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BosNet NEWS / Mar. 31, 1996

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

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

Subject: BosNet NEWS / Mar. 31, 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] Blaskic in Hague Monday

  • [02] METSCHER AND GARROD CRITICIZE CROATS IN MOSTAR

  • [03] BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA'S WAR CASUALTIES ESTIMATION

  • [04] IZETBEGOVIC ON THE WASHINGTON - SARAJEVO - TEHRAN TRIANGLE

  • [05] ALEKSA KRSMANOVIC: SARAJEVO - THE HAGUE - SARAJEVO

  • [06] COLLECTIVE GRAVES NEAR HADZICI

  • [07] CONCERN ABOUT PROBLEMS IN BH FEDERATION

  • [08] GERMAN DIPLOMAT IN BELGRADE ACCUSED AS A SPY

  • [09] SERBIAN COURT GAVE DEATH SENTENCE TO CROATIAN SOLDIER


  • [01] Blaskic in Hague Monday

    "Blaskic is going to The Hague on Monday," Croatian Defence Minister Gojko Susak told reporters after talks with visiting U.S. Defence Secretary William Perry. "I spoke to Blaskic today and can say with certainty he will travel to The Hague on Monday." The Bosnian Croat militia officer, General Tihomir Blaskic was indicted for war crimes by a U.N. tribunal last year.

    "I welcome very much the announcement that Minister Susak has made. We welcome Blaskic's action and we welcome the action of the Croatian government," US Defense Secretary Perry said in Zagreb.

    Saturday's breakthrough apparently happened in a private chat between Perry and Susak on the defence secretary 747;s flight to Zagreb. Susak was treted in the US for lung cancer.

    U.S. Ambassador Peter Galbraith said: "I think Blaskic obviously (agreed to surrender) under strong pressure from the Croatian government."

    The whereabouts are unknown of the second most wanted nationalist Bosnian-Croat, Dario Kordic. He was the president of the Bosnian branch of Tudjman's political party, the Croatian Democratic Union. Authorities believe Kordic, who also is accused of being involved in the Lasva Valley ethnic cleansing incidents, is lying low in Zagreb.


    [02] METSCHER AND GARROD CRITICIZE CROATS IN MOSTAR

    Mostar, March 29, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    At press-conference today, Klaus Metscher, deputy of Hans Koschnick, and sir Martin Garrod, chief of staff of the European Administration of Mostar (EUAM), blamed local Croat authorities for the problems in Mostar.

    "The Mostar problem is concentrated almost in whole in the town's area controlled by Croats. There is a clear responsibility of politics, police and law; and regardless of all pressure we have made, I am not optimist, if there is no readiness top in the authorities. An ugly blot remains on the face of Mostar. (...) Non-Croats are expelled again. E.g. Bosniak family Hajdarevic, expelled in May 1993, and again March 23, this year, after they spent a month in their home, where they returned and put effort to make possible life in. Unidentified rowdies expelled them, showing some dubious document, in which Stanko Barbaric signed a decision to give that flat to some Ivan Dragic". Also this, like some previous similar cases, were registered by police, but that is all, there is no court process. The most likely explanation is that judges in Croat-held part of the town are in fear for their own safety... We are aware of expulsions of Croat families from Central Bosnia, but our responsibility is Mostar, in which the key of the problems is in the western side. There will be no any improvement as long as the top authorities do not stop behaviour of the kind, once for ever. Not enough was made for the past 2O months" stated sir Martin Garrod.

    "In the Memorandum on understanding in Mostar, signed by the most responsible representatives of both Bosniaks and Croats, it was clearly written that courts should be independent in their activities. Sorrowfully, the reality is very different" commented Klaus Metscher. A part of EUAM personnel will leave Mostar with H.Koschnick, but the current staff will not be crucially changed, Metscher said. Hans Koschnick will next monday (April 1, 1996), at the Rome EU meeting, officially finish his mandate. He will spend several more days in Mostar for private reasons, to say good-bye to the Mostar citizens. The new administrator, Ricardo Perez Casado is expected to take the duty some three weeks later, while in the meantime, Klaus Metscher will be the acting EUAM's administrator. (end) A.S.


    [03] BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA'S WAR CASUALTIES ESTIMATION

    Sarajevo, March 29, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Bosnia's state Health Protection Office declared the data on the war casualties during Bosnia's war 1992-1995. Killed/missed are 278 OOO people (6.37% of pre-war B-H population), and displaced 1.37 million residents of B-H (31.39%). The most of the victims (14O 8OO: 5O.65% of all casualties, 7.39% of pre-war Bosniaks in B-H) are Bosniaks, who are followed by Serbs (97 3OO - 35% of the victims, 7.1% of Serb pre-war population in Bosnia) and Croats (28 4OO - 1O.22% of all victims in B-H, 3.76% of pre-war Croats in B-H). (end) A.S.


    [04] IZETBEGOVIC ON THE WASHINGTON - SARAJEVO - TEHRAN TRIANGLE

    Sarajevo, March 3O, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    The following are excerpts from the interview the president Izetbegovic gave to Dz. Latic, editor-in-chef of Bosnian weekly "Ljiljan", released in the latest issue of the weekly:

    Izetbegovic: "Regarding the meeting in Rome, we neither got nor lost anything important there. Croats rejected Koschnick's plan and Europe, as usual, evade it. Does it surprise you, or is it something new? Did not Europeans in the hardest days of genocide tell us: make an agreement, there is no other option. Who did we have to agree with, slaughterers? That is why I do not understand why somebody should be shocked or disappointed now. Everything has already been seen and experienced. Koschnick's plan and district was only a project, it was nothing that we had and then lost in Rome. What public should know to understand Rome is that EU had already abandoned Koschnick's plan when we came at Rome. They already had a session demanding the so-called mutually acceptable solution. German representative to EU told clearly to our expert Dr. Kasim Begic: "If you do not make any agreement today, EU will withdraw from Mostar in three days." I had the only one aim in that situation: Croat side to agree to freedom of movement and deployment of combined police in the town. I knew it would not be entirely implemented, but it was important for the world pressure to be continued undiminished in this respect. I think that recent Geneva meeting proved I was right.(..) Internal and external disintegration forces of Bosnia are in offensive. I am mostly concerned over ethnic cleansing that continued after Dayton. The most significant item of the Dayton accords is one foreseeing gradual ethnic reintegration. There is no return of the displaced population, and the way how to start the thing in positive direction cannot be seen for the time being. It is the greatest problem and threat to Bosnia. There are attempts to convince the world of equal guilt of each side, that legal B-H authorities are not immune to narrow-mindedness and nationalism, either, and that B-H is not viable. Some errors - which are extant - are abused for the poison of propaganda. However, the situation demands the errors must not be made, as the world equates our errors with their crimes. It is sad, but the world is such as it is, we cannot change it. But we can know the facts, regardless of whether we like them or not, take them into account and try to make the calculations as accurately as possible. Our propaganda is, for the most part, erroneous. Media compete to show injustice and crimes which Serbs and Croats have committed against Bosniaks. Of course, the crimes should not be ignored or covered up, but is there anything good, human among those three nations? Does any gesture of concern for the people of different religions and nations ever occur in our Bosnia? I do not believe there are no such examples, but it is, for quite incomprehensible reasons to me, permanently suppressed. And it is something that should be pointed out in this situation."

    "Proving only trouble among the three nations in B-H is nothing else but proving that Bosnia is not viable, and it is a job well done by Krajisnik and Boban. I assume we are to prove otherwise, to find and point out positive examples. Of course, we should not invent them. You ask if the world has agreed with the concept of national states in B-H. The problem is not if the world agreed on that, but it seems that we have agreed or it is the way we act. Look, for instance, some articles in our papers, and your papers, too. Reading them will not strengthen our belief that multiethnic state of B-H is possible. On the contrary!"

    Ljiljan: "After finding two Iranians near Fojnica, the USA set the conditions and staff affecting the sovereignty of B-H. It is not even secret that they want to turn over Izetbegovic's government. The main reason could be connection with Islamic world, with Iran during the aggression, when nobody else wanted to give a bullet to the B-H Army.

    Izetbegovic: What happened in Podgorelica near Fojnica was our big mistake, violation of what we had signed. Somebody had to draw the consequences and in democracy they are always the leaders. I ask you: will you, or all of us be happier if I confirm hidden assumption of your question that the USA is our enemy?" (...) Will Bosnia be more secure if we find out that the USA and another 1O states in the world are all our enemies?. What when we find that out? I think that the USA is not our enemy, but we can make them that. The USA will be our friend if convinced that survival of B-H as integral state is their interest. If so, let us work in that direction as we must have America on our side. In the existing situation, it is the question of survival of Bosnia and our people. It is the only real policy, or shorter, it is policy as unreal policy is not a policy but stupidity. During the war, Iran proved to be a friend indeed, but Iran is far away and enemies very close, a stone's throw from us. When the allies are concerned, my full answer is: we must have the USA and Islamic states on our side and as much as possible the rest of the world. It is possible and should be our policy."

    Ljiljan: "America is not close, either, it is also far away. Do you know if EU really support the B-H Federation project?|

    Izetbegovic: "It is wrong. America has for long been here in Europe, don't you see that? Regarding the EU, I think they still do support the project of B-H Federation. It is among the reasons for their supporting the Rome compromise. Otherwise, they would seem to act according to the principles, and actually allow the events to follow their own direction. Well-known is what it means as the time is enemy, not ally, of B-H Federation. As far as Europe is concerned, some ugly doubts are caused by behaviour of France, some statements which I just heard. It is too early for me to comment it, as it is new and I do not know the context. It is never too late for bad news. There is no reason to rush them, as they alone knock on our door."


