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BosNet Digest V5 #20 / Jan. 12, 1996

From: "From: Nermin Zukic" <n6zukic@SMS.BUSINESS.UWO.CA>

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


CONTENTS

  • [01] KAPETANOVIC AND SILAJDZIC: MANDATARIES OF THE B-H GOVERNMENT

  • [02] KAPETANOVIC - INCOMPETENT

  • [03] AMNESTY FOR CONSCRIPTS

  • [04] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT - ESTABLISHED

  • [05] AGREEMENT AMONG THREE POLICE FORCES

  • [06] CONSULTATIONS ON SUCCESSION

  • [07] YEVGENY PRIMAKOW - NEW HEAD OF RUSSIAN DIPLOMACY

  • [08] IFOR: INDIVIDUAL TERRORISTS ASSAULTED THE TRAM

  • [09] RESIGNATION OF GORAN GRANIC REFUSED

  • [10] MATE GRANIC VISITED BELGRADE

  • [11] US OFFICE ON KOSOVO

  • [12] US SOLIDER WOUNDED

  • [13] SEPARATION OF FORCES CONTINUES

  • [14] TUDJMAN DISCARDED GRANIC

  • [15] SERBS FIRE GRENADE AT SARAJEVO STREETCAR; ONE PASSENGER DIES, 19 OTHERS WOUNDED.

  • [16] SERBS FREE 16 ABDUCTED CIVILIANS, BUT THEN KIDNAP FOUR MORE.

  • [17] TENSIONS SOAR IN MOSTAR AS CROATS SEEK PERMANENTLY DIVIDED CITY.

  • [18] MORE GUNFIRE AIMED TOWARD IFOR.

  • [19] PROPOSED PRISONER EXCHANGE BREAKS DOWN.

  • [20] BOSNIAN SCHOOLS FACE WAR-TRAUMATIZED CHILDREN.

  • [21] SERBS AGAIN THREATEN EXODUS; SET HOMES, BUNKERS ABLAZE.

  • [22] NATO DEPLOYMENT UPDATE.

  • [23] SARAJEVO AIRLIFT ENDS TUESDAY.

  • [24] RIFT WIDENS AMONG SERB NATIONALIST LEADERS.

  • [25] PHONE LINES RESTORED; VISA RESTRICTION LIFTED.

  • [26] VIENNA ARMS-CONTROL TALKS DELAYED BY WORDING DISPUTE.

  • [27] PRESIDENT CLINTON TO VISIT BOSNIA.

  • [28] HEAD OF BOSNIAN SERB ORTHODOX CHURCH SAYS MASS IN SARAJEVO.


  • [01] KAPETANOVIC AND SILAJDZIC: MANDATARIES OF THE B-H GOVERNMENT

    Sarajevo, Jan 1O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - At the session of the Constitutional Assembly of the B-H Federation, SDA proposed Izudin Kapetanovic for the Federal premier. He is a director of the firm "Elektrodistribucija" Tuzla and a dean of the Faculty of Electrical engineering in Tuzla, president of the Steering Committee of Holding Soda So Tuzla, a member of the SDA of B-H Executive board and Association of Bosniak intellectuals. President of the B-H Federation Zubak says the views of Croatian and Bosniak side of the composition of the Federation's government are adjusted. The appointments are expected early next week but the names of ministers are already known.

    Mandatory of the B-H government Haris Silajdzic opposed to meeting the HDZ's demand to reduce the number of the ministries in the Republic government to five. Six ministries is minimum we cannot go below, claims Silajdzic. /end/ A.S.

    [02] KAPETANOVIC - INCOMPETENT

    Tuzla, Jan 11,1996 (Press TWRA) - Izudin Kapetanovic, mandator of B-H Government is not competent for the job, reported our correspondent, relating to the professional circles in Tuzla and Sarajevo. "Kapetanovic has neither experience in economy nor theoretical knowledge necessary for such a responsible post", stated the director of one Tuzla's company who wanted to stay anonymous. According to ruling Party of Democratic Action's (SDA) circles, which nominated Kapetanovic, he has the biggest number of official functions in Tuzla-Podrinje Canton, inspite of the SDA's Canton comity's position that piling up of functions creates the bad party image. Kapetanovic, who is a member of SDA B-H Executive Comity has been the only candidate for the Prime Minister since Silajdzic offered his resignation. (end) F.N.

