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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 68, 4 April 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] HAGUE TRIBUNAL TO REPORT RUMP YUGOSLAVIA TO SECURITY COUNCIL.

  • [2] ROW OVER DECLARATION ON BOSNIAN UNITY.

  • [3] ANTI-NATIONALIST SERBS SAY SARAJEVO CAN STILL BE MULTIETHNIC.

  • [4] CROATIAN PARLIAMENT CURBING FREEDOM OF SPEECH?

  • [5] MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS CALL FOR DISSOLUTION.

  • [6] SERBIAN POLICEMAN CONVICTED IN CONNECTION WITH KILLING OF ETHNIC ALBANIAN CHILD.

  • [7] EXIT VISAS FOR KOSOVAR ALBANIANS ABOLISHED.

  • [8] ROMANIAN PRESIDENT ON BASIC TREATY WITH HUNGARY.

  • [9] BULGARIA COMPLAINS ABOUT NOT BEING INVITED TO ARMS CONTROL TALKS.

  • [10] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT SUBMITS MEMORANDUM ON NATO.

  • [11] BULGARIAN PROSECUTOR SAYS HE MAY ARREST PATRIARCH.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 68, Part II, 4 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] HAGUE TRIBUNAL TO REPORT RUMP YUGOSLAVIA TO SECURITY COUNCIL.

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has reaffirmed that it regards rump Yugoslavia as "criminal" and will formally ask the highest UN body to take action against it. The issue is that Belgrade continues to harbor three Serbian army officers against whom the court has issued arrest warrants. The three are wanted in connection with the murder of 261 non-Serbs in the Croatian town of Vukovar after it fell in November 1991, Nasa Borba and the Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes reported on 4 April. Also in The Hague, Croatian Gen. Tihomir Blaskic pleaded "not guilty" in connection with the massacre of Muslim civilians in the Lasva valley in 1993. The court, meanwhile, returned Bosnian Serb Col. Aleksa Krsmanovic to Sarajevo, where he faces a possible trial for crimes against humanity. The Hague tribunal had concluded it did not have enough evidence to charge him. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] ROW OVER DECLARATION ON BOSNIAN UNITY.

    Some 21 political parties and organizations have signed a statement backing the indivisibility of the republic, Oslobodjenje wrote on 4 April. Most of the groups are Muslim-- including President Alija Izetbegovic's Party of Democratic Action--but the Serbian Civic Council and representatives of the Jewish community have also signed. The five main opposition parties in parliament nonetheless balked, charging that they were not consulted by Izetbegovic and former Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic. The largest Bosnian Croat party also did not sign the resolution sponsored by the two men. The apparent rapprochement between the president and his estranged former prime minister is the subject of much speculation in Bosnia, Vjesnik reported on 3 April. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] ANTI-NATIONALIST SERBS SAY SARAJEVO CAN STILL BE MULTIETHNIC.

    Bosnian Presidency member Mirko Pejanovic has said that the capital can still be multiethnic because many Serbs are interested in coming back. He argued that the main obstacles are the Serbian nationalist "war criminals" in Pale and "the state apparatus of local authorities" in Sarajevo, Onasa reported on 2 April. Pejanovic heads the Serbian Civic Council (SGV), which remained loyal to the Bosnian government throughout the war. The SGV has been active in persuading Serbs to stay in Sarajevo or to return there. -- Patrick Moore

    [4] CROATIAN PARLIAMENT CURBING FREEDOM OF SPEECH?

    The Sabor on 29 Marchpassed two controversial laws, which critics say are directed against the country's few independent media. Under the first measure, the public prosecutor must start legal proceedings against anyone offending or slandering the president, parliamentary speaker, prime minister, or and presidents of the supreme and constitutional courts, Reuters reported. The second is aimed at persons "revealing state secrets." Investigative journalism in Croatia is largely limited to one daily and two weeklies, and the latter especially are active in exposing corruption and abuse of office by some members of the governing party and their families. Government officials stated that the laws are in keeping with "European norms" and were passed to protect institutions, not personalities. Independent analyst Slaven Letica said that the law will be challenged in the courts because it violates the principle of equality of all citizens by singling out five top officials for special treatment. -- Patrick Moore

    [5] MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS CALL FOR DISSOLUTION.

