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OMRI: PURSUING BALKAN PEACE, V1,#10, Mar. 12, 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Pursuing Balkan Peace Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] ILIDZA CHANGES HANDS.

  • [02] "ILIDZA IS BURNING."

  • [03] IZETBEGOVIC REAPPEARS.

  • [04] REFUGEES FROM ILIDZA ARRIVE IN TREBINJE.

  • [05] INTERNATIONAL POLICE TO BE BEEFED UP.

  • [06] SERB SOLDIERS CONFIRM MASSACRE, THEN DISAPPEAR.

  • [07] U.S. WANTS SERBIA TO TURN WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS OVER TO THE HAGUE.

  • [08] WARRANT ISSUED FOR KRAJINA SERB LEADER.

  • [09] BRITISH DAILY IDENTIFIES MAN BEHIND VISEGRAD KILLINGS.

  • [10] PEACEKEEPERS TO PROTECT SITES OF WAR CRIMES IF ASKED.

  • [11] BILDT CONCERNED ABOUT KARADZIC.

  • [12] KARADZIC, MLADIC GIVE INTERVIEW TO GREEK TV STATION.

  • [13] SERBS HOLD MUSLIM JOURNALIST IN WINDOWLESS CONTAINER.

  • [14] IFOR CHIEF WARNS ABOUT CROAT-MUSLIM FEDERATION.

  • [15] MOSTAR UPDATE.

  • [16] WHAT IS THE U.S. DOING FOR BOSNIA?

  • [17] UNHCR DEVELOPS GENERAL REFUGEE REPATRIATION PLAN.

  • [18] KRAJINA SERBS CALL FOR ORGANIZED, COLLECTIVE RETURN.

  • [19] CROATIA GOVERNMENT SAYS BELGRADE HOLDING BACK DATA ON 1,700 KILLED.

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

  • [21] REFUGEES IN MONTENEGRO.

  • [22] SERBIAN POLITICIANS ON KOSOVO.

  • [23] BOSNIAN-IRANIAN IMBROGLIO CONTINUES.

  • [24] BOSNIANS REPORTED AS SENDING TROOPS TO IRAN FOR TRAINING...

  • [25] ...WHILE U.S. MAKES DELIVERY OF ARMS TO BOSNIA CONDITIONAL ON THE DEPARTURE OF IRANIANS.

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


  • OMRI SPECIAL REPORT: PURSUING BALKAN PEACE

    Vol. 1, No. 10, 12 March 1996

    [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 that 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. Not a single arsonist was arrested. 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," the BBC's reporter said on 11 March. The UN's Kris Janowski stated that a prominent local Serb, Danilo Staka, disappeared with his daughter after urging other Serbs to stay, Onasa reported. -- Patrick Moore

    [02] "ILIDZA IS BURNING."

    This is how a BBC reporter on 11 March describedthe situation there that day. The Serbs had instituted a "scorched earth policy" after cutting off essential services, including fire-fighting. Intimidation to force people to leave was rampant, although some mainly elderly people barricaded themselves in their flats in hopes of staying. The mysterious arsonists torched not only schools, factories, and public buildings, but also apartment blocks, including those with people still in them. IFOR on the weekend finally stepped up patrols and rescued some people trapped in burning flats, but the peacekeepers said it is not their job to fight fires and stood back while buildings burned, the broadcast noted. The international police force said it has no power to arrest the arsonists, and the Serbian police said they were "too scared" to go out onto the streets amid scenes of violence and chaos. "Local sources" told the UN that there were plans to torch at least 200 buildings. -- Patrick Moore

    [03] IZETBEGOVIC REAPPEARS.

