Main News Summary
Friday, 20 June 2003

SFOR
Nezavisne Novine
Operation Active Harvest in Brcko
Within Operation Active Harvest conducted in Brcko, SFOR and the Brcko District Police collected a large amount of weapons, ammunition and mine and explosive devices, including: seven light machine-guns, 50 automatic and semi-automatic rifles, nine submachine guns, four hunting rifles, 606 hand grenades, 103 rifle grenades, 13 rocket launchers, 42,204 bullets for automatic and semi-automatic rifle, and two shells for howitzer of 122 mm calibre, stated Tomislav Ropcevic, spokesperson of the Brcko Police, at a press conference yesterday. (p.11)
SFOR
Nezavisne Novine
SFOR searches Petricevac
The SFOR MNB NW team for the removal of mine and explosive devices, working together with the RS Police, carried out an anti-terrorist inspection of the facilities and underground openings at the location of Petricevac yesterday. Team Commander David Hamming said that SFOR soldiers helped the local police to conduct "high-level searches", in order to ensure that the visit by the Pope, senior officials and pilgrims pass without security oversights. For the past seven days, organised in three shifts, police officers have been providing security to the facilities and individuals at the Petricevac Convent. Dragan Covic, a member of the BiH Presidency and President of the Organisational Board for the Pope's Visit, and Dragan Cavic, RS President, opened a press centre in the Bosna Hotel that will be used by journalists who will cover the Pope's visit on 22 June. The visit will be covered by 751 accredited journalists, cameramen and members of the technical teams. The BiH Public Broadcast Service, which will directly transmit the whole event, accredited 200 journalists and other technical personnel. Yesterday, Dragan Covic confirmed that the "papa-mobile" has already arrived in Banja Luka . The BiH Presidency members will present Pope John Paul II with a medallion adorned with gems, with the BiH coat-of-arms, borders and a symbol of "stecak" on it. RS President Dragan Cavic will give the Pope a Faberge Eastern Egg application as a gift. (Photo on p.9)
SFOR
Jutarnji List
Interview with ICTY Prosecutor Del Ponte: I was unaware of SFOR action
(SLTC) In an interview ICTY Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte gave to Jutarnji list two or three days ago just as she was finishing her response to President Mesic, she was asked, among other things, about the SFOR action in BiH when its units broke into the Franciscan monastery in Rama looking for the fugitive Gotovina. She was asked whether she personally ordered the action. Surprisingly, she replied that she did not even know about it.
SFOR
Jutarnje Novine
Operation Harvest in Konjic
The Konjic Civil Protection HQ carried out Operation Harvest for the sixth time along with SFOR and the Police Department. The following was collected during this two-day operation: four automatic rifles, three M48 rifles, 16 hand grenades, 12 rifle grenades, one shell of 76 mm calibre, one mine, two mine fuses, and 1,007 bullets of up to 12.7 mm calibre. (p.2)
SFOR
Glas Srpske
Serbs from Glamoc to sue FBiH for SFOR's Barbara range
Nikola Savija, Vice President of the Barbara Association of Refugees and Displaced Persons from Glamoc, announced that this association would file a lawsuit against the BiH Federation with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if it does not enable residents to return to seven villages. "Since 1996, the residents of these villages and hamlets have been prevented to use their property, to return to their homes, to bury their dearest and nearest and to perform their religious rites, because SFOR and the Federation Army built the Barbara range," Savija said. He explained that in 1998, Kresimir Zubak, Federation President at the time, and Alija Izetbegovic, Chair of the BiH Presidency, had signed a decision on the construction of a military training range of SFOR and the Federation Army in the Glamoc Municipality. President of the Association Radovan Hajder says that, after the signing of the Dayton Agreement, all Serb villages in the area covered by the Barbara range were burned. He also says that the restored house of a Serb returnee was burned several days ago. Hajder says that houses in this area were SFOR's "targets", but SFOR claims that the BiH Federation is to blame. He has contacted HR Paddy Ashdown and US Ambassador Clifford Bond and asked them to finally do something in order to compensate the residents of these villages. "Out of 49 square kilometres covered by the Barbara range, 46 square kilometres are privately owned, which does not seem to be important to SFOR and the Federation," Hajder said and added that there has been no return of the Serbs in this region. (p.2)
AF IN BIH
Glas Srpske
Defence Policy in BiH
Defence Advisor to the Serb BiH Presidency Member, Dragan Kapetina, stated that the RS had 10 objections to the offered draft BiH Defence Policy Document. The objections mainly refer to sections of the text according to which the authorities of the RS and Federation BiH are to be transferred to state level. He added that certain parts of the draft contradicted the Dayton Peace Agreement provisions, as well as the BiH Constitution and the Constitutions of the BiH entities. He pointed out that the main objection was the fact that the draft document identifies the BiH Presidency as a collective body which has the civil command over the military instead of individual civil command of the BiH Presidency members. He added that the RS also objected to the fact that the terms like DPA, constitutions, RS and Federation BiH were seldom mentioned in the draft text, as if somebody wanted to neglect the fact that the RS and Federation BiH existed in BiH. (p. 5)
