Mladic agrees to ceasefire: UN sanctions are putting pressure on Belgrade to end the war in Bosnia

Click to follow
The Independent Online
BELGRADE (Reuter) - The Bosnian Serb army commander, General Ratko Mladic, agreed yesterday to a ceasefire from noon tomorrow and to talks with the leaders of Muslim and Croatian forces on ending Bosnia's civil war.

General Lars-Erik Wahlgren, head of the United Nations Protection Force in former Yugoslavia, announced the agreement after talks with General Mladic in Belgrade. General Mladic added: 'We suggested and it has been agreed that there will be a ceasefire on the whole territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina . . . If Croatian and Muslim forces accept this we will respect the agreement.' Many truces have collapsed in the past.

General Wahlgren said General Mladic, General Janko Bobetko, commander of the Croatian Army, and Sefir Halilovic, head of the Bosnian government forces, in the three-sided conflict, would meet on 6 April to discuss prospects for ending the war.

General Mladic said he also agreed 'to let a humanitarian convoy of 20 trucks enter Srebrenica and to evacuate Muslim women and children and old and wounded people, if there are any, on the way back'. The convoy, blocked at Mali Zvornik on the Serbian border with Bosnia, is to leave this morning.

The evacuation of Serbs from the Muslim-held town of Tuzla in north-eastern Bosnia is to resume tomorrow, with 50 people leaving the town every three days until all 272 people wanting to leave have managed to get out, Unprofor announced yesterday.

In Washington, President Clinton criticised the Bosnian Serbs for refusing to follow the Bosnian Muslims in signing the Vance-Owen peace plan. 'International impatience is going to grow with regard to the Serbs if they want to continue carnaging Bosnia when not so long ago they approached the accord as if it was a good deal.'