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BosNet Digest V5 #19 / Jan. 11, 1996

From: Davor <dwagner@MAILBOX.SYR.EDU>

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] Media In Mostar Must Be Calmed (ONASA)

  • [02] Bosnia War Crimes

  • [03] Clinton's Visit

  • [04] Foreign Judges In Bosnian Constitutional Court Meet Counterparts In Zagre (ONASA)

  • [05] Looting Of Houses Near Tuzla

  • [06] Albania Will Send Peacekeepers

  • [07] Holy See Approves Bosnian Bishops Statute (ONASA)

  • [08] Sarajevo High School Gets 10,000 Marks From Italian Agency (ONASA)


  • [01] Media In Mostar Must Be Calmed (ONASA)

    Mon, 8 Jan 1996
    SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    The most important thing to be done in calming the situation in Mostar after latest shooting incidents is to sooth the media, the mayor of the western, Croat-controlled part of the town said Monday.

    "We are trying to calm the situation. The statute of the town of Mostar was signed by both sides, as well as a document on elections. We agreed to make three mainly Croat and three mainly Bosniak (Bosnian Moslem) municipalities, and now we need to see where their borders will lie, although they are not physical borders, walls and ghettos. They are imaginary borders which would protect the identity of the peoples, nothing more," Mijo Brajkovic told Sarajevo state radio.

    The mayor said the current situation requires cautiousness. "No incident must happen now, It is necessary to calm the situation, and then we will talk about freedom of movement," he said.

    A Bosniak and a Croat were killed in separate shooting incidents in Mostar in the past week and freedom of movement between the two sides of the divided town has been suspended.

    [02] Bosnia War Crimes

    Thu, 11 Jan 1996
    WASHINGTON, United States

    The United States says war crimes investigators should be given access to the site of a reported mass grave in Northwest Bosnia.

    The latest reported mass grave site is an iron mine in Northwest Bosnia where the first waves of ethnic cleansing were carried out by the nationalist Bosnian Serbs in 1992. According to the New York Times, the mine south of the town of Ljubija, contains the bodies of thousands of Muslims and Croats executed in the first days of the Bosnian war.

    The State Department says war crimes investigators should be given access to the area as soon as NATO forces in Bosnia are fully deployed. The report says the nationalist Bosnian Serbs are exhuming several grave sites and are transferring the bodies to the iron mine where they are doused with chemicals and buried under debris.

    State Department Spokesman Glyn Davies says the cover-up will not help. "They can try to hide that evidence but they can't hide the crimes that they committed. There are too many witnesses, too much remaining physical evidence and too much information about the cover-up itself.

    The State Department says those Serbs attempting to cover up the crime may be open to prosecution themselves as accessories to murder.

    [03] Clinton's Visit

    Thu, 11 Jan 1996
    WASHINGTON, United States

    For security reasons, White House officials have disclosed few logistical details about president Clinton's weekend visit to Bosnia. Still, officials are not reluctant to discuss the main purpose of the trip-- to boost the morale of the thousands of US troops taking part in the NATO peacekeeping force there.

    Senior US officials briefing reporters at the White House stress the President wants US forces to know they are doing what one called "heroic work" under difficult circumstances.

    Arriving at Aviano air base in Italy Saturday, the President will speak with US troops there and in Tuzla in northeastern Bosnia and at troop staging areas in Hungary. He will also make diplomatic points in brief talks with Croatian President Tudjman and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic.

    Clinton will also thank Hungarians and their President Arpad Goncz for supporting the NATO effort.

    The officials reiterate they are confident President Clinton will be well-protected. But they add he will encounter what one called "very difficult conditions," including lots of mud.

    [04] Foreign Judges In Bosnian Constitutional Court Meet Counterparts In Zagre (ONASA)

    Mon, 8 Jan 1996
    ZAGREB, Croatia

    Three of nine justices of Bosnia's Constitutional Court, appointed by the European Court for Human Rights, visited Zagreb on Sunday on their way to Sarajevo and met their counterparts in the Zagreb office of the Central and East Europe Law Initiatives (CEELI).

    The three-member team encompassed Francois Ernest Robert Rigaux from the Lourain Catholic University, a former justice in the International Court of Justice, Abdullah El-Khani, and an ad hoc justice of the same court, Bola A. Ajibola.

    According to the Bosnian peace accord, the Constitutional Court will take into consideration calls from courts in the two entities, including those related to human rights. The agreement commits all sides to free without delay all civilians and soldiers kept in prisons for participating in the war, demands the liberation of all civilians taken for hard labor, closure of detention camps, as well as giving the International Committee of the Red Cross access to regions where the camps existed.

    [05] Looting Of Houses Near Tuzla

    Thu, 11 Jan 1996
    TUZLA, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Houses are being looted and destroyed in a desolate area between Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat front lines in northern Bosnia, NATO's peace Implementation Force (IFOR) said Wednesday. Nordic Brigade spokesman Kaare Pedersen told reporters at a briefing that the looting involved houses in one village and was considered a "minor incident."

    "In the vicinity of the future zone of separation there has been robbing of houses and destroying of houses. We have seen that the local police forces have immediately reacted...and taken the necessary precautions to stop it," Pedersen said.

    The looting of vacant homes took place within the northeastern sector of Bosnia overseen by the Nordic Brigade, made up of Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Polish troops.

    There has been widespread looting and burning of houses in areas due to be handed over from Bosnian Serb to government control on this date.

    Petersen also said there had been some civilian movement across the former confrontation lines, particularly at the Serb Orthodox Christmas festival Jan. 7. "We have had civilians crossing the crossing points in our area so there has been freedom of movement to some extent."

    Three members of the Nordic Brigade -- Poland, Sweden and Finland - -- are not members of NATO although the entire brigade will come under NATO command in Bosnia.

    [06] Albania Will Send Peacekeepers

    Thu, 11 Jan 1996
    TIRANA, Albania

    Albania may send a peacekeeping contingent to Bosnia to help promote peace in the Balkans and strengthen NATO ties, the newspaper Albania wrote Wednesday. Quoting sources from the contingent of about 30 soldiers, the paper said the troops had begun preparations for deployment to Bosnia. No comment from the defense ministry was immediately available. The newspaper quoted legal experts saying the necessary legal basis for deployment was in place, based in part on the Partnership for Peace program Tirana signed with NATO in February 1994.

    A contribution by Albania to the NATO peace force in Bosnia would be the first such move by a non-alliance Balkan country.

    [07] Holy See Approves Bosnian Bishops Statute (ONASA)

    Mon, 8 Jan 1996
    ZAGREB, Croatia

    The Holy See approved on Christmas Day the Statute of the Bosnian Bishops Conference, Zagreb daily "Vjesnik" wrote on Monday. The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples approved for seven years the bid submitted by Bosnian bishops, who asked for the statute's approval last November.

    [08] Sarajevo High School Gets 10,000 Marks From Italian Agency (ONASA)

    Mon, 8 Jan 1996
    SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Don Renzo Scapolo, the head of the Italian humanitarian organization Sprofondo, Sunday presented the Dobrinja high school in Sarajevo with another 10,000 German marks for its refurbishment, increasing the overall amount of donations at 50,000 marks.

    Representatives of Sprofondo and city authorities Sunday visited the high school, and Scapolo promised his organization will continue to help until the reconstruction of the school is completed.

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