- The Washington Times - Monday, February 12, 2007

Extend tribunal

The U.S. ambassador in Bosnia is urging the United Nations to extend a war crimes tribunal until top Serbian fugitives are caught and tried before the panel.

Ambassador Douglas McElhaney told a Bosnian newspaper that the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia should continue to operate beyond the 2010 deadline for its mandate, if Radovan Karadzic, Serbian leader during the Bosnian civil war, and his military leader, Gen. Ratko Mladic, remain at large. Authorities suspect Mr. Karadzic is hiding somewhere in Serbia, while Gen. Mladic is sheltered in Bosnia and in Montenegro.

“The United States is not willing for the tribunal to close its doors until they are arrested,” Mr. McElhaney told the Nezavisne Novine daily newspaper.

He warned that the United States will “continue to put pressure” on countries suspected of assisting the wanted men, adding that he is “convinced that there are people in Bosnia and neighboring countries who know very well where Karadzic and Mladic are hiding.”

The tribunal, based in The Hague in the Netherlands, is searching for four war crimes suspects in addition to Mr. Karadzic and Gen. Mladic.

Race for diplomacy

The Slovenian ambassador is among the younger breed of diplomats who know that sometimes the best way to promote their causes is to get out of Washington and engage average Americans.

For Ambassador Samuel Zbogar, 44, his cause is raising money to remove land mines throughout southern European countries pock-marked by the hidden explosives buried during years of ethnic conflicts.

Next week, he plans to draw attention to mine-removal efforts by running in the first of several marathons this year. Mr. Zbogar is soliciting pledges for his footrace on Sunday in Austin, Texas.

Mr. Zbogar thinks diplomacy, as he said, “has become far more action-oriented” in order to achieve results and assist countries at risk of political and economic danger.

“A country that is poor, that is destabilized, that has children raising children, poses risks to neighboring countries and, perhaps, to the world at large,” he said in an e-mail announcing his participation in the Austin Marathon and other footraces later this year in Knoxville, Tenn., Cleveland and Washington.

“Such situations in underdeveloped countries can foster destabilizing influences, health risks and security risks and demand engagement, including humanitarian [aid].”

The money he raises will help fund Slovenia’s mine-removal operations under the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance and its U.S. partner, the Marshall Legacy Institute.

The International Trust Fund, which Slovenia created in 1998, has channeled more than $215 million to programs in Armenia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Croatia, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Mr. Zbogar said the fund plans to expand into Colombia, Kazakhstan and Lebanon and Southeast Asia next year.

Donors can pledge their support for Mr. Zbogar by sending a check made out to the Marshall Legacy Institute and mailed to the Embassy of Slovenia, 1525 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20036. He is also collecting pledges on his Web site, www.firstgiving.com/ AmbZbogar.

Relief for Asia

The ambassador from Indonesia is hosting a major fundraiserSaturday for the victims of natural disasters throughout Asia.

Ambassador Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat will address guests at the JWMarriott Hotel, along with Rizwan Mowlana, president of Asia Relief, an organization he founded after losing more than 30 relatives in the tsunami that struck the region in December 2004.

The Indonesian Embassy said the fundraiser will help aid victims of all disasters in that region since the tsunami. Last month alone, flash floods left 618,000 homeless in Indonesia.

The $100 tickets can be purchased on the Web site, www. eveningofremembrance.com.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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