    Still in Sarajevo, AFP reported on 10 March that Bosnian TV has shown the first footage in weeks of President Alija Izetbegovic, who is in the hospital with heart problems. He wrote to the international community's High Representative Carl Bildt and IFOR commander Admiral Leighton Smith to protest attempts at settling Sarajevo Serbs in the strategic Brcko area, the fate of which will be determined later by international arbitration, Nasa Borba noted. Onasa reported on 6 March that Radovan Karadzic's party, the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) called on Serbs from Sarajevo to be settled in Brcko to strengthen the Serbian case there. In any event, the Bosnian Serb leader appealed to Serbian President Milosevic to provide help for the Sarajevo Serb refugees, Reuters noted on 3 March. -- Patrick Moore

    [04] REFUGEES FROM ILIDZA ARRIVE IN TREBINJE.

    Some of the Serbs have headed for Trebinje, a traditional stronghold of Serbian nationalists in eastern Herzegovina. The spokesman for the Red Cross in Trebinje said that within recent days some 4,500 Serbian refugees have arrived there. Another 20,000 are still expected, but there is only space for about 2,000 more homeless people, Beta reported on 10 March. A key problem in accommodating the newcomers seems to be the many possessions they took with them, for which storage space is at a premium. The mayor of Trebinje said that the town is short of medicine and food, while the UNHCR estimates that the supply may last for only another 20 days. The International Red Cross in Geneva had earlier announced a large aid program, including bedding and food, for the Serbs who fled Sarajevo, Beta reported on 6 March. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [05] INTERNATIONAL POLICE TO BE BEEFED UP.

    A UN spokesperson in Belgrade announced the decision to increase the size of the International Police Task Force (IPTF), whose duty is to accompany federal police into Serb- held Sarajevo suburbs when they are transferred to government rule, Nasa Borba reported on 8 March. The decision was made to prevent possible incidents, like the one in Hadzici where Croat police arrived without permission. She expressed a special concern for Ilidza, where mines have been detected in addition to the "chaotic situation, increased crime rate, and the houses that have been burned out." Some 145 IPTF members were slated to enter Ilidza, and another 85 will be in charge of the Grbavica and Novo Sarajevo transfers on 19 March. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [06] SERB SOLDIERS CONFIRM MASSACRE, THEN DISAPPEAR.

    New revelations about war crimes have been in the news as well. An ethnic Croat serving with Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica last summer has stated that he witnessed the murder of at least 1,200 Muslim prisoners after the town fell. Le Figaro on 8 March quoted Drazen Erdemovic as saying that he himself took part in the killings, as did a friend of his who also confirmed that the massacres had taken place. Both men were then arrested by the Serbian police in Vojvodina on 3 March and nothing has been heard from them since, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on 9 March. -- Patrick Moore

    [07] U.S. WANTS SERBIA TO TURN WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS OVER TO THE HAGUE.

    This case has nonetheless been closely watched in Washington. International news agencies reported on 7 March that on that same day State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns asked Belgrade to turn Erdemovic and his associate Radoslav Kremenovic over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. "The United States urges [Serbian] President Slobodan Milosevic to transfer the men as requested and to cooperate fully with the tribunal," said Burns. Nasa Borba on 12 March said that the tribunal's deputy prosecutor had arrived in Belgrade to seek the two men's extradition. Meanwhile, Tanjug reported that the 25 year-old Erdemovic was indeed arrested on 2 March by Serbian police for "taking part in mass killings" of civilians following the fall of Srebrenica. The Serbian prosecutor's office said that Kremenovic is in custody in rump Yugoslavia for sheltering Erdemovic. It is believed that Erdemovic's testimony may be key in linking Bosnian Serb leaders Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic to atrocities. -- Stan Markotich

    [08] WARRANT ISSUED FOR KRAJINA SERB LEADER.

    Nor are the two Bosnian Serb leaders the only top-ranking Serbs to receive special attention for war crimes in recent days. AFP reported on 8 March that on that same day the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia issued an arrest warrant for Milan Martic. He is the former leader of the Krajina Serbs and is wanted for ordering a rocket attack on Zagreb in 1995. Civilians were killed and wounded in a move described at the time as pure terrorism, without any military value or purpose. He is now living in Banja Luka on Bosnian Serb territory. -- Stan Markotich and Patrick Moore

    [09] BRITISH DAILY IDENTIFIES MAN BEHIND VISEGRAD KILLINGS.

