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OMRI Pursuing Balkan Peace, No. 30, 96-07-30

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. 30, 30 July 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] EU WARNS CROATIA OVER MOSTAR BOYCOTT . . .
  • [02] . . . BUT BOSNIAN CROATS REFUSE TO BOW TO INTERNATIONAL DEMANDS.
  • [03] EU GIVES CROATS ULTIMATUM TO SHOW UP AT MOSTAR CITY COUNCIL.
  • [04] BOSNIAN DELEGATION IN SERBIA . . .
  • [05] . . . AIMS TO RESTORE COMMUNICATIONS, TIES.
  • [06] RUMP YUGOSLAVIA RESPONDS TO GENOCIDE CHARGES.
  • [07] BOSNIAN SERBS TO GO TO HAGUE.
  • [08] BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTER PLEDGES END TO HARASSMENT OF SERBS.
  • [09] SERBS ALREADY BREAKING LATEST ELECTION AGREEMENT.
  • [10] BOSNIAN SERBS SAY BRCKO IS REPUBLIKA SRPSKA'S PRIORITY.
  • [11] DEADLINE FOR BOSNIAN REFUGEE VOTERS EXTENDED.
  • [12] UNHCR DENIES IT ACCEPTS ETHNIC CLEANSING.
  • [13] UN STARTS WORK ON THIRD MASS GRAVE.
  • [14] BRUSSELS CONFERENCE ON BOSNIA'S RECONSTRUCTION OPENS.
  • [15] U.S. MILITARY INSTRUCTORS TO ARRIVE IN BOSNIA.
  • [16] U.S. GENERAL: WESTERN FORCE NEEDED FOR BOSNIAN STABILITY.
  • [17] IRANIAN DELEGATION IN SARAJEVO.
  • [18] KAFKA IN THE REPUBLIKA SRPSKA . . .
  • [19] . . . AND OTHER VIGNETTES.
  • [20] A MUSLIM ISLAND SURVIVES.
  • [21] MOSQUE ATTACKED IN CROAT-CONTROLLED TOWN.
  • [22] BOMB EXPLODES AT UN POLICE STATION IN DOBOJ . . .
  • [23] . . . AND GRENADE EXPLODES IN BANJA LUKA.

  • [01] EU WARNS CROATIA OVER MOSTAR BOYCOTT . . .

    The European Union on 26 July warned Zagreb that it will be responsible if Mostar's Croats continue to boycott the Mostar City Council, AFP reported. The city council was elected last month in Bosnia's first postwar poll. Dutch ambassador Jozef Scheffers informed the Croatian Foreign Ministry that Croatia will face consequences in its relations with the EU if it does not convince the Bosnian Croats to accept the election results. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman said he will "seriously consider" the EU ultimatum but stressed he will not accept "solutions that are degrading or unjust for the Croatian people," Vecernji list reported on 29 July. But Croatia's hard-line defense minister, Gojko Susak, said he backed the Croatian boycott because "the Bosnian Croats would have no chance in the [September] general elections" if they accepted the results of the Mostar poll. The international community's determination to stand firm on the election boycott issue was also confirmed by Michael Steiner, the deputy of the high representative for Bosnia, who said on 28 July that blackmailing in Mostar by some "mafiosi figures" would be unacceptable, Oslobodjenje reported the next day. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [02] . . . BUT BOSNIAN CROATS REFUSE TO BOW TO INTERNATIONAL DEMANDS.

    Mile Puljic, head of the Bosnian branch of the ruling Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ), has, however, underscored the Bosnian Croats' resolve and said the Bosnian Croats will not yield to "international blackmail" and accept the results of the elections in Mostar, AFP reported on 29 July. Puljic stressed that those results "harm the interests of the Croats." Mijo Brajkovic, the Croatian Mostar mayor, confirmed that the Croats will continue to boycott the city council, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on 30 July. Both Croatian officials were responding directly to Steiner's remarks made two days prior, which suggested that the international community will not allow itself to be blackmailed. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [03] EU GIVES CROATS ULTIMATUM TO SHOW UP AT MOSTAR CITY COUNCIL.

