US plan asks Serbs to give up east Slavonia
Balkan turmoil: Serbs reel from Croat attacks on Trebinje and Drvar 8 Washington presents new peace plan to Milosevic
Friday 18 August 1995
The United States appeared last night to have won at least outline support for its new Balkan peace plan from the Serbian President, Slobodan Milosevic.
But the fate of the plan could depend on the outcome of a renewed power struggle between the Bosnian Serb leaders, Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic.
Although the two men appeared to have patched up their quarrel last week, there was speculation last night about an imminent Belgrade-sponsored military coup to oust the unyielding Mr Karadzic as Prime Minister. A statement from the entire Bosnian Serb general staff accused Mr Karadzic of "deception" . The generals said that in spite of promises to the contrary, he was still planning to dump their boss, General Mladic. as military commander.
Despite his brutal record in treatment of Muslim civilians, General Mladic is thought to be readier than Mr Karadzic to consider a land-swap peace deal. With his troops under pressure in western Bosnia, and likely to come under renewed Croatian assault today near Dubrovnik, he is said to be ready to cut his losses.
Richard Holbrooke, the US Assistant Secretary of State, engaged in shuttle diplomacy on the Washington peace plan, spoke to Mr Milosevic for five hours in Belgrade yesterday. Afterwards Mr Milosevic said: "The United States wishes to help in this as much as possible to achieve urgent peace and stability in the Balkans."
It is understood that the US plan calls on Belgrade to withdraw from east Slavonia, the last chunk of Croatia still held by Serbian forces. Belgrade has been promised that Croatia would accept a wide degree of autonomy for Serb-populated areas of the land and full monitoring of human rights. For two years after the Serb withdrawal, the area would be placed under UN administration.
The plan also calls for a right of return for the Serbian refugees who fled the Croatian army conquest of Krajina. UN sources scoffed at this element of the plan yesterday, reporting that Croatians had set Serbian villages alight in south of the region, burning crops and looting.
The US package deal is described as "all for all" - the lifting of all sanctions in return for peace and the recognition by Serbia of Croatia and Bosnia.
The carve-up of Bosnia would provide roughly 49 per cent for the Bosnian Serbs and 51 per cent for the Muslim-Croat federation, as envisaged under previous plans, with the Serb area federated to Serbia proper and the Muslim-Croat federation linked to Croatia.
Despite US denials that Washington is asking for the surrender of Gorazde, the last Muslim enclave in eastern Bosnia, EU diplomats believe the Muslims may be pressed to make the concession, in return for more land around Sarajevo.
Considerable doubts remain about the viability of the US ideas. The Bosnian government is reported to be divided, fearing that it will be left with a fig-leaf state, lodged between Croatia and Serbia.
EU diplomats say the "window of opportunity" for the peace initiative, created by the shift in the strategic balance,will last "only weeks."
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...