A new year dawned hopefully in Bosnia with the start of a fourmonth truce and negotiations between the Bosnian government and rebel Serbs on how to make the cease-fire stick.
“We have a very promising start,” Lt. Gen. Sir Michael Rose, the United Nations commander for Bosnia, said Sunday after chairing the talks.
It was Bosnia’s most optimistic New Year’s Day since war erupted in April 1992, when Serbs rebelled against a Muslim-Croat vote for independence. More than 200,000 people are dead or missing, and millions have been driven from their homes.
Guns were almost silent Sunday, with, for the first time in a week, no detonations heard in the Bihac area of northwest Bosnia, said U.N. spokesman Lt. Col Gary Coward. He reported minor incidents of small-arms fire in Sarajevo; Canada said two of its peacekeepers were hurt by sniper fire in southern Croatia.