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Friday, 14 May 2004

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SFOR

Oslobodjenje

SFOR has not yet received any nominations from the BiH Ministry of Defense

"COMSFOR has seen the BiH Presidency members and Minister Radovanovic earlier this week to conclude the first round of the vetting process for the candidates for the 12 posts proposed by the BiH Minister of Defense. Now is the time to draw a line under the first round of vetting and move forward. SFOR has not yet received any nominations from the BiH Ministry of Defense for officers to be vetted to make up the shortfall in Federation personnel. The nominations may have arrived at the BiH MoD but they will need to be checked by the ministry before submission to SFOR. Once SFOR has received these nominations, with the appropriate documentation, we will conduct the vetting with the appropriate urgency and attention. We will not set a deadline for this process, as it is vital that those appointed have the trust and confidence of the IC that BiH wishes to join but also the trust of the people of BiH and most importantly the soldiers of BiH who they will lead," said Robert Lapreze, SFOR spokesperson, at a press conference in Sarajevo on Thursday. (Photo on page 3) /The same in Dnevni List (p. 5), Glas Srpske (p. 3)/

SFOR

Jutarnje Novine

SFOR receives the names of 12 new candidates

Yesterday afternoon, SFOR received the names of 12 new candidates for generals' posts in the BiH AFs from the BiH Minister of Defense, Nikola Radovanovic. The names of these candidates are unknown. (p. 3)

SFOR

Dani

SFOR is closing in on Milovan "Cicko" Bjelica

Milovan "Cicko" Bjelica attended the funeral of Novica Lukic, brother of indicted Milan Lukic. Those in the know say that SFOR members have been intensively following him, which is why this chief from Romanija Mountain decided to hire body guards and show international soldiers that he is not a fish that can easily be caught. It is uncertain only whether he will be arrested as a person suspected of assisting Radovan Karadzic in hiding or participating in crimes committed against 53 Bosniacs from Sokolac, who were brutally killed and thrown in the Paklen pit near Sokolac. At the time these crimes were committed, Bjelica had a senior position in the Serb Sarajevo municipal authorities. It is not by accident that SFOR members have "targeted" Telekom Srpske and the post office in Sokolac twice in one month. One of the reasons for this is the fact that Bjelica's wife, Dragana Bjelica, is employed with the post office. According to the paper's sources, it is assumed that she might be involved in "wiretapping foreign soldiers and diplomats" from one of the rooms in Telekom in Sokolac, while the other reason could be that SFOR is closing in on Bjelica in preparation of his arrest. (Photo on page 6)

SFOR

Dani

SFOR barometer

SFOR is actually not an abbreviation for the Stabilization Force, but for Silly Fake Organization of Ruffians, from time to time though. When it comes to the arrest of PIFWICS, this cumbersome organization numbering several thousand professional soldiers, whose commander has the discretionary right to discharge any BiH citizen from active military service and who actually uses his powers, is nothing but a bunch of fakes. After a futile campaign on Ratko Mladic's birthday (huge posters showing handcuffs wrapped in red ribbon) and highly unprofessional radio jingles ("Everybody down, this is SFOR!"), SFOR is now approaching the final stage in insulting the intelligence of BiH citizens. "People have spoken up!" and "We are closer to you than you think" are slogans published in Cyrillic, supposedly so that they can be read by and scare Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. Along with these slogans, there are posters showing "an SFOR soldier and a man in civilian clothes whispering something in his ear." Karadzic and Mladic probably cannot hear this. But they know. Uninventive, not in the least effective, counterproductive and utterly insulting. In order for the whole operation to be as "impudent" as possible, SFOR published these posters as advertisements in Glas Srpske, which demonstrates the far-sightedness of the author of this campaign. Because, for God's sake, both Karadzic and Mladic read Glas Srpske and one should take care that a copy of this paper gets into their hands, and that they have something to laugh at while passing by yet another SFOR patrol. (Photo on page 16)

SFOR

Dnevni avaz

Who is on the list of new candidates for generals' posts?

