Skip to main content
June 13, 1994
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 142

Satellite Maps

by Dusan Reljic

The group comprises U.S., Russia, France, Great Britain, and the representatives of the European Union (where Germany as the presiding country of E.U. over next six months plays a special role) and U.S. The proposed division was drafted in Washington with the aid of the sophisticated satellite and other equipment.

Aleksa Buha, the Foreign Minister of the ``entity of the Bosnian Serbs'' (according to the wording of the announcement issued by the contact group) described this proposal as ``the maps for war, rather than peace.'' Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic tried to persuade the journalists in Geneva that ``one shouldn't strictly stick to the percentages,'' but that it is the quality of those territories that counts and that he has nothing against ``the Moslems taking 60 per cent, if Sarajevo and Tuzla go to the Serbs since they need the industry.''

Bearing in mind what proved to be the rule that desperate bargaining over every meadow and factory workshop lay ahead, and especially over the corridor in Posavina, Northern Bosnia, where the Serbs were a minority before the war all until they ``liberated'' this area, an unnamed U.S. official told ``The New York Times'' that the administration did not believe that the Serbs would accept and the Bosnians reject the plan. Even if that happened to be the case ``the question of sanctions is not closed yet,'' the daily reported his warning.

However, signals sent to Belgrade and Sarajevo were clear: patience and compassion towards ``the damaged side'' as U.S. diplomats call the Bosnian Moslems are decreasingly relevant with the U.S. presidential elections approaching. The critisism Clinton has to cope with because of his policy towards BH could become an extremely important topic in the election campaign. On May 5 after meeting Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, one of the likely candidates of the Republican Party, Senator Bob Dole, warned the Clinton Administration not to accept any peace proposals but to let the warring factions reach an agreement.

During his visit to France on the 50th anniversary of DDay U.S. President Bill Clinton warned that Bosnia ``is the most dangerous problem for the European security today and the problem that breaks one's heart.'' It is exactly this ``heartbreaking'' aspect of the international perception of the Bosnian war that poses the greatest threat to all Western leaders: every morning they wake up they probably curse the moment when they will have to offer their justification to the journalists why they allow something that the continent believed was gone forever to continue to take place in the heart of Europe.

On the other hand, excessive closeness between the Sarajevo leaders and the protagonists of ``the moral majority'' who put pressure on Clinton and Mitterrand has its negative aspects as well. The political leadership in France was furious when Izetbegovic avoided meeting any official in power on his tour of Paris about two weeks ago. Instead, he met the media star Bernard HenryLevi, whose fighting for the Bosnian cause has already begun to irritate the Western public and gradually cause concern among the politicians since it disrupts the established rules, so that last week Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic had to rush to Paris and iron out the misunderstanding by talking to Mitterrand and Balladur. Senator Dole's visit to Sarajevo at the moment when Clinton started touring Europe in order to improve his foreign policy ratings didn't suit the White House either.

Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev proposed that another meeting of the foreign ministers of the contactgroup takes place within next fifteen days. To be blunt and not diplomatic, his goal was to box the ears of naughty Moslems, disregarding their religion and nationality.

For the first time since the international community undertook to watch over the Yugoslav war, the Muslims are under greater pressure than the Serbs. The stage is being set for the final act, which, as Drazen Vukov Colic said in the Rijeka daily ``Novi list,'' is based on the usual principle of ``ending the war by means of a compromise that will satisfy no one, but make every one stay alive.''

© Copyright VREME NDA (1991-2001), all rights reserved.