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BosNet Digest V5 #41 / Jan. 26, 1996

From: Nermin Zukic <n6zukic@sms.business.uwo.ca>

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


CONTENTS

  • [01] CROATS MOVE CROATS

  • [02] IFOR START DESTROYING HEAVY ARMS

  • [03] TALKS R/F B-H - "REPUBLIC SRPSKA"

  • [04] CROATIAN LIST OF MINISTERS IN R/F B-H

  • [05] AGREEMENT ON FREE MEDIA

  • [06] TWO POSITIONS IN TWO STATES

  • [07] Opposition party says attempt to establish one-party system under way in Bosnia

  • [08] The Muslim Bosniak Organization [MBO] has issued a statement for the public.

  • [09] Bosnian presidency disbands 7th Army Corps

  • [10] Bosnian army signs training agreement with Turkey

  • [11] Japan recognizes Bosnia-Hercegovina ...

  • [12] Croatian police fail to withdraw from town in northwestern Bosnia

  • [13] Sarajevo mayor: Serbs accept return of non-Serb population

  • [14] Economic links top agenda of talks between Croatia, Bosnian Serbs

  • [15] Croatia denies expelling refugees to Bosnia

  • [16] TRNKA - PAVLETIC

  • [17] MILITARY DELEGATION MEETING

  • [18] 6255 MINEFILDES IN B-H


  • [01] CROATS MOVE CROATS

    Banja Luka, Jan 25,1996 (Press TWRA) - Banja Luka's Bishop F.Komarica yesterday sent the letter to IFOR Headquarters in B-H concerning the destiny of 5OO Croats from village Majdan in Mrkonjic Grad's municipality. This village, under Dayton agreement became part of "republic srpska", and now the great pressure is made on inhabitants to move. Pressure is coming from Croatian side. It has been reported that about 2O HVO trucks came from Jajce to Majdan in order to move them. Final destination for this 5OO Croats it supposed to be Glamoc. Bishop Komarica also sent letters to Croatian Foreign Minister Granic and President Tudjman, but he did not receive any answer or attention of Croatian media. In letter to IFOR Komarica said:"Inspite the promises given by the Croatian politicians that they will protect their compatriot it did not happened. Instead, villagers have been transferred in front of IFOR's eyes. (...) As a Bishop responsible, I can not agree with such decisions of self proclaimed politicians or army representatives which arbitrarily decide about people and their destinies. (...) Croats-Catholics lived there harmoniously with their neighbors, Muslims and Serbs. Forceful transfer would made of them symbols of fall of the most sensitive issue's of Dayton Agreement - right of all refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes".(end) S.K.

    [02] IFOR START DESTROYING HEAVY ARMS

    Sarajevo, Jan 25,1996 (Press TWRA) - IFOR spokesman M. Reiner announced there are still 23 pieces of heavy arms in demarcation zones, mostly in north of B-H. He announced that IFOR soldiers will tomorrow destroy all heavy arms they came across on territories which should have been demilitarized by January 19,1996. Reiner reported that according to IFOR sources in B-H there are still about 39 volunteers from Islamic countries who were fighting in B-H Army units. It is expected that they will leave B-H in next three days. (end) S.K.

    [03] TALKS R/F B-H - "REPUBLIC SRPSKA"

    Sarajevo, Jan 25,1996 (Press TWRA) - The first time since 1992, the meeting between representatives of R/F B-H and "republic srpska" have been held yesterday in Sarajevo . At the meeting, which was chaired by EU High Commissioner C. Bildt, B-H Prime Minister H. Silajdzic, mandators of new governments of Republic B-H H. Muratovic and Federation B-H I. Kapetanovic and President of "republic srpska" Government R. Kasagic were present. Bildt said that the meeting was important because it addressed many issues which concern the implementation of military and civil part of Dayton agreement. He announced that the meeting on reconstruction of telecommunications and basic infrastructure in the whole B-H will soon be held. The meeting on Prime Minister's level will be also held soon in Sarajevo and Banja Luka. (end) S.K.

