BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: BOSNIAN SERB LEADERS ANNOUNCE EVACUATION PLAN FOR SERBS FLEEING SARAJEVO SUBURB OF VOGOSCA
- Title: BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: BOSNIAN SERB LEADERS ANNOUNCE EVACUATION PLAN FOR SERBS FLEEING SARAJEVO SUBURB OF VOGOSCA
- Date: 21st February 1996
- Summary: PALE AND NEARBY, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (FEBRUARY 21, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) NEAR PALE 1. TV QUEUE OF TRUCKS HALTED IN SNOW 0.05 2. SV VARIOUS TRUCKS HALTED IN SNOW (3 SHOTS) 0.19 PALE, BOSNIA 3. SV BOSNIAN SERB LEADER RADOVAN KARADZIC WALKING WITH AIDES 0.29 4. SCU KARADZIC SPEAKING (ENGLISH) 1.27 NEAR PALE, BOSNIA 5. TV VARIOUS VIEWS TRUCKS HALTED IN SNOW (4 SHOTS) 1.47 6. SV PEOPLE WALKING PAST QUEUE OF TRUCKS IN HEAVY SNOW, ROAD SIGN INDICATING DIRECTION FOR SARAJEVO AND PALE (4 SHOTS) 2.09 SEQUENVE 4 TRANSCRIPT: KARADZIC: "OUR WISH WAS TO HAVE THEM STAY IN SARAJEVO AND WE HAVE DONE EVERYTHING TO HAVE THEM STAY IN SARAJEVO. HOWEVER THEY DO NOT FEEL SAFE AND SECURE AND FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO LEAVE, WE ARE OBLIGED TO FACILITATE IT. UNFORTUNATELY MANY OF THEM WANT TO LEAVE AND THE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE AGGRAVATING IT. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD BE QUITE CLEAR ABOUT ONE THING. WE DO WANT SERBS TO STAY BUT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY DID NOT GIVE THEM ENOUGH GUARANTEES, DID NOT GIVE THEM THE RIGHT TO HAVE THEIR OWN AUTHORITIES, THEIR OWN POLICE AND DID NOT GIVE THEM SOMETHING THAT CROATS AND MOSLEMS HAVE IN MOSTAR." Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA97O3D922LDVQR4TD91NQ9ZHWU
- Location: PALE AND NEARBY, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
- Duration: 00:02:12
- Story Text: Serb pleas for help to flee the northern Sarajevo suburb of Vogosca went unanswered again on Wednesday (February 21), just 48 hours before Moslem-Croat federation police were due to begin patrolling the area.
Vogosca is one of five Sarajevo suburbs due to be handed over from Bosnia's Serb republic to its Moslem-Croat federation under the Dayton peace accord.
Residents found out on Monday that federation police would begin patrolling Vogosca on Friday, news greeted with panic by many who fear reprisals for the 43-month Serb siege of Sarajevo.
Bosnian Serb leaders based in Pale, near Sarajevo, announced a major evacuation plan for the suburbs on Monday night on government-controlled television, promising to send fuel and trucks to support the departure.
The transport never turned up and two days of snow and downed telephone lines have left Vogosca residents operating more on rumour than fact.
"We've seen to it that the roads are open and that there are no mines so people have the choice to stay or leave," the U.N. Police chief of staff, Colonel Detlef Buwitt, told Reuters in Vogosca.
"There's a lot of fear among the Serbs here. Most of them don't have transport. We can't provide the trucks and buses, that's up to the Bosnian Serb leadership. A lot of people here feel trapped." U.N. police and NATO combat troops are deployed in Vogosca to monitor the federation police when they deploy and provide general military security in the area. But that has done little to reassure Serb residents who fear once their area comes under Moslem-Croat control there will be no protection against the anonymous knock on the door in the middle of the night.
Bad weather, poor communications and lack of transport raise the spectre of thousands of Serbs being stranded in Vogosca against their will on Friday when federation police show up.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadizic, who is wanted by the international community for alleged war crimes, said he wanted Bosnian Serbs to stay in Sarajevo, but that they had not been given enough security guarantees by the international community.
U.N. relief officials say 15,000 to 20,000 Serbs have fled the five suburbs since the Dayton peace agreement was signed in December and that another 50,000 remain -- perhaps as many as 10,000 of them in Vogosca.
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