Sir: The deaths of two British aid workers in Bosnia (report, 16 August) raises urgent questions about the UN Protection Force mandate for Sarajevo. The men were driving at night without lights for fear of attracting the attention of Serb gunmen who routinely attack aid vehicles along the Mount Igman route.
The British and French troops deployed on Igman last month are authorised to defend UN convoys, but are under orders to refrain from protecting other aid vehicles. As a result, charities such as ours run a lethal gauntlet of Serbian gunfire casually levelled at us without fear of punishment.
The UN mandate on Igman has now resulted in two British deaths. More will certainly follow unless that mandate is changed to permit our troops to defend our aid workers. The UN claims to be in Bosnia to defend the relief effort of which the voluntary organisations are a key part - it must now be asked to put that commitment into practice.
Bosnia Aid Committee of Oxford
16 AugustReuse content