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OMRI: PURSUING BALKAN PEACE,V1,#17, 30 April 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Pursuing Balkan Peace Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS THE ELECTIONS.

  • [02] U.S. TROOPS TO STAY IN BOSNIA UNTIL DECEMBER.

  • [03] SERBS, IFOR BLOCK REFUGEES' RETURN.

  • [04] TWO DEAD AND FIVE WOUNDED AS SERBS AMBUSH MUSLIMS.

  • [05] IFOR TOLD NOT TO ARREST WAR CRIMINALS.

  • [06] BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTER SAYS SOME IFOR MUST GO AFTER DUMPING WASTES.

  • [07] SACIRBEY BLASTS IRANIAN "REVELATIONS."

  • [08] HAGUE COURT THREATENS BELGRADE, PALE WITH SANCTIONS . . .

  • [09] . . . WHILE FREEING A SERBIAN GENERAL.

  • [10] RUMP YUGOSLAVIA URGES WORLD COURT TO DROP SUIT.

  • [11] BOSNIAN SERB OFFICIAL PLEDGES UNITY WITH SERBIA.

  • [12] CROATS, MUSLIMS REACH AGREEMENT ON POLICE FORCE AND SARAJEVO . . .

  • [13] . . . BUT SPAR OVER THE ARMY . . .

  • [14] . . . AND OVER AN ALLEGED HIT SQUAD.

  • [15] SORTING OUT THE MESS IN ILIDZA . . .

  • [16] . . . AND OTHER SARAJEVO SUBURBS.

  • [17] GERMAN HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP URGES GERMANY NOT TO RETURN REFUGEES.

  • [18] SLOVENIA TO SEND BACK REFUGEES . . .

  • [19] . . . AND AID BOSNIAN RECONSTRUCTION.

  • [20] FIRST POST-WAR BOSNIAN TRADE FAIR IN TUZLA.

  • [21] ELIZABETH REHN PUBLISHES REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS.

  • [22] TENSIONS RISING IN KOSOVO.


  • OMRI SPECIAL REPORT: PURSUING BALKAN PEACE

    Vol. 1, No. 17, 30 April 1996

    [01] CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS THE ELECTIONS.

    The Dayton agreement is full of provisions that will be difficult, at best, to implement. One such group of measures is those contained in Annex 3, which deals with elections. The treaty specifies that a republic-wide ballot must take place by 14 September, which is only nine months after the agreement was signed and the fighting ended. Voters will elect officials at no fewer than seven levels, which range from local functionaries up to the president of the republic. The OSCE will be in charge of the process, and its Provisional Electoral Commission (PEC)'s chairman, Robert Frowick, called the Bosnian vote "the most complex electoral process in history." Indeed, many observers have wondered whether it will be possible or prudent to hold the vote within the Dayton timeframe, given the magnitude of civilian problems still unresolved but which should have been cleared up by now, according to the treaty.

    Annex 3 contains, moreover, a number of requirements that will be a particularly tall order to meet. One is that "the [Serbs, Muslims, and Croats] shall ensure that conditions exist for the organization of free and fair elections, in particular a politically neutral environment.... without fear or intimidation.... [but with] freedom of expression and of the press... of association... [and] of movement."

    But it is another passage in Annex 3 that has attracted the most attention in recent days -- namely Article 4, which deals with eligibility to vote. The thrust of the entire Dayton agreement is that Bosnia is a multiethnic state, and that the results of "ethnic cleansing" or other forms of nationalist violence will not stand. Article 4 thus says that the 1991 census data are to be the basis of the new elections, and that "a citizen who no longer lives in the municipality in which he or she resided in 1991 shall, as a general rule, be expected to vote... in that municipality." But the same article goes on to note that "such a citizen may, however, apply to the Election Commission to cast his or her ballot elsewhere." And it is precisely this apparent contradiction within the Dayton agreement itself that has provided the legal underpinning for the latest controversy.

    The OSCE's 12-page book of election regulations appeared on 22 April and noted that as a "general rule" people would indeed vote where they had been registered in the 1991 census. The regulations also specify, however, that as an "exception" people can apply to the PEC to vote in their new place of residence. The independent Belgrade weekly Vreme wrote on 27 April that this was the result of pressure from the Serbian side, since many Serbs in particular have no intention of returning to their former homes on what is now federal territory. The OSCE reckons that there will probably be at least half a million requests for such "exceptions."

