Balkan Republics

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Addie
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Balkan Republics

#1

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:01 pm

Thread title changed

Adding:

WaPo - Historical Timeline

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Bosnia has been much on my mind in these times.

Associated Press
65 Skulls Found in Mass Grave at Site of Gruesome War Crime

(SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina ) — Forensic experts say they have retrieved the remains of at least 65 victims from a mass grave in central Bosnia, the site of one of the most gruesome crimes of the country's 1992-95 war.

Lejla Cengic from Bosnia's Missing Persons Institute says Tuesday that remains including 65 skulls have been found since September 7 in the grave at the Koricanske Stijene cliff near Mount Vlasic. She says they're believed to belong to some of over 220 non-Serb civilians executed there by Bosnian Serb forces on August 21, 1992.

Most of those killed were taken from Serb-run detention camps near Prijedor and told they were going for a prisoner exchange. Only a dozen men survived by falling or jumping down the ravine when the shooting started.

The exhumation work is continuing.


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Re: Bosnia-Herzegovina

#2

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:56 pm

My niece by marriage is a survivor of the Bosnian war. She told me recently how she and her sister and brother escaped to Croatia and lived with family there while her parents stayed in Bosnia trying to save their home. Eventually her mother joined them in Croatia, but her father was sent to a camp. He was saved because his wife had been kind to a student in Bosnia and that student's father had influence over who could leave the camp. He ended up in the Netherlands I believe and allowed to emigrate to the states because he was an engineer and his wife was educated as well. They settled in the St. Louis area. She didn't see her mother for over a year. Her father she didn't see for over 2 years. She was 12 when all of this started.


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Re: Bosnia-Herzegovina

#3

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:12 pm

Fortunate in the end, but I can't imagine what it took to get there. Deepest fear must have been present every step and minute of the way. :(

I noticed a movie listing on Netflix, In the Land of Blood and Honey, about that time in Bosnia. I'm a little afraid to watch it.
Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:56 pm
My niece by marriage is a survivor of the Bosnian war. She told me recently how she and her sister and brother escaped to Croatia and lived with family there while her parents stayed in Bosