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Yugoslav Daily Survey 96-04-18

Yugoslav Daily Survey Directory

From: ddc@nyquist.bellcore.com (D.D. Chukurov)

18 April 1996


CONTENTS

[A] THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

[01] STABILITY OF YUGOSLAV DINAR - FIRST PRIORITY

[02] GERMANY DECIDES TO NORMALISE RELATIONS WITH YUGOSLAVIA

[03] YUGOSLAVIA, CROATIA DISCUSS NORMALIZING TRAFFIC, REOPENING PIPELINE

[04] YUGOSLAV, CROATIAN WORKING GROUPS END SESSION, ADOPT PROTOCOL

[05] ATTACK ON BELGRADE'S BAJRAKLI MOSQUE CONDEMNED

[B] BOSNIA - HERZEGOVINA

[06] BOSNIAN SERBS DEMAND THAT WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL RELEASE GEN. DJIKIC

[C] CROATIA - WAR CRIMES

[07] KARLOVAC DISTRICT DECORATES WAR CRIMINAL

[D] FROM FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC PRESS

[08] WASHINGTON TIMES: WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL WAGES WAR AGAINST THE SERBS

[09] RUSSIAN PAPER: ALL SIDES COMMITTED CRIMES, ONLY BOSNIAN SERBS BLAMED

[10] TWO BELGRADE-BASED NGOS FILE WAR CRIMES CHARGES AGAINST IZETBEGOVIC


[A] THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

[01] STABILITY OF YUGOSLAV DINAR - FIRST PRIORITY

Belgrade, April 17 (Tanjug) - The Board of Directors of the National Bank of Yugoslalvia (NBJ- Central Bank) has announced that the money-crediting policy must be restrictive and that priority should go to securing a stable rate of dinar exchange. The session of the six-member Board, chaired by NBJ Governor Dragoslav Avramovic, concluded that the Board, in cooperation with business banks, must ease financial difficulties in the primary agricultural production, the fuel and power industry, the tourist trade, and in exports - said the announcement communicated on Wednesday.

The NBJ Board pointed to the need of the full implementation of Program 2 during which all vehicles of economic policy should coordinate their work in keping with their rights and duties.

[02] GERMANY DECIDES TO NORMALISE RELATIONS WITH YUGOSLAVIA

Bonn, April 17 (Tanjug) - The German Government decided in a session in Bonn on Wednesday to normalise relations with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) quoted sources close to the Government as saying Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Cabinet had taken a decision to this effect.

Germany was expected these days to normalize relations with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia given that German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel said on April 8 that the last obstacle to a new recognition of Yugoslavia had been removed by the signing of an agreement on a normalization of relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Macedonia.

DPA said that the Cabinet rejected a proposal put forth by the Interior Ministry that the normalization of relations with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia should be linked with the problem of around 120,000 people from the Yugoslav Province of Kosovo and Metohija, maintly ethnic Albanians, who have been living in Germany for years by obtaining political asylum on false grounds.

The Agency quoted Government circles as saying that the problem should be resolved in future negotations with Belgrade.

[03] YUGOSLAVIA, CROATIA DISCUSS NORMALIZING TRAFFIC, REOPENING PIPELINE

Belgrade, April 17 (Tanjug) - Talks between the heads of the Yugoslav and Croatian expert teams about normalizing traffic and reopening the oil pipeline are progressing, according to the two neighboring countries' ranking officials.

The view was voiced in a meeting on Wednesday between Yugoslav transport minister Zoran Vujovic, on the one side, and Chief of the Croatian Belgrade Office Zvonimir Markovic and acting Assistant Croatian Transport Minister Jure Kapetanovic.

A Yugoslav Government statement said that the experts had met in Belgrade to discuss putting into operation accords signed earlier by their respective Governments' representatives on normalizing air, railway, road and postal traffic and reopening the oil pipeline.

The accords were struck during Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic's visit to Zagreb in mid-March.

Minister Vujovic and the Croatian officials agreed that the Belgrade talks should be accelerated, the statement said.

[04] YUGOSLAV, CROATIAN WORKING GROUPS END SESSION, ADOPT PROTOCOL

Zagreb, April 17 (Tanjug) - The working groups of the Yugoslav Government Commission in charge of Humanitarian Issues and Missing Persons and the Croatian Commission for Prisoners and Missing Persons ended a two-day meeting in Zagreb on Wednesday by adopting a protocol on cooperation. The document, which provides for the release of all imprisoned persons, was signed by chairman of the Yugoslav Commission Pavle Todorovic and chairman of the Croatian Government Commission Ivan Grujic. The two Commissions will first exchange all information on their disposal about the imprisoned and missing persons and the prisoners will then be released.

