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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 244, 18 December 1995

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

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] UN, NATO APPROVE NATO-LED DEPLOYMENT.

  • [2] BOSNIAN SERB PARLIAMENT REJECTS DAYTON MAPS.

  • [3] KARADZIC CLINGS TO POWER.

  • [4] SERBIAN HELSINKI COMMITTEE ACCUSES BELGRADE OF OPPRESSING MINORITIES.

  • [5] RUMP-YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT IN CHINA.

  • [6] CROATIAN OPPOSITION FILES SUIT AGAINST GOVERNMENT.

  • [7] ROMANIA, HUNGARY TO RECONCILE IN SPRING?

  • [8] ACUTE FOOD SHORTAGES IN MOLDOVA'S BREAKAWAY DNIESTER REGION.

  • [9] BULGARIAN OPPOSITION TO ASK FOR NO CONFIDENCE VOTE.

  • [10] BULGARIA TO RESTITUTE JEWISH PROPERTY.

  • [11] BULGARIAN BANK CHIEF ON IMF LOAN.

  • [12] ALBANIAN COMMUNIST OFFICIALS CHARGED WITH CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 244, Part II, 18 December 1995

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] UN, NATO APPROVE NATO-LED DEPLOYMENT.

    The UN Security Council on 15 December authorized the deployment of the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia, Western agencies reported. Shortly thereafter, NATO commander- in-chief George Joulwan issued the order to begin deploying troops, saying "the mission is clear: limited in time and scope and with robust rules of engagement." The UN resolution authorizes deployment for approximately one year and allows the troops to use "all necessary force" to implement the Dayton peace accord. Acting NATO Secretary- General Sergio Balanzino noted "this is a historic moment for the (NATO) alliance. It is the first ground operation, the first operation out of area." Meanwhile, bad weather slowed deployment of troops into the region. -- Michael Mihalka

    [2] BOSNIAN SERB PARLIAMENT REJECTS DAYTON MAPS.

    The Bosnian Serb legislature met in Jahorina on 17 December and "took note" of the Dayton treaty while rejecting the maps and territorial settlement, Nasa Borba and news agencies reported. It singled out the return of Sarajevo suburbs to Bosnian government control and the setting up of a corridor to Gorazde as particularly unacceptable. The parliament set down its views in ten points that included limiting opposition to the agreement to peaceful means and urging the population to stay put, the BBC said. Civilian leader Radovan Karadzic called the pact "a general defeat for the Serbs" because of the territorial provisions. The assembly demanded that the Serbs get an outlet to the sea at Neum, as well as Croatia's Prevlaka peninsula that controls access to Montenegro's Bay of Kotor. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] KARADZIC CLINGS TO POWER.

    The legislators meeting in Jahorina on 17 December called for the right to unite with rump Yugoslavia in a single state, even though several speakers implied that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic had betrayed the Serbs of Bosnia and Croatia. The assembly also authorized its leaders to negotiate a deployment agreement with NATO, news agencies reported. The Dayton agreement bans the Bosnian Serb civilian leader and his military counterpart, General Ratko Mladic, from public office as indicted war criminals. Karadzic nonetheless showed no sign of preparing to abandon power willingly, and reshuffled his cabinet to strengthen the position of his hard-line loyalists. New appointees include Velibor Ostojic, who has been linked to "ethnic cleansing," as deputy prime minister, and security chief Dragan Kijac as interior minister. -- Patrick Moore

    [4] SERBIAN HELSINKI COMMITTEE ACCUSES BELGRADE OF OPPRESSING MINORITIES.

    The Serbian Helsinki Committee, in its annual report released on 15 December, concludes that minorities in Serbia are subject to repression, discrimination, and "ethnic cleansing," according to AFP on 18 December. The report charges Serbian authorities with maltreatment, torture, and hostage-taking. It also accuse them of staging political trials in Kosovo, while noting that residents are also subject to pressure from the Kosovar shadow state. With regard to Vojvodina, the report concludes that the ethnic Hungarian community may eventually disappear due to discrimination. Some 30,000 young Hungarians have fled the country to avoid the military draft, while dozens of families have been turned out of their homes to make room for Croatian Serb refugees. Of the 250,000 Croats living in Vojvodina, 45,000 have been expelled since 1991. The report adds that Croatian Serb refugees have not been treated in accordance with international conventions. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [5] RUMP-YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT IN CHINA.

    Zoran Lilic arrived in China for a six-day visit on 17 December, AFP reported the next day. Lilic is quoted as saying that he hoped the visit will "mark the opening of doors to Yugoslavia." He met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin to discuss "bilateral ties and issues of common interest." Lilic will also meet with Prime Minister Li Peng. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [6] CROATIAN OPPOSITION FILES SUIT AGAINST GOVERNMENT.

