Sarajevo: Action now] (CORRECTED)

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LAST MONDAY this newspaper devoted its front page to a call for action to save Sarajevo. We did it out of a sense of outrage that our leaders are vacillating while Sarajevo dies and in the belief that our readers shared this feeling and wished to express it. We were overwhelmed by the response.

Today we print the names of more than 2,000 people who have sent messages of agreement and support. They have told us of their frustration at the months of inaction and empty promises from Western governments and of anger and shame that nothing has been done.

But our purpose is not simply to give vent to feelings. We started our campaign in the belief that public opinion can influence government policy and we urge the Prime Minister to pay attention to the voices that have spoken through our pages. In the past week we have published many of those messages. Our readers have shown that they have not washed their hands of Sarajevo, nor do they wish their government to do so.

Once again we urge the British government to act, that the aid routes be opened, that, if necessary, the West back its words with force.

The Independent believes that 1,800 UN troops, instructed to shoot if they need to, can open the Mostar road, the vital supply route to Sarajevo. Otherwise the city will die. Politicians have told us that action is too difficult; that the public does not want action; that the enemy is too numerous and too well equipped.

We argue that it can be done. Our readers have pleaded that it must be done.

(Full list of names omitted)


The name of Tim Fenton should not have been included in the list of readers supporting our proposal for Saving Sarajevo published on 2 August. We regret the error.

(Photograph omitted)