[05] ATTACK ON BELGRADE'S BAJRAKLI MOSQUE CONDEMNED

Belgrade, April 17 (Tanjug) - Serbian Religion Minister Dragan Dragojlovic on Wednesday condemned vandal attacks on the Bajrakli Mosque late Monday and earlier on the Office of the Catholic church of St. Anthony. Dragojlovic told Radio Belgrade that the state must use all available means to prevent such incidents and discover the perpetrators as soon as possible.

During the four-year civil war in neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina and the biggest waves of refugees from that Republic and from Croatia, Belgrade and the Yugoslav Republic of Serbia have managed to preserve the peace and security of its citizens regardless of religious or national affiliation, Dragojlovic said.

'It is evident that the perpetrators of these attacks are individuals who wish to resolve personal frustrations and problems in this way. Such attacks are a part of hatred, hostility, and intolerance and nothing good can happen of there is hatred,' the Minister said.

Belgrade police said early on Tuesday that the explosion outside the Bajrakli Mosque in the night between Monday and Tuesday had damaged the fasade of the building and broken windows on neighboring buildings. The explosion was caused by a device activated on the sidewalk outside the Mosque. Three automobiles parked in the vicinity were damaged in the blast.


[B] BOSNIA - HERZEGOVINA

[06] BOSNIAN SERBS DEMAND THAT WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL RELEASE GEN. DJIKIC

Belgrade, April 17 (Tanjug) - The Republika Srpska demanded on Wednesday that the International War Crimes Tribunal for former Yugoslavia immediately and unconditionally release detained Bosnian Serb Gen. Djordje Djukic. Gen. Djukic, 62, has been in the Hague-based Tribunal's detention for more than two months.

The Republika Srpska's news agency SRNA quoted Presidential Spokesman John Zametica as saying on Wednesday that the Republika Srpska had information that Gen. Djukic's health was sharply deteriorating. Zametica added that Gen. Djukic was still being held at the Hague only because he is a Bosnian Serb officer, that he must be permitted adequate medical care at his home, among his people and in freedom, SRNA said.

Gen. Djukic, who was in charge of the rearguard in the Army's General Staff, underwent surgery for prostate cancer some months ago.

The statement discribed as trumped up all Muslim charges against Gen. Djukic and added that for the Hague Tribunal to accept them would be another proof that the Tribunal had been set up with the purpose of politically discrediting the Serbs.


[C] CROATIA - WAR CRIMES

[07] KARLOVAC DISTRICT DECORATES WAR CRIMINAL

Belgrade, April 17 (Tanjug) - The Croatian Helsinki Committee has protested against a medal which the Karlovac District conferred on Mihail Hrastov, who massacred 13 unarmed imprisoned reservists of the then Yugoslav People's Army on a bridge on the Korana river near the western Croatian town of Karlovac in autumn 1991.

At the time of the massacre, Hrastov was member of a special unit of Croatian police, the Committee said. Hrastov was arrested in the spring of 1992, after some media reported about the crime, Radio Free Europe said in a broadcast monitored in Belgrade late on Tuesday. But the District Court in Karlovac acquitted him and the courtroom audience welcomed the ruling with ovations. The Supreme Court remanded the case, but a new hearing has not yet been scheduled although the verdict was rescinded more than two years ago, the Radio said.

Hrastov is now one of Croatia's special police commanders.

The Radio said the Croatian Helsinki Committee had information that Hrastov had commanded a special prison at the old school building in Ozlje and that Serbs, who turned themselves in to Croatian authorities after Croatia's operation Storm in August 1995, were tortured there. During operation Storm, the Croatian Army attacked parts of the Republic of Serb Krajina, expelling about 250,000 Serbs and killing about 4,000 others. The Croatian Army continued killing and torturing the remaining, mostly elderly Serbs, and torching their houses after the operation.

The Radio said that Hrastov had already been decorated for a 'heroic act in the war' by Croatian President Franjo Tudjman in 1995.

The Committee said that this showed Croatia's attitude towards war crimes.

The Committee said that Ivica Rajic, who is under investigation by the Hague-based War Crimes Tribunal, had an apartment at his disposal at a Croatian Defence Ministry's motel near the Croatian port city of Split and that Dario Kordic, who is also wanted by the Tribunal, could move freely throughout Croatia.

The Committee invited the Karlovac District publicly to withdraw its decision on decorating Hrastov, Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic, who was declared honorary citizen of Karlovac on the same occasion, to declare himself publicly on the decorations and Tudjman publicly to explain for which 'heroic act' he decorated Hrastov.


