Pressure on UN for tougher Bosnia role

The United Nations is coming under pressure from governments to change its approach to the UN mission in Bosnia after its refusal to authorise Nato air strikes against Serbian artillery around Sarajevo and its failure to prevent increasing casualties among the 4,800 French peace-keepers.

There is a dawning crisis of confidence in London and Paris over the conduct of the UN special envoy to former Yugoslavia, Yasushi Akashi, whose negotiating efforts failed to stop the Serbian bombardment of Sarajevo or forestall the Croat recapture of western Slavonia from the Serbs.

The Netherlands and the Ukraine are believed to be unhappy about the risk to their troops deployed as part of the peace-keeping force.

"The perception that the UN is never going to authorise Nato action is causing concern among troop contributors like ourselves," one official in London said yesterday.

The French Foreign Minister, Alain Jupp, is said to have been "furious" over the lack of response to Serbian attacks. Mr Jupp is likely to become Prime Minister under President Jacques Chirac and the two men have let it be known that they want a change of course in the former Yugoslavia.

Mr Jupp is understood to have told the Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, that the new French government will not tolerate "muddling along with the status quo." Britain will be happy to let France take the lead in pushing for a change in the rules of engagement.

The issue of the UN mission is now under review at the behest of the Secretary General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali. It is thought that the minimum measure acceptable to Paris is strengthened protection for French troops around Sarajevo.

British officials insisted that diplomatic efforts to gain a settlement through President Milosevic of Serbia were still alive.

Bosnia will be the top item on Mr Hurd's agenda when he arrives in Washington today for talks with Vice-President Al Gore and the Secretary of State, Warren Christopher.

Meanwhile the Croatian President, Franjo Tudjman, promised yesterday to withdraw all his troops from UN buffer zones in Croatia. Germany's leaders, who received Mr Tudjman in Bonn, said Croatia's leader would have to keep his promise if he hoped to count on continued economic aid.

Mr Tudjman told German officials his army would leave the three remaining UN demilitarised zones last night. But by 8pm, only a few hundred had pulled out - with the entire force of 1,220 still remaining in the UN Sector North. There were no reports of Serb withdrawals.

One Croatian commander told the UN he would not leave until Serb fighters did the same. About 2,400 Croatians and 1,900 Serbs moved into the zones after Croatia recaptured the western Slavonia region from the Serbs.

Mr Tudjman promised he would not use more force but added that he intended to regain all the Serb-held lands. He said his patience with the use of political means to get them back was "not unlimited."

Chancellor Helmut Kohl and the Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel, made it clear that economic aid and Croatia's partnership with the EU depended on Mr Tudjman's keeping his promises to rebel Serbs as well as his co-operation with the Muslim-led government of Bosnia.

"Croatia's behaviour is the key to further European Union co-operation with Croatia," Mr Kohl said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture