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Note by the webmaster: This is only a portion of document. This document was emailed to me without paragraph brakes -- the formatting was my personal best guess of how the document should look like. --ddc

All the text in [] brackets is ours - and not of the author, Dr. Cavoski. --pm


    THE HAGUE AGAINST JUSTICE REVISITED

    The Case of Dr. Radovan Karadzic


    CENTAR ZA SRPSKE STUDIJE
    BEOGRAD
    JUGOSLAVIJA

    by Dr. Kosta Cavoski
    BELGRADE 1997


It has long been known that a bad beginning is a sure sign that things will continue badly. There is even a valid legal principle that time cannot correct or make worthwhile that which, from the outset, was misconceived. As the famous Serbian jurist, Valtazar Bogisic put it, in the form of a national proverb, "Time never straightened a hunch back."

The saying fits the International Criminal Tribunal at the Hague, to a tee. From the very beginning it was wrongly conceived and badly constituted and in the course of trying the first cases brought before it, has shown absolutely no sign of improvement. Mistaken Identity At Arrest as has already been shown, (1) the Tribunal created it's first great fiasco, in the case of General Djordje Djukic. In the very next case, that of Goran Lajic, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia shamed itself in even greater measure. It was obliged to release from custody, an individual arrested on the basis of mistaken identity. The case in question was that of Goran Lajic, who was arrested in Nuremburg on 18th March 1996 on the basis of a warrant and later confirmed indictment from 1995. At the time of his arrest Lajic told the German authorities that it was a case of mistaken identity and that he was not the Goran Lajic indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal. The German Police, usually so painstakingly conscientious in the case of German citizens, did not believe him. Neither did they find it necessary to determine whether the man in custody and the man accused were, in fact, one in the same. Instead they held him in remand for 56 days without legal justification and only on the 13th May, handed him over to the International Criminal Tribunal. The overzealous prosecutor, Grant Nimen, without making any attempt to check his facts, formally accused the defendant of being a guard at the Keraterm Camp near Prijedor and of murdering four prisoners, Jasmin Izairija, Drago Tokmanovic, Emsud Bahovic and Spijo Mesic, as well as of the mistreatment of several other prisoners. When Goran Lajic appeared before the court on 17th May, 1996 he again told the court that he was the innocent victim of a case of mistaken identity and that he did not even know where the Keraterm camp was. His council, Toma Fila said that, in the area where Goran Lajic lived there were at least ten other people with the same first name and surname.

After such a statement from the accused, the judge presiding, Claude Jorda, asked prosecutor Grant Nimen's representative for an explanation and was told that the man in the dock was the "real Goran Lajic" one time guard at the Keraterm camp. Lajic's lawyer, Toma Fila reminded the court that the indictment did not contain, either his client's date of birth or his father's name and asked that the court should arrange for a so-called line up in which the witnesses would be asked to identify the accused among a randomly selected group. Instead of this reliable method of identification, at the suggestion of Judge Jorda, and at Lajic's acquiescence it was decided that the accused should be photographed and his picture, along with a larger number of pictures of randomly selected people, be shown to the witnesses who claimed to have seen the accused or been the victims of his crimes. Out of ten witnesses nine failed to recognize Lajic at all among the photographs shown and the tenth said that he had seen this Goran Lajic but that he knew nothing about the crimes he was accused of. Thus shamed the prosecutor gave up the case for lack of evidence, without prejudicing the indictment against the real Goran Lajic. The court had no option but to release Lajic on 17th June 1996.

Apart from the happy (for the accused) conclusion of this case there are hosts of doubts that bring into question the reliability and credibility of the Hague Tribunal and its prosecutors. Of course it is not impossible that people should occasionally be arrested and detained at police stations by mistake, because they resemble of or have the same name as the person for whom a warrant was issued. To avoid this the identity of the person detained is checked without delay and he is released if a mistake is found to have been made, that is, if his identity has been mistaken. In the case of Goran Lajic the prosecutors of the Hague Tribunal and the law enforcement agencies waited two months to make the necessary checks, that is to establish identity, which normal practice obliged them to do at the very beginning. Worse even, this unforgivable delay was not the result of incompetence, but rather, of blatant prejudice against Serbs.

As was the case in times of racial prejudice in Europe, when someone's wallet went missing on the bus and suspicion fell immediately on the nearest ragged, black gypsy. Today it seems, every suspicion that Serbs committed terrible war crimes is taken for granted as probable to the degree that, in most cases, it is unnecessary to make even the most cursory of inquiries.

 

Hooded Testimony

While the infamous case of Goran Lajic exposed the incredible carelessness of the Hague Tribunal prosecutors and the absence of reliable measures against the arbitrary imprisonment and three month detention of innocent people, the following case of Dusan Tadic brought glaringly to light the fatal consequences of allowing evidence to be given from behind a mask or hood, a method much used in its time by the Holy Inquisition.

This case started with some unusual expert testimony about the background and context to the crimes of which Dusan Tadic stood accused. At the request of the prosecutor, one Dr. James Gow took it upon himself to show how the crimes - exactly the ones that Dusan Tadic was said to have committed - were part of a wider, systematically executed plan.

From this expert witness, with the reputation of a respected academic, one would have expected a wholly unbiased account, equally critical towards all sides in the unhappy civil, that is, ethnic and religious war in the former Yugoslavia. To the great surprise of the court and even to the prosecutors themselves, the defense showed that Dr. James Gow had written an article called, "Serbian Nationalism; the snake in the bosom of the International Community." In which he said, among other things, "from the ruins of Yugoslavia has slithered a snake that hisses and spits poison at international order. . . If you would tame it you will have to resort to arms." (2) The important Dr. Gow had not, however, found it necessary to write similar pieces on Croatian, Muslim or Albanian nationalism. The next problem that throws doubt upon the validity of the accusations was the fact that some of the witnesses had refused to give evidence at the trial itself, while the prosecution was unable to locate others. It was probably a case of individuals who had put themselves forward as witnesses in order to gain rights of residence in western European countries, then turned their backs on the gullible prosecutors. For lawyers unfamiliar with the methods of the Holy Inquisition the greatest surprise was the giving of evidence from behind a screen, by means of a device that cloaked the appearance and the voice of the witness, thus disguising their identity. In this way anonymous people referred to by code letters such as "P" and "Q" gave evidence. However, when it came to the most serious crimes laid at Dusan Tadic's door these secret, specially protected witnesses did not prove of much use to the prosecution. One of these crimes was the alleged rape of an inmate of Omarska, given the code letter, "F". The woman however, refused to appear before the court, going against her earlier promise, and left the prosecutors no choice but to abandon three points of their indictment. The second crime was even more horrific. It was said that a prisoner had been forced to castrate a fellow inmate with his teeth. Unfortunately witness "G", the prisoner who, in front of the garage at Omarska had been forced to bite off another man's testicles and who had previously agreed to give evidence, withdrew his testimony at the last minute. Then the next key witness, given the code letter "H", told the court that, on the 18th June 1992, outside the garage at Omarska, when the incomprehensible crime was committed, he had not seen Dusan Tadic, because, for fear of being killed, he had kept his head lowered. It quickly became clear, however, how dangerous and detrimental the institution of anonymous, specially protected witnesses is. As their last and most important witness the prosecution called "L" a young Serb who had allegedly been a guard at Trnopolje, at the end of 1992 and who, after a period of desertion, had been conscripted then wounded and captured by Muslim soldiers. According to his testimony Dusan Tadic had been commander of the Trnopolje camp where, on several occasions, older Muslims had been put to death. According to "L" Tadic had not only brought the victims out to be executed, but was present at the executions themselves and had, on occasion, killed prisoners himself. To add to the evil he claimed that Tadic had been present at and had taken part in the rape of Muslim girls in the cellar of the so called White House at the camp.

The testimony had great weight due to the fact that "L" according to his own admission, under the influence of drugs had taken part in the killing and rape, following Tadic's orders, it is true, and under threat that he would be killed himself, if he failed to carry the orders out. So Tadic stood accused by a witness who had raped and murdered with him. (3) This evidence, given by one Serb eyewitness against another, was the most important evidence of the case.

And then, like thunder from a clear sky came the news that Dragan Opacic, the star witness "L", had lied under pressure from the Muslim government in Sarajevo. Opacic admitted to the investigator, Robert Reid, that, under threat of death, the Muslim government had told him to bare false witness, and that, as "training" he had been shown videos of Tadic and Trnopolje.

The prosecutors were obliged by this, not only to withdraw the parts of their case that involved the murder, rape and mistreatment of prisoners at Trnopolje, but also to start an investigation against the Muslim government who had prepared Dragan Opacic and forced him into giving false evidence.

In the meanwhile the prosecutors and the press (4) continued doggedly to speak of the Bosnian Government, thus hiding the ethnic identity of those who had fabricated the false evidence, even though it was quite clear that the government contained neither Serbs nor Croats. When the storm broke and the actions of the Bosnian, that is the Muslim Government in Sarajevo, were cast into grave doubt they responded, via their representative, by saying that Dragan Opacic "had every reason to discredit the Bosnian Government and thus avoid serving the rest of his sentence." (5) It seemed to have slipped their minds that, according to the prosecutors of the tribunal, in March 1995, they had themselves offered Dragan Opacic as a "potential witness" in the case of Dusan Tadic. Instead of going into the real reasons why the Hague Tribunal had sustained this heavy blow, the prosecutor, Louise Arbour announced that the affair showed that the Tribunal was functioning properly and the discovery of the false testimony, far from undermining it, in fact raised its reputation. (6)

She did not ask herself, however, why the Bosnian Government had fabricated evidence in the Tadic case. If the accused had really committed all these appalling crimes, then surely no such lies would be necessary. Conversely, if those who have an interest in seeing Serbs judged before the Tribunal fabricate evidence then the case against Dusan Tadic is weak indeed.

Whatever the outcome of this difficult case there is no doubt whatsoever that the institution of secret testimony from anonymous witnesses has been completely compromised and discredited.

When, with Rule 75 of the Tribunal, the possibility of secret testimony under pseudonym, via a device that altered the appearance and voice of the witness, was allowed, it was justified by the need, in judging cases of particularly brutal war crimes, to provide sufficient security for potential witnesses. However, those who drafted the rules lost sight of the fact that, the greater and more appalling the crime, the greater also is the need for guarantees that the judgment can be relied upon - these are the guarantees provided by due process of law. As a result the Judiciary and the prosecutors of the Hague Tribunal must, without delay confront the unavoidable question; would they, in their own countries - Great Britain, USA, France Italy etc. ever agree to pass judgment or appear in the role of prosecutor or defense lawyer if, for any reason, the possibility of secret testimony from anonymous witnesses, hiding behind pseudonyms was allowed?

 

Accusation In Response To Political Expediency

The most interesting of pending cases is that of Dr. Radovan Karadzic, President of Republika Srpska, from its foundation to the elections of September 1996. Due to his position of command responsibility, Dr. Karadzic is held responsible for the alleged crimes of others. It seems that, from the very beginning, the indictment against Dr. Karadzic was not simply motivated by a noble desire to see justice done and the guilty punished, but also by reasons of short term political expediency. This is perhaps best confirmed by the statement of Antonio Cassese, president of the International Criminal Tribunal. Speaking when the indictment was issued Cassese expressed his opinion that the indictment of Dr. Karadzic would make it impossible for western leaders to countenance peace negotiations with the Bosnian Serbs' leader. "The decision represents a decisive step. Let us see who will sit down at the negotiating table now, with a man accused of genocide." (7) Thus, concluded Cassese, the issuing of this indictment will bring about an important political result, that will have significant diplomatic consequences since, "That gentlemen will not be able to take part in peace negotiations." (8)

Although the judges and other officials of the International Criminal Tribunal angrily reject criticisms that they are "playing politics" and blithely assert that they are not at all interested in the political results of their work, but solely in the pursuit of justice, the president of the Tribunal dared make a statement as if he were not a judge, but a diplomat and a politician.

The first thing that occurred to him, after issuing the indictment against Dr. Karadzic was not that it started a legal process, but that it would bring about an important political result with significant diplomatic consequences. It seems that he was correct on this point: at the peace negotiations in Dayton, Republika Srpska was not represented by Dr. Karadzic, but by the more flexible and "cooperative" Slobodan Milosevic.

