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bosnet-digest V5 #58 / Feb 07, 1996

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


CONTENTS

  • [01] UNESCO And B&H Gov't Sign Agreement

  • [02] BAC: IFOR Kills Serb Sniper; AB&H Soldiers & Planes...

  • [03] Artists And Winter Festival In Sarajevo


  • [01] UNESCO And B&H Gov't Sign Agreement

    [Some text was lost in the transmission]

    Contributed S.T-W

    UNESCO AND BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA SIGN AGREEMENT TO RESTORE SCHOOLS, CULTURAL HERITAGE AND COMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE

    Paris, 13 December 1995

    UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor and Bosnia and Herzegovina Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Enes Karic signed an agreement to restore schools, cultural heritage and communications infrastructure. Some 40 UNESCO permanent delegates attended the signing ceremony at the rning Organization's Paris Headquarters. The Memorandum of Co-operation calls for raising an initial USD3,000,000, of which private donors -- in Germany already have pledged USD600,000. The Organization will allocate an additional USD200,000 from its regular budget.

    The agreement will work to promote the peace process in Bosnia and ld Herzegovina and boost projects already launched by UNESCO through its Sarajevo office. Under the agreement, the Organization will help restore cultural sites in Mostar and Sarajevo, in preparation for their eventual inscription on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The Organization also will lead efforts to revitalise cultural life in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including aid to Sarajevo's Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra. The agreement further will strengthen UNESCO's international campaign to restock Sarajevo's National and University Library which lost more than 2,000,000 books and archives as a result of a mortar attack in August, 1992.

    Excerpt from UNESCOPRESSE, N=B0 95-207


    Opinions expressed/published on BosNews/BosNet-B do NOT necessarily always reflect the views of (all of the members of) Editorial Board, and/or moderators, nor any of their host institutions.

    Murat Erkocevic <ErkocevicM@aol.com>

    Dzevat Omeragic <Dzevat@ee.mcgill.ca>

    Davor Wagner <DWagner@mailbox.syr.edu>

    Nermin Zukic <N6Zukic@sms.business.uwo.ca>


    [02] BAC: IFOR Kills Serb Sniper; AB&H Soldiers & Planes...

    "I thank the Lord that they have arrived. Only three months ago I couldn't even imagine that I would be able to see my family again."

    --Hasema Skenderovic about American soldiers in Bosnia, as she was reunited with her brother at a U.S.-staffed front-line checkpoint in Gradacac. She hadn't seen him in four years.

    February 6, 1995

    THIS WEEK IN BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA

    SERB `POLICE' STAY IN OCCUPIED SARAJEVO DESPITE DAYTON DEADLINE; NON- SERBS THERE REPORT `REIGN OF TERROR.' Serb "police" may stay in Serb- occupied Sarajevo through March 19, the top international civilian official in Bosnia has ruled -- although all armed forces were supposed to have withdrawn from the territory by midnight Feb. 3.

    The Bosnian government protested, saying Carl Bildt exceeded his authority under the Dayton accords.

    Residents of one Serb-occupied district, Grbavica, told Reuters that Serb "police" have been robbing, looting, beating, and terrorizing non- Serbs left there -- as well as threatening moderate Serbs who wish to stay when the city is reunited.

    "It has never been more difficult than these days since the peace was made," one woman, whose family is ethnically mixed, told Reuters. "Serbs are robbing people and burning flats and threatening Muslims and Croats. They put stockings or pillow cases over their heads and come at night."

    "When night falls we're at the mercy of the Serb authorities," another woman said. "There's no one to cry out for help from. I'm terrified and disappointed no international police have moved in to protect us."

    NATO officials said that the Bosnian Serb military met its Friday deadline to withdraw its army and weapons from five Sarajevo districts slated to revert to Bosnian government control. U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher told AP: "(NATO Commander Leighton) Smith told me the compliance is excellent, going very well and beyond expectations."

    However, Western and UN officials admit privately that some Serb soldiers simply changed uniforms to stay in Sarajevo as "police officers."

    Serb police are reportedly overseeing the dismantling of factory equipment, to take to other Serb-held parts of Bosnia. A German official who witnessed Serbs stripping a former Volkswagen factory said that the value of such stolen items may be deducted from any reconstruction aid packages for Serb-held Bosnia.

    "NATO is so strong that Bosnia's armed forces can only cooperate, and they are," one Western diplomat told Reuters. "There is no similar strength on the civilian side of the peace process and that is where the danger lies."

    So far, there are only 300 international civilian police for all of Bosnia, including just nine in Grbavica and 12 in Ilidza; 1,600 are supposed to be in the country. "We should have had all these police deployed by now," a senior European police monitor told the N.Y. Times. "The biggest problem is that the UN has failed to live up to its part of the agreement."

    NATO responded by stepping up patrols in Serb-occupied Sarajevo. However, NATO officials have repeatedly said they won't get involved in "law-and-order" problems, which they consider to be "police work."

    OTHER TRANSFERS PROCEDE. The transfer of other territories under the Dayton accord went more smoothly, NATO reported. Serb forces took control of a region in northwest Bosnia, representing about 4% of the country's total land area, from Croatian forces.

    In Mrkonjic Grad, returning Serb civilians found widescale looting and destruction from the exiting Croatian troops.

    FRENCH KILL SERB SNIPER. French special forces killed one sniper in Ilidza and captured another, NATO officials report.

    "Both men carried Bosnian Serb army identity cards but NATO seemed content to dismiss them as rogue elements and handed their prisoner over to local Serb authorities," according to Reuters. The armed Serbs were in an area of the city supposed to have been demilitarized. Sniping incidents against NATO forces continue in Serb-held regions of Sarajevo. Two British soldiers suffered slight facial injuries from sniper fire Saturday in Ilidza. A U.S. vehicle there was hit by five rounds, but no injuries were reported.

    BOSNIAN TROOPS ARREST SERB GENERAL, COLONEL. Bosnian soldiers have arrested a Serbian nationalist general, colonel, and several others on suspicion of war crimes, BBC reported Monday. The general, Gen. Djordje Djukic, was arrested after his vehicle made a wrong turn, and strayed onto Bosnian federation territory -- where it is illegal for Serb nationalists to carry weapons, the Bosnian government said.

    The Bosnian government has evidence that Djukic and Col. Aleksa Krsmanovic organized and carried out killing of civilians in the Sarajevo region, Bakir Alispahic, chief of the Bosnian security service, told reporters in Sarajevo. Their driver and two other Serbs being questioned are expected to be released shortly, Alispahic said, according to AP.

    Three other Serbs were arrested separately while traveling in a car filled with rifles, hand grenades, and large amounts of ammunition, he said. They are suspected of killing civilians around Bijeljina, Zvornik, Visegrad, and Foca in eastern Bosnia.

    A Bosnian government spokesman told BBC this morning that the Serbs are being held for questioning by the international war-crimes tribunal, and the government will accept any decision from the tribunal about the men. Djukic is a close associate of Gen. Mladic, indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity. (Mladic has retained command of the Bosnian Serb Army, in violation of the Dayton accords.)

    Serb nationalists are furious at the arrests, claiming they occurred in the demilitarized "zone of separation" while the general was en route to a meeting with NATO officials and were illegal.

    NATO spokesman Brig. Andrew Cumming said he was unaware of any scheduled meeting with the arrested Serb general on the day Djukic was detained. But Cumming called the arrests "not very helpful."

    "It would be a pity if this encouraged a retaliatory action," Cumming told Reuters. "Everything is very fragile. Small things like this could have an effect out of all proportion."

    Serb nationalist leaders suspended all contacts with the Bosnian- Croat federal government, and say they will no longer travel to government-held territory for any meetings.

    U.S. SOLDIER KILLED IN ACCIDENTAL EXPLOSION. An American soldier was killed after picking up an explosive on the side of a road near Gradacac, according to media reports. NATO officials had first announced the soldier, Donald A. Dugan, was killed after stepping on a mine, but later revised their account.

    BRIDGE OPENS TO CIVILIAN FOOT TRAFFIC. A day after French soldiers cleared barricades from a bridge between Grbavica and downtown Sarajevo, police on both sides of the bridge were allowing civilians to cross without prior authorization.

    "This crossing spells peace," Mejrema Golijanin told AP Thursday as she went to see her mother and sisters for the first time since June, 1992. "I don't have words to describe my feelings. I am delighted."

    Mira Colovic, crossed from Grbavica in hopes of seeing her granddaughter for the first time. "I cannot talk. I am too emotional," she said. "This should have been done a long time ago. Who wanted that bloody war?"

    Niko Frankovic, who fled Serb extremists in 1992, hoped to see his Grbavica apartment again -- although he was already told by others that everything in it was stolen. Despite all that had happened, Frankovic said he felt safe to visit Serb-held territory.

    "There's no security from IFOR, they're very thin," he told Reuters. "The important thing is that the atmosphere in the city has changed. The war is over. Nobody's looking to catch anybody from the other side. People want peace now." There was no word if the situation at the bridge had changed following the arrest of Serb Gen. Djukic by Bosnian forces.

    LONGING FOR SARAJEVO. While the government-held center of Sarajevo is coming back to life, Grbavica remains "a chilly grouping of damaged high-rises and former sniper nests, where all streets are marked by rows of protective shields," the N.Y. Times reports.

    "From their perches over the last two months, (Serb soldiers) have watched Sarajevo come alive with the bustle of people and the rush of trams. They have heard the distant thumping of discos and have seen empty buildings turned into shiny coffee bars," writes correspondent Kit Roane.

    "For the men on the bridge -- like many residents of Sarajevo's suburbs, well educated and accustomed to urban society -- a sadness has crept from the peace, a longing for the eclectic trappings of the city they tried to kill."

    Serbs besieging the city blasted most of its landmark buildings to rubble; and starved, shot, shelled, froze, and terrorized its civilian population. More than 10,000 died in the siege, many gunned down while searching for food or water.

    "Over there, they have cars, apartments, culture, and a country," Bosnian Serb policeman Risto Bebarovic told the Times. "I have the Bosnian Serb republic but I have no heart for this place."

    PROTESTS CONTINUE OVER THOUSANDS OF MISSING. Women who survived Serb massacres and expulsions in Srebrenica last summer continued their protests in Tuzla and Sarajevo this week. The women are demanding to know what happened to more than 7,000 men and boys still missing from the enclave, which was supposedly under "UN protection" when Serb forces overran it. Not a single Muslim remains in Srebrenica, according to Western reporters who visited the enclave, which had a pre-war Muslim majority.

    Most of the missing Muslims were believed slaughtered by Serb militia. However, some released prisoners say other Bosnian men are still being held in secret Serb-run slave-labor camps.

    Fatima Huseinovic, who helped organize the protests, told Reuters that Srebrenica survivors report such camps in a lead-zinc mine in Sase east of Srebrenica, a bauxite mine to the west in Milici, a supermarket basement in Srebrenica, a chicken farm in Sosari and a municipal center in Drinjaca near Zvornik.

    The UN's top human-rights official for the region, Elizabeth Rehn, visited the Srebrenica area on Sunday. On a tour with the new Serb "mayor" of Srebrenica, Milenko Canica, Rehn declared she found no evidence of hidden prisons after visiting two of 10 such suspected sites. "I asked them if they had any prisoners," Rehn said. "They told me no."

    "It is unlikely that she would have found any prisoners on Sunday, having announced her visit far in advance," the NY Times noted.

    Some recently freed Bosnian prisoners say their Serb captors regularly hid them from visiting international representatives. Suljo Halilovic, who had been held prisoner by Serbs in Foca, told Reuters: "They (the Red Cross) were there three times but we could only watch from a nearby barn."

    A separate UN effort, headed by Manfred Nowak, is seeking to examine mass graves -- not for evidence of war crimes, but to identify missing persons.

    Meanwhile, the Red Cross found 88 more Serb prisoners in a Tuzla jail. They are unlikely to be released while the Bosnian government feels no progress has been made on determining the fate of thousands of missing Bosnians.

    TRAUMATIZED CHILDREN. Salih Rasavac, director of a Sarajevo counseling center, estimates that more than half the children in Bosnia suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, with symptoms including insomnia, nightmares, loss of appetite, and short attention span, AP reports.

    "In the counseling center, children are asked to draw a tree and put their favorite things on the branches. One girl adds a sun and writes `mir' - peace - inside. On one branch, she writes in giant letters: `I want to see my best friend.' Underneath the tree roots, she scratches `dead,' `dying,' `grenade.'"

    SERBS STILL BALK AT EXTRADICTION, BOSNIAN NATION. Serbia's President Slobodan Milosevic has agreed to allow the international war-crimes tribunal to open an office in Belgrade. However, Milosevic said he will not turn over any war-crimes suspects to the tribunal. Instead, Milosevic claimed suspects would be tried in Serbia proper if found there, a U.S. official told AP after a meeting between Milosevic and U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Christopher traveled to Belgrade after stopping in Sarajevo and Tuzla. He was the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the Bosnian capital since the siege began.

    Also, Momcilo Krajisnik, "speaker" of the Bosnian Serb parliament, told the Belgrade news agency Beta that Radovan Karadzic will not step down from power, as required under the Dayton accords, Reuters reports. Karadzic has been indicted by the tribunal for genocide and crimes against humanity.

    Meanwhile, the vice president of Banja Luka's regional government, Radovan Bajic, has still not given up the dream of carving up Bosnia and joining with Serbia. "In our soul," Bajic told the N.Y. Times, "our capital is Belgrade." Banja Luka was known as the "heart of darkness" by Western aid workers for the brutal ethnic cleansing that took place there. More than a half million non-Serbs were killed, imprisoned, or expelled; and all mosques in the region destroyed.

    AID CRUCIAL. Bosnian officials say reconstruction aid is crucial if the country's fragile peace will have any chance of taking hold.

    "Our country is devastated in a way that practically cannot be described," Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic told a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Reuters reports. He said $3 billion a year for five years are needed to rebuild the country's shattered economy, housing stock, and infrastructure.

    Employing decommissioned soldiers is an urgent priority so men can lay down their weapons and rejoin civilian life. Now, however, there is almost noplace left to give them work. "Only 1 percent of the population are now employed in productive jobs," Muratovic said.

    Bosnia has so far not received any of the $510 million in emergency aid pledged by donors last December, he added.

    UN TO BUY GLASS FOR SARAJEVO. The UN plans to buy 350,000 square meters of glass for the Bosnian capital -- enough to replace about 70% of the windows shattered by four years of shelling and sniper fire, Reuters reports. Many Sarajevans -- who only have natural gas for heat every second day -- are surviving the Balkan winter with just plastic sheeting to screen them from the cold.

    Concrete, roof tiles, and timber will also be purchased to help Bosnians elsewhere repair their homes.

    NATO WARPLANES CALLED IN. Spanish troops called for NATO air support after finding Bosnian soldiers carrying rocket launchers, mortars, and more than 300 guns through a demilitarized zone near Mostar.

    The soldiers left peacefully and gave up their weapons after two A- 10 Thunderbolt ground-attack planes appeared, according to Western media reports. IFOR believes the troops were attempting to retrieve weapons they had left behind when pulling out of the zone.

    Local soldiers have violated neutral zones about 40 times in the past few weeks; but each time, the troops have been expelled and their weapons confiscated, Maj.-Gen. Mike Willcocks, chief of staff of NATO ground forces in Bosnia, told Reuters.

