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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 236, 6 December 1995

From: "Steve Iatrou" <siatrou@cdsp.neu.edu>

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] NATO MINISTERS BACK BOSNIA PLAN.

  • [2] MILOSEVIC TO DUMP KARADZIC SOON?

  • [3] UN WORKING TO REASSURE SARAJEVO SERBS.

  • [4] DEEP DIVISION WITHIN RANKS OF SERBIAN OPPOSITION PARTY?

  • [5] BUKOSHI INSISTS ON INDEPENDENCE OF KOSOVO.

  • [6] BATTLE OVER ZAGREB ASSEMBLY CONTINUES.

  • [7] WINTER HAVOC IN ROMANIA.

  • [8] MOLDOVA, U.S. SIGN MEMORANDUM ON MILITARY COOPERATION.

  • [9] CONTINUED TENSIONS OVER ETHNIC TURKISH MAYOR IN BULGARIA.

  • [10] BULGARIA TO INTRODUCE VISA APPLICATION FEE.

  • [11] ALBANIAN CHIEF EDITOR FINED $2,000.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 236, Part II, 6 December 1995

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] NATO MINISTERS BACK BOSNIA PLAN.

    NATO foreign and defense ministers, meeting together for the first time since 1979, endorsed on 5 December the plan to send 60,000 troops to Bosnia, Western agencies reported. All NATO countries and at least 14 non-NATO countries (Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Ukraine) are expected to participate. Talks are continuing with Bangladesh, Egypt, and Malaysia. U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher said NATO forces will apprehend war crime suspects "if they do something to obstruct the process" of ensuring peace in Bosnia, but he added NATO will not seek them out. Meanwhile, the British Defense Secretary Malcolm Rifkind echoed French concerns by noting that "practical measures" should be taken to meet the concerns of the Bosnian Serbs in Sarajevo, which has been assigned to the Bosnian-Croat federation. -- Michael Mihalka

    [2] MILOSEVIC TO DUMP KARADZIC SOON?

    Beta on 5 December quoted Bosnian Serbsources as saying that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic will oust Radovan Karadzic from the Bosnian Serb leadership around the time of the Paris conference, which is slated for 14 December. The peace accord prohibits indicted war criminals like Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic from holding public office. Milosevic is obliged to carry out the agreement. Speculation on a successor for Karadzic centers on the Banja Luka leadership and on Karadzic's vice-president, Nikola Koljevic. The latter is a professor who is often portrayed as a moderate but whom former U.S. Ambassador Warren Zimmermann described in Foreign Affairs as "directing artillery fire on the civilian population of Sarajevo." -- Patrick Moore

    [3] UN WORKING TO REASSURE SARAJEVO SERBS.

    The UN has opened its first offices in Sarajevo suburbs now controlled by Pale but slated for Bosnian government administration by the Dayton accord. Some 60,000- 70,000 Serbs will then join a similar number of Sarajevo Serbs who spent the war on the government side and at the receiving end of Mladic's guns. A UN spokesman said that the peace agreement is final and that Karadzic's planned referendum on 12 December will have no bearing, Hina reported on 5 December. The UN is trying to build confidence among the Serbs of Grbavica and Ilidza despite Pale's attempt to portray an atmosphere of panic, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted. Meanwhile in Zagreb, Hina said that Prime Minister Zlatko Matesa met with Jadranko Prlic, prime minister of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, to discuss the Dayton agreement and the role of Prlic's people in implementing it. -- Patrick Moore

    [4] DEEP DIVISION WITHIN RANKS OF SERBIAN OPPOSITION PARTY?

    BETA on 5December reported on statements made at a press conference by two ousted high-profile members of the opposition Democratic Party (DS), led by Zoran Djindjic. Dragoljub Micunovic, former party president and member of the federal legislature, said his expulsion on 2 December, along with that of his colleague Velimir Simonovic, is unlikely to be accepted passively by the majority of the party's rank-and-file, who, he said, will "make their voices heard" on the issue. Micunovic added that the expulsions indicate Djindjic's resolve "to amputate the peacemaking part of the party." Simonovic also added that "Djindjic will not succeed in shutting [us] out of political life." Micunovic maintained that DS members have already approached him about founding a rival party, but he insisted that no exercise in "fragmenting" the DS will be undertaken at present. -- Stan Markotich

    [5] BUKOSHI INSISTS ON INDEPENDENCE OF KOSOVO.

