Main Menu Travel Journal
Briefing War Maps World Links

Only So Much the World Can Do, Says Christopher at Geneva Summit
Secretary of State Says Weekend Events
Not Fatal to Hopes of Lasting Peace




FOR GENEVA BOSNIA SUMMIT. (GENEVA, March 18—Reuters) U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher said outside parties were limited in what they could do to establish multi-ethnic democracy in Bosnia. But he said he had convened a meeting of leaders of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia in Geneva on Monday to press them, again, to comply with terms of the U.S.-brokered Bosnia peace accord reached in Dayton, Ohio, last year.

Leaders involved in the accord, including Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, still insist that a multi-ethnic Bosnia is their aim but "there are limitations to what we can do to compel people to achieve" that goal, Christopher said. He was speaking to reporters after arriving in Geneva from Brussels late on Sunday during a European trip focused in part on trying to ensure that the Dayton accord is implemented.

Although military aspects of the deal, such as separating rival forces, are widely viewed as going well, the civilian aspects, such as rebuilding Bosnia, arresting suspected war criminals and guaranteeing personal security, are lagging. Since it was agreed four months ago, tens of thousands of civilians across Bosnia have fled areas being handed over to their former foes in land swaps worked out in negotiations.

Under pressure from their own authorities, Croats left two western towns while Serbs deserted suburbs around the capital of Sarajevo before they came under the control of Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation. In both cases, fleeing civilians burned and looted the areas before the transfer of authority. The exodus dealt a blow to the Dayton accord's goal of guaranteeing free movement in Bosnia without ethnic or religious boundaries.

Christopher said: "One of the principal reasons the United States took the risks and responsibilities of the leadership role was to give the parties an opportunity to achieve their stated goal of multi-ethnic Bosnia." He added that while "there are a number of patterns of concern to us and I certainly don't take them lightly... I don't think those things are a threat at this time to the overall peace process."

Although Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has yet to turn over two indicted war criminals to the international tribunal at the Hague Christopher described him as "one of the leaders on compliance." He said his talks with the presidents of Serbia and Croatia and the acting president of Bosnia were important now that the peace deal was moving into a new phase following the territorial transfers.

He planned to meet the three leaders at the U.S. mission in Geneva. After lunch with the group, he intended to shuttle between them, meeting them individually or in groups. He refused to say what agreements he would seek. But he stressed the aims of freedom of movement, cooperation with the war crimes tribunal, departure of all Muslim foreign forces and a free and fair vote in Bosnia elections set for September 1.

Additional resources
Warren Christopher Supports U.S. Plan to Re-Arm Bosnia

Berserkistan is a world news service of Michael Linder Productions, Inc.
©1995-1996, All Rights Reserved