    [03] AMNESTY FOR CONSCRIPTS

    Sarajevo, Jan 11,1996 (Press TWRA) - The B-H Assembly representatives adopted the Law on pardon. The law relates to individuals who committed criminal acts according to RB-H Law, including the conscripts who managed to avoid the service in B-H armed forces. The law does not include the individuals who committed war crimes and violations of the international law according to The Hague International Tribunal's Statute and those who committed general criminal acts. On B-H Assembly Session Prime Minister Silajdzic emphasized that the adoption of this law is necessary as a precondition for return of refugees and will help to create the air of confidence in B-H. (end) S.K.

    [04] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT - ESTABLISHED

    Sarajevo, Jan 1O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - B-H Constitutional Court, whose composition is in accord with the Constitution adopted in the peace agreement, began to work. The Court President is Omer Ibrahimagic, deputy Mirko Boskovic and members Katarina Mandic, Dusko Vuleta, Muamer Herceglija and Milan Bajic. There are also three foreign judges - Bola A. Ajibola (Nigeria), Francois Ernest Robert Rigeau (Belgium) and Abdullah al-Hani (Siria). /end/ A.S.

    [05] AGREEMENT AMONG THREE POLICE FORCES

    Mostar, Jan 11, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Our correspondent reports that on the EU police initiative, Police Sections for special investigation of eastern and western part of Mostar met together to investigate serious arms incidents in Mostar. Every single incident that resulted in wounding or death as in the past two incidents, was discussed at the meeting. Three sides agreed on intensive cooperation and the exchange of information obtained on those incidents.

    Machine gun and sniper fire could be heard last night in Mostar, while information service of the Mostar police recorded a fierce detonation at the settlement of Cernica. Small arms fire was directed from S. Kovacevic str. on Croat side, towards Boulevard, our correspondent reports. The EU administration office released that H. Koschnick sent letters to the presidents of B-H and Croatia demanding from them to stop violence going on in Mostar. EU administrator in Mostar Koschnick said for Reuters that he was not certain thta Zagreb resolutely endorsed the B-H Federation. He also asked why president Tudjman who declared his support to federation had not issued the order to the head of the Croat local police in Mostar Zdravko Soldo to prevent violence being underway in the town since New Year. /end/ S.K. =20

    [06] CONSULTATIONS ON SUCCESSION

    Zagreb, Jan 1O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - The talks, presided by Croat official Bozo Marendic, were held today in Zagreb among Croatia, B-H, Slovenia, Macedonia on succession of ex-Yugoslavia, so far & future activities to block foreign bank account of ex-Yugoslavia being threatened after suspension of sanctions on Serbia and Montenegro and the issue of real estate of ex-Yugoslavia which FR Yugoslavia is also trying to seize. /end/ A.S.

    [07] YEVGENY PRIMAKOW - NEW HEAD OF RUSSIAN DIPLOMACY

    Moscow, Jan 1O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Russian president Boris Yeltsin appointed Yevgeny Primakow as a new foreign minister of the Russian Federation after Kozyrev had resigned from the post. Explaining his appointment, Yeltsin stressed that Russian policy is not determined by ministers but state's interests. Primakow was the head of the Russian intelligence service. /end/ A.S.

    [08] IFOR: INDIVIDUAL TERRORISTS ASSAULTED THE TRAM

    Sarajevo, Jan 1O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - The IFOR spokesman Mark Reiner said he hoped that yesterday's assault on the tram in Sarajevo would not turn into a crisis impeding the implementation of the military part of the peace accord. Reiner says that Serbs being out of their forces' control are to blame for the assault. "We have to respond to such attacks but we cannot act as a police and bring each street under control," says Reiner stressing the area from which the tram was targeted had been searched but no attacker was found. IFOR French soldiers control the settlement of Grbavica deploying several personnel vehicles around the hotel "Holiday Inn". The town streets are rather empty. /end/ A.S.

