OMRI Daily Digest, No. 32, Part II, 14 Feb 95
Epilogh OMRI Daily Digest, No. 32, Part II, 14 Feb 95 [.]
. MORE SERB FLIGHTS - THIS TIME NEAR TUZLA.
. MORE REINFORCEMENTS FOR SERBS IN BIHAC POCKET.
. US SOURING ON THE CONTACT GROUP?
. CRIME NEWS FROM THE YUGOSLAV AREA.
. SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADERS SIGN PACT, ALLEGED WAR CRIMINALS CHARGED.
. BULGARIAN PRESIDENT VISITS US.
. 7,000 HOMELESS FAMILIES IN TIRANA.
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
No. 32, Part II, 14 February 1995
MORE SERB FLIGHTS - THIS TIME NEAR TUZLA. The 14 February Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung reports that UN personnel have observed yet more
flights over Bosnia in recent days by "Serbian combat aircraft," this
time around Tuzla. Previously, Serbian helicopters and airplanes had
been detected in the Bihac and Srebrenica areas. The UN reported its
findings to NATO headquarters in Naples, but the Atlantic Alliance once
again claimed to have found no trace of the Serbs on its radar screens.
* Patrick Moore
MORE REINFORCEMENTS FOR SERBS IN BIHAC POCKET. News agencies on 13
February noted that some 1,000 Serb fighters have arrived in northwest
Bosnia from Krajina. It is not clear whether they are Croatian Serbs
coming to help their allies or Bosnian Serbs who have been training in
Krajina. In any event, this and other developments underscore the close
connection between the Bosnian and Croatian Serb forces, the Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung says on 14 February. Meanwhile, UN officials warn of
growing starvation in Bihac, with the most vulnerable already dying and
even the better off now in danger. * Patrick Moore
US SOURING ON THE CONTACT GROUP? The 14 February Washington Post reports
that US envoy Charles Thomas will leave his full time position as
representative to the Contact Group and will be replaced by a part-time
appointee. Thomas will concentrate instead on helping reinforcing the
Croat-Muslim alliance. Thomas was active in recent direct negotiations
with Pale, which Washington has now "concluded . . . were not leading to
any productive discussion." The paper also notes that US Ambassador to
Bosnia Victor Jackovich has been reassigned to Slovenia. Jackovich was
reportedly unhappy with the Clinton administration's talking directly to
the Bosnian Serbs in violation of a UN ban on such contacts as long as
the Serbs reject the peace plan. * Patrick Moore
CRIME NEWS FROM THE YUGOSLAV AREA. War is not the only source of news in
the former Yugoslavia, and recent days have featured crime in the
limelight. The Croatian media have been reporting at length about a
weekend drug-bust, in which police confiscated some 30 kilograms of
heroin. It was one of the biggest drug seizures ever reported in
Croatia. Elsewhere, Nasa borba notes on 14 February that the Hungarian
airline Malev has sacked 11 employees for stealing money from airmail
letters being sent by citizens of rump Yugoslavia via Malev. The full
extent of the thefts is still being investigated. * Patrick Moore
SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADERS SIGN PACT, ALLEGED WAR CRIMINALS CHARGED.
Nasa borba reports on 14 February that on the previous day opposition
leaders from the Democratic Party (DS), the Democratic Party of Serbia
(DSS), and the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), signed an agreement which
details how the opposition will cooperate in future local and
parliamentary elections. Leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO)
Vuk Draskovic has not, at least yet, signed the accord and AFP quotes
controversial SRS leader Vojislav Seselj as saying the purpose of the
pact is to effect "the overthrowing of the ruling Socialist Party and
[Serbia's President] Slobodan Milosevic, starting from the local level."
In other news, international media report that the UN tribunal for the
former Yugoslavia has issued arrest warrants for 21 Serbs, including
Omarska camp commander Zeljko Meakic, suspected of a host of war crimes
and crimes against humanity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At present, only
one of those charged is in custody. * Stan Markotich
BULGARIAN PRESIDENT VISITS US. Zhelyu Zhelev and US President Bill
Clinton on 13 February signed a declaration of principles stressing the
importance of democracy and human rights, international news agencies
reported the following day. The declaration asserts that the security of
Bulgaria and other countries in the region "is inseparably linked to
that of the United States." The signing took place during talks the
Bulgarian delegation had with Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Secretary
of State Warren Christopher and National Security Adviser Anthony Lake.
Clinton said the US supports Bulgaria's progress towards democratic and
economic transition. He briefed Zhelev on details of a $7 million loan
program for Bulgaria to support small and medium-sized private business,
especially in rural areas. Zhelev stressed the importance of US support
for his country, while he also pointed to Bulgaria's problems caused by
UN sanctions against rump-Yugoslavia. Zhelev, who is on a three-day
visit to the US, is accompanied by Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski,
Defense Minister Dimitar Pavlov and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister
for Economic Development Rumen Gechev. On 13 February, Zhelev met with
Defense Secretary William Perry in the Pentagon. * Stefan Krause
7,000 HOMELESS FAMILIES IN TIRANA. More than 7,000 families in Tirana
are homeless, Aleanca Nacionale reported on 14 February. The paper adds
that about 1,500 families will have to give up their flats by the end of
1995, when a restitution law takes effect. Meanwhile, the staff of
Tirana's state- run bread shops, most of whom are women, went on hunger
strike on 13 February, Populli Po reported on 14 February. The hunger
strikers are protesting against the restitution of the shops, arguing
that the delivery of cheap bread by state shops would be endangered if
too many shops have to close. The strikers also fear for their jobs.
Elsewhere, the Council of Ministers discussed issuing privatization
bonds, Rilindja reported on 14 February. The Ministry of Finance will
distribute the bonds among all Albanians who were 18 years old by 1
August 1991. Rilindja said issuing the bonds would provide "the legal
basis for a massive privatization of state enterprises." * Fabian
[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Steve Kettle