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BosNet News: Press TWRA (96-08-11)

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Adnan Smajlovic <>




    Zagreb, August 11,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The BH Federation vice- president E. Ganic in an interview for Zagreb's magazine "Nacional" talked about recent meeting with pres.Tudjman and Croatian-BH relations. TWRA reports part of the interview: "I concretely said that we demand dissolving of "Herzeg-Bosnia". I said: "Mr President, that can not be done without you, you can do it...". It is a little bit inconvenient to talk about that, because those were diplomatic talks, closed in a way, and I would rather not talk about what I precisely said to him, and what he answered. But among others, I said one thing: "Mr. President, I support establishing the relations which will outlive the politicians. The relations between two peoples are something more durable and long term than our carriers. (Croatian side, allegedly, in return for dissolving "H-B" demanded strengthening the borders with Republic of Srpska?) Nobody asked me that, that would be division of Bosnia. First time in the history Catholic Church has no influence on Drina River. To maintain such situation would be defeat of the West, not only Croats and Bosniaks. We talked about weakening the RBH authority. I said that RBH will have neither more nor less authorities than those foreseen by Dayton agreement. That is why at the state level in B-H at this moment, there are six ministries. (...) Ombudsman analyzed all that and came to conclusion that this disputed 26 votes could not in any way influence the election results. But if you ask me about the HDZ election defeat Mostar, I can say that HDZ did just fine because in the long run only policy of integrated Bosnia could withstand.The integrated Bosnia guards 80% of Croatianborders and in that way saves the money for the Croatian military budget. Bosniaks guard Croatian belly, cover 80% of its border with Serbs. So, Croatia has to guard only small part of the border on Cape Prevlaka and with Vojvodina. The integrated Bosnia is the best solution for Croats. Croats have two states: their own, Croatia, and Bosnia which they share with others, and in which they have one third of the power. Croatia enjoys the whole Bosnia, as we do. What more Croats want? (...) Serbs at the moment have 49% of the territory, but they do not have that much power... Croats and Bosniaks are strong enough to preserve Bosnia. The concept of the Federation was made as a base for the integrated Bosnia. It foresees that Serbs from Republic of Srpska latter transfers to the territory of the Federation. It is no science to divide Bosnia, but we want Federation which would be strong and which could raise Bosnia again. This idea has a support of Catholic church, Franciscans. Their structure, which has been developed through centuries, now is disturbed by "HB". Anyway, which would be the better solution for Croats. (...) Our strategy is to build the best possible relations with Croats, and the conflicts in 1993 we consider "traffic accident". That was not the war between two nations but the conflict with one interest group, part of Croatian people in Bosnia. We did not fight with Croats in Posavina, Tuzla, nor we had any serious conflicts with Croats in central Bosnia. That was the conflict between one fraction of HVO and BH Army. The conflict between Croats and Bosniaks has no logic because Croats fight for something they already have. They are on their land in Bosnia, which is also ours as much as theirs. That is mutual property and it can not be divided. That is what Serbs want: to divide Bosnia with the help of Croats. We off course oppose to that. Bosnia can not be divided since the whole region would get into war and economic crisis. And than some one in Europe out of blue says: "Put them all into some Balkans basket".(...) We had 250 000 soldiers, 50, 500 or 1000 Mujaheeds makes no difference. That problem was invented. They are obviously very attractive, so when CNN journalist meet five or six those "individuals" with scarves around their heads, they take pictures of them immediately.On the other hand,200 000 of our beardless soldiers are not interesting because they look like Europeans. The Mujaheeds story is implanted cuckoo egg. We did not guard the borders. How did they enter BH then? On one occasion, I was informed that some Mujaheeds appeared in Zenica and I asked: How many? 30, they said. I said I would lead them when there will be 300 000 of them, and I would be able to drive away Serbs from Drina River. I said that those 30 can pack their bags and return to where they come from because they only create problems. Religious war about which foreign press writes is pure deceit.(...)Serbia is not as strong as it was. Serbs are not economically strong enough to dictate any rules on this territory. They had advantage because they took all from the army which we created for 50 years. (...) We will find the medicine for the joint federal army. A Herzegovinian can not say he does not want to be drafted into the same army with Muslims, because he is surrounded with Muslims everywhere. Herzegovina can not exist without trade in Sarajevo. When this starts, and it did already, people will have to take care of some different, everyday things. (end) S.K.


