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BosNet NEWS / May 13, 96

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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


  • [01] Miscellaneous news

  • [01] Miscellaneous news

    ``More time should have been taken to ascertain the facts and circumstances before making any decision about what to do with the seven men... An American major on the ground took the decision without consulting any higher authority. General Nash (commander of U.S. ground troops in Bosnia) went ballistic and tried to get the men back from the Serbs but it was too late,'' a NATO officer who asked not to be named

    The seven men, wearing fatigues and carrying a few pistols, hand grenades and knives were spotted by a U.S. artillery unit on Friday. They voluntarily surrendered to the Americans, who after questioning, handed them over to the nationalist Serb police in Zvornik.

    The American major had evaluated the seven to be civilians, despite their dress. NATO forces were despatched to Zvornik by Major-General William Nash, the U.S. commander, to try to regain custody of the seven, but were unsuccessful. Bosnian government sources say the men are not their soldiers, and believe they may be survivors of Srebrenica massacre. NATO sources say one reason the men were handed over to the Serbs is because they looked well-fed, wore clean uniforms and hadn't the appearance of men living rough.

    ``We really don't know who these men are, but this incident has the potential to become a major diplomatic scandal... If these were refugees from Srebrenica then not only are they now in jeopardy but the Serbs will torture them and make them reveal the locations of others,'' said a senior Bosnian government official who asked not to be named.

    Nationalist Serb authorities say three of the captured men have already confessed to killing Serb civilians near Milici, an UN police was turned away trying to visit them.


    Brussels, May 13,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The diplomatic circles in Brussels claim that the international community is seriously doubt that the Mostar's elections will be held on May 31, as it was foreseen by the election decree of EU administrator R.P. Cassado. Peace Implementation Council's High Commissioner Bildt demanded from the EU Foreign Ministers on today's meeting to find the formula for postponement of local elections in Mostar. Two options have been considered: postponement of Mostar's elections until September, when the Bosnia-Herzegovina general elections should take place or the postponement of elections for 1O to 15 days, until the middle of June "if the technical problems get solved". Bildt will talk with J. Solana NATO general secretary, for 90 minutes, and Danish diplomat Uve Elleman -Jenssen, the OSCE representative, also visited EU Ministerial council. Robert Frowick, US diplomat in charge of fall elections stated that the chances for holding successful elections are 5O:1. The acceptance of Croatia to Council of Europe will also be on the agenda, and according to EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek statement, cited by Radio Free Europe, the opinions have been divided. The Constitutional Court's decision in favor of Zagreb's city Assembly to some extent increased the chances of Croatia to be accepted, which will also influence the Zagreb's attitude toward B-H Federation especially in the case of Mostar.

    The President of SDA Mostar municipality council, HamdijaJahic, said: "If the elections have been held as Mr Casado defined it, at least three thirds of Mostar's citizens would be denied of their right to vote. That is something EU ministers must not allowed. We expect the reasonable postponement of elections for certain time, and enabling all citizens of Mostar to vote, no matter where they are at present. In the part of the city under HVO control the minimal preconditions for holding the elections do not exist. Croatian side never officially responded to our demand to enable citizens to organize politically in the part of the city under Croatian control. In the verbal contacts they say "it is still not time for that". Neither the full freedom of movement has been established in Mostar, nor the media are accessible to everyone. All parties had to accept the election's propositions, in relation to OSCE rules. That includes the public support of Dayton Accord and the respect of Bosnia-Herzegovina constitution and establishing the full security of citizens, free access to poling places, agreement on how the poling places will be denoted, and number of other technical conditions for free and fair elections. None of that has been realized. As far as SDA Mostar is concerned, we are ready for elections as soon as all the above mentioned conditions are met", said Jahic. (end) A.S.


    Banja Luka, May 13,1996 (Press TWRA)

    "Radovan Karadzic undermines the peace process and wants to estrange Serbs with the whole world", said Bosko Petrovic, vice-president of SPS (Socialist Party of Serbia, SPS whose President is in the same time the President of Serbia - Slobodan Milosevic), during his visit to Banja Luka.

