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BosNet Digest V5 #42 / Jan. 26, 1996

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


CONTENTS

  • [01] United States Civil Suits Move Forward

  • [02] Serbia Investigating War Crimes

  • [03] Denmark The First Sentence

  • [04] FORMER YUGOSLAVIA - Civil Strife


  • [01] United States Civil Suits Move Forward

    by Beth Stephens and Jennifer Green

    On October 13, l995, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reinstated a class action lawsuit against Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs, charging him with responsibility for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape and other gross human rights violations against women. The case, Jane Doe I and Jane Doe II vs. Karadzic, was brought in February 1993 by two anonymous Bosnian Muslim women against Karadzic on behalf of women and men killed, raped and otherwise tortured, by the Bosnian Serb forces. (Jane Doe is a common pseudonym used in US Courts when a victim or other party to a lawsuit wishes to retain her or his anonymity). Jane Doe I was 16 years old when she filed the claim in the US court. On May 31, 1992, while in a detention camp under the control of Bosnian-Serb forces, she was raped by at least eight Bosnian-Serb soldiers, beaten and slashed with a knife. Jane Doe II was 18 when she joined the suit. In June 1992, two Bosnian Serb soldiers came to her home, raped her mother in front of her, then her younger brother, and finally murdered her mother. The multi-million dollar civil suit was filed in US Federal Court in New York by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) as a class action on behalf of all victims of the Bosnian-Serbs' acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other gross human rights abuses. In addition to the CCR, plaintiffs in Doe vs. Karadzic are represented by the Lowenstein International Human Rights Law Clinic at Yale Law School, the International Women's Human Rights Clinic of CUNY Law School, and the International League for Human Rights. A related lawsuit, Kadic vs. Karadzic -also reinstated by the October ruling-was filed by Catharine MacKinnon and the NOW Legal Defense Fund.Two US statutes allow victims of human rights atrocities to bring lawsuits in American courts: the Alien Torture Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act. Karadzic was served with the suit while he was in New York in February 1993. It charges him with legal responsibility for the rapes, forced pregnancies and other brutalities inflicted by his forces, and is based upon the fact that these abuses violate international law. The suit was dismissed in September 1994 by a District Court judge who claimed that Karadzic and his forces are not bound by international law because they are not acting on behalf of a government which has been recognised diplomatically by other governments. According to the District Court, US courts have no jurisdiction in this case because Karadzic is a private actor and his actions are not official or committed under the colour of any recognised state law. In its October ruling, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that fundamental rules of international law apply to Karadzic and his forces, who can therefore be held accountable for their actions before US courts. The Circuit Court ruled that genocide and war crimes are among the international law violations which are justiciable in US courts - an important expansion of US jurisprudence. The court held that Karadzic may be found liable for fundamental violations of international law such as genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, as well as torture. It also ruled that his status as a "UN invitee" did not grant him immunity from lawsuits in the US. It further held that plaintiffs are entitled to prove that Karadzic acted "in concert with Yugoslav officials or with significant Yugoslavian aid." Important to the development of the legal standards pertaining to sexual violence against women was the court's highlighting of "brutal acts of rape, forced prostitution and impregnation." Further, the court stated that the allegations that Karadzic personally planned and ordered a campaign of murder, rape, forced impregnation, and other forms of torture designed to destroy... Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats amount to alleged violations of international law norms proscribing genocide.Several important amici curiae, or "friends of the court" briefs were filed before both the District Court and the appeal court: a coalition of 27 women's organizations from around the world submitted a brief which detailed the international law argument that the rape and other sexual and reproductive violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina violated international laws against genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and human rights violations, specifically torture.Human Rights Watch and the International Human Rights Law Group, as well as a list of internationally renowned law professors, weighed in on additional points of international law, expressing their support for the right of plaintiffs to press their claims in US courts. Prior to the court's decision, the US government filed a brief with the Second Circuit in which it urged the court to reverse the lower court decision and allow the case to proceed. The Second Circuit's decision is a victory for victims of human rights abuses worldwide. The opinion makes clear that those who commit horrible abuses of international law cannot escape accountability for their crimes. The Circuit Court's reversal of the District Court's dismissal moves the case forward - the Court has now ordered the lower court to hear the plaintiffs' claims. This type of claim may also be brought in Britain and other countries. Since 1980, the Center for Constitutional Rights has brought successful cases at the request of victims of gross abuses and their family members in the United States for victims in Paraguay, Guatemala, Haiti, East Timor, Argentina, Ethiopia and the Philippines. These actions have resulted in multi-million dollar awards in compensatory and punitive damages. While collecting the damages has been a source of frustration, the cases have contributed greatly to the political movements from which they sprang and to an international system of holding all those who commit atrocities accountable. The cases have generated negative publicity for those attempting to build political careers and bury their responsibility for genocide, war crimes, and human rights violations. They have also allowed victims to directly confront their tormentors. Cases against an Ethiopian police officer and against former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos went to trial and the confrontation in court empowered the survivors. A judgement by an American court can contribute to the revocation of visas for those who are seeking a "haven" or status or connections in the US Keeping torturers and war criminals out of the US also means peace of mind for those who are seeking refuge from their brutality. In some cases, there is also the prospect of securing monetary damages from the plaintiffs. (The lawsuits seek money damages, not imprisonment, because US law does not permit private citizens to file criminal charges or put the defendant in jail.) One example is the case against Ferdinand Marcos, in which at least part of the billions of dollars he obtained as President of the Philippines by robbing and making war upon his people, will be used for a judgement to the victims.A judgement against Karadzic could give the victims the satisfaction of seeing him held accountable in court, the catharsis of testifying against him, as well as access to monetary damages. Beth Stephens and Jennifer Green are staff attorneys with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York.Beth Stephens is currently on leave from the CCR and is researching the civil remedies in countries other than the US against human rights abuses and war crimes. Please contact her if you would like to share strategies. Please contact Jennifer Green if you have information about potential cases in the US. Tel: (1 212) 614 6464, fax: (1 212) 614 6499.