    Paris, Brussels, August 11,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The NATO General Secretary Javier Solana considers that the three most important IFOR's tasks until the end of its mandate in BH will be monitoring of elections foreseen for September 14, to continue to support the humanitarian aid and prevent creation of international borders inside BH, said Solana in the article published at "International Herald Tribune". "We will continue our policy regarding arrest of criminals and helping investigations by International Tribunal for war criminals in The Hague", writes Solana. "IFOR has no mandate to search for war criminals like Radovan Karadjic and Ratko Mladic who are heavy handicap for Bosnian Serbs, but it has task to catch them if they show up on any IFOR's check point", repeated Solana. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, August 11,1996 (Press TWRA)

    "Undoubtedly the democracy of September elections will be on the low level, but the voters must have a chance to give their opinion on the BH future and the offered political options", stated UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Elizabeth Rhen who supported the holding of elections by the foreseen deadline although she confirmed that international monitors reports showed that many irregularities have been present and violations of human rights in the procedure for registration of voters, so far. She also proposed to OSCE to denote the mechanisms which would in this one month period before elections enable the straighten up of obvious injustices like forcing refugees to register to vote in their new places of residence. Rhen also said that at the meeting with opposition parties representatives in Sarajevo get the impression that they could decide to boycott the elections if the irregularities noticed so far are not removed. "Opposition parties consider that elections under present circumstances only firm the results of ethnic cleansing", warrned Rhen.

    She also emphasized that the important part of her present mission inthe countries of former Yugoslavia was to find out about the human rights situation in the parts of Republic Croatia liberated during the military operation "Storm". Rhen expressed her disappointment because the return of local Serbian population is very slow and emphasized that the threats directed against them intensified. According to UN Special Rapporteur's reports the non- government organizations which work on the territory of Knin are also exposed to pressures and intimidation's which she considers inadmissible. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, August 11,1996 (Press TWRA)

    Yesterday near Sanski Most the IFOR patrol was attacked. According to IFOR's spokesman Bratt Boudreau, on the members of IFOR, Czech soldiers' patrol came under attack from firearms. The soldiers returned the fire. It has been denoted that two Bosnian Serbs in civilian cloths and armed with automatic guns fired on the soldiers. One of attackers fleet away, while the other was given the first aid after he had been wounded by the attacked IFOR's soliders. The IFOR police interrogated him afterwards. Baudreau reported that the storage full of arms was found near Sokolac on Romania for which Bosnian Serbs did not have permission. Large amount of arms are now under NATO control now, and soon it will be taken away and destroyed. (end) SK


    Bonn, August 11,1996 (Press TWRA)

    Return of 320 00 BH refugees which are at the moment situated in Germany could start on October 1st, announced that President of German Red Cross Knut Ibsen. Unmarried men, couples without children and couples whose children are in BH will be the first to return. Ibsen welcomed the recent decision of the Federal Administrative Court according to which refugees from the territory under bosnian Serbs control can not get asylum in Germany since they can return to BH Federation territory. (end) S.K.


    Washington, Belgrade, August 10,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The US State Secretary Assistant and the Special Envoy for the Balkans, John Kornblum, stated yesterday that "US will not raise the level of its relations with FRY until the peace in the region is not the way it should be, and without that there is no question about FRY's return to international financial institutions". Kornblum added that in his talks with Serbian President, and also with the acting President of Republic of Srpska B.Plavsic and President of RS Parliament M. Krajisnik stressed that Bosnia has to enter new faze, which he named "the fase of new cooperation". "We came to the turning point in the peace process stated Kornblum adding that eight months from Dayton Accord "we still talk about the same topics as in March - freedom of movement, freedom of press, expelling people, level of cooperation". He also emphasized that his collocutors in Belgrade must know that the Pale leadership must oblige to real cooperation, secure that Karadzic has no influence, and that local officials of Republic of Srpska respect the obligations they undertaken. "I emphasized two things: either we will undertake action ourselves or we will recommend to OSCE the actions against groups and individuals; and that the sanctions are still on the table", said Kornblum. US envoy warned Milosevic that if Dayton fails the whole region will be lost, and Milosevic with it, and repeated the position that the establishing of relations between US and FRY is the precondition for the bigger step - recognition of FRY by the financial institutions, off course, under condition that FRY and Bosnian Serbs fulfill all that was agreed in Dayton. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, August 10,1996 (Press TWRA)