    In fact, it was on 25 July that an EU delegation left for Zagreb to hold talks with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman on the Mostar crisis. The move followed the boycott of the Mostar city council's opening session on 23 July by 16 deputies of the HDZ. The boycott set a precedent against EU efforts to unite the city. Observers regard the Mostar case and its possible failure as an indication of what the international community may face in the upcoming Bosnian elections in September under conditions of much higher tensions.

    The EU apparently hopes that Tudjman will pressure the Mostar Croats to participate in the council, but the EU's chances of success appear limited, considering that the Croats' interest seems to be blocking the unification of Mostar. It even looks like the Croats are likely to achieve this aim since the EU administration said it will pull out of Mostar on 4 August unless the HDZ ends its boycott. That ultimatum which was decided by EU ambassadors on 24 August, may, however, backfire. The HDZ also said it would refuse to prolong the EU mandate unless the EU agrees to hold new elections, at least in some disputed polling stations.

    The Croats argue that some 4,000 refugees cast their ballots in Bonn, with 26 more votes appearing in the ballot box than voters in the register. This, however, was just a pretext for the Croatian reaction. The real reason revolves around hopes for a higher representation in the city council. Indeed, the Croats had won the majority of votes within Mostar, but the results from the refugees' ballots in Europe tilted the balance in favor of the Muslim- dominated List of Citizens for a United Mostar of east Mostar Mayor Safet Orucevic. The new city council would now be composed of 16 Croats (all members of the HDZ), 16 Muslims and five people of "other nationality." Since the HDZ received all Croat seats, the remaining 21 seats all went to Orucevic's list.

    The Croats criticized particularly harshly EU ombudsman Konstantinos Zepos for bypassing the electoral commission, in which they had a veto, and for declaring the vote in Bonn valid. They subsequently appealed Zepos's decision to the Bosnian federal constitutional court. International community High Representative Carl Bildt, however, pointed out that "the ombudsman is the final authority and to take his decision to the constitutional court ... should not be a pretext to block the [reunification] process." The Croats also were put off by the decision of newly-appointed EU Mostar administrator Sir Martin Garrod to officially announce the final election results -- again without regard to the electoral commission -- thus freeing the way for his predecessor Ricardo Perez Casado to declare his mission successfully ended. Croat mayor of western Mostar Mijo Brajkovic even went so far as to call the EU administration an "occupation."

    The Muslims, however, welcomed the EU's approach but warned that the EU will have to put pressure on the Croat side to end "the practice of not recognizing election results which do not suit it." Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic in a letter to EU Council of Ministers Chairman Dick Spring pointed out that Croat conduct would "block the whole process of the democratic resolution of the Mostar crisis" and urged the European Union to "warn the HDZ that such a practice is not accepted in Europe."

    Garrod is now facing a difficult time as he starts his new mission. He seems, however, to be prepared. Garrod was a British commando who repeatedly clashed with Perez Casado over his policy approach. HDZ leader Mile Puljic has already expressed fears that Garrod "is a soldier by training and he could threaten the use of force or intervention from IFOR." Garrod, however has another advantage: he has been a member of the Mostar administration since 1994 and speaks Serbo-Croatian. AFP described him as a man with a "no-nonsense approach." He will, however, hardly be able to achieve his aims unless Zagreb puts strong pressure on the Herzegovinian Croats and brings them back in line. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [04] BOSNIAN DELEGATION IN SERBIA . . .

    Turning to Serbia, Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic, leading a 15-member delegation, arrived in Belgrade on 23 July on a landmark visit designed to restore contacts and promote bilateral trade, Nasa Borba reported the following day. The Bosnians' arrival was the first such since war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina four years ago, and observers have hailed the development as the first significant step towards possible mutual reconciliation. Ganic, who met with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, said just prior to departure that his was a "risky step for me but a very sure and safe step for Bosnia," Reuters reported. Ganic, who advocated strong military resistance to Serbian aggression, was throughout the conflict dubbed "a war criminal" by the Belgrade state-run media, and this was a charge repeated by some of Serbia's nationalist leaders during and after the visit. The Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), for example, was among the harshest critics, dubbing Ganic "a war criminal [whose] place is at The Hague" and Milosevic's invitation to Ganic a "humiliation [for the Serb people] and complete capitulation." After meeting with Milosevic, Ganic remarked talks were "open, straightforward. The two countries are closer than they were before." -- Stan Markotich

    [05] . . . AIMS TO RESTORE COMMUNICATIONS, TIES.

