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Honor the promises made at Dayton!

By The Bosnia Action Coalition

Wednesday, 12 June 1996

Point of View Please contact president Clinton and demand that Dayton's provisions be fulfilled: the arrest of war criminals, genuine freedom of movement across Bosnia, and country-wide elections when proper conditions are met.

The next few weeks are critical in the implementation of the Dayton peace agreements. Right now, instead of pushing to ensure that agreed-upon election conditions are in place, the Clinton Administration is working to paper over massive violations of the Dayton accords and certify elections regardless of conditions on the ground.

American Robert Frowick, head of the team monitoring if proper election conditions are in place, has ordered his staff to concentrate more on "positive developments" and less on continued gross violations. Field monitors in Bosnia were furious; one told the Times: "The effect will be to downplay all human rights violations and play up everything that can be used to promote the holding of elections. It is a cynical move, aiming solely at justifying what will probably be a farce."

"The reason is hardly obscure," writes Times columnist Anthony Lewis. "President Clinton and his aides believe that it will look better for him in the election campaign if the Dayton plan is proceeding as scheduled ... I think that is political nonsense. How can it be good for President Clinton to have everyone see the Dayton accords, his proud foreign-policy achievement, as a transparent fraud? That is what Dayton will be if Mr. Frowick solemnly declares that night is day."

Meanwhile, Western powers have publicly refused to go after indicted war criminals in Bosnia, saying it is up to the "parties themselves," not NATO, to arrest indicted war criminals. However, they do not explain who in Serb-held Bosnia is supposed to be making such arrests, since indicted war criminals control the police, army, and major political offices.

"Dayton, for those of us who believed in it, pointed toward a gradual reknitting of Bosnia," Lewis writes. "The crucial provisions were freedom of movement, fair countrywide elections and the arrest of war criminals. If those aims are put aside, Dayton will look more and more like a way of legitimizing ethnic division -- and its murderous perpetrators."

It is vital that Washington hear from the public NOW, while there is still time to change the current policy of denying problems with Dayton instead of working to fix them! Failure to act within the next few weeks may have disastrous long-term consequences.

Please take 10 or 15 minutes now to phone, fax or write. If Washington does not hear from us now, they will assume this current policy of ignoring major human-rights breaches and refusing to arrest war criminals is working.

White House contact information
Phone: 202-456-1111
Fax: 202-456-2461
Postal mail: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC 20500 E-mail:

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