Monday, June 23, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (June 23,2008) – In the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and throughout Bosnia,in Mostar,Tuzla,Zenica,Bugojno... Turkey's win over Croatia in the Euro 2008 quarter finals,last weekend,sparked joyful celebrations and thousands of Bosnians came into the streets wrapped in Turkish flags and chanting Turkey and Allahu Akbar, or God is Great.Many more Bosnians drove around town in their cars, honking and cheering.

Police were struggling to prevent clashes between Bosnians and some Croatians living in Bosnia after thousands came into the streets of the southern town of Mostar after Turkey's win over Croatia in the Euro 2008 quarter finals.

Police had to use tear gas to keep rival groups apart as violent fans hurled stones and glass bottles at them.Gunshots were also reported during the unrest, but no weapon injuries were reported.

Bosnian soccer fans wave Turkish flags as they celebrate Turkey's win against Croatia in the southern town of Mostar, 2008. At least 15 people were injured on Sunday.

Bosnian policemen rush toward the rioting soccer fans in the southern Bosnian town of Mostar. At least 15 people were injured on Sunday when the police try to separate rioting soccer fans after Turkey beat Croatia in the Euro 2008 quarter finals.

Video: Bosnians celebrate Turkey's win against Croatia

The Croatians living in Bosnia always cheer on the national team of Croatia, which most of them consider as their homeland, while Bosnians generally support their opponents.

Bosnians also support Turkey in international competitions because of the ties going back to five centuries of Bosnia within the Ottoman Empire.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (June 23,2008) – “Bosnia must focus on realizing the advantages of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Bosnia and the EU,” the International community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajčák said during the meeting with Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council Hido Biščević in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

Lajčák set out his view of the core challenges facing Bosnia following the signature of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement last week.

The SAA establishes a free-trade area between the EU and Bosnia. Countries that have gone through this process have seen Foreign Direct Investment boosted.

For consumers, the advantages are clear; products from the EU should become cheaper, and there is still time for Bosnia’s businesses to adjust to the new environment. In the areas vital for Bosnia’s economy local producers will be protected with full liberalisation until 2013.

“But the country cannot loose must not loose any more time in carrying out crucial economci reforms such as structural reforms and in realising its economic potential” said Lajčák.

The competitiveness of the Bosnian economy must be raised Lajčák and Biščević agreed. The country must make the most of the EU funding; research and development programmes are available and can help the Bosnian economy – but Bosnia must make itself ready to apply for them.

“The country must drive its reform agenda forward to prevent exports from slowing,” said Lajčák.

By making use of the Regional Cooperation Council’s promotion of integration in South Eastern Europe, Bosnia can invigorate economic relations with the region, the country’s main export market.

Lajčák and Biščević agreed that Bosnia must show a stronger policy of ownership and improved policy coordination.

“There has been progress. The ‘Platform for Action’, agreed among the Bosnian State and Entity Prime Ministers and the Brcko Mayor last October, has lead to the adoption of the Law on Pharmaceuticals and on Fiscal Council but the law on Obligations and a State level Banking Supervision system “remain stalled because of political disagreement,” Lajčák said.

Lajčák also briefed Biščević on the Peace Implementation Council’s policy for the OHR’s transition to the EUSR. The PIC’s five objectives and two conditions overlap with EU integration. “Solutions for State Property, the National Fiscal Council and a Judicial Sector Strategy represent core elements for the EU agenda,” he said.


VLASENICA, Bosnia (June 23,2008) – 55 genocide victims, mass murdered by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor in May 1992, were laid to rest on Saturday in Zaklopača, near the eastern Bosnian town of Vlasenica.

All 55 genocide victims were Bosnian civilians. The Islamic religious ceremony at their funerals was conducted by Effendi Muharem Omerdić, with the Bosnian President Haris Silajdžić and the FBIH Entity PM Nedžad Branković attending.

