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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 17, 24 January 1996

From: OMRI-L <omri-l@ubvm.cc.buffalo.edu>

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] NATO CERTIFIES BOSNIAN SERB COMPLIANCE BUT SANCTIONS REMAIN.

  • [2] DATA EXCHANGE AT OSCE ARMS CONTROL TALKS.

  • [3] IFOR TIGHTENS SECURITY FOLLOWING EXTREMIST THREAT.

  • [4] SANDZAK MUSLIMS URGED NOT TO HELP "ETHNIC CLEANSING."

  • [5] MILOSEVIC ALLIES HIT BOSNIAN CAMPAIGN TRAIL.

  • [6] SERBIAN RADICAL SAYS HE WILL TESTIFY AGAINST MILOSEVIC.

  • [7] CROATIA TO ACCEPT EU ARBITRATION IN MOSTAR.

  • [8] MONTENEGRIN-BRITISH SOCIETY FOUNDED.

  • [9] IS BELGRADE BLOCKING USIA OFFICE IN KOSOVO?

  • [10] NEW MACEDONIAN CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF TAKES OVER.

  • [11] ROMANIAN-MOLDOVAN DIPLOMATIC NEWS.

  • [12] MOLDOVAN, DNIESTER LEADERS MEET.

  • [13] WAS BULGARIAN MINISTERS' ELECTION ILLEGAL?

  • [14] TURKEY TO TRAIN BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT ARMY.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 17, Part II, 24 January 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] NATO CERTIFIES BOSNIAN SERB COMPLIANCE BUT SANCTIONS REMAIN.

    NATO has sent a letter to the UN certifying that the parties to the Bosnian conflict have "complied with the requirement to withdraw their forces from the zones of separation," international agencies reported on 23 January. Under the terms of a November 1995 UN Security Council resolution on the Dayton peace accords, this should have led to the automatic suspension of sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs. But European members of the council are apparently unwilling to agree to a lifting of the sanctions without more detailed information. Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Rajko Kasagic told Radio Bijeljina that he did not understand why sanctions had not been lifted yet. He underscored that the Republic Srpska has sought to cooperate not only with rump Yugoslavia but also with Croatia. -- Michael Mihalka and Daria Sito Sucic

    [2] DATA EXCHANGE AT OSCE ARMS CONTROL TALKS.

    The exchange of data on major weapons took place at the OSCE arms control talks on 23 January, after a delay of 10 days, international agencies reported. Belgrade had cited "technical reasons" for its failure to hand in its list. Croatia and the Bosnian warring factions are also participating in the talks. Norwegian General Vigleik Eide, who is chairing the talks, called the exchange of data, "a very important step" but said that a "lot of work" would be necessary to convince all sides that the data are reliable. -- Michael Mihalka

    [3] IFOR TIGHTENS SECURITY FOLLOWING EXTREMIST THREAT.

    IFOR has tightened security following reports that Muslim extremist groups may attack US targets in Bosnia. The New York Times on 24 January reported that attacks would be in retaliation for the sentencing of Sheik Omar Abdel- Rahman this month in New York. U.S. intelligence has reported a recent increase in activities of Islamic volunteer groups who have been seen observing U.S. installations. "Foreign fighters" were supposed to have left Bosnia by 19 January, but many have reportedly remained, including 150-200 Iranian Revolutionary Guards. -- Michael Mihalka

    [4] SANDZAK MUSLIMS URGED NOT TO HELP "ETHNIC CLEANSING."

    Sarajevo'sVecernje novine on 24 January reported that Bosnia's governing Muslim party, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), has appealed to Muslims in Sandzak not to exchange their homes and other real estate with Bosnian Serbs. This practice is followed by some Bosnian Muslims and helps solidify "ethnic cleansing" by creating ethnically homogenous areas, which is contrary to the concept of Bosnia as a multiethnic state, set down in the Dayton agreement and endorsed especially by the Sarajevo government. Sandzak is divided between Serbia and Montenegro, but its Muslim majority feels close to the Bosnian Muslims and is led by the SDA. Sarajevo is apparently anxious lest the Muslim position in Sandzak be weakened. -- Patrick Moore

    [5] MILOSEVIC ALLIES HIT BOSNIAN CAMPAIGN TRAIL.

    Since the signing of the Dayton peace accords, open challenges to the virtual monopoly held by Bosnia's three main ethnically-based parties have gradually emerged. One threat to Radovan Karadzic's Serbian Democratic Party comes from the Socialist Party of the Republika Srpska (SPRS), which appears to be a clone of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's Socialists. Nasa Borba on 24 January reported that a delegation from the SPRS and its ally the United Left called on their mentor in Belgrade to discuss the situation in Bosnia and to urge closer links between the Republika Srpska and Serbia. AFP reported from Brcko that SPRS leader Dragutin Ilic told voters that their key to the future is to "put in place a social system resembling that of [rump] Yugoslavia" and that his party is the one to bring close ties with Belgrade about. Ilic, like so many of the politicians in postcommunist ex-Yugoslavia, is a medical doctor by profession. -- Patrick Moore

    [6] SERBIAN RADICAL SAYS HE WILL TESTIFY AGAINST MILOSEVIC.

