THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
Political and Social Affairs Division
ROAD TO WAR
EC AND THE FAILURE OF PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY
UNITED NATIONS: PRELIMINARY STEPS
DEPLOYMENT OF UN PEACEKEEPERS
RAVAGES OF WAR
FOR MILITARY INTERVENTION
LONDON CONFERENCE AND BEYOND
PEACE PROPOSALS: THE VANCE-OWEN PLAN
OF A PEACE PLAN
CSCE - Conference on Security
and Cooperation in Europe
EC- European Community
ECMM - European Community Monitor Mission
FRY - Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (proclaimed April 1992)
ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross
JNA - Yugoslav Federal Army
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
UN - United Nations
UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNPROFOR - United Nations Protection Force in the Former Yugoslavia
WEU - Western European Union
NB Serbia and
Montenegro have together established a new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
The brutal fighting that
has engulfed Bosnia-Hercegovina over the past two years has become a persistent
reminder of the upheaval and chaos that dominates the post-Cold War world.
The crumbling of the Soviet Empire and the resulting massive changes in
the international security environment have created not the "New
World Order" so many envisaged, but a rampant international disorder
that shows few signs of correcting itself in the near future.
At the heart of this turmoil
has been an enormous upsurge in ethnic, religious and communal violence.
In eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union especially, peoples and
governments, released from Communist rule and swept up by a tidal wave
of democracy, have rushed to take up the banner of suppressed nationalism.
In some cases, such as the break-up of Czechoslovakia, the results, while
dramatic, have been peaceful. In others Azerbaijan, Georgia, Yugoslavia
nationalist sentiment has exploded with violent intensity. Bloodshed
on this scale has not been seen in Europe and its surrounding areas since
the Second World War.
These conflicts were not
unexpected. The collapse of vast empires invariably produces periods of
intense nationalism and general political instability. Even in more remote
trouble spots, such as Somalia and Angola, where nationalism has played
a less prominent role, experts were not completely surprised by the outbreak
of fighting. With the Cold War over, the immediate strategic importance
of these regions has disappeared, and it could have been anticipated that
tribal warlords would not miss the opportunity to hammer each other at
What has surprised many,
however, is the protracted nature of these conflicts and the continued
reluctance of the international community to intervene and throw its full
weight behind efforts to stop the killing. Immediate strategic considerations
aside, the end of the Cold War was supposed to usher in a new era of collective
security that would bring such wars to a rapid halt. The United Nations
was expected to lead the way. After 45 years of American and Soviet jockeying
in the Security Council, it was believed that the UN would finally fulfil
the promise of its Charter and become more than a mere forum for discussion.
Many cited the success of the Gulf War mistakenly, it could be
argued as evidence that the UN was ready to become more assertive
in matters of conflict resolution. It was predicted at the same time that
regional organizations would grab on to the UN's coat-tails and play a
more prominent role on the world stage. But this dream has turned into
a nightmare. At almost every turn, the world has failed to respond effectively
to international security threats. Even in those regions to which the
UN and other organizations have belatedly turned their full attention,
the results have been disappointing.
Nowhere has the failure
of the global community been more apparent than in Bosnia,(1)
where the fighting has now been raging for over 20 months. The UN and
a host of regional organizations the European Community (EC) and
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in particular have
repeatedly floundered in their efforts to end the carnage and produce
a lasting political settlement acceptable to the rival ethnic factions.
In short, Bosnia has become an unfortunate symbol of the failure of collective
security in the post-Cold War world. It represents a microcosm of all
the problems the UN and other security organizations face today as they
attempt to deal with regional conflict: the rise of ethnic nationalism
and the difficult questions surrounding the concept of sovereignty; the
need for cooperation between international bodies; and the changing nature
of outside intervention in war, as it evolves from traditional peacekeeping
and humanitarian assistance to the protection of human rights and possible
peace enforcement. The list is almost endless.
This paper will trace the
international reaction to the war in Bosnia over the two years ending
in December 1993. It will attempt to explain what went wrong for the international
community and what lessons might be learned for the future.
ROAD TO WAR
By the summer of 1991, the
disintegration of Yugoslavia was well underway. The ethnic and religious
cracks over which Marshal Tito had papered for 35 years were now chasms;
old enmities dating from the Second World War and beyond had resurfaced
and violence on a large scale was no longer avoidable. In June 1991 the
republics of Croatia and Slovenia, tired of Serbian dominance and ready
to assert their nationalism, declared their independence from the Yugoslav
state. The federal army (JNA), controlled for the most part by Serbia,
responded several days later by launching attacks against the breakaway
republics. Fighting in Slovenia quickly subsided, but in Croatia, with
its substantial Serb minority, the violence escalated. For the next six
months the death toll mounted, as Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs reopened
old wounds and discovered new depths to their hatred.
Early attempts by the international
community, in particular the EC, to intervene in the conflict bore little
fruit. It was not until the end of 1991 that the UN, unsure of the propriety
of interfering in a sovereign state's internal disputes, finally arrived
on the scene. Under the guidance of Cyrus Vance, former American Secretary
of State and special envoy to the UN Secretary-General, a stable cease-fire
was established in January 1992; at the same time, the EC, pressured by
Germany and Austria, recognized Slovenia and Croatia as independent states.
Preparations began in earnest for the deployment of a peacekeeping force
in Croatia and by the spring of 1992 UN soldiers began to arrive in strength.
Although the conflict in
Croatia was far from resolved nearly two years later the threat
of renewed war continues to loom large some measure of stability
had been introduced. International statesmen breathed a collective sigh
of relief as the lid on the Balkan cauldron was apparently replaced. But
such optimism proved to be misplaced. Within a few months fighting had
erupted again, only this time in a new setting and with even greater brutality.
While Croatia and Serbia
occupied centre stage throughout 1991, events were gradually unfolding
in the other Yugoslav republics. The nationalist groundswell that was
now carrying away Croatia and Slovenia had its most profound effect on
Bosnia-Hercegovina. Comprising Muslims (44% of the republic's 4.5 million
people in 1991), Serbs (31%) and Croats (17%), Bosnia was the Balkans'
most explosive powderkeg. Although some Bosnians lived in ethnically distinct
areas, most did not; history and inter-marriage had created an ethnic
Early in the Yugoslav crisis
the president of Bosnia, Alija Izetbegovic, a Muslim, had suggested drafting
a new constitution for Yugoslavia which re-defined the powers of the six
republics and eliminated the Communists as the major force in the government.
But this was before the independence declarations of Croatia and Slovenia
in June 1991. It had now become clear that a truncated Yugoslavia would
be dominated by Serbia to an even greater extent than before. Bosnian
independence, at least for the Croat and Muslim inhabitants, was increasingly
seen as the only alternative to a Greater Serbia. In October 1991, Muslim
and Croat deputies in the republic's National Assembly approved a memorandum
stressing Bosnia's sovereignty.(2)
But the Serbs had different ideas. In November they voted in favour of
remaining part of Yugoslavia, fearing the kind of minority status that
might result in a Muslim state if they were separated from the bulk of
their fellow Serbs. They were spread over two-thirds of Bosnia and insisted
that none of this land could leave Yugoslavia. For them, independence
was a virtual declaration of war. Haris Silajdzic, Bosnia's foreign minister,
responded that "if the Serbs want war, then they shall have it."(3)
The lines were drawn.
EC AND THE FAILURE OF PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY
Despite its demonstrated
shortcomings in Croatia, the European Community took the early lead in
attempting to deal with the deteriorating situation in Bosnia. The EC
still believed that it had a responsibility to look after its own backyard.
Unfortunately, its efforts once again fell short; indeed, some experts
have even suggested that the EC may well have pushed the republic over
the brink into war.
When the Community was preparing
to recognize Slovenia and Croatia in late 1991, it invited applications
for independence from the other Yugoslav republics. The Bosnian government
formally requested recognition on 20 December 1991, promising to establish
autonomous territories in areas where members of a minority formed a local
majority. This did little to appease Bosnia's Serbs, who responded to
the president's application to the EC by proclaiming an independent Serbian
republic on 9 January 1992.
The Badinter Arbitration
Commission, part of the EC Peace Conference on Yugoslavia that had been
set up in the summer of 1991, was now in a difficult position. Its task
was to examine the applications of the republics for recognition, but
in the case of Bosnia it ran a serious risk of stoking a smouldering fire.
The Commission therefore adopted a delaying tactic, arguing that the popular
will for an independent state had not been "clearly established"
in Bosnia, but that an internationally supervised referendum, open to
all citizens, might pave the way for EC recognition, provided respect
for minority and ethnic rights was recognized. The Bosnian government
wasted little time; on 25 January the National Assembly, boycotted by
Serb parties, endorsed a referendum on the republic's sovereignty to be
held at the end of February. The Portuguese presidency of the EC then
laid the Community's cards on the table: it stated unequivocally that
if the referendum was in favour of independence, the EC would recognize
This last move may well
have sealed the fate of Bosnia. By agreeing to accept a decision for independence
arrived at by a simple majority, rather than the agreement of the republic's
constituent ethnic groups, it can be argued that the EC almost guaranteed
violence and possibly violated international law.(4)
There were inherent contradictions in the Community's policy. The Bosnian
president represented a federal administrative structure in which all
communities were represented, and yet the EC was encouraging him to make
fundamental constitutional changes in the face of strong opposition from
one of those communities. What is more, the EC expected to play a special
role in the recognition of Bosnia, and yet it had no intention of playing
a role in protecting it as an independent entity.(5)
What was the EC's logic?
The Community believed that recognition had ended the fighting in Croatia;
it now theorized that it might prevent similar fighting from breaking
out in Bosnia. Unfortunately, there was little evidence to support either
case. Indeed, given the Serbs' vowed intention to oppose independence,
there was much to suggest that recognition of Bosnia would precipitate
violence. Certainly there was ample evidence to suggest that Bosnia was
on the edge of disaster; indeed, an EC monitoring mission had been sent
to the republic in early 1992 to assess the situation. Any chance that
recognition might be withheld in order to buy time and negotiate a political
settlement was now lost. Both Lord Carrington, the EC negotiator, and
Cyrus Vance felt betrayed. They had lost their leverage.(6)
Despite backing itself into
a corner, the EC continued to promote talks between the rival factions.
At a conference held in Lisbon in February 1992, a compromise seemed to
be reached: the Serbs agreed to respect the existing frontiers of Bosnia,
while Izetbegovic promised to establish national territorial units within
Bosnia a Balkanized Switzerland, in effect. But the details of
the plan, in particular the degree of autonomy such units would possess,
were left up in the air and no final agreement was reached. The two sides
were in reality far apart. The Serbs clearly hoped that the cantons would
undermine the authority of the government in Sarajevo; Izetbegovic, on
the other hand, expected the autonomous provinces to be weak and ineffective.
The referendum held in BosniaHercegovina
between 29 February and 1 March 1992 produced no surprises. Of the 63%
of Bosnians who turned out to vote, 99% opted for full independence. As
expected, the overwhelming majority of Serbs boycotted the referendum.
Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Serb Democratic Party in Bosnia and a
close ally of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, warned that "we
are not going to accept an independent Bosnia-Hercegovina." Izetbegovic
paid no heed, proclaiming the republic's independence from Yugoslavia
on 3 March. In the meantime, violence between Serbs and Muslims began
to escalate in Sarajevo, while clashes in other parts of the republic
between Croats and Serbs were also reported.
The Muslims believed that
the outcome of the referendum gave them the trump card in their drive
for international recognition. However, the EC was hesitant; the Serbs'
repeated declarations that war might just be around the corner could not
be ignored. The Community now tried desperately to delay the inevitable.
On 18 March Jose Cutileiro, a Portuguese diplomat who headed up the EC
Conference on Bosnia-Hercegovina, brokered an agreement in Sarajevo which
provided for three autonomous ethnic provinces, similar to those discussed
in Lisbon. But the details, once again, were left vague. Since it was
common knowledge that there were few regions in Bosnia exclusively inhabited
by any one of the three communities, the chances of success seemed remote.
As it was, both the Muslims and Serbs had serious reservations about the
plan, the former because it might lead to the disintegration of the republic,
the latter because there was no attempt to link the proposed national
units to a confederal arrangement within Yugoslavia.(7)
Despite EC pressure to sign the agreement as a condition for recognition,
Izetbegovic publicly renounced the deal a short time later, possibly with
American support.(8) The
stakes were raised again when Karadzic announced the creation of a separate
Bosnian Serb republic on 27 March. Further talks proved fruitless, and
violence continued to spread. The countdown to war began.
