The Security Council decided Friday to send thousands of troops to guard six Bosnian cities, though critics say the plan will only create Muslim ghettos and do little to stop Serb aggression.
After weeks of bargaining, running until the last minute, the council approved a resolution calling for troops who could use force to protect Muslims in Bihac, Srebrenica, Gorazde, Tuzla, Zepa and Bosnia's capital, Sarajevo.The vote was 13-0, with two abstentions - by Pakistan and Venezuela. Nine were needed for passage. The outcome was better than had been expected by the resolution's sponsors, in light of the criticism it had faced.
Bosnia's ambassador, Muhamed Sacirbey, delivered a blistering speech to the council before the vote. He said the council was creating an "incomprehensible scenario" by sending troops only to six cities, thereby creating "new non-safe areas."
"U.N. forces will be mostly defending ghost towns or succumb to the evil will of Serbian forces," Sacirbey predicted.
Many members from developing countries agree with Bosnia's Muslim government that the United Nations should take even tougher action. They say that setting up U.N.-guarded regions will confine a million Muslims to ghettos and recognize Serb territorial gains.
Diego Arria, Venezuela's ambassador, mocked the goals of the operation by quoting a U.N. spokes-man in Bosnia as recommending posting a sign outside Gorazde reading, "Very Dangerous Safe Area, Keep Out."