Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

UN Ponders Steps for Bosnian Relief. {Cf. ...as European Leaders Open Door to Prospect of Armed Intervention} Reluctance to Use Force May Yield as War Continues

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

UN Ponders Steps for Bosnian Relief. {Cf. ...as European Leaders Open Door to Prospect of Armed Intervention} Reluctance to Use Force May Yield as War Continues

Article excerpt

THE United Nations Security Council meets in closed session today to talk about what further action it may want to take to reopen Bosnia-Herzegovina's Sarajevo airport to bring in crucial relief supplies.

In an ultimatum delivered June 26, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali gave Serb forces 48 hours to stop their latest military offensive and move their remaining heavy artillery to locations monitored by the UN. If Serb forces do not comply, he said, the Security Council would have to consider "other means" of bringing in relief supplies.

Few diplomats have been eager to talk about options still open to the Council if an enduring cease-fire is not in place by this morning. Yet many concede that a limited military action under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which deals with aggressive threats to the peace, may be the only way left to get humanitarian aid in.

Meanwhile, the effects of international sanctions imposed on Serbia to halt the fighting brought some 100,000 demonstrators into the streets of Belgrade yesterday, demanding the resignation of President Slobodan Milosevic. (Ethnic Albanians resist Serb domination, Page 2.)

Serb forces have held hundreds of thousands of citizens of Sarajevo and the nearby suburb of Dobrinja under siege for almost three months. A UN spokesman says food supplies are "almost zero." UN officials and world leaders have watched with growing frustration as numerous cease-fires have collapsed. The most recent to fall, late last week, had been unilaterally proclaimed by Serb forces themselves a few days before. They said provocations by Bosnian troops forced the collapse.

No nation is enthusiastic about armed intervention on behalf of relief efforts. Moving in on the heels of a durable cease-fire is preferable. Several nations have strong reservations about the intrusiveness of limited military action and about the risks involved. US national security adviser Brent Scowcroft likens Sarajevo to such "intractable" situations as those in Beirut and Northern Ireland.

Still, in recent days European and US leaders have been talking with each other and speaking out far more openly about UN military intervention than in the past. …

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