Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina; 1 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - NATO has seized a broadcasting transmitter in northern Bosnia run by backers of former Bosnian leader and now war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic. And in Denmark today, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the process of healing in war-torn Bosnia can only begin once indicted Bosnian war crimes suspects are captured and brought to trial.
Maj. Peter Clarke, a spokesman for the NATO-led Stabilisation force (SFOR) in Bosnia, said troops took control of the Udrigovo broadcasting transmitter on Mount Majevica yesterday.
The move comes after Bosnian Serb radio and television incited supporters of Karadzic to attack NATO-led troops late last week with stones in and around Brcko. The town sits astride a narrow land corridor that links Serb holdings in eastern Bosnia, controlled by Karadzic and his allies, and western Bosnia, which generally supports his rival, Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic.
Most Bosnian Serb media is controlled by Karadzic supporters. The Majevica transmitter is considered crucial, being located about 150 kilometers east of Banja Luka, Plavsic's base. If NATO decides to hand the transmitter over to Plavsic's supporters, as expected, its programming would reach into territory now loyal to Karadzic.
Meanwhile, speaking today at a news conference in Denmark, U.N. Secretary-General Annan said indicted war crimes suspects were having far too much influence on developments, particularly in the Republica Serpska, the Serb-controlled part of Bosnia.
Last week Annan condemned attacks by crowds against U.N. civilians and police personnel in the Serb-controlled Bosnian town of Brcko.
German Defense Minister Volker Ruehe today said that it is inevitable that all Bosnian war crimes suspects, including former Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic, will be brought to trial.