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BosNet NEWS / Mar. 27, 1996

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] B.H. LEVY ON TUDJMAN'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS BOSNIA

  • [02] "CORRIERE DELLA SERA" ON MILITARY STRENGTHENING OF BH ARMY

  • [03] MEETING IN MERANO ON GENOCIDE IN CROATIA AND B-H

  • [04] FORTHCOMING BH FEDERATION DEFENSE LAW

  • [05] POSTPONEMENT OF BONN MEETING

  • [06] BLASKOVIC'S CONDITIONS UNACCEPTABLE

  • [07] FREQUENT CROAT-BOSNIAK INCIDENTS

  • [08] SACIRBEY RESPONDS TO EUROPEAN CRITICISM OF ARMING BOSNIA

  • [09] BELGRADE-LJUBLJANA: DISPUTE OVER REPAYMENT OF DEBTS

  • [10] CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNCIL OF INNOVATORS

  • [11] PARDEW: BOSNIA MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN IRAN AND USA

  • [12] CAA LOBBIES FOR "HERZEG-BOSNIA" IN THE U.S.

  • [13] GENERAL DJUKIC'S LAWYER ON ICTY

  • [14] B-H FEDERATION SESSION ASSEMBLY POSTPONED

  • [15] US HELP BY MIDDLE OF APRIL

  • [16] ZUBAK VISITED PALE

  • [17] W. PERRY ON A WEEK TOUR


  • [01] B.H. LEVY ON TUDJMAN'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS BOSNIA

    Paris, Sarajevo, March 24, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Slovenian daily "delo" quotes extracts from the book "Lily and Ashes" written by French philosopher and publisher Bernard Henry Levy. The book's subtitle is "Writer's Diary During the War in Bosnia". Levy writes about the dinner which president Tudjman organized on Jan. 18, 1993 for, at that time French minister for humanitarian aid Bernard Kouchner, the founder of Medicins de Monde, Medicins sans Frontieres. Levy was also present at the dinner. Kouchner invited Tudjman to stop the B-H army-HVO conflict in central Bosnia. F. Tudjman first looked at Kouchenr with disbelief telling him it was too late and impossible to stop the fighting at that time of the night. But, Dr Kouchner persisted with his demand, so Tudjman shrugged his shoulders, stood up and went to the telephone. He had a short phone talk then waited for a while and made another phone talk, then returned and told the French minister: "So, you might be pleased. I stopped the war and it is my present for you." The next day was released that the conflict had been stopped the previous night - it was one of the first short truces in Croat-Bosniak war. During the same evening, one of the present Frenchman asked Tudjman about A. Izetbegovic: "Don't you have the same foes and similar interests so that the best for Bosniaks and Croats would be to unite in the fighting against Milosevic?" Tudjman looked at him reproachfully and said: "Bosniaks are not a nation, they do not have a history of a nation or the right to be called a nation. Nation is the state, race and blood and many different races and blood settled in what is called Bosnia. How could an integrated whole be possibly made of such an intertwined impure ethnicity? No, gentlemen, no, Bosniaks must disappear."

    Levy writes: " Now I know who Tudjman looks after. He has the expression of "vague limitedness" that Italian writer Malaparte recognized in the head of the ustasha "Independent State of Croatia", Ante Pavelic when he first met him. /end/A.S.


    [02] "CORRIERE DELLA SERA" ON MILITARY STRENGTHENING OF BH ARMY

    Rome, March 25, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Italian daily "Corriere della Sera" criticized European countries for their failure to cooperate with the U.S. in arming the BH Federation Army, a question discussed in Ankara few days ago. It says: "Europe set apart naively from the U.S. decision to allot 100 million US$ for arming Bosniaks. Europe insists on rebuilding, without taking account of: 1) possible additional arming of Serbs, helped by Russia, 2) necessity of military balance for ensuring peace in BH once NATO leaves the territory and with unprotected BH borders (...) By helping BH Federation, the U.S. want to escape the influence of islamic countries which have already been very generous helping and arming BH Army, regardless of arms-embargo. Only from Saudi-Arabia, alleged 300 million US$ arrived. Washington conditions its military help by ending of Sarajevo- Iran military relations. Recently, President Izetbegovic stated that such kind of relations have already been stopped. (...) Bosnia tries to follow the model of Croatia, which has entrusted itself to Pentagon and private american agencies. Zagreb is already a small regional power: it recently exposed a first submarine fabricated in Croatia, it intentions to buy the U.S. telecommunications, rockets, helicopters and planes."<end> A.S.

    Croatian General's defence counsel Zvonimir Hodak said the indicted general will not give himself up to the ICTY as previously indicated.

    ``We are not travelling to The Hague in these circumstances... Blaskic would be put under house arrest in a house chosen by the tribunal, he would not have a freedom of contacts with his lawyers and family members, and we would have to pay the Dutch security which would guard him 24 hours a day... These conditions are totally unacceptable and contrary to what we thought was already agreed with Judge Goldstone... We decided not to make ourselves available to the tribunal under these conditions, because our good intentions were not adequatly appreciated...'' Hodak said.


    [03] MEETING IN MERANO ON GENOCIDE IN CROATIA AND B-H

    Merano, March 26, 1966 (Press TWRA)

    International meeting on human right violation, ethnic cleansing and genocide in Croatia and B-H '91 to '96 is held in Merano. The aim of the meeting is to present overall effects that war has on "post-war survival of ethnic communities wishing to maintain and build their identity." Initiator of the meeting Franz Pahl (vice-president of the autonomous Italian region Trentino-Sudtirol where many Austrians live), reminds that from 1993-96, the region gave from its budget DEM 13 million of humanitarian aid to Bosnia and Croatia saying the aggressor and victims should be differentiated and human and political solidarity with the victims of Serb aggression should be shown. Pahl recently visited Mostar expressing similar views to those of Croat extremists with regard to the structure of the town and the B-H Federation. Croatian minister for refugees and displaced persons Adalbert Rebic attends the meeting in Merano and some Croats from B-H - Jadranka Cigelj (refugee from Prijedor, ex-detainee of a Serb conc-camp), Martin Raguz (minister for refugee in the governments of the B-H Federation and "Herzeg Bosnia") and Marinko Skobic (director of the Center for documentation on war crimes of "Herzeg Bosnia"). /end/A.S.

    [04] FORTHCOMING BH FEDERATION DEFENSE LAW

    Sarajevo, March 27, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    BH Federation Defense Minister, V.Soljic, in his today's interview to "Oslobodjenje", spoke about new BH Federation defense law: "Preparation of a new federal defense law reached its final phase. There are only two problematic issues which should be solved in a short period: Army Supreme Command and right to choose in which of the two components a military service will be served. The peace accord envisages a two-component-BH Federation Army, composed of BH Army and HVO, having all formations, including corps. A defense system is exclusively under the competence of BH Federation, so a solution acceptable for both sides should be found. According to the new law, Defense Ministry will be superior to the future Army Headquarters, which proves that a decree on civil command upon the Army will be fully respected. The Federal army will be free of policy or religion and established as a professional power, capable to defend BH Federation." <end> S.K.

    [05] POSTPONEMENT OF BONN MEETING

    Bonn, March 27, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Germany postponed a meeting that should have been held tomorrow with leaders of the BH Federation, also envisaged as a celebration of BH Federation second anniversary, but during the preliminary negotiations the two components did not succeed to decrease existing differences so the negotiations on the ground should be continued. "Warring parties must want peace, for nobody else could impose it to them, nor even 60.00 IFOR soldiers", German Foreign Ministry spokesman stated, explaining the reasons of the postponement. <end> S.K.

    [06] BLASKOVIC'S CONDITIONS UNACCEPTABLE

    The Hague, March 27, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Z. Hodak, Lawyer of Gen. T.Blaskic accused by Int. Court for war crimes, met today with Main Prosecutor Goldstone. After this meeting Hodak stated that the reason of his arrival to the Hague is "defining of the conditions for the defense of Gen. Blaskic on freedom." "We are trying to overcome financial difficulties", Hodak said, "for the amount of 1.5 million US$, needed per year for accommodation and salaries of 14 guards, and which Blaskic should pay for staying on freedom, is simply unacceptable." He also explained this financial problem could be solved by support of "certain groups of interest" in Herzeg-Bosnia." As a main reason of Gen. Blaskic's absence from the Hague, where he was supposed to arrive on Friday, Hodak mentioned these financial problems, but as it was found out from the sources close to the Court, imposing of such conditions is considered as unacceptable. It could be a possible exemption but this could also be asked by other accused. Such a decision could only be resolved by Court President and Court Council, with prior discussion. Defense on freedom can only be realized if it is undeniably proven that there would be no influence upon the process itself and that life on any witness is not endangered. This second point puts in question a safety of part of witnesses living in area under the HVO control, whose member is also Gen. Blaskic. <end> S.K.

