Wednesday, November 7, 2007


BRUSSELS, Belgium (November 7,2007) - The International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak will hold today a series of high-level meetings with the EU and NATO officials in Brussels.

Lajcak will meet with NATO Secretary General, Jaap De Hoop Scheffer and address the North Atlantic Council.He will be briefing NATO and later the EU's Political and Security Committee on the current political and security situation in Bosnia and the conclusions of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) meeting last week.

The International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia will assure both NATO and the EU that the international community retains the necessary instruments to counter destructive tendencies and that it will not allow attempts to undermine the Dayton Peace Agreement, whether from inside or outside Bosnia,the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) announced.

Last week the PIC underlined that the political and security situation in Bosnia is now of the utmost concern to the international community; since June Bosnia has moved no closer to initialing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union.

Given the lack of progress on key reforms, the PIC gave its unanimous support to the need to refocus on completing implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, including efforts to strenghten the functionality of the Bosnian state.

In his meetings with European Commission Officials the Lajcak will underline that the Mostar Declaration of 28 October can serve as the starting point for a positive reengagement of the Bosnian government coalition parties. However, concrete steps are now needed to demonstrate that this is a serious effort,the OHR stated.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 7,2007) – A member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic stated that rising of Croatian flags on the Bosnian Islands of Klek and Skolj is an attack on Bosnian sovereignty. The flags were raised by the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP).

”The Croatian Government should react to this act and provocation. It is worrying that this party believes that votes can be gained by attacks on Bosnian sovereignty and territorial integrity”, Haris Silajdzic’s Cabinet announced.

These territories are undoubtedly a part of Bosnia and will be protected from all the attacks, the announcement stated.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 7,2007) - The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic hosted a reception in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on the occasion of the Srebrenica Investment Conference that took place yesterday.

President Komsic addressed participants of the session – representatives of governmental and non-governmental sector and international organizations’ representatives and emphasized the need of creating conditions for sustainable return to Srebrenica which, as he said, became known all around the world 12 years ago as a site of genocide.

He added that Bosnia is a small developing country but also a country eager to join the circle of developed countries. In that sense, he told the attendees that now is the opportunity to help the development of Srebrenica for the purpose of its integration to the wider economic space of Bosnia, as well as the Southeastern European region.

President Komsic is of the opinion that it is the right moment for both domestic and foreign investments and that Srebrenica area should become as sustainable as possible.

According to him, it is the moment to focus on the economic development regardless of the current political mist.

”This conference is an opportunity for us to consider all the possibilities and the ways of helping the Srebrenica area in order to achieve a sustainable return, not only through donations, but also through investments aimed to develop industrial and economic capacities”, President Komsic said and called all the parties interested to support those actions.

The guests were greeted by the OHR Envoy for Srebrenica Clifford Bond and the Bosnian Foreign Investment Promotion Agency Director Haris Basic.The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak and other high officials attended the conference.

The Srebrenica Investment Conference is organized by FIPA and as expected, many investors showed interest for the Conference.

The FBIH Entity Prime Minister Nedzad Brankovic emphasized that the FBIH Entity Government has shown through its own investments that Bosnia is a safe area for investors.

”The FBIH Entity Government started several system activities and we have developed several important laws in the taxation sector. We have also developed an integral public investment program and we also intend to define this area as a special interest region”, Brankovic said.

Purpose of yesterday’s conference, as stated by the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak, is to determine and promote competition economic advantages of the Srebrenica area, in the sense of labour, natural resources and infrastructure. That will be done today transparently.

”Our goal is to turn these advantages into new jobs in Srebrenica and that can be done on the basis of precise information. Srebrenica is special and the events of 12 years ago are tragic for both the municipality and the entire world. However, that fact does not decrease the need of implementation of economic-development based policy. That fact strengthens the urgency of implementation of such policy”, Lajcak said.

He added that regardless of all the political problems in the Bosnian economy, Bosnia is trying to keep up the pace and that the impressive growth rate is a direct sign that investors should show an interest into the area.

Three topics were treated during the conference: “Srebrenica – from Reconstruction to Sustainable Development”, “Business Surroundings – Encouragement for Investors” and “Possibilities of Investments”.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 7,2007) - The Swiss Government continues to support the organization for humanitarian demining “Norwegian People’s Aid” (NPA). The Ambassador of Switzerland to Bosnia Rolf Lenz, visited several demining sites, and announced that his government will support NPA in 2008 with another half a million Swiss Francs.

“The Swiss Government is aware of the fact that mines not only pose a great danger to the people, but also a great obstacle to the development of a country. In an effort to help Bosnia, we have been continuously supporting NPA and demining activities for years,” Lenz said.

Ambassador Lenz has signed an agreement on the new financial contribution with the Regional NPA representative for the Southeastern Europe, Emil Jeremic. This contribution will allow for demining activities to continue in the Canton Sarajevo.

After the implementation of this project, NPA will have demined a total of 2.150.000 m2 in Canton Sarajevo in the period 1999 - 2008. The Swiss Government supports also a demining project in the southern Bosnia through which targeted areas in the Municipalities of Stolac and Berkovici will be demined, and economic development will be fostered, the Swiss Embassy announced.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 7,2007) – A Keraterm concentration camp survivor has testified before the Bosnian State Court,at the trial of Serbian war criminals Dusan Fustar, Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban and Dusko Knezevic,via video link with his face blurred.The witness stated that Serbian war criminal Dusan Fustar was superior to guards in the Keraterm concentration camp, where detained Bosnian and Croatian civilians were brutally tortured by the genocidal Serbian aggressor every day.

