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OMRI: PURSUING BALKAN PEACE, V1,#4, Jan. 30, 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Pursuing Balkan Peace Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] INTRODUCTION

  • [02] U.S. ARMY RIGHT NEAR MASS GRAVE SITE?

  • [03] PRISONER EXCHANGE FALLS SHORT.

  • [04] SREBRENICA WOMEN OCCUPY RED CROSS SITE IN TUZLA.

  • [05] AGREEMENT ON CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES REACHED.

  • [06] AMERICAN WOUNDED; IFOR CASUALTIES MOUNT.

  • [07] BOSNIAN ARMY TO GO PROFESSIONAL.

  • [08] MUJAHIDIN STILL NOT OUT OF BOSNIA.

  • [09] ARE ARKAN'S TIGERS GONE FROM THE SCENE?

  • [10] BOSNIAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP WARNS THE CROATIAN ARMY.

  • [11] BOSNIAN TROOPS HARASS VELIKA KLADUSA AND CAZIN RETURNEES.

  • [12] 20,000 BOSNIAN SERBS MAY HAVE LEFT SARAJEVO.

  • [13] BOSNIAN POLITICAL PLURALISM ON THE RISE?

  • [14] SILAJDZIC: TO UNDERMINE THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IS TO UNDERMINE SOVEREIGN BOSNIA.

  • [15] "BOSNIA: THE SECRET WAR."

  • [16] GERMANY DECIDES TO SEND REFUGEES BACK DESPITE UNHCR APPEAL.

  • [17] THE VIEW FROM ZAGREB ON REPATRIATION.

  • [18] KRAJINA REFUGEES SAY THEY PREFER LIVING IN CROATIA TO KOSOVO.

  • [19] SLAVONIAN SERBS GIVE GUARANTEES FOR RETURNING CROATS.

  • [20] DAYTON, MILOSEVIC, AND THE HAGUE.

  • [21] IS SOMEONE PROTECTING MILOSEVIC FROM THE HAGUE?

  • [22] PANIC IS UPBEAT.


  • OMRI SPECIAL REPORT: PURSUING BALKAN PEACE

    Vol. 1, No. 4, 30 January 1996

    [01] INTRODUCTION

    Welcome to "Pursuing Balkan Peace," the second in OMRI's series of special reports on developments in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Distributed as a supplement to the OMRI Daily Digest, "Pursuing Balkan Peace" will appear weekly and contain the latest news about developments in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The OMRI Daily Digest will continue to include major stories from the region that do not appear in this supplement. All issues of the special reports are archived on the OMRI WWW server, at http://www.omri.cz/Publications/SR/SR.html

    [02] U.S. ARMY RIGHT NEAR MASS GRAVE SITE?

    Many observers have argued thatthere will be no lasting peace in the former Yugoslavia until atrocities are investigated and those responsible for them brought to justice. The Dayton agreement clearly states that this is a priority. IFOR has reluctantly agreed to protect war crimes investigators if asked to do so; but, fearing "mission creep," it still does not seem eager to look itself for evidence of atrocities around its bases. This was what Reuters suggested on 28 January in reference to U.S. troops in the area of Vlasenica in eastern Bosnia. Reporters followed up on the testimony of survivors of a 1992 massacre of Muslim civilians by Serbs and investigated the area last week. Up to 8,000 Muslims had once been held at a nearby Serbian camp, where they were grossly mistreated and then killed. The Serbian commander is wanted for war crimes as a result. Reuters described witness' accounts of the now familiar sequence of butchery, the stacking of corpses, and the digging of mass graves. The former camp commander can still be seen strolling through town according to some witnesses. IFOR has said that it will arrest war criminals with whom it comes into contact but will not go out of its way to find them. -- Patrick Moore

    [03] PRISONER EXCHANGE FALLS SHORT.

    Meanwhile on the diplomatic scene, much international concern over missed deadlines and foot-dragging by signatories to the peace has centered on the freeing of prisoners. The Dayton agreement states that all were to have been exchanged by 19 January. The main hold-up originally came from the Bosnian government, which said that the Serbs should identify which of the thousands of missing persons are still alive as prisoners. Washington and others firmly told Sarajevo to stop mixing the issue of missing persons with that of prisoners. The Bosnian government also argued that the Serbs had failed to register the names of nearly 1,000 prisoners who were reportedly being held in a forced labor camp. An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokesman told OMRI on 30 January that the three sides together still held 103 registered prisoners, at least 40 in defiance of the Dayton peace accords. The Bosnian Serbs kept 39 prisoners, five of whom as suspected war criminals, which they are entitled to do under the treaty. All of the 50 prisoners held by the Croats are classified as possible war criminals and hence likewise not obliged to be freed. The Bosnian government kept 14 prisoners, eight of whom may be war criminals. The ICRC stressed that the situation remains fluid and the numbers may change; over 500 prisoners were handed over between 27 and 29 January. In any event, all sides still claim that the others are keeping substantial numbers of unregistered prisoners. For example, Dragan Bulajic, head of Pale's commission for the exchange, told SRNA on 29 January that the Bosnian government holds over 200 prisoners in the prison in Tuzla and several dozen elsewhere, while some 250 more are allegedly imprisoned in Croatia. The BBC on 29 January said that the ICRC wants access to the Tuzla facility, where the Red Cross also suspects that prisoners are still held. The Bosnian government has repeatedly refused to admit inspectors, according to the report. The BBC commented in conclusion that there are fears that the question of all remaining prisoners will disappear from the international agenda once the media lose interest, and that many prisoners will simply disappear. Were that to happen, it could bode ill for the enforcement of many other provisions of the Dayton accords. -- Michael Mihalka and Patrick Moore

    [04] SREBRENICA WOMEN OCCUPY RED CROSS SITE IN TUZLA.

    Elsewhere in Tuzla, families of some of the missing men took matters into their own hands. After a peaceful rally in front of the ICRC office on 29 January, angry women refugees from Srebrenica took over the Red Cross office and caused much damage. Reuters said they want to know about the fate of the 8,000 men missing men from that former "safe area" in eastern Bosnia. A delegation of 20 women held a meeting with an ICRC official but was not satisfied with his unwillingness to make any promises the Red Cross could not keep. The ICRC has acknowledged 8,000 people from Srebrenica are missing, and most are assumed to have been massacred. The women demanded an IFOR escort to return to their town, which the Dayton accord assigns to the Serbs. Meanwhile, the ICRC Sarajevo office issued a strongly-worded statement denouncing the violent protest and defending its own position. It also called on the Sarajevo government to guarantee the security of ICRC staff, AFP reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [05] AGREEMENT ON CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES REACHED.

    The picture nonetheless appeared somewhat brighter regarding the thorny matter of confidence building, which is an important part of the Dayton package. The three sides agreed on a series of measures on 26 January within the deadline set by the accords, international media reported. Measures include prior notice of large troop movements and verification of troop and heavy weapons strength. AFP reported that the Serbs objected to the OSCE naming half the inspectors for teams that would consist of four members from among the belligerents and four from the international community. Separate talks under OSCE auspices continue on arms control. -- Michael Mihalka

    [06] AMERICAN WOUNDED; IFOR CASUALTIES MOUNT.

    There are still many weapons in many hands in Bosnia, and when the international community agreed to take on duties there, it was clear to all that casualties would sooner or later be involved. An American soldier was wounded by suspected sniper fire in Sarajevo on 28 January, international media reported. He received first aid and was released. Meanwhile, casualties mounted among other IFOR peacekeepers. Three British soldiers were killed the same day when their armored vehicle hit a mine in central Bosnia. and a Swedish soldier died when the vehicle in which he was riding ran off the road. There is a huge quantity of land mines and unexploded shells all over Bosnia, and one can expect military and civilian deaths and injuries for long years to come. -- Michael Mihalka

    [07] BOSNIAN ARMY TO GO PROFESSIONAL.

    The armies on all three sides are obviously affected as well by such dangers, but they also face problems of demobilizing and reorganizing. Bosnian Army commander General Rasim Delic told a session of the ruling Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA) that the army will become professional by the end of the year, and that a federal army may be formed in this period as well, Onasa reported on 28 January. According to him, the first professional contracts with soldiers are supposed to be signed by 1 April, in keeping with a Dayton deadline that will send all remaining regular troops to their barracks. In another development, the Bosnian government at its 27 January session endorsed 16 points on employing and providing for demobilized Bosnian Army soldiers. The men must be given jobs by their former companies, and the government noted that there were cases in which men had been denied their old jobs. All three sides will face increasingly large problems as men are demobilized into an economy that does not have enough jobs for them. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [08] MUJAHIDIN STILL NOT OUT OF BOSNIA.

