Hard-liners in the Bosnian Serb parliament have warned that it is by no means certain they will ratify a United Nations peace accord accepted by their leader, Radovan Karadzic.
Mr. Karadzic said he initialed the agreement at talks in Athens Sunday after being assured territory was negotiable and he stressed his move "was not a signature, but a paragraph which has to be proven" by his rebel parliament tomorrow.
"I believe [it] must be reworked and cannot be accepted in the present form," Momcilo Krajisnik, president of the self-styled parliament which has twice rejected the plan, told Bosnian Serb radio.
Fresh clashes erupted within hours of Karadzic's provisional endorsement of the pact. Five people were killed and dozens were wounded when Sarajevo, the Serb-besieged capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was shelled.
Meanwhile, in London, United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher vowed yesterday to keep making preparations for allied military strikes against Bosnian Serbs until they implement the international peace plan.
Mr. Christopher said he would continue soliciting support for a new US military strategy until the Serbs complied.
Christopher got a lukewarm reception from the British after hours of consultations on Sunday and talks again yesterday. He acknowledged that he did not obtain Britain's unqualified support for a new US military strategy that would involve bombing Serb positions and finding ways to get arms to Bosnian Muslims.
He added that, as he surveyed allied attitudes, he found the Europeans "hopeful but skeptical" about the Serbs accepting the accord.
In Bosnia, Karadzic, in an interview with British Broadcasting Corporation radio, said he hoped the Bosnian-Serb parliament would ratify the peace plan drawn up by mediators Cyrus Vance and Lord David Owen. Bosnia's Muslims and Croats have already accepted it. If the parliament did not, he said, he would offer his resignation.
Karadzic's turnround came after Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic pressed him to bow to the threat of punitive US-led air strikes.
UN sanctions have forced Mr. Milosevic to swing his considerable influence behind peace efforts.