    According to Sarajevo's daily "Oslobodjenje" the Court in Bihac raised indictment against Fikret Abdic. The indictment accuses Abdic of criminal acts against civilian population, and war crimes against war prisoners. The warrant for Abdic has been issued, and the prosecutor proposed the trial in absence and the expropriation of his property as a side punishment. The prosecution proposed 56 witnesses, number of written documents and reports of international organizations for human rights. Abdic was accused of, in contrast to BH constitution, proclaiming so called Autonomous Province West Bosnia and started to establish his own army in order to turn that territory into independent state. The indictment said that Abdic established detention camps where he detained civilian population and his political opponents. More than 5000 people were in that camps and most of them were maltreated. The witnesses claim that at least two persons were killed by beating. Abdic is accused of cooperation with Martic and Karadjic and preventing the passage for humanitarian convoys for Bihac. The date of trial will be announced in the next few days, reported "Oslobodjenje". At present Abdic is living in Croatia where he prepares for BH elections for which he registered his party. (end) S.K.


    Ankara, August 10,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The President of BH Presidency Alija Izetbegovic besides Turkish President Demirel, during his visit to Turkey talked also with the President of Turkish Government N. Erbakan. After the talks on the present situation in BH Prime Minister Erbakan was interested in the help coming from Islamic countries to BH since, at present, several representatives of Asian Islamic countries have been visiting Turkey. The issue of help by Islamic world and Turkish part in reconstruction of BH will be considered in detail during the BH Government President Hasan Muratovic visit to Ankara at the end of month. (end) S.K.


    Mostar, August 10,1996 (Press TWRA)

    As our correspondent reported yesterday afternoon the unknown individual driving in the vehicle without the plates fired from automatic weapon on densely populated part of Mostar Donja Mahala. The eyewitness said that the vehicle moving very fast came from the city center direction, and than disappeared in the settlement Radoc, which is under Croatian police control. One vehicle was hit, along with the several houses. There were no casualties. WEU Police and police station in east Mostar confirmed this incident. They are still looking for the attacker. (end) S.K.


    Mostar, August 10,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The Mostar's City Council session announced for August 14, will be held for the first time after Croats agreed to end the boycott. The mayor and his deputy have to be elected at the session. The President of HDZ Mostar Mile Puljic refused yesterday to accept the invitation to City Council session which according to the agreement signed on August 6, has to be held this month. Puljic stated in a letter to special European Union envoy for Mostar Sir Martin Garrod that the invitation to the session of the City Council sent by President of City Council Hamdija Jahic, was violation of the agreement signed between Bosniak and Croatian side. "The Article 4 of the agreement says that the session will be held during August and that mayor and his deputy will be elected", stated Puljic. The PIC High Representative deputy Michael Steiner stated yesterday that Mafia prevents the integration of the part of the city which is under HVO control. Steiner described Mafia in mostar as secret organization which makes pressure on the authorities to prevent Herzegovina's Croats to enter the joint City Council of Mostar. "This organization is divided in several branches and is connected with Zagreb", said Steiner adding that the same Mafia is responsible for the attack on the former EU Administrator in Mostar Hans Koschinik and for other attacks including the assault on several Croatian politicians. The special EU envoy for Mostar Sir Martin Garrod on yesterday press-conference in Mostar reminded about the Washington Agreement between President of Republic Croatia Tudjman and US President Clinton on establishing the City Administration in Mostar, based on the Mostar's election results. Asked about local elections in September in Mostar Garrod said that OESS does not consider holding another local elections as a part of September elections. The Temporary election commission confirmed on July 8&9 that Mostar's elections are part of general elections in September. (end) D.O.


