Saturday, September 22, 2007


SREBRENICA, Bosnia (September 22,2007) – Thursday has marked exactly four years since former US President Bill Clinton opened the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial Centre.The Memorial Centre Steering Board met on this occasion to analyse the four years of the Centre’s existence.

The Srebrenica Genocide Memorial Centre Director Mersed Smajlovic said that they have completed planned activities on building a memorial wall with the names of the genocide victims, opening the Memorial Room and putting up postaments with the message “That Srebrenica Never Repeats to Anyone Ever Again”.

2.907 genocide victims have been buried in the Memorial Centre during the past four years and some 2.000 identical headstones have been erected.

Activities on implementing the idea of the final appearance of the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial Centre will be continued in the upcoming period.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2007) – The first regional conference entitled “Informal Education in the Balkans” opened in Sarajevo. Over 50 participants from the 6 regional countries participated.

Representatives of Bosnia,Slovenia,Macedonia,Croatia,Montenegro and Serbia are participating; as well as the NGOs representatives and educational experts.

The conference is aimed to initiate regional cooperation in the field of informal education, and to present the examples of a good praxis from the countries of the region, EU and other countries of the world.

Aida Daguda, President of the Center for Promotion of Civic Society, stated that Bosnia is a lot behind in the sector of informal education, compared to other countries, One must keep in mind the fact that formal education in Bosnia is at a very low level of organization.

She emphasized that the informal education in Bosnia is realized in a narrow circle, mainly by the NGO representatives. The only way to improve the situation is to implement a joint platform which would be developed by the NGOs, governmental institutions and authority representatives.

Slovenia and Croatia are the countries that stand out as the best examples of the informal education.

Joze Gornik, President of the Slovenian Centre for Information stated that there is a small booklet in Slovenia that every 14-year-old receives and chooses all kinds of informal education courses.

Situation is quite the same in Croatia. Gordana Forcic, President of the SMART organization emphasized. There is the so-called “volunteer booklet” that has not yet been made official. However, they can be helpful in the employment processes.

The Sarajevo Centre for Promotion of Civil Society organized the conference.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2007) – The International Day of Peace was marked yesterday in Bosnian capital Sarajevo.Peace, freedom and safety are the biggest value for every Bosnian citizen, as well as for every citizen of the world,the President of the International Centre for Peace Ibrahim Spahic stated yesterday on the occasion of September 21, the International Day of Peace.

”Sadly”, Spahic said “this is the time when Bosnia and the rest of the world have forgotten about the peace builders, the people dedicated to conflict prevention. All the world’s attention is now focused on the conflicts in which the economic interest of bigger or smaller powers are solved by the means of weapons.

”Justice and equality are not respected in Bosnia today, for the only characteristic recognized is political, national, social and sexual injustice. Bosnia as a state does not react to any of these phenomenon and does not react in accordance to the international standards.

What dominates today is false solidarity, based on the profits of the companies producing conflicts or are participating in them in the name of human rights and freedoms. Such practice is common at all levels of authority”,Spahic said.

The International Day of Peace was first established in 1981 by a resolution 36/67 of the United Nations General Assembly to be "devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace, as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence and to coincide with its opening session every September, an invitation to all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day.

UN invited all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, regional and non-governmental organizations and individuals to commemorate the Day in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness, and to cooperate with the United Nations in establishing a global ceasefire.

This resolution also invited the Economic and Social Council to consider the possibility of declaring an International Year of Peace at the first practicable opportunity.

In 2001 the resolution 55/282 was strengthened to fix the date annually on 21 September,and for it to be a day of nonviolence and cease-fire,after a campaign by Jeremy Gilley,a British actor turned film-maker and founder of the non-profit organization - Peace One Day. The resolution was adopted unanimously by the Member States of the General Assembly.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2007) - The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak met with the Croatian President Stjepan Mesic in the Croatian Embassy in Sarajevo.

Lajcak told journalists after the meeting that he “accepted with satisfaction” Mesic’s invitation to officially visit Croatian capital Zagreb.

The High Representative said that he “objectively informed Mesic about the political situation in Bosnia”.

“President Mesic is a smart man and a responsible politician. I did not have to ask anything of him. He understands the situation in Bosnia well”, Lajcak said.

Mesic arrived in Sarajevo to receive the so-called "International League of Humanists’ (ILH) Humanist of the 20th Century Award", together with former Presidents of Slovenia and Macedonian Milan Kucan and Kiro Gligorov, in Sarajevo on Thursday evening. The fourth laureate, former Czech President Vaclav Havel, was unable to come to Sarajevo and Czech Ambassador to Bosnia Jirzi Kudela will receive the award on his behalf.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2007) – From the secondary mass grave at Zeleni Jadar, Municipality of Srebrenica,the expert team for exhumations, under the leadership of the Tuzla Canton Prosecutor’s Office, has exhumed yesterday one complete and nine incomplete skeleton remains of genocide victims from the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica murdered in July 1995 by the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

According to the spokeswoman of the Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office, Jasna Subotić, from this mass grave at Zeleni Jadar so far a total of eight complete and 32 incomplete bodies have been exhumed.

