The following media round up on international, legal and foreign policy issues from around the Balkans for the period of 02 April to 15 April 2021. The Guernica Group will provide bi-weekly media updates with a focus Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia . Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
Serbia - 14 April 2021
This Wednesday was the last day of closing arguments in the retrial of former Serbian State Security officials Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague. Both Stanisic and Simatovic had been previously acquitted of the crimes against them. Judge Burton Hall said that the courts will “issue a scheduling order for the pronouncement of the judgment in due course.”
Croatia - 13 April 2021
Zoran Milanovic, Croatia’s President, stated that he feels that Serbia should not be allowed to join the European Union until they have resolved the missing person issue. According to the War Veterans’ Ministry, 1869 Croatian soldiers and civilians are still missing from the War in the 1990s. Milanovic insisted that Serbia must know more than what they were willing to share about the missing people.
Croatia - 15 April 2021
On Thursday, the Human Rights House Zagreb published its annual report where it stated that there was not much headway in the prosecution of war crimes in 2020. It did mention that there has been a slight “shift” in the culture of remembrance at commemorations of war events which used to be exclusively focused on Croats. In a ceremony to Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Croat victory, sympathy was expressed to both Croat and Serb victims.
Bosnia and Herzegovina - 9 April 2021
“Defender of Sarajevo” Jovan Divjak died on the 8th of April 2021 at age 84. Jovan Divjak was a retired General of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He played a vital role in defending Sarajevo during the war in the 1990s.
“During the most difficult days, he did not change his firm stand about the defence of the Republic and the state. He undoubtedly represented dignity and professionalism, as an officer, as a Bosnian citizen, as a founder of humanitarian initiatives, as a man”, Said Victor Jackovich the first US ambassador to BiH.
Bosnia and Herzegovina - 15 April 2021
Mile Pazin’s appeal against his sentence for mistreating a civilian prisoner in Stolac in 1993 was rejected by the Bosnian State Court. Mile Pazin was sentenced to one and a half years imprisonment in September 2020.
Montenegro - 15 April 2021
Montenegro’s current government is struggling to keep the support of the parliamentary majority that helped vote it in to office.
Montenegro - 14 April 2021
Nebojsa Medojevic, the leader of the Movement for Changes party, accused the former government led by Milo Djukanovic of supporting the Bosnian Serb Army in Srebrenica in 1995. Medojevic called for the parliament to investigate. For an investigation to be opened more than half of the MPs have to vote for it.
Kosovo – 11 April 2021
A memorial wall, in former Bllaca refugee camp, dedicated to the thousands of ethnic Albanians who where deported from Kosovo during the war in 1999 was unveiled last week. It represents the suffering of over 440 000 civilians fleeing Kosovo.