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bosnet-digest V5 #77 / Sunday, 25 February 1996

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory


  • [01] Demonstrations In Seattle WA

  • [02] "Factories Will Build The Housing, People Will Build The town"

  • [03] News: Feb. 23, 96 (Silajdzic's "Our Bosna"; Vogosca Federal; Loose...)

  • [04] "Sarajevo-Tango" -- strip-cartoon by Hermann

  • [01] Demonstrations In Seattle WA

    Rally for Bosnia
    Picket President Clinton's Visit to Seattle

    Saturday, February 24 3 pm
    Shoreline Community College
    16101 Greenwood N.

    sponsored by Committee for MultiEthnic Bosnia

    our demands:

    Sovereign Multicultural Bosnia

    Reintegrate Sarajevo + Mostar Now

    Arm the Bosnian Republic

    Croatia Hands Off Bosnia

    Disarm Chetnik + HVO Fascists

    Arrest All War Criminals

    Account for 8,000 Missing from Srebrenica

    NATO: Open the Mass Graves

    Top War Criminals: Milosevic + Tudjman

    Self-Determination for Kosova

    Support Democracy in Serbia

    Committee for MultiEthnic Bosnia
    2318--2nd Ave
    Box 637
    Seattle, Wa 98121
    (206) 324-7794

    [02] "Factories Will Build The Housing, People Will Build The town"

    ``Factories will build the housing and people will build the town...'' Karadzic said, citing an old Communist mantra.

    ``We have requested from the international community to get clear very quickly on whether our understanding of Serb rights is correct or not... If they are not, we have already told them to give us 45,000 tents and 45,000 containers, and we will get our people on the move from Sarajevo immediately...'' nationalist Bosnian Serb R. Karadzic (also indicted for war crimes)

    [03] NEWS - Feb. 23, 96 (Silajdzic's "Our Bosna"; Vogosca Federal; Loose...)

    - ``If all the Bosnian Serb children know his car, NATO must know it, too...'' Milutin Drazic, a Bosnian Serb


    Sarajevo, Feb. 23,1996 (Press TWRA) - The former B-H Prime Minister H. Silajdzic will form a new party called "Our Bosnia". Our correspondent reported that Silajdzic gathered around himself former associates and ministers of Republic Government, and young experts. New party which still does not have complete program is announced as "pleasant surprise", and Silajdzic's associates say that this will be party of center. (end) S.K.

    Despite the repeated appeals, IFOR has failed to deliver on its promise to assist the International War Crimes Tribunal in Hague. Travels of indicted nationalist Bosnian Serb criminals, their appeals for ethnic purification have been, so far ignored by IFOR. One of the criminals, Gen. Ratko Mladic, spends most of his time in Han Pijesak compound, designed in the 1960s as a hideout in case of a Soviet attack. Only about 10 miles north, is the ethnically cleansed town of Vlasenica, where U.S. soldiers are setting up a major base.

    ``If all the Bosnian Serb children know his car, NATO must know it, too... But they are afraid to touch him,'' said Milutin Drazic, a Bosnian Serb soldier.

    ``Mladic is firmly in charge,'' Lt. Col. Milan Milutinovic, nationalist Bosnian Serb military spokesman, said in an interview. ``The Americans ought to realize this if they want peace in Bosnia.''

    Karadzic has come out of seclusion in Pale to make several trips to Belgrade, and Banja Luka. Even though he is less personally popular than Mladic, Karadzic has his own personal army of loyal secret police that has challenged even Mladic's military power.

    ``Whomever Milosevic picks is considered a traitor among the Bosnian Serbs,'' said Milos Vasic, an independent columnist.

    Mladic maintains strong ties with the Serb-led Yugoslav army, which still pays his salary, and especially with its chief of staff, Gen. Momcilo Perisic.

    ``Our president is our president, our general commander is our general commander, and whoever talks to the mediators, to IFOR, talks on their behalf and with their authorization,'' claimed nationalist Bosnian Serb Nikola Koljevic, formerly seen as potential successor to Karadzic.


    Sarajevo, Feb. 23,1996 (Press TWRA) - B-H Federation Police Forces entered Vogosca this morning, part of Sarajevo which was under Serbian control during the war. Dayton agreement denoted that Vogosca, together with another six parts of Sarajevo, has to fall under B-H Federation control. The arrival of federational Police Forces passed without incidents, but the well armed units of Italian IFOR were very visible on the ground. The Federational police will do regular rounds and take care of public security on Vogosca territory. "Vogosca mayor" appointed by Serbian authorities, R. Koprivica, stated that local Serbian civilian authorities will continue to do their work until March 19, and in the meantime the moving of Serbs who still live at Vogosca will continue. The representatives of international police forces estimate that on the territory of Vogosca there is still between 2OOO-3OOO citizens. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, Feb. 23,1996 (Press TWRA) - The high representatives of IFOR and military representatives of Bosnian Serbs are supposed to meet today at Banja Luka which would mean the continuation of the normal contacts after 15 days interruption. The meeting is announced after the headquarters of Bosnian Serbs' troops announced that the cooperation with IFOR will continue on all levels, in accordance with Dayton agreement, which was decision of "Pale parliament". Reuters reported that Serbs also announced the renewal of relations with B-H Federation.

    Washington - Commenting the decision of Bosnian Serbs "parliament", the US Defence Minister W. Perry stated that he wants "to see acts not only words". (end) S.K.


    Paris, Feb. 23,1996 (Press TWRA) - Gabriel Keller (48) is a new appointed French Ambassador in Belgrade. France become the first member of EC which renewed the diplomatic relations with FR Yugoslavia, on ambassadorial level. Since 1994, Keller has been charge de affairs in Belgrade, reported French Foreign Ministry. The countries members of EC withdrew their ambassadors after the Security Council adopted sanctions against FRY for helping the Bosnian Serbs. (end) S.K.


    New York, Feb. 23,1996 (Press TWRA) - UN General Secretary Ghali appointed Canadian Louis Arbour for new Chief Prosecutor of The Hague's Tribunal. The present Chief Prosecutor R. Goldstone will return to South Africa to resume his work as judge of Constitutional Court. L. Arbour is a judge of Ontario Appellation Court, and in October will take over the new post. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, Feb. 22,1996 (Press TWRA) - Party of Democratic Action (SDA) spokesman Ismet Grbo told TWRA the medical condition of B-H President A. Izetbegovic "was stable and there were no reason for concern". Vice-president of SDA, E. Bicakcic, told B-H Radio that President Izetbegovic was "out of immediate danger". As TWRA found out from the doctors circles the cause of present Izetbegovic's condition is heavy exhaustion due to Rome meeting where the negotiation lasted for more than 48 hours. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, Feb. 22,1996 (Press TWRA) - The B-H Presidency stated in a press release that "until recently Pale authorities directed Bosnian Serbs to Bratunac and Srebrenica, and two days ago they have started to direct them to Brcko, status of which still has not been denoted. This is the attempt to prevent the return of Bosniaks and Croats to parts of B-H which were given to Serbian entity". The B-H Presidency warned Serbs who are leaving suburbs of Sarajevo that they would "have to move once again because the Dayton agreement guarantees everyone the right to return to their houses". In a last few days Pale media announced that Bosniak and Croat property will be declared permanently abandoned and will be given to expelled Serbs. Bildt's office issued a proclamation to Serb population, guaranteeing all rights to Serbs if they stay on the areas under B-H Federation control. This includes the right to remain in present flats and houses regardless of whether they are legal tenants or they moved in during the war. In the same time, Sarajevo's mayor Kupusovic demanded from IFOR Commander to prevent the sabotages on objects of vital importance for the city because there is a fear that Serbs will try to place explosive in such objects before Federal Police Force takes them over.

    Pale - "Bosnian Serbs Parliament" rejected yesterday on Pale international community's accusations that Serb leaders advocate through media campaign mass moving of Sarajevo's Serbs. The press release said it was left "to each individual to decide whether he will stay or leave". The "parliament" expressed its understanding "for justified concern of Serbian population who do not want to live under Croat-Muslim Federation Government". (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, Feb. 22,1996 (Press TWRA) - "Our estimates are that almost all Serbs will leave Vogosca due to commands they received from Pale", stated B-H Foreign Minister J. Prlic. "Situation on the territory of Vogosca is very tense. Federal police will take over the control tomorrow", stated K. Janowski, UNHCR spokesman adding that "Serbs who are leaving, openly threat their compatriots and even burn down their houses. The roads which connect Vogosca with Ilidza and Pale since this morning have been crowded with colons of vehicle. The UNHCR spokesman warned that this humanitarian organization "will not help the moving of people because that is a clinical political manipulation and UNHCR does not want to be part of that game". (end) S.K.


    Washington, Feb. 22,1996 (Press TWRA) - "NATO has knowledge of several places which are similar to terrorist camps which IFOR discovered last week and IFOR soldiers will raid them if they are not dismissed in near future", stated US peace mediator R. Holbrooke in interview for Reuters. Holbrooke stated that he had very serious talks on that issue with President Izetbegovic. Holbrooke emphasized that he was not sure how much Izetbegovic knows about the other camps, but that he promised he will do all in his power to shut them down. R. Holbrooke continue his carrier as vice-president of First Investment Bank in Boston. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, Feb. 22,1996 (Press TWRA) - The IFOR Commander in B-H admiral L. Smith demanded from Security Council to postpone the discussion on lifting of sanctions against Bosnian Serbs for 48 hours. As IFOR Chief of Staff Gen. W. Carter stated IFOR expects official confirmation from Bosnian Serbs that they would cooperate in the work of joint military and civil commissions for implementation of peace plan. (end) S.K


    Sarajevo, Feb. 22,1996 (Press TWRA) - IFOR soldiers yesterday discovered a Bosnian Serbs bunker near Brcko with five armed bosnian Serbs, reported IFOR headquarters in Sarajevo. All arms will be seized, and bunker will be destroyed during the day. IFOR also seized from Bosnian Serbs two registered mine-launchers on the territory of north Bosnia which were directed toward one NATO basses in that part of B-H. It was qualified as "immediate threat". During this week IFOR also seized large amount of arms from Serbs near Ilijas. Near Modrica IFOR forced Serbian armed brigade to withdraw from the positions which they could not hold any longer according to Dayton Agreement. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, Feb. 22,1996 (Press TWRA) - IFOR spokesman in Sarajevo M. Rainer stated that on yesterday's meeting at Coralici place in Western Bosnia, between representatives of IFOR and Croatian border police, was solved the problem of five problematic points on the border between B-H and Croatia in accordance with Dayton's maps. Based on this agreement the meeting between representatives of B-H and Croatia in order to solve the minor problematic points on the border, is expected soon. (end) S.K.


    Mostar, Feb. 22,1996 (Press TWRA) - H. Koschnik whose duty as the EU Administrator over Mostar ends the end of June, will stay on the post until the end of the year. "Croats and Muslims asked for this mission to be prolonged for six months. I agreed", Koschnik said. He announced that on the meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels on Monday he will demand "more money and police" in order to make his mission in Mostar successful. (end) S.K.

    [04] "Sarajevo-Tango" -- strip-cartoon by Hermann

    "Sarajevo-Tango" can be found at

    Why "Sarajevo-Tango"

    The driving force behind this strip cartoon, where the very content goes beyond a mere picture book for entertainment, is indignation. More and more indignation. It tells of the drama experienced by a close friend of Hermann, the author and the instigator.

    Held in Sarajevo with his wife and their two children from the start of hostilities, they have been trapped there for 18 months. This friend is Ervin Rustemagic, a publishing agent.

    During these 18 months, he has been able to communicate with Hermann, mainly by fax. The messages are often barely legible because of the unstable electricity supply, when the transmissions were not interrupted by power cuts.

    The news could be summed up in a few words: shells, mortars, grenades, snipers, fires, ruins, wounds, blood, death, cellars, darkness, hope, despair, women, children, old people, illness, fear, winter, cold, hunger.

    What can be done to help Ervin? How can he and his family be spared the madness of the carnage of Sarajevo? It is a question of life and death. It haunted his thoughts, night and day.

    At the same time, he discovers the merciless steam roller of human stupidity, denying intelligence, knowing no compassion, crushing victims in Sarajevo, just as millions of others all over the world, whose only fault it is to be born and live in the wrong part of the planet and in our time.

    As Hermann went through more and more official (and unofficial) procedures to extricate Ervin Rustemagic and his family from their prison, he generally encountered polite interest or blatant indifference, and when formal promises were made, but not kept, his anger began to rise and ferment.

