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Archive for Friday, May 7, 1993

FRENCH PROF VOICES WARINESS ON BOSNIAN WAR INTERVENTION

May 7, 1993

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A French professor who speaks regularly at the United Nations in Geneva says military intervention in the former Yugoslavia may not have much of a long-term effect on the region.

"When you come back (from intervening), automatically the war will come back also," said Louis Pilandon, professor of economics at Clermont University in Ferrand, France.

"This is a very difficult situation."

Pilandon made the comments today at the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art at Kansas University, where he and five other French citizens were touring.

The group, which arrived in Kansas on April 15, is part of an annual international exchange effort sponsored by the Northeast Kansas district of the Rotary Club.

The French group consists of men and women from various professions. They are visiting Northeast Kansas cities to learn about U.S. business and culture, said Jim Henry, president of the Lawrence Rotary Club.

PILANDON, who specializes in military budgets and international economic development, speaks regularly at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva.

He said that about four years ago, he met Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

He said at that time, Milosevic made no mention of Bosnia or Serb control over that region. Serb fighters now control most of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

However, Pilandon said Milosevic told him that Serbia should control Kosovo, another region in the former Yugoslavia in southern Serbia whose population is about 95 percent ethnic Albanian.

Pilandon said he believes the war may eventually reach that part of the former Yugoslavia.

"The next operation may be in Kosovo," he said. "In three months, six months, a year I don't know. He (Milosevic) has said to me that Kosovo belongs to Serbia."

Pilandon said that possible military intervention by the West should not involve ground troops.

"If intervention is possible, it should only be by air or by the sea," he said. "Europeans are against any intervention by (the) ground," he said.

PILANDON SAID Western leaders should exercise caution in deciding how to curb the fighting.

He said deep-rooted ethnic and national conflicts in the region could be re-ignited.

For example, he said that if Serbian troops move into Macedonia, the Greeks would respond, which then could draw Turkey into the conflict.

"In this part of Europe, it's necessary to be very prudent because it's very possible that the war could explode," he said. "It's very dangerous."

Other members of the French group visiting Lawrence are Marie Therese Gauthier, a computer service technician; Annie Lloret, an employee for Perrier mineral water; Bruno Lacassagne, programmer and marketing officer for banking in western France; Phillippe Marchand, an insurance broker; and Annette Schenkel, who is interested in the American educational system.

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