BIH - EUROPE
Dnevni avaz
Romano Prodi: Progress in the Balkans must be supported in every possible way
The President of the Liberal-Democratic Party of BiH, Rasim Kadic, attended a meeting of the Liberal Party leaders from Europe held in Thessaloniki yesterday. Such meetings are always held before the EU summit. The President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, stated that the only important issue for him regarding the upcoming European summit was to define the position of the West Balkans. He pointed out that the summit should make a conclusion about the progress being made by the countries of that region, and about assistance to be provided to these countries by the EU. "The Dutch Prime Minister, Andres Rasmusen, told me that the EU final summit document will clearly emphasise the need for stronger ties between the EU and five countries of the West Balkans, and for the co-operation of the countries in the region," Rasim Kadic told Dnevni avaz. (p. 4)
BIH - EUROPE
Jutarnje Novine
US Ambassador Clifford Bond: BiH enters the main European flow
In an interview with Voice of America, the US Ambassador to BiH, Clifford Bond, stated that BiH was not a society in conflict, but rather a country where things were going back to normal. He added that BiH was a country entering the main European flow. "This might represent a very important fact for the US business community because it will not only encourage many of them to come and think about possible investments in BiH, but it will also make US citizens change their opinion about this country. There are a lot of things going on in BiH that will improve the conditions for making investments. The Bulldozer Commission has been established, a single customs system has been achieved, and many other things have happened which will help the investment conditions change for the better. Also, BiH is a country with relatively well-educated and inexpensive laborers, and has signed free trade agreements with a number of countries. However, what we need in BiH is the implementation of reforms, especially military reform that will take command and control at state level. We shall take BiH not only into the Partnership for Peace, but also into NATO," said Mr. Bond. (p. 14)
BIH - EUROPE
Jutarnje Novine
Paddy Ashdown to attend the Thessaloniki Summit on Saturday
High Representative Paddy Ashdown will attend the Thessaloniki Summit on Saturday. The summit represents an excellent opportunity for BiH to demonstrate its determination in implementation of reforms to the EU. The OHR spokesperson, Mario Brkic told Jutarnje Novine that becoming a member country of the EU would offer BiH the best possible chance for long-lasting peace and stability, adding that the accession of BiH to the EU depends entirely on how quickly reforms in BiH are implemented. He added that the HR would end his ten-day world tour by going to Banja Luka in order to meet with Pope John Paul II. (p. 3) /The same in Dnevni avaz (p. 4)
BIH - EUROPE
Slobodna Bosna
It is a lie that the BiH parties in power are pro-European oriented
Before the beginning of the European Union Summit in Greece, from which the countries that emerged after the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia expect spectacular results "without having reason to", the International Crisis Group (ICG) drew up a report that covers the issue of relations between the EU and BiH and suggest the concrete steps to be taken in order to move BiH closer to European integration processes. Another problem that BiH has to overcome is the fact that not all BiH parties in power are of pro-European orientation because some of them still advocate the strengthening of the entities rather than the state. However, one of the most important suggestions of the ICG concerns the OHR in BiH. The ICG is of the opinion that the OHR should start thinking about re-defining its authorities from the Bonn conference, and that the HR should, when imposing his decisions in BiH, ensure the support of a two-third majority for his decisions in the BiH Presidency or in the BiH Council of Ministers. (p. 8)
BIH - EUROPE
Slobodna Bosna
Dragan Spasojevic on the EU "Black list"
The media in BiH have been speculating for weeks now about whether Dragan Spasojevic will be added to the European Union "Black List" because of his role in the networks supporting war criminals and his personal ties with Momcilo Mandic. Another interesting speculation is that he made a possible settlement that he has made with the OHR. Anyway, the latest list of names of people from the RS who will be forbidden to enter the EU does not include Spasojevic's name. Well-informed people in Zvornik claim that the main reason for this is a settlement that Spasojevic has made with the Hague Tribunal, in which he pledged to be co-operative. (p. 24)
BIH - PARTIES
Glas Srpske
PDP comments on events in Brcko District
