U.N. Commanders Discuss Unauthorized Serb Troop Presence On Igman With PM-Yugoslavia-Summit, PM-Yugoslavia-The Losers, Bjt
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ Top U.N. commanders headed to Mount Igman today to discuss the presence of Bosnian Serb troops on the strategic peak five days after they were to have withdrawn.
Fighting also continued today in Mostar, where U.N. military observers hoped to enter in an attempt to open the devastated area to aid convoys, a U.N. spokesman said.
About 100 Serb troops with small-caliber weapons were still in the Babin Dol area of Igman in the southeast part of the withdrawal zone, said Cmdr. Barry Frewer, the U.N. military spokesman in Sarajevo.
Saturday was the deadline under the U.N.-mediated accord for complete withdrawal from the mountain southwest of Sarajevo.
In Geneva, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic joined other leaders for peace talks today after threatening to walk out because of the continued Serb presence on Igman. He had boycotted the talks for two weeks after the Serbs took Igman and another strategic peak.
Frewer said Gen. Francis Briquemont, commander of U.N. forces in Bosnia, and Gen. Jean Cot, commander of U.N. troops throughout former Yugoslavia, were to meet with the Serbs leaders today to try to get the troops to leave.
The U.N. spokesman insisted the Serbs left on Igman posed ″no threats″ and had not withdrawn because of communications and transportation problems.
But he said that as recently as Tuesday, they had been supplied with water. He added that the Serbs want to remain in the Babin Dol area to help supply their withdrawn troops. The main supply road runs through Babin Dol.
He could not say whether the United Nations would go along with the Serb request, which was expected to be discussed in today’s meeting.
Frewer said fighting continued in the southwestern Mostar area, and there was a ″greater use of homemade bombs.″
He said U.N. military liaison officers would try to enter the besieged area from both the Croat and Muslim-led government sides today to discuss opening the area to aid convoys. No aid has reached Mostar for over two months.
Up to 35,000 people are trapped on the east side of the Neretva River in Mostar without food and water. Frewer said living conditions were ″appalling″ and that there was also a critical lack of blood for the wounded.
In Zagreb, U.N. spokesman Yuri Chizhik said U.N. civil affairs chief Cedric Thornberry would try to enter Mostar on Friday.
Sarajevo remained largely quiet, but there was sporadic mortar shelling and occasional sniper fire west and north of the city center and around Zuc, a government-held hill northwest of the city.
The United Nations also confirmed today that the six to seven 82mm mortar rounds fired into the Sarajevo suburb of Dobrinja on Tuesday night came from Serb positions in Nedarici, just northwest of Dobrinja.
Frewer said two people were killed and 18 wounded in that attack.
More parts of Sarajevo began receiving some electricity as of Wednesday night. Lt. Col. Michel Maufrais, the chief U.N. engineer, said additional power was coming into the city from a hydroelectric plant on the Neretva River.
But the restoration was sporadic, and Maufrais could not say immediately how long it would last. The increased megawatts also meant a few hours of running water for some areas.
The city has been besieged by Serbs for most of Bosnia’s 16-month-old war, in which between 140,000 and 200,000 people have been killed or are missing.