    And a Bosnian Serb named Milan Lukic was responsible for the murders of hundreds of Muslims from Visegrad after the historic town on the Drina fell to the Serbs in 1992, The Guardian reported on 11 March. Victims were killed, mutilated, and thrown off the Ottoman bridge that was the centerpiece for Ivo Andric's Nobel Prize-winning novel Bridge on the Drina. Lukic is not wanted by The Hague and is reportedly working in a cafe in Obrenovac, Serbia. AFP said that the article also revealed that a concentration camp existed at nearby Uzamnica and that torture was frequent there. -- Patrick Moore

    [10] PEACEKEEPERS TO PROTECT SITES OF WAR CRIMES IF ASKED.

    A key problem in investigating any war crimes is, of course, collecting physical evidence, and some persons in post-Dayton Bosnia may be anxious to destroy any such tangible proof of their crimes. News agencies reported on 6 March that a NATO spokesman in Brussels said that the peacekeepers will now consider on an individual basis requests to guard suspected sites of war crimes to prevent tampering with evidence, especially if the request comes from The Hague. The 60,000-strong force will still give priority to its military duties as set down in the Dayton agreement. NATO has drafted some new guidances for IFOR, but it is not clear if they will enable the peacekeepers to become more active in catching or detaining war criminals. Reuters noted that Washington has agreed to the guidelines. A diplomat said the new measures are not a case of mission creep but of mission evolution. -- Patrick Moore

    [11] BILDT CONCERNED ABOUT KARADZIC.

    One glaring example of how IFOR has been reluctant to take an assertive role involves Pale's president and indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic. He has reportedly gone through IFOR checkpoints or come close to IFOR troops on numerous occasions, but no one seems to have been able to identify him or felt they were in a position to arrest him. The international community's Bildt, said on 3 March that he is concerned about Karadzic's increased public profile, but added that Karadzic may not be in charge in Pale. He did not elaborate, Reuters reported. -- Patrick Moore

    [12] KARADZIC, MLADIC GIVE INTERVIEW TO GREEK TV STATION.

    The two Bosnian Serb leaders, in an interview aired by the Greek private TV station Mega on 10 March, denounced the Hague tribunal as a political rather than a legal body and dismissed the charges against them. AFP cited Mladic as calling the court "a saucepan in which they cook up the fate of peoples." He went on to call it a "political tribunal [that] legalizes terrorism." Karadzic claimed the tribunal was "set up to persecute the Serbs." He said charges should be examined by courts of the three Bosnian factions in the presence of international observers rather than by The Hague. Mladic claimed that "not for a second have I waged war against the civilian Muslim or Croatian population. I have fought against armed, fanatical Muslim forces and fascist Croat forces," and that "the [Bosnian Serb] army has never committed any crime. We have fought in accordance with the conventions of international military law." The only crime the Bosnian Serbs committed has been "to defend our homeland, to live freely as in all other countries," but "they have blamed us for all the ills since the beginning of humanity. They have made us victims of all those who wash their bloody hands on our sacrifice." According to Mega, the interview was recorded at the beginning of last week "somewhere in the mountains near Pale." A Mega journalist said that IFOR troops surrounded the building where the interview took place, and that Mladic ordered one of his men "to fire a bullet into the head of anyone who approached. The others will understand." -- Stefan Krause

    [13] SERBS HOLD MUSLIM JOURNALIST IN WINDOWLESS CONTAINER.

    Still in the Republika Srpska, Bosnian Serbs continue to hold the news photographer Hidajet Delic under tough conditions for "war crimes" in an apparent case of retribution for the arrest of two top Bosnian Serb officers and their deportation to The Hague earlier this year. The Guardian on 5 March reported that Delic's colleagues called the charges "preposterous" and that UN officials described the conditions under which he is being held as "outrageous." Onasa noted that Reporters without Borders and local journalists' organizations have rallied to Delic's defense and demanded his freedom. They also recalled that government and Serbian authorities on 25 January had endorsed media freedom and the right of journalists to work undisturbed. -- Patrick Moore

    [14] IFOR CHIEF WARNS ABOUT CROAT-MUSLIM FEDERATION.

