The 13th European Community-brokered cease-fire may be Yugoslavia's last chance of avoiding catastrophic slaughter in its civil war. Numerology aside, that chance is not good.
Lord Carrington, the former British defense secretary, deserves credit for his effort as EC mediator. For Serbia, Croatia, the federal government and army to agree to peacekeeping forces inside their country (or countries) is a breakthrough of sorts. But they expect different things of it. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic wants to harden existing military lines, now that federal troops and Serbian insurgents occupy one-third of Croatia. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman wants to restore the political borders of the Croatian republic in independence. The first 12 breakdowns of cease-fires in the 4 1/2 -month-old war were not accidents.
The best hope for peace lies in a war-weariness within the Yugoslav federal army and a split on policy lines in its high command. Some generals are fighting to protect the army units that were besieged in their barracks by Croatian forces, others to end Croatian independence and restore strong central Yugoslav institutions, or to protect the Serbian minority in Croatia.