Wednesday, August 24, 2005

US envoy urges Serbs to bring war crimes suspects to justice

PANCEVO, Serbia-Montenegro, Aug 24 (AFP) -

The US senior envoy for war crimes Pierre-Richard Prosper warned here Wednesday that all war crimes suspects must answer charges before international or local justice.

"We believe that those who have committed those acts must be brought to (UN tribunal in) The Hague or be tried before local courts," Prosper said while visiting a refugee center in the Serbian town of Pancevo, some 15 kilometers (nine miles) north of the capital Belgrade.

Prosper, who is on a "regular" two-day visit to the country, according to the US embassy in Belgrade, also said he welcomed the "progress" Serbia has made in cooperating with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), charged with prosecuting war crimes during the Balkan conflicts over the past decade.

At the same time, Prosper said that "the work has not been finished yet," insisting that the two most-wanted suspects still at large, the Bosnian Serb war-time political and military leaders, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, must be brought to trial.

The ICTY has indicted Mladic and Karadzic for war crimes and genocide related to atrocities against non-Serbs in Bosnia, notably the 1995 massacre of up to 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica.

The former Bosnian Serb general is believed to be hiding in Serbia, which Belgrade denies, insisting that it has no information on Mladic's whereabouts.

Talking with some 100 Serb refugees who have fled Bosnia, Croatia or Kosovo, finding shelter at Pancevo, Prosper said that the United States was aware that there were also Serb victims in the 1990s Balkan wars that tore apart the former Yugoslavia.

"We know that there were Serbs who were persecuted, murdered, raped, had their homes destroyed, property taken away, forced to relocate," Prosper said.

He added that some of those responsible for such crimes have been indicted by the ICTY, notably Croatian general Ante Gotovina, charged with the murders of at least 150 ethnic Serbs at the end of the 1991-95 Serbo-Croatian war.

Prosper was due to meet late Wednesday with Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and other Serbian officials responsible for war crimes issues.

On Thursday, Prosper was scheduled to visit Serbia's special court for war crimes where he will meet judges and the country's special war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vuckovic.

The United States has been supporting countries of the former Yugoslav Federation in their bid to put on trial locally some of those suspected of war crimes during the Balkan conflicts.


Neil Craig said...

According to the Nuremberg trial "Planning an aggressive war" is a war crime, as is ethnic cleansing.

Since the vast majority of those ethnically cleansed are Serbs atacked with NATO support in illegal & aggressive wars let us hope that some day western countries will develop legal systems which are less than totally corrupt.

On that day obscene genocidal, child raping, Nazi war criminals like Clinton, Bliar & Kohl will face justice. Until then the whole NATO funded process is somewhat less judicial than the Stalin trials.

Anonymous said...

Geez Neil, you seem to have conveniently forgoten some things here.

It was not NATO, or Clinton or the Santa Claus that started the wars in Yugoslavia. It was the serbian nationalism, under the lead of the war criminal Milosevic, that was responsible for that.
NATO with Clinton, Albright and Clark helped prevent a genocide.

And please don't say that Albanians fled from the NATO bombs (I guess that would be your next step in following the serbian propaganda book). Ever heard of "Operation Horseshoe"? That was an operation executed from JNA and paramilitaries two days after NATO started bombing.
The result? 700.000 - 800.000 Kosovar Albanians deported from all over Kosova to neighboring countries. That was a planed operation that was put in action.

Vukovar, Srebrenica, Sarajevo (bombing, shelling, snipers), Racak, Mackatica factory where serbs burned the bodies of Albanians etc... If that is not "Planning an aggressive war", then I don't know what is.

And you continue calling UCK for Nazis...
Your history needs a little brushing off... or at least you can take off the tinted glasses.


arianit said...

If NATO, Bosnians, Croats, Slovenians, and Albanian waged an aggressive war, then Serbs must have done a defensive war.
What often confuses me is who went where to wage these wars? Did Kosovars and others go to Serbia or was the other way around?

If the Western democracies, inclduing your home country, are so corrupt and Serbs are so noble, why don't you go and live with Serbs. They will embrace you wholeheartedly and send you straight to the front the next time they defend themselves.

P.S. Too bad you can't impose your communist ideals on democracies. As a minority, you can only blabber on blogs, and you have Google to thank for thar.

Anonymous said...

Neil, your info is wrong. The Serbs were most definitely NOT "the vast majority of those ethnically cleansed."

The UNHCR statistics are at this link:

Anonymous said...

Serbs complaining about ethnic cleansing reminds me of the story about a boy who murdered both his parents and then asked the court for mercy because he was an orphan.

Anonymous said...

Serbs complaining about ethnic cleansing reminds me of the story about a boy who murdered both his parents and then asked the court for mercy because he was an orphan.

Anonymous said...

"The UNHCR statistics are at this link:"

can you tell us *where* at this link? I can't find anywhere on it that gives the ethnic breakdown of refugees in former Yugo wars

Anonymous said...

