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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Serbs Attack Returning Moslems

SARAJEVO -- Ignoring a NATO escort and dealing freedom of movement a new blow, Serbs hurled stones at Moslems attempting to visit homes they were forced out of at the start of the war.

About a dozen people were injured and several buses were damaged by stones and sticks wielded by the Serbs. Major Guy Vinet, a spokesman for the NATO-led peace force, said the French escorts of the Moslem convoy tried to calm the Serbs but did not forcibly intervene when they attacked.

After running the gauntlet of angry Serbs just outside Sarajevo, the convoy reached just north of Trnovo, 30 kilometers south of Sarajevo, before being stopped by another demonstration of about 200 Serbs. The Moslems subsequently turned back.

The North American Treaty Organization is keen to limit its role in Bosnia and is reluctant to embrace tasks not specifically assigned to it by the Dayton peace accords. But faced with the threat of new ethnic violence as refugees try to return to homes now held by ethnic groups who drove them out, it has begun providing armed escorts, crowd control and other police work it originally rejected.

Most military agreements enforced by NATO have been respected, but Serbs, Croats and Moslems often ignore provisions of the peace pact that don't carry with them the threat of NATO retaliation.

One of those frequently ignored provisions is full freedom of movement, including refugees' rights to return home.