A Convert Among the Dying

In a frozen Muslim enclave, a French general changes his mind and stands bravely with the people of a besieged town

In his six months as commander of the U.N. peace force in Bosnia, French General Philippe Morillon earned a maverick reputation. He struck observers as unpredictable, impulsive, eccentric; one senior U.N. official called him "a loose cannon" in constant need of being "reined in." He held strange formal dinners while Serbian shells fell on Sarajevo: stories of waiters in tails serving guests in white gloves and full dress uniforms scandalized the city. No one thought he was inclined toward heroics until last week, when he surprised his colleagues, and perhaps himself. He risked his life, his honor and the U.N.'s dwindling...

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