Sinn Fein VP Dismisses Deal On N. Ireland

MARTIN McGUINNESS, vice president of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Rebublican Army, said yesterday that peace will not come to Northern Ireland unless Britain withdraws its troops from the province. He dismissed as worthless the Anglo-Irish peace initiative, which offers all parties renouncing violence a seat at the negotiating table on the future of Northern Ireland.

Mr. McGuinness said he was expressing his personal opinion. Sinn Fein has not finished its review of the declaration signed on Dec. 15 by Prime Minister John Major and his Irish counterpart Albert Reynolds. Pro-British, Protestant gangs also have dismissed prospects for a peace deal.

Croatian conscriptions

Human rights activists in Zagreb have accused the Croatian Army of drafting men of Bosnian descent to fight in Bosnia-Herzegovina against their will, but Croatian authorities have denied the allegations.

Zvonimir Cicak, chairman of the Croatian Helsinki Committee in Zagreb, said on Saturday his organization had a document showing one soldier had been threatened with a court martial unless he agreed to join a ``volunteer'' Bosnian Croat brigade.

Mr. Cicak said most of some 600 soldiers allegedly drafted for the brigade were from Bosnia. He said the government should investigate the complaints. Bosnian Croat forces have suffered a series of defeats in fighting over the last six months in central Bosnia against the Muslim-led Bosnian Army.

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