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BosNet News: Press TWRA (96-08-14)

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Steven Albert <albert@infobahnos.com>


CONTENTS

  • [01] WHAT WILL GENEVA BRING?
  • [02] TODAY THE SESSION OF THE MOSTAR CITY COUNCIL
  • [03] ELECTIONS NOW WILL LEAD TO THE PARTITION OF BOSNIA AND THE LEGALISATION OF ETHNIC CLEANSING- HARIS SILAJDZIC
  • [04] INSPECTION AT HAN PIJESAK

  • [01] WHAT WILL GENEVA BRING?

    Geneva, August 14, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    There will be a meeting today in Geneva of the President of B-H Izetbegovic, President of Croatia Tudjman and Serbian President Milosevic and the US Secretary of State Warren Christopher. The main topics of this meeting will be the transfer of power from the so-called Herzeg-Bosnia and the Republic B- H to the Federation, the upcoming elections and the strong American desire to pull out, at least, a part of their forces from Bosnia .

    It is no secret that three sides have already been communicating for quite some time and they have exchanged numerous suggestions and letters, and according to the latest information, the envoys have left for Geneva with their new suggestions. The Americans are planning to bring pressure to bear on the Croatian side to dissolve the so-called Herzeg-Bosnia and on the Bosnian side to transfer power from the Republic to the Federation. The parallelism of these two processes, following the Dayton decisions, is most likely the reason that Croatian negotiating side is resisting demands that it dissolve Herzeg-Bosna.

    The main objection of Bosnian Prime Minister to the Croatian position is that there is still no precise date for the abolition of so- called Herzeg-Bosnia. Both Sarajevo and Washington are expecting that the Croatians will set a date for the abolition of the self-proclaimed entity.

    The US Secretary of State Warren Christopher must also beware of the Serbs and their behaviour in the upcoming elections in B-H. What might Milosevic promise them? And what will they promise him if he would meet their expectations, especially when they talk about extraditing war criminals to the Hague? Wiil they promise him financial help?

    The fundamental goal of the Geneva talks is the stabilisation of the situation in B-H in order to hold the elections as peacefully as possible and to prepare in the best possible way to effect a slow pull-out, of at least, part of the US troops in B-H.

    Just before leaving for Geneva, Bosnian president , Alija Izetbegovic h made the following statement: "All those who want a unified B-H must have as their goal the return of people to their homes, and those who do not accept this want a divided B-H." Izetbegovic has said that he was not to optimistic after the outcome of talks in Sarajevo in the last few days but he believed ."we must continue to work, we do not have to give up because of the mounting difficulties. We must have trust in the idea ofB-H and push things forward.".

    [02] TODAY THE SESSION OF THE MOSTAR CITY COUNCIL

    Mostar, August 14, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    The Bosnian and Croatian sides agreed yesterday that a session of the Mostar City council will take place today, at 11:00 am .

    Mile Puljic, president of the HDZ City Committee stated at a press conference, that two topics would be on the agenda: verification of the mandate of city counsellors and the election of the mayor and his deputy.

    The President of the City Organization of the SDA, Hamdija Jahic, who was elected president three weeks ago at a City Council Session, said that there would would be not discussion of the election of a new president. Puljic, on the other hand, said that this would be a topic of discussion "because the session where Jahic was elected was held without inviting or even consulting the Croatian side". The Special envoy of the European Union for Mostar, sir Martin Garrod, has expressed his optimism regarding today's session of City Council. He has also said that though there are significant cultural and religious differences in Mostar,the Croatian and Muslim nations are very close and because their security depends on a unified government they will respect each other's differences while making their decisions."

    [03] ELECTIONS NOW WILL LEAD TO THE PARTITION OF BOSNIA AND THE LEGALISATION OF ETHNIC CLEANSING- HARIS SILAJDZIC

    Sarajevo, August 14, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    At press conference yesterday in Sarajevo, the president of the Party for B-H, Haris Silajdzic has said that "if the elections are going to be held under present circumstances, they will not be fair and democratic and they will not fulfil the main intention of the Dayton Accords - the preservation of the continuity of B-H". Silajdzic reminded his listeners of the statements of the leaders of the Serbian entity who openly speak of the measures neccesary for secession from B-H . By forcing the refugees to vote in their new place of residence the Serbs have already begun the process of separation. "What's the point of haing the elections in September when they will bring the secession of the Republika Srpska and the legalisation of the ethnic cleansing", Silajdzic said. He pointed out that elections under these conditions will help Karadzic and his SDS to triumph.

    [04] INSPECTION AT HAN PIJESAK

    Han Pijesak, August 14,1996.(Press TWRA)

    The commander of land forces of IFOR in B-H, general Michael Walker put an end to strong security measures for the IFOR forces which were brought into effect last week.The IFOR soldiers inspected a military building at the Bosnian Serb base at Han Pijesak.

    General Walker has said that the inspection yielded satisfactory results and he has again pointed out that the Bosnian Serbs had been informed about the intentions of the IFOR forces before the inspection. The IFOR spokesman Brett Baudreau said that the operation "Fear Naught" (the IFOR state of alert) would continue as long as there is a risk for the IFOR forces on the ground. Baudreau has pointed out that so far no threats have been noticed to the security of the NATO soldiers and that the state on the ground was relatively stable. In any case, because of Han Pijesak, the tensions between the IFOR forces and Bosnian Serb Army have worsened . The IFOR high command has decided to change its stance in entire territory of the Serb Republic, and they forbid all flights to the Bosnian Serb Aircraft.

    After the inspection of the military building, the IFOR liaison officers, who at first were pulled out from Pale, returned to their positions. The spokesman of IFOR South West division,Paul Brook warned that "IFOR has adequate military equipment and the necessary power to react" to any Serbian threat.

    The Serbian fear of the IFOR patrols in Han Pijesak come from the fact that it is the" BSA" headquaters and the place of residence of indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic. Any attempt of IFOR patrols to approach this military complex is regarded in Pale as an attempt to arrest general Mladic.IFOR insists that this is not true.

    The Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera" points out that so far,this has been the biggest threat IFOR to the Serbs since their arrival in Bosnia. The Italian journalists feel that the IFOR has indicated by this operation that it is beginning of an action to capture Karadzic and Mladic. According to the newspaper the international community,"has done a lot to devalue their own positions which change from day to day". First, they stated that the only place Karadzic and Mladic could go to was the Hague, then the two were supposed to be removed from the political and public scene, and then, one of the creators of the Dayton Accord, Richard Holbrooke, after the talks with Milosevic, has dropped the Hague as the only destination for these war criminals and stated that they must leave the country.

    In the meantime, Karadzic's successor, Biljana Plavsic, has tacitly been accepted as a partner in negotiations although she has not changed her previous opinions which are tougher than Karadzic's, if that is possible. Her "intervention" was necessary for the IFOR inspection in Han Pijesak to take place . On the eve of the previous meeting of the three presidents in Geneva (September 2), Biljana Plavsic was on the list of the Milosevic delegation as Karadzic's "authorised" deputy, but the American organisers did not accept her as partner. Will Biljana Plavsic be invited to Geneva? Her open and official recognition as a partner on the international level is just a matter of time. If it does not happen today in Geneva, maybe some other time, let's say, after fair and democratic elections in B-H.


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