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BosNet NEWS / Mar. 16, 1996

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

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

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

Subject: BosNet NEWS / Mar. 16, 1996









    Sarajevo, March 16, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    At the session chaired by E. Ganic, Presidency of Republic of Bosnia- Herzegovina appointed yesterday Kemal Ademovic new director of AID. Former AID director Bakir Alispahic will take another position, and he was replaced in accord with President Izetbegovic, who is at home treatment, after leaving the hospital. Kemal Ademovic has been commander of Bosnia's Police Special Unit, and is not experienced in the field of intelligence, which is quintessence of AID's activities.

    The following is the text by John Pomfret (Washington Post Foreign Service), written in Sarajevo two days ago, published in yesterday's issue of "The Washington Post":

    For some time now, U.S. officials have been pressing B-H government officials to dismiss B. Alispahic, head of a shadowy security agency with ties to secret training camps staffed by Iranian-backed Muslim "freedom fighters". But in an Interview, Alispahic said he has no intention to leave his post as director of AID (the Bosnian Agency for Investigation and Documentation). He lashed out at U.S. demands that his agency be closed, calling the US attempt to limit Iranian influence in Bosnia "very silly". The remarks by Alispahic, a 39-year-old war hero, considered one of President Alija Izetbegovic's top aides, offered a glimpse of a side of the B-H government that is rarely seen. Some elements in the government welcome Bosnia's developing relationship with Iran and resent U.S. attempts to rid Bosnia of Iranian influence. In the interview, conducted in a quiet office in the Interior Ministry's, Alispahic accused the US government of trying to establish a client state in the Balkans to block the growing influence of Iran in this mostly Muslim land. "Bosnia is probably the only country where the interests of the USA and Iran collide" Alispahic said. "There is an American idea to remove Iranian influence here. This is what they try to do by attacking me".

    Alispahic confirmed that his organization ran a site near the town of Fojnica that NATO forces raided on Feb. 15 and called a terrorist training camp. Furthermore, Alispahic contended that Izetbegovic knew about the camp - despite reportedly having denied any knowledge of it in a phone conversation with Secretary General of NATO, Javier Solana on the morning before the raid.

    U.S., Turkish and other officials are set to meet in Ankara Friday to discuss a multimillion-dollar plan to equip & train B-H army. U.S. officials have said Alispahic's removal from his post and shutdown of his security agency are among the conditions for starting the assistance. Alispahic's criticism of U.S. policy in Bosnia underscored his enduring influence on the government of Izetbegovic, who left the hospital today. Some officials alleged Alispahic's durability illustrates the growing influence of Iran on B-H internal affairs - though Alispahic disputed contentions from some Western diplomats that he is "Iran's man". Others see Alispahic's continued presence as a sign that Izetbegovic is not sure whether he can trust the West to support his country - after years of empty promises from Washington & other Western capitals.

    "It is tragicomedy that a big, serious country like the USA makes so much noise out of this" Alispahic said on concerns over Bosnia's relations with Iran. He called US actions in B-H "very silly" and characterized NATO's raid on the training center as "in bad taste". Alispahic added he was "insulted" by US attempts to remove him from his post and called the US ultimatum "unjust intervention in the internal affairs of our state". During Rome summit last month, US officials demanded that Alispahic and his deputy Nedzad Ugljen be ousted from their posts. US officials say they demanded Alispahic's removal following the NATO raid on the Fojnica training camp, when NATO officers captured three men from the Iranian Interior Ministry, along with many weapons, explosive devices, including booby-trapped toys & plastic ice cream cones.

    NATO officials have said the presence of the camp angered them for two reasons. The first is that under the Dayton accords, all foreign forces were supposed to have left Bosnia by Jan 19. The second is that, according to NATO officials, the camp was a terrorist training center - an allegation that Alispahic denied.

    US officials have said the B-H Govt.'s failure to remove Alispahic marked one of the most serious "bumps in the road" in the process of implementing peace in Bosnia. In an interview last week, Bosnia's acting president, Ejup Ganic, said no personnel changes had been made. Today, Alispahic appeared to be firmly in control of his agency. US officials have consistently avoided to blame Izetbegovic for allowing the camps to remain in Bosnia past the Dayton deadline and have sought to focus the responsibility on Alispahic instead. But Alispahic's assertion that Izetbegovic knew about the camps complicates the situation. A spokesman for Izetbegovic rejected a request to interview the president.

    AID was set up by an act of Bosnia's collective presidency on Jan. 12 and is alleged by critics as violation of the Dayton accords. According to Alispahic, the organization is in charge of investigating and capturing war criminals, protecting Bosnia's constitution, and fighting terrorism, international crime and drug trafficking. But under the Dayton agreement, Bosnia's weak collective presidency does not have the power to undertake police functions. Those duties, in this case would be the responsibility of the federation of Muslims & Croats that the accord tasks with running the non-Serb half of the country. K. Zubak, president of the federation and a Croat, contended in an interview that he has no power over Alispahic's agency and that protests due to its establishment have gone unheeded. "We can only assume that it is secret organization set up to help Izetbegovic's political party, not the state" he said. "It is throwback to our Communist past".

