Bosnia told to uphold peace deal, or lose aid
Serbian demonstrators make headway in Yugoslavia
December 6, 1996
Web posted at: 4:15 a.m. EST (0915 GMT)
LONDON (CNN) -- Foreign ministers ended their two-day
conference on Bosnia Thursday with a stern warning to the
former warring parties: Do more to implement the Dayton
peace plan, or the flow of aid will stop.
The leaders of more than 40 countries were meeting in London
to assess progress of the Dayton peace deal, now a year old,
and to put in place a plan for the coming year.
Those present reached agreements on issues as diverse as
restoring nationwide phone and bus service, building
democratic institutions and creating an atmosphere of trust
that would allow hundreds of thousand of refugees to return
For their part, the Bosnians promised once again to fulfill
Dayton pledges, such as establishing freedom of movement,
handing over war criminals and forming common political
institutions -- aspects of the deal that have been largely
"All the communities are in favor of peace, but somewhat
different versions of peace," international mediator Carl
Bildt told reporters.
"They are trying to twist the implementation of the peace
agreement to suit their own needs. That's why our presence is
so important," he said.
The London hosts were anxious to underscore the progress that
has been made. They said that after 43 months of bloodshed,
having the Muslim, Croat and Serb leadership sit together
representing a single Bosnia was a small triumph in itself.
While leaders in London focused on issues of human rights and
democracy in Bosnia, they could not ignore the clamor for the
same in the streets of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, as opponents of
Serbia's leader kept up their peaceful protests.
"These events did cut across the spirit of reconciliation and
progress at this conference," said Balkan analyst Spyros
Economides. "I spoke at length as did others to the foreign
minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia about these
concerns and he will take back to Belgrade a clear message
about the views of the international community."
Western leaders are perhaps reluctant to put too much
pressure on Slobodan Milosevic. It was his policies, many
say, that sparked the war in Bosnia, but he also helped to
"He is a key ingredient for keeping some kind of stability in
Bosnia, not only because he signed the Dayton agreement, not
only because he has a certain amount of control over Bosnian
Serbs and their military machine but also because he is seen
as a relatively strong man in the Yugoslav context."
While events in Belgrade were debated in London, back in
Yugoslavia, a record 150,000 protesters took to the streets
of the capital.
Milosevic showed some signs of bending Thursday to opposition
forces that have demonstrated against his leadership for the
last 18 days.
Two independent radio stations were allowed to resume
broadcasts, and a purge of party officials accused
of election fraud continued.
The government also extended an olive branch to its people,
with promises of cash for students and pensioners and cheaper
electricity for the nation.
International Correspondent Siobhan Darrow and Reuters contributed to this report.
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