Bosnia Threatened If Peace Mission Leaves, Warns Bishop

Auxiliary of Sarajevo Wants U.N. Force to Stay

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ROME, JULY 8, 2002 ( Sarajevo anxiously awaits July 15, the day set for the U.N. Security Council’s vote on whether the peace mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina will continue.

Auxiliary Bishop Pero Sudar of Sarajevo warned over Vatican Radio about the dangers the country faces if the mission is suddenly ended.

Recently, a controversy arose at the United Nations when the United States demanded immunity for its peacekeepers from prosecution in the newly formed International Criminal Court.

Washington threatened to block the extension of the mission in Bosnia if the immunity of U.S. soldiers is not guaranteed.

Bishop Sudar predicted that if the U.N. peace mission were to leave the country, «anything might happen because the political solution found, imposed by Dayton, seems increasingly to us to be a solution put forward to make Bosnia’s future impossible without the presence of multinational forces.»

The 1995 Dayton agreements halted the conflict begun in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992 by dividing Bosnia into the Croatian-Muslim Federation and the Republic of Serbia.

Coexistence among the different ethnic groups is «difficult because Dayton’s political solution has not ensured the conditions, nor provided the occasions for a normal life,» the bishop emphasized.

«There is much unemployment and even those who work do not receive their salaries. Those who are retired are obliged to live in grave conditions,» he lamented.

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