    [02] Serbia Investigating War Crimes

    by Vladan Vasilijevic

    Previous experience has shown that evidence must be gathered quickly and meticulously. During the Second World War, the systematic collection of information on alleged war crimes began in 1943, with the establishment of the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC). But prior to that, in 1941, US President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had publicly declared that punishing war crimes was a principal war aim, a position that was also adopted by representatives of occupied countries in January 1942. Two years before the war in Europe ended, foreign ministers gathered in Moscow and determined the key principles for prosecution and punishment of war crimes. Throughout the fighting, Allied intelligence agencies had accumulated a considerable amount of information, much of it from resistance fighters within occupied Europe. As the Allies advanced through Europe toward the German heartland, special units worked practically on the front line, interviewing internees and prisoners of war to gather and preserve evidence. Within Nazi Germany itself, archivists disobeyed bureaucratic missives and preserved vast amounts of documentary evidence of wrongdoing. When the Nuremberg prosecutions actually began, there was no shortage of evidence or suspects. Compare this situation with that of the former Yugoslavia. On all sides in the conflict, there were violations of the Geneva Conventions and grave breaches of international humanitarian law. Members of the regular army, the former Yugoslav Peoples Army (JNA), as well as paramilitary formations from Serbia, violated humanitarian law from the beginning of the conflict. Ultimately, those paramilitary formations operated under the control of regular army units and the police. There is evidence that in a large number of cases paramilitary units consisted of individuals with criminal records. This may be one of the reasons why there was no timely investigation into war crimes, even though the relevant authorities have been aware of their existence. Even in relatively clear-cut military situations, gathering evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity is problematic, particularly because of the potential for altering evidence or its complete destruction before independent investigators can get to it. Through their command structures, national armed forces are, in large part, responsible for ensuring respect for international humanitarian law, even by paramilitary formations operating on their territory. Those same armed forces, however, control the territory where alleged crimes have taken place and can allow or deny access to investigators. At the same time, the effectiveness of prosecutorial procedures depends, in large part, on the quality of the available evidence, whether its used in the court of the interested state or internationally, such as before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The first War Crimes Commission in Serbia was founded in March 1992. The intention was obvious - to concentrate on crimes against Serbs in order to prove the unprovable thesis that only the enemy committed war crimes. (Other parties to the war later employed similar approaches.) Fundamental to the difficulties of gathering evidence is the Serb military's overall ban on use of JNA documents, which are currently seen as the most reliable. To date, military documents have only been obtained after arbitrary (and rare) decisions by the Defence Ministry and the General Staff to disclose them. The Ministry of the Interior has been just as reluctant to disclose information. Lack of access to military documents will be an obstacle to clarifying issues of command and control, as well as determining the identity of actual perpetrators of breaches of the Geneva and Hague Conventions. The inaccessibility of military documents could also afford protection to political leaders. Another potential source of evidence, state television, has destroyed or hidden huge portions of its archive, which could paint a precise picture of events, as well as any involvement in the incitement of war crimes.During 1991 and 1992, the JNA and paramilitaries allegedly perpetrated mass crimes in eastern Slavonia, west Srijem, Western Slavonia and Krajina, and later in Bosnia-Herzegovina. As the United Nations began gathering information on alleged war crimes, Serb lack of cooperation with the UN Experts Commission was a major impediment to their work. The Yugoslav Committee for Collecting Evidence on Crimes Against Humanity and International Law, (the replacement to the Commission) still refuses to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal. Serb officials have declared the Tribunal illegitimate, and an infringement upon the rights of sovereign states. (To help reinforce that point in November the Committee sent its sixth report on war crimes to the Security Council, instead of the Tribunal, claiming that the Security Council is the competent body.) As for war crimes prosecutions within Serbia, 1993 legislation on documenting war crimes envisages that the State Committee can declare documentation secret. The legislation is also unclear about whether and in what circumstances documents can be made available for actual court proceedings. It is crucial for the Tribunal's investigators to be able to work in Yugoslavia or the so-called Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They need the first-hand accounts, the witnesses, victims and documentation. In order to indict suspects, the Tribunal's rules of procedure demand high-quality evidence. The ongoing experience of failed attempts to gain access to evidence and suspects in Serbia, points to the need for international norms which would precisely determine the obligations of domestic authorities. Article 29 of the ICTY's Statute could be a good starting point. It sets out the responsibilities of states in locating, and identifying suspects and witnesses, in the detention of suspects, their transfer to the seat of the Tribunal, as well as the provision of the relevant documents and evidence to the Tribunal. But what is missing is an effective political lever, such as sanctions, as a punitive measure for non-compliance. In the absence of implementation of this article, there is a great danger that many war crimes, past, present and future, will go unpunished. Vladan Vasilijevic is an expert in criminal law, based in Belgrade.

