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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 221, 13 November 1995

From: "Steve Iatrou" <siatrou@cdsp.neu.edu>

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] A PEACEFUL SOLUTION IN EASTERN SLAVONIA?

  • [2] DID KARADZIC TRY TO MAKE A DEAL WITH WASHINGTON?

  • [3] SHATTUCK PLEASED WITH BANJA LUKA TALKS.

  • [4] ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADER DIES.

  • [5] ROMANIAN EXTREMIST PARTY WITHDRAWS SUPPORT FOR CABINET.

  • [6] ROMANIAN PRESIDENT REJECTS BISHOP TOKES'S "ALTERNATIVE RECONCILIATION" PROPOSAL.

  • [7] FORMER 14TH ARMY NOW ALL-RUSSIAN.

  • [8] BULGARIAN OPPOSITION WINS MAYORALTY IN SOFIA . . .

  • [9] . . . BUT SOCIALISTS WIN MOST MAYORAL SEATS IN PROVINCES.

  • [10] FATOS NANO DOES NOT WANT HIS CASE REVIEWED.

  • [11] MASS GRAVES FOUND IN ALBANIA.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 221, Part II, 13 November 1995

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] A PEACEFUL SOLUTION IN EASTERN SLAVONIA?

    International media on 12November reported that representatives of the Croatian government and rebel Serbs in Croatia signed an agreement at separate ceremonies to return eastern Slavonia to Croatian control. The pact was drawn up by Tudjman and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in Dayton and mediated by U.S. Ambassador Peter Galbraith and UN negotiator Thorvald Stoltenberg. Its 14 points provide for a transition period of one year, with a possible extension for another year; demilitarization of the region; UN supervision; local elections before the end of the transition; full human rights for all nationalities; and the right of all refugees to return to their homes and property. It comes into effect as soon as the UN Security Council endorses it. Galbraith said that the pact marks the return of the region's multiethnic character, but Reuters reported that local Croats are skeptical. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] DID KARADZIC TRY TO MAKE A DEAL WITH WASHINGTON?

    German media on 13November reported that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military counterpart, General Ratko Mladic, have offered to leave public office in return for not being extradited to The Hague. The two internationally wanted war criminals reportedly made the offer through Milosevic in Dayton, but the Serbian weekly NIN was quoted as saying that U.S. diplomats refused it. An existing draft agreement on Bosnia's constitutional future would ban indicted war criminals from holding office. It is unclear whether Karadzic and Mladic have offered to withdraw from public life altogether. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] SHATTUCK PLEASED WITH BANJA LUKA TALKS.

    John Shattuck, assistant U.S. state secretary for human rights, said after his 10 November talks with Banja Luka's mayor that for the first time, Bosnian Serb authorities have admitted to arresting Muslim civilians, some of whom have not been accounted for, Reuters reported the next day. He estimated that nearly 1,400 Banja Luka Muslims have been either arrested or taken to forced labor camps. However, he underscored that there is no evidence of mass killings in the area, unlike in Srebrenica. The mayor promised that Muslims and Croats wanting to leave the area will be allowed to do so and that their property will not be confiscated. Meanwhile, the UN sanctions committee has authorized rump Yugoslavia to import natural gas, liquid petroleum gas, and heating oil from Russia--on condition that the gas flow to Sarajevo not be interrupted, Reuters reported the same day. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [4] ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADER DIES.

    Corneliu Coposu, chairman of the National Peasant Party-Christian Democratic (PNTCD) and a leading figure of the opposition Democratic Convention of Romania, died in Bucharest on 11 November at the age of 79, Radio Bucharest reported. Coposu, who spent more than 17 years in jail under communism, was considered a symbol of anti-communist resistance. In December 1989, he revived the historical National Peasant Party, which had been banned in 1946. The party later added "Christian Democratic" to its name to better define its political orientation. Western agencies reported that thousands of people paid their last respects to the PNTCD leader. King Michael, who lives in exile in Switzerland, has demanded a visa to attend Coposu's funeral on 14 November. -- Dan Ionescu

    [5] ROMANIAN EXTREMIST PARTY WITHDRAWS SUPPORT FOR CABINET.