    [05] ALEKSA KRSMANOVIC: SARAJEVO - THE HAGUE - SARAJEVO

    The Hague, March 30, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    During a 1455-day- siege of Sarajevo, 14.000 people were killed, among whom 1.500 were children. This crime is included in the charges against Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic as well as Gen. Djordje Djukic whose relation with the two mentioned was proven by ICTY. However, The Hague investigators could not confirm any direct involvement of Col. Aleksa Krsmanovic in this crime, so Richard Goldstone announced there is no legal basis according to which Krsmanovic's 47-day-imprisoning should be prolonged. ICTY does not possess suitable evidence to bring a charge against him and Krsmanovic refuses to appear as a witness. "I do not want to testify, for this position is quite clear to me and I fear I could suspect someone very seriously. I am a soldier who swore to his people and Command. I do not understand what was happening during 1455 days around Sarajevo and my son's death as a soldier of the Serb Army is a part of the tragedies that happened lately in the Balkans", he said.In the meantime, BH authorities launched a new process for the crimes committed over the prisoners in Sokolac, situated on the Northern slopes of the Romanija mountain, Northeast of Sarajevo, native town of Krsmanovic where he passed a longer war-period. As this is a case of "witness borrowing", there is no obstacles forbidding Krsmanovic's extradition to BH authorities, ICTY says, rejecting, thus,a demand of Krsmanovic's lawyer Pantelic, requesting his unconditioned and complete liberation. Pantelic made a series of critics on work and on ICTY existence itself, saying: "This institution must establish not disputable or indefensible but firm rules for all future processes." Judge Jorda responded to him: "Thank You for reminding me of the Tribunale role but it was not necessary."=20 ICTY porte-parole, C.Chartier announced that a decision on hearing of evidence against Mrksic, Sljivancanin and Radic, accused for massacre committed upon Croatian wounded and civilians in Ovcara near Vukovar, will be proclaimed next week. Then will also start a process against I.Rajic, Croatian officer, accused for being responsible and personally involved in killing of 10 Bosnian civilians in Stupni Dol as well as for destruction of the village, in autumn 1993. "We are reading all papers and we know Rajic is living in Croatia, near Split. The fact that Hodak is reported as his lawyer proves the supposition that Rajic is familiar with the content of the charge."


    [06] COLLECTIVE GRAVES NEAR HADZICI

    Sarajevo, March 30, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Representatives of the Sarajevo police reported about the discovery of five collective graves in Hadzici, Southwest of Sarajevo which has been under the Serb occupation from the beginning of the war till the beginning of this month and in which at least 20 victims of the Serb terror were buried.


    [07] CONCERN ABOUT PROBLEMS IN BH FEDERATION

    Brussels, March 30, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    NATO General Secretary Javier Solana made telephone calls to Croatian and BH Presidents F. Tudjman and A. Izetbegovic and requested their efforts in strengthening of the BH Federation and preventing its failure. "We do have reasons to be concerned. A failure of the Federation will present the end of the Dayton accord", Solana said. C. Bildt deputy, Michael Steiner, prepared in PIC Office in Sarajevo, a meeting between Ganic, Zubak and Muratovic. They discussed the results of the implementation of the Dayton accord so far, PIC spokesman, Collum Murphy said, adding that Prime Ministers of BH and both entities (Muratovic, Kapetanovic and Kasagic) would meet this week end in Banja Luka. C Bildt will talk about the implementation of the Federal Constitution next week in Washington.

    Filip Filipovic, HVO representative in BH Federation armed forces joint HQ, talked with Commander of the IFOR Danish battalion and informed him about growing tension in Usora, for the authorities of the neighboring Tesanj prevent a normal use of the Croatian plates, Croatian flag (without BH flag), putting even in question the activity of the Croatian police in Usora.

    New York - Croatian Ambassador to UN, Mario Nobilo, said Croatia would go on to make use of its influence on a leadership of Bosnian Croats in order to reinforce the Federation, because the success of the Federation is a strategic interest of Croatia. The Federation could stop further inclinations of BH towards radical ideologies which endanger peace and safety not only in the area but in whole Europe, Nobilo stated, pointing out that among all imperfections in the functioning of the Federation, the question of the return of displaced and expelled Croats in BH, who more than 1/4 (about 200.000) wait to return in areas under the BH control, should be responded first.

    Vitez - as a reprisal for charges against Croats, brought by Bosnian courts and ICTY, prosecution service in Vitez, little town in Central Bosnia under the Croatian control, accused 687 Bosniaks and two Serbs for crimes against Croats. Almost all military and civilian Bosnian officials in Central Bosnia are now indicted.


    [08] GERMAN DIPLOMAT IN BELGRADE ACCUSED AS A SPY

    Belgrade, March 30, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Media close to Milosevic regime accused Gerhard Schrembgens, German Charge d'affaire in SRJ, for spying and coordinating the activity of opposing parties, aiming to break the Srbian government. German Foreign Ministry estimated such allegations as "absurd".


    [09] SERBIAN COURT GAVE DEATH SENTENCE TO CROATIAN SOLDIER

    Banja Luka, March 30, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Serbian Martial Court in Banja Luka sentenced to death HVO soldier, Ivan Stjepanovic, charged for assisting in slaughtering of more than 80 Serbs in three villages in Northern BH. His pleader Goran Majstorovic made a protest against such a decision.

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