February 23, 2006

World Court to Start Bosnia Genocide Case

by Nedim Dervisbegovic

SARAJEVO - Bosnia plans to seek hefty compensation from Serbia and Montenegro for genocide in the 1992-95 war if it wins a unique case that starts on Monday at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

The ICJ, or the World Court, will open the trial with plaintiff's arguments 13 years after the former Yugoslav republic sued the state from which it seceded in 1992, triggering a war in which at least 100,000 people were killed.

The hearing at the U.N.'s top court, set up after World War Two to mediate in disputes between states, is scheduled to run until May 9. The ruling is expected by the end of the year.

"We would ask for damages according to international norms but the essence of our claim is of a moral, not material nature," said Bosnian lawyer Sakib Softic. "It is more important for us that it establishes that genocide had been committed." . . .


Enver Masud, "Aggression Pays: Message of Clinton Plan For Bosnia," The Wisdom Fund, December 1, 1995

Ian Traynor, "Ashdown 'Running Bosnia Like a Raj'," Guardian, July 5, 2003

Anthony Loyd, "Hunters See Red as War Criminal Stays Free," Times, November 15, 2003

[Bosnia has already won this World Court lawsuit. All that Bosnia must do now is to see this lawsuit through to its ultimate and successful conclusion. It is inevitable that the World Court will rule that the rump Yugoslavia and its surrogate Bosnian Serb armed forces have committed genocide against the People and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.--Francis A. Boyle, "From Washington to Srebrenica to Dayton... Carving up the Republic of Bosnia & Herzegovina," Hartford Web Publishing, August 18, 2005]

[Bosnia, the first country ever to bring a state versus state genocide charge, aims to secure international legal acknowledgment of atrocities allegedly committed by the Serbian leadership during the 1992 to 1995 conflict. The case was first filed 13 years ago but has been delayed by legal wrangling.--Helen Warrell, "Bosnia Launches ICJ Genocide Suit," Institute for War & Peace Reporting, March 3, 2006]

"International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia," Global Policy Forum

[The American administration offered its help to change the constitution, and Bosnians gladly accepted. However, it turned out that the Americans were interested only in legitimizing the General Framework Agreement. They offered some cosmetic and unimportant changes to be adopted in the institutions created by the new (so called Dayton) Constitution.

Cosmetic changes, except in one very important detail -- since they would be passed in Bosnia's legislative bodies, they would discontinue the old Constitution of the Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina, and they would therefore laundry the dirty constitution.

Then Bosnians would go even deeper in the hole. The nonfunctioning constitution would become legitimate, and hence irreversible. Nobody could force the Serbs to negotiate again to give up their veto power, which cripples the country.

Therefore the Bosnian patriots in the parliament refused to adopt the cosmetic amendments.

That drove the Bush administration mad. They want to laundry the Dayton constitution, in order to show off a foreign policy success, no matter what happens to Bosnia. They publicly threaten that Bosnia will endure sanctions for not agreeing to the change of the constitution. They also use corrupt Bosnian politicians and the corrupt Bosnian media to personally attack those who voted against the constitution.

Even worse, they want to repeat the vote, even before the October elections, pressuring the parliamentarians who voted against only three weeks ago to reverse their vote. --"Can you imagine a democracy where you must repeat a vote, until the super power is happy with the outcome," National Congress of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, No. 401 International, May 16, 2006]

[The Great Powers have always acted as if Bosnia did not have Statehood under International Law and Practice. Indeed, at the Owen-Stoltenberg Negotiations in Geneva, the Great Powers tried to destroy Bosnia's Statehood under International Law, rob Bosnia of it's Membership in the United Nations Organization, and submit 1.5 to 2 million more Bosnians to ethnic cleansing. That never happened ! But the Great Powers' agenda remains the same: to eliminate Bosnia's Statehood.

. . . by a vote of 13 to 2, the World Court effectively prohibited the Owen-Stoltenberg carve-up of Bosnia because it would result from acts of genocide, which were already prohibited by its 8 April 1993 Order. Nevertheless undeterred, thereafter Owen and Stoltenberg continued to plot their tripartite carve-up of Bosnia under the new rubric of the so-called "Contact Group Plan" with the full support of the United States, Britain, France, Russia, the United Nations, the European Union and its other member states.--Francis Boyle, "Bosnia Statehood Under International Law," email, January 20, 2007]

"INSIDERS, CAST AS OUTSIDERS - SPEAK,", September 16, 2007

[People of Bosnia-Herzegovina reject any amendments to the illegitimate Dayton Constitution, as well as the Dayton Constitution itself. Now it should be clear to the world community and all freedom loving people that people of Bosnia-Herzegovina reject the illegitimately imposed Dayton Constitution as the law of the country.--Muhamed Borogovac, "THE BOSNIAN PEOPLE REJECT ONCE AGAIN THE DAYTON CONSTITUTION,", March 28, 2009]

[Politically and constitutionally, Bosnia's ethnic groups are still debating the same issues they were 20 years ago before the war even started - how to divide power between themselves, and the degree to which Bosnia should be a unitary or a federal state. By large majorities, Bosnian Serbs continue to favor either unification with Serbia or outright independence. In the Herzegovinian town of Stolac recently, the national anthem was played at a military ceremony; however, the anthem played was that of neighboring Croatia, not of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Sarajevo last April, a general convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of war crimes against Croats and Serbs was given a state burial with full military honors, and the state's foreign ministry routinely operates with intentional disregard for the rules and procedures for formulating foreign policy outlined in the country's own constitution. Factor in such things as the fact that Bosnia's foreign minister is the citizen of a neighboring country and one realizes how little political progress has been made in getting Bosniacs, Croats and Serbs to embrace a common vision for the state's future. . . .

In no small measure, our decision to go to war in Iraq was based on the widespread Washington view that our Balkan efforts had worked. In 2002, former Assistant Secretary of State James Rubin claimed that "Kosovo has been a success," despite tremendous evidence to the contrary, not the least of which was the fact that the ICTY's own chief prosecutor had said that the ethnic persecution taking place in Kosovo under NATO's watch was just as serious as the ethnic persecution taking place in Kosovo under Slobodan Milosevic. Anticipating the invasion of Iraq, Rubin called for the creation of a high-level envoy for nation building ("with a budget to match"). Tens of thousands of Afghan, American and Iraqi lives (and hundreds of billions of dollars) later, the enthusiasm for nation building in Afghanistan and Iraq has faded. But it never would have been there to begin with if we had been more serious (and honest) about what was happening in the Balkans.--Gordon N. Bardos, "Bosnian Lessons,", July 16, 2010]

Max Clements, "Sarajevo: a cosmopolitan capital in an ethnically cleansed state," Independent, August 26, 2017

back button