Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BOSNIAN PRESIDENT HARIS SILAJDŽIĆ ADDRESSED PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OF COUNCIL OF EUROPE

STRASBOURG, France (September 30,2008) - The Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic met with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Lluis Maria de Puig, and with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Terry Davis in Strasbourg,France,the Bosnian State Presidency said.

President Silajdzic said in the meeting that he respects the Council of Europe for dealing with the issues of human rights and democracy, which are important issues for Bosnia.

He also underlined it was important to talk about the genocide which was committed by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor against the Bosnian people,during yje 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia, and for which the UN is also responsible. De Puigo emphasized that Bosnia can always count on the Council of Europe’s help.

In the meeting with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Terry Davis, the issues of human rights and segregation in education were discussed, and President Silajdzic said the idea of apartheid cannot survive in Bosnia.

The Bosnian President Haris Silajdžić also addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe:

"Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honor to address the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Allow me to express my sadness at the passing of Lord Russell Johnston, who was your peer for twenty-three years and who ably presided over this Assembly between 1999 and 2002. Lord Russell Johnston worked tirelessly on human rights issues until the very end, and our thanks and sympathies go to his loved ones.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Bosnia and Herzegovina highly values the work of the Council of Europe and its bodies and institutions. We have often been direct beneficiaries of this work, and have as a result of it made improvements with respect to the rule of law, human rights, and democracy. For this, I convey to you the gratitude of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We are mindful, however, that we continue to face a number of obstacles We have a long way to go before Bosnia and Herzegovina is able to live up to the principles that constitute the very foundation of this body.

Even the progress that Bosnia and Herzegovina has made often falls prey to the discriminatory arrangements that are built into our system of governance. While Bosnia and Herzegovina was among the first five countries to ratify Protocol 12 to the European Convention, it is the only country in Europe, and the world, whose Constitution, bars some of its citizens from seeking office solely on the basis of their ethnicity.

To be sure, the Dayton Peace Agreement ended the war, aggression and genocide. Its value in such a context cannot be denied. But Dayton was also intended to reduce discrimination and reverse the effects of genocide and ethnic cleansing. On paper, it had all the necessary elements to do so.

Indeed, Annex 7 of Dayton guarantees that all refugees and displaced persons shall have a right to “return in safety, without risk of harassment, intimidation, persecution, or discrimination, particularly on account of their ethnic origin…” In practice, and in the words of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitutional Court, we have been witnessing:

“a systemic, continuing and deliberate practice of the public authorities of Republika Srpska with the goal of preventing the so-called ‘minority’ returns, either through direct participation in violent incidents or through the abdication of responsibility to protect the people from…violent attacks due solely to their ethnic background.”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This matter, clearly, is not solely our concern. On the contrary, we are hearing statements this week, in these halls, that the right to return in another European context is not an important right, as demonstrated by the fact that it was never implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Do these statements suggest that Republika Srpska has succeeded in creating an international precedent? Does one get to keep the ethnically clean slate created by butchering and expelling those who are different?

If that is allowed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it will serve as a dangerous precedent and will seriously undermine this institution’s other objectives in my country. Dayton was clearly not designed with a la carte implementation in mind, as one of its components cannot function without the full functioning of the others. Obstruction of some of Dayton’s elements was born precisely out of a desire to stifle democracy and preserve ethnocracy.

One effect of this obstruction is that entity voting has morphed into an ethno-territorial mechanism, whereby only 22 percent of deputies in the State Parliament, all of them Serbs, and all of them from Republika Srpska, can block any decision they desire. Indeed, precisely because 1.2 million have not returned, there are only two non-Serb deputies from the RS, far from enough to unblock obstruction. Conversely, since a vote from RS is worth double a Federation vote under entity voting, this is a one sided mechanism.

And what has this entity voting been used for? Just in the last two years, it was employed five times to block changes to the Citizenship Law that would permit dual citizenship. Unless these changes, modeled on the European practice, are passed, over half-a-million Bosnian refugees, who fled the country not of their own volition but under the threat of death, stand to lose their native, Bosnia and Herzegovina citizenship.

This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is genocide and ethnic cleansing by other means. The plan calls for eliminating on paper those who could not be eliminated in person. The weapon of choice is entity voting. And this weapon is still there despite the clear language in this Assembly’s resolution 1513 that mandates that entity voting itself be “eliminate[d].”

It is not the implementation of Dayton, but the violation of its core principles, that led to the ethnic apartheid we see today in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are about to start work on a new Constitution, and allowing this practice to continue will not make that process a successful one. Instead, we will see secretive and pressurized negotiations, resulting in a flawed document. I know because I was there two years ago when the April package of amendments, that the Venice Commission heavily criticized, was offered instead of a meaningful constitutional reform. You know as well, because you were here at that time, adopting a Report that unequivocally stated that it was the “this [entity] voting system, the insistence on it and its political implications, which is to blame for the failure of the constitutional initiative, not a handful of individual representatives who voted against the [April package].”

It is for these reasons that I ask you to clearly identify the culprits and hold them accountable. Indeed, if Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot end school segregation because Dayton gives it no competencies to do so, where should the finger be pointed? Likewise, if only 22 percent entity-voting deputies block the law on the census, refusing the EUROSTAT-recommended disaggregated data, should the 78 percent majority who voted for the census be equally blamed? Finally, if we do not create a Supreme Court, as you and the Venice Commission tell us we should, is the blocked majority to blame?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please clearly tell us what the European standards are, and I, for my part, pledge that I will entirely accept those standards. I am certain that I speak for a clear majority of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina here. There are those who say that they would choose an ethnocracy and its institutions over Europe, but should such views be relevant in today’s Europe?

In fact, is today’s Europe substantively different from Europe 60 years ago? Are we now only declaratively in favor of the rule of law, human rights, and democracy, but secretly still harbor respect for brute force? Do we condemn genocide through a verdict of the International Court of Justice but do nothing to eliminate its results? I hope that we are not such a Europe. I hope that we are a Europe in which ICJ judgments are implemented and not left in the archives of that Court. I hope that we are a Europe that realizes that, in the long run, values will always win against short-sighted pragmatic interests.

I could quote the ICJ Judgment to remind you what values are at stake, but, instead, I will quote my good friend Lord Russell-Johnston, whose account of the Srebrenica genocide is almost identical to that of the Court seven years later: “almost ten thousand…husbands, fathers, and sons, some only ten or eleven years old, even babies,… were killed in a five-day-long spree of homicidal madness, committed by the Bosnian Serb troops under the command of Ratko Mladic, an indicted war criminal, who is still at large.”

While we applaud the recent arrest of Radovan Karadzic, the fact remains that some of the institutions that the ICJ Judgment explicitly identified as perpetrators of genocide are still in existence. We also applaud the revision of the indictment against Karadzic, which now includes two counts of genocide, across Bosnia and Herzegovina, and against both Bosniaks and Croats. Finally, considering that the ICJ Judgment is the first and only judgment under the Genocide Convention in history, I hope that this Assembly will consider its implications.

Dear Friends,

We have not forgotten the help we received from many of you, and for that we thank you once again. However, without a comprehensive reform of the Dayton Constitution, little progress will be made, threatening peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. I hope that the monitoring process will continue, and that we can also count on the continued help of the Venice Commission in this regard. Rule of law is important as it regulates an otherwise chaotic world, and we need such regulation more than ever. There must be a notion that justice exists, and people must be able to believe in it.

Finally, I hope that we can count on you to identify those who are committed to Europe of the twenty-first century versus those whose thinking is still dominated by the sixteenth-century ideas of ethnic fiefdoms. Ironically, Bosnia and Herzegovina was for centuries a genuine multi-ethnic society whose unique fiber was almost destroyed through mass slaughter, rapes, torture, abuse, expulsion and plunder at the end of the last century. Helping us reverse the effects of those crimes and to build a modern constitutional state that is true to its multiethnic character will make both Bosnia and Europe a better place",the Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic said in his address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
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BOSNIAN PRESIDENT HARIS SILAJDŽIĆ MET WITH PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COURT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS JEAN-PAUL COSTA

STRASBOURG, France (September 30,2008) - Following the meetings that took place yesterday with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly and Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Bosnian President Haris Silajdžić has met with the President of the European Court for Human Rights Jean-Paul Costa in Strasbourg,France,the Bosnian State Presidency said.

President Silajdžić emphasized that he entered the Court with utmost respect, because he visited it precisely because of Bosnian citizens who, as he put it, perceive it as the last pillar of protection of their fundamental human and civil rights.He highlighted his commitment to for respect of verdicts of European Court, and announced that the number of appeals from Bosnia will probably rise until the new Constitution is introduced, which will be in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Bosnian President Haris Silajdžić also accentuated that a great number of Bosnian citizens rely on the European Court because they fell that they can not receive justice at the national courts, which is, as he said, the result of discriminatory provisions or practice on different grounds.

The President of the Court Jean Paul Costa thanked President Silajdžić on this visit, and reiterated that presidential visit reflects the level of seriousness of a country towards the European Court for Human Rights. He informed the Chairman Silajdžić about the challenges the Court faces, and some planned projects directed towards faster solution of the cases, and invited Bosnia to help him in this respect.

