THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
Fact Sheet on Bosnia
IFOR, the NATO-led Implementation Force, has achieved early success, thereby solidifying the peace.
IFOR has maintained the cease-fire and compelled the Parties to withdraw all forces behind a 4 km Zone of Separation without significant incident.
Substantial compliance has been achieved in withdrawing all heavy weapons and forces to cantonments or other designated areas.
IFOR's presence is the foundation for the creation of a secure environment necessary for the implementation of the civilian aspects of Dayton.
The Parties successfully negotiated and implemented the first series of Confidence Building Measures designed to reduce military activity, restrict location of weapons and troops, and exchange data on weapons holdings. Negotiations on limits on armament levels and manpower are nearing completion.
IFOR is committed to establishing freedom of movement in Bosnia and is aggressively working toward the elimination of all internal checkpoints. Virtually all prisoners of war have been released or are now formally held as war crimes suspects; the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has reviewed or is reviewing these latter cases. Substantial improvement has been made in freedom of movement: IFOR reports that 10,000-15,000 people cross the inter-entity boundary every day.
All of the civilian reconciliation institutions mandated by Dayton have been created.
The Office of the High Representative, led by Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, has taken the lead in coordinating the myriad agencies, institutions and activities which are critical to the return of peace and stability of Bosnia.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) designated a multi-ethnic Provisional Election Commission (PEC), which consists of the Human Rights Ombudsperson, Gret Haller of Switzerland, who is tasked with investigating allegations of human rights violations, and the Human Rights Chamber which will hear cases and issue decisions which are binding on the parties. The ICRC formed a commission to investigate the fate of all missing persons in Bosnia, especially those from Srebrenica and Zepa. The International Organization of Migration has formed the Commission of Displaced Persons and Refugees, which will guarantee the right of individuals to return to their homes or receive fair compensation. The Joint Civilian Commission gives all parties, military and civilian, a venue to review and coordinate efforts to rebuild Bosnian society.
The Bosnian Federation is growing stronger.
The Federation Government now has 15 ministries functioning, including a constitutional Court.
The Agreement between the Federation partners, negotiated under the auspices of the Office of the High Representative and the United States, has dissolved all internal customs collection points and ensured that all revenues collected will flow to the Federation Government. Mostar, now organized into 6 districts with a joint central area, is moving toward reintegration. Federation officials agreed in Washington on a Defense Law which establishes a single Ministry of Defense and calls for the integration of all Federation military forces within three years. A series of agencies will be created to strengthen the Federation's financial system and promote investment.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is making sure that there will be peace with justice.
ICTY Chief Prosecutor Judge Goldstone and IFOR Commander Admiral Smith reached agreement in January on the types of assistance IFOR will provide to the ICTY. These include protection of war crimes investigators, monitoring of mass grave sites, assistance with transport of suspected war criminals to the Hague and a commitment to detail those who are indicted by the Tribunal should the opportunity arise.
The ICTY has five war crimes suspects in custody. The Tribunal also is holding one witness. The parties accepted U.S.-proposed "rules of the road" that set out procedures for detaining suspected war criminals while still safeguarding the principle of freedom of movement.
Humanitarian Assistance has already improved living conditions in Bosnia and the International community is poised to begin substantial reconstruction efforts thanks to the recent Donors' Conference.
The $86 million in ?Quick Impact? funding announced by the President at the signing of the Agreement has been spent, resulting in restoration of heat and electricity, provision of winter clothing, and other improvements in quality of life for thousands of Bosnians.
The recent Donors' Conference in Brussels raised a total of $1.2 billion for Bosnian economic recovery. The United States pledged approximately $200 million in reconstruction aid for the current fiscal year, in addition to over $350 million in humanitarian aid, funding for policy training, support for the elections, demining and other projects. Projects currently underway include emergency shelter repair, rehabilitation of utilities, educational and community facilities, journalist training and voter education projects.
Efforts to provide for the personal security of the Bosnian people are well underway.
As of mid-May the UN has deployed over 1300 International Police Task Force monitors to the region, 90 of whom are American, representing about half of the full U.S. contingent.
A Mine Action Center has been established to collect information on the location of mines and coordinate efforts to train Bosnians in demining. # # #