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bosnet-digest V5 #62 / Sunday, 11 February 1996

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


  • [01] Karadzic: "I Am Stronger Then Deng Xiaoping"

  • [02] Feb. 11, 96 (HS New party; "Full Compliance"; 4 Released; Thugs In MO)

  • [03] Oslobodjenje's SVIJET: About Gen. Divjak; AAA; Tudjman's Thugs In MO?!

  • [01] Karadzic: "I Am Stronger Then Deng Xiaoping"

    Washington Post, Saturday, February 10, 1996, page A1


    BANJA LUKA, Bosnia, Feb. 9 -- Bosnia Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has emerged from behind the scenes for the first time since the Dayton peace accord, staging a defiant show of authority and scoffing at his indictment by the International War Crimes Tribunal.

    Karadzic mounted his political reentry at Banja Luka, the major Serb-held city 90 miles northwest of Sarajevo, in his first visit here since a string of Bosnian Serb military defeats on October that helped lead to the peace agreement the following month. Opposition officials and Rajko Kasagic, another high-ranking Bosnian Serb leader, noted that the appearance -- which dominated the nightly news and included a live television appearance, "Ask the President" -- had all the trappings of a kickoff to an election campaign.

    It was, they said, a clear sign that the Montenegrin-born, nationalistic Serb leader has decided to fight attempts to sideline him by President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia, his former patron, and by an increasingly strong Serb opposition within Bosnia itself.

    A political comeback by Karadzic could deal a severe setback to the U.S.-led NATO peacekeeping operation in Bosnia. In addition to being an indicted war criminal, Karadzic opposed the Dayton accord and, in particular, has sought to block the mandated return of Serb-populated suburbs of Sarajevo to the Muslin-led Bosnian government's control.

    Karadzic's visit was carried out under the noses of NATO troops. On Thursday, Karadzic's motorcade sped through at least four checkpoints manned by Italian, American, Russian and then American soldiers. In Banja Luka, during his appearance today, a British NATO vehicle was parked nearby. No attempts were made to detain him.

    "This is ridiculous," Karadzic said of the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. "It is shameful what they are doing. They are accusing the political and military leadership without a shred of evidence."

    In an interview, Karadzic said he would not go to the tribunal willingly, "It is not a court of a tribunal," he said. "It is a form of lynching for the whole nation. Why should I do that?"

    Karadzic also insisted his political position in Serb-held Bosnia is rock-solid despite reports that his popularity has faded since the peace agreement was put together last November near Dayton, Ohio, and signed in Paris in December. He specifically did not rule out participating in nationwide elections planned for late this year, brushing aside provisions in the Dayton accord that ban any indicted war criminal from taking part.

    "I am stronger than Deng Xiaoping," the former psychiatrist said, referring to China's aging leader who rules the world's biggest country from behind the scenes. "My power is not informal. It is formal. All of my associates are fully loyal. All of them ask me what to do."

    Indeed, Karadzic announced tonight a new law that would allow Serb refugees to keep, but not sell, Muslim and Croat houses they have taken over in the region.

    Bosnian Serb sources said Karadzic's attempt to reemerge in Serb politics after months of seclusion was bolstered by the Muslim-led government's recent arrests of Serb soldiers and officers suspected of war crimes. The arrests, which led Bosnian Serb authorities to cut off contacts with the Sarajevo government and the NATO peace force, also discredited moderate Bosnian Serbs who were pushing for a conciliatory line, they explained.

    "There are some people in our party who were trying to bring us closer to the Muslim-Croat Federation before this happened," Kasagic, who is prime minister of Karadzic's self-styled Bosnian Serb government, said in an interview. "This experience has showed us that the 'Brotherhood and Unity' line is dead."

    His view was echoed by Dragutin Ilic, the leader of the strongest opposition party in Bosnian Serb-held territory, the Serbian Socialist Party of the Serb Republic, which has backed better ties with Muslims and Croats.

    "These arrests will only strengthen Karadzic," Ilic said. "They will only help the extremists on all side of Bosnia."

