Main News Summary
Wednesday, 7 July 2004

SFOR
Jutarnje Novine
Inaugural meeting between HQ SFOR and new BiH AF generals on Thursday
The first meeting between HQ SFOR and those generals selected for command positions in the BiH Armed Forces Joint Staff will take place at Camp Butmir on Thursday. At a press conference in Sarajevo, SFOR spokesperson Mark Hope said that both those already appointed generals and those awaiting confirmation of appointment would meet with Brigadier Matthew Sykes, Deputy Commander SFOR, and HQ SFOR staff. The aim of the meeting is to introduce the officers appointed or expected to fill the most senior command and general staff positions in the BiH Armed Forces, and discuss issues relating to the implementation of defence reform. (p.4)/The same in Dnevni avaz (p.9), Oslobodjenje (p.2), Dnevni List (p.6)/
SFOR
Jutarnje Novine
Mark Hope: Detainees are treated "in accordance with the procedure"
On Monday, the Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti accused SFOR of torturing and mistreating Serb prisoners in its prisons located in SFOR facilities in the area of Tuzla, comparing them to the "Abu Graib" prison in Baghdad. Vecernje Novosti quoted three detainees that were recently questioned by SFOR regarding their connections to Karadzic and illegal weapons storage sites. It was said in the same text that CIA and SFOR agents "question and torture detainees who have chains on their legs and arms". Jutarnje Novine tried to get some sort of comment on these allegations from SFOR representatives in Eagle Base in Tuzla, but its journalists were referred to SFOR spokesperson Mark Hope in Sarajevo. "I don't want to comment on any claims published in the press. We have a secure prison cell that we use for investigation of persons that are brought in in accordance with the SFOR mandate, which envisages the securing of a safe environment in BiH. The exact location of the facility is being withheld for several reasons, and the main reason is to protect the interests of those detained in it. The detention procedure is closely supervised, and we act in line with the already established procedures that are being up-dated by the SFOR Legal Advisors," said SFOR spokesperson Mark Hope. He added that ICRC representatives had twice visited the recently detained Milovan Bjelica, who had been suspected of providing shelter to Radovan Karadzic, and also that it was the practice for ICRC representatives to visit persons who are detained for a longer time in order to check whether they are treated in a fair way. Mark Hope did not answer the question of if it is an established procedure to "put chains" on detainees' legs and arms. He only said that while bringing in and questioning persons who are supposed to have useful information, SFOR soldiers strictly abide by the set procedure. SFOR MNTF North spokesperson Jon Thurlow commented on media allegations that there is a Bosnian Abu Graib: "We have secure facilities where we keep detained persons, but with the aim of their own safety we will not reveal their locations. The first general in the chain of command is briefed on a daily basis about the treatment of detainees, and ICRC representatives are also regularly informed. I'm aware that such accusations create a lot of room for speculation, but you should contact HQ SFOR in Sarajevo for information." (Photo on p.7)
SFOR
Dnevni avaz
SFOR members search houses in Dubocani and Grusca near Konjic
"Yesterday, SFOR MNTF SE units stationed in Mostar carried out an operation in the villages of Dubocani and Grusca in the area of Konjic," MNTF SE spokesperson Norbert Harpoel told Dnevni avaz. "This operation is part of our regular activities, and is supposed to prevent anti-Dayton activities in this area," said Harpoel. Residents of Dubocani and Grusca confirmed that SFOR units had entered the villages in several jeeps and with full combat equipment in the early morning hours and started the search of houses. "They first asked if we have weapons and started searching our houses. They found a small amount of ammunition and mining explosive that I used to repair our local road," said the resident of Dubocani, Alija Nezirovic. According to unconfirmed information, six houses were searched in each of these villages. (p.5)
SFOR
Oslobodjenje
SFOR on inspections of border crossing: Nothing worth mentioning
On 2 July, MNTF North completed a four-day operation of inspecting border crossings in eastern BiH. "Nothing worth mentioning was found in the operation," said MNTF North spokesperson Jon Thurlow at a press conference in Tuzla on Tuesday. He thanked members of the SBS for being co-operative. "SFOR cannot always disclose the motives for its operations. However, if we had come across war crimes suspects in this one, just as in any other that we have carried out in BiH, we would have arrested them," said Thurlow, commenting on media claims that the objective of the operation was to arrest Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. (p.9)
SFOR
Dnevni List
Operation Summer Harvest in Novi Travnik
