Gorazde: Serbs Kill 49, Wound 218 Bosniak Civilians
Civilians Flee Gorazde Under Serbian Fire
From Journal wire reports
The Milwaukee Journal
5 April 1994
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnian Serb troops pushed deep into the eastern Muslim enclave of Gorazde, breaching defense lines in three places and sending civilians fleeing in panic, military officials said Tuesday.
A Bosnian government army officer called the situation critical.
Kris Janowski, a UN relief official, said 49 people had been killed and 218 wounded since the Serbian offensive began seven days ago. Dozens need evacuation, according to two UN doctors trapped by fighting, he said.
Both sides reported Serbian advanced, but with only four UN monitors in the enclave, the United Nations could not confirm them.
“Our units have defeated the government forces inside Gorazde pocket and have reached the right bank of the Drina River,” Gen. Manojlo Milovanovic, chief of staff of the Bosnian Serb army, told the Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA.
A Bosnian army officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Serbian forces had broken through defense lines at three locations, forcing government forces to withdraw. Civilians were fleeing in panic toward the center of Gorazde, he said.
It was an uneven battle with government forces lacking heavy weapons while Serbians used several dozen tanks and heavy guns.
Despite being declared a “safe area” by the UN Security Council last May, Gorazde has been under Serbian siege for much of Bosnia’s two-year war.
The Clinton administration signaled over the weekend it would not support Gorazde by repeating the threats of air strikes that rescued Sarajevo.
“The conditions in Gorazde do not lend themselves to the use of air power,” Gen. John Shalikashvill, chairman of the US JOint Chiefs of Staff, said a news conference Tuesday in Washington.
Unlike in Sarajevo, small arms fire — not artillery — is causing most of the deaths in Groazde, he said.
“The solution to what is going on in Bosnia, as everyone has said from the very beginning, is to reach agreement at the negotiating table,” Shalikashvill said.
“I do not believe you can bring peace to the area through the point of a gun.”
Meanwhile, in the northwestern Bosnian town of Prijedor, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced that it had postponed a planned evacuation of thousands of Bosniaks and Croats because Bosnian Serb leaders had refused to grant safe passage for people to leave th e area. At least 20 citizens were killed there last week.