French airmen held by Serbs
Thursday 28 September 1995
He said Paris was doing everything possible to get the pilot and navigator released and sent home. Their Mirage 2000 fighter-bomber was shot down by a missile near the Bosnian Serb stronghold of Pale on 30 August.
"We have proof that our pilots were picked up by Serb forces, alive," Mr Millon told reporters after talks in Paris withMichael Portillo, his British counterpart.
A ministry statement named them as Captain Frederic Chiffot and Lieutenant Jose Souvignet, both of the Nancy-Ochey air base in north-eastern France. The names of the two, long suspected to have been caught, had previously been withheld.
Three secret helicopter rescue attempts from a US aircraft carrier in the Adriatic and from a base in Brindisi, south-east Italy, earlier this month failed. Two Americans suffered slight shrapnel wounds from hostile fire during the abortive missions.
Mr Millon did not say how France had got proof that the airmen were being held. They have not been seen in public since they were filmed by Bosnian Serb television parachuting from their stricken jet.
Mr Millon said that "all procedures have been set in motion so that the Serbian authorities ... firstly, assure their protection and then [we will] see how they can be brought back to France".
He noted that President Jacques Chirac had spoken several times by telephone with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who had pledged to guarantee their safety. France has also asked the International Red Cross to help.
Unofficial Bosnian Serb reports said one of the two suffered a broken leg in ejecting from the plane and that they were briefly held at gunpoint by a farmer before soldiers arrived. They were also said to have been taken to hospital and questioned by the Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
UK weather: Snow to fall during coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Ellen DeGeneres leads Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany in revealing game of Never Have I Ever
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...