    Sarajevo, August 8,1996 (Press TWRA)

    After failure of yesterday's agreement at the Federation Forum once again the unreadiness and clumsiness about dissolving the so called "Herzeg- Bosnia" para-state was transparent. The TV cameras recorded delegations coming from the Federation Forum session and the expression on John Cornblum's face, which described the best the situation on Bosniak-Croats negotiations on dissolution of the so called "Herzeg-Bosnia". The Special US Envoy for Balkans, serious and obviously disappointed, shortly stated that the agreement could not be reached that day. The Prime Minister Muratovic said: "Herzeg-Bosnia is para-state creation headed by extreme nationalists and war profiteer. That is the cancer which viciously attacked Federation and Dayton agreement". On the other side BH Federation vice-president Kresimir Zubak said that Croatian side is ready to transfer the "Herzeg-Bosnia" authorities to the Federation administration, if the Republic bodies transfer their responsibilities to Federal administration. On the ground everything moves in a cancer pace. (end) D.O.


    Washington, August 10,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The BH Ambassador at UN Muhamed Sacirbey accused western countries for sacrificing the justice in BH for the temporary political interests. The President of ICTY Antonio Cassese two months ago urged UN Security Council to undertake the adequate measures against FRY and Bosnian Serbs in order to arrest and extradite the leaders of Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. "Unfortunately, instead of firm decisiveness some members of the Council where only ready to give statements about hard situation in BH and the Tribunal", said Sacirbey and added: "Such conduct will undermine the whole peace process including those aspects of political goals which now have advantage on account of justice". (end) D.O.


    Mostar, August 9,1996 (Press TWRA)

    On today's press conference at the EU Administration's Headquarters in Mostar the Special EU Envoy Martin Garrod reported that Mostar City Council session will be held on August 14. As it was foreseen, the city mayor and his deputy will be elected on that session. Garrod emphasized that the signed agreement between Croatian and Bosniak side is very clear about overcoming of the administration crisis based on results of local elections. The agreement says precisely that the next session must be held within 60 days after the Constitutive session, whether the Supreme or Constitutional Court of BH Federation will be established in that period or not (still nonexistent court to which Croatian side filed the charges against the election results in Bonn) and regardless the court will come to decision on HDZ BH charges on "Bonn case". Garrod, in that way, denied the statements of Mostar's HDZ officials who said that after the August session, the sessions of the City Council will not be held until the Court decision on irregularities of elections held in Germany. Garrod expressed his hope that the Federal Court decision will come before the end of two months because the President and vice-president of Federation Zubak and Ganic appointed yesterday the judges. Now the Constitutional Assembly is on the move and it will surely support the quick establishing of the local administration in Mostar. The special EU envoy eliminated another dilemma launched through Croatian media by Mile Puljic, president of local HDZ who claimed, basing on Article 17 of the Transitional Statute of the city, that the elections will be repeated in Mostar in September. Garrod rejected such possibility and reminded of the Temporary OSCE election commission written statement from August 4, according to which OSCE considers elections held in June the part of September elections. Since OSCE has been conducting the September elections the BH election laws including Article 17 of the Mostar Statute are invalid, stated Garrod. "The Transitional Statute is law for us because that is the product of Dayton accord, which says that everything is temporary until the September's elections. If the local elections will not be held in September we will behave accordingly, relying on Dayton Accord product of which is Transitional statute including Article 17", stated Mile Puljic, President of the local HDZ Board who commented the OSCE decision on elections. At the end of press conference, Garrod expressed satisfaction because the situation in Mostar normalized after the heavy incidents in the last few days. However, Garrod also warned that violence and ethnic cleansing still has not been stooped in the western part of the city. He accused the leaders of Croatian side because they do not raise their voices against lawlessness in Mostar, even when the targets are some Croatian politicians like Dragoslav Ziga or Josip Musa. The new elected Counceler of the City Council Milan Jovicic was threatened in front of Croatian policemen and at present he is forced to live in exile at the Pensioners Hotel, EU Administration Headquarters in Mostar, instead of living at home in the western part of the city. "I am waiting for leaders to finally rise their voices and accept the responsibility for preventing the lawlessness and violence in western Mostar", said Garrod.