    Vojislav Seselj, leader of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party and an accused war criminal, has said he wants to go the Hague to testify against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, international media reported on 23 January. Seselj maintained he can prove that Milosevic is responsible for war crimes throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina and that Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and his military counterpart, Ratko Mladic, were only indirectly, if at all, responsible for commanding forces in Bosnia. Seselj noted that key members of the Bosnian Serb military command structure remain on Belgrade's payroll. Earlier this month, Seselj complained bitterly about difficulties he had encountered in obtaining a passport, prompting speculation that Milosevic wants to keep Seselj in Serbia so that he cannot testify. -- Stan Markotich

    [7] CROATIA TO ACCEPT EU ARBITRATION IN MOSTAR.

    Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic has told the Council of Europe in Strasbourg that Croatia will accept EU arbitration in Mostar if Croats and Muslims cannot solve their dispute by themselves, Nasa Borba reported on 24 January. Granic also informed the council that more than 2O suspected war criminals in Croatia would go on trial. He added that over 1,000 suspected war criminals were currently being investigated. The Croatian parliament is expected to pass a bill next month on cooperation with the Hague-based International War Crimes Tribunal. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [8] MONTENEGRIN-BRITISH SOCIETY FOUNDED.

    Montena-fax on 23 January reported that a Montenegrin-British Society has opened in Cetinje. Its function is to foster bilateral ties, specifically in areas such as science, culture, and sports. British government official Ivor Roberts noted that ties between Britain and Montenegro have historically been close and mutually beneficial. -- Stan Markotich

    [9] IS BELGRADE BLOCKING USIA OFFICE IN KOSOVO?

    Margit Savovic, rumpYugoslav Minister without portfolio in charge of civil liberties and minority rights, on 22 January said "Kosovo and Metohija are an integral part of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia," adding that Serbia will not allow this issue to be internationalized, MILS reported on 23 January. Savovic was referring to plans, announced earlier this month by U.S. negotiator Richard Holbrooke, to open a U.S. representation in the province--probably a USIA office. She pointed out that the U.S. would have to consult with Belgrade before opening the office. Turkey is also reportedly considering opening a consular office in Pristina. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [10] NEW MACEDONIAN CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF TAKES OVER.

    President Kiro Gligorov on 23 January appointed Col. Gen. Trajche Krstevski as chief of general staff. He replaces Col. Gen. Dragoljub Bocinov, who recently retired. Krstevski was a career officer in the former Yugoslav army for 30 years. He left his last post in Croatia in 1991 to return to Macedonia and was appointed deputy chief of general staff in April 1992. -- Stefan Krause

    [11] ROMANIAN-MOLDOVAN DIPLOMATIC NEWS.

    Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu on 23 January received a Moldovan delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Aurelian Danila. Romanian media reported that the two sides discussed organizing an inter-ministerial meeting in Chisinau and decided to restart negotiations on a bilateral basic treaty. The same day, a Romanian group seeking the liberation of Ilie Ilascu, who is currently detained in Tiraspol for alleged terrorist acts against the self-proclaimed Dniester authorities, announced they were seeking the reunification of Moldova with Romania. They also proposed the formation of a "unification group" in the Romanian parliament, saying that "the signing of treaties with Ukraine and Moldova is too sensitive a matter to be left in the hands of the Foreign Ministry." -- Matyas Szabo

    [12] MOLDOVAN, DNIESTER LEADERS MEET.

    Leaders of the Republic of Moldova and the self-proclaimed "Dniester republic" met in Chisinau on 23 January, Infotag reported. The Moldovan team included President Mircea Snegur, Parliamentary Chairman Petru Lucinschi, and Finance Minister Valeriu Chitan. President Igor Smirnov and Supreme Soviet Chairman Grigorii Marakutsa headed the Dniester side. The meeting focused on economic issues, especially how to implement a July 1995 agreement on monetary and credit arrangements. The Dniester leaders asked Chisinau not to hinder the transportation of Dniester bank notes, printed in Munich, through Moldovan territory. Infotag reported that the meeting was brokered by the OSCE mission in Moldova and by the special envoys of the Russian and Ukrainian presidents to the Moldovan-Dniester negotiations. -- Dan Ionescu

    [13] WAS BULGARIAN MINISTERS' ELECTION ILLEGAL?

    The Union of DemocraticForces (SDS) has issued a statement saying the 23 January election of Atanas Paparizov and Svetoslav Shivarov as trade and agriculture ministers violated parliamentary procedures, Demokratsiya reported. The opposition objects to the fact that the old ministers were dismissed and the new ones appointed without debate. The opposition boycotted the vote, and both the SDS and the People's Union are reportedly considering taking the matter to the Constitutional Court. Meanwhile, former Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister Kiril Tsochev told Standart that he already had decided to quit in October 1995 because he was under constant criticism from the Socialists. -- Stefan Krause

    [14] TURKEY TO TRAIN BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT ARMY.

    Turkey will provide military training to the Bosnian government army under an agreement signed in Sarajevo on 22 January, Reuters reported. Further details on the agreement were unavailable. Bosnian General Rasim Delic, who signed the protocol for the Bosnian side, noted that the agreement "is only a beginning" and that "we expect huge aid from Turkey." -- Lowell Bezanis

    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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