Accessibility links

Breaking News

Bosnia: NATO's Frustration With Serbs Growing

Madrid, 8 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - NATO leaders meeting in Madrid plan later today to issue a strong declaration expressing frustration with the Bosnian Serbs. The alliance leaders plan to call on them to live up to their commitments under the 1995 Dayton Accords that ended the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

A British official, speaking on condition he not be named, said the statement will reflect "the growing sense of impatience and frustration on the part of the international community."

The NATO statement will come as politicians in the Republika Srpska, the Serb half of Bosnia, are locked in a power struggle. It pits elected Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic against her predecessor, Radovan Karadzic, who is accused of being a war criminal and now backing a corrupt police force.

Both British and NATO officials said the declaration will demand that the Bosnian Serbs deliver to the Hague international war crimes tribunal all people accused of war crimes. All three parties to the Dayton Accords agreed to hand over wanted war criminals, the majority of whom are Bosnian Serbs. However, Republika Srpska has not handed over anyone. The most prominent accused war criminals are Karadzic, who continues to wield behind-the-scenes power, and former Bosnian Serb military commander General Ratko Mladic.

NATO leads a military force keeping the peace in Bosnia, but has not been authorized to seek out and capture wanted war criminals.