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OMRI: PURSUING BALKAN PEACE, V1,#7, Feb. 20, 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Pursuing Balkan Peace Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] INTRODUCTION

  • [02] DIFFERING VOICES FROM THE BOSNIAN SERB LEADERSHIP.

  • [03] SERBIAN EXODUS FROM SARAJEVO UNDER WAY.

  • [04] MILOSEVIC SAYS THAT SERBS HAVE NO REASON TO LEAVE SARAJEVO.

  • [05] IFOR RELEASES SUSPECTED TERRORISTS.

  • [06] TERRORIST INCIDENT RAISES SOME QUESTIONS.

  • [07] IFOR GAINS ACCESS TO BOSNIAN SERB WEAPONS DEPOTS.

  • [08] FRENCH TROOPS FIND ARSENAL AMID ONIONS AND POTATOES.

  • [09] SARAJEVO BUS TARGETED FROM "KNOWN LOCATIONS."

  • [10] TROUBLE AHEAD IN BOSANSKI NOVI?

  • [11] TUZLA SEEKS TO RESETTLE REFUGEES.

  • [12] UNHCR OFFICIAL MEETS BOSNIAN SERB VICE PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS REFUGEE

  • [13] ARE THE BOSNIAN SERBS PREPARING AN AMNESTY?

  • [14] EASTERN SLAVONIAN UPDATE.

  • [15] CROATIAN POLICE ARRIVE IN MOSTAR.

  • [16] MILOSEVIC OFF POLITICKING IN BOSNIA.

  • [17] SESELJ TO TESTIFY AGAINST MILOSEVIC?

  • [18] LEADERS IN THE DAYTON PROCESS NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.

  • [19] A VISIT TO THE BOSNIAN SERB NEWS AGENCY SRNA


  • OMRI SPECIAL REPORT: PURSUING BALKAN PEACE

    Vol. 1, No. 7, 20 February 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

    This period witnessed developments in the two crises that together constituted what outgoing U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke called the "most serious threat" to face the Dayton process to date (see OMRI Special Report, 13 February 1996). The first centered on the arrested Serbian officers in Sarajevo and was linked to broader issues. These were the future of the Serbs in the reunited capital and republic, and the relative importance of bringing war criminals to justice versus ensuring freedom of movement. This dispute led to the Serbs' breaking off all contacts to NATO and to joint commissions on which they worked with the Muslims and Croats. Indicted war criminals Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic resurfaced in public, and seemed to taunt an international community and IFOR that were unable or unwilling to arrest them

    The second imbroglio involved EU administrator Hans Koschnick's plan to reunite Mostar. It, too, had fundamental implications for the ultimate success or failure of the Dayton accord, since it touched on the future of the Croat-Muslim federation and on the principle of binding arbitration. The Croats' rejection of Koschnick's plan froze the process of reuniting Mostar, while a series of deadlines set down in the treaty to that effect passed unmet. Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic called Mostar "the pebble in Europe's shoe," Oslobodjenje reported on 17 February. The violence of the Croats' demonstrations underscored the seriousness of the rift that had emerged between the Croats and their former patrons in Bonn, and raised questions about Zagreb's willingness to abide by the Dayton accords. The Croats, for their part, felt that the Koschnick plan raised questions about the EU's impartiality

    The outcome of these two stand-offs was first a shuttle mission to the region by Holbrooke, who is often described as the man most responsible for the Dayton accords. Then came the summit, which was held on 17 and 18 February. That gathering was organized on very short notice and brought together the foreign ministers of the Contact Group countries plus the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia. The final documents managed to address all the various issues that had prompted the meeting in the first place, Nasa Borba said on the 19th. The safety of the Serbs in Sarajevo was guaranteed, while procedures were clarified for dealing with war criminals. The Serbs would end their boycott of military and civilian committions. All parties pledged to cooperate with the tribunal in The Hague. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for human rights John Shattuck said he was sure that Karadzic and Mladic would be "brought down" as a result, the International Herald Tribune reported . The Serbs agreed to return to the commissions, in return for which steps would be taken to lift economic sanctions against them