    Many politicians and commentators quickly noted that the new rules could serve to consolidate the results of ethnic cleansing. Bosnian government negotiator Kasim Begic was one of the first to do so, and added that he had also wanted tighter controls on the participation in the Bosnian elections by political parties from Serbia and Croatia. The mayor of multiethnic Tuzla, the Union of Bosnian Social Democrats' (UBSD) Selim Beslagic, said that the PEC's provisions would "legalize ethnic cleansing" and pave the way for "the final division of Bosnia and Herzegovina." The Social Democratic Party (SDP), for its part, called the rules "absolutely unacceptable." Another opposition group, the Republican Party (RS), stated that "all of our fighting for [multiethnic, democratic] principles during the war will have been in vain, because in practice we see that repatriating the refugees to their homes is not possible," Onasa added.

    It was interesting to note that most of the first and loudest statements against the OSCE's election rules came from multiethnic or anti- nationalist opposition parties. A consolidation of the results of ethnic cleansing would help make life politically difficult for such groups and, conversely, be beneficial to nationalists of all hues.

    This is the bottom line, and it raises questions about the commitment of the international community's civilian and military representatives to the multiethnic principles enshrined in the Dayton agreement. IFOR, for example, has been more than reluctant to help refugees return to their homes or to catch internationally (continued on next page) wanted war criminals. U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, for his part, said that it is NATO's mission to deter an outbreak of fresh hostilities, but not to bring about a new political order. That, he added, must be done by the local people themselves, the International Herald Tribune noted on 26 April.

    And what do the local people want? The answer to that question will have to await the outcome of free and fair elections, if they ever take place. What does seem clear is that neither the international community nor the three governing nationalist parties seem too alarmed about Bosnia's steady break-up into three separate, ethnically-based states. -- Patrick Moore

    [02] U.S. TROOPS TO STAY IN BOSNIA UNTIL DECEMBER.

    But NATO is at least willing to see the elections through if they are held on time. To this end, Perry said that NATO commander Gen. George Joulwan has asked that U.S. forces remain in Bosnia at "essentially a full capability" through December. The American exit strategy has never been fully stated in public, but it was expected that the GIs would begin thinning out their ranks by mid-year and be gone completely by 20 December, which is one year after the Dayton treaty was signed. Joulwan, however, seems especially concerned that NATO be present in full force to provide security for the elections. Other European allies, moreover, have been discussing contingencies for keeping NATO forces in Bosnia beyond one year. Perry said that he sees the success of the mission in restoring basic security to the embattled republic. He would therefore consider extending the mandate beyond one year to "deter a war [but not ] to unify the country." -- Patrick Moore

    [03] SERBS, IFOR BLOCK REFUGEES' RETURN.

    And apparently IFOR's interpretation of preventing conflict involves blocking the return of refugees to their homes -- a right the Dayton agreement explicitly grants all refugees -- rather than pushing aside those who block the expellees' way. Mass visits by Muslim refugees to pray at family gravesites now under Serbian control were expected on 28 April, the Muslim holiday of Kurban Bairam, the Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes reported the next day. Oslobodjenje noted that some 200 Serbs near Doboj pelted refugees with stones and prevented them from crossing the border, although the Dayton agreement assures freedom of movement as well as the right of refugees to go home. IFOR troops kept the Muslims out of Serb territory elsewhere, such as by blocking three busloads of refugees who wanted to go to Teslic. U.S. soldiers turned back cars carrying Muslims, who sought to go to Mahala, near Tuzla. Serbs stoned and wounded a dozen Croat refugees wanting to visit their home village near Gradacac, Onasa said. IFOR's Gen. Michael Walker added that IFOR cannot guarantee freedom of movement for "larger civilian groups." -- Patrick Moore

    [04] TWO DEAD AND FIVE WOUNDED AS SERBS AMBUSH MUSLIMS.

    And the nastiness continued, with IFOR looking on. Angry elderly Serbs then smashed the windows on busses taking Muslims to visit graves near their former homes in Trnovo to the south of Sarajevo in Bosnian Serb territory, the BBC reported on 29 April. At Lukavica near Doboj a group of mainly young Muslim adults on 29 April sought to avoid an IFOR roadblock designed to keep the Serbs and Muslims apart and ran through a mine field. Serbs ambushed the Muslims at the other end, and the combination of weapons and mines left two Muslims dead and five wounded, CNN and the International Herald Tribune reported on 30 April. -- Patrick Moore

    [05] IFOR TOLD NOT TO ARREST WAR CRIMINALS.