    CORRECTIONS. Dragan Nikolic was incorrectly identified as commandant of the Serb-run Omarska concentration camp. In fact, he was commander of the Susica camp near Vlasenica. Zeljko Meakic ran the Omarska camp, and has been indicted for genocide.

    Some versions of "This Week in BiH" had an incorrect URL for the complete AP story about Bosnian rape victims. The correct URL is: http://www.usatoday.com/news/index/nbos141.htm

    E-MAIL SUBSCRIPTION REQUESTS to nebosnia-list-approval@world.std.com or find "This Week in BiH" on the World Wide Web at http://world.std.com/~slm

    --Sharon Machlis Gartenberg, for the Bosnia Action Coalition (Mass./NH)


    Opinions expressed/published on BosNews/BosNet-B do NOT necessarily always reflect the views of (all of the members of) Editorial Board, and/or moderators, nor any of their host institutions.

    Murat Erkocevic <ErkocevicM@aol.com>

    Dzevat Omeragic <Dzevat@ee.mcgill.ca>

    Davor Wagner <DWagner@mailbox.syr.edu>

    Nermin Zukic <N6Zukic@sms.business.uwo.ca>


    [03] Artists And Winter Festival In Sarajevo

    The 'Sarajevo Winter' Festival, a traditional cultural event with national and international character.Its first season was in 1984/85, in the same time when the XIV Winter Olympic Games took place. For ten years of its exsistence the Festival has proven to be an active and inseparable part of the life of Bosnian capital and its citizens.

    During eleven seasons and its 558 days, there were more than 1000 various cultural events, performances and exhibitions, with more than a million visitors and several thousands participants. Artists coming from all over the World gave an international character to the event.

    Since 1985, the Artist Community 'Collegium Artisticum' has been taking an active part in the 'Sarajevo Winter' Festival activities and performances. Besides that, permanent tribunes for cultural and scientific gatherings brought together more than 400 scientific, public and cultural workers, journalists and artists with noticable effects.

    This unique manifestation of culture and art never stopped its activities, not even during the war. So, its ninth, tenth and eleventh season represened the most authentic resistance of not only Sarajevo artists and intelectuals against crime and destruction, barbarism and medieval siege.

    The programme for this season presents about 150 different events which will involve all Sarajevo theatres and galleries. Many interesting performances, like William Shakespeer's 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Hamlet' are expected with a great interest. Also. there are several concerts of Sarajevo Chamber Orchestra and Sarajevo Opera, film serials (from USA, Belgium and Spain), video festivals 'Witness of exsistence' and 'Geneva', different exhibitions, several book promotions, many other events and many known artists coming from UK, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Belgium...

    By organizing this Festival we call upon the World to decide on freedom, peace, creative work as a substitute for starvation, death and barbarism. In that way the 'Sarajevo Winter' Festival proves to be not simply a festival, but life itself.

    We would like to involve as many artists and artistic souls from all over the World to take a part in the Festival. We are aware that you are not able to come and join us here in Sarajevo, but we see an opportunity in these modern telecommunications, both through Internet e-mail and ordinary fax messages.

    If you want to join us and sent your ASCII art works or messages through e-mail, please use our Internet address IPC_SA@ZAMIR-SA.ZTN.APC.ORG If you prefer fax machine, please call us at 387 71 663 626

    We are hoping to receive as many works, to make an exhibition for the end of this year's 'Sarajevo Winter' Festival, in late March.

    Please, forward this message to other known mailing lists.

    All the best wishes from Sarajevo,

    Mirza Muminovic


    Opinions expressed/published on BosNews/BosNet-B do NOT necessarily always reflect the views of (all of the members of) Editorial Board, and/or moderators, nor any of their host institutions.

    Murat Erkocevic <ErkocevicM@aol.com>

    Dzevat Omeragic <Dzevat@ee.mcgill.ca>

    Davor Wagner <DWagner@mailbox.syr.edu>

    Nermin Zukic <N6Zukic@sms.business.uwo.ca>


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