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Bosnia: Plavsic Meets Some, Not All, Military Leaders

Banja Luka, Bosnia; 26 August 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Reports from Banja Luka say several Bosnian Serb generals met Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic today, responding to her call to show their loyalty. But correspondents say a number of top military leaders, including Bosnian Serb Chief of Staff General Pero Colic, failed to turn up in response to what was the president's second invitation to meet.

Plavsic has been locked in a power struggle with her predecessor, Radovan Karadzic, and his hardline allies based in Pale. It remains unclear whether today's events will do anything to close the rift or resolve the status of the military command.

The military yesterday sent a message to Plavsic declining her first invitation to come to her Banja Luka stronghold to discuss the on-going dispute with hardliners based in the east of the country.

Correspondents say it is unclear where the military stands in Plavsic's political feud with her hardline rivals based in Pale in eastern Bosnia who are backing war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic.

In Banja Luka, the local military command is apparently firmly behind the president, and correspondents say a split may be developing similar to those already evident in the Bosnian Serb police and official media.

Television employees in Plavsic's base in Banja Luka during the weekend cut connections with studios controlled by hardliners in Karadzic's base in Pale and began broadcasting their own programs. The move widened the gulf between the two sides, who have been vying for control of Bosnia's Serb entity for two months.

The Bosnian Serb parliament, dominated by Karadzic loyalists, is expected to meet today in Jahorina, near Pale, to discuss the crisis. The meeting comes in defiance of a July decree by Plavsic to dissolve the body and call new elections. The decree was later overturned by the Constitutional Court.