CNN Balkan Conflict News

Injured bosnian

Building peace among the ashes

August 18, 1995

From Correspondent Christiane Amanpour

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovnia (CNN) -- Officials in Bosnia's capital report a 13-year-old girl was killed today and at least 14 people were wounded when a shell landed near a bus in a Sarajevo suburb.

Meanwhile, Croatian troops are reportedly preparing to attack Bosnian Serb artillery positions around the port city of Dubrovnik. Residents are preparing for the worst. The United Nations Security Council is urging restraint by all parties. Croatian army officials deny such an attack is planned.

Attacks, counterattacks, and columns of refugees, homeless, despairing. For more than a month, the world has been treated to scenes of a massive Balkan population shift. Muslims have been thrown out of eastern Bosnia by the Serbs, Serbs have been thrown out of Krajina by the Croats, and now Croats and Muslims have been expelled from northern Bosnia by the Serbs.

Upon this human misery, the real politicians try again to build peace, because by gradually separating people into their ethnic groups, maps suddenly become easier.

Serbs A Serb sphere of influence is shaping up around eastern Bosnia now that they've overrun two Muslim enclaves. Only Gorazde remains and the United Nations says its troops will leave that safe area next month.

A Croat sphere of influence is shaping up along western Bosnia as its forces, along with the Bosnian army, pushed back Serbs on several fronts.

U.N. officials say they are seeing a build up of Croatian army forces there around the coastal city of Dubrovnik, perhaps as many as 10,000 troops, possibly for a cross border offensive against the Bosnian Serbs. The reason? Serb artillery can target the resort and Croatia wants those big guns silenced once and for all.

politicians As armies carve out the map on the ground, politicians try to get it in writing. U.S. officials are shuffling their latest proposal between Croats, Serbs and Bosnians. Details remain a closely guarded secret, but diplomatic sources say it involves yet more territorial tinkering.

A senior Bosnian Serb official says it's the closest yet to meeting their demands. Does that mean the Serbs are feeling their recent military defeats or does the recent proposal really satisfy the one party that has paralyzed the international community by rejecting all of its previous plans?

Bosnian government officials say they are not being asked to give up Gorazde, their only remaining eastern enclave. But are United Nation plans to leave Gorazde a threat or an assurance that the enclave can now be safely defended with air power?

Three and a half years down the road, will the latest proposal finally mean peace or just another war time out.


Copyright © 1995 Cable News Network, Inc.