Accessibility links

Breaking News

Bosnia: NATO Inspects Weapons Site at Bosnian Serb Headquarters

Han Pijesak, Bosnia, August 13 (RFE/RL) -- The commander of the NATO-led ground forces in Bosnia today inspected a key Bosnian Serb military site.

IFOR spokesman Major Brett Boudreau said that after visiting Han Pijesak for several hours, Lieutenant-General Michael Walker returned to the Bosnian Serb stronghold of Pale and signalled his inspection had been successful. No other details were given.

In a demonstration of NATO's determination to carry out its military rights under the Dayton peace accord, Walker flew by helicopter to the site at Han Pijesak for the inspection.

On his way there, Walker collected acting Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic from the Serb administrative headquarters in Pale.

NATO is in Bosnia to "robustly" enforce the Dayton peace agreement, Walker said in Pale. He added that if force is required, NATO will use it.

A Bosnian Serb Army (BSA) official led Walker and Plavsic on the inspection that the Serbs originally blocked on Saturday. The BSA's refusal to allow NATO inspectors into the site heightened tensions between the two forces over the weekend. Under Dayton, NATO is entitled to inspect any military site in Bosnia at will.

Han Pijesak is a particularly sensitive Serb military location because it is believed to be the usual base for Bosnian Serb Army commander General Ratko Mladic. Twice indicted for war crimes, Mladic is liable to arrest by NATO on sight.