Balkin Update

April 21, 1993

Croat and Muslim commanders agreed to order a cease-fire in the fighting that has raged across central and southwestern Bosnia for five days, according to a radio report. The conflict has killed an estimated 200 people and shaken a fragile anti-Serb alliance between the Croats and Muslims.

Serb-Muslim fighting persisted in the former Yugoslav republic despite international mediation efforts. U.N. officials reported cease-fire violations around SREBRENICA, with occasional exchanges of small arms and machine-gun fire.

The Serb big guns that have ravaged Srebrenica for nearly a year remained silent for a third day under a U.N.-monitored cease-fire, but the commander of the Bosnian Serb Army rejected a request from U.N. peacekeepers for more time to disarm Muslim fighters in the besieged Bosnian mountain town. Canadian peacekeepers were to have disarmed Muslim fighters by noon today, but U.N. officials asked for an additional three days.

Western air patrols spotted a cargo helicopter land at an airfield in Serb-held ZALUZANI, Bosnia. NATO officials said it is believed to have violated the U.N. ban on flights over the republic, meant primarily to keep Serb aircraft from flying.

In WASHINGTON, President Clinton called in top advisers to consider a more aggressive response to the war in Bosnia as his largely diplomatic approach came under congressional attack. Secretary of State Warren M. Christopher told the Senate Foreign Relations committee that Mr. Clinton was weighing an ++ allied air attack on Serb artillery sites, as well as the possibility of lifting an arms embargo against the Muslim-dominated Bosnian government.

But Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, reflecting strong sympathy among Russians for Serbia, said outside military intervention was out of the question, and, in ROME, U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said the U.N. Security Council, not individual countries, should decide further steps against Serbia.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees urged that U.N. forces move in to protect the enclaves of GORAZDE and ZEPA and keep conditions there from deteriorating to the state they have reached in Srebrenica.

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