On Wednesday, the Federation Defense Minister Miroslav Nikolic sent a list of new candidates for generals' posts in the BiH Armed Forces to the BiH Defense Ministry. He announced that the list would include more than seven names. Even though no official wanted to reveal the names of the candidates, Dnevni avaz managed to learn ten names, of which six are Croats and four Bosniacs. The Croats in question are colonels Jugoslav Brdar, Josip Pikaus, Gordan Zadro, Robert Susac, Ivan Pavlak and Ivan Tanjic. The Bosniac candidates are brigadiers Edin Hrustic, Esad Pelko, Mirsad Gutic and Mirsad Begic. (Photo on page 2) /The same in Nezavisne Novine (p. 3)/

SFOR

Glas Srpske

One month and a half after the Pale operation which resulted in injuries to Jeremija Starovlah

Not even today, one month and a half after the raid on the parochial home in Pale, has the public in the RS received an official explanation about what actually happened on 1 April in Pale. The Prosecutor of the Serb Sarajevo District Public Prosecutor's Office, Stanko Nuic, was the first to say that the injuries had been inflicted on Jeremija and Aleksandar Starovlah with a blunt object. He said that he had excluded the possibility that the injuries had been inflicted by fire arms or the explosion at the entrance door of the parochial home. The Head of the Sector for Treatment at the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade, Dr. Stevan Sikimic, said that the injuries had been inflicted with a "blunt object." "These are serious life-threatening injuries probably inflicted by a blunt object in the most brutal way because there is a fracture of the scull and the bones of the extremities," said Dr. Sikimic. (Photo on page 5)

SFOR

Dnevni avaz

Operation Harvest in Una-Sana Canton

The local police will have a dominant role in Operation Harvest in the Una-Sana Canton. This was stated at a press conference organized by MNB (NW) in Bihac. In the first three months of this year, the following weapons were collected in the area of the Una-Sana Canton: 92 rifles (40 of which are automatic rifles), three machine guns, 48 rocket launchers, 24 pistols, 104 mines and shells, 29,000 pieces of ammunition and 704 hand grenades. According to Ramo Brkic, Head of the Bihac Police Administration, pardons for the voluntary surrender of weapons are still in place, but the local police will use sanctions against those who failed to inform the authorities about weapons. (Photo on page 12)

AF IN BIH

Oslobodjenje

Reciprocal inspections may be abolished

The Agreement on Confidence and Security Building Measures in BiH established different measures for the entity armies to take together with the purpose of confidence and security building. One of these measures was the conduct of reciprocal military inspections that were supposed to prevent "a surprise" by any side involved. The current defence reform in BiH, by which both the VRS and Federation Army will be under the same command at state level, will make this measure redundant. "It is possible that this part of the Agreement will be officially cancelled at a conference in Vienna next month, but that must be a decision of domestic bodies, in the first place," said the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, General Claudio Zappulla. (p.8)

AF IN BIH

Oslobodjenje

Soldiers awarded Golden Lily medal ask for KM 515 per month

A law that will regulate the rights of members of the BiH Army and HVO who were awarded the highest military commendations is to be adopted next month. This law will ensure that, for example, members of the BiH Army awarded Golden Lilies be entitled to a regular monthly income in the amount of 515 KM, which is the average salary in the Federation, or to an allowance for regular help if they are disabled war veterans. The BiH Army awarded 1,782 Golden Lily medals to its members of whom 982 were killed, 259 are disabled and 541 are in good health. This medal was awarded to 1,692 Bosniacs, 24 Croats and 23 Serbs. (p.4)

AF IN BIH

Dnevni avaz

Solana and Scheffer support Radovanovic

BiH Minister of Defence Nikola Radovanovic has been on a two-day visit to Brussels where he addressed the NATO Council about the defence reform in BiH. He also met with Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO Secretary General, and Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, who positively assessed the results of the defence reform achieved so far and said that they would support him in completing this reform. However, they also emphasised that co-operation between BiH and the Hague Tribunal must be better. (p.2)/The same in Oslobodjenje (back page), Nezavisne Novine (p.5)/

AF IN BIH

Dnevni List

Who forgot soldiers loyal to Croatian autonomy and why?

