Berserkistan Navigator Bosnian Serb Women in Banja Luka
Protest War Missing, Prisoners

Unconfirmed reports that the
OSCE director is taken hostage

MAP: Banja Luka BANJA LUKA, Bosnia, June 17 (Reuters) - Some 200 Bosnian Serb women demonstrated outside an office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Monday, demanding information about missing Serb soldiers and prisoners of war. The women blocked the office entrances with three foreign OSCE officials inside, including acting regional director Ronald Dreyer, witnesses said.

Bosnian Serb media reported the women were demanding the release of remaining Serb prisoners of war and details on the number of Serb dead, including when and where they were killed. A Serb television report alleged the OSCE director had been "taken hostage." OSCE officials in Sarajevo were not immediately available for comment. Bosnian Serb television, which is controlled by hardline Serb leaders, gave the well-organised demonstration extensive coverage.

Protesters were carrying signs in cyrillic and the Latin alphabet. Among Bosnia's former warring factions, cyrillic letters are only used by Orthodox Christian Serbs. The demonstration targeted the OSCE even though it is not charged with tracing missing soldiers, a task handled by other agencies including the International Committee of the Red Cross.

OSCE officials are overseeing post-war elections in Bosnia which are tentatively scheduled for mid-September. Serb authorities have come under criticism from the OSCE for obstructing efforts to prepare free and fair elections, stifling free speech and blocking the repatriation of refugees.

One demonstrator carried a sign that read, "There will be no elections without our children."

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) published a list of 11,000 names of people missing in the 3-year Bosnian conflict this month in an attempt to speed the tracing process. Muslims account for three quarters of the missing on the Red Cross list. The ICRC says the true number of people who remain unaccounted for is far higher but Bosnia's rival factions have been slow to release information.

To learn more...
Berserkistan, May 29 · Just How Moderate is Banja Luka?
Berserkistan, May 24 · John Major Tours Banja Luka
Berserkistan, May 13 · Bosnian Serbs in Banja Luka Fear War Will Return
Berserkistan, May 10 · Bildt Wins Commitment from Moderate Serbs in Banja Luka
Berserkistan May 5 · Banja Luka Moderates Seen as Serb Successors
Banja Luka Facts, Tales, Legends and Friends.

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