Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.N. Aid Convoy Reaches Besieged Muslim Enclave

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.N. Aid Convoy Reaches Besieged Muslim Enclave

Article excerpt

U.N. trucks loaded with food and medicine entered the embattled city of Mostar on Wednesday, driving through enraged Croatian women trying to prevent the supplies from reaching rival Muslims.

"They are feeding the Muslims, who are then killing us," sobbed Anica Golamac, 59, a Croat who helped try to block the 27-truck convoy.

The convoy took hours to negotiate the 12 miles from Medjugorje, where it had been delayed for days by Croatian intransigence.

Alemka Lisinski, a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, said the U.N. trucks entered the Croatian-held western section of Mostar near nightfall.

She said 175 tons in basic drugs, powdered milk, baby food and other food were in 19 trucks that crossed into the eastern sector, where 55,000 Muslims have been trapped for more than two months and are near starvation. U.N. soldiers began unloading the trucks.

But first, eight trucks loaded with 80 to 90 tons of food and medicine were unloaded on the Croatian-controlled west bank of the Neretva River.

Bosnian Croat women vowing not to let the convoy pass stopped it first outside Medjugorje and again in the village of Citluk, about four miles away. "You are helping (Muslim) murderers, and Mostar is Croatian!" the crowd yelled in Medjugorge.

The women dispersed, and the convoy proceeded, only to be stopped by hundreds of other women in Citluk.

The women sat in the road singing religious hymns and demanded that the trucks be searched to see if they were smuggling weapons to the Muslims. Some women carried banners reading: "Central Bosnia is starving, too." and "Take out the weapons you are carrying."

Once allies, Croats and Muslims have fought bitterly in recent weeks for Mostar, in southwestern Bosnia. The Croats, Muslims and Serbs are engaged in a vicious land grab before a peace settlement is reached to divide Bosnia into three ethnic states. …

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