Number of cases from Bosnia have also been discussed, the type and kind of such cases, as well as the need of an educational campaign in order to inform Bosnian citizens better with the rules of the European Court for Human Rights.
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U.S. DEFENCE DEPARTMENT DELEGATION VISITS BOSNIA

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2008) - A high delegation of the US Defence Department, helmed by the U.S. Deputy Defence Secretary Gordon England, will arrive in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo today for a two-day official visit.

The guests from the United States will talk with officials of the Bosnian State Presidency, the Bosnian Council of Ministers and the Bosnian Defence Ministry, also their host in the next two days.
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IGGY POP CANCELS CONCERT IN BOSNIA

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2008) - The famous American musician Iggy Pop has canceled his concert in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo "due to security reasons".

Art Zone that has organized the concert says that "the security issue" helped reduce number of sold tickets.

But,Bosnian authorities said that the concert was canceled because of no interest for the concert and are saying that the managers of the band do not want to acknowledge that.

Last weekend, the Bosnians have attacked a few lunatics who attemped to import "a homosexual parade" from the "Christian" world into Bosnia and have beaten and stoned them.
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CONFERENCE ON BOSNIAN INSURANCE MARKET DEVELOPMENT OPENS IN SARAJEVO

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2008) - A conference about the Bosnian insurance market development opened in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo yesterday.

Ferdinand Kopp, a representative of the EC Delegation in Bosnia, announced then that a project supporting the operations of the national and two regional insurance agencies has been developed, and they will be funded from the IPA 2007 programme.

Director of the Bosnian Insurance Agency Samir Omerhodzic reminded that unification of the Bosnian insurance market was the key activity of the Agency last year.He also announced amendments to the Insurance Agency Act.
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BOSNIA TO BOOST COOPERATION WITH MOLDOVA

NEW YORK, United Nations (September 30,2008) - The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alakalaj met with Moldova's Deputy Premier, Foreign and European Integration Minister Andrei Stratan yesterday within the High Segment meeting of the UN General Assembly.

The the two officials highlighted the need to deepen the bilateral and multilateral cooperation relations between Bosnia and Moldova.

Stratan hailed the cooperation between the two friendly countries within the Central-European Initiative, South East European Co-operation Process (SEECP), and other regional institutions.

The two officials exchanged opinions on the internal progress made by the two countries on their European integration path, and agreed to exchange experience in this sector.

Stratan also informed Alakalaj about Moldova's initiatives during its chairmanship of a series of South-Eastern European organizations
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SPAIN TO PUSH FOR WITHDRAWAL OF EU TROOPS FROM BOSNIA

MADRID, Spain (September 30,2008) - The Spanish Defence Minister, Carme Chacón, has announced that she will be lobbying her EU counterparts at a meeting in Touville (France) this week for the EU military mission in Bosnia (EUFOR) to become an "essentially civil" operation.

Addressing the Spanish Senate Defence Committee earlier this morning,Chacón argued that the transfer of responsibilities to the Bosnian Army is now practically complete, and that "it only remains to finalise the political reforms."

There are 321 Spanish servicemen and women deployed in Bosnia as part of a total contingent of 2,200 EU troops.
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GOOD YEAR FOR BOSNIAN FARMERS

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2008) - The data from the regional statistics agency show that a total of 75,157 tonnes of wheat were harvested this year in the FBIH entity, which was an increase of 4.8 per cent compared to the year before.

The average yield was up by 4.9 per cent. Crops of other types of corn were also up, especially oat (+29.9 per cent).

Fruit producers also did well this year, harvesting by 38.8 per cent more cherries and 23.4 per cent more sour cherries. However, the apricot crop was by 22.8 per cent smaller.
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Monday, September 29, 2008

BOSNIA MEETS 13 OUT OF 30 CONDITIONS FOR EU MEMBERSHIP

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2008) - Bosnia has fulfilled 13 out of total 30 short-term conditions on the basis of which the European Commission will assess progress the country has made on its path towards the EU membership.

This is stated in a report that the Bosnian Council of Ministers adopted last week. Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric said then there is time until October 5 to take care of a few more things.The 30 short-term priorities were set in the summer of 2008, and they are only a portion of a more extensive package with 100-odd conditions.

The ones that have been met concern the formation of the Fiscal Council and legislation regulating agriculture, food, rural development, drugs, professional secondary education and FBiH entity public broadcasting system.

On top of that, several strategies have been adopted, agency heads appointed and the public administration reform fund became operational.
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BOSNIAN STATE COURT CONVICTS THREE SERBIAN WAR CRIMINALS

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2008) - The Bosnian State Court has announced today a first instance verdict against three Serbian war criminals for crimes against Bosnian civilians committed in the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The Bosnian State Court announced a first instance verdict, sentencing Serbian war criminals Sreten Lazarevic, Dragan Stanojevic, Mile Markovic and Slobodan Ostojic to a total of 22 years' imprisonment.

The most severe sentence was the one pronounced against Serbian war criminal Sreten Lazarevic. The deputy commander of a concentration camp established by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in Zvornik ,is sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. Serbian war criminal Dragan Stanojevic was sentenced to 7 years, while Serbian war criminals Mile Markovic and Slobodan Ostojic were sentenced to five years each.

"The indictees are guilty of war crimes against civilians. They deliberately violated the international humanitarian law, by mistreating detained civilians in the prisons and causing them severe physical and mental suffering," Trial Chamber Chairwoman Mira Smajlovic said.

Explaining the verdict, the Trial Chamber said that "the indictees undoubtedly committed the crimes charged upon them", adding that "it has been proved that the detained Bosnian civilians, who were held in the concentration camp, were unarmed and non-uniformed persons or civilians at the moment when they were detained".

"The Court considers the facts that the indictees are family men, that they behaved in a correct manner during the course of the main trial and that there were numerous paramilitary groups in Zvornik in the period when the crimes were committed, as mitigating circumstances," the justification of the verdict states.

The four convicted Serbian war criminals do not have to cover the trial costs, because the Trial Chamber has concluded that "they do not have sufficient financial resources to pay for the costs".

The Bosnian State Court has referred the injured parties to this proceeding to file civil suits in order to settle their property and legal claims.
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BOSNIAN STATE COURT SENTENCES CROATIAN WAR CRIMINAL SLAVKO ŠAKIĆ TO EIGHT AND A HALF YEARS IN PRISON

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2008) - Accepting the guilt admission agreement, the Bosnian State Court pronounced a verdict today, sentencing Croatian war criminal Slavko Sakic, former member of the Croatian fascist aggressor's formations, to eight and a half years' imprisonment.

Croatian war criminal Slavko Sakic was arrested in the southwestern Bosnian town of Livno by members of the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) on May 19 this year. He has been held under custody since then. The time he has spent in custody will be calculated towards his sentence.

Although Croatian fascist originally pleaded not guilty, he reached an agreement with the Bosnian State Prosecution on September 5, admitting guilt for crimes described in the four counts of the indictment.

The indictment states that, in July 1993 he committed war crimes against Bosnian civilians in the Bosnian town Bugojno,during the Ceoatian aggression against Bosnia.

Croatian war criminal Slavko Sakic participated in detention and abuse of Bosnian civilians in "Akvarijum" hotel in Vrbanja settlement. It is further stated that, acting in cooperation with other Croatian fascist aggressor's soldiers, he caused numerous bodily injuries to detained Bosnian civilians, performing particularly severe torture of a group of Bosnian civilians, consisting, among others, of some old men, by carving a cross on their palms, after having injured them.

The indictment states that Croatian war criminal slavko Sakic participated in abuse and murder of one Bosnian civilian and took the detainees to the front lines to perform forced labour. Some Bosnian civilians were wounded on those occasions.

Trial Chamber Chairwoman Jasminka Kosovic explained that the law foresees ten or more years' imprisonment for perpetrators of such crimes, adding that the Chamber has taken into consideration the fact that "the indictee has admitted the crimes, he has no previous criminal record, he is a father of three minors and he was adult, but still very young, when the crimes were committed".

It was also said that Croatian war criminal Slavko Sakichad signed an agreement, in which he expressed his regret for the crimes he had committed. The mentioned agreement has still not been made available to the public.

The guilt admission agreement states that the Bosnian State Court can sentence him to between seven and ten years' imprisonment.Despite the fact that Croatian war criminal Slavko Sakic agreed, in the guilt admission agreement between him and the Prosecution, to pay for the costs of this trial, the Chamber determined that, due to his poor financial situation, he would not have to cover the trial costs, which would be paid from the budget.
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EU APPROVES FINACIAL ASSISTANCE FOR BOSNIA AND OTHER CANDIDATE STATES

BRUSSELS, Belgium (September 29,2008) - The European Union's executive arm agreed today how to spend 4.5 billion Euros ($6.5 billion) in aid to the bloc's candidate countries in 2008-10, giving priority to improving governance and the rule of law.

The EU Commission has approved a grant of 269.9 million Euros to be presented to Bosnia between 2008-2010.

The EU would also give a grant of 1.758 billion Euros to Turkey,584.4 million Euros to the genocidal Serbia, 451.4 million Euros to Croatia, 359.1 million Euros to Kosovo, 245.1 million Euros to Albania, 244.3 million Euros to Macedonia and 99.9 million Euros to Montenegro as either candidate or potential candidate countries in the next three years

'The road towards the EU is paved with reforms to improve the everyday lives of citizens and to comply with the strict EU accession criteria,' EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said in a statement.
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COUNCIL OF EUROPE TO DISCUSS THE ADOPTION OF A RESOLUTION CALLING FOR STRONGER BOSNIAN STATE INSTITUTIONS

STRASBOURG, France (September 29,2008) - The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) will convene tomorrow and discuss a report about Bosnia, along with a resolution calling for stronger state-level institutions and constitutional reform, so that Bosnia would be able to meet all conditions ahead of her on the path to the EU membership.