    Yet another kind of soldier was in the news as well. Controversy and uncertainty continue to surround the departure from Bosnia of foreign Islamic fighters, or mujahidin. They should have left by 19 January under the terms of the Dayton accord, but bureaucratic snafus and the dogged determination of some to stay on have apparently prevented the final evacuation of the men who are mainly from Afghanistan, Iran, and Arab countries. General Delic told AFP on 28 January that the remaining 39 men would be gone within a week. An IFOR spokesman seemed to contradict earlier U.S. expressions of concern when he stressed that the mujahidin "pose no terrorist threat to IFOR." Foreign Islamic fighters who have married Bosnian women may stay on, as can native Bosnians who joined the special Islamic units. The Bosnian army is responsible for their good behavior. -- Patrick Moore

    [09] ARE ARKAN'S TIGERS GONE FROM THE SCENE?

    The mujahidin, however, wereprobably not the most infamous unit in the war: the mobile Serbian paramilitary troops of indicted war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic, alias "Arkan," had long terrorized much of Bosnia. They have officially been disbanded there, but they still remain in Eastern Slavonia. The Tigers are supposed to be demobilized there as well when UN troops deploy in the region in April, Onasa reported on 25 January. This was announced by the acting president of Arkan's nationalist Party of Serbian Unity, Borislav Pelevic. He also said that the Tigers would not be transferred to rump Yugoslavia since "there is no need [to do so] at the moment." He noted, however, that he "would again form the guard and put it at disposal of the Serbian people" if ethnic conflicts broke out in Kosovo. Pelevic added that his party would participate in future elections in the Republika Srpska. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [10] BOSNIAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP WARNS THE CROATIAN ARMY.

    The term "ethnic cleansing" is most closely associated with Arkan and other Serbs, who alone used it systematically for major political ends; but all three armies sought in the wake of each successive "peace plan" to consolidate their demographic hold on the districts assigned to them. The archbishop of Banja Luka, Franjo Komarica, objects and has written to Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic to protest the conduct of Bosnian Croat forces (HVO), which are closely integrated with the Croatian military. He said that HVO troops were forcing local Croats to leave Mrkonjic Grad -- which is due to pass back to Bosnian Serb control under the Dayton agreement -- and settle in Croatian-controlled areas. Komarica said that the HVO's intimidation tactics violate the treaty's provisions for the right of people to live in their own homes, AFP reported on 25 January. The dispute between the archbishop and the HVO partly reflects the long- standing conflict of interest between the Croats of Bosnia, who have lived integrated with the Muslims for centuries, and those of Herzegovina, whose leaders would like to see all the Croats in the republic concentrated in areas bordering Croatia or transferred to Croatia itself. The archbishop has also had to defend his flock frequently against expulsion by Serbian forces. -- Patrick Moore

    [11] BOSNIAN TROOPS HARASS VELIKA KLADUSA AND CAZIN RETURNEES.