    [07] FREQUENT CROAT-BOSNIAK INCIDENTS

    Sarajevo, March 26, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    New disputes between Croats and Bosniaks in B-H recently arisen, are revealed. Protesting against establishment of the Sarajevo canton, HDZ of Sarajevo to C. Bildt's Office withdrew from Federal commission for the town's reintegration. HDZ protested against the meeting of Schwarz-Schilling with "illegal" head of the Sarajevo canton.

    The B-H Federation Constitutional Parliament's session to be held from March 28, is postponed for April 14, 1996, as Federal government failed to provide the proposal of the law and due to the obligations of Zubak & Ganic at the meeting in Petersburgh, Germany. Vice-chairman of SDA Bicakcic and chairman of B-H HDZ Rajic headed the meeting of the two parties' delegations. They decided to establish two Croat majority cantons (Livno & Siroki Brijeg as the seats) and two mixed cantons (seats in Mostar and Travnik). They discussed cooperation between the components of the armed forces (HVO and B-H army). Rajic demands greater Croat role in the B-H institutions cooperating with ICTY, judging the Sarajevo canton establishment as unconstitutional and contrary to previous agreements. They together called for promoting positive examples in the B-H Federation and ending the media war. Bicakcic and Rajic excused and dissociated themselves from labelling the two officiasls of the two nations.

    Bugojno - The session to constitute the Interim Municipality Council of Bugojno failed. After a dispute over the flags (Croats demand the same status for the state flag of Croatia and B-H, but Bosniaks agree only to the same status for the SDA and HDZ flags, Croats and Bosniaks). Break of the session caused disagreement due to verification of some delegates' mandate for the Assembly of the Bugojno municipality.

    Stolac - Chairman of SDA in Stolac Mirsad Mahmutcehajic refused to sign the agreement on setting up the Interim Municipality Council prepared by Croat leaders in the town. The constitutional ssession planned for tomorrow is under question.

    Orasje - At 1 am yesterday, a bomb was thrown on the mosque in Orasje, the HVO-held north B-H town, where no Croat-Bosniak conflict occurred. Local police allege the material damage inflicted was not substantial.

    Travnik - Leader of Croats from Travnik in refuge at Nova Bila, M. Batinic ("head of the Travnik municipality" for Croat media) alleges that on March 23, B-H police carried out a raid in Travnik, checking if the Croats who returned, had the permit to do so - if they are on the list of the pilot-program (Travnik, Bugojno, Jajce, Stolac). About 1OO Croat families had not permit so they were ordered to leave Travnik in 24 hours, says Batinic who addressed Bildt, Steiner, Schwarz-Schilling, Zubak and Ghali claiming IFOR promised they would prevent Croats from leaving.

    Usora - Croat media report on the attempt of B-H police to enter the village of Srednja Omanjska, north-eastern of Tesanj yesterday morning, but were stopped by local Croat police. The international police (IPTF) intervened so that both Croat and Bosnian policemen had to leave. /end/ A.S.


    [08] SACIRBEY RESPONDS TO EUROPEAN CRITICISM OF ARMING BOSNIA

    New York, March 23, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Till recent B-H foreign minister and current foreign affairs advisor of the B-H presidency who is to take over the post of the ambassador to the UN in New york, Muhamed Sacirbey in his article released in "The New York Times" criticized Europe's comments on the US plan to arm and train the B-H Federation army. Attempts of the British, French, Russians and others to freeze current arms build-up of the B-H army and limit Serb military potential are contrary to the Dayton accords. When IFOR leaves B-H, peace and stability will not hold, if the forces of the two entities are not of approximate strength.

    Decreased inferiority in heavy arms with regard to Serbs would enable demobilization and resumption of civil industry and life of up to 8O% of the B-H army soldiers. Regarding European readiness to guarantee security to Bosnia, we should remember the false guarantees for Zepa and Srebrenica where 8,OOO people were killed showing the promises given to us are kept only if we are strong enough to defened ourselves, writes Sacirbey. /end/ A.S.


    [09] BELGRADE-LJUBLJANA: DISPUTE OVER REPAYMENT OF DEBTS

    Belgrade, March 24, 1994 (Press TWRA)

    Speaking at the press conference due to the announced resumption of the talks between IMF (International Monetary Fund) and FR Yugoslavia, Yugoslav deputy premier Jovan Zebic announced his government would not apply for the IMF membership. "Our state has unbroken continuity of Yugoslavia and we would insist on it," says Zebic. The IMF and the World Bank representatives will be provided the document on the FRY policy of stabilization and development, including the program of external debt consolidation and restructuring of the bank system. Zebic stressed his government prevented the attempt of Slovenia to achieve separate settlement of the ex-Yugoslavia's debts issue for each successor-state. Slovenia wanted by that to break all remaining formal links with its Yugoslav past as soon as possible and to show it is (along with Croatia, B-H, Macedonia and FRY) the successor-state of SFR Yugoslavia. The government in Ljubljana prepared an agreement on that with the London Club of creditors but Belgrade (National Bank of Yugoslavia & three more Serb banks) through their US lawyers warned the Club it would start a procedure to annul by the court's decision, the agreement made with Slovenian government. Commercial banks gathered in the London Club probably wait for the result of the announced dispute between Ljubljana and Belgrade in which both sides announce their sure winning. The outcome of the dispute will influence on the acting of Sarajevo, Zagreb, Skopje in the process of succession.

    Slovenia would agree to pay off 18% of USD 4.3 billion of Yugoslav debt, reprogrammed in 1988 by New Financial Agreement (NFA). When the interest is added, the debt totals USD 5,576 million ("The Financial Times", March 13, 1996). According to its part in GNP being the IMF criteria, 16% of the debt should be Slovenian but Slovenian Parliament added 2% more, not wishing to waste precious time in the race with Serbs. /end/ A.S.


    [10] CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNCIL OF INNOVATORS

    Budapest, March 24, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    After meeting at the International Show of Innovations and Technical Achievements "Genius '96", held in Hungarian capital, innovators from the host country, Croatia, Slovenia and B-H decided to establish Central European Council of innovators. /end/ A.S.

    [11] PARDEW: BOSNIA MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN IRAN AND USA

    Sarajevo, march 24, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Bosnian authorities will have to choose between Iran and the USA if it wants to have the arms promised by Washington, said the US diplomat in charge of military support to B-H James Pardew, in the statement for the B-H media. Pardew reminded the USA want full integration of the B-H army and HVO into the B-H Federation armed force being another condition for the US program of the B-H Federation military reinforcement to start. "We regard Iran as the main support to terrorism in the world wishing to expand its influence in various places including B-H" says James Pardew. /end/ A.S.

    [12] CAA LOBBIES FOR "HERZEG-BOSNIA" IN THE U.S.

    Washington, March 25, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    CAA (Croatian American Association), which lobbies for Zagreb in the U.S. Congress, expresses the attitudes close to the F.Tudjman regime, opposite to some other organizations of Croatian emigrants in America and American friends of Croatia. In this, CAA shows the same degree of closeness to "Herzeg-Bosnia" as to the official government of the R Croatia. CAA has released these days two new statements, aiming to urge upon Congress and Clinton administration, as far as their policy towards Croatia and BH is concerned. The first statement points out the fact that Croatia should be a leading country in the U.S. planning of political and military strategy in ex-Yugoslavia. It is explained by geostrategic position of Croatia, history and wish for a full-integration in a membership of the Western alliance, which makes Croatia faithful U.S. associate, devoted to general democratic principles. It mentions: "Croatia remains for Bosnia a main guide which makes possible its economical and political being." The second statement deals with the future of Croatian-BH Federation (without mentioning its full name: Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina), claiming that following six issues were accepted by "association of Bosnian Croats", with no further explanation on the nature of the association: 1) safe return of more than 200.000 Bosnian Croats to their homes, in area under the BH Army control 2)ending of help-providing to Bugojno, for as long as "local muslim leadership" does not start to cooperate in repatriation process 3) ICTY must examine crimes committed against Croats in BH 4) Sarajevo must be a multi-ethnical district 5)non-muslim communities must be provided a free-access to media in Sarajevo 6) number of Croats participating in the Federation government must be increased. In the statement on the future of the BH Federation, it is pointed out that it is a last chance for BH peoples to keep a certain form of statehood, adding that peace will be endangered and animosities between the sides reincited, if interests of just one side prevail. Representatives of some other pro-Croatian associations in America stressed that CAA shows a unilateral approach, attributing all blame to Bosniaks and all victims to Croats and Croatia, an attitude which could be harmful for Croatian interests in the U.S. CAA is the organizer of the manifestation "Days of Croatia on Capitol Hill", and assigns each year "Medal of Croatian freedom". CAA President, Frank Brozovich, stated this-year winner of the Medal is U.S. Defense Secretary W.Perry. "The role & understanding of Croatia's leading position in the region, as expressed by Secretary Perry, are example of the qualities requested from a winner of the Medal", Brozovich said. The Medal will be assigned to Minister Perry during this year's "Croatian days", April 21-24. <end> A.S.