    [04] CROATIAN LIST OF MINISTERS IN R/F B-H

    Mostar, Jan 25,1996 (Press TWRA) - The HDZ B-H Presidency on yesterday's meeting denoted the list of candidates for the position of ministers and vice-ministers in Republic's and Federation's B-H Government. For the positions in B-H Federation Government were nominated: Defence Minister - Vladimir Soljic, Finance Minister and Government's Vice President - Drago Bilandzija, Justice Minister - Mato Tadic, Health Minister - Bozo Ljubic, Trade Minister - Nikola Grabovac, Internal Vice-Minister - - Jozo Leutar, Energetics, Mining and Industry Vice-Minister - - Pavo Boban; Social Policy, Displaced Persons and Refugees Vice-Minister - Damir Ljubic and Education, Science, Culture and Sport Vice-Ministry - Simun Musa. For the positions in B-H Republic Government were nominated: Foreign Minister - Jadranko Prlic, Foreign Trade and International Communication Minister - Neven Tomic, Justice Vice-Minister - Zoran Perkovic and Refugee and Diaspora Vice-Minister - Vladislav Pogarcic. (end) S.K.

    [05] AGREEMENT ON FREE MEDIA

    Sarajevo, Jan 26,1996 (Press TWRA) - Representatives of B-H Government and Bosnian Serbs on the Joint Civilian Commission for Implementation of Peace Plan's meeting made agreement, in principal, on freedom of media. The Deputy of EU High Commissioner ambassador M.Steiner, stated that it has been agreed that "the freedom of movement has to be guaranteed for the journalists of both entities and on the whole territory of B-H when they are performing their duties". It has been agreed that the press will be freely distributed, and the local newspapers are called to adopt their vocabulary to peace time. At the meeting they also talked about telecommunications, organizing the elections, international police forces and return of refugees. (end) S.K.

    [06] TWO POSITIONS IN TWO STATES

    Mostar, Jan 26,1996 (Press TWRA) - At the HDZ BiH Presidency's Session, where the list of candidates for ministers in R/F BiH Government was denoted, Vladimir Soljic was nominated for Defence Minister in B-H Federation Government. At the last year's elections in Croatia he was elected for the representative in Croatian Parliament. If his nomination for the position of Federation minister be accepted, Soljic will be official of two states: minister in B-H Federation Government and representative of Croatian Parliament. (end) S.K. - -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hasan Muratovic explains acceptance of nomination as premier Excerpt from report by Bosnian radio (Sarajevo) [Presenter] As we have already said, Hasan Muratovic, head of the state committee for cooperation with Ifor [NATO-led Implementation Force] has accepted the candidacy for the post of the future prime minister of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina. Here is what Hasan Muratovic has told TV Bosnia-Hercegovina correspondent Jadranko Katana:

    [Muratovic] Yes, I have accepted this obligation. I consider it to be an honour that has been bestowed by the executive council of the [ruling Muslim] Party of Democratic Action, as well as an obligation that has been imposed on me by them. I have not accepted this duty with great pleasure for two reasons: first, because of the circumstances in which this has happened. Prime Minister Silajdzic had in fact already been nominated as the new prime minister-designate. I am deeply convinced that Prime Minister Silajdzic still has many things to do to end our struggle and our project.

    On the other hand, we are entering a very difficult time in which the government will have to realize the peace agreement, start economic reconstruction and solve all other problems, particularly those of a social nature...

    Social Democrats criticize domination by main Muslim, Croat parties in Bosnia Text of report by Bosnian radio (Sarajevo) The Presidium of the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia-Hercegovina supports the efforts aimed at overcoming the government crisis and appointing a new prime minister-designate so that life can be breathed more efficiently into the federation and all deadlines stipulated by the Dayton Agreement can be met.

    However, the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia-Hercegovina again protests most sharply with regard to this and warns that the situation and relations in the Assembly of [the Republic of] Bosnia-Hercegovina and the [Muslim-Croat] federation must be changed most urgently. The two parliaments must not be places for the one-sided expression of the wishes of only the ruling parties, unprincipled voting and cheap compromises and manipulation.

    Therefore, the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia-Hercegovina warns that the [ruling Muslim] Party of Democratic Action and the Croatian Democratic Union can no longer pretend to be the only ones that represent entire nations. They cannot reduce the fate of the state and its citizens to their absolutely unproductive discussions.

    The Presidium of the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia-Hercegovina takes the view that all this should be thoroughly discussed at the next session of the assembly.

    [07] Opposition party says attempt to establish one-party system under way in Bosnia

    Excerpt from report by Bosnian radio (Sarajevo)

    The view taken by the Liberal Bosniak Organization [LBO] on the decision of the Executive Committee of the [ruling Muslim] Party of Democratic Action to nominate a new republican prime minister-designate is that there are more profound reasons for this decision than those that have officially been stated.