The report written by Finn Kimmo Sassi and Turk Mevlut Cavusoglu has already been adopted unanimously by the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe earlier this month.

Political representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia have announced their motion to amend the resolutions, and a plan to lobby for support from Russia, the genocidal Serbia and the "Eastern block".

The Council of Europe is the oldest international organisation working towards European integration, being founded in 1949. It has a particular emphasis on legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation. It has 47 member states with some 800 million citizens.
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BOSNIAN TRADE UNION LEADER CALLS FOR PRIVATISATION LEGISLATION CHANGES

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2008) - The President of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bosnia , Edhem Biber, has called for changes to privatisation legislation, claiming that current regulations cannot provide a swift and transparent process.

Biber stated that the government should retain a controlling stake in state-owned telcos HT Mostar and BH Telecom. The calls have been backed by the Employers’ Association of the FBIH entitya, which also believes that a new privatisation framework is needed, and that in the current economic climate the sale of national telcos should be postponed.

In response to the claims, a statement from the Sarajevo Stock Exchange (SASE) argues that should the sale of the telcos not take place it would deny the market its mechanisms for determining the value of a business, as well as the small investors their right to take part in the process. The SASE has also reiterated that the government has stated a portion of the privatisation proceeds would be injected into the stock market, and the financial body believes this could stimulate the market.

The government itself has identified the need to speed up the privatisation process, claiming that BH Telecom has lost approximately 10% of its value due to inflation, and according to the prime minister of the FBIH entity, Nedzad Brankovic, the process for the preparing paperwork for an international tender would take approximately three months; it is expected that tenders will be invited before the end of 2009.
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Friday, September 26, 2008

BOSNIA MOVES CLOSER TO NATO

NEW YORK, USA (September 26,2008) - Bosnia has been invited to join a group of countries seeking membership in the NATO alliance.The Adriatic Charter, which consists of Albania, Croatia and Macedonia,extended invitations to the two southeastern European states: Bosnia and Montenegro, during a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

"This decision was made in the firm belief that this expansion of the charter will further strengthen mutual cooperation and advance Euro-Atlantic integration," McCormack said.

Albania, Croatia and Macedonia under the guidance of the United States founded the Adriatic Charter in 2003 to help the countries join the NATO alliance.

Albania and Croatia are set to become NATO members next year, while Macedonia’s bid to join the military alliance faltered because of a Greek veto.
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A CONCENTRATION CAMP SURVIVOR FROM KALINOVIK TESTIFIES ABOUT MASS RAPES COMMITTED BY THE GENOCIDAL SERBIAN FASCIST AGGRESSOR AGAINST BOSNIAN WOMEN

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 26,2008) – A concentration camp survivor from Kalinovik testified yesterday before the Bosnian State Court about the mass rapes committed by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor's soldiers against Bosnian women during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Prosecution witness Enesa Hasanbegovic was dtained in the vicinity of Ulog, in Kalinovik municipality, in late June 1992. She was among 193 residents of Gacko, who were captured while trying to escape the town due to the attack conducted by the the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor.

On that occasion the witness' husband and two children were also detained and taken to the premises of the school in Ulog.

In early July 1992, all detained Bosnian civilians were transferred to the sports hall within the school building in Kalinovik, where witness Hasanbegovic's husband was murdered by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor in August 1992. She has still not found his remains.

"On August 1, 1992, members of the unit commanded by some "duke" from Prebilovci, took my husband away. I have never seen him again. Later on I went to the classroom in which he was murdered. When I got there I saw marks on the wall, which were made by bullets, and bullet capsules lying on the floor. The floor was dark, like blood. There was a trace of blood, leading to the exit door," Hasanbegovic said.

The Bosnian State Prosecution charges Serbian war criminals Ratko Bundalo, Nedjo Zeljaja and Djordjislav Askraba, former members of the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor;s formations, among other things with the crimes committed in a school building in Kalinovik in 1992.

"In Kalinovik we were guarded by men, dressed in green uniforms. While we were there and in Ulog we used to receive food, which was brought in green military caldrons. Members of various (genocidal Serbian fascist) paramilitary groups, among whom were Pero Elez and Marinko Bjelica, visited the camp very often. They used to take Bosnian women and young girls away. Upon return they were covered with blood," Hasanbegovic said.

The indictment states that, in August 1992 members of a genocidal Serbian fascist paramilitary group, led by Serbian war criminal Pero Elez, used to come to the school building in Kalinovik every day and took the deyained Bosnian women nd young girls girls from the school and raped them.

The witness and other detainees, who were held in the school, was exchanged on August 31, 1992.

Second Prosecution witness Milos Mandic said that he was "engaged" in Gornji logor barracks in Kalinovik, in which Bundalo was "commander".

"I was in charge of a three-barrel gun, although I do not even know what it is. My post was in the vicinity of Jelasac village. I know that this gun was never used when I was there. You must understand that my health has deteriorated over the past four years, so I cannot remember many of those things," said Mandic, who responded to most Prosecution's questions by saying: "I do not know".

The trial of Serbian war criminals Ratko Bundalo, Nedjo Zeljaja and Djordjislav Askraba is due to continue before the Bosnian State Court on October 3, 2008.
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BOSNIAN STATE COURT TO ANNOUNCE VERDICT AGAINST CROATIAN WAR CRIMINAL SLAVKO SAKIC NEXT WEEK

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 26,2008) – The Bosnian State Court accepted today the guilt admission agreement concluded between the Bosnian State Prosecution and Croatian war criminal Slavko Sakic, by which Croatian war criminal admitted guilt for war crimes committed against Bosnian civilians in Bugojno in 1993,during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia

Slavko Sakic, former member of the Croatian fascist aggressor's fprmations told the Court that he "wanted to admit guilt for all counts contained in the indictment".

Trial Chamber Chairwoman Jasmina Kosovic determined that the indictee "advisedly admitted guilt", adding that the Bosnian State Court would pronounce the verdict on September 29. Within this agreement, the Bosnian State Prosecution proposed to the Chamber to sentence the indictee to between seven and ten years' imprisonment.

"I would like to use this opportunity to address all those whom I harmed. I know that I cannot expect them to forgive me, but they should know that I feel sincerely sorry for the misdoings I committed," Croatian war criminal Slavko Sakic told the Bosnian State Court.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor Prosecution charges Croatian war criminal Slavko Sakic, as former member of the Croatian fascist aggressor's formations, with having searched Bosnian civilians and forcibly taken their money and jewelry from them when they were captured and with having participated in the torture of Bosnian civilians, who were detained by the fascist Croatian aggressor in the basement of "Akvarijum" motel in Vrbanja settlement in July 1993.

As per a request by the Trial Chamber, the Bosnian State Prosecution presented its evidence against Croatian war criminal Slavko Sakic. Fifty pieces of material evidence, including statements given by 27 persons, who were supposed to appear as witnesses in the course of this trial, were included as material evidence.

Presenting her closing arguments Defence attorney Branka Praljak asked the Trial Chamber to sentence him to "7 years' imprisonment", bearing in mind the mitigating circumstances, including the fact that "the indictee was only 20 years old" when he committed the crime and his "sincere repentance".

Croatian war criminal Slavko Sakic was arrested in the southwestern Bosnian town of Livno by members of the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA). He has been held under custody since then. The indictment against him was confirmed on July 30.

This is the fifth guilt admission agreement concluded between the Bosnian State Prosecution and war crime indictees.
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BOSNIA SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF REGIONAL PROJECTS

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 26,2008) – The ways Bosnia can take the best advantage of the projects advocated by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) was the main point of discussion between the RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic and Bosnia's Prime Minister, Nikola Spiric, held in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

Spiric expressed full support to RCC activities and reaffirmed Bosnia's commitment to regional cooperation.

The two officials stressed the importance of taking the best advantage of regional projects through the European Union’s forthcoming multi-beneficiary strategy for Southeast Europe, highlighting the RCC contribution in identifying the project areas.

Secretary General Biscevic presented Prime Minister Spiric with the upcoming RCC projects, including the establishment of the Southeast European Regional Fire-Fighting Centre and the Regional Disaster Insurance Facility, as well as a conference on integrated use of inland waterways.

The important role the international financial institutions and RCC National Coordinators can play in this process was also stressed.

With regards to the political situation in the southeastern Europe, both officials emphasized the urgent attention the countries of the region need to pay to reform processes in order to speed up their European integration prospects.

As the successor of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, the RCC is intended to foster regional cooperation and support European and Euro-Atlantic integration in Southeast Europe. Its work focuses on six priority areas: economic and social development, energy and infrastructure, justice and home affairs, security cooperation, building human capital, and parliamentary cooperation as an overarching theme. The RCC is based in Sarajevo.
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MORE THAN 700 PARTICIPANTS EXPECTED AT ZEPS 2008

ZENICA, Bosnia (September 26,2008) - According to the organizers, 525 participants have already applied to participate at the ZEPS 2008 general fair, taking place in Zenica from October 7 to 12. The participants will come from 33 countries of the world, marketing director Dzavdana Hukeljic has announced.

