Muslim hold-up on union package
Sunday 01 August 1993
Izetbegovic had said on Friday night that he accepted the plan to end the 16-month war in the Balkan state, but he later sent peace mediators a letter saying he wanted guarantees that the 'union' would be a full state.
Under the plan, separate republics for Muslims, Serbs and Croats in Bosnia would be linked under a union presidency, council of ministers and parliament with limited powers on internal matters. But about 200 Muslim refugees gave Izetbegovic an emotional welcome outside the Geneva negotiating hall, urging him to preserve a united Bosnia.
Izetbegovic told mediators Lord Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg that, while he was committed to negotiations, his experts believed the wording of the plan left doubts on the legal status of the new union.
His legal adviser, Professor Francis Boyle, from the University of Illinois, told reporters the accord as it stood was unacceptable because it called into question Bosnia's membership of the United Nations.
Boyle said a meeting with the mediators' legal expert, Paul Szasz, had confirmed this fear. He said that Szasz, an American who helped to draft Namibia's constitution on its independence, 'made plain that the purpose of the Owen-Stoltenberg plan is to divide the republic of Bosnia- Herzegovina into three independent states'. He added: 'Unless we have assurances from the Security Council and the General Assembly, our independent existence is jeopardised.'
Despite the row, Izetbegovic pressed on in negotiations with Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and Croat leader Mate Boban on a map determining the territory of each of the three republics.
Diplomats close to the talks said discussions were moving towards a division which would give about half of the country to the largely rural Serbs. The Muslims would get 29 per cent, including the major industrial centres they now hold, and the Croats 21 per cent. Before the war, Muslims made up 44 per cent of the population, Serbs 33 and Croats 17.
Lord Owen warned yesterday that elements in all three factions wanted to continue fighting. 'There are all sorts of people out there who want to continue the war, and will try to trigger incidents and try to derail the process. There are some very difficult issues that we have to resolve in the next day or so. Let's just hope and pray we can.'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...