Saturday, June 21, 2008
Aug 4-8, 1995, over 200,000 indigenous Serbs forced to flee Croatia over four days by the Croatian military during Operation Storm.
Serb refugee women from Croatia, now in Belgrade, hold a poster showing pictures of still missing Croatian Serbs on the 10th anniversary of Operation Storm in 2005.
Croatian lawsuit against Serbia for genocide allegedly done during the last war, represents a prime example of hypocrisy, as it was actually Serbia that should have sued Croatia a long time ago for the genocide of Serbs, therefore putting together the genocide in the WWII and the one committed from 1991-1995. There was continuity between those two crimes, with plethora of evidence to support it, pointed out professor Smilja Avramov, in her interview for the International Radio Serbia.
Asked about the potential complexity of this case, the long-time professor of the Belgrade Law School, Avramov underlines two important problems relating to this issue. The first, according to her, is reflected in the fact that the International Court of Justice has found itself in some deep controversies, regarding several cases, thus questioning its authority as the highest judiciary body in the UN system. Nevertheless, Smilja Avramov adds that in regards of the specific lawsuit of Croatia, any legal expert will know that it is a rather simple case. Namely, this case is very clear in itself. At issue is a hypocritical act of Croatia, which is suing Serbia for the genocide, even though Croatia itself has committed genocide over Serbs in WWII, and then repeated it from 1991-1995.There is plenty of witnesses and solid evidence for that, specified Avramov.
Serbian and Jewish children held and eventually murdered in the WWII Jasenovac Croatian deathcamp.
WWII Croatian "Poglavnik' Ante Pavelic with Adolph Hitler and Hermann Goering in June, 1941
She says that both former and current Serbian authorities should be condemned for not filing a lawsuit against Croatia for those crimes, being that the genocide never gets outdated. “It means that there should have been a suit for both genocides, 1941-1945 and 1991-1995, since there is a continuity between those. It can be proved with documents that can be found in foreign archives, and which I have on disposal, since I used to work on a study of that case. On the other hand, there is also lot of material evidence in the field. In other words, at issue is the omission of Serbia in filing charges against Croatia”, concluded professor Avramov.
According to her, in regards of the Croatian lawsuit, the Hague Court will find a way out of the chaos which they created for themselves, due to unprincipled actions, by taking into account the arguments of the Serbian defense attorneys. The Court will declare itself incompetent in this case, as any other solution would represent a big paradox, concluded professor Smilja Avramov.
In addition to that, Director of the “Veritas” Documentation Center Savo Strbac has assessed that if in this case the International Court should declare itself incompetent, hence skipping the argument on the very essence of the case, the Croatians will always use that as the argument in their favor in the future.
Strbac says that it would not lead to the reconciliation between the two peoples, since the Croatians would always be pointing that they suffered genocide, which had not been processes due to formal reasons. “The Muslim side would have done the same if the International Court had not taken the Bosnian lawsuit against Serbia”, says the Director of “Veritas”.
He firmly believes that the Court will declare its incompetence, but that the counter-lawsuit is under preparation in Serbia, irregardless of that. In that case, Serbia and Serbs in Croatia will be able to present the evidence on their suffering in Croatia. Then it would be clear who was the greatest victim of all, underlines Strbac, adding that Serbs have suffered the most in those conflicts.
He reminded that during and after the “Storm” operation of the Croatian police and military forces, the greatest exodus of Serbs since WWII, as more than 200 thousand people were expelled from Croatia. “In spite of all that, it is difficult to characterize this satiation as the genocide, being that in the Convention on Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing, there is no such mode described for this crime”, concluded Savo Strbac.