Milosevic enters Bosnian fray
Thursday 28 August 1997
A Nato spokesman in Sarajevo said that Mr Milosevic had sought permission to fly from Belgrade to Banja Luka, Mrs Plavsic's headquarters, sometime later this week and the trip looked like a classic Milosevic manoeuvre to ensure that, whatever the outcome of the crisis, he would get the credit for clearing it up.
The power struggle in the so-called Republika Srpska, as the Serb-held north and east of Bosnia is known, has reached new heights of bitterness since the weekend, when Mrs Plavsic succeeded in wresting control of the Banja Luka studios of state-controlled television.
Thanks almost certainly to the noisy support she has received from the West, she has also won over as many as half the deputies in the Bosnian Serb parliament, a sizeable chunk of the police and possibly 50 per cent of the mini-state's army commanders.
Mr Karadzic's followers, led by the Serb member of the three-man Bosnian federal presidency, Momcilo Krajisnik, have seen their power base in Pale, in the mountains above Sarajevo, gradually chipped away since the crisis erupted in July.
Western governments are portraying the conflict as a stand-off between a pragmatic Mrs Plavsic - seen as willing to take steps to implement the Dayton peace accords - and a hardline Mr Krajisnik, who is denounced as a black marketeer interested ultimately in partitioning Bosnia into two or three separate units.
The reality is more complicated than that, since Mrs Plavsic is an unrepentant nationalist with some highly unsavoury characters in her camp. While it is true that Mr Krajisnik has been organising a highly lucrative black economy, he is also believed by local observers to be capable of pragmatic talk as long as the pay-off is attractive enough. A key factor in the whole equation is Mr Karadzic, the number-one wanted man at the international war crimes tribunal.
The struggle boils down to that subject on which Mr Milosevic is so learned - power. Up to now, the master manipulator of Balkan politics has played both sides against the middle, overtly supporting Mrs Plavsic one day while making little secret of keeping lines of communication open with the other side.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 4 Penis size: Study revealing 'what's normal' sends international media into meltdown
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
Ayesha Ali death: Mother and her girlfriend found guilty of manslaughter of eight-year-old
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
Cindy Crawford 'un-PhotoShopped' viral Marie Claire image was doctored, claims photographer
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...
£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...