    Brussels - NATO Bulliten explains about European unionfinancial aid on the territory of Banja Luka, and the decision of five international organizations to open the offices in that city. The Bulletin cites unnamed high western official, who says: "The aim of our actions is to go around and bridge the isolationist leadership of Bosnian Serbs on Pale, whose influence will stay limited on east Bosnia. Most of Serbian population in B-H is out of direct control from Pale, and to emphasize Banja Luka in all aspects would mean to keep majority of Serbian nation in the spirit of Dayton. Banja Luka is political and cultural center

    - we see it as governing center of Republic Srpska.International police IPTF, OSCE, IFOR and the Office for civilian implementation of the agreement (Bildt's collaborator's) are opening the offices in Banja Luka. (end) A.S.


    Geneva, May 13,1996 (Press TWRA)

    On UN High Commissioner for refugees Sadako Ogata's invitation at Geneva's Hall of Nations working group for humanitarian issues has been in session. They will discuss about creation of the conditions for mass and organized return of refugees to Bosnia. ( end) A.S.


    Sarajevo, May 13, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    After the conclusion of the meeting of the Joint Committee for cooperation between Croatia, BH and BH Federation, President of BH Presidency, A. Izetbegovic, and Prime Minister, H. Muratovic, estimated in Sarajevo the meeting as very useful & important for the future cooperation between the two states. On Saturday's press-conference, President Izetbegovic pointed out the most important results of the meeting: signing of the agreement on the use of the harbor of Ploce and passage through Neum as well as the agreement concerning the visas for BH citizens who used to live in parts of the actual "Serb entity". He also said BH Government would help the Stolac reconstruction which should also encourage the return of refugees to Travnik, Jajce and Bugojno. The BH Federation Law on defense was also discussed at the meeting, about which Izetbegovic stated: "We have not reached any solution on this issue so far, but I think it should be done during a forthcoming meeting of the Federal Forum, to be held on May 14 in Washington". While making comment on forthcoming elections in Mostar, Izetbegovic repeated that Bosnian side remain firm in requesting Mostar refugees should also be given a chance to vote, but reminded that EU would say a final word on this issue. (end) M.S.


    New York, May 13, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    "BH is no longer endangered by a possible new war, but non-respect of the Dayton accord commitments could lead to the eternal division of the territory, as it already happened in Korea or Cyprus" former US mediator in B- H, R. Holbrooke stated. In his article published in "Time", he criticized Serbs for maintaining war criminals, R. Mladic and R. Karadzic, in the leadership for they are considered as doing everything to prevent the implementation of the peace-accord. According to Holbrooke, division of BH could only be prevented in the case that responsible persons decisively strengthen the full implementation of the Dayton accord. (end) M.S.


    Belgrade, May 13, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    On yesterday's religious meeting held in Ravna Gora (Serbia), leader of the Serbian revivalist movement, Vuk Draskovic stated Milosevic's regime is counting its last days and that it would fall even before the elections. "There is a starvation in Serbia and Slobodan Milosevic does not want to face that pain & suffering. But protests from Nis will soon take place in other towns, as well. Whole Serbia is standing up. Even his police brigades could not help S. Milosevic", Draskovic said. The fact that his claiming are well founded is proven by the order for introduction of state of emergency in many towns in southern Serbia, because local authorities are afraid of "Nis syndrome". The Nis mayor, S. Arandjelovic, stated that a social rebellion in the town is becoming anarchy, and announced that the authority will use all available mesures to prevent the announced today's blockade of the town. (end) M.S.


    Sarajevo, May 13, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Former Austrian Foreign Minister, A. Mock was conferred last Sunday a high Bosnian order in Sarajevo by BH Presidency for his efforts in promoting the interests of the country and supporting its defense against the aggression of Greater Serbia. Mock expressed his gratitude for the medal he was given and pointed out it obliges him to promote even more decisively the multicultural society values, adding that people in Austria are ready to help the reconstruction and survival of BH. (end) M.S.


