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Bosnet Digest V5 #89 / Thursday, 7 March 1996

From: Nermin Zukic <n6zukic@SMS.BUSINESS.UWO.CA>

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory



























    Sarajevo, New York, March 5, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Bosnian prime minister Hasan Muratovic spent three days in Iran and had talks with president Hashemi A.A. Rafsanjani, vice-president Hasan Habibi and foreign minister A.A. Velayati.

    Radio Teheran alleges that Muratovic told Rafsjanjani that "Bosnian people expect of Islamic states, specially from Iran, the aid in reconstruction of their state now when relative peace is established," and Rafsanjani replied by inviting the Bosnian leaders to maintain and intensify relations with Muslim world to receive support of that world and its participation in the reconstruction. Last November, the OIC member states decided at the Teheran meeting to aid Bosnia in economy, humanitarian and especially military domain, to enable the government in Sarajevo to establish the balance of power with the neighbouring states and their quislings. Meanwhile, the USA exert pressure on Sarajevo to give up military cooperation with Iran if it wants western support and above all, the American. Izetbegovic and B-H government seem to be ready to stop cooperating militarily with Iran if given guarantee that the other side will provide them with similar support but are not ready to break political, economy and cultural relations with Iran, regarding it as a part of their inalienable rights belonging to a sovereign state. Recent invitation of the USA to the ally states to join them in the boycott of Iran being accused of support to the international terrorism was ignored by most western states.

    Chris Hedges from Vienna released in "The New York Times" the article on military training that several hundred of Bosnian soldiers had been given in Iran. His sources are diplomats of European states with their embassies in Iran and two Bosnian government officials who wanted to remain anonymous but refused to give the time and the number of soldiers having been trained. The same article quotes anonymous European officer who said the problem was not military skill that Bosniaks would attain (they are trained in fighting tactics of light infantry), but in "Islamic indoctrination being a part of any, particularly of military training in Iran. "

    Due to the bomb attacks of "Hamas and "Jihad" in Tel Aviv, Ashqelon and Jerusalem, the international attention is again focused on Iran whose radio reports that those suicidal/lethal assaults show the power of Islam. Iranian mission to the UN denied the allegations of Israel that Teheran supports radical Palestinians financially and militarily, describing the claim as "irresponsible and provocative." /end/ A.S.


    Tehran, Sarajevo, March 5, 1996 (Press TWRA) - "Bosnian ambassador to Iran Omer Behmen commented the article released in "The New York Times" on the B-H army soldiers being trained in Iran saying: "As far as I know there are no Bosnian soldiers in military training in the Islamic Republic of Iran." Behmen also accused the USA of spreading ungrounded rumours on Bosnian and her army through influential media. /end/ A.S.


    Sarajevo, March 5, 1996 (Press TWRA) - TV channel, financed by Carl Bildt's Office, UNESCO, OSCE and George Soros, has been announced in B-H. The explanation given says that it is aimed at "enabling entire freedom of the public word and encouraging democracy for forthcoming elections." Bildt's Office also announced a special commission, within his supervision, for coordination of the work of the international organizations operating in B-H, particularly those dealing with human rights protection. /end/ A.S.


    Sarajevo, March 5, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Three weeks on the arrest of Hidajet Delic in the Sarajevo settlement of Grbavica where he was on the photoreporter's duty, Karadzic's Serbs accused him of allegedly ordering, as the B-H army soldier in 1992, a murder of a Serb in Sarajevo. It was released by the international police spokesman to Sarajevo adding that Delic, imprisoned in container near Pale was in hard physical & psychic condition. /end/ A.S.


    Sarajevo, March 5, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Sarajevo is this year's Holocaust, Genocide and Urbicide Prize winner. The reward was ceremonially handed over to the Sarajevo mayor Tarik Kupusovic and general Vicar of the Sarajevo bishopric, the envoy of Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Msgr Mato Zovkic.

    The prize was established by Catholic Church in 1973 during the Pope VI pontificate (Giovanni Montini), to be rewarded to those preaching Bible, Qur'an and other holy books to spread the truth in evidence on humanity. /end/ A.S.


