U.N. Seeks 6,500 More Troops to Monitor Bosnia Cease-Fire : Balkans: Member states on Tuesday will discuss sending added volunteers. In Sarajevo, negotiators fail to cement truce.

From Reuters

The Security Council on Friday appealed to member states to send up to 6,500 more troops to Bosnia-Herzegovina to monitor recently implemented cease-fire pacts.

In Sarajevo, Bosnian government and Serb negotiators failed to agree upon terms that would cement the latest truce, and Muslim-led troops refused to budge from strategic points inside a demilitarized zone around the capital, the United Nations said.

In a statement read at a formal meeting, the Security Council encouraged “member states to make available the personnel and equipment needed for the U.N. Protection Force to supervise and monitor the agreements.”


A meeting of nations contributing troops is scheduled for Tuesday to get pledges on further volunteers.

The U.N. Protection Force, with more than 23,000 troops in Bosnia, is below its authorized limit.

A meeting last month of U.N. and NATO military chiefs was aimed at bolstering a battered UNPROFOR mission after Bosnian Serbs humiliated peacekeepers and contributing nations were threatening to withdraw their troops.

Tentative offers have been made of battalions from Malaysia, Egypt and Ukraine, a company from Spain and helicopter equipment from the Netherlands. In addition, Norway has offered to strengthen its battalion in Tuzla, and the United States is considering helping with equipment, U.N. sources said.

The Security Council statement also welcomed the week-old cease-fire agreements and called on all forces to stop fighting in the northwest Bihac area.

The four-month truce that went into effect on New Year’s Day has silenced most of the guns across Bosnia-Herzegovina, but U.N. plans to implement key elements of the cease-fire ran into trouble when the two sides locked horns over the size of a demilitarized zone west of Sarajevo.