The Party of Democratic Progress (PDP) in Brcko believes that the celebration of the fans after the water-polo match between Croatia and SCG was on a much lower scale than those in the neighbouring countries, and that this fact was deliberately neglected. The PDP also points out that certain Croat and Bosniac members of political parties see every single celebration of Serb People and youngsters after the victory of the national team as a personal defeat and insult. "Maybe, the young man who raised three fingers in the air would have not been beaten if he had raised only two," reads a statement of the PDP. (p. 2)
BIH - PARTIES
Oslobodjenje
HDZ suspends Ljubo Cesic Rojs
The HDZ Main Board has unanimously adopted a decision to suspend Ljubomir Cesic Rojs from the party membership, which is the first step towards his exclusion from the HDZ. As stated in a public release of the HDZ, Rojs was suspended because of his several public statements and activities which affected the reputation and political interests of the HDZ. In his comments on the suspension, Ljubomir Cosic Rojs stated that the HDZ would never exclude him from the party membership. "However, should they exclude me from the membership, I shall always be an HDZ follower and I shall never become a member of another political party," said Rojs. (p. 21)
BIH - USA
Slobodna Bosna
Bosnian politicians are involved in human trafficking because of which US will cancel assistance to BiH!
Only three weeks after US President George W. Bush signed the Executive Order by which around one hundred persons from BiH were declared not wanted in the US, a new shock followed from Washington: Bosnia and Herzegovina, and another 15 countries, could face sanctions imposed by the US Government if it, in the next four months, does not take measures to prevent human trafficking. Collin Powel, US Secretary of State, has sent this message after the Report on Human Trafficking in the World was made public. This Report, issued by the State Department Office for Monitoring and Fighting Human Trafficking, for the first time envisages sanctions against Tier Three countries, actually against countries whose leaderships do not make enough efforts to meet a minimum standards in the fight against human trafficking. Even though destructive sanctions threaten BiH, not one authority institution has reacted to this Report. In a statement to local media, BiH Premier Adnan Terzic even said that the Council of Ministers had received an official report, but that the Ministers did not notice that any sanctions were mentioned (sanctions are mentioned in the introduction to the report). "I think that we have here arbitrary estimates and unfounded information of some individuals," was the only reaction from the BiH authorities which were directly accused in this report because of their inefficiency. The State Department's report reads that the presence of international civilian and military personnel contributes to spreading of this problem, but that the local population is actively taking part in trafficking and using services of the victims. The report also reads that human trafficking is part of organised crime in BiH and the region. "The BiH Government does not meet a minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, nor does it make considerable efforts to that aim. While certain steps to define the structure of this problem and weak spots in the relevant laws, corruption at local level is still the basic factor which is limiting the effects of positive initiatives and leads to that situation in which the country is categorised as Tier Three country. Field reports indicate that the government officials mediate, participate or have some other role in human trafficking at the local level," reads the report. (Photo on p.5)
BIH - USA
Oslobodjenje
Bush's decree to block the work of ICTY
The Decree signed by US President George Bush on 29 May, which bans Americans to provide any sort of assistance, including legal assistance, to the persons who are on the US "black list", caused general concern and a state of shock in the Hague Tribunal on Thursday. Any further engagement of US attorneys in the proceedings against war crimes indictees before the Hague Tribunal is now suspended. This decision might be lethal for the future operation of the Tribunal as there is almost no case that does not involve, in one or the other way, an American in the role of attorney, member of the defence team or legal counsellor. Theodore Meron, President of the Tribunal, an American himself, is trying to resolve this situation and ensure that US attorneys continue working on Hague cases. Jim Landale, ICTY spokesperson, said that, in his opinion, this problem would be eliminated and the Tribunal would continue its normal work. However, there is now a question of why the US attorneys demonstrated such compliance and immediately notify the Prosecutor's Office of their temporary suspension. The answer is simple: if they fail to comply with this decree, they will lose a work licence permanently in accordance with a US federal law. What did the US want to say with this Decree? Opinions differ, from those who believe that wrong interpretation of the relevant ministry is in question, to those who claim that the US empire wanted to show what it can and what it will do, if its conditions concerning US citizens and the International Criminal Court are not accepted. (Photo on p.6)/The same in Glas Srpske (front page), Nezavisne Novine: In the proceedings against citizens of the former Yugoslavia, some 20 US lawyers act as defence attorneys, and there is almost no indictee who has no US citizen in his defence team. This ban does not refer to those Americans who act as the Tribunal Prosecutors or have some other post that is not connected with the defence of indictees. The ban was proposed by the US Finance Ministry, and leaves a possibility that US attorneys continue defending their clients with special approval from the US Government. (p.5)