    Meanwhile in northwest Bosnia, another question was under consideration: Muslim vs. Muslim. At a 24 January press briefing in Bihac, a UN spokesman accused Bosnian soldiers of mistreating Muslim renegades going home, AFP said the next day. Kris Janowski reported 20 cases of intimidation over the past month, mostly beatings of people returning to the Velika Kladusa and Cazin areas. Involved were either soldiers of the Bosnian Fifth Corps or Bosnian special police, and there was also one killing. The UN civilian police report at least five complaints daily of intimidation and outright violence against the followers of local kingpin Fikret Abdic. Janowski said that the intimidations resulted in a "marked decrease in returns from the Kuplensko camp in Croatia to Velika Kladusa," and that some returnees found conditions in Bihac area so frustrating that they decided to go back to the wretched camp instead. These Muslims stood by Abdic -- affectionately known as "Babo," or daddy -- and fled to Croatia last summer after Croatian and Bosnian government forces captured Abdic's fiefdom. The tycoon had once put together a business empire known as Agrokomerc, which brought jobs and prosperity to the area. In the 1980s it emerged that his commercial realm had been built on smoke, mirrors, and bad loans, and virtually the whole structure came tumbling down. He was jailed by the authorities, but hailed by the locals as a Muslim victim of big-time politics. Abdic later rebuilt Agrokomerc and became an important figure in postcommunist Bosnian political life. He eventually broke with President Alija Izetbegovic and declared his own republic. Supporters regard him as the defender of his region's peace and prosperity, while detractors call him a crook who is available to the highest bidder. Until last summer he worked closely with the Serbs but was then captured by the advancing Croats. Babo reportedly has since lived comfortably in Croatia -- while his followers have been crammed into pitiful camps along the border, unwanted by either Zagreb or Sarajevo. The Dayton agreement specifies that all refugees have the right to return in safety to their homes and property, which presumably includes these poor people who backed the wrong horse. -- Patrick Moore and Daria Sito Sucic

    [12] 20,000 BOSNIAN SERBS MAY HAVE LEFT SARAJEVO.

    Onasa news agency reported on 25 January that some 20,000 Bosnian Serbs may have left the suburbs slated to revert to government control under the Dayton accords. The agency quoted the Belgrade daily Vecernje novosti as also saying that many Serbs have moved their belongings to a "safer place." Most of the motors and equipment from several factories have already been moved, since some Serb leaders hope to build a new "Serbian Sarajevo" -- dubbed "Palepolis" after their stronghold of Pale. Novosti claims that the Bosnian Serb exodus was induced by Serb leaders, who promised a town housing 200,000 people. It would have Pale as a center and cost $15 billion, but it is not clear who will pay for this grandiose project. Meanwhile, Serbs planning on leaving are reported to be selling their belongings at markets, while some have taken jobs with IFOR. The theme of a separate Serbian Sarajevo has also been taken up by Serbian nationalists from Herzegovina, who have demanded a separate "Serbian Mostar" as well. The anti-nationalist Serbian Civic Council, however, calls for both Sarajevo and Mostar to be united cities free of nationalist control. Oslobodjenje noted on 29 January that a group of independent Sarajevo intellectuals, known as Krug 99, has called for Sarajevo to become a separate district with broad local self-government. The international community's Michael Steiner has said that the city will, in any event, be united by 19 March, Dnevni avaz reported. A joint police force will probably be part of that future, he argued, and Onasa noted that the UN police opened an office in Serb-held Ilidza on 28 January. -- Daria Sito Sucic and Patrick Moore

    [13] BOSNIAN POLITICAL PLURALISM ON THE RISE?

    The planned departure of PrimeMinister Haris Silajdzic, the formation of new federal and republican governments, and the prospect of elections later this year have meanwhile turned Bosnia into a beehive of political activity. Oslobodjenje on 26 January quotes the new republican prime minister- designate, Hasan Muratovic, as saying that his government will be one of technocrats. Meanwhile, Onasa reports that the smaller parties are becoming more vocal in an anticipated reorganization of the political landscape -- hitherto dominated by three nationalist parties -- in a post-war setting. Republican Party President Stjepan Kljuic, a prominent Croat, reached out to what he called the "democratic stream within the Serb entity, which is now taking over" from the hard-liners in Pale. The Republicans, the Muslim Bosniak Organization, the Croatian Peasant Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the Union of Bosnian Social Democrats held a meeting to discuss the elections and the independent media. They also considered supporting Silajdzic as the new republican head of government. The outgoing prime minister recently indicated he might consider a political future in a new party now that he has broken with Izetbegovic's SDA. -- Patrick Moore

    [14] SILAJDZIC: TO UNDERMINE THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IS TO UNDERMINE SOVEREIGN BOSNIA.