    [03] Denmark The First Sentence

    by Frederik Harhoff

    Refik Saric is the first person serving a sentence in an European prison for war crimes committed during the war in Bosnia. He came to Denmark in 1994 as a Croat refugee, together with his wife and two children. After an initial hearing by the Danish Refugee Authorities, he was transferred to the Red Cross refugee centre at Avnstrup, a former asylum 60 miles southwest of Copenhagen. The centre was full of Bosnian Muslims. Some, former prisoners from the Croat prison camp at Dretelj in Bosnia-Herzegovina, recognised Saric as a cruel and tormenting fellow internee at the camp. Gradually the unrest started. Angry survivors claimed he was their torturer and demanded justice. Danish police finally had to intervene and a riot squad moved Saric and his family from the centre.Subsequent police investigations indicated that Saric himself had been a Muslim prisoner at Dretelj from July 1 to August 20, 1993, where he was eventually granted status of a "higher prisoner" by his Croat warders and offered a special job in the prison's kitchen. During this period, he volunteered to assist the guards in mistreating his fellow inmates, perhaps out of fear for his own life. On his release he converted to Catholicism. Refugees at the Avnstrup centre confirmed during the investigation that they had witnessed Saric's participation in assaults and beatings of a number of inmates in Dretelj, two of whom died. Some of the refugees themselves had been assaulted by Saric. To secure their early testimony, they were asked to testify before a judge in the district Court of Roskilde. After the Second World War, Denmark adopted legislation enabling trials for war crimes. Saric's case was the first time the legislation has been used. The indictment originally comprised of 25 charges of physical assault of an especially brutal or dangerous character (the latter concept links sections of the Danish Penal Code with articles of the Geneva Conventions). The case was heard in September 1994 by the Eastern High Court and a jury. On November 25, 1994, Saric was acquitted of 11 charges (five of which were dropped due to lack of evidence and six subsumed under other provisions of the Penal Code). But the court found him guilty on the remaining 14 charges and the jury granted the prosecution's request for a stiffer sentence, due to the aggravated circumstances .The penalty was fixed at eight years in prison and a life-time ban from entering Denmark after the sentence is served. The defence appealed to the Danish Supreme Court for acquittal or a reduction of the sentence, but the Supreme Court found no mitigating circumstances and Saric's prison term was confirmed on August 15, 1995. During the investigation of the case, Saric's mental condition deteriorated and he was put under mental observation by the Clinic of Forensic Psychiatry, which declared on May 17, 1994, that he had become temporarily insane. He is now in a psychiatric hospital, where he was placed until he is able to serve his sentence. Saric's defence counsel also requested that eight witnesses -the former commander of Dretelj among them, all residing in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia -testify before the High Court in Saric's favour. As the prosecution was unable to bring witnesses from the former Yugoslavia, the Court dismissed the defence's request to postpone the case until the eight witnesses had been found and questioned.One particular aspect of the case was the reliance on evidence produced by the witnesses' testimony. In most criminal cases, both material and oral evidence is produced before the court, but in this case there was only oral evidence to rely on. Those testifying were sometimes unable to recount in detail the actions they witnessed. Testimony from the same witnesses varied during the proceedings, as well as between the first interrogation by the police to final questioning in the High Court. It was, obviously, very difficult for the witnesses to recall with great precision what really happened in the camp at Dretelj.One would assume, under these circumstances, that an expert psychiatric account of the effects of torture, inhumane treatment and fear on witnesses would have been provided before the jury, but this point was made neither by the defence, nor by the prosecution. This is not to say that the trial was necessarily unfair. The jury simply heard the accused, the witnesses, prosecution and the defence, and then withdrew to decide the case. The Court's deliberations indicate that the court relied on the core of the witnesses's statements, using the corroborated parts of each piece of testimony in order to establish a well-founded picture of what actually took place. Such practice may well be used by the international tribunals too, but it inevitably opens many legal questions. Frederik Harhoff is lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen.

    [04] FORMER YUGOSLAVIA - Civil Strife

    U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

    BUREAU FOR HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE (BHR) OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)

    Situation Report #2, Fiscal Year (FY) 1996 January 4, 1996

    Note: The last BHR/OFDA situation report was dated October 13, 1995.

    Background: The humanitarian situation in the former Yugoslavia remains serious even though the three warring parties agreed to a U.S.-sponsored General Framework Agreement for Peace in Dayton, Ohio on November 21. Although the Dayton Agreement was formally signed in Paris on December 14, the more than three and a half years of war have exacted a heavy toll on the economies of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina (B-H), and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). With harsh winter conditions existing throughout the region, humanitarian assistance remains critical during the current winter months especially in Banja Luka, Sarajevo, and the Gorazde areas of B-H, and the Kupljensko camp near Vojnic, Croatia. Local and international humanitarian relief agencies working in the former Yugoslavia continue to respond to the immediate needs of refugees and displaced persons (DPs) by providing emergency foodstuffs, medicines, and shelter materials. On December 20, the United Nations turned over its Bosnian operation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) military command and its 60,000-strong Implementation Force (IFOR). NATO's "Operation Joint Endeavor," which includes 20,000 U.S. troops to be based in Tuzla, is expected to last one year. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) remains as the lead organization providing and coordinating humanitarian assistance throughout the former Yugoslavia. UNHCR's focus, however, will begin to shift as repatriation and refugee assistance programs commence in the spring of 1996. USAID/BHR/OFDA has seconded to NATO two humanitarian advisors (HUMADS) to provide technical advice and expertise on humanitarian relief issues. The HUMADS will assess the impact of IFOR plans, policies, and operations on humanitarian relief programs and interface with UNHCR, International Organizations (IOs), and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working in the area. The World Food Program (WFP) will continue to coordinate food aid contributions for beneficiaries throughout the region. WFP will also begin to undertake more of the logistical aspects of the humanitarian operation during the coming months. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will maintain its relief activities, as well as programs related to detainees, missing persons, and family tracing activities.

