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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 230, 28 November 1995

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

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] KARADZIC WARNS THAT SARAJEVO WILL BE EITHER BERLIN OR BEIRUT.

  • [2] BOSNIAN PRESIDENT SAYS SERBIAN LEADER WANTS TO SPREAD WAR.

  • [3] BITTERNESS IN CROATIA OVER DAYTON AGREEMENT.

  • [4] REFUGEES RETURN TO VELIKA KLADUSA.

  • [5] NATO MILITARY COMMITTEE DECIDES ON DEPLOYMENT PLAN.

  • [6] FUEL PRICES DROPPING ON SERBIAN BLACK MARKET.

  • [7] UN SPECIAL ENVOY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VISITS KOSOVO.

  • [8] ROMANIA'S RULING PARTY ELECTS LEADERSHIP.

  • [9] OSCE CRITICIZES RUSSIAN DUMA'S RESOLUTION ON MOLDOVA.

  • [10] BULGARIA STOPS EXPORTS OF GRAIN.

  • [11] NANO'S SENTENCE INCREASED BY ONE YEAR...

  • [12] ...PROMPTING RENEWED CHARGES OF POLITICAL MANIPULATION.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 230, Part II, 28 November 1995

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] KARADZIC WARNS THAT SARAJEVO WILL BE EITHER BERLIN OR BEIRUT.

    The Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on 28 November that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has said again that partition of the Bosnian capital is essential for peace. He argued that if it were not divided like Cold War-era Berlin, it would bleed like Beirut. He also warned that a "blood bath" would result if anyone attempted to arrest him or other internationally wanted Bosnian Serb war criminals. Nasa Borba quoted him as arguing that "the Dayton conference recognized our struggle for freedom and our state as well. I am the legal and official chief of state." He also claimed that he and his people have nothing to do with war crimes: "At the beginning of the war I ordered my officers to uphold the Geneva conventions [on the conduct of war]. I am sure that my army did not commit crimes." The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung added that Bosnian Serb commander General Ratko Mladic issued a statement that his army "would not give up Sarajevo." -- Patrick Moore

    [2] BOSNIAN PRESIDENT SAYS SERBIAN LEADER WANTS TO SPREAD WAR.

    Hina on 27 November quoted Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic as saying that Karadzic was simply trying to scare world opinion with his threats. Izetbegovic added that "my opinion is that Karadzic is afraid of peace and wants to spread the war, but this time by using the Serbian people [whom he has brought out to demonstrate]." Nasa Borba on 28 November cited Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey as arguing that Karadzic's attitudes could lead to a continuation of the war. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] BITTERNESS IN CROATIA OVER DAYTON AGREEMENT.

    Nasa Borba on 28 November also reported on the general dissatisfaction among Croats with the treaty, which is widely seen as "legalizing [the results of] ethnic cleansing," as Cardinal Vinko Puljic put it. Vecernji list added that people in the Posavina region of northern Bosnia are especially disappointed and that an assembly of refugees from there called the agreement "illegitimate and illegal." AFP reported that some 700 refugees have meanwhile "laid siege" to Zagreb city hall in protest and demanded that President Franjo Tudjman meet with them. -- Patrick Moore

    [4] REFUGEES RETURN TO VELIKA KLADUSA.

    Attempts are under way to return the 20,000 refugees from Kuplensko in Croatia to the Velika Kladusa region in northwestern Bosnia. But there were only 600 takers by 26 November, when more than 200 people went, Vecernji list reported next day. The refugees are followers of local kingpin Fikret Abdic and are unwelcome in Croatia and politically at odds with the Bosnian authorities. The interior ministers of Bosnia, Croatia, and Turkey have agreed to work together to enable them to return home safely. The ministers visited both Kuplensko and the Velika Kladusa area to plan deployment of a joint police force. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [5] NATO MILITARY COMMITTEE DECIDES ON DEPLOYMENT PLAN.

    The NATO Military Committee on 27 November decided on an operations plan for the deployment of troops in Bosnia, Western agencies reported. But France, which is not a member of NATO's integrated military structure, is resisting turning over command of the operation to U.S. General George Joulwan, NATO supreme commander, until the promised 20,000-strong U.S. contingent arrives, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported the next day. This could threaten the beginning of NATO deployment, which is scheduled to take place after the formal signing of the peace treaty in Paris probably in mid-December. The NATO foreign ministers are expected to approve the operations plan at their meeting scheduled for 5-6 December. Under the plan, NATO forces will not be required to wait until being fired on before shooting. -- Michael Mihalka

    [6] FUEL PRICES DROPPING ON SERBIAN BLACK MARKET.

