Recipe For Disaster

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SARAJEVO: Furious Serbs accused the Bosnian Muslim government of trying to derail the fragile Bosnian peace accord. The Serbs are reacting to the Muslim arrest of 8 Serbs as war crimes suspects or witnesses since January 20. Three of the eight, General Djorje Djukic, and Colonel Aleksa Krsmanovic and their driver, were on their way to meet with NATO officials when they took a wrong turn and ended up in Bosnian hands. None of the Serbs are under war crimes indictments. The Bosnians say they will release the men if the international tribunal in The Hague does not indict them. The Bosnians could also simply ransom their captives in exchange for 300 to 400 prisoners of war, which they claim the Serbs are holding. These agressive moves by the Bosnians could inflame the situation beyond repair. TIME's Mark Thompson reports: "This is a very combustible situation. Taking hostages from the other side is very like the first stage of a new war, and could do real harm to the brittle peace agreement. Still, the Muslims are feeling some serious frustration. They are impatient with the slow pace of NATO and the West in coralling war criminals and investigating mass graves. If the Bosnians start ignoring the provisions of the peace accord, the Serbs will too, and that is a recipe for disaster."