    Zagreb, March 6,1996 (Press TWRA) - Delegations of Bosnia-Herzegovina Republic Assembly and B-H Federation Constitutional Assembly, which were headed by presidents Miro Lazovic and Mariofil Ljubic, arrived today to several days visit to Croatia. B-H Parliamentarians in Zagreb will talk with the President of Croatian Parliament V. Pavletic, Prime Minister Z. Matesa and President F. Tudjman. (end) A.S.


    Sarajevo, March 6,1996 (Press TWRA) - The IFOR's headquarters in Sarajevo reported that the extension of the mission in Bosnia has been planned, specially to help civic organizations. The extended plan of action proposed by the NATO command, foresees the enforced cooperation with ICTY, including the air-reconnaissance over the territories suspected of containing mass graves, and taking shots of them.

    Den Hague - Croatian victimologist Zvonimir Separovic gave to ICTY Chief Prosecutor Richard Goldston, proposal of the indictment against S. Milosevic for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Besides that Separovic also enclosed the proposal of indictment against Serbian leader in east Herzegovina, Bozidar Vucurevic and General Strugar, who were engaged in the attacks on Mostar and Dubrovnik, and the new indictment against Milan Martic, whom ICTY already indicted for last year missile attack on Zagreb in May.

    commenting the Separovic's indictment against Serbian President, Antonio Cassese, the judge from Firenza who chairs ICTY, said: "Every court in the world bases its estimates on evidences. Give me the authorized tone script in which Milosevic orders genocide or signed document which proves that and there will be no problem. We need solid evidences, and not unprovable guesses".

    Paris - French lawyer and nazi hunter S. Klarsfeld in his article in "Le Monde" supported the establishing of permanent international Tribunal, whose support would be permanent police forces, and which would try perpetrators, and would act as preventive and save lives of millions. Klarsfeld writes that such permanent tribunal could not be established if those after whom ICTY issued a warrants are not caught, which can not be done without use of force, and at the moment there is no other force which would be able besides IFOR, which does not show special will bring to justice 52 accused, which is the result of UN restrain but also NATO members.

    Moscow - Russian daily "Pravda" reported issued an interview with Smilja Avramov, Milosevic's expert for international law, who is a chief of the Fond for protection of the Hague Tribunal which has been establish recently in Belgrade. Smilja Avramov, who headed the Serbian team on Croatian-Serbian expert negotiations on division of Bosnia and who quite often publicly talked on behalf of Karadjic's Serbs, said to Russian newspaper that ICTY is incompetent, unlegal, unlegitimate, and that over stepped its authorities, established in contrast to UN rules, and that it acts arbitrary and manipulatory. (end) A.S.


    The Hague, March 5, 1996 (Press TWRA) -In the first hearing before ICTY as the indicted (in previous hearing he was a witness), Serb gen. Djordje Djukic who beside the basic data on himself decided to defend himself against indictment by silence said: "I do not feel guilty. I did nothing to be brought before this Tribunal." One of Djukic's defenders, the Belgrade lawyer Milan Vujin said: "The indictment opposes the regulations and Statute of ICTY and collected evidence. The fact that investigation is underway against gen. Djukic simultaneously here and in Sarajevo is against the principles of the international law." Djukic added: "That explains why I an not going to cooperate and issue any statement." /end/ A.S.


    Washington, March 5, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Preliminary elections in South Carolina and predictions for some other states made Bob Dole (the Senate majority leader, most likely in the last running for the US president) favourite again of the Republican Party (Democratic candidate will certainly be W.J. Clinton). South Carolina gives all the vote to the winner, so Dole has 72 votes, a rich publisher (supporter of the same tax rate regardless of income - conservative revolution in favour of the rich and on the account of already poor) Steve Forbes 6O, Conservative commentator blamed for antisemitism and racism Pat Buchanan 37, while Lamar Alexander lost with 1O votes. /end/ A.S.