    In concrete terms,<strong> </strong>Serbia and Bosnia on 24 July agreed on a protocol Ganic described as "a new chapter between the two countries," Onasa reported that same day. For his part, Alija Behmen, delegation member and vice president of Bosnian state railways, said the technical work of reconstructing the railway between Serbia and Bosnia will continue and shall likely reach completion in 10-15 days, Beta reported. Finally, Nasa Borba on 25 July reported a second protocol was signed, between Foreign Minister of the Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation Jadranko Prlic and his rump Yugoslav counterpart, Milan Milutinovic, which aims to abolish visa restrictions on cross-border travel for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and rump Yugoslavia. -- Stan Markotich

    [06] RUMP YUGOSLAVIA RESPONDS TO GENOCIDE CHARGES.

    Staying with rump Yugoslavia, the Hague-based war crimes tribunal has announced that the country will have until 23 July 1997 to prepare a defense against charges of genocide, AFP reported on 29 July. The government of Bosnia- Herzegovina first contacted The Hague in March 1993, alleging Belgrade was involved in genocide against Bosnia's Muslims and Croats. Several months later, Belgrade issued counter-charges, alleging that the Bosnian authorities were responsible for anti-Serbian atrocities. Meanwhile, rump Yugoslav Justice Minister Vladimir Krivokapic, in an interview with Vecernje novosti on 29 July, said Belgrade had already answered The Hague in the form of "a counter- plea in which [we] deny the charges." He added that "it was the Serbian people who were the victims." -- Stan Markotich

    [07] BOSNIAN SERBS TO GO TO HAGUE.

    Pale sent on 29 July a delegation to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia as part of an ongoing propaganda exercise, the BBC and Nasa Borba reported the following day. The Bosnian Serbs apparently have no intention of cooperating with the court to secure the extradition of indicted war criminals like Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic, and continue to regard the tribunal as an anti-Serb political instrument. Their hope is rather to gain publicity for their demand that Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic and other prominent Muslims be indicted for war crimes. In early July Pale issued such indictments of its own. Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic, former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Ambassador to the UN Jeane Kirkpatrick, and other prominent persons have called for action to be taken against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in conjunction with war crimes, the VOA said. -- Patrick Moore

    [08] BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTER PLEDGES END TO HARASSMENT OF SERBS.

    Meanwhile, Hasan Muratovic told UN special envoy Iqbal Reza and the head of the UN police force in Bosnia, Peter Fitzgerald, that he will personally attend to the security situation of the 8,000 Serbs still left in the Sarajevo suburbs. UN International Police Task Force (IPTF) spokesman Alexander Ivanko noted that some of the Serbs, who withstood intimidation by their own people last winter, now feel so harassed by Muslim thugs that they want to leave, Nasa Borba and Onasa reported on 26 July. Ivanko added that because of Muratovic's pledge, IPTF, IFOR, and federal police started patrols in the suburbs of Osjek and Ilidza on Wednesday. Meanwhile in Banja Luka, the international ombudsman's office opened its first branch on Serb-held territory to investigate human rights abuses, Onasa reported on 25 July. -- Patrick Moore

    [09] SERBS ALREADY BREAKING LATEST ELECTION AGREEMENT.

    Turning to the Bosnian Serb leadership, the governing Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) has used Radovan Karadzic as a vote-getter in an ad in Vesti, a daily aimed at Serbs living abroad, Onasa reported on 23 July. The text appealed for votes for some of his staunch supporters, including Republika Srpska's (RS) acting President Biljana Plavsic, parliament speaker Momcilo Krajisnik, and Foreign Minister Aleksa Buha. The ad said that "they are the closest partners of Radovan Karadzic, who is the best fighter for a free and democratic Republika Srpska. Our enemies hate him because he cannot be blackmailed and because he will not sell at any price the Republika Srpska, which was obtained [so] painfully. He is a symbol of Serb heroism and many rightly compare him to the greatest figures of our history," Beta stated. U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke clinched a deal on 19 July requiring the indicted war criminal and SDS chairman to withdraw from politics -- including media appearances -- so that the 14 September elections can go ahead with SDS participation. The OSCE said it will raise the issue with the SDS, Reuters reported. -- Patrick Moore

    [10] BOSNIAN SERBS SAY BRCKO IS REPUBLIKA SRPSKA'S PRIORITY.