 

Karadzic's Responsibility For Sixteen Serious War Crimes

The astonishing statement quoted above, about a case yet to be tried and which, moreover, is due to come before Antonio Cassese himself, at the second level, was made at the time when indictments were issued against Dr. Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, on 24th July 1995. At first the indictment looked very convincing since Dr. Karadzic stood accused on sixteen counts for crimes of the most serious nature.

Genocide, crimes against humanity, violation of the laws or customs of war, unlawful confinement of civilians, the shelling of a civilian gathering, destruction of sacred sites, extensive destruction of property, appropriation and plunder of property, sniping against civilian targets, the use of hostages as human shields, and other grave breaches of the laws or customs of law. The impression was given that, in a position of command responsibility, Dr. Karadzic was guilty for almost all the serious crimes committed by anyone of Serbian nationality during the civil, that is the ethnic and religious war in Bosnia. Simply to list these numerous and horrendous crimes creates a powerful impression and fosters the illusion that Dr. Karadzic's guilt is virtually transparent and easy to prove. In this way he is made to appear guilty for unlawful confinement, murder, rape, sexual assault, torture, beating, robbery and inhumane treatment, practiced against Muslim and Croatian civilians on a nationalistic and religious basis.

These crimes were [allegedly] carried out in the Omarska, Keraterm, Trnopolje, Luka, Manjaea, and Susica camps and the penitentiary at Foca for a specified time of a few months for each camp. After a short description of the deportation of thousands of Muslims and Croats from Vlasenica, Prijedor, Bosanski Samac, Brcko and Foca, at the order of and under the control of Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic, Dr. Karadzic is accused of shelling a civilian gathering, in Srebrenica, Tuzla and eleven streets, that is quarters of Sarajevo, at precise dates from 3rd July 1992 to 24th May 1995, resulting in 361 innocent victims, a large number of dead and wounded. Convincing evidence is also provided in the form of a list of 29 towns, villages and hamlets in the municipalities of Bosanski Samac, Deventa, Bosanski Brod, Odzak, Modrica, Orasje, Gradacac, Vlasenica and Prijedor in which, at exactly specified dates, the houses and other property of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, were systematically destroyed. The same can be said of the list of 16 mosques and 11 Roman Catholic churches and monasteries, again with exact dates, which were destroyed or damaged. The lists of about twenty people killed and fifty wounded by sniper fire from positions around Sarajevo (four of those killed and fifteen of those injured were children) also represented a heavy burden of guilt on the accused. Finally Dr. Karadzic stood accused of taking prisoner 284 members of the peace keeping forces of the United Nations, in order to use them as a human shield to deter further aerial bombardment by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

 

Command Responsibility

The most important part of this first indictment of 24th July 1995 was the pattern by which Dr. Karadzic was to be held personally responsible for war crimes obviously committed by others. To do this the position of Dr. Karadzic in his party and as a state functionary from 1992 to 1995 was first described. He was the founder and president of the Serbian Democratic Party of the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As first President of Republika Srpska he was constitutionally responsible for command of the armed forces in war and peace and had the power to promote or dismiss the officers of the armed forces. According to the law on national defense he had the authority to supervise territorial defense in war and peace and order the use of the police force in case of war, immediate danger of war or other emergency situations, and also to enlist police officers in emergency situations. In this position, among other duties, he took part in international negotiations and personally negotiated cease fire agreements and humanitarian aid.

After this description of the constitutional and legal rights of the President of Republika Srpska and his chief military officer, before each criminal act described, the prosecutor said that Dr. Radovan Karadzic by his own "acts and omissions, and in concert with others" had himself committed the crimes.

The [alleged] crimes themselves had been committed "By the Bosnian Serb military, Bosnian Serb police and their agents, under the direction and control of Radovan Karadzic. . ." and after a thorough description of the crimes committed the prosecutor unequivocally concluded that, "Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic individually and in concert with others planned, instigated, ordered or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of persecutions on political and religious grounds or knew or had reason to know that subordinates were about to do the same or had done so and failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators thereof." And that, as a result they had committed as many as 16 serious war crimes, any one of which deserved the harshest penalty allowed by law. Additional Indictment On 14th November 1995 Richard Goldstone issued a new indictment against Dr. Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic. In this second indictment the prosecutor has partially avoided reference to the principle of command responsibility, in so far as he has attempted to ascribe to Dr. Karadzic, the direct command of Serbian forces in the battle for Srebrenica, and in that way make him appear an accomplice in the planning, encouragement and ordering of terrible war crimes after the fall of the town. He achieves this by mentioning Dr. Karadzic only once when describing the military operations and alleged crimes carried out from 6th to 23rd July 1995 in and around Srebrenica. "Thousands of Muslims were captured by or surrendered to Bosnian Serb Military forces under the command and control of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic."

In this way Richard Goldstone tries to create the impression that Dr. Karadzic, President of Republika Srpska, and a civilian was directly in command of military operations and the following [alleged] summary execution of Muslim prisoners. And when it seems to him that the impression is convincing, in the brief descriptions of the crimes Dr. Karadzic is accused of he repeats the assertion five times, that the Serbian forces were "under the command and control of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic."

This completely unsupported assertion, that Dr. Karadzic was directly in control of the military operations around Srebrenica and the [alleged] war crimes that followed, was quite sufficient grounds for Goldstone to reach the unequivocal conclusion that Dr. Karadzic is individually responsible for, "committing, planning, instigating, ordering or otherwise aiding and abetting in the planning, preparation or execution of any crimes," he was accused of in the indictment. After this individualization of Dr. Karadzic's guilt, the prosecutor adds that he is "also or alternatively, criminally responsible as commander, for the acts of his subordinates."

 

Prevention And Removal Of Command Responsibility

It is hardly necessary to say that this other kind of responsibility for the acts of one's subordinates is only possible and applicable in the case of Dr. Karadzic. Clearly the prosecutor had this in mind when he transferred, from the first to the second indictment, the detailed description of the public and state position which Dr. Karadzic filled and the constitutional and legal powers he thus acquired. According to the Constitution and the law, the Armed Forces of Republika Srpska in war and peace are under the command of the President of the Republic and, in accordance with the law he has the authority to promote and dismiss officers of the Armed Forces (Article 106. of the Constitution). The prosecutor correctly concluded that Dr. Karadzic, as President of the Republic had, "a position of superior authority to Ratko Mladic and every member of the Bosnian Serb army and all units and personnel assigned or attached to the Bosnian Serb army."

Hence it is possible to raise the question of Dr. Karadzic's command criminal responsibility constituted by: "the responsibility of a superior officer for the acts of his subordinate if he knew or had reason to know that his subordinate was about to commit such acts or had done so and the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators thereof." So, in the same way that the issue of command responsibility can always be raised, likewise the raising of the issue can be prevented by taking timely "necessary and reasonable measures" that can relieve that command responsibility. As President of Republika Srpska Dr. Karadzic did just that.

In the indictment the prosecutor says that Dr. Karadzic became President on or about 13th May 1992. On that very same day Dr. Karadzic, as President of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, issued an order (published in the Official Gazette) to the effect that the rules and international conventions of war should be implemented by the Armed Forces of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (see Document no. 1) which makes the commanders of the Armed Forces and every member thereof responsible for adherence to the international conventions of war in armed conflict. In addition, every officer is personally responsible for the initiation of prosecutions invoking the full sanctions of the law against individuals under their command who offend against the international conventions of war. The order also provides for regular training sessions so that the international conventions of war are understood by the members of the Armed Forces. As a part of this order made by Dr. Karadzic, instructions are provided for the treatment of prisoners (Document no. 3) which were soon after published by the Minister of Defense, Colonel Bogdan Subotic. Among other things these rules forbid any kind of repression whatever to be used against prisoners, and provide for the humane treatment of prisoners and their protection from any kind of force, insult or intimidation. Prisoners are also allowed to send a message to their families and to the Red Cross Central Agency for Prisoners of War. Finally the commanders of the Serbian Republic Army are made responsible for organizing appropriate accommodation in the detention centers. The Defense Minister's instructions also confirmed that representatives of the International Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations [probably most of their members being Western spies] should be assisted and given free access to prisoners.

Since there were probably difficulties in the practical implementation of these instructions [because people are not stupid and countless times Western "humanitarians" and their "unbiased" friends - the journalists were either giving information to the enemy or were involved in twisting facts to forward anti-Serb Nazi-like propaganda] Dr. Karadzic, as President of the Presidency, sent further orders to all local and police authorities (Document no. 8 ) in which he warned that all delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross were authorised to travel throughout the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina and visit all prisons, police stations and military camps under Serbian control. [The Western journalist then used this naive openheartedness to film refugee centers and doctor them into no less than "Serb concentration camps."] To insure that the instructions were carried out, every soldier was warned that he would be punished if he failed to do so. It seems that this was not sufficient since, on 19th August 1992 Dr. Karadzic issued a further order to the Military Command Headquarters of the Serbian Republic, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and all the offices of the security forces (Document no. 11) The order repeated the requirement that international humanitarian law should be abided by, and gave instructions to all fighters and police officers to respect prisoners, civilians, medical institutions, the emblem of the Red Cross and representatives of the United Nations. The forced expulsion and maltreatment of the civilian population was also expressly forbidden and it was made clear that all deeds of sale of property or declarations that refugees would not return had no legal validity. Finally every army or police commander was obliged to make a thorough investigation of any suspicion or sign that international humanitarian law had been violated in the zone under their jurisdiction.

Special attention should be paid to the order issued by Dr. Karadzic on 22nd October 1992 to General Ratko Mladic, Mica Stanisic and Momcilo Mandic (Document no. 13) informing them that certain local police, military and civilian authorities were ignoring his authorization for the delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross, to visit prisons and prisoners of war freely. The recipients are also informed that they should warn their commanders to respect all authorizations given to the delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross, baring Dr. Karadzic's signature under threat of, "a thorough investigation into all cases of lack of respect for the above demand."

Finally, on 11th March 1993, as President of Republika Srpska Dr. Karadzic issued a directive to the Military Command Headquarters (Document no. 14), ordering that unhindered passage and protection of parcels, equipment and personnel who give help to the civilian population of the enemy should be provided; forbidding the misuse of foodstuffs, crops and water installations, reservoirs of drinking water and dams or hydro-electric systems for military purposes and demanding that the Geneva Conventions in regard to victims of war and their protocols 1 and 2, as well as the Hague Convention on the laws and customs of warfare on land from the year 1907 and other international regulations for the conduct of war be strictly adhered to. Finally he made clear that all army units should be informed of the directive.

 

The Prohibition Of Paramilitary Units

These five rules and regulations issued consecutively in the first year of the war bare witness to Dr. Karadzic's dedicated perseverance, as President of Republika Srpska, to forestall war crimes that members of the military of police forces might commit, and, in the event that they were committed - which, in the context of a civil or ethnic and religious conflict, is hard to avoid - to hold responsible all military and police commanders under his command. However much these rules and regulations were desirable and effective they were not sufficient because, in the context of civil strife and war it is rare for members of the regular military and police forces under unified command to commit such crimes; they are far more often carried out by members of paramilitary units and particularly by rebels.

Dr. Karadzic had just this fact in mind when, on the 13th June 1992, - the thirtieth day after he became President of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina - he signed the decision on the prohibition against paramilitary units (Document no. 2) which was then published in the Official Gazette. By this decision the paramilitary units then operating, were given the option, either of submitting to the unified command of the military and police force of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which implied strict adherence to the international conventions of war, or to disband. If they continued to operate independently, in defiance of this instruction their members would face the harshest of punishment. On the same day Dr. Karadzic informed ( Document no. 4) the General Secretary of the United Nations, Mr. Boutros Ghali, of the decision to disown all paramilitary groups that are not ready to submit to unified command. Dr. Karadzic was not, however satisfied to let the matter rest with a general prohibition of paramilitary units. On two occasions he personally ordered inquiries into the operations of such groups. He did this first on 3rd July 1992 with the order to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Document no. 5) asking for an investigation to be carried out into the operation of paramilitary units in the municipalities of Gacko and Nevesinje. On 6th August 1992 he informed the media ( Document no. 9) that the general subordination of paramilitary units to unified command cited above had been successfully carried out except in the region of Kljuc where recalcitrant groups and individuals who had continued to burn and rob in defiance of the law, had been arrested by the police.