The reduction in the number of Federation Army soldiers that was announced for May has come to a standstill for several reasons. Brigadier Hamza Visca, Chief of the VF Joint Command Information Department, said that currently only those professional staff who voluntarily want their contracts of service to be terminated, and those who want to take early retirement under favourable conditions, are leaving the VF. When asked whether soldiers dismissed at the time of Croatian autonomy will be cared for in any way, Brigadier Visca said that the VF has no obligations towards them. Many of these soldiers, who were dismissed back in 2001, have filed lawsuits against the Federation Ministry of Defence and the Army for illegal dismissal. They say that letters of discharge were not delivered to most of them. According to unofficial information, several judgements have already been rendered in their favour. (p.3)

AF IN BIH

Blic

Dragan Lalovic: "My father was killed by units under Foric's command"

"If there is justice, Federation Army Brigadier Sakib Foric, notwithstanding the fact that he has passed the SFOR vetting process and that he has the support of the BiH Parliament, will never be appointed as Deputy Commander of the BiH Armed Forces Operational Command, the post which would promote him automatically to the rank of general," says Dragan Lalovic from Serb Sarajevo. Lalovic claims that his father Mirko and four other Serbs from Dobrinjska Street in Sarajevo were taken away by soldiers commanded by Foric, a pre-war JNA lieutenant. "I've not succeeded in finding the mortal remains of my father. My only wish is to give my father a dignified burial," says Lalovic who is convinced that "Foric knows who killed his father and where his body is buried". (Photo on p.17)

AF IN BIH

Jutarnje Novine

BiH will have joint Armed Forces

Yesterday, at its 43rd session, members of the Joint Consultative Commission from the Federation and the Republika Srpska assessed that important progress had been made in the implementation of the Agreement on Confidence and Security Building Measures in BiH, which is defined by Article II of Annex 1-B to the Dayton Agreement. During a break in the work of the Commission, General Claudio Zappulla, OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the Pesonal Representative for Articles II and IV of the DPA, told journalists that the time will come when the armed forces in BiH will be unified, but that it will take time. As an important step in this direction, General Zapula gave the example of the appointment of the Minister of Defence at state level. "The new obligations of the armed forces in BiH differ from the obligations of the previous armed forces. The future BiH Armed Forces will be tasked with providing assistance within an international operation and this is why a single command was necessary," said Zappulla. (p.4)

BIH - EUROPE

Nezavisne Novine

Michael Humphreys, Head of the EC Delegation in BiH: "The RS should lead BiH towards the EU"

"There is a problem of co-operation with the Hague Tribunal. If it is not improved, progress towards joining the Partnership for Peace and joining the EU will be blocked. This is a domain where it is necessary to prove co-operation. Paddy Ashdown clearly set the conditions fifteen days ago and now the ball is in the court of the RS. The RS could lead the campaign for BiH's accession to the EU. The structure of the RS Government has been very well established. Its institutions are functioning rather well, their budgets are more or less under control, and the RS has no constitutional complexities like the FBiH and, as such, it could have a leading role in the process of joining the EU. I would like to see the RS leading BiH on this road. The RS should be a driving force towards joining the EU, and not an impediment to BiH's inclusion in Euro-Atlantic integration processes," said Michael Humphreys, Head of the EC Delegation in BiH. (Photo on page 4)

BIH - MEDIA

Oslobodjenje

Glas Srpske, Dnevni avaz, Slobodna Bosna and Ljiljan violate the code of conduct most