    Zagreb, March 5, 1996 (Press TWRA) - The County Court in Zagreb has banned strike in the firm "Croatia Bus" explaining there is no reason for strike. As the workers of the firm were recently on strike, police intervened to some extent, threatening to turn the strike into more serious incident, Croatian authorities repeated the claims that strike had "political background." /end/ A.S.


    Vienna, March 5, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Two-day international conference has been held on human right protection and implementation of the Dayton accord humanitarian aspect (article II, annex 4), but also other issues were discussed, such as rebuilding of the destroyed and working procedure of the international monitors. were discussed. Also, return of refugees and support to democratic processes and other aspects of the implementation of the Dayton accord civil annex. As the adopted conclusions of this conference are not obligatory for anyone, it is regarded only as a useful continuation of the peace process.

    Participants of the conference are representatives of till recently warring states in ex-Yugoslavia, its neighbouring states, EU member states, the USA, Canada, Russian Federation, Japan, Marocco, Turkey and Norway. There are the representatives of more than 3O NGOs (non-governmental organizations). The B-H delegation is led by foreign minister Jadranko Prlic.

    The conference was opened by the PIC high representative, the EU/UN coordinator for B-H, Carl Bildt, Austrian foreign minister Wolfgang Schuessel. Secretary general for foreign issues Albert Rohan presided at the conference to which the guests were UNHCR high official Jose Ayala Lasso, UN special rapporteur for human rights in ex-Yugoslavia Elisabeth Rehn, UN official for missing persons prof. Manfred Novak and the US envoy to the Balkans Robert Galluci. /end/ A.S.


    Mostar, March 5, 1996 (Press TWRA) - First time after the Rome meeting, session of Advisory Council of the EUAM was held today. H. Koschnick was presiding at the session attended by Orucevic, Brajkovic and the chair of Serb community in Mostar M. Bodiroga.

    They discussed acting in the district, housing decree and particularly preparations for elections to be held next Friday. Safet Orucevic said: "We demand urgent establishment of a unified town authorities, the Neretva canton and believe the problems that arose somewhere else need not affect Mostar." "The problems somewhere else" refer to Sarajevo where local HDZ demands more rights for Croats who, according to that demand, should have as much power with their total of 7% population as Bosniaks with 5O%, at the last census. That is why Sarajevo's HDZ called all Croatian institutions to blockade the establishment of the B-H Federation until Bosniaks met the demand and set up the Sarajevo canton as a Croat-Bosniak one and not only Bosniak. The demand is an excuse to HDZ for postponing the establishment of the two agreed cantons - in central Bosnia and the Neretva valley. Croats bought from fleeing Serbs many houses at a low price in Hadzici and Ilidza, southwestern settlements of Sarajevo which can be connected to the neighboring HVO controlled counties (Kiseljak, Kresevo), the settlement of Stup called a Croat county by HDZ.

    EU special envoy Vargas and coordinator for Mostar at Italian Farnesina, Mattacota who were present at the Advisory Council session, met with the B-H Federation president Zubak and discussed the modes of EUAM acting after the local elections announced for next May. "H. Koschnick's successor will be known in a few weeks but the elections for local democratic authorities are more important," said Vargas, but Zubak added: " Competence of the B-H Federation and the Republic in finances should be resolved prior to the elections." Asked if demarcation lines between Republic of Srpska and the B-H Federation were settled, Zubak says: "Both Croats & Serbs have proposals for their changes but nothing has been agreed yet." Regarding the Serb-Croat agreement, the sources close to B-H police say that AID (Agency for Investigation and Documentation) followed & recorded often, mainly secret meetings between Zubak & Karadzic's associate Krajisnik at Pale and elsewhere, organized by Bildt at which separate Croat-Serb accords on Bosniaks' account were specified. The same source claims that was the reason for Zubak to protest against AID and the fact that the Agency is out of his control.