    Numbers Affected: According to the U.N. Consolidated Interagency Appeal for the former Yugoslavia released on November 20, 1995, the beneficiary population throughout the region increased from 2.1 million to 3.3 million. This new winter U.N. appeal requests $179.6 million to provide emergency assistance between January - April 1996. The appeal expects that beneficiaries will need continued assistance throughout the winter months regardless of the recent signing of the Dayton Agreement in Paris. According to recent World Bank estimates, the war in former Yugoslavia has led to the death of an estimated 250,000 people, the wounding of 200,000 more citizens, and forced some 3 million to become refugees or DPs. A comprehensive repatriation plan is being developed to introduce a phased, orderly program by UNHCR in the spring of 1996. UNHCR envisions that the program would be completed in three stages: 1) 1.3 million internally displaced persons within B-H being returned; 2) 900,000 refugees currently in Croatia and the FRY being repatriated; and 3) finally the return of 800,000 refugees presently located in temporary protection status throughout western and central Europe.

    Total U.S. Government (USG) Assistance FY 1996 (to date). .$80,391,793

    Current Situation: With the formal signing of the Dayton Agreement in Paris on December 14, a NATO force of some 60,000 troops has begun deploying to B-H to enforce the peace agreement and to replace U.N. peacekeepers. Foggy conditions in the Tuzla area has slowed the overall deployment of U.S. troops; only 20 percent of the flights scheduled for Tuzla landed during the first week. Rail deliveries of heavy equipment and troops to southern Hungary and eastern Croatia are accelerating but efforts to bridge the Sava River between Croatia and B-H were initially hampered by a series of weather- related delays. The bridge was successfully completed on December 31 and 148 vehicles and 436 troops made the initial crossing. USAID's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) continue to manage BHR/OFDA's humanitarian assistance programs in the region. The DART is also assisting USAID's Bureau for Europe and the Newly Independent States (USAID/ENI) and BHR's Office of Transition Initiatives (BHR/OTI) in establishing USG rehabilitation and redevelopment programs in B-H. The war has devastated the Bosnian economy as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has fallen by 75 percent. Some 35 percent of B-H's roads, 40 percent of its bridges, and 50 percent of its primary schools have been destroyed. With harsh winter conditions prevailing throughout the region, the international and local relief communities are focusing on providing adequate supplies of food, shelter, and winterization materials to the most vulnerable populations, such as women, children under 5, and the elderly.