The crisis came to a head
with EC and American recognition of Bosnia on 7 April. Keeping in mind
the chaotic conditions then prevailing in the republic, it was clear that
the normal criteria for recognition did not exist. But the Community,
under pressure from the United States (which until recently had refused
to recognize "secessionist" republics), went ahead regardless.
EC foreign ministers continued to believe, despite all evidence to the
contrary, that recognition would stop the fighting and preserve a united
country. There was also an implicit warning to the Serbs that they would
not be allowed to pursue an aggressive course in Bosnia. Without the threat
of force, however, such a warning rang hollow. All-out war had begun.
As the fighting spread,
the EC tried desperately to bring the main factions back to the negotiating
table. However, a truce brokered by Cutileiro on 12 April was effectively
ignored; likewise, a cease-fire negotiated by Lord Carrington two weeks
later and signed by Izetbegovic, Karadzic and Mate Boban of Bosnia's Croatian
Democratic Community, was broken within hours. Thus began a pattern which
was to be repeated again and again over the next 20 months, as the
various forces on the ground could not be controlled by their respective
politicians and senior military officials. As it stood, the Muslims, with
EC recognition in their pockets, were not prepared to compromise, while
the Serbs, feeling trapped in a newly created sovereign state, adopted
the same position.
The war was soon raging
out of control. On 2 May EC Foreign Ministers meeting in Portugal recognized
the growing humanitarian crisis in Bosnia and insisted that the delivery
of aid to the region be given top priority; however, on that same day
a Belgian member of the EC Monitor Mission (ECMM) was killed and the operation
was suspended in protest. The remaining ECMM members withdrew from Sarajevo
on 12 May. EC ambassadors to Belgrade had already been withdrawn. The
prospect of an early peace settlement negotiated by the European Community
was rapidly fading.
UNITED NATIONS: PRELIMINARY STEPS
The United Nations, meanwhile,
was reluctant throughout the winter and spring of 1992 to make any precipitate
moves in Bosnia, content to let the EC take the lead. But as EC mediation
efforts continued to fail and the international media stepped up its coverage
of the blockade of Sarajevo and the plight of Muslim refugees, the pressure
to act increased. When EC foreign ministers suggested at their May meeting
in Portugal that the Community work closely with the UN in any attempt
to separate the warring parties, they may well have been trying to force
the UN out of the shadows. After considerable hesitation, the United Nations
finally stepped forward.
From the outset of the crisis,
before large-scale fighting had even broken out, Bosnian officials encouraged
the UN to step between the rival ethnic factions. When Cyrus Vance travelled
to Sarajevo on 2 January 1992, the Bosnian president requested the "preventive
deployment" of 2-3,000 UN peacekeepers to act as a deterrent to war.
The response of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the UN Secretary-General, was equivocal.(9)
When the request was repeated by Bosnian foreign minister Silajdzic in
Geneva in April, the Secretary-General was more explicit, emphasizing
the division of labour
between the United Nations, whose peace-keeping mandate was limited
to the situation in Croatia...and the peace-making role of the European
Community (EC) as a whole. Concerning his specific request, I observed
that it might be more appropriate for EC to expand its presence and
activities in Bosnia-Hercegovina.(10)
Indeed, on 7 April the Security
Council passed Resolution 749, appealing to all parties to cooperate with
the efforts of the European Community to bring about a cease-fire and
negotiate a political solution.(11)
Vance visited Bosnia again
in mid-April but Boutros-Ghali maintained his position: "The sad
fact is that the present conditions in Bosnia-Hercegovina make it impossible
to define a workable concept for a United Nations peace-keeping operation."
Moreover, as Vance pointed out, there were "limitations on human,
material and financial resources" which stood in the way of such
a deployment. Boutros-Ghali did make one concession. Although the original
mandate of the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) related only to Croatia,
it was envisaged that after the demilitarization of the UN Protected Areas,
100 UNPROFOR military observers would be redeployed to certain parts of
Bosnia. The Secretary-General now agreed to send 41 military observers
to Mostar and three other Bosnian municipalities before the end of April.(12)
Pressure for more decisive
action by the UN was building. The war in Bosnia had added to an already
massive humanitarian problem in the Balkans, as over a quarter of a million
internally-displaced refugees had been spawned by the latest ethnic fighting.
Several Balkan states asked the UN Security Council and the EC to adopt
measures to safeguard humanitarian missions (most of which were being
carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN
High Commissioner for Refugees) and "assure that humanitarian aid
reaches the victims of the present armed conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina."(13)
In late April, the Security Council requested that the parties to the
conflict not block the delivery of humanitarian aid, while at the same
time demanding that all forms of interference from outside Bosnia cease
Personnel from UNPROFOR
headquarters, located in Sarajevo (against the better judgment of many
senior UN officers),(15)
did their best to ease some of the suffering. As the Secretary-General
reported in late April, UNPROFOR was using "its good offices and
its limited headquarters resources to provide humanitarian support to
those in need as a result of the fighting in Sarajevo." This included
transporting wounded civilians to hospitals and encouraging faction leaders
to meet at UN headquarters to discuss the terms of EC cease-fires. While
such activities did not strictly fall within UNPROFOR's mandate, the UN
did not feel it could turn its back completely. However, as Boutros-Ghali
pointed out, "the resources at UNPROFOR's disposal do not permit
it to extend protection to all humanitarian operations in Bosnia-Hercegovina."
He also stated that as the situation deteriorated, "the problems
operating a headquarters in such an environment increase."(16)
In early May, Marrack Goulding,
Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, visited Bosnia to
determine whether the situation had in any way improved. Izetbegovic continued
to press for immediate UN intervention. His request for 10-15,000 troops,
supported by air power, to "restore order," was out of the question.
Boutros-Ghali pointed out that "given the intensity and scale of
the fighting, such a concept would require many tens of thousands of troops
equipped for potential combat with heavily armed and determined adversaries.
I do not believe that an enforcement action of this kind is a practicable
proposition." The Bosnian president tried a different tack, requesting
a deployment of 6 - 7,000 men to protect aid convoys being harassed by
the Serbs. Such a peacekeeping force, Goulding pointed out, even with
"specific goals and a limited workable mandate," was no less
problematic. Both Goulding and Lieutenant-General Satish Nambiar, commander
of UNPROFOR, had told UNHCR after a similar request that unarmed UN peacekeepers
would not be able to prevent trucks from being blocked and stolen; additional
armed troops would be necessary to implement such a mandate, and the rules
of engagement would have to be such as to allow them to open fire if attacked.
Even then, Goulding stressed that "such a role, while consistent
with customary United Nations peace-keeping practice, would require the
existence of a prior agreement among the principal parties to the conflict.
President Izetbegovic accepted that no such agreement was in sight."
The Secretary-General agreed, and added that a "successful peace-keeping
operation requires the parties to respect the United Nations, its personnel
and its mandate...(F)or all their fair words, none of the parties can
claim to satisfy this condition."(17)
The most the UN would offer was the possibility of a role in resolving
specific problems, such as the closure of Sarajevo airport.
In the meantime, the UN
presence in Bosnia was shrinking. On 14 May, the 41 UN observers despatched
to Bosnia only two weeks before were redeployed in Croatia after another
increase in fighting. About two-thirds of UNPROFOR's headquarters personnel
was also relocated from Sarajevo to Belgrade on 16-17 May. The skeleton
staff left behind approximately 100 military and civilian personnel
continued to perform humanitarian tasks in increasingly difficult
As the EC struggled on the
peacemaking front and the UN grappled with a possible peacekeeping role,
the Serbs quickly gained the upper hand on the ground, making huge advances
in eastern Bosnia and laying seige to Sarajevo. Serb attempts to create
"`ethnically pure' regions," in the words of Boutros-Ghali,
were now attracting major international attention, as was the indiscriminate
shelling of the Bosnian capital by Serb gunners lodged in the surrounding
hills. With each new success, the flood of Muslim refugees increased.
As the death toll began to mount, it was only a matter of time before
the Serbs came to be seen as the clear aggressors in the conflict, although
they insisted they were merely acting in self-defence. Lord Carrington's
view early in the war, shared by others in the international community,
that "everybody is to blame for what is happening in Sarajevo"
was soon outpaced by the carefully-selected images appearing on television
screens around the world.(19)
The media, it seemed, did their best to reinforce a straight distinction
between good and evil, despite the complexity of the war. By the middle
of May, the EC was declaring that "by far the greatest share of the
blame falls on the JNA and the authorities in Belgrade which are in control
of the army, both directly and indirectly by supporting Serbian irregulars."(20)
Was Belgrade dreaming of
a Greater Serbia? Serbia consistently denied that it was helping supply
the Bosnian Serbs or that the JNA, which had regrouped in Bosnia after
withdrawing from Croatia, was a participant in the fighting. But evidence
to the contrary was difficult to ignore. In early May, after the EC warned
of diplomatic isolation, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), now
consisting only of Serbia and Montenegro, ordered its citizens in the
JNA to withdraw by the middle of the month. As if to remind Belgrade of
its promise, the Security Council passed Resolution 752 on 15 May, demanding
that all forms of interference from outside Bosnia cease immediately,
and that foreign units be withdrawn, placed under the control of the Bosnian
government or disbanded and disarmed.(21)
However, since only a small portion of the estimated 100,000 JNA troops
in Bosnia were FRY citizens, as many as 50,000 well-armed Bosnian Serb
soldiers remained to fight.(22)
The emerging role of Serbia
in the Bosnian conflict increased the demands for more assertive international
action. Even the United States, which had remained quiet until now, suddenly
stepped into the fray. Although, on 19 May, the State Department had intimated
that there was no American security interest at stake in Bosnia, a week
later Secretary of State James Baker was exhorting European leaders at
a NATO meeting in Lisbon to do more about the problem. He even suggested
that those arguing against outside military intervention were "on
the wrong wavelength."(23)
The Europeans were uncomfortable with such remarks, but they conceded
that something had to be done. The French in particular were leaning towards
a more active role, although they increasingly viewed the Bosnia crisis
as too big for the EC to handle alone. For this reason, they wanted to
see the UN become less hesitant.(24)
Both the UN and the EC agreed
that one possible way to sever the link between Belgrade and the Bosnian
Serbs was through the imposition of sanctions. But for much of May, the
two bodies circled one another, each apparently wanting the other to make
the first move. Finally, on 27 May, EC ambassadors, perhaps influenced
by James Baker's comments, imposed a small package of sanctions against
Serbia and Montenegro. They also froze all export-credit guarantees and
suspended scientific and technical cooperation. However, they left oil
off the list, encouraging the UN to take on that role.
The stage was now set for
the UN's first decisive action on Bosnia. On 30 May the Security Council
condemned authorities in Belgrade for failing to fulfil the requirements
of Resolution 752 and imposed an embargo on Serbian and Montenegrin products
as well as financial and economic contacts. Resolution 757 also suspended
sports contacts and scientific, technical and cultural exchanges, and
imposed an air embargo and the reduction of staff levels at Yugoslav diplomatic
missions. Exempt from the sanctions were those items essential for humanitarian
needs, such as foodstuffs and medical supplies.
Would the sanctions hurt
Belgrade? Serbia was self-sufficient in food, rich in hydro-electric power
and produced one-fifth of the oil it used.(25)
What is more, it was clear from the outset that enforcing the ban would
be difficult. While Arab oil producers were eager to punish the Serbs
for ill-treatment of Muslims, other countries were more reluctant to act.
Romania continued to ship oil to Serbia, while Greece freely participated
in smuggling operations. Moreover, when the Western European Union and
NATO began policing the Adriatic in July, they had no authority to stop
vessels suspected of breaking sanctions. The UN and the EC made no mention
of what they would do if Serbia defied the sanctions.
Even if sanctions were effective,
would they in fact stop the fighting in Bosnia? The republic had been
the centre of Yugoslavia's arms industry, which meant that plenty of weapons
and ammunition were available to keep both sides fighting for some time.
There was also no guarantee that, should Milosevic cave in to pressure
and demand that the Bosnian Serbs pull back, the latter would necessarily
do so. No one knew for certain how much leverage the Serbian president
had with Karadzic and the other Serb leaders in Bosnia. Most experts seemed
to believe that sanctions alone would never stop the fighting.
DEPLOYMENT OF UN PEACEKEEPERS
Resolution 757 was a breakthrough
for the United Nations in its handling of the war in Bosnia. However,
the UN's precise role was still unclear. It continued to insist that the
conditions simply did not exist for the deployment of peacekeeping troops.
