f_0022436_18490

f_0022436_18490 - THEWORLDTODAY.ORG JUNE 2011 PAGE 26...

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PAGE 26 Serbo-Croat Relations Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik On August 4, 1995, Croatian troops launched Operation Storm, a military action to gain control of the land occupied by Serb forces. The operation displaced some 200,000 Serbs from Croatia’s Krajina region, but concluded the Croatian war, which started in 1991. Serbian public opinion has long maintained that this event constitutes genocide, and Storm became symbolic in Serbian politics, being held up as an emblem of perceived injustices against Serbs. | INDEPENDENT THINKING ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS THEWORLDTODAY.ORG JUNE 2011 Addressing Injustice
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Interior, to eighteen years incarceration. Ivan Cermak, the Assistant Minister of Defence in the Croatian Government (1991-1993), was acquitted. The judgement finds, inter alia, that Gotovina and Markac “participated in a joint criminal enterprise, the common purpose of which was the permanent removal of the Serb population from the Krajina region of Croatia by force, fear or threat of force”. The judgement also found that Franjo Tudjman, then president of Croatia, was “a key member of the joint criminal enterprise” who intended to “repopulate the Krajina with Croats, and ensured that his ideas in this respect were transformed into policy”. Beyond Tudjman, the judgement also reached the very top of the Croatian ruling elite at the time – it also found that then-Minister of Defence Gojko Susak, Chief of Staff Zvonimir Cervenko and “others in the political and military leadership” were also a part of this “joint criminal enterprise”. This judgement was significant for transitional justice in the Balkans in several ways. First of all, it implicated the Croatian ruling elite, naming specifically its role in expulsions and other crimes committed. The ICTY has had some success in rounding up high ranking politicians and leaders such as former leader of Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic and Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, but for the most part, it tends to prosecute the intermediaries who carried out orders, rather than order givers. Significant also were the reactions of key regional leaders. The official Croatian response, expressed by Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and President Ivo Josipovic, was of shock, but remained calm and diplomatic. Kosor found the “joint criminal enterprise” label “unacceptable” whilst Josipovic added that this judgement does not question the legitimacy of the war. The Serbian response – both official and unofficial – was surprisingly muted, with President Boris Tadic warning Serbian citizens not to celebrate this sentencing. Speaking on the Radio Television Serbia (RTS), Bruno Vekaric, the Deputy Prosecutor for War Crimes in Serbia, added that this sentencing might start a confrontation with the past in Croatia. Finally, and perhaps most significantly for Serbia, the
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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f_0022436_18490 - THEWORLDTODAY.ORG JUNE 2011 PAGE 26...

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