    Tensions between Croats and Muslims have been in the news as well, with Mostar appearing to be just the tip of the iceberg. Bosnian federal president and Bosnian Croat leader Kresimir Zubak appeared on 6 March to distance himself from his earlier harsh words on the future of the federation that Slobodna Dalmacija had reported, Onasa stated. The NATO commander in Bosnia, U.S. Admiral Leighton Smith, however, remains openly pessimistic about the future of Croat-Muslim cooperation, the VOA said on 7 March. AFP quoted the admiral as stating that Mostar is evidence of the deep-set problems of the partnership, which has yet to take root at either the political, military, or people-to-people levels. He predicted things will go from bad to worse in the spring. Former Bosnian prime minister and now opposition political figure Haris Silajdzic issued similar warnings, saying that the politicians responsible for the Croat-Muslim war of 1993 must go if trust is to be rebuilt. Vecernje novine ran the report on 7 March. In another sign of problems within the federation, some 7,000 Muslim civilians have still not been allowed to return to their homes in Croat-held Kulen Vakuf. AFP on 11 March quoted Bosnian radio as saying that the deadline agreed to in Rome passed unmet the previous night. In Sarajevo, the cantonal 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 (SDA), have been conducting a running power struggle within the federation while at the same time elbowing non-nationalist parties aside. -- Patrick Moore

    [15] MOSTAR UPDATE.

    But it is Mostar that remains at the center of Croat- Muslim tensions in public. European Union foreign ministers on 10 March agreed in principle to extend the EU administration of the city until the end of the year, Onasa and Oslobodjenje reported. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel said the six-month extension would be formally approved at the next EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels on 25 March, when a successor to the current Mostar administrator Hans Koschnick would be chosen. La Stampa suggested 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, Vjesnik reported on 12 March. Meanwhile, Koschnick announced that the EU will take over the administration of the central Mostar district until the new city authorities -- including one mayor for all Mostar -- are chosen, Oslobodjenje stated on 11 March. The mayor of the Croat-held part of Mostar, Mijo Brajkovic, said this decision was not agreed to by the Croatian side, Nasa Borba and Vjesnik reported the next day. In another development, at its two-day session in Mostar, the house of representatives of the self-styled Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna announced it would begin at once to transfer its functions to the Bosnian Federation, Nasa Borba reported. Herceg-Bosna functions as a de- facto state and the Muslims regard it as secessionist. The house also released from office former members of the Herceg-Bosna presidential council Dario Kordic and General Tihomir Blaskic, who have been indicted by The Hague. In their places it appointed Bozo Rajic president of the HDZ and Lt. Gen. Zivko Budimir as chief-of-staff of the Bosnian Croat army (HVO). Meanwhile, Beta and AFP on 7 March reported that the HVO transferred some of its troops to the parts of southern Croatia bordering on Bosnian Serb territory. The exact number of soldiers involved is unknown, but some western military sources believe that purpose is to avoid demobilization, which is scheduled by the Dayton peace accord for 20 April for all Bosnian army formations. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [16] WHAT IS THE U.S. DOING FOR BOSNIA?

    Turning to Bosnia's internationalrelations, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on 9 March made awards to 42 Bosnian experts who participated in a training program in the U.S. last year. On 11 March, USAID said it will give 300 books and a computer to the Sarajevo Law Faculty. Bosnian media have nonetheless criticized Washington for doing less than promised, Onasa reported on 9 March. A commentary in Oslobodjenje started with an alleged lack of American energetic support for the reunification of Mostar as promised earlier, and continued with the Americans' serious delay in providing much-publicized financial aid, including military assistance. The editorial ended by noting mediator Robert Gallucci's resignation and concluded that Washington is losing an important expert on Bosnia whom it cannot replace overnight. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [17] UNHCR DEVELOPS GENERAL REFUGEE REPATRIATION PLAN.