But the pressure to do something tangible for the war-torn country, with
its estimated 6,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of refugees, was now
reaching a fever pitch. The media coverage of the humanitarian catastrophe
taking place in Bosnia, in particular in the besieged capital of Sarajevo,
was having its effect on public opinion around the world, which in turn
forced the UN's hand. Although UN officials feared that a peacekeeping
role could put UN troops at risk and might allow the Serbs to consolidate
their gains, could they stand by while the bloodshed continued to increase?
Faced with this dilemma, the UN, hesitatingly at first, began to engage.
Once the first step was taken, it became increasingly difficult to disengage.
By the fall of 1992, the die had been cast.
The first step came with
the UN effort in June 1992 to secure a cease-fire between Serb and Muslim
forces in Sarajevo in order to open the airport to humanitarian aid for
the capital.(26) The
airport had been in the hands of the Bosnian Serbs since the outbreak
of fighting; they had closed it to all international traffic and as a
result had cut off badly-needed relief supplies. UN-sponsored talks had
begun on 2 June under the UN's Director of Civil Affairs in Bosnia, Cedric
Thornberry, when FRY had called on Bosnian Serb leaders to stop shelling
the capital and hand over the airport to UN soldiers. Several days later
Serb forces agreed in principle to the request, ostensibly because the
Muslims had lifted their own blockade of the Marshal Tito barracks. International
pressure and the fear of intervention also undoubtedly played a part.
Under the proposed agreement,
UNPROFOR would secure and operate the airport while unloading humanitarian
aid and ensuring its safe delivery to Sarajevo's inhabitants. UNPROFOR
would also be responsible for overseeing the removal of anti-aircraft
weapons from within range of the airport and monitoring the concentration
of artillery, mortars and ground-to-ground missiles. On 8 June the UN
Security Council passed Resolution 758, which enlarged the mandate and
strength of UNPROFOR so that it could perform these functions. Two days
later Lieutenant-General Nambiar dispatched his Chief of Staff, Canadian
Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, along with 60 military observers, to Sarajevo
as Commander-designate of UNPROFOR's new Sarajevo sector.(27)
But the agreement was not
to be implemented so easily. The Serbs and Muslims bickered over the terms
of the airport agreement and the talks broke down in mutual recrimination.
Two short-lived cease-fires over the next fortnight had no effect, and
it was not until French President François Mitterand unexpectedly paid
a six-hour visit to Sarajevo on 28 June to dramatize Sarajevo's need for
humanitarian aid that a breakthrough occurred. Although Mitterand's visit
appeared to some as grandstanding, his presence finally convinced Izetbegovic
and Karadzic to sign the agreement. Despite continued fighting in the
vicinity of the airport, there was a gradual build-up of UNPROFOR personnel
over the next week. The first group of 30 was deployed on 28 June and
by the next day the UN had achieved a sufficient lull in the fighting
to allow in five flights with relief supplies. French troops began to
arrive on 1 July and a Canadian battalion was redeployed from Croatia
to Sarajevo the following day. On 3 July the airport was officially reopened
for humanitarian relief supplies, although in the months to come sporadic
attacks would force intermittent closures, some brief and some not so
brief. On 13 July the UN Security Council agreed to send an additional
500 troops to join the 1,100 soldiers already supervising the UN relief
operation. The Canadian battalion was replaced at the end of July by three
smaller battalions contributed by Egypt, France and Ukraine. In the meantime,
a land corridor had been successfully opened from the Croatian port of
Split to Sarajevo, thereby complementing the air route.
UN peacekeepers were now
on the ground in Bosnia but their precise role remained unclear. The Security
Council passed Resolution 764 in July defining the humanitarian nature
of their mandate in short, "to ensure the security and functioning
of Sarajevo airport and the delivery of humanitarian assistance."
Despite UN escorts, however, aid convoys continued to be attacked and
looted by local war-lords who showed little respect for the UN presence
in Bosnia. UN soldiers remained powerless to respond. As a result, the
Security Council approved Resolution 770 on 13 August, which authorized
"all measures necessary" (including force) to ensure the delivery
of humanitarian aid. At the time of its adoption, Resolution 770 was the
most explicit acceptance of the use of UN force ever employed in an internal
conflict; however, its precise meaning was vague. European governments,
expressing the need for caution, interpreted it as authorizing the use
of force only as a last resort; there was no real desire on the part of
the international community to precipitate fighting through an open-ended
770 seemed to act as a catalyst. On 14 August the French government announced
that it was prepared to contribute a 1,100-strong force of "protection
and escort" to Bosnia to operate under the mandate of the new resolution.
Spain, Italy and Belgium also agreed to send troops. The US and Great
Britain reiterated their opposition to the use of ground troops but, on
18 August, the latter reversed its decision and announced that it would
place 1,800 soldiers at the disposal of the UN. By the beginning of September,
Europe had agreed to contribute 5,000 peacekeepers, although it would
be some time before they began to arrive in strength.(29)
On 14 September the UN went
one step further when the Security Council adopted Resolution 776, which
increased the number of UN troops in Bosnia by up to 6,000 in addition
to the 1,700 peacekeepers already deployed to be drawn strictly
from NATO countries. The total UN force in the former Yugoslavia was now
targeted at 21,000, larger than the Congo peacekeeping operation of 30
years before. Resolution 776 also established a separate Bosnian command
which came to be known as UNPROFOR II. Its mandate was significantly enlarged
from that of UNPROFOR I: it was to assist and protect UNHCR in its efforts
to deliver humanitarian relief throughout Bosnia, and its troops would
follow normal peace-keeping rules of engagement. These authorized them
to use force in self-defence, including in situations where armed groups
attempted to prevent them from carrying out their assigned tasks.(30)
RAVAGES OF WAR
The decision of the UN to
pursue a policy of humanitarian intervention was a major breakthrough.
Finally a glimmer of hope, however small, had appeared for the Bosnian
people. But experts put the event in context. The opening of the airport
by a token UN force and the enlargement of the UN mandate to include the
escort of humanitarian convoys would do little to stop the actual fighting.
According to Canada's Major-General MacKenzie, 40,000 UN troops were needed
in Sarajevo alone to keep the peace. In the meantime, the fighting raged
on and the participants showed as little concern for "the international
rules of war" as ever.
It was this persistent violation
of the rules of war which so appalled the nations of the world. That the
fighting between the rival ethnic factions was showing no signs of subsiding
was bad enough; what made it worse was the way in which it was being carried
out. This was a brutal war by any standard. "Ethnic cleansing"
the forced expulsion of one ethnic group by another, in particular
of Muslims by Serb forces soon became part of the every-day vocabulary
of people world-wide. The Bosnian Serbs claimed that the flow of refugees
from ethnically mixed regions was the natural consequence of war, but
the discovery of concentration camps in Serb-held territory indicated
otherwise. Insistence that these camps were no more than collection centres
for refugees and prisoners of war was belied by evidence of sporadic executions,
torture and other forms of maltreatment, as images of emaciated bodies
behind barbed wire flashed around the world.(31)
The discovery of mass civilian graves and stories of rape of Muslim women
soon became common.(32)
Comparisons with Nazi Germany, though not entirely accurate, were drawn.
The Serbs maintained that the Muslims were also guilty of ethnic cleansing
and other war crimes, but few believed that the Serbs were not the worst
It was a human catastrophe
of incredible proportions. The death toll steadily mounted into the tens
of thousands, and by the end of July more than one million Bosnian men,
women and children were homeless. The total for all the former Yugoslavia
was close to two million. Nearly 500,000 had fled the region completely,
seeking refuge in other countries. The UNHCR, which had been coordinating
the UN relief effort in the former Yugoslavia since November 1991 with
the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross, could
Diplomatic efforts to deal
with the refugee crisis were hampered by the same problem that was to
complicate the entire international response to the war in Bosnia: a lack
of consensus. Germany, which was taking in over half of Yugoslavian refugees,
wanted the EC to adopt a European quota system but Great Britain and France,
who had accepted only a handful, argued that they should be assisted as
close as possible to their place of origin. Some progress was made at
a UNHCR-sponsored conference held in Geneva on 29 July. A number of recommendations
were made, including an increased international presence to provide relief
and the granting of "temporary protection" to all refugees from
the former Yugoslavia. Participating countries pledged US$152 million
as well as logistical support to build winter housing for refugees and
to maintain humanitarian road convoys inside Bosnia to relieve besieged
cities such as Sarajevo and Gorazde. A standing committee was also established
to coordinate the international relief effort. However, the conference
failed to reach agreement on the unrestricted granting of asylum to refugees.
Other steps were taken but
they were symbolic at best. For example, on 17 July the UN Security Council
adopted a resolution (the first of many) condemning the detention camps
and reminding all parties of their obligations under the 1949 Geneva Convention.
On 13-14 August an extraordinary session of the UN Human Rights Commission
was held in Geneva to examine events in the former Yugoslavia. The policy
of ethnic cleansing was strongly condemned, and at the same time Tadeusz
Mazowiecki, the former prime minister of Poland, was given the task of
investigating human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia. In his first
report, released in late August, he "deplored the systematic use
of violence" against Bosnian Croats and Muslims by Serbs and recommended
that the mandate of UNPROFOR be expanded to include preventing and assisting
the victims of human rights abuses in Bosnia. He also suggested that a
human rights tribunal be set up.(35)
FOR MILITARY INTERVENTION
There was a more drastic
way in which the horrible suffering taking place in Bosnia could be reduced;
this was through direct military intervention. At the Helsinki meeting
of the CSCE on 9-10 July the Americans and Europeans agreed that they
were not contemplating using military force to halt the conflict. But
as EC and UN efforts to stem the fighting and curtail the practice of
ethnic cleansing in Bosnia continued to fail, increasing numbers of Americans
and Europeans began to argue that force was the only answer. They viewed
the conflict in simple terms: heavily armed Serbs waging a war of aggression,
killing and driving into exile thousands of defenceless Muslims. With
the Serbs now in control of two-thirds of Bosnia and the reality of a
Greater Serbia looming larger every day, they argued that the time for
intervention was now or never.
Those who spoke out in favour
of military intervention were a diverse group. In the United States, for
example, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton and The New
York Times joined forces to urge military action. Not surprisingly,
Islamic states such as Turkey and Iran also encouraged the use of force.
On 25 August, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution sponsored by
the Islamic Conference Organization which cited chapter VII of the UN
Charter authorizing the use of force where economic embargo had failed.
There were a number of military
options available but nearly all of them posed their own unique problems.
The United States and Europe, with enough ground troops and equipment,
could undoubtedly defeat the Serbs. But it would require perhaps 50,000
men and there was no guarantee of a quick victory. Bosnia, with its mountainous
terrain, was tailor-made for guerilla warfare, a type of combat at which
the Serbs had proved highly adept in the past. The American military stated
throughout the Bosnian conflict that "we do deserts we don't
The spectre of Vietnam loomed large.
Air strikes against Serb
positions in the hills surrounding Sarajevo and other besieged towns in
Bosnia were also suggested by some military experts. While this would
avoid the deployment of large numbers of ground forces, it was questionable
how useful it would prove, as the weapon of choice in Bosnia was the very
portable mortar. There was also a fear that air strikes might provoke
Serb reprisals against UN troops.
As an alternative to direct
intervention against the Serbs, there was the option of stepping in to
protect civilians. NATO and the WEU had looked into the feasibility of
this concept, whether by clearing relief corridors cut off by the war
or creating safe havens. Again, this would require the deployment of thousands
of ground troops (especially in the case of relief corridors) prepared
to engage in possibly heavy fighting.
Finally, numerous Muslim
countries were urging the UN to lift its arms embargo against the former
Yugoslavia so that Bosnian Muslims could import the weapons needed to
fight the better-armed Serbs on equal terms. Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic
wrote to the Security Council on 3 August demanding that Bosnia be allowed
to import arms to "achieve the right to individual and collective
self-defence" guaranteed by Article 51 of the UN Charter.
