MARTIC JUDGMENT SHOWS MILOSEVIC’s GUILT
DID YOU KNOW? ICTY Judgment against Milan Martic shows Slobodan Milosevic’s guilt and Yugoslav People Army’s involvement in the widespread war crimes. It also shows that more than 200,000 Croats and other non-Serbs were ethnically cleansed from Serb-held territories in Croatia long before Croatian and Bosnian Army attacked Serbs and regained lost territory in the Operation Storm.
The 1995 Srebrenica genocide claimed lives of at least 8,372 Bosniaks, while another 30,000 Bosnian Muslims were ethnically cleansed from the Enclave under supposed U.N protection.
Bosniaks and Croats quickly devised a large-scale military operation known as Operation Storm (Operacija Oluja). This military action was carried out by Croatian Armed Forces, in conjunction with the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to retake the parts of the country back into Croatia, which had been controlled by separatist ethnic Serbs since early 1991. The operation lasted 84 hours and was conducted from August 4 – August 8, 1995. Approximately 100,000 to 150,000 Serbs were forced to flee.
Some controversial commentators, like Carl Bildt, called this action as “the most efficient ethnic cleansing we’ve seen in the Balkans.” However, one must also remember that 4 years before the Operation Storm, more than 200,000 Croats and other non-Serbs were ethnically cleansed from the same territory held by Croatia’s Serbs.
According to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) indictment against Slobodan Milošević, the Croat and non-Serb population from the 1991 census was approximately 223,921. Serbs ethnically cleansed Croats, Bosniaks, and other non-Serbs from it’s territory 4 years before Croatian and Bosnian Army struck back and regained forcibly taken territory.
Milan Martić, the former wartime political leader of Croatian Serbs, was transferred today to Estonia to serve his 35-year sentence for crimes committed against Croats and other non-Serbs in Croatia between 1991 to 1994.
In Prosecutor vs. Milan Martic, the Trial Chamber found that the evidence showed that the President of Serbia, Slobodan Milošević, openly supported the preservation of Yugoslavia as a federation of which the so called Serbian Krajina in Croatia would form part. However, the evidence established that Slobodan Milošević covertly intended the creation of a Serb state known as the “Greater Serbia.”
This state was to be created through the establishment of paramilitary forces and the provocation of incidents in order to create a situation where the JNA could intervene. Initially, the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) would intervene to separate the parties but subsequently the JNA would intervene to secure the territories envisaged to be part of a future Serb state.
On the 26th of August 1991. On this date, the JNA 9th Corps – under the command of late Slobodan Milosevic – participated on the side of the Croatian Serb forces in an attack on the Croat-majority village of Kijevo, near Knin. From that point, the JNA participated in attacks on majority-Croat areas and villages. One witness even described the Army of the so called Serbian Krajina and the Yugoslav Army as one and the same organisation, only located at two separate locations.
Widespread acts of murder and violence, detention and intimidation became pervasive from 1992 to 1995. These acts were committed by local Serbs and by the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) who was under the command of Slobodan Milosevic.
The evidence established that the so called Serbian Krajina and its leadership sought and received significant financial, logistical and military support from Serbia. The support came from the MUP (Serbia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs) and the State Security Service of Serbia, from the JNA (Yugoslav People’s Army) and from the Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Milan Martić stated that he “personally never ceased this cooperation” and that there was “good cooperation with the leadership of Serbia, notably the [MUP].” In fact, the relationship with Serbia was so close that the SAO Krajina police was mainly financed with funds and material from Serbia. The support from Serbia continued throughout the indictment period.
The Trial Chamber therefore found that among others Blagoje Adžić, Milan Babić, Radmilo Bogdanović, Veljko Kadijević, Radovan Karadžić, Slobodan Milošević, Ratko Mladić, Vojislav Šešelj, Franko “Frenki” Simatović, Jovica Stanišić, and Captain Dragan Vasiljković participated in the furtherance of the common purpose of the joint criminal enterprise. The evidence showed that Milan Martić’s contacts with other members of the joint criminal enterprise were close and direct.