A DAY after Sarajevo fell prey to the worst mortar and sniper fire since February, and with fighting escalating across Bosnia-Herzegovina, the United Nations announced yesterday it would supply fuel to the Bosnian Serbs.
At least four civilians, three of them children, died in the attacks on the capital, believed to have been committed by the Bosnian Serbs.
The fuel is officially to be used by roadworks vehicles, but UN sources admitted it would be impossible to prevent some being diverted to Bosnian Serbs fighting the government Army.
Bosnian Serbs have demanded half of all UN fuel shipments since losing supplies from Yugoslavia under a blockade Belgrade imposed after their rejection of an international peace plan.
The UN compromise undercuts a UN directive from New York not to give the Serbs fuel under any circumstances. UN vehicles, often blocked by Serbs, are constantly at the point of running out of fuel in the Muslim enclaves. Food to thousands of Muslims, power and heating for hospitals, and UN movement in the enclaves are all threatened when tankers cannot deliver.
``The feeling among some quarters in the UN military was that maintaining their mission in the enclaves would be impossible without some compromise with the Serbs,'' said a UN source who asked not to be named.
Following two weeks of successful territorial advances by the government forces and their Bosnian Croat allies, the Bosnian Serbs yesterday retook some territory in the northwest, a UN spokesman said.