Most western governments
entertained these various military options only to reject them. It was
clear that national interest was not sufficiently at stake while the risk
of heavy casualties was far too great. As the US Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, remarked, "the crisis in Bosnia
is especially complex. The solution must ultimately be a political one."(37)
LONDON CONFERENCE AND BEYOND
Throughout the summer of
1992, as the UN adopted a more assertive role in Bosnia and the possibility
of military intervention was discussed, EC peacemaking efforts continued;
however, little headway was made. When progress did come about, trans-Atlantic
misunderstandings at times proved costly. For example, on 17 July Lord
Carrington brokered a cease-fire plan among the three factions requiring
that heavy weapons be placed under UN supervision. But no one consulted
the UN Secretary-General over the plan's feasibility, and he complained
to the Security Council on 21 July that he had been left "in the
invidious position of having to advise the Council on the implementation
of a mandate behind which the Council had already thrown its political
support." He believed that, given the strained resources of the UN,
which was actively engaged in 13 other peacekeeping operations, it was
the EC that should be putting its resources at the service of the UN and
not the other way around. Since the warring parties did not declare the
locations and quantities of their heavy weapons and the cease-fire was
typically ignored on the ground, the agreement fell through. Nonetheless,
the incident revealed the strained relations and differences of opinion
that were emerging within the international community.(38)
As the EC had made so little
progress in pushing the Serbs and Muslims towards peace, some countries,
France for one, began to wonder whether the UN should become an equal
partner in the peacemaking process. The altercation in July certainly
suggested that at the very least the two international bodies should cooperate
more. There was also concern that perhaps the Serbs were suspicious of
the EC and the role played by Germany, their traditional enemy. Although
the British and Americans believed the UN already had enough to do with
its peacekeeping responsibilities, by the end of August it was decided
that some new effort had to be made to break the stalemate.
The London Conference, co-chaired
by British prime minister John Major and the UN Secretary-General, was
attended from 26-28 August by delegates from the UN, the EC and the CSCE,
as well as representatives of the main Yugoslav factions. A special working
group on Bosnia was established "to promote a cessation of hostilities
and a constitutional settlement" in the republic, as well as a Geneva-based
negotiating forum sponsored jointly by the UN and the EC. The UN representative
remained Cyrus Vance, while Lord David Owen, a former British foreign
secretary, replaced the recently retired Lord Carrington as the EC envoy.
The Geneva Conference was to become the driving force behind all subsequent
All parties to the conflict
were urged "immediately and without preconditions to resume negotiations
on future constitutional arrangements." Vance and Owen were to conduct
these negotiations according to strict guidelines. Above all else, the
"integrity of present frontiers" was to be fully respected unless
changes were agreed to by all factions; moreover, territory seized by
force was to be returned. Should these negotiations produce a settlement,
the possibility of a UN peacekeeping force "to maintain the cease-fire,
control military movements and undertake other confidence-building measures"
The London Conference provided
new hopes for an end to the fighting; however, those hopes were short-lived.
While the international community may have finally shown some degree of
consensus in its handling of the war in Bosnia, the combatants showed
no more willingness to settle their differences. Peace negotiations between
the three ethnic communities in September yielded no results, while agreements
reached at London to allow the UN to monitor heavy weapons around Sarajevo
and other Muslim-held towns were ignored. Serb bombardment of Muslim territory
continued unabated and by October the promise had largely been forgotten.
Since the London Conference contained no real hint of punitive measures
or the threat of outside force, Vance and Owen possessed limited leverage.
As John Major remarked, "we cannot rely on the good will of the parties.
We need pressure."(40)
What pressure was applied
before the end of 1992 proved no more successful than in the past. On
22 September the UN General Assembly voted to deny the former Yugoslavia's
seat to FRY.(41) Two
weeks later the UN Security Council voted unanimously to create a war
crimes commission to examine evidence of "grave breaches of international
humanitarian law" in the former Yugoslavia. The aim was to discourage
new excesses by letting perpetrators know they might be held accountable.
However, this action was no more than a call for evidence; no tribunal
was established or potential criminals named.(42)
UN Resolution 781, approved by the Security Council on 9 October, imposed
a ban on flights by warplanes in Bosnian air space; however, UNPROFOR
could only monitor compliance, not enforce it. Although Serbian warplanes
were eventually persuaded to stay on the ground, it made little difference
air power had played a negligible role in the conflict.(43)
Finally, on 23 November warships of NATO and the WEU began to stop and
search any ships entering or leaving Yugoslav waters suspected of ignoring
UN sanctions against Serbia.
As the early promise of
the London Conference began to fade and the Serbs continued their success
on the ground, popular pressure for military action again mounted. The
Islamic Conference Organization hinted at possible intervention but in
Geneva Cyrus Vance and David Owen made a strong plea to avoid any military
action that would imperil either their negotiations or the 7,000 peacekeepers
in Bosnia. Senior UN military officials in the region agreed.
In the west, hesitation
ruled the day. Possible military options continued to be debated but a
consensus remained elusive. Washington was warming to the idea, still
popular in Islamic countries, of lifting the arms embargo in order to
deliver weapons and ammunition to the Muslims, but Europe, with the exception
of Germany, would not give its support, being convinced that this would
only add fuel to the fire and prolong the conflict.
On 16 November, the Security
Council asked Boutros-Ghali to study the French idea of setting up safe
havens in central and eastern Bosnia where Muslims were being starved
into submission before being forced out of their homes. Once again, such
a move would require the deployment of thousands of western troops with
clear authorization to fight, although they would not (in theory at least)
be engaged in offensive operations. There was another dilemma. Safe havens
would undoubtedly save lives but they ran the risk of encouraging ethnic
partition and destroying any hope for an intact Bosnia. The president
of ICRC had stated in October that the priority was to save lives, even
if it meant aiding and abetting ethnic cleansing.(44)
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, was not so sure;
she worried that the plan would be extremely difficult to implement. NATO
planners expressed similar reservations.
Finally, there was considerable
debate near the end of the year about whether to enforce the no-fly-zone.
The Serbs continued to violate Bosnian air space, although they insisted
that these flights were of a purely humanitarian nature, such as delivering
medicine or evacuating wounded. UNPROFOR observers confirmed that no clearly
defined combat missions had been flown since November. Nevertheless, NATO
foreign ministers agreed on 17 December to support any future UN resolution
enforcing the flight ban over Bosnia. Some experts suggested that the
no-fly tactic suited western interests perfectly, being an ostensibly
activist measure that satisfied public opinion yet fell well short of
any firm commitment to stop the bloodshed.
PEACE PROPOSALS: THE VANCE-OWEN PLAN
As 1992 came to a close,
the prospects for peace in Bosnia seemed as remote as ever. Western military
intervention had been ruled out for the foreseeable future and the warring
ethnic factions showed no signs of compromise. But as 1993 dawned, a small
glimmer of hope appeared. It remained to be seen whether the Serbs and
Muslims would seize the opportunity to make peace or simply exploit it
to their advantage.
On 2 January 1993, the leaders
of the three ethnic groups sat down in Geneva to hold direct talks for
the first time. On the table was a comprehensive peace package put together
by the co-chairmen of the Geneva Conference, Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen.
The package, based on proposals first presented to the parties in October
1992, contained three major elements: constitutional principles, a map
dividing the republic into 10 provinces, and cease-fire and demilitarization
guidelines. The co-chairmen insisted that all three elements were closely
linked and could not be implemented separately.
Under the terms of the Vance-Owen
plan, Bosnia would become a decentralized state with most governmental
functions carried out by its provinces, although the latter would possess
no "international legal personality" or authority to sign agreements
with foreign states. The central government would have responsibility
for defence, foreign policy and trade. While none of the provinces would
be ethnically pure, each of the three groups would form the majority in
three of the 10 provinces, with Sarajevo becoming a demilitarized open
city. The Serbs, who controlled roughly 70% of Bosnia, would receive about
45% of the country's territory, while the Muslims and Croats would divide
the rest. UN-policed corridors or "throughways" would be created
to ensure the free movement of people and goods between provinces.(45)
The Vance-Owen plan was
a desperate attempt to do the impossible. It was designed on the one hand
to appease the Muslims by preserving the territorial integrity of Bosnia,
while at the same time offering the Serbs and Croats substantial power
and autonomy through the provinces. The Croats were happy, their leader
Mate Boban accepting all three documents almost immediately. Since the
Croatian provinces were located in western Bosnia, adjacent to Croatia
itself, he may well have seen the Vance-Owen plan as paving the way for
a possible union with Zagreb at a later date.(46)
But it was a different story
for the Muslims and Serbs. Although Bosnian president Alija Izetbegovic
was no doubt pleased that Bosnia would still exist as a national entity,
he realised full well that it would do so in name only; the central government
would possess few real powers. Moreover, he could not accept that Muslims
would be forced to relinquish much of the territory they had held before
the fighting broke out. The Vance-Owen plan, he argued, punished the victims,
as the Muslims would be unfairly squeezed between Serbs and Croats. But
the international community had examined the realities on the ground and
concluded that short of military intervention, which no one in the west
was prepared to endorse, this was the best it could do.
Like the Muslims, the Serbs
initially refused to sign any of the documents. Not only were they being
asked to surrender hard-won territory (in the north, for example, where
they had established a corridor linking Serb-held lands in Croatia and
Bosnia with Serbia proper), but their provinces would be scattered throughout
the country, forestalling any dream of a "state within a state"
or even a Greater Serbia. They still held to the principle, articulated
in the Lisbon agreement of February 1992, of a confederation of three
independent states. They had rejected the October proposals on the same
The two parties played for
time the Muslims hoping in vain that the United States, which shared
Izetbegovic's doubts about the plan, might intervene, the Serbs praying
that the new proposals would die a natural death. Although Izetbegovic
did accept the constitutional principles later in the month, he continued
to reject the map and the cease-fire provisions. The Serbs, apparently
under pressure from Milosevic, went one better, signing both the constitutional
principles and the cease-fire accord. The Serbian president may have begun
to feel the sting of sanctions or understood that although the Vance-Owen
plan was not perfect, the possible alternatives isolation, foreign
intervention, substantial loss of Serb territory might be worse.
However, the Bosnian Serbs would not accept the map, even after 14 January,
when EC foreign ministers gave them a six-day ultimatum to accept the
plan in its entirety.
By the end of January the
two sides were deadlocked. The talks were moved from Geneva to New York
at the beginning of February in the hope that the Security Council and
the United States would endorse the plan. Although the EC had approved
the package on 1 February, the US remained sceptical. The American press
made references to Munich and appeasement, while Warren Christopher, the
Secretary of State, believed that the plan was impractical and rewarded
Serb aggression. President Clinton reportedly wanted the map redrawn to
give more territory to the Muslims.(47)
But the Americans offered no real alternatives. Clinton had chided President
Bush during the election campaign for his timid stance on Bosnia and had
even suggested possible military intervention. Now the American president
was being criticized for his own indecision and lack of vision. Washington's
policy on Bosnia, the critics were shouting, was adrift.
On 10 February, Clinton's
administration spoke out. The American government finally endorsed, somewhat
reluctantly, the Vance-Owen plan, although it stipulated that in no circumstances
should it be imposed on any one party. The president also promised to
become "actively and directly engaged" in the peace process
and made a number of proposals aimed at breaking the deadlock. These included
tightening the sanctions against Serbia; enforcing the no-fly zone through
a Security Council resolution; establishing a war crimes tribunal to try
those suspected of committing atrocities; lending American support, in
cooperation with the UN and NATO, to the enforcement of a "viable
agreement" on Bosnia, using force if necessary; and encouraging the
greater involvement of Russia in the peace process. Clinton also appointed
Reginald Bartholomew, US ambassador to NATO, as special American envoy
to the international peace talks on the former Yugoslavia.
The Americans did not stop
there. In mid-February the UN High Commissioner for Refugees suspended
relief operations in eastern Bosnia for two days in protest against the
persistent attacks by Serb forces on aid convoys. Some Muslim enclaves
in the north had been cut off from aid for months, and Muslims in Sarajevo
had refused to accept assistance until these towns had been helped. Although
UN peacekeepers were technically allowed to respond to such interference
with force, they were only lightly armed and often outnumbered by the
forces opposing them. Clinton offered a possible solution. At the end
of February he announced that American troops would air-drop relief supplies
to areas Serb, Muslim or Croat cut off from UN operations.
Although the plan carried enormous political and practical risks
fear of reprisal against UN troops, the possibility of American casualties,
the problem of accurate drops the move was endorsed by NATO foreign
ministers and the first air-drop took place on 1 March. Despite initial
teething troubles, the drops proved a success. What is more, they represented
the first active involvement of American forces in Bosnia.(48)
With the American government's
decision to become more involved in the peace process and to support the
Vance-Owen plan, there was hope once again that a turning point in the
Bosnian conflict had been reached. But the fighting continued through
the winter and early spring of 1993, especially in the east, where Serb
forces attempted to consolidate those regions designated Muslim under
the Vance-Owen plan.(49)
Serious clashes were also taking place in the west, only here it was the
Croats who were squeezing the Muslims.(50)
On the negotiating front,
progress remained slow. After moving the talks to New York at the beginning
of February, little headway was made over the next month.(51)
In early March, Izetbegovic finally accepted the cease-fire provisions,
after having been assured by UNPROFOR that it would take possession of
the Serbs' heavy weapons. But agreement on the map was still proving difficult.
