GENEVA (Reuter) - The international mediators, Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen, yesterday formally rejected division of Bosnia-Herzegovina into separate ethnic republics for its three main peoples. In a draft constitution aimed at heading off a carve-up of the former Yugoslav republic by Serbs and Croats at the expense of the Muslims, they proposed a new state with a 'bare minimum' central government, which should have control of foreign affairs and the armed forces, and with about 10 autonomous regions.
In a commentary submitted with the plan to the UN Security Council, Mr Vance and Lord Owen said they 'deemed it necessary to reject any model based on three separate, ethnic-confessionally based states'. Diplomats said the plan was almost certain to be resisted by Serbian and Croatian nationalists in Bosnia.
In the northern town of Jajce, meanwhile, Muslim- led government troops and Serbian rebels fought fiercely yesterday.