    And in a separate development Plavsic said the Dayton peace agreement guarantees that Brcko, the mainly Muslim town taken by Serbs during the war, would remain in Serb hands, AFP reported on 23 July, citing the Bosnian Serb agency SRNA. Plavsic emphasized that Brcko is a priority for the RS, Nasa Borba reported on 24 July. Moreover, Beta on 22 July quoted Krajisnik saying this strategic town is more important to the RS than peace itself. According to the Dayton peace accord, the postwar fate of Brcko is to be decided by international arbitration before 14 December. Meanwhile, the Bosnian federation President Izudin Kapetanovic, formerly involved in Brcko's arbitration through the work of the Joint Civilian Commission, expressed satisfaction with the appointment of Robert Owen as the arbitrator for the town, Onasa reported on 23 July. Kapetanovic said that leaving Brcko to the Serbs would de facto condone ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Muslims, who were the town's main inhabitants before the war. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [11] DEADLINE FOR BOSNIAN REFUGEE VOTERS EXTENDED.

    Turning to the 14 September elections, the OSCE's Bosnian office announced on 25 July an extension of the deadline for voter registration of Bosnian refugees abroad from 31 July to 5 August, Reuters reported on 26 July. Bosnian state television reported that the Foreign Ministry had asked the OSCE for an extension after finding that only 7% of eligible refugee voters signed up as of 22 July. Around 1.4 million Bosnian refugees are dispersed in more than 35 countries, making it difficult for them to learn about registration procedures. In other news, the official Saudi Press Agency on 24 July reported that Saudi Arabia would finance the repatriation of 1,000 exiled Bosnian refugees. A government committee said the operation would cost $250,000 and the refugees would arrive from various countries via Turkey. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [12] UNHCR DENIES IT ACCEPTS ETHNIC CLEANSING.

    UN refugee authorities have denied a report that appeared in The Independent suggesting that the UNHCR has "thrown in the towel" and will no longer try to return refugees to areas in which their ethnic group is a minority (see ). A statement from the UNHCR in response to the story admitted that few, if any, persons have been returned to areas outside their group's control, but denied that the UN has given up trying. The agency noted that it is not responsible for the fact that sufficient security has not been established on the ground. The UNHCR added that its main project now is to help people go back to areas in which they are part of the majority but which need much reconstruction work. -- Patrick Moore

    [13] UN STARTS WORK ON THIRD MASS GRAVE.

    On a somber note, international forensic and archeological experts began work on 24 July on a third site believed to contain the remains of Muslim males executed by the Serbs following the fall of Srebrenica one year ago. Evidence from other graves points to a huge massacre of civilians, many of whom had their hands wired together behind their backs. The Serbs claim that the men are military casualties, but chief investigator William Haglund told Reuters: "I don't know how many soldiers fight with their hands tied behind them." But a local Serb resident said that "there are bodies there. We plough them up all the time, but they are all Serbs whom the Turks [Muslims] killed. Why is it that the world blames us Serbs, when everyone was involved in a war?" -- Patrick Moore

    [14] BRUSSELS CONFERENCE ON BOSNIA'S RECONSTRUCTION OPENS.

    This past week also saw, on 23 July, representatives of 200 European companies and banks attending a meeting called by the European Commission to bid for Bosnia's reconstruction program, Nasa Borba reported. Hans van den Broek, EU commissioner for central and southeast Europe, said the success of Bosnian reconstruction will determine greatly the future and even survival of Bosnia- Herzegovina as a state. Van den Broek added that war damage in Bosnia- Herzegovina has been estimated at between $30 and $50 billion. The international community has pledged $5 billion for Bosnia's reconstruction, of which $1.8 billion will be spent by the end of 1996. More than one third of this amount has been pledged by the EU. U.S. companies have already started business negotiations in Bosnia. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [15] U.S. MILITARY INSTRUCTORS TO ARRIVE IN BOSNIA.