Peace negotiators tried to persuade Izetbegovic that he was being offered
the best he could possibly hope for in the prevailing circumstances. With
the US now supporting the plan, Izetbegovic perhaps realized that he could
not hold out much longer. Finally, during the next round of talks lasting
from 16 to 25 March, the Muslims and Croats agreed on a revised map: Sarajevo
province would now be placed under Muslim rather than tripartite control.
The two sides also signed a fourth document setting out the interim arrangements
to be put in place before new elections.(52)
The plan had now been accepted
in its entirety by both the Muslims and Croats; the Serbs, however, still
repulsed by the idea of surrendering territory, continued to reject the
map. The international community decided that the time had come to apply
further pressure. The UN Security Council tightened the screws on the
Serbs on 31 March by passing Resolution 816, permitting NATO aircraft
to shoot down planes violating the no-fly zone in Bosnian air-space. Serbian
aircraft had bombed two small villages near Sarajevo on 13 March, the
first confirmed bombing raid since the imposition of the flight ban. By
mid-April NATO fighters from the French, Dutch and American air forces
were enforcing the ban, although they were forbidden to fire on trespassing
aircraft unless a clear warning had first been issued.
When the self-proclaimed
Bosnian Serb assembly, meeting in Pale (just north of Sarajevo), rejected
the Vance-Owen plan on 2 April, the outside world went one step further.
Since the end of March, the EC had been threatening FRY with total isolation
if the Bosnian Serbs rejected the agreement again, although Milosevic
continued to insist that there was little he could do. After the latest
refusal, the Community began to pressure the Security Council to implement
new sanctions against Yugoslavia, threatening to impose its own if the
UN declined to act. The Security Council hesitated, not wanting to force
the hand of Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who faced hard-line opposition
from pro-Serb conservatives and was under pressure to veto any resolution
endorsing new economic measures against Belgrade. After numerous delays,
however, sanctions were finally approved on 17 April. They were to go
into effect 26 April, the day after the Russian referendum that endorsed
Yeltsin's presidency. The new measures banned the transport of goods through
Yugoslavia, froze its financial assets overseas, prohibited Yugoslavian
ships from the territory of UN members, and detained ships, trains and
aircraft already abroad.
This latest slate of UN
economic measures seemed to have an effect on Belgrade. The Yugoslavian
economy was in tatters, and there was speculation that further sanctions
might tear the country apart.(53)
As a result, Yugoslavian officials began to pressure the Bosnian Serbs
to accept the peace plan; whether this was a genuine bid to stop the fighting
or merely an attempt to confuse the west as it imposed new sanctions and
contemplated military intervention, no one could be sure.
Either way, it was still
not enough. Talks in Belgrade broke down on 25 April and the next day
the Bosnian Serb Assembly again rejected the proposed map.(54)
Even a promise by Owen that the UN would establish "secure corridors"
linking non-contiguous Bosnian Serb provinces and that demilitarized Serb
areas would be protected by UN troops could not sway the Serbs.(55)
The Assembly's promise to put the plan to a referendum in Bosnian Serb-held
territory the next month was labelled a "cynical ploy" by Warren
The Geneva conference made
one last-ditch effort at the beginning of May to bring the Serbs on side.
With the Bosnian Serb Assembly set to meet yet again on 5 May to re-consider
its latest decision to reject the map, Karadzic came under greater pressure
than ever from Belgrade to accept the terms of the agreement and use his
political weight to sway the vote. On 2 May he reluctantly gave in and,
President Milosevic at his side, agreed to the map in Athens.(56)
But the Bosnian Assembly paid little heed. Three days later it again refused
to sign the agreement and confirmed that a referendum would be held immediately.
The outcome surprised no one. On 15-16 May, Bosnia's Serbs voted overwhelmingly
to reject the Vance-Owen plan, while at the same time endorsing the principle
of a separate Serb state.
The Yugoslavian government
immediately announced that it was cutting its ties with the Bosnian Serbs
and that it would deprive them of all vital supplies except humanitarian
aid. This took the wind out of an intense build-up of international pressure
for tougher action against Belgrade. But Milosevic's sincerity was always
in doubt; when the UN offered international observers to monitor the country's
borders, he bluntly refused. It soon became apparent that supplies from
Serbia were still crossing the Bosnian border.
Throughout this period of
frenzied negotiation, the logistics of implementing the Vance-Owen plan
were being discussed within UN and NATO circles. Although Boutros-Ghali
was insistent that the UN should have ultimate political and strategic
control of the operation (it would after all be financed collectively
by UN member-states), he realized from the start that the agreement would
exceed the planning capability of the UN Secretariat and UNPROFOR. Since
NATO was the only body with an adequate organization to manage such a
large operation, it agreed to lay the groundwork. NATO experts estimated
that 60 - 75,000 troops would be required to carry out the various military
tasks; the bulk of the force would be provided by the United States, with
Great Britain and France supplying large contingents as well.(57)
But troubling questions remained: Could such a large force actually be
assembled? How long would it remain in Bosnia? What would be the ultimate
cost of deployment, and could the UN, with its stretched finances, afford
By the time the Serbs had
rejected the Vance-Owen plan on 5 May, however, talk had shifted away
from the logistics of peacekeeping to the prospect of immediate military
intervention. Never had such discussion been taken so seriously, especially
in the United States. The American military remained opposed on both tactical
and strategic grounds to any large-scale military action. Although some
military experts suggested that the Serbs could be defeated within a week
by two or three well-trained divisions, most were arguing that it would
now require hundreds of thousands of troops over an indefinite period.
Clinton took this advice to heart; he continued to insist that the Unites
States would not deploy ground troops in Bosnia unless a viable peace
agreement had been signed. However, his administration was running out
of patience with Serb recalcitrance. Warren Christopher, Vice-President
Al Gore and National Security Adviser Anthony Lake were in favour of air
strikes, Defense Secretary Les Aspin was non-committal, while Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell opposed such action.
Finally, at the end of April Clinton chose the so-called "lift-and-strike"
option: suspending the UN arms embargo and launching air strikes against
the Bosnian Serbs to keep them at bay while the Muslims learned to operate
the new sophisticated weaponry that was flooding in. It was soon revealed
that Washington had already deployed 100 military-intelligence troops
in Bosnia to locate possible targets, especially supply routes across
the Serbian border.(58)
Christopher was despatched
to Europe to sound out Washington's NATO allies but it quickly became
apparent that, with the exception of Germany, no country in the EC would
support "lift-and- strike." Both new and old arguments were
employed. Britain and France once again expressed the fear, as did UN
officials on the ground, that any military action ran the risk of precipitating
Serb reprisal attacks against their peacekeeping troops in Bosnia.(59)
Moreover, as the EC Foreign Ministers pointed out in Denmark on
25 April, lifting the arms embargo might escalate the conflict and perhaps
allow it to spread outside Bosnia's borders.(60)
There were other questions, some basic, some not: Where would the arms
come from? How would they be delivered? What were the political and military
objectives of air strikes? Field Marshal Sir Richard Vincent, the British
Chairman of NATO's Military Committee, advised Western governments in
late April that they should decide what they wanted to achieve in Bosnia
before advocating any kind of enforcement.(61)
The Europeans would compromise
very little, as they remained committed to the idea of peacekeeping and
the delivery of humanitarian aid. At the very least, they hoped to avoid
any serious talk of military action until Milosevic's pledge to seal the
border with Bosnia had been tested. The British government hinted that
they might agree at a later date to limited air strikes against Serb supply
and communications lines (Lord Owen had even suggested that this might
be necessary) but only as a last resort. The Russians suggested that an
easing of sanctions against Belgrade might produce results, while the
French once again recommended creating safe areas to protect besieged
Muslims in eastern Bosnia and elsewhere.
The Americans were not prepared
to act on their own. Attending a meeting of senior NATO military officials
in Brussels on 27 April, General Colin Powell made it clear that the American
government would not consider any military action without specific authority
from the UN.(62) Since
there was a possibility that Russia or France might veto any Security
Council resolution advocating the lift-and-strike option, Washington had
effectively reached a dead end. The Bosnian Serb gamble that a lack of
consensus in the west would prevent any possibility of direct military
intervention continued to pay dividends.
The growing rift between
the US and Europe was soon being labelled by some observers as the greatest
crisis in trans-Atlantic relations since the Suez debacle of 1956. The
language was not always diplomatic. Joseph Biden, senior Democrat on the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a firm supporter of "lift-and-
strike," characterized European policy as a "discouraging mosaic
of indifference, timidity, self-delusion and hypocrisy."(63)
John Newhouse perhaps summed it up best: "Washington sees the Europeans
as wimpish. Europeans see the Clinton administration as indifferent to
Perhaps more important, the split revealed different concepts of what
the conflict was about. The Europeans saw Bosnia as being consumed by
civil war, while the Americans viewed it as an independent state being
victimized by externally directed aggression.(65)
OF A PEACE PLAN
The Vance-Owen plan was
now in its death throes, although the international community refused
to admit as much publicly. However, the evidence could not be ignored.
Not only had the Serbs categorically rejected the peace plan and were
now talking of partitioning the country along ethnic lines, but on 6 May,
before the referendum had even been held, the Security Council unanimously
adopted Resolution 824, which declared the besieged Muslim enclaves of
Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zepa, Gorazde, Bihac and Srebrenica "safe areas."
The warring factions were ordered to keep the areas free from "armed
attacks or any other hostile act" and allow UN military observers
access to monitor their security. At a meeting of foreign ministers held
in Washington on 22 May Russia, the United States, Great Britain, France
and Spain signed a "joint strategy" to guard the safe areas.
The signatories to the Washington Agreement denied that the Vance-Owen
plan was dead or that military intervention had been completely ruled
out as an option. Likewise, NATO defence ministers, meeting in Brussels
on 26 May, emphasized that safe areas should be seen as a means to an
end and not as a substitute, keeping alive the possibility that the Vance-Owen
plan might still be revived. But observers world-wide expressed grave
The six designated safe
areas were the scene of complete despair, as relentless artillery bombardment,
ethnic cleansing and severe shortages of food and other humanitarian assistance
had produced a human tragedy.(66)
When the Serbs tried to close the ring in the late winter and spring of
1993, UN forces became more and more involved in efforts to evacuate Muslims
from these besieged areas. Srebrenica, in eastern Bosnia, was perhaps
the most celebrated case. In March, Lieutenant-General Phillipe Morillon,
commander of UN forces in Bosnia, entered the town with a small force
and remained there for nearly a month until the siege was lifted. A 150-strong
company of Canadian peacekeepers then began to evacuate its inhabitants
and disarm the Muslim defenders, resulting in accusations by the international
press and the Bosnian government that the UN was encouraging ethnic cleansing.
Nevertheless, at the end of April Srebrenica was finally designated a
safe area.(67) With the
failure of the peace talks and the increased determination of the Serbs
to wipe out the last remaining pockets of Muslim resistance, the UN concluded,
mainly at French insistence, that extending the safe area concept to other
regions of Bosnia was the only option left short of full-scale intervention.
But some members of NATO
in particular those not consulted were less than sanguine,
and the plan was widely criticized in the western press. Once again, there
was concern that the Serbs were being rewarded and the Muslims punished.
Indeed, many experts agreed that the new plan was a de facto recognition
of the Bosnian status quo, freezing the territorial outcome of 14 months
of civil war and emboldening Serb and Croat nationalists in their alleged
aim of partitioning Bosnia at the expense of the Muslim population.(68)
UN workers on the ground, including the UN aid chief in Bosnia, Jose-Maria
Mendiluce, expressed fears that the designated zones would become ghettos,
vulnerable to disease and totally dependent on indefinite UN food aid.(69)
With hostile Serbs and Croats surrounding the towns, there was no guarantee
aid would even get through. The Economist suggested that the Muslims
were being herded into "homelands" similar to those established
in South Africa. The message was clear: "Apartheid is growing in
Not surprisingly, president
Izetbegovic initially rejected the agreement. He accused the west of abandoning
Bosnia and of herding Muslims into "reservations." But on 7 June,
with military intervention now more unlikely than ever, he accepted the
plan with certain conditions: extension of the size of the six areas,
the establishment of corridors between the towns and the withdrawal of
surrounding Serb artillery. Since these demands would require major Serb
concessions, especially in terms of territory, there was little chance
of their being accepted.
were underway to implement the safe area plan; however, this too met with
criticism. The Security Council approved Resolution 836 on 4 June, permitting
UNPROFOR to use force if any of the six safe areas were attacked. But
it was unclear whether this applied to attacks only on UNPROFOR troops
or civilians as well.(71)
The issue was not clarified at a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Athens
on 10 June when NATO agreed to provide "protective air power in case
of attack against UNPROFOR in the performance of its overall mandate."
