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U.N. Bosnia Protest Dominated By Muslims, Jews

May 24, 1993

NEW YORK (AP) _ About 500 people turned out to mark the first anniversary of Bosnia- Herzegovina’s membership in the United Nations, but it wasn’t a celebration.

The mostly Muslim demonstrators were demanding an end to ″ethnic cleansing″ in the new nation. And many denounced President Clinton for not getting the arms embargo against Bosnia lifted.

Bosnia became a U.N. member last May 22, after an ethnic war already had torn apart the Balkan nation. Sunday’s commemoration was held at Dag Hammarskoljd Plaza, near the U.N. headquarters.

″Mr. Clinton, God is watching you 3/8″ said one sign.

Alma Musanovic, a 23-year-old refugee from Sarajevo, said Clinton had betrayed his campaign promise that the arms embargo against Bosnia would be lifted.

″We don’t ask that foreigners get involved,″ said Ms. Musanovic, a college student from Massachusetts whose parents still live in Sarajevo. ″We just want the right to self-defense.″

At least one protester, a Bosnian Muslim, has seen the war firsthand. Elvir Karic, 21, stood with his leg - injured during a grenade attack in northern Bosnia - in a cast.

″Nobody gives us anything with which to fight,″ the soldier said in Serbo-Croatian. Foreign countries ″are giving us food to prolong our torture.″

Other protesters included Muslims born in India, Pakistan and the Middle East, and a black American Muslim group called the Council of Imams.

A group of Jewish supporters, recalling the Holocaust of World War II, held placards with such slogans as ″Stop Genocide In Bosnia NOW″ and ″Never Again.″

At least 138,000 people have been killed or left missing and 2 million were forced to flee their homes in ethnic fighting in Bosnia. Serbs, considered the aggressors by the world community, now control more than 70 percent of Bosnian territory.

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