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Bosnia: West Warns Leaders To Stick To Peace Terms

London, 5 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - An international conference on implementing peace in Bosnia ended in London today with a warning to Bosnian leaders that future Western aid depends on their compliance with the peace agreement they signed a year ago.

A statement issued by the British Foreign Office said the conference agreed to give more support to the international war crimes tribunal at the Hague, including extra resources, and issued a renewed commitment to the Bosnian reconstruction program.

The two-day talks, grouping more than 50 nations, were called to assess progress on the Bosnian peace deal clinched in the United States a year ago.

Frustration over repeated delays in implementing the civilian aspects of the so-called Dayton agreement has led Western leaders to link aid to a renewed commitment to genuine peace on the ground.

Among the most contentious issues is the fate of indicted war criminals, the vast majority of whom remain at large despite evidence of genocide and other crimes against humanity.

The conference also decided that the UN International Police Task Force will be assigned to investigate misconduct by Bosnia's local existing police departments.

The Bosnian High Representative Carl Bildt yesterday characterized many of Bosnia's existing policemen as "nothing more than local thugs and old-style communists" guilty of widespread abuse of human rights.