The Associated Press

March 18, 1992, Wednesday, AM cycle

Bosnian Leaders Agree on Makeup of Ethnic State

BYLINE: By DUSAN STOJANOVIC, Associated Press Writer

SECTION: International News

LENGTH: 945 words


Rival ethnic leaders of Bosnia-Hercegovina agreed Wednesday that the republic should be independent, but should be split among the three main groups - Muslims, Serbs and Croats.
Radovan Karadzic, leader of Bosnia's Serbs, called it "a great day," saying the accord "removes the possibility of an outbreak of civil war" in Bosnia.

"We have adopted the basic principles. There is no road back," Karadzic said in remarks reported by the Belgrade-based Tanjug news agency.

There will be "three Bosnia-Hercegovinas whatever name they get," he said at the end of two days of talks in Sarajevo sponsored by the European Community.
Bosnia's ethnic mix and central location between rivals Serbia and Croatia make it volatile. Scattered ethnic violence has shaken Bosnia recently, but it has avoided a repeat of the bloodshed in Croatia.

Up to 10,000 people died in fighting between Croatians and Serbs aided by Serb-led federal troops after Croatia and Slovenia declared independence last June.

U.N. peacekeepers have begun deploying into Croatia's trouble spots to cement a cease-fire that took hold Jan. 3. But occasional fighting has continued.

The United Nations says its troops are only to keep the peace and will play no political role.

Wednesday's Bosnian compromise must be approved in a popular referendum, said Jose Cutilhiero, the Portuguese diplomat who presided at talks.

Serbs, about a third of Bosnia's population of 4.4 million, opposed independence. Muslims, about 43 percent of the population, and Croats, about 17 percent, last month voted for independence.

Karadzic said negotiators put off decisions on some issues, like future military and police.

"The agreement could end Bosnia's agony," Tanjug quoted Irfan Ajanovic, spokesman for the republic's ruling Muslim party, as saying. "We can now freely say: Bosnia is a sovereign and independent state."

Cutilhiero said the talks on Bosnia's future, begun last December, would continue in Brussels, Belgium, on details and possible borders.

According to the draft agreement carried by Tanjug, political power would be centered mostly in the three ethnic regions, but Bosnia as an independent state would have a two-chamber parliament.

In other developments Wednesday:

-About 400,000 workers - roughly 60 percent of the workforce - struck for two hours in Slovenia to demand higher pay and to show dissatisfaction with the new republic's economic policies, Slovenia's STA news agency reported. The strike was seen as a warning to Premier Lojze Peterle's shaky, center-right coalition government.

-Slovenia's defense ministry said it will protest violation of the republic's air space by a Croatian MiG-21 jet fighter, STA said. Relations between the two former allies have cooled since both received wide international recognition in January. Croatian gunboats twice violated Hungary's boundary on the Drava river Tuesday, Hungary's news agency MTI said.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

March 20, 1992, Friday


SOURCE: Tanjug in SerboCroat 1300 gmt 18 Mar 92
Text of report datelined Sarajevo, 18th March


LENGTH: 348 words

After the agreement of the leaders of the three leading parties on the principles of new constitutional solutions for Bosnia-Hercegovina, we can state that Bosnia-Hercegovina is a sovereign, autonomous and independent state with all the attributes of statehood. This was stated at a press conference in Sarajevo today by Irfan Ajanovic, spokesman of the Party of Democratic Action [SDA] , who also noted that the international conference on Bosnia-Hercegovina would resume un Brussels on 30th and 31st March.

According to him, only minor corrections to the document are possible. The document ''envisages Bosnia-Hercegovina's own currency, a single market, common foreign policy and other attributes of statehood''. In Ajanovic's view, the document provides an opportunity for Bosnia-Hercegovina to extricate itself from the agony affecting some of its parts.

With open pleasure, Ajanovic at one stage greeted all foreign journalists from, as he put it, ''Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia...'' [Tanjug ellispes]

According to Ajanovic, the document ''has put an end to the aspirations of the Serbian Democratic Party [SDS] to see Bosnia-Hercegovina become part of greater Serbia''.

Irfan Ajanovic said that in the course of the negotiations in the Villa Konak, it had not been expected that the SDS would accept the solutions on offer as the document refered to Bosnia- Hercegovina's sovereignty and not to the sovereignty of territorial units with their powers limited to self-government.

Asked what would happen if the Assembly of Serbian People [in Bosnia-Hercegovina] rejected the agreement, Ajanovic said that he would like them to accept it as it was in the interest of all the republic's citizens. However, if they did reject it, it would be the SDS which would be blamed for the situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

SDA spokesman Ajanovic also stressed that he did not believe the document adopted last night would be sent to the [Bosnia-Hercegovina] Assembly before the next meeting in Brussels of the delegations of the three leading parties.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts/The Monitoring Report

March 20, 1992, Friday

Different interpretations of agreement on Bosnia-Hercegovina

SECTION: Part 2 Eastern Europe; 2. EASTERN EUROPE; EE/1334/ i;

LENGTH: 263 words

(EE/1333 i) Radovan Karadzic, President of the Serbian Democratic Party in Bosnia-Hercegovina, was cited by Tanjug as telling reporters on 18th March that if all the parties respected the provisions of the agreement reached at the conference on the republic's future ''there are no longer any reasons for a civil war'', although there would still have to be bargaining over how to divide powers among the joint bodies and the separate constituent units. Each of the parties had lost the chance to dominate the others but gained an opportunity to avoid being treated as a national minority. ''There could be no ambiguity about the fact that there will be three Bosnia-Hercegovinas, whatever they will be called,'' Karadzic said.