    We take the view that the Presidency of Bosnia-Hercegovina should decide who should form the republican government. Until this decision has been made, in our view, this post is being held by Haris Silajdzic. This was stated at the party's news conference today [22nd January].

    The LBO of Bosnia-Hercegovina takes the view that an attempt is being made in Bosnia-Hercegovina to set up a one-party system. Salih Foco, vice-president of the party, mentioned several arguments to support this view. One of the arguments was the disrespect for parliamentary life in Bosnia-Hercegovina. He mentioned the non-functioning of the [republican] assembly as a fact. Foco said that conditions had been created for the work of the assembly, but that despite this, the assembly was still not making important decisions. It had surrendered its powers to the Presidency of Bosnia-Hercegovina...

    [08] The Muslim Bosniak Organization [MBO] has issued a statement for the public.

    The MBO expresses its dissatisfaction caused by the removal of Haris Silajdzic as prime minister of the government of Bosnia-Hercegovina. The party considers his opposition to undemocratic methods of governing as a principled political stand. The MBO wonders in whose interest it is and who will benefit from the pressure on the prime minister, who is striving for the strengthening of the organs of authorities in the interest of preserving the integrity of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

    Among other things, the MBO has always been in favour of a democratic and law-governed state and is opposed to everything that threatens the aforementioned attributes of the state.

    This is why we were surprised by the behaviour of the [republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina] assembly when it adopted the law on the government, the statement points out among other things.

    [09] Bosnian presidency disbands 7th Army Corps

    Source: `Oslobodjenje' (Europe edition), Ljubljana, in Serbo-Croat 22 Jan 96

    Excerpt from report by S. Hodzic in the Bosnian newspaper ` Oslobodjenje', entitled "Last march of the winner"

    The Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina has disbanded the 7th and youngest corps of our army. This is the second corps to be disbanded during the war. In January 1994, as is well known, the then youngest 6th Corps was disbanded. The 7th Corps "lived" for 21 months and one day. It was formed on 7th April 1994 and disbanded on 8th January 1996.

    Why has the 7th Corps been disbanded? Although the state presidency did not explain its decision, it is not hard to find "a reason" . As a matter of fact there are several reasons, but the basic one is - to use military terminology - that the 7th Corps had completed the combat mission given to it on 7th April 1994 by the General Staff, that is the Bosnia-Hercegovina Presidency. The strategic mission of the 7th Corps was to liberate our country in the Vrbas-Komar region. When the corps was formed all the key facilities in this region were under occupation. They are all now in the possession of the republic, that is the Federation of Bosnia-Hercegovina...

    [10] Bosnian army signs training agreement with Turkey

    Excerpt from report by Bosnian radio (Sarajevo)

    At today's [22nd January] meeting of the military delegations of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina and the Republic of Turkey most attention was devoted to the [Bosnian] federal army and its future. Here is a report by Bosnia-Hercegovina Television correspondent Dalida Jugo:

    [Jugo] Army General Rasim Delic, chief of the General Staff of the Bosnia-Hercegovina Army, has briefed the delegation of the Turkish Armed Forces, headed by Lt-Col-Gen Yalcin Ertem, on the current situation and the needs of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina. After several hours of useful and friendly talks, the two delegations signed an agreement on military training.

    The agreement, which was signed by Brig-Gen Vahid Karavelic on behalf of the Bosnia-Hercegovina army, and Lt-Col-Gen Yalcin Ertem on behalf of the Turkish delegation, is of exceptional importance for the federation, especially for the federal army. The agreement envisages the training and education of the units in the two countries' institutions and army units, as well as a commitment by the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina and the Republic of Turkey to adhere to the principles and procedures stipulated by the agreement.

    [Delic] This protocol makes our aspirations official. Our aspirations are to broaden cooperation and strengthen military links with Turkey, in the way the diplomatic links have been strengthened. In this context, we want the army of Bosnia-Hercegovina, that is, the federal army, to be trained according to the NATO standards. We expect great help from the Turkish Army, which has rich traditions and is highly trained. It also enjoys a good reputation both within NATO and in the world...

    [11] Japan recognizes Bosnia-Hercegovina, plans to extend aid

    Source: Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 0037 gmt 23 Jan 96

    Excerpts from report by the Japanese news agency Kyodo

    Tokyo, 23rd January: Japan will recognize Bosnia-Hercegovina to pave the way for extending full-fledged economic assistance to the war-ravaged Balkan country, government officials said Tuesday [23rd January].

