Saturday, April 08, 2006

Report: Top Serb official accuses Slovenian troops of war crimes during independence war

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - A top Serbian official was quoted Saturday as accusing Slovenia's troops of committing war crimes against Yugoslav soldiers during the war for independence from former Yugoslavia.

Rasim Ljajic, the official in charge of relations with the Netherlands-based U.N. war crimes court, said Belgrade will ask Slovenia to investigate a June 28, 1991, shooting incident at the Holmec border crossing with Austria, when several Yugoslav soldiers allegedly were shot and killed by Slovenian troops.

The case was revived here after an independent television station earlier this week aired footage of the shooting, made by Austria's ORF television, and Serbia's war crimes prosecutor's office suggested it may open an inquiry into the case.

"What we see on that film is undoubtedly a war crime," Ljajic was quoted as saying by the Blic daily. "What we can do is ask Slovenia to process the case and notify the international institutions."

Ljajic was not immediately available for comment. There was also no immediate comment from Slovenia.

The ORF footage broadcast on B92 television shows several young Yugoslav soldiers at a border crossing with Austria, carrying a white cloth and raising their hands in the air, apparently to surrender to the newly formed Slovenian security troops, before gunfire is heard and the troops are seen falling down.

The footage from the Holmec border crossing does not show clearly who fired the shots, nor whether the soldiers actually died. The cameraman, Ivan Klaric, told the Saturday edition of the Blic daily in a phone interview from Brazil that "the shots were heard and the soldiers fell down."

"Then, there was silence and I saw nothing else," Klaric told Blic.

Slovenian authorities have twice investigated the case in the past, and concluded that the soldiers were not killed in the incident that was filmed by ORF, but that they dropped down to avoid gunfire. The three soldiers who were killed at Holmec were killed separately, in combat, the authorities have said.

Slovenia, the westernmost former Yugoslav republic, was the first to break away from the six-member federation. The clashes with the Yugoslav army lasted for several days before the military pulled out. The war in Slovenia was followed by much bloodier conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia.

Ljubodrag Stojadinovic, a columnist in Belgrade's Politika daily who served as the army spokesman during the war in Slovenia, wrote Saturday that "the killers of the boys at Holmec (border crossing) were the pioneers of the Balkan evil."

"They are no excuse for the horrors that followed," Stojadinovic added, referring to the atrocities committed later in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, and blamed mostly on Serbs. "However, Slovenia's silence will only revive old wounds and serve as an excuse to those who haven't stopped hating."

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. Three Serbs got killed in 1991 and we have news today?

Anonymous said...

The numbers or the nationality of the victims are not important, it is the act itself, breaking the rules of warfare and the responsibles should be brought on trial. Justice is blind when it comes to a nationality, even thought the Serbs have played a bad role in the last decade.

Anonymous said...

btw, two of the dead soldiers were actually Croats.

Anonymous said...

i guess the first poster has a very narrow definition of a war crime..ie. he thinks it isn't a war crime unless William Walker arrives on the scene and proclaims it to be one.

Anonymous said...

The shooting, caught on film, is a much clearer violation of the laws of war than, say the farcical drama at Racak (also caught on film which shows it ISN'T a war crime).

Anonymous said...

I suppose that the first poster has a perceived definition of a war crime that war crimes can be committed by memebrs of just one soecific ethnic group to members of other specific ethnic groups.
That's very narrowminded and sad.

Anonymous said...

Far from me thinking that war crimes should not be punished. I just thought that it's bullocks to make a headline out of crime that nobody is sure if it even happenned, no one knows who shot, and clearly doesn't represent any chain of command issues. I just think that it's better to convince Mladic to kindly go to Hague. Del Ponte will pay the ticket.

Dardania 2006 said...

War crime? So wait, Slovenia, a republic in Yugoslavia, was at war with Yugoslavia?

Why should Serbia bring forth accusatons in behalf of Yugoslavia when Yugoslavia was also Slovenia...

on top of that these soldiers were not all Serb citizens, of Serb nationality, thus Serbia and Montenegro cannot have a say in this.

If that is so, Serbia should also accuse Serbia of war crimes.

Anonymous said...

