Peace-keepers move in to halt Serb civil war
Tensions mount between rival factions in Pale and Banja Luka
Friday 22 August 1997
On Wednesday, international peace-keepers moved in to Banja Luka in north-west Bosnia to block a possible coup by police opposed to Ms Plavsic, seizing 2,500 illegally held arms and quantities of bugging equipment.
There had been fears that Russia - a member of the five-nation "contact group", along with the US, Britain, France and Germany - would break with the other members over the conduct of elections for a parliamentary assembly due to be held on 11-12 October. But yesterday a meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), held in Vienna, ended on an optimistic note.
The OSCE's main role in the peace-building process is to monitor elections.
Russia, which had opposed OSCE participation in the October elections, "took a flexible position", diplomatic sources said. "They said Plavsic's efforts to implement the [November 1995] Dayton peace accord deserve our support. The idea of holding elections is a good one and the OSCE should continue its preparatory work."
The Danish chairman said all the delegates now thought OSCE involvement was a good idea.
Wednesday's dramatic operation, in which British and Czech ground troops and US gunship helicopters disarmed Bosnian Serb police opposed to Ms Plavsic was a clear intervention in what might have become a civil war between rival Bosnian Serb factions. Yesterday morning the inter- national stabilisation force - S-For - was on tenterhooks, wondering whether armed opposition would break out. Plavsic's opponents condemned her as a collaborator, and even compared her to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Karadzic supporters issued a proclamation describing the move into Banja Luka as "an attempt at foreign occupation" and condemning Plavsic as a traitor.
Later in the day the UN's International Police Task Force continued going through the material seized in the five police depots in Banja Luka on Wednesday.
The haul included rocket launchers, thousands of rounds of ammunition, hand grenades and, "a couple of items that belong more in a James Bond movie than in a police station", according to UN spokesman Alexander Ivanko. Under the Dayton agreement the Bosnian Serb police are allowed side arms but not "long-barrelled weapons" - rifles - let alone rocket launchers. The items included booby-trapped pens, plastic explosives and fake UN licence plates.
International diplomats believe Ms Plavsic, who was democratically elected in September last year, can be trusted and hope she will help find and extradite war crimes suspects Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.
US envoy Robert Gelbard blamed Krajisnik and Karadzic for creating "an extremely dangerous situation" by "refusing to permit the rule of law and the exercise of democracy and democratic institutions".
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
food + drink
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Lee Rigby murder: How killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale became ultra-violent radicals
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Apollo Theatre collapse: Scores injured after ceiling collapses in London's West End
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- < Previous
- Next >
£80000 - £120000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Risk - Delivery/...
£Negotiable: Citifocus: This is a new role carrying responsibility for a numbe...
£29999 - £40001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A top independent...
£90 - £130 per day + contributory pension scheme: Randstad Education Mancheste...