    The cabinet of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto approved the decision at a Tuesday morning meeting.

    Some 100 countries have already recognized Bosnia-Hercegovina, which in October 1991 declared independence from the Yugoslavia Federation.

    The World Bank estimates that about 4.9bn dollars will be needed over three years to restore the country, and its official recognition as a state is required for Japan to extend official development assistance ...

    The Japanese government plans to send a fact-finding mission to Bosnia-Hercegovina in preparation for Japan's contribution towards its reconstruction, the officials said.

    [12] Croatian police fail to withdraw from town in northwestern Bosnia -

    Sarajevo radio

    Text of report by Bosnian radio (Sarajevo)

    Members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Croatia had not withdrawn from Kulen Vakuf, a town some 30 km from Bihac, by this afternoon, [22nd January] although the Dayton Agreement deadline for the withdrawal of all foreign troops has expired. Mirza Sadikovic has the details:

    [Sadikovic] As we have been informed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (?and) the Bihac Security Centre, the policemen are still in that area. A Croatian flag is still fluttering on a (?pole) in the centre of the town.

    Two days ago, representatives of Ifor [NATO-led Implementation Force] visited this area and held talks on the withdrawal of the Croatian policemen. General Jackson, commander of Ifor, has promised that all obligations will be met in this case.

    We have learned unofficially, however, that a protest has been sent to Ifor and that another protest will again be sent, most probably today or tomorrow.

    Regarding the realization of the Dayton Agreement, all other obligations have been met in Una-Sana Canton [northwest Bosnia]. Cooperation between the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina and the Canadian Ifor is very correct.

    There have been no incidents in Kulen Vakuf so far. Therefore, one should expect no incidents in the days ahead. This is why people in Bihac rightfully hope that several thousand residents of that town will be able to return to their homes.

    [13] Sarajevo mayor: Serbs accept return of non-Serb population

    Text of report by Bosnian radio (Sarajevo)

    The non-Serb population will be able to return to their homes in Ilidza. The guarantee for that was given yesterday [21st January] by the representatives of the self-proclaimed Serb authorities in that part of Sarajevo. This was stated by Sarajevo Mayor Tarik Kupusovic at a news conference today.

    This was the first meeting between the representatives of the legal city organs and the local Serb leaders in Ilidza. They discussed the implementation of the Dayton Agreement, the return of refugees and the Serb population staying in that part of Sarajevo.

    The Serb delegation has told us that the Serbs have asked if they can move the population from Ilidza to the Bijeljina and Foca regions. They now appear to have abandoned this, as there is no more space there. The Serbs have decided to stay where they are but are asking for an amnesty if they were to stay, the Sarajevo mayor explained.

    During the talks, the Serb side expressed the wish that Ilidza remain Serb, Kupusovic said. We rejected the proposal. All features showing that Ilidza is part of Sarajevo and the Federation of Bosnia-Hercegovina will be placed in that part of the city. The residents of Ilidza are residents of Sarajevo and I am their mayor too, Kupusovic said.

    During the talks, which were also attended by Nedjeljko Prstojevic, mayor of the so-called Serb municipality of Ilidza; Velibor Veselinovic, his deputy and president of the Serb Democratic Party, and police commander Vlatko Knezevic, it was agreed that the city delegation, accompanied by television teams and journalists, will visit other parts of Sarajevo that are currently under Serb control in the near future.

    [14] Economic links top agenda of talks between Croatia, Bosnian Serbs

    Text of report by Croatian radio

    The adviser on humanitarian affairs to the president of the Republic [of Croatia], Dr Slobodan Lang, visited Banja Luka on 20th January for talks with [Bosnian] Serb leaders. Dr Lang's office has issued a statement on this through the Croatian news agency HINA.

    Among other things, the statement welcomes the signing of the Dayton peace agreement and the onset of peace in Bosnia-Hercegovina and stresses the need for creating conditions for normal life and economic and other relations. It stresses the importance of freedom of movement for everyone especially with the aim of reuniting families. The exchange of all prisoners and the commitment to account for all missing persons were singled out as being crucial for peace.

    Interest was shown in establishing economic relations, for instance the purchase of [Bosnian Serb] ore for the Sisak Iron Works and the sale of Pliva [Croatian pharmaceutical company] products in the Serb areas of Bosnia-Hercegovina. Both sides agreed on the need to restore traffic over the bridge in Gradiska and to reactivate the Banja Luka-Zagreb railway line.