    Some 45 members of Croatia's seven opposition parties have sent a request to the Constitutional Court to determine if decisions taken by government on the constituent session of the Zagreb city and county assemblies were in accordance with the constitution. They have also filed a suit asking the court to annul those decisions, Hina reported on 16 December. The government earlier this month declared that the opposition-dominated assemblies had not been properly constituted; and it claimed the measures they passed were illegal because there was no quorum following the boycott by deputies from the ruling party. President Franjo Tudjman at a 16 December press conference said the state authorities could not allow the Zagreb government to fall into the hands of enemies of state policy. The opposition leaders rejected his accusations and signed a joint statement on what they called the political crisis in Zagreb. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [7] ROMANIA, HUNGARY TO RECONCILE IN SPRING?

    Romanian President Ion Iliescuand Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn, attending the EU summit in Madrid on 16 December, said the two sides want to finalize negotiations on Iliescu's proposal for a historic reconciliation with Hungary by March 1996, Romanian media reported. Romanian Ambassador to Budapest Ioan Donca said Hungary's official response to the proposal, which was supposed to be given on 15 December, has yet to be discussed with the six parliamentary parties. Its response is thus likely to be delayed until after Christmas, he said. -- Matyas Szabo

    [8] ACUTE FOOD SHORTAGES IN MOLDOVA'S BREAKAWAY DNIESTER REGION.

    Igor Smirnov, president of the self-proclaimed Dniester republic, and Grigorii Marakutsa, chairman of the region's Supreme Soviet, left for Moscow to ask for urgent economic assistance, BASA-press reported on 16 December. According to an official at the Agriculture Ministry in Tiraspol, the region has run out of food and cash, and its cereals reserves are enough for only ten days. Local bakeries are reportedly short of flour supplies and operating at reduced capacity. Daily bread rations were recently cut by half but had to be restored to their full level of 500 grams following protests from the population. -- Dan Ionescu

    [9] BULGARIAN OPPOSITION TO ASK FOR NO CONFIDENCE VOTE.

    The Union of Democratic Forces, the People's Union, and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom on 15 December agreed to request a vote of no confidence in the government, Demokratsiya reported the following day. The three leaderships have decided to form a working group to draft a joint motion. The reason for the no confidence vote is the ongoing grain shortage (see OMRI Daily Digest, 28 November 1995). Flour and bread are either unavailable in the shops or have been pushed up in price. The opposition blames the crisis on the government, which controls some 40% of the grain supplies. The opposition will meet on 20 December with the trade unions to discuss joint action. -- Stefan Krause

    [10] BULGARIA TO RESTITUTE JEWISH PROPERTY.

    President Zhelyu Zhelev on 15 December said "the Jews will receive everything that was taken away from them," 24 chasa reported the following day. Their property will be returned to the organization Shalom, which is the successor to the Jewish community in Bulgaria and defends the interests of some 50,000 Jews who were forced to leave Bulgaria. According to Shalom, the property in question is worth about 1 billion leva ($14.2 million). The organization has waived its claims on a building in Varna that is the navy's headquarters but insists that other property be returned. -- Stefan Krause

    [11] BULGARIAN BANK CHIEF ON IMF LOAN.

    Bulgarian National Bank governor Todor Valchev on 15 December said that the IMF will probably accept the projected 1996 budget deficit of 4.8% of GDP if progress is made on structural reform, Pari reported the next day. He asserted that a lower deficit will hurt health, education, and the legal system. Agreement with the IMF on a new stand-by loan is crucial because Bulgaria's foreign reserves stand at $1.4 billion while debt payments in 1996 will be $1.25 billion. Meanwhile, Pari on 18 December reported that the ruling Socialists are considering four candidates to replace Valchev early next year. They include Atanas Paparizov, a former deputy minister in the last communist government; Lyubomir Filipov, head of the BNB's lev operations; and Chavdar Kanchev, head of the state bank for foreign economic relations and a former negotiator with the London Club. -- Michael Wyzan

    [12] ALBANIAN COMMUNIST OFFICIALS CHARGED WITH CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.

    An Albanian court has ordered the arrest of 14 communist-era officials on charges of sending dissidents into internal exile for political reasons, Reuters reported on 16 December. Those accused include Haxhi Lleshi, president of the parliament from 1953 until 1982; former first party secretary in Tirana Pirro Kondi; and former Defense Minister Prokop Murra. Lleshi, who is 82 years old, has been confined to house arrest. Four suspects, including former Prosecutor-General Qemal Lame, have fled abroad. Prosecutors launched investigations after the National Forum of Intellectuals filed a lawsuit charging the officials with violating communist-era legislation. About 100,000 people were sent into internal exile; of these, some 5,100 are estimated to have been executed. -- 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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