 

Individual Warnings And Orders For Investigation

The only other thing to be done to halt or punish war crimes was to become personally involved in investigating particularly serious breaches of international humanitarian law.

In his position as President of Republika Srpska Dr. Karadzic did this frequently. For example, on 6th August 1992 (Document no. 10) he instructed the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Justice to compile a report on the treatment of prisoners of war and their living conditions, to be submitted within ten days. On many occasions when there was a danger that a war crime might occur Dr. Karadzic issued orders and warnings. At the very beginning of the war on 14th July 1992 he sent a warning to the mayors of Gorazde, Foca, Han Pijesak, Sokolac, Rogatica, Visegrad, Rudo and Cajnic (Document no. 7) to the effect that Croats and Muslims who surrendered their weapons had to receive the full protection of the Serbian Republic, and made them personally responsible for the execution of the order. On 12th March 1993, after the first attack on mosques and other Muslim religious sites he ordered the Banjaluka Police (Document no. 15) to strengthen protective patrols round all the religious buildings in that town and to take measures against frequent terrorist attacks. In similar fashion he intervened in the case of Croatian soldiers who crossed, under arms, into territory controlled by Serbian forces. He ordered the Republika Srpska Military Command (Document No. 16) to escort the Croatian soldiers, with all their armament, to Vares, and to provide for the safe conduct of civilians who wished it, to go, either to [Croat controlled] Herceg-Bosna or to the Croatian Republic.

In spite of everything, serious crimes were committed. One of these was the murder of five Muslims in the village of Bastasi near Celinac. Immediately after he received the dreadful news on 19th August 1992, Dr. Karadzic ordered (Document no. 12) a most detailed investigation and the punishment of those found responsible, and ordered the police to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the civilian Muslim population in the municipality of Celinac.

 

Sole Possibility Of Individual Criminal Liability

Although the prosecutor tried to associate Dr. Karadzic personally, with the planning, execution and command of military operations around Srebrenica, it proved difficult.

All that remained, then, was Dr. Karadzic's responsibility for the actions of his subordinates according to the principle of command responsibility. However, he had discharged his responsibility as head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces in good time, by issuing standing orders and instructions that the international conventions of war and humanitarian law should be obeyed to the letter and by constantly warning his commanders that they were personally accountable before the law, in the areas under their control. He had also issued orders that thorough and immediate investigations should be carried out into particular instances where war crimes had been committed, and the culprits brought to justice, something that, incidentally, was not in the sphere of his duties as head of state.

All that remained for the prosecutor, in these circumstances, was to show that Dr. Karadzic did one thing in public and another in secret; that he publicly demanded respect for the international conventions of war and humanitarian law, and secretly gave orders for massive war crimes to be carried out. The prosecutor provides absolutely no evidence for the latter.

 

Loss Of Control Over the Military And Its Commanders

Besides Dr. Karadzic's alleged command responsibility, special attention deserves the prosecutor's attempt to make him individually accountable for twenty [alleged] horrible war crimes committed after the fall of Srebrenica.

Whereas earlier Dr. Karadzic did have a degree of control over the military top brass and the field commanders of the Serbian army, at the time of operations around Srebrenica and immediately after, these field commanders rebelled completely against civilian control and, for practical purposes, ceased to obey their nominal commander-in-chief - the President of Republika Srpska. These misunderstandings between the civilian and military commanders (the origins of which we will soon explain) had existed earlier, but had remained hidden until July 1995 when they burst into view. It was this that led Dr. Karadzic, on 2nd August 1995, to call General Ratko Mladic to Pale, to become his special advisor, thus removing the General from his position as Head of Military Command Headquarters.

On 4th August of the same year the necessary order was issued (Document no. 29). General Mladic responded immediately by leading a coup d'etat: He called together all his generals and, from 5-6th August 1995, in letters to the Parliament (Document no. 30) and to the President of Republika Srpska, openly declared that he did not accept Dr. Karadzic's order even though he was head of state and constitutional Commander-in-Chief. The letters were signed by Ratko Mladic and seventeen other generals; Manojlo Milovanovic, Milan Gvero, Djordje Djukic, Zdravko Tolimir, Petar Skrbic, Jovo Maric, Momir Talic, Bosko Kelecevic, Vladimir Arsic, Momir Zec, Radivoje Tomanic, Novica Simic, Radoslav Krstic, Radovan Grubae, Zivomir Ninkovic, Bozo Novak and Grujo Boric.

In this way he called into question the authority of the civilian government and showed that Dr. Karadzic, as Head of State, no longer controlled the Military Command of Republika Srpska. In defiance of the Constitution the letter called on the Parliament to reject dr. Karadzic's order for General Mladic's transfer, as if the highest representative body of the Serbian state had any authority to confirm such commands. Of particular weight in this conflict between the civilian and military command of Republika Srpska was the fact that the authorities in Belgrade (for this read Slobodan Milosevic) was on the side of Ratko Mladic and against Dr. Karadzic. A fact that is confirmed, among other things by the reporting at the time from state controlled television and press in Belgrade. This was a reliable sign of who, at that moment and probably throughout the whole war in Bosnia, to a greater or lesser extent, held the Military High Command of Republika Srpska under control, and who, after the fall of Srebrenica, encouraged General Mladic to publicly defy Dr. Karadzic.

Although this clash between the civilian and military authorities was hushed up it continued to simmer and in the middle of October 1995 again burst into the public domain. The trigger was the Parliament's suggestion that the President of Republika Srpska should fire Generals Milan Gvero, Djordje Djukic, Zdravko Tolimir, Grujo Boric and colonel Milutinovic.

On 17th October the Headquarters of the Military High Command issued a statement (Document no. 31) which unequivocally challenged the authority, not only of the President of the Republic, but also of the Parliament, as the highest constitutional and legislative body, for which, this time, it received the public support of the Belgrade authorities. While on 6th August 1995, they had asserted that the presidential decision to transfer General Mladic to new duties required the confirmation of the Parliament, they now pronounced the decision of the Parliament to be unconstitutional and politically damaging. The generals failed only to explain which organ of Republika Srpska had the authority to control in any way or to dismiss the Military Command, if it was not the head of state or the legislature.

Naturally, questions remain and Prosecutor Goldstone must face them. Who was in political control of the Republika Srpska top brass in the summer of 1995 and later if it was not Radovan Karadzic. It is interesting that Judge Fouad Riad, who confirmed the second indictment of 14th November 1995, hinted at an answer to this question. Although it had nothing to do with the indictment itself which Prosecutor Goldstone had issued after exhaustive investigation and extensive testament, Judge Riad said, "It is worth noting that it appears from the witness statements that not only Bosnian Serb soldiers, but also soldiers from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro) were present during the take-over of Srebrenica. These soldiers where easily distinguishable by their clean-cut appearance, distinctive uniforms and use of Serbian dialects. Elements of the Yugoslav People's Army ("JNA"), including the Novi Sad Corps and "Uzice" Corps, as well as irregulars loyal to "Arkan", were seen by a number of witnesses in and around Srebrenica. Either these additional troops were also under the command of the suspects (Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, K. E.) or they were under the control of a different commander." Judge Riad almost said it all, only neglecting to name that different commander who could be no other than Slobodan Milosevic.

As a rule armies never have two commanders so if the Serbian forces at Srebrenica were not under the control of Dr. Karadzic this means they had to be under the control of that different commander.

Riad's "addition" to Goldstone's indictment exposes fully its political background and the practical political aim with which it was issued. With it, for the same thing, Dr. Karadzic was persecuted and Milosevic was threatened. The former because he had failed to "cooperate", the latter so that he would be even more "cooperative", which meant not simply bending but crawling, particularly at Dayton.

Politically this can, of course, be understood. The only problem is that the drawing of such distinctions and the arbitrary indictment of Dr. Karadzic, that is the temporary amnesty of Slobodan Milosevic, has no connection at all with Justice, which, if nothing else, demands the same approach in the same or similar circumstances.

 

Fatal Faults That Are the Consequences Of Perfection

After the shameful episode of General Djordje Djukic whose status was changed several times from that of defendant to witness and again to defendant, and whose death was greatly hastened thereby, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia proceeded to make unheard of and unforgivable procedural mistakes. In this way an innocent man, Goran Lajic, spent three months in jail because the Tribunal's prosecutors in particular, failed to make the most basic check of identity immediately after his arrest. Next, the trial of Dusko Tadic exposed the dangers and inadequacies of secret witness, which the Tribunal itself had allowed. The case of Dr. Radovan Karadzic reminded us again to what paradox the arbitrary indictments of 24th July and 14th November 1995 could lead, all in the name of short term political expediency.

In his famous GULAG, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, perceptively noted that the [Stalin's] Cheka, that drawn sword of [Soviet] revolution, was, "the only punitive organ in human history that combined in one set of hands, investigation, arrest, interrogation, prosecution, trial and execution of the verdict." This kind of perfection can also be seen in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. (9) It establishes the rules under which it operates then frequently adjusts and changes those rules, according to the cases that are pending; it then studies accusations itself and constructs a case, which is the job of the police. On its own it issues warrants of arrest and interrogates witnesses and those arrested. By itself, it issues indictments (the prosecution being an indistinguishable part of the Tribunal), passes judgment in its own, and it has not been ruled out that it will carry out its own sentences.

In fact the greatest problem with this court as it is presently conceived and instituted, is its all-encompassing perfection. It is to be hoped that these cases in which the International Criminal Tribunal has made shameful and unforgivable mistakes will lead to a more serious consideration of its real function. Uncritical supporters of the Tribunal most often express the opinion that it must satisfy the needs of justice, without which a peace is impossible. Its judgments to date show this to be an important misconception. As Alfred P. Rubin warns, "those who believe that a legal tribunal is useful to assure justice, and that justice is a prerequisite to peace, would do well to ponder the alternatives and whether all those who speak publicly of the need for such one-sided 'justice' really have in mind justice as seen by outsiders.

The Tribunal's role seems much more closely related to a struggle for authority over parts of the former Yugoslavia, or, indeed, control by Great Powers or UN officials or lawyers over international affairs, in disregard of the imperatives and risks of representative democracy. In sum, whatever one thinks of it in other respects, the Dayton Accord's emphasis on Security Council authority and an international tribunal to enforce a misunderstood version of the laws of war should not be supported. The Tribunal in The Hague should be disbanded." (10)

To add something of our own to the above conclusion it can be said that this should be done immediately so that, in the place of a badly constituted politically manipulated and, to some extent prejudiced ad hoc tribunal for a particular area and with predetermined targets, the attempt can be made to found a permanent International Criminal Tribunal that would satisfy Kant's requirement for universality, that is to have equal jurisdiction over all those who commit war crimes, no matter what country they come from.

The first sign that such a court is really functioning properly will be the readiness of the greatest powers to surrender their own citizens to its jurisdiction.


 

NOTES

1 See my pamphlet, "The Hague against Justice. International Criminal Tribunal Fiasco in the Case of Tribunal Prosecutor vs. General Djordje Djukic," Belgrade: Center for Serbian Studies, 1996.

2 Nasa Borba, 11-12 May 1996.

3 Nasa Borba, 10th September 1996.

4 See for example "Witness Says Bosnia Forced Him to Lie", New York Times, October 26th 1996.

5 Nasa Borba, 28th October 1996.

6 Ibid.

7 Nasa Borba, 27th July 1995.

8 Ibid.

9 On this unbelievable similarity between Solzhenitsyn's description of the Cheka and the International Criminal Tribunal at the Hague see Dr. Srdjan Trifkovic, "The Hague 'Tribunal': Bad Justice, Worse Politics, No Morality", Liberty, 25th August 1996. p. 7.