The BiH Press Council has published its first report on the permanent monitoring of 15 dailies, weeklies and periodicals from January to March this year, which include the following: Dnevni avaz, Dnevni List, Glas Srpske, Jutarnje Novine, Nezavisne Novine, Oslobodjenje, Dani, Slobodna Bosna, Front slobode, Ljiljan, Novi Reporter, Prezent, Start and Walter. According to this report, the main means of communication with those who do not share the same opinion is insults. Furthermore, journalists of these papers are not prone to looking for a second source but to making guesses, publishing unreliable information, presumptions and making excuses of questionable authenticity. Concerning weeklies and periodicals, the Print Code was mostly violated by Slobodna Bosna (31 times), Ljiljan (28 times), Walter (17), Dani (8), Front slobode (4 times), Prezent (3 times), Start BiH (twice) and Novi Reporter (once). The dailies violated mostly Article 4 of the Print Code (discrimination), Article 10 (persons indicted for criminal acts), while the weeklies and periodicals violated mostly Article 5 of the Print Code (correct and fair reporting), Article 10 and Article 7 (possibility of an answer). (Photo on page 9)

BIH - PARTIES

Dani

Rasim Kadic, President of the Liberal Democratic Party: With these authorities, we will never be admitted to the EU

Rasim Kadic, President of the Liberal Democratic Party, said that the Liberal Democratic Party, had been admitted to the European Liberal Democrats Party in 1994. Kadic said that Alija Izetbegovic had made a mistake before the last elections when he instructed Bosniacs to vote for Sulejman Tihic and not for Haris Silajdzic. "His eloquence, education and knowledge made the suffering of BiH and Bosniacs an international problem," said Kadic, adding that he had talks with Silajdzic. "I will communicate with Silajdzic in a bid to strengthen the political position of Bosniacs who do not belong to the right-winged, such as the SDA, or left-winged parties, such as the SDP," he said. Kadic thinks that with authorities such as the current ones BiH will never be admitted to the EU. He also insists that BiH, Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro must be admitted to the EU at the same time. (Photo on the front page and page 12)

BIH - PARTIES

Slobodna Bosna

SDS is skillfully hiding donations from the US and Canada

Last week, HR Paddy Ashdown described the SDS financial statement as incomplete and misleading, adding that the goal of the SDS was to cover up criminal activities and embezzlement. He also ordered an audit of the financial books of the SDS. Western intelligence services have already sent a report to Brussels claiming that the SDS was financing an extremist organisation in Chicago and the Ravnogorski Chetnik Movement in the RS. Allegedly, the SDS carried out its financial transactions through Nova Banjalucka Banka while Milenko Vracar was its Director. Last year, the US and the EU put Vracar on the list of people supporting war crimes suspects. However, according to Slobodna Bosna's findings, extremists organisations in the US were financing the SDS. Mirko Sarovic has often traveled to the US, where he collected donations for the SDS. These donations are being sent to the SDS through various illegal channels, mainly through non-resident bank accounts of non-governmental and humanitarian Serbian organisations. The favourite destination of non-resident bank accounts is Cyprus. Some financial transactions were conducted through Nova Banjalucka Banka and Razvojna Banka. The Krayina Investment Corporation from Chicago had a non-resident bank account in Nova Banjalucka Banka, through which $100,000 were sent to the SDS. Borislav Zdrnja was in charge of taking the money from the bank. Michael Djordjevic purchased Razvojna Banka for $10,000 two years ago. Slobodna Bosna sources claim that main transactions for the SDS are being conducted through this bank. "Mati Paraskeva" is one of the humanitarian organisations involved in money laundering for the SDS. Vesna Ecim-Zlojutro, an SDS deputy in the RS National Assembly, is also a member of the Mati Paraskeva organisation. The OHR has also demanded that all banks in the RS send their reports on SDS's financial transactions through these banks. (Photo on page 23)

BIH - PRESIDENCY

Oslobodjenje

BiH Presidency laid down foundation for an education centre in Bam (Iran)