Based on an agreement signed in Teheran in June, a delegation of Iran’s industrially most developed county of Arak will arrive, as well. Some 30 companies in the delegation will have their European debut at ZEPS. There were 630 companies from 36 countries last year, and more than 700 are expected this year.
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BOSNIAN ISLAMIC BANK TO ENTER CROATIAN MARKET

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 26,2008) - The Bosna Bank International (BBI),an Islamic Bosnian bank,wants to make a breakthrough to the Croatian market, where it would adjust its operations to the existing legislation, bank’s general director Amer Bukvic confirmed.

He said they would probe the Croatian market and then decide on the way of founding a bank and its operation. Bukvic noted that double taxing in Croatia was a big problem for BBI.

The Croatian National Bank stated that conditions for founding or taking over a bank in Croatia are defined in detail by the law and apply to all founders equally.
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MESIC: REGION IS STILL NOT STABLE

BRIJUNI, Croatia (September 26,2008) - A conference dubbed “Strengthening Peace and Stability” started in Croatia today. The conference is attended by armed forces chiefs-of-staff of 11 countries: Albania, Bosnia, Canada, Estonia, Lithuania, Macedonia,Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, the United States and NATO.

The main subjects of the conference are the transformation of the armed forces and the participation in international peace operations.

The Croatian President Mesic said that in entering NATO, Croatia would have to become even more involved both in the stabilisation of its immediate neighbouring countries, as well as in joint efforts of NATO and the EU to stabilise the region of the southeastern Europe. He stressed that Croatia wanted to serve as an example to others by continuing the process of cooperation even after it joins NATO.

"Although wars in the area of the former Yugoslavia ceased in the past decade, the region has still not been stabilised and one of the mechanisms that might facilitate Croatia’s further actions is the American-Adriatic Charter" Mesic said.

He voiced hope that political problems that hindered an invitation to Skopje for the recent NATO summit in Bucharest would soon be overcome and that Macedonia would become a full member of NATO.

"This is also in Croatia’s interest, so Croatia will continue to provide support to Macedonia’s aspirations to join NATO. The A3 group (Bosnia,Croatia and Macedonia) still needs the initiative whose development needs to be continued," Mesic said.

Speaking about the significance of the American-Adriatic Charter, the Croatian president said it had provided results in boosting regional cooperation in the field of security and defence.
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MOSTAR HOSTS BUSINESS FORUM

MOSTAR, Bosnia (September 26,2008) - More than 200 entrepreneurs and other guests participated in the first business forum hosted by the southern Bosnian city of Mostar yesterday.

The forum was co-organized by the World Bank's office in Bosnia.

As mayor Ljubo Beslic said, the city administration wishes to make a concrete contribution to cutting administrative procedures and furthering the business surrounding.
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CONFERENCE ON SUPPORT TO TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN BOSNIA HELD IN SARAJEVO

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 26,2008) - Head of the European Commission Delegation to Bosnia Dimitris Kourkoulas, attended earlier this week the opening ceremony of the Conference on Support to Tourism Development in Bosnia in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. Organised on the occasion of marking the World Tourism Day, this conference gathered all relevant stakeholders to exchange views and to jointly derive conclusions on future actions in tourism sector.

Organization of this conference was a result of a joint initiative by the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations and the Working Group for Coordination of Activities in Tourism in Bosnia, supported by the Delegation of European Commission to Bosnia that recognized the initiative as a necessary step in the process of further development and promotion of tourism in the country.

Ambassador Kourkoulas reminded that the European Commission supported the development of competitiveness in tourism sector in Bosnia by financing 60 projects with over than 10 million Euros. In addition, last year a comprehensive Mapping Report was produced in order to provide strategic guidelines and recommendation for targeted EU assistance in the future.

Outlining the fact that capabilities of the Bosnian tourism infrastructure need to be strengthened, Ambassador Kourkoulas said that development of tourism sector would contribute to the overall development of the Bosnian economy.

“For the European Commission this Conference is an excellent example that this country in spite of all problems can progress and build better future and European Commission is here to help in these endeavours.”, concluded Ambassador Kourkoulas.

Nevenko Herceg, the FBIH Entity Minister of Environment and Tourism stressed the importance of creating a positive image of Bosnia by promoting it as a beautiful country of rich history based on variety of cultures.

Thematic part of the Conference commenced with the presentation by Dr. Johan Hesse, First Secretary and Head Operational Section Economic Reform and Natural Resources of the Delegation of the European Commission to Bosnia. He presented the findings of EU funded report about assessment needs in the Bosnian tourism.

The conference covered broad spectre of topics relevant for further development of tourism in Bosnia: from the legislative framework and tourism statistics, topics related to the cultural heritage protection and tourist valorisation, significance of branding and marketing in tourism to the brief on priorities in the sector of tourism in Bosnia as recognised by the EU. On this occasion, successful entrepreneurs and/or representatives of the local communities were also given the opportunity to concisely present their initiatives that had significant results, and shared their own views on the successful tourism business models.

The conference was organised with technical assistance of the EU funded project - EU Training and Consultancy (EU TAC).
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

BOSNIA TO GET STATUS OF CANDIDATE FOR MEMBERSHIP IN EU TILL END OF 2010

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 25,2008) - "The aim of Bosnia is the get the status of candidate for membership in the European Union (EU) till the end of 2010, and whether this will happen earlier will depend on disposal in EU to speed up the process of integration of all countries in the region, and also if Bosnia shows good result in this process".This was said yesterday by the Director of the Bosnian Directorate for European Integrations Osman Topcagic, talking to Bosnian diplomats within the Bosnian Ministry for Foreign Affairs diplomatic forum.

He pointed out that signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Bosnia and the EU means big obligations for all Bosnian state institutions, especially for the Bosnian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Bosnian diplomatic networks.

Topcagic said that the first meeting of the temporary board for monitoring implementation of the Temporary Agreement on SAA should be held on October 7th.

When it comes to the forthcoming annual report of the EC on progress, Topcagic said that the deadline for taking results into consideration is October 3rd, and it is important to try to finalize some activities in order for the report to be more positive.
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BOSNIAN PRESIDENT HARIS SILAJDZIC HELD SEVERAL BILATERAL MEETINGS IN NEW YORK

NEW YORK, UNITED NATIONS (September 25,2008) - On the second day of the visit to New York, asides the address before the UN General Assembly, the Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic held several bilateral meetings.

Silajdzic met with presidents of Islamic Republic of Iran, Palestine and Portugal along with Qatar Sheikh.

At the meeting with Iranian President Ahmadinejad, President Silajdzic thanked for the help Iran provided to the Bosnian people,during the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

They talked about improvement of relations between the two friendly states and President Ahmadinejad invited Presidrnt Silajdzic to visit Iran.

Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic also met with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and talked about the political situation in Bosnia and Palestine. They concluded that Bosnia and Palestine are multicultural societies sharing some common experience and that the justice is important in order to reach peace and security.

During the meeting with Qatar Sheikh, Hammad bin Khalifa Al Thani, President Silajdzic stated that Bosnia has water resources for production of electric energy which are not exploited enough and expressed the need for investments in the country. Qatar Sheikh expressed the will to look into options of investing in Bosnia.

President Silajdzic also met with the President of Portugal, Anibal Antonio Cavaco Silva who stated that Portugal from the beginning supported Bosnia on its path towards the EU membership. They also talked about candidature of Bosnia for observing member of the UN Security Council in 2010/2011 and the candidature of Portugal for the member of UN Security Council for 2011/2012.

The Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic attended the reception organized by US president George Bush, for presidents of states with peace troops in Iraq and the reception organized by UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon for heads of states who attend the General Assembly,the Bosnian State Presidency said.
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EUROPEAN COMMISSION ADOPTS ANNUAL PLANNING OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO BOSNIA FOR 2008-2010

BRUSSELS, Belgium (September 25,2008) - The European Commission adopted today the strategic directions of EU financial assistance to Bosnia (Multi-annual Indicative Planning Document – MIPD) for the years 2008-2010.

This assistance to Bosnia aims to help the country, on its path towards the EU, enhance political reform and building up of democratic institutions, economic reform, and approximation to European Standards in sectors related to the introduction and implementation of EU legislation. A special component of the programme will finance cross-border cooperation. For the period 2008-2010, the overall indicative amount of the EU financial assistance to Bosnia – in the form of grants from the Community budget - is 269.9 million Euros.

Financial support provided under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) aims at supporting Bosnia in its Stabilisation and Association process and preparing the country for future EU Accession. It reflects the priorities under the European Partnership, the assessment of the annual Progress Report, and the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU.

The main share of the budget is allocated to support activities under IPA Component I for Transition Assistance and Institution Building (254.5 million Euros). A smaller share will be allocated to IPA Component II for Cross-Border Cooperation activities (15.4 million Euros).

In more detail, the first political sub-component will focus on strengthening democratic institutions, constitutional reform, public administration reform, fiscal management, reform of the police and judiciary, fight against corruption, human rights and protection of minorities, returnees and vulnerable groups, civil society and media.

The second economic development sub-component will focus on improvement of the socio-economic situation of the country and its population supporting measures related to trade, employment, education and health, business environment and small and medium enterprises, macro-economic stabilisation, the quality of public spending, as well as regional development.

