Letter: Force or peaceful pressure in Bosnia

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The Independent Online
Sir: I reply to the majority of your warmongering readers' letters on the crisis in Yugoslavia, all thirsting for more blood by bombing and crushing Serbia. In this growing hysteria for further blood-letting, let us pause and reassess the situation in Bosnia, where I think there is a chance for peace.

When Bosnia's independence was encouraged by the European Community, the Croats and the Muslims voted together as a majority, which left the Serbs a minority of 33 per cent. The scenario has altered. Croats and Serbs now have the same goal (ie, division of Bosnia into ethnic cantons), and the two Christian groups, which now constitute a majority over the Muslim population, are ready to stop fighting. The Muslims, a minority, refuse to divide Bosnia. They press for Western military intervention to deliver the whole of Bosnia into their hands, and as long as the warmongering is going on they will not negotiate peace or cantonisation.

If the international community would put pressure on the Muslim leaders to consider this option as an inevitability, rather then support their claim to the whole of Bosnia, the war could stop almost immediately and the refugees could return home.

In the interim, derecognition of Bosnia could be effected while new ethnic borders were drawn, and, in a civilised manner, people could sell or exchange their homes and lands should they wish to move from one canton to another. Subsequently, in two or three years, independence for a new cantonised Bosnia could be effected under a joint leadership.

The world powers must be made to see that revoking the recognition of Bosnia temporarily would not indicate a weakness or a loss of face, but would be an act of wisdom and rationality.

Yours faithfully,



8 August