    The chauvinistic Greater Romanian Party (PRM) on 10 November announced it was withdrawing its support for the current cabinet, Romanian media reported. PRM leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor, speaking at a press conference, criticized the government for failing to respect the commitments it made in 1992. He also demanded early elections in order to "heal Romanian society." The PRM, which used to be a member of a four-party coalition supporting Nicolae Vacaroiu's cabinet, was forced out of the alliance following Tudor's attacks on President Ion Iliescu. -- Dan Ionescu

    [6] ROMANIAN PRESIDENT REJECTS BISHOP TOKES'S "ALTERNATIVE RECONCILIATION" PROPOSAL.

    Ion Iliescu on 12 November rejected Bishop Laszlo Tokes's alternative proposal for Romanian-Hungarian reconciliation (see OMRI Daily Digest, 1 November 1995), Radio Bucharest reported. He said that proposal, based on the South Tyrol model, led to the "extremist conclusion" that the only way toward reconciliation would be to grant autonomy to the Hungarian minority. Iliescu further accused Tokes of "systematically spreading lies about the situation of the Hungarian minority in Romania." Meanwhile, Bela Marko, leader of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania, said Iliescu's proposal for reconciliation was not a serious attempt to resolve differences but was merely aimed at postponing a bilateral treaty between Romania and Hungary, Reuters reported on 10 November. -- Matyas Szabo

    [7] FORMER 14TH ARMY NOW ALL-RUSSIAN.

    The former 14th Army stationed in the Dniester region of Moldova is now "fully Russian," according to Russian Defense Minster Pavel Grachev. Interfax on 10 November quoted him as saying that all the conscripts recruited in the Dnestr region have been dismissed and replaced by draftees from Russia. He added that the structures set up by former commander Lt.-Gen. Aleksandr Lebed that engaged in counterintelligence, intelligence, sabotage, and other such activities had been removed from the division. -- Doug Clarke

    [8] BULGARIAN OPPOSITION WINS MAYORALTY IN SOFIA . . .

    Stefan Sofiyanski, the mayoral candidate of the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS), won the run-off in the capital on 12 November, Standart reported the following day. According to several exit polls, Sofiyanski gained between 56% and 62% of the vote, while the nominally independent Ventsislav Yosifov, a banker supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), won between 38% and 44%. The Municipal Electoral Commission put turnout at 45%. Many media outlets had conducted a campaign against Sofiyanski; and on 11-12 November, 24 chasa and 168 chasa reported that Sofiyanski had been a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party since 1984. Sofiyanski denied those reports, saying the party membership card reprinted in the publications was falsified. -- Stefan Krause

    [9] . . . BUT SOCIALISTS WIN MOST MAYORAL SEATS IN PROVINCES.

    According to preliminary results released by the Central Electoral Commission, BSP candidates won in 20 out of the 27 former administrative centers. In addition to Sofia, the SDS won in the Black Sea port of Varna and in the city of Gabrovo in runoffs on 12 November. It was also successful in Stara Zagora on 5 November and in the country's second-biggest town, Plovdiv, in the first round on 29 October. In Kardzhali, where a vote along ethnic lines had been feared, the candidate of the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom beat the socialist candidate on 12 November. The Socialists also took the majority of the mayoral seats in smaller towns and villages. -- Stefan Krause

    [10] FATOS NANO DOES NOT WANT HIS CASE REVIEWED.

    Albanian Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano said he will not participate in the review of his case by the Supreme Court, international agencies reported. Nano, in a letter to his lawyer, described the trial as a "farce" and added that "there is no more time to lose in such trials." Nano expects to be released from prison if the Socialists win the upcoming elections. Nano has three years left to serve after he was convicted of misappropriation of Italian aid funds. The Socialist Party claims he is not guilty and is a political prisoner. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [11] MASS GRAVES FOUND IN ALBANIA.

    A mass grave containing the bodies of some 40 people has been discovered in the courtyard of a local radio station in Shkoder, Reuters reported on 10 November. The victims are believed to have been political prisoners killed over a 20-year period by the communist regime. Among them are thought to be those who led a revolt in 1985 in the Qafa e Barit jail and were later executed. Other mass graves have been found near Tirana in recent weeks. Albanian officials estimate that more than 400,000 Albanians were politically persecuted by the Communists and more than 7,000 of them executed. -- Fabian Schmidt

    This material was reprinted with permission of the Open Media Research Institute, a nonprofit organization with research offices in Prague, Czech Republic.
    For more information on OMRI publications please write to info@omri.cz

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