    In the letter to Bosnian TV read in a documentary program on the Independence day, March 1, Zubak protested against "neglecting the role of Croats in defence of B-H being presented only as separatists". Addressing to the Council of the Bosnian intellectuals conference, K. Zubak said: "A big problem is that Bosniak leadership has not accepted Federation as their model of co-existence and future but as the interim period and instrument to achieve their final political aim - one nation's rule hiding under civil democratic society." /end/ A.S.


    Sarajevo, March 6,1996 (Press TWRA) - The IFOR spokesman, Simon Haselock and Alexander Ivanko, described the course of events in Hadzic since yesterday afternoon till today morning. Yesterday the B-H Federation Internal Vice-Minister Jozo Leutar, informed the international police forces' commissar Peter Fitzgerald that Croatian policemen will move in Hadzici in order to "participate in the work of Federal Police Forces". Fitzgerald talked with the FB-H Internal Minister A. Hebib, and during the night he held talks on local level. Since last night 8:3O p.m. 2O Croatian policemen moved in Hadzici, on demand of P. Fitzgerald IFOR sent some additional French IFOR forces. French IFOR blocked the whole area, in order to prevent by force the entrance of new Croatian police forces. Those who were already there, were ordered to leave Hadzici until 8:45 a.m. and they did. After that the Bosnian Federal Police Forces headed by minister Hebib moved in Hadzici. It has been reported that Hadzici events are challenge for peace process and disappointment for IFOR. (end) A.S.


    Tuzla, March 6,1996 (Press TWRA) - During last week the Karadjic's Serbs policemen captured total of 14 persons, who were driving on "Arizona" road (Orasje-Tuzla), and on the part of the road which Serbs control (between Loncari and Pelagiceva/Zabara), and through which their corridor through North Bosnia passes. That is the territory where the US IFOR forces are deployed. IFOR and B-H authorities did not made official announcement about kidnapping of civilians, and the arrests were made according to Croats and Bosniaks "war criminals" list, which Serbian policeman got from their leaders. (end) A.S.


    Ottawa, March 6,1996 (Press TWRA) - "The main responsibility for arrest of the suspects lies on Peace Agreement in Dayton and not on IFOR", said Louise Arbour, Canadian judge who will overtake the duty of ICTY Chief Prosecutor this fall, and added: "ICTY is the most important chapter ever written in the history of penalty law and international humanitarian law. The failure of the Tribunal would mean the catastrophe for international community. ICTY is important for establishing the truth and necessary for reaching the reconciliation in the states where the establishing of individual responsibility for crime serves to avoid the collective quilt".

    L. Arbour was born in Montreal in 1947, and become Ph.D. in Montreal and York. She taught law for 13 years in York (Osgoode Hall Law School) and before that she worked on the commission for reform of Canadian legal system. The Vice-president of Civic Freedoms organization and editor of several journals and magazines, the author of number of works on penal procedure and human rights, L. Arbour works on Appeal Court in Ontario, the highest court in Canada. (end) A.S.


    Mostar, March 2, 1996 (Press TWRA)- European administrator for Mostar H. Koschnick explained at yesterday's press conference the reasons for his resignation to the post which he would stop performing late this month. "I returned the mandate as our political goal has been achieved: freedom of movement, joint police patrol and the document on elections in Mostar which has been adopted. Half a year is not enough to transform two administrations of Mostar into one and to establish six new counties, term to which the EUAM mandate has been extended. New administrator will need 9 months at least, to achieve the aims, so I resign three months earlier than planned," said Koschnick. Asked if his associates would leave Mostar with him, EU administrator said they would make decision of their own but some had already expressed the wish to return home late that month.

    Since yesterday, the joint police operate in the whole town: two patrols in central zone, eastern & western part of the town, each, said West European police (WEU) spokesman Howard Fox. Combined police operates non-stop; six patrols of seven persons within 24 hours along with detectives specialists & the local police monitors make total of 7O persons. /end/ A.S.


