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BosNet Digest V5 #48 / Jan. 31, 1996

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

















    Sarajevo, Jan 31,1996 (Press TWRA) - At the session held on January 28-29, the Main Board of SDA B-H accepted the resignation of former B-H Prime Minister Silajdzic. Instead of Silajdzic, Husein Zivalj B-H Ambassador in Austria was elected on position of party vice-president. The Main Board elected 8 new members for highest operative body, Executive Comity, among who are Sakib Mahmuljin (Commander of B-H Army 3rd Corps) and Hilmo Neimarlija (President of Islamic Community Parliament). From Executive Committee are excluded: director of B-H TV Amila Omersoftic, director of firm "Energoinvest" Edib Bukvic and President of SDA Representatives Club in B-H Assembly Enver Kreso. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, Jan 31,1996 (Press TWRA) - Chairman of OESC F.Cotti informed yesterday in Sarajevo that OESC formed commission to monitor elections in B-H. Head of OESC mission in B-H Frowick appointed to commission K. Scott, OESC high official and former British ambassador in Yugoslavia:dr Kasim Begic,(RB-H); Slobodan Kovac ("republic srpska") and Mato Tadic,FB-H Justice Minister. Cotti was also present yesterday at the first meeting between K. Zubak, President of B-H Federation and "republic srpska" vice- president N. Koljevic. Before the meeting Koljevic, who came to Sarajevo for first time since the beginning of war said that "he feels sad and nostalgic" and that"Sarajevo looks a bit different" and that it should not have been so destroyed".(end) S.K.


    Brussels, Jan 31,1996 (Press TWRA) - Ministers opf EU did not reach any concrete agreement, except the position that EU wants to recognize FRY as soon as possible". Most important condition which EU put to FRY is recognition and establishing of diplomatic relations with Macedonia. Besides that FRY will have to guarantee all human and minority rights on Kosovo, and Yugoslav troops will have to withdraw from East Slavonia. These conditions have been imposed by German diplomacy, in contrast to French and British position that the diplomatic relations with Belgrade do not have to be renewed since they have not been interrupted in the first place. German Foreign Minister Kinkel said that FRY's recognition of Croatia "is not among the first tasks" and that it will depend on what Zagreb will do" French Foreign Minister De Charrett announced that Paris could soon appoint the Ambassador in Belgrade, and not wait for EU recognition. (end) S.K.


    Belgrade, Jan 31,1996 (Press TWRA) - Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) submitted to FRY Assembly draft of the law on cooperation with The Hague's Tribunal. "We propose and demand full an unconditional cooperation with The Hague Tribunal in order to sentence individuals who committed war crimes", said Vuk Draskovic, leader of SPO, adding that "underneath recently discovered mass graves in Bosnia can not be signature of whole Serbian nation". Draskovic emphasized that authorities claim that FRY Constitution forbids the extradition of FRY citizens accused of war crimes, is not true, because "now we talk about extradition of individuals to international community".(end) S.K.


    Washington, Jan 3O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Addressing to foreign students at Emory University, Atlanta, the former US president Jimmy Carter proclaimed Clinton's administration racist as it had sent its troops to Bosnia and not to African states.

    "We have sent our troops focusing our attention and efforts to Bosnia taking no care of Liberia, Burundi, Rwanda and Sudan only because they are African states. Their population is the black and poor - we direct our attention towards the whites in Europe. It is a real tragedy." Observers compare Carter's statement with some claims of the UN secretary general B. Ghali that the western media's attention was focused on B-H as it was the war of the rich whites as opposed to the wars of the black poor in Africa.

    According to many US polls and estimates, Carter is regarded as the least successful and popular US president in this century. It is claimed that his presidential mandate was full od failures both with regard to interior policy and economy, where he turned to be incapable, and in the international affairs where he was too yielding towards the USSR which, during his mandate, invaded Afghanistan. Among Carter's failures Americans remember well his unsuccessful attempt to solve the hostage crisis to Teheran.

    Prior and after the visit to Pale, early last year, Carter was benevolent to Karadzic and Mladic but less inclined to the government in Sarajevo. Since the International Criminal Tribunal accused the Serb leaders of war crimes, Carter has not issued any statement on Karadzic, whom he used to call "a man loyal to peace." (end) A.S.


    Rome, Jan 3O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - EU parliamentarian are signing a petition demanding from European Commission and EU Ministry Council that European recognition of Belgrade and normalizing of their relations with FR Yugoslavia should be conditioned with settling the Kosovo issue including the human right observance for its population and negotiations with Albanians. Initiator of the petition is the chairman of PRI (Italian Republican Party) Ugo La Malfa who recently visited Kosovo and said: "Albanians live in terrible conditions. They are not given any human rights. The situation is unbearable as Serbs do not let them any autonomy and Albanians already demand to be entirely independent."

    Prishtine - The Kosovo Committee for human right and freedom protection announced that Islam Prvoliu (65) from Kacanik died last Sunday in Serb prison. He was accused of illegal possession of the arms and died four days on his arrest. In a week, Prvoliu is the second Albanian who died in the Kosovo prison and Serb authorities refuse to release details on cause of their death.

    Belgrade - Swiss foreign minister Flavio Cotti told Slobodan Milosevic that the solution for Kosovo should be reached by giving it a high autonomy within Yugoslavia. (end) A.S.


    Sarajevo, Jan 30, 1996 (Press TWRA) - By great majority vote in secret voting (95 of 1O8), followed by public acclamation, Parliament of the Republic of B-H today accepted the cabinet of Hasan Muratovic. Beside the prime minister, government includes six ministers, five with and one (Dragoljub Stojanov) without portfolio. Jadranko Prlic is elected foreign minister, his deputy is Hasan Dervisbegovic, minister of finances Mirsad Kikanovic, minister of justice and administration Hilmo Pasic, his deputy is Zoran Perkovic, minister of foreign trade and international communications Neven Tomic, his deputy is Seadeta Ceric, minister for refugees and emigration Nudzeim Recic, his deputy is Vladislav Pogarcic. /end/ A.S.


    The Hague, Jan 3O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - The UN started consultations about South African judge R. Goldstone's successor to the post of the ICTY main prosecutor as well as a similar Tribunal for genocide in Rwanda, the Tribunal spokesman Christian Chartier released. When Goldstone took over the duty, July 1994, he announced he was not going to hold the position longer than 24 months. As only half a year has left to the final date, Goldstone reminded he would leave the current position early this summer adding that he was needed to South Africa. There is a fear that Goldstone's leave might affect the activity of the International Tribunal being already exposed to the UN top officials' pressure (including B. Ghali) and some great powers, particularly Great Britain and Russian Federation. On the other side, some analysts stress that several people having been under pressure, have already resigned to their posts at the Tribunal but the functioning of the Tribunal mechanism including raising new indictments and investigations. /end/ A.S.


    Zagreb, Jan 3O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Chairman of Christian Democratic Union (HKDU) Marko Veselica has several times denied giving interview for Serbian "Telegraf" in which he criticized the Zagreb authorities. Veselica said the interview was invented by secret services of S. Milosevic and F. Tudjman to discredit him and his party. Veselica's associates announced parliamentarian dispute over the case. Veselica and HKDU entered Croatian Sabor last year, became a parliamentarian party, so HDZ is not the only parliamentarian party claiming for itself to be the only christian democratic one. European Democratic Union (EDU includes christian democratic and people's parties), refused a few times to give HDZ its membership. /end/ A.S.


    Geneva, Jan 30, 1996 (Press TWRA) - The International Red Cross (ICRC) alleges that 162 more POWs were released in Bosnia yesterday. Serbs are expected to release 39 persons from the prisons in the Banjaluka region, the B-H government 6 persons held in Gorazde. Head of the ICRC mission to B-H Beat Schweitzer said that the sides hold 112 more persons, the war criminal suspects. Among them are 5O Serbs in the HVO prisons, 7 Serbs and 3 Croats in Bosnian prisons and 3 Bosniaks in Serb prisons.

