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31 Dec 95: BosNet NEWS

From: ErkocevicM@AOL.COM

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


CONTENTS

  • [01] An American soldier wounded when his vehicle detonated a mine...

  • [02] Bono, lead singer with Irish supergroup U2, breezed into Sarajevo ...

  • [03] Polls in Sarajevo.

  • [04] First passenger bus into the Government held enclave for over three years.


  • [01] An American soldier wounded when his vehicle detonated a mine...

    BIJELA, Bosnia - An American soldier was wounded when his vehicle detonated a powerful anti-tank mine in northeast Bosnia Saturday, the first U.S. casualty of the NATO peacekeeping deployment, military officials said.

    Spec. Martin John Begosh, of Rockville, Md., was flown by helicopter to a mobile U.S. military hospital at Zupanja, eastern Croatia. He suffered internal injuries but was in stable condition, Pentagon and White House officials said.

    Aged 24, Begosh is a military policeman on the final leg of his five-year hitch in the Army, his mother Judy Begosh said from her Rockville home.

    U.S. officials said he was in a column of four Humvees, wide-bodied cargo carriers, when his vehicle ran over and detonated a powerful anti-tank mine, one of millions sown across Bosnia by warring factions.

    Relatives said the injured soldier had been named after an uncle who died in Vietnam.

    The soldier's mother said she now wants her son to get his Purple Heart, end his military career and come home.

    She had earlier sought to dissuade him from re-enlisting. ''I told him you've given enough to the military. Come out and go to work and get a real job,'' she said.

    The accident occurred in a wooded area, between Srebrenik and Gradacac that contains bunkers, mud and log gun positions and shelled buildings used by Bosnian Muslims and Serbs in the 31/2 year long Bosnia war.

    [02] Bono, lead singer with Irish supergroup U2, breezed into Sarajevo ...

    SARAJEVO - Bono, lead singer with Irish supergroup U2, breezed into Sarajevo Saturday and said there was no better place in the world to celebrate peace in the New Year.

    The Irish star, who checked into a suite at the battle- scarred Holiday Inn, dashed any hopes that he might give a concert to mark the end of the Bosnian war -- but he promised to return soon with the rest of U2 and do just that.

    ``I'm not here to play, I just came to celebrate New Year's Eve. I hear there's a great underground rock scene here,'' he told Reuters. ``Can you think of a better place to celebrate?''

    The outspoken singer has used U2 concerts to attack Western powers for failing to end the war in Bosnia.

    ``We tried to come here during the conflict but we couldn't,'' he said. ``Sarajevo is a part of Europe and we want to celebrate that...Don't worry next time I'll bring the band.''

    He said he had been impressed by the city's courage and humour during the siege of Sarajevo, during which some 10,000 people were killed.

    ``The wit of people struck me,'' he said. ``Laughter is evidence of freedom,'' said Bono, who arrived on a U.N. aid plane from the Croatian capital, Zagreb.

    Bono, wearing a fur-lined suede jacket but without his trademark sunglasses in the gloomy foyer of the Holiday Inn, said he planned to give a news conference Sunday.

    Accompanied by his wife Ali, he said they had plans for a private meeting with some artists Saturday night.

    [03] Polls in Sarajevo.

    SARAJEVO, Dec 30 - U.S. President Bill Clinton, and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic are doing fine but the United Nations, discredited by its failed peace mission in Bosnia, doesn't even rate a mention.

    According to an opinion poll published on Saturday, people in areas controlled by Bosnia's Moslem-led government think their leaders and army were the key to ending the war.

    The poll, in the pro-government daily Dnevni Avaz, did not canvass opinions from areas held by Bosnian Serbs.

    Clinton, praised for his role in ending more than three years of war, won 28 per cent of the vote from people asked to name which foreign leader contributed most to peace.

    Next came King Fahd of Saudi Arab with 11 per cent. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akhbar Velayati, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and U.S. Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole all got seven per cent.

    Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey pressed hard for more support for the Bosnian government during the war.

    Forty per cent chose Izetbegovic as the most important figure in bringing peace. Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic came second with 24 per cent and General Atif Dudakovic, commander of the Bosnian 5th Corps, came third with 15 per cent.

    Asked what was the most important event in 1995, almost half said the Dayton peace agreement. Almost one-third of those asked gave Bosnian army military successes as their answer, while 17 per cent said NATO air strikes had been the key.

    The United Nations, its peacekeepers and senior officials who worked to end the conflict did not score enough in any area to even register on the scale. The world body has now handed over authority to NATO to make sure the peace agreement sticks.

    [04] First passenger bus into the Government held enclave for over three years.

    GORAZDE, Bosnia - Hundreds of people, many weeping with joy, lined the streets of Gorazde in eastern Bosnia Saturday to welcome the first passenger bus into the Government held enclave for over three years.

    The bus, carrying about 55 passengers, was escorted from the capital Sarajevo to Gorazde by a convoy of French armoured vehicles through a large swathe of Serb-held territory that isolated Gorazde for most of the 31/2 year Bosnia war.

    ``This place has been a huge concentration camp, they have been starving us, shelling us, sniping at us...but we stood and fought and survived,'' said Irham Cecu who said he had hoped his grandfather might be on the bus. He was not.

    Gorazde, where some 60,000 people are crammed into crumbling apartment blocks, was one of the biggest humanitarian crises since the World War II.

    During the height of the war, aid convoys hardly ever made it through and the people were cut off for months on end.

    One mother, Enisa Hadjovic, was overcome with emotion as she hugged her son Elvir whom she had not seen for more than one year.

    He had been badly injured during one of the battles to defend the enclave and was helicoptered out for medical treatment to Sarajevo. Friends and relatives wept as they greeted him on his return.

    Nearby, Fejzic Memsur tightly hugged his 12-year-old son who he had left with his mother when he too had been evacuated for medical treatment.

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