U.N. General Assembly Votes On Lifting Arms Embargo With PM-Yugoslavia
UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ The General Assembly votes today on a non-binding resolution urging the Security Council to lift the arms embargo on Bosnia’s government.
The resolution is expected to be adopted overwhelmingly for the third consecutive year, showing that the 184-nation assembly increasingly is fed up with Bosnian Serb aggression.
Early next week, the Security Council plans to discuss a U.S. resolution which would exempt Bosnia’s Muslim-led government from the arms embargo imposed on all parties to the conflict - Muslims, Serbs and Croats.
Britain, France and Russia - three permanent council members with veto power - are opposed to lifting the embargo, saying that move would inflame the conflict and jeopardize 23,000 U.N. peacekeepers in the region.
The council resolution introduced last week by U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright calls for the U.N. arms embargo to be lifted in six months if the Bosnian Serbs don’t sign a proposed peace treaty.
The treaty, already accepted by the Bosnian government and by Bosnian Croats, requires Bosnian Serbs to surrender one-third of their captured territory to the Muslim-Croat federation. Serbs now hold about 70 percent of Bosnia.
The 2 1/2 -year-old conflict has left more than 200,000 people dead or missing. It began when Bosnian Serbs revolted against a vote by Muslims and Croats to secede from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia.
The United States hopes today’s General Assembly vote will be a broad endorsement for lifting the arms embargo against the outgunned Muslim-led government.
The draft resolution also vigorously condemns Serb aggression and human rights abuses and refuses to recognize any territory gained by force.