The third sub-component will finance actions to strengthen the ability of Bosnia to assume the obligations of EU membership by supporting the approximation to European Standards. The support will focus on the development and the implementation of strategies and policies to approximate to the European law (acquis) in the areas of internal market, sectoral policies and justice, freedom and security. The emphasis of the assistance will be placed on agriculture and rural development, transport, and energy. Examples of further supported sectors are environment, quality infrastructure, customs and taxation.

The component on "Cross-border cooperation" will support Bosnia's cross-border cooperation with its neighbouring countries, its participation in the Adriatic programme with Member States and in the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) transnational programmes "South East Europe" and " Mediterranean".

To ensure the maximum efficiency and effectiveness of the EU financial assistance the definition of the major areas of intervention and the type of actions to be financed has been closely coordinated with the international financial institutions active in Bosnia.
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AMERICAN FILM DIRECTOR BILL CARTER BECOMES HONORARY CITIZEN OF SARAJEVO

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 25,2008) - City of Sarajevo City Council adopted the decision on rewarding American film director Bill Carter with the recognition Honorary Citizen.

Bill Carter became friend of Sarajevo in the hardest time, during the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia. And he, guided by the noblest principles, enabled spreading of truth about Sarajevo and its citizens during the siege.

He came to the Bosnian capital Sarajevo during the aggression and decided to stay in the town under siege. He joined the organization of the independent help and, sharing the destiny of Sarajevo citizens, delivered food and supplies to those that can not be reached by UN and NGOs.

Carter’s stories from war Sarajevo are recorded in his documentary film "Miss Sarajevo", from 1993. Executive producer of this film and music for this film was written by Bono Vox,the lead singer of the Irish rock band, U2.

Bill Carter held more than 50 lectures in universities such as Harvard, NYU, Boston College, and showing his film about the war in Bosnia. He helped for more than 1 500 tons of food to be delivered for the time when he worked as humanitarian worker.
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362 BODIES OF GENOCIDE VICTIMS EXHUMED FROM A MASS GRAVE IN EASTERN BOSNIA

KAMENICA, Bosnia (September 25,2008)- Bosnian forensic experts said yesterday they had unearthed the remains of 362 genocide victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre from a mass grave in eastern Bosnia.

Murat Hurtic of the Bosnian Commission For Missing Persons said documents recovered at the site showed the genocide victims were Bosnian civilians from Srebrenica, the eastern enclave that was under United Nations protection when it was overrun by the gemocidal Serbian fascist aggressor during the 1992-95 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Hurtic said the genocide victims were mass murdered at three locations near Srebrenica and transferred to Kamenica from the original graves three months after the execution.

"The bodies are well preserved because they had lain in clay before being transferred here," he said, standing on the edge of the muddy grave.

Hurtic said the findings unearthed included 145 complete bodies and 217 incomplete skeletal remains of the genocide victims.

The genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor first buried the bodies of the mass murdered Bosnian civilians near the execution sites but then dug many of them out with bulldozers and re-buried them in so-called "secondary" mass graves, in an attempt to hide the crime.

Bosnian experts believe there are more mass graves in the Kamenica area. In 2006, another grave in the valley yielded more than 1,000 body parts of the genocide victims, making it the biggest such site in Bosnia.

About 5,200 genocide victims of Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two have been identified through DNA analysis so far.
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CONFERENCE ON REDUCING TAXES IN BOSNIA HELD IN SARAJEVO

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 25,2008) - A group of six NGOs and members of the Bosnian business community organized a conference on reducing taxes in Bosnia.The conference was held in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo yesterday.

Participants of the conference were discussing the need to improve the business environment in Bosnia and advance reforms, especially in the tax system.

High taxes and contributions in combination with an inefficient, complex and time-consuming process of registering a business hinder economic growth, domestic production and the business surrounding in general, it was said.
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THE FIRST PROSECUTION WITNESS EXAMINED AT THE TRIAL OF SERBIAN WAR CRIMINALS VINKO KONDIC,BOSKO LUKIC AND MARKO ADAMOVIC

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 25,2008) - The first Prosecution witness was examined yesterday before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of Serbian war criminals Vinko Kondic,Bosko Lukic and Marko Adamovic,in the absence of Serbian war criminal Vinko Kondic, who refused to appear at the hearing,without giving any "justification" for that.

"We have been informed by health service doctors that the indictee is mentally and physically capable of attending the trial. As usual, on the eve of this hearing he said that he was not able to attend due to his health state. The indictee will be given an audio recording of this hearing already today," Trial Chamber Chairwoman Jasmina Kosovic said.

The start of the trial of the three Serbian fascists, has been postponed several times due to Kondic's bad health.

The Bosnian state Prosecution examined a concentration camp survivor Fahrudin Cemal, as its first witness at the trial of three former members of the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor's formations, charged with genocide and other war crimes committed against Bosnian civilians in the Bosnian town of Kljuc during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia

"We have been informed by health service doctors that the indictee is mentally and physically capable of attending the trial. As usual, on the eve of this hearing he said that he was not able to attend due to his health state. The indictee will be given an audio recording of this hearing already today," Trial Chamber Chairwoman Jasmina Kosovic said.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Kondic, Bosko Lukic and Marko Adamovic with having participated in organising a group of people and abetting them to commit genocide. The three indictees committed crime against humanity and war crimes in Kljuc municipality in the course of 1992.

The witness Fahrudin Cemal said that, on May 7, 1992 the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor took over the local administration in Kljuc.

As indicated by Cemal, on May 28, 1992 members of the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor;s formations detained him and other Bosnian civilians from Velagici, in Kljuc municipality, taking them to a school building then to a concentration camp in Stara Gradiska, where they stayed until "late June or early July".

"They took 30 or 40 of us from Stara Gradiska to the Manjaca concentration camp, where people from Kljuc, Doboj and Sanski Most had been held. The concentration camp was surrounded by wired fencing and a minefield. We were all tortured and beaten. This place was a scaffolding of crime," the witness said.

The witness further stated to have been taken from the Batkovic concentration camp,near the eastern Bosnian town of Bijeljina back to the Manjaca concentration camp in October 1993, adding that he was exchanged on mount Vlasic two days later.

The trial of Serbian war criminals Vinko Kondic,Bosko Lukic and Marko Adamovic is due to continue before the Bosnian State Court on Monday, September 29.
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BOSNIAN STATE COURT TO ANNOUNCE VERDICT AGAINST SERBIAN WAR CRIMINALS SRETEN LAZAREVIC,DRAGAN STANOJEVIC,SLOBODAN OSTOJIC AND MILE MARKOVIC TOMORROW

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 25,2008) - A pronouncement of the Verdict before the Section I for War crimes of the Bosnian State Court in the case of Serbian war criminal Sreten Lazarević and Others, has been scheduled for yomorrow,26 September 2008 starting at 12:00p.m. in courtroom 6,the Bosnian State Court said today.

On 5 October 2007, the Bosnian State Court confirmed an indictment which charges Serbian war criminals Sreten Lazarević, Dragan Stanojević, Mile Marković, and Slobodan Ostojić with the criminal offence of War Crimes against Bosnian civilians.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charged Serbian war criminals Sreten Lazarevic, Dragan Stanojevic, Mile Markovic and Slobodan Ostojic, as members of the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor's formations, with having participated in the detention and torture of Bosnian civilians from the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The indictment states that Serbian war criminal Sreten Lazarevic was the commander of a concentration camp in Zvornik, in which Bosnian civilians were held by the, while Serbian war criminals Dragan Stanojevic, Mile Markovic and Slobodan Ostojic were detention camp guards.

According to the indictment on several occasions, Serbian war criminal Dragan Stanojević, in the capacity of the concentration camp guard, enabled groups of the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor's soldiers to torture and abuse detained Bosnian civilians. The indictment states that in September 1992, Serbian war criminal Dragan Stanojević tortured one ninety year old detained Bosnian civilian.

The indictment further states that Serbian war criminal Mile Marković, in September 1992 in the building of DP Novi Izvor, together with another concentration camp guard, tortured one detained Bosnian civilian, beating him all over his body and forcing him to hold his arms in front of his face in order to prevent the blood from splashing around.

The also indictment states that, in the summer of 1992, Serbian war criminal Slobodan Ostojić in the building of DP Novi Izvor, together with an unidentified group of concentration camp guards, tortured two detained Bosnian civilians, for an alleged suspicion that they attempted to escape from the concentration camp.
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EU AND UN TO FINANCE SMALL ARMS REDUCTION IN BOSNIA

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 25,2008) - The EU and the UN said yesterday they have donated three million Euros for the control and reduction of small arms and ammunition in Bosnia.

The project's goal is "to decrease the threat posed to human security by the large and uncontrolled presence of small arms, light weapons and ammunition in the country," a representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia Christine McNab said.

"There are some 100,000 pieces of small arms and between 25,000 and 30,000 tonnes of ammunition surplus to military requirements," she added.

The European Union will donate 2.7 million Euros, with the remainder given by the UNDP, which is to implement the project over the next 18 months.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

PRESIDENT SILAJDŽIĆ: UNITED NATIONS MUST RIGHT THE WRONGS OF SREBRENICA

NEW YORK, UNITED NATIONS (September 24,2008) - The President of Bosnia Haris Silajdžić, had strong words for the United Nations at the 63rd opening of the UN General Assembly yesterday, stating the UN bore part of the responsibility for the genocide committed by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

"Through its acts and omissions, the United Nations, by its own admission, bears a part of the responsibility for the crimes committed at Srebrenica," said President Silajdžić.

