Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher called today for a tougher approachagainst nationalist Bosnian Serbs. "Soft words won't do... We need stern, calmly calculated, effective action... There are many potential aggressorslooking and learning from what's happening in Bosnia, waiting to see if they would get away with it."
Lady Thatcher told peers in the House of Lords: "As I have listened to this and other statements on this subject, I have the impression that so long asits operation is supervised by Unprofor, no one will ever get a hold of it and take the requisite decisions and action to put it to an end and seek thatthe victims win and that the agressors are vanquished.
"Would the Government therefore seek, if it's possible, to put it under NATO who will be much much more effective... Secondly, as I listened to the scenesForeign Office Minister of State Baroness Chalker described, I am reminded that the right of self-defence is far older than the UN. The UN didn't invent it and the UN has no right in effect to make it inoperative."
She demanded of Lady Chalker: "Why then, in view of the scenes you described and saying you have not got enough men or equipment there, are the Bosnians not allowed to arm themselves effectively with arms, with strong enough equipment and in sufficient munitions to defeat the Serb aggressor?
"The Serb is the aggressor. The Bosnians are the victim. We would not deny them the fundamental right of self defence. I doubt the legality of doing it.I have no doubt it is morally wrong to deny them that right."
Lady Thatcher told Lady Chalker: "As you went into the UN resolution and the possibility of more, will you agree that the resolutions on humanitarian aid and the resolutions on protecting the safe areas are taken under Chapter Sevenof the UN Charter and are enforcement resolutions?
"And therefore the Unprofor troops have the right to enforce the humanitarian aid getting through, have the right to enforce the safety of safe areas.
"By calling these areas safe, we have encouraged people to go into them,innocent people. We should therefore make proper provision for their effective defence. All of those resolutions are under Chapter Seven.
"They are not peacekeeping. There is no peace to keep. They are to enforce the resolutions. Those powers are not being used.
"We have the weapons. We have the quality. We have the number. We have most excellent armed forces, particularly those to whom Lady Chalker referred. They are not being used to protect the innocent."
Lady Thatcher told the Lords: "There have been negotiations after negotiationsafter negotiations after negotiations.
"The last one actually gave land to the Serbs from the Bosnians. The Bosnianswere prepared to accept it if that would bring peace... We can't have any morenegotiations. The Serbs must accept the agreement of that contact group.
"There's no point. Every time you go into more you give the Serbs hope, knowing they have only got to have a bit more aggression and they will get abit more land. That will not do.
"There are many potential aggressors looking and learning from what's happeningin Bosnia, waiting to see if they would get away with it, waiting to see if they would get away with it in countries of the former Soviet Union and countries of the Middle East."