    Muslim police have captured Bosnian Serb Gen. Djordje Djunic and Col. Aleksa Krsmanovic along with other, lower-ranking soldiers over the last two weeks on the outskirts of Sarajevo and are holding some of them on suspicion of war crimes. The arrests have triggered the gravest crisis so far in NATO's seven-week-old deployment aimed at bringing peace to Bosnia after 3 1/2 years of unrelenting war.

    Richard Goldstone, chief prosecutor of the war crimes tribunal, has said that based on the information he has seen, there is justification to keep the two officers in custody. But other Western officials have privately voiced opposition to the arrests, saying that while technically permissible under the Dayton agreement, they came at an inopportune time in the implementation of the accord and uprooted the first sprouts of hope for improved ties between Bosnia's Muslims and Serbs.

    But Karadzic, in the interview, denied the claims of Gen. Ratko Mladic, the top Serb military officer, that the Serbs would break relations with the NATO force. And Kasagic later predicted that Serb contacts with NATO and Carl Bildt, the top Western diplomat in Bosnia, would resume Saturday.

    If carried out as indicated by Karadzic and Kasagic, the resumption of contacts would not only defuse the crisis but also amount to a repudiation of Mladic, who ordered his forces to boycott both the Sarajevo government and NATO forces.

    Karadzic's foray into northern Bosnia was seen as a bold move by the Serb leader. He has had little backing in this area, which has turned increasingly toward the Serbian Socialist Party as an alternative to Karadzic's nationalistic line. The main source of Karadzic's power traditionally has been Sarajevo, where he lived before the war.

    But in both Prijedor and later in Banja Luka, Karadzic apparently succeeded in bending politicians to his will, thereby underscoring his enduring influence.

    In Banja Luka, Karadzic attended an important conference of his Serbian Democratic Party, the organization that led Bosnia into war in April 1992. At the meeting, he handily suppressed a challenge to his authority launched by Predrag Radic, the popular mayor of Banja Luka who, although a member of Karadzic's party, has been highly critical of his chief.

    The challenge concerned who would assume Kasagic's seat on the municipal council of Banja Luka. It became vacant late last year when he was appointed prime minister of the Bosnian Serb self-proclaimed state. Radic's candidate lost, Kasagic said.

    "We don't have any more political enemies form among Croats and Muslims," Karadzic said, referring to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of them from Serb-held ground. "The new enemies are people with left-wing ideas that are alien to the Serbian people."

    Serbian President Milosevic has backed the Serbian Socialist Party here, providing it with money and daily media coverage from Belgrade-based TV.

    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 <>

    Dzevat Omeragic <>

    Davor Wagner <>

    Nermin Zukic <>

    [02] Feb. 11, 96 (HS New party; "Full Compliance"; 4 Released; Thugs In MO)

    PRINC CHARLES IN SARAJEVO Sarajevo, Feb. 1O,1996 (Press TWRA) - During the visit to Sarajevo, Princ Charles, who is known as expert in architecture, visited the ruins of old city hall, where the University library was located. Princ said that he will speak, next week during his visit to Morocco, with moroccan architects about the possibilities of renewal of city hall. The city hall had been built during Austro-Hungarian monarchy in pseudo-mauric style. The Sarajevo's architect circles denoted this statement as "idiotic". (end) F.N.

    "PERFECT CIRCLE" IS BEING SHOT IN SARAJEVO Sarajevo, Feb. 1O,1996 (Press TWRA) - The producer's house "SAGA" started to make the first B-H movie "Perfect Circle". Director is Ademir Kenovic and scenarist Abdulah Sidran. The main roles are played by Mustafa Nadarevic, Zaim Muzaferija and Josip Pejakovic.(end) S.K.

    SILAJDZIC IS ESTABLISHING A NEW PARTY Sarajevo, Feb 9, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Former B-H prime minister H. Silajdzic held a press conference in the Reuters office placed in the TV B-H building. He announced establishing a political party "details on which will be soon disclosed." On the situation in Mostar he said: "Democratization must extend to our neighbours, Croatia and Serbia. B-H cannot be an island, a democratic oasis. Democratization is developing slowly but it cannot be stopped. Failure or success of some solutions leading to the proper goal (unified state, normal life and reconstruction) depends on it."

