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Statement Announcing Airdrops To Provide Humanitarian Aid to Bosnia- Herzegovina

February 25, 1993

The war that has raged in Bosnia-Herzegovina over the past year has taken a staggering toll: Thousands have been killed or imprisoned, thousands more are at risk due to hunger and exposure, and over 2 million people have been forced from their homes. The humanitarian need is particularly great in eastern Bosnia, where areas have been denied basic food and medicines.

In view of the emergency humanitarian need, I am announcing today that in coordination with the United Nations and UNHCR, the United States will conduct humanitarian airdrops over Bosnia. The airdrops are an extension of the airlift currently underway into Sarajevo. Their purpose is to supplement land convoys. This is a temporary measure designed to address the immediate needs of isolated areas that cannot be reached at this time by ground. Regular overland deliveries are the best means to ensure that the long-term needs of the Bosnian population are met, and the United States calls on the parties to guarantee the safe passage of the humanitarian convoys throughout Bosnia.

The priority for air deliveries will be determined without regard to ethnic or religious affiliation. These airdrops are being carried out strictly for humanitarian purposes; no combat aircraft will be used in this operation. The Department of Defense will be working with the UNHCR to determine the timing and locations for the airdrops.

I am grateful for the considerable international support given to this initiative.

William J. Clinton, Statement Announcing Airdrops To Provide Humanitarian Aid to Bosnia- Herzegovina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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