Two of the soldiers were from Serbia and one was a Bosnian Croat. The shooting was filmed by Austrians and they saw the Slovene police do this as the soldiers were walking with their arms in the air and carrying a white flag (surrendering). So it is very clear that Slovenes were responsible - Austria is not a pro-Serb country.

"According to military archives, two of the three surrendering soldiers were Serbs, from the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina. They were Goran Maletic, 18, and Zoran Jesic 19, while the third was Antonio Simunovic, 19, a Croat from Bosnia-Herzegovina."

The fact that it's been quiet for 15 years is because crimes against Serbs aren't hyped by the mainstream propaganda sources nor are mentioned by NATO governments. There's been many more such crimes against Serbs which are kept quiet the same way.

Anonymous said...

"War crime? So wait, Slovenia, a republic in Yugoslavia, was at war with Yugoslavia?"

Just to refresh your historic memory, Slovenia in 1991 already separated from Yugoslavia, which the Yugoslav authorities concidered as an violation of Constitution '74, and have sent the army to restore the previous status quo, which for me it was a stupid action.

"If that is so, Serbia should also accuse Serbia of war crimes."

Serbia does have an tribunal established for war crimes in which individual Serbs are being trialed for war crimes against others. Don't forget that in a Serbian court the infamous Scorpions are being trialed.

Anonymous said...

Just to remind to everybody that the articles 5-8 of the International Penal Court define what a crime aginst peace is or a genocide or whatever... The fact that soldiers have been killed in a mood of hostility is not a war crime.

Racak were only civilians and no UCK fighters so this is absolutely a war crime and a crime against humanity (it tended to the anhiliation of a social group).
Serbs should start listening to their international lawyers and not to the propaganda in which they've built their nest.

heku

Anonymous said...

"The fact that soldiers have been killed in a mood of hostility is not a war crime."

These soldiers were surrendering themselves and had a white flag at the time they were shot at, which qualifies it to a violations of warfare rules => war crime

Anonymous said...

"The fact that soldiers have been killed in a mood of hostility is not a war crime."

These soldiers were surrendering themselves and had a white flag at the time they were shot at, which qualifies it to a violations of warfare rules => war crime

Anonymous said...

"Serbs should start listening to their international lawyers and not to the propaganda in which they've built their nest."

What is wrong with this you M-A-N.

My Serb brothers should keep listing to the strong and pround Serb leaders such as the Sesel and other radical nationalists because they will bring Serbis back to its glory days. And hopefully it will bring us, Albanians, all the way to Nis you dumb fools.

Good luck with prosecuting the "butchers of Slovenia"

Anonymous said...

"Good luck with prosecuting the "butchers of Slovenia"

Hey man, a war crime is war crime, whatever the nationality is. I don't care what the Serbs have done to you, but nothing allows you or anybody to do the same thing to them.

" And hopefully it will bring us, Albanians, all the way to Nis you dumb fools."

Since I have a PhD in political sciences from Brno (Czech Republic), such tendencies, if you carry on like that, will only bring you to the position were in the centre of Tirana you will have to pass the border between Greece and Serbia. Get real and try to work on the things in the territory you already obtained instead of planning further expansions. Ask yourselves a question, is Nis ethnically Albanian?

-Jirzhi

cvijus said...

" And hopefully it will bring us, Albanians, all the way to Nis you dumb fools."

Hey it stinks here on greater Albania.

Anonymous said...

Since I have a PhD in political sciences from Brno (Czech Republic), such tendencies, if you carry on like that, will only bring you to the position were in the centre of Tirana you will have to pass the border between Greece and Serbia. Get real and try to work on the things in the territory you already obtained instead of planning further expansions. Ask yourselves a question, is Nis ethnically Albanian?

-Jirzhi


Would you allow all sudetten germans to return or has your country arrested anyone for killing thousands of germans after WWII?

Anonymous said...

Jirzhi-where di you get your phd? Did it come with a box of cereals?



