OHR BiH TV News Summary, 25 Dec. 1997

25 December 97, 19:30

Sarajevo – Sarajevans, regardless of their religion and nationality, appeared in Sarajevo Cathedral last night. The message of the Midnight Mass, delivered by Cardinal Vinko Puljic, could be summarised in the following words: Give love, life and peace. I call upon all people of good will to unite hearts and souls, to stop the evil and hatred and everything which humiliates a human being, the Cardinal said. Follows footage from the ceremony in the Cathedral and explanation of the meaning of Christmas, as well as questioning of the citizens in the streets on their impressions of the Catholic holiday. The answers given by the passers-by were very similar: the tradition of this town has always been multi-ethnicity, multi-religious and multi-national.

Mostar – A few minutes before midnight last night a strong detonation disturbed the citizens of the eastern part of Mostar. It was confirmed today that a grenade from west Mostar was shot at the apartment of Emir Maric. The leading city and cantonal leaders, Safet Orucevic and Sefkija Djiho, strongly condemned this incident. It is sad that some individuals are trying to transform days of joy into tragedy, said Mostar Mayor, Orucevic. Detailed information described how the grenade hit the home in eastern part of Mostar, flying only some centimetres above the family’s bedroom in which a couple and a child were sleeping.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced that new evidences of the Federal and Cantonal Ministries of Internal affairs may lead to the conclusions that Ahmed Zuhair along with Ali Ahmed Ali Hamad and Nebil Ali Ali Elhil planted a car bomb in Splitska Street in Mostar on 18 September. Further investigation is ongoing.

The monuments in the cemetery Soinovac in the part of Mostar under Croat control were vandalised the day before yesterday, MINA Agency informs. Three boys using tools destroyed between 20 and 25 cemetery monuments. It is especially sad that it might have been done for religious reasons, just before the Christian holidays started, read a statement of the Mostar Mufti’s Office.

Follows footage of the larger BiH towns where the Catholic Holiday Christmas was celebrated in a festive and dignified way: Zenica, Bihac, Tuzla – pictures showed joyful people on the streets and in the churches during mass.

From the Basilica on the Vatican balcony, Pope John II called upon all people to deliver the joy of Christmas among themselves.

Follows protocol news:

Alija Izetbegovic, Presidency Chairman received in farewell visit from Kai Eide, the UN Special Envoy.

William Cohen, US Secretary of State, left BiH after having spent the Christmas holiday with the American soldiers serving in Tuzla.