Bosnia: Sarajevo, tribute to Serbian victims of 1992

Insults from veterans, but no incidents

04 May, 09:43

(ANSAmed) - SARAJEVO, MAY 3 - Around 50 representatives of the government of the Republika Srpska, the majority Serb entity within Bosnia Herzegovina, paid tribute in Sarajevo yesterday to soldiers from the former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) who fell in fighting with Bosnian government forces on May 3 1992, at the start of the war in Bosnia (1992-1995).

As the officials laid flowers and lit candles, a number of former members of veteran associations shower their disapproval for the ceremony, with cries of "murderers" and "aggressors", but there were no incidents.

Serbia has accused the former member of the Bosnian Presidency, Ejup Ganic, the general Jovan Dijak, the former deputy commander of government forces and 12 other Bosnian officials and military figures of war crimes. The fighting took place as soldiers, led by General Milutin Kukanjac, were leaving the city in exchange for the release of the Bosnian President, Alija Izetbegovic, who had been held prisoner by the JNA.

According to Serbian prosecutors, 42 people died, while the Bosnians and General Kukanjac himself say that only 6 were killed.

The prosecutor's office in Sarajevo this year shelved the investigation against Ganic, Divjak and others because, it says, the behaviour of those investigated does not constitute a crime.

No criminal activity has been identified by the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague, which investigated the episode in 2003 and found that the column of fully armed soldiers represented a legitimate military target.

After an international arrest warrant was issued by Belgrade, Ganic and Divjak were arrested in the UK in 2010 and in Austria in 2011 respectively. They were later released as the measures taken by Belgrade had what a British judge called "political ends". (ANSAmed).

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