Interesting story

Tomas Miglierina (
Mon, 06 Apr 1998 14:50:06 +0200


The federation army is planning to build a large Combat Training
Centre(poligon, firing range) in Glamoc, on the borther with the IEBL,
enlarging some previous JNA installations. The project is supprorted by the
US Train & equip program.

A total of 271 houses and private properties will have to be expropriated.
At least in theory, people should receive a fair compensation, and have the
right to appeal and bargain if they are not satisfied. If they do so, the
works can continue only if the project is deemed to be an "emergency case".

SFOR's Gen. Crouch gave permission for the establishment of the Centre as
long as the civilian implementing partners were satisfied with respect of
hu,man rights, freedom of movement, property return, etc...

A commitee to assess the civilian impact was created (OHR, OSCE, I do not
know if UNHCR was there, too). However nobody seems to have taken their
opinion into much account. No local authorities, refugee associations,
etc... were ever involved in the project.

The area where the centre is planned used to be 90% Serb populated. Glamoc
refugees are now largely in the Banja Luka area, occupying Croat and
Bosnjak houses. There is widespread concern, among civilian IOs, NGOs,
etc..., that the installation will stop refugee return and therefore impact
also the return of Bosnjaks and Croats to West RS. It is not just a matter
of 271 families. It is unclear why the Federation Army has chosen Glamoc to
establish the site.

Very little has appeared on the press, due to several reasons.
International organizations are unhappy, but not willing to speak out
against a US-supported project. Local Glamoc politicians and Serb
representative have little capacity of making headlines. Part of the
community may not want to go back anyway and would look favourably at
getting cash for their houses.

It is a goodf story about conflicting interests between people and State,
and about the dangers in the process of refugee return.
If you want to enquire try OHR, OSCE, US embassy, Fed Army, RS govt

Good luck

Tomas Miglierina

Institute For Journalism in Transition
Bosnia and Herzegovina project

Sarajevo, Kulina Bana 4 Banja Luka, Vase Pelagica 23
Tel/fax (+ 387 71) 667735 Tel/fax (+ 381 78) 42 182