"Eronet has been awarded a licence to act as the country's third GSM mobile operator, alongside Sarajevo-based BH Telekom and Mobilna Srpske," reports in an article posted at . The company, 49% owned by Hrvatski Telecom of Croatia, had been offering unlicensed service in Croat-controlled portions of Bosnia- Hercegovina; the license will make that service legal, as well as allow the company to expand its offerings.
Former Bosnian Serb president Biljana Plavsic, who has admitted a role in Bosnia's war crimes and awaits sentencing, has been ordered to testify in the trial of another Bosnian Serb nationalist. Plavsic was told she must serve as witness in the trial of Milomir Stakic, accused of overseeing killing and mass torture of non-Serbs in the Prijedor area, Reuters reports. "Stakic was a powerful member of the so-called Crisis Staff in Prijedor, which masterminded the seizure of the area in April 1992 and subsequently set up notorious detention camps such as Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje, prosecutors say," Reuters notes. Stakic, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, belonged to the same Serb ultra nationalist political party as Plavsic.
One of the world's most-wanted war-crimes suspects continues to live openly in Serbia, according to a politician there. "Serb authorities were 'playing dumb' when they pretended not to know where the former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic was, alleged Nenad Canak," BBC reports in a story posted at . " 'He is here and is appearing in seven locations,' Mr. Canak, the parliamentary speaker of the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina, said in a television interview." Mladic has been indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity over atrocities in Bosnia, including the siege of Sarajevo and mass murder in Srebrenica.
Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic says if Kosovars continue clamoring for independence, the Serbian government will demand a new "Dayton conference" to redraw borders throughout former Yugoslavia, he told the German publication Der Spiegel, the Tanjug news agency reports. The implication is that Serbia would demand territory from its neighbor in return for any concessions on Kosovo -- despite Serb officials' claims that they accept Bosnia's independence as a separate nation. Bosnian officials condemned the remarks, with a member of the country's collective presidency calling it a " direct attack on the sovereignty and integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina," Reuters notes in a story posted at .
The European Union has replaced the United Nations overseeing Bosnia's civilian police forces. The changeover occurred Dec. 31. "For many here, the United Nations flag that has flown over Bosnia for a decade will forever be stained with the blood of 8,000 Muslims killed in Europe's worst massacre since World War II," AP notes. Many also are angered by other UN activities during the war, such as counting the shells fired at civilians during the siege of Sarajevo instead of offering protection, and allowing Serb nationalists to cut off food, medicine, heat, running water, electricity and natural gas to the city's suffering population. `"Let them go, and show them the door,'' Sabra Kulenovic, a 53-year old survivor of the July 1995 Srebrenica slaughter, told AP. "Timid U.N. functionaries overseeing the peacekeepers caved instead of trying to secure respect for the international contingent through force," AP recalls. "Soon, U.N. commanders were begging local warlords to let their shipments of food pass through. The UN airlift operation carrying supplies for Serb-besieged Sarajevo was so unreliable that it was branded `Maybe Airlines.' Hands tied by lack of resolve at the top, the peacekeepers were reduced to 'monitoring'' how civilian targets were attacked." Others, though, have "kinder memories" of the UN's efforts after the war to restructure police and customs in the country, according to AP. A NATO-led peacekeeping force took over military duties in Bosnia after the Dayton peace treaty was signed, and still continues that role. "A statement issued by the United Nations described it as the most extensive police reform and restructuring mission ever undertaken by the United Nations," the NY Times reports. "Among the accomplishments of the mission was the reduction of local forces from 44,000 to about 16,000; the retraining of hundreds of police officers, and a thorough reform of the border guards." The EU will have about 500 officers in Bosnia, under a mandate that runs through 2005, the Times notes. That force is about one-third smaller than the UN force it replaces. "The reduction in manpower and spending has been a matter of some concern in Bosnia," the Times says. "The United Nations employed about 1,500 local staff, many of whom are likely to be laid off. Some Bosnians have also expressed concern that the smaller European force will be capable of fully policing human trafficking and corruption, which had been major projects under the United Nations." Amnesty International urged the EU to make investigation of human- rights abuses a top priority, Reuters reports. "Today, over seven years after the end of the war, thousands of outstanding human rights violations remain to be properly investigated, and perpetrators still enjoy impunity," Dick Oosting, director of Amnesty's European Union office, said in a statement, according to Reuters.