“We do not want the United Nations to be haunted,” he told world leaders gathered at UN Headquarters in New York. “This Organization’s credibility is too important to the world to carry the burden of this failure.”

Rather, the world body must ensure that mistakes are not repeated and that past errors are corrected, President Silajdžić stressed.

“We cannot bring back the dead, but we can give dignity and justice to the genocide survivors,” he said. “What we say today is not aimed at the past, but at the future, and not only for Bosnia.”

Despite the positive results delivered by the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, many key issues remain, including the blocking of ‘minority’ returns by the genocidal Serbian fascist creature in Bosnia "RS", "by either directly taking part in violence or by not protecting people from attacks due to their ethnic background," the Bosnian President said.

“Dayton never intended such ethnic apartheid to take root in Bosnia,” he declared.

“It is the responsibility of this Organization to make it right,” he added. “Just as we should not have been forced to smuggle arms to defend ourselves, we should not be forced to smuggle basic human rights, justice and democracy” into the country.

President Silajdžić also praised a new indictment that UN prosecutors have filed against the former leader and creator of the genocidal Serbian fascist creature in Bosnia "RS" and one of the masterminds of the genocide against the Bosnian people,Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic in a move to speed up his trial.

Prosecutors asked judges at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal to approve the amended indictment yesterday.

It includes two genocide charges referring to the 1992 campaign of "ethnic cleansing" against Bosnian civilians and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of some 10,000 Bosnian civilians by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggression.

The Bosnian President Haris Silajdžić said the updated indictment would "further implicate" the regime of former Yugoslavian President,Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic in the "planning and the commission of these crimes".

The new, streamlined indictment has Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic facing 11 charges in total,including genocide, and lists war crimes in 27 Bosnian municipalities - down from 41.

The court is under pressure from the United Nations to finish all its cases by 2010.

Here is the complete speech by the Bosnian President Haris Silajdžić on 63th General Assembly of the United Nations (September 23,2008):

"Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary-General,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honor to address the sixty-third session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Allow me to express my gratitude to Mr. Srgjan Kerim who ably presided over this body during the preceding year, and to congratulate Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, the new President of the General Assembly.

The first time I stood at this podium was in May 1992, as the Foreign Minister of a newly-independent Bosnia and Herzegovina. At that time, I recounted the unspeakable atrocities that were unfolding in my country. I also warned that, if not stopped, such atrocities would only get worse. In fact, I merely asked that Bosnia and Herzegovina be afforded the right to defend itself, the right guaranteed by the UN Charter.

We know what has happened since. Some in the international community insisted on maintaining the arms embargo imposed by the UN Security Council in 1991, thus adding to the obviously overwhelming military advantage of Milosevic’s regime that was bent on destroying Bosnia and its people. They justified this course by claiming that the lifting of the embargo would add oil to the fire. The result, inevitably, was quelling that fire with the blood of the innocent.

According to the ICRC data, 200,000 people were killed, 12,000 of them children, up to 50,000 women were raped, and 2.2 million were forced to flee their homes. This was a veritable genocide and sociocide. The intent of the perpetrators of this genocide was to forever destroy the unique multi-ethnic fabric of Bosnia and Herzegovina through mass slaughter, rapes, torture, abuse, expulsion and plunder. Despite of this, defenders of our country conducted themselves honorably, as demonstrated by the ICTY acquittals of most of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s military leadership.

All this culminated in Srebrenica in July, 1995. The International Court of Justice, in its Judgment of February 26, 2007, ruled that

“[T]he Bosnian Serbs devised and implemented a plan to execute as many as possible of the military aged Bosnian Muslim men present in the enclave…, that the acts committed at Srebrenica…were committed with the specific intent to destroy in part the group of the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina as such; and accordingly that these were acts of genocide, committed by members of the [Army of Republika Srpska] in and around Srebrenica from about 13 July 1995.”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Through its acts and omissions, the United Nations, by its own admission, bears a part of responsibility for the crimes committed at Srebrenica. In fact, the UN Secretary-General’s Report on Srebrenica from 2000 unequivocally states:

“Through error, misjudgment and an inability to recognize the scope of the evil confronting us, we failed to do our part to help save the people of Srebrenica from the Serb campaign of mass murder…Srebrenica crystallized a truth understood only too late by the United Nations and the world at large: that Bosnia was as much a moral cause as a military conflict. The tragedy of Srebrenica will haunt our history forever.”

We do not want the United Nations to be haunted. This organization’s credibility is too important to the world to carry the burden of this failure. Errors can be committed, but errors must not be repeated. We want the UN to right the wrongs. In fact, international law mandates that this must be done. Namely, the International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility, adopted in this Assembly’s Resolution 56/83 of 12 December 2001, mandate that: “no State shall recognize as lawful a situation created by a serious breach of a [peremptory norm of general international law],” which clearly includes the crime of genocide and the crimes against humanity, “nor render aid or assistance in maintaining that situation.”

If these principles had been applied, would the institutions identified by the ICJ as perpetrators of genocide still exist? Would vast portions of a country remain ethnically clean? Would over 1 million of refugees and displaced persons remain outside their homes? In short, do these principles allow for the arrest of Karadzic and the simultaneous preservation of the results of his project?

We cannot bring back the dead, but we can give dignity and justice to the survivors. What we say today is not aimed at the past, but at the future, and not only for Bosnia and Herzegovina. We owe it not only to the victims and survivors, but to the humanity as a whole. The message to the would-be perpetrators of crimes in the name of a twisted ideology should be crystal clear: do not even think about it, your terror will not pay off.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, we had the opportunity to make that true by a consistent implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the aggression, stopped the genocide, and brought peace. These were its major accomplishments, and their value cannot be overemphasized.

Dayton, however, was also intended to reverse the effects of genocide and ethnic cleansing. It had all the necessary elements to do so. Instead, in the words of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, its main provisions have been a victim of: “a systemic, continuing and deliberate practice of the public authorities of Republika Srpska with the goal of preventing the so-called ‘minority’ returns, either through direct participation in violent incidents or through the abdication of responsibility to protect the people from…violent attacks due solely to their ethnic background.”

Dayton never intended such ethnic apartheid to take root in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is not the implementation of Dayton, but the violation of its core principles, that led to this result. It would be a grave mistake to recognize this result as lawful and legitimate.

It is the responsibility of this organization to make it right. Just as we should not have been forced to smuggle arms to defend ourselves, we should not be forced to smuggle basic human rights, justice and democracy into Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Without righting this wrong can we genuinely celebrate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this December. Moreover, can we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Genocide Convention if the first and only judgment of the International Court of Justice on the crime of genocide remains in the archives of that Court?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Now is the time to right these wrongs. We are about to start work on the new Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the outcome of that process will answer many of these questions.

To those who now seek to legitimize the systemic violations of the Dayton Agreement, we all must say: make no mistake, genocide will not be rewarded.

Rewarding genocide could send a dangerous message throughout the world, and would surely undermine the chances for permanent peace and stability in both Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. Seekers of justice are not the enemies of peace. They are the guardians of peace.

Certainly, there are those in Bosnia and Herzegovina who would not agree with this, but they are surely not the victims of genocide.

Dear Friends,

We have not forgotten the help we received from many of the countries represented here today. A number of your soldiers, diplomats, aid workers and journalists died in Bosnia and Herzegovina while working to end the aggression, bring peace, ease the suffering, or to make sure the rest of the world knew about it. For that we thank them once again, and renew our sympathies to their families. An even greater number of countries have assisted us in rebuilding our society after the aggression, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude for that as well. Bosnia and Herzegovina still needs your help in this regard, and we hope that we can work together in order to ensure permanent peace and stability in my country."

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BOSNIAN STATE PROSECUTOR REQUESTS ARREST OF SERBIAN WAR CRIMINAL VESELIN VLAHOVIC

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 24,2008) - The Bosnian State Prosecutor filed yesterday a motion with the Bosnian State Court, requesting it to order custody of and issue a warrant against Serbian war criminal Veselin Vlahovic,a.k.a. "the Grbavica Monster", also known as Batko, who is suspected of having committed war crimes against Bosnian civilians in the Grbavica district of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Preliminary hearing judge said he would render a decision concerning this motion at a later stage.Serbian war criminal Veselin Vlahovic is currently hiding from justice in Montenegro.


"The Grbavica Monster" - Serbian war criminal Veselin Vlahovic


"The Prosecution is conducting an investigation. There are grounds for suspicion that he committed crimes against Bosnian civilians. The suspect's place of residence is not in Bosnia. He is unavailable to the prosecution bodies. Should he remain at liberty, he might attempt to influence witnesses and accomplices," said Prosecutor Vesna Ilic, explaining the reasons for filing a custody order motion.

Ilic said that Vlahovic should be ordered into custody "bearing in mind the consequences of his acts", adding that he was suspected of mass murders of more than 100 Bosnian civilians (including women and children),torture rapes and other war crimes he committed in the Grbavica district of Sarajevo,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Jovan Debelica, Serbian war criminal's ex-officio Defence attorney, did not object the Prosecution's motion.

Serbian war criminal Veselin Vlahovic was last seen in Montenegro, before running away from a prison, in June 2001, in which he was serving a sentence "for banditry and violent behaviour".

