Main News Summary
Monday, 17 March 2003

SFOR
Dnevni List
Tank exercise of Danish SFOR troops
The Danish squadron within SFOR's Eagle Operational Group, will be carrying out a tactical tank exercise from 18 to 20 March. The exercise will be carried out at the site of an abandoned coal mine in Banovici. (p.2)
SFOR
Oslobodjenje
BiH Ombudsman has no mandate over IPTF and SFOR
After dismissed police officers of the Tuzla Canton Ministry of Internal Affairs asked the BiH Ombudsperson for Human Rights to re-consider their positions and appeals, Frank Norton responded that "he is not able to do so because the IPTF and SFOR are not in the framework of his mandate." "The IPTF and SFOR are outside of my terms of reference, and I cannot monitor their work, nor can I consider individual appeals as I can when the local authorities are in question," said Norton. "IPTF, SFOR and other organisations should abide by the generally accepted legal principles, even though they are granted immunity from prosecution," explained Norton.
SFOR
AFP
Italian soldier found dead at Butmir Base near Sarajevo.
(Factiva) An Italian soldier deployed with the NATO SFOR Mission in Bosnia was found dead in his barracks Saturday night at the Butmir base, near the Bosnian capital, SFOR Command confirmed here yesterday. The soldier was identified as Corporal Andrea Muscella, 25, from Ruffano near Lecce. A veteran volunteer soldier, he was a member of 11th Civitavecchia Regiment who had also served in Kosovo Muscella was found some 24 hours after his arrival, in his lodgings with a gunshot wound from his own weapon. Investigators have still not ascertained whether which death was an accident or a suicide. The official probe will be handed by the military prosecutor's office in Rome, which is responsible for all incidents involving the Italian military abroad.
SFOR
Dnevni avaz
SFOR supports construction of rehabilitation facility
(TNO) The construction of the rehabilitation facility for drug addicts should start soon in the Sarajevo Canton. Considering the fact that drug addiction is increasing, the Sarajevo Canton Government adopted a program for the prevention of drug addiction four years ago. "This program foresees preventive measures, treatment of drug addicts and the establishment of a rehabilitation facility. "SFOR Italian Civil Affairs members expressed their willingness to provide funds needed for the construction of the rehabilitation facility," said the Sarajevo Canton Minister of Health, Zehara Dizdarevic. According to her, this facility could accommodate around 30 drug addicts.
SFOR
Slobodna Dalmacija
SFOR's awards for BiH Officers
(TNO) MNB North was the host for nine officers of the BiH armed forces who received awards and plaques. The Service for MNB North Joint Military Affairs was the sponsor of this event, announced SFOR MNB North. "Six awarded officers were nominated by soldiers in their units and the EOD section of the SFOR JMA, for their efforts in increasing the efficiency and security of de-mining activities. JMA Chief LT Col Kevin Sullivan handed over the official coin of the JMA and a plaque as an award for this achievement in the de-mining process. The awarded soldiers are: Sergeant First Class, Hamdija Dzelic and LT Mehmed Sulic from the Bosniak component of FBH Army, Sergeant Kristijan Zuparic and LT Vinko Barbaric from Croat component of FBH Army, Captain Mile Vukosavljevic and Sergeant Radisa Eric from the VRS. Besides coins and plaques, three officers of the BiH armed forces received letters of recommendation from the State of Pennsylvania. They are Captain Senad Smigalovic, LT Drago Milicic and Captain Milenko Eric. They were awarded as soldiers who contributed the most to the total efficiency of de-mining skills in their units as well as persons who supported the SFOR mission in supervision of de-mining operations," reads the announcement of MNB North.
SFOR
Ljiljan
"Al Qaida" in Kalesija ?
