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Commander of U.S. Troops in Bosnia Optimistic on Lasting Bosnian Peace

But the Fate of Bosnians Arrested by Serbs Remains Unclear
GEN. WILLIAM NASH AND SERB MILITARY COMMANDERS (CHECKPOINT ALPHA, Northern Bosnia, March 7—Reuters) The commander of U.S. peacekeeping troops in Bosnia said on Thursday (March 7) the country's former warring parties were fully committed to peace. "I am extremely pleased with the commitment of thesesoldiers to the peace process in Bosnia," General William Nash told reporters after chairing a joint meeting of senior Muslim, Croat and Serb officers.

The gathering took place at "Checkpoint Alpha," on a vital road joining Tuzla with Croatia and intersecting the Serb-held Posavina corridor. The corridor, which links Serb-held territories in eastern and western Bosnia. is now patrolled by U.S. troops.

Map: Posavina Corridor "I would say all the parties are cooperating fully," Nash said, referring to the military requirements of the Bosnia peace plan agreed in Dayton, Ohio, in November. The warring parties have already implemented the first stages of the plan—the separation and withdrawal of forces and the creation of a demilitarised buffer zone patrolled by international peacekeepers. The pact also calls for the disposal of air defence systems at designated sites by March 18, 90 days after the peace plan was formally signed in Paris, and for the withdrawal of troops and heavy weapons to barracks by April 18.

Fate of 14 Detained Bosnians Remains Unsolved
"We have met all the requirements so far in time and we are satisfied," said Colonel Djuro Matuzovic of the Bosnian Croat HVO militia. "We hope all sides will agree to also resolve the issue of prisoners." The Serbs detained 14 people in the Posavina corridor, most of which is under their control, and seven others near their stronghold of Doboj, in violation of the peace agreement which calls for freedom of movement and the release of all prisoners.

"There should have been no detentions after the peace accord took effect," said Bosnian Serb General Momir Talic. He said mutual trust had been undermined by the Bosnian army's capture in Sarajevo in January of two senior Serb officers, later charged with war crimes. "That in turn led to the capture of other people who happened to be on someone else's territory," Talic said. "But all those people should be released as soon as possible."

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14 Bosnians Detained by Serbs in Posavina Corridor Berserkistan is a world news service of Michael Linder Productions, Inc.
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