Accessibility links

Bosnia: Westendorp Threatens Krajisnik With Sanctions

Sarajevo, 21 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - International high representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Carlos Westendorp, has warned Bosnian Serbs they could face fresh sanctions if they fail to take steps toward integration with the Muslim-Croat federation by tomorrow.

Westendorp's office in Sarajevo today released details of the letter which he sent two days ago to the ethnic Serb member of the Bosnian collective presidency, Momcilo Krajisnik. The letter warns that the Bosnian Serb entity could face unspecified sanctions if it fails to agree on common citizenship and passport laws, as well as on a single civil aviation authority.

The three-member presidency has already missed an August 1 deadline set by the international community to resolve differences over citizenship and passport laws.

Meanwhile, Westendorp's deputy, Gert Wagner, told German Radio today the weaponry NATO-led troops and UN police found in Banja Luka police stations yesterday were heavy weapons that Bosnian police are not allowed to have under the Dayton agreement. He said the weapons included land mines, automatic rifles, and grenade launchers.

Yesterday, diplomats met in Vienna to discuss if there should be international monitoring of elections called by Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic in her battle with suspected war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic.

Senior officials said they supported both the elections and the concept of monitoring, by the 54-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Plavsic has called elections for October 12 in a bid to unseat Karadzic supporters in the parliament.

Westendorp said the international community thinks that democracy is the only way to solve the political crisis in the Bosnian serb entity.

However, Westendorp told reporters after the Vienna meeting that Russia questions the role of the OSCE in the elections. He said Russia is worried that Karadzic supporters, grouped around the eastern Bosnian town of Pale, may boycott the poll.

A key Karadzic supporter, Momcilo Krajisnik, the Serb member of the three-man collective Bosnian presidency, said yesterday that the elections called by Plavsic are illegal.