    Other questions regarding IFOR's role have been in the news as well. Dutch troops have been specifically ordered by their British commanders not to arrest war criminals, the Rotterdam paper NRC Handelsblad stated on 29 April. The story emerged during a visit to Bosnia by Dutch Foreign Minister Hans van Mierlo, who reportedly said that justice will never be done in Bosnia and that he agreed with the order. A debate has been going on since last summer in the Netherlands over the allegedly cowardly behavior of Dutch UNPROFOR troops at Srebrenica. Last August the largest single atrocity in Europe since World War II took place there when Serbs massacred at least 5,000 Muslims. IFOR commander U.S. Adm. Leighton Smith, for his part, said that it is not his men's business to catch war criminals: "Hold those who signed [the] Dayton [agreement] responsible [for arresting Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic, Gen. Ratko Mladic and others] and get off IFOR's back," the International Herald Tribune reported on 30 April. The peacekeepers' mandate is not to hunt down war criminals but to detain them if they come into contact with them. -- Patrick Moore

    [06] BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTER SAYS SOME IFOR MUST GO AFTER DUMPING WASTES.

    And there are other reasons as well why the peacekeepers are unpopular with the Muslims. Bosnian Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic visited an IFOR waste dump near Olovo in the U.S. zone in central Bosnia and said that the commanders of the unit responsible must leave the country at once. He charged the units with vandalism by contaminating two hectares of fertile soil and polluting the Stupcanica river, Onasa said on 29 April. Muratovic added that the damage must be corrected, and hinted that the U.S. firm involved in waste control there without Bosnian permission might be dumping dangerous wastes brought in from elsewhere. There have been periodic reports in the local media suggesting that the peacekeepers have seriously damaged the environment. -- Patrick Moore

    [07] SACIRBEY BLASTS IRANIAN "REVELATIONS."

    Also in Sarajevo, Bosnian ambassador to the UN and special envoy Muhamed Sacirbey dealt with another military subject. He sharply denied an election-year spate of "leaks" in the U.S. press over alleged past and present links between Sarajevo and Tehran (see OMRI Special Report, 23 April 1996). Sacirbey suggested European powers that resent America's role in the Balkans are trying to sabotage U.S. plans to "train and equip" the Bosnian army by planting stories. "I think the issue in Bosnia is not so much age-old ethnic rivalries as it is European imperial rivalries that have now lasted for over a century... Why are these stories being spread? Bosnia is the primary U.S. relationship in the Balkans. It upsets some other relationships which have existed since before World War I," Onasa quoted him as saying on 28 April. -- Patrick Moore

    [08] HAGUE COURT THREATENS BELGRADE, PALE WITH SANCTIONS . . .

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia continues to be active as well. Its president, Antonio Cassese, said that Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs should be punished with sanctions unless they begin to cooperate seriously with the court. In particular, they must begin handing over indicted war criminals, the BBC and Vecernji list stated on 26 April. Some of the court's investigators have recently returned from Srebrenica, where Europe's biggest single atrocity since World War II is widely believed to have taken place. The experts have not reported in public on their findings, but the Daily Telegraph wrote on 25 April that Muslim survivors said they were ambushed by Serbian troops last summer and that those Muslims who tried to surrender were executed. One man appeared to have been run over by a tractor as he was trying to bandage himself. Local Serbs said, however, that the Muslims were killed in a battle as they tried to break through to Tuzla, adding that only two Serbs died in the carnage. -- Patrick Moore

    [09] . . . WHILE FREEING A SERBIAN GENERAL.

    The court had earlier freed Bosnian Serb Col. Aleksa Krsmanovic, saying it had no evidence against him. But Oslobodjenje on 23 April reported that Krsmanovic's release was the result of a deal, by which the Serbs let go Muslim legislator Ibran Mustafic, whom they had captured in Srebrenica last summer. The court has now also freed "on humanitarian grounds" Gen. Djordje Djukic, who was captured with Krsmanovic at the beginning of the year and is dying of pancreatic cancer. The court nonetheless rejected demands by his lawyer that the charges against Djukic be dropped Nasa Borba reported on 25 April. The general must keep the court informed of his address and medical condition, and return to The Hague if need be. He is expected to undergo treatment at the military hospital in Belgrade, where he arrived on 25 April, Nasa Borba added the next day. -- Patrick Moore

    [10] RUMP YUGOSLAVIA URGES WORLD COURT TO DROP SUIT.

