Letter: Air strikes not the answer in Bosnia

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The Independent Online
Sir: Last weekend, Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Rose, commander of UN peace-keepers in Bosnia, and the US envoy, Charles Redman, reported that there had been several days of serious discussions between both sides regarding a ceasefire, to take place this Tuesday, and about a peace agreement to follow. This hopeful move was ditched by Sunday's US air raid. Far from stopping the fighting, it intensified it. And the following raid had the same effect.

'Now that the bombs have fallen there can be no going back,' says the Independent editorial (12 April), and adds, with little evidence, that the argument that 'the bombs hamper the peace process is the opposite of the truth'. Meanwhile, C. B. Goodhart in the same issue calls for soldiers on the ground ('and a lot of them') prepared to fight ('Partition may be Bosnia's only hope for peace', 12 April). That is the logical conclusion of the editorial, and the worst outcome of all.

The UN is there to prevent further fighting, not to take part on one side or the other. The Bosnian Serb military has committed horrendous atrocities, and so have the Croats and the Muslims. Further Nato attacks will inevitably kill and maim innocent civilians.

Yours sincerely,

FRANK ALLAUN

Manchester

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