Dayton Peace Broker Back In Bosnia
The U.S. envoy who put together Bosnia’s peace plan returned Wednesday to try to make it work, getting new promises from Croatian and Muslim leaders that they would halt ethnic violence and put aside their rivalries.
Richard Holbrooke came to the port city of Split determined to break deadlocks in virtually every aspect of the 1995 Dayton peace accord, which he spearheaded in an effort to end Bosnia’s 3-1/2-year civil war.
“I think we’ve signaled, along with our allies, that we’re not looking for paper commitments. We want action,” said Peter Galbraith, the U.S. ambassador to Croatia.
Holbrooke talked Wednesday with key power brokers in a position to jump-start the peace process: Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic, chairman of the three-man Bosnian presidency.
One of Holbrooke’s most urgent challenges is patching up relations between Croats and Muslims, whose U.S.-sponsored federation controls 51 percent of Bosnia - a counterbalance to Serb rule in the rest of Bosnia.
Croats and Muslims fought in 1993-1994, and relations still are sour. They suffered a new setback over the weekend when Croats in the central Bosnian town of Jajce forced hundreds of newly returned Muslim refugees out of their homes.