    [09] RESIGNATION OF GORAN GRANIC REFUSED

    Zagreb Jan 1O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - The Zagreb mayor Goran Granic, representative of the seven-party-coalition which in Zagreb defeated till recently governing HDZ, offered today his resignation to the post. He explained it saying the events during the last week when he was elected were an insult for the mayor's reputation, law, Assembly and citizens who gave him a credit. It refers to acting of Croatian authorities, particularly president Tudjman who yesterday along with the new president of the Zagreb Assembly received the former mayor Branko Miksa instead of to date mayor. HDZ delegates opposed both to resignation and refusal to it, claiming that the electoral procedure for new mayor had not been finished. Parties of the ruling coalition referred to the decision of Croatian government in case of Varazdin when it was decided that the head of the County is appointed on the day of his election not after the president's confirmation. Majority delegates described the resignation as a moral act since the take-over of the authorities from Branko Miksa was prevented yet, the resignation was discarded. Take-over was demanded within 48 hours. President of the Assembly Z. Tomac said yesterday that president Tudjman insisted on avoiding confrontation between the Zagreb and state authorities. Tomac demanded readiness to political cooperation announcing his resignation if such schizophrenic situation continued regarding the mayor and the Zagreb County's head. /end/ A.S.

    [10] MATE GRANIC VISITED BELGRADE

    Belgrade, Jan 1O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Croatian vice-premier and diplomacy head Mate Granic visited Belgrade today and talked with Serbian president Milosevic and diplomacy head of the FR Yugoslavia Milan Milutionovic. Progress was achieved with regard to restoration of air, road and railroad traffic between the two states and a step forward in restoring general relations was also emphasized. There has not been mutual recognition or resolution to the dispute over the peninsula of Prevlaka. The talks are announced to be resumed after consultations with ministers. Visit of Milutinovic to Zagreb is expected next month. It was released that both states support the Dayton peace agreement and its implementation as planned. /end/ A.S.

    [11] US OFFICE ON KOSOVO

    Washington, Jan 11,1996 (Press TWRA) - The US State Secretary Assistant R. Holbrooke announced that US intends to soon open office on Kosovo. He condemned the "oppression of the Albanian population on Kosovo" stressing that US "neither demands nor supports any kind of Kosovo's independence", but US wants the fair relation toward the population in regard of human rights". The preliminary talks with the President Milosevic have been undertaken, so that the opening of US Agency can be soon expected. The Belgrade's media did not report about this US demand, but the largest opposition party, Draskovic's Serbian Movement for Restoration supports the demand "as long as the international community remains firmly on the position that Kosovo is internal problem of Serbia and FRY". The ruling Socialist Party of Serbia did not react, but the Internal Minister V. Jokanovic stated that "there will be no negotiations with the leaders of Albanian separatist movement of Kosovo and Metohia, although all issues of interest to FRY's citizens can be discussed". (end) S.K.

    [12] US SOLIDER WOUNDED

    Tuzla, Jan 11,1996 (Press TWRA) - The representative of IFOR US forces colonel G. Dornan reported that one US solider has been wounded when his vehicle came across the mine. Another IFOR vehicle also came across the anti-infantry mine near Orasje yesterday. There were no casualties. (end) S.K.

    [13] SEPARATION OF FORCES CONTINUES

    Sarajevo, Jan 11, 1996 (Press TWRA) - IFOR spokesman informed that withdrawal of the B-H army and B-H rebel Serb military from the separation areas in B-H had been successfully going on and would be ended till Jan 19. as planned. On the Sarajevo area, the two sides have entirely withdrawn from the separation lines at Dobrinja, Mojmilo, Ilidza, Vogosca and Rajlovac. Currently in Bosnia, about 3O,OOO IFOR soldiers are deployed.

    French commander, gen. Pernot has released the perpetrators of the attack on the tram in the Sarajevo center have been still searched for. He said French soldiers found in a skyscraper at the Serb-controlled area of Grbavica, a mobile rocket launcher which had been deployed in the attack on the tram.