(TNO) After finding out that SFOR soldiers have been asking about him and his brothers Nedim and Nusret in the village of Lipovice, Eldin Imamovic went to the Police in Kalesija and informed the Police Chief, Osmo Jajcevic, about it. "They have come to our village several times and even took photos of us in front of the mosque. Our neighbors say they were asking about us. They asked them how our relations are with our neighbors and whether we make problems for anyone or whether we possess weapons, etc. I met with Chief Jajcevic, and informed him about this. I asked the police to search our house and even suggested a meeting with the SFOR representatives if necessary. I have nothing to be afraid of, but I do not want them to think that I am a terrorist because I am a Muslim and I wear beard. I don't want to be kept in prison for months like they kept Fijuljanin. They can ask me about everything they are interested in instead of walking around asking people about me," said Eldin Imamovic adding that he was fired recently because of this. Eldin and Nedim are married. They are living together in the family house. They are recognizable by long beards. Their brother Nusret Imamovic is a Muslim religious law Professor. The Imamovic's were participants in the fight that took place during Ramadan in front of mesdzid (Muslim religious facility) in Gornji Petrovice. "They attacked us, and we only defended ourselves. After they attacked us, they entered the mosque in a drunken condition and threw Quran books all over the place, broke speakers and amplifiers proving what kind of people they were. You can check it all out in the police records in Kalesija, "said Eldin. Besides Imamovic, Mustafa Djedovic from Brdo is a subject of interest to the SFOR as well. Unlike Imamovic, SFOR directly talked with him. "A dozen of them came in front of the house. They asked me for the Imamovic's, Jusuf Barcic, and Active Islamic Youth. They asked me if I was for the SDA. I told them: "Of course I am, the whole village is for SDA?!" I asked them to come into the house for coffee, but that they have to take off their shoes. They did not come in," said Djedovic. He also said that they visited him two days ago when he passed by their vehicles in the center of Kalesija near the mosque. "They often park their vehicles near the mosque. On Fridays, during dzuma namaz (Muslim prayer at Friday noon), they always come. They are likely watching who is coming and going to the mosque. I had some work to do in Kalesija where I prayed at Friday noon. I was most likely suspicious because of the beard," said Mustafa Djedovic. Djedovic did not inform the police of SFOR's visit.
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
Dnevni avaz
Ceca Raznatovic and editor of Identity detained for questioning
The Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs reported on Saturday that Mladjan Micic also known as Pacov, one of the leaders of the "Zemun Clan," and several members of his group had been arrested. The following were arrested: Sasa Stojkovic Fuksa, Radovance Miljkovic Ranac, Mladen Pavlovic, Dejan Zivanovic Jumba, Jovica Jankovic and Radostan Zivkovic. The police also seized weapons and ammunition of various calibre, night surveillance equipment, registration plates and several luxury vehicles, all of which were owned by the "Zemun Clan." Svetlana Ceca Raznatovic, the widow of Zeljko Raznatovic Arkan, who was killed in 2000, was also detained for questioning. Arkan was a good friend of the first suspect, Milorad Lukovic Legija, the former Commander of the "Red Berets." Ceca was often seen in Zemun in the company of Dusan Spasojevic Siptar, one of the leaders of the "Zemun Clan," who is the second suspect in the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister, Zoran Djindjic. Dragisa Binic, Director of the Obilic Football Club, and a member of Arkan's party, was also arrested. Members of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs also questioned Gradisa Katic, editor of the weekly Identity, because this paper announced the assassination on the cover page. Katic was questioned because of this cover page. (Photo on page 16) /The same in Jutarnje Novine (p. 9), Nezavisne Novine (p. 3), Blic (p. 4)/
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
Dnevni avaz
Djindjic's assassins wanted in Bulgaria
The Serbian authorities submitted to the Bulgarian police a list of 25 persons suspected of involvement in the assassination of the Serbian Prime Minister, Zoran Djindjic. "We are currently checking whether these persons have entered Bulgaria," said Valeri Grigorov, Head of the Bulgarian Border Service. (p. 16)
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
Dnevni avaz
Search for those involved in murder continues
After the RS Ministry of Internal Affairs carried out a search of the facilities and vehicles owned by the RMG company and several other companies in the areas of Serb Sarajevo and Sokolac on suspicion that suspects in the assassination of Zoran Djindjic were hiding there, the police have continued their activities to prevent assassins from entering BiH and to discover those involved in the assassination of Djindjic. The inspection of all passengers and vehicles at border crossings has continued. There is speculation that one person involved in the assassination of Djindjic is hiding in the vicinity of Mostar in Herzegovina. (p. 16) /The same in Nezavisne Novine (p. 3)/
