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Voice of America, 01-08-10

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>

SLUG: 2-279193 Bosnia / War Crimes (L) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

CONTENTS

  • [01] BOSNIA / WAR CRIMES (L ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [02] MACEDONIA (L ONLY) BY JEFF BIELEY (SKOPJE)

  • [01] BOSNIA / WAR CRIMES (L ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=08/10/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279193
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// EDS: PLS UPDATE INTRO AS SOON AS EXTRADITION TAKES PLACE///

    INTRO: NATO-led peacekeepers have arrested a Bosnian-Serb army colonel who is accused of committing war crimes during the (1992 to 1995) war in Bosnia. As Stefan Bos reports, the colonel, Vidoje Blagojevic, is likely to be extradited soon to the U-N war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

    TEXT: Officials of the Serb republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina say Colonel Blagojevic was arrested near Banja Luka. Army officials say he was detained by British troops serving with the 20,000-strong NATO peacekeeping force. From 1992 to 1995, the years of the Bosnian war, Colonel Blagojevic was the head of an engineering section of the Bosnian-Serb army's Drina unit. The Drina troops are blamed for atrocities in the U-N safe zone of Srebrenica, where up to eight-thousand Muslim men and boys were killed after Bosnian-Serb forces captured the town in July 1995. Colonel Blagojevic is believed to have been charged under a sealed indictment from the U-N war crimes tribunal in The Hague for crimes related to these atrocities, which have been described as Europe's worst massacre since World War Two. His arrest came one week after a 53-year old former Bosnian-Serb general was found guilty of genocide for his role in the Srebrenica killings. The Hague Tribunal sentenced Radislav Krstic to 46 years in prison after finding him guilty on eight counts -- two of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and one of violations of the laws or customs of war. It was the first time the Netherlands-based U-N court found a defendant guilty of genocide. Although the arrest of Colonel Blagojevic is likely to please U-N prosecutors, several key war crimes suspects remain at large. The United Nations chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte recently criticized NATO for not doing enough to arrest former Bosnian-Serb President Radovan Karadzic and his military adviser, Ratko Mladic. Both men are believed to be hiding somewhere in the Bosnian Serb republic, protected by heavily armed bodyguards. International officials claim that at least 15 publicly indicted suspects are hiding in Republic Srpska. Local authorities say they don't know where these people are. (Signed)
    NEB/SB/KL/KBK SLUG: 2-279180 Macedonia (L only) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    [02] MACEDONIA (L ONLY) BY JEFF BIELEY (SKOPJE)

    DATE=08/10/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-279180
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Land mines have killed at least nine Macedonian soldiers on a road just north of the capital, Skopje. Five other soldiers were injured. Jeff Bieley reports the deaths follows heavy fighting overnight near Tetovo.

    TEXT: An army truck struck three land mines about five kilometers north of Skopje, killing the Macedonian soldiers. An army spokesman said the attack occurred on a regularly traveled road near the village of Ljuboten. The area has in the past served as a logistics route for ethnic Albanian guerrillas fighting in the Black Mountains northeast of Skopje. The killings cast a further cloud over international efforts to restore peace to Macedonia, after six months of ethnic conflict. NATO's ambassador to Macedonia, Jans Jorg Eiff, said the incident should not deter the country from seeking peace, saying, "It is all the more reason to work to stop the violence." Fresh fighting was reported between government forces and ethnic-Albanian gunmen around the northwestern city of Tetovo. Witnesses say Macedonian attack jets flew over Tetovo Friday, but did not open fire. Macedonian warplanes on Thursday bombed targets near Tetovo according to witnesses, though the defense ministry denied the reports. Heavy fighting also was reported in the evening around a Muslim landmark on the west side of Tetovo, with guerrillas and government forces in close-range battles. Ten army reservists killed in an ambush Wednesday were buried in their hometown, Prilep, in the south of the country. News reports said Hundreds turned out for the funerals, including large numbers of their fellow soldiers. A peace agreement approved by political leaders on Wednesday is set to be signed in a formal ceremony on Monday if the fighting can be brought under control.

    /// REST OPT ///

    The peace agreement would give ethnic Albanians greater rights, including more representation on police forces, and it gives official status for the Albanian language in areas where ethnic Albanians make up at least 20 percent of the population. (Signed)
    NEB/JB/GE/JWH
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