    The Mostar crisis was dealt with through a Croat-Muslim declaration on the federation and related topics. The Croats got a concession in that the central district would be smaller than in Koschnick's plan, while the Muslims won a key point in that freedom of movement throughout the city would be guaranteed even for military-aged males. A joint police force would come into being quickly. In other documents, Zagreb and Belgrade promised to step up efforts aimed at normalizing bilateral relations, while Serbian Persident Slobodan Milosevic and Izetbegovic agreed to meet as often as once each month and to set up a hotline

    What would actually come of all this remained to be seen. Holbrooke was optimistic, and many newspapers around the world ran headlines like: "Dayton Back on Track." There were, however, at least as many grounds for skepticism. Much of the "breakthrough" consisted of no more than getting the parties to agree to what they had already signed onto before -- and then done as they pleased. The question of cooperating with The Hague was perhaps only the most glaring example. Whether all this was the result of "misunderstandings" or of bad faith was somethimes open to dispute, but the fact remained that much of Holbrooke's work in Rome consisted of reinforcing what had supposedly already been nailed down. Holbrooke would soon retire from government and go back to Wall Street, and, in any event, neither he nor any other diplomat would be able to hold a summit every time some serious glitch arose in the Dayton process

    The ultimate test of the success of the Rome summit would, of course, be implementation on the ground. Some observers noted that the military provisions of the Dayton treaty had been carried out much better than the civilian ones, and that the reasons for this were that the military passages were very precise and that IFOR had a clear mandate to enforce them in the face of transgressions. The passages relating to civilian affairs, by contrast, were often relatively fuzzy; and, in any event, it was not clear how they could or would be enforced when IFOR showed reluctance even to arrest indicted war criminals

    And the immediate reactions by some prominent figures from the region also gave cause for concern. Upon returning to Zagreb, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman said that the meeting marked a defeat for "certain European circles" that had allegedly created musunderstandings to discredit the existing accords, AFP reported. This is presumably a reference to Koschnick and to some British, French, and Dutch officials of the EU, and does not suggest that any real atmosphere of trust emerged from the meetings. There were, moreover, mixed reactions from Bosnian Serb leaders, which indicated that the question of the Serbs' future in Sarajevo had not been solved in an unambiguous fashion or that not all the Serb leaders were marching to the same tune as called by Milosevic. The Bosnian Serb military, in fact, boycotted a meeting just one day after the Rome conference. -- Patrick Moore

    [02] DIFFERING VOICES FROM THE BOSNIAN SERB LEADERSHIP.

    There were, in fact, different responses to recent developments from prominent Serbs in Pale and elsewhere. Reuters on 18 February quoted Bosnian Serb Vice President Nikola Koljevic -- who is often regarded as a possible successor to Karadzic -- as calling the summit "very successful." He went on to express confidence that the two high-ranking officers sent to The Hague (see OMRI Special Report, 13 February 1996) would be freed very soon. Koljevic was nonetheless reserved regarding the future of the Serbian population in Sarajevo, saying that one would have to wait and see. Prime Minister Rajko Kasagic, however, was positive on the subject according to an AFP report. Meanwhile in the Serbian suburbs themselves, Ilidza's Mayor Nedeljko Prstojevic blamed Pale's parliament speaker Momcilo Krajisnik for the ongoing departure of Serbs from the Sarajevo area. Krajisnik is on the commission for implementing the Dayton agreement for Sarajevo, and Prstojevic noted that various members of that body have not lived in the area for years but have moved to Belgrade. The mayor said that the policy of encouraging or forcing Serbs to leave is a failed one and not forward looking. He added that "nobody has the right to make 80,000 people homeless." Nasa Borba on 19 February also reported, however, that some 800 Serbs left the suburb of Hadzica over the weekend for Bratunac near Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia. -- Patrick Moore

    [03] SERBIAN EXODUS FROM SARAJEVO UNDER WAY.

