Letter: Croats are war victims, too

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The Independent Online
Sir: I would like to draw your attention to some facts disturbingly under-reported in the British media:

1. In the past three months the Bosnian Muslim army has ethnically cleansed 15 per cent of Bosnian territory of all Croats (120,000 civilians displaced and more than 2,000 killed). The cleansing took place under the noses of the British UN Protection Force contingent.

2. Mostar is increasingly mentioned as ethnically cleansed of Muslims, with Bosnian Croats named as culprits. However, the present Muslim share of the town's population is 60 per cent (compared with 42 per cent in 1991) and Muslims control 50 per cent of the town's area.

3. In the meantime, however, the Bosnian Muslim army has cleansed of all Croats a number of towns under its control (Konjic, Jablanica, Travnik, Kakanj, Fojnica) and a total of 180 villages. Some 120,000 Croatian civilians have thus been turned into displaced persons since April this year.

4. To this should be added the earlier number (300,000) of Croats forced to flee from advancing Bosnian Serb forces in the Posavina region of northern Bosnia, or expelled by Bosnian Serb authorities from towns under their control (Banja Luka, Jajce, Kotor Varos). As a result, Croats, the least numerous ethnic group in Bosnia (18 per cent in 1991), are now the most endangered one (over 60 per cent forcibly displaced so far).

5. Some 200,000 Croats in four enclaves of central Bosnia now besieged by the Bosnian Muslim army enjoy no safe areas, however dubious these may be, while fewer than 150,000 Muslims in east Bosnian enclaves of Zepa, Srebrenica and Gorazde do.

6. UNHCR food convoys for Zenica, under the protection of British blue berets, pass through Vares, one of the four Croatian enclaves of central Bosnia, but never leave any food for the people there who are starving to death.

Rooting for the underdog is a noble British tradition, but so is fairness. How much longer will the Muslim monopoly on victimhood in Bosnia be allowed to go unchallenged?

Yours faithfully,

H. E. Z. BUJAS

Ambassador

Embassy of the Republic of Croatia

London, SW1

26 July

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