Cracks in the Treaty

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SARAJEVO: NATO troops confiscated an concealed cache of undeclared weapons and ammunition from Serbian forces in Eastern Bosnia amid admissions that there are many more such hidden stores. According to the terms of the Dayton agreement, each of the former warring parties in Bosnia is supposed to declare all weapons and military materiel so the UN and NATO can implement an equitable arms control agreement. Secretary of State Warren Christopher said the seizure would send a strong message to anyone violating the accord, but sounded a note of reality as well. "We always knew the Dayton agreement was complex and would need constant monitoring and attention," Christopher said, adding he was unsurprised by the discovery, or indications it will be followed by more of the same. In spite of Christopher's blase attitude, the discovery stresses what everyone in Bosnia already knows, but isn't telling: The Dayton accords are violated practically every day while politicians pretend everything is moving along smoothly. "This is just another example of the Dayton Treaty's two levels," says TIME's Marguerite Michaels. "The first is the diplomatic "good news" level and the second is the disastrous level of what is actually happening on the ground." Diplomats can paper over the widening cracks in the accords with glowing press releases for only so long. The September 14th elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina - a major test of the peace treaty - are approaching and with them the danger that the shaky agreement may crumble into a renewed Bosnian war. Chris McKenna