Last Updated: Saturday, 7 February, 2004, 02:15 GMT
E-mail this to a friend Printable version
The Sudeten Germans' forgotten fate
By Jolyon Jenkins
BBC Radio 4, producer of Europe's Forgotten War Crime

As Czechoslovakia was liberated from the Nazis at the end of World War II, the population of the country took its revenge - not on the Nazis themselves, but on three million of their fellow citizens.

For centuries, three million ethnic Germans had lived in the Czech lands which became part of Czechoslovakia after World War I.

German troops
The Nazis' defeat left Sudeten Germans open to revenge attacks
Clustered around the borders with Germany and Austria in the Sudetenland, they got along reasonably well with their Czech neighbours.

But as the Nazis were driven out of Czechoslovakia, it was open season on Germans - any Germans.

Among those caught up in the violence that followed was a 15-year-old ethnic German Czech girl, Ingeborg Neumeyer.

In the middle of the night, she and her family were evicted from their apartment in the city of Brno and sent on a death march.

"We had no water, no food, and we were constantly forced on with whips and rifle butts. We were told to walk faster, faster. If somebody collapsed, they were shot or beaten with rifle butts. In the ditches by the roadside we could see many dead bodies.


The fact is that people hated the Germans, genuinely hated them so much that there was a spontaneous reaction, and the feeling was that if they liked the Third Reich so much, they could go there
Zdena Nemcova
Eyewitness
"We marched on, kilometre after kilometre. I had another problem-I was wearing three dresses because my mother had told me to wear them so I would have something spare to wear later, and we were not allowed to leave the road, we had to march on, even if you needed the toilet you had to do it as you walked.

"I couldn't march any more and I went to the side of the road and tried to take off two of my dresses, but one of the Czech partisans saw me and beat me. I had blood coming out of my mouth and ears and nose. He took the dresses and threw them away, and threw away my shoes too."

Across Czechoslovakia, thousands of ethnic Germans were murdered, raped and tortured, in the so-called "wild expulsions".

According to Czech military historian Frantisek Hanzlik, the wild expulsions were in fact carried out on the basis of a government programme, and there was an official cover-up afterwards.

As order returned to Czechoslovakia, the new president, Eduard Benes, put into operation a plan, hatched with the Allies during the war, to expel all 3 million Germans from the country without compensation.

Agreed at Potsdam, this act of ethnic cleansing was openly sanctioned by Churchill, Stalin and Truman.

Stuck in the middle

But did the Sudeten Germans bring it on themselves?


I couldn't march any more and I went to the side of the road and tried to take off two of my dresses, but one of the Czech partisans saw me and beat me
Ingeborg Neumeyer
Sudeten German

During the Czechoslovak communist era, they were rarely mentioned, or else depicted as Hitler's collaborators.

They had not made themselves popular with the Czechs: in 1935, over a million of them voted for a nationalist German party which demanded unification of the Sudetenland with Germany.

Zdena Nemcova was one of those who witnessed growing German militancy in the 1930s.

She has no sympathy for the plight of the Germans after the war.

"We hated them. People who had survived the concentration camps were returning and they were describing what happened to them there. The fact is that people hated the Germans, genuinely hated them so much that there was a spontaneous reaction, and the feeling was that if they liked the Third Reich so much, they could go there."

It is arguable that the Sudeten Germans had some reason not to want to belong to a Czechoslovakia that, before the war, did not always treat them as equal citizens.

Be that as it may, the Sudeten Germans found themselves squeezed between the Nazis who were false friends, the Czechoslovaks who wreaked disproportionate vengeance, and the victorious Allies who simply washed their hands.

It may be too late to right the historic wrongs, but it is never too late to remember one of Europe's less honourable episodes.

Mitrovica pika pika said...

Slav justice!

cvijus said...

Jirzhi,

if you intend to discuss here on anything with the albos, be prepared to confront yourself with a high dosis of primitivism and provocations. As you know, the albos are the fighters for global justice and if it were up to them, now in Europe we would have 100k states.

Good Luck

Anonymous said...

Great comeback there Mr "phd". Did they teach you that in Brno phd school. First, see to your atrocities and bs and then attack others. Albanians have never committed the shit you slavs are guilty of.

Anonymous said...

Read about sudeten germans first and then talk about primitivism. Cause no on is more guilty of being a savage then your rapist kind.