SARAJEVO : Can Cease-Fire Hold?

For the warring factions that have committed themselves to yet another cease-fire in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the next seven days may be the toughest diplomatic trial of the year-old war.

Serbian rebel forces are poised to take the last few government-held enclaves in the republic’s east, making a final push tempting despite the agreement to hold fire. Bosnian Croats still covet exclusive control over several central cities they currently share with Muslim Slavs. And the Muslim-led government, in the weakest position of all, has little to gain by observing a truce now that would firm up the territorial imbalance.

If all three combatants do manage to stick by the cease-fire, some progress toward a negotiated settlement could come out of a U.N.-mediated peace conference in Sarajevo on April 6. However, even the optimists are not holding their breath.