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Voice of America, 12 March 1996

From: "Ioannis V. Bousnakis" <ivb19@nfi.com>

Voice of America Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] BOSNIA / SERBS RETURN (L-ONLY) BY DOUG ROBERTS (MRKONJIC GRAD)

  • [02] E-B-R-D / EASTERN EUROPE (L-ONLY) BY ANDREW BAIRD (WASHINGTON)

  • [03] O-I-C BOSNIA (L-ONLY) BY DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN (ISLAMABAD)


  • [01] BOSNIA / SERBS RETURN (L-ONLY) BY DOUG ROBERTS (MRKONJIC GRAD)

    DATE=3/12/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-194175
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE DRAMA OF THE SERB EXODUS FROM SARAJEVO HAS OVERSHADOWED THE RETURN OF SERB CIVILIANS TO ANOTHER PART OF BOSNIA. DURING THE PAST FEW WEEKS THOUSANDS OF SERBS HAVE MOVED BACK INTO A DISTRICT IN THE CENTRAL PART OF THE COUNTRY, DUBBED "THE ANVIL" BY THE BRITISH FORCES THAT NOW CONTROL THE AREA. IT WAS THE LARGEST CHUNK OF TERRITORY TO CHANGE HANDS UNDER THE TERMS OF THE BOSNIAN PEACE AGREEMENT. DOUGLAS ROBERTS HAS BEEN TOURING THE REGION AND HE FILED THIS STORY FROM THE TOWN OF MRKONJIC GRAD.

    TEXT: // CROWD NOISES THEN FADE //

    GROUPS OF SERB MEN STAND ALONG THE ROADSIDE IN THE HEART OF THIS MARKET TOWN, CHATTING AND SIPPING SMALL GLASSES OF POTENT PLUM BRANDY. FOR THE MOMENT THERE IS LITTLE ELSE FOR THEM TO DO AND MOST READILY ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR FEELINGS OF DEPRESSION AT THE DEVASTATION ALL AROUND THEM.

    CROATIAN FORCES STORMED INTO MRKONJIC GRAD AND SURROUNDING AREAS DURING THE FINAL STAGES OF THE BOSNIAN CONFLICT LAST AUTUMN -- AND VIRTUALLY THE ENTIRE SERB POPULATION FLED. BUT AT THE DAYTON PEACE CONFERENCE IN NOVEMBER, IT WAS AGREED THIS REGION WOULD REVERT TO SERB CONTROL.

    THE CROATS EVENTUALLY WITHDREW, HANDING OVER TO BRITISH TROOPS OF THE I-FOR PEACE-KEEPING FORCE -- BUT NOT BEFORE AN ORGY OF LOOTING AND BURNING THAT RIVALED, OR EVEN SURPASSED, THE DEVASTATION WROUGHT IN THE FORMER SERB DISTRICTS OF SARAJEVO.

    MOUNDS OF GARBAGE LINE THE STREETS OUTSIDE SCORCHED AND WINDOW-LESS APARTMENT BLOCKS HERE. BRITISH OFFICERS ESTIMATE MORE THAN HALF THE HOMES IN MRKONJIC GRAD WERE PARTIALLY OR TOTALLY DESTROYED -- AND THE RETURNING SERBS HAVE FOUND ALMOST NONE OF THE POSSESSIONS THEY LEFT BEHIND WHEN THEY FLED THE AREA.

    THEY BEGAN TO RETURN EARLY LAST MONTH -- ONLY A HANDFUL AT FIRST, TO CHECK ON THEIR HOMES AND PROPERTY. BUT DURING THE PAST FEW WEEKS THE PACE OF THE REPATRIATION HAS STEADILY ACCELERATED. BRITISH COMMANDERS ESTIMATE ABOUT 21-THOUSAND SERBS HAVE RETURNED TO THIS REGION SO FAR. HUNDREDS ARE NOW ARRIVING EACH DAY AND MANY MORE ARE EXPECTED AS SOON AS THE WINTER SNOWS MELT.

    THE UNITED NATIONS REFUGEE AGENCY AND PRIVATE AID GROUPS ARE PROVIDING THE RETURNEES WITH SOME BASIC SUPPLIES: PLASTIC SHEETING, STOVES AND EMERGENCY RATIONS. BUT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE YET OF ANY SIGNIFICANT RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS -- AND IT IS CLEAR THE CIVILIAN RECOVERY PROGRAM ENVISAGED IN THE DAYTON PEACE PLAN IS LAGGING BEHIND SCHEDULE.

