Letter: UN has the authority to relieve Sarajevo

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The Independent Online
Sir: In his letter (13 July), Chris Paul of the Oxford Aid Committee for Bosnia shows us how out-of-date is the argument that a more active policy to defend the Bosnian Muslims has to be rejected because it would endanger the UN aid effort. On the contrary, starvation now threatens Sarajevo and other centres more than ever, and some threat or use of force is the only way to keep the humanitarian effort alive.

Mr Paul makes the practical suggestion of a UN-sponsored 'safe corridor' from the Adriatic port of Polce through to Sarajevo, Zenica and Tuzla (I would add Mostar and Gorazde). For most of its length, this corridor would run through Croat-controlled territory. Surely the western allies can bring themselves to lean sufficiently on the Croats to permit it to function? After all, Croatia depends on the West.

As for Sarajevo itself, Europe and the UN should oblige silence also from the Serb gunners and snipers who have been brutalising this multi-cultural city - it is after all several weeks now since they promised it would become a 'safe area'. The question is simple: are we going to stand up for our own ideals?

Yours faithfully,