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Bosnia: UN Begins Training Program For Serb Police

Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; 22 August 1997 (RFE/RL) -- A United Nations official says UN authorities are checking records of Bosnian Serb police in Banja Luka and starting them on a training program to create a normal, non-political police force.

This follows disputes there in the past week between police loyal to war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic and those who support Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic.

UN police spokesman Liam McDowall said in Sarajevo that officials are requiring Banja Luka police who want to serve in the new force to make application. He said they are rejected if they have criminal history, or if evidence surfaces that they have impeded peace forces in the past.

Plavsic is calling for new elections in October to replace the pro-Karadzic Bosnian Serb assembly. She has international backing, despite an adverse ruling by the Constitutional Court last Friday. Karadzic ally Momcilo Krajisnik yesterday called on police to oppose Plavsic. Bosnian Serb radio stations were re-broadcasting his appeal today.