    In the interview, Alispahic, who belongs to Izetbegovic's Party of Democratic Action, denied that the Agency is "some kind of political police". "That simply is not true" he said.<<

    Sarajevo - Bosnian media claim the BH authorities had agreed with IFOR ground troops commander M. Walker to close the training camps with foreign instructors till Feb 16, but the USA invaded the Fojnica camp a day before the deadline, so to get a tool of pressure on Sarajevo before the Rome summit to accept concessions to Croatian demands regarding Mostar. (end) A.S.


    Sarajevo, March 15, 1996. (Press TWRA)

    UN representatives criticized Sarajevo authorities and federal police for absence of law in the part of the town and suburbs recently given back to the BH Federation. "Majority of some 1O OOO Serbs that stayed in their homes could soon leave the area because of threats. It is being systematically carried out in Ilidza area and, in certain cases, Federal police encouraged or tolerated a violent behavior, so it can not be treated as sporadic incidents, incited by groups out of the control of authority", IPTF spokesman, A.Ivanko said.

    "Federal authorities are not responsible for the events in Sarajevo, because Bosniaks refuse to carry out the BH Federal law on interior affairs", BH Federation President, K. Zubak said.

    "Serb representatives in Ilidza say they would feel safer if Croats from Kiseljak were included in police units", Ivanko said.

    Ilidza & Kiseljak are neighboring areas, west of Sarajevo, where Croat and Serb paramilitary cooperated successfully during the siege of Bosnia's capital. <end> A.S.

    Carl Bildt, the international community's High Representative in Bosnia, urged NATO on Wednesday to provide him with more support.

    ``There is a realisation that the next couple of weeks are crucial and the two halves of the deal -- political and military -- must both work to have a success,'' one diplomat said.

    Bildt has asked the North Atlantic Council, NATO's policy-making body, to provide him with transport, better security, secure telephones, and take more of the lead in rehabilitation and engineering projects.

    ``That issue, combined with what comes after IFOR, is by far the trickiest,'' said one independent analyst, referring to the 60,000-strong Dayton peace Implementation Force (IFOR) which NATO dominates.

    ``No-one wants to discuss post IFOR, but everyone knows something has to be done,'' one alliance military source said.

    ``The exit strategy is complete lunacy, it is hindering the long-term success of the mission,'' said one European diplomat.

    ``We went in together, we come out together,'' NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana told Reuters last week.

    Bildt also said he believed the mission would end on time, but diplomats say it could simply be renamed and given a new mandate.


    Ankara, March 15, 1996. (Press TWRA)

    Conference on military support to the BH Federation started in Ankara today and is envisaged to last seven days. The conference has been gathered by the U.S. and representatives of 20 countries - 11 representatives from islamic countries and 9 EU representatives- took part in its work. The EU representatives assist only as monitors for they do not agree with the content. BH Presidency Special Representative and former BH Foreign Minister, Muhamed Sacirbey, expressed his support to the work of conference, but also his disappointment with the attitude of the EU "which did not propose any new solution." "The aim of the conference is not to prepare a war but to strengthen peace", Sacirbey pointed out. The U.S. requested some 800 million $ for the realization of a support-program and arming of the BH Federation Army, offering themselves 100 million $. It is envisaged Arabic and other islamic countries would provide the rest of the money needed. <end> S.K.


    Sarajevo, March 15, 1996. (Press TWRA)

    A first group of 13 American policemen, who are going to control areas of Sarajevo making part of the BH Federation, reached Sarajevo yesterday. It is expected that 200 American policemen will arrive to BH. They will make part of the UN international police-forces whose task is to help BH local police units. The first group of U.S. policemen will be situated on Grbavica where the situation is, according to the statement of UN porte-parole A.Ivanko, "still very tense because inhabitants are terrorized by criminals while Serb police does nothing to prevent them." <end> S.K.


    Rome, March 15, 1996. (Press TWRA)

    "Arrest of Karadjic and Mladic does not present a violation of peace but makes a part of a peace-process. There would be no peace for as long as those two war-criminals and leaders of Bosnian Serbs are on the leading positions", former U.S. State Secretary Assistant and Peace Mediator, R. Holbrook stated for the Italian paper "Avvenire". He pointed out that Serbian President Milosevic was requested to do everything possible in order to help delivery of those two criminals to the Hague Court. <end> S.K.


    Sarajevo, March 15,1996. (Press TWRA)

    As reported by IFOR Headquarters in Sarajevo, a small-arms embargo, against countries situated in the area of former Yugoslavia, was lifted yesterday at 3 p.m., by which those countries are enabled to import small- arms. A heavy-weapons embargo will still last for 90 days, till June, 12. <end> S.K.

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