02/22/1996 OHR Sarajevo

Statement by the High Representative


by the High Representative, Carl Bildt

Sarajevo, 22 February 1996

I have been informed that both the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Assembly of the Republika Srpska have appealed to the Serbs in the suburbs to be transferred to the Federation to stay. I warmly welcome these developments.

The Rome Statement on the future of Sarajevo, supported by the leaderships of both the Federation and the Republika Srpska, and based on the work of the Joint Civilian Commission Sarajevo, gives a good basis for Serbs and all others to live in a Sarajevo in which Bosniacs, Serbs, Croats and Others will be treated equally.

The Office of the High Representative, the United Nations police force (IPTF) and IFOR will do its utmost to secure a smooth transition in accordance with the agreements concluded.

UN police will accompany Federation police when they are carrying out their law-enforcement activities. They will have immediate access to any action taken by the Federation police and courts. They will be present at all times in every police station.

There will be complete and unhindered freedom of movement in and out of these areas up till March 19 as well as thereafter. No checkpoints will accordingly be allowed. It has been agreed that the Federation police will not exercise any control of the main road from these areas to and through Vogosca to the territory of Republika Srpska. There will be IPTF and IFOR patrols on the road.

I appeal to every family and every individual to carefully take their own decision on their own future. The fears of war are still there, but so should be the possibilities of peace. The statements and declarations by all political leaders, as well as the firm commitment of the representatives of the international community, should give them confidence in their future as equal citizens of a united Sarajevo.