    Bulgarian media on 28 November report that since sanctions have been eased against the rump Yugoslavia, the black market rates for vital commodities is tumbling. Most notably affected is the price of gasoline, which now sells at the equivalent of $0.56. Rump Yugoslav media report that large quantities of domestic fuel products are now on sale, partly in response to an anticipated influx of nearly 50,000 tons of foreign fuel deliveries. -- Stan Markotich

    [7] UN SPECIAL ENVOY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VISITS KOSOVO.

    International agencies on 27 November reported that Elizabeth Rehn was told by Serbian officials that Albanians have chosen to boycott public schools and other institutions and that the Kosovo conflict is an internal Serbian affair. Rehn, however, disputed this claim, saying when such rights are in question, "the international community has the right to interfere and try to help people." She also met with Kosovar shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova and representatives of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms. Meanwhile, Margit Savovic, rump Yugoslav minister without portfolio in charge of human rights, declared that the Albanians of Kosovo have been accorded rights that "far surpass" international standards, AFP reports on 28 November. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [8] ROMANIA'S RULING PARTY ELECTS LEADERSHIP.

    The National Council of the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) on 26 November re- elected Oliviu Gherman and Adrian Nastase as the party's chairman and executive chairman, respectively, Radio Bucharest reported. The election followed the third nationwide PDSR conference, held in Bucharest on 24- 25 November, at which the party adopted its new program and discussed changes in its statutes. In a message to the conference, President Ion Iliescu said if he decided to run for office again, he would do so under the PDSR banner. The leftist PDSR, which has governed in coalition with nationalist and neo-communist parties, is the most popular single party in Romania. -- Dan Ionescu

    [9] OSCE CRITICIZES RUSSIAN DUMA'S RESOLUTION ON MOLDOVA.

    The OSCE has criticized the Russian State Duma's recent resolution proclaiming the Dniester region a zone of special strategic importance for the Russian Federation, BASA-press reported on 27 November. According to a statement released by the Office of the OSCE Permanent Council's Chairman, the organization reaffirms its recognition of Moldova's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its current borders. The statement says that the OSCE regards continued talks as the only way to ensure a special status for eastern Moldova and that it fears "the Duma resolution can impede the process of finding a peaceful solution to the conflict." The OSCE calls upon the Russian government to continue to participate in the negotiations, pointing out the important role it has played to date. -- Matyas Szabo

    [10] BULGARIA STOPS EXPORTS OF GRAIN.

    Despite an above-average grain harvest of 3.5 million tons this year, Bulgaria is presently facing a severe grain shortage, Bulgarian and Western media report. The government on 23 November banned the export of wheat, rye, and hops until 30 September 1996 in order to secure domestic supplies. A further export ban on sunflower seeds and cooking oil takes effect on 11 December. Prime Minister Zhan Videnov blamed speculators for the shortage but said "there will be no problems with bread supplies." The government on 27 November dismissed the managers of seven state-run mills for exporting grain, despite the ban. According to Agriculture Minister Vasil Chichibaba, the government controls about 40% of the grain supplies in the country. In order to secure fodder supplies, some 550,000 tons of corn will have to be imported, he said. -- Stefan Krause

    [11] NANO'S SENTENCE INCREASED BY ONE YEAR...

    The Albanian Supreme Court has overruled an earlier decision by an appeals court and increased Albanian Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano's prison term by one year. A presidential amnesty and several courts of appeal reduced Nano's original 12-year term to four years. Following the introduction of the new Penal Code in June, a Tirana appeals court shortened his sentence to three years. Under this latest ruling, Nano will now have to spend another three years and seven months in jail. The Socialist Party claims that Nano, who was sentenced for misappropriation of Italian aid funds as prime minister in 1991, is a political prisoner and that his imprisonment is aimed at weakening the opposition. Amnesty International has also called for Nano's release, pointing out irregularities in his detention and trial. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [12] ...PROMPTING RENEWED CHARGES OF POLITICAL MANIPULATION.

    Nano's lawyer, Perparim Sanxhaku, responded to the ruling by saying it proved that the court was politically manipulated, Reuters reported on 27 November. The Socialist Party has accused President Sali Berisha of keeping Nano in jail until Albania's parliamentary elections in May 1996. It has also condemned a controversial "genocide law" barring people who held high office until March 1991 from running for public office until 2002. Nano is affected by the law. Observers suspect that Berisha might pardon Nano by presidential amnesty on 28 November, Albanian Liberation Day, to prove that the judiciary is independent and to resolve the political conflict. -- 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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