    Washington - State Department spokesman N. Burns expressed displeasure due to violation of the Dayton agreement stating that 113 more persons were still held in captivity, mainly Serb and Croat prisons to B-H. If the issue is not resolved by the end of this week, state secretary Christopher will initiate it during his visit to Sarajevo, Belgrade, Zagreb. Burns mentioned possible measures in case of continuing obstruction by any side: denial of military support to B-H army or refusal of Croatia's integration to EU and trade cooperation with the USA or deprivation of full international recognition of FR Yugoslavia. That also depends on cooperation with the International Tribunal, says Burns. /end/ AS


    Tuzla, Jan 3O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Over 1,OOO Srebrenica's women are protesting peacefully in front of the ICRC seat in Tuzla on the occasion of 2OO days from the fall of Srebrenica and nearly 1O,OOO males missing from that area. A refugee, after the talk with the ICRC workers, said women from Srebrenica demand the IFOR escort for their visit to Srebrenica where they exactly know the site of mines and areas where their nearest were taken to. /end/


    New York, Jan 3O, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Joseph Brodski, (55) the 1987 Nobel Prize winner for literature, a Russian Jew who left to the USA in 1973, died in New York. Three years ago, Brodski wrote a poem "Bosnia Tune" which goes: "As you pour yourself a scotch, crush a roach, or check your watch, as your hand adjusts your tie, people die. In the towns with funny names, hit by bullets, caught in flames, by and large not knowing why, people die. In small places you do not know of, yet big for having no chance to scream or say good-bye, people die. People die as you elect new apostles of neglect, self-restraint, etc. - whereby people die. Too far off to practice love for thy neighbor/brother Slav, where your cherubs dread to fly, people die. While the statues disagree, Cain's version, history for its fuel tends to buy those who die. As you watch the athletes score, check your latest statement, or sing your child a lullaby, people die. Time, whose sharp blood-thirsty quill parts the killed from those who kill, will pronounce the latter tribe as your type." /end/ A.S.

    [13] "BOSNIA: THE SECRET WAR." This is the headline of an article in the 29

    January edition of the British daily The Guardian, which deals with politics of another kind. It is no secret to those who have followed the conflict closely that different governments within NATO were pursuing very different agendas in the Wars of the Yugoslav Succession, but this article sheds some light on the particularly glaring differences between Washington and London in 1994. Probably even before the fighting began, elements of the British Conservative government and that of French President Francois Mitterrand seem to have concluded that the chief threat to their "interests" in the post-cold-war Europe somehow came from their primary allies of the previous half century, namely the U.S. and Germany. Accordingly, the Serbs came to be regarded by some in London and Paris as allies of sorts against Washington and Bonn -- and those two countries' presumed Balkan stalking horses, Croatia and Bosnia. In concrete terms, this meant that London and Paris opposed foreign intervention and backed "a negotiated solution," which effectively left the Serbs with a free hand on the battlefield. The latest article explores how British special forces -- the SAS -- worked with the British commander and former SAS officer General Sir Michael Rose to thwart NATO plans for airstrikes against Bosnian Serb military targets. The result was a Serbian tank onslaught against Bihac. The article goes on to show how the U.S. embarked on an agenda of its own, which led to the reversal of fortunes on the battlefield -- and ultimately brought the Serbs to the conference table in Dayton in 1995. - -- Patrick Moore

    The Guardian
    January 29, 1996


    US intelligence was involved in a fierce backstage struggle with its 'reluctant' allies at the height of the conflict, writes Ed Vulliamy

    BYLINE: Ed Vulliamy
    THE American secret services - notably the CIA - embark on their first publicly -sanctioned mission in Bosnia this week, to shield Nato soldiers from hostile paramilitaries and help war crimes investigators.

    But, despite official denials, these agencies, including the CIA's Pentagon cousin the DIA, have been engaged deep within Bosnia's war since its inception.

    Among their surveillance targets were top-secret communications between the high command of the United Nations military operation in Sarajevo and the British special forces, the SAS, operating under deep cover. What the Americans discovered was that the UN command was engaged in neutralising NATO air strikes against the Serbs.

    US intelligence became enmeshed in the war as the Americans became increasingly exasperated by what they saw as the thwarting of a robust stand against the Serbs, stemming from the reluctance of the European Union, Britain in particular. The outcome was a fierce backstage struggle between the Americans and their European and British allies, each pursuing radically diverse agendas.