    Another issue to remain in the news is that of refugees, one of the central questions addressed by Dayton. The UNHCR on 8 March presented a plan for the repatriation of some two million refugees to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Beta reported. The plan was prepared at a conference in Oslo and foresees distinct phases of repatriation. The initial phase will affect some 500,000 domestic refugees -- who are currently living inside Bosnia or Croatia -- and 170,000 refugees in neighboring countries such as Bosnian refugees in Croatia or Serbia. The largest part of those and an additional 200,000 refugees from other third countries are expected to return home between April and November 1996. The UNHCR, however, pointed out that the program will depend on financing, the security situation, the reconstruction of housing, and the clearing of mines. The UNHCR said that the whole process of repatriation should be completed by 14 December 1997, two years after the signing of the Dayton agreement. It further pointed out that the process can only succeed if the Dayton agreement is implemented, including: guaranteeing freedom of movement; passing a general amnesty except for war criminals; and creating mechanisms to protect human rights. The UNHCR urged those countries that took in refugees to organize information campaigns to inform them about the current situation in their home towns and villages and about the possibilities of returning. It also pointed out that refugees who travel to Bosnia to prepare their eventual repatriation should be guaranteed the right to return to their country of refuge. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [18] KRAJINA SERBS CALL FOR ORGANIZED, COLLECTIVE RETURN.

    Two organizations of Krajina Serb refugees in Banja Luka held a meeting to discuss their status and possibilities of going home in light of the Dayton agreement, Beta reported on 9 March. These Serbs fear that they may be driven out of their current homes. They also complained that any support they get from the Republika Srpska authorities is slow and insufficient. The majority of the refugee organizations' members reportedly want to go home if the move is organized collectively. The organizations also presented a map showing the location of what they said were 110 mass graves containing the bodies of some 3,000 Krajina Serbs. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [19] CROATIA GOVERNMENT SAYS BELGRADE HOLDING BACK DATA ON 1,700 KILLED. M

    eanwhile in Zagreb, the authorities raised some questions of their own. The Croatian government commission on the missing says that Serbia is hiding information on about 1,700 persons believed killed during the Serbian war against Croatia in 1991 and in its aftermath the following year. The commission is dealing with some 2,800 cases of missing civilians and soldiers in all. A joint Croatian-Serbian group will soon begin trying to clear up these and other cases in keeping with an agreement signed during the Dayton conference last year. Vecernji list carried the report on 4 March. -- Patrick Moore

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

    And Belgrade has been busy on other fronts as well. Television Serbia on 10 March reported that a delegation of businessmen from Serbia and Montenegro left that same day for two days of meetings in Banja Luka with ranking political officials of the Republika Srpska. 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.... With its rich resources and our aid, the Republika Srpska will become a modern state...." -- Stan Markotich

    [21] REFUGEES IN MONTENEGRO.

    The Bosnian Serb entity and Montenegro have had other items on their joint agenda as well, and on 11 March Montena-fax reported on continuing refugee arrivals in Montenegro. According to Red Cross sources in Podgorica, some 200 new refugees arrived in the city in February, including some 53 families from the Republika Srpska and 16 from Krajina. An estimated 12,500 refugees in all are now in Podgorica. -- Stan Markotich

    [22] SERBIAN POLITICIANS ON KOSOVO.

