U.N. Struggles to Save Utility Accord, Flighting Flares With PM-Yugoslavia-Economy, Bjt
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ U.N. officials struggled today to save a fragile accord that would restore power and water to Sarajevo. New outbreaks of fighting and ethnic cleansing were reported elsewhere in Bosnia.
About 20 percent of Sarajevo’s 380,000 residents received running water today for the first time since June 21, when the entire city’s power and water supplies were cut off. Water also started running in the Serb-held suburb of Ilidza.
But Maj. Nicolas Studer, chief engineer of the U.N. peacekeeping force, said the Serb forces besieging Sarajevo broke their promise to restore natural gas, jeopardizing the entire accord to restore all utilities to the city.
With the city reduced to only 2 percent of its regular supply of water, fears of spreading disease had mounted as people resorted to using unclean water.
U.N. officials also warned of a potential food crisis. Land convoys have been interrupted for weeks because of fighting and blockades, and relief flights provide only about 60 percent of the capital’s needs.
The U.N. High Commssioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, flew to Sarajevo today to assess the crisis.
Elsewhere in Bosnia, new intense fighting errupted, and U.N. officials condemned a new wave of ″ethnic cleansing″ in the southwestern city of Mostar.
The forced expulsion of rival ethnic groups by occupying forces has been a particularly heinous feature of this war, which has left more than 138,000 people dead or missing and displaced more than 2 million.
Cmdr. Barry Frewer, a spokesman for peacekeepers in Sarajevo, said there was new fighting in Mostar between Bosnian Croats and the mostly Muslim Bosnian army.
Frewer also said Croat reinforcements were coming to Mostar from the direction of the Croatian port of Split. He said they ″very likely″ included regular army troops from neighboring Croatia.
Croatia has denied that its army is aiding Bosnian Croat forces.
U.N. sources reported Tuesday that hundreds of Muslim men have been detained in Mostar. Women, children and elderly people have been evicted from their homes in a new surge of ethnic cleansing by Croat militiamen, they said.
In central Bosnia, where government forces have been fighting Serbs and Croats, 2,000 Muslim refugees were fleeing toward the town of Travnik after ethnic cleansing by Serb forces, Frewer said.
In north-central Bosnia, Frewer said, there were unconfirmed reports that 2,000 Bosnian soldiers were being held prisoner in Maglaj, part of a strategic triangle of towns that control access to some of the last remaining major government strongholds.