"Having in mind my and other detainees' suffering during his shifts, I can say that Fustar's guard shift was the worst of all in the Keraterm concentration camp. When his shift was approaching, we would say 'Here comes Fustar's shift. How shall we survive the night?'," said witness, who was brought by the genocidal serbian aggressor to the Keraterm concentration camp on June 11, 1992.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Serbian war criminals Dusan Fustar, Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban and Dusko Knezevic with having participated in the murder, beating, rape and torture of the Bosnian and Croatian civilians detained by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in Omarska and Keraterm concentration camps in 1992.

"A day or two after my arrival at the concentration camp, I saw Fustar. Later on other detainees told me that his name was Dusko. He was a big man, about 180cm tall. He was balding and had a moustache. When he visited the concentration camp, he usually wore camouflage uniform. I think he worked as a mechanic in Prijedor before the war," said the witness, and added that the guards told him that Fustar was "a guard shift commander".

The indictment alleges that from May 24 to August 30, 1992 Serbian war criminal Dusan Fustar was one of the guard shift commanders in Keraterm concentration camp and that he "was superior to and had real control over the work and behaviour of the guards".

In the course of the direct examination, witness said that, during his detention in the Keraterm concentration camp, he was beaten two times during "Fustar's shift".

"The first time, guard Kondic picked me up from hall number 2, in which I was detained, and he took me to room number 5. There was no light in there. A few guards beat me by hitting me in my back and kidney area. The same guard and Zigic also beat me in front of hall number 2, because I gave some bread through the window to the people who were locked in hall number 3, as they were hungry and thirsty.

Fustar was standing close to me while this was happening," witness recalled.

In February 2005, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced Serbian war criminal Zoran Zigic, also known as Ziga, to 25 years' imprisonment for crimes committed in Omarska and Keraterm concentration camps.

The name of Serbian war criminal Dragan Kondic is mentioned in the ICTY indictment against Dusko Sikirica et al, charging him with crimes committed in the Keraterm concentration camp.

During cross examination, witness answered most questions from Serbian war criminal Dusan Fustar's attorney Jovan Ostojic by saying "I do not remember" or "I do not know". The witness gave the same answer when the attorney asked him to provide the names of the guards who were in Fustar's guard shift.

Attorney Ostojic reminded the witness of his statements given in 1994 and 2001, in which the witness mentioned the names of the guards.

"I cannot remember exactly what I said in those old statements. However, what I have said today is true. I I have come here to tell the truth and I must admit that the recollections are painful. Maybe my previous statements were wrong, but I was under stress at the time," witness explained.

Witness stated to have been transferred from the Keraterm concentration camp to the Trnopolje concentration camp on August 5, 1992 and to have been released on August 11 the same year.

The trial is due to continue on November 14, 2007 when the Bosnian State Prosecutor will present material evidence.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 7,2007) – Two Prosecution witnesses testifying before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of Serbian war criminals Mirko Todorovic and Milos Radic have spoken of the events of May 20, 1992 - and the family members they lost on that day.

Serbian war criminals Mirko Todorovic and Milos Radic are believed to be responsible for the attack on 14 Bosnian civilians in the Bosnian village of Borkovac, Bratunac municipality.

After being captured and tortured, the Bosnian civilians were taken by the genocidal Serbian aggressor to a nearby brook and murdered.

A former Bratunac resident recalled the agony he went through when he learned that his daughter had been raped and murdered by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in Borkovac.

Hamed Ramic returned to Bosnia from Libya in January 1993. He said that, upon his return, he met his wife in Tuzla, who informed him that their daughter Hamedina had been raped and murdered by the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

"We could not say a word and we looked at each other for a long time. It was hard. When we regained our strength, we started talking about the details," said Ramic, adding that he got information about his daughter's death from his wife and from his cousin Hamed Alic (a previous Prosecution witness), who survived the killings in Borkovac.

The witness said that the two of them told him that Serbian war criminals Mirko Todorovic, Milos Radic, Novak Stjepanovic and three more unidentified Serbian aggressor's soldiers had captured a group of 14 Bosnian civilians - including his son Amer, who attended secondary school at the time - and his 22-year old daughter Hamedina.

"A group of savages took Hamedina to a nearby house. I heard that those barbarians had raped her and then took her to the brook and shot her in the head. The girl was 22 years old at the time. Mirko (Todorovic) must tell me who raped my child, who killed my child? I must know," Ramic said, adding that his son was among the survivors of the shooting.

Safa Sulejmanovic, another Prosecution witness, said she had to leave Bratunac at the beginning of 1992, when some Serbian aggressor's soldiers came and forced everybody out of their houses. When she arrived in Kladanj, she found out that her husband Fadil had been murdered by the genocidal Serbian aggressor on May 20, 1992.

The trial of Serbian war criminals Mirko Todorovic and Milos Radic is due to continue before the Bosnian State Court on November 12, when the Bosnian State Prosecutor will continue presenting evidence.


ZENICA, Bosnia (November 7,2007) – The number of assaults on police officers decreased by 32 percent in comparison with the same eight-month period last year, reports the Ministry of Interior of the Zenica-Doboj Canton.

“This is a result of the implementation of the Law on Security at sports competitions, which was passed last year and which is a powerful tool for police officers,” said Aziz Brotlija, Minister of Interior of the Zenica-Doboj Canton.

“It is also the result of a new approach to security at football matches, as well as of more frequent recourse to technical equipment and the Special Support Unit,” he said.