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
Nezavisne Novine
Search for persons linked to assassination of Djindjic continues
"The State Border Service has not yet established that any of the suspects in the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister, Zoran Djindjic, have entered BiH," said Slavisa Vukovic, Director of the BiH State Border Service. "An investigation is going on throughout the country. The entity Ministries of Internal Affairs are exchanging information about the possible whereabouts of suspects and other information regarding this case," the Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs has stated. (p. 3)
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
Nezavisne Novine
Milorad Dodik, SNSD President: "Assassination of Djindjic is a great loss for the whole region"
"This is a heavy blow for me and people I communicate with. The assassination of Djindjic is a great loss for the whole region because he had a clear stance on all the issues from the past and he clearly showed the way in which Serbia was supposed to proceed," said Milorad Dodik, President of the Independent Social-Democratic Party (SNSD). Commenting on the impact of the assassination on BiH, Dodik said: "It is impossible to separate the RS from what is happening in Serbia. Just like the RS, Serbia is a sovereign island that is a throw-back to the old system. Unfortunately, things in the RS will proceed much more slowly because the political structure in the RS is serving and covering the criminal structure. The only way out for the RS is to change its political structure and for new people capable of standing up against the monopoly of crime to come to power." (Photo on page 3)
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
Politika
Carla Del Ponte - persona non grata in Belgrade
Carla Del Ponte, ICTY Chief Prosecutor, was prevented from paying the last tribute to her "personal friend," as she called Zoran Djindjic, the late Serbian Premier. Who and how proclaimed Carla Del Ponte persona non grata in Belgrade and what this can mean for the future relationship between The Hague and Belgrade will be known after Del Ponte holds a press conference in Geneva today. (p. 2)
OHR
Oslobodjenje
HR answers accusations made by SDA: Make up your mind - either steal or enter Europe
"BiH has a clear choice. It may go back to its old principles of work, according to which politicians or public officials were allowed to steal, or it can join Europe," the HR for BiH, Paddy Ashdown, said on Sunday. As a matter of fact, this was Ashdown's response to the accusations made at a session of the SDA Main Board on Saturday. Sulejman Tihic, SDA President, had earlier accused certain circles of the IC of preventing those who won in elections from assuming their posts in full, and of demonstrating a lack of confidence in these authorities. He also objected to the IC transferring significant authorities from the relevant institutions as stipulated by the Constitution to para-institutions, based on decisions by the OHR. He reminded the members of the SDA Main Board that some top officials within the party were urging the party to step down from the executive authorities. Kevin Sullivan, OHR spokesperson, told the paper on behalf of the HR for BiH: "The programme of the IC in BiH is clear. This is to implement the DPA and establish European standards. BiH has a clear choice. It may return to its old pattern of behaviour, according to which politicians or public officials were allowed to steal from people or they can join Europe and adopt European standards, which will prevent these things. The same rules based on European standards are being applied equally to all political parties, in accordance with law." Commenting on the accusations that the IC lacked confidence in the new authorities, Sullivan said that Tihic had the right to have his opinion. "Everyone accepting the reality of partner relations between the IC and the BiH authorities is carrying out their tasks, and we are not preventing them from doing so. The IC has been working in partnership with these authorities ever since they were formed," said Sullivan. (Photo on page 3)
INTELLIGENCE SERVICES
Oslobodjenje
Munir Alibabic: I saved Izetbegovic's life, now he's spitting on me
Munir Alibabic Munja accused SDA President Sulejman Tihic of lying publicly that the dismissed FOSS Director delivered false information to the OHR at a meeting of the SDA Main Board on Saturday. Tihic accused not only Alibabic, but also, as he said, "informers from those parties which lost the confidence of citizens"of deceiving the IC. "Paddy Ashdown together with Tihic's boss, Alija Izetbagovic, arranged my replacement from the FOSS Director position, and barred me from holding all official and political offices," said Alibabic. "Izetbegovic, who knows very well that I saved his life several times during the war and before the war, today is spitting on me through hangers-on ," claimed Alibabic.
