UN to Expand Effort To Protect Bosnia Aid

A GREATLY enlarged United Nations peacekeeping force in Bosnia is likely to be the most tangible outcome of the London conference on the former Yugoslavia.

The force, including British, French, Italian, and Canadian troops, would be assigned to convoy protection duties and would number several thousand, UN sources said.

UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, worked out the details of the force's composition and deployment as leaders of the former Yugoslav republics came under intense pressure to sign papers committing them to respect borders and the rights of minorities.

Yesterday there were indications that delegation leaders would probably sign, but some with reluctance.

Slobodan Milosevic, president of Serbia, refused to join the other leaders in addressing the conference. An EC official said he was taken aside by Douglas Hurd, Britain's foreign secretary, and told: "Cooperate or face ferocious economic measures."

Two other documents called for Serbia to end its support for Bosnian Serbs; and for steps to end the fighting in Bosnia and tackle the republic's constitutional future.

A British source said the former was "meeting resistance" from Mr. Milosevic and Yugoslav Prime Minister Milan Panic.

Bosnian Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic denounced the second document, saying sanctions on Serbia would not end "the carnage, ethnic cleansing, plundering, and rape."

In an interview, Mr. Silajdzic said direct international intervention in Bosnia was "absolutely necessary."

"The plan to protect food convoys is welcome, but this conference will be a sham if it fails to curb Serbian aggression," he said.

Some analysts criticized the tendency to put most blame on Serbia for the violence in the Balkans. Jonathan Eyal, director of the Royal United Service Institute, said: "To isolate Serbia completely, at least in the short run, would mean that any leadership in Belgrade had very little to lose anymore."

Radovan Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs, walked out of the first session complaining he had been given only observer status. "I came here to talk, not sit in a side room," he said.

But an EC diplomat called his performance "pure theatre." He had been "told before he came" that he would not have full status, the diplomat said.

The conference was overshadowed by heavy bombardment of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, and the EC diplomat commented: "In a way that was Dr. Karadzic's main contribution to the proceedings."

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