    International agencies on 5 December quoted Kosovar shadow-state Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi as saying that ethnic Albanians in Kosovo will never give up their demand for independence and as rejecting the idea of reestablishing the province's autonomy. Bukoshi noted that "there will be no change in our political attitude toward the future of Kosovo." He was attending the congress of the Albanian Christian Democratic Party in Tirana. Bukoshi stressed that impatience in Kosovo is growing and that if the "Albanians could see that the political means to change their destiny are having no effect, the situation might get out of control." -- Fabian Schmidt

    [6] BATTLE OVER ZAGREB ASSEMBLY CONTINUES.

    Zdravko Tomac, elected speaker of the municipal assembly, and Goran Granic, elected mayor of Zagreb, held a press conference on 5 December at which they stressed their resolve to retain their posts by asking the Constitutional Court to "protect their rights," Hina reported. This latest action was prompted by the Croatian government's 4 December ruling that no decisions taken by the opposition-dominated Zagreb city and county assemblies are valid because these bodies no longer had a two-thirds quorum when Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) deputies filed out the municipal assembly on 1 December. -- Stan Markotich

    [7] WINTER HAVOC IN ROMANIA.

    Heavy snow and storms have blocked Romania's roads, railways, and airports, Romanian and international media reported on 5-6 December. Nine people died in car accidents, while at least 10 froze to death. The harsh weather left some 600 towns and villages without electricity and 38 without telephone lines. A total of 1,100 km were closed on the national roads and 45 trains have been canceled. Domestic flights were suspended at all regional airports, and some international flights were diverted to Sofia. Homes in most cities have only minimal heating, and primary schools in Bucharest will be closed for the rest of the week. -- Matyas Szabo

    [8] MOLDOVA, U.S. SIGN MEMORANDUM ON MILITARY COOPERATION.

    Moldova and the U.S. have concluded a memorandum on military cooperation, RFE/RL's correspondent in Washington and Infotag reported on 5 December. The document was signed in Washington by Moldovan Defense Minister Pavel Creanga and U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry. It envisages information exchanges, visits by delegations, and training of Moldovan military personnel in the U.S. Perry said the signing of the memorandum reflects the U.S.'s policy of supporting the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Moldova. -- Michael Shafir

    [9] CONTINUED TENSIONS OVER ETHNIC TURKISH MAYOR IN BULGARIA.

    The dispute over the election of Rasim Musa as mayor of Kardzhali continues to spark political controversy and fuel ethnic tension, Reuters reported on 5 December. Musa is a member of the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom (DPS) and was elected mayor by a margin of 658 votes. He has been unable to take office because his election is contested by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and because the provincial governor refuses to accept his election or call a session of the municipal council. (see OMRI Daily Digest, 20 and 29 November 1995). DPS Chairman Ahmet Dogan, speaking at a press conference on 5 December, said this showed that some Bulgarian politicians "are prepared to play the nationalist card." He also accused the BSP of exploiting the fears of ordinary Bulgarians to achieve its political goals. -- Stefan Krause

    [10] BULGARIA TO INTRODUCE VISA APPLICATION FEE.

    The Bulgarian government on 5 December announced it will introduce a visa application fee of $20 in addition to existing visa charges, Reuters reported the same day. Nationals who do not need a visa, such as U.S. citizens, will also have to pay a fee of $20. Foreign Ministry official Nikolay Kaludov said the fee was introduced in an attempt to raise money for Bulgarian citizens "who have been robbed or have lost their documents abroad" and also to modernize equipment for passport and visa services. -- Stefan Krause

    [11] ALBANIAN CHIEF EDITOR FINED $2,000.

    Aleanca chief editor Blendi Fevziu has been fined $2,000, Koha Jone reported on 6 December. According to Human Rights Watch, earlier reports that Fevziu's case had been dropped (see OMRI Daily Digest, 5 December 1995) were wrong. Fevziu was convicted of slander for publishing a list of alleged corrupt politicians that included the name of the State Control Commission head Blerim Cela. The list had previously been read out in the parliament. -- Fabian Schmidt

    This material was reprinted with permission of the Open Media Research Institute, a nonprofit organization with research offices in Prague, Czech Republic.
    For more information on OMRI publications please write to info@omri.cz

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