"From Poetics of Memory to Politics of Identity: Mak Dizdar on Medieval Bosnian Cemeteries," presented by Amila Buturovic, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Humanities, York University, Toronto. Wednesday, Feb. 19, 4:15 p.m. at Harvard University (Cabot Room, Minda de Ginzburg Center for European Studies).
"Yugoslavia officially ceased to exist when its parliament voted to replace what remained of the troubled federation with a loose union of Serbia and Montenegro," Reuters reports. "The federal assembly cleared the final hurdle for establishing the Western-brokered union by passing its founding charter with an absolute majority in both houses, consigning the name Yugoslavia to history after almost 75 years."
The Bosnian Serb Parliament has named Dragan Mikerevic, one-time federal prime minister, to serve the same role within Republika Srpska. Former PM Mladen Ivanic is now prime minister, AP reports.
"The landmark war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic entered its second year Wednesday with UN prosecutors building their case that the former Yugoslav leader masterminded a decade of warfare that killed thousands," AP reports. "When the trial opened on February 12, 2002 it was touted as the most important war crimes trial since World War II and a test case for international justice," according to AFP. Milosevic is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity for masterminding ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. "So far [in its first year], the court has heard 149 witnesses over 145 trial days," AFP said.
The long-awaited English edition of Good People in an Evil Time by Dr. Svetlana Broz--granddaughter of Tito--is now available in a pre- publication edition from Friends of Bosnia. Dr. Broz, a cardiologist, began in 1993 to record the stories of people throughout Bosnia who witnessed the bravery of people of different and "opposing" ethnicities in helping their neighbors and strangers to survive impossible situations.
Bosnian authorities have charged Samir Bejtic with murdering three non-Muslims during the early days of the Sarajevo siege, AP reports. Dozens of Serbs were killed during early lawless days within the besieged city, when the Bosnian capital was ringed by Serb nationalists shooting tanks, artillery, grenades and other heavy weapons at civilian targets. More than 10,000 Sarajevans of all ethnic groups were killed by Serb forces. Unlike nationalists in Croat- and Serb-controlled areas of the country, activists say moderate Muslim officials have cooperated with war crimes investigators.
"The World Court took a decisive step toward settling a decade-long legal battle between Yugoslavia and Bosnia by paving the way for a landmark genocide hearing on the Bosnian war," Reuters reports in a story posted at 14 "The United Nations' top court said it had rejected a Yugoslav challenge to its jurisdiction that would have prevented its judges from hearing a case brought by Bosnia against its neighbor in 1993, accusing it of genocide." The court's statement is online at
"NATO-led peacekeeping troops have released a suspected Islamic extremist they had been holding for three months without charge," IWPR reports. "Sabahudin Fiuljanin was handed over to the local authorities on January 30 after an outcry over the circumstances of his detention. IWPR concludes that "The NATO-led peacekeepers' decision to release a Muslim accused of links to al-Qaeda may not be enough to ease fears of human rights abuses." The article is online at
"Oliver Krsmanovic who is being tried in absentia for the abduction and murder of 17 Muslims is still living at home in Visegrad," reports from a Nezavisne novine article.
"Bosnia's leaky customs system is to be overhauled to catch hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid excise taxes, a top diplomat has said," BBC reports in a story posted at " 'Bosnia loses a staggering 1.4 billion marks ($770 million) a year to custom and tax fraud precisely because the divisions in the current system make it a playground for criminals,' Mr Ashdown told reporters."

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