10 Alfred P. Rubin, "Dayton, Bosnia and the Limits of Law", The National Interest, Winter 1996/97, p. 46.



I )  ORDERS, DIRECTIVES AND OTHER ACTS OF DR. RADOVAN KARADZIC

 

DOCUMENT No. 1

OFFICIAL GAZETTE of the Serbian Nation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Number 9, Saturday 13 June 1992, Sarajevo

On the basis of Article 174, paragraph 1 point 14 of the Law on the Armed Forces of The Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of the Serbian Nation in B-H, No. 7/92) the President of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina makes the following

O R D E R

CONCERNING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS OF WAR IN THE ARMED FORCES OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

  1. The Armed Forces of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter the Armed Forces) and the Serbian Ministry of the Interior apply and respect the international conventions of war in armed conflict. International conventions of war as used in paragraph 1 denotes : - international agreements signed or ratified, that is accepted by the ex-Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, - the rules of international customary law governing the conduct of war. - the generally recognized principles of international law governing the conduct of war.
  2. The Commanders and officers of the Armed Forces and any other member of the Armed Forces or other armed organization participating in conflict are responsible for the application of the international conventions of war. It is the duty of officers to initiate prosecution invoking the full sanctions of the law against individuals under their command who offend against the international conventions of war.
  3. The Ministry of Defense of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is empowered to make directives on the treatment of prisoners of war.
  4. So that the international conventions of war are understood the Armed Forces will hold regular training sessions.
  5. This order comes into effect on the publication of the Official Gazette of the Serbian People in B-H and the instructions for the treatment of prisoners of war form a constituent part of it.

Number 01 - 53/92

13 May 1992

The President of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of B-H

Dr. Radovan Karadzic


DOCUMENT No. 2

OFFICIAL GAZETTE Of the Serbian Nation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Number 9, Saturday 13 June 1992, Sarajevo

On the basis of Article 81 paragraph 1 point 7 of the Constitution of the Serbian Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 1 paragraph 2 of the Law of amendments and additions of the Constitutional Law for the Constitution's implementation, the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at its session held on 13 July 1992, issued the following

ORDER ON THE PROHIBITION AGAINST THE FORMATION AND OPERATION OF ARMED GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS IN THE TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC WHICH ARE NOT UNDER THE UNIFIED COMMAND OF THE ARMED FORCES OR THE POLICE FORCE

Article 1.

The formation and operation of all independently organized armed groups and individuals in the territory if the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is prohibited. Existing groups and individuals must, within a period of three days, place themselves under the sole command of the Armed Forces of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina or the Ministry of the Interior of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Article 2. The Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina renounces all responsibility for groups that intend to continue to act independently and will order the strictest of sanctions against their existence and actions in a forthcoming law.

Article 3. Subordination to the sole command of the Armed Forces or the Police Force implies strict adherence to the dictates of international law.

Article 4. This decision comes into effect on the date it was reached and it will be published in the Official Gazette of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Number 01-51/92

13 June 1992

The President of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dr. Radovan Karadzic


DOCUMENT No. 3

The Official Gazette of the Serbian People in Bosnia No. 9,

Saturday 13 June 1992

Following the order of the President of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency

number 01-53/92 of 13th June 1992, the defence minister issues

INSTRUCTIONS FOR TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR

  1. These instructions establish the rights and duties of members of the armed forces of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter: members of the armed forces), as well as members of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs in the treatment of prisoners of war.
  2. Prisoners of war are understood to be the members of enemy armed forces as soon as they surrender and lay down their weapons, that is after they are defeated in battle or out of it.
  3. After taking a prisoner, a member of the armed forces has the right and duty to take all measures to stop the prisoner from escaping, as well as the duty to spare the prisoner's life and to treat him in a humane fashion. It is forbidden to exercise repression over the prisoner for any reason whatsoever. Prisoners must be treated humanely and must be protected from violence, verbal abuse and intimidation. Prisoners retain the full civil and legal capacity and legal competence they had at the moment of capture. It is also the duty of members of the armed forces to provide for the provision of medical care to sick and wounded prisoners of war.
  4. Prisoners of war are to be taken to reception centers which are to be designated by a commanding officer with the rank of company commander or equal or higher rank, before the beginning of combat operations. At the reception center the prisoner's identity is to be established, and afterwards he is to be taken under escort in an organized manner to a prisoner of war camp. After being brought to the camp, the prisoner of war must fill in the form of imprisonment regulated by the norms of international law on the conduct of warfare. A specimen of the imprisonment form is given here as a constituent part of these instructions.
  5. Camps for prisoners of war are understood to be buildings or barracks in which the prisoners are accommodated. The standard of accommodation in these camps must be of the same standard as that provided for our own units located in the same region. In this context the prisoners' customs and habits should be taken into account. In mixed camps, women prisoners should be provided with separate dormitories and sanitary facilities. In case of approaching combat operations prisoners should be evacuated in good time. Prisoners in camps should be provided with shelters from bombardment and other dangers.
  6. Prisoners are supplied with food according to the official dietary regime but in such a way that their calorific needs are fully satisfied. Wherever there is an opportunity a canteen should be opened in the camp where prisoners may buy the most necessary articles such as soap, tobacco, needles, etc.
  7. Special attention must be given to the sanitary facilities in camps, as well as medical care and treatment. A monthly medical inspection is compulsory.
  8. The camp command is obliged to encourage intellectual, educational, entertainment and sport activities among the prisoners, as well as the practice of religious rituals as long as they do not disturb internal order and discipline.
  9. If possible, imprisoned officers and ranks equal to them should be grouped in special camps, and if not, then in separate rooms. Imprisoned officers are exempted from any work.
  10. Apart from the work on maintenance and cleaning of the camp, prisoners of war can be used for agricultural work, in industry, mining, handicraft, traffic, trade and other activities except the work immediately relevant to war operations.
  11. Immediately after being taken prisoner, each prisoner of war should be able to send notification to his family, to the Central Agency for Information on Prisoners of War and the Commission described in article 19 of these instructions.
  12. A more detailed description of prisoners' rights and duties and their conduct in the camp and the conditions for pronouncing disciplinary punishments will be determined by the camp commander and his regulations must be publicly displayed and accessible to the prisoners of war.
  13. All prisoners in the camp are entered in the register of prisoners in alphabetical order and it should contain surname, first name, rank, date of birth and the serial number imprinted on the dog-tag.
  14. The interrogation of prisoners for information of a military character is permitted, but during these interviews the prisoner must not be subjected to repression or intimidation.
  15. Personal belongings, money and objects of value can be taken away only temporarily and must be returned after release from the camp.
  16. Prisoners have the right to elect a confidante in the camp who will represent them before the camp authorities, the International Commission of the Red Cross and other organizations which provide help to prisoners of war.
  17. The representatives of the International Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations are allowed to visit and help prisoners within the confines of their mandate.
  18. The commanders of the army corps of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina are responsible for the camp organization and accommodation.
  19. The Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners of the Ministry of Justice of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the same time exercises the role of agency for information on prisoners of war.

Number 21-26/92

13 June 1992

The Minister of Defense of the Serbian Republic of B-H,

Colonel, Bogdan Subotic


DOCUMENT No. 4

SERBIAN REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA PRESIDENCY

13 June 1992

To: HIS EXCELLENCY DR. BOUTROS GHALI

Your Excellency,

We want to inform you about our latest official decision to disown all paramilitary groups that are not ready to be under our political control. As you can see we are trying to stop the tragedy of ethnic conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina at different relevant levels. In that respect the enclosed decision is in accordance with our energetic efforts to stop the war in Bosnia as soon as possible. We deeply appreciate the peace-keeping role of the UN forces and we do our best to prove such a commitment.

Respectfully yours

Dr. Radovan Karadzic


DOCUMENT No. 5

On the basis of Article 80, paragraph 1, point 7 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitution and Article 7 of the Law of amendments and additions of the Constitutional Law for the Constitution's implementation, the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at its session held on 3rd July 1992, issued the following

O R D E R

TO CARRY OUT AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ACTION OF PARAMILITARY GROUPS IN THE REGION OF THE MUNICIPALITIES OF GACKO AND NEVESINJE

  1. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is ordered to carry out an investigation into the action of paramilitary groups in the region of the municipalities Gacko and Nevesinje.
  2. After the completed investigation the Ministry will present a detailed report on the established facts in the region of above mentioned municipalities to the Presidency.

Number: 01-223/92

3 July 1992

THE REPUBLIC PRESIDENT

Dr. Radovan Karadzic

 


DOCUMENT No. 6

MESSAGE OF CONGRATULATION FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

- TO THE PARTY MEMBERS AND OFFICIALS -

On Petrovdan, (St. Peter's Day) the President of the Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Radovan Karadzic sent the following message of congratulation to party members and officials:

Although under the present circumstances the Serbian Democratic Party has reduced its activities, I am writing to express my best wishes on the occasion of the party Saint's day, and the anniversary of its formation, with the hope that the war, imposed on us, will end soon and justly. The responsibility of the Serbian Democratic Party in the defense of the people and the territory of the Serbian Republic is huge. Together with military victory we need a legal and moral victory.

The state formed by the Serbs has to be rooted in the rule of law and humanity, since 'To those who are inhuman the kingdom serves only as a ridicule in the face of the world'. Therefore, I implore you, the Serbian Democratic Party members and officials alike to keep wakeful watch over our actions, so that inhuman behavior should not darken the glory of our just struggle. Special attention should be given to proper conduct towards the civilian population of other nationalities in our Republic. As well as the rules Geneva Convention we should treat

the conquered enemy with our own orthodox mercy. May the Apostle St.

Peter help us all on our path to truth, justice and goodness.

Number: 01-262/92 Pale, 11 July 1992

THE PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Dr. Radovan Karadzic


 

DOCUMENT No. 7

The Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

THE PRESIDENCY

Pale, 14 July 1992

To all municipalities in the region of Gorazde To the president of the municipality All villages in which the Croatian and Muslim population surrender their weapons and show no intention of fighting against us must enjoy the full protection of our Serbian state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The municipality presidents must be held accountable for it.

The President of the Presidency

Dr. Radovan Karadzic

The telegram was sent to the municipalities in the following way:

  1. Gorazde, by radio communications
  2. Foea, by radio-relay communications
  3. Han Pijesak, by telephone
  4. Sokolac, by telex
  5. Rogatica, by radio-communications
  6. Visegrad, by radio-communications
  7. Rudo, by radio-relay to Foea, and then by radio-communications
  8. Eajnic, by radio-relay communications.

The last message was delivered at 15:30 hours on 14th July.

Colonel Milorad Kotlica

PS: I suggest you inform the media.


 

DOCUMENT No. 9

The Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Number: 01 - 448/92

Pale, 6 August 1992

 

 THE PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE ARREST OF REBELS

The Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina states that a few weeks ago it issued an order for all groups and individuals to be placed under the sole command of the Armed Forces and the Police.

This idea has been mainly carried out, with an exception of some rebel groups in the region of Podrinje and Kljue. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina carried out the arrest of the groups and individuals who rebelled against the law and indulged in robbery and arson. Therefore, it is not a case of arresting politically organized units under some other names which submitted to the sole command and which courageously fight for the freedom of their Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina and who deserve all praise.

