Arrests in Ahmići case
Croatian police units arrested Ante Slišković and Tome Vlajić in Zadar this week. Slišković and Vlajić were indicted by the International War Crimes Tribunal (IWCT) for alleged war crimes and acts of genocide against the civilian population in a Bosnian village of Ahmići, BiH Press reported.
The report went on to say that, according to their sources, a third individual was stopped for questioning, but managed to escape.
Croatian media has been speculating for some time on the role of Slišković and Vlajić in the Ahmići case, holding them principally responsible for the Ahmići massacre. The Ahmići case was one of the single worst crimes against Bosnian Muslims committed by Croatian units in the brief Croat-Muslim war in BiH. The entire village population was executed and the village torched.
Meanwhile, Gen. Tihomir Blaškić is presently serving the longest sentence yet issued by the Hague Tribunal, having been found guilty of command responsibility for the units that committed the Ahmići massacre.
Del Ponte suggests special forces police
In a recent interview with Hamburg Daily, International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte, proposed the formation of an anonymous special forces unit to act in BiH as the key force in apprehending war criminals.
Del Ponte reasoned the proposal was necessary because the current units in charge of arrests cannot conduct their missions successfully while wearing uniforms. That is why anonymity plays a significant role as contributing toward the completion of the group's mission."
"Currently in Bosnia, besides Radovan Karadžić and Gen Ratko Mladić, 24 four individuals roam free and they need to be apprehended immediately," del Ponte said.
Karadžić sighted in Lukavica
Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić, who is wanted by the ICWT on charges of war crimes and acts of genocide, was sighted this week dining in a restaurant in Lukavica, a part of Sarajevo under Serbian control.
Anonymous sources told the Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje that "Karadžić was wearing casual clothing and looked exhausted," adding that "Karadžić did not have security."
The US government has posted an award of USD 5 million for information leading to the arrests of Karadžić and former Bosnian-Serb military commander Gen. Ratko Mladić for their roles in war crimes committed against BiH's Muslim and Croatian populations during the 1992-1995 conflict.
Izetbegović addresses UN
Holder of the BiH Presidency Alija Izetbegović addressed world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit this week, discussing issues of BiH's post war recovery, the implementation of the Dayton Agreement and the future of the country as a European democratic entity.
In his address, Izetbegović stated: "BiH's membership in institutions such as the Council of Europe and NATO will ensure country's stability and development."
Izetbegović, who is stepping down as President, concluded his address with a farewell and offered words of appreciation for world support during the nation's War of Independence.
"My work in the BiH Presidency after 10 years of service will end in October. I wish to use this opportunity to thank all the true friends of BiH who supported us throughout the war, and in the time of peace and our noble cause."
"I wish to assure you of the dedication of my country to contribute to a common good and to developing a better and more just world," he concluded.
OSCE will no longer fund elections
The upcoming November elections in BiH will be the last funded by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), BiH Press reports.
Karen Vollan, chair of the OSCE's elections division in BiH, said at a press conference that "since the November elections are the last ones funded by the OSCE, it is necessary for BiH electoral institutions to take over responsibilities concerning the funding of the country's future elections."
OSCE member nations have, to date, underwritten the costs of federal and local electoral contests.
A Bosnian Croat suspected of war crimes against Bosnian Muslims surrendered himself to the local authorities this week, Croatian media and the Associated Press reported.
Erhad Poznić, accused for his role in the disappearance of Bosnian Muslim soldiers and mistreatment of imprisoned civilians, was a member of Bosnian Croat police during the Bosnian-Croat ethnic conflict in 1993-1994.
According to the reports, police authorities said that other fugitives indicted for war crimes should follow Poznić's example and turn themselves in.
Mostar was a site of ferocious fighting among the Croatian and Bosnian Muslim ethnic groups, and the city remains largely divided today.
Ibrahim Sejfović, 9 September 2000
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BiHPress - the news agency of Bosnia-Hercegovina
Oslobodjenje - Sarajevo-based independent magazine
OSCE Press Service