During Operation Harvest in the village of Rankovici, Novi Travnik Municipality, a large amount of explosive was found in the house of one S.B. A Cantonal Prosecutor on duty was immediately informed, and an investigator of the Travnik Police Department performed an on site investigation. On Monday, during the search of the house owned by J.B. from the village of Margetici, SFOR soldiers found one hunting and one M-48 rifle adapted to be used as a hunting carbine, for which there was no gun license. The said weapon was temporarily seized and stored in the Novi Travnik Police Station, and legal measures will be taken against the owner. Except for these two cases, the population of the Srednja Bosna Canton were active and co-operative in Operation Harvest and handed in a large number of illegally held weapons. (Photo on p.6)/The same in Jutarnje Novine (Photo on p.57)
SFOR
Dnevni List
BiH Minister of Security Colak on the bahaviour of SFOR soldiers
In an interview with Dnevni List, BiH Minister of Security Barisa Colak was asked the following question: Has the Ministry of Security compiled a special report on the behaviour of SFOR soldiers and commanders, who, on the day when Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski's airplane crashed, presented contradictory information to the BiH public and officials? "SFOR compiled its report, and we compiled ours regarding the behaviour of domestic institutions until the time the airplane was located. Besides these, there is an official report stating the causes of the crash. By comparing these three reports, it is not hard to conclude that there were certain problems in communication on the first day. At the time, the public was misinformed to an extent and not everything functioned in the way we all had wanted it to, that's certain. Unfortunately, institutions were still being set up in BiH, so we were somewhat disorientated, and SFOR also made problems." (Photo on p.7)
AF IN BIH
Oslobodjenje
General Dudakovic: Croat VF component is not "compliant"
On Tuesday, General Atif Dudakovic, Commander of the Federation Army Joint Command, sent a letter to the BiH Presidency, the Federation Premier and Defence Minister warning them that the Croat component of the Army is not participating in the set re-organisation. "The VF Croat component is not ready to start functioning in line with the approved organizational and formational structures," says Dudakovic. "I remind you that the Croat component did not abide by the previous Presidents' decisions on organizational changes to the VF, so that the Croat component still has five brigades, four maneuvering and one artillery-rocket brigade, instead of one brigade." (Photo on p.4)
AF IN BIH
Dnevni avaz
General Dudakovic against moratorium on conscription in VF
General Atif Dudakovic, Commander of the Federation Army Joint Command, has sent a letter to Federation Defence Minister Miroslav Nikolic explaining why the VF Command is against the introduction of a moratorium on mandatory military service. "The annual costs of equipping, accommodating and feeding soldiers on their mandatory military service amount to barely 6 per cent of the budget assigned to the Federation Ministry of Defence. Therefore, the costs are not as enormous as those behind the initiative for introduction of a moratorium on conscription. The VF has already left around 30 locations and plans to withdraw from as many more in line with the new organization," reads General Dudakovic's letter. (Photo on p.4)
AF IN BIH
Dnevni List
Mandatory military service in VF temporarily suspended
In line with his authorities, Federation Defence Minister Miroslav Nikolic decided to postpone the mandatory military service for the July class of conscripts. He was compelled to make this decision because of the very difficult financial situation in the VF. Brigadier Hamza Visca, VF spokesperson, said that the Federation Defence Minister's decision had resulted from the fact that an appropriate amount of money had not been approved either for conscripts or professional personnel. (p.3)
BIH - CROATIA
Nezavisne Novine
The bridge over the Una river opens
Yesterday, after twelve years, representatives of BiH, Croatia and the European Commission opened for traffic the repaired bridge over the Una river in the village of Gradina near Kozarska/ Bosanska Dubica. The bridge opened yesterday was under repair from January to November 2003, and the funds amounting to EUR 2.2 million were donated by the European Union. (Photo on p.2)
BIH - PARLIAMENT
Oslobodjenje
Munib Jusufovic cannot be a deputy anymore
The BiH House of Representatives should make a decision by 17 July at the latest to end the term of SBiH deputy Munib Jusufovic in the BiH Parliament, Oslobodjenje has learned. The Brcko District Appeals Court rendered a decision on 2 July to reject Jusufovic's appeal, sentencing him to 12 months in prison for abuse of authority while he was the Head of the Ravne-Brcko Municipality. As the decision by the Appeals Court is final, Jusufovic has no possibility of filing an appeal against it. The only thing that remains for him to do is to seek legal redress at the BiH Constitutional Court. "If it comes to this procedure, it will not postpone the enactment of the decision made by the Appeals Court," said Damjan Kaurinovic, President of the Brcko District Appeals Court. (Photo on page 6)
BIH - PARTIES
Oslobodjenje
PDP officially requested that Mikerevic remove SDA ministers from RS Government: SDA will not withdraw from RS Government