    Political/Military Situation: The three weeks of negotiations in Dayton, Ohio,finally resulted in a peace agreement that divides B-H roughly in half: 51 percent of the country is allotted to a Croat-Muslim federation and 49 percent to the Bosnian Serbs. The warring parties also agreed on: 1) the structure of the Bosnian government; 2) returning Eastern Slavonia to Croatian control; 3) retaining Gorazde as a Muslim enclave with a secure corridor to Sarajevo; 4) acknowledging B-H as a single state within its internationally-recognized borders; 5) treating Sarajevo as a unified city, but dividing it into individual districts with self-governing powers; 6) allowing for free and fair elections; and 7) permitting refugees to return to their homes. Approximately half of the 20,000 U.S. troops deploying to B-H as part of the IFOR force will be in place by January 19, when rival Bosnian forces must withdraw behind the 2.5-mile wide "zone of separation" agreed to in the Dayton Agreement. Although the U.S. contingent will be headquartered in Tuzla, many of its soldiers will be dispersed among approximately 16 fortified compounds throughout northeast B-H and involved in patrolling the demilitarized zone. The American zone will be complemented by a French zone in southern B-H and a British zone in the northwestern portion of the country. The French, headquartered in Sarajevo, are providing 10,000 troops. Great Britain is furnishing 13,000 troops and will be based in Gornji Vakuf. Many of the French and British soldiers will be incorporated from U.N. units already in B-H. More than 30 other countries, including Russia, are providing troops or other military assistance to "Operation Joint Endeavor." As IFOR forces and relief workers begin to access previously contested areas of B-H and Croatia, landmines will pose a significant threat to life and limit their freedom of movement. Moreover, the revival of local agricultural production may be limited until many of these mines are located and destroyed. According to the U.N.'s Mine Action Center in Zagreb, there are an estimated 3 million landmines laid in B-H and another estimated 3 million landmines in Croatia. Relief Efforts In many areas of B-H, emergency relief supplies are currently being delivered with few obstacles. There are, however, areas such as Gorazde and Banja Luka where the security situation and winter weather have restricted the delivery of sufficient relief supplies to vulnerable populations. In Croatia, the estimated remaining 10,000 of the original 22,000 supporters of Muslim leader Fikret Abdic in the Kupljensko camp near Vojnic continue to be dependent on deliveries of humanitarian assistance. Croatian authorities have controlled the flow of humanitarian supplies into the camp and overall camp conditions have been aggravated by recent heavy snowfalls. An agreement was reached on November 11 to return Eastern Slavonia to Croatian control over the next two years. The relief community has formulated contingency plans in case some of the Serb population leaves the area. If such a population movement does take place, those relocating will need food, shelter, and medicines. Given the generally improved access throughout B-H, however, UNHCR and WFP are jointly undertaking an assessment to review existing logistical structures and costs associated with the continuing relief effort. This joint assessment is part of the UNHCR/WFP plan to transition B-H relief operations to commercial trucking in the near future. The focus of the assessment will be on the handling capacities of coastal ports, U.N. and NGO warehouses, and transportation infrastructures within B-H. WFP intends to continue its winter delivery of approximately 20,000 MT of food assistance per month to B-H. USAID/BHR's Office of Food for Peace (BHR/FFP) has recently decided to donate $50,729,000 of basic commodities (wheat grain, wheat flour, pulses, and vegetable oil) through WFP. BHR/FFP deliveries will continue until July and this recent donation will feed beneficiaries in B-H until the end of September 1996. WFP is also considering handling shipments of non-food items for other U.N. agencies in B-H.