    Milan Puljic, President of HDZ Mostar City Council today refused theinvitation for the City Council session foreseen for August 14, convoked by Hamdija Jahic, president of City Council appointed on the session held in July on which Croatian representatives were not present. Puljic claims that is the violation of the "Joint action" agreement and demands new meeting on which he and president Jahic would "yet have to agree on holding the first session of City Council and its agenda".

    Bonn - According to German paper "Bilte" which came across somesecret reports, EU Financial control is worried about spending of European funds in Mostar. The report specially emphasizes the use of big amounts of cash, stating that allegedly the treasurer of European Police in Mostar transferred half of million of DEM in a plain bag. The accounts are not conducted properly, while the procedure for issuing the receipts does not exist ", says the report adding that on one occasion EU issued 528000 DEM without any kind of receipt. (end) S.K.


    Sarajevo, August 9,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The fifth session of the Federation Forum was held yesterday in Sarajevo. Besides the numerous officials from Republic and BH Federation the special US envoy for the Balkans John Cornblum, and the vice-president of Croatian Government and Foreign Minister Mate Granic were also present. After the several hours long talks the member of BH Presidency and the vice- president of Federation Ejup Ganic was the first who stated for the press that the session was concentrating on the issues concerning dissolution of so called "Herzeg Bosnia". "We talked about dissolution of "Herzeg-Bosnia", when will this creation unilaterally established by one group finally be dissolved", stated Ganic and added: "We did not find out the precise date of its dissolution, which we expected today, but we had a very productive talk headed by President Muratovic on preparation of annexes which will be define when will things be concretely done and at which Ministry. That part of the work has partly been done and we are ready to continue tomorrow". The Federation vice- president thanked the US Embassy and its officials for their help and emphasized that in relation to dissolution of so called "Herzeg-Bosnia" the conditions and demands are out of question. "We did everything we had to, we have Federation's Government, central Government and Republic Government, each does its job, and we see no need to drag "Herzeg-Bosnia" around any longer because it violates Dayton Accord", stated Ganic. The President of RBH Government Hasan Muratovic stated that Federal partner was offered a document which did not denoted the date until which "Herzeg- Bosnia" has to be dissolved, however Croatian side did not accepted to say: "Herzeg-Bosnia" legally and functionally cease to exist as of today, and all their ministries will be integrated into Federation Ministries by September 1, this year". Ganic's conclusion was that no longer will be allowed the prolongation of this issue by Croatian side and that dissolving of this unilateral creation is in Zagreb's which created "Herzeg-Bosnia", so it can dissolved it in the same way. The President of Federation Kresimir Zubak had no comment to that, and the special US envoy for the Balkans Cornblum stated that political agreement was not reached. (end) D.O.


    Sarajevo, August 9,1996 (Press TWRA)

    The meeting of council of arbitration for Brcko, which was held on Wednesday failed, because the representative of Serbian entity Vitomir Popovic did not come to the meeting. The Bildt's office spokesman Column Murphy stated yesterday that still are unknown the reasons of his absence, but if turns out that that was intentional obstruction that would be qualified as open violation of Dayton agreement. The officials of High Representative office will try to organize the meeting of Federation and Republic of Srpska representatives in order to come to agreement on Brcko status. (end) D.O.


    Sarajevo, August 9,1996 (Press TWRA)

    Yesterday the headquarters of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OESS) in Sarajevo raised the voice against the pre-election statements on the alleged independence of the BH Serbian entity. The acting President of Republic of Srpska Biljana Plavsic stated that the elections in September will "legalize the independence of RS". OESS reminded that according to Dayton Accord, elections must make preconditions for denoting the joint institutions of two entities, with the participation of elected representatives which will be elected by Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs.

    Bijeljina - The Commander of the NATO Land Forces Walker warned onWednesday about the consequences of the possible violence on election day in BH, after the group of Bosnian Serbs threatened to block the roads to prevent Bosniaks and Croats to vote in their former place of residence. Walker did not say precisely which steps NATO will undertake in order to held September 14, elections. He only said that NATO will "secure several additional layers" of security for local police and UN police. (end) D.O.

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