INTELLIGENCE SERVICES
Oslobodjenje
HDZ did not want Kikic to lead the FOSS
Sead Kikic has not been appointed as Director of the FOSS because the HDZ was opposed to his appointment. As we have learnt from the BiH Presidency sources, the leadership of this Party opposed Kikic's appointment because he had a key role in collecting documentation for the indictments against Dario Kordic and Tihomir Blaskic. (p.3)
INCIDENTS
Nezavisne Novine
Senior SNSD official beaten up in Prnjavor
Momir Malic, a high-ranking official of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats and its candidate for deputy in the RS Chamber of Peoples, was beaten up in Prnjavor around 11.00 hours on Saturday. Malic was, as he claims, attacked by an unknown young man, around twenty-five years old. Without reason, the unknown man hit Malic in his head several times, fracturing Malic's nose. Malic thinks that this attack was "ordered" by the Prnjavor branch of the Serb Democratic Party. Nemanja Vasic, a member of the Prnjavor SDS Municipal Board, has denied that his Party was connected in any way with the attack on Malic. He claims that his Party had no reason to attack Malic. Igor Radojicic, a member of the SNSD Directorate, has warned that that was not the first attack on SNSD members, since a member of this Party from Gacko was physically attacked two months ago. We did not manage to learn anything about this event in the Prnjavor Public Security Station "because there was no one on duty who was authorised to make a statement". (Photo on p.7)
HDZ / HNS
Dnevni avaz
Croatian-American Association in Chicago: Help BiH become self-sustainable
Dragan Covic, the Croat member of the BiH Presidency, attended a gala banquet organised by the Croatian-American Association (CAA) on Saturday in Chicago. He called on American Croats to put aside their disagreements and help Croatia and Croats in BiH in ensuring the equality of Croats with the other two peoples. Discussing the relations between Croats in BiH and in Croatia, Covic said that Croatia had more understanding for Croats in BiH when Franjo Tudjman was in power, and that the situation had been frozen since the ruling coalition came to power. (Photo on page 2) /The same in Dnevni List (p. 5), Nezavisne Novine (p. 4)/
BIH - PARTIES
Nezavisne Novine
Dialogue does not mean a coalition
"If we have a partnership and a dialogue with all political parties, including those in power, that does not mean that we have formed a coalition with national parties," considers Sejfudin Tokic, the new Vice President of the Social Democratic Union. "We intend to open a dialogue with all political parties, even those currently in power, in order to solve problems that citizens are facing as soon as possible. We will pay special attention to problems of the most deprived categories of the population, such as the unemployed and pensioners, but also workers," stressed Tokic. Tokic also said that the SDU would remain consistent with its principles, so "its readiness to talk and be in partnership with other parties, does not imply a change in the Party's policy". (Photo on p.7)
BIH - PARTIES
Jutarnje Novine
SDA threat to withdraw from executive authorities
The Main Board of the Party of Democratic Action has requested that the Office of the High Representative allow the SDA to take over power in full. At a meeting of the SDA Main Board, President Sulejman Tihic has informed other members that "some circles inside the Party advocate that it should withdraw from executive authorities". The SDA Main Board also requested that HR Paddy Ashdown reconsider and annul the decision to bar Edhem Bicakcic from holding public office. (p.4)
BIH - PARTIES
Dnevni avaz
SDA is considering joining the opposition
On Saturday, after a meeting of the Main Board of the Party of Democratic Action, Sulejman Tihic, President of the Party and a member of the BiH Presidency, gave an interview to Dnevni avaz. Among other things, he said that "some representatives of the international community are not allowing the election results to be implemented and, thus, are doing an injustice to the Bosniacs". This was the subject of the meeting in which the public was very interested as the SDA threatened that it might withdraw from the executive authorities. "This 'conflict' of ours has resulted from our wish to eliminate injustice towards the Bosniacs, especially the SDA, which is being done by applying double standards and equating us with some parties that are against BiH," said Tihic. "True, when Bosnia is in question, the international community is making progress, and without its presence it would have