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BosNet Digest V5 #28 / Jan. 18, 1996

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


  • [01] Bosnia Peace Deadline Pushed Back

  • [02] Release Of POW's To Go Ahead?

  • [03] New Mass Grave Reported

  • [04] International Police Task Force For Bosnia Almost At Full Strength

  • [05] UN Estimates Cost Of UNTAES At $128.5 Million















  • [01] Bosnia Peace Deadline Pushed Back

    Jan 17, 1996
    SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    A Saturday deadline for the reunification of the key Bosnian city of Mostar has been postponed, but NATO officials said Wednesday they still expect hostile forces to meet a Friday deadline to withdraw from confrontation lines.

    A spokesman for the European Union said Saturday's deadline for the reunification of Mostar has been "de facto" postponed. But the spokesman, Dragan Gasic, insisted that freedom of movement within the tense, divided city must be absolutely guaranteed by January 28 at the latest. Under the peace plan, Mostar's two police forces were to unite by Saturday as the first stage of the city's total reunification. Mostar was placed under EU administration in July 1994, but the EU has no enforcement power over the city's citizens.

    [02] Release Of POW's To Go Ahead?

    Jan 17, 1996
    SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Brig. Gen. John Reith British, commander for IFOR (NATO's peace implementation force), said he was disappointed by the delayed prisoner exchange, meant to raise confidence in the peace effort. But he said the releases were expected to go ahead eventually.

    "The indicators we have are that, at the moment, all prisoners of war will be released with the exception of those that one side or the other say they haven't got," Reith said in London. He echoed other NATO commanders who have said the operation to separate the warring factions was going extremely well. In advance of their pullback, Bosnian Serb military forces Wednesday destroyed their positions in the Sarajevo district of Trebevic.

    Also Wednesday:

    The first Hungarian troops to go into action side by side with NATO forces began leaving for former Yugoslavia. The 415-member engineering battalion, made up of 409 men and six women volunteers, will assist with maintenance on a pontoon bridge over the Sava river dividing Croatia and Bosnia, operate ferry boats accross the river and build and repair roads during its six-month assignment.

    NATO put aside its early frustration with the slow start to the civilian peace mission in Bosnia and gave its full support to Carl Bildt, the man given the job of rebuilding the shattered country. "We know that it is a very complicated mission ... but ... Mr. Bildt can count on the support, the understanding and the cooperation of everybody here in NATO," alliance Secretary General Javier Solana told reporters.

    The United Nations refugee agency said it is concerned about hasty moves by Croatia to send refugees back to Bosnia. A spokesman for the UNHCR said some 200 refugees had been made to leave a camp in Croatia for Bosnia during the last week and a further 800 had been told to go. The Croatian policy left the refugees to try to find accommodation in war-ravaged areas of western Bosnia with little help, said spokesman Kris Janowski. He said UNHCR had tried to provide food, shelter material and blankets. There are thought to be some 200,000 refugees from Bosnia living temporarily in Croatia. (UNCHR REPORT ON REFUGEES FOLLOWS)

    [03] New Mass Grave Reported

    Jan 17, 1996
    SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Another mass grave site was uncovered recently in the northwestern Bosnian town of Krijevci, near Sanski Most, The Associated Press reported. It was said to contain the bodies of 20 Muslims and Croats. The report quoted eyewitnesses as saying the victims were burned alive on June 28, 1992. Recent media reports have also suggested that thousands of corpses are being disposed of in a mine near Ljubija in Serb-held northwest Bosnia.

    Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey offered Wednesday to break the prisoner impasse if access was guaranteed to two suspected mass grave sites. Among the estimated 25,000 people the government lists as missing are some 3,000 men believed captured after the Serbs took the eastern enclave of Srebrenica, the former U.N. safe area overrun by Serb forces last summer. Survivors and other evidence indicate they may have been killed and buried in mass graves in the area.

