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June 13, 1994
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 142


According to U.N. assessments over 3 MILLION antipersonnel land mines have been planted (or, more precisely, sown without keeping the records or providing the plans of mine fields, as the procedure calls for it) on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The word ``antipersonnel'' is a hypocritical euphemism: these mines mostly kill civilians, the experts say.

But it's exactly that what the designers intended: a modern mine is small, plastic (difficult to detect) and its purpose is to wound and not to kill, since the wounded person screams, it takes two to carry him, someone to provide the medical treatment, pay the disability checks and take care of him. But, there is no one to support the disabled veterans and let alone the peasants who step on the mine years after the war is over. The clearance of land mines is by no means simple: the cost of one mine ranges between 1 and 5DM (everybody is selling them, from China to Yugoslavia) while the clearance amounts to 1,600 DM per a land mine.

The ban on the production of antipersonnel mines that U.N. is trying to implement is already late just as technical innovations in this field are (e.g. selfdestruct mines that destroy or neutralize themselves after a certain period of time). Millions of mines have already been sown and are waiting for victims.

Ethnic Dusting

If cleansing is ethnic, then what several dozen private agencies in the Bosnian Serb Republic are doing (as the Belgrade daily ``Borba'' reported) is ethnic dusting. Lucrative deals of moving the population through private agencies were made known to the public by Christian Bruner, the head of the ICRC office in Banja Luka.

These agencies don't charge a lot for their services, from 110 to 255 DM, if compared with the fees collected by individuals, teams, ``charities,'' officials, and similar organizations for saving lives (without any guarantees, on the contrary) in Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Prijedor, Banja Luka... On condition that an ``individual'' has acquired all necessary papers issued by the authorities (as the proof that the ``individual'' has denounced all his/her possessions in favor of the authorities, which is a guarantee that they will be accepted by some Western European country), the agency organizes the transfers to the Republic of Serb Krajina, then to Croatia, and then wherever, and the individual has to cover the costs.


``I don't know why your authorities decided to deny me a visa,'' Mark Wheeler, the British historian, told the journalist of the Belgrade daily ``Borba'' on Monday. Wheeler was invited to take part in a discussion organized by the Goethe Institute in Belgrade. In a typically British manner Wheeler added that he should feel honored since he proved to be a much more important person that he actually is.

In any case, in the cloud of public speculations concerning the reason why the Yugoslav authorities decided not to grant a visa to the British historian and the specialist for Slavic and Eastern European countries, there is no mention of the fact that more than a year ago in one interview Wheeler predicted the outcome of the conflict in the Balkans, which could make the hair of the Serbian regime only stand on end. In ten years' time a new Slavic state will be revived in one part of the former Yugoslav territory, but its center will be in Zagreb, while Serbia will be a province not of Moscow, but of Sofia, Wheeler said.


The explosion that damaged the right wing of the door and a part of the portal of the Franciscan church in Subotica on June 1 this year was severely condemned by all political parties, including the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) that issued a pompous announcement which said that all its members ``express bitterness over this barbaric act.'' The party moreover stressed that ``whoever may have perpetrated this despicable act is not a member of any nation or any nationality since worthless people cannot possibly have a nation or nationality.''

Unfortunately, this blast overshadowed the constitutional assembly of the Board of the Serbian Democratic Party of all Serb lands, that took place in Subotica three days earlier. On the occasion Radovan Karadzic told the gathering, ``Our primary taskthe reconciliation of the Serbshave been completely fulfilled. The Chetniks and the partisans, the left and the right, the rich and the poor have been reconciled. We took the course of a modern community that the whole of Serbia should adopt.''

There were two version of the two above mentioned events three days later after the blast at the entrance of the Franciscan church. According to the first version, the blast was occasioned in the honor of the reconciliation of all Serbs from all Serb lands. According to the second, there is no connection between these two events, and the explosion had one purpose only that is to make a connection between Karadzic and the blast. This can be concluded from the statements issued by SPS of Subotica.

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