SARAJEVO, BOSNIA — United Nations officials yesterday launched a massive relief effort for a new wave of Bosnian refugees and complained that all sides were hindering the effort to save lives.
"Nobody is condemned to death this winter if there is a little bit of cooperation from the warring sides," said Jose Maria Mendiluce, special representative of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). "If it continues this way, there will be many, many casualties this winter."
Sarajevo was relatively calm yesterday, but Sarajevo radio reported heavy fighting between Serb and Bosnian government forces north of the besieged capital.
The UNHCR began ferrying thousands of blankets, tents, stoves, mattresses, food, and winter clothing south from Zagreb to the Adriatic port of Split yesterday. From there they will be sent overland 80 miles northeast to Travnik, a Bosnian town where thousands of refugees are congregating after the fall of nearby Jajce to Serb forces. Mr. Mendiluce said UNHCR buses were dispersing refugees to families in the Travnik area, and that 20,000 people had found refuge. However, another 1,500 spent the first nigh t of November without shelter.