    Indeed, the past week has witnessed an almost daily spectacle of mud-slinging between Silajdzic's supporters and his detractors. In an interview published in the Belgrade independent weekly Vreme on 27 January, Silajdzic himself said that his resignation was a resulted from an attempt to undermine state sovereignty by undermining the importance of the central government. "I do not hide that I want central authorities to be strong, while the other side [i.e. the main Muslim and Croatian nationalist parties] wants them weak. The problem is not in the existence of the two different concepts but in the methods to solve a dispute, namely whether the methods are democratic or not." He also stressed that there can be only one state on the territory of Bosnia- Herzegovina, and its borders should run all the way to the frontiers of the neighboring states." This is an apparent slap at the idea of the Herzegovinian Croats treating their territory as if it were part of Croatia, or of the Bosnian Serbs behaving as if their areas were an extension of rump Yugoslavia. To wit: "IFOR troops should be deployed along River Drina, because only a secure border can guarantee normal relations with Serbia and Montenegro beyond." Meanwhile, Izetbegovic told a meeting of the SDA that Silajdzic's "behavior" aids Croatian extremists, which in turn holds upsolving some problems within the federation, Nasa Borba reported on 29 January. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [15] "BOSNIA: THE SECRET WAR."

    This is the headline of an article in the 29 January edition of the British daily The Guardian, which deals with politics of another kind. It is no secret to those who have followed the conflict closely that different governments within NATO were pursuing very different agendas in the Wars of the Yugoslav Succession, but this article sheds some light on the particularly glaring differences between Washington and London in 1994. Probably even before the fighting began, elements of the British Conservative government and that of French President Francois Mitterrand seem to have concluded that the chief threat to their "interests" in the post-cold-war Europe somehow came from their primary allies of the previous half century, namely the U.S. and Germany. Accordingly, the Serbs came to be regarded by some in London and Paris as allies of sorts against Washington and Bonn -- and those two countries' presumed Balkan stalking horses, Croatia and Bosnia. In concrete terms, this meant that London and Paris opposed foreign intervention and backed "a negotiated solution," which effectively left the Serbs with a free hand on the battlefield. The latest article explores how British special forces -- the SAS -- worked with the British commander and former SAS officer General Sir Michael Rose to thwart NATO plans for airstrikes against Bosnian Serb military targets. The result was a Serbian tank onslaught against Bihac. The article goes on to show how the U.S. embarked on an agenda of its own, which led to the reversal of fortunes on the battlefield -- and ultimately brought the Serbs to the conference table in Dayton in 1995. -- Patrick Moore

    [16] GERMANY DECIDES TO SEND REFUGEES BACK DESPITE UNHCR APPEAL.

    Meanwhile in the post-Dayton world, the issue of refugees remained high on the international agenda. This was especially true in Germany, which has more refugees from the current conflict than any other EU country. The UNHCR on 25 January urged the German government not to push forward with the return of refugees from former Yugoslavia. Nonetheless, the conference of state interior ministers the following day decided to start sending back the 320,000 Bosnian refugees starting in July, Beta and Reuters reported on 26 January. Federal Interior Minister Manfred Kanther said the conference agreed to start repatriation in stages. The first group will include some 200,000 single people and childless couples and will, according to Bonn's plans, be completed by the middle of 1997. Traumatized and elderly people or those completing their education will be exempted from the first group. The ministers set a provisional start date of May 1997 for returning the rest of the refugees, but said they would review that decision later, depending on the conditions in Bosnia. The UNHCR had argued it was "premature" to make repatriation plans before important military and human rights conditions had been met. The Czech Republic extended refugee visas until June 1996 and authorities announced that they will decide about repatriation after free elections have been held in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Beta reported on 23 January. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [17] THE VIEW FROM ZAGREB ON REPATRIATION.

    The refugee issue continues to attract much attention in Croatia as well. The deputy foreign minister told Vjesnik on 29 January that 30,000 refugees are expected to return to that country, and 900,000 to Bosnia-Herzegovina this year, Nasa Borba reported the next day. The Croatian government estimates that some 57,000 Croats are refugees abroad, with 37,000 in Germany alone. In Croatia itself there are 187,000 Bosnian refugees, some 80,000 of whom have applied to the UNHCR to go home. The questions of the fate of Serbs from Croatia and of the Vojvodina Croats will be dealt with when Croatia and rump Yugoslavia normalize their relations, he said. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [18] KRAJINA REFUGEES SAY THEY PREFER LIVING IN CROATIA TO KOSOVO.