Yesterday, the BiH Presidency laid down the foundation stone for an education centre in the city of Bam, which was recently hit by an earthquake. The school will be built using BiH donations. (Photo on page 5) /The same in Dnevni avaz (p.3)/

HERZEGOVACKA BANKA

Dnevni List

Medic, Cesic Rojs and Primorac also suspects

Sources close to the BiH Prosecutor's Office, said that charges would be pressed against several more people, including Ivan Azinovic, Ljubo Cesic Rojs, Ivan Medic and Vilim Primorac. Charges against Ante Jelavic, Miroslav Prce and Miroslav Rupcic consist of 36 counts that concern economic crime. (p.5)

ICTY

Jutarnje Novine

Beecroft before OSCE Standing Committee: Co-operation with ICTY a pre-requisite for BiH's admission to the PfP

Yesterday in his speech before the OSCE Standing Committee in Vienna, Robert Beecroft, the Head of the OSCE Mission in BiH, said that the lack of the RS's co-operation with the Hague Tribunal was an obstacle to BiH's admission to the Partnership for Peace programme. The BiH delegation in the OSCE asked member countries to support the BiH request for joining the PfP programme. The US and EU delegations in the OSCE underlined that BiH must co-operate with the Hague Tribunal. (Photo on page 3)

ICTY

Slobodna Bosna

At least 15 Serb fugitives have been indicted by the ICTY for committing crimes more serious than the ones committed by Ante Gotovina

Lately, foreign diplomats, such as Pierre Richard Prosper, US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, claim that the main pre-requisite for the stabilisation of the situation in the region is the arrest of Ante Gotovina, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the main war crimes suspects. Consciously or not, they are lumping the crimes committed by Karadzic and Mladic and those committed by Gotovina. Last year, in one of its resolutions, the UN Security Council urged Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, BiH and the RS to intensify their co-operation with the Hague Tribunal and ensure the surrender of Gotovina, Karadzic and Mladic. Ivica Racan, the then Croatian Premier, protested against the resolution, saying that Croatia rejected the idea of lumping Gotovina together with Karadzic and Mladic. "Only the Hague Tribunal is authorised to establish the levels of the responsibility of each of war crimes suspects," said Racan. There are at least 15 VRS officers still at large who are indicted for crimes more serious than the ones Gotovina is indicted for. Ljubisa Beara, Ljubomir Borovcanin, Drago Nikolic, Vujadin Popovic and Vinko Pandurevic are indicted for genocide, which is considered to be the most serious crime. Foreign diplomats, however, are not mentioning their names. Their disregard for the responsibility of these war crimes suspects could be aimed at diminishing the importance of the terrible crimes committed in BiH. (Photo on the front page and page 5)

ICTY

Nezavisne Novine

Peter McClosky, ICTY Prosecutor: We have not negotiated with Milan Lukic

Peter McClosky, an ICTY prosecutor in the trial of Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic, Serbs indicted for war crimes, has denied the allegations that the Prosecutor's Office had negotiated with Milan Lukic. According to media speculation, Lukic, a Serb war crimes suspect, was supposed to provide information about Radovan Karadzic's whereabouts. The media claim that the RS police recently conducted an operation to prevent Lukic from providing information about Karadzic. During the operation, his brother Novica was killed. (Photo on page 6) /The same in Oslobodjenje (p.3)/

INCIDENTS

Oslobodjenje

Concrete crosses on the monument in Stolac

Even though the Stolac fortress has been proclaimed to be a monument of national importance, the construction of concrete crosses on the fortress began recently. Dubravko Lovrenovic, the Chairman of the Committee for the Preservation of Monuments, recently reminded Ahmet Hadzipasic, Federation Premier, of the fact that the construction of concrete crosses was illegal and that the FBiH Government was obliged to provide financial and technical conditions for the preservation of monuments. He demanded that the FBiH Government take necessary steps against those violating the law on monuments. (Photo on page 3) /The same in Dnevni avaz (p.4)/