    James Pardew, the U.S. official responsible for military aid to Bosnia, said about 170 U.S. instructors will begin arriving in Bosnia soon to help train the Muslim-Croat Federation forces, AFP reported on 24 July. The first arms shipments under the U.S. "Equip and Train Program" will not arrive for several weeks, while the two arms shipments that have already arrived in Sarajevo were provided by Turkey as part of a separate deal. Pardew also said U.S. officials would establish a logistics center to ensure the weapons are properly stored. In other news, an unmanned IFOR plane on reconnaissance over northern Bosnia crashed on 23 July; there were no injuries, AFP reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [16] U.S. GENERAL: WESTERN FORCE NEEDED FOR BOSNIAN STABILITY.

    And sounding of pessimism, Ltn. Gen. Patrick Hughes, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, said violence might erupt in Bosnia-Herzegovina if NATO-led forces are withdrawn, AFP reported on 24 July. Hughes said the prospect for maintaining a viable international force on the ground is not feasible without full U.S. participation. Meanwhile, a NATO spokesman said the organization is preparing to establish a new command post in Bosnia, which will oversee the withdrawal of its peacekeeping force, AFP reported. The pullout is expected to begin the day after the Bosnian elections, scheduled for 14 September, and to end by February 1997. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [17] IRANIAN DELEGATION IN SARAJEVO.

    Vice President Hasan Habibi arrived in Bosnia with a high-level delegation, Oslobodjenje reported on 26 July. He was met by Muratovic and had talks with President Alija Izetbegovic. Cultural and economic issues topped the agenda, especially Iranian assistance for postwar reconstruction. Tehran has already pledged $50 million in aid, and Muratovic and Habibi on 27 July in fact signed a memorandum on economic cooperation, concluding the three-day visit by the Iranian delegation. The memorandum covers trade and economic cooperation as well as civilian air traffic. Iran provided the mainly Muslim government army with weapons during the war and there is a hard-line faction in the governing Party of Democratic Action that is sympathetic to Tehran. But the vast majority of Bosnian Muslims are a secular, European people who want no part of Islamic fundamentalism. -- Patrick Moore and Daria Sito Sucic

    [18] KAFKA IN THE REPUBLIKA SRPSKA . . .

    Meanwhile in the Republika Srpska, the following report comes from Prijedor: One of the most important documents for a refugee is the "refugee card," without which there is no way to obtain any assistance. A large number of people do not have this ID, but for those who have lost everything, everything is needed. Though some refugees obtained the card without major problems, a majority had to pay to get the necessary forms and to line-up in long queues to get them stamped. "I suppose there is something in our society that allows some to get everything only with the greatest of efforts while others have all jobs done for themselves by others," one person observed.

    In the process of getting their ID, the refugees are told nothing. After lining up for days to get a number and returning another day to get the stamp "revision," they think they have fulfilled all the necessary steps. But then they learn they have to go to the Center for Social Work, again queuing up and waiting for days. There they have to pay again for simple forms, because the Center supposedly has no money to print them and anyway is not obliged to do so. The last stop is then the Ministry of the Interior, where the refugee card can finally be obtained, after again buying the necessary forms and waiting for days, being treated poorly by unfriendly clerks who have to do this as an extra job for which they do not feel responsible.

    With this ID, a refugee finds that he can get humanitarian aid, if there is any, but cannot obtain medical treatment or use public transportation. After all the bureaucracy, the ID thus proves to be almost no help at all. "It would be best if all refugees could return to their homes, then there would not be any [refugees], and also no need for these unhelpful refugee IDs. We still hope that one day it will be possible," said one of those who had fled to Prijedor. -- Submitted by Yvonne Badal in Sarajevo

    [19] . . . AND OTHER VIGNETTES.

    Semberija area: Pale announced that it will do everything it can to keep power in Semberija because of the importance of the region and the town of Bijeljina. Many business people from SDS have occupied Muslim houses, located their firms in Bijeljina, and now own a large part of the city's goods and money. "If they lose their government positions in Bijeljina, they would lose all those privileges. That's why it can be expected that they will use every conceivable method to keep control over Bijeljina," said a local observer.

