Yugoslavia Truce Marred by Surge in Croatia Clashes
Fighting intensified in secessionist Croatia on Saturday despite the latest cease-fire. Yugoslav army cannons pounded the strategic target of Osijek, reportedly killing five people.
Despite the upsurge in fighting on the sixth day of the truce, U.N. envoy Cyrus R. Vance was scheduled to arrive today for talks on deploying up to 10,000 U.N. peacekeepers in the secessionist republic.
The United Nations has insisted that the truce be honored before any deployment of peacekeepers, and Saturday’s surge in the fighting around Osijek and elsewhere raised questions about whether that condition could be fulfilled.
Croats fear the Serbian forces want to capture Osijek, a city of 140,000, to seal control over fertile, oil-rich eastern Croatia before the deployment of the peacekeepers.
Croatia last week dropped its objection to stationing peacekeepers inside the republic between the warring groups. It had earlier demanded that the force be placed at the republic’s border.
Meanwhile, Franjo Tudjman, president of the embattled republic, announced that there would be new elections when hostilities end in the five-month-old war.