Croatians Call on Europe to Monitor Cease-Fire Abuses
THE European Community peace envoy to the Balkans, Britain's Lord Carrington, says the new Yugoslav cease-fire is the last check on full-scale war here. But his words went unheeded in Croatia yesterday, as fighting continued past the cease-fire deadline set by Croatian, Serbian, and federal Army leaders on Tuesday.At press time, two hours after the cease-fire went into effect, federal Army jets were still in the air and shooting was reported in coastal towns and in Sisak and Petrinja, 35 miles from Zagreb. Government officials in Croatia say they are respecting the cease-fire, but insist that Europe should take note of Serbian violations and recognize Croatia as an independent republic. "We are showing good faith by this cease-fire. We expect Europe to notice. Recognition is the only solution. We can no longer live with the Serbs," Zdravko Musta, adviser to Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, told the Monitor. Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia on June 25, but Serbs and the Serbian-led federal Army of Yugoslavia have violently opposed their actions. Croatians are universally skeptical about the cease-fire - especially after a day and night of some of the worst Army attacks of the war, including jets strafing 10 towns and targets that included a hospital in Osijek and two 600--7year-old churches on the coast. "The Army is offering revenge for our offensive strategy over the last three days," said Bojo Kuvanich, vice president of the Croatian Social Democratic Party. "The Army is trying to spread fear and undermine Croatian resistance." Long-time Croatian opposition figure Ivan-Zudnimir Cicak, founder of the Farmers' Party, offers a more sobering slant: "Nobody in Croatia wants this cease-fire. The federal Army is a Marxist-nationalist entity. It won't just go away. This war will spread, and the only possible end is through the intervention of Western troops." Zagreb itself has undergone eight air alerts in 40 hours and was strafed by jets for the first time Tuesday. The national guard reports that snipers and Serbian members of the Army reserves were on the streets and took over several buildings, including a military court. There also was heavy fighting at federal military barracks surrounded by Croatian forces. Federal helicopter attacks and light artillery were heard, and flames reached several stories into the night sky. The Croatian media is taking a more strident tone. Last night's feature film on Croatian television, playing with artillery shells in the background, was "The Alamo," starring John Wayne. The signature music for Croatian radio and television, played nonstop before and after newscasts, is "Brothers in Arms," by the rock group Dire Straits. The effect of the war on families was typified by an emotional plea on Croatian radio yesterday from a university professor from Rijeka to his brother in Belgrade. "We are both born in Croatia. Our fatherland is Croatia. We don't need another," Jovan Uzelac said in a message to federal Army Gen. Nicolae Uzelac. President Tudjman and his advisers have tried to put the best light on the cease-fire, pointing out that for the first time a leader of the Army, Gen. Veljko Kadijevic, was a signatory. But the wording of the cease-fire, that "all units under our control, and under our political and military influence" will stop fighting, leaves a loophole. Federal Army generals say they do not control all aspects of their forces. Moreover, Serbs in Croatia can still operate unchecked, a point made by Serbian Vice Presid ent Budmir Kosutic, who said in a BBC interview: "We don't control our people." Prospects for the cease-fire are also complicated by recent Croatian military advances. Croatia's National Guard now holds or surrounds 60 percent of the federal military barracks, including Zagreb's largest, the Marshal Tito barracks. To withdraw troops on the eve of victory would be be politically difficult.