Parties condemn Bosnian Croat rejection of UN tribunal ruling

NEWS 27.01.2019 12:42
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Source: N1

Saturday’s rejection by Bosnian Croat parties of the UN tribunal ruling which defined the wartime Bosnian Croat statelet of Herzeg Bosna as a joint criminal enterprise drew criticism from pro-Bosnian parties who labelled it an attempt to “revise history.”

The Croat National Council (HNS) passed on Saturday a Declaration on the state of affairs of Croats in Bosnia and said that the war Bosnian Croat forces fought in the 1990s was “just and legitimate” and not part of a joint criminal enterprise as the UN war crimes tribunal has labelled it.

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“The basic values of the Homeland War are freedom, rule of law, peacemaking with national equality and respect for human rights,” it said while also urging the judiciary to process war crimes committed by some individuals.

“On the contrary, these crimes were the result of a plan drawn up by members of the JCE (joint criminal enterprise) whose goal was to permanently remove the Muslim population from Herceg-Bosna,” a 2017 ruling by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said.

The verdict established that the aim was to turn Herceg Bosnia into a part of greater Croatia and that Croatia’s leadership took part in the JCE.

“We reject the joint criminal enterprise qualification of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia with it has groundlessly and unjustly attributed to the Republic of Croatia, the Croat Republic of Herceg Bosna and to the Croatian Defense Council,” Saturday’s Declaration said.

The Bosniak Party for Democratic Action (SDA) said the rejection of rulings of the UN court was “an attack against the truth about the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina, an insult for the victims of the joint criminal enterprise and an attempt to revise history.”

Rejections cannot change rulings and historical facts and the calls for a territorial and administrative re-arrangement of the country based on the glorification of a joint criminal enterprise are making talks about reforms difficult and show that the Croat National Council was just paying lip service to Bosnia’s EU membership, the party statement said.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) called the rejection of the tribunal’s verdict “a historical precedent” and a continuation of a policy that keeps Bosnian citizens hostage of twisted interpretations of the Constitution and prevents every effort to establish the rule of law in the country and improve the life of its citizens.

Nasa Stranka (Our Party) said denying verdicts of the Hague Tribunal was “irresponsible and dangerous” and that the Croatian National Council missed the chance to distance itself from war crimes but sealed its position as a permanent defender of war criminals.

The Democratic Front (DF) called on international institutions in Bosnia to condemn the Council’s glorification of the joint criminal enterprise.