LETTER: Keep troops in Gorazde

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From Mr David Herriott and others

Sir: We are appalled at the British government's decision to withdraw our troops from Gorazde (report, 26 August). It sends completely the wrong signal to the Bosnian Serbs and will encourage them to attack this so- called UN safe haven. There are 60,000 Muslims in the enclave and many of them are now likely to be massacred, as their compatriots were in Srebrenica earlier this summer.

If such a slaughter does take place in Gorazde, our government - and any of our politicians who have not condemned the British withdrawal - will have been complicit in genocide.

Moreover, the soon-to-be-abandoned inhabitants of Gorazde are not the only people who will suffer from this craven withdrawal.

Extreme rightists in Russia must be concluding that the West would do absolutely nothing if, in the future, they decided to re-absorb the Baltic states or the Caucasus. All over the world dictators and other would-be expansionists must be licking their lips in glee at Britain and Europe's weakness and incompetence even in our own backyard.

We implore the Government to cease the Gorazde withdrawal process immediately.

Yours faithfully,

David Herriott, Sylvia Herriott, Graca Rocha-Keys, Maurice Sigal, Peter Croft, Sharon Karpel Pike, Alan Gilbert, Neville Berlin, Anne O'Shea

Ruislip, Middlesex

28 August