    [04] International Police Task Force For Bosnia Almost At Full Strength

    Jan 17, 1996

    The United Nations International Police Task Force (IPTF) for Bosnia and Herzegovina has almost reached its full strength of 1,721 officers, a United Nations spokesman said today. More than 25 countries have indicated they will contribute over 1,600 police to the force, which is made up of unarmed police professionals. They aim to promote confidence among local communities by monitoring human rights and training the parties' own law enforcement personnel. Already, 155 officers have been deployed throughout the country, with teams in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Banja Luka, Gorazde, Kladanj and Zivinica.

    The duties include monitoring law enforcement activities and facilities; advising and training law enforcement personnel; assessing threats to public order and advising the Government on how to organize effective law enforcement agencies.

    [05] UN Estimates Cost Of UNTAES At $128.5 Million

    Jan 17, 1996

    It will cost approximately $128.5 million to maintain the United Nations Transitional Administration and Peace-Keeping Force in Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES) for an initial six months. The amount will cover costs for 5,000 contingent personnel, 600 civilian police, 469 international civilian staff and 681 locally recruited staff.


    Sarajevo, Jan 18,1996 (Press TWRA)

    "Although tomorrow expires the deadline denoted in Dayton agreement, it is still not sure when the war prisoners will be liberated", stated ICRC representative S. Baran and added that "all sides have demands and it is hard to find solution which would satisfy all of them".

    The B-H Foreign Minister Sacirbey rejected on the press conference the accusations that his government rejected to fulfill the principles of Agreement on liberation of war prisoners. Sacirbey emphasized that peace agreement foresees the liberation of all soldiers and civilian prisoner detained during the war, and that sides have to present complete lists to the representatives of ICRC. "We know that there are prisoners who were on the lists of detainees before, but now are removed from them", said Sacirbey. He emphasized that only in Bosanska Krajina between 7OO and 1OOO persons have been detained in the secret detention camps, which US State Secretary Assistant John Shattuck also witnessed. Sacirbey also said that the B-H Government demand the release, without delay, of persons who are in prisoners and in working camps, and to enable the undisturbed access to such places with the help of IFOR. B-H demands from IFOR and Serbian side to, within three days after the release of prisoners, secure the access to Ljubija and Srebrenica, where, allegedly, the mass graves are located.

    The IFOR Commander Gen. Leighton Smith stated in Sarajevo that by the end of deadline for withdrawal of three sides from demarcation zones many "traps" for peace agreement will arise. Smith thinks that sides will withdraw, but that their officials will continue the war on civilian area. "This relates to liberation of prisoners and problem of Serbs in the parts of Sarajevo which have to become part of Federation", said Smith. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, Jan 18,1996 (Press TWRA)

    Bosnian Serbs again try to blackmail the international community by not coming to the meetings of Joint commissions for implementation of peace agreement, which yesterday and day before yesterday had been held in Sarajevo. The German diplomat M. Steiner, deputy of EC High Representative in B-H C. Bildt said that Pale authorities informed Bildt's office that they will not be present on the talks on implementation of peace plan if they are not allowed to keep control over Sarajevo's suburbs until the elections, foreseen for September. Last night Steiner met with Bosnian Serbs leaders R. Kasagic and M. Krajisnik. After the meeting Steiner said that they agreed that peace agreement will be implemented according to the plan and without changes. Steiner added that Kasagic agreed on participation of Bosnian Serbs representatives on the joint negotiations with Bosniaks and Croats and on the ways to solve the problem of Sarajevo without delay in the frame of deadlines foreseen by Dayton agreement. Diplomats, Steiner among them believe that leaders of Sarajevo's Serb want to participate in the work of Joint Civilian Commission, but the leaders from Pale are trying to prevent them. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, Zenica, Sanski Most, Jan 17, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    "Oslobodjenje" weekly released that Bosnian presidency decided to discharge the B-H army 7th corps. It was explained by the fact that the corps had successfully accomplished all the tasks in the past 21 months of its existence including defence of the Travnik region in the war against HV and HVO and Serb aggressor and quislings. That corps liberated Donji Vakuf and the nearby saddle of Komar. Previously, the 7th corps combined with Croatian allies liberated Kupres taking control over Kupreska Vrata. In several rapid actions, a number of the Mt. Vlasic peaks Vlasic were liberated and finally the very top of that mountain, Paljenik where a very important RTV transmitter and receiver was installed. Finally, the 7th corps along with the 5th corps of the B-H army took part at the liberation and defence of Kljuc and Sanski Most establishing military balance in Bosnia which enabled the Dayton peace agreement. The Dayton talks stopped the 5th and 7th corps at the access to Prijedor attached to the Serb entity to B-H (Republika Srpska). A part of the 7th corps units has remained in the area of Sanski Most and Kljuc and will be joined the 5th corps while the other units of the 7th corps are deployed in central Bosnia, the area around Travnik joining the 3rd corps.