    [13] GENERAL DJUKIC'S LAWYER ON ICTY

    Belgrade, March 25, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Belgrade daily "Dnevnik" published an interview with Toma Fila who is, together with Nenad Vujin, a lawyer of Gen. Djukic, charged for war-crimes in BH. For as long as T. Fila and Vujin arrived to the Hague, Djukic rejects cooperation with ICTY, in front of which he could have appeared as a witness and avoid a position of a guilty. Some sources claim FR Yugoslavia regime, through lawyers, blackmailed Djukic, an expert for modified avio-bombs (launched from the ground) and military poisons, who assisted in the siege/bombing of Sarajevo, being also a main mediator between the Belgrade HQ and Mladic's para-military HQ in Han Pijesak (BH). Fila said: "When ICTY was formed, we gathered in Law Society and discussed what should be done, for we estimated it was a strike upon Serbs. It was proven we were right, because the first 28 charges were against Serbs. We requested from the International Lawyer Union to press on ICTY and allow our advocates to defense the cause of our people. When Gen.Djukic was arrested, he was given a list of lawyers, with Dutch, German etc. His choice is me." When asked whether material is gathered in the Hague on the basis of which everyone who is opposite could be blackmailed or arrested, Fila responded: "What we are going to do with so-called war-damage, estimated on more than 1OO mld. US$, not to mention a lost gain. If ICTY confirms that our forces took part in the war and that we, regardless of the sanctions, provided arms for the Republics of Srpska and Serb Kraina it means that we did the same as Germany, the U.S. and other countries did to Croats and Muslims. But, if ICTY is not conceived to pursuit "wild Serbs" or "Serbian rebels" from the Republic of Srpska, but to involve this Yugoslavia, to make this country responsible and to link this peaceful Yugoslavia with what was happened in BH, we will be defeated for next 200 years. It is a hellish goal of the International Tribunal." <end> A.S.

    [14] B-H FEDERATION SESSION ASSEMBLY POSTPONED

    Sarajevo, March 27,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The session of B-H Federation Constitutional Assembly which was scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed for April 11, informed the President of the Assembly M. Ljubic. The B-H Government failed to deliver law proposals and materials for the session,and in the same time president and vice-president of B-H Federation Zubak and Ganic demanded the postponement of the session due to urgent duties."These were reasons enough", said Ljubic because the main theme of the session was political and security situation in Federation two years after the adoption of Constitution. Zubak and Ganic are expected to give introductory speeches. Without their presence discussion and the conclusions would lack quality. By April 11, the proposals on Federation defence and the canton borders is supposed to be finished.By that time the status of Sarajevu should also be solved". President of the Assembly emphasized that he has not been satisfied with the last two years results because while Federation was successful in solving the conflict and establishing the communications in Federation the establishing of government agencies was delayed. Ljubic emphasized that the forthcoming session of Federation Assembly should be crucial and expect the open discussion on all issues in order to direct Federation in the right direction". (end) S.K.

    [15] US HELP BY MIDDLE OF APRIL

    Washington, March 27,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The B-H Foreign Minister J. Prlic who is in three days visit to US and Canada announced that US financial help for the reconstruction of B-H will arrive by the mid-April. "The decision of US Congress has already been prepared. We were told that it will be adopted before the World Bank and EU donors conferences in Brussels on 12 and 13 April", said Prlic. He also talked with US Trade Secretary R. Brown in Washington on economical reconstruction of B-H. The US help would be $2OO million dollars during 3 year period, in other words $6OO million . "Most of the countries are waiting for US decision in order to make their own decisions relating to help for B-H reconstruction", said Prlic. During his visit to US Prlic will also talk with World Bank officials, institution which 1O days ago announced that will grant the loan of $45O millions for the period of 4 year, for the reconstruction B-H. (end) S.K.

    [16] ZUBAK VISITED PALE

    Sarajevo, March 27,1996 (Press TWRA)

    President of B-H Federation K. Zubak talked yesterday on Pale with representatives of Republic Srpska, informed Zubak's office. The reason for this meeting was the Moscow's and other agreements which guarantee the release of all prisoners. It has been decided that officials in charge has to accord the documentation after which all Croats and Serbs, on both sides, will be released. (end) S.K.

    [17] W. PERRY ON A WEEK TOUR

    Washington, March 27,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The US Defence Minister W. Perry starts on Saturday on a week tour. He will visit Croatia, B-H, Albania and Egypt, reported Pentagon. Perry will first visit Croatia and after that B-H where he will talk with US officers and soldiers and B-H Government officials. (end) S.K.
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