Saturday, April 26, 2008


BRUSSELS, Belgium (April 26,2008) – The EU foreign ministers are expected to approve the signature of a pre-membership deal with Bosnia on Tuesday when they meet in Luxembourg.

"Bosnia has made a big step forward regarding its obligations towards the EU" by approving the first phase of a much-debated police reform, and the ministers believe that its "hard work so far merits the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA)," sources in the EU presidency said.

Officials had previously said that they hoped to sign the SAA itself on Tuesday.

But technical issues related to the translation of the near-1,000-page document into all 23 official EU languages mean that the ministers are now expected to declare their readiness to sign the SAA once the technical work is done.

The SAA is a contract between a European state and the EU setting out what economic, legal and political reforms the state should carry out and how the EU will support it in those reforms.

Bosnia's SAA was initialled in December 2007.While not a guarantee of future membership, the offer of an SAA is widely seen as being one of the main mile-posts on the road towards eventual accession.

The EU insists that all the states of the southeastern Europe have a "perspective" of future membership, and has already signed SAAs with Montenegro and Albania. Croatia is already a membership candidate.

Beyond the southeastern Europe, EU ministers are also set to debate recent developments in Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, Georgia, the Middle East and Pakistan.

Officials will review the current set of sanctions in place against top members of the Myanmar regime, with an eye to strengthening the restrictions in the coming months.

On Zimbabwe, EU ministers are expected to reiterate their concern over the recent reports of violence and intimidation of pro-democracy activists as well as the failure by the government to release the final results of the March 29 presidential election.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 26,2008) – The Bosnian State Court has confirmed yesterday the indictment against Serbian war criminal Rade Veselinovic, former member of the genocidal Serbian aggressor's formations, who is charged with crimes against humanity committed in Hadzici municipality in 1992,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Serbian war criminal Rade Veselinovic is charged with abetting and supporting the persecution of the Bosnian civilians on the territory of this municipality, "by committing murder, torture, forcible disappearance, detention and causing suffering and bodily injuries."

The indictment alleges that, from early May to the end of 1992, Serbian war criminal Rade Veselinovic and other members of the genocidal Serbian aggressor's formations participated in the unlawful detention of Bosnian civilians at a concentration camp, established in the the cultural, sports and recreational hall in Hadzici, where they were tortured and murdered.

The Bosnian civilians were abused also by being forced, by the genocidal Serbian aggressor's soldiers, to "perform unnatural acts".

The indictment mentions the names of Serbian war criminals Dragan Pusar and Nemanja Jovicic, with whom Veselinovic participated in the attack on Musici village, where some Bosnian civilians were murdered and others were detained in the concentration camp in Hadzici.

Serbian war criminal Rade Veselinovic has been held under custody since November 2007, when the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) arrested him as per a warrant issued by the Bosnian State Prosecutor.

According to the European Union Police Mission (EUPM) in Bosnia,
Serbian war criminal Rade Veselinovic was arrested together with
Serbian war criminal Nemanja Jovicic, who is suspected of having committed war crimes in the same area.

Within the next 15 days Serbian war criminal Rade Veselinovic is due to enter his plea to the counts charged upon him by the indictment.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 26,2008) – According to the market experts and owners of real estate agencies, the prices of real estate in Bosnia have increased by 100 per cent in 2007.

As a result, the price of a square meter in newly built homes in central Sarajevo can reach up to 5,000 Bosnian Marks. A shortage of residential developments is seen as the main reason for this trend which is not expected to be over soon. Banja Luka is the second most expensive city in Bosnia in terms of real estate prices.

Considering that the average salary in Bosnia is 677 Bosnian Marks a month, and that banks are not trying to make buying a home easier (with home loan interest rate at one bank being as high as 6.75 per cent), a new home has become a luxury item in Bosnia.


PODGORICA, Montenegro (April 26,2008) – The heads of financial security services of Bosnia,Albania,Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia have signed a protocol about fighting money laundering and the funding of terrorism in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica.