    Tuzla, May 12, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Karadzic's news agency SRNA released Friday evening, that seven Bosniaks were caught and imprisoned in Serb police station in Zvornik and already admitted they had killed four Serbs. IFOR announced Saturday, his members had handed over, Friday, seven soldiers of unknown nationality to the international police (IPTF) which surrendered them to Serb police in Zvornik. IFOR allege "unindentified soldiers were seen walking towards Zvornik and after the fire and explosion came from that direction, they reappeared and gave up themselves to the IFOR North division unit." It was added they were handed over to IPTF due to violation of the rules banning movement to the armed groups in the demilitarized zones. Conclusion is, they are handed over to the chief of Serb police as they were arrested on the Serb-held area, adding that IFOR insisted on Serb police and local authorities taking full responsibility for security and the rights protection of the captured. On the US insisting, three-partite commission met (IFOR, B-H government, Karadzic's Serbs) to discuss security measures for the captured. They seem to have already been transported to Bijeljina, a town north of Zvornik, far northeast of the Republic of Srpska, near Serbia's border. It seems that Serbs have taken two captives towards Krusev Dol, south of Srebrenica where they allegedly committed the crime on May 2. Yugoslav news agency Tanjug described the seven Bosniaks as a terrorist group, citing the claims of Karadzic's Serbs on their killing four Serbs. In the confusion of the IFOR rules on jurisdiction in demilitarized zones, three-partite commission demanded the captured Bosniaks be under IPTF, Serb and Bosnian police supervision. (end) A.S.


    The Hague, May 12, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Lawyer of the indicted Bosnian Serb war criminal Dusan Tadic, a Dutch lawyer Alphonse Orie said: "The witness of the charge in this process, James Gow cannot be regarded as impartial if known that he wrote that Serb nationalism was a hissing, firebreathing snake. These words are a clear sign that Mr Gow's views are openly anti-Serb, full of intolerance towards Serbs."

    British historian, James Gow, an expert for the Balkans, hashad the role in the past few days to explain that the atrocities committed in B-H should and can be regarded as the war crimes as being committed in international conflict. Gow argued that genocide in Bosnia had not been committed in the conflict of Serb para-military led by R. Mladic and the B-H government, but in the aggression which Milosevic's regime and FRY military top had launched against B-H to which Karadzic's terrorist joined in. (end) A.S.


    London, May 12, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    In the past half year, since he defended R. Mladic, Greek lawyer Lykourez has visited the Serb criminal more than ten times in his bunkers near Han Pijesak (east of B-H). Lykourez says: "I think none would dare arrest gen. Mladic as long as he is the military head of the Republic of Srpska. If anyone tries to do that, it will cause large-scale bloodshed, and everyone knows it would be fatal for the peace process. (...) Mladic is a good man with a sense of humour, wrongly estimated by western media. (...) If gen. Mladic is ever brought before ICTY, which I doubt, his defence will be based on the argument that the Security Council had no competence & legal grounds to establish the international tribunal. One should wonder why the decision on trials was brought for the events in Yugoslavia and not for the war in Vietnam, Afghanistan or Chechnya. (end) A.S.


    Brussels, Mostar, May 12, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    At tomorrow's Brussels meeting, foreign ministers of the EU member states will discuss local election in Mostar and general elections in B-H scheduled for May 31, and September, respectively. EU administrator for Mostar, R. P. Casado and the PIC high representative for B-H Carl Bildt will submit a report on it. EU claims the aim of the Mostar elections is to establish a lasting combined Croats-Bosniaks authorities. The elections outcome will show to what extent it is possible to reach the aim that will impact on the EU decision on possible extension of EUAM mandate expiring on July 22, this year. Except SDA, SDP, LS, LBO, SBH, SGV, four more parties (Croatian Peasant Party HSS BH, Republican Party, Union of B-H Social-democrats UBSD, Muslim-Bosniak organization MBO) announced they would not participate at the elections for the county and town of Mostar authorities as scheduled and under existing conditions.

    London - "The Guardian" writes that reception of Croatia tothe Council of Europe will not be discussed at tomorrow's meeting of the Ministry Council of EU, on which the ministers of the Council of Europe member states will decide in two weeks. The paper states European metropoles are angry at Croatia's government breaking the promises on freedom of media and respecting the right of democratically elected local authorities, i.e. due to rude assault on independent media and ignoring the electoral results in Zagreb. British paper writes that some European diplomats wonder if there is any difference between the situation of media freedom and democratic rights in Croatia and in Serbia. The paper reminds that EU is not pleased with the role of Croatian government in the B-H peace process, so it suspended negotiations on closer economic and trade ties with Zagreb According to European diplomats, "Tudjman should and can do more in disciplining Croatian forces continuing to impede reunification of Mostar."

    Rijeka - Jelena Lovric writes in "Novi list" daily thatZagreb received a message from Brussels that the forced situation in the election of the Zagreb mayor and violence against media are incompatible with Croatia's membership in Council of Europe. Lovric quotes Nico Wegter: "We thought the membership in Council of Europe will help process of democratization in Croatia but it apparently was not the case." Lovric writes that Croatian's authorities made a step back - offices of "Panorama" are reopened and the obligation of "Novi list" to pay high penalty due to the customs tax is put off and the constitutional court annulled the decision of the government on dismissing the Zagreb Assembly.