    The Macedonian parliament on 3 April rejected a motion by the Liberal Party demanding that the parliament be dissolved and early elections held, Nova Makedonija reported. The Liberals' claim that the parliament is no longer representative (see OMRI Daily Digest, 3 April 1996) was dismissed by the Social Democrats and Socialists. Ethnic Albanian parties and independent legislators were split over the issue. The Social Democrats called the Liberals' proposal a "political bluff," saying the initiators of the motion should resign their seats in the parliament if they doubt its legitimacy. -- Stefan Krause

    [6] SERBIAN POLICEMAN CONVICTED IN CONNECTION WITH KILLING OF ETHNIC ALBANIAN CHILD.

    Boban Krstic, deputy police chief in the Kosovar town of Kacanik, has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison in connection with the 1994 killing of a six-year-old ethnic Albanian boy, Bota Sot reported on 4 April. Krstic was convicted for "endangering public order" rather than for manslaughter. He had fired 30 bullets into a car in July 1994, killing the boy and seriously injuring his parents. He later claimed that he believed that a criminal suspect was in the car. Bota Sot said that Krstic was also involved in the death of an Albanian in the Kacanik jail in 1994. It added that he fought in Bosnia on the side of the Bosnian Serbs and was highly decorated there. -- Stefan Krause

    [7] EXIT VISAS FOR KOSOVAR ALBANIANS ABOLISHED.

    The abolition of exit visas for ethnic Albanians in Kosovo took effect on 1 April, international agencies reported. Until now, Kosovars traveling to Albania via Macedonia without an exit visa risked imprisonment by the Serbian authorities if they had Albanian stamps in their passport. Albania praised the move as a step toward normalizing relations. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [8] ROMANIAN PRESIDENT ON BASIC TREATY WITH HUNGARY.

    Ion Iliescu on 3 April accused Hungary of delaying the signing of a bilateral basic treaty, Romanian and Hungarian media reported. He stressed that Romania was not prepared to make any concessions on including in the treaty Council of Europe Recommendation 1201, which is on ethnic minorities. Hungary is demanding that the recommendation be included. Iliescu said that if Hungary drops that demand, "we will immediately sign the basic treaty." He said ethnic groups that once formed a majority but are now a minority find it hard to give up their former privileges. -- Matyas Szabo

    [9] BULGARIA COMPLAINS ABOUT NOT BEING INVITED TO ARMS CONTROL TALKS.

    The Bulgarian government on 3 April complained that it has not been invited to talks in Vienna on arms control in the post-cold war era, Reuters and Demokratsiya reported. Delegates are to discuss the so-called Wassenaar Agreement, which is intended to succeed COCOM. A Foreign Ministry spokesman spoke of "the apparent injustice" of leaving Bulgaria out of the meeting, which is to be attended by representatives of 31 states. He added that Bulgaria fulfilled all preconditions and that he hoped an invitation would be forthcoming. Georgi Dimitrov, head of the Foreign Ministry's International Organizations Department, said that of the 28 initial signatories to the Wassenaar Agreement, only the U.S. opposed Bulgaria's participation. -- Stefan Krause

    [10] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT SUBMITS MEMORANDUM ON NATO.

    The socialist government of Prime Minister Zhan Videnov on 3 April submitted a memorandum outlining its position on NATO to the parliament's foreign policy and national security commissions, Standart reported. The memorandum was in response to a request from NATO Assistant Secretary- General for Political Affairs Gebhardt von Moltke that the Bulgarian cabinet clarify its position on participation in NATO enlargement talks. Vasil Mihaylov of the Union of Democratic Forces said the document says nothing about whether Bulgaria wants to join NATO. Stoyan Denchev, deputy chairman of the foreign policy commission, said it is not the parliament's job to deal with such documents and that the memorandum should have been sent straight to NATO. -- Stefan Krause

    [11] BULGARIAN PROSECUTOR SAYS HE MAY ARREST PATRIARCH.

    Prosecutor-General Ivan Tatarchev on 3 April said he will start legal proceedings against Patriarch Maksim and will arrest him "if necessary," Standart reported. Maksim is accused of involvement in the occupation of a candle-making factory that is run by the "alternative" Synod of Metropolit Pimen. In the latest of a series of incidents involving Maksim's and Pimen's supporters, the factory was occupied by priests loyal to the Patriarch on 18 March and was cleared by the police on 1 April. Maksim's followers, however, occupied the building again on 2 April. Maksim's and Pimen's supporters parted ways after the government invalidated Maksim's election in 1971 and appointed a new synod under Pimen. Pimen's followers have announced they may soon form a second Orthodox Church in Bulgaria. -- 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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