Serbs' aid ultimatum

Click to follow
The Independent Online
BELGRADE - The war of nerves between the United Nations and the Bosnian Serbs over a UN aid convoy to the starving Muslim enclave of Cerska in eastern Bosnia reached a climax last night, when the Serbs gave the UN convoy an ultimatum to quit Serb- occupied territory, writes Marcus Tanner.

The 10 UN trucks bringing 90 tons of food and medicine to Cerska, 150km (90 miles) north- west of Sarajevo, waited for a second day on the Serbian side of the river Drina, dividing Bosnia from Serbia. The Serbian ultimatum was delivered to the convoy's British leader, Larry Hollingsworth, who spent the night on a bridge over the Drina, and to the French armoured personnel carriers escorting the UN convoy, who are already in the Bosnian border town of Zvornik.

As the drama over this small convoy continued, the only question was who would give in first, the UN or the Bosnian Serbs? The outcome of this test of wills could effect the future of the entire UN aid operation in the republic. The Serbs are intransigent but the UN is showing no sign of backing off from the mission to feed the besieged village of Cerska.