Home > 1997-1999 from the Balkans, Bosnia, Serbia, Yougoslavia > SERBS QUIT TALKS WITH BOSNIA AFTER ARREST OF 2 ARMY OFFICERS AS WAR CRIMINALS

SERBS QUIT TALKS WITH BOSNIA AFTER ARREST OF 2 ARMY OFFICERS AS WAR CRIMINALS

February 7, 1996

February 7, 1996

Byline: GUY DINMORE REUTER

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA — Separatist Serb leaders suspended contacts with the Bosnian government Tuesday in a dispute over two Serb army officers arrested by the government and accused of war crimes.

Angry Serb leaders said they would no longer attend talks on government territory to discuss carrying out a peace accord until the two Serb officers and several other men were released.“We have decided to stop negotiations and not to go to the Muslim part any longer until we get the . . . Serbs released,” Serb “information minister” Dragan Bozanic said by telephone from Pale. The Muslim-led government said it would charge the two senior Serb army officers with killing civilians in the Sarajevo area.

“We have evidence that not only they participated in killing civilians but also helped organize the killing of civilians,” Bakir Alispahic, Bosnian government security chief, said at a news conference in Sarajevo. The U.N. criminal tribunal for former Yugoslavia said it would investigate the men and might ask for them to be sent to The Hague. The Serb general and colonel were not among the 52 suspects already indicted by the tribunal.

The Serb army said Saturday the two officers were seized in a NATO-controlled area between the suburbs of Lukavica and Ilidza. The Serb account implied they were captured while passing through Sarajevo airport, which is neutral territory protected by Bosnia’s peace Implementation Force.

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