UN gives Nato right to down Serbian planes: Security Council endorses military action against aircraft violating no-fly zone over Bosnia

THE United Nations Security Council voted yesterday to allow Nato planes to shoot down aircraft violating its no-fly zone over Bosnia. The move, aimed at Serbian military aircraft, is the first step by the Council to try and force the Serbs to sign the UN and European Community-sponsored peace plan for the republic drawn up by Lord Owen and Cyrus Vance.

Fourteen of the Council's 15 members voted for the resolution. China abstained.

'The Council's vote will send a very clear message that it will not tolerate any violations of the no-fly zone,' said Sir David Hannay, the British ambassador to the UN. The UN has reported many violations by the Serbs of the Council's five-month- old flight ban.

The resolution will take effect after seven days, but Nato planes will only start operations after a further seven- day grace period. At the request of the Russians, the rules of engagement for the Nato planes will be confined to aerial combat in Bosnian airspace. They will not fire at targets on the ground, unless the fire is in self-defence. Further action by the Security Council is required for any change in the rules.

In addition yesterday, the Security Council discussed a draft resolution that would 'commend' the Vance- Owen peace plan for Bosnia in the form agreed by two of the parties, the Muslims and the Croats. It has been rejected so far by the Serbs.

The 30-point draft resolution - one of the longest ever produced by the Security Council - calls on the Serbs to sign the peace plan, promises that the Council will send a heavily armed force to implement the peace plan, and that it is ready to impose tighter sanctions if the Serbs do not sign within 15 days. A vote is not expected until the end of the week.

Welcoming yesterday's expected no-fly vote, Lord Owen said it was up to the Security Council 'to convince the Bosnian Serbs that there could be no exceptions to the peace plan'. However, both Lord Owen and Mr Vance were clearly disappointed that the draft resolution did not fully endorse the plan on which they have worked so hard over the past five months.

Among the proposed extra sanctions in the British draft resolution are: tightening financial sanctions, banning transport of all commodities across the land borders or to the ports of Yugoslavia, allowing only a strictly limited number of land crossing points into Yugoslavia, and intercepting and pursuing into Yugoslav territorial waters vessels in violation of sanctions.

In a related move yesterday, diplomats reported the Vance-Owen plan would shortly be known by another name. Mr Vance, who has been ill, is to retire from the negotiations, to be replaced by Thorvald Stoltenberg, Norway's former Foreign Minister.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future