    Hamburg - Michael Thumann writes in "Die Zeit" the Council ofEurope's pressure should impact on F. Tudjman to stop a rude acting towards media, opposition, Bosniaks, Serbs. Tudjman recently blamed German vice-chancellor/foreign minister Kinkel of trying, in cooperation with the opposition, to remove HDZ from power. Then, Croatian oppositionists cancelled their visit to Bonn. Thumann writes Tudjman does not want to give up the post of the Zagreb mayor as he would risk revealing the violations of the law in the privatization.

    Venezia - Italian paper "Messagero Veneto" writes Tudjmanstarted a crusade against media and journalists who defend their independence and the right to criticize. It allege that "Novi list", although a regional daily, is sold in 75.000 copies nearing pro-regime "Vecernji list" selling 120,000 copies. "Novi list" quoted the Banjaluka bishop Franjo Komarica who, in a sermon, condemned the media control and totalitarian regimes causing hatred and fear. "Messagero" adds the "Panorama" weekly whose deputy of editor-in-chief Andrej Rora says that the articles on president Tudjman were being prepared before the financial police closed the office. The case of "Feral" is mentioned whose editors V. Ivancic and commentator M. Culic are accused, at Tudjman's demand, of insulting the state's ruler. Ivancic and Culic risk to be imprisoned from six month to three years." These are not lonely cases but offensive against media. Yet, they show panic and neurosis being the signs of weak power," says president of Croatian journalists' society and the Zagreb correspondent of "Novi list", Jagoda Vukusic, and "Messagero Veneto" reports. (end) A.S.


    Zagreb, May 11, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    The second session of the Joint Council for cooperation of Croatia, B-H and the B-H Federation was held in Zagreb today, presided by Croatia's president Tudjman. President of the B-H presidency and the B-H Federation Alija Izetbegovic and Kre\imir Zubak, respectively, took part at the session and delegations of B-H and Croatia including high officials of the two states. After the session, prime ministers of B-H, Izudin Kapetanovic, of the B-H Federation Hasan Muratovic and of Croatia Zlatko Matesa, signed the accord on the implementation of the agreement securing the access of the B-H Federation to the Adriatic via Croatian territory to the port Plo^e and free passage for Croatia through the B-H and the B-H Federation territory in Neum linking the farthest south of Croatia (Dubrovnik) with the rest of the state. So far agreements on economic, commercial and other ties, were discussed particularly draft agreement on property-rights relations, to be signed at the next session of the three governments. Initiatives for the agreement on cooperation in waterpower economy, telecommunications, building joint customs station were also discussed. The governments were recommended to consider, till next session, the initative on establishment of the Joint board for restoring the Center for coordination of scientific- technological cooperation. The appeal was sent for adoption of the B-H Federation Bill of Defence to be discussed at the meeting of the Federation Forum in Washington next week. Both sides confirmed they were ready to cooperate in prevention of terrorism. The Council backed observing the terms and making necessary conditions for elections in B-H according to the Dayton accords and the announced OSCE rules. As for elections in Mostar, the agreement was reached on compliance with the term set by EUAM so that all the residents living in the town till 1991, currently refugees, are ensured unimpeded arrival in the town to vote, provided their refugee status is not changed.

    Specially discussed was so far experience in implementationof the Abolition of visas protocol for the B-H Federation citizens. An urgent meeting was agreed between representatives of Croatian and the B-H ministry of the Interior, Croatia's office and B-H ministry for refugee to settle the issues. One of the issues are the B-H citizens, mostly Bosniaks, born in places now in the Serb entity of B-H who are denied entrance to Croatia.

    The decision for further full cooperation with UNHCR,including the question of the Kuplensko camp with the refugees from Velika Kladusa who mainly returned to their homes. Proposed is the extension of mandate for combined Turkish, Croatian and B-H police forces operating in Velika Kladusa. The county and cantonal authorities in the Bihac region guarantee maximum security and dignity to the refugees and implementation of the Bill of Amnesty. Those who meet the conditions to leave for the Third World states will be enabled to do so. Implementation of the Petersburg accord principle on urgent application of the pilot-project of the return for refugees to Stolac, Jajce, Travnik, Bugojno was thoroughly examined. It should be backed by stronger involvement of the B-H government and UNHCR to ensure the needed financial means for reconstruction and all so far agreements on full freedom of movement and respect of all human rights are confirmed.

    Fast establishment of cantonal and county authorities in twocombined cantons was called for. Conclusion was that K. Zubak and E. Ganic should urgently act to found new counties. It was appealed for fast organization of Sarajevo as a canton, town and district and support of the Federation govt. and town authorities in return of the residents to the B-H capital carrying out the housing legislation.

    The Council supported Izetbegovic's initiative, in accordwith Croatia's constitution, that new amendments to the law should enable election of a delegate of Bosniak majority in Croatia's parliament. Media's special role and responsibility in implementation of the Dayton and Washington accord is stressed and better cooperation suggested. (end) A.S.


    Mostar, May 11, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Only four parties (Croatian democratic union HDZ BH, Croatian party of rights HSP BH, Croatian pure party of rights HCSP BH, Party of BH women), candidate their members for the Mostar local elections, determined by EUAM for May 31, this year. Two lists of independent candidates also appeared, whose participation in the elections will be considered by EUAM. Till the dead-line, Friday-Saturday midnight, other parties, including SDA, did not candidate themselves. The EUAM advisor H. Birchler, who declared those facts, says the elections could take place de iure, but the question is, he adds, whether such elections, recognized by only a half of Mostarians, make sense.

    Hamdija Jahic (Party of democratic action SDA), AzerDzelilovic (initiative board of Party for BH), Hamid Custovic (Liberal party), Bajazit Tikvesa (Liberal Bosniak organization LBO), Ratko Pejanovic (Serb citizen council SGV), Nuridzihan Kezman (Social-democratic party SDP), on behalf of their parties and associations, sent a letter to Ricardo P.Casado, the EU administrator for Mostar, saying: "Looking at the democratic elections as the best chance for reunifying of Mostar, completely supporting the principle of democratic society, we express readiness to participate in the coming local elections, if conditions for them are complied with. We inform you on our readiness to give the candidates lists, in case you or the EU ministers council decide that all citizens of Mostar (according to 1991 census) do have rights to vote at the elections, regardless of their temporary address at the elections day. We suggest that Mostarians, being outside Mostar at the elections day, vote in the BH diplomatic-consular offices, or in a similar way, defined by either You or the EU council of ministers. We are ready to accept, for creation of conditions for the elections, their delay for a reasonable term, which would not threaten the EUAM mandate".

    Presidency of HDZ of BH stated it was in favor of keeping theexisting date of the elections in Mostar and B-H, describing "the attempt of some parties to change the date or rules of the elections" as "unjustified and unacceptable". (end) A.S.


    Rijeka, Zagreb, May 11, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    SDA of Croatia released the statement informing the public on yesterday's case of police pressure on leading representatives of Bosniak minority in Republic of Croatia. On finishing the preparations for the Convention of the SDAH branch to Rijeka, at 6.30 pm yesterday, the chairman of the SDAH branch in Rijeka Ibrahim Ruznic and its secretary Mustafa Kukuruzovic went to the cafe "Sany" at Srdoci (a part of Rijeka) whose owner is Huso Keserovi5. At about 7 pm, financial, civil, sanitary and tourist police arrives at the cafe, inspect the guests' documents, restricting their movement claiming it was check of the identity. About 8 pm the police took I. Ruznic and M. Kukuruzovic to the police station. The questioning lasted till 10.45 pm for which Kukuruzovi5 and Ruznic received no document on the police treatment, data on the person who interrogated them ( inspector said his name was Miso), or certificate on interrogation.

    After being asked for personal and family data, RuWni5 andKukuruzovi5 were asked about their position in SDAH and about the activities of F. Abdi5. They were told Abdi5 had described Ruznic as a likely organizer of the alleged murder attempt on him. Kukuruzovic & Ruznic were also questioned when and why they had split up with Abdi5, who they knew of the arrested "terrorists" accused of the murder attempt on Abdi5, SDA activities, the ties of its branch in Rijeka with the Zagreb main office & the Sarajevo central office, about the life of Muslims in Rijeka, Croatia, Europe, on SDAH cooperation with the B-H Zagreb Embassy and the number of extremists employed in the Embassy. Kukuruzovic and Ruznic were not physically maltreated. On their demand for a certificate, "Miso" told them it was just a semi-official conversation. (end) A.S.

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