    Mostar, March 2, 1996 (Press TWRA) - French unit based at the airport near Mostar started on Feb 25, with reconnaissance with a small aircraft "CL-289" type, released the IFOR French base at the Mostar airport. It also alleges the aircraft is pilotless, provided with very precise cameras to enable spotting and recording of a tiny spots on the ground both by day and night. IFOR is immediately furnished with the data recorded which can used them for their operations if needed. /end/ A.S.


    Sarajevo, March 2, 1996 (Press TWRA) - "Separation lines between the entities will remain as agreed at Dayton if the experts of the two entities cannot agree on their changes," said the IFOR spokesman Mark Reiner adding that the work of the combined commission for the issue of separation at Ilidza is in crisis as the two sides cannot agree on some disputable points at the map. Reiner did not specify the points in question.

    Head of the Sarajevo county of Novi Grad Ismet Cengic said the B-H Federation authorities demanded correction of the separation lines in the part going through the Sarajevo settlement of Dobrinja. Namely, the lines determined at Dayton pass through the buildings even the rooms in the flats of that settlement whose major part belongs to the B-H Federation and minor part to Republica of Srpska. Federal authorities offered the territory exchange according to which the whole of Dobrinja would be in the B-H Federation, said Cengic. /end/ A.S.


    Zagreb, March 2, 1996 (Press TWRA) - The House of the Representatives of Croatian parliament could not, after the first reading procedure, decide on proceeding the Constitutional law on cooperation with the ICTY to the second procedure since there was no parliamentarian quorum in the parliament - as majority members of the ruling HDZ and some oppositionists had left the session. HDZ previously denied the procedure of passing the law on the war profiteers, supported by the opposition.

    Vice president of Croatian government Ljerka Mintas Hodak, Croatian foreign minister & deputy prime minister Mate Granic and justice minister Miroslav Separovic called on the MPs to endorse further procedure for the Constitutional law on cooperation with ICTY. Granic said that pressures on executive authorities, incl. president Tudjman, were exerted & intensified, to be cooperative with ICTY which is formed by the Security Council resolution 827 defining the status of the Tribunal, the rules on investigation and Tribunal proceedings as obligatory for all UN member states and others to cooperate with ICTY. Not passing the Constitutional law would result in immediate and direct pressures starting from the hindrances on our way to integration into Europe through suspension of cooperation with all important states including the USA to the threats with comprehensive UN sanctions. It is almost impossible for Croatia to change the rules in the ICTY Statute but this Constitutional law can be amended in the second reading procedure. Good cooperation with ICTY, properly regulated by our law can be the ground for more effective work of Tribunal alone whose so far activities Croatia cannot appreciate," said Granic.

    Constitutional law was previously discussed by three boards of the parliament: Board of Justice headed by Bosiljko Misetic, Legislative Board headed by Vice Vukojevic and Constitutional Board headed by Vladimir Seks. Misetic, though not satisfied with the work of ICTY advocated the second reading procedure of the Constitutional law. Seks, on behalf of the HDZ Club said the Constitutional law should be considered from legal, political and constitutional aspect with regard to the interests of the state.

    During the discussion in the Board led by V. Seks, Smiljko Sokol (HDZ) and a guest member of the Board, Horvatic were against the Constitutional law to enter the further procedure. They explained that ICTY Statute is contrary to the items 1O & 31 of the Croatian Constitution banning the extradition of Croatian citizens, not allowing even to the International Tribunal to take the verdict given by the national court into proceedings, being the very contents of the item 1O of the ICTY Statute that gives the Tribunal the right to repeat the proceedings against the persons acquitted of the same crime before the national court.

    Vukojevic's Board concluded that the item in the ICTY Statute is humiliating and insulting for Croatia, the opinion shared by a member of HSP and Seks' Board, Ivan Gabelica. In the dispute in the parliament, the HSP members were against adoption of the Constitutional law and "dictate of ICTY which is meant to deny the sovereignty of Croatia."