HUMAN RIGHTS
Oslobodjenje
Those invovled in human trafficking legalise their profits by buying hotels and petrol stations
"Those involved in human trafficking in BiH are trying to legalise their profits by buying hotels and petrol stations," said Madeleine Reese, Head of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on Thursday. She said that the sex industry in Bosnia had undergone changes in the way that the victims of trafficking were now receiving compensation, and that prostitution had "moved" from night-clubs into private apartment. Reese believes that not only the local police but also international officials were involved in human trafficking. She said that it was not clear to her how Americans could prepare such a report without consulting either the BiH authorities, nor NGOs and the UN. (Photo on page 8) /The same in Nezavisne Novine (p. 6)/
HUMAN RIGHTS
Glas Srpske
Strasbourg - the last hope
Yesterday, the regional association of refugees and persons displaced from Bijeljina, Ugljevik, Lopare and Janja sent a compensation claim to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for the damage caused by the destruction of Serb houses and other facilities in the FBiH hoping to get legal assistance from this court for the Serbs who have suffered the losses, and whose case has still not been resolved by the first instance municipal court in Sarajevo since it was filed in February of last year. The association collected evidence that 793 Serb facilities in the FBiH had been destroyed and submitted this evidence to the European Court of Human Rights. (p. 3)
ICTY
Slobodna Bosna
Sljivancanin was hiding in Montenegro before being arrested, where Ratko Mladic has also moved recently!
The Serbian authorities suspect that Ratko Mladic, one of the most wanted criminals from a list of Hague indictees, is hiding in Montenegro. The Serbian top military leadership and Kostunica's advisors suggested to Ratko Mladic that he leave Serbia. According to sources from the Serbian Government, Mladic has been hiding in the villages close to Niksic in northern Montenegro for the last month and a half, where he has been several times so far, and where he enjoys the protection of the people close to the former FRY President Vojislav Kostunica. According to an unnamed source from the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mladic was in the Bobovo village near Valjevo. The residents from the Valjevo area confirmed for the police that they saw Ratko Mladic in the National Museum and saw him swimming in the closed swimming pool of the Banja Vrucica Hotel. He was also seen in the Temple of the Cover of the Most Holy Virgin and having lunch in the Grand Hotel. "We know that the unit of the Yugoslav Army that guarded him has been withdrawn only formally," said the source, adding that several members of this special unit of the Yugoslav Army, also known as Kobre, became part of Mladic's team of personal bodyguards. The ICTY Prosecutor's Office also received the same information. One unnamed official said that the former VRS Commander had left Belgrade more than a month ago. Mladic's departure from Serbia took place at the time when the US conditioned its financial assistance of dollars 110 million for Serbia and Montenegro on the co-operation of Belgrade with the Hague Tribunal, especially in transferring war crimes indictees. According to operational information of Hague specialists, Karadzic is most often in the Ostrog monastery in Montenegro, while the Rezevici monastery, close to Budva, and the Moraca monastery close to the Moraca River, are also suspected of being hiding places. The same source said that hamlets for cattle breeders in the vicinity of Pljevlja in northern Montenegro were most likely to be Karadzic's hiding places. (Photo on page 36)
ICTY
Oslobodjenje
Milosevic involved in massacre in Srebrenica
Slobodan Milosevic was involved in the massacre that took place in Srebrenica in July 1995. This is confirmed by copies of the document that the Institute for War and Peace Reporting managed to obtain from a Bosnian Serb official. To date, it was mostly assumed that until the summer of 1995, Serbia had cut off all of its ties to the Bosnian Serb leadership and that the former Serbian forces had not participated in the military operation in Srebrenica. This document from 10 July 1995 is actually instructions that the RS Minister of Internal Affairs Tomislav Kovac issued to his subordinates to deploy the police units of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs to eastern Bosnia in order to fight in the area around Sarajevo and participate in the operation in Srebrenica. According to the Serbian Constitution, the former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic was directly responsible for operations that were carried out by the Republican police forces. It is expected that this document will have a great influence on the outcome of Milosevic's trial and the lawsuit that the Bosnian Government filed against the former Yugoslavia before the International Court of Justice for genocide because it links the former Serbian leader and his police forces directly to the most horrible atrocities committed during the war in Bosnia. This document clearly shows that members of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs were active near Trnovo, and that they were deployed to Srebrenica where they were put under the command of the Bosnian Serb police Colonel Ljubomir Borovcanin. (Photo on page 3) /The same in Dani (p. 18)/