    The UN official Ivanko has released that to date 117 policemen have arrived to B-H who should aid the implementation of the civil annex of the Dayton agreement. In the Serb held part of Sarajevo 6O policemen have already been deployed while 5O of them were sent to the Banjaluka area, said Ivanko. Arrival of 2OO more policemen is expected in the following days and in accord with the Dayton agreement, total of 1,7OO policemen should be deployed in B-H. /end/ S.K.

    [14] TUDJMAN DISCARDED GRANIC

    Zagreb, Jan 11, 1996 (Press TWRA) - In accord with the law on the town of Zagreb and proposal of Croatian govt., Croatia's president Tudjman officially rejected to confirm the decision of the town Assembly on the election of the opposition candidate, DSc Goran Granic for the Zagreb mayor and the head of the Zagreb County. /end/ S.K.

    [15] SERBS FIRE GRENADE AT SARAJEVO STREETCAR; ONE PASSENGER DIES, 19 OTHERS WOUNDED.

    A rocket-propelled grenade fired from Serb-occupied Grbavica hit a crowded Sarajevo tram during evening rush hour last night, killing one person and injuring 19 others.

    "`It exploded like a shell," Nedzmina Cuprija, 25, who was injured in the blast, told Reuters. "The streetcar was packed, everybody started screaming. I collapsed on the floor and someone took me out and put me in a car for the hospital." Also among the wounded: seven-year-old Nedim Corovic, hit in the head and shoulder by shrapnel.

    Trams have been a favorite target of Serb gunners throughout the 45-month siege; but several weeks of calm had convinced many residents that the streetcars were again finally safe.

    Sniperfire rang out around the tram after the grenade was fired Tuesday, forcing pedestrians to find cover behind vehicles in order to avoid being gunned down in the street. "For the first time in months, Sarajevans were again running for their lives across intersections," CNN reported yesterday.

    The attack came a day after Serb nationalist politician Momcilo Krajisnik warned that "bloody incidents" could occur if the world community does not push back the deadline for Serbs to turn over occupied districts in Sarajevo as scheduled in the Dayton accords.

    Bosnian officials said the attack was a test of NATO's resolve, and urged tough action to stop similar assaults. The Serb action was similar to many that "proved the impotence of the UN" in Sarajevo, CNN notes.

    French soldiers reportedly shot at the attackers with machine guns and several 20-mm cannon rounds, in a battle that lasted about 20 minutes. No heavier firepower was called in to take out the attackers.

    A NATO spokesman told BBC this morning that French troops had cordoned off the area in Grbavica where the grenade was launched, and had found an empty casing from the explosive believed responsible--but had not captured the people who committed the crime.

    [16] SERBS FREE 16 ABDUCTED CIVILIANS, BUT THEN KIDNAP FOUR MORE.

    Under heavy international pressure, Serb nationalists Friday freed 16 Sarajevans abducted while attempting to travel out of the city through Serb-occupied Ilidza. However, Serbs then detained four more civilians attempting to use the route, which NATO had earlier declared open for civilian traffic. Serbs admit holding two Bosnians.

    Several of the freed Bosnians said they were beaten and robbed after they were captured; others claimed they were well-treated by their captors.

    With the kidnappings, Serb nationalists achieved their main objective: effectively closing the main road out of Sarajevo to Bosnian citizens. "The Serbs have made a point, it would take a brave if not reckless Muslim to drive through Ilidza now," one analyst told Reuters. Capt. Mark an Dyke, spokesman for NATO commander Smith, said that Bosnians "have to be willing to take risks to achieve peace."

    IFOR officials have stressed they believe it is not their job to ensure the safety of civilian travelers by policing roads, claiming it is the task of a proposed unarmed UN civilian police force.

    "NATO sources say the military alliance was too hasty to say freedom of movement -- a key element of the Dec. 14 peace treaty -- existed and then maintain a low profile, particularly in an area known as a likely troublespot," Reuters reports.