    FOR THE TIME BEING, THE TASK OF RESTORING ESSENTIAL SERVICES IN MRKONJIC GRAD IS LARGELY IN THE HANDS OF BRITISH COMBAT ENGINEERS. WATER AND ELECTRICITY ARE NOW BACK ON -- A FIELD HOSPITAL WAS PROVIDED FOR THE LOCAL POPULATION AND TWO OF THE TOWN'S BAKERIES ARE BACK IN OPERATION.

    THE BRITISH ARE BEING ASSISTED BY U-S ARMY CIVILIAN AFFAIRS EXPERTS WHO ARE COMBING THE REGION TO ASSESS THE DAMAGE AND DETERMINE WHAT IS NEEDED TO RESTORE INDUSTRIAL AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION TO PRE-WAR LEVELS. TO SOME, THESE OPERATIONS MIGHT SEEM BEYOND THE SCOPE OF I-FOR'S MAIN TASKS -- TO SEPARATE THE WARRING FACTIONS, PROVIDE SECURITY AND ENSURE FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND TO OVERSEE THE CLEARANCE OF THE MINEFIELDS AND THE UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE THAT LITTER THE COUNTRYSIDE.

    BUT THE BRITISH REGIONAL COMMANDER, BRIGADIER RICHARD DANNATT, BELIEVES EFFORTS TO HELP THE CIVILIAN POPULATION ARE ENTIRELY CONSISTENT WITH THE BROADER OBJECTIVES OF THE DAYTON AGREEMENT -- TO ENSURE A DEGREE OF POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RECOVERY THAT WILL MAKE A RETURN TO WAR IN BOSNIA UNTHINKABLE. (SIGNED)

    NEB/DR/ADEN/CF
    12-Mar-96 1:10 PM EST (1810 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
    .


    [02] E-B-R-D / EASTERN EUROPE (L-ONLY) BY ANDREW BAIRD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/12/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-194188
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A LEADING MULTILATERAL LENDING INSTITUTION SAYS IT INTENDS TO BECOME MORE AGGRESSIVE IN FINDING WAYS TO HELP INVESTORS TARGET OPPORTUNITIES IN FORMER EAST-BLOC COUNTRIES. V-O-A'S ANDREW BAIRD HAS THIS REPORT.

    TEXT: AT A CONFERENCE HELD AT THE U-S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TUESDAY, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE LONDON-BASED EUROPEAN BANK OF RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT, OR E-B-R-D, SAID THEY WILL BECOME MORE AGGRESSIVE IN LENDING MONEY FOR PROJECTS IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE, AS WELL AS THE REPUBLICS OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION.

    THE E-B-R-D SUPPLIES FUNDING FOR PRIVATE SECTOR PROJECTS IN THESE COUNTRIES, WITH MOST LOANS RUNNING FIVE TO TEN YEARS. E-B-R-D VICE PRESIDENT RONALD FREEMAN SAYS THAT MANY OF THE MARKETS IN THIS REGION ARE WIDE OPEN, BUT STILL ARE RISKY. HE TOLD A GROUP OF U-S BUSINESS LEADERS THAT THE E-B-R-D CAN ACT AS A PARTNER TO HELP AVOID OBSTACLES.

    // FREEMAN ACT //

    AFTER ALL, 400 MILLION CUSTOMERS, UNTOUCHED, NEEDING EVERYTHING YOU MAKE, IS CLEARLY AN ATTRACTIVE PROPOSITION, PROVIDED THAT THE UNCERTAINITIES -- LEGAL, ECONOMIC, AND POLITICAL -- CAN BE OVERCOME WITH A RELIABLE PARTNER.

    // FREEMAN END ACT //

    SUPPORTED BY 59 SHAREHOLDERS WHICH ARE MOSTLY GOVERNMENTS, THE BANK WANTS TO DOUBLE ITS CAPITAL TO ABOUT 12-AND-A-HALF BILLION DOLLARS. IN 1995, THE BANK APPROVED FUNDS FOR MORE THAN 57 PROJECTS, INCLUDING A LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY IN RUSSIA; A COMPANY MAKING INSULATION MATERIALS IN LITHUANIA; AND GAS PROJECT IN SLOVENIA. RONALD FREEMAN SAYS THE BANK HAS A SUCCESSFUL LENDING RECORD IN THESE NATIONS.

