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Bosnia: Elections Will Be Difficult But Successful, Says U.S.

Washington, 10 September 1996 (RFE/RL) - Senior U.S. officials say this weekend's elections in Bosnia will be difficult, but they also believe the elections will succeed.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Canada John Kornblum said today that everyone involved in preparing the September 14 elections in the former Yugoslav republic expects criticism.

"There will always be problems," he said.

However, Kornblum also told a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that the elections are absolutely essential for the continued rebuilding of Bosnia after four years of civil war. The elections will lay the groundwork for establishing civic institutions.

Thomas Longstreth, director of the U.S. Defense Department's Bosnia task force, says Bosnia is "slowly and steadily recovering from the horrors of war." The elections are an important step in that process.