    NATO commander Smith wrote to Krajisnik demanding his forces allow total freedom of movement for civilians. A NATO statement claims the Serb nationalist leader agreed to stop using military forces for traffic checks and allow only Serb civilian police to monitor the road.

    "Free movement remains a pipedream -- the few local non-Serb travelers to have dared cross Serb soil have been blocked, harassed or abducted," Reuters reports -- even though the Dayton peace agreement supposedly guarantees freedom of passage for all citizens.

    In Tuzla, for example, a road recently "opened" through Serb-held territory to the Croatian border can only be used by journalists and NATO troops, according to Reuters. "Even if the corridor opens for civilians, will anyone have the courage to cross it?" wondered Amra Mekanovic, a 23-year-old teacher.

    [17] TENSIONS SOAR IN MOSTAR AS CROATS SEEK PERMANENTLY DIVIDED CITY.

    Croat and Bosnian forces traded grenades and gunfire across the divided city of Mostar Saturday night, following a spate of violent incidents that sent tensions soaring.

    Latest problems in the city began last week after Croat police shot a Muslim youth trying to cross out of the city's war-battered Muslim ghetto. Several days of stonings and shooting followed, including the wounding of two Muslim policemen on Thursday. In a revenge attack, a Croat police officer was killed.

    "EU (European Union) officials said privately they suspected the rise in tension had been orchestrated by the Croat side," according to Reuters. Croats are unhappy that men of military age are to be given freedom of movement throughout Mostar as of Jan. 20.

    Last week, the mayor of the Croat side of the city demanded that Mostar be permanently divided. Croats conducted a brutal campaign of "ethnic cleansing" in the once ethnically mixed city, and now wish to keep the more prosperous, now ethnically pure Croatian sector as the capital of a Croatian republic within Bosnia.

    The European Union's administrator in Mostar, Hans Koschnick, vowed he would not create another Berlin in Europe, and threatened to pull out of the city -- taking EU reconstruction money with him.

    By Monday, Koschnick said the Croatian mayor pledged his support for the Dayton accords, which call for Mostar to be reunited. "Both sides, importantly, have managed to calm the situation down," he told Reuters. "As far as I'm concerned things seem to be getting better."

    Many fear that a failure to reunite Mostar could spell the end of the shaky Bosnian-Croat federation -- and with it, the Dayton peace agreement between that federation and Serb nationalists.

    Hardline Croat nationalists have not given up their dream of creating a Croatian republic on Bosnian land. On Thursday, Croat officials in Mostar demanded a "tax" of $10 per truck for UN aid convoys crossing between Croat- and Bosnian-controlled territories. The UN balked and suspended all aid convoys to central Bosnia; a day later, Croat officials agreed to withdraw their demand.

    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Gallucci raised the issue of Mostar with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman Monday, AP reports. "I don't think any of us can be satisfied with the pace of the implementation," Gallucci said in Zagreb, according to Reuters.

    Gallucci met several hours Tuesday with Serbian President Milosevic; the two were believed to have discussed Sarajevo, among other issues.

    [18] MORE GUNFIRE AIMED TOWARD IFOR.

    An Italian soldier was shot in the arm Thursday while on guard duty in Serb-controlled Sarajevo. Also last week, British soldiers came under fire near Sanski Most, and French forces were shot at in Serb-occupied Grbavica. None were injured in either incident. In addition, several planes have been shot at while flying into Sarajevo's airport.

    NATO called for U.S. Apache helicopter gunships to begin patrolling the airport area, and warned that its forces will begin showing less restraint. "I regret soon it is going to become too dangerous for someone; fire will be returned and it is going to cost lives," said NATO spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Rayner.

    However, in general, a NATO spokesman told BBC this morning that military parts of the peace agreement are going fairly well, with armies withdrawing from confrontation zones and declaring minefields as required.

    [19] PROPOSED PRISONER EXCHANGE BREAKS DOWN.