    // FREEMAN ACT //

    THERE ARE VALID BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES. IN FIVE YEARS, IN TERMS OF ACTUAL MONEY ON THE TABLE -- AS MY RUSSIAN FRIENDS SAY -- WE HAVE MORE THAN 200 PROJECTS IN WHICH OUR MONEY IS AT RISK. OUR EXTERNAL AUDITORS, THE BEADY-EYED SHARKS FROM ARTHUR ANDERSON, HAVE DETECTED ONLY SIX PROJECTS AMONG THE 200 WHICH THEY FIND SLOW-PAYING OR NEEDING SUBSTANTIAL WRITE-OFFS, AND THEY ARE NOT OUR BIGGEST ONES.

    // FREEMAN END ACT //

    E-B-R-D REPRESENTATIVES SAID THAT THE INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT IS IMPROVING MARKEDLY IN MANY OF THEIR TARGET COUNTRIES. STILL, THEY SAID THEY WOULD STILL CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON PROJECTS WORTH MORE THAN 15 MILLION DOLLARS, SINCE SMALLER ONES ARE NOT PROFITABLE FOR THE BANK.

    THE BANK SAID THAT IT WAS WORKING HARD IN CONCERT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION, THE LENDING ARM OF THE WORLD BANK, IN TARGETING PROJECTS IN BOSNIA, ESPECIALLY IN THE AREAS OF POWER GENERATION, TELECOMMUNICATIONS, AND TRANSPORTATION. A BIG PROBLEM IN THE BOSNIAN EFFORT, SAID A BANK SPOKESMAN, IS THAT APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF OF THAT COUNTRY'S POPULATION HAVE EMIGRATED, ARE DISPLACED, OR HAVE BEEN KILLED.

    THE E-B-R-D CONFERENCE AT THE U-S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TOOK PLACE IN ADVANCE OF THE E-B-R-D'S ANNUAL MEETING, WHICH WILL HELD IN MID-APRIL IN SOFIA, BULGARIA. (SIGNED) NEB/PT

    12-Mar-96 5:15 PM EST (2215 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
    .


    [03] O-I-C BOSNIA (L-ONLY) BY DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN (ISLAMABAD)

    DATE=3/12/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-194150
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AN ISLAMIC GROUP ESTABLISHED TO HELP WITH ASSISTANCE TO BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA HAS ENDED A TWO-DAY MEETING IN PAKISTAN BY REAFFIRMING ITS INTENTIONS, BUT WITHOUT TAKING CONCRETE ACTIONS. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN IS FOLLOWING THE STORY IN ISLAMABAD.

    TEXT: THIS WAS THE THIRD MEETING OF THE ASSISTANCE MOBILIZATION GROUP OF THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE, OR O-I-C. THE CHAIRMAN OF THE GROUP, AHMAD KMAIL JAAFAR OF MALAYSIA, SAYS IT IS TAKING A PRACTICAL APPROACH.

    /// JAAFAR ACT ///

    SO THIS IS AN ACTION ORIENTED GROUP WHICH HAD CARRIED OUT SOME OF THE TASKS QUITE SUCCESSFULLY BEFORE THIS THIRD MEETING, AND OUR HOPE IS THAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE PRACTICAL IN OUR APPROACH AND TO PROVIDE RESULTS IN THE END.

    /// END ACT ///

    BUT THE GATHERING, IN WHICH THE DEPUTY FOREIGN AND DEFENSE MINISTERS OF BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA PARTICIPATED, TOOK NO APPARENT CONCRETE ACTIONS. THE CHAIRMAN SAID SUCH STEPS WILL BE CONSIDERED AT THE NEXT MEETING OF THE GROUP IN ANKARA.

    PAKISTANI FOREIGN SECRETARY NAJMUDDIN SHEIK SAID THE BOSNIAN REPRESENTATIVES OUTLINED THE HUMANITARIAN, LEGAL, ECONOMIC, AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THEIR COUNTRY AS IT RECOVERS FROM WAR.

    BOSNIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER HASSAN DERVISBEGOVIC SAID UNDER A PLAN BY THE WORLD BANK AND THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND IT HAS BEEN DECIDED BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA SHOULD RECEIVED FIVE-POINT-ONE-BILLION DOLLARS FOR THE FIRST THREE-YEARS OF RECONSTRUCTION. HE SAID EFFORTS TO GATHER THE MONEY WILL BEGIN AT A CONFERENCE IN BRUSSELS NEXT MONTH (APRIL 12 AND 13). MEANWHILE, THE ISLAMABAD MEETING ISSUED A DECLARATION URGING O-I-C MEMBERS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE RECONSTRUCTION OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. (SIGNED) NEB/RAE 12-Mar-96 8:33 AM EST (1333 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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