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OMRI Pursuing Balkan Peace, No. 24, 96-06-18

Open Media Research Institute: Pursuing Balkan Peace Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Open Media Research Institute <http://www.omri.cz>

Pursuing Balkan Peace
No. 24, 18 June 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] IMBROGLIO OVER BOSNIAN ELECTIONS.
  • [02] INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS WARN THAT CONDITIONS NOT RIPE FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS.
  • [03] FORMER BOSNIAN PREMIER ATTACKED AGAIN IN PRE-ELECTION RALLY.
  • [04] OPPOSITION PARTIES JOIN FORCES FOR BOSNIAN ELECTIONS...
  • [05] ...AND IN REPUBLIKA SRPSKA...
  • [06] ...WHILE BOSNIAN MUSLIMS APPLY TO RUN IN REPUBLIKA SRPSKA ELECTIONS.
  • [07] EU ASKS IFOR TO GUARANTEE SECURITY BEFORE MOSTAR ELECTIONS.
  • [08] BOSNIAN DISARMAMENT AGREEMENT SIGNED.
  • [09] PERRY SAYS THAT IFOR LIKELY TO STAY ON INTO 1997...
  • [10] ...BUT CLINTON CONTRADICTS PERRY, EXPLAINS NON-ARREST OF WAR CRIMINALS.
  • [11] INDICTED BOSNIAN SERB VICTIM OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY.
  • [12] BILDT HOPES TO AVOID SANCTIONS AGAINST SERBS.
  • [13] BOSNIAN SERBS CELEBRATE CONFERENCE AS VICTORY.
  • [14] SERBIAN RADICAL CASTS LOT WITH KARADZIC.
  • [15] TURKEY CHANGES LOAN TO BOSNIA INTO DONATION.
  • [16] BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTER OFFERS BONN REFUGEES-FOR-CASH DEAL.
  • [17] CONFUSION OVER EXPULSIONS OF CROATS FROM TRAVNIK AREA...
  • [18] ...EVEN AFTER THEY GO HOME.
  • [19] BOSNIAN CROATS NAME NEW HERCEG-BOSNA GOVERNMENT.
  • [20] CARDINAL: CHURCH IN WEAK POSITION.
  • [21] RED CROSS ISSUES "NO FAULT" CALL ON MISSING PERSONS IN BOSNIA.
  • [22] UN SEES EXTENSION TO MANDATE IN EASTERN SLAVONIA...
  • [23] ...WHILE CROATIA CLARIFIES AMNESTY LAW.
  • [24] SERBIAN ULTRANATIONALIST LEADER ADMITS "THE SERBS HAVE LOST."
  • [25] RUMP YUGOSLAV GENERAL CANCELS PRESS CONFERENCE.
  • [26] BOSNIAN SERB DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.
  • [27] U.S. OFFICIAL ADMONISHES SERBIAN PRESIDENT.
  • [28] MILOSEVIC UPSET BY HIS OWN RHETORIC.
  • [29] U.S OFFICIAL OPENS INFO CENTER IN KOSOVO.

  • [01] IMBROGLIO OVER BOSNIAN ELECTIONS.

    An international conference on Bosnia opened in Florence on 13 June, and differences as to when to hold elections soon became evident. The U.S., France, and most other powers want them to be held by 14 September in keeping with the Dayton agreement. The Clinton administration is particularly anxious to have the vote out of the way before the U.S. presidential ballot in November; and the international community's High Representative in Bosnia, Carl Bildt, said that "any delay would increase the risk of partition into separate ethnic states." The BBC on 14 June quoted Bildt as adding that the elections should go ahead even if Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military counterpart Gen. Ratko Mladic have not been arrested. The Bosnian government, however, opposes elections as long as war criminals are on the loose and basic preconditions for a fair vote are not met, Reuters and Onasa noted. The head of the Hague war crimes tribunal, Antonio Cassese, called for the quick handover of war criminals but seems to have backed down from his earlier demand for sanctions against Belgrade and Pale. Meanwhile, Robert Frowick, the head of the OSCE mission in Sarajevo, said that Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman Flavio Cotti will announce in late June whether elections in Bosnia will be held in the fall, AFP reported on 12 June. Frowick said that so far no party involved in Bosnia has asked for a delay of the elections. -- Patrick Moore and Daria Sito Sucic

    [02] INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS WARN THAT CONDITIONS NOT RIPE FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS.