    Representatives of some US associations for aid to Bosnia at local and state level wishing to remain anonymous, have released that the US Council for peace in the Balkans (association including respectable US politicians and public persons advocating the aid for B-H) informed them they would be provided financial support if they lobbied for H. Silajdzic. /end/ A.S.

    `The border will not be closed,'' stated Maksim Stanisic, mayor of Sarajevo's areas under nationalist Bosnian Serb control, despite the orders from Gen. Mladic to the contrary. ``We want to talk about all important issues... Everything now is very dangerous. The peace process is like a ship being tossed on the sea,'' Stanisic said.

    ``During the war Mladic was God. But now he is not. There is a big question mark over him,'' a Bosnian Serb civilian remarked.

    "We are here to insist on full compliance with Dayton, no exceptions, no changes... We consider this as the first serious challenge to the Dayton agreement... All three parties are still saying they will comply but they are arguing over what compliance means. We are here to help them straighten it out," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Holbrooke stated during his visit to Sarajevo on Sunday.

    Holbrooke met Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic and told reporters: "We absolutely reaffirmed full compliance with Dayton...We furthermore reaffirmed America's support for Mayor Koshnick's proposals in regard to Mostar."

    Hans Koshnick, the EU administrator for the divided southern town, made the arbitration decision last Wednesday which provoked a violent Croat response. Holbrooke's comments suggested some compromise might be in the works. He declined to elaborate, saying only that he would fly to Belgrade on Sunday and return to Sarajevo on Monday for further discussions.

    Bosnian government authorities Saturday released four Bosnian Serbs detained on suspicion of involvement in war crimes: Zoran Spasojevic, Branislav Lolic, Milan Bogunovic and Mico Dosenovic.

    ``My husband is not guilty. I just hope that my husband will be allowed to go home... He didn't do anything wrong,'' Slobodanka Krsmanovic, wife of detained Serbian colonel claimed. She was escorted into the prison by Amb. Steiner, principal deputy to Carl Bildt, the international community's High Representative for Bosnia, and Peter Ftizgerald, Commissioner of the U.N. police force.

    They emerged about 75-minutes later and Mrs Krsmanovic said: ``I spent 15 minutes with my husband. He didn't complain... My husband is a old man. I expect everybody to help me to get my husband home soon... He doesn't feel well. We went for a meeting and everything was done in a correct way to come and have a visit.''

    There was no specific information on what medical problem Krsmanovic might have, nor how those might have affected his military service.

    The United States' top military officer, Gen. John Shalikashvili, was also in Sarajevo Friday. He asked Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic to release those men against whom there was no evidence of war crimes involvement.

    ``I can promise you that we are going to continue searching for truth in every way,'' Alija Izetbegovic told the crowd of Srebrenica's wives and mothers took to the podium demanding to know what he was doing to find their men.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross said this week it believed that most of about 3,000 men were slaughtered by nationalist Bosnian Serbs, while it also called on Serb authorities to account for a further 5,000 men still classified as missing.

    President Izetbegovic said he was setting up a commission, with representatives of relatives of the missing, to supervise government operations trying to determine the fate of the men.

    ``People ask why I signed the Dayton agreement... I signed the Dayton agreement so there would not be another Srebrenica and then another and another -- I knew what the situation was...Our best sons were dying and that had to be stopped. Our nation is a small nation... With God's help I would have liked to have signed the peace agreement a year ago and then there would not have been a Srebrenica.''

    IZETBEGOVIC'S LETTER TO AGNELLI Sarajevo, Feb. 1O,1996 (Press TWRA) - President of B-H Presidency Alija Izetbegovic sent the letter to Italian Foreign Ministress S. Agnelli regarding the Mostar situation. In his letter Izetbegovic warned that apart from city structure far more important things were in question. He emphasized that in western part of Mostar "the basic human rights, freedom of movement, religious practice and political action, and the right on private property were suspended".

    Izetbegovic stressed in his letter that those who attacked the EU Administration in Mostar a few days ago "support the division of the city and maintenance of unnatural and unjust situation". "We were prepared to make certain concessions and we made them to avoid the conflict but at present there is more important issue - whether the violence will be legalized and continued", says the letter. (end) S.K.

