LETTER: Now is the time to lift the Bosnian embargo

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From Mr Roy Edey

Sir: When Malcolm Rifkind, the Defence Minister, informed Parliament, three years ago, that we were dispatching forces to Bosnia, he promised the nation that they would be withdrawn if their lives were in danger.

It is arguable that the 15 British servicemen who havealready lost their lives in Bosnia have been unlawfully killed, because that promise has not been honoured. It has always been criminally irresponsible to deploy a peace-keeping force into the midst of a civil war.

The combatants have never shown any wish to stop the war, and unless or until they do, there is no role in Bosnia for the United Nations.

Under the cloak of Nato, the Americans - who have no forces on the ground - by pressing for retaliatory air strikes against the Serbs, have those on "peace-keeping" duties at risk of being killed by bombing, or by the Serbs in retaliation for the air strikes.

Genocidal atrocities have been committed by all the ethnic communities: Serbs, Croats and Muslims, while United Nations personnel deployed in Bosnia have been powerless to intervene.

The Government must immediately withdraw our peace- keeping personnel until the combatants are ready to stop fighting their civil war among themselves and are ready to make peace.

Yours sincerely,




27 May