been a lot worse," continued Tihic. When asked how serious was the threat that the SDA might withdraw from the executive authorities, Tihic answered: "If the situation remains as it is, then our threat will be very serious. The OHR has stopped the implementation of the election results. Significant powers have been taken from the Council of Ministers, and transferred to various 'independent' commissions, such as the CRA. These commissions are independent in regard to citizens and the elected authorities, but they are dependent on someone who has established them and now pays their salaries. Lately, the OHR and a number of Embassies are trying to conduct a personnel policy, they even are proposing their favourites. They do not speak any more about general directions, principles and reforms. Instead, they are getting involved with appointments of various advisors, like whether it may be Mujo, Suljo or Haso. We are not permitted to replace anybody, nor to appoint anybody without approval from the IC. Jakob Finci has greater powers than the Council of Ministers." To our question of why the SDA Main Board opposed the decision on replacement of Edhem Bicakcic, after the OHR had established his accountability in illegal dealings, Tihic responded: "That decision has not been founded on evidence. Bicakcic is an ordinary clerk who did not have any finances at his disposal. The SDA would certainly not back Bicakcic or anyone else, if evidence of illegal deals existed. So it is not enough that someone in the OHR says that Edhem is a thief and that we accept this qualification with no proof." (Photo on p.5)
BIH - ARMS TRADE
Jutarnje Novine
Report on Orao by Supreme Defence Council to be submitted to SFOR today
Yesterday, RS Defence Minister Milovan Stankovic informed members of the Supreme Council of Defence and RS President Cavic that COMSFOR General William Ward had consented to the appointment of Major General Cvetko Savic as new Chief of the VRS General Staff. According to information from Cavic's office, the RS Supreme Council of Defence has adopted the final version of an additional report on the violation of the UN embargo on armament and military equipment exports to Iraq. This report, which has been compiled by the RS President's Office, the Government and the VRS General Staff, is to be submitted to COMSFOR General Ward today, 17 March. (p.4), Nezavisne Novine (p.4)
BIH - ARMS TRADE
Jutarnje Novine
Mladen Ivanic: Serious evidence required in order to dismiss Sarovic
In an interview with ATV Banja Luka, BiH Minister of Foreign Affairs Mladen Ivanic stated that the scandal involving the Orao Air Institute from Bijeljina, which violated the UN embargo on armament and military equipment exports to Iraq, should finally be brought to a close. Commenting on the possibility that High Representative Ashdown might dismiss the Chair of the BiH Presidency, Mirko Sarovic, who was the RS President at the time of the illegal business activities of Orao, Ivanic stressed that "to dismiss a state president is not so simple" and added that "one must have very serious arguments to do so". (p.3)
AF IN BIH
Dnevni avaz
FBiH Government will find employment for 740 of its demobilised soldiers
"By the end of this year, the VF will find employment for 740 of its demobilised soldiers who have not received severance pay," said Radovan Vignjevic, Minister for Displaced Persons and Refugees. There are plans to find employment for 600 demobilised VF members in agriculture, while another 30 will start working in private companies whose employees will receive incentives from the FBiH Government. Another 70 will start small businesses, and another 40 will undergo retraining. This programme will be implemented by the FBiH Government and the World Bank, based on an International Development Association (IDA) loan for 10 million dollars, a Dutch donation worth 1.2 million dollars and a Norwegian donation in the amount of 1.3 million dollars. The FBiH Government will participate in this project with 10% of the funds. (Photo on page 4)
AF IN BIH
Dnevni List
Savic appointed new Chief of the RS Army General Staff
(TNO) The RS Minister of Defense, Milovan Stankovic, informed members of the RS Supreme Defense Council and RS President, Dragan Cavic, that the SFOR Commander, General William Ward, approved the appointment of Major General Cvetko Savic, for the new Chief of the RS Army General Staff and the appointment of Colonel Stamenko Novakovic, as Savic's Deputy. RS President, Dragan Cavic, will issue the order of the appointment of Chief of RS Army General Staff and his Deputy within the next three weeks.