Violations mark 100 days of ceasefire

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The Independent Online
AS THE major powers met in Washington yesterday to find a common diplomatic front to halt the Bosnian war, Sarajevo marked 100 days of a ceasefire to the sound of steady gunfire, and battles raged elsewhere in the country.

A United Nations force spokesman, Major Rob Annink, said the 100th day of the agreement signed on 10 February was greeted with 'the usual ceasefire violations' in the capital, including fire from heavy machine-guns, rocket- launchers, hand-grenades and small-arms.

Elsewhere, Muslim-led government forces and Bosnian Serb troops fought for control of strategic roads in the north-east, especially around the Olovo-Kladanj area straddling the road from Sarajevo to the northern Bosnina government stronghold of Tuzla.

In Washington, officials from the United States, Russia and the European Union held a second day of talks to iron out differences and to draw up options for new negotiations with the warring factions.

In Paris, Bosnia topped the French domestic political agenda yesterday with Michel Rocard, the Socialist Party leader, arguing for an end to the international embargo on arms sales to Bosnian Muslims, while Alain Juppe, the Gaullist Foreign Minister, said such a move could lead to a new 'One Hundred Years' War'.

Mr Rocard, who will head the Socialist list for the European elections next month and who hopes to be his party's candidate for the presidency next year, was clearly responding to the proposal by Bernard-Henri Levy, the philosopher, to form a list of intellectual candidates called 'Europe Begins at Sarajevo' to contest the June elections if the established parties did not put Bosnia among priorities.