    American frustration was most acute during 1994, a period of cautious authority in the field exercised by General Sir Michael Rose, a former SAS commander.

    The tension arose most acutely from the American belief that Nato air strikes should be used to bomb the Serbs to the negotiating table.

    The United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia - and especially Gen Rose was sceptical, and feared that air strikes would endanger its soldiers on the ground. The American strategy, and its thwarting by Unprofor and the British, turned the issue of air strikes into a covert backstage confrontation between secret services, commandos in the field and diplomats at the highest levels.

    Now American intelligence sources have revealed what they found when they eavesdropped on communications between Gen Rose's headquarters in Sarajevo and SAS scouts deep inside Serb-held territory, near the besieged Bosnian town of Bihac, during the ferocious Serbian advance on that UN "safe area" late in 1994.

    THE communication line was established so that the undercover SAS teams, assigned to the UN as forward air controllers, could identify Serb artillery positions and relay the co-ordinates to headquarters and the pilots of Nato bombers.

    But a controversial order came over the air from Gen Rose's command to the SAS: hold off, do not identify the targets, thus neutralising the air strike. The Nato pilots were shown nothing; their planes came and went, impotent. It was a measured instruction, highly secret, defiant of Nato. But it was not a private one. It was overheard, not by an enemy but by the Americans.

    Gen Rose could not be reached for comment on the eavesdropping allegations yesterday at his headquarters at Trenchard Lines, Wiltshire. Sir Michael has argued that aggressive use of air power would have threatened the safety of UN soldiers on the ground and jeopardised Unprofor's humanitarian mission.

    The general did order NATO air and ground strikes against the Serbs around Gorazde in 1994, and was then eager to use close air support to defend his SAS men trapped in the enclave, but was overruled by the UN envoy, Yasushi Akashi.

    It was fundamental to Gen Roses's debate with the Americans that the UN "cannot be used to alter the military balance in a civil war . . . a peacekeeping force cannot allow itself to be hijacked by political pressures and become involved in the conflict".

    He wrote: "There exist obvious limitations on the use of air power in any confused civil war situation. It is simply not possible to secure safe areas ... by the use of air power alone."

    The handling of the Bihac crisis was a dramatic illustration of how the Western "allies" were at each other's throats over Bosnia, with the Americans determined to override what they saw as the sabotaging of Nato efforts to bomb the Serbs into a peace deal.

    BIHAC had been under siege for 30 months. A French Unprofor battalion had pulled out and been replaced by one from Bangladesh, by then marooned and virtually unarmed. Humanitarian aid convoys had been throttled since May.

    Halfway through November the Serbian assault came. A relentless bombardment included the first reported use of naplam in the war. Serbian planes mocked the "no-fly zone" by cluster-bombing the safe area. Bihac was about to shrivel, or else collapse completely.

    NATO intervened. There was an air strike against a Serb air field in Croatia. The UN commander in Zagreb, General Bertrand de Lapresle, insisted on the strike being limited to damaging runways and anti-aircraft missiles and not the planes themselves. But Nato's commander in southern Europe, Admiral Leighton Smith, told the Pentagon: "My hope is that we will not have to go back." The Western alliance creaked, then the drama began.

    Gen Rose told the Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, that unless the raids stopped Serbian positions overlooking Bihac would be attacked. Mr Karadzic replied by fax on November 23, telling the UN that the Serbs were now on a hill called Drebelac, which turned out to be inside the safe area.

    Gen Rose rushed to Pale, the Bosnian Serb "capital" near Sarajevo, the next day and then on to the Croatian capital, Zagreb. He concluded that the UN should call in air strikes.

    There was an American air force observer at UN headquarters in Zagreb and he was worried about reports from US intelligence in the field that the Bosnian Serbs had aquired a fresh arsenal of Russian SAM anti-aircraft missiles, sent via Belgrade.

    Gen Rose put the air strike request on hold, and set about negotiating a ceasefire instead.

