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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 51, 12 March 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] ILIDZA CHANGES HANDS.

  • [02] BOSNIAN SERBS CLAIM NATO USED NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

  • [03] EU TO OVERSEE MOSTAR CENTRAL DISTRICT.

  • [04] BOSNIAN SHORTS.

  • [05] RUMP YUGOSLAV BUSINESS LEADERS PROMISE TO HELP REBUILD REPUBLIKA SRPSKA.

  • [06] REFUGEES IN MONTENEGRO.

  • [07] CROATIA, RUMP YUGOSLAVIA SEEK TO NORMALIZE RELATIONS.

  • [08] U.S., MACEDONIA HOLD FIRST JOINT MANEUVERS.

  • [09] ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT GIVES SUBWAY WORKERS ULTIMATUM.

  • [10] ROMANIAN OPPOSITION TO BILATERAL TREATY WITH UKRAINE.

  • [11] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT RECEIVES MESSAGE FROM YELTSIN ON TRANSDNIESTER.

  • [12] BULGARIAN OPPOSITION ON JOINT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

  • [13] ALBANIAN UPDATE.

  • [14] GREEK DEVELOPMENT MINISTER PROPOSES BALKAN COUNCIL.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 51, Part II, 12 March 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [01] ILIDZA CHANGES HANDS.

    A Bosnian government multi-ethnic police force entered Ilidza on the morning of 12 March, making it the fourth of five suburbs to be transferred from Pale's control. CNN said that gangs of arsonists and thieves submitted the few remaining mainly elderly residents to a final night of terror. One Serbian woman said she was glad the federal police would arrive because IFOR refused to protect her building. The police station, hospital, and a major factory went up in flames, despite last-minute attempts by IFOR and the Sarajevo fire department to end the blazes. Departing Serbian police fired pistols and grenades as IFOR troops scattered for cover. It was difficult to escape the impression that "once again thugs had made fools out of what is supposed to be the most professional army in the world," a BBC reporter said on 11 March. The UN's Kris Jankowski said that a prominent local Serb, Danilo Staka, disappeared with his daughter after urging other Serbs to stay, Onasa reported. -- Patrick Moore

    [02] BOSNIAN SERBS CLAIM NATO USED NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

    Soldiers of the Atlantic alliance may now be reluctant to protect pensioners in Sarajevo suburbs, but Bosnian Serb TV claims that last year NATO planes used nuclear weapons in the air strikes on Serb positions that helped make the Dayton conference possible. "In their combat assaults on Serb defence positions and Serb villages, the NATO air force and rapid reaction force used the most modern combat weapons including low intensity nuclear weapons that caused a certain degree of long-term radiation. In the course of their investigations, teams [of experts from Pale and Belgrade] detected symptoms of radiation-linked diseases in several dozen people and unusual behavior in cattle," AFP on 12 March quoted the broadcast as saying. -- Patrick Moore

    [03] EU TO OVERSEE MOSTAR CENTRAL DISTRICT.

    Mostar EU administrator Hans Koschnick announced that the EU will take over administration of the central Mostar district until new city authorities and a mayor for the whole of Mostar have been appointed, Oslobodjenje reported on 11 March. Mijo Brajkovic, mayor of the Croatian-held part of Mostar, said the Croatian side had not agreed to this decision, Nasa Borba and Vjesnik reported the next day. Meanwhile, La Stampa announced that a possible replacement for Koschnick, who is leaving his post at the end of April, is Giorgio Giacomelli, a UN official known for his diplomatic experience and expertise in fighting organized crime. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [04] BOSNIAN SHORTS.

    General Jovo Maric, a senior Bosnian Serb air force commander, died in a road accident near Rogatica the previous week, AFP reported on 11 March. In Belgrade, the deputy prosecutor from the Hague-based war crimes tribunal has arrived to seek the extradition of two witnesses to the massacres at Srebrenica. They disappeared following their recent arrest by Serbian police (see OMRI Daily Digest, 11 March 1996). In Sarajevo, the canton assembly held its opening session but without deputies from the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ), Oslobodjenje reported on 12 March. The HDZ and its Muslim counterpart, the Party of Democratic Action, have been engaged in a running power struggle within the federation. -- Patrick Moore

    [05] RUMP YUGOSLAV BUSINESS LEADERS PROMISE TO HELP REBUILD REPUBLIKA SRPSKA.

    A delegation of businessmen from Serbia and Montenegro are currently in Banja Luka to meet with ranking political officials of the Republika Srpska, Television Serbia reported on 10 March. The main item on the agenda was economic cooperation between rump Yugoslavia and the Bosnian Serbs. SRNA quoted Mihajlo Milojevic, head of rump Yugoslavia's Chamber of Commerce, as saying that "Serbia and Montenegro have no plans to abandon our [Bosnian Serb] brethren." He added that "with its rich resources and our aid, the Republika Srpska will become a modern state." -- Stan Markotich

    [06] REFUGEES IN MONTENEGRO.