    Back at The Hague, at the latest round of World Court hearings against rump Yugoslavia for its alleged involvement in genocide, Belgrade's representative Rodoljub Etinski urged the court to drop the case, saying his country had nothing to do with the war in Bosnia. He described the conflict as a civil war fought between rival Muslim, Croat, and Serbian factions. He also said Bosnia seceded illegally from the Yugoslav federation, violating the rights of ethnic Serbs there, and thereby disqualifying itself from being able to present the case before the tribunal. Reuters reported that, for his part, Sacirbey countered that Belgrade played a significant role in the war and violated the 1948 Genocide Convention by arming and supporting rebel Serbs. He added that Belgrade's support for the Dayton peace does not exempt rump Yugoslav officials from justice. -- Stan Markotich

    [11] BOSNIAN SERB OFFICIAL PLEDGES UNITY WITH SERBIA.

    Other links between the Bosnian Serbs and Belgrade have been in the news as well. The vice- president of the Republika Srpska's (RS) governing Serbian Democratic Party (SDS), Blagoje Simic, was quoted by Srna on 22 April as saying that his party remains adamant about and has no plans whatever to abandon the ultimate goal of unity with Serbia. He described the SDS as "a centrist party" which has at its core "the regrouping together all Serbs who have as their main ideology a Serb identity [within] a Serbian state." Simic also said that any real cooperation with the Bosnian Muslim or federal authorities was out of the question. "The Republika Srpska has been bought and paid for in blood, and no political programs will be tolerated or allowed that would produce a union with the Muslims or Croats," he said. The Dayton agreement, which Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic signed on his Bosnian clients' behalf, states that Bosnia is a single state consisting of two entities, namely the RS and the Federation. Meanwhile, signs from Belgrade suggest that rump Yugoslav officialdom, at least for the time being, continues to distance itself from the rhetoric promoted by Simic. The latest sign came on 25 April, when Mirjana Markovic, Milosevic's wife, appeared at a convention of her leftist and as yet non-parliamentary Yugoslav United Left (JUL) party to denounce extreme nationalism and its consequences. She was quoted by Tanjug as saying that "in a society made up of several nations, composed also of many minorities, nationalism is not acceptable, and can produce dangerous, even tragic, consequences." -- Stan Markotich

    [12] CROATS, MUSLIMS REACH AGREEMENT ON POLICE FORCE AND SARAJEVO . . .

    But once again, it was disputes between the Croats and Muslims, rather than those among the Serbs, that featured prominently in the news. Senior Muslim and Bosnian Croat officials met with German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, the international community's Michael Steiner, and other negotiators at Petersberg near Bonn on 25 April, Oslobodjenje reported. The Muslims and Croats agreed to end their acrimonious dispute over the nature of the federal police force by disbanding half of their respective forces, merging the rest, and issuing them neutral gray uniforms. It remains to be seen, however, what will actually happen on the ground. Kinkel threatened the two sides with sanctions if they did not reach and stick to agreements to bolster their shaky federation, Nasa Borba noted. Onasa added on 27 April that Steiner managed to get the Croats and Muslims to accept a formula for the status of Sarajevo as well. The agreement involves three levels of Rube Goldberg-type authority: canton, capital, and district. Federal President Kresimir Zubak called it "a unique approach." The Croats have charged the Muslims with using strong-arm tactics to make Sarajevo their de facto preserve. Anti-nationalist parties have suggested making the city a federal district on the model of Brussels, Mexico City, or Washington. -- Patrick Moore

    [13] . . . BUT SPAR OVER THE ARMY . . .

    Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic has meanwhile called for an integrated federal army, Onasa added on 25 April. Speaking as the president's special representative, Sacirbey said that officers on active duty would be barred from "elected office... or being high functionaries within political parties." Izetbegovic's own party, the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), has, however, been consolidating its hold over the military. Its governing bodies at all levels contain officers, and two generals serve on the top SDA steering committee. Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Susak said on 24 April that the Bosnian Croat military (HVO) must remain separate in order to guarantee the Croats' security. Susak has meanwhile made several public appearances with extensive press coverage to confound rumors that he continues to be seriously ill following lung surgery in the U.S. (see Vecernji list, 29 April 1996). Were he to leave office, it could have serious implications for Bosnia, since Susak directs Croatian security policy there and is also the dean of the "Herzegovinian lobby" in Zagreb. -- Patrick Moore

    [14] . . . AND OVER AN ALLEGED HIT SQUAD.

    Back in Bosnia, Prime Minister Muratovic denied Croatian reports that the six Bosnians arrested near Senj on terrorism charges were Bosnian agents trained by Iran, news agencies noted on 25 April. Sarajevo argues that it has nothing to do with the shadowy six and that the whole affair might be a publicity stunt by their alleged victim, Bihac pocket kingpin Fikret Abdic, to aid his attempt at a political comeback (see OMRI Special Report, 16 April 1996). Abdic, who is wanted in Sarajevo for war crimes, met with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic on 25 April, Onasa added. The Bosnian government has also charged Abdic with treason and wants him extradited to Sarajevo. -- Patrick Moore

    [15] SORTING OUT THE MESS IN ILIDZA . . .

    Elsewhere in the capital, the question of resettling people in the formerly Serb-held suburbs has been in the news as well. The recently returned mayor of Ilidza faces severe housing and economic problems in the wake of the influx. While before the war there had been 22,500 work places, today there are none. He expects the return of 8,000 Ilidza inhabitants from abroad, another 11,000 from Sarajevo proper (including 560 Serbs and 4,500 Croats), and more from other displaced persons centers. Prewar Ilidza had 68,000 people, of whom 43% were Muslim. The current ethnic mix there is unknown, but the municipality has been using the prewar key of 2 Muslims-2 Serbs-1 Croat for judicial and other appointments. -- Yvonne Badal in Sarajevo

    [16] . . . AND OTHER SARAJEVO SUBURBS.

    Meanwhile in Vogosca, some Serbs have been returning from the RS to report for their old factory jobs at the TAS-Unis automobile complex, Oslobodjenje wrote on 17 April. Karadzic's men had gutted the place, and management needs as capital the German marks accumulated as back pay in bank books (see OMRI Special Report, 16 April 1996) of its 927 workers who fought in the Bosnian army. Journalists were shown a film on the company's VW service shop that continued to function throughout the war. The repair facility is expected to be the nucleus of a new small-scale assembly operation. Onasa said on 18 April that some 50,000 refugees in all have applied to return to their homes in the Sarajevo suburbs, but fewer that 3,000 have actually done so to date. The UNHCR added on 24 April that the refugees' biggest single problem is the continued limited freedom of movement, which was supposed to have been done away with earlier this year according to the Dayton agreement. -- Patrick Moore

    [17] GERMAN HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP URGES GERMANY NOT TO RETURN REFUGEES.

    And that is not the only kind of problem refugees face. The president of the German Society for Endangered Peoples, Tilman Zuelch, called on Bonn not to repatriate refugees by force, Onasa reported on 18 April. He argued that "it would be irresponsible to repatriate refugees under the present circumstances - while war criminals are still controlling these areas." Zuelch added that "in many cases refugees are former prisoners who survived death camps and detention centers. They suffered torture or witnessed atrocities. These are severely traumatized people." He also pointed out that before any repatriation the conditions of the Dayton agreement should have been carried out, namely that war criminals be brought to justice and elections held. The German government plans to begin with the repatriation in July. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [18] SLOVENIA TO SEND BACK REFUGEES . . .

    And Ljubljana seems to be as anxious as Bonn to witness the departure of its Bosnian guests. Approximately 18,500 refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina, some 90% of whom are Muslims, are to repatriated by the end of 1997, Nasa Borba reported on 29 April. The decision, taken by the Slovenian government, says that the process of resettling the refugees starts on 1 July 1995. According to representatives of the refugee community in Slovenia, some 60% of the refugees have already indicated that they are not looking forward to the prospect of returning, and would opt to stay if given a chance. Nasa Borba notes that the refugees fear their homes "have been destroyed or that [their] territory, in accordance with the Dayton agreement, is now under the jurisdiction of the Republika Srpska or the Croats." Slovenian officials have, moreover, specifically tied the issue of refugee aid to the return of refugees currently in Slovenia. On 15 April Onasa observed that Ljubljana has promised $3.5 million through the World Bank. The money is to be used to rebuild refugees' homes, but it will be made available only if the refugees agree to return. -- Stan Markotich

    [19] . . . AND AID BOSNIAN RECONSTRUCTION.