They are supposed to belong to the Bosnian civilians from Srebrenica murdered in July 1995 by the genocidal Serbian aggressor,who were first buried at Kravice and Glogova and later relocated by the Serbian aggressor to Zeleni Jadar in order to destroy the evidence of the crime.

The grave in question is the eighth such mass grave at the Zeleni Jadar locality. It is 3,70 metres wide by 13,50 metres long


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2007) – The FBIH Entity Minister of Displaced Persons and Refugees Edin Music and the Sarajevo Canton Minister of Work, Social Policy, Displaced Persons and Refugees signed yesterday in Sarajevo the Agreement on Cooperation in the Implementation of the Program of Aid to the Srebrenica Municipality area.

The cantonal Ministry provided 400.000 Bosnian Marks for the project implementation. Minister Dubravic said that the money is aimed to support the process of sustainable return in the Municipality of Srebrenica.

”Signing of the agreement is a confirmation of the quality cooperation between the FBIH entity government and the Sarajevo Canton. The two ministries have already been realizing the projects aimed to help solve the issues of returnees in the area”, Music said.

Music added that the FBIH entity government has provided 3,5 million Bosnian Marks for Srebrenica and for the reconstruction of the apartment facilities and infrastructure. The projects are worth 5 million Bosnian Marks in total.

Ministers Music and Dubravic signed a Protocol on Formation of the Assistance Fund for Underdeveloped Cantons’ Development, with the representatives of the following cantons: Bosna – Podrinje, Posavina and Livno. They also signed an Agreement on Joint Association of Goods, aimed to assist the Fund.

Federal and cantonal ministries have provided 100.000 Bosnian Marks each. The Bosna – Podrinje Canton will receive 100.000 Bosnian Marks each and the Posavina and Livno Cantons per 50.000 Bosnian Marks each.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2007) – At its regular session, the Bosnian Police Steering Board, among other issues, finalized a new Terms of Reference, which should reinforce the future decision-making role of this body in relation to both operational and technical policing issues.

In addition, they also elected a new Chairperson, Goran Lujic, Chief of Brcko District Police, for a period of six months, as part of their power sharing responsibility.

The newly appointed Chairperson emphasized that ‘the focus during his tenure will be to finalize and work on the application of the new Terms of Reference.’

Tight coordination and cooperation in operational and technical policing issues is essential for the future success of police organizations in Bosnia, and this is the area where the reinforced role of the Bosnian Police Steering Board becomes crucial. Once adopted, the amended areas of work of the Bosnian Police Steering Board will among others be:

- Development of strategies and general operational plans related to the fight against organized crime, including the improvement of police/prosecution co-operation;
- Strengthening internal and external control, inspection and accountability of police in Bosnia;
- Support in the further development of the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA),the Bosnian Border Police and Interpol;
- Issues related to nationwide operation and support tools such as data bases forensic and training curriculum;

“As the new Terms of Reference also aim to strengthen the current board membership with the inclusion of two cantonal police commissioners, the document was forwarded to them for further consultation. Their comments are expected within the next week,” explained Lujic.

“Following its adoption, work will then commence on establishing relevant processes and procedures at the Bosnian state level, which are urgently required to resolve the joint operational problems currently being faced by the police organisations. The greatest step forward will be made when the true application of these new competencies start at the Bosnian state level,” concluded Lujić.

The Bosnian Police Steering Board comprises of the highest senior police managers representing the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency - Sead Lisak, Border Police - Vinko Dumancic, FBIH Entity Police Administration - Zlatko Miletic, RS Entity Police - Uros Pena, Brcko District Police - Gojko Lujic and EU Police Mission - General Vincenzo Coppola.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2007) - The sixth contingent of Bosnian Army departed yesterday from Sarajevo to Iraq to aid in mine removal activities.

Bosnia's professional soldiers, specialized in de-mining activities, are to join the US troops in Iraq, and would be tasked with the destruction of unexploded mines and other explosive devices.

The contingent is to stay in Iraq for six months.Bosnia has been deploying troops to Iraq since June 2005.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2007) - The main political parties of the Croatians living in Bosnia have adopted a joint platform on future Bosnian constitutional changes at a meeting in the central Bosnian town of Kresevo yesterday.

The declaration envisages the abolition of Bosnia’s two largely autonomous entities, and the creation of new regions.

