Serbs call for a united state: Morillon backs aid deal

BOSNIAN Serb leaders, backed by nationalist politicians in Belgrade, are pushing for the creation of a united Serbian state linking all Serbs who live outside Serbian-dominated rump Yugoslavia. The plan, which is certain to draw international condemnation, would merge Serbian-controlled areas of Bosnia with parts of Croatia that were conquered by the Serbs in 1991. Serbia's critics will see the plan as a prelude to the unification of all Serbian lands, including Serbia and Montenegro, an objective which Serbian nationalists have had in mind since the Yugoslav wars erupted in 1991.

To counter Croatian objections, the plan envisages that Croatia will be allowed to regain control of much of the Krajina enclave, which borders Croatia's Adriatic coast and is a UN-protected area under the authority of local Serbs. The Serbs will also allow the Croats a free hand in Western Herzegovina, an area next to Krajina where Bosnian Croats have already set up their own state and use the Croatian currency. In this way, the Serbs and Croats would implement their agreement, first reached at a meeting last May between the Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, and the Bosnian Croat leader, Mate Boban, to divide the republic at the expense of the Muslims.

Political sources in Belgrade said that the new Serbian state could be proclaimed before the start of May. They said that the plan had the support of Dobrica Cosic, the President of the rump Yugoslav state.

A strong hint that the plan is under active consideration was given on Saturday by Vojislav Seselj, the leader of the Serbian Radical Party, which is the second largest political party in the parliaments of Serbia and rump Yugoslavia. In a speech in Banja Luka, a Serbian stronghold in northern Bosnia, Mr Seselj said that his party's long-term goal was the creation of a single, enlarged Serbian state. But he said that a first stage in this process should be the formation of a state from Serbian-held lands in Bosnia and Croatia.

In eastern Bosnia the commander of UN forces, General Philippe Morillon, negotiated with Bosnian Serb leaders to try to ensure that 18 trucks of humanitarian aid could reach the besieged town of Srebrenica. The Danish trucks have been stranded on the Serbian side of the Drina river border for two days. General Morillon became a hero for many Muslims when he led an aid convoy into Srebrenica on Friday and evacuated about 700 people from the town, including 110 wounded.

General Morillon said yesterday that a UN convoy would begin evacuating Serbian families from Tuzla today, meeting the Serbian pre-condition for allowing further evacuations from Srebrenica. The general, who travelled to Tuzla earlier in the day, called for a company of UN Protection Force troops to be sent to Srebrenica to ensure that the town did not fall into the Serbian hands. He said he hoped to conclude a ceasefire today with the Bosnian Serb General, Ratko Mladic, at Bratunac, a Serb-controlled town close to the border with Serbia.

In Paris, the French Defence Ministry announced yesterday that it is sending two cargo planes to join US aircraft in airdropping relief aid into Bosnia. The planes will operate from the US base in Frankfurt.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all