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AFP Increased violence in Bosnia linked with nationalist parties: US ambassador

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  • Snezana Lazovic
    http://www.ptd.net/webnews/wed/ct/Qbosnia-us.RBAw_DF1.html Increased violence in Bosnia linked with nationalist parties: US ambassador Saturday, 01-Feb-2003
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2003
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      http://www.ptd.net/webnews/wed/ct/Qbosnia-us.RBAw_DF1.html

      Increased violence in Bosnia linked with nationalist parties: US
      ambassador
      Saturday, 01-Feb-2003 5:30AM

      BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Feb 1 (AFP) - The US ambassador to
      Bosnia Clifford Bond said that increased violence against returnees in
      the divided republic was linked to the renewal of Croat, Muslim and Serb
      nationalist power in recent elections, a local newspaper reported
      Saturday.

      "We are witnesses of increased violence, and I think that this was
      stirred up by the fact that nationalist parties are back in power
      again," Bond told Nezavisne Novine.

      During the past few months violence against returnees, their property
      and places of worship increased, especially in the Bosnian Serb half of
      the republic, Republika Srpska (RS).

      Last October's election victory of the nationalist parties who led
      country's ethnic communities into the 1992-1995 war -- the Serb
      Democratic Party (SDS), the Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and
      the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ) -- has increased fears among moderates
      that the republic's fragile peace is again at risk.

      "It is natural that some people think that ... (Bosnia) is returning to
      situation of the early 1990s," Bond said. However, he added, "currently
      the international community has a significant presence in Bosnia," in
      reference to NATO peacekeepers and the newly dispatched European police
      mission.

      "We expect local authorities and religious leaders to condemn these
      incidents more strongly and to show their dedication to the
      reconciliation process," Bond added.

      In a recent high-profile crime, a Bosnian court has accused an ethnic
      Muslim of killing three ethnic Croat returnees on Christmas Eve, in an
      act motivated by religious and ethnic hatred.

      The Dayton peace accords that ended the Bosnian war split the country
      into the autonomous Muslim-Croat Federation and Serbs' RS.

      The two entities are linked by weak central institutions and have
      separate governments, parliaments, armies and police.
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