The joint platform sets out the Croats' proclaimed commitment to the Bosnian state with a EU agenda, where Croats, together with the other two constituent peoples, the Bosniaks and the Serbs, will enjoy sovereignty and equality across the whole territory of Bosnia.

“A new Bosnian constitution would abandon the existing two-entity organization and establish a more functional and just organization, which will not discriminate against or favour any one people,” says the declaration.

The document envisages Bosnia as a decentralized state with local, regional and state-level governments, where the regional and state level authorities have legislative, executive and judicial powers.

The most disputed layer of government – on the regional level – is intended to be established on the basis of historical, ethnic, geographic, economic and other important criteria “with the possibility of territorial discontinuity of the present organizational units.”

Sarajevo, as the capital of Bosnia, would enjoy special status.

The declaration was signed by leaders of the political parties of the Croatians living in Bosnia: the Croatian Democratic Union in Bosnia, the Croatian Democratic Union, 1990; the Croatian Party of Rights; the Croatian Rights Party; the Croatian Christian Democratic Union; and the People's Benefit through Work Party.

Even before the declaration was signed, it was rejected by other, less nationalist Croat leaders.

“This document does not speak clearly about the internal organization of Bosnia, but it favors a third entity, and we have always been against the entity division of the country and against the creation of a third entity,” said the president of the Croatian National Council, Franciscan father Luka Markesic, after meeting Croatian President Stjepan Mesic on Thursday afternoon.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2007) - At the trial before the Bosnian State Court of Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic, who is charged with war crimes committed on the territory of Central Bosnia as a member of the Croatian aggressor's formations during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia, a protected Prosecution witness has recalled the maltreatment and torture he experienced in Kaonik concentration camp set up by the Croatian aggressor.

However, the witness has not been able to confirm what role the indictee had in the concentration camp.

"We were taken from the camp to dig trenches. Everything was fine until one soldier took me behind a tree and ordered me to take my clothes off. He started beating me and ordered me to sing. After that, other soldiers came and the beating continued," protected witness O has said.

Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic is charged with having planned, ordered and perpetrated the attacks on Bosnian villages and towns in Central Bosnia area, including Busovaca and Vitez.

The witness has said that "the worst thing that happened to him" was when the Croatian aggressor's soldiers "set his beard on fire using a torch", and also when "one soldier" took his French beret off his head, set it to fire and then forced him to eat it.

"I had to eat the burning cap, which could not burn down as it was made of fireproof material," the protected witness has recalled, with his eyes full of tears.

Witness O was brought to Kaonik concentration camp on 25 January 1993 and he was released on 8 February 1993.

Answering the defence's questions in the course of the cross-examination, the witness has said that he has never seen the indictee or "heard any bad things about him".

The trial is set to continue on 24 September.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2007) - The trial of Serbian war criminals Mirko Todorovic and Milos Radic before the Bosnian State Court will start on 1 October and, according to the initial estimates of the Trial Chamber, may last for 22 days.

Todorovic and Radic, former members of the Serbian aggressor's formations, are charged with crimes against humanity committed against Bosnian civilians in Bratunac during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The indictment alleges that the two Serbian war criminals,together with other Serbian aggressor's soldiers, attacked a group of 14 Bosnian civilians in the village of Borkovac near the eastern Bosnian town of Bratunac in May 1992. After they maltreated the civilians, they murdered them.

Prosecutor Ibro Bulic has announced that the prosecution will examine 14 witnesses and two court forensics experts, and will present material evidence to the Bosnian State Court during the evidence presentation process that will last for eight days.

The defence teams had not come prepared to present their plan at the status conference. However, they have reiterated that, in the course of the evidence presentation process, they will rely on witnesses who will provide an alibi for their clients.

Todorovic's defence attorney has said that he has "a list of about 15 potential witnesses", but "cannot detail a final plan at this stage".The defence attorney of Serbian war criminal Milos Radic, has said that he is planning to invite "no more than nine witnesses" and that he is not in possession of material evidence at this moment. Both have asked the Bosnian State Court to appoint additional attorneys.

Serbian war criminals Todorovic and Radic refused to appear at the status conference.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2007) - Bosnian government decided to revoke citizenship granted to 613 people. A special commission tasked with checking the procedure and circumstances under which the citizenships were granted, said in its semi-annual report that citizenship had so far been revoked in 613 cases.

Most of the people whose Bosnian citizenship was revoked were of Turkish origin, but the number also includes Algerian, Egyptian, Jordanian, Sudanese, Syrian, Tunisian and Russian nationals.

Most of them came to Bosnia mainly to help Bosnians defend Bosnia from the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions.Many of them decided to stay in Bosnia after the war,where they later married Bosnian women and started families.

The commission would continue with the work until next February when its mandate ends.