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BosNet Dec. 28, 1995

From: Dzevat Omeragic <dzevat@EE.MCGILL.CA>

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


CONTENTS

  • [01] Izetbegovic: "War is Over."

  • [02] NATO Ends First Bosnia Test on High Note

  • [03] US Suspends Sanctions on Serbia, Montenegro

  • [04] Update on IFOR Deplyoment


  • [01] Izetbegovic: "War is Over."

    Dec 28 1995 SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic says he believes the war in his country is now over. But, he says it will take generations to forget the suffering it caused.

    Speaking to reporters in Sarajevo, Mr. Izetbegovic said the nationalist Serbs lost their best chance to defeat his Government when the war began nearly four years ago. Having survived that battle and developed an Army of its own, he does not believe his country will be attacked again. Mr. Izetbegovic renewed his call for people living in the Serb controlled sections of the city to remain in their home. But, he says, refugees expelled in those areas must be allowed to return.

    "It is the only formula that can be used in order to resolve the issue of Sarajevo."

    Bosnia's separatist Serb leaders are expected to step up a campaign for delays in implementing several aspects of the peace accords, signed in Paris on Dec. 14. If they fail, they could pressure Sarajevo Serbs into evacuating homes due to come under Bosnian government control.

    "The Serb leadership will try everything to delay implementation, they have already started the propaganda campaign. If it fails, they will leave and pressure everybody into going along," said one diplomatic source.

    [02] NATO Ends First Bosnia Test on High Note

    Dec 28 1995 SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    NATO marked the first week of its Bosnia peace role on a high note Thursday after nationalist Serb and Bosnian Government forces withdrew from all 40 designated hot spots on the Sarajevo front line by a midnight Wednesday deadline set by peace accord signed in Paris.

    French troops were proudly showing off the newly opened Vrbanja bridge in Sarajevo, after nationalist Serb and Bosnian Government forces completed their withdrawal.

    British Lt. Gen. Michael Walker, commander of NATO's ground troops in Bosnia, told his first news conference since taking over there has been complete compliance with the terms of the accord, despite some minor incidents.

    "At this early stage it appears that all parties are demonstrating a spirit of cooperation in complying with the peace agreement... We are in early days, it is a honeymoon period," he said. As far as the incidents Walker said that these "have arisen from ignorance and misunderstanding, rather than deliberate and concerted acts."

    [03] US Suspends Sanctions on Serbia, Montenegro

    Dec 28 1995 WASHINGTON, United States

    President Clinton on Thursday suspended broad economic sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro but said they could be imposed again if terms of a Bosnian peace accord are violated.

    In a letter to Congress, Clinton said he had determined that suspending the sanctions "is necessary to achieve a negotiated settlement" to the Bosnian conflict. Clinton said he had directed his government to suspend immediately the application of these sanctions on Serbia and its ally, Montenegro. In addition, he authorized Secretary of State Warren Christopher to suspend the arms embargo against all parties to the conflict under terms of the Nov. 21 Dayton peace agreement that allows the former belligerents to develop defensive capabilities.

    Clinton said the sanctions could be reimposed if the commander of the NATO peacekeeping force in Bosnia or the United Nations determines that Serbia, Montenegro or the Bosnian Serbs were not meeting their obligations under the peace accord.

    [04] Update on IFOR Deplyoment

    Dec 28 1995 SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    In Croatia, floods burst into a camp for U.S. troops building a pontoon bridge to bring in thousands of their compatriots, in a second weather-related blow to the mission in 24 hours. U.S. officials vowed to complete the bridge near the Croatian town of Zupanja, a key link in a corridor bringing 20,000 American troops from rear bases in Germany to their planned headquarters at Tuzla, northeast Bosnia. With the bridge project bogged down, the U.S. Thursday opened a new route into Bosnia via Belgrade, sending in the first NATO flights ever to land in Yugoslavia.

    Four C-17 transport planes brought in 54 American troops and over a dozen jeep-like Humvees (high mobility vehicles) which then set off by road on the five-hour drive across the Bosnian border to Tuzla.

    NATO's commander in Europe, Gen. George Joulwan, praised Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic for allowing the use of Belgrade, a new experience for a man who little more than a year ago was ostracized by the world for his role in the Bosnia war.

    Things were not too good as well for French forces in the southern city of Mostar, where flash floods threatened to sweep away a group of the renowned Foreign Legion. Helicopters had to be used to pluck about sixty of the troops to safety.

    US troops in Croatia experienced a shooting incident Wednesday, when an unidentified gunman sprayed automatic rifle fire into an area where they were based north of the Sava river. Officials say no one was injured and no gunfire was returned.

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