Balkan Update

September 08, 1993

Thousands of Muslims have been forced to endure "brutal and degrading" conditions after being rounded up in the MOSTAR region of southwestern Bosnia, a United Nations report said. But a Bosnian Croat commander said his forces no longer held prisoners and aid agencies and reporters were free to visit the alleged camps.

Defense Secretary Les Aspin may visit SARAJEVO early next week as the United States considers what steps to take next.

President Clinton plans to meet Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic at the White House today to discuss stalled peace talks. Yesterday, in a closed-door briefing to the U.N. Security Council, Mr. Izetbegovic urged the council to demand an immediate and unconditional cease-fire in Bosnia by invoking the threat of air strikes.

Thousands of refugees fleeing Croat-Muslim fighting threatened to overwhelm U.N. relief efforts in central Bosnia. Aid convoys again were prevented from reaching JABLANICA, which was jammed with up to 10,000 mostly Muslim refugees.

Between 1,800 and 2,800 Croats fled fighting around the Croatian held town of VARES and crossed Bosnian Serb lines to safety in the past week.

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