THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
IMPLEMENTING THE PEACE IN BOSNIA
"...we stood up for peace in Bosnia. Remember the skeletal
prisoners, the mass graves, the campaign to rape and torture, the
endless lines of refugees, the threat of a spreading war.
All these threats, all these horrors have now begun to give way to
the promise of peace.
Now our troops and a strong NATO, together with our new partners from central Europe
and elsewhere, are helping that peace take hold."
President Clinton, State of the Union address January 23, 1996
In the aftermath of July 1995 Bosnian Serb assaults on the UN-declared safe areas of Bosnia, the United States won the agreement of our NATO allies to meet any further assaults with a decisive military response. Following the shelling of a Sarajevo marketplace in late August, American pilots participated in a vigorous NATO bombing campaign to stop the perpetrators. This determined effort helped convince all the parties to turn from the path of war to the path of negotiation and peace.
On the diplomatic front, in August 1995, President Clinton directed his National Security Advisor, Anthony Lake, to present a new U.S. initiative to our Allies and the Russians. With this initial breakthrough, a U.S. negotiating team in the succeeding weeks, directed by Secretary of State Warren Christopher and led by Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, conducted tireless shuttle diplomacy throughout the region and Europe as a whole. The President's determination to see this mission succeed resulted in a cease-fire, followed by three weeks of negotiations in Dayton, Ohio.
In November 1995, the United States, in cooperation with our Contact Group partners, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union, succeeded in brokering a comprehensive peace agreement negotiating and settling territorial, constitutional, and military issues. With President Clinton and the leaders of other Contact Group states looking on, the Dayton Peace Agreement, concluded on November 2l, was signed in Paris on December 14 by the presidents of Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia.
On December 15, the UN approved the operation of the peace Implementation Force (IFOR) and on December 16, the North Atlantic Council approved IFOR as a NATO-led multinational force to implement the military aspects of the Dayton agreement. By mid-February, NATO, together with forces from 18 other countries -- including Russia and other members of the Partnership for Peace -- had deployed roughly 60,000 troops to Bosnia. A RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT:
IFOR stopped the widespread killing of civilians and restored security to Sarajevo, where people can now walk the streets in safety.
Deployed some 20,000 highly trained American troops to Bosnia as part of the NATO-led IFOR.
Completed implementing all major military aspects of the Dayton agreements and is now sustaining a secure environment for economic recovery and the consolidation of democracy. Supported continued development of the Bosnian-Croat Federation to include building democratic government structures and procedures. Contributed more than any other nation in financial and other assistance to the International War Crimes Tribunal. Leading an international effort to train and equip Federation forces to provide a self-defense capability and deterrent against a return to war. Began the process of holding free and fair elections in Bosnia by late summer.
Pledged roughly $200 million for 1996 for Bosnia's economic reconstruction and related activities, as part of three-year U.S. commitment of about $600 million.
Contributed $85.6 million in quick-impact assistance that funds 36 projects relating to humanitarian assistance, urgent reconstruction, and immediate rebuilding of key infrastructure and has helped millions of Bosnians through the harsh winter months and the early stages of their country's rehabilitation.
U.S. contribution to civilian implementation (support for elections, police, demining, refugee resettlement as well as economic reconstruction) totals approximately $550 million for 1996. Pledged 200 police monitors to the new International Police Task Force in Bosnia; about 90 are in place.
THE CHALLENGES AHEAD:
The Clinton Administration is dedicated to helping restore peace and stability to the former Yugoslavia by helping to implement the provisions of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords. The United States, with NATO and other partners, will ensure implementation of the military provisions of the Dayton agreement while minimizing the risk to U.S. forces; create secure conditions in which international organizations can implement the critical civilian aspects of the settlement; and work toward ensuring a stable military balance by the time IFOR departs. The United States, along with our European Union partners, the World Bank and others, intends to enhance humanitarian assistance, economic stabilization, police training and demining, and to support economic reconstruction and the growth of democracy in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Our objectives are to:
Preserve the unity of Bosnia-Herzegovina within its existing, internationally recognized borders and establish a stable military balance of forces in the region.
Establish a civil society in Bosnia in which independent media are operating; the rule of law is generally accepted; and democratically-elected institutions are operating at every level.
Establish opportunities for the orderly return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes, and a process for compensating those who choose not to return or whose property cannot be restored to them. Insist that the parties cooperate with the War Crimes Tribunal and comply with its decisions, including transfer of indicted war criminals to The Hague. Continue to monitor the active departure of foreign forces from the region as agreed to in the Dayton accords. Support implementation of the Erdut Agreement which enables the peaceful reintegration of the Eastern Slavonia region into Croatia.
Last Update: May 29, 1996