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March 09, 1994 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-09

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The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, March 9, 1994 -10

Bosnian Muslims in Mostar
venture out from basements


MOSTAR, Bosnia-Herzegovina
-Bahrudin Hrvic cleared a path yes-
terday through his friend's second-
story apartment, righting toppled
chairs and picking broken picture
frames and shelving from a tumble of
drapes, lamps and sofa cushions
thrown to the floor by 10 months of
It was the first day since last July
that the 70-year-old Muslim had
braved daylight above ground in the
ruins of East Mostar, where not a
single building has escaped the punc-
tures of tank shells and mortars, where
not a window retains its glass, where
not a family has been left untouched
by death or injury.
The heavy artillery bombardment
by Croat nationalists stopped only a
few days ago and the whine of an
occasional sniper bullet can still be
heard piercing the silence.
But Hrvic has more reason to trust
this first hint of a lasting cease-fire
than most of the 55,000 Muslims who
have lived like trapped rats in base-
ments of blasted east-bank apartment
buildings while weathering the siege:
His wife has been hidden by Croatian

friends on the west side of this di-
vided city since Hrvic was rousted
from an afternoon nap by armed Croat
extremists and deported across the
Neretva River wearing nothing but
his underwear.
Now that the heavy artillery has
been withdrawn from around Mostar,
Hrvic has been helping those who
gave him shelter and solace put their
homes in order.
He dreams of the day he can cross
the river to rejoin his wife, rebuild his
own home and summon his refugee
children from Western Europe.
"Even after all that has happened,
I'd rather live together with them than
divided," Hrvic says of the Croats and
Serbs with whom he has shared his
While many of the Muslims who
have suffered the brunt of loss and
casualties remain skeptical that their
ties with Catholic Croats can be re-
paired, some, like Hrvic, are encour-
aged by the sudden outbreak of peace
to believe they are nearing the end of
a bloodletting that both sides now say
should never have happened.
Throughout battered Bosnia, there
is a new atmosphere of cautious hope

and a willingness to believe in miracles
as some semblance of a normal life is
resumed amid the ruins.
In the Bosnian capital ofSarajevo,
trams ran yesterday for the first time
since the war began nearly two years
ago. U.N. soldiers from Ukraine rode
shotgun on two trial runs along
Sarajevo's main thoroughfare, known
as "Sniper Alley" because of sharp-
shooters targeting pedestrians from
the Serb-held southern side.
In another development heralding
relief for hungry civilians, Swedish
and Danish U.N. troops took control
of Tuzla airport and began clearing
mines and repairing the runway in
preparation for its reopening later this
month for a humanitarian airlift like
the one that has long fed Sarajevo.
Some violent incidents disturbed
a 4-week-old truce in Sarajevo, where
three government soldiers were
wounded by Serb gunfire overnight
and at least one rocket-propelled gre-
nade detonated in the capital.
. But a cease-fire herehas been re-
spected beyond the wildest expecta-
tions since heavy artillery was pulled
back Sunday and Monday.
The end of shelling brought the
pale residents of East Mostar out of
their cellars and spurred the most op-
timistic to begin the long work of
housing repair.

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U.N. marks
'Day of the
United Nations held its annual meet-
ing to mark the International Day of
the Woman yesterday, measuring the
progress in the status of women and
decrying ongoing violence and dis-
crimination, especially in the Third
World. .
Speakers discussed the traditional
U.N. menu but focused on women's
roles - not just the struggle in Bosnia
but the systematic rape; not just the
poverty of Somalia but reports that 98
percent of the female population have
had their genitals ritually mutilated.
And they discussed lack of progress
inside the world body itself.
U.S. Ambassador Madeleine
Albright told a U.N. meeting that an
increase in female political leaders
worldwide and especially inside the
world group itself was "long over-
"The United Nations should truly
represent and reflect the human fam-
ily, but it does not," she said. "I don't
believe in playing the numbers game
butin half acentury only three women
have headed one of the top 31 U.N.4
agencies. Only 14 percent of upper-
level jobs within the U.N. Secretariat
are held by women and only 31 per-
cent of all professional jobs."
Ireland's president, Mary
Robinson, warned that the term
"women's issues" reinforced "sec-
tional" differences "rather than per-
ceptions and achievements which are
a resource for everyone.
Robinson said, "It is not easy to
convince everyone that equality is
ultimately in their own interest." But
she was upbeat: "I believe it is pos-
sible to take heart from the rate and
extent of change to date."
As the day's keynote speaker,
Robinson symbolized the dichotomy
of women's roles around the world.
But her country lags behind most
of its European Union partners in
traditional "women's issues" with no
clear law on abortion and a ban on
divorce that leaves many women with
no property rights and has caused a
skyrocketing of illegitimate births. In
its 1994 international report on hu-
man rights, the U.S. State Depart-
ment criticized Ireland for domestic
violence problems as well as pay in-
"There has been a remarkable r
change and progress in Ireland in the
last 20, 25 years," she said in an
interview last night. "As proof of that
I was elected in a general competitive
election. Attitudes have changed."

Wine waits to be tasted during the UAC wine tasting mini-course.

Unemployment in Germany
approaching pre-WWII levels

BONN, Germany - German un-
employment rose to apost-war record
of 4.04 million in February, climbing
toward the jobless levels that helped
bring Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler to
power in 1933.
The Federal Labor office an-
nouncement yesterday of a 10.5 per-
cent jobless rate bodes poorly for
Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his cen-
ter-right Christian Democratic Party
in this year of 19 state and federal
The country will vote for a new
Parliament and chancellor in Octo-
Germans have identified unem-
ployment as the top election issue in

recent polls that also show Kohl fight-
ing for political survival. His party,
which rules in a coalition with the
Liberal Democratic Party, is losing
ground to the left-of-center Social
Democratic Party.
Dieter Vogel, an aide to Kohl,
downplayed the figures as "no sur-
prise" after unemployment topped 4
million in January. Finance Minister
Theo Waigel added that the reces-
sion-plagued economy showed signs
of recovery.
"All the basic indicators in Ger-
many are pointing upward. The eco-
nomic situation will generally im-
prove in 1994, despite high unem-
ployment," Waigel said.
Some economists agree, although

the Economics Ministry released data
yesterday showing that western
Germany's economy actually shrank
in the last quarter of 1993. Previ-
ously, the government had said it was
Kurt Volger-Ludwig, head of la-
bor and social politics at the IFO
Institute for Economic Research in
Munich, said joblessness is always
higher in winter and said unemploy-
ment is not likely to worsen in 1994.
But many economists emphasize
that Germany's unemployment prob-
lem is structural and warn that more
companies will send morejobs abroad
if labor costs do not come down and
industry does not become more com-

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Information and forms
available at all residence
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and Housing Information
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mitted by March 21.


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The University of Michigan Housing Division in cooperation with
the Hillel Foundation and Chabad House (Jewish Student Centers)
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