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'Suicide bombers' held in Bosnia - BBC, UK

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  • Zafar Khan
    Suicide bombers held in Bosnia By Nick Hawton BBC News, Sarajevo http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4370260.stm Security has been stepped up at
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 24, 2005
      'Suicide bombers' held in Bosnia
      By Nick Hawton
      BBC News, Sarajevo


      Security has been stepped up at embassies and foreign
      agencies in Bosnia following the arrest of two men
      accused of planning a suicide attack.
      The two individuals, who have been detained under
      anti-terrorism laws, are being held in Sarajevo.

      One of them is said to have recorded a video reciting
      Islamic prayers which may have been intended to be
      found following his death.

      They were arrested last week but details are only now

      'Capable partner'

      The two men hold Swedish and Turkish citizenship but
      are believed to have originally come from the former

      According to sources close to the investigation, they
      were carrying explosives at the time.

      Weapons and other military equipment were found at
      premises linked to the men.

      There is no indication as to what the target of any
      attack would have been.

      There are 7,000 European Union peacekeepers stationed
      in Bosnia as well as several international aid

      The two men are being held in prison in Sarajevo while
      the investigation continues.

      A third man, a Bosnian, was also arrested under
      anti-terrorism laws but is being held at separate

      The chief international envoy to Bosnia, Lord Ashdown,
      described the matter as serious but said the arrests
      showed that Bosnia was a capable partner in the
      international fight against terrorism.

      In the past there have been suspicions that Islamic
      extremists may have used Bosnia as a base, but such
      suspicions have never been confirmed.

      Bosnian Schools Divided on Ethnic Lines


      PROZOR-RAMA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 24, 2005
      (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – The education
      system that has been adopted in Bosnia by the peace
      sponsors over 10 years ago is causing more harm than
      benefit, with the need growing for eliminating
      politics and ethnic divisions from the classroom
      before "a practice of open segregation and apartheid"

      The 1995 Dayton peace accords ended the war by
      splitting Bosnia into two ethnically-based regions,
      the Muslim-Croat federation and the Serb Republic,
      each enjoying great powers of autonomy.

      The federation's education ministry coordinates the
      ministries of the entity's 10 cantons. There is also
      the neutral Brcko district, bringing the number of
      autonomous governments to 13, each with their own,
      highly independent education ministry, Reuters says.

      The main dividing issue is the curriculum, especially
      for sensitive subjects like language, history and

      As a concession to post-war nationalism, teaching is
      now done in three "national languages": what used to
      be known as Serbo-Croat is now
      Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, or "BSC languages" for
      short. They still share some 95 percent of their

      Depending on background, a child's books would copy
      those issued by education ministries in Belgrade or
      Zagreb. Some schools use the more moderate
      Sarajevo-published books, but not even those are seen
      as impartial accounts of national history.

      "Too often politics is too much present in the
      classrooms," Davidson said. "A country with three
      different histories is not a country with a common
      view of itself."

      There are no provisions for children from mixed
      marriages. Despite the delicate footwork, no minority
      is content. In the Serb Republic, Muslim children are
      taught history in Serbian, as perceived by Serb
      historians. If a group is big enough, they are allowed
      to bring their own teachers.

      Stark Example

      The town of Prozor-Rama in central Bosnia showcases
      lingering nationalism from the 1992-95 war, its
      Muslim-Croat composite name reflecting rival claims on
      the land, according to Reuters.

      Muslim and Croat students had separate classes in the
      same school building. But during the summer the local
      council, backed by nationalist Croat and Muslim
      parties, voted for a separate school for Muslims.

      Croat parents protested and managed to block the plan
      after pulling their children out of school.

      "We want one school under one name," Mijo Peran,
      representative of Croat parents, was quoted by Reuters
      as saying. He added Muslims may attend and use their
      own curriculum as long as the school is Croat-run and
      carries the name of a Croatian poet.

      Now, Muslims are threatening to pull out, saying a
      Croat-dominated school inherently discriminates
      against them. They want either a unified school with
      no overriding ethnic character or their own fully
      separate school, Reuters said.

      The situation is so polarized in these traditional
      communities that the Bosnia branch of the Helsinki
      Committee for Human Rights is warning against a
      "practice of open segregation and apartheid."

      No Ties

      Students walk along the same road to school but once
      there, Muslim and Croatian children use separate
      entrances, file into different classrooms to different
      teachers who use conflicting books, says Reuters.

      "We don't socialize with them. We only beat them up,"
      laughed a 13-year-old Bosnian Croat, loudly approved
      by other boys.

      The system of "two schools under one roof" was put in
      place when refugees started returning to heartland
      areas of the Muslim-Croat federation where once
      multi-ethnic communities were now clearly dominated by
      a majority.

      The plan, which led to the foundation of 54 schools,
      aimed to protect minorities against cultural
      assimilation. In practice, it brought segregation:
      pupils use separate doors or attend classes in shifts,
      sitting in rooms bearing the symbols of another

      Pressured by Bosnia's Western backers, local officials
      agreed to create multicultural schools in 2002. But
      political rivalries derailed the plan and some
      municipalities are now preparing to separate schools

      "It's a shame ... education falls hostage to some
      larger political debates that are still unsettled from
      the war," Douglas Davidson, head of the Bosnian
      mission of the Organization for Security and
      Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which oversees education
      reform in post-war Bosnia, told Reuters.


      The European Union, on its part, has said Bosnia must
      reform its education system and eliminate politics
      from the classroom if it wants to make progress on the
      way to eventual membership.

      Similar efforts to unify the entities' separate army
      and police took years of preparation and months of
      talks under Western pressure. With the clock ticking,
      many fear a new generation will become victims of
      political games.

      "The children here have begun to hate each other,"
      Kata Tomic, a Bosnian-Croat mother-of-three, told

      Luka Faleta, the sports teacher in the Prozor school
      warned that "instead of bringing the children
      together, we are driving them apart".

      The Bosnian war ended in November 1995 after marathon
      US-led negotiations in Dayton, Ohio, led by US
      President Bill Clinton 's Bosnia envoy Richard

      Clinton was the key advocate of NATO air strikes
      against Bosnian Serbs in September 1995 that forced
      them to sit down at the negotiating table.

      The peace accord split Bosnia into two
      highly-autonomous entities - the Serbs' Republika
      Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation - and brought
      in NATO-led peacekeepers to maintain security.

      More on Bosnia at:
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