    US SUPPORTS KOSCHNIK'S DECISION Washington, Feb. 1O,1996 (Press TWRA) - Commenting the situation in Mostar after H. Koschnik's decision, the State Department spokesman G. Davis stated: "The sides agreed they will comply to the EU Administrators decisions and we expect them to do that in full. We told Croatian Government to assure the compliance to EU Administrator's decision". He called upon Bosnian Serbs to return to negotiations and added that they should not obey the Gen. Mladic's orders because he was accused for war crimes.

    Budapest - The US State Secretary R. Holbrooke stated that "US will not allow anyone to jeopardize the implementation of Dayton agreement". (end) S.K.

    BAGO - NEW CROATIAN AMBASSADOR IN B-H Sarajevo, Feb. 1O,1996 (Press TWRA) - Darinko Bago, new Ambassador of Croatia in Bosnia and Herzegovina delivered his letter of credit to President A.Izetbegovic. He delivered the President Tudjman regards and expressed the hope that by performing his duty as representative of Croatia he will win the confidence of President Izetbegovic. (end) S.K.

    MILITARY COOPERATION: RUSSIAN FEDERATION - FR YUGOSLAVIA Belgrade, Feb 9, 1996 (Press TWRA) - "If NATO wants to expand towards eastern and middle Europe, there is nothing left for us but to protect our interests. We did not mean to establish another military bloc but it should not be ruled out," said Russian defence minister P. Grachov after meeting with his Yugoslav counterpart Pavle Bulatovic who supported the idea of military alliance saying: "NATO must not be the only one." They agreed to promote bilateral relations between Moscow and Belgrade particularly with regard to military cooperation. /end/ A.S.

    CROATIA - COOPERATION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL TRUBINAL Zagreb, feb 9, 1996 (Press TWRA) - After yesterday's decision of the Council for defence and national security (VONS), Croatian government decided to propose Constitutional law on cooperation with ICTY (International Tribunal) in the Hague. That will enable cooperation between Croatia and ICTY including the extradition of the charged war criminals and Croatia to avoid the international isolation & blockade in joining European integration. /end/ A.S.

    UNPROFOR DEVASTATED AND CHEATED BOSNIAN POSTAL SYSTEM Sarajevo, Feb 9, 1996 (Press TWRA) - B-H PTT (Post-Communications System) announced that, after IFOR left, the Post office 2, near the railway station, was found devastated. The assessed damage amounts to USD 48O,OOO. After being used more than 2.5 years, the building of the Post office 2 should have been returned to PTT on Dec 21, 1995 but the UN soldiers changed theirs for IFOR uniforms, falsely presenting themselves as IFOR announcing their further stay in the building. They left this week. /end/ A.S.

    DRAGAN GASIC ON INCIDENTS IN MOSTAR Mostar, Feb 9, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Spokesman of the EUAM (EU Administration in Mostar) talked at the press conference about the attack on the seat of EAUM and Hans Koschnick which Croat extremists launched two days ago.

    "H. Koschnick's vehicle was targeted while he was inside, encircled and blocked by a mass of demonstrators. Experts of WEU (West-European Union) police found traces of 11 to 12 bullets in the vehicle. (...) Demonstrators damaged 19 vehicles, 13 in possession of WEU and six of EUAM. All the vehicles will be repaired in Germany. (...) Some Croatian media's claim that a peaceful protest was held in Mostar, is false. If it had been a peaceful protest, what would be something that Croatian media call differently like. (...) Allegation of Croatian media that Koschnick remained in the mass for a short time reaching his office after the intervention of Croat mayor M. Brajkovic, is not true. Nothing that was said, is true. The truth is that Mr Koschnick was held up for more than an hour and all that was happening to him and his associates was recorded by foreign TV and other media. The world had chance to see the occurrences in Mostar. (...) Beside individual calls of the residents admitting H. Koschnick they were horrified by the scenes, Croat authorities have not made any official excuse. (...) H. Koschnick had a phone talk with Croatian president F. Tudjman but I 'd rather not about details of the conversation. (...) Memorandum on understanding between Bosniaks and Croats in Mostar makes both sides responsible for protection of EU Administration - staff and administrator. EUAM is placed in the western part of the town where Croat police is in charge and must protect and intervene in case of criminal acts what obviously happened on Wednesday. As you could see, Croat police did not even try to prevent attack on the EUAM building or protect Koschnick alone. (...) Many European governments severely protested against Croat demonstrators. Klaus Metscher, Administrator's deputy, left for Rome this morning to talk about the incidents in Mostar with Italian foreign minister Susana Agnelli. (...) I cannot comment the claims of some German media that Croat mayor M. Brajkovic is the first to be blamed for the incidents in Mostar. We were informed that even children took part at demonstrations and it is clear that the organizers are responsible. (...) It could be clearly heard that local Croat TV called several times for demonstrations before the EUAM seat. (...) NATO secretary general Javier Solana will arrive at Mostar on Monday being another sign of support that the administrator Koschnick enjoys for his efforts both by EU and USA. It is a reason more for H. Koschnick not to change his decision and not to leave Mostar before the term comes."

