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Yugoslavia

Volume 229: debated on Thursday 22 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimates he has of the size of (a) regular forces of the Yugoslav army and (b) regular forces of the Croatian army currently present and operating in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and if he will make a statement.

There is continuing evidence that Serbian and Croatian Government forces are operating in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but due to constant troop movements and the difficulties faced by international monitors, it is not possible to provide reliable estimates of their numbers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to President Izetbegovic about the maltreatment of mentally handicapped adults and children at Fojnica hospital in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

We share the United Nations High Commission for Refugees' concern about the desperate plight of the patients in the hospital in Fojnica. This is a further example of how innocent civilians have suffered as a result of the conflict in Bosnia. We have repeatedly urged all parties to respect the rights and interests of civilians.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress the United Nations Security Council has reported on investigations carried out by the United Nations Sanctions Committee into Croatian breaches of United Nations Security Council resolution 713 following investigations into this matter in September 1992; when Her Majesty's Government received a full report of the alleged violations contained in the case referred by the United Nations Sanctions Committee to the United Nations Security Council in September 1992; if he will publish this report; and if he will make a statement.

Following the discovery of arms consignments in Croatia by United Nations forces in September 1992, the United Nations Sanctions Committee asked the Croatian and Iranian Governments for an explanation. The Croatians denied prior knowledge of the consignment. The Iranian authorities have not satisfactorily explained why the arms concerned were being transported in an Iranian aircraft.The equipment has since been destroyed by the United Nations Protection Force on the instructions of the United Nations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on the issue of sanctions against Croatia; and if he will make a statement.

Foreign Ministers of the European Community agreed in Brussels on 19 July to consider withdrawing Croatia's preferential trading benefits with the European Community, in view of Croatia's continued involvement in the conflict in Bosnia.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received from British forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina of atrocities having been carried out by Muslim forces within the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina; and what representations have been made to the Bosnian presidency.

British forces deployed in Bosnia under the auspices of UNPROFOR provide us with regular reports about events on the ground there. It is clear that all parties have been responsible for committing atrocities, but the record of the Bosnia Serbs is worst. We have repeatedly urged all parties to respect the rights and interests of civilians.