[D] FROM FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC PRESS

[08] WASHINGTON TIMES: WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL WAGES WAR AGAINST THE SERBS

Washington, April 17 (Tanjug) - The indictment against Bosnian Serb Gen. Djordje Djukic casts doubt on the work of the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which issued it, the Washington Times said in Wednesday's editions. Commentator Bruce Fein said the indictment smacked of a selective approach and the Prosecutor's vindictiveness, thus turning international law into a weapon of injustice.

The daily said Gen. Djukic had not been indicted for firing a single bullet against any civilian in the Bosnian war. As commander of the rear echelon, he is being held accountable for the tree-year siege of Sarajevo and its civilian casualties.

It said the criterion could then be extended to include all those who had waged war in Bosnia, even those who had waged wars in this century, because everywhere there were civilian targets.

The unwillingness of Prosecutor Richard Goldstone to apply the same theories on International War Crimes to other Bosnian Serbs, and to Muslim and Croat military commanders who also took part in the war and attacked civilian targets enfeebles the indictment.

The daily said Djukic was singled out because he provoked Goldstone by refusing to cooperate in the latter's inquiries and to stand as witness to other trials. This cannot be good reason for the criminal procedure to go backward, as Djukic is not under a legal obligation to help Goldstone, said the daily.

The procedure, said the daily, does not legitimize the aims set out in the forming of the Hague-based Tribunal.

Bruce Fein, a legal expert, expressed serious reservations about the Tribunal, saying the concept of crimes against humanity and war crimes was so elastic that it inevitably led to political manipulations.

[09] RUSSIAN PAPER: ALL SIDES COMMITTED CRIMES, ONLY BOSNIAN SERBS BLAMED

Moscow, April 17 (Tanjug) - Although it is generally recognised that all warring parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina are guilty of war crimes, yet most of those charged by the War Crimes Tribunal are Serbs, the Moscow Nezavisimaya Gazetta wrote on Wednesday. The newspaper carried a well-documented article about Muslim and Croat crimes committed against Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, adding that the Hague-based Tribunal for war crimes in former Yugoslavia was mostly silent about them.

The paper said that the Republika Srpska's war crimes investigating commission was accusing more than 1,600 Croats and Muslims, and could list a host more names of those involved in crimes against Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.

Reports from sessions of the Hague Tribunal give further food forthought about the West's bias in the approach to the problem of blame for war crimes and humanitarian law violations in the Balkan conflict, the newspaper said.

[10] TWO BELGRADE-BASED NGOS FILE WAR CRIMES CHARGES AGAINST IZETBEGOVIC

Belgrade, April 17 (Tanjug) - Two Belgrade-based non-governmental organisations have filed charges with the Hague-based War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia against Bosnian Moslem leader Alija Izetbegovic accusing him of genocide, crimes against humanity and gross violations of the Geneva conventions and war conventions.

The Belgrade daily Politika Ekspres quoted the Association of Serbia's cultural and public figures titled the fund of truth about Serbs and the Serbian-German Commission for the dignity of justice and the respect of international humanitarian law as saying in the charges that Izetbegovic had on two occasions ordered the shelling of Sarajevo's Markale Market, withholding from the public the names of those who had been directly responsible for it.

The two organisations have submitted substantial evidence of Izetbegovic's crimes, listing as witnesses eminent international diplomats and military experts who have written books on the matter, making thorough analyses and proving that it was Bosnian Moslems rather than Serbs who shelled the Market.

The first shelling of the Markale Market, which occurred on February 5, 1994, killed 69 persons and wounded about 200. the second shelling killed 37 civilians and wounded scores of them. Despite Bosnian Serbs' statements to the effect that they were not responsible for the shellings and that Bosnian Moslems had sacrificed their own people to fan the anti-Serb campaign, NATO used the tragic events as a pretext to launch a series of air strikes against Bosnian Serb civilian and military targets. The air strikes left hundreds of Serbs, mainly civilians, dead, and caused considerable damage.

Politika eEspres said Hague Tribunal Chief Prosecutor Richard Goldstone had confirmed that the two organisations had filed the charges and had forwarded them to an investigative commission. The charges list as a witness former Co-Chairman of the Conference on the former Yugoslavia Lord Owen who wrote about the Merkale massacres in his book titled the Balkan odyssey.

Charles J. Bord, a U.S. General who was NATO Deputy Commander in Europe between November 1992 and July 1995, has also been listed as a witness. His statement on the Markale massacres was carried by the Foreign Affairs Magazine in September 1995.

Laura Adler, Advisor of the late French President Francois Mitterrand, and Russian Col. Andrei Demurenko who was Chief of U.N. Protection Force staff in Sector Sarajevo in 1995, are also on the list of witnesses. Demurenko told the Russian Itar-Tass news agency that Bosnian Serbs had been unjustly accused and that he possessed evidence that they were not responsible for the Markale massacres, Politika Ekspres said. .

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