Epilogh OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 41, 27 Feb. 1995 [**]

Ta nea ths hmeras, opws ta eide to OMRI:



No. 41, Part II, 27 February 1995


  1. SERBS START "FRESH TERROR CAMPAIGN AGAINST MUSLIMS." Reuters on 25 February reported that Bosnian Serb forces are completing their campaign of "ethnic cleansing" in the Gradiska area of northern Bosnia. Their methods include robbery, beatings, intimidation, and threat of rape or execution. UN representatives said they hold the Bosnian Serb authorities directly responsible: "We are not buying excuses that these are rogue elements or . . . people out of control." Elsewhere, Vjesnik noted continued Serbian helicopter flights over Bosnia and attacks on Croatian units there. The Independent on 26 February said that the U.S. is arming the Muslims through clandestine flights to Tuzla. The BBC's Serbian Service reports on growing tensions between UNPROFOR and Bosnian government forces, whose blockade of UN troops in Gornji Vakuf has entered its third day. Meanwhile, Vjesnik on 27 February notes yet another example of clerics active across battle lines, namely the visit two days earlier by Roman Catholic Cardinal Vinko Puljic to Serb-held Banja Luka. There have been a number of cross-border visits by Catholic and Serbian Orthodox figures in recent days, often in connection with charity groups and relief work. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

  2. TUDJMAN ADDRESSES PARTY CONVENTION. Vjesnik on 27 February carries the text of Croatian President Franjo Tudjman's speech to the party faithful of his Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ). The convention marked the fifth anniversary of the HDZ's founding and provided Tudjman with the opportunity to take stock. He stressed that the party's policies have been consistent and correct and that the HDZ remains a party of the center that rejects extremism from either the Right or the Left. He identified upcoming tasks, including the reintegration of Serb-held territories and of the Serb population, but did not explicitly refer to the top issue in Croatia today, namely his decision to cancel UNPROFOR's mandate and the possibility of a new Croatian-Serbian war as a result. Novi list on 25 February nonetheless reported on a meeting of the Defense and National Security Council, which discussed the possibility of keeping on "international observers" once UNPROFOR's stay is formally ended. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

  3. AKASHI MEETS MILOSEVIC. Nasa Borba on 25-26 February reported that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and UN special envoy Yasushi Akashi, meeting in Belgrade on 24 February, discussed the humanitarian and military situation in the northwest Bihac pocket of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as conditions in Croatia, from where UN peacekeeping troops may withdraw soon. According to a Reuters report on 24 February, "Akashi's trip was the latest in a week of secretive efforts to persuade Milosevic...to help avert fresh fighting." Milosevic also met with representatives of the international Contact Group on 23 February. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

  4. SITUATION IN MACEDONIA REMAINS TENSE. Supporters of the self- proclaimed Albanian-language university in Tetovo have continued their protests, Flaka reported on 27 February. Some 1,000 people gathered the previous day to honor Abdylselam Emini, who died in a shooting incident between Albanian students and Macedonian police on 17 February. The meeting was attended by representatives of all ethnic Albanian parties and the Albanian Writers Union of Macedonia. According to Flaka, the Albanians are preparing a "quiet civic revolt." The Senate of the Albanian- language university said it has found ways to continue the university's work. Meanwhile, Macedonian parliament deputies from Tetovo have denounced the university as illegal and unconstitutional. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

  5. BULGARIAN BAN ON EX-COMMUNIST ACADEMICS LIFTED. The Bulgarian parliament on 23 February scrapped a law preventing former communists from holding higher academic posts, Reuters reported the next day. It also called for new elections for the heads of state-run scientific bodies by the end of October. The old law, which was introduced in 1992, prevented former senior communist officials from taking up positions in governing bodies of universities, research institutes, and the Central Examination Board. It was criticized by international human rights organizations and by the Council of Europe. The Bulgarian Socialist Party had declared that one of its first goals was to overturn the 1992 law. It is now feared however, that new purges in education and science are imminent. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

  6. BULGARIAN PRESIDENT AND SOCIALISTS CLASH OVER ROLE OF MEDIA. Zhelyu Zhelev on 24 February accused the governing Socialists of censoring state television, Demokratsiya and Trud reported the following day. Demokratsiya cited Zhelev as saying Socialist deputy Klara Marinova was responsible for television censorship. Claiming to have been a victim himself, he reported on how some of his statements at a recent press conference had been cut and as a result his original meaning distorted. Zhelev was speaking at a meeting of intellectuals and artists who had gathered to defend a highly controversial film about the forceful Bulgarization of ethnic Turks' names during the 1980s. Marinova accused Zhelev in a letter published by Otechestven Front on 27 February of "losing his nerve" and not supplying any evidence against her. She added that in a state based on the rule of law, "such defamations are reason enough to meet at court." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

  7. GREEK BORDER GUARDS KILL ALBANIAN. An 18-year-old Albanian was killed when he tried to cross illegally into Greece with another 17 Albanians, Reuters reported on 26 February. According to Greek police, the Albanian drew a knife before he was shot by a policeman. It was the second Albanian-Greek border incident in two weeks. A 24-year-old Albanian was injured on 18 February as he tried to cross the same border. Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias will discuss border issues during a visit to Albania in mid-March. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET] Compiled by Jan Cleave