    While Seks' Board considered the Constitutional law, prof. Horvatic said that they should not insist on absolute legal justification of Croatia's duties towards the international community as restricting its sovereignty was unacceptable for Croatia; and that there was no difference between the terms "hand over" & "extradite" though international lawyers make difference looking on "hand-over" of the citizens to the supra-national Tribunal as a goodwill of a state while the term "extradition" is used for the case of extradition between the two states. It is important to differ between the two terms as Croatia referred to its Constitution preventing its citizens from being extradited to a foreign court, but the ICTY president Antonio Cassese, grounded on the international law including the decision of the World Court from 1931 explained that it did not imply handing over of the citizens to the international supra-national tribunal.

    Ivan Milas, high ranking official of the ruling party and of Croatia ("guardian of the privy seal"), a member of Seks' Board, said: "It is a pure political pressure and violence, i.e. the export of imperialistic tendencies to some states. I support the crime punishment but in the manner of France and the USA, not of some Goldstone who used to be a member of the South Africa Constitutional Court conducting racial segregation at that time."

    SDP and a part of HDZ, suggested, due to the unmatched part of the proposed law with Constitution and the UN resolutions alone the law be treated as the previous reading but V. Seks warned such item did not exist in Parliament's Statute anymore. Seks as the chairman, warned I. Jakovcic (IDS) when he asked for TV broadcast of the current dispute over cooperation with ICTY. IDS and HSLS are "aware of all implications which the law has as well as the fact that it is enforced", yet they endorsed it.

    Vukojevic's Board demanded the dispute be postponed and the government take over responsibility to change the ICTY Statute. Foreign minister Granic warned that Croatia is due to adopt the law: "Model to our behaviour cannot be either Belgrade or Bosnian Serbs. Croatia cannot live alone and isolated. The law must go to further procedure. There is not much space to manoeuvre."

    When it came to voting, there was no quorum - there were fewer than half of the MPs left. Drazen Budisa (HSLS) said nearly empty benches in Sabor showed irresponsibility & carelessness of the delegates avoiding the responsibilities. A. Vujic (SDP) said: "Such acts are stupid as they cannot deceive anybody". /end/ A.S.


    Sarajevo, March 3, 1996 (Press TWRA) - "Procedure of transferring the authorities in the suburbs of Sarajevo will continue without delay as planned," said the brigadier Andrew Cummings, head of the IFOR Operative Planning Sector. According to the plan, the B- H Federation police should enter Hadzici on March 6, and Ilidza on March 12. As after taking control of Ilijas (Vogosca before that), Sarajevo got linked with Zenica, now, on the B-H police entering Ilidza the Bosnian capital will be linked with Mostar. The last to be joined the Federation is Grbavica the settlement in the town alone-south of the river Miljacka - on March 19.

    There has not been any major incidents so far in areas of Sarajevo in which the B-H Federation police took control. 27 international policemen authorized to monitor the situation were sent to Hadzici," said Cummings. On the ICTY charges against Serb gen. Dj. Djukic he said: "It is a legal decision that must be observed by both entities in Bosnia-Herzegovina". /end/A.S.


    Sarajevo, March 3, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Bosnian minister of finances Mirsad Kikanovic signed with the officials of the World Bank the agreement on reconstruction to be carried out in cooperation with World Bank and the B-H government with the governments of Croatia and the B-H Federation. Talks between the B-H government and the World Bank on other eight agreements being worth total of USD 16O million contine.

    Mostar - Delegation of the Dutch government talked with Croat mayor of western Mostar Mijo Brajkovic. The Dutch minister of development stressed in the talks, the importance of using European currency in opening the working posts and reconstruction of the destroyed houses and damaged infrastructure.

    Bangkok - European Commission demanded from Japan at the Euro-Asian summit, to join in the international efforts to B-H in the part regarding reconstruction and rebuilding of the state. President and vice-president of the Commission, Jacques Santer and sir Leon Brittan, respectively, demanded from Japanese prime minister Ikedo Yukikiko to participate in the program of support to B-H which in next four years totals USD 6 billion. "Japanese prime minister heard the demand but promised nothing, " said European Commission spokesman.

