Christopher to Arrive in Bosnia

SARAJEVO -- U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher was due to arrive in Sarajevo on Friday to keep up the pressure on Bosnia's rival factions to respect the Dayton peace agreement.


Italy's President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro flew to Sarajevo on Friday to visit Italian troops serving with NATO's increasingly authoritative peacekeeping force.


Christopher's visit to Sarajevo will coincide with Saturday's deadline for Bosnia's Serbs and Moslem-Croat Federation to withdraw military forces from territory to be handed over under the agreement.


Officials of the mainly Moslem government said Bosnian Serb police and civil authorities would remain in place in Sarajevo's Serb-held suburbs, from which thousands of people had already fled, until they are handed over in March.


Christopher's demands for the factions to honor their commitments on the release of prisoners, investigation of war crimes and the holding of elections, will be given extra weight by NATO's increased assertiveness.


On Thursday, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, scored two victories: two U.S. A-10 planes frightened 30 soldiers of the mainly-Moslem government's army to surrender weapons in a "demilitarized" zone and French special forces killed a sniper in a Serb-held Sarajevo suburb and captured another.


NATO's Bosnia commander, U.S. Admiral Leighton Smith, said snipers, who had fired at peacekeepers six times since Sunday, would be shot without warning.


Moslem refugee women from Srebrenica, who believe as many as 3,000 Moslem men could be alive in Tuzla, disrupted the northeastern town for a fifth day, blocking two roads.


Christopher who begins his two-day Balkan trip in Zagreb for talks with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, an important figure in the region because of his power to influence Bosnia's Croats, will also visit Sarajevo and the main U.S. army base at Tuzla.