    Banja Luka: Registration continues. In some parts of the Banja Luka region, a large number of people have registered, in others--such as Mrkonjic Grad and Sipovo--rather few. But everywhere people express distrust in the international community, saying that it will not treat all sides equally. Members of the Banja Luka provisional election commission state that the majority of the region's inhabitants (around 90%) have chosen to vote personally at their new addresses. However, this was reportedly not always according to their free will. Many wanted to vote in the municipalities where they lived before the war but were pressured not to do so. They were threatened with a cessation of humanitarian aid, as well as with the loss of their homes and jobs. There were even some cases of physical threats by SDS members, mostly against people who used to live in Drvar, Petrovac, and Kupres.

    From Sanski Most to Ostra Luka: For months now, the leaders of the refugee municipality Sanski Most have been trying to form a new municipality on the 28% of the territory between Hazici and Budimlic Japra that now belongs to Republika Srpska, its center being Ostra Luka. At the moment, this area in inhabited by around 4,000 people--nearly all of them elderly. In some places the region is only two kilometers wide, while its length is more than 100 kilometers. The main goal is to widen the region to create conditions for new settlements. Negotiations over property rights are under way with Prijedor and Novi Grad. The vice president of the municipality recently announced that the Swedish government will build a colony of a few thousand houses, which should accommodate 7,000-8,000 people.

    Prijedor: Many teachers worry about the beginning of the next school year. How many of them will be able to work remains unknown. According to 1995 Republika Srpska statistics, only 30 out of 71 refugee teachers in Prijedor were given temporary employment. The local government's promise that nobody will remain without a job is "nothing but a phrase," said one teacher. However, he stressed that until 31 August 1996 all teachers without employment will receive salary advances. The prospects, he said, are also better than last year, when only 500 students were registered in primary schools; by the beginning of next year, 1,000 pupils are expected, which should provide more jobs. Meanwhile, local teachers have organized themselves, hoping to increase their role in solving their problems. -- Submitted by Yvonne Badal from reports by OMRI contacts

    [20] A MUSLIM ISLAND SURVIVES.

    Against all odds, the little RS mountain village of Omici between Mrkonjic Grad and Jajce is still inhabited by Muslims only. Some nine families of 39 souls, surrounded above and below by Serbs, lived there the entire war. Though facing many difficulties they did not leave. Now they are on RS territory and the newly formed community of Jezero. Village people say they do not know what strange luck saved them. First the Serbian army went through, then the Croatian -- and no one touched the villagers. A young man explains: "We were a group smaller than a poppy seed, an easy target. But even Serb police from surrounding villages protected us during the time when Serb soldiers were killed close to our village." These Muslims had always lived in peace with their Serbian neighbors, and if they had had the guts and means they would have helped the Serbs when the Croatian army arrived. Now, however, the Serbs have grown suspicious of them, and provocations have taken place frequently. But as long as IFOR is stationed there they seem safe. According to IFOR soldiers, the villagers are advised to behave as discretely as possible and not to walk beyond the perimeter of the village. -- Yvonne Badal in Sarajevo

    [21] MOSQUE ATTACKED IN CROAT-CONTROLLED TOWN.

    A mosque was set on fire on 25 July in the town of Prozor in central Bosnia, Oslo-bodjenje reported the next day. Unidentified assailants broke into the house of worship, dumped gasoline and set it ablaze. The interior was totally destroyed, but no injuries or fatalities were reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [22] BOMB EXPLODES AT UN POLICE STATION IN DOBOJ . . .

    Finally in other news from around the Republika Srpska, an explosive device went off on late on 23 July outside an International Police Task Force (IPTF) office in Doboj in northern Bosnia, news agencies reported. There were no injuries or fatalities. The IPTF monitors local police forces and will play a key security role in the fall elections. The latest bombing fits the pattern of intimidation and threats against the IPTF on Bosnian Serb territory. -- Patrick Moore

    [23] . . . AND GRENADE EXPLODES IN BANJA LUKA.

    And a grenade went off in front of the OSCE building in Banja Luka, Onasa on 23 July quoted an OSCE spokeswoman Joanna van Vliet as saying. According to van Vliet, a car parked out front was damaged, but no one was wounded. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    Compiled by Stan Markotich


    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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