    While the U.S. administration and the Western powers push for Bosnia's elections to proceed at any price, international organizations such as the International Crisis Group (ICG) and Human Rights Watch are warning that minimum standards for fair elections are already being flouted, Nasa Borba reported on 13 June. ICG released a report on 11 June saying Bosnia's situation still falls short of the conditions laid down by the Dayton agreement for the holding of free and fair elections, the Financial Times reported the next day. ICG did not call explicitly for the postponement of the September polls, but insists the conditions for lasting peace cannot be met in the one-year deadline set by the Dayton accord. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [03] FORMER BOSNIAN PREMIER ATTACKED AGAIN IN PRE-ELECTION RALLY.

    The most recent such incident took place on 15 June when Haris Silajdzic, leader of the opposition Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina (SBiH), was attacked and injured while campaigning in the northwestern town of Cazin. SBiH spokesman Mustafa Mujagic said Silajdzic was hit on the head with an iron bar and sustained a serious cut and bruising, international and local media reported. Mujagic added that members of the ruling Muslim Party for Democratic Action (SDA) were responsible for what he called the "obviously organized" attack, Onasa reported. Silajdzic was surrounded by a crowd of some 100 people carrying SDA banners and shouting Muslim religious prayers. Both SBiH and OSCE officials claimed police did nothing to prevent the incident. But the SDA, which condemned the attack the next day, claimed that the police "saved" Silajdzic. The OSCE condemned the incident, saying it "obstructs preelection activities and disregards the democratic norms of the electoral process," Onasa reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [04] OPPOSITION PARTIES JOIN FORCES FOR BOSNIAN ELECTIONS...

    While the international community is trying to reach a consensus over Bosnian elections at a number of meetings, other preparations are taking place on the ground. Five opposition parties--the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Union of Bosnian-Herzegovinian Social Democrats (UBSD), the Muslim-Bosniak Organization (MBO), the Croat Peasant Party (HSS), and the Republican Party (RS)--on 12 June signed an agreement to run together in the upcoming general elections under the name Joint List For Bosnia, Onasa reported. An OSCE official said that, altogether, 47 political parties and 29 independent candidates have submitted applications for the Bosnian elections, Oslobodjenje reported on 18 June. It will take the OSCE seven days to check whether the lists contain the required number of signatures, after which parties that are rejected have a three-day period in which to appeal. Meanwhile, six parties have registered for the Mostar local elections scheduled for 30 June, Hina reported on 11 June. Three of them represent Croat interests, one is a citizens' coalition called "For a Unified Mostar," another is a list of independent candidates, and the sixth is the Joint List for Bosnia. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [05] ...AND IN REPUBLIKA SRPSKA...

    Two different coalitions are to be formed in the Bosnian Serb entity, Onasa reported. Leftist parties, including the Socialist Party of Republika Srpska (SPRS) and the Yugoslav United Left of Republika Srpska (JULRS), will run jointly in the upcoming elections in Bosnia, according to a JULRS spokesman. Nasa Borba reported that negotiations were underway with the head of the opposition Party of Independent Social Democrats, Milorad Dodig, to join the coalition. The coalition's goal is to overthrow the ruling Serb Democratic Party headed by Radovan Karadzic. Meanwhile, Banja Luka mayor Predrag Radic will lead a coalition of five small opposition parties. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [06] ...WHILE BOSNIAN MUSLIMS APPLY TO RUN IN REPUBLIKA SRPSKA ELECTIONS.

    Muslims from six villages in northeastern Bosnia have applied to run in elections in the Republika Srpska, AFP reported on 16 June, citing Oslobodjenje. Inhabitants of villages held by the Muslims during the war in Bosnia and transferred to Bosnian Serb control under the Dayton agreement have nominated candidates for municipal and regional elections. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that the U.S. said refugees who vote will not lose their refugee status and will not be forced to return to Bosnia. -- Stefan Krause

    [07] EU ASKS IFOR TO GUARANTEE SECURITY BEFORE MOSTAR ELECTIONS.

