AN international tribunal yesterday indicted the Bosnian Serbs' top two leaders for war crimes, linking them to ''unimaginable savagery'' in the genocide in the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and army commander Gen. Ratko Mladic have already been charged with war crimes against Bosnia's Muslim and Croat populations, including attacks on the capital Sarajevo.
The new indictments come just days after Mladic and Karadzic agreed to relinquish power once an American-sponsored peace deal is signed, in exchange for not being handed over to the war crimes tribunal.
To clinch a peace deal and end the four-year war in the former Yugoslavia, Secretary of State Warren Christopher probably will reenter Bosnian peace talks this weekend.
The negotiations are stalemated over territorial, constitutional, and other core issues. But in making what would be a fourth direct intervention into the discussions, Mr. Christopher hopes to break the deadlock.
''It appears to me that it might be useful for me to go back on my way back to Washington,'' Christopher said.
THE war crimes tribunal maintains that Mladic and Karadzic are allegedly responsible for atrocities committed in July 1995 against Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, a region designated as a ''safe area'' by the United Nations.
After the fall of Srebrenica July 11 to a Bosnian Serb armored force, an estimated 25,000 Muslim refugees fled to the nearby town of Potocari, headquarters of the Dutch unit of UN peacekeepers.
The International Red Cross has said 8,000 of the refugees in Srebrenica remain unaccounted for. Western governments have said there is strong evidence to suggest mass executions. Among the evidence are satellite photos of alleged mass graves in the area.
''The evidence describes scenes of unimaginable savagery: thousands of men executed and buried in mass graves, hundreds of men buried alive, men and women mutilated and slaughtered, children killed before their mothers' eyes,'' the tribunal said.
''These are truly scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history,'' according to a summary of the indictment.
The indictments, and arrest warrants, will be forwarded to Sarajevo, Belgrade, and the Bosnian Serb headquarters at Pale.
The Serbs deny mass executions, suggesting the remains are those of some of 3,000 Bosnian government soldiers killed defending Srebrenica.