    Two years ago was dismissed the 6th corps, which covered Konjic & Jablanica (north Herzegovina), and in fighting with the HV/HVO succeeded in deblocking the 4th corps in Mostar. /end/A.S.


    Sarajevo, Jan 16, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    International committee of the Red Cross has gravely violated the Dayton agreement, claims president of the B-H state commission for the POWs exchange, Amor Masovic. This refers to yesterday's exchange of the HVO and Serb POWs, which Bosnian side boycotted. Namely, ICRC did not consult Bosnian government when making a list for the exchange for which Serb registered only 123 POWs. ICRC interprets the Dayton agreement as it likes, says Masovic. ICRC officials show that they are in a hurry to make the exchange of the POWs for which ICRC will be given Swiss francs 65 million. /end/ A.S.


    Sarajevo, Jan 16, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    B-H government will release all POWs if Serb side gives data on the missing persons, said Bosnian head of diplomacy M. Sacirbey. B-H government regards about 24,OOO persons missing and there is a fear that many of them are dead. Serbs still use about 1,OOO persons for forced labour without providing the information about them. /end/ A.S.


    New York, Jan 16, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    An Irish Peter Fitzgerald was yesterday appointed the commander of the UN civil police to B-H, announced the UN official Sylvana Foi. Fitzgerald worked as a commissary to Namibia, Salvador and Cambodia. /end/ A.S.


    Sarajevo, Jan 16, 1996 (Press TWRA) - To prevent sabotages announced by Serb extremists in the parts of Sarajevo which they have to leave, the IFOR French soldiers provide security of the main public utilities and infrastructure in that area, well informed IFOR sources inform. The French control electrical power lines, the water supply mains and gas installations.

    Bosnian state news agency B-H Press releases that Karadzic's Serbs started destroying telecommunications structures in still occupied parts of Sarajevo which will soon be surrendered to the B-H Federation. In the statement for the B-H Press, general manager of Bosnia Elektroprivreda (firm in charge of power supply) Edhem Bicakcic said: "We demanded from IFOR in writing, to protect the power stations of Reljevo Vogosca and Blazuj Hadzici being the duty which IFOR must perform."

    Bicakcic announced B-H government would demand from C. Bildt and the international community stop providing the means for economy reconstruction of the Serb held area as Serbs, at the same time destroy infrastructure.

    Serb authorities at Pale recommend Serbs to stay in Sarajevo claiming it should make the international community find a viable solution for Sarajevo. /end/ A.S.


    Sarajevo, Jan 16, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    UNCHR stated there are 1.4 million of displaced persons in B-H, while total of the refugees in ex-Yugoslavia and outside it, amounts between two or three million. In Croatia there are 187,OOO, in FR Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro) 45O,OOO, in Slovenia 24,OOO and in Macedonia 7,OOO of the refugees. Germany received 32O,OOO, Sweden 86,OOO, Austria 79,OOO, Italy 36,OOO, Denmark 38,OOO, Turkey 2O,OOO, Norway and Switzerland 18,OOO each and France 15,OOO of the refugees. In relation to its population, among the states outside the former Yugoslavia, Austria received the most of the refugees. /end/ A.S.


    Sofia, Jan 16, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Parliamentary delegation of FR Yugoslavia visited Bulgaria asking for its help in guaranting for Serbs in the parts of Sarajevo which should be attached to the BH Federation. At the first international meeting after suspension of the UN sanctions on Serbia and Montenegro, they discussed bilateral relations between Belgrade and Sofia. /end/ A.S.


    Vienna, Jan 16, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Negotiations on the measures to restore trust and security mechanism in ex-Yugoslavia including restriction of the arms arsenal of Croatia, B-H and FR Yugoslavia, are postponed till early next week. The reason is Belgrade which has not yet provided the data on its arms potential, necessary for continuation of the Vienna talks under patronage of OSCE within a number of conferences which followed successful end of the Dayton talks. /end/ A.S.


    Zagreb, Jan 16, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    IFOR spokesman in Zagreb, Konrad Freitag released that groups of mujjahids, islamic volunteers fighting as the B-H army allies in Bosnia, started leaving that state. Their leaving was hindered at Croatian border by Croat authorities. "They thought that mujjahids might not want to leave Croatia," says Konrad adding that some mujjahids were held up in the port of Ploce due to their identification problems before leaving Croatia. /end/ A.S.


    Sarajevo, Jan 16, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    The Sarajevo authorities and IFOR have reached a principle agreement on the IFOR troops leaving Skenderija to place at PTT engineering while the UN civil sector will repair a minor part of Skenderija. Joint commission was agreed to assess the damage. Due to the damage inflicted, the case was announced to be put before the court. /end/ A.S.


    Zagreb, Jan 17, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Bulgarian president Zhelev arrived at Croatia and met Croatian president F. Tudjman. The visit was agreed in 1993 when Tudjman visited Bulgaria. In the meantime, Croatia was criticized due to the war against Bosnia, ethnic cleansing of Serbs from "Krajina", strangling the freedom of media and slowing down democratic transition. Criticism of Zhelev was growing in Bulgaria, who was described by opponents as too close to Zagreb and Sarajevo and not close enough to FR Yugoslavia. Besides, Zhelev was criticized of being too tolerant towards Macedonians, whose president Gligorov is his close friend. Bulgarian nationalists criticized Zhelev who, when signing the international agreement with Macedonia, accepted its version both in Bulgarian and Macedonian which is not recognized by Bulgarians regarding it as a variant of their own language, the same way they are not ready to recognize Macedonian nation although they were the first in the world to recognize Macedonia and Bosnia. When on June 25, 1991, Croatia proclaimed its independence Croatian president Tudjman announced Bulgaria recognized the decision but it proved to be false. Namely, support to Croatian independence was expressed by a Bulgarian opposition group while the government in Sofia did it a year later. In the past years, Bulgaria occasionally both violated and prevented the violation of the UN sanctions on Serbia. /end/ A.S.


    Zagreb, Rijeka, Jan 17, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    President Franjo Tudjman's addressing to the parliament and nation to report on the situation in Croatia last year at the session of both Houses of Croatian Sabor two days ago, caused different, mostly negative reactions in Croatian public. Particular dissatisfaction was expressed by refugees from Bosanska posavina over the Tudjman - Milosevic agreement due to which the Dayton accord included that part of B-H into the Serb entity in B-H. Speaking about that, Tudjman says: "To achieve the separation in 51:49% ratio, Croat delegation to Dayton had to give up Mrkonjic Grad and Sipovo while the Serb side, in return, had to give the Odzak area. So, Croatia, did not lose Bosanska posavina in Dayton but partly retook it on the ground of its military victories and its policy. The Republic of B-H lost Bosanska posavina in war despite the support of Croatian army which was sent to defend it. The reasons for defeat were disproportion of forces but also massive refuge of Posavina's population to Slavonia. We should feel as much sympathy for Croatians of B. Posavina as we should understand the necesstity of the acceptance of the Dayton agreement as it is in the interest of Croatian population in general. The war lost area will be compensated with the area won by Croats in western Bosnia, where Croats from Bosanska posavina like in western and eastern Slavonia will be able to find a new peaceful home if the conditions for their safe return are not provided."