    The senior EU official in Mostar, Klaus Metscher, said the European Union, "in the light of recent incidents in the city," has asked IFOR to reinforce security before the 30 June elections there, AFP reported on 11 June. Metscher said the people are frightened and want to be perfectly safe when going to polling stations to vote. In another development, NATO's Ambassadorial Council at its 12 June Brussels meeting concluded that the most important tasks of IFOR in Bosnia are the upcoming elections and the removal of indicted Bosnian Serb leaders from power, Onasa reported on 14 June. A senior NATO official told Onasa that IFOR ground command was given new instructions to ensure freedom of movement, prepare polls and protect ballots until the end of the vote. "IFOR had prepared ...plans to deal appropriately with any outbreak of deliberate violence to life and person," IFOR spokesman Max Mariener said. He also recalled the existence of four police formations in Mostar: WEU police, International Police Task Force (IPTF), and Bosnian and Croat police, saying IFOR would support them during the polling. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [08] BOSNIAN DISARMAMENT AGREEMENT SIGNED.

    The disarmament treaty slated to have been signed last week in Oslo was signed on 14 June in Florence, AFP reported. The issue in dispute was that the Bosnian Serbs insisted on signing separately as a de facto independent state, while the Bosnian government demanded that they sign as part of the Bosnian delegation. Signatories to the regional arms control agreement required by the Dayton treaty also included Croatia, rump Yugoslavia, and the Croat-Muslim federation. IFOR would be obliged to enforce such a pact, which requires massive cuts in the Bosnian Serbs' arsenal. The deal restricts the number of heavy weapons allowed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and rump Yugoslavia under five categories: tanks, other armored vehicles, artillery pieces of at least 75 mm, fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships. Reports from Sarajevo suggest, however, that the Bosnian Serbs' extra tanks and guns will simply be sent to Montenegro for storage. Nevertheless, U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns hailed the agreement as a "major development...which drastically reduces the amount of heavy weaponry in the region," according to AFP. An editorial in Oslobodjenje on 16 June underscored the importance of the agreement, which forced the Serb side to concede that Bosnia-Herzegovina is an integral state made up of two entities. -- Patrick Moore and Daria Sito Sucic

    [09] PERRY SAYS THAT IFOR LIKELY TO STAY ON INTO 1997...

    An increasing number of important people are suggesting that NATO peacekeepers will stay on in Bosnia into the new year, in contrast to original plans. AFP quoted U.S. Secretary of State William Perry as telling reporters en route to Macedonia on 12 June: "I do know that NATO will not want to give up on the investment they've made in Bosnia. If they feel some further action [to prevent a new war] is necessary, they may very well want to maintain a NATO force to do that. If they make that decision it will be my recommendation that the United States participate... in any force so designated, including ground troops." The statement is significant because the U.S. generally follows what is known as "the Powell Doctrine" of avoiding overseas commitments with ground troops and then striving primarily to minimize casualties once there. The U.S. envoy to the region, John Kornblum, also indicated that the troops will stay on in Bosnia, Nasa Borba added. In Washington, however, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said that the U.S. "has no plans" to extend the withdrawal deadline despite strong European pressure to do so. -- Patrick Moore

    [10] ...BUT CLINTON CONTRADICTS PERRY, EXPLAINS NON-ARREST OF WAR CRIMINALS.

    U.S. President Bill Clinton, for his part, said on 12 June he expects IFOR troops to complete their mission in Bosnia by the end of the year, Deutsche Welle reported the next day. He thus apparently overruled Perry. Clinton also sidestepped a question as to why the peacekeepers have not yet arrested indicted war criminals such as Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic. "The IFOR troops can arrest anybody that's been charged with a war crime with whom they come in contact. But they are not charged with, in effect, being the domestic or the international police force and targeting people and going after them," Clinton said. Critics have charged that IFOR has turned a blind eye as war criminals move about freely, apparently even through IFOR checkpoints. -- Patrick Moore

    [11] INDICTED BOSNIAN SERB VICTIM OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY.

    The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on 17 June dropped all charges against Goran Lajic, saying he was a victim of mistaken identity, AFP reported. Lajic was released, but the court said that charges against another Bosnian Serb of the same name still stand. Lajic was arrested in Germany on 18 March and had been in a UN prison in the Netherlands for five weeks on charges of murder and torture. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that victims of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia can sue Bosnian Serb civilian leader Radovan Karadzic in U.S. federal courts. The court rejected Karadzic's appeal against a lower court ruling, which in 1995 upheld the right of a group of Bosnian women who had been victims of torture and rape to file suits against Karadzic. -- Stefan Krause

    [12] BILDT HOPES TO AVOID SANCTIONS AGAINST SERBS.