Yesterday, the Party of Democratic Progress officially requested that Dragan Mikerevic, RS Premier, remove SDA ministers from the RS Government because "they have a negative stance towards the RS." Nevenka Trifkovic, a member of the PDP, said that the party was not against Bosniac ministers, only against those from the SDA because their actions were anti-DPA. The Serb radical Party also requested that SDA ministers be removed from the RS Government. Sefik Dzaferovic, SDA General Secretary, said that the SDA had no reason to withdraw from the RS Government, adding that SDA ministers were not responsible for the failure of the RS to co-operate with the Hague Tribunal. The PDP Main Board will hold a session on 10 July, at which it will decide whether to withdraw from the current parliamentary majority. The PDP is waiting for the SDS to make its further steps in this regard known. "Only then will the PDP answer the four questions asked by Dragan Cavic," said Goran Milojevic, PDP Vice President. The SDS said that it would withdraw from the parliamentary majority and become an opposition party. However, it is yet to be decided by the SDS Main Board scheduled for Thursday. Mladen Ivanic, BiH Foreign Minister and the President of the PDP, said that "the time has come for the OHR to accept the RS institutions with more respect and for the elimination of the OHR's arrogance towards the RS." He reiterated his request for early elections and for removal of SDA ministers from the RS Government. Commenting on the criticism that he was representing the interests of the RS and not BiH, which he should be doing as BiH Foreign Minister, he said that he had the right to speak about internal politics and that he was an RS representative and the leader of the PDP. (Photo on page 4) /The same in Dnevni avaz (p.4), Jutarnje Novine (p.9), Nezavisne Novine (p.5)/
COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
Vecerni List
Serb officials silently boycott the BiH institutions
A session of the Council of Ministers scheduled for Tuesday had to be postponed for Thursday after Serb members of the Council of Ministers failed to attend it. One session has already been canceled last week due to the "lack of a quorum." The Council of Ministers has not held a session since Paddy Ashdown removed 59 RS officials last week. However, Terzic did not confirm that Serb ministers were silently boycotting the work of the council, but the fact remains that they are not coming to work. If the Council of Ministers fails to hold a session on Thursday, it will be clear that the executive BiH authorities are in a crisis. (Photo on page 2)
FBIH - PARLIAMENT
Dnevni avaz
Federation Premier Hadzipasic: Pensions will not be reduced
Announcements that there would be a reduction of pensions and problems in the work of the Federation Pensioners'-Disability Insurance Fund with the possible signing of the Memorandum of Understanding as drafted by the World Bank enraged the Federation Premier Ahmet Hadzipasic. "The Memorandum of Understanding defines the principles of future relations in the domain of the pensioners'-disability protection in both entities and the Brcko District. It is not binding. These are principles that we should implement in the future. The Memorandum does not entail any financial obligations or the reduction of pensions in the FBiH. In the final variant, I expect that a single Pensioners'-Disability Fund at the state level will be established," said Hadzipasic. Commenting on the situation in the FMoD, Hadzipasic said: "Money has been irrationally spent in the Federation MoD for the last six months. The ministry was two months late with demobilization, which is why 14 million KM was spent. It is irrational and unreasonable that we still do not have a single database and payroll accounts. There have been many illegal and irrational things in this domain in the FMoD, not only during this government's rule but also throughout this post-war period. Federation Minister of Defense, Miroslav Nikolic, will have to introduce a completely combined systems of procurement and outgoing expenses, and that government will then, on these principles only, take absolutely all measures possible to solve and consolidate the financial situation in the VF." (Photo on page 1, 5)
ICTY
Oslobodjenje
Ranko Milicevic arrested
During the weekend, the Kiseljak Police arrested Ranko Milicevic, wartime commander of the HVO Special Unit, in the Kiseljak region. He is indicted by the Sarajevo Canton Court for war crimes and violations of the Geneva Convention. He has already been transferred to the Sarajevo Prison. (Photo on page 7) /The same in Nezavisne Novine (p.6)/
ICTY
Dnevni avaz
British daily confirms Dnevni avaz reports on secret talks with Karadzic and Mladic
British daily "The Times" has conveyed the Dnevni avaz report on secret talks between NATO officials and Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic on their voluntary surrender to the Hague Tribunal. The Times cited a NATO official who asked not to be named that these talks had taken place even though western diplomats in Sarajevo disavowed any knowledge about it. The Times reported that SAS members had taken part in one of the operations to arrest Karadzic. Members of American services kidnapped several people suspected of supporting Karadzic and questioned them. (p.2) /The same in Jutarnje Novine (p.3)/
ICTY
Dnevni avaz
Pierre Richard Prosper: Karadzic, Mladic and Gotovina must end up in The Hague
