Serbs in Bosnia-Hercegovina urged the federal army Thursday to take control of the tense republic, where an independence referendum approved by Muslims and Croats has led to ethnic violence.
The status of the Serb-dominated federal force is a crucial factor in Bosnia, where tens of thousands of soldiers are stationed.Under a recently approved U.N. peace plan for Yugoslavia, all federal forces are to withdraw from Croatia, where a cease-fire holds. They already have left Slovenia and Macedonia, meaning Bosnia is a vital base for them.
Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic said Thursday that the European Community should not recognize Bosnia before the three ethnic groups meet over the weekend to try and agree on territorial partition. "If the EC pushes this, no one will be able to prevent civil war in Bosnia," he told a news conference.
As tensions remained high in Bosnia, U.N. envoy Cyrus Vance shuttled around Yugoslavia to firm up plans to deploy 14,000 U.N. peacekeeping troops later this month in Croatia, where thousands have died since the republic declared independence June 25. The EC already has recognized Croatia and Slovenia.
Two people were reported killed in overnight attacks in Croatia, where Serb fighters, who oppose independence and who relied on the battlefield support of the federal army, have seized a third of the republic.