    And an even bigger migration followed. Serbs living in the five Sarajevo districts slated to pass to government control began an exodus from their homes to be completed before the arrival of government police on 23 February. A special committee was set up to oversee the operation, which may be less than voluntary. The BBC added on 20 February that the Serbs were taking the exhumed coffins of their dead along in what many had predicted would be a media event staged by the Pale leadership. Committee chairman Gojko Klickovic said that the people would be settled in Bratunac, Srebrenica, Zvornik, Milici, Brcko, Pale, Sokolac, Visegrad and Rogatica, news agencies reported. Most of these are either "ethnically cleansed" regions of eastern Bosnia or places astride the stragegic northern supply corridor. If completed, the exodus would mark a victory for the nationalists who gained much wealth and power in the war by enforcing their doctrine that people of different origins cannot live together. It is not clear who will pay for the enterprise. -- Patrick Moore

    [04] MILOSEVIC SAYS THAT SERBS HAVE NO REASON TO LEAVE SARAJEVO.

    Milosevic, for his part, said in a detailed interview with Tanjug on 18 February that the Serbs should stay put. He said that he spoke in Rome with Izetbegovic and the international community's Carl Bildt at length about explicit measures to guarantee the future and safety of Serbs living under Bosnian government rule. Milosevic noted there will be no more arbitrary arrests and that an amnesty has been passed to cover everyone except indicted war criminals. The Serbs, he stressed, have a "very firm guarantee" and no reason to leave Sarajevo, where they will enjoy a wide degree of cultural and social self-government and participate in political life. -- Patrick Moore

    [05] IFOR RELEASES SUSPECTED TERRORISTS.

    But if implementing the civilian aspects of the peace has been frought with problems, there have been some difficult moments on the military side, too. IFOR handed over to Bosnian government authorities on 16 February 10 of those detained in the raid on an alleged terrorist camp the same day, according to an IFOR press briefing. Eight were Bosnian, with documents identifying them as employees of the Bosnian Interior Ministry, and two were Iranian nationals, which the Iranian government said were on a humanitarian mission. In addition, an Iranian national on a diplomatic passport was released after questioning. Despite Bosnian government claims that the camp was for counter-terrorist training, children's toys and shampoo bottles wired with explosives and considerable materials on IFOR headquarters were found at the site. -- Michael Mihalka

    [06] TERRORIST INCIDENT RAISES SOME QUESTIONS.

    IFOR has, in fact, been especially attentive to the continued presence of Islamic fighters long past 13 January, by which date all foreign forces were to have left Bosnia. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 17 February noted, however, that Izetbegovic tried to play down the latest incident. In one reaction, the Sarajevo authorities said that the men found at the camp were doing police work, and in another that they were closing down a disused facility. The daily noted, however, that the booby-trapped children's toys -- a particulary ghoulish terrorist device made infamous by the Soviets in Afghanistan -- and other materials captured by IFOR have nothing to do with the normal conduct of warfare. One of the Bosnian government's key advantages in the conflict was to maintain successfully its image as a victim of rapacious neighbors, but the discovery of such camps may raise questions about some aspects of its past behavior. -- Patrick Moore

    [07] IFOR GAINS ACCESS TO BOSNIAN SERB WEAPONS DEPOTS.

    IFOR has also been having its encounters with the Serbs. After using anti-tank aircraft and helicopter gunships in a show of force, the NATO forces gained access to two Bosnian Serb weapons depots on 17 February, international media reported. IFOR had twice been prevented from entering the depots, which are near Han Pijesak and Han Kram in eastern Bosnia. More weapons than expected were discovered, including 25 tanks and 13 armored fighting vehicles. On 18 February, the Bosnian Serbs pulled back 10 tanks from the 20 kilometer exclusion zone separating the Bosnian entities. IFOR said on 16 Febraury that it would destroy all unreported weapon systems it found in the zone. The same day, U.S. forces seized a Bosnian Serb anti-aircraft gun. The order seems to have produced results, because counts of unregistered weapons in the zone dropped from over 100 to some 20 over the weekend. No weapons are allowed within two kilometers of the inter-entity boundary line under the Dayton peace accords and those within 10 kilometers must be reported. -- Michael Mihalka

    [08] FRENCH TROOPS FIND ARSENAL AMID ONIONS AND POTATOES.