ICTY
Dnevni avaz
US lawyers ask for appeal procedure to be suspended
Three US lawyers from Tihomir Blaskic's team of lawyers asked the Trial Chamber to temporarily suspend the appeal procedure because the US President banned US citizens from providing legal assistance to any persons indicted by the ICTY. Russel Hayman, Andrew Palley and Robert Perin asked that the appeal procedure be suspended until the US issues authorisations to them to represent Blaskic in the appeal procedure. (Photo on page 2) /The same in Dnevni List (p. 3)/
ICTY
Dnevni avaz
Posters with the image of Karadzic appear in Bijeljina
Posters with the image of Radovan Karadzic appeared in several places in Bijeljina yesterday, with the words: "Is the defence of one's own people a crime?" The relevant authorities did not react to these posters or order their removal. /The same in Blic (p. 9), Vecernje Novosti (p. 16)/
INCIDENTS
Oslobodjenje
First SARS case in BiH
Yesterday late in the afternoon, a female patient thought to be suffering from atypical pneumonia or SARS was admitted to the Kosevo Clinical Centre in Sarajevo. Dnevni avaz has learned that the patient is a Canadian national from Vancouver, aged 59, and that she has high temperature and coughs heavily. According to Dr Lejla Dzinic, a duty doctor at the Clinic for Contagious Diseases, the patient was transferred from the Mostar Hospital and the first medical analyses, including lungs X-rays, were already performed. "The patient is admitted with SARS symptoms. She was on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, and considering that she comes from Canada, where SARS is present, we are examining her for SARS. It will take two or three days until we reach the final diagnosis," Dr Dzinic told Dnevni avaz. (Photo on p.3)
OHR
Oslobodjenje
Paddy Ashdown: We shall complete in BiH what we have started
During his visit to London, High Representative Paddy Ashdown stated that much progress had been achieved in BiH in the last seven and a half years. He also said that there were seven basic principles of the peace process that emerge from the experience in BiH. Those principles are related with drawing up a plan for the reconstruction of the country, the establishment of the rule of law, the establishment of the credibility of military and civil authorities, and finally, the implementation of reforms. He added that the international community should be in a position to make "decisions in the field". He said that the international community had made several mistakes, but that the main challenge of the international community in BiH was to complete the things that they had started. (p. 6) /The same in Glas Srpske (p. ), Blic (p. 6)/
PROTEST
Jutarnji List
Banja Luka's extremists announce riots during Pope's visit
(SLTC) Certain extremists in Banja Luka, mostly supporters of the Serbian Democratic Party, have announced that the arrival of Pope John Paul II in Banja Luka on Sunday will not pass quietly and without incident. Protests have been announced in the villages of Drakulic, Donja Gradina and Klasnica. According to what can be heard on the streets, the central town square, Krajina Square, might become the place of mass demonstrations and probable incidents. Threatening messages written across posters bearing the Pope's image can be seen at every step in Banja Luka, and some citizens do not hide their disgust at the Pope's arrival. They explain that they see his coming to the monastery in Petricevac, where a central mass is to be held, as a provocation which they are ready to respond to.
TERRORISM
Glas Srpske
Is Igasa targeting the Pope? (Front page story)
In their report to US Congress, Matthew Epstein and Ivan Coleman, US experts and terrorism analysts, raised the issue of whether the Igasa humanitarian organisation that has been active in BiH since 1993 was trying to assassinate the Pope with weapons bought from arms smugglers from Vlasenica and Sekovci. Epstein and Coleman stated in the report that Igasa had tried to assassinate the Pope during his visit to the Philippines. According to these two, the brains of Igasa is Mohamed Hamal Kalifa, son-in-law of a Saudi millionaire, one of the founders and leaders of al-Quaida. Only three days before the Pope's visit to BiH, the RS Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that the Igasa Branch Office in Sarajevo bought weapons and ammunition that were stolen in the area of Vlasenica, Sekovci and Han Pijesak. The US experts said that Igasa was the main channel for smuggling money, manpower and weapons intended for Arab and Afghan mujahedin in Bosnia.