    In the meantime, however, Serbia is trying to deal with the Krajina refugees in its own way. One of the paradoxes of the almost mystical Serbian attachment to Kosovo is that few Serbs are actually willing to move there, and this applies even to the seemingly desperate people from Krajina. About 140 of them sent a petition to Belgrade's federal commissioner for refugees and to the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, saying that they would rather return to Krajina and live under Croatian authority than go to Sandzak or Kosovo. The refugees, who currently live in the gym of an elementary school in Kula in Vojvodina, thus effectively demanded the right to stay in Vojvodina. They had earlier received an ultimatum from the Serbian authorities to leave within five days, Nasa Borba reported on 25 January. The refugees have threatened a hunger strike. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [19] SLAVONIAN SERBS GIVE GUARANTEES FOR RETURNING CROATS.

    Meanwhile in Eastern Slavonia, the deputy head of the Serb administration, Mirko Tankosic, announced that the Norwegian government had offered to finance construction of 3,000 houses for Serbs who have moved into Croatian houses since the war began in 1991. He added that Croats who want to return thus would not have to fear for their houses, Beta reported on 24 January. Tankosic further promised to deal with property rights on the basis of the 1990 land register. The area returns to Croatian control in less than two years. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [20] DAYTON, MILOSEVIC, AND THE HAGUE.

    Other topics are also on the agenda in Serbia, including war crimes. The issue is that the Dayton agreement binds all signatories to cooperate with the tribunal in The Hague, but many feel that a fair and thorough investigation of war crimes would lay a good deal of the blame at the door of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who himself signed the treaty. Nasa Borba on 25 January reported remarks on cooperation with The Hague by federal deputy premier and justice minister Uros Klikovac. According to Klikovac, an office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia will open in rump Yugoslavia in the near future. He suggested that this marked the start of cooperation as outlined in the Dayton accord, but stressed it did not signal that Belgrade would extradite suspected war criminals. He maintained that Dayton obliges Belgrade to work together with the tribunal, but that the agreement does not specify "the means" of cooperation: "Insofar as [rump] Yugoslavia learns of someone being involved in war crimes, then our [legal] authorities are obliged to bring proceedings against such a person. As far as I know, precisely these kinds of proceedings are already being undertaken," he said. Meanwhile, an official Tanjug account of the press conference stressed that Klikovac maintained that existing rump Yugoslav laws could facilitate cooperation with the tribunal, but that but that they "did not allow that Yugoslav citizens be handed over to it." -- Stan Markotich

    [21] IS SOMEONE PROTECTING MILOSEVIC FROM THE HAGUE?

    Klikovac may not haveraised the issue of Milosevic and atrocities, but the subject did come up in another interview. Reuters on 28 January reports on an article in Newsweek with remarks by Mihailo Markovic, who had been a close political advisor to Milosevic and the chief ideologue of the Socialist Party of Serbia. They had a falling out, however, and Markovic was purged from Milosevic's party ranks in December, probably for publishing a book describing Milosevic's alleged role in the wars throughout former Yugoslavia. Markovic nonetheless seems to feel that Milosevic is unlikely to face war crimes charges. Markovic alleges that great power interests, especially "the Americans... will always protect him" as long as he works towards implementing and supporting the Dayton agreement. Markovic also speculates that Milosevic will never allow Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic to be sent to The Hague to answer war crimes' charges. "Milosevic could hardly take these two guys to the [tribunal] because he would destroy himself politically." -- Stan Markotich

    [22] PANIC IS UPBEAT.

    Milosevic may have thus been criticized by a former ally, but he has also been praised by a one-time rival. Beta on 25 January reported that former federal premier, and head of the California-based multinational ICN Pharmaceuticals, Milan Panic, recently was in Belgrade and wants to promote the country's develpoment. "If we [help] make better economic conditions here, the political questions will be resolved relatively easily," he said. Panic, who held office in the last half of 1992, was upbeat on Belgrade's decision to back the Dayton peace agreement. Meanwhile, on 30 January Nasa Borba quoted him on the Serbian president: "Milosevic is not my enemy, and he never was. If he had supported peace back when I did, of course things would have been better. He has changed and I support him on peace. What he accomplished in Dayton I think is extremely positive. I give him full credit," he said. -- Stan Markotich

    Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

    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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