    Situation by Region: Gorazde Enclave: The approximately 60,000 Muslim residents of Gorazde will continue to rely on humanitarian assistance during the winter months. Relief convoys have been successful in accessing the enclave from Sarajevo and Belgrade except when poor weather conditions have prevailed. If conditions permit, WFP plans to transport up to 80 percent of Gorazde's food aid requirements (772 MT per month) from Sarajevo along the secure corridor. UNHCR reports that overall requirements of the population are being met and 50,000 of Gorazde's population remain beneficiaries. Of this beneficiary population, some 30,000 are displaced and living with families, in abandoned shelters, and collective shelters. There remains a relief priority in transporting fuel into the enclave, including diesel to operate generators and vehicles. Northwest Bosnia: In Banja Luka, approximately 323,000 displaced persons and refugees in and around the city have emergency requirements for food, fuel, and shelter materials. Food and fuel convoys to Banja Luka were suspended on November 22 following the theft of the eighth vehicle from UNHCR's office in Banja Luka. The suspension was lifted, however, on December 11 after UNHCR's Mission for B-H received a letter from the Serb Republic's Ministry of Internal Affairs providing assurances that the Ministry would guarantee the safety of UNHCR's personnel and property in Banja Luka. UNHCR is attempting to make up for the deliveries lost as a result of the suspension. Food supplies and fuel already in UNHCR's Banja Luka warehouse are being distributed to the beneficiary population since the resumption of relief activities. Sarajevo: According to WFP, Sarajevo remains dependent in large part on emergency food assistance for its survival. The Sarajevo airlift of humanitarian relief supplies resumed on December 1 and is expected to operate until the relief supplies, primarily food commodities, in the Ancona warehouses as of December 15 have been transported. The last airlift to Sarajevo will take place on January 4 and a closing ceremony is scheduled for January 9. In a significant development, WFP food commodities were delivered to Sarajevo for the first time on November 27 directly from the donor country without the use of UNHCR convoys.Several demonstrations in Sarajevo's Bosnian Serb neighborhoods against the provisions within the Dayton Agreement have resulted in temporary road closings. Sarajevo, however, continues to receive a steady flow of humanitarian relief supplies. On December 25, 16 people were abducted and jailed in a Serb-held suburb of Sarajevo while moving through the area. All of those that were abducted were released on January 4. NGOs, however, remain concerned about security issues and freedom of movement. NGOs in Sarajevo are seeking guidance and recommendations from IFOR about what security measures the NGOs should put in place for travel in Serb-held areas. Despite the relative calm in the city, the utility situation in Sarajevo remains fragile and inconsistent. Water, electricity, and natural gas availability are all being adversely affected by harsh winter conditions and increased customer demand.As a result, much of the population is only served intermittently. According to a representative of the U.N. Special Coordinator for Sarajevo's Office, the overall supply of natural gas available has not improved in recent weeks and leaks in water storage tanks have resulted in substantial losses of available water. Meanwhile, internationally-funded efforts are underway to improve the overall service structure of all utilities. NGOs are continuing their relief activities in Sarajevo by providing winterization materials, locally-produced bread, as well as essential drugs and medical supplies. Shortages of cooking fuel and firewood, however, are becoming chronic problems for vulnerable populations.Bihac: A USAID/DART visit to the Bihac pocket during December 5 - 8 revealed that the overall humanitarian situation has stabilized because of better access, increased commercial activity, and the presence of several NGOs in the region.UNHCR and NGO representatives reported that there remains an increased need for targeted relief distributions. A UNHCR/Zagreb representative stated that food distribution targets will not be changed until an assessment is conducted in collaboration with WFP. USAID/BHR/OFDA- funded NGOs are closely monitoring beneficiary groups in an effort to ensure that relief commodities will be provided to those with the greatest needs. Croatia: On November 24, an agreement was signed by the Interior ministers of Turkey, Croatia, and B-H to establish a 200-person trilateral police force to provide security in Velika Kladusa, B-H for six months beginning on December 5. This policing effort is an attempt to close the Kupljensko camp voluntarily by having camp residents return to their homes without the threat of retaliation or males being inducted into the Bosnian Army. UNHCR representatives report that overall conditions for returnees are relatively stable and housing is available. As of January 4,approximately 12,000 residents of Kuplenjsko have voluntarily repatriated to Velika Kladusa. Relief agencies report that harsh winter conditions and the lack of appropriate winterization materials, notably winter clothing, appear to be the primary impetus for the increasing levels of repatriation. On October 1, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) initiated a joint relief assistance program with the ICRC in the Krajina region of Croatia. The program is providing support to an estimated 8,000 vulnerable people who did not flee the fighting in the area. ICRC estimates that most of these people who stayed behind are women and the elderly living in remote hamlets and villages. This population is reportedly ill-equipped to deal with winter conditions, as they often lack electricity, heating, adequate food supplies, and medicines. Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: An estimated 330,000 Krajina Serb and Bosnian Serb refugees have settled in Serbia and Montenegro since the Croatian Army takeover of the Krajina in early August. In a recent development, the Government of Croatia allowed the entry of 56 Krajina Serbs to return to Croatia. All of the returnees were able to reunite with family members in Croatia. Thousands more of the Krajina refugees in the FRY are waiting for a positive response to their applications for return to Croatia. WFP has established food stocks in its regional warehouse in Belgrade which are intended for delivery within the FRY and Bosnian Serb-held areas of B-H, particularly Banja Luka.