However, the agency quoted Irfan Ajanovic, spokesman for the Muslim Party of Democratic Action, as saying that the signing of the agreement showed that Bosnia-Hercegovina was ''a sovereign, autonomous and independent state with all the attributes of statehood'' and that an end had been putto the Serbian Democratic Party's aspirations to see the republic become part of Greater Serbia. The accord could now undergo only minor changes, Ajanovic added.

Radio Sarajevo reported Vlado Santic, member of the Croatian Democratic Community's negotiating team, as saying that his party was satisfied because the three parties had actually managed to adopt a document and because the provisions had been changed to show that ''three national units exist''.

The Associated Press

March 26, 1992, Thursday, AM cycle

Bosnian Muslims Reject Accord on Republic's Future

BYLINE: By IVAN STEFANOVIC, Associated Press Writer

SECTION: International News

LENGTH: 915 words


Tensions rose sharply in Bosnia-Hercegovina as fighting raged around one town and Slavic Muslims rejected a compromise on the future of the ethnically mixed republic.
Fighting among ethic Serbs and Croats for the town of Bosanski Brod killed at least six people on Wednedsay, and the Belgrade-based news agency Tanjug quoted radio stations as saying the toll had risen to 10.

A leader of the Muslim community, meanwhile, rejected a plan approved by all sides March 18 to establish an independent republic, with separate territory and broad autonomy for each ethnic group.

Irfan Ajanovic told a news conference in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo that Muslim leaders instead planned to press for a united, independent Bosnia at European Community-sponsored talks in Brussels next week.
The reasons for the Muslims' rejection of the agreement - to which they earlier had agreed - were not immediately clear. The announcement prompted an angry response from the leader of Bosnia's Serbs.

"You cannot first accept something, and then reject it," said Radovan Karadzic. He threatened to quickly proclaim a constitution for a Serbian republic within the territory.

In a referendum Feb. 29-March 1, Croats and Muslim, who together make up about 60 percent of Bosnia's population, voted for an independent Bosnia-Hercegovina. Serbs, who wanted to stay linked with the republic of Serbia, boycotted the referendum.

Violent clashes between Muslims and Serbs ensued, and several people were killed.

All sides in Bosnia have stressed for months that if the ethnic antagonism there gets out of control, violence likely will be far worse than in Croatia, where up to 10,000 people have died since Croatian's declaration of independence on June 25.

Advance U.N. peacekeepers are arriving in Croatia now to cement a cease-fire that more or less has held since Jan. 3.

The federal army completed its withdrawal from another republic, Macedonia, on Thursday, Tanjug said. After Slovenia - which is now recognized by the West as independent - it is the second republic from which the army has completely withdrawn.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

March 27, 1992, Friday


SOURCE: Radio Belgrade 1400 gmt 25 Mar 92
Text of report


LENGTH: 407 words

At the talks on Bosnia-Hercegovina in Brussels starting on 30th-31st March, the delegation of the Party of Democratic Action [SDA] will strive for a unified and civil state of Bosnia-Hercegovina. This was stated by Irfan Ajanovic, spokesman of the SDA, at the party's regular news conference. Nebojsa Nikolic reports from Sarajevo

[Nikolic, recording] We will propose to our partners the abandonment of the idea of dividing Bosnia-Hercegovina according to the ethnic principle alone, Ajanovic said, and added that if this did not happen, the SDA would be forced to play this absurd game to the end. However, I am convinced that the referendum of the citizens of Bosnia-Hercegovina will show that the vast majority is against the division of this republic, Ajanovic said.

We accepted the EC's document, but not because we agree with its content, rather so as not to endanger the international recognition of Bosnia-Hercegovina, Ajanovic said, stressing that the extraordinary Karadzic-Boban tandem persistently insisted in the Villa Konak in Sarajevo on the ethnic-national division of Bosnia-Hercegovina. This was accepted by Jose Cutileiro, and the balance of forces was three to one.

The SDA today issued a statement appealing to all citizens of Bosnia-Hercegovina to reject the division of this republic on nationality principles alone. The incidents that are now taking place in Bosnia-Hercegovina are being deliberately caused in co-operation with extreme forces from Serbia and Croatia so that the pie called Bosnia-Hercegovina can later be divided between Belgrade and Zagreb, the statement issued by the SDA points out.

Alija Izetbegovic holds an identical view on the document adopted in Sarajevo and the division of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

In a brief interview in today's issue of the Sarajevo 'Oslobodjenje', Alija Izetbegovic stated that no ethnic divisions in Bosnia-Hercegovina are possible because the population is very mixed. Asked why he then accepted the EC document, Izetebegovic replied that he was isolated and that his idea was not accepted by the other two parties. The European mediators forced us to accept this document, Izetbegovic said, because if we had said no, Bosnia-Hercegovina's international legal recognition - our main objective at present - would have been jeopardised.

Asked how he would vote in a referendum, Alija Izetbegovic said that he would vote in the negative.

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