Serb and Croat leaders to meet

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The Independent Online
BELGRADE (AP) - The presidents of Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia and rival Croatia agreed yesterday to meet in Geneva this week, and the Yugoslav military agreed to relinquish strategic territory in Croatia to United Nations control, international mediators said.

The UN special envoy, Cyrus Vance, said he and Lord Owen of the European Community had invited the Yugoslav President, Dobrica Cosic, and his Croatian counterpart, Franjo Tudjman, to Geneva for talks on 'solving problems between the two countries'. Mr Vance said they had agreed to meet in Geneva tomorrow.

Lord Owen said a 'specific agreement' was reached after talks with General Zivota Panic, Yugoslav army chief of staff, on a plan to demilitarise the Prevlaka peninsula on the border between Montenegro and Croatia. 'It will be presented to the Security Council by the Secretary General,' Lord Owen said.

In Washington, two prisoners from Serb-run camps have given eyewitness accounts to US officials of the slaughter of about 3,000 Muslims last spring, the State Department said yesterday.

The department spokesman, Richard Boucher, described the massacre in the Bosnian town of Brcko as the worst of the six- month war there. He said the witnesses were former prisoners in a brick factory, who independently estimated that 3,000 men, women and children were killed in Brcko during May and June.

'One of the prisoners has said that on several occasions he helped transport bodies of dead prisoners to a local animal rendering plant where they were cremated,' Mr Boucher said. He added that inconclusive reports about atrocities had reached the US over the past several months but that the information provided by the two eyewitnesses is considered the most credible to date.

Mr Boucher said the information on the incident has been passed on to UN officials so that they can make further inquiries.

In Zagreb, UN peace-keepers put intense pressure on Croatia's government to prevent thousands of refugees from going ahead with a 'march to their deaths' into Serb-held territory. Unarmed refugees had threatened to march into the Baranja region of eastern Slavonia to reclaim their homes.

(Photograph omitted)

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