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Protests in Serbia Archive
Odraz B92 Daily News Service

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    Odraz B92 vesti (by 10 PM), December 15, 1996

    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/
    All texts are Copyright 1996 Radio B92. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    NEWS BY 10 PM


    US Assistant Secretary of State, John Kornblum held talks in
    Geneva today with Vuk Draskovic, leader of the Serbian Renewal
    Movement (SPO). The two exchanged views on the current situation
    in Serbia. Kornblum described the talks as an important
    opportunity to get new information on what was going on in Serbia,
    reported AFP.  He said Washington supports the efforts by the
    opposition to democratize Serbia.


    The US has already expressed its disagreement with the statements
    made by Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini during his visit to
    Belgrade. The US government said today Dini is coming to
    Washington tomorrow for a conference of ministers of Western
    countries to discuss further economic aid to Lebanon, and that he
    will be the only minister to have one-on-one talks with Warren
    Christopher. The State Department confirmed Dini will be asked to
    explain the statements he made in Belgrade and to clarify Italy's
    position with regard to the post-electoral crisis in Serbia. The
    position of the Clinton administration remains the same, based on
    the four demands by Washington to Belgrade:

        To respect the democratically expressed will of the Serbian
        people by restoring the electoral results of November 17 local

        To start a substantive dialogue with the representatives of
        the opposition in Serbia.

        To refrain, on any account, from the use of force against the
        demonstrators, who are also urged to keep their protest

        To immediately guarantee and create the conditions for the
        freedom of reporting and independence of all the media in the


    Two different opinions emerged at the EU summit in Dublin
    regarding the issue of how to support and encourage the democratic
    movement in Serbia, while avoiding any moves that could result in
    further repression or bloodshed. The Scandinavian countries,
    Germany and the Netherlands think EU must give clearer and
    stronger support to the democratic opposition in Serbia and its
    supporters, step up the pressure on Belgrade authorities, and give
    up its illusions about President Milosevic as the guarantor of
    stability in Bosnia and the region as a whole. France, on the
    other hand, is of the opinion that the West must be cautious in
    the kind of pressure it puts on Milosevic so as to avoid exposing
    the present democratic movement to increased repression and
    possible bloody suppression by the regime. Furthermore, in spite
    of his indisputable responsibility for the eruption of recent
    regional wars, France stresses Milosevic's positive role in Dayton
    and his potential stabilizing impact in the Balkans.


    Over 100,000 demonstrators turned out on Belgrade streets for the
    26th day of protests against the nullification of local electoral
    results. Taking place of the leader of the Serbian Renewal
    Movement (SPO), Vuk Draskovic, absent on a visit to Geneva,
    President of SPO's Executive Board, Milan Komnenic said in his
    address to the demonstrators that Zajedno ``does not want mere
    concessions. We demand, simply, the return of what we have won in
    the local elections.''

    Vesna Pesic, leader of the Civil Alliance of Serbia (GSS), said
    Serbian opposition welcomes the arrival of the international
    commission to examine the regularity of local elections. She
    expressed confidence that the OSCE commission will find
    irrefutable evidence that Zajedno had won in those elections.
    Zoran Djindjic, leader of the Democratic Party (DS), wondered if
    there weren't enough legal experts in the country itself to
    examine the regularity of the elections when ``our dictator is
    inviting a commission to get him out of the trap.''  As a pre-
    condition for any dialogue with the authorities, Djindjic set
    this: ``We won't talk to those who are slandering us. There will
    be no talks as long as the state-owned television remains as it
    is.''  At the end of today's protest meeting, the demonstrators
    were shown video footage of the protests; the material came from
    various TV stations around the world. A special video screen was
    set up for this occasion.


    Tens of thousands of students set out on a protest march through
    Belgrade streets around 7 PM.  Under the slogan ``Bringing Light
    to Belgrade,'' the students carried fire-works, candles and
    torches. Protest '96 announced that further night marches will be
    held on weekends only.


    Over 10,000 citizens and students of Nis came out to see off the
    group of UofN students who left on a march to Belgrade today. The
    assembled also heard the text of a letter by UofN students to
    President Milosevic, asking him to see the delegation of 17
    marchers on Tuesday.


    Coalition Zajedno announced today that protests against the
    nullification of the second round electoral results are currently
    being held in 30 cities in Serbia. Daily gatherings are now taking
    place in Beograd, Nis, Pirot, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Sabac,
    Valjevo, Smederevska Palanka, Jagodina, Pancevo, Lapovo, Paracin,
    Cuprija, Zajecar, Novi Knezevac, Prokuplje, Krusevac, Negotin,
    Knjazevac, Bor and Vrsac.


    The second session of Montenegrin Parliament is to begin tomorrow
    in Podgorica, reports the newsagency Montena Fax. The Prime
    Minister of Montenegro is to announce the composition of his
    Cabinet, where considerable shifts are expected. Electoral
    coalition Narodna Sloga (People's Unity) has proposed that the
    deputies vote on the already tabled resolution in support of the
    struggle for democracy by the opposition and students in Serbia.
    The text of the resolution also supports the opposition demand for
    the restoration of Zajedno's victory in the local elections in
    many cities in Serbia.


    Radio Belgrade's prime time news program commented today on the
    visit of the 4-member delegation from Belgrade to the US
    Congressional human rights committee. The state-run radio
    characterized the four as traitors, whose mission to slander their
    country and encourage the US to ``destroy it. The four of them
    have gone to the US to sell out Serbia,'' said the commentary.
    Veran Matic, Radio B92's editor-in-chief, who is a member of this
    delegation, was said to be best known for using the transmitter of
    the state-owned radio against the state of Serbia.

    Prepared by: Aleksandra Scepanovic
    Edited by: Vaska Andjelkovic (Tumir)

    ODRAZ B92, Belgrade                             Daily News Service
    e-mail: beograd@siicom.com      URL: http://www.siicom.com/odrazb/
            odrazb92@b92.opennet.org     http://www.siicom.com/b92/

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