    Another serious issue is Kosovo. On 6 March Nasa Borba featured an interview with Dusan Mihajlovic, leader of Serbia's small but important New Democracy (ND) party, which functions as a coalition partner and de facto extension of the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia in Serbia's legislature. One of the issues he touched on was the status of Serbia's Kosovar Albanians, suggesting that he and presumably his patron Milosevic continue to rule out two of the Kosovars' key demands: genuine autonomy for Kosovo and international mediation on the status of the once-autonomous province. "The [Kosovo] question must be solved by Serbs and Albanians. That's much better than someone else solving it," he observed. On 5 March rump Yugoslav Interior Minister Vukasin Jokanovic essentially delivered the same message on the Kosovo question, suggesting that Belgrade was interpreting its international commitments in such a way as to underscore that Kosovo was strictly a domestic issue. The issue of Albanians in Serbia will be dealt with "within Serbia and with respect for civic equality and the highest standards of rights of ethnic communities, along the lines of international documents," he was quoted by the BBC monitoring service as saying. Kosovo is not explicitly covered in the Dayton agreement, but the UN Security Council has agreed that an "outer wall" of sanctions -- involving admission to international institutions -- will remain for rump Yugoslavia until the issue has been addressed. The European Parliament on 1 March also had asked the EU Council of Ministers to grant full recognition to rump Yugoslavia only if Belgrade reaches an agreement with the Kosovar shadow-state leadership. -- Stan Markotich and Fabian Schmidt

    [23] BOSNIAN-IRANIAN IMBROGLIO CONTINUES.

    Turning even farther afield, Serbian propaganda has long stressed alleged links between the Bosnian Muslim leadership and international Islamic fundamentalism represented by Iran. Washington, moreover, has been concerned about any continued presence of Iranian fighters or other agents in the embattled republic. The matter has resurfaced in the wake of Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic's visit to Tehran and of U.S. media reports that Bosnian troops are being trained in Iran. Onasa wrote on 6 March that the Bosnian army press office has officially denied those stories, but the VOA on 7 March quoted The Washington Post as outlining extensive military links between the two countries. Onasa wrote that Bosnia had succeeded in keeping both Iran and the U.S. as allies, but Vecernje novine objected to "friendly persuasion" by the Americans and Europe -- including Croatia -- against Sarajevo's links to Tehran. Iran has pledged to help Bosnia rebuild, as have its rivals Turkey and Saudi Arabia. -- Patrick Moore

    [24] BOSNIANS REPORTED AS SENDING TROOPS TO IRAN FOR TRAINING...

    The New York Times on 4 March had reported that the Bosnian government sent troops to Iran for training in a bid to upgrade its military. NATO officials suspect that they will learn little of military value but are there primarily for ideological indoctrination. While the presence of Bosnian soldiers in Iran does not violate Dayton, it could provoke tensions between the Bosnian government and the U.S., and between Muslims and Croats within the Bosnian Federation. Meanwhile, during his visit to Tehran, Muratovic underlined the importance of Iran's contribution to the reconstruction of Bosnia, international agencies reported. Iran has suggested setting up a joint Bosnian-Iranian bank to help promote confidence in joint investments and private sector activities in the two countries, Reuters reported on 4 March. Iran has already supplied Bosnia with aid totaling DM 15 million, Onasa on 11 March quoted an Iranian official as saying. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [25] ...WHILE U.S. MAKES DELIVERY OF ARMS TO BOSNIA CONDITIONAL ON THE DEPARTURE OF IRANIANS.

    State Department spokesman Burns, however, said that the U.S. will not send Bosnia new military equipment as long as 200 foreign Muslim troops remain in the country in violation of the Dayton peace accords, AFP reported on 7 March. IFOR claims that Bosnian troops are still being trained in the country by Iranians. Earlier that week, the Bosnian army and HVO commanders ended a week-long visit to the U.S., where they made agreements on the future training and arming of their respective forces. Although both Tehran and Bosnian officials have denied The New York Times story, the Pentagon still may balk at carrying out its $100 million military assistance program. U.S. experts also believe that the Islamic charities in Bosnia are only a front for bringing in military equipment and soldiers, while Iranians hope to gain influence in the Bosnian military. Burns criticized contacts between the Bosnian government and Iran. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [26] BOSNIAN SERBS CLAIM NATO USED NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

    Finally, while soldiers of the Atlantic alliance may now be reluctant to protect Sarajevo grannies in their flats, Bosnian Serb TV claims that NATO was much more assertive last year. The broadcast said that the alliance's planes used nuclear weapons in the airstrikes on Serb positions that helped make the Dayton conference possible. "In their combat assaults on Serb defense 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

    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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