While several European countries, including France and Great Britain,
hinted that civilians in the safe areas should also be defended, the US
was less enthusiastic.(72)
Moreover, it was unclear whether NATO aircraft would protect all peacekeepers
in Bosnia or just those guarding the safe areas. NATO Secretary-General
Manfred Woerner stated that it applied only to the safe areas, but Warren
Christopher intimated that all of Bosnia would be covered.
Another question bedevilled
the planners: how many ground troops would be required to guard the safe
areas, and could they be found? Lieutenant-General Lars-Eric Wahlgren,
UN commander in the former Yugoslavia, estimated that 34,000 troops would
be needed, but Boutros-Ghali, realizing that this number could never be
raised with the UN stretched so thin, scaled it down to 7,500.(73)
EC foreign ministers had agreed in Luxembourg on 8 June to the principle
of an increase in the commitment of ground forces to protect the safe
areas but this did not necessarily translate into action. At the end of
June, Britain and Spain refused to send any more troops, while Russia
wanted to see a clearer mandate before making any commitment. The US,
of course, had supported the plan reluctantly to begin with, and it continued
to refuse to send ground troops to Bosnia. By the end of July only 1,200
had been found. Although more troops would slowly trickle in, including
a large contingent contributed by the French, deployment took weeks, sometimes
months, and the safe area plan was never completely achieved. In some
towns, such as Gorazde and Zepa, journalists claimed there was no protection
If the Washington Agreement
did not kill the Vance-Owen plan, it mortally wounded it. Its demise came
on 16 June 1993, when Milosevic and Croatian president Franjo Tudjman
agreed in Geneva to carve Bosnia into three ethnically based states functioning
under a federal or confederal constitution. The negotiations had now come
full circle, since the Lisbon agreement of February 1992 had made very
much the same proposal. The only difference was that the Serbs and Croats
would now receive more territory, based on their military gains. Karadzic
and Mate Boban, the Bosnian Croat leader, almost immediately started to
work on the details of the new plan, in particular the boundaries of the
proposed states. Although the London Conference had decreed that borders
could not be changed by force and conquered land was to be returned, Lord
Owen had more or less come to accept the inevitable: "I am a realist
and we have to live with what's happened on the ground." The dream
of a Bosnian state was close to disappearing.
It was proposed that the
Muslim state would stretch in a crescent shape from Sarajevo to Zenica
and Tuzla in central Bosnia. The Muslims would also receive the north-western
Bihac enclave and an outlet to the Adriatic. The Serbs and Croats would
split the rest. Izetbegovic naturally would have nothing to do with the
agreement, despite warnings from Karadzic that if he refused to sign,
the Serbs and Croats would partition Bosnia strictly between themselves.
The Bosnian president feared that the Serb and Croat territories would
eventually be annexed to Serbia and Croatia (although both Milosevic and
Tudjman made a pledge that this would not happen) leaving the Muslims
with a small parcel of land jammed between enemy states. Moreover, the
new proposal would involve further de facto ethnic cleansing; tens
of thousands of Serbs, Croats and Muslims were left on the wrong side
of the front lines and they would have to be moved.(74)
For much of July Izetbegovic
tried in vain to avoid the destruction of Bosnia; however, he came under
increasing pressure from Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg (who had replaced
Vance as the UN envoy at the beginning of May) to accept the inevitable.
They tried to convince him that, although the new agreement was flawed,
it was his best chance of avoiding an even worse fate at the hands of
Serb and Croat forces. Clearly, the mediators were growing impatient;
they even invited the other members of Bosnia's presidency to Geneva to
discuss the agreement. The rest of the international community offered
little comfort. Izetbegovic pleaded in vain with the EC to lift the arms
embargo. Although the Community insisted that the Muslims should not be
forced to sign the agreement (as did the G7 leaders meeting in Munich
in July), the pressure was clearly building.
Izetbegovic began to soften.
On 18 July he conceded that "if we want peace this year, now, then
we will have to reconcile ourselves to...major concessions."(75)
The key players, including Tudjman and Milosevic, sat down at the negotiating
table in Geneva on 27 July and three days later Izetbegovic reluctantly
agreed to the separation of Bosnia into three constituent republics within
a loose federation called the Union of the Republics of Bosnia-Hercegovina.
The federal government's role would be limited strictly to foreign policy
and trade. But the Bosnian president withheld his approval of the map.
Karadzic, whose forces controlled over 70% of Bosnia, offered approximately
25% of the territory to the Muslims, leaving 60% for Serbia and 15% for
Croatia. Izetbegovic could not accept these percentages, and on 2 August,
as the Serbs stepped up their bombardment of Sarajevo, he walked out of
Despite the apparent breakthrough
in negotiations, there was no lull in the fighting over the summer. What
is more, UN troops escorting aid convoys came under increasing attack,
underscoring the organization's impotence in Bosnia and the contempt of
local forces for its authority. In light of these events, and the chronic
shortfall in aid pledges from international donors, the UN High Commissioner
for Refugees stated in Geneva on 8 July that "we are on the verge
of disaster and collapse."(77)
Stoltenberg suggested less than a week later that if "the present
downward spiral continues it will be impossible for the UN to remain in
Once again, the debate over
military intervention heated up. In late July, after Bosnian Serbs shelled
a French-staffed UN base in Sarajevo, President Clinton declared that
US forces were ready to launch air strikes against Serb artillery positions
"if asked" by the UN. Clinton even hinted that the Americans
might act alone, although he quickly retracted this remark after protests
from the UN. The French foreign minister, Alain Juppe, stated that NATO
military aircraft should defend UN forces in accordance with Resolution
On 3 August, as the noose
around Sarajevo and other Muslim-held areas tightened,(79)
NATO allies agreed to begin planning for possible air strikes against
Serb forces to stop "wide-scale interference" with humanitarian
assistance efforts. Diplomats in Brussels made it clear that such military
action would be undertaken only at the request of the UN Secretary-General.
On 9 August, a list of military targets was approved and NATO warned the
Bosnian Serbs to lift the siege against Sarajevo "without delay."
As usual, the Serbs did just enough to reduce the immediate threat of
intervention. Serb forces that had occupied two strategic mountains overlooking
Sarajevo were withdrawn, bringing Izetbegovic back to the bargaining table
and removing the need for air strikes. However, the west warned the Serbs
that renewed heavy shelling of Sarajevo or continued disruption of aid
shipments would lead to military measures. Observers speculated that the
Serbs would be unlikely to take such warnings seriously after so many
empty threats in the past.
As usual, talk of air strikes
provoked considerable debate. Some experts feared that military intervention
at this stage of the conflict would encourage the Muslims to avoid peace
negotiations. Lieutenant-General Francis Briquemont, commander of UN military
forces in Bosnia, and his chief of staff, Brigadier-General Vere Hayes
of Britain, expressed the fears of many French, British and Canadian officials
by suggesting that the raids would expose troops to the danger of reprisals.
The Americans took exception to these comments, and the French commander
of UN forces in the former Yugoslavia felt obliged to point out near the
end of August that "there must be no doubt that, if conditions so
warrant, General Briquemont will be willing to use this important military
means which NATO is in a position to provide."(80)
Izetbegovic's return to
the negotiating table in Geneva on 16 August produced a tentative agreement
on the eventual demilitarization of Sarajevo and the establishment of
an interim, two-year UN administration in the capital. As well, the Muslims
were promised access to the Adriatic sea at Ploce in Croatia and to the
River Sava by way of concrete "flyovers" traversing Serb-held
territory.(81) But the
Muslims were still unhappy with the map, which gave them 30% of Bosnia's
territory compared to 52.5% for the Serbs and 17.5% for the Croats. They
were also concerned that UN-protected corridors linking Muslim towns would
be impossible to establish unless the Serbs relinquished territory, while
no one was sure what would happen to those Muslims who were left behind
in the Croat and Serb states. Would they be allowed to leave, and if so,
would their safe passage be guaranteed? Was this a form of ethnic cleansing,
aided and abetted by the UN? Because of these concerns, the Bosnian assembly
voted unanimously to reject the agreement. The Croat and Serb assemblies,
on the other hand, did not hesitate to endorse it.
When the negotiations resumed
on 31 August, after a 10-day break, the Bosnian delegation presented new
territorial demands. The Serbs agreed to widen to two miles a proposed
corridor linking the Muslim enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa with Gorazde.
However, they refused to enlarge the Muslim enclave of Bihac and the Croats
turned down the Muslim request to have access to the Adriatic Sea at the
port of Neum. The fulfilment of these demands would have given the Muslims
control of 34% of Bosnian territory. The talks broke down once again,
Karadzic threatening to leave the Muslims out of partition altogether.
Owen proclaimed that "the greatest danger facing Bosnia-Hercegovina
now is fragmentation, anarchy, warlords and chaos, and it's not that far
Izetbegovic had still not
given up hope that the international community would intervene. At the
beginning of September, while visiting the US, he pleaded with President
Clinton to launch air strikes against Serb positions in order to ensure
the free movement of relief supplies. Although Clinton had stated on 2
September that the military option was still "very much alive,"
warning the Serbs and Croats not to seize more territory during a lull
in the Geneva negotiations, he refused to set a deadline for the use of
force if the Serbs continued to besiege Sarajevo. He insisted that the
threat of air strikes "has to be part of the negotiating process."
On 16 September Izetbegovic,
thwarted once again, accepted the dissolution of Bosnia and the legal
possibility of secession for its Serb and Croat territories when state
boundaries had been settled. But there was no progress on the proposed
map. On 29 September the Bosnian parliament voted to accept the partition
plan on the condition that "territory seized by force" was returned,
which in effect amounted to rejection. There the talks remained until
the end of 1993. In November France and Germany, in an attempt to break
the stalemate, suggested that territorial concessions by Serbs should
be rewarded by a gradual lifting of sanctions. But the Serbs would not
take the bait and when talks resumed in December it was clear that the
factions had resigned themselves to their second winter of fighting.
In January 1992, Radovan
Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader, predicted that war in Bosnia was unlikely
to break out for the simple reason that "two or three hundred thousand
people would die, cities would be destroyed and then we would still have
to sit down and negotiate the same things."(83)
Karadzic, of course, assumed that common sense would prevail in the face
of such horrible prospects. But it did not, and 20 months later his worst
fears have been confirmed: the death toll is now estimated in the hundreds
of thousands, cities have been devastated, and the three warring factions
continue to haggle over the same minute details. While peace may be agonizingly
close on paper (only a small percentage of territory separates the Serbs
and Muslims) neither side seems willing to make any more concessions.
The war shows every sign of dragging on interminably.
The Bosnian conflict has
been an exercise in continual frustration for the outside world. Critics
insist that the source of this frustration lies in the timid response
of the international community itself, which they claim has allowed the
fighting to rage out of control. Few would deny that the world has been
cautious. First and foremost, western governments have identified no direct
national interest at stake in the Balkans. With the end of the Cold War,
the region has lost its strategic importance, and it possesses no vital
resources upon which the west depends for its survival. At best, there
has been a recognition that the war could not be allowed to spill over
Bosnia's borders. There has also been a lack of international consensus
on the nature of the Bosnian conflict. While there can be little doubt
that Belgrade has played a prominent role in arming, financing and supporting
the Bosnian Serbs, it is difficult to portray the war as a straightforward
case of outside naked aggression against a defenceless country. The fighting
in Bosnia bears a strong resemblance to a civil war, and while the Serbs
have undoubtedly pursued their objectives with ruthless determination,
it can also be argued that they had legitimate concerns over their fate
in an independent Bosnia.
Because of these complexities,
the international community has had great difficulty in agreeing on an
appropriate strategy for dealing with the war. Public opinion has forced
western governments gradually to adopt a more assertive role in trying
to reduce the hardship of the Bosnian people and end the fighting, but
each incremental step has been taken with a view to avoiding any open-ended
commitment. The aim, critics charge, has been to appease public opinion
while at the same time limiting the potential damage to the reputations
of the international bodies that have been the main channels for outside
involvement in the war. While the west has succeeded in avoiding any long-term
commitment, especially in terms of military intervention, the reputations
of the international bodies have suffered grievously.
