October 11, 1995 |
The Bosnian cease-fire that was supposed to take effect at the stroke of midnight was derailed again yesterday - this time by a last-minute dispute over electricity in the besieged capital. Restoration of Sarajevo's utilities was a precondition to the cease-fire set by the Bosnian government. Although streetlights flickered beckoningly in some neighborhoods and gas trickled in, the government felt the supply was insufficient, U.N. spokesman Chris Vernon said. "The big bone of contention right now is electricity," Vernon said last night as the warring parties met at the Sarajevo airport.
October 3, 1995 |
In the freshly mown wheat fields not far from this ruined city on the Danube, the refugees of summer have become the soldiers of autumn. Dozens of Serbian men who fled Croatia's Krajina region last month have been put to work digging trenches in the stubble, building a line to defend the last Serbian stronghold on Croatian territory. Only a few hundred feet away in the very same fields, Croatian men are also busy digging. The former countrymen, now adversaries, are so close they can wave to one another.
September 30, 1995 |
Europe's recent tyrants cared about neatness - ethnic neatness, that is. Hitler wanted all the Germans to live in a greatly expanded Germany. When he failed at that, Stalin completed part of the job for him. After World War II, millions of ethnic Germans were banished from communist Eastern Europe and re- settled in Germany. It was a cruel process, but it helped produce a most benevolent result: a long-lasting peace. Greece and Turkey also exchanged populations in the 1920s - half a million people swapping one country for another.
August 13, 1995 |
The battle that was fought last week in Krajina, 250 miles away, arrived Friday morning at the door of Jurius Gasparovic's house in Serbia. When Gasparovic, an ethnic Croat, cracked open his front gate, he found himself face to face with a bearded Serbian fighter in full uniform. "Could you take us in?" the soldier, Milan Jovo Parasovic, wanted to know. "We have no place to go. " It was less a question than a demand, and after four years of surviving as a Croat in this small Serbian town, Gasparovic knew better than to decline.
August 10, 1995 |
The stone narrowly missed the blue Zastava car in which Miodrag Pavlovic was driving his daughter and her 4-month-old baby out of Croatia. But the clump of mud that struck the windshield, along with the epithets and obscene gestures, managed to deliver the unambiguous message: Serbs get out and stay out. "It is an incredible world tragedy. There is such hatred in this region," said Pavlovic, 47, in a voice steeped more with sadness than rancor. Indeed, the circumstances under which this convoy of Serbs departed Croatia offered up little hope for those idealists who believe Serbs and Croats can live together peacefully in the foreseeable future.
August 10, 1995
As up to 150,000 Serb refugees flee Croatia, some diplomats and U.N. officials charge that Croatia is responsible for the largest episode of ethnic cleansing of the Yugoslav wars. Such charges can't be taken lightly in a region where ethnic cleansing has been practiced at a level not seen since World War II, mainly by Serbs. So far in this instance, the claims don't appear to be justified, but U.S. and German leaders - who tacitly encouraged the latest Croatian military offensive - bear a special responsibility to pressure Croatia to ensure that ethnic cleansing doesn't happen by default.
August 9, 1995
Events in Croatia this week have made fools of all the Western leaders who claimed that the Serbs were invincible. For three years, Western politicians have been protesting that they couldn't stop Serbian "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia without a huge outpouring of blood and treasure. But suddenly, in three days time, Croatian government forces defeated a heavily armed Croatian Serb army allied to Bosnian Serbs and based in forbidding mountains. So what happened to those fierce fighters who, Pentagon and British officials told us, were descended from the Yugoslav partisans who held off the Nazis?
August 8, 1995
Out of the newest tragedy in the former Yugoslavia comes a possibility of ending the Bosnian war. It brings continued suffering as well: Croatia's successful military offensive to retake the breakaway region of Krajina has sent tens of thousands of new civilian refugees - this time Croatian Serbs - fleeing into Serb-held parts of Bosnia. But Serb leaders brought this tragedy down on their own heads. After Croatia became independent, the Serbs living in the Krajina region had formed their own mini-state in hopes of linking up with the Serbs of Bosnia and Serbia.
August 8, 1995 |
Ivanka Mazic climbed through the window of the home she hadn't seen since Sept. 1, 1991. With consternation, she realized that there was little she recognized, not the cheap furniture that had replaced her own, not the photographs of complete strangers scattered about the living room. She quickly scooped up the photographs, though not to throw away. "I want to know who these people are, not that I'd ever want to meet them," declared Mazic scornfully. Such is the attitude of many victorious Croats who have started trickling back to the territory known as the Krajina, where Serbs booted them out nearly four years ago. Despite the official line of the Croatian government that Serbs are welcome to remain, few seem eager to welcome them back as neighbors.
August 7, 1995 |
The United Nations today brokered a cease-fire that amounted to the surrender of the last rebel Serb forces battling Croatian troops, who dealt their foes an astonishing defeat in a sweeping three-day offensive. Under the agreement, rebel Serbs agreed to lay down all weapons except their sidearms, the U.N. said. The Croats, in turn, agreed to grant soldiers and civilians passage into Serb-held northern Bosnia. Tens of thousands of dispirited Serbs already have fled into that territory, an exodus that could total 200,000 people or more - the biggest single movement of people in four years of war in Yugoslavia.