From: (Bosnia Action Coalition)Subject: BULLETIN: SERBS OVERRUN UN COMPOUNDTo: nebosnia-list@world.std.comDate: Wed, 12 Jul 1995 13:10:27 -0400 (EDT)Content-Length: 4853 Reply-To:

Bosnian Serb fighters have overrun the Dutch UN compound inPotocari, where an estimated 30,000 people had fled seeking protectionafter the fall of Srebrenica. The medical aid group Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors WithoutBorders) told Reuters that thousands of civilian refugees have beentaken prisoner there. Bosnian Serb commanding Gen. Ratko Mladic ordered the immediateevacuation of as many refugees as could fit onto 40 trucks which werebrought to the base, UN spokesman Lt. Col Gary Coward told AP. Serbsagreed to let one UN peacekeeper accompany each truck. About 1,500 refugees -- mostly women, children, and elderly --were then driven out of the compound. "It was not immediately clear where they would be taken, butCoward said the Serbs had earlier mentioned evacuating them toKladanj, a government-held town about 25 miles west of Srebrenica," Associated Press reports. Medecins sans Frontieres, however, said Serbs had announced plansto send detainees to a football stadium in Serb-occupied Bratunac,about three miles east of Potocari near the border with Serbia. Serbs are searching the refugees for men who fought in the Bosnian army, UN officials said. UN spokesman Alexander Ivanko saidthe Serbs were separating men over 16 from the others to take themto Bratunac, where they would be "screened for war crimes." Medecinssans Frontieres said it was urgent not to allow the prisoner to besplit up, and to keep an international presence with them. Serb officials asked the UN for fuel to transport the refugees, butrefused an offer of helicopters to evacuate about 70 sick and woundedpeople. A Medecins sans Frontieres spokesman said the Serb army haddistributed some food to the refugees. Neither the Dutch soldiers nor the refugees offered anyresistance when Serbs seized the base at midday, according toAssociated Press. Gen. Mladic has been named a suspected war criminal by aninternational tribunal for his part in overseeing a campaign of massmurder, rape, torture, expulsions, and genocide in Bosnia. The UNestimates that 95% of the non-Serb population in Serb-occupied Bosniahas been murdered, imprisoned, or expelled. Mladic had threatened to shell refugees at the base if the UNlaunched air strikes against his forces. Additional air strikes werecalled off yesterday after Serbs threatened to murderer Dutchpeacekeepers who had been taken hostage. Serb forces have also launched attacks on the nearby "UN safearea" of Zepa, nine miles southwest of Srebrenica. About 90 Ukrainianpeacekeepers are based there. Serb-run television reported plans tocapture Zepa as well. The UN Security Council is expected to pass a resolution "demanding" that Serbs withdraw from Srebrenica -- "addingmore paper to the pile of unfulfilled international demands,"Reuters notes. The call to withdraw has already rejected by Serbnationalist leader Radovan Karadzic, who said the town was now part of"our country." Serb nationalists already named a new "mayor" of thetown, which has been emptied of its non-Serb population. Although French officials claim they are ready to contribute troops to restore Srebrenica as a Bosnian "safe zone" ifasked by the UN, UN officials say they want to use "negotiations"alone in Bosnia. Some believe the French "tough talk" is simply away to shift blame onto others for the fall of the town, knowing thereis no support for military action. Other nations have"condemned" the Serb attack on the enclave, but have otherwise taken no action. Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic called for the resignationof Yasushi Akashi, the top UN official in the region, whohas consistently blocked the use of force to protect Bosnian civiliansand bring aid to besieged enclaves. Akashi said yesterday he didn't think it was possible to restore Srebrenica as a "safe area," and said he couldforesee a scenario where the UN would allow Sarajevo to fall into Serb hands. Izetbegovic also said the Bosnian government may not renew theUN mandate in Bosnia when it expires in November. UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali told BBC this morning that hedid not consider the fall of the "UN-protected safe area" inSrebrenica to be a UN failure. Bosnia's Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic urged US Senators tovote to lift the arms embargo on his country, saying this was theonly way out of the current tragedy. Senate Majority Leader BobDole has said he will call for a vote on lifting the embargo shortly after the Senate finishes work on a regulatory-reform bill. --The Bosnia Action Coalition (Mass./NH)