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    Copyright: The following text is for personal information only. Any professional use or publication in written or electronic form is subject to an agreement with AIM, 17 rue Rebeval, F-75019 Paris, France

    SAT, 16 SEP 1995 19:35:29 GMT

    the War in BiH


    Zoran ODIC

    AIM, Ljubljana September 10, 1995

    - Could Slovenia take more active part in the diplomatic settlement of the crisis in B&H? - is one of the questions to which 1,100 Slovenians selected by computer, answered. The subject of the poll were the attitudes of the Slovenian public towards the war being waged in B&H and the poll itself was conducted on August 29 and 30, a day before NATO's airstrikes on the military installations of Karadzic's and Mladic's Serbs. The reply to this question was negative, i.e. almost two thirds of the pollees answered that Slovenia should not involve itself more actively in the diplomatic efforts to reslove the crisis in B&H.

    It is hard to say whether such an answer is a consequence of the fear of the public that the international community could interpret intensified efforts of Slovenian politics as if Slovenia were still an integral part of the crisis area, or a consequence of the disbelief of people that Slovenia was indeed outside and immune to the crisis and the war, explains Slava Partlic, who interpreted the poll results.

    The Slovenian public pessimistically views the end of the war. Over 68% of the pollees do not believe that the war will end within a year. Asked whether the side to be blamed for the war can be determined, the pollees are clear and specific: only 1.5% claim that it is not possible to determine the initiators and instigators of the war. Who is to blame for the war in B&H? is the next question, and the answer is unequivocal. The Serbs and their nationalistic greater-Serbian politics, answered over 60% of the pollees, while 15.9% gave an even more specific reply: Milosevic and the Serbian - Yugoslav top political leadership are to blame. The other replies to this question are also interesting.

    A part of the pollees (11.1%) think that all are equally to be blamed for the war, 6.5% of them think that the culprits are Karadzic and the Bosnian Serbs, 3.4% that these are Tudjman and Croatia, 2.6% that the European and world politics are to be blamed, 2% that it could be ascribed to the historic conflicts among the nations living in these areas and the disintegration of Yugoslavia, while 0.2% claim that the war is a consequence of the secession of Slovenia and Croatia.

    The division of B&H between Serbia and Croatia as a method for establishing peace is unacceptable for the Slovenian public, since only 5.5% of the pollees stated that that would be the right way for the war to end. A vast majority of the pollees think that the preservation of B&H within its present borders, as a federation of equal nations, is the real way to settle the crisis.

    Two-thirds of the pollees think that the moment has not yet come for sanctions against the so-called FRY and Serbia to be lifted, while similar were the answers to the question whether this was the time for Slovenia to normalize its diplomatic relations with Serbia. 31.2% think that the right moment will come only after the end of the war, 24.8% that Serbia first has to recognize all the newly-created states in order to be recognized itself, while 8.1% think that this should be done forthwith, and 16.5% that it should never be done.

    The pollees were asked to draw up their own lists of war criminals. The list is long, but the answers mostly concentrated on three names: Karadzic (49%), Milosevic (38%) and Mladic (23.4%). Croatia's President Tudjman ranked fourth, with only 4.3% of the votes. The Serbian side was in the opinion of 90% of the pollees guilty of war crimes, 4% of them equally attribute the guilt to all the participants, 3.3% think that the perpetrators of war crimes are on the Croatian side, and 0.8% blame the Bosniac side.

    The last question in this poll was whether the Slovenian public was in favour of the re-establishment of Yugoslavia if that could contribute to the return of peace to B&H, which 85.8% of the pollees rejected as out of the question, as was to be expected.