Serbs in Bosnia, Croatia Seek One State
By Maud S. Beelman
The Daily Gazette, p.A9
11 February 1993.
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Defying international pressure, ethnic Serbs from Croatia and Bosnia are seeking to join their territories in a Greater Serb state, Yugoslav media reported Wednesday.
International meditators have for months sought to find a formula that would prevent Bosnian Serbs splitting from the rest of the republic.
But peace talks on keeping Bosnia whole collapsed this weekend, and ethnic Serbs from Croatia and Bosnia appeared to be exploiting the confusion to lay out their aims.
Bosnia’s Serbs, who make up less than one-third of the population, have captured 70 percent of its territory in nearly 11 months of fighting that began with their rejection of an independence declaration supported by Bosniaks and Croats.
Fighting in Croatia, which broke out in 1991, also after Serbs there rejected independence from Yugoslavia, left the Serbs, who make up about one-fifth of the population, with 33 percent of the land.
More than 28,000 people have died in the Bosnian and Croatian wars.
Zdravko Zecevic, head of the Croatian Serbs’ self-styled government, announced plans for a referendum on forming a Greater Serbian state, following a meeting Tuesday with Vladimir Lukic, his Bosnian [Serb] counterpart.
Lukic told reporters that “our people are determined to fight for their right to self-determination and the creation of a single Serb state.”
Sarajevo was relatively quiet Wednesday. But the occasional exploding mortar round and small arms fire tested a cease-fire called to guarantee the safety of U.N.-sponsored crews repaying electricity lines and other utilities.
In the eastern Bosnian battlefield, heavy Serb attacks began Tuesday night and continued Wednesday on areas around Srebrenica, Bratunac, Zvornik and Vlasenica, Croatian radio reported.
It said Srebrenica was bombed twice Tuesday by two combat aircraft and by artillery. A total of 31 people were killed and 70 wounded. Using aircraft is a violation of a no-fly zone declared by the United Nations, but the report could not be verified.