AP NEWS
Related topics

Disease Feared as Capital’s Last Major Drinking-Water Source Cut With PM-Macedonia, Bjt

July 12, 1993

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ The Bosnian capital’s last major source of drinking water has been cut, increasing the threat of disease from contaminated water, a U.N. official said today.

Peter Kessler, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said the pump serving a well at the city brewery in Sarajevo stopped operating Sunday because of a Serb blockade of fuel.

The well had been supplying less than 20 percent of Sarajevo’s normal water needs. The main pumping station is in Serb-controlled territory.

Kessler said a ″trickle″ of water was still reaching the city on one line, providing enough for about a pint of water per resident per day.

Most residents are using hand pumps to obtain ground water, which often is contaminated, causing 200 to 300 cases of dysentery per day, he said.

As the crisis mounted in besieged Sarajevo, Bosnia’s collective presidency was resisting pressure to accept a three-way partition of their country along ethnic lines as proposed by Serb and Croat leaders.

The Muslim-led government fears the plan would squeeze Muslims into a tiny state between hostile neighbors.

At a meeting Sunday in Zagreb, Croatia, seven of the presidency’s 10 members agreed to return to peace talks in Geneva. But they said they would bring their own plan to maintain Bosnia as a federation of provinces that wouldn’t be formed strictly along ethnic lines.

Serbs, who control about 70 percent of Bosnia, have emphatically rejected similar proposals in the past.

Meanwhile, military pressure continued to mount against outgunned government forces.

Kessler said the town of Trnovo, about 15 miles south of Sarajevo, had fallen to the Serbs, forcing an estimated 3,400 people to flee to a nearby government-held mountain. The Bosnian army’s 1st Corps confirmed the loss and said a nearby refugee camp, Grebak, and the small town of Rogoj also were overrun. The army estimated the number of people who fled at 1,500.

In central Bosnia, Kessler said, food convoys were resuming operations through the Gornji Vakuf area after a two-day suspension because of security concerns.

Two convoys were due in the government-held town Zenica today and two in Sarajevo on Tuesday - the first to reach the capital this month.

Cmdr. Barry Frewer, a spokesmen for U.N. peacekeepers, said there were sporadic clashes Sunday throughout the country. Some of the fiercest fighting was between Croats and the government troops in Novi Travnik in central Bosnia.

Croat and government soldiers at first fought together against Bosnian Serbs who rebelled 16 months ago against Bosnia’s secession from Serb- dominated Yugoslavia. But that alliance has collapsed in fierce fighting over central Bosnian territory.

Bosnian Serbs and Croats have since collaborated on the battlefield as well as at the negotiating table.

At least 138,000 people are dead or missing in Bosnia’s war, and more than 2 million have been left homeless.

AP RADIO
Update hourly