    But hidden arms supplies nonetheless remained. French IFOR troops seized a Bosnian Serb arms cache in a former weapons depot near Sarajevo on 19 February, international media reported. The Bosnian Serbs at the site said the depot had been declared a humanitarian center. The arms, including mortars, rocket launchers, machine guns and assorted munitions were found hidden among sacks of onions and potatoes. Meanwhile, NATO issued a "wanted poster" of suspected war criminals to its troops. The poster contains 17 poor quality photographs and cursory descriptions of 35 others. A journalist at an IFOR press briefing on 17 February said that he had found no IFOR troops at checkpoints in Bosnia who could identify an 8x10 glossy photograph of Karadzic. -- Michael Mihalka

    [09] SARAJEVO BUS TARGETED FROM "KNOWN LOCATIONS."

    And still further problems with some Serbs remained. Onasa quoted an IFOR spokesman on 15 February as saying that sniper shots aimed at a Sarajevo bus could be traced back to "the same location from which IFOR soldiers had been fired at" earlier. The bus incident took place on the 14th and left two injured. Meanwhile, Onasa also reported that a spokesman for the UN High Commisioner for Refugees has said that the corridor linking the Sarajevo city center to Serb-held Ilidza will be reopened when authorities determine it to be safe. The route had just opened when the incident with the bus took place. Then on 18 February, Onasa said that two more civilian busses had come under fire. These were carrying German and Belgian residents and were hit in the same area as the previous incidents. One Belgian woman was wounded. -- Stan Markotich and Patrick Moore

    [10] TROUBLE AHEAD IN BOSANSKI NOVI?

    Difficulties for the Dayton processabound outside the capital, too, and one such place is Bosanski Novi in the northwest on the Croatian border. The Pale government is about to replace the moderate mayors of Prijedor and Bosanski Novi with hard liners. Some 12,000 out of Bosanski Novi's 32,000 inhabitants are refugees, and only 600 Muslims remain out of a prewar total of 10,000. International observers report strong resistance by the local population against the return of refugees, which, of course, the refugees are entitled to do according to the peace agreement. -- Jan Urban and Yvonne Badal

    [11] TUZLA SEEKS TO RESETTLE REFUGEES.

    The refugee question is, obviously, a central one across the region. Onasa on 15 February reported that municipal authorities in Tuzla are planning to resettle some 3,000 Muslim refugees, who flooded into the city following the collapse of Srebrenica and Zepa in July 1995. "In this way we will relieve Tuzla and and help refugees by resettling them in proper housing.... All aid projects will then be directed to the place where the need for refugees is greatest -- that will be Vozuca," said Tuzla's Mayor Selim Beslagic. -- Stan Markotich

    [12] UNHCR OFFICIAL MEETS BOSNIAN SERB VICE PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS REFUGEE R

    ETURN. The UNHCR's Soren Jensen Petersen met on16 February with the Bosnian Serb Vice-President Biljana Plavsic to discuss the return of refugees to the Republika Srpska, Beta reported the same day. Plavsic reportedly promised to comply with the Dayton agreement on the right of refugees to go home. At a press conference in Banja Luka, Petersen thanked the Pale leadership for offering "maximum cooperation" over the issue. He again stressed that all refugees must be guaranteed their right to return to those places from which they came. The UNHCR will provide $200 million for a refugee-return program, of which one third is allocated for the Republika Srpska. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [13] ARE THE BOSNIAN SERBS PREPARING AN AMNESTY?

    Bosnian Serb JusticeMinister Marko Arsovic on 17 January announced that his government is preparing an amnesty law for all refugees, war resisters and deserters, who left the Republika Srpska. Beta the same day quotes Arsovic as saying that "we are obliged to adopt an amnesty law in compliance with the Dayton agreement and I believe that this will be done within the designated time frame." He added that without such a law there could be no safe return of refugees to the Republika Srpska. The Bosnian parliament has already passed an amnesty law and in so doing has met a key Serbian demand. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [14] EASTERN SLAVONIAN UPDATE.

