Croats back out of Sarajevo agreement Bosnian Serb general denies war crimes charges


SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Bosnian Croats backed out of an agreement yesterday to turn Sarajevo over to a Croat-Muslim government, reflecting the mistrust that threatens the fragile Bosnian peace accord.

The Croat-Muslim federation was formed under U.S. pressure in March 1994 after the two ethnic groups engaged in a nearly yearlong war. But lingering enmity has kept it weak and hobbled its effectiveness as a counterweight to the Bosnian Serb republic that makes up the other half of Bosnia.

The Croat-Muslim agreement to jointly govern Sarajevo and its suburbs was signed a month ago by Kresimir Zubak, the federation's Croatian president, and Ejup Ganic, its Muslim vice president.

The Bosnian Croats gave no explanation for backing out, but federation sources said the Croats feared that they would be outvoted by the Muslims in such a framework.

Muslim-Croat cooperation in Sarajevo is considered essential to the broader peace plan for Bosnia, because Muslims and Croats are supposed to work closely in governing half the country.

The United Nations criminal tribunal for former Yugoslavia charged him General Djukic on Friday with assisting in the shelling of the Bosnian capital during the siege from May 1992 to December 1995 in which more than 10,000 people are believed to have died.

Pub Date: 3/05/96

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