    U.S. Government (USG) Assistance: In FY 1996 (to date), the USG has provided $80,391,793 for humanitarian programs in the former Yugoslavia through USAID, Department of State, and Department of Defense programs. USAID/BHR/OFDA Assistance During FY 1996, USAID/BHR/OFDA has provided $8,334,776 to address the needs of vulnerable groups in the region by funding NGO projects. Some of the NGOs being funded are:Catholic Relief Services, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps International, Feed the Children, and Premiere Urgence. This assistance also includes a $2 million grant to UNICEF to provide immunization for Bosnian women and children. In addition, USAID/BHR/OFDA provides assistance in calling forward emergency relief supplies from OFDA's permanent stockpile in Leghorn, Italy and in providing funding for quick impact, rapid response NGO proposals. BHR/OFDA FY 1996 (to date) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$8,334,776

    USAID/BHR/FFP Assistance: In FY 1996, the Office of Food For Peace (BHR/FFP) has provided 93,000 MT of Title II food assistance valued at $50,729,000 to support emergency food requirements of refugees and internally displaced persons in the former Yugoslavia. BHR/FFP has approximately $10 million in FY 1996 funds that still need to be programmed. BHR/FFP FY 1996 (to date). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$50,729,000

    USAID/BHR/OTI Assistance: In FY 1996, the Office of Transition Initiatives (BHR/OTI) has provided $1,479,040 to establish and support Bosnian Community Liaison Centers in Tuzla and Zenica to promote political development and ethnic cooperation. BHR/OTI FY 1996 (to date). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,479,040

    USAID/ENI Assistance: In FY 1996, USAID's Bureau for Europe and the Newly Independent States (USAID/ENI) has obligated $1,131,068 to date. ENI is funding a infrastructure pre-feasibility study ($150,000) by the Trade Development Agency. In addition, ENI has obligated $981,068 for quick impact municipal rehabilitation projects in Tuzla, Gornji Vakuf, and Brestavsko. USAID/ENI FY 1996 (to date). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,131,068

    State/PRM Assistance: In FY 1996, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) has contributed $15 million to UNHCR. UNHCR may use up to $3 million of the $15 million for a special protection program to assist repatriating refugees. The remainder of the $15 million will be applied to the UNHCR winter relief appeal. State/PRM has also made a $1,742,909 contribution to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) for a humanitarian relief program in northern and central Bosnia. State/PRM FY 1996 (to date). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$16,742,909

    DOD/HRA Assistance: In FY 1996, the Department of Defense's (DOD) Office of Humanitarian and Refugee Affairs (HRA) provided 500,000 HDRs (Humanitarian Daily Rations) valued at $1,975,000 to be used in the former Yugoslavia. DOD/HRA FY 1996 (to date). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,975,000

    Total BHR/OFDA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $8,334,776 Total BHR/FFP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$50,729,000 Total BHR/OTI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,479,040 Total USAID/ENI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,131,068 Total State/PRM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$16,742,909 Total DOD/HRA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,975,000 Total USG FY 1996 (to date). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$80,391,793 FY 1991. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000,000 FY 1992. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $47,362,239 FY 1993. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $343,841,260 FY 1994. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $387,869,602 FY 1995. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $181,609,224 FY 1996 (to date). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$80,391,793 Total FY 91-96 (to date) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,042,074,118


    Nan Borton, Director Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance

    Drafted by: BHR/OFDA:JPonte:1/2/96:u\lai\docs\fmryugo Clearances: BHR/OFDA: MArtificio-Rogers_______________________date_____ OFDA/DART:

    SPoole__________________________date_____ BHR/OTI: PRandolph_______________________date_____ BHR/FFP: EKvitashvili____________________date_____ USAID/ENI: AConvery________________________date_____ State/EUR:

    JPrice__________________________date_____ State/PRM: DShemanski______________________date_____ State/PM: JJones__________________________date______ DOD/HRA: RRagen__________________________date_____ BHR/OFDA: TBratrud________________________date______ Bosnia T/F PAlexander______________________date_________

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