THE PRESIDENCY OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Dr. Radovan Karadzic


 

DOCUMENT No. 10

THE PRESIDENCY OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA Pale,

6 August 1992 Number: 01-533/92

 

 

On the basis of Article 71 and 81, paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Serbian Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 5, paragraph 2 of the Constitutional law for the implementation of the Constitution of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina at its 24th session on 6th August 1992 reached the following

C O N C L U S I O N

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Ministry of Justice of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina have a task to coordinate through their municipal organs of internal affairs, that is the administrations of penitentiaries in the area of the Serbian Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina the gathering of official written information on the attitude and behavior of the Serbian authorities towards prisoners of war and the prison conditions in the area of districts where such cases exist. On the grounds of the information gathered a complete body of information will be formed and handed to this Presidency in 10 days time.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE PRESIDENCY

Dr. Radovan Karadzic


 

DOCUMENT No. 11

THE PRESIDENCY OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC

Number: 01-530/92

Date: 19 August 1992

TO THE MILITARY COMMAND HEADQUARTERS OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC

TO THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS TO ALL THE CENTRES OF SECURITY SERVICES

In accordance with our decision of 13 June 1992 which refers to our respect of international wartime conventions I hereby repeat the

O R D E R

  1. That all subjects observe their duty by complying with international humanitarian law and particularly the 3rd and 4th Geneva conventions;
  2. To give instructions to all combatants and all officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to respect prisoners, civilians, medical institutions, private and public places, the Red Cross emblem and individuals and objects pertaining to the United Nations;
  3. To stop forced movement and other illegal measures against civilian population. Possible deeds of sale or statements that refugees will not return, have no legal validity and are declared invalid;
  4. To take immediate steps for improving conditions in all prisons in the Serbian Republic in accordance with the recommendations given during the visit of the International Red Cross to these places. In compliance with the previous decision all prisoners of war who are not in good health, i. e. who are not likely to return soon to the enemy army, should be unilaterally released;
  5. To inform immediately the International Red Cross of all the prisoners in the Serbian Republic and to deliver the correct lists of people in those prisons to this institution;
  6. All army and police members in the Serbian Republic are obliged to give all the help to the members of the International Red Cross, the United Nation High Commission for Refugees as well as other humanitarian organization. Complete safety must be provided for these individuals and their access to all prisoner of war camps. General attitude: Each organ of the Army and Police is obliged to carry out a thorough investigation on the occasion of any suspicion or sign of the international humanitarian law violation in the zone of its jurisdiction.

 

 

THE PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC

Dr. Radovan Karadzic


 

DOCUMENT No. 12

THE PRESIDENCY OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC

Number: 01-532/92

Date: 19 August 1992

TO THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC

There are indications that five civilians of Muslim nationality have been murdered in the village of Bastasi, near Celinac. I hereby

 

 

O R D E R

the most thorough investigation to be carried out, the culprits to be identified and brought to justice. The Ministry officials from the Security Service Center in Banja Luka and the officials from the Station of Public Safety in Celinac must take all measures for the protection of the civilian Muslim population in the Celinac district, which, to the best of our knowledge, have no military organization nor are they preparing for a military intervention against the Serbian people.

 

 

THE PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC

Dr. Radovan Karadzic


 

DOCUMENT No. 13

REPUBLIKA SRPSKA

THE PRESIDENCY

Number: 01-1215/92

Pale, 22 October 1992

TO LIEUTENANT-COLONEL RATKO MLADIC TO MR. MICA STANISIC  TO MR. MOMCILO MANDIC

Dear Sirs, as you already know I signed an official empowerment to the delegates of the International Red Cross Committee according to which, and in further compliance with the Geneva conventions, they must be allowed free access to prisons and prisoners of war. I send you again a copy of this empowerment. I have been informed that some local police, army and civil authorities completely ignore this document and make impossible the normal work of the International Committee's delegates.

I demand that you warn without any delay all your subordinate officers that the empowerment to the Red Cross International Committee delegates verified by my signature must be respected absolutely. I shall order a thorough investigation into all cases of lack of respect for the above demand.

With respect,

THE PRESIDENT

Dr. Radovan Karadzic


DOCUMENT No. 14

REPUBLIKA SRPSKA THE PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE

Strictly confidential

  1. 87/93

Pale, 11 March 1993

 

TO THE MILITARY COMMAND HEADQUARTERS OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA

On the basis of Article 7 of the Defense Law, Article 174 of the Republika Srpska Law and the Republic President's Decision strictly confidential number: 01-78/93 of the 11th May 1993, and with the aim of maintaining the signed cease of fire on our part, the President of the Republic issues the following

D I R E C T I V E

The Military Command Headquarters of Republika Srpska is obliged in future as well:

  1. To provide unhindered passage and protection of parcels, equipment and personnel who give help to the civilian population of the enemy;
  2. To forbid the misuse of foodstuffs, crops and water installation and reservoirs of drinking water and dams on hydro-systems for military purposes;
  3. To observe the Geneva conventions in regard to victims of war and their protocols 1 and 2, as well as the Hague Convention on laws and customs in warfare on land from the year 1907 and other international regulations for the conduct of war and
  4. To secure that all army units are informed of this directive and that they follow it.

 

THE REPUBLIC PRESIDENT

Dr. Radovan Karadzic


 

DOCUMENT No. 15

THE PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE Number: 01-89/93 Date: 12 May 1993

TO THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA

for the attention of Adzic Ratko

On the basis of Article 80 of the Constitution of Republika Srpska, and in response to the evident need, I hereby

O R D E R

all the religious buildings in the town of Banja Luka and its surroundings to be placed under the protection of the Security Service Center in Banja Luka by means of reinforced patrols and thus protected from frequent terrorist actions. This order is to be carried out immediately and I am to be informed of the measures undertaken.

THE REPUBLIC PRESIDENT

Dr. Radovan Karadzic

To be delivered to:

  1. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republika Srpska
  2. Security Service Center in Banja Luka
  3. Archives


 

DOCUMENT No. 16

Urgent-in cipher Republika Srpska Cabinet of the President of the Republic Sarajevo

To: HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
No. 01-133/93
Date: 9 June 1993

On the basis of the Article 80 of the Constitution of Republika Srpska and Article 5 of the Decision concerning the formation of the Supreme Command of the Army of RS, I, hereby,

O R D E R

  1. The organized transportation of Croatian Defence Council (HVO) soldiers, with all of their armaments, who have found refuge on Serbian territories on Vlasic Mountain, through Serbian territories to Vares.
  2. The facilitation of the departure of Croatian civilians, who have found refuge on Serbian territories, to Herzeg-Bosnia or to Republic of Croatia, according to their wishes.
  3. The immediate commencement of this operation and that I am informed about its progress and outcome.

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

Dr. Radovan Karadzic



 

II ORDERS OF THE MUSLIM LEADERS

 

DOCUMENT No. 17

Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of National Defense Headquarters of the Territorial Defense Sarajevo No: 02/145-1

Sarajevo, 29 April 1992

VERY URGENT

Order concerning implementation of the decision of the Presidency of the Republic of B-H No. 02-11-327/92

On the basis of the Decision of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina No. 01-11-327/92, dated 27 April 1992 concerning the withdrawal of JNA units from the territory of the Republic of B-H, and because of the violation of this Presidency decision and the beginning of the pillaging and looting of the properties of the Republic of B-H by the former JNA, I hereby,

ORDER:

  1. In a co-ordinated action with the Ministry of the Interior, full and mass blockading of all roads on the territory of B-H along which former JNA units are beginning to withdraw material and technical equipment.
  2. The blockade of military installations and the immediate surrounding areas from which attempts are being made to remove material and technical equipment by the securing of different kinds of artificial and natural barriers by units of the Republic's Territorial Defense and the Ministry of the Interior.
  3. The prevention of the unannounced movement of former JNA units from barracks without a Ministry of Interior escort and the prevention of JNA field communications throughout the territory of B-H.
  4. The immediate planning and initiation of military action throughout the entire territory of B-H, co-ordinating the same with the territorial regional defense, district and the Republic of B-H headquarters.

Within the framework of the plans for military action, the inclusion of plans of wide-ranging scope for the protection of the population and the material possessions of the citizens of the Republic of B-H.

Commanding Officer Colonel

Hasan Efendic


 

DOCUMENT No. 18

Ministry of Interior of the R B-H
No. 10-70
29 April 92

VERY URGENT

To all Security Service Centers (CSB) - Chief Inspector To all Police Stations (SJB) - Chief Inspector To Police department (SUP) Sarajevo - Secretary

 

It is essential that all security service centers, police stations and SUP Sarajevo undertake all necessary measures and actions within their authorization to secure the execution of the order issued by the commander of the Territorial Defense Headquarters of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina No. 02/145-1 of 29 April 1992 which we are sending on to you in its original form. Order concerning implementation of the decision of the Presidency of the Republic of B-H, No. 02-11-327/92. On the basis of the Decision of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina No. 01-1-327/92 dated 27 April 1992 concerning the withdrawal of JNA units from the territory of the Republic of B-H, and because of the pillaging and looting of the properties of the Republic of B-H by the former JNA, I hereby,

O R D E R:

  1. In a co-ordinated action with the Ministry of Interior, full and mass blockading of all roads on the territory of B-H along which former JNA units are beginning to withdraw material and technical equipment.
  2. The blockade of military installations and the immediate surrounding areas from which attempts are being made to remove material and technical equipment by the securing of different kinds of artificial and natural barriers by units of the Republic's Territorial Defense and the Ministry of Interior.
  3. The prevention of the unannounced movement of former JNA units from barracks without a Ministry of Interior escort and the prevention of JNA field communications throughout the territory of B-H.
  4. The immediate planning and initiation of military action throughout the entire territory of B-H, co-ordinating the same with the territorial regional defense, district and the Republic of B-H headquarters. Within the framework of the plans for military action, the inclusion of plans of wide-ranging scope for the protection of the population and the material possessions of the citizens of the Republic of B-H.

Minister of Interior Alija Delimustafic


 

DOCUMENT No. 19

SDA - Party of Democratic Action

Instructions concerning the moving out from Trebinje No. 52/93

Date: 20 January1993

TO SDA - TREBINJE:

As the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the security point of view is becoming more and more complex, especially after the acceptance of the Geneva documents by Karadzic and his clique in Pale, it is necessary, for the purpose of realizing the aspiration of all Muslims, the preservation and strengthening of our state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to undertake urgently the following measures in the Trebinje district:

I The rousing by our activities of all Muslims especially the prominent and the propertied, to leave Trebinje as soon as possible and cross into Montenegro.

II The partial selling-off of property, both moveable and non-moveable, but, if possible, leaving it in the care of trustworthy Serbs, known from before as friends to the Muslims and opponents of Karadzic's heretical policies.

III Not to hold back from exerting pressure, even the use of force, against those Muslims who do not follow this order.

IV On arrival in Montenegro, to make contact with the SDA, Merhamet and our people in the Liberal Alliance of Montenegro where they will receive instructions for further action. All of our religious institutions in Montenegro will offer you aid and our brothers in Tuzi, Podgorica, Plav, Rozaj and throughout Montenegro await you. Restitution will be made for all of your property when we achieve our goal and we know how to put the right price on your sacrifice, a sacrifice which all of the Muslims in the world expect from you.

Respectfully Selamu aleykum

Sarajevo, 20 January 1993

Secretary SDA

Hasan Eengic


 

DOCUMENT No. 20

 

INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING BEHAVIOUR OF THE MUSLIM SOLDIERS AND OFFICERS PRISONERS OF WAR

Prisoners of war are also a phenomenon which accompany every war. Islam has also set decisive rules on this issue which are binding on Muslim soldiers. Although in this war the enemy has overstepped every limit with their crimes, Muslims are nevertheless bound by their faith to justice and to maintaining the fixed rules which apply even in conditions of war. In that sense, it is forbidden to kill women, children and priests who have in no way participated in the war and who do not, directly or indirectly, aid the enemy. Then, it is forbidden to demolish and destroy other people's holy places, cultural and historical buildings and to kill domesticated animals and destroy crops and cultivated land. Islam also forbids the torture and abuse of prisoners and the mutilation of enemy wounded and dead. Before the departure of Muslim soldiers to battle, Muhammad used to say: "Fight and do not steal from one another, do not deceive one another. Do not torture and kill children of your enemies". These are general rules, obligatory for our soldiers. However, if an officer considers that the situation and general interest demand that things be done differently, the soldiers are duty-bound to obey the officer. Thus, for example, if an officer or a commander of higher rank judges that, in the interest of defence, the protection of his people and higher aims, it is more correct to burn certain buildings, crops or woods, then it is permitted to do so because it is well known from history that Muhammad permitted the destruction of the houses and the felling of the enemy's palm groves as a reprisal. The option is also placed at the disposal of the military command to decide whether it is more useful and it the interest of the general good to liberate, exchange or liquidate enemy prisoners. The rule signified is based on the actions of Allah's messenger who, in various different circumstances, acted in various different ways. Thus, for example, at Bedar, he ordered the liquidation of Nadr bin Haris and Ukbe bin Muayt and, at Uhud, the liquidation of Ebu Izze el-Jumehi. In this respect, Allah declared: "It is not permitted that the Messenger of the Faith hold the enemy as prisoner until he has gained victory on earth. " (El-Enfal: 67). In some other cases, Alayhisselam took ransom for enemy soldiers - prisoners and in other situations he carried out an exchange.