The judicial authorities in Montenegro allegedly opened an investigation against him for suspicion that he participated in war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

On the other hand the Bosnian judicial bodies requested Serbian war criminal Veselin Vlahovic's extradition on a number of occasions, but the requests were rejected due to the fact that the Montenegrin constitution does not allow for extradition of citizens of Montenegro to other countries.
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SLOVAKIAN FASCIST CLOWN MIROSLAV LAJCAK EQUALS THE GENOCIDAL SERBIAN FASCIST CREATURE IN BOSNIA "RS" WITH SLOVAKIA,CZECH REPUBLIC AND MONTENEGRO

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 24,2008) - "Bosnia is under threat of partition, the mood reminiscent of that in Czechoslovakia and in former Yugoslavia before they were split up," the International Community’s High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and a major political supporter of the genocidal Serbian fascist creature in Bosnia "RS" ,Slovakian fascist clown Miroslav Lajcak said today in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

"I experienced this atmosphere that I see today in relations of the Sarajevo and Banjaluka twice before," he told Bosnian daily Dnevni Avaz in an interview.

"The first time it was in the relations between Bratislava and Prague, the second in the relations between Podgorica and Belgrade. We all now how it ended then," Slovakian fascist fool said,trying to shamelessly equal the genocidal Serbian fascist creature in Bosnia "RS" (which was created during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia through genocide,"ethnic cleansing",mass murders,rapes and other war crimes) with Czech Republic,Slovakia and Montenegro.

"You cannot say you are for Bosnia, while treating half of the country as an enemy state. You cannot say you respect Bosnia, while you work to weaken state institutions and consider your own state as an enemy of the entity which is a part of it," Slovakian fascist clown Miroslav Lajcak said,wholeheartedly supporting once again the very existence of the genocidal Serbian fascist creature in Bosnia "RS" and openly criticizing all genocide survivors in Bosnia who fight against it.
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GREGORIAN APPOINTS THE 7TH MEMBER OF THE BRCKO DISTRICT ELECTION COMMISSION

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 24,2008) - The Brcko District Supervisor Raffi Gregorian issued a Supervisory Order appointing the 7th member of the Brcko District Election Commission, thereby completing its composition in time to enable the Commission to properly prepare and conduct the upcoming October local elections in Bosnia.

This Order rectifies the unfortunate situation created by the Brcko District Assembly’s failure to comply with various laws and Supervisory Orders.

Both the election laws of Bosnia and of the Brcko District, and the Decision enacted by the Bosnian Central Election Commission on May 8, 2008, required that the Brcko District Election Commission be extended by two members to a total of seven members.

The Brcko District Assembly’s continual failure since June 2007 to deal with appointments to the Brcko District Election Commission and its additional failure to appoint two new members forced the Supervisor to intervene in the process through a Supervisory Order of July 18, 2008 and then in his letter of August 20, 2008 in which he instructed Councilors to appoint two new members of the Brcko District Election Commission no later than August 31, 2008.

Instead of selecting and appointing two members as required, the Assembly, after four sessions, appointed only one new member at its August 30, 2008 session, collectively deciding without any dissent to restart the whole process for the seventh position despite having ample choices of qualified applicants from which to choose. In voting to restart the process, the Councilors knowingly violated the law and Supervisory Orders, and placed at risk the conduct of District elections in October.

As the Assembly failed to act in a lawful and timely fashion with regard to appointments to the Brcko District Election Commission, Supervisor Gregorian has had to step in and appoints by his Order Ljiljana Orendi as the seventh member of the Brcko District Election Commission.

The Supervisor finds it unacceptable that he should have to act in place of Councilors who are paid to act in accordance with the law. He therefore has also ordered that each Councilor be fined 800 (eight hundred) Bosnian Marks for their misconduct, the amount representing the approximate cost to District taxpayers of the four sessions held which concluded with their unlawful act. As of today they are also forbidden to spend any money from the budget for gifts, meals, drinks or any other kind of representational or hospitality expenses for the rest of their mandate.

The money deducted from the councilors’ salaries will be rerouted to the account of the new Brcko day care centre for children and persons with special needs, which is currently under construction.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BOSNIAN PRESIDENT HARIS SILAJDŽIĆ TO ADDRESS UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY TODAY

NEW YORK, UNITED NATIONS (September 23,2008) - The Bosnian President Silajdžić has today attended the UN plenary session in New York, dedicated to the African development problems. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Republic of France President Nicolas Sarkozy, among others, talked about the topic.The main topic of their and other addresses was the progress in implementation of UN projects in Africa, and the international support to the African continent and support within UN in the future.It was underlined that solidarity in the global world is very important, and should be maintained. It was underlined that the African countries are making progress in development, and the UN member countries’ support could help them toward the better future.

The Bosnian President Haris Silajdžić has today co-chaired, together with the President of Ghana, John Agyekim Kufuor, the first round table (out of four held today) on the subject „African Development Needs: state of implementation of the given promises, challenges and the road ahead“.

In his address, President Silajdžić said that Africa must head toward the global economy, and expressed his support to the international community’s efforts in that path. He said that the African problem was in fact everybody’s problem and a better African future is a better future for all countries.

The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj said in his address that the African continent is faced with numerous challenges, and aid instruments are needed for helping the African countries. According to his words, Bosnia supports the UN activities in helping Africa, and as he stressed out, Bosnia is an example how the international community’s support could help in not only establishing peace in a country, but in making it stable and prosperous.

Bosnian President concluded the work of the round table by saying that Africa deserved development and progress, and it needed help in that path.

There has been the greatest interest shown by the UN members in participating in this round table, more than 40 participants, and among them, the Presidents of Namibia, Turkey, Slovenia, the Prime Minister of Croatia, officials of Morocco, Slovakia, Germany, Pakistan, Indonesia, Denmark, Sudan etc. talked about the African development needs.

On his first day in New York, the Bosnian President Haris Silajdžić met with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) General Director Kemal Darvish. During the meeting, they talked about the previous UNDP project in Bosnia, and the planned projects.

Among else, they stated that the today’s world globalization, cooperation, exchange of experience and joint action is the essence of all successful projects. They said that Africa was an example how to help the countries develop and head toward progress with joint action.

The Bosnian President Haris Silajdžić has today met with the President of Slovenia, Danilo Türk. During the meeting, they talked about Bosnia’s candidature for a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council 2010/2011, and they talked about the official visit of the Slovenian President to Bosnia, announced for October, this year. They said that relations between the two countries are good; however, there are certain issues open for discussion, and that they would work on enhancing bilateral and multilateral relations between BiH and Slovenia in the future.

The Bosnian President Haris Silajdžić attended the reception organized by the United States President George Bush for the heads of states and governments who are visiting New York at the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly.

The Bosnian President Haris Silajdžić’s address to the UN General Assembly in New York is envisaged for today,September 23, during the afternoon session,the Bosnian State Presidency said.
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SECOND GENOCIDE CHARGE FILED AGAINST SERBIAN FASCIST RADOVAN KARADZIC

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 23,2008) - The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has released today a prosecution motion asking judges to approve the new indictment that includes two genocide charges instead of the one in the former leader and creator of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia "RS" and one of the masterminds of the genocide against the Bosnian people,Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic's current indictment.

According to the motion released today the two genocide counts refer to a deadly campaign of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia and to the 1995 Srebrenica massacre when the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor mass murdered some 10,000 Bosnian civilians.

Serbian fascist Radovan Karadzic was captured in July after 13 years on the run from justice . He will be allowed to commenton the proposed new indictment before judges decide whether to allow the changes.

The new indictment reduces the number of alleged crime scenes in an attempt to speed up Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic's trial.
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21 ITALIAN COMPANIES TO BUILD THEIR FACTORIES IN BRCKO

BRCKO, Bosnia (September 23,2008) - The foundation stone of the Industrial Park – South 1 was laid at Brka near Brcko yesterday. The future industrial park will cover a surface of 32.5 hectares.

An initiative for this ambitious project is seven years old.

"The most important thing now is to start building the infrastructure, and EUR 2.6 million will be invested in that", Brcko mayor Mirsad Djapo announced yesterday.

The first companies are expected to start building their plants in the spring of 2009.

According to Italy’s deputy minister of economic development – Adolfo Urso – the investment will total around 120 million Euros, and 21 Italian companies are expected in the first stage, from various industrial areas.
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CHINA HELPING BOSNIA EXPOSE AT THE 2010 SHANGHAI WORLD EXPO

SHANGHAI, China (September 23,2008) - The Chairman of the Bosnian Expo 2010 Organizing Committee Zoran Jovanovic and director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination Hong Hao, signed a financial assistance agreement in Shanghai yesterday, under which the Chinese government will financially support Bosnia’s exposition at the event.

The assistance is worth 650,000 US Dollars, and by the end of October both sides will propose a programme and their individual commitments for implementing this agreement.

The Chinese help was negotiated by Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric during his visit to China in April this year.
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VOTERS WHO RECEIVE NEGATIVE RESPONSE FOR REGISTRATION MAY FILE A COMPLAINT BEFORE BOSNIAN STATE COURT

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 23,2008) - The Bosnian Central Election Commission informed all voters whose applications for registration on next month's local elections and voting outside of Bosnia were not accepted, that they can file a complaint within 48 hours from the announcement by the Bosnian Central Election Commission.

