Letter: Bosnia: a fire outsiders helped to start

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DOUGLAS Hurd looks at the bright side with his claim that the present international effort in Bosnia is well organised ("Just like the Book of Kings", 9 November). But this is congratulating firefighters for putting out a fire they helped start.

Why was Germany allowed to lead in policy matters, given its appalling record in the South Slav lands? Bonn's encouragement of unilateral secession violated both the spirit of the Hel- sinki Accords and diplomatic convention. The Krajina region of Croatia was akin to an Ulster compounded by genocide within living memory and Bosnia bore resemblance to the Lebanon, yet the EC decreed that federal Yugoslavia had ceased to exist and that the federal units via winner-take-all referendums would be the successor states.

The international community should ponder on having had its way with Croatia and Sarajevo, today whole (non-partitioned) and, for the first time, whole- some (nearly ethnically pure).

David Burdett

Richmond, Surrey