    International Red Cross sources reported that some 200 refugees arrived in Podgorica last month, including some 53 families from the Republika Srpska and 16 from territories once held by rebel Croatian Serbs. An estimated 12, 500 refugees are now in Podgorica, Montena-fax reported on 11 March. -- Stan Markotich

    [07] CROATIA, RUMP YUGOSLAVIA SEEK TO NORMALIZE RELATIONS.

    Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 11 March signed memoranda on opening an Adriatic oil pipeline, a Zagreb-Belgrade highway, railroad and air links, and consular offices in Belgrade and Zagreb, Croatian media reported. The previous day, Croatian and rump Yugoslav delegations, led by Foreign Ministers Mate Granic and Milan Milutinovic, had met for one-day talks. Granic said the main goal is to reach an agreement on normalizing bilateral relations as soon as possible, Hina reported. Croatian President Tudjman said that to speed up the normalization process, eastern Slavonia into Croatia must be returned to Croatian control and the division of former Yugoslav assets expedited. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [08] U.S., MACEDONIA HOLD FIRST JOINT MANEUVERS.

    The U.S. and Macedonia on 11 March began their first joint military maneuvers, international agencies reported. The exercises were held on the Sar Planina mountains, and a special U.S. elite unit from Colorado took part. The U.S. and Macedonia previously signed a military cooperation agreement. Macedonia will participate in joint NATO military exercises in Albania in July. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [09] ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT GIVES SUBWAY WORKERS ULTIMATUM.

    The Romanian government on 11 March gave Bucharest's subway workers until midnight to end a week-old wildcat strike or face instant dismissal, RFE/RL's correspondent in Bucharest and international media reported. OMRI was informed on 12 March that the strikers had not returned to work. In a related development, dock workers at six ports on the Danube went on strike for two hours in demand of more pay and threatened to launch a general strike later this week. -- Michael Shafir

    [10] ROMANIAN OPPOSITION TO BILATERAL TREATY WITH UKRAINE.

    Nine cultural and other organizations on 11 March sent an open letter to President Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, and the parliament demanding that Romania not sign the basic treaty with Ukraine, Radio Bucharest reported the next day. The signatories said the treaty should not be approved unless territories incorporated into the Soviet Union after World War II and now in Ukraine are returned to Romania. Among the organizations that signed the letter was Vatra Romaneasca (Romanian Cradle), whose political arm, the Party of Romanian National Unity, is a member of the ruling coalition. -- Michael Shafir

    [11] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT RECEIVES MESSAGE FROM YELTSIN ON TRANSDNIESTER.

    Yurii Karlov, envoy to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, has handed Mircea Snegur a message on ways to solve the conflict in the breakaway region of Transdniester, Radio Bucharest reported quoting Moldpres. The message proposes a summit meeting at which an intermediary agreement would be signed on the basic principles for solving the dispute. -- Michael Shafir

    [12] BULGARIAN OPPOSITION ON JOINT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

    The Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) still has not clarified its position on how the opposition to the Socialists should elect a joint candidate for president. Kontinent on 12 March quotes an unnamed source within the SDS leadership as saying that some SDS leaders are against preliminary elections among opposition party members unless "all conditions for the SDS candidate to win exist." Opinion polls suggest that none of the three SDS contenders for the post of presidential candidate--Petar Stoyanov, Asen Agov, and Aleksandar Yordanov--would win primaries against incumbent President Zhelyu Zhelev. Most SDS politicians are opposed to his candidacy. The SDS National Coordinating Council is to ask for guarantees from SDS Chairman Ivan Kostov that "Zhelev will not win the primary elections," Trud reported. -- Stefan Krause

    [13] ALBANIAN UPDATE.

    The Democratic Alliance, the Social Democratic Party, the Party of Human Rights, and the Christian Democrats have decided to form a coalition for the upcoming elections, Koha Jone reported on 12 March. The centrist coalition is to be known as the "Pole of the Center" and will challenge the two main parties, the Democrats and the Socialists, who are expected to run a close race. Meanwhile, unknown assailants have broken into the offices of the Democratic Party of the Right, but they apparently stole only protocols and a list of speakers at party meetings. The party accused the ruling Democrats of involvement in the incident. In unrelated news, the monarchist Legality Party has collected 100,000 signatures since November 1995 calling for a referendum on a constitutional monarchy, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 12 March. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [14] GREEK DEVELOPMENT MINISTER PROPOSES BALKAN COUNCIL.

    Vaso Papandreou on 11 March proposed the formation of a Balkan council to encourage regional cooperation and help Balkan countries make good use of EU funds, AFP reported. Papandreou said such a body could gradually widen its activities to include industry, infrastructure policy, and, eventually, "political cooperation and preventive diplomacy for defusing crises." She said that, within such a framework, Greece would support other Balkan countries in their dealings with the EU. Papandreou added that the EU should send a representative to the council. -- Stefan Krause

    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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