Serb Exodus Produces Bosnian Ghost Town

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VOGOSCA, BOSNIA: The Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation was supposed to have a day of reconciliation with Serbs on Friday as it took over the administration of the Serb-held Vogosca suburb of Sarajevo. Instead, officials took over the administration of a nearly empty town. Most of the 24,000 Bosnian Serbs who inhabited Vogosca had already fled for Serb territory, and the Muslim-Croat police made their way to the city hall down quiet, deserted streets. When they got there, they may have confirmed fears the few remaining Serbs had about the transfer of power. The new bosses raised a Bosnian government flag over an administrative building, and tore a Serbian sign from the police station. Calling the transfer a "farce," Vogosca's Serb mayor said that the new police broke into and vandalized his office, smashing pictures of Serbian heroes and kicking down doors. Vogosca is only the first of Sarajevo's five Serb districts to be transferred to Muslim-Croat hands, but the Serb reaction there is likely to be the same. The exodus points up some potentially serious flaws in the Dayton peace agreement, says Central Europe bureau chief Massimo Calabresi. "The Dayton agreement is made up of two contradictory halves. The military part divides the country and the civilian part tries to reconstruct and reunify it. The problem is that Dayton's civilian measures are not strong enough to unify and maintain Bosnia. It is not clear, however, what measures one could have come up with to effectively unify Bosnia."