    After a meeting with Bosnian Serb Parliament Speaker Momcilo Krajisnik, High Representative for Bosnia Carl Bildt said that he hopes and has always hoped to avoid sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs, AFP reported on 12 June. He was commenting on the recent call by the head of the international war crimes tribunal, Antonio Cassese, for sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs. In another development, Bosnian Serb Premier Gojko Klickovic said Bosnian Serbs will never support the reintegration of Bosnia-Herzegovina even if the West punishes them economically, Nasa Borba reported on 13 June. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [13] BOSNIAN SERBS CELEBRATE CONFERENCE AS VICTORY.

    Returning from Florence, Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Gojko Klickovic told Srna news agency that he was "satisfied" with the treatment of his delegation at the meeting. "We have made it clear that the elections cannot be linked to demands for the extradition of the leaders of the Republika Srpska, and we did not come to Florence to make new concessions," he added. Foreign Minister Aleksa Buha said the meeting "had calmed the hysteria" about the extradition of Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic, AFP reported. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [14] SERBIAN RADICAL CASTS LOT WITH KARADZIC.

    Vojislav Seselj, the ultranationalist leader of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) and an accused war criminal, said his party in the Republika Srpska plans to cooperate with the ruling Social Democratic Party (SDS) of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. Seselj said that joining forces following elections was "certain" and that in the near future SRS representatives will meet SDS counterparts to discuss "an accord on joint presidential and parliamentary candidates," SRNA reported on 12 June. The following day, Nasa Borba quoted Seselj as predicting that the electoral fortunes of Bosnian Serb parties controlled by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and his wife Mirjana Markovic, the head of the United Yugoslav Left (JUL), are bleak. "JUL and the SPS have nothing to look for in the RS," said Seselj. "Nowhere do the Serbian people in the RS feel close [kinship] with the regime of Slobodan Milosevic," he added. -- Stan Markotich

    [15] TURKEY CHANGES LOAN TO BOSNIA INTO DONATION.

    During his first visit to Sarajevo since Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaimed its independence, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel said the Turkish government has decided to change a $20 million loan package for Bosnia into a donation, Oslobodjenje reported on 18 June. The loans are part of a $50 million program allocated by Turkey for Bosnia's reconstruction. Demirel held talks with his Bosnian counterpart Alija Izetbegovic on 17 June, which he called "very fruitful." He also met with Bosnian Federation President Kresimir Zubak to discuss the implementation of the Dayton peace accord. The two officials agreed the Muslim-Croat federation is the main precondition for preserving peace in the country. That same day, a Bosnian and a Turkish company signed a $22.6 million joint venture agreement, Onasa reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [16] BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTER OFFERS BONN REFUGEES-FOR-CASH DEAL.

    Hasan Muratovic told the German daily Die Zeit he would accept the return of 100,000 Bosnian refugees in return for two billion German marks ($1.3 billion), AFP reported on 13 June. According to Muratovic, the money would be used to reconstruct housing for the refugees. Costs are estimated at between 10,000 to 20,000 marks ($6,600 to 13,000) per person. Muratovic added that he had held talks with German federal and regional authorities on the issue. Under Muratovic's proposal the 100,000 refugees would be returned to homes in the western Bosnian region or be resettled in houses abandoned by Bosnian Serbs who fled the region in 1995. The German interior ministry, however, did not accept the proposal; it said that Bonn, having paid to house refugees in Germany, would not now pay again for their return home. Germany plans to start sending Bosnian refugees back in October, despite criticism from human rights groups, who consider the move premature. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [17] CONFUSION OVER EXPULSIONS OF CROATS FROM TRAVNIK AREA...

    Muslim Bosnian government authorities recently evicted some 11 Croat families consisting of 30 people from five villages near Travnik that Bosnian Croat leader Kresimir Zubak called "purely Croat," Onasa reported on 11 June. Vecernji list on 12 June put the number of families involved at 20, but Hina later said that four families had been allowed to return. The Muslims argued that the Croats were not legally registered to stay in the houses to which they had returned after being expelled during the Croat-Muslim war of 1993. Travnik is part of a pilot project of four towns -- Muslim-controlled Travnik and Bugojno, and Croat-controlled Jajce and Stolac -- to which Croat and Muslim refugees respectively are slated to return. This is one more example of tensions between the nominal allies. -- Patrick Moore

    [18] ...EVEN AFTER THEY GO HOME.

