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Albright- Diplomacy Alone Won't Bring Peace in Bosnia

By Stanley Meisler and Norman Kempster
Los Angeles Times

Trumpeting the new resolve of the Clinton administration, U.S. Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright told the U.N. Security Council yesterday that diplomacy will not stop the slaughter in Sarajevo and the war in Bosnia unless it is "backed by a willingness to use force."

In a speech to the council during an unusual public session, the U.S. ambassador also warned the Bosnian Serbs that they would face retribution if they attempted to retaliate against foreign relief workers for any North Atlantic Treaty Organization air raids.

"The United States will advocate strong action by this council if the Bosnian Serbs follow through on their threats to restrict the movement of international relief workers," she said.

As more than 40 ambassadors filled the council chamber with rhetoric railing against the savagery in Bosnia, both President Clinton and the United Nations denied reports that the United Nations intended to ease NATO's demand that the Serbs -- under threat of air strikes -- withdraw all heavy weapons from the Sarajevo area or turn them over to the United Nations by Feb. 21.

The news reports had indicated that some U.N. peacekeeping officers would be satisfied if the Serbs only left their artillery batteries in place for distant U.N. monitoring by radar.

"I expect that the terms of the NATO agreement will be followed," Clinton told a news conference. "Keep in mind, the secretary-general of the United Nations asked us to take action. We agreed to take action. ... And we were assured all along the way that our allies in NATO and ... the secretary-general agreed. So, I don't believe there is a fundamental misunderstanding on that point."

Joe Sills, spokesman for Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, said in a news briefing at U.N. headquarters that "there is no difference in the goals being pursued by the U.N. and NATO."

That seemed underscored in Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, when Lt. Gen. Michael Rose of Britain, commander of U.N. forces in Bosnia, said, "The total exclusion zone for heavy weapons around Sarajevo will be implemented" before the end of the week and "any heavy weapons there will be either under U.N. control or subject of an air attack."

The Serbs, however, were a long way from turning over their weapons. Two artillery pieces were handed to peacekeepers yesterday, bringing the total under U.N. control to 28. Some analysts estimated that the Serbs have more than 500 heavy weapons around Sarajevo.

U.S. officials said in Washington that the few pieces of artillery and other heavy weapons that the Serbs turned in during the past 24 hours were "not significant."