US delays loan for Croatia

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The Independent Online
The US is delaying consideration of a $30m (pounds 18m) World Bank loan to Croatia to signal displeasure with its tardiness in fulfilling the Dayton peace accords, as the trial opened in The Hague of a Bosnian Croat general accused of war crimes.

US officials said they want Croatia to allow the return of Serbian refugees and hand over more indicted war criminals. State Department officials said approval for the loan was being postponed because President Franjo Tudjman "has not followed through on some of his commitments, including not taking the necessary steps on war criminals". The move coincided with the start of the trial of Tihomir Blaskic, accused of directing an "ethnic cleansing" campaign in the Lasva valley of central Bosnia from 1992 to 1994.

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