    Talks on exchanging war prisoners fell apart after Serb nationalists refused to account for the thousands of Bosnians still missing after Serb troops overran the "UN-protected safe haven" of Srebrenica last summer. Between 5,000 and 8,000 mostly unarmed men and boys are believed to have been murdered by Serb militiamen in what some human-rights activists call Europe's worst single wartime atrocity since World War II.

    [20] BOSNIAN SCHOOLS FACE WAR-TRAUMATIZED CHILDREN.

    "With the fighting ended, work to save Bosnia's shattered generation of war children is just beginning," AP reports from Teocak in northeast Bosnia. "Problems include flashbacks, nightmares, sleep disorders, bed-wetting, fainting, crying, lack of concentration, aggressivity and poor performance in school."

    "The situation is very serious," said Besima Catec, a psychologist who works with teachers in Teocak. "They see a lot of problems with the children, and they aren't able to help."

    But teachers are also traumatized by four years of suffering shellfire and witnessing terrible scenes of carnage, notes psychologist Pasagic Irfanka, herself a victim of ethnic cleansing. "Before they can help children, someone has to help them."

    Many people throughout the country who suffered Serb shelling attacks are now plagued by psychological problems. "`I am afraid to go to sleep,' Husein Gusic, a 39-year-old soldier, tells a therapist, tears streaking his cheeks as his body trembles uncontrollably," AP reports. "`I keep seeing the hands, legs I picked up.'" Gusic was in Tuzla when a Serb shell killed 72 people near a cafe and maimed hundreds more.

    [21] SERBS AGAIN THREATEN EXODUS; SET HOMES, BUNKERS ABLAZE.

    Serb nationalist leaders have threatened a mass exodus will begin as early as Friday if NATO doesn't extend a deadline for Serb militia to leave Sarajevo suburbs due to return to Bosnian government control. NATO officials told Reuters that Serbs have set fire to fortifications due to be given up; other witnesses say some homes have been set ablaze.

    On Monday, NATO officials saw Serbs in the suburb of Vogosca dismantling a Volkswagen-factory-turned-arms-plant and carting off its contents. "``I am rather discouraged by what I see," Lt. Gen. Michael Walker told Reuters.

    The Bosnian government has urged Serbs to stay in the suburbs and promised them safety. On Monday, Bosnian President Izetbegovic said there will likely be an amnesty for all Serb nationalist soldiers who have not committed war crimes, Reuters reports.

    [22] NATO DEPLOYMENT UPDATE.

    The U.S. has 4,000 soldiers in Bosnia, AP reported yesterday, with 10,000 of the planned 20,000 U.S. contingent expected by Jan. 19 -- the date that Bosnian, Serb, and Croat forces are to pull back 1.2 miles from front lines across the republic. A 1,600-member Russian brigade is expected to begin arriving in the U.S. sector shortly.

    Almost 11,000 British troops -- many of whom were already in Bosnia under UN command -- are slated to be in theater by the 19th. They have set up bases in Serb-held Banja Luka, and the Croat-controlled town of Sipovo. An estimated 1,000 Canadians assigned to patrol Bihac are expected to be deployed today.

    In the French sector, 7,500 of the 10,000-member French force are already in place. Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish troops are also patrolling this area; the Spanish are responsible for Mostar.

    [23] SARAJEVO AIRLIFT ENDS TUESDAY.

    The last UN aid plane touched down at Sarajevo airport yesterday, formally ending the often-interrupted humanitarian airlift into the besieged city. Aid is now being sent by land convoys.

    "Today, Sarajevans hope that with the ending of the airlift the war is really over and peace has returned," said UN spokesman Larry Hollingsworth, several hours before Tuesday's grenade attack on a city streetcar.

    [24] RIFT WIDENS AMONG SERB NATIONALIST LEADERS.

    Serb nationalist politicians are turning against their self-declared president, Radovan Karadzic, who is "increasingly reviled and isolated among the one million Serbs he rules," the New York Times reports. "Opposition figures and members of his own party have begun to denounce the war, and the political leadership that directed it, with an open ferocity that would have been unthinkable before the Dayton peace agreement....