    The refugee question is central to a settlement in eastern Slavonia, too. That region is part of Croatia rather than of Bosnia and is not included in the Dayton accords. But the timing of the current peace plan for it and the fact that Tudjman and Milosevic signed it at Dayton have linked the two issues. The UN in Belgrade announced on 15 February that General Joseph Schoups will become the commander of the UN mission UNTAES on 1 March. The mission's administrator, retired U.S. General Jacques Klein, unveiled his plan for troop deployment the previous day with Milosevic in attendance. UNTAES will open its headquarters at Vukovar's Hotel Dunav before the deployment starts. The mission's spokeswoman said that Milosevic gave the UN "full and complete support." Klein pointed out that the aim is to set up joint Serbian and Croatian police forces, which will be trained in a third country and sent to the region before demilitarization begins. She stressed that the mission will differ from previous UN ones in the former Yugoslavia because the UN will have full power in the region. Klein estimated that the forces will be fully operational in May. The biggest problem that UNTEAS faces is to ensure the safe return of refugees to the region and to guarantee their protection afterwards. As for the Croats, the head of the Croatian provisional government for Eastern Slavonia and Osijek, Ivica Brkic, has guaranteed all refugees a safe return to their homes. He mentioned Croats, Hungarians, and Serbs explicitly, Beta reported on 16 February. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [15] CROATIAN POLICE ARRIVE IN MOSTAR.

    Meanwhile, Croatia has fulfilled a promise it made to help ease the transition to peace in Herzegovina. Hina on 15 February reported that 101 police officers from Croatia had arrived in Mostar. Josko Moric, Zagreb's deputy interior minister, said the officers would wear Croatian uniforms, that they would not police Muslim parts of the city, and that they would not be under the command of EU police authorities. -- Stan Markotich

    [16] MILOSEVIC OFF POLITICKING IN BOSNIA.

    In a somewhat different way, Serbia has shown that it, too, will remain active in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nasa Borba published a report on 15 February which suggests that Milosevic will continue to play a very prominent role in determining political developments in the Republika Srpska. His new stalking horse may now be his wife's party, the Yugoslav United Left (JUL). Mirjana Markovic's JUL -- still a small leftist party in Serbia -- has announced plans that it will officially take its message throughout rump Yugoslavia and into Bosnian Serb territory. The Nasa Borba report says will hold a constitutive assembly in Sokolac in the Republika Srpska. -- Stan Markotich

    [17] SESELJ TO TESTIFY AGAINST MILOSEVIC?

    But Milosevic's enemies are on thestump, too. Nasa Borba reported on 14 February that Vojislav Seselj, leader of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) and an accused war criminal, is continuing with his campaign to appear at The Hague ostensibly in order to offer testimony against Milosevic. Seselj has charged that his former ally is among the biggest war criminals in the former Yugoslavia. Seselj has said that he has no fear of prosecution himslef as he is guilty of no crimes against humanity. The SRS leader even went so far as to suggest that officials at the tribunal have backed him on this point. "In telephone contact with an assitant to a representative of the Hague court, I told him that I was ready to go if they had anything against me. And he responded that, for now, they have nothing," Seselj told Beta on 12 February. In response to the question of whether or not he is waiting for "an invitation" from The Hague, Seselj said he has already applied for a visa to visit the Netherlands, adding: "I'm going to The Hague to visit the Serbian colonies in Holland, as well as [a few] societies. Along the way I might just as well visit the Hague court--and why not?" Seselj's paramilitary Cetniks are thought to have committed some of the most heinous crimes against humanity during the wars throughout the former Yugoslavia, while his SRS remains a leading exponent of ultranationist ideology and a vocal opponent of Milosevic within the rump Yugoslavia. -- Stan Markotich

    [18] LEADERS IN THE DAYTON PROCESS NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.

    Seselj may regard Milosevic as abhorrent, but someone has managed to nominate the Serbian president for the world's most prestsigious political award. Milosevic's colleagues from Bosnia and Croatia were also included a list published in Norway, as were Holbrooke and President Bill Clinton. Some less successful figures -- such as Lord David Owen, Thorvald Stoltenberg, Cyrus Vance, and former President Jimmy Carter -- made the roster as well. Onasa on 17 February also ran an editorial about Holbrooke, saying that he had undertaken the peace mission to further his own career. The commentary added: "Before Bosnia, he was no one and nothing in the political world... Bosnia has promoted his name to planetary proportions... Bosnia is an advance payment for Holbrooke's future in Wall Street, in the State Department, perhaps even in the White House." -- Patrick Moore

    [19] A VISIT TO THE BOSNIAN SERB NEWS AGENCY SRNA.

    The Hotel Pension Bellevue has seen better days, although it probably never was a fancy place in the romantic ski resort surrounding Pale. Hidden in the woods aside a small and icy path stretching down and uphill again, no one would expect a highly efficient propaganda news agency. "We have a thousand journalists in the Republika Srpska hidden in places nobody knows. They [NATO] were never able to track them," SRNA's Director Brane llic said sometime later

    The two small rooms full of technical equipment are overcrowded. Of altogether 111 agency journalists, 59 work and sleep in Pension Bellevue, and most of them are refugees from Sarajevo. "This is an incredible, enthusiastic group," says llic. "We live and work together under very special circumstances. The government provides our food at the Hotel Panorama. These people are young, devoted, and ready to work and improvise 24 hours a day, to counteract the misinformation of the oppressor."

    At the beginning," says llic, "we were just five to six people. We had to leave our entire infrastructure behind under Muslim control in Sarajevo and to start completely anew. But already on 7 April, three days after the beginning of the war, we founded SRNA." Now the agency has 25 correspondents throughout the Republika Srpska, six in Serbia proper, and 21 foreign correspondents from Athens to Sydney. "It is important to reach our emigrants." His voice heightens: "Immediately after the war started, the Muslims hired PR agencies and cooperated with all international networks to stage their media war. They got all kinds of money and know-how helping them to demonize Serbs. However, nobody supported us. All during the war we never had any cooperation with any international agency. Muslims and Croats simply provided the agencies with the information which they simply took. They never rechecked the sources, simply spreading that information around the world. We never did that." llic offers Japanese whisky, then continues: "Both sides were engaged in a media war. But thanks to the much better technical equipment and higher funds the other side had, we had no chance to compete. All we could put against it was our professional dignity and objective information. And we only defended our people from the Muslims and Croats attacks, not to leave shame on us. Otherwise our people would not have believed in us."

    While doing this job SRNA has expanded rather well. The Pale authorities equipped their mouthpiece with its first computers, and whatever else was needed was provided by Serbian media colleagues and emigrant friends. Though "handicapped due to the blockade," the agency managed to reach the world by sending its messages via satellite to Belgrade, from where they were sent on. Meanwhile, notwithstanding all technical difficulties after the NATO bombing of the transmitters in September, SRNA managed to get its word out. "The bombing was a catastrophy," says Ilic. We had nothing left, all news had to be delivered via amateur radio operators in Belgrade. Nevertheless we managed to give out 40 to 50 news items daily, even though Muslim radio amateurs tried to interfere and were permanently insulting us over the radio. At first we were scared using radio at all because it would lead NATO right to us. But then it became clear that they knew exactly where we were. There were many foreign media crews here, so we dared."

    "If there were no blockade", complains llic, "many more requests would reach us. We ourselves replace our lack of contacts with the world through monitoring, but the world receives much too little from us." SRNA monitors all receivable broadcasters via satellite, from CNN to RFE/RL's South Slavic Service. Does this feeling of an unfortunate lack of contact include the missing contacts to the agencies of the other entities? Would Serbia wish an exchange with Onasa, the independent news agency in Sarajevo? A long pause follows. Ilic quotes history, but is interrupted. Does the director of SRNA wish such an exchange? "Well", he finally answers. "it would be interesting on purely professional grounds, just to see how the oppressor puts things, and of course just for information. Not to make use any of it." Another pause, then, in a more conciliatory tone, llic says: "First both sides have to be taught to live next to one another. Then they have to learn to respect each other. Only later, very slowly, can we start doing things together. To rush us can lead to an incident which would make the whole process explode."

    Anyway, being a state agency, no such thing could be agreed upon without the approval of Pale's minister of information. It does not seem that llic expects such approval. Half an hour later the interlocutors talk to Minister Dragan Bozanic. It takes him two seconds to approve. A first, a tentative media link may be established. Nonetheless, no fax lines between the two entities are working and the three daily outlets of both agencies will have to be delivered by hand, brought over probably with IFOR's daily shuttle between Sarajevo and Pale. Still, at least in Pale, the news will be read as "information only" and not be provided to the public. At any rate, it is a beginning. -- Yvonne Badal


    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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