Croatia-Serbia: War goes on - by judicial means

04 April 2014 by Radosa Milutinovic, The Hague (The Netherlands)
During a month-long, high-powered legal clash Croatia and Serbia have each accused the other of genocide before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. 20 years after last artillery salvos announced the end of the former Yugoslavia's bloody breakdown, two of its principal republics continued to wage war, by judicial means. 

 

In its claim, filed before ICJ in the summer of 1999, the Croatian government alleged that in 1991-92 Serbia committed 'ethnic cleansing' against Croatian citizens, as 'a form of genocide', 'by directly controlling the activity of its armed forces, intelligence agents, and various paramilitary detachments, on the territory of Croatia', and that large numbers of Croats were 'displaced, killed, tortured, or illegally detained'. After protracted procedural wrangling over court's jurisdiction, Serbia retaliated in 2010, with a counterclaim: Croatia, it alleged, committed genocide against its Serb citizens during Operation Storm in August 1995, by persecuting 200,000 Serbs from their homes in a self-proclaimed rebel statelet; killing those who stayed; and destroying their property.

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