Dževad Mahmutović, who chaired a committee set up to organize the burials of the genocide victims, said that the surviving resident of the village feel bitter at the fact that no Serbian war criminal was arrested and tried in connection to this crime yet.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (June 23,2008) – At the plea hearing before the Section I for War Crimes of the Bosnian State Court ,the accused Serbian war criminals Marko Adamović and Boško Lukić pleaded not guilty last week. The Indictment charges Serbian war criminals Marko Adamović and Boško Lukić with the criminal offenses of Crimes against Humanity and Organizing and Instigating the Perpetration of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia,the Bosnian State Court said.

The Indictment states that from April to December 1992,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia, Serbian war criminals Boško Lukić and Marko Adamović, together with other members of the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor's forces, planned, prepared, instigated, aided and abetted and participated in the campaign of persecution of the Bosnian population of the Ključ Municipality.

Among other things, the Indictment states that after the shelling of the Ključ settlements Pudin Han and Velagići, on 28 May 1992, all Bosnian civilians population was called by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor to gather near the Community Center in Velagići. After civilians gathered in front of the Centre, they were ordered to go in front of the Ključ Public Security Station. While going towards the Ključ Public Security Station, the Bosnian civilians were stopped at a checkpoint and the men were separated from the women and children.

More than 200 Bosnian civilians were deprived of liberty by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor and imprisoned in the premises of a primary school.

The Indictment further states that from 27 May 1992 the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor forces searched Bosnian villages in the Ključ Municipality and that Bosnian civilians from these villages were arrested and brought to the concentration camp facilities established in the primary school in Sanica, the primary school in Ključ, the former railway station in Sanica and the Ključ Public Security Station.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (June 23,2008) – Appellate Court of the FBiH Entity Supreme Court changed the verdict of Cantonal Court in Bihac from February 13 and convicted Serbian war criminal Lazar Stupar (1969) to 15 years of imprisonment for crimes committed against Bosnian civilians in Sanski Most region,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

On October 10,1995,Serbian war criminal Lazar Stupar,as a member of the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor's formations,participated in an illegal detention of 27 Bosnian civilians from Sanski Most.After that,he murdered Bosnian civilian Vejsil Mahic and threw several hand grenades among detained Bosnian civilians murdering Ale Osmancevic and wounding 12 other Bosnian civilians.

This verdict partially took in consideration the appeal of the convicted Serbian war criminal against first degree verdict of the Bihac Cantonal Court which convicted him to 20 years in prison.

The sentence will be added to the time spent in detention, that is since October 2007.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (June 23,2008) - Slobodan Puhalac has resigned from the position of the Bosnian Minister of Foreign Trade. Puhalac explained he resigned due to family reasons, and not because he was dissatisfied with working conditions in the Ministry.

Puhalac has recently been assessed as one of the least efficient ministers by the Bosnian non-governmental organization Civil Initiative Centre.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (June 23,2008) - A helicopter carrying four members of the European Union Force in Bosnia (EUFOR) crashed in the central part of the country, the mission said.

The EUFOR helicopter went down in a mountainous heavily forested area near the town of Travnik at around noon (1000 GMT), shortly after the crew made a Mayday call, it said in a statement.

The helicopter had taken off on a routine flight around half an hour earlier from Camp Butmir in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

"A second helicopter has confirmed smoke in the vicinity but due to the mountainous and heavily forested terrain nothing more can be confirmed at this point," said the EUFOR statement.

EUFOR’s spokesman Kerry Corkett earlier told AFP that those on board the helicopter included two crew and two passengers, all of them serving with the EUFOR.

Those on board at the time of the crash were identified by Spain’s Defense Ministry as being two Spanish pilots and two German officers, in a statement issued in Madrid.

"A Spanish helicopter suffered an accident today in Bosnia and the state of the two Spanish pilots and two German officers who were on board is unknown at the moment," said the Ministry.

Emergency services were finding it difficult to reach the area where the crash occurred in central Bosnia, its statement added.

The site of the crash, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the central Bosnian town,was still being investigated, said EUFOR’s Corkett, who declined to provide further information about any possible deaths or injuries.

EUFOR, which took over from a NATO peacekeeping mission in 2004, is charged with military tasks set out in the peace deal that ended the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia. It currently has around 2,200 troops in the country.