III

AGREEMENTS AND OTHER ACTS MADE BY THE SERBIAN SIDE AND DR. RADOVAN KARADzIAE PERSONALLY IN ORDER TO PREVENT WAR OR TO END IT

 

DOCUMENT No. 21

HISTORIC AGREEMENT BETWEEN DR. RADOVAN KARADzIAE, PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND ADIL ZULFIKARPASIAE, PRESIDENT OF THE MUSLIM BOSNIAK ORGANIZATION (MBO)

The Suggested Basis Of an Agreement Between the MBO And the SDS

Faced with the development of events which carry with them the danger of confrontation and even armed conflict between our two national groups1 , whose interests, historically, do not conflict, and conscious of the responsibility we bare towards the national groups we represent and towards all citizens of B-H and Yugoslavia, we have decided to make an agreement by means of which we wish to solve the major problems and open perspectives for future cooperation in peace and mutual trust to the benefit of all the citizens of B-H, our national groups and the whole Yugoslav community.

This agreement is intended to eradicate the danger of conflict and open prospects for life together in freedom, equality and cooperation. Conscious of the inherited difficulties as well as those which we have brought about through our own actions, we have resolved to be honest with each other and to take into account the concerns of all peoples and all national groups who have an interest in this question. As a result this will not be an agreement in opposition to any one but will be for all, and as such it will be open to all those who uphold the principle of a joint life in freedom and complete equality.

We believe that the basis for such a life is to be found in mutual recognition of the complete territorial integrity and political independence of our republic and their complete equality with Serbia and Croatia in the future Yugoslavia.

We also believe that Yugoslavia is still necessary and is fully justified as a community of wholly equal states (republics) and national groups and we are committed to the preservation and development of such a community.

We believe that Bosnia and Herzegovina in all parts of its territory should be under the control of a unified Bosno-herzegovinian government without regionalization or cantonization in the form of a socio-political and governmental organization and network.

We declare that it is in our interest that Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina should live with us in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in complete equality and we call on them to endorse this agreement.

We declare our interest in a democratic solution to the status and rights of the Serbian people in Croatia and we support their efforts to attain autonomy, as we also support the autonomy of the Muslim-Bosniak people in Sanjak.

If the Serbian people express and, by legitimate means, realize their wish not to live as part of a Croatian state or if they express the wish to combine the Knin/Krajina region with Bosnia-Herzegovina, then we will raise the question of a similar merger of both Sanjaks with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Any movement what so ever that aims to partition the territory of B-H as presently constituted and with the stated organization of life within it, will be considered a movement of illegal secession. We are aware that if an agreement is to become an historic basis for the lasting peaceful cohabitation of our national groups, it must give answers to many further questions. However we believe that, with this agreement we are opening the process and creating the space necessary to discover the solutions which should be an integral part of this agreement.

The following are some of the questions at issue: the way in which every national group will participate in government and how that government will be formed: The deployment, role and constitution of armed forces: questions of equality within the domestic forces of law and order: questions of the functioning, composition and location of joint bodies (Government, Central Bank, JNA (Yugoslav National Army) Headquarters, the Presidency, Parliament and Office of Foreign Affairs) and many other questions of how the state will function. We also believe that the optimal Yugoslav community is that which includes all six republics and all the national groups that initially constituted that community.

Every abstention from that community must be preceded by agreement and the provision of guarantees protecting the realistic interests of every member.

This document contains some of the elements of the eventual agreement which have been discussed and about which it is possible to reach agreement, whereas other questions on the agenda still remain to be agreed upon by the initiators; the manner, place and form of acceptance and the procedure for implementing the agreement. The general public must be informed of the discussions, the direction in which they are leading, the initiatives and the results achieved. In response to our text the Serbs have, as a counter proposal, drafted a possible text for the agreement.

The Serbian Draft Of the Agreement Faced with the development of events which are in mounting danger of leading to conflict between our two national groups, whose interests, historically, do not conflict, and who have never before been brought to a conflict of this sort, conscious of our responsibilities to the national groups we represent and to all the national groups of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia, we have decided, in the interests of future cooperation and peace, to create and sign the following political agreement.

  1. Conscious of the inherited difficulties, and those that have been brought about by political developments since the elections, we have decided, in the spirit of openness and mutual respect, to exert our best efforts towards the realization of the historic and political interests of our two national groups. As a result this is not an agreement in opposition to anyone but for all, and as such it will be open to all those who uphold the principle of a joint life in freedom and complete equality.
  2. We believe that the basis for such a life is to be found in mutual recognition of the sovereignty of each national group and the insurance of complete territorial integrity and political independence of our republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina and its equal constitutional-legal position with the other republics in the joint state of Yugoslavia.
  3. We think that Yugoslavia has complete historical justification as a joint state of wholly equal republics and national groups and we are committed to the preservation and development of such a community.
  4. We are agreed that Bosnia and Herzegovina should be a legally and politically unified democratically organized federal unit with legal authority in every part of its territory on the condition that the federal constitution and legislature form the basis of the legal system of the country and the guarantee of equality between citizens, national groups and republics.
  5. We declare that it is in our interest that the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina should live with us in complete equality and we call on them to endorse this agreement.
  6. Relations between citizens, national groups and republics in Yugoslavia will be defined in a joint constitution formulated with reference to European standards.
  7. We are aware that this agreement represents only a political and historical basis for our lasting and peaceful life together. However such a political agreement opens the way to finding the most constructive and rational solution for the functioning of federal, that is, joint organs of the monetary system, the single market, unified armed forces and foreign affairs.
  8. We also believe that the best possible Yugoslav community is that which includes all six republics and all the national groups that originally formed that community. Any secession from that community will necessitate the reaching of agreement and the giving of guarantees for the realistic interests of all members on the land of others. Both these texts were no more than a basis for further work. We expected that the USA would become a factor in our situation which would, in that case have strengthened our demands, forcing the Serbs into further concessions. That was the pattern to be expected in the preliminary discussions. As we suggested, both in the text of the agreement and in the course of preliminary discussions, that the HDZ should take part in the discussions and join in the agreement itself, that meant that the demands of the Bosnian side, that is the side which defends the territorial integrity of B-H would be further extended. For this reason we visited Stjepan Kljuic and informed him in detail of the background and reasons for the discussions, and briefed him on their progress. We told him about their possible effects and suggested that the HDZ should become involved, either bilaterally, with every side, individually of multilaterally. At this point he told us he would consult with his friends and inform us of his position. However, in the place of further discussions we were stabbed in the back. It was the intention that the general public should be informed, to a certain extent, about the talks, because this would have, and indeed did have a positive effect on reducing tension between Serbs and Muslims. Adil Zulfikarpasic appeared on the TV and gave some basic information on the course of the discussions. However one of the partners in the discussions, who up to that time had supported the idea and participated in the talks, suddenly changed his position and, while the TV appearance was still in progress, sent a "telex" refuting the very idea of the discussions or of an agreement. With this the whole initiative took on a different course, with different parameter. It was used to cause damage to the MBO, in spite of the fact that this went against the established ground rules for the behavior of participants in the discussions and could have extremely serious consequences, in B-H and for the Muslim-Bosniak people. It put at risk the efforts and the initiative to seek a peaceful solution to the fundamental problem at issue in B-H, that is, the question of the republic's sovereignty and the recognition by the Serbs that B-H is a state like Serbia and also to be safeguarded in its equality in the international media. An unprecedented media campaign was mounted against this initiative, as well as all kinds of other extra-political, extremely immoral, and even criminal acts aimed at point scoring and improving the popularity of the ruling party. All this further undermines the position of our party, our national group as a whole, and B-H. The same narrow-minded politics that have already greatly damaged B-H as a state, our national group, as a fully established national group in Yugoslavia and in B-H and our historical interests.

Sarajevo, 5 August 1992


 

DOCUMENT No. 22

THE LISBON AGREEMENT STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES For New Constitutional Arrangements For Bosnia And Herzegovina

  1. Independence
  1. Bosnia and Herzegovina would be a state, composed of three constituent units, based on national principles and taking into account economic, geographic and other criteria.
  2. Bosnia and Herzegovina would continue to have its existing borders and neither the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina nor the governments of the constituent units will encourage or support claims to any part of its territory by neighbouring states.
  3. Sovereignty resides in the citizens of Muslim, Serb and Croat nations and other nations and nationalities, who realize it through their civic participation in the constituent units and the central organs of the Republic.
  1. General Principles
  1. Bosnia and Herzegovina and its constituent unites would be governed in accordance with the following constitutional principles, as understood and generally practiced among the democratic states of Western Europe and as set out in Draft Convention under discussion in the Conference: a. Respect for human rights at the highest standards as envisaged in the draft Convention, respect for private ownership, the market economy and free enterprise; b. The general and equal rights to vote free elections and secret voting; c. Freedom for political and trade union activities; d. A secular state system with full religious freedom and separation of church and state, separation of powers between the branches of government, the rule of law and a democratic and effective system of control and protection of constitutionality and legality; e. International control and jurisdiction for the protection of human rights and freedom.
  1. The Assembly and Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  1. The Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be composed of a Chamber of Citizens, which would be directly elected, and a Chamber of Constituent Units in which each of the constituent units would have an equal number of representatives.
  2. The Assembly, acting through the Chamber of Citizens and the Chamber of Constituent Units, and the Government, would have competence to legislate, to consider and adjust proposals from the constituent units and to administer in the following fields: Central Bank and monetary policy, foreign relations, defense, general economic policy, economic relations, including, where any of the following affects more than one constituent unit, transport, energy supplies, pipelines and water management, and other items to be decided. Decisions concerning the flag and emblem, higher education, religion, matters concerning defense, macro-economic policy, important or general matters concerning economic policy, decisions concerning relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and states neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina and other items to be decided would be decided in the Chamber of Constituent Units by a majority of four-fifths of the total number of the representatives in it. Note: Matter concerning the future armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be defined in the course of these negotiations. This does not refer to the present army, the question of which will be solved separately.
  3. The composition of the civil service and the judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina would reflect proportionally the national composition of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  4. In order to resolve constitutional questions between the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the constituent units, a special Tribunal would be established, which would for a period of not less than five years include impartial elements drawn from outside Bosnia and Herzegovina and its neighbouring states. This Tribunal will have one member from each unit and the same number and one more drawn from outside. It takes decisions by simple majority.
  1. The Constituent Units
  1. Within Bosnia and Herzegovina, constituent units would be established, which are defined in Part E below.
  2. The Assembly and the government of the constituent units would have powers, subject to any legislation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the limited fields specified above and in accordance with the procedures set out above, to legislate and to administer in matters of concern to the constituent units; namely, the administration of the services and officials of a constituent unit, expropriation of property for public use, land registries, fire prevention, chambers of commerce, supervision of co-operative trading organizations, savings banks and credit institutions, supervision of charitable institutions, social security, sickness insurance, conservation of the historic, artistic and cultural heritage, cultural institutions, such as libraries, institutes and museums, the use of land, environmental controls, housing, markets, roads, emergency services, mining, hunting and fishing, nature reserves, aquaducts, water management, pipelines, transport within the constituent unit, tourism, agriculture and forests, social assistance, education, schools, police, trade and other aspects of economic policy, security and public performances, hygiene, sport and recreation and other items to be decided. Each constituent unit would organize its own institutions. A constituent unit may establish and maintain relations and links with the other Republics and with organizations in them provided that these relations and links are consistent with the independence and integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  3. All the institutions (civil service, judiciary, etc. ) established by a constituent unit would reflect proportionally the national composition of the constituent unit.
  4. Members of the nations who would be in a minority in a particular constituent unit would receive protection similar to that in Article 2 (3) of the draft Convention.
  1. Definition of the Constituent Units
  2. A working group will be established in order to define the territory of the constituent units based on national principles and taking into account economic, geographical and other criteria. A map based on the national absolute or relative majority in each municipality will be the basis of work in the working group, and will be subject only to amendments, justified by the above-mentioned criteria. A copy is annexed to this Statement.