    In the news of local Croat Radio Mostar, Koschnick is called "European scum", EUAM described as "European terrorists." Due to pillage and demolishing, some relief agencies leave western part of Mostar for eastern, among them Medicos del Mundo. /end/ A.S.

    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 <>

    Dzevat Omeragic <>

    Davor Wagner <>

    Nermin Zukic <>

    [03] Oslobodjenje's SVIJET: About Gen. Divjak; AAA; Tudjman's Thugs In MO?!

    Contributed by Bernie Meares


    Trieste, 12 February - "Svijet", Oslobodjenje's new glossy weekly in its second issue, 8 February 96, criticizes the links between Bosnia's military and Party establishment. One of its two cover stories: "Who Commands in the Army - the Party or the State", by Gojko Beric, points out that with the appointment of Generals Dudakovic and Alagic to the leadership of the SDA, there are now four generals at the top of the mainly-Muslim party, and recalls that "only the Communists had more generals on its central committee". Its second cover story runs a detailed four-page interview with General Divjak (the Bosnian Serb general who was second in command of the BiH government army) run with the headline: "Izetbegovic wanted me to be retired". Other articles on the army's role in the rule of the SDA include Kemal Kurspahic's feature: Alija, the Party, the Army, and "The Unfit (Non-)Bosniaks", by Djuro Kozar, on the need for non-Muslims to be present in the army in large numbers. Of equal importance is the interview with Bogic Bogicevic, Bosnian Serb also on the government side, last Bosnian representative on the collective presidency before the Belgrade leadership attacked Slovenia and Croatia, and then Bosnia.

    There are features on Bosnia's inclusion in the EU's Phare Programme for the reconstruction of East European economies, and on the programmes to return refugees from various European countries. There are translations from journalists writing in other languages (such as by Gigi Riva on a visit to the Serb-held quarter of Grbavica in downtown Sarajevo, written specially for Svijet, and other translated articles by John Pomfret, and Mark Thompson). There is an article drawing on interviews by French journalist Frederique Parent with racketeers of the HVO in Mostar, showing the direct involvement of Tudjman's inner circle in the main Croat actions around Mostar and in Western Bosnia, in part through deals with the Serbs. There are also translated articles (by Andre Glucksmann, Alain Finkelkraut, and Stanko Cerovic) on the persistent doubts surrounding the making, subject matter and treatment of Emir Kusturica's film: "Underground", as well as its use for Serbian propaganda ends.

    The new glossy's ray-ban and Lamborghini polish contrasting with its newsy attack on issues surrounding Bosnia make it unclear the exact readership that it is aiming at, but its interest in other world issues beyond parochial Balkan concerns could help it find a niche that takes readers away from the Belgrade Vreme, Slovenia's Mladina and other committed glossies in the former Yugoslav market. It makes a change from the propaganda approach of some of the other Bosnian weeklies, however, and I trust it will be read for a long time to come in Bihac and Bugojno, as well as Ljubljana and Sarajevo, Split and Stuttgart, and that pretty soon people in Banja Luka and Brcko will be allowed to read it too.

    Address of editorial offices: 61000, Dunajska 5, Ljubljana, tel. (+38661)1326-266; fax: (+38661)318179/1334032

    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 <>

    Dzevat Omeragic <>

    Davor Wagner <>

    Nermin Zukic <>

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