    The respective chambers of economy will be briefed about the plans for future economic cooperation, the statement issued by the presidential adviser on humanitarian affairs, Dr Slobodan Lang, says.

    [15] Croatia denies expelling refugees to Bosnia

    Text of report by the Croatian news agency HINA

    Zagreb, 22rd January: The Croatian Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees today refuted allegations according to which Croatia was expelling refugees and returning them to Bosnia-Hercegovina.

    According to a statement from the Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees, the news on expulsion had appeared mostly in foreign media in the last several days and it was based on statements by the spokespersons of the United Nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), Rajka Rusan and Kris Janowski.

    Croatia is not expelling the refugees, as the UNHCR representatives are claiming, but the refugees are being relocated from some refugee camps in Zagreb to other camps elsewhere in Croatia, the statement said. The relocation was caused by financial reasons, the statement said, adding 728 refugees from two refugee camps in Zagreb had been relocated. After the month of Ramadan and the Islamic holiday of Bayram was over, refugees from another refugee camp in Zagreb would be relocated as well. The relocation of refugees had been announced in November last year, and it had started last week.

    After they had been informed about their relocation, 508 refugees decided to return to Bosnia-Hercegovina and 108 refugees had been privately accommodated and retained refugee status. Another 46 refugees had accepted organized accommodation in other refugee camps, the statement said. The refugee camp in Zaprudje, Zagreb, still had one barracks for the accommodation of 67 ill persons and secondary school children from the two refugee camps, the statement said.

    "It is true that on the day of relocation part of refugees were not in the camp. Those refugees have been privately accommodated and some of them left for the Federation of Bosnia-Hercegovina without waiting for the day of relocation. The fact is that most of them refuse to be relocated to other refugee camps in Croatia and they are returning to their own country. The Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees has informed the UNHCR about the whole case" , the statement said.

    [16] TRNKA - PAVLETIC

    Zagreb, Jan 25,1996 (Press TWRA) - "The conditions for quicker establishing of B-H Federation are made and more frequent meetings between the representatives of R/F B-H and Republic Croatia and the cooperation between Bosniak and Croatian media would help that", this was the conclusion of today's meeting held between President of Croatian Parliament V. Pavletic and B-H Ambassador in Croatia K. Trnka. The meeting was held on Pavletic's demand. Croatian Parliament President Pavletic proposed the cooperation between B-H TV and Croatian TV and creation of joint TV program which would be interesting for both sides. President of Croatian Parliament invited the R/F B-H Parliament's delegation to visit Croatia in February. (end) S.K.

    [17] MILITARY DELEGATION MEETING

    Orasje, Jan 25,1996 (Press TWRA) - At IFOR base in Dubrave was held meeting between representatives of B-H Army, HVO and Bosnian Serbs' troops on implementation of Dayton. "All tasks have been fulfilled. We will continue to clear of mines and marking mine fields. We will have to fill up all trenches and dugouts and mark demarcation zone", said Col. Matuzovic commander of HVO Orasje.

    [18] 6255 MINEFILDES IN B-H

    Sarajevo, Jan 26,1996 (Press TWRA) - The IFOR spokesman reported that yesterday in Sarajevo's settlements Dobrinja and Grbavica three boys were heavily wounded when they steped on the mine near demarcation zone. British General John Moore-Bick, Chief of Engineering Department of British IFOR said that only 3O% of mine fields have been properly marked on former battlefields. He also emphasized that the work on clearing mines could last for over 3O years. The IFOR experts estimated that the sides in B-H by the deadline managed to destroy or remove from the demarcation zones only 1/3 of minefields. "According to plans which sides in B-H presented there are 6255 minefields in the whole B-H", emphasized M. Andrews one of the British Army experts for clearing of mines.

    General Moore-Bick reminded that the World Bank decided to allocate large sum of money for the long term program for clearing of mines. It has been estimated that during the war in Croatia and B-H at least six million anti-infantry and anti-tank mines have been laid, three millions in each country. As it has been denoted by the peace agreement, mines have to be removed by the sides which laid them, while the NATO forces are only to monitor the work. General Moore-Bick in the same time warned that at this moment the biggest problem is equipment. According to IFOR estimates if $5OO OOO for purchase of vests and detectors are not raised urgently, the whole operation could be terminated.

    According to IFOR Headquarters' data, since NATO has been deployed in B-H 39 people were killed from mine explosions - - IFOR soldiers, soldiers of B-H sides in conflict and civilians. (end) S.K.

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