Yesterday after a meeting with Carla Del Ponte, Hague Tribunal Chief Prosecutor, Pierre Richard Prosper, the US Ambassador at large for War Crimes Issues, said that the Hague Tribunal would not end its work before Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and Ante Gotovina had ended up before this court. He emphasised that the trials of Karadzic, Mladic and Gotovina would be the turning point in the work of the Tribunal. "After these trials, more cases would be tried by the local courts," he said. Hague Tribunal officials told Prosper that the support of the US and the international community for the Tribunal was crucial, as was the full co-operation of all countries in the Balkans region. "The Tribunal is supposed to end its work in 2008. However, if the key war crimes suspects do not end up before the Tribunal by then, we will have to reconsider whether the Tribunal should be closed down," he said. (Photo on page 2) /The same in Oslobodjenje (p.8), Nezavisne Novine (p.3), Glas Srpske (p.3)/
ICTY
Dnevni avaz
International source claims: Karadzic's whereabouts is well-known
According to a source close to international circles that spoke on condition of anonymity, it is quite certain that Karadzic's whereabouts has been "located". "Karadzic has been located and his whereabouts is now known. Simply, he is in a cage that he cannot leave unless permitted by someone," says Dnevni avaz's source. He added that SFOR units would not risk the lives of the their soldiers at the end of their mandate in BiH in an operation to arrest Karadzic. "During negotiations for Karadzic's surrender, the conditions were either to turn himself in to one of the European countries friendly to the RS or to enable him to be on provisional release, which is impossible. Richard Holbrooke's promise given to Karadzic when he withdrew from politics is still being mentioned," said the source, and added that SFOR's recent inspections of border crossings along the Drina river were only part of a fake operation, since Karadzic has been tracked down at a completely different location. (Photo on p. 2)
INTELLIGENCE SERVICES
Nezavisne Novine
Some 741 people on the list compiled by the FOSS
According to a source close to SFOR, the security services in BiH have a list of 741 people who can be connected to terrorism. The list was compiled by the Federation Intelligence Security Service (FOSS) two years ago. The source said that foreign security services fighting terrorism were using the list. The source also added that the list might have been amended because there were indications that several suspicious people had entered BiH since October last year. Robert Cvrtak, FBiH Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson, said that the ministry had information about people linked to terrorist activities, but refused to elaborate for security purposes. (p.2)
NATO
Dnevni List
Reduction of US military forces brings new escalation of tensions
The BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in co-operation with the Friedrich Ebert Trust Fund, organized the 7th diplomatic forum in Sarajevo yesterday to discuss the new challenges after the enlargement of the EU and the consequences of this enlargement for BiH and the region. Senad Slatina, an International Crisis Group analyst, tried to point to possible consequences of the reduction of the US presence in BiH in light of the European military forces taking over in the country shortly. Slatina considers that there is a fear in BiH that the reduction of the US forces could result in the escalation of tensions and the fact that there is a danger from Europe's partial interests being overlapped through its forces in BiH and that there is no single policy towards BiH. In his opinion, BiH citizens have a reason to be skeptical about the EU military mission in BiH, and the EU's military mission in BiH should show determination in carrying out its tasks from the very start. He claims that it would be in BiH's best interest for it to build its institutions and to fight for its own future by itself. According to Oslobodjenje, Slatina expressed a concern about the possibility of BiH becoming a stumbling block between the EU and NATO, as was the case with the peacekeeping mission in Macedonia. "To recall, the US and NATO will not completely withdraw from BiH. They will have their own HQ and will be in charge of defense reform, the campaign against terrorism and the arrest of war criminals. It is also possible for BiH to ensure the stay of another 1,000 US soldiers in BiH through its bilateral arrangements," said Slatina, reported Oslobodjenje. (Photo on page 2) /The same in Oslobodjenje (p. 5), Jutarnje Novine (p. 6)/
SREBRENICA
Dnevni avaz
Mikerevic bothered by the marking of an anniversary of crime committed in Srebrenica
"The RS Government cannot participate in the financing of any activity that includes the word genocide in its title," this was stated in the RS Premier Dragan Mikerevic's answer to the conclusion of the BiH Presidency to ask the Council of Ministers and the entity government to "find out possibilities and financially assist the marking of the ninth anniversary of genocide against Srebrenica residents." In his letter sent to the BiH Presidency members, Mikerevic said that "it was known that a crime was committed in Srebrenica and these criminals have first and last names." "Any other definition of the mentioned event is unacceptable to us," said Mikerevic. Stating that the RS institutions put big efforts into disclosing the wartime events from July 1995 in Srebrenica, Mikerevic said that the RS Government would assist the Srebrenica municipality in marking the anniversary of victimization of Srebrenica residents as it did before. (Photo on page 3) /The same in Oslobodjenje (p. 1)/