "Studies have shown that more people suffer mental collapses after a war ends, as they move from the primal task of survival to the human tendency to remember," AP notes.

    However, Bosnia is desperately short of resources to help its traumatized population. "There is a fundamental lack of mental health counselors to help people cope with a stretch in a concentration camp, a missing limb, a murdered loved one, a gang rape by soldiers, or torture as wretched as a safety pin through the eyelids," AP reports.

    But journalists note that many Bosnians are showing amazing strength and resilience. Jasmina Dzozo-Hajdarpasic lost her leg in a 1992 bread-line massacre; her husband was killed the next year, leaving her to care for their young son alone.

    "Of course life is unfair, but I'm not the only victim in Bosnia," she told an AP reporter. "I have my son and I have things that I do." She has organized a volleyball team of amputees; and is studying English, computers, and photography. "I'm trying to be tough. And I'm succeeding." Some believe Bosnia's highly educated population could help make the "peace" a success. "Unlike Somalia or Rwanda, it has a key resource for reconstruction: skilled people who want to go back to work," AP notes.

    [17] PROSTHESIS CLINIC TO OPEN NEXT MONTH IN SARAJEVO.

    A prosthesis clinic stocked with high-tech equipment is set to open in Sarajevo next month to help the thousands of people who lost limbs during four years of war. However, there's only enough international aid money now to help the first hundred patients -- a tiny fraction of those who were maimed and desperately need artificial limbs, AP reports.

    And, the problem will likely get worse as civilians unwittingly stray into minefields; and growing children who lost limbs need to be fitted with replacement prosthetics.

    [18] REFUGEES TO BE SENT HOME.

    Germany will begin sending Bosnian refugees home on April 1, the German government announced. Germany is housing more Bosnians -- nearly half a million -- than any other Western country. About 1.2 million Bosnians are refugees outside their country, while another 1.3 million were driven from their homes but remain in the republic, according to UN estimates.

    Aid workers warn that repatriation will take years, since many refugees will not be able to return to their hometowns -- particularly non-Serbs ethnically cleansed from areas remaining under Serb control. Serbs killed, imprisoned, or expelled an estimated 95% of all non-Serbs on territory they occupied.

    Many homes across the country have been destroyed in the war, further complicating repatriation..

    [19] NEW NAME REQUIRED.

    Britain's 13,000-strong NATO force has chosen the emblem of its 4th Armoured Brigade, which has ties to the country's famed "Desert Rats" of World War II, to name its deployment in Bosnia: "Operation Resolute Rat." However, Reuters noted, "faces reddened" when officers in the peace-implementation mission were told that "rat" is the Bosnian word for war.

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