As it was explained to the press by the Bosnian Central Election Commission spokesperson, Maksida Bajramovic, announcement will be published on their website on Saturday, October 20 along with a form for complaint.

Bajramovic stated that in this manner the Bosnian Central Election Commission secures protection of election rights for persons whose right might have been taken.

If the Bosnian Central Election Commission gives negative respond to individuals who file a complaint, these persons have a right to ask for court protection.Announcement will contain names of all voters who receive negative response.
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WORLD BANK DELEGATION TO VISIT BOSNIA IN OCTOBER

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 23,2008) - Bosnia’s Prime Minister Nikola Spiric talked today with the head of the World Bank’s Office in Bosnia Marco Mantovanelli, about the status of projects this bank is funding in the country.

The meeting took place ahead of the annual WB and IMF meetings in Washington.

World Bank’s current portfolio in Bosnia includes 16 projects with a total value of USD 249.4 million US Dollars.

In Spiric’s opinion, there is room for improvement in the area of drawing these funds efficiently. A delegation of the World Bank will be in Bosnia in late October, it was announced.
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BOSNIA INDIRECTLY RECOGNIZES KOSOVO AS INDEPENDENT STATE

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 23,2008) - The Bosnian Central Election Commission invited its counterpart from Kosovo to send a monitoring mission for the next local elections in Bosnia.

Some politicians in Bosnia already consider that this move recognizes the legitimacy of an institution from a country that has not been formally recognized yet by Bosnia.

The invitation was sent in May, three months after Kosovo’s proclamation of independence.

The President of the Bosnian Central Election Commission Suad Arnautovic declined to comment yesterday, while other members of the body claim such a decision was never discussed by the Commission.
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BOSNIA AND CROATIA TO BUILD A NEW BRIDGE OVER THE SAVA RIVER

ODZAK, Bosnia (September 23,2008) - The Bosnian Minister of Transport and and Communications Bozo Ljubic and Croatia’s state secretary for infrastructure Zdravko Livakovic signed a joint statement in the Bosnian town of Odzak yesterday, in connection to a bridge the two countries will build together.

The bridge over the Sava River will be on the Corridor 5c route, near Svilaj. The purpose of the joint statement is to encourage the relevant authorities in both countries to initiate official agreements and project development as soon as possible.
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Monday, September 22, 2008

SDA ADOPTS DECLARATION ON THE FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DAYTON PEACE AGREEMENT

BRČKO, Bosnia (September 22,2008) - The Main Board of the largest Bosnian political party - the Party of Democratic Action (Bosnian: Stranka Demokratske Akcije - SDA) has adopted the Declaration on the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement at its meeting in Brčko.SDA also requested more determination from the international community in the field of reforms Bosnia needs to implement, because of a drastic deterioration in the political situation in Bosnia, especially with respect to the Dayton Peace Agreement enforcement.

According to the SDA, the Bosnian constitutional reform is the key condition for the international community withdrawing from Bosnia.
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SDP SENDS DRAFT LAW ON CASH REGISTERS INTO PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2008) - Delegates of Bosnian Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the Bosnian State Parliament's House of Representatives sent into the parliamentary procedure draft law on fiscal cash registers.

SDP delegate, Zlatko Lagumdzija at the press conference in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo stated that this is basically law on cash registers against tax evasion.

This law regulates the sector as a whole, strengthens state institutions, decreases tax theft and costs we now have for administration which evidently has higher and higher demands on all levels.

SDP believes this leaves room for decrease of VAT rate.

Lagumdzija mentioned that proposed law could be adopted by the end of the year.He stated that the concrete application of this law would cut down a great deal of grey economy and contribute to regulation of tax discipline in Bosnia.
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BOSNIAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND MEDIEVAL ARTEFACTS ON MT.VISOCICA

VISOKO, Bosnia (September 22,2008) - Summer excavations at Bosnia's Mt. Visocica yielded results.A Bosnian archaeological team said that it has unearthed significant artefacts from the middle ages.

These include eight pieces of Gothic architectural carvings and parts of glass vials dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries, imported from Venice and principalities of today's Germany, as well as numerous pieces of ceramic. They have also found 20 silver objects dating from the 15th-century.

"This demonstrates that much attention was devoted to the city where the medieval Bosnian Kings resided from time to time," team leader Lidija Fekeza told the Bosnian media. "Once we remove the ... vegetation from the top of Mt. Visocica, we will finally see how this medieval Bosnian locality used to look," she added.

References to the medieval Bosnian royal city of Visoki, on top of Mt. Visocica, appeared in writing for the first time in 1355; however, archaeologists believe its construction dates back as early as the 12th century. They consider it, along with the ancient Bosnian royal city of Bobovac in central Bosnia, one of the most significant historical finds in the country.
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OSCE HELPS ARRANGE REGIONAL MILITARY INSPECTIONS

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2008) - Croatia will conduct an Article IV Inspection of a military site in Bosnia from 22 to 26 September.This will be the 300th inspection mission according to the Dayton Peace Accords Annex 1 B, which covers the measures for Sub-Regional Arms Control under its Article IV,the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said.

It will also be the 600th single inspection of a military facility which was conducted on the territories of the four Parties: Bosnia,Croatia, Montenegro and the genocidal Serbia.

"The Parties have reached a high level of competence and conduct the mutual inspections in a professional and thorough manner and confirmed in inspection reports that the number of notified heavy weapons in the region is in accordance with the agreed limitations," said Brigadier General Costanzo Periotto, the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office for Article IV.

"These activities resulted in more transparency, openness and confidence between the Parties."

At the 1995 OSCE Ministerial Council in Budapest, OSCE participating States decided to designate a Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office to assist the parties in the former Yugoslavia in their negotiations and implementation of peace and arms control agreements.

Inspection activities by the Parties began in August 1996 after the Agreement on Sub-Regional Arms Control was signed in Florence, Italy. It was agreed that for the purpose of ensuring verification of compliance with the provisions of the Agreement each Party should facilitate these inspections in line with detailed inspection rules which are covered by special procedures in protocols to the Agreement.
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BOSNIA BEATS GREAT BRITAIN 89-80 IN EUROBASKET 2009 QUALIFIER

CAZIN, Bosnia (September 22,2008) - Bosnia beat Great Britain in Cazin but will play in Additional Qualifying Round of the European Basketball Championship of 2009.Bosnians upset the leader of the group 89:80 even trailing after the opening quarter. Ernest Bremer led the winners with 18 points and 6 assists. Kenan Bajramovic netted 16, while Mirza Teletovic posted 15.

Bosnia desired a win but looked a bit problematic in the opening quarter. Even without Deng Great Britain took 20:13 after the first period. Bosnia woke up in the second and bounced back with 28:17 in the quarter. Dedovic made it 41:37 after the halftime.

Bosnia remained in front in the third period and after 20:14 had 61:51 advantage. They led more than 15 points in the last stanza but Great Britain managed to reduce to 89:80 at the end of the game.

Bosnia: Ernest Bremer 18+6 ast, Kenan Bajramovic 16, Mirza Teletovic 15

Great Britain: Andrew Betts 14, Nate Reinking 13
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BOSNIAN TRADE DEFICIT WORSENS

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2008) - In the first eight months of 2008, Bosnia exported 4.5 billion Bosnian Marks worth of goods, while the imports amounted to 10.8 billion Bosnian Marks. The resulting deficit of 6.3 billion Bosnian Marks was therefore by 1.5 billion Bosnian Marks higher than in the same period last year.

The average export/import ratio was 41.7 per cent – by two per cent lower compared to the same time last year.

However, the Director of the Bosnian State Agency of Statistics Zdenko Milinovic informed in a press conference on Friday, the August ratio was down to 39.6 per cent. As he explained, the main factor in this was the increased import from the EU, after Bosnia cancelled some of the import tariffs.Out of total August imports of 1.3 billion Bosnian Marks, the EU accounted for 634 million Bosnian Marks (about 10% bigger share compared to July 2008).

Based on the current trends, Bosnia’s trade deficit is expected to reach approximately 10 billion Bosnian Marks,Milinovic announced.
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SIX THOUSAND BOSNIAN MINERS BRACE FOR GENERAL STRIKE

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2008) - About six thousand Bosnian coal miners organized by the Bosnian National Miners’ Union are preparing to meet in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on October 2 at noon, and that way begin a general strike which will last until their demands are met, a union representative announced in on Saturday.

The miners to participate in this strike are from the coal mines in Zenica, Breza, Banovici and Kakanj. Low wages, unsatisfactory level of safety in the mines and some claims made on the basis of their previous collective agreement are the main reasons for this industrial action, miners say.
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NEW POLITICAL AGREEMENT NEEDED TO PUSH BOSNIAN POLICE REFORM FORWARD

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 22,2008) - Head of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia (EUPM) Vincenzo Coppola has warned about a delay in the reform of the Bosnian police. In a comment to that, the Bosnian Deputy Minister of Security Mijo Kresic asserted that, in order to implement what had been agreed so far, a new political agreement is needed.

As he explained, the Ministry has submitted to the Bosnian Council of Ministers a list of its preferred candidates to helm the future policing agencies. The Council now needs to make a selection of six (heads and their deputies).

Another decision expected from the Bosnian central government is where the agencies would be headquartered. Finally, the representatives of three constitutive peoples in Bosnia need to agree on the distribution of chair positions on the basis of ethnicity. Adopting the police reform laws was a condition Bosnia had to meet to sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union.
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