  3. Transitional Steps

1. Subject to the definition of the constituent units for the purpose of the future arrangements in accordance with Part E if this Statement, a constitutional law to modify the Constitution in order to give effect to these principles will be prepared and submitted to the Assembly as soon as possible, and will have to be confirmed by a referendum of the people under international supervision.

 

THIS PAPER IS A SUBJECT FOR FURTHER NEGOTIATIONS

Sarajevo, 18 March 1992

As agreed by the leaders of SDA, SDS and HDZ parties in the fifth round of the talks on future constitutional arrangements for Bosnia and Herzegovina under the auspices of the EC Peace Conference


 

DOCUMENT No. 23

SECRETARY GENERAL OF UNITED NATIONS

Dr. BOUTROS GHALI

Starting from the right of peoples to self-determination and self-government, and bearing in mind readiness of the Serbian people to resolve the inter-ethnic conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a peaceful way and by political means, And with respect of the will of the Serbian people to be the integral part of the International Community, Assembly of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the only legitimate representative and the highest instance of legislative power of the Serbian people in B and H, with purpose to inform and address Security Council, and its permanent members - USA, Russia, France, China and Great Britain, as well as the International Community at large, proclaims the following

D E C L A R A T I O N

About acceptance and support of all humanitarian efforts of the International Community

  1. Serbian authorities in Bosnia are deeply committed to the immediate cease-fire and consensus about the political solution of the crisis.
  2. From the Serbian side there is no obstacle for any humanitarian convoys. Serbian side turns in the airport of Sarajevo under the UNPROFOR control, gave full guarantees for the ground corridors, and opened all prisons for the international inspection. Furthermore, we are ready for the exchange of prisoners, based on the principle "all for all". Therefore, any military intervention for humanitarian purposes does not have justification.
  3. Serbian soldiers cannot imagine the conflict with the soldiers of England, France, USA, or any other ally in the world wars. However, any international military intervention will necessarily become uncontrolled process with the unpredictable outcome.
  4. The arrival of any military force, apart from the impartial forces of the UN, as peace-keepers, could produce the escalation of the war and lead to the unpredictable consequences. The mistake of the premature recognition of B and H cannot be corrected by the new mistake, by the military intervention which will necessary become military arbitration and involvement in an inter-ethnic war for the benefit of the one side.
  5. Serbian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina are ready to take responsibilities for all humanitarian efforts of the International Community in full cooperation with all endeavors which are not undermining survival of the Serbian people.
  6. Serbian side in Bosnia and Herzegovina requests from the Security Council to announce publicly all condition that have to be satisfied in order to avoid military intervention and bloodshed that would follow it.

Banja Luka, 11 August

1992 ASSEMBLY OF THE SERBIAN PEOPLE IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA


 

DOCUMENT No. 24

SERBIAN REPUBLIC ASSEMBLY Bijeljina, 9 September 1992

D E C L A R A T I O N

 

  1. We invite the Presidency of the so-called Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to declare the end of the state of war and order the termination of war operations not later than the beginning of the Geneva Conference scheduled for 18 September 1992. Within this period, the army of the Serbian Republic will act in the same manner.
  2. We invite the Government of the Herzeg-Bosnia and the so-called Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to start negotiations on establishing a durable peace, mutually agreed fixing of boundaries and regulation of all mutual relations. If there is a lack of readiness for definitive political arrangements for mutual relations, the Serbian Republic proposes, before the relations are regulated, to start negotiations whose results would meet the basic needs of all citizens, such as: - joint use of water, electricity, communication lines, radio and TV links, payment system, - care for the sick in health-care and welfare institutions, regulation of the status of prisoners of war and their exchange, - use of necessary documentation of retired people, realization of the rights of employed people, etc.
  3. We invite all citizens who have left their homes due to war operations, feeling of personal insecurity and jeopardised property, to return to the territory of the Serbian Republic after a durable peace is established. All citizens of other nationalities will be recognised all their rights according to the Constitution and law. All those who were members of the enemy forces but have not committed crimes against the Serbian people, shall not be criminally prosecuted.
  4. If this peace-making initiative is not met with understanding or accepted, the Assembly of Serbian Republic demands from the Presidency of the Republic: - to declare a state of war on behalf of the Serbian Republic - to invite as volunteers to the units of the Serbian Republic Army, Serbs from other Serbian lands and abroad, as well as volunteers from other orthodox and friendly countries.


 

DOCUMENT No. 25

Official Gazette of Republika Srpska No. 15 29 September 1992

On the basis of Article 70, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution of Republika Srpska and after considering the possibilities of ending fighting and humanitarian actions which could provide assistance to the civilian population, using as a basis documents of the London Conference and its peace-making humanitarian activities and having in view the provisions of the Geneva Convention which provide for the protection of the rights of the refugees, the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, at its 20th session held on the 14 and 15 September 1992, adopted the following

D E C L A R A T I O N ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PEACE

  1. We call upon the Presidency of the so-called Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to declare the suspension of the state of war and to order the cessation of military actions by the beginning of the Geneva Conference scheduled for 18 September1992 at the latest. During the same period, the Army of Republika Srpska will act in the same manner; i. e. it will stop all military activities.
  2. We call upon the Governments of Herzeg-Bosnia and of the so-called Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to begin negotiations with us about establishing a permanent peace, the drawing-up of agreed borders and the regulating of all mutual relations. If the readiness for a definitive political ordering of mutual relations does not exist, Republika Srpska proposes that, even before this, negotiations be entered into which would secure the necessary interests of all citizens such as the following: - the common use of water, electricity, transportation, radio and TV links, the functioning of currency transfer, - the care of patients in health institutions, the regulation of the status of, and exchange of prisoners, - the use of documentation essential to pensioners and other citizens for the purpose of realizing rights arising from employment and similar things.
  3. We call upon all citizens who have abandoned their places of residence because of military activity, feelings of personal insecurity and threats to their property to return to the territory of Republika Srpska upon the establishment of a permanent peace. All rights of all citizens of other nationalities will be recognized according to the Constitution and law. All those who were members of enemy forces but who did not commit crimes against Serbian people will not be criminally pursued. 4. If this peace initiative would not be met with understanding and acceptance, the National Assembly demands that the Presidency of the Republic: - in the name of Republika Srpska, consider the proclamation of a state of war; - to call for Serbs from other Serbian lands and from abroad to join units of the Army of Republika Srpska as volunteers, as well as volunteers from Christian Orthodox and other friendly countries. No. 02-957/92 15

September 1992 PRESIDENT of the National Assembly
Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik


 

DOCUMENT No. 26

Official Gazette of Republika Srpska Year I, 18 December 1992

Sarajevo Starting from the fact that the former Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina fell apart, emphasizing that, defending itself at the same time against fascism and Islamic fundamentalism, the Serbian people have defended their historic and ethnic territories and have prevented planned genocide over the Serbian people by armed popular resistance. Declaring that the Serbian people, in a war which they did not begin but which was imposed on them, have realized their legitimate and lawful aspiration for their own sovereign state. Using the sovereign right of the Serbian people to self-organization and self-determination in according to Article 1 of the UN Charter concerning the right of a people to self-determination. On basis of article 70 of the Constitution of Republika Srpska, the National Assembly adopted at its session held on 17 December 1992 the following

 

D E C L A R A T I O N ON THE END OF THE WAR

I

  1. The inter-ethnic and inter-religious war in the former Socialist Republic (SR) Bosnia and Herzegovina is declared to be over for Republika Srpska.
  2. The Serbian people have defended their independent and sovereign state - Republika Srpska.
  3. Republika Srpska is ready to establish its borders as defined by its Assembly using political means. The present borders of Republika Srpska are of temporary character until the concluding a peace agreement between the sides in conflict in the former Socialist Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina. The peace agreement cited in the previous paragraph can only be concluded when, in accordance with Resolution 787 of the UN Security Council, units of the Army of the Republic of Croatia withdraw to the territory of the Republic of Croatia, when all territorial and border disputes between the constitutive states which are organized on the territory of the former Socialist Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina have been resolved peacefully and by political means and when the international community should guarantee its implementation.
  4. Republika Srpska is sincerely prepared to begin negotiations about the concluding the peace agreement between the sides in the civil war in the former SR Bosnia and Herzegovina and to continue negotiations about the ordering of the former Bosnia and Herzegovina within the framework of the Peace Conference on the former Yugoslavia.
  5. On the basis of its Constitution and laws, the state organs of Republika Srpska will secure peace and security of life, rights and property of all its citizens without any discrimination.
  6. Republika Srpska is co-operating with institutions of the international community in the realizing of human and minority rights.
  7. In accordance with their authorizations, the state bodies of Republika Srpska call upon all armed persons on territory of Republika Srpska who are not included within the Army of Republika Srpska or the Ministry of Interior of Republika Srpska to hand over any weapons they possess or place themselves under the command of the Army of Republika Srpska. Any continued armed activity on the territory of Republika Srpska is being prevented in accordance with the law.
  8. All persons who participated in armed conflicts but who did not commit war crimes are amnestied. War criminals are being persuaded in accordance with the law.
  9. II

  10. Republika Srpska is continuing to undertake all necessary measures for the exchange of prisoners-of-war and for the release of prisoners-of-war from prison.
  11. Republika Srpska is ready to begin negotiations about the establishment of economic relations with other parts of the former SR Bosnia and Herzegovina and the former Socialist Federal Republic (SRF) of Yugoslavia.
  12. Republika Srpska is co-operating in good faith with the UN, the Security Council, the Peace Conference on the former Yugoslavia, UNPROFOR, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the High Commission for Refugees in carrying out the Security Council Resolutions, in distributing humanitarian aid and in offering every other kind of aid necessary to the population in war-torn areas.

III

This Declaration comes into force eight days after its adoption.

No. 02-1954/92 17 December 1992 President of the National Assembly Mr. Momeilo Krajisnik


 

DOCUMENT No. 27

DECLARATION CONCERNING PEACE SIGNED BETWEEN DR. RADOVAN KARADZIC, PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA AND FIKRET ABDIC, PRESIDENT OF THE AUTONOMOUS PROVINCE OF WESTERN BOSNIA

At the invitation of the President of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, motivated by the desire to reach a lasting peace between Serbs and Moslems in the ex-Yugoslav republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the President of Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, and the President of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia, Fikret Abdic, have met in Belgrade and, with the intercession of the President of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, have agreed to issue the following

D E C L A R A T I O N

  1. Republika Srpska recognizes the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia in the Republic of Bosnia, and its legal government as constituted in accordance with the will of its citizens and as one of the three constituent republics of the Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as envisaged in the Owen-Staltenburg peace plan.
  2. The Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia in the Republic of Bosnia recognizes Republika Srpska and its legal government, as constituted in accordance with the will of its citizens and as one of the three constituent republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina as envisaged in the Owen-Staltenburg peace plan.
  3. The Presidents Radovan Karadzic and Fikret Abdic, in the name of their citizens and governments, make a solemn peace and announce the commencement of a process of construction of neighborly relations and every kind of cooperation in the field of politics, economics, infrastructure, culture, sport and all other fields.
  4. Complete freedom of movement is guaranteed for all citizens of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia in the Republic of Bosnia through the whole territory of Republika Srpska and for all the citizens of Republika Srpska through the whole territory of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia in the Republic of Bosnia, with the required travel or personal documentation issued by the responsible authorities of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia in the Republic of Bosnia or Republika Srpska, respectively.
  5. The borders between Republika Srpska and the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia in the Republic of Bosnia will be opened at the points determined by the representatives of the Governments of Republika Srpska and the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia in the Republic of Bosnia, 48 hours after the ratification of this declaration and all border crossings will be opened and brought into order on the basis of the compliance of the two parties within 7 (seven) days from the ratification of this declaration.
  6. Both parties guarantee all the fundamental freedoms and human rights contained in the relevant international legal charters and political documents, in accordance with the Owen-Staltenburg peace plan.
  7. All individuals officially proved guilty of infringements of international war conventions will be brought before the courts of Republika Srpska and the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia in the Republic of Bosnia respectively.
  8. All citizens who, as a result of civil war, left their homes have the right to return if they so wish.
  9. The Presidents Radovan Karadzic and Fikret Abdic will name a border commission within 7 (seven) days with the mandate to define the border between Republika Srpska and the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia in the Republic of Bosnia, the most important task of which will be to determine the border within the boundaries of the municipality of Krupa on the right bank of the river Una.
  10. The Presidents Radovan Karadzic and Fikret Abdic reiterate that all convoys of international humanitarian aid will be afforded free passage over the territory of Republika Srpska and the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia in the Republic of Bosnia with the aim that such aid should reach all those who need it.
  11. The Presidents Radovan Karadzic and Fikret Abdic express their hope that the leadership of the Republic of Bosnia in Sarajevo will endorse this declaration and express their willingness immediately to enter talks with them about it.
  12. The Presidents Radovan Karadzic and Fikret Abdic express their thanks to the President of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic for his great contribution to the conclusion of a fair and lasting peace between Republika Srpska and the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia in the Republic of Bosnia.