    But the Americans were stepping up the pressure. On that Friday, November 25, the US ambassador to Sarajevo, Victor Jakovec, visited Gen Rose to discuss reports that Serb tanks were heading for the heart of Bihac city itself. Gen Rose told him he believed there was little the UN could do. Mr Jakovec put in an early call to the state department.

    The call prompted a diplomatic flurry. The state department contacted the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright. She in turn bent the ear of the UN's head of peacekeeping in New York, Kofi Annan. The message was clear: the US government was insisting on Gen Rose calling air strikes, and Mr Annan duly conveyed it to him.

    Newspapers on Saturday November 26 were bewildered after "confused reports of NATO air activity over Bihac last night".

    The state department spokeswoman, Christine Shelly, said the ceasefire brokered by Gen Rose in Bihac was by no means holding, but added that Nato should not be blamed for its failure.

    This is what had happened. Gen Rose heeded Kofi Annan's request for close air support from NATO - an intervention within the strict rules stipulating that the pilot had to find a smoking gun before he could strike. The men responsible for locating the smoking gun were the SAS teams, in radio contact with Gen Rose's headquarters. That night NATO planes took off from the US air force base at Aviano in Italy.

    This was the showdown between Gen Rose's philosophy of cautious mediation and the Americans' interventionism. For Gen Rose's command, there was only one way to stop the bombing: they would have to tell the SAS scouts not to identify the target for NATO to bomb. The rules of engagement were clear: no target, no bombs.

    The American intelligence sources now allege that this is what the UNPROFOR command did. It was a careful decision and a controversial one; by the end of the weekend, Serb tanks were blasting their way through the suburbs of Bihac.

    The Bihac debacle had confronted the Clinton administration with a gesture of defiance, forcing the president to choose between maintaining the Atlantic alliance and continuing his support for the Bosnian government.

    In public Mr Clinton chose the Nato alliance. Within two days the administration had offered concessions to the Serbs and 10 days later it agreed to recognise the "Republika Srpska".

    But while Washington overtly courted the Europeans, the US intelligence operation was now entrenched, pushing new strategies for Bosnia. The DIA/CIA station was based at the Zagreb embassy, where the US ambassador, Peter Galbraith, was welding the alliance with Croatia, and where the military attache, Colonel Richard Herrick, boasted an unusually generous staff of 19.

    On top of this the Virginia-based military consultancy MPRI was retraining the Croatian army.

    The MPRI executive overseeing the contract with Croatia was an old-time master of intelligence, Ed Soyster, a former DIA director.

    AN extraordinary correspondence, seen by the Guardian, led to the contract. It began in November 1994 with the hawkish Croatian defence minister, Joko Susak, writing to the US deputy defence secretary John Deutsch asking for direct US aid to the Croatian military. Mr Deutsch replied explaining that the embargo prevented such direct involvement, but that it could be organised through a private consultancy.

    Such genuflection to the rules, however, did not seem to inhibit assistance to the Bosnians, though this could not be delivered publicly.

    The next task for US intelligence advance parties was to clear the ground for an assault by the Bosnian army on the capital, Sarajevo. For this, American intelligence organised the famous Tuzla air drops of weapons and military equipment to the Bosnian army, in breach of the embargo.

    The received wisdom is that there were two such drops, on February 10 and 12, spotted by Norwegian UN personnel. In fact there were four. A C130 transport flew over, escorted by four American F18 fighters. The material dropped included radar equipment and anti-tank missiles.

    Nato held an "internal inquiry" into the episode once it became public knowledge. The four-man inquiry team was all American and its report said that the Norwegian "paramedics" who made the sightings could confused them with civilian air traffic in and out of Belgrade.

    But there was no civilian air traffic going in and out of Belgrade, and no night traffic at all. The Norwegians were not paramedics.

    But by this time, about April, the war was starting to go the Americans' way. There was a new UN commander, General Rupert Smith, who favoured air strikes which damaged the Serbs.

    Some months later, to the Americans' delight, Gen Smith swung his authority behind the "defining moment", - the air strikes against Serb targets in Bosnia last summer. This time, as the bombs found their prey, there was a loud cheer in the US embassy in Zagreb.

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