    New York - UN called the international community to allocate USD 823 million for the return of the B-H refugees program and reconstruction of the state. UNHCR would receive USD 353 mill. to help it in the effort to return of 2 million of displaced persons and refugees. UNHCR estimates that 83O,OOO persons could return to their homes - among them 46O,OOO of those who remained in the state where they used to live, 17O,OOO of the refugees to some other states of ex-Yugoslavia and 2OO,OOO of 7OO,OOO persons placed in Europe outside the ex-Yugoslavia. /end/ A.S.


    Mostar, March 3, 1996 (Press TWRA) - Herzegovinian-zahumski bishop Atanasije Jeftic, the main priest of the Serb Orthodox Church (SPC) in Herzegovina visited Mostar in the escort of two high ranking SPC priests and chairman of the Serb Citizen Council (SGV) to Mostar Ratko Pejanovic, talked with the mayor Safet Orucevic and EU administrator H. Koschnick. Jeftic held the morning liturgy in the ruins of the old orthodox church in the eastern part of the town and visited Serb churchyards. He pointed out correct and professional acting of Bosnian police that secured his visit on the way from Nevesinje to Mostar.

    Bishop Jeftic tiold journalists: "We talked about restoring the relations between Bosniaks and Serbs. I have brought mail to Serbs living here from their relatives but also the message that many Serbs want to return to this town. I was cordially received and was pleasantly surprised with contacts including the talks with Serbs who remained in Mostar. It is good they have stayed and it would be even better if it is possible for the others to come. Mostar is my town, too, as it is the seat of our bishopric. As for return of Bosniaks to eastern Herzegovina, return of every person is granted by the peace agreement. It is a good initiative to enable Bosniaks to visit muslim churchyards in eastern Herzegovina and Serbs to visit eastern orthodox churches in Mostar. I hope the Old Bridge will be rebuilt as it was a symbol of Mostar which, thank God, neither of us destroyed, but we might have destroyed some other bridges between us. I discussed with Mr Koschnick reconstruction of old orthodox church."

    A. Jeftic visited the Croat-held part of the town, talked with mayor Mijo Brajkovic, chairman of the local Serb community Milan Bodiroga and among the issues discussed was the possibility of building a new orthodox church in the western part of the town where by Croat sources, about 3,OOO Serb are living. /end/ A.S.


    Mostar, March 3, 1996 (Press TWRA) - The Mostar bishopric, blamed by Bosniaks of supporting chauvinism of the local Croat leaders, issued an announcement in which Ratko Peric declined the Islamic Community's claims (mufti Seid Smajkic & Rais Mustafa Ceric) that new catholic church, being built in the Mostar centre, west bank of the Neretva river, is on the area which Austro-Hungary had taken from Islamic community, being its Vakuf (endowment), where also was a Muslim churchyard - Lakisica harem. Islamic religious officials appealed to the Catholic Church not to take what was not their property as both religious communities should be given back what they had been taken away. Bishop Peric claims the new church is not built at the site of Lakisica harem and "it is not appropriate to refer to the Turkish period, i.e. situation 12O years ago, as by the international law this right expires in 1OO years. Where does the right to stop at Turkish period come from and not go further in the past - christian bishopric in Mostar has been active since the 5th century. /end/ A.S.


    Belgrade, March 3, (Press TWRA) - The Third Conference of Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) is held this weekend in the Sava Center in Belgrade. Adoption of the document called "Serbia in 2,OOO - step to a new century" is planned for the end of the conference. More than 6O delegations of the "left parties" from 5O states are guests to the conference. Specially welcomed are the guests from Cuba, Russia China, Greece and Vietnam. The conference will elect the Main Board and Executive Board of SPS and its chairman, the position to which, to date party's chairman Slobodan Milosevic is the only candidate. He is the man who founded SPS six years ago proclaiming unification of the Communist League of Serbia (SKS-the ruling party ever since) and SSRNS Socialist Alliance of Workers of Serbia, association of the para-communist type including wider population than SKS).

