Fighting rages in BosniaSkip to next paragraph
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Fighting continued unabated in Bosnia-Herzegovina this weekend despite Belgrade's surprise announcement that it had retired 40 hard-line Yugoslav Army generals.
Analysts saw Friday's purge as an attempt to soften international hostility toward Yugoslavia over its part in the Bosnian conflict which has cost several hundred lives in two months.
But reports from around the republic suggested that fighting had intensified, with about 60 unconfirmed deaths since Friday. Both sides ordered a partial mobilization of civilians.
In Sarajevo, a European Community official said a convoy sent to the airport to ferry 22 tons of French-donated food and medicine into the center of the hungry city found that all the food had gone.
Reports from around Bosnia-Herzegovina, where pro-independence Muslims and Croats are battling Bosnian Serbs backed by the Yugoslav Army, spoke of fierce fighting.
In a sign of the increasing desperation of the fighting, Belgrade-based Tanjug News Agency said Bosnia's Defense Ministry had ordered all citizens with arms and ammunition to join the Territorial Defense or to hand in their weapons by noon today. It also said homes would be searched to ensure compliance.
On the other side, the Bosnian-Serb news agency said all Serbs between the ages of 18 and 60 in the Sarajevo district of Ilidza had been ordered to join the Serb Territorial Defense immediately.
Those who did not do so within three days would have their property confiscated, it said. CSCE is undecided on Yugoslavia
An emergency European security conference on Bosnia-Herzegovina postponed talks Saturday after failing to agree on whether to suspend the Yugoslav delegation from decisionmaking on the crisis.
Russia, whose support is needed for such a decision, was still opposed to any suspension of Yugoslavia.
Emergency talks of the Committee of Senior Officials of the Conference on Security and Cooperation resume today in what is seen as a last chance to reach a decision.
"We have suggested that they [Russia] should think it over once again.... Monday is certainly the last chance," said Martin Vukovich, head of the Austrian delegation.
Fifty countries of the 52-nation security forum agreed early Saturday on a draft text which would partially suspend Yugoslavia from the forum's decisionmaking until June 30.
But under conference rules, such a move would require the consensus of all countries except Yugoslavia.
Russia says an expulsion or a limited suspension would not help end fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tajik opposition calls for resignation
Tajikistan's opposition Saturday called on conservative President Rakhmon Nabiyev to resign and make way for a coalition government of pro-Muslim and democratic forces.
But provincial authorities in President Nabiyev's native Leninabad region threatened to declare independence from this mountainous Central Asian country if their leader is ousted.
Nabiyev, elected last November amid opposition accusations of widespread ballot-rigging, has been holed up in the heavily guarded former headquarters of the KGB security police since his government collapsed Thursday.
He has offered to work with the anticommunist opposition in a coalition government and has made several concessions, including firing the vice-president and other top officials.
But tens of thousands of demonstrators, rallying in a central Dushanbe square for the 45th consecutive day, said Nabiyev should be punished for bringing this impoverished country to the brink of civil war.
Iran Saturday hailed the collapse of Tajikistan's conservative government and said it was ready to help the central Asian republic regain its Islamic identity.
"The peaceful, popular revolution of Tajikistan has achieved relative success," Tehran Radio said in a commentary monitored in Nicosia, Cyprus. It denounced Nabiyev as a "veteran communist holdover from the former Soviet leadership."