Between Justice and Stability: The Politics of War Crimes Prosecutions in Post-Miloševic Serbia

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Jelena Dzankic. Sonja Stojanovic Gajic. Blendi Kajsiu. Mitja Velikonja. Chiara Milan. Jennifer Clarke. Mila Dragojevic. Cvete Koneska. James Dawson. Michal Mochtak. Mladen Ostojic. Soeren Keil. Aleksandar Pavlovic. Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. They remind us that we all have to speak out and speak out all the time against hatred, intolerance, and bigotry that so often plague our world, although we thought that humankind would do better and know better after the horrible crimes of the Holocaust.

It also inspires one to speak out on the behalf of those who are not able to speak out, on behalf of the innocent victims of the greatest crime, the crime against humanity. It is of utmost importance that such crimes be prevented and when we fail to do so, and this is, unfortunately, why we are gathered here today, and we must see that the perpetrators of such crimes are brought to justice. We know the name of the perpetrator. We have to ask the two questions: For what crimes should Slobodan Milosevic be tried and where should he be tried? His major crimes list as follows.

How Balkan war criminals were hunted down and brought to justice

Slobodan Milosevic is responsible for the implementation of Greater Serbia project. To achieve it, he waged a war which, at its core, relied on ethnic cleansing, genocide, mass rape, wanton destruction as weapons of war. The project based in crime proved to be a fallacy.

The complex history of the Balkans and its multi-ethnic character demonstrated no such project was possible even at the cost of the mass suffering of the peoples in the former Yugoslavia, including Serbs. Slobodan Milosevic appeared on the Soviet scene in a political vacuum after the collapse of the communist system after the death of Josip Broz Tito.

He obviously was eager to become a new Tito. Unfortunately, he overlooked the changed historical circumstances, the new Yugoslav context, and the urgent need for the rearrangement of the Yugoslav Federation through dialogue in order to accommodate the interests of all nations. Instead, he refused the ultimate solution offered by The Hague Conference. His arrogance was based on brute power.

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In his attempt to reshape Yugoslavia to his liking, he won full support at home. The Yugoslav army took his side and waged four wars, which affected millions of people, forced hundreds of thousands to leave their homes forever, displacing as many of them, sending thousands to camps, massacring and mutilating tens of thousands. Ruthlessly, he destroyed the efforts and achievements of generations of people in the region and took the Balkans essentially back. Slobodan Milosevic started a war in Slovenia with the aim to push it out from the former Yugoslavia so as to have free hands in Croatia and Bosnia.

All Muslims were systematically cleansed, some 12, people were killed, hundreds of thousands became refugees overnight and many of them still are. The city of Vukovar was destroyed, the kind of destruction that has not been seen since World War II. Dubrovnik, one of the most beautiful cities in the world cultural heritage was shelled for 3 months. Destroying the cultural heritage, Slobodan Milosevic tried to wipe out the cultural and national identity of its people. The invasion and war against Bosnia- Herzegovina brought even greater horrors. Crimes committed there brought back the horrors of Auschwitz.

Their names in Bosnia are Kereterm, Kozarac, Omarska. The new Serbian entity, Republika Srpska, was created after a total cleansing, ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Croats. It is still forbidden land for Muslims and Croats as only a handful of them have managed to return so far. Muslims were victims of genocide in Srebrenica, Prijedor, Foca, Bijelina, and many other places.

Srebrenica is perhaps the most poignant reminder of these deliberate killings, but also of unprecedented UN moral complicity in the mass murders. It has become a moral issue for the whole world since. Some were held hostage for 4 years without electricity, water, or food. Snipers from the hills killed, this time indiscriminately, some 12, people, including children. He is responsible for the exodus from Krajina after having prevented northern Serbs from negotiating with the Croatian side. He is also responsible for the exodus of Sarajevo because he tried to blackmail the international community by always creating a new reality on the ground.

To that he responded by retaliating against the civilian population, the method in which he was a master of. One of his collaborators testified recently that there was a plan before the intervention to expel Albanians so as to bring their number well below a million. Tens of thousands of Albanians were killed, thousands of houses destroyed, almost a million people expelled. Slobodan Milosevic led Serbia into that intervention with an aim to humiliate the international community once again and, thus he allowed destruction of his own country.

The last 2 years of his regime will be remembered for the repression of his own population, suppression of media, purging of judiciary and university. He initiated and furthered rampant corruption. Serbia is now one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

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Between Justice and Stability : The Politics of War Crimes Prosecutions in Post-Milosevic Serbia

It is an economically devastated country, too. It will take decades to restore Serbia to its normalcy. However, ladies and gentlemen, Slobodan Milosevic is not the only man who is responsible for all these crimes. A Greater Serbia project was supported and actively promoted by leading power structures, including the army, the church, and the intelligentsia. We should not forget the role of the leading writer and politician Dobrica Cosic, whose entire work has been devoted to the myth of Serbs being victims throughout history.

This gave more fodder to the idea that the victim can perpetrate any crime. Who should try Slobodan Milosevic? The arrest of Slobodan Milosevic is an important step, but it is only a step in a long and a painful process of catharsis. Slobodan Milosevic has been indicted by The Hague Tribunal for crimes against humanity. Charges were brought against him by Belgrade regime cannot compare in gravity to the allegation of crimes against humanity and genocide being pursued by the International Tribunal. Full cooperation with the ICTY is obligatory for all states.

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It applies to the Belgrade new government, too, the crimes that he has been charged with go against the fundamental principals of a civilized world. They go against the very essence of humankind. They concern not only Serbia, they concern the international community as a whole. And only the international community can guarantee that Slobodan Milosevic will face justice, a justice that will vindicate innocent victims and offer a way out from the moral and political quagmire in the Balkans. It will also show a way to the Serbian people towards reckoning their recent past without which there can be no stable peace and security in the region.

Ethnicised justice and dealing with the past in ex-Yugoslavia | openDemocracy

No reconciliation is possible without The Hague deliberations and it is essential for these deliberations to be successful, that Slobodan Milosevic is brought to justice in this court. From the international perspective, one must see the question in the context of the weakening of national sovereignty in relation to serious human rights violations and particularly serious humanitarian law violations since the Second World War.

It is more than appropriate that this discussion should take place in the particular museum because the weakening of national sovereignty is a consequence, a direct consequence, of the Holocaust. And the consequence of our national sovereignty began to weaken in the face of such crimes is that it was recognized and is recognized today in international law that any people, anywhere, have the right and the duty to prosecute people who commit crimes against humanity wherever they may be committed and, notwithstanding the absence of a connection between the courts of the country, bringing such a person to trial, and the country where the crimes were committed.

One of the other results of this weakening sovereignty is universal jurisdiction, the idea that in respect to these huge crimes that people can be brought to court in a country that has no connection with the place or the people who were affected by the commission of the crimes themselves. The Geneva Conventions of were the first means of international recognition of this universal jurisdiction, obliging all nations that ratified the Geneva Conventions to bring to trial people who commit grave breaches of those conventions. Email address for updates. My profile My library Metrics Alerts. Sign in.

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