Serbia Under Fire At Rights Meeting; Wide Support For Investigation With PM-Yugoslavia, Bjt
GENEVA (AP) _ Serbia came under harsh attack today at a U.N. human rights meeting on Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a Bosnian government official pleaded for U.S. air strikes to stop the fighting in the former Yugoslav republic.
Iran, professing solidarity with Bosnia’s Muslims, urged international military moves and a ″special U.N. committee to investigate war crimes,″ which would be aimed against Serbia and Serbian forces fighting in Bosnia.
The U.N. Human Rights Commission was expected to wind up a U.S.-requested emergency session today by appointing a special investigator for former Yugoslavia, with the focus on embattled Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Delegates said the investigator should report back to the commission within two weeks.
A draft resolution, backed by 43 countries, denounces ″ethnic cleansing″ as an especially serious violation. The phrase refers to the mass deportations aimed at creating ethnically pure zones which Serbia has been widely accused of pursuing.
At the United Nations on Thursday, the Security Council approved a resolution demanding access to detention camps and warning of war crimes trials.
The council also on Thursday approved the use of military force to ensure delivery of relief shipments. French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas responded today by saying on French television that his country was prepared to send 1,100 men - along with helicopters and light armored vehicles - to Bosnia.
Iranian delegate Hassan Mashhadi said the world should supply Bosnians with arms, threaten air strikes against Serbia and send troops to enforce the U.N. embargo against Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia.
″In the past, crimes of lesser magnitude had warranted harsher military action,″ Mashhadi told the scheduled two-day session, attended by 53 governments.
Bosnia’s Vice President Ejup Ganic told a news conference that the United States could end the fighting with a show of force using 10 F-15 warplanes against Serb positions in the hills around Sarajevo, the ravaged Bosnian capital.
He rejected expert estimates that an international force of 1 million soldiers would be required to stop the bloodshed.
The United Nations should force the removal of Serbian forces’ heavy weapons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, or at least end the arms embargo on Bosnia, Ganic said.
Libya, once an ally of socialist Yugoslavia in the movement of non-aligned states, appealed to what is left of Yugoslavia - Serbia and tiny Montenegro - ″to exert every effort to put an end to these violations.″
The draft proposal, at U.S. behest, does not single out the Serb, Croatian or Muslim communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina for blame for abuses.
But the United States claims prisoners are being moved out of Serb-run detention camps before outside investigators can inspect the sites, where former inmates have reported executions, rapes, and other abuses.
Dragan Kalinic, health minister of the self-proclaimed Serb republic in Bosnia, has denied the claim.
Evidence gathered by the U.N. investigator could be used in future war crimes trials. Backers hope this threat will increase pressure on Bosnia’s warring factions to end the abuses.
The United States asked for the emergency session last week following newspaper reports of atrocities and television footage showing emaciated inmates at a Serb prison camp that reminded many of Nazi concentration camps.
At the two-day emergency session’s opening on Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross issued an unusually strong condemnation of atrocities by all sides in Bosnia.
Red Cross spokesman Pierre Gauthier said the agency on Wednesday visited Serb-run Omarska, reportedly the most notorious detention camp in Bosnia.
The statement said its visits to the camps had proved that ″innocent civilians are being arrested and subjected to inhumane treatment.″
″Among the long list of methods used are harassment, murder, confiscation of property, deportation and the taking of hostages - which reduce individuals to the level of bargaining counters - all in violation of international law.″