No Dogs, Catholics Or Muslims Allowed

Civilians of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1993 running for cover to avoid Serb snipers during the city's siege Photo: Chris Helgren/Corbis

Civilians of Sarajevo in
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1993
running for cover to
avoid Serb snipers during the city’s siege
Photo: Chris Helgren/Corbis

The referendum held on 25 September 2016 in the entity of Serbian Republic (Republika Srpska/RS) within Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) regarding confirmation that 9 January should be set as public holiday for the celebration of the Day of Republika Srpska/Serbian Republic Statehood Day may to many in the outside world seem benign but given BiH’s geographic position coupled with the 1990’s history puts it all in a different light. But, in reality and in truth this frighteningly defiant move led by Milorad Dodik, RS president – and nourished and supported via Russia’s Vladimir Putin’s promises of financial supports – has all the hallmarks of officially legitimising war crimes, especially ethnic cleansing and genocide (including Srebrenica) committed during 1990’s against Croatians and Bosniaks/Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina/BiH in that self-proclaimed Serbian territory situated within sovereign borders of BiH.

 

It once again brings to a chilling reminder the chilling “banner”, the “warning sign” under which Serb aggression operated there in that BiH sovereign territory in the 1990’s: No Dogs, Catholics or Muslims Allowed.

 OHIO, Nov. 21, 1995 from Centre left: President Slobodan Milosevic of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, President Alija Izetbegovic of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and President Franjo Tudjman of the Republic of Croatia sign the Dayton Peace Accords. Photo: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Brian Schlumbohm

OHIO, Nov. 21, 1995
from Centre left:
President Slobodan Milosevic
of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
President Alija Izetbegovic
of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
and President Franjo Tudjman of the Republic of Croatia
sign the Dayton Peace Accords.
Photo: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Brian Schlumbohm

 

In November 1995 the primarily US-driven international Dayton Accords peace agreement ended the war in BiH and it preserved BiH as a single sovereign state, divided into two largely autonomous parts/entities: the Bosniak-Croatian Federation and the Serbian Republic. Dayton Accords, although made having peace in mind, in essence meant that peace had no chance as no conductive environment was created for proper reconciliation, in many ways the Serb aggressor was rewarded with its own region to govern autonomously. Dayton Accords agreement had sealed the fate of BiH as a sovereign state made up of three constitutional peoples (Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs) into a perpetual state of ethnic rivalry, recriminations, dysfunction and fear that Serbs were only “an inch” away from achieving their initial goal of creating their own sovereign state from parts of BiH’s sovereign territory they’d cleansed of all non-Serbs.

 

Milorad Dodik had officially, with apparent newfound determination, begun threatening to hold a referendum on secession of Serbian Republic from BiH in 2014 if Bosnia does not become a confederation of three states (Serb, Croat and Bosniak). At that time he sought to seize on the Crimean referendum and subsequent Russian annexation as a political and moral guide and an example of self-determination in action, however wrong, tragic and misguided these actions may have been held by the leaders of the Western democratic world. Dodik had planned for the referendum regarding 9 January as the Day of Serb Republic/ Statehood Day (which date by the way coincides with the Serb Orthodox religious holiday) to be held on 15 November 2015 but this and any such referendum was thwarted via BiH Constitutional Court’s ruling, making such referendums illegal.

Milorad Dodik September 2016 Photo: Reuters/ Dado Ruvic

Milorad Dodik
September 2016
Photo: Reuters/ Dado Ruvic

Defying BiH Constitutional Court and BiH Parliament, to which Serbian Republic answers, the referendum held Sunday 25 September saw the Serbs living in that entity in overwhelming numbers voting Yes to declaring 9 January as the Day of Serbian Republic. The relatively very few Croats and Bosniaks now living in the Serb Republic (having returned there post 1995 Dayton Accords agreement) had refused to vote in the referendum because, in essence, the referendum represents Dodik’s rehearsal for an eventual secession of Serb Republic from BiH and, therefore, the destruction of BiH as the world knows it now.

A further element of defiance and repulsive attempt to legitimise genocide and ethnic cleansing committed by Serbs in this referendum can be seen through Biljana Plavsic’s comments as she voted in the RS representative office in Belgrade, Serbia. Biljana Plavsic, whose actions in 1992 as a member of collective presidencies of both Bosnia and the breakaway Serbian Republic of Bosnia constituted crimes against humanity and who actively supported the ethnic cleansing of Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats in Serb-held lands, who is an ICTY convicted war criminal said last week that the referendum represents a defense of Serbian Republic – of that in which she herself had participated in the 1990’s.

Whether the leaders of Croatians and Bosniaks living in BiH consider Dodik’s defiant move with the referendum as some kind of an internationally acceptable foundation for a movement that would split BiH into three different ethnically defined sovereign states (Bosniak, Croat, Serb) is at this stage a disquieting point occupying a great deal of political analyses space throughout the world. As desirable as contemplation of such a division of BiH into three sovereign states may appear to each of the three ethnic groups at this moment may be, this articulated in the media desirability or political assessment in essence masks the real and dangerous prospect of the possibility of repeated Serb violence and aggression against Croatians and Bosniaks in BiH.

 

Croatian refugee families from Serb Republic still today in their thousands seek return to their rightful homes in Banja Luka. Photo: HINA

Croatian refugee families from Serb Republic
still today in their thousands seek return to their rightful homes in Banja Luka.
Photo: HINA

Dodik’s defiance with holding the referendum and his subsequent defiance of the BiH State Prosecutor by refusing to answer a summons to appear before the prosecutor regarding his breach of the Constitutional Court order that declared the referendum illegal, are acts that are very likely to motorise the Serb population’s energy for renewed attacks against non-Serbs in BiH. Dodik has found it handy to interpret everything commented against his referendum as threatening to his personal safety and so:
I will not go to the prosecutor’s office in Sarajevo but I am ready to give a statement in any other judiciary office in the Serb Republic,” Dodik told a news conference 27 September 2016. He therefore rejects the jurisdiction of the government of Bosnia Herzegovina to which Serbian Republic entity must answer. He has therefore, in his mind and in his deeds already cut Serbian Republic’s ties with BiH.
If Dodik fails to comply with a summons, and fails to justify it, the prosecution will then issue an arrest warrant,” said Bosnia’s Security Minister Dragan Mektic, a Bosnian Serb.

Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina with entities of Serb Republic/ Republika Srpska and Croat Bosniak Federation

Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina
with entities of
Serb Republic/ Republika Srpska
and Croat Bosniak Federation

 

All this says that Bosnia and Herzegovina is in a more dangerous state than at any other time since Dayton Accords in 1995, with looming possibility of renewed violence and crimes against humanity. It confirms that, despite atrocities committed in early 1990’s and guilt confirmed via international criminal tribunal and domestic criminal courts, Serbs have not learned to keep their fingers off sovereign territories and state borders that have been established/recognised on an international level for many decades. Collective catharsis associated with the atrocities and war crimes as some guarantee of lasting peace in BiH has made no progress despite Dayton Accords and the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). This latest behavior of Bosnian Serbs evidences the fact that reconciliation in BiH (in former Yugoslavia, really) has been a pipe dream, and a utopian dream concocted by the West and the European Commission who thought that equating the aggressor with the victim would reap positive results of reconciliation and peace. Permitting Serbian Republic to exist within BiH in the first place was the beginning of that pipe dream, which was above all cruel to the victims of war crimes and, as such, it was never going to work. Daytom Accord should have either split BiH into three distinctive sovereign states (Bosniak, Croat and Serb) or insisted on retaining BiH as a single sovereign state without entities or divisions of autonomous territory between its constituent ethnic/national groups.

But as things have panned out, the world must cringe with disgust watching the referendum signatures of the majority of the genocidal Bosnian Serb “nation” celebrating without an inkling of shame or remorse their “state” founded on war crimes, forced deportations, ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, genocide, torture…and all that permitted by way of world leaders’ benign political statements that offer only political analyses of the past and no visible intention for decisive involvement to stop such lunacy that is creating new victims of the imposed ethnic Serb superiority in that region. This is a true perversion of justice for the victims of crimes against humanity and freedom to live peacefully anywhere within one’s country’s sovereign borders.

By way of referendum for Serb Republic Statehood Day Bosnian Serbs are erecting a monument to those who committed genocide. This comes without real sanctions and practical intervention against this shame for humanity as all of the political analyses and statements by world leaders about this appear more benevolent toward this Serb cause of celebrating genocide than toward anything else. Turbulent times are on the cards once again for Bosnia and Herzegovina; for Bosniaks and Croatians. Together with political instability in Macedonia, violent protests in Kosovo, the destabilisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina will have a destructive influence on the entire Balkan region. The referendum in Republika Srpska also perfectly shows how history can be used to drum up hostility between nations. Desirous of peace and life without fear, a life that moves away from daily infliction of pain contained in politically live reminders of the 1990’s war, Bosnian Croats may do well by utilising this latest practically unchecked Bosnian Serb defiance and seek their own independence or autonomy within or without BiH. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: Renewed Aggression And Hatred From Serbia – Alarms

 

Vicious and Indicted Serb War Criminal  Vojislav Seselj Burns the Croatian Flag in Belgrade

Vicious and Indicted Serb War Criminal
Vojislav Seselj
Burns the Croatian Flag in Belgrade

It’s difficult to conclude that the renewed aggression against Croatia coming out of Serbia since the indicted war criminal Vojislav Seselj burned the Croatian flag last week is not politically connected to the announcement by Milorad Dodik, the president of the Serbian Republic (entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina/B&H, which has the 1995 massacre and genocide of Srebrenica as its cornerstone) regarding his plan to bring about at the end of April 2015 the declaration of the independence (from B&H) of the Serbian Republic. All this tells me, and I’m sure, many, that the Greater Serbia plan has not been shelved and sovereign nations affected by it (e.g. Croatia, B&H) must continue vigilance, as possibilities of renewed armed Serb-aggression, such as the one in early 1990’s, do seem to pose a risk.
Serbia did not succeed in its aggressive bid to try and stop secession from communist Yugoslavia of Croatia and B&H into independent states. However, in B&H, Serbs managed to hive off a part of that sovereign country as their enclave with their own local government. In Croatia, they lost completely – Croatian forces in 1995 “Operation Storm” liberated most of the Serb occupied and ethnically cleansed region (Krajina), and the rest was peacefully reintegrated into Croatia by the end of 1998. And everything they do politically points to the conclusion that Serbs cannot accept that; they cannot accept being a minority where they are a minority within a country.
Even though the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) appellate judges had just over a week ago, 30 March 2015, ruled that the indicted war criminal Vojislav Seselj had violated the terms of his release and ordered him to return to ICTY custody, Vojislav Seselj and Serbia’s leaders (Seselj’s political mates during the 1990’s aggression against Croatia and B&H, Serbian ultranatiolists) seem unperturbed and have raised their hate speech and aggressive disposition to almost the levels that existed during the 1990’s war of Serb-aggression against Croatia and B&H .
While the sinister Milorad Dodik is announcing a declaration of Serbian Republic independence in B&H (in defiance of the 1995 Dayton Agreement, which had as its foundation a goal to keep B&H in one piece as a sovereign and independent state) Vojislav Seselj is burning the Croatian flag in Serbia’s capital Belgrade, in front of Serbia’s government house, and threatening that he will only come to Croatia in a tank, and armed! Meanwhile, Serbia’s minister for work Aleksandar Vulin has obviously in the name of Serbia’s government intensified his anti-Croat hate speech, calling Croatia’s 1990’s war hero and general, Ante Gotovina, an Ustashe General and promoting still the lie that some 200,000 Serbs were deported forcefully from Croatia in 1995, ignoring the ICTY Appeals court ruling that there was no forceful deportation of Serbs from Croatia. (Ustashe were members of the Croatian Revolutionary movement in the period 1929-1945 and are considered an ultra-nationalist and fascist formation.A similar group in Serbia, during the same historic period, was the Chetniks.)

 

 

As one might expect, Milorad Pupovac, a member of Croatian parliament representing the Croatian Serb National Council support this Greater Serbia “warrior” and continues equating the 1990’s Croatian War of Independence with the WWII efforts towards Croatian independence. Serbia’s president Tomislav Nikolic had said that stringent measures under the law would be taken out against the person burning Croatia’s flag in Belgrade – but guess what – it’s been over a week and Vojislav Seselj still walks the streets of Serbia instead of being rounded up by Serbia’s authorities to prevent any further criminal actions while the burning of the flag is processed, and, to ensure Seselj returns to the ICTY to face judgment on charges of war crimes perpetrated against Croats and Bosniaks in Croatia, Vojvodina and B&H. Tomislav Nikolic sees the ICTY order to have Seselj returned to Hague as pressure against Serbia! The fact that Seselj stands accused of most heinous crimes against humanity does not seem to factor one iota in Nikolic’s thinking on due justice!
Furthermore, Serbia’s foreign minister and another of Seselj’s political “mates”, Ivica Dacic, said that the ICTY decision to seek Seselj’s return was “perfidious and scandalous” and jeopardised the stability of Serbia and the entire region. Never mind the fact that victims of Seselj’s war crimes spree deserve justice!

 

 

The ICTY Trial Chamber has last week ordered the ICTY Secretariat to contact the medical team of Vojislav Seselj (in Serbia) as soon as possible and furnish the Chamber with the latest information about the health condition of the accused. Meanwhile, Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic states that his government has no proof that Seselj is well again! I would have thought that organising public hate speeches, threatening Croatia, burning Croatia’s flag was proof enough that Seselj was quite well physically to be treated at medical facilities in the Hague for any physical ailment he may have and when it comes to his mental state – there’s ample proof that he needs to be behind bars as he is a danger to many innocent people!

To throw another element into the factor where Serbia will try everything and anything to avoid acceptance of its guilt for the horrible wars that ensued during the breakup of communist Yugoslavia, Serbia’s president Tomislav Nikolic has a few days ago announced that Serbia’s military forces would be marching in Moscow at the May celebrations of WWII victory! One may indeed raise ones eyebrows and ask: Why? This are the times when Serbia says it wants to join the EU and the EU is not in good terms with Russia, over Ukraine! Is Serbia giving up its plan to join the EU (its leaders’ political idol war criminal Vojislav Seslj says Serbia should not join the EU) or is Serbia, once again, intimidating the international community (EU) in order to, somewhat surreptitiously,  “bag” new acreage for Serbia – Serbian Republic in B&H – and get away with its denial of war crimes perpetrated during 1990’s?

 

 

As to Serbian plans to march in Moscow, Serbia’s political scientist Aleksander Pavic said that he believes that Serbia’s participation in the parade has a tremendous symbolic significance. “We are definitely part of the coalition [of victors], considering how many Serbs were killed in the Second World War. We had not one, but two anti-fascist projects, and we have the right to say that we were the first to rebel in a Europe enslaved by Nazism.” Pavic, like all Serbia’s leaders, have conveniently forgotten that Serbia’s WWII “rebellion” against Nazi enslavement came after Serbia under Milan Nedic exterminated, by May 1942, 94% of its Jews and became one of the first European countries to declare itself “Judenfrei” (Jew-free)! Serbia was like Russia during WWII: shouting to be anti-Nazi while murdering multitudes of innocent people! What a disgrace for humanity!

