Ashdown urges United Nations action in Bosnia

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The Independent Online
URGENT United Nations action is needed to safeguard electricity supplies in central Bosnia and reopen the airport at Tuzla, Paddy Ashdown, the Liberal Democrat leader, warned yesterday after his fifth visit to the war- torn region.

Failure to act risked an 'explosion of anger' against UN troops and aid workers, whose reputation was already undergoing a 'catastrophic decline', Mr Ashdown said on his return to Westminster. UN soldiers and convoys were regularly shot at and stoned. Blocking of humanitarian convoys meant 1.5 million people in central Bosnia only received 10 per cent of their basic needs.

Mr Ashdown urged John Major to make the provision of vital supplies to the central Bosnian Kakanj power station a test case under the Geneva agreement on the free passage of convoys. The station will run out of acid for keeping boilers clean in 20 days because of Serb and Croat blockades.

The Independent's Bosnia Appeal has raised more than pounds 40,000 for 15 charities working there. If you want to support one or more please send a separate cheque for each donation, worded as below, to: Bosnia Appeal, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

1 War Child; 2 Victims of War Appeal (former Yugoslavia) - this for the Red Cross; 3 Care; 4 Cafod (Bosnia); 5 Christian Aid (Bosnia); 6 Edinburgh Direct Aid; 7 Feed the Children; 8 Help the Aged Former Yugoslavia Appeal; 9 Islamic Relief Bosnia Fund; 10 Marie Stopes International (Bosnia); 11 Oxfam; 12 The Refugee Council; 13 Save the Children Fund; 14 Scottish European Aid; 15 UNA Trust Bosnia.