INCIDENTS

Nezavisne Novine

Mehmedagic orders that construction of concrete cross in Stolac be stopped

Ramiz Mehmedagic, FBiH Minister for Urban Planning, has ordered that the construction of a concrete cross on the Stolac fortress be stopped. The rest is the same as in Oslobodjenje. (Photo on page 5)

INCIDENTS

Dnevni avaz

Nijaz Durakovic: Crosses in Stolac are part of a dangerous plan

Nijaz Durakovic, a deputy in the BiH Parliament, said that the construction of concrete crosses on the Stolac fortress was a part of a dangerous plan. He criticised Sulejman Tihic and Adnan Terzic for doing nothing to sanction those who recently removed the flag of BiH and raised the flag of the phantom Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna (HRHB). He said that stories about a pilgrimage in Stolac had been launched by extremists circles of the Catholic Church, and added that there had never been any pilgrimage in Stolac or any crosses on the fortress. Durakovic raised the question of why SFOR and the EUPM had assumed the role of guardians of the HRHB's flag and of those who removed the flag of BiH, whose sovereignty they are supposed to protect. "Why did SFOR and Italian Carabinieri support the removal of the flag of BiH using 12 armoured vehicles? (Photo on the front page and page 5)

INTELLIGENCE SERVICES

Nezavisne Novine

Colin Munroe testifies against Kristina Silic

The trial of Kristina Silic, Head of the FOSS Special Operations Office, who has been accused of threatening persons under international legal protection, was continued yesterday by reading the testimony of Colin Munroe, the injured party and the former Deputy to the HR. Since Munroe still enjoys diplomatic immunity and is difficult to reach, Judge Branko Peric gave approval to Prosecutor Miroslav D. Nikolic to read out Munroe's testimony. According to the charges filed against Silic on 31 March, she seriously threatened the safety of Colin Munroe in the Ero hotel in Mostar on 6 April 2001, when the Herzegovacka Banka incident occurred. Apparently, she came to Munroe's office and said that the safety of the people present in the office was guaranteed if they accepted her condition of negotiation. Otherwise, she said, her friends were waiting for her, and then pointed at the crowd protesting in front of the hotel. "I enquired about her and learned that she had been fired from SFOR, where she was a translator, because she also worked for the Bosnian-Croatian Intelligence Service", reads the testimony of Colin Munroe. (Photo on p.3)

PROTEST

Oslobodjenje

Farmers postpone the border blockade

BiH farmers have given up their intention to block the border today and have postponed it for next Friday. On Thursday, the President of the RS Association of Farmers told Oslobodjenje that protests had been delayed after they had learned that the Council of Ministers had ensured a majority parliamentary vote in favour of the change of customs tariffs. (p.7)

TERRORISM

Slobodna Bosna

Missionaries from the road of young Muslims

Dani has established a link between Osama bin Laden's nephew and Sarajevo. According to Dani, an investigation conducted by the US has also continued in BiH. Information gathered during this investigation shows that a link established between the banned Islamic organizations, Global Relief Foundation and Taibah, was not accidental. This information was partly used in the proceedings filed by the US authorities against Alamoudi for money laundering and banned transactions with foreign countries. Alamoudi was one of the leaders of the American Task Force for Bosnia (ATFB), a US national co-ordination body of Islamic organizations, which was actively involved in lobbying in the US to assist Bosniacs. Alamoudi was also the Deputy Director of the Taibah International Aid Agency, one of the founders of which was Abdullah bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's nephew. Taibah had its branch offices in Bosnia and Albania, and it is also registered in Hadzici. (Photo on page 18)

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The portions of articles in this report are summaries from the originals. They have been derived and translated from available open source, newspapers, periodicals, TV and radio broadcasts. They reflect the opinion of the particular media or the media's sources. The use of articles and quotations does not necessarily reflect SFOR's official opinions or policy, nor are they official endorsements of any kind. Any offence is not intentional. The primary objective is to make available a variety of regional media summaries.

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