 

In Belgrade, 22 October 1993

THE PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
Dr. Radovan Karadzic

THE PRESIDENT OF AUT. PROV. WESTERN BOSNIA OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA
Fikret Abdic

In witness of the agreement achieved and with the responsibility to act as intermediary in the event that difficulties arise in its implementation

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
Slobodan Milosevic


 

DOCUMENT No. 28

THE GOVERNMENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA

No. 05 - 22/97
Srpsko Sarajevo
17 January 1997

On the occasion of the visit of Mrs. Louise Arbour, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Government of Republika Srpska, at its ninth session held on 17 January 1997, adopted the following:

R E S O L U T I O N

  1. The Government of Republika Srpska expressed its deep dissatisfaction with the attitude of the International Criminal Tribunal towards Republika Srpska. With the expectation that the existing situation will improve, the Government stresses that during the visit by a Government delegation to the Tribunal in August last year, it was jointly declared that it was necessary to further the progress of their mutual relations while respecting general principles of justice and equal treatment for all sides in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Government is of the opinion that, hitherto, the Tribunal has not responded in the necessary manner with regard both to the evidence against the other parties submitted to it and to other significant legal issues raised by the official authorities of Republika Srpska. It is in this sense that the Government of Republika Srpska will endeavour in its official contacts with representatives of the Tribunal to explain the relationship so far between itself and the Tribunal and, depending upon the results of these discussions, it will also re-evaluate its relationship with the Tribunal.
  2. After the examination of the basic and working regulations, the indictments against Serbs and the activities of the International Criminal Tribunal to date, the Government of Republika Srpska has taken the view that it be requested of the Prosecutor of the Tribunal that an initiative be undertaken for the purpose of re-examining those regulations which have established collective responsibility, something which is impermissible under international law, and objective responsibility without establishing awareness of wrongdoing, something which has been abandoned by national legislatures in the civilised world. It is also requested that the chief prosecutor initiate proceedings for the withdrawal of indictments against Serbs, for the purpose of the elimination of unacceptable terminology in the form of generalizations (aggression, occupation and the like) and for the purpose of avoiding the aforementioned impermissible collective responsibility of the Serbian people in Republika Srpska. After their withdrawal, all indictments against Serbs should also be re-evaluated because of falsely cited historical facts, evidence about events and because of unfounded, biased and one-sided accusations made against the Serbian side of the systematic and organised character of crimes allegedly committed by its members in a civil war waged between three peoples.
  3. The Government of Republika Srpska considers especially unfounded the indictments against Serbian leaders, Dr. Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, through whom it is wished, using manufactured and fabricated assertions, to accuse and condemn Republika Srpska and the Serbian people in Republika Srpska. The Government of Republika Srpska has collected evidence, which provide the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal with a solid basis for withdrawing the indictments against the aforementioned Serbian leaders and for directing the attention of the Tribunal to the real war criminals present on all sides.
  4. The Government of Republika Srpska is prepared for further co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal in gathering and submitting documentary evidence, in trying and punishing war criminals before national courts in all well-founded cases according to the principles of consistency and the same relationship to all sides, impartiality, legality and legitimacy as well as the principles of Dayton agreement considering passing of a corresponding act.

 

REPUBLIKA SRPSKA PRIME MINISTER
Mr. Gojko Kliekovic IV


 

STATEMENTS AND ACTS CONCERNING THE CONFLICT BETWEEN CIVIL AND MILITARY LEADERSHIP OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA


DOCUMENT No. 29

DECREE NUMBER: 01-1566/95 OF THE PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA 4 August 1995

On the basis of Article 11, 168, and 369 of the Armed Forces Law, (the Official Gazette of Republika Srpska, Number 7/92) THE RE-DEPLOYMENT TO THE PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE OF: 1. MLADIAE (Nedjo) RATKO, Colonel General personal VES 31480, (combat deployment code) born 12 March 1942 Reg. Number: MNR 1203421 As the special advisor to the Commander-in-Chief for the coordination of the defense of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina FC (Rank): Colonel General VES 31040 PG (group): 02 (Second) To date, Commander of the Military Command Headquarters VRS. Re-deployment due to changes in formation from: 4 August 1995

 

 

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Dr. Radovan Karadzic


 

DOCUMENT No. 30

GENERAL STAFF THE REPUBLIKA SRPSKA ARMED FORCES No. 04-12/937 5/6 August 1995

TO THE PEOPLE'S PARLIAMENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA AND THE PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA

Respected Sirs, From the 5th to 6th August 1995 in Banja Luka a general meeting of the General Staff VRS was held. It was attended by all corps commanders, the commander of the 30th infantry division and 9 operative groups ViPVO (Air Force and Air Defense) and CVS (Military Academy) and the chiefs of staff. The meeting discussed the military situation after the most recent aggression from the Croatian Army at Glamoe and Grahovo and against RSK (the Republic of Serbian Krajina) and the urgent measures that VRS must take in order to recover the territory temporally occupied, and the success of defense measures in general. In the remit of that review is the President's decision to move the Commander of the General Staff VRS and to order some other changes in the system of organization and in personnel in VRS. The Generals of VRS wish to express their unanimous opinion that this is a wrong decision, coming at the hardest time so far, the application of which would have unforeseeable negative results for our people, our struggle and our army. This decision, in the preparation of which no one in VRS was consulted, cannot be accepted or implemented by the Generals of VRS. Since such a decision demands the assent of the Parliament of Republika Srpska we suggest that the deputies do not accept it in the unified interest of our nation, our armed forces, their combat readiness and morale, the success of our defense and our struggle for freedom, peace and the creation of a Serbian state.

Deputies, Today what we need, above all, is the unity of all Serbs and not conflict and divisions. We need every man and particularly a leader such as General Ratko Mladic whose quality is recognized by the whole world and by our enemies. No one has the right, for any reason to, leave the Serbian people, at its darkest hour, without a general whom the fighters, their commanders and the whole nation respect and value.

The Generals suggest that the deputies bare in mind the possible negative consequences that would certainly result if such an unacceptable decision which, among other things, would divide the nation into supporters of Mladic and Karadzic, were accepted. At this meeting the Generals of VRS have decided, in the further continuation of the war to respect the constitutionally founded system of management, command and subordination of Republika Srpska and that they will, according to general military experience and their own military skill and science carry out only the orders they receive from the Commander of the General Staff, General Ratko Mladic. Believing that our deputies hold the people's interests in higher esteem than any other partial or personal interests and also that when making decisions they will follow their conscience and historical responsibility for the fate of the Serbian People in Republika Srpska.

The Generals of VRS.

Signed by 1 Manojlo Milovanovic, 2 Milan Gvero, 3 Djordje Djukic, 4. Zdravko Tolimir, 5. Petar Skrbic, 6. Jovo Maric, 7. Momir Talic, 8. Bosko Keleeevic, 9. Vladimir Arsic, 10. Momir Zec, 11. Radivoje Tomanic, 12. Novica Simic, 13. Radoslav Krstic, 14. Radovan Grubae, 15. zivomir Ninkovic, 16. Bozo Novak, 17. Grujo Boric.


 

DOCUMENT No. 31

Statement of the Republika Srpska Military Command

The Headquarters has always been in favor of enforcing the responsibility to defend the people and preserve the territory of Republika Srpska. It is also ready to bear a part of the responsibility for that historic task. Unfortunately, we do not share the opinion that the representatives have correctly identified those who are accountable for the loss of territory and the exodus of a part of Republika Srpska's population. We are surprised that, at this last as well as some previous sessions of the Assembly, besides this issue, none of the other issues presently far more important for the defense and survival of Republika Srpska and the Serbian people were discussed. Instead the time was devoted to political issues and an unprincipled show down with certain generals and the RS Military Command. To date the political leadership and the National Assembly have still not determined the borders of Republika Srpska which the Army should protect or reach. On the contrary, the most frequently discussed issue was the percentage and the handing over of territory. At the Assembly session in the town of Sanski Most on 15th April 1995 the Military Command pointed out the fundamental problem of defense and the equipping of the army and warned of the upcoming events. We regret to state that the Assembly and state organs did not devote adequate attention to this, and as a result the problems increased and events developed unfavorably, of which the Military Command warned the Supreme Command, the state organs and the Assembly on a number of occasions. We do not contest the right of the Assembly to discuss what it chooses, but it is not difficult to notice that in time of war it did not need publicly to discuss the sacking of generals. It is easy to prove that this is even an extra-constitutional and extra-legal procedure. Therefore we are certain that the National Assembly was used as a public platform to raise support for a decision to sack the generals which had already been made. Earlier attempts to sack generals had failed. This time it was done through the Assembly to provide an easier justification of the radical change in the Military Command to the public and hence the Assembly was abused. There has been a long standing campaign against the Republika Srpska Army and some individual figures with the aim of establishing their accountability for all the failures of state politics and particularly the incapacity to verify the results of our struggle on the international level. The blame for all is now shifted onto a few generals and officers of the RS Army. For us it means avoiding responsibility on the part of some individuals and certain government bodies. The leadership had not adequately prepared the people for the war, and particularly the people of Krajina, which resulted the declaration of war at an inopportune moment; only after the occupation of RSK and western parts of RS. Generals Gvero, Djukic, Tolimir, Boric and lieutenant-colonel Milutinovic were charged without any basis or proof despite the fact that they committed no oversights which would have led to a loss of territory. We believe that the motives for proposing that the President of the Republic should sack them were of a completely different nature. The real issues is a crude party struggle for power where some ruling party leaders suffer from the misconception that officers and generals are a hindrance to the government stabilization and a factor which reduces their election chances. The SDS deputy association and its main board stress that their party formed the state of Republika Srpska in only forty five days and that the RS Army did not manage to preserve it. We are asking the question: who 'broke' the corridor, who liberated the whole of the Podrinje region, who joined Herzegovina with other parts of RS, who defended Sarajevo and who created the conditions for the state leadership to negotiate for peace on equal terms. Some figures form the SDS leadership constantly and unjustifiably point out that the officers are ideological adversaries and for that reason they want to remove them, although they are aware of the fact that the professional staff is politically non-aligned. We can not accept the Assembly proposal about the sacking of generals from the Military Command and decisions which will possibly ensue on the grounds of that rushed proposal for that would contribute to the decline of leadership, commanding and functioning of the headquarters and the Army as a whole.

Banja Luka,
17 October 1995


 

DOCUMENT No. 8

SERBIAN REPUBLIC PRESIDENCY

TO ALL COMBATANTS OF THE SERBIAN FORCES OF BOSNIA - HERZEGOVINA

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegates are allowed to travel in all areas under our control in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are also authorized to visit all places of detention including military camps and police stations under our control. All combatants of the Serbian forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina are therefore requested to:

  1. Facilitate the safe passage of ICRC delegates' vehicles. ICRC delegates can identify themselves with Red Cross passes and ICRC vehicles with Red Cross emblem.
  2. To take all measures to respect the Red Cross emblem and to avoid any harassment and/or attack against ICRC vehicles and personnel.
  3. To give all necessary information regarding prisoners and facilitate ICRC visits to all detention places. I order you to strictly follow these instructions. Any combatant who does not respect these instructions shall be punished.

 

PRESIDENT OF THE SERBIAN REPUBLIC
Dr. Radovan Karadzic


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