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AFTER THE VICTORY OF THE DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION IN FRY AND THE EXIT OF SERBIA FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN, GOOD RELATIONS WITH BELGRADE WILL BE HIGHLY IMPORTANT FOR RS PARTIES ON THE EVE OF THE NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTIONS. KNOWING THE AFFINITY OF CITIZENS OF RS TOWARD SERBIA, THE FOREIGNERS ARE TRYING TO PRESENT MILORAD DODIK AS THE PROTEGE OF THE DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION OF SERBIA IN RS AND THUS RESTORE HIS SHAKEN TRUST AMONG THE VOTERS

Will the Foreigners Mobilize Kostunica for Dodik's Election Campaign?

Dodik, like Montenegrin president Milo Djukanovic, has found himself in an uncomfortable position in relation to Kostunica, whom both of them on the eve of the elections considered a long shot. On the other hand, Kostunica, whom many voters in RS consider to be the personification of the victorious DOS, has no affinity for Dodik and certainly will not support him in the elections against SDS candidate Mirko Sarovic

By Jovan KORAC

Ekstra Magazin, Bijeljina, Srpska, B-H, October 11, 2000

The visit to Banja Luka by one of the leaders of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, Velimir Ilic, represents the beginning of new relations between Republika Srpska and FR Yugoslavia. Namely, from the reserves of the National Bank of Yugoslavia (NBJ), Ilic brought Milorad Dodik no less than $25 million in exchange for which Dodik is supposed to supply crude oil and gasoline to FRY. Because great quantities are involved, DOS expects that foreign aid will permit it to compensate for this shortage very quickly and it expects that after the sudden drop of the currency exchange rates, also through the intervention of the NBJ from the accumulated debt for foreign savings, citizens of Serbia will be given yet another pleasant surprise. Namely, after almost a decade of waiting in line at gas stations or purchasing gas on the black market, there will be enough gas in Serbia and it will be sold at the lowest price in Europe - 0.6 DEM [$0.3] per liter.

However, foreigners in BH expect that after Dodik's assistance to the opposition - use of a radio-television transmitter system and injection of foreign funds through RS - now is the time, on the eve of the general elections, for DOS to help him, all the more so because Dodik's pre-election rating does not promise much.

That means that the greater part of foreign aid will continue to go to Serbia with the mediation of Dodik, who will be presented to voters as the herald of better relations and the opening of RS toward the motherland. It is also expected that the traditional affinity of RS toward Serbia will be a strong stimulus for voters to restore their shaken trust in Dodik.

Because of this Dodik took it upon himself on Sunday in Sarajevo, at a round table on the implementation of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe, to announce that he intended to meet with Vojislav Kostunica, the new president of FRY, in the near future in order to speed up the establishment of diplomatic relations of FRY with BH, as well as a special relationship of the motherland with RS.

"Diplomatic relations with FRY are very necessary to Republika Srpska and Serbs in BH so that we can arrive at an agreement on special relations in a correct and legitimate manner and I hope that the people in FRY understand this," said Dodik, who thus usurped the functions of the central state-institutions of BH.

However, Dodik, like Montenegrin president Milo Djukanovic, has found himself in an uncomfortable position in relation to Kostunica, whom both of them on the eve of the elections considered a long shot. On the other hand, Kostunica, whom many voters in RS consider to be the personification of the victorious DOS, has no affinity for Dodik and, Ekstra Magazin has learned, certainly will not support him in the elections against SDS candidate Mirko Sarovic. Additionally, the SDS, whom Kostunica supported during the fallout with Biljana Plavsic in 1997, has good relations with the majority of the parties in DOS. Also in a better position than Dodik toward the new government is Mladen Ivanic, who not only has good relations with Kostunica but also good connections with other influential persons in the new government, especially with G-17 plus, the influential non-governmental organization.


THE MOST RECENT VISIT OF HAGUE CHIEF PROSECUTOR CARLA DEL PONTE, UNLIKE THE MAJORITY OF PREVIOUS ONES, WAS NOT UNPLEASANT FOR MILORAD DODIK. HE RECEIVED A BIG PROMISE AND IF IT COMES TRUE, THERE IS NO DOUBT HE WILL KNOW HOW TO PRESENT HIMSELF TO THE FAMILIES OF PRISONERS AND TO VOTERS AS THE LIBERATOR OF THE ACCUSED IN THE HAGUE

Some Twenty Serbs from The Hague to be Tried in RS

With the exception of the Srbinje group, Momcilo Krajisnik, Radoslav Brdjanin, General Momir Talic, Stanislav Galic and Radislav Krstic, the majority of Serb prisoners will be transferred so that their trials can be held in RS, naturally, under the supervision of the Tribunal

By Jovan KORAC

Ekstra Magazin, Bijeljina, Srpska, B-H, October 11, 2000

Because of dramatic events in Belgrade last week, the visit of the chief prosecutor of the Hague tribunal Carla del Ponte to Sarajevo and Banja Luka passed almost unnoticed. She talked with Milorad Dodik, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska, in Banski Dvor [seat of the Srpska government in Banja Luka] which was completely sealed off by the Police, regarding models of cooperation between the Tribunal and the RS government. After the meeting - and meetings between the RS prime minister and Tribunal officials are generally not pleasant - Dodik, to everyone's surprise, was quite satisfied. He told reporters that he was pleased with the fact that there was a possibility that some of those accused of war crimes would be tried in RS.

"In this way we will have significant responsibility and we will undertake all measures for this to occur," he said.

More precise information regarding who will actually be tried in RS was not provided by either Dodik or his guest. According to information which "Ekstra Magazin" learned from sources close to the RS government, it is possible that almost all of the Serb accused whose trials have not yet begun and who are considered to be "small fry" will be transferred from The Hague to RS. With the exception of the Srbinje group, Momcilo Krajisnik, Radoslav Brdjanin, General Momir Talic, Stanislav Galic and Radislav Krstic, the majority of Serb prisoners will be transferred so that their trials can be held in RS, naturally, under the supervision of the Tribunal.

As well, del Ponte has promised that if it is determined that serious advances have been made in the Serb contribution to the arrest of the accused, The Hague will reveal the names in the sealed indictments to the RS government.

The reasons for the announcement of the transfer of a significant number - approximately 20 of them - to RS are hidden in the orientation of The Hague to concentrate its work on important political and military figures. Because the trials are lengthy and expensive, and their expense cannot be covered by the already large budget of the Tribunal, it was decided to transfer trials of lesser importance to RS and the Federation.


Translated by Snezana Lazovic (Oct. 15, 2000)
SRPSKA