    Independent Croatian daily "Novi List" from Rijeka released the statements issued by leading politicians of Croatian opposition commenting Tudjman's three-hour-addressing to the nation. The excerpts from the reactions are as follows:

    Anto Djapic (Croatian Party of Right-HSP): "The report was too long and rather self-satisfied.(...) We do not agree with overstating praises of Croatian economy success. The part saying that the war has ended is hard to accept as we do not believe in peaceful reintegration of Baranja, eastern Slavonia and western Srijem. The report is disputable regarding the Zagreb authorities as it questions local authorities."

    Silvije Degen (Action of Social Democrats of Croatia, ASH): "Concerning the contents of the president's speech, it is full of self-praise without any criticism with regard to obvious failures and losses but includes very dangerous estimates, even threats directed to all those who do not fit into demagogic celebration of what president regards as successes."

    Zlatko Tomcic (Croatian Peasant party-HSS): "Public expected more words on criminal of any sort which president alone initiated at the Presidential Council. The issue of agriculture, villages and peasants is not mentioned and it is vital for Croatian economy. Crucial problems are hardly mentioned."

    Stjepo Martinovic (Croatian People's Party): "My view is that the report is full of completely unacceptable statements and particularly unacceptable is the part about the authorities in Zagreb demonizing free media and explaination of the reasons for European integration's passing by Croatia. The fact is that the president operates with the term "abuse of democracy" is consternating as democracy can be more or less developed and not abused. (...) It is time to stop using euphemisms but to state explicitly: The president is nearing dictatorship."

    Stjepan Mesic (Croatian Independent Democrats-HND): President Tudjman's report did not give answers to basic questions: when will the B-H Federation start functioning and CR Herzeg Bosnian be revoked, how are the finances provided for Herzeg Bosnia, situation in Mostar is not mentioned. He did not mention his negotiations with Milosevic during the war."

    Jozo Rados (Croatian Social Liberal Party, HSLS): Besides being too long, the impression is that the report comes from the previous authoritarian regimes. Some unidentified enemy of the state, outside and inside, present at any place and any moment, was mentioned several times. The enemies are blamed for all failures, foreign powers, international conspiracy and not a word about his own mistakes. It is a typical totalitarian attitude towards the state and society."

    Marko Veselica (Croatian Christian Democratic Union, HKDU): "The reports is superfluous and is building the cult of personality. It disqualifies the opposition and its criticism of the authorities connecting it with the international factors being against Croatia. If there are such anti Croatian elements, they should be defined, not generally spoken about. President should not get involved into the Constitution of the Zagreb Assembly as the people who elected the Assembly bring decisions about it, which president obviously does not want to respect.'

    Dobroslav Paraga (Croatian Party of Right 1861,-HSP 1861): "The manner and tone of the report confirm that president Tudjman wants the position of apostle or pope as it was not possible to open a discussion and put questions on the reports's contents. after delivery. (...) It is president's wish to hold all power, cancel tripartite authorities, referring to 1947's De Gaulle's speech according to which there is new interpretation of state's head as a holder of people's sovereignty which is incompatible with the constitutional definition of parliamentary democracy."

    Milan Djukic (Serb people's Party-SNS): "War casualties have been reduced that will return to Croatia and president Tudjman alone as a boomerang. We hope that under political and economic pressure from abroad and awakening democratic forces in Croatia, common sense will be brought back to the governing party."

    Mato Arlovic (Social Democratic Party-SDP): "From this year's plan put into 12 items in the report, it is hard to draw the program of development at the economic, social, cultural and judicial and legislative level of social relations. Too many meetings and events are mentioned and too little told about their meaning and consequences for Croatia. /end/ A.S.

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