PROTECTION OF MINORITIESSerb Man Reportedly Dies after Beating Incident UN IPTF is following up on a report that a Serb man died in hospital in Sarajevo on 6 March after he was attacked on 1 March by several unidentified men while travelling to a cemetery in the village of Cekrcici (Fed), between Sarajevo and Visoko. The man’s wife and a Bosniak friend were also reportedly injured in the attack. UN IPTF is monitoring the local authorities’ investigation of the case. Bosniaks in Western Bosnia Allege Harassment Several Bosniak residents in Tomislavgrad (Fed) have told international monitors that they have been receiving eviction threats in recent weeks, and in Glamoc (Fed) 35 Bosniaks were reportedly not allowed to register with the municipality (required in order to access to certain social services), allegedly because the only minorities who can apply are those who were in Glamoc during the 1995 offensive. International human rights monitors also report that Bosniak residents in Livno (Fed) say that they continue to face discrimination in the employment sector. More than 130 complaints of employment discrimination have been received by the Federation Ombudsmen’s Office from minorities living in Canton 10 since the beginning of the year.
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENTInter-Entity Bus Line between Drvar and Banja Luka Established UNHCR will inaugurate its twelfth inter-entity bus line when it establishes its new service between Drvar (Fed) and Banja Luka (RS) on 13 March. This new line meets a long-standing request by Serb displaced persons from the area. UNHCR recently renewed contracts to continue the operation of nine other cross-IEBL bus lines (run by the Danish Refugee Council), and two Sarajevo-area services operated by a local contractor will also continue to run until at least mid-year. UNHCR reports that approximately 241,000 passengers have used the buses to cross the IEBL since May 1996.
HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORING ENVIRONMENTInternational Personnel Injured in Road Incident On 6 March, two SFOR personnel were run off the road by a civilian vehicle while jogging near Modrica (RS), one of whom was grazed by the car and sustained minor injuries. While they were running on the side of the road, a jeep coming from the opposite direction increased its speed to about 140 km per hour and headed deliberately in their direction. The joggers were forced to jump into a ditch to avoid being hit.
OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUESMixed Progress in Gorazde Area OSCE reports that following repeated intervention by international organizations, there has been decrease in stoning incidents targeting Federation-registered vehicles in the Kopaci (RS) area in the past few months. These incidents had been frequent occurrences during 1996, and many trucks, buses and cars traveling between Sarajevo and Gorazde were damaged by rocks thrown by youngsters along the road. However, international human rights monitors note that RS police in Kopaci and Rogatica (RS) continue to harass and fine cars with Federation plates. In Gorazde (Fed), recent public infrastructure repairs supported by international organization have improved living conditions for residents in the town. Electricity and water systems have recently been restored, PTT phone lines have been installed in many public offices and in some private homes, and on 8 March, a rehabilitated sports center was opened. International agencies working in Gorazde are also involved in a number of initiatives to improve economic conditions and promote inter-entity cooperation in the region.
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