This paper has examined
the various attempts by the international community from negotiation
and sanctions to peacekeeping and military intervention to stop
the fighting or at least help the Bosnian people cope with the inhumanity
of war. Success has been marginal at best. Negotiations conducted by the
UN and EC aimed at reaching a political settlement have repeatedly failed.
As the Vance-Owen plan demonstrated, trying to satisfy the rival claims
of Serbs, Muslims and Croats has proved virtually impossible. The Serbs
and Muslims in particular have dug in their heels from the outset and
shown utter contempt for any form of compromise. Without a credible threat
of force, there was never much hope for success. Western governments now
concede that a single, multi-ethnic Bosnia, the goal of both the Muslim
population and the Geneva peace conference, is no longer possible. Moreover,
it is accepted that any new Serb and Croat states will eventually be absorbed
into Serbia and Croatia proper.(84)
Political and economic pressure
has had little effect on the progress of the fighting. Sanctions introduced
by the UN and the EC have inflicted serious damage on the Serbian economy
but have failed to end the war. The Bosnian Serbs, by all indications,
remain well-stocked in weapons and oil, while debate continues to surround
the degree of influence President Milosevic actually carries with Karadzic
and his cohorts. The UN Security Council has approved a vast array of
other threatening resolutions aimed at curbing the fighting from
the condemnation of detention camps and ethnic cleansing to the creation
of war-crimes tribunals but they have been routinely flouted by
Bosnian Serb forces.(85)
The military option has
provoked intense debate and led to a serious split within the western
alliance. In the end, no consensus has been reached. Although the establishment
and enforcement of a no-fly zone and the creation of safe areas in the
spring of 1993 represented military interventions of a sort, the first
was largely irrelevant and the second far from successful (critics continue
to condemn safe areas for their alleged role in facilitating ethnic cleansing).
Explicit military action against the Serbs has been avoided. No government
has been willing to commit combat troops to a region where the national
interest is hazy at best and where casualties would likely be heavy. Military
intervention may have been possible at a reasonable cost early in the
war, but the longer it was left the more difficult it became to carry
out. With each successive western evasion, the Bosnian Serbs were led
to believe that enforcement would become a reality only in the most extreme
circumstances, if at all. They have become experts at gauging the limits
of western patience.
Although the international
community has eschewed military intervention, it could not in good conscience
stand aside and watch the slaughter continue. Peacekeeping was the only
option left. Although no one will deny that UN troops have done a remarkable
job in Bosnia under extremely arduous conditions, it is difficult to call
them "peacekeepers" in the true sense. Traditionally, peacekeepers
have been deployed only when a durable cease-fire has been established.
Without an agreed truce, peacekeepers, even if armed, become potential
targets, and it is for this reason that Boutros-Ghali refused to dispatch
a UN force to Bosnia for the first five months of 1992. But in the face
of so much human suffering, some steps had to be taken. Despite the continued
absence of any stable truce, peacekeepers were sent to Bosnia for what
seemed at first an urgent and achievable job breaking the siege
of Sarajevo. But the tasks quickly multiplied, from taking control of
heavy weapons to providing food and shelter to victims of war. Not only
did the line between peacekeeping and peacemaking become blurred, but
with Security Council Resolution 770, authorizing the use of force to
protect aid convoys, the difference between peacekeeping and peace enforcement
suddenly became cloudy also. With each new incident of harassment and
abuse at the hands of local war-lords, experts have questioned whether
peacekeepers are right for this type of duty. They are operating in a
war zone with low-grade weapons and a vague mandate. To make matters worse,
they have been hampered in their efforts by strained UN resources, a chaotic
bureaucracy and an ongoing turf war between senior UN civilian and military
officials.(86) The revelation
that 11 Canadian peacekeepers were attacked by Serb gunmen in December
has once again raised serious doubts about the UN presence in Bosnia.
The governments of Canada, Britain, France and Spain are all considering
pulling out their troops by the spring of 1994. They perhaps have in mind
Lord Owen's admonishment that "there will come a moment when the
world community will have to decide how long we can sustain intervention."(87)
The UN has not only been
criticized for endangering the lives of peacekeepers, but also for responding
to the violence in Bosnia by tackling its symptoms rather than its causes.
Although humanitarian intervention has undoubtedly saved thousands of
lives, it can also be argued that it is prolonging the war. Lord Owen
commented in November 1993 that by "feeding the warriors we are interfering
with the dynamics of war."(88)
Maintaining vital supply lines into Sarajevo and other besieged towns
has perhaps allowed soldiers from the various factions to remain in the
field longer than would have been possible otherwise. The Muslims in particular
might have capitulated by now had it not been for continued UN assistance.
One aid official remarked in the fall of 1992 that "we are here to
fatten the lambs for slaughter."(89)
With increasing signs that the Muslims are determined to regain lost territory,
the UN is faced with an urgent dilemma.
Finally, it can be argued
that the same organization that engages in humanitarian relief should
not be spearheading negotiations whose success requires some threat of
force. In other words, peacemaking, peace enforcement and humanitarian
relief may well be incompatible. The fact that the relief providers have
become virtual hostages rules out such military options as air strikes,
which the Americans have suggested on more than one occasion. The Serbs
have exploited this inconsistency to their advantage.
While the UN has been severely
criticized for its role in Bosnia, the European Community, the other key
player in the international response to the war, has not emerged unscathed.
Critics have argued that the EC failed early on to appreciate the intensity
of the passions dividing Bosnia's ethnic groups and their readiness to
use violence. The EC's recognition of Bosnia in April 1992 perhaps underscores
this failure. Since then, the Community has been accused of acting fitfully
and issuing hollow threats. The separate and often conflicting policies
pursued by European countries toward the war in particular France,
Great Britain and Germany made the EC's response problematic. The
advantages of the EC as a regional organization its familiarity
with the issues and participants were offset by partisanship and
local rivalries. The Serbs, for example, were always suspicious of the
Germans, and came to view the EC's mediating role with less and less favour
as time wore on. In the end, the political will needed to make the hardest
decisions checking Serb advances or enforcing a settlement
was not there. There is now considerable speculation that the EC, with
its structural shortcomings, may not be ready to take custody of European
The various regional security
organizations that have jockeyed for possible peacekeeping and peace-enforcing
roles have been at best peripheral players in the Bosnian crisis. NATO
undoubtedly possesses the military capability and command structure to
deal with Bosnia but it lacks any political consensus. It continues to
experience problems shifting its focus from the Soviet menace to more
obscure threats posed by ethnic nationalism. The WEU, championed by France
throughout the crisis, not only lacks the political consensus but also
its own military forces and command structure. It remains a nebulous body
at best, unsure of its place in the emerging European union. Finally,
the CSCE is just beginning to forge mechanisms to deal with instability
in central and eastern Europe. As one critic suggested, it has been of
"distinctly limited relevance" during the Bosnian war.(91)
Clearly, criticism of the
international community for its handling of the Bosnian conflict has been
bitter and widespread. Even those who helped frame the international response
admit that mistakes have been made. One senior UN official stated bluntly
in April 1993 that "we are in a quagmire. We did everything wrong
from the start."(92)
Still, it must be remembered that the Bosnian crisis has been immensely
complex and there could have been few if any simple solutions. Given that
the Serbs and Muslims seem determined to destroy each other, the outside
world has had to approach the fighting with limited options. But does
this mean that the international community will be powerless to intervene
in similar wars in future and that international disorder will rule the
day? Have any lessons been learned that might provide hope for the future?
To begin with, Bosnia has
demonstrated that the world's security structures are not prepared to
deal with the type of violent ethnic nationalism that is rapidly becoming
endemic in the post-Cold War world. The nation-state may no longer be
the basic unit of international politics; conflict within states, rather
than between them, has become the new threat to international security.
New diplomatic and political mechanisms are needed to cope with the issues
of sovereignty, self-determination, respect for national borders and the
rights of minorities.(93)
Throughout the Bosnian crisis the international community has demonstrated
a nagging inconsistency in addressing these concepts. On a more fundamental
level, the United Nations must establish guidelines as to when it should
intervene in internal conflict and in what form, since it has traditionally
avoided interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states. Should
it wait for peace to be established? If not, is humanitarian intervention
the only alternative? Is peace enforcement a viable option? Where does
one end and the other begin? If humanitarian intervention is to be pursued,
traditional peacekeepers may not be the answer. Peace-enforcement units,
as defined in Boutros-Ghali's An Agenda for Peace, may be an alternative.(94)
Whatever the choice, it must be remembered that plunging into a domestic
war with no clear objectives is to risk exacerbating an already difficult
situation. Clearly, urgent debate on this entire question is required.(95)
Of course, it would be in
everyone's interest if war could be prevented before it broke out. Timely
preventive actions are "far easier and cheaper in political and human
terms than efforts to try to stop or slow down fighting once it (has)
is perhaps a classic example. It has demonstrated in stark terms the need
for better risk assessment and early policy formulation within UN and
EC structures. Again, Boutros-Ghali's recommendations in the sphere of
preventive diplomacy, especially the deployment of peacekeeping troops
before fighting begins (as in Macedonia), merit serious consideration.(97)
Finally, the number of international
organizations and individual governments engaged in the Bosnian crisis
has been staggering. As Sir Anthony Parson has commented, "this multiplicity
of cooks, working on a recipe which they are developing as they go along,
requires very careful coordination and fuses can easily blow."(98)
Decision-making has been fragmented, rivalries between competing organizations
have emerged for example, between the EC and UN in July 1992
and useless duplication of effort has taken place. Steps must be taken
to ensure that in future the responsibilities of organizations, particularly
between the UN and regional bodies, are clearly defined.(99)
The United Nations, the
European Community and other international organizations face a daunting
task as they confront the new security risks of the post-Cold War world.
But it must be remembered that these international bodies are almost by
definition weak and slow. They make decisions on the basis of consensus
and this takes time, especially when the issue is as complicated as the
conflict in Bosnia. It must also be remembered that they are the instruments
of nation-states their success relies on the degree to which international
cooperation complements national interests.(100)
As Bosnia has demonstrated, if national interest cannot be identified,
then the international community faces an uphill struggle.
In this paper, Bosnia will be used as the shortened form of Bosnia-Hercegovina.
While the Croats favoured Bosnian independence as a way of escaping Serb
domination, they had no desire to be overshadowed by Muslims either. Subsequent
events suggest that they saw this as a step to consolidating their territory
in the west and forming a union with Croatia proper.
See The Economist, 4 January 1992, p. 42.
For commentary on the legality of the EC's decision to sponsor an independence
referendum, see R.W. Tucker and D. Hendrickson, "America and
Bosnia," The National Interest, Fall 1993, p. 16-17. See also
Rosalyn Higgins, "The New United Nations and Former Yugoslavia,"
International Affairs, Vol. 69, (1993), No. 3, p. 468. Higgins
argues that "contrary to popular belief, international law does not
permit self-determination, by way of national secession, to national minorities.
But, that apart, the use of force, with significant loss of life, to prevent
secession is not acceptable either."
See Jonathan Eyal, Europe and Yugoslavia: Lessons from a Failure
(RUSI, 1993), p. 63-64, 76-77.
See John Newhouse, "The Diplomatic Round: Dodging the Problem,"
The New Yorker, 24 August 1992, p. 66.
See C. Guicherd, "The Hour of Europe: Lessons from the Yugoslav Conflict,"
The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Summer 1993, p. 163.
The position of the United States in the early stages of the Bosnian crisis
is difficult to unravel. Tucker and Hendrickson (1993), p. 18-19, argue
that the US was determined to preserve the territorial integrity of Bosnia
at any price. See also Robin Alison Remington, "Bosnia: The Tangled
Web," Current History, November 1993, p. 368.
"Further Report of the Secretary-General...," S/23363, 5 January
1992, p. 7.
"Report of the Secretary-General...," S/23836, 24 April 1992,
p. 1. In this paper, "peace-making" refers to actions taken
by the international community to bring the warring parties to an agreement,
essentially through such peaceful means as those found in Chapter VI of
the UN Charter. "Peace enforcement," on the other hand, refers
to explicit military intervention aimed at imposing a peace settlement
on the factions; this would include measures found in Chapter VII of the
UN Charter. See An Agenda for Peace, S/24111, 17 June 1992.
"The United Nations and the Situation in the Former Yugoslavia,"
Reference Paper, UN Department of Public Information, 7 May 1993, p. 6.
Even after the UN began deploying peacekeepers in Sarajevo in June 1992,
the EC remained responsible for peacemaking. This division of labour continued
until the London Conference of August 1992.
"Report of the Secretary-General...," S/23836, 24 April 1992,
p. 1, 5-6.
M. Weller, "The International Response to the Dissolution of the
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia," American Journal of
International Law, July 1992, p. 601.