 

Although, last week Croatia had, after Seselj’s burning of the Croatian flag, called its Ambassador to Serbia back to Croatia for consultations it is of utmost importance that, within Croatia, some serious measures are put in place to protect the Croatian people and Croatia’s war veterans from Serb nationalist lies and the undermining of the sovereignty of Croatian state. Pressure might be on from the EU (and other parts of the world) to see neighbourly relations between Croatia and Serbia become more normal and moving towards reconciliation but this latest outpouring of hatred and lies against Croatia and the 1990’s War of Independence coming out of Serbia vividly demonstrate that Serbian and Serbs still do not see themselves as Croatia’s neighbours nor do they want to be neighbours – they still want a piece of Croatia for Serbia just as they want the same in Bosnia and Herzegovina! That is the ugly bottom line and the sooner the Croatian leadership acknowledge this truth publicly the better it will be for Croatia and its people; for democracy and freedom far and wide. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A. Ps. (Syd)

A Horror Journal: Forget The Victims Of Serb Atrocities And Genocide!

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Yellow represents Serbian Republic That part of BiH that was ethnically cleansed By Serbs

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)
Yellow represents Serbian Republic
That part of BiH that was ethnically cleansed By Serbs

Today 9 January the political entity called Serbian Republic (Republika Srpska) is pushing ahead with celebrating its Day – the 21st anniversary of its own proclamation! This is also the 21st anniversary of the beginning of genocide and ethnic cleansing of all non-Serb nationals from the areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina where Serbs were in majority. Serb police, soldiers, and irregulars attacked Muslims and Croats, and burned and looted their homes. Some were killed on the spot; others were rounded up and killed elsewhere, or forced to flee. The genocide culminated in Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim (Bosniak) men and boys in July 1995. Then in November 1995 came the Dayton Agreement which ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina effectively dividing it into two political/administrative entities: Serbian Republic (Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Federations of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosniaks and Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Ahead of the anniversary of the Republika Srpska (RS) Bosnian entity, members of 25 associations, which represent Bosnian war victims, held a press conference on Monday 6 January aiming to raise public awareness for the crimes and foundations of that entity.
A postcard with a photo of exhumed body remains found in Tomasica, the largest mass grave in Bosnia after World War II discovered at the end of 2013, was prepared for the occasion.
The postcards of the remains unearthed 18 years after the end of the Bosnian war were sent to the addresses of RS authorities ahead of January 9, the Day of Republika Srpska.
“If you mark the Day of Republika Srpska, do not forget that these are its foundations,” wrote the post card.

Postcard sent to Serbian Republic,  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6 January 2014

Postcard sent to Serbian Republic,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6 January 2014

Today, 9 January, the president of Serbian Republic, Milorad Dodik, celebrated Serbian Republic Day, marking it publicly perhaps for the first time for what it truly was intended to be from the very start: an independent state, which will then easily pin itself as part of Greater Serbia. He sent a message to the world that the Serbian will continue existing and be increasingly stronger and that its independence needs to be placed as a government and political goal.
Commenting on the Postcard from victims (referred to above) Dodig said that it arrived from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and not from Serbian (Republic) and that Serbian (Republic) is not governed by politics of ethnic hatred.
“If someone does not want reconciliation, they can only increase our convictions that we are on the right tracks of fighting for our status. Are they going to continue behaving negatively towards Serbian (Republic)? Of course they will. Many of them have suffered and lost their loved ones, but the Serbian side also had many who suffered”, said Dodik.
He said that the crimes were not committed in the name of Serbian Republic and that it never had plans of such kind, and that none of its leadership set such goals.

Oh yes they did Mr Dodik! The goal was to achieve an ethnically pure region (Serb) and in order to achieve that goal genocide, rape and forced deportation were employed as means to achieve that goal.

We must not allow that attempts that seek justice for perpetrators of genocide be labelled ethnic hatred.

During his visit to Sarajevo in 2010 Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic urged Bosnian and regional leaders to put the past behind and work towards a shared, prosperous future in the European Union. He is been pushing the same agenda in Croatia: forget the Serb, or any other, crimes committed during the war of brutal aggression, move forward…

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Victims do not forget, victims cannot forget! Victims must have justice! We owe the victims the dignity of ensuring that genocide does not win its targeted prize: freedom/independence. Just imagine what would happen if someone came up to the Jews and told them to forget the Holocaust, to stop hunting down the Nazis who killed. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A.,M.A.Ps. (Syd)

PLEASE READ “THERE IS NOTHING TO CELEBRATE” BY MISHKA GORA

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