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BosNet NEWS / March 20, 1996

From: Davor <dwagner@MAILBOX.SYR.EDU>

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

From: Davor <dwagner@MAILBOX.SYR.EDU>

Subject: BosNet NEWS / March 20, 1996


  • [01] War Crimes Tribunal Nabs Suspects in Austria, Germany

  • [02] Some Progress on Bosnia But Problems Remain

  • [03] US Troops In Bosnia Get Two Weeks Off

  • [01] War Crimes Tribunal Nabs Suspects in Austria, Germany

    March 19, 1996, THE HAGUE, Netherlands

    Keraterm, Celebic Prison Camp Commanders

    -- Await Indictment on Atrocity Charges

    The U.N. criminal tribunal or former Yugoslavia said on Tuesday it had authorized the arrest of two men suspected of committing war crimes against Serbs in Bosnia in 1992. It said it expected to indict them soon, making them the first suspects charged with war crimes against Serb victims. "I can confirm that two men were arrested in Austria and Germany at the tribunal's request. They are expected to be indicted shortly," a tribunal official said.

    Separately, the tribunal said German police had arrested another man near Nuremberg on Monday after Interpol discovered his name matched one on a list of 53 suspects already charged with war crimes by the tribunal. A tribunal spokesman said the unnamed man may be one of 13 Serbs charged last July with atrocities against Moslems at the Keraterm prison camp in Prijedor, northwest Bosnia.

    Camp commander Dusko Sikirica was accused of genocide and 12 others were charged with crimes against humanity at Keraterm. If indicted, the suspects arrested in Munich and Vienna would be the first charged for war crimes against Serb victims. This would mark an mportant step for the tribunal which has repeatedly rejected accusations from Belgrade and Pale of bias against Serbs.

    Austrian authorities named the man detained in Vienna as Zdravko M., saying he was suspected of running a detention camp at Celebic in southern Bosnia where atrocities occurred. The Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA gave his full name as Zdravko Mucic and alleged that he was responsible for killing some 30 Serb prisoners at the camp. Austrian news agency APA said police had seized video tapes purported to show war crimes being committed, but this could not be confirmed by an Interior Ministry spokesman.

    Munich prosecutors said they were holding a 47-year-old man on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but provided no more details. SRNA named him as Zejnil Delalic and said he was a Moslem who had taken part in atrocities against Serbs in the Bosnian town of Konjic.

    To date the tribunal has indicted 53 suspects-46 Serbs and seven Croats-including Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief General Ratko Mladic. But it currently holds just two of them at its 24-cell detention centre in The Hague. In February chief prosecutor Richard Goldstone said he expected to issue the first indictments against Moslems soon.

    [02] Some Progress on Bosnia But Problems Remain

    March 19, 1996, GENEVA, Switzerland

    By Sonia Winter (RFE/RL)

    U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher says progress has been made in the Bosnia peace process but problems remain and the diplomatic effort must continue to maintain compliance with the Dayton Peace Accords.

    In a day of talks in Geneva Monday, Balkan leaders of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia reaffirmed their commitment to the peace process and agreed on new measures to improve compliance with provisions concerning war criminals, freedom of movement and human rights.

    The measures were announced in a joint statement after eight hours of meetings among the Balkan leaders, individually and collectively with Christopher at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

    Christopher said at a press conference Monday night that "significant advances were made...but not all the problems were solved."

    But he said life will be better today for Sarajevo residents in Grbavica, the last Sarajevo suburb to be transferred to Muslim authority, and that the Monday agreements "will make a tangible difference in people's lives."

    He says the agreements include a provision to strengthen NATO and civilian police patrols to prevent looting and arson in areas of unrest and allow refugees to return home.

    Serbia's President Slobodan Milosevic, Croatia's Franjo Tudjman and Bosnia's acting President Ejup Ganic agreed to stronger enforcement of human rights to create conditions for the country's first free elections scheduled to be held on Sept. 1.

    The three leaders also promised to do more to bring war criminals to justice. Milosevic has agreed to hand over to the Hague War Crime Tribunal two soldiers suspected of involvement in atrocities in the fall of the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. And Croatia promised to hand over a top Bosnian Croat army commander suspected of crimes against Muslims in central Bosnia.

    More than 200 prisoners held by all factions are to be released by the end of the week.

    However, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John Shattuck told our correspondent that at least 60 of the prisoners have been charged by the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague and will first be investigated by the Tribunal.

    Other measures announced Monday night include steps to restore air, rail and shipping links between Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia to improve freedom of movement. Christopher said that for the first time in four years, flights will resume between the Serb capital Belgrade and Sarajevo.

    Some of the declarations issued after the Monday meetings are not new and have been promised before. Analysts say there is no particular reason to believe Monday's pledges will be any more credible than previous promises to implement the Dayton Accords.

    But U.S. officials say there is value in getting the Balkan leaders to meet and negotiate among themselves and that each diplomatic encounter strengthens the frame for implementing the accords.

    Christopher said the Monday negotiations have set the stage for an international confererence of Balkan foreign ministers and the five-nation contact group -- France, Britain, Germany, the U.S. and Russia -- in Moscow on Saturday. It will be the first time Russia will host a contact group meeting.

    Christopher says yesterday's proceedings have improved prospects for a successful gathering in Moscow but that much remains to be done.

    [03] US Troops In Bosnia Get Two Weeks Off

    March 19, 1996, WASHINGTON, United States

    U.S. troops in Bosnia should soon get two-week ``rest and recreation'' leave in Germany after news reports that other NATO forces get more leave than they do, Gen. George Joulwan told senators Tuesday.

    ``We are working that. It is of concern. And we hope to institute that very shortly,'' Joulwan, who is commander of U.S. forces in Europe as well as NATO supreme commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    Joulwan commented when asked about reports that other NATO peacekeepers in Bosnia are getting liberal leave but U.S. troops are not. He said the U.S. troops now get only a four-day rest and recreation leave in nearby Hungary.

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