Ah example:

This link shows you that in BiH federation, returnees also included Serbs. But look at the figures for how many Croats and Bosniacs returned to Serb controlled area. None back then.

Then look at the refugees totals, this is excluding IDPs which made up most of the number of Bosniacs. Most Bosniacs were IDPs i.e. never left the State borders of Bosnia. The numbers for those are on the right side of the table.

Total Refugees:
Bosniac - 279,656
Croat - 84,614
Serb - 71,986

Now this is accounting for refugees, i.e. people that survived. On the ohter hand, Bosniac victims count in the numbers around ~200,000. That is 200,000 murderer people.

Bosniac numbers are always higher. This is because Serbs were successfull at ethnic cleansing and were far better armed to fight civilian populations.

Anonymous said...

Sorry a clarification:

"This link shows you that in BiH federation, returnees also included Serbs. But look at the figures for how many Croats and Bosniacs returned to Serb controlled area. None back then."

Meaning in 1996, none returned, this is because Ethnic cleansing policies were in place.

dave said...

where is neil now?
i am ashamed as a fellow scot that neil does not even realize the similarities and parallel's between scotland's historical plight and that of the albanian's. someone should write a book sometime on the similarities between highland clans in both albanian-inhabited lands and scotland.
the most important matter here however is that Pierre-Richard Prosper was merely trying to appease the serbs who feel that their victims have been completely forgotten. of course there were serb victims. you can't attack most of your neighbors and not expect some sort of repercussions. however, most educated and informed people today are indeed aware that the serbs certainly did NOT make up the majority of victims during the wars which their own government instigated and forced upon former allies.

arianit said...

Another point for Neil, among the Bosniak army (which definitely had its criminals becuase there are no wars without criminals) there were also Serb members. But you didn't see the opposite in the "Bosnian Serb" Army. At one point Serbs had some 70% of the territory of Bosnia, far more than their ~30% of the population. Just before Dayton that % was badly reduced and Dayton actually only put into law and saved at 51% of the territory the Serb gains. For Serbs it still was a very good deal because it stopped the Bosniak-Croat advance and secured them land much more than they deserved. If the West is anyhow to blame here, that it must be for giving Serbs land that they had ethnically cleansed and taken with the power of tanks and artillery. Republika Srbska was a reward for ethnic cleansing, for some 200,000 killed and massacred Bosnians, and for the destruction of such multiethnic heavens like Sarajevo.

On a personal note, if there are Angels in the Balkans, then it must be Bosniaks. This coming from an Albanian.

Anonymous said...

Here are your Angels Arianit, A great group (Brothers possibly?)

Be proud of them...

Jihadist in training


Sarajevo, 30 August (AKI) - A Bosnian Muslim newspaper on Tuesday joined a chorus of mostly Serbian news reports on the existence of training camps for Islamic terrorists, accusing the international community of closing its eyes in front of this danger. The weekly Slobodna Bosna (Free Bosnia), whose editor is Senad Avdic, a moderate Muslim, in its latest issue described in detail how and where the alleged terrorist camps operate in Bosnia. The paper criticised the commander of the international forces in Bosnia (Eufor) David Leaky for his recent statement that he had no knowledge of the existence of such camps.

In the article titled “The Commander of Eufor in Bosnia David Leaky is Playing Dumb”, the paper said that there was no point in presenting the facts to the “uninformed general”. “Is he (Leaky) really uninformed, which is hard to believe, or is he conscientiously deceiving the local public, like most Western politicians who serve in Bosnia and advocate the thesis that the best thing for world security is that all terrorists be concentrated in one place, in Bosnia, where they can be kept under control”, the paper asked.

The paper quoted former UN representative in Bosnia, Jacques Klein, as having confirmed to the Security Council that Islamic terrorists were active in Bosnia, but added that it was good they were concentrated in one place, because “the rest of the world would be safe”.

Similar reports in Bosnian media have been carried in the past mostly by Serbian newspapers and Slobodna Bosna is the first Muslim paper to tackle the subject.

The paper said that terrorist training camps had been situated near the Jablanica and Boracko Lakes in Herzegovina, but were later moved to other locations.

“At the beginning of August this year the Active Islamic Youth organized a big camp between Bihac and Bosanska Krupa, in the location of Grmusa”, the paper said.

According to Slobodna Bosna, the training was conducted under military tents on the property of Fuad Vukovic, whose father Mustafa was one of the founders of the ruling Muslim Party for Democratic Action.

The paper pointed out that it was impossible for the international soldiers not to have noticed the big tents, the presence of large groups of people and automobile plates from various European countries where they came from.

Slobodna Bosna said that apart from Active Islamic Youth, the Wahabi Islamic movement has been gathering strength in Bosnia under the instructions of mujahedin from Arabic countries, who have remained in Bosnia following 1992-1995 civil war.

The Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported last week that a Wahabi cell was also operating in eastern Bosnian village of Gornja Maoca and was plotting terrorist attacks in Italy. The Wahabi school of thought is the strictest of Sunni Islam and is advocated by Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.