West Bolsters Yugoslav Embargo Via Naval Blockade
SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA — HEAVY fighting was reported across Bosnia-Herzegovina as the West launched a full-scale naval enforcement of an embargo against Yugoslavia.
United Nations officials hope their relief convoys can be expanded in Bosnia-Herzegovina despite a heavy bombardment of Sarajevo and other violations of a Nov. 12 truce.
The besieged capital was quiet yesterday after being rocked all day Sunday by a barrage of artillery, mortar, and tank fire. The UN peacekeeping force recorded 192 rounds of fire coming into Sarajevo and counted 10 rounds fired in return toward Serb positions. Bosnian authorities on Sunday also accused Serb forces of deploying Scud missiles in positions that threaten two northern towns. A Serb military spokesman denied the allegation.
Cmdr. Barry Frewer, a Canadian naval officer and spokesman for the UN force, said the peacekeepers' commander had met with Bosnian and Serb leaders to discuss ways to sustain relief convoys to areas in need of food, fuel, and clothing. New agreements could be announced as early as today, he said.
The UN has been trying to extend the regular lifeline it provides Sarajevo to other war-battered towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina as winter's cold and snow approach. But some convoys have been fired upon or blocked by fighting.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization reported cases of typhoid in the western Bosnian town of Travnik where thousands of refugees are threatened by a Serb offensive, UN sources said Sunday.
The extent of the outbreak was not known but it was bound to concern aid workers trying to deal with a tide of displaced people driven from their homes in Bosnia-Herzegovina by the war, many of them now living in makeshift conditions. Oil slips through embargo
Greek fuel has been slipping through the international embargo against Serbia and Montenegro after being sold to traders in third countries, oil industry sources say. And Greece has been powerless to stop the flow as long as its exporters sell oil to countries not subject to the sanctions.
But a major supply route was blocked last week as Bulgaria tightened control of its fuel exports to the former Yugoslav repuplics.
Before the UN embargo was imposed in June, most of Yugoslavia's fuel passed through the northern Greek port of Salonica. Despite the loss of this market, the harbor authority announced that by September transit fuel shipments had increased by 22 percent over the same period last year.
The authority did not specify where the fuel went. But Bulgarian officials and Greek oil industry sources said that much of it was sold to Serbia and Montenegro after changing hands first in Bulgaria and then in the former Yugoslav republics of Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
A Bulgarian Trade Ministry official said last week that Bulgaria reexported 95.5 percent of the fuel it imported this year, with most of it coming from Greece.
Bulgaria last week said it was tightening its borders with the former Yugoslavia states to ensure that no fuel passed through to Serbia and Montenegro - the countries widely blamed for the fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The river of oil through Bulgaria intensified shortly after Aug. 21, when Greece cut off direct fuel supplies to states of former Yugoslavia, saying it suspected fuel was being resold to Serbia.
Greece at the time was responding to accusations by foreign diplomats and the media that it was breaking the embargo.
The charges have embarrassed Greece, which as a member of NATO and the European Community is participating in the naval blockade on Yugoslavia. On Friday it became a member of the Western European Union, the EC's proposed defense arm.