Cooperation between these southeastern European countries has been rated as excellent. They also agreed to meet at least once a year, and the next meeting will take place in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 26,2008) – The International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia,yesterday,strongly condemned all attacks on the freedom and the independence of media in Bosnia.

“Freedom of the media is a key freedom for all member states of the European Union, and the EU monitors very closely the quality and the situation in this area in each country that wishes to join the European Union one day. Rest assured that not a single attack on media freedom will go unnoticed in the European Union”, Lajčák said in a video message published on the website in response to a question about threats to media freedom in Bosnia.

“If we want to build a functional democratic state, then we must not tolerate attacks against the independence of the media. There are institutions that must do their job. In our case, this would be the Regulatory Agency for Communications. The state institutions also need to meet their commitments. Politicians should say that there cannot be any tolerance of attacks against the media, since they are responsible for the prevailing atmosphere in a society,” Lajčák said.

He recalled that the EU did not by accident set public broadcasting reform as a condition for further progress in the EU integration process, stressing that it is essential to create “a functional, objective, independent and democratic system of public broadcasting, which will not serve or be abused for biased party or other interests, and which will inform citizens in an objective manner.”


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 26,2008) – The Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic received in Sarajevo credentials from newly-appointed Ambassador of Palestine to Bosnia Rostom Amir Saker Hussein.

President Silajdzic stated that Bosnia and Palestine have developed friendly relations through the years and that the cooperation can be further improved in all sectors.

Ambassador Hussein expressed pleasure with his stay in Bosnia. He emphasized that Palestine wants to strengthen the relations with Bosnia and promised that he will dedicate his mission to promotion of cooperation, for the benefit of the peoples living in both the countries.


SREBRENICA/BRATUNAC, Bosnia (April 26,2008) – The Deputy Commander of the European Union Force in Bosnia (EUFOR), Brigadier General Carmelo De Cicco visited Bratunac and Srebrenica. He visited the Liaison and Observation Team (LOT) House in Bratunac to meet the Austrian EUFOR team who help the local authorities to maintain a safe and secure environment.

To conclude the visit, Brigadier General De CICCO visited the Genocide Memorial Centre in Srebrenica to pay his respects to the genocide victims buried there, on behalf of the entire Italian contingent in EUFOR and of himself. He laid flowers and conveyed his personal thoughts in a message in the visitors’ book of impressions, EUFOR said.

“I am very moved today. I recognise the terrible loss for the families of the victims, and I am convinced that this memorial will continue to serve as a great reminder to all of us to prevent such atrocities ever to occur again,” the Deputy EUFOR Commander said.

In July 1995 the genocidal Serbian aggressor mass murdered up to 10,000 Bosnian civilians from Srebrenica.The Srebrenica massacre has been deemed by the UN war crimes tribunal and the International Court of Justice to have constituted genocide. Thousands of bodies of the genocide victims have been uncovered from about 60 mass graves around Srebrenica.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 26,2008) – The Bosnian Minister of Human Rights and Refugees Safet Halilovic met with Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia Ambassador Douglas Davidson and UNHCR representative in Bosnia Naveed Hussain. They talked about realization of the budget funds aimed to help the return process.

”By ensuring significantly bigger amounts of money for the return process in this year, Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees and the Bosnian government showed that they are seriously determined to help the return process. It is also encouraging that the Ministry ensured significant funds for sustainable return”, Hussain said and emphasized readiness to help the process of allocation and usage of the money in municipalities.

Davidson and Hussain stated that “the time has come for allocation of funds on the basis of the returnees’ real needs”.

”We are aware that this is a sensitive issue and we are willing to help reorganize the system according to which the allocation of funds on the ethnic principle would be replaced by the aid which would be bat the disposal of people who need it the most”, the international officials said.

Halilovic emphasized determination of the Bosnian Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees to start the realization of about 40 million Bosnian Marks that have been consolidated by the Bosnian state government and the two entities’ governments.

Minister Halilovic saids that the Annex 7 Implementation Strategy is in the final stages of development.