    Prominent SPS member Nikola Sainovic addressed in his introductory speech to the attendants at the conference - high ranking officials of Serbia, Montenegro and FR Yugoslavia, saying: "The greatest achievement of our Party since its foundation is our successful avoidance of the war from western parts to be spread across the river Drina and broke out in Serbia. We persistently fought for Serb people rights in the succeeded republics of ex-Yugoslavia. This conference is held in the year of victory and peace and reaffirmation of our state after three-year isolation from the international community. In achieving peace, chairman of our party and president of our Republic Slobodan Milosevic had an important role. In this country, we have to start the fight for prosperity, removing the results of unfair sanctions which in the past three years reduced GNP of FR Yugoslavia for about 6O%. Yet, FR Yugoslavia is the most stable state in the Balkans despite the situation in which any other state would have collapsed, had it been faced with it."

    Beside SPS, there is another party in Serbia led by Milosevic's wife Mirjana Markovic Milosevic - Yugoslav United Left, JUL. JUL has ambitions to become the umbrella party of the left-wing parties in Serbia and Serb opposition cynically says, "to the benefit of Serb people rule for centuries more." The abbreviation JUL is chosen as it reminds of July, the month in which some Yugoslav communist holidays were observed, the most significant one was celebrated on the same day when Americans observe their Independence Day, July 4, which historians of Tito's Yugoslavia took as the beginning of "resistance" in WWII as the first armed conflict broke out in Vojvodina which in 1918 was within Serbia. The first partisan units organized in Croatia were not taken into account. JUL came out of another party also led by Mirjana Markovic - SKPJ Communist League of the Movement for Yugoslavia.

    SKPJ stressed anti-nationalism in public, but gathered a number of persons leading war against Slovenia, Croatia and B-H including some generals. Among them, gen. Stevan Mirkovic who condemned building of Draza Mihajlovic's statue in central Serbia. "Draza Mihajlovic is symbol of chetnik movement which committed slaughters against muslims and other people in the previous war and now," said Mirkovic when Vuk Draskovic and Serb opposition were making the monument. However, it was S. Milosevic who led Serb offensive and punitive actions against Albanians at Kosovo and approved later the aggression on Croatia. SKPJ, JUL and Mirjana Markovic before Milosevic started with rhetoric of the peace-making and condemnation of war, hatred and ethnic racism.

    As true anti-nationalists are still in the margin in Serbia, it is believed that at the elections, SPS and JUL will promote peacemaking unlike "democratic opposition" whose leaders - Djindjic and Kostunica supported Karadzic even when official Belgrade stopped doing that. Remaining relevant political party in Serbia is Serb movement of Renewal SPO whose chairman Vuk Draskovic was a fierce nationalist, promoting pacifism and tolerance in the past four years.

    At yesterday's SPS conference with organized video presenting and luxurious emblems and decorations and costly reception for guests, there was no dispute as till recent Milosevic's key associates were not present after he let the blame of inflaming chauvinism fall on them - Mihajlo Markovic, Borisav Jovic, Milrad Vucelic). Speakers - delegates of the SPS leadership of different regions in Serbia talked about economy and cultural development leaving out nationalistic issues.

    In last evening's voting for new chairman, of 1799 votes, 1795 were for Milosevic, three against and one invalid ballot. Then Milosevic addressed the conference saying: "In hard years of sanctions, refugees and war in the neighborhood we supported materially and morally all Serbs in trouble. The citizens of Serbia showed solidarity which is an everlasting monument to their humanity. All those touched with solidarity should remember it as a lesson in humanity and as a debt that perhaps, should be returned to some future generation. SPS tried to act in the interest of society giving priority to the issues regarding the position of Serb people in Serbia and outside. We acted correctly, but none can claim there were no mistakes, nationalistic disturbances, inadequate staff, moral unsuitability. While preparing this conference, some mistakes were identified but have been removed and will be further removed due to the good that SPS wishes Serbia and all residents of Yugoslavia. I believe this conference denotes better days coming to us."

    Bosnian media quote the late prof. Fuad Muhic who claimed that "Serb left is ultra right." /end/ A.S.

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