    Compared with the news broadcast by the media, the real day-to-day situation from a reliable source in the heart of the besieged city only served to strengthen his sense of urgency and feelings of impotence. And anger.

    Empty words, vain promises; betrayal of commitments, the attitude at the highest levels of the United Nations and among Western heads of state or their representatives can do nothing to hide the policy of "saying nothing and letting them get on with it". Important people - at least in name - close to home were informed and contacted. They made promises, forgot, and turned a deaf ear.

    Hermann sent urgent requests to for invention to help Ervin Rustemagic and his family all over the world, but without success. Requests which were usually not treated with the simple honesty or courtesy of a reply, even if it had to be negative.

    And while people were dying in Sarajevo every day live on our television screens, between chat shows and football matches, the attention of the general public was ebbing away. Widespread indifference had taken over.

    Hermann has the good fortune to be able to give shape to his indignation and anger through writing and drawing. His voice, his weapons, are words and pictures. Ervin and his family have been safe since September 1993, safe at last! Hermann decides not to pass on the story of his friend or an account of their shared disillusionment, but to communicate the disappointment and fury which have never ceased raging within him.

    A huge outpouring.

    A catharsis.

    This is the story of "Sarajevo-Tango".

    * The Story

    It takes place in Sarajevo. In exchange for a large amount of money, Zvonko Duprez, a former legionnaire now working as a mercenary, attempts to bring a young girl back to her mother in Switzerland.

    For odious reasons relating to his inheritance, the wealthy lady's second husband does not want the rescue operation to succeed, and sets a hired assassin on the trail of Duprez.

    A tale of adventure unfolds amid the exploding shells and the anonymous and deadly snipers'bullets, against the background of the icy-cold winter and the lack of food and medicines.

    This is a case of reality going beyond the realms of fiction.

    Sarajevo is here and now. This is the setting for Sarajevo-Tango.There is not much room for sob-stories here, that would be underestimating Hermann. The kid is a real pain, and Duprez only goes to Sarajevo for the money, not out of any noble feelings.

    If he carries out his job with cautiousness, boldness and the cynicism and apparent nonchalance of a hardened professional, the idea does come to mind that Hermann may have put something of himself into the character. And in the darkest hours of despair, might he not have contemplated going to extricate his friend with his family from the trap in which they were entangled?

    This is not far removed from the stuff of revolutionary pamphlets or diatribe.

    The violence of these feelings, fed by months of anxiety, disappointment, powerlessness and stifled rage certainly play an important role in the narrative.

    Hermann does not launch an all-out attack. His purpose is to expose the liars who refuse even to admit that there is a problem. His concern is to use the fury of his pencil to pinpoint the real culprits of the failure to offer succour to people in danger, who thus become accessories to murder.

    The artist caricatures the senior officials of the United Nations with acerbic irony, showing each of them comfortably housed in a huge block of cheese, in which each has carved out his own hole. This is intended to represent the famous steel and glass building on the bank of the East River in New York.

    As for the blue berets in UNPROFOR, caught between the devil and the deep blue sea in a real-life mission impossible, literally paralysed by the eternal evasiveness and subterfuges of the decision-makers, Hermann gives them distinctly Smurf-like berets, a symbol of his impression of the pointlessness of the token interventions by the UN in the war-torn former Yugoslavia.

    * About the author

    Hermann is one of the most renowned comic strip authors in Europe.

    Over the last thirty years, his books have been read by countless thousands of readers, translated into many different languages and published worldwide.He has often condemned injustice, the folly of mankind, the unquenchable thirst for power.

    This is the case in the "Jeremiah" series, in which most of the eighteen titles deal with the thirst for power and the abuses this engenders. You can also read other works by Hermann about the hidden control exerted by certain powers over the politics of some countries in Missi Vandisandi.

    There is no lack of subjects, with the entire planet rocked by armed conflict. There is bloodshed everywhere, crimes go unpunished, assassins and their accomplices can arrogantly sit untroubled alongside those in power. The words "ethnic cleansing" and all the horror they convey have become banal to the point of nausea.

    Hermann expresses and condemns this in all its forms in his work which already includes sixty books.

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