Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.N. Rejects Using Force in Bosnia Hopes Rise for Release of 146 U.N. Hostages

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.N. Rejects Using Force in Bosnia Hopes Rise for Release of 146 U.N. Hostages

Article excerpt

With scores of peacekeepers still detained, U.N. officials made clear Saturday that they would not use force against Bosnian Serbs attacking civilians or blocking aid.

The admission came amid new hopes that the remaining 146 U.N. hostages could be freed shortly.

Aleksa Buha, the self-described foreign minister in the Bosnian Serb leadership, told The Associated Press that the release of the hostages might coom soon.

But he said the Serbs expected "reciprocal moves" from the United Nations, "and that is the immediate release of four of our soldiers still being held captive by the French."

The four were detained in a clash with peacekeepers at Sarajevo's Vrbanja bridge on May 27.

Meanwhile, U.N. officials virtually ruled out force to get food to civilians or defend heavy-weapons collection points around Sarajevo against Serbs.

On the possibility of future NATO airstrikes, U.N. spokesman Alexander Ivanko said, "It's still an option, although . . …

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