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Bosnia: U.S. Warns Bosnian Serbs Of Possible Sanctions

Washington, 17 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The United States yesterday accused some members of the Bosnian Serb leadership of "playing games," and again warned of possible sanctions.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns made the comment to reporters in Washington. He said the United States is in regular contact with the president of Republika Srpska, Biljana Plavsic, the Bosnian Serb member of Bosnia's three-person presidency, Mimcilo Krajisnik, and with the head of the main Bosnian Serb party, Aleksa Buha.

Burns said the United States expects them to work for unified institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He said if they do not, the United States will use leverage, including "returning to the United Nations Security Council to talk about the reimposition of economic sanctions."

Burns, responding to comments by Bosnian Serb leaders that they will conduct elections independent of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said the Bosnian Serbs "are not going to have their own elections." Burns expressed confidence in the OSCE's Robert Frowick, who is responsible for conducting -- and deciding the date for -- local elections in Bosnia.