    "Judging by interviews with Serbs across a wide swath of Serb-held Bosnia in recent days, the president once passionately revered for his ruthless nationalism is now cast as the scapegoat for all the horrors committed in the name of that cause." Some are even calling for Karadzic, indicted by an international tribunal for genocide, to be tried for war crimes either in the Hague or Bosnia, the Times reports.

    Radio Krajina, run by men loyal to Bosnian Serb commander Gen. Ratko Mladic, is supporting the NATO peace plan and often criticizes Karadzic, according to AP.

    Serbs politicians in Banja Luka -- powerbase for Milosevic and Mladic -- resent Karadzic for spending so much resources on the ultimately futile bid to capture Sarajevo. They criticize him for the brutal shelling of the city they feel turned the world against the Serb cause.

    "Bosnian Serbs have not rejected the goals espoused by the Pale leadership, just the methods used to achieve those goals," says Mladen Ivanic, whose Serbian Intellectual Forum broke with Karadzic several months ago. "They blame Pale for everything that went horribly, horribly wrong."

    [25] PHONE LINES RESTORED; VISA RESTRICTION LIFTED.

    Phone lines have been restored between Sarajevo and Belgrade, according to the Bosnian news agency TWRA. As is the case for all international calls, Sarajevans can only telephone Belgrade from the city's post office.

    And, Croatia has agreed in principle to drop requirements that Bosnians traveling to the country obtain Croatian visas, TWRA announced. The decision must still undergo a "suitable procedure."

    [26] VIENNA ARMS-CONTROL TALKS DELAYED BY WORDING DISPUTE.

    Balkan arms-control talks were delayed a day in Vienna after Bosnian officials protested that Serb nationalists were identified only as from "Republika Srpska" -- with no mention that the Serb republic is part of the nation of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

    The dispute was resolved when all nameplates at the conference included the reference "parties to the Dayton agreement Annex 1B, Article 4," according to Reuters.

    "`The Bosnian government wanted to make sure that everyone was reminded that `Republika Srpska' is part of Bosnia-Hercegovina,'" a diplomat told Reuters. This marked the first time that Bosnian Serb nationalists were involved in international talks since the Dayton peace accords were signed.

    Talks are slated to continue for several months.

    [27] PRESIDENT CLINTON TO VISIT BOSNIA.

    U.S. President Bill Clinton is expected to visit Bosnia this weekend. While no details were released for security reasons, he is expected to visit U.S. troops in Tuzla but is unlikely to go to Sarajevo. The Bosnian government charged that the Serb grenade attack in Sarajevo Tuesday was meant partially to discourage Clinton from visiting the capital.

    [28] HEAD OF BOSNIAN SERB ORTHODOX CHURCH SAYS MASS IN SARAJEVO.

    For the first time since the war began, the leader of Bosnia's Serb Orthodox church, Metropolitan Nikolai, said mass in government-controlled Sarajevo.

    Many Serbs who remained in government-held sections of the city accused the Orthodox Church of abandoning them to support Serb nationalists besieging their city and ethnically cleansing the republic.

    Metropolitan Nikolai had previously voiced support for radical Serb nationalists who were commiting genocide in Bosnia.

    But on Monday, the Bosnian Serb religious leader called for rebuilding Bosnia's multi-ethnic society. "May God bless Serb, Croat and Muslim people who

    "I wish people to live in a tolerant atmosphere like before the war. I call on Serb people to contribute to this."

    Metropolitan Nikolai later met with Bosnian Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic, who relayed his best wishes to Bosnian Serbs for Orthodox Christmas, celebrated Jan. 7.

    "We have had good relations with your church here in Sarajevo and through it with its believers," Silajdzic said, according to AP. "The fact that this church still stands here, untouched, says a lot about us and about Bosnian Muslims. We have remained loyal to what we always believed Bosnia was."

    AP notes that "hundreds of mosques were blown up by Bosnian Serbs throughout the territory they control and many Muslim graveyards were destroyed and turned into parking lots. ... (But) apart from one Orthodox church in Tarcin, near Sarajevo, no Orthodox monuments or Serb graveyards were destroyed by government forces."

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