    There is, however, another side to Slovenian-Bosnian relations. Three Slovenian power companies on 26 April donated 85 transformers to the Bosnian power company Elektroprivreda, Onasa reported. "Of the total 96 power-supply transformers to be sent by Slovenia, some 85 pieces have been received so far," said a spokesman for the Bosnian firm. Of those received, 58 went to Sarajevo and 26 to Zenica. Slovenia has also pledged to provide spare parts for the transformers. The delivery of the electrical equipment appears to mark but the latest in a series of moves undertaken by the Slovenian authorities in their bid to capture a share of the Bosnian reconstruction market. Already on 3 March, Slovenian Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler, while meeting with Egyptian officials in Cairo, said categorically that a policy priority for Ljubljana was involvement in Bosnian reconstruction. "Slovenia and Egypt have a similar point of view on resolving the Bosnia crisis...and [our] two countries will cooperate in reconstruction projects for Bosnia and Herzegovina," he told STA. -- Stan Markotich

    [20] FIRST POST-WAR BOSNIAN TRADE FAIR IN TUZLA.

    And yet even bigger projects are underway for Bosnia's development. Tuzla from 23 to 27 April hosted the republic's first post-war international trade fair, AFP reported on 23 April. The Promo Fair 96, sponsored by the government of the Federation, included seminars and hundreds of business meetings. More than 400 companies from Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the U.S. attended the fair. Prime Minister Muratovic, who opened the event, expressed his hope that it will encourage Bosnian entrepreneurs to restart business activities, and foreign companies to engage in trade with Bosnia. Finance Minister Mirsad Kikanovic said the fair "confirms the war is over here and no one expects it to start again." A World Bank spokesman called the fair a "marvelous thing" and "pretty impressive." On the sidelines of the fair, theater performances, concerts, and other cultural events took place. -- Stefan Krause

    [21] ELIZABETH REHN PUBLISHES REPORT ON HUMAN RIGHTS.

    Turning to the wider region as a whole, UN special envoy for human rights Elizabeth Rehn published a report on the human rights situation in the former Yugoslavia, Nasa Borba reported on 24 and 25 April. Bosnia and Herzegovina is still far away from meeting the standards set in the Dayton agreement, according to Ms. Rehn. These include the issue of freedom of movement, which has not yet been implemented for refugees who want to return to their homes. Nasa Borba calls the failure to ensure freedom of movement and resettlement for everybody a "mirror of the federation's failure." The report, however, acknowledges that since November last year no massacres, military attacks against civilians, or major forced expulsions have taken place in Bosnia. Concerning the status of Serbs in Croatia, the report points out that the climate against Serbs in Krajina still gives cause for concern. Problems include continuing human rights violations against Serbs who remained, and who do not feel safe there. Another big issue is discrimination against Serbs in the job market, and their tendency to be the first fired and last hired. Concerning the return of Krajina Serbs to Croatia, Rehn said that a general amnesty for soldiers innocent of war crimes would be a precondition for a massive return. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [22] TENSIONS RISING IN KOSOVO.

    But the region of the former Yugoslavia most in the news lately -- besides Bosnia -- has been Kosovo. During the past week tensions rose there after the killing of an Albanian student by a Serb civilian on 20 April. Separate shoot-outs then took place throughout the region, killing five Serbs and injuring another five, many of them policemen. In the two latest separate developments, two bombs exploded, killing one Albanian child and injuring two more. While the Kosovar shadow-state government and Albanian President Sali Berisha have called on the Kosovars to maintain calm and to continue their policy of non-violence, Serbian officials have warned that the recent developments might ruin any prospects for negotiations. There have been no formal talks, however, since Milosevic abolished the region's autonomy in 1989. Meanwhile, frustration among the population has been increasing, since many feel that they have achieved nothing by their policy of restraint. There is also a strong feeling of resentment that those Serbian nationalists who started the war in Yugoslavia have now been rewarded by the Dayton agreement. -- Fabian Schmidt

    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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