Ibid., p. 600.
See L. MacKenzie, Peacekeeper: The Road to Sarajevo, Vancouver,
1993, p. 106-7.
"Further Report of the Secretary-General...," S/23844, 24 April
1992, p. 4, 6.
"Further Report of the Secretary-General...," S/23900, 12 May
"Report of the Secretary-General...," S/24000, 26 May 1992,
"Fear and Loathing in the Balkans," IISS Strategic Survey
1992-93, p. 87. See also the comments of Cyrus Vance and UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, "Report of the Secretary-General...,"
S/23836, 24 April 1992, p. 5.
Keesing's Record of World Events, May 1992, p. 38918.
It should be pointed out that Resolution 752 was aimed not only at Belgrade.
There were also Croatian army units in Bosnia, and there was increasing
evidence that Franjo Tudjman, president of Croatia, was determined to
carve up Bosnia with his former enemy, President Milosevic of Serbia.
They had apparently met on 6 May to this end. By July 1992 Bosnian Croats
were claiming sovereignty over their territory in western Bosnia, and
clashes with Muslims were to increase as the war dragged on.
On the role of the JNA, see "Report of the Secretary-General...,"
S/24049, 30 May 1992. See also James Gow, "The Role of Coercion in
the Yugoslav Crisis," World Today, November 1992, p. 192.
The Economist, 30 May 1992, p. 12. Baker's comments may have been
the first "official" reference to possible military intervention.
It has been suggested that the French were also determined to give the
UN a greater role so as to prevent the US from pushing NATO into the picture.
If there was to be a military body involved, French president Francois
Mitterand preferred that it be the Western European Union, the EC's embryonic
defence arm. The Economist, 6 June 1992, p. 53.
Ibid., 6 June, p. 53.
See the following reports of the Secretary-General: S/24075, 6 June 1992;
S/2400, 15 June 1992; S/24201, 29 June 1992; S/24263, 10 July 1992. See
also MacKenzie (1993), p. 198ff.
Government of Canada, "Canada Commits Troops for UN to Secure Sarajevo
Airport," News Release, 10 June 1992.
See "Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation in Bosnia and
Hercegovina," S/24540, 10 September 1992.
The Economist, 17 October 1992, p. 55.
On the operational aspects of UNPROFOR II, see "Further Report of
the Secretary-General...," S/24848, 24 November 1992, p. 10ff.
The International Committee of the Red Cross estimated in the summer of
1992 that 20,000 people were held in detention camps, although the figure
may have been much higher. Some were released in October 1992 after an
agreement on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners was signed.
On the rape of Muslim women, see Amnesty International, "Bosnia-Hercegovina:
Rape and Sexual Abuse by Armed Forces," 21 January 1993; "EC
Investigative Mission into the Treatment of Muslim Women in the Former
Yugoslavia: Report to EC Foreign Ministers," 3 February 1993.
See Helsinki Watch, War Crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Vols I and
II, August 1992 and April 1993 respectively; Z. Pajic, "The Conflict
in Bosnia-Hercegovina," The David Davies Memorial Institute of International
Studies, Occasional Paper No. 2, February 1993. On UN efforts to respond
to ethnic cleansing in 1992, see D. Rieff, "Original Virtue, Original
Sin," The New Yorker, 23 November 1992, p. 82-95.
For a detailed assessment of the UN's humanitarian assistance program
in Bosnia, see "The United Nations and the Situation in the former
Yugoslavia" (1993), p. 20-25.
See Human Rights Watch, The Lost Agenda: Human Rights and UN Field
Operations, New York, 1993, p. 99-100.
J. Fenske, "The West and `The Problem from Hell,'" Current
History, November 1993, p. 354.
9 October 1992, cited in Hans-Christian Hagman, "The Balkan Conflicts:
Prevention Is Better Than Cure," Global Affairs, Summer 1993,
See "Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation in Bosnia and
Hercegovina," S/24333, 21 July 1992.
Keesing's, August 1992, p. 39036.
J. Newhouse, "The Diplomatic Round: No Exit, No Entrance," The
New Yorker, 28 June 1993, p. 45.
The CSCE suspended Yugoslavia from its membership on 10 July 1992.
The Security Council finally voted to set up a war crimes tribunal on
22 Feb 1993 to try those accused of atrocities. The 11-member tribunal
met for the first time in the Hague on 17 November 1993. See S/25704,
3 May 1993; F. Hampson, "The Case for a War Crimes Tribunal,"
The David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies, Occasional
Paper No. 3, February 1993; T. Meron, "The Case for War Crimes Trials
in Yugoslavia," Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993, p. 122-35.
See "Report of the Secretary-General...," S/24767, 5 November
1992. Also "Letter dated 20 November 1992 from the Secretary-General
Addressed to the President of the Security Council," S/24840, 24
The Economist, 21 November 1992, p. 59-60.
See F. Watson, "Peace Proposals for Bosnia-Hercegovina," House
of Commons Library, Great Britain, Research Paper No. 93/35, 23 March
Fighting between Croats and Muslims escalated again in January 1993, as
the former attempted to consolidate their territory around Mostar, the
capital of their self-proclaimed republic. It could be argued that the
Vance-Owen plan only encouraged the Croats to drive the Muslims out of
In the US and elsewhere the plan soon became the object of such sardonic
remarks as "the only thing worse than the failure of Vance-Owen would
be the success of Vance-Owen." Fenske (November 1993), p. 355.
See Watson (1993), p. 25-28.
"Situation of Human Rights in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia,"
UN Economic and Social Council, E/CN.4/1994/3, 5 May 1993.
On Croat ethnic cleansing, see "Situation of Human Rights in the
Territory of the Former Yugoslavia," UN Economic and Social Council,
E/CN.4/1994/4, 19 May 1993.
See "Report of the Secretary-General on the New York Round of the
Peace Talks on Bosnia and Hercegovina (3-8 February 1993)," S/25248,
8 February 1993.
"Report of the Secretary-General on the Activities of the International
Conference on the Former Yugoslavia: Peace Talks on Bosnia and Hercegovina,"
S/25479, 26 March 1993.
On the effect of sanctions, see "Serbia-Montenegro: Implementation
of UN Economic Sanctions," US General Accounting Office, 22 April
1993; Susan L. Woodward, "Yugoslavia: Divide and Fail," The
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, November 1993, p. 24-27.
"Report of the Secretary-General...," S/25708, 30 April 1993.
There is some debate over just what Owen offered the Serbs. See The
Economist, 15 May 1993.
"Report of the Secretary-General...," S/25709, 3 May 1993. Yeltsin's
win in the referendum of 25 April and his warning to the Serbs that they
could not rely indefinitely on Russian support, may have had an effect
See "Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council
Resolution 820 (1993)," S/25668, 26 April 1993. See also M. Goulding,
"The Evolution of United Nations Peacekeeping," International
Affairs, Vol 69, No 3, Summer 93, p. 459, which discusses the mandate
of the proposed peacekeeping force.
For an excellent discussion of the debate over "lift and strike,"
see Newhouse, "No Exit, No Entrance" (1993).
It was becoming increasingly evident that UN peacekeeping troops in Bosnia
severely restricted the options available to the west in dealing with
the Bosnian Serbs. The Bosnian government realized this. On 11 May it
requested that the UN remove its 9,000 peacekeepers to clear the way for
a suspension of the arms embargo and possible air strikes.
Although UN peacekeepers had been deployed in Macedonia since January
1993 to guard against this possibility perhaps the first example
of UN preventive deployment there was still the Serbian province
of Kosovo, which Belgrade viewed with suspicion because of its Albanian
Keesing's, April 1993, p. 39426. On the question of political objectives,
see The Economist, 8 May 1993, p. 54-55.
Keesing's, April 1993, p. 39426.
For Biden's views, see To Stand against Aggression: Milosevic, the
Bosnian Republic and the Conscience of the West, A Report to the Committee
on Foreign Relations, US Senate, April 1993.
Newhouse, "No Exit, No Entrance" (1993), p. 44.
See Tucker and Hendrickson (1993), p. 16.
The UN estimated in March 1993 that there were over two million Bosnians,
or half the original population, receiving aid from UNHCR. The number
was expected to increase, although international financial support was
beginning to dry up.
See The Lost Agenda, p. 97-99.
Not surprisingly, Karadzic applauded the safe area concept while at the
same time denouncing the Vance-Owen plan.
Curiously, Mendiluce admitted during the episode in Srebrenica that the
Serbs were using the UN as an instrument of ethnic cleansing. "The
only thing we can do is to try and save as many lives as possible."
Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Report, Bosnia, 2nd quarter
1993, p. 17.
29 May 1993, p. 53.
The Economist called Resolution 836 a "masterpiece of timorous
obfuscation." 12 June 1993, p. 17.
It is interesting that the safe areas in Bosnia were not referred to as
"havens," as in the case of the Iraqi Kurds whose safety was
guaranteed by Western forces.
"Report of the Secretary-General...," S/25939, 14 June 1993,
p. 3. By the end of July there were 9,000 troops in Bosnia, the bulk of
whom were French, British or Canadian.
"Letter dated 8 July 1993 from the Secretary-General addressed to
the President of the Security Council," S/26066, 8 July 1993.
Keesing's, July 1993, p. 39563.
"Letter dated 3 August from the Secretary-General Addressed to the
President of the Security Council," S/26233, 3 August 1993.
Keesing's, July 1993, p. 39564. See also "Information Notes on
Former Yugoslavia," UNHCR, Office of the Special Envoy for former
Yugoslavia, No. 8/93, 1 August 1993.
Keesing's, July 1993, p. 39564.
By the end of July, the ICRC estimated that of a pre-war population of
about 400,000, at least 5-6,000 had been killed and 18,000 wounded in
Sarajevo. The Economist, 31 July 1993, p. 44.
Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Report, Bosnia, 3rd quarter 1993,
"Letter dated 20 August 1993 from the Secretary-General addressed
to the President of the Security Council," S/26337, 20 August 1993.
Facts on File, 9 September 1993, p. 663.
The Economist, 4 January 1992, p. 43.
Karadzic now admits that the goal of Greater Serbia has been present from
the beginning of the conflict in Bosnia. See Montreal Gazette,
1 December 1993.
The Economist has referred to these UN resolutions as "a murky
brew of ambiguity and evasion." 12 June 1993, p. 18.
See MacKenzie, (1993) passim; Toronto Star, 3 December 1993.
The Economist, 20 November 1993. France has threatened to remove its
peacekeepers before. In May 1993 it delivered an ultimatum to the United
Nations, demanding that the UN clarify its role and improve its organization
on the ground.
The Economist, 15 November 1993.
EIU Country Report, Bosnia, 3rd quarter 1993, p. 13.
See M. Brenner, "EC: Confidence Lost," Foreign Policy,
Summer 1993, p. 29-32; Higgins, (1993), p. 473-5; Guicherd (1993), p.
A. Roberts, "Humanitarian War: Military Intervention and Human Rights,"
International Affairs, 69, No. 3, 1993, p. 443. See also Eyal (1993),
p. 79; and Higgins (1993), p. 474.
The Economist, 17 April 1993, p. 47.
See T. Deibel, "Internal Affairs and International Relations in the
Post-Cold War World," Washington Quarterly, Summer 1993; Guicherd
(1993), p. 178-81.
An Agenda for Peace, S/24111, 17 June 1992, p. 13.
See T. Weiss, "New Challenges for UN Military Operations: Implementing
An Agenda for Peace," Washington Quarterly, Winter 1993, p.
51-66; J. Chopra and T. Weiss, "Sovereignty Is No Longer Sacrosanct:
Codifying Humanitarian Intervention," Ethics and International
Affairs, 6, 1992, p. 95-117; Roberts (1993), p. 442-44; Higgins (1993),
p. 468-72; Goulding (1993), p. 459-63.
P. Moore, "The Widening Warfare in the Former Yugoslavia," RFE/RL
Research Report, 1 January 1993, p. 8.
See An Agenda for Peace, p. 9. See also A. Parsons, "The United
Nations in the Post-Cold War Era," International Relations,
December 1992, p. 196; Hagman (1993), p. 18-37.
Parsons (1993), p. 197.
See Boutros Boutros-Ghali, "Setting a New Agenda for the United Nations,"
Journal of International Affairs, Winter 1993, p. 296; An Agenda
for Peace, p. 18; Remington (1993), p. 369; Higgins (1993), p. 475.
See K. Holmes, "New World Disorder: A Critique of the United Nations,"
Journal of International Affairs, Winter 1993, p. 324.