    Those ethnic Croats from the villages near Travnik have apparently gone home again, Reuters and Onasa reported on 12 June. Official spokesmen and media accounts offer conflicting accounts as to how many individuals were involved and exactly what happened. UNHCR spokesman Kris Janowski put the figure at 11 families consisting of a total of 25 people, and said that his office is trying to find out whether the expulsions were carried out by competent officials or by rogue elements. The Bosnian authorities said that the Croats were "asked" to leave when they could not produce valid registration papers, while Croatian officials charged that the families, including children, were ordered out of their homes on short notice. Janowski confirmed that the Muslims had asked parish priest Fr. Slavko Petrusic to leave immediately, but that he was allowed to stay after he called Cardinal Vinko Puljic in Sarajevo and after Puljic spoke to Bosnian police. Muslim Mayor Adnan Terzic had denied that anyone had bothered the priest. -- Patrick Moore

    [19] BOSNIAN CROATS NAME NEW HERCEG-BOSNA GOVERNMENT.

    Pero Markovic, a local official from the town of Capljina, has been appointed prime minister of Herceg-Bosna by the self-styled Bosnian Croatian "presidential council," Onasa reported on 16 June. Markovic proceeded to appoint several new ministers, including Vladimir Soljic as defense minister. Soljic is already holding that post in the Bosnian Federation. Bosnian Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic condemned the Bosnian Croat leadership for naming a new government for a rebel state that should have been disbanded months ago, AFP reported. Muratovic condemned the move as illegal, saying it shows that the Bosnian Croats are not committed to a federal government in Bosnia- Herzegovina. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [20] CARDINAL: CHURCH IN WEAK POSITION.

    Some 610 facilities belonging to the Roman Catholic Church in Bosnia- Herzegovina no longer exist. Most were destroyed by the Serbs, but many by the Muslims as well, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on 12 June. Cardinal Vinko Puljic, who is Bosnia's first cardinal ever, went on to complain about the weak position of his church relative to that of the Islamic community. He said of the Muslims that "they are in a privileged position. They have access to media, have a party that stands behind them, [and] some of their imams are commanders in the Bosnian Army. We cannot talk on an equal basis because I do not have behind me either a Catholic army or a political party." Relations between the Church and the leading Croatian party, the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ), have been strained since 1993, when most of the clergy opposed the war with the Muslims that the Herzegovinian-dominated HDZ enthusiastically supported. -- Patrick Moore

    [21] RED CROSS ISSUES "NO FAULT" CALL ON MISSING PERSONS IN BOSNIA.

    The ICRC says that there are over 12,000 persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina still described as missing, Reuters and Onasa reported on 12 June. The Muslims are looking for 10,805 individuals, the Serbs for 1,703, and the Croats 217. Most are presumed dead, and the ICRC now says it will welcome any information on the fate of the missing, with no questions asked as to how they happened to die. The purpose of the new policy is simply to seek confirmation of deaths in order to put the minds of families at ease. A spokesman added that it is the business of the war crimes tribunal and not of the Red Cross to determine guilt and punish murderers. Meanwhile, the Bosnian government has handed over two indicted war criminals to The Hague. Hazim Delic and Esad Landzo are wanted on charges of crimes committed in the Celebici concentration camp. -- Patrick Moore

    [22] UN SEES EXTENSION TO MANDATE IN EASTERN SLAVONIA...

    Jacques Klein, the UN temporary administrator for Eastern Slavonia, the last Serb-held part of Croatia which is due to return to the Croatian government, said on 11 June that the mandate of the UN Transitional Authority in Eastern Slavonia (UNTAES) should be extended at least six months beyond the expiry date of 15 January 1997, AFP reported. One of the interested parties must officially request an extension of the 12-month mission of the 5,000-strong UNTAES forces. Klein, as quoted by AFP, also said that local Serbs' demand for autonomy that would include their own government, flag, anthem, symbol and regional citizenship, was unrealistic and outdated "because Croatia will never tolerate that." In another development, 16 prisoners escaped to Serbia from jail in Eastern Slavonia. A UN helicopter was involved in the search for the fugitives, AFP reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [23] ...WHILE CROATIA CLARIFIES AMNESTY LAW.

    Croatian Justice Minister Miroslav Separovic clarified a controversial amnesty law on 17 June, Nasa Borba reported. Separovic made clear that, according to the law, all rebel Serbs from Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srijem who were charged with armed rebellion against Croatia between August 1990 and June 1996 are pardoned, except for war criminals. He said Serbs now in custody or those who have already been tried and jailed will also be released, and 4,700 court proceedings already under way will be dropped, Reuters reported. UN administrator Jacques Klein had asked Croatian President Franjo Tudjman for a clear interpretation of the law. According to Vecernji list, Separovic, however, also said that the law will not be changed. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [24] SERBIAN ULTRANATIONALIST LEADER ADMITS "THE SERBS HAVE LOST."

    The deputy vice-president of the Serbian Party of Unity (SSJ), Borislav Pelevic, on 10 June called for relations between rump Yugoslavia and Croatia to be normalized. The SSJ, led by the accused war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic, alias "Arkan," ought to accept that "the war is over. The Serbs have lost," Pelevic said. Referring to Eastern Slavonia, Pelevic said the loss was cemented in November 1995 when Croatian authorities concluded an agreement with the rebel Serbs. "We are not happy to have Croats as neighbors ... but as things are we must cooperate with them," he added. AFP carried the story on 10 June. -- Stan Markotich

    [25] RUMP YUGOSLAV GENERAL CANCELS PRESS CONFERENCE.

    Rump Yugoslavia's army commander Gen. Momcilo Perisic on 12 June abruptly canceled an annual press conference commemorating Army Day, Beta reported on the same day. Perisic hinted that an inability to speak openly and low morale in the ranks were among the causes that led to his decision. "It is far better to say nothing at all than to say that which is already well known. Besides, that which needs to be said and which would interest you, would be upsetting." He also said that "professional soldiers in troubled times cannot say everything, and that which can be said is lackluster, and that's why we didn't even organize a press conference." -- Stan Markotich

    [26] BOSNIAN SERB DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.

    Bosnian Serb Defense Minister Milan Ninkovic was in rump Yugoslavia on 12 June to mark the occasion of [rump] Yugoslav Army Day, the BBC monitoring service reported, citing SRNA. Among his stops was a visit to the repair works plant in Cacak, which has served the Bosnian Serb army by overhauling and maintaining "military equipment" said to belong to the Bosnian Serb forces. Ninkovic also sent federal rump Yugoslav Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic greetings from Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in honor of Army Day, greetings which observed and urged "continued successful development and strengthening of the Yugoslav Army as a guarantee of the defense of the Serb nation as a whole." -- Stan Markotich

    [27] U.S. OFFICIAL ADMONISHES SERBIAN PRESIDENT.

    Assistant Secretary of State John Kornblum, visiting Belgrade on 16 June, told Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic that Washington wants Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic ousted from power in the coming weeks, AFP reported. Kornblum stressed the need to implement the Dayton agreement, adding that "the patience of the international community...was beginning to wear thin." Kornblum and Milosevic also discussed freedom of the press in Serbia, freedom of movement, and preparations for the elections. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [28] MILOSEVIC UPSET BY HIS OWN RHETORIC.

    Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic attempted to have an interview published on 10 June in Der Spiegel pulled from the magazine, Nasa Borba reported on 11 June. According to the independent daily, Milosevic went so far as to contact the German foreign ministry "shortly before press time" to have "the authorized [status] of the interview . . . downgraded." It was arguably not so much what was said, as how the substance of the remarks was expressed and conveyed. Nasa Borba reported that the rapport between Milosevic and the two Der Spiegel reporters was "icy," a factor possibly contributing to Milosevic's second thoughts about the interview. But on 12 June Nasa Borba reported that Milosevic's statement in the interview about "radical changes at the top [leadership] of the Republika Srpska" is prompting speculation and perhaps concern among prominent RS leaders. -- Stan Markotich

    [29] U.S OFFICIAL OPENS INFO CENTER IN KOSOVO.

    Assistant Secretary of State John Kornblum presided over the opening of a U.S. Information Center in Kosovo on 5 June, Nasa Borba reported the next day. Also in attendance were representatives of the Serbian authorities in the predominantly ethnic Albanian province, Aleksa Jokic and Milos Nesovic, and Kosovar shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova. Reuters reported that while the center is not to have any official diplomatic role, Kornblum say it could play a part in resolving ethnic tensions in the region. "We believe that by allowing access to the many new kinds of information resources, and providing a center as a meeting place...we will be able to contribute to the foundations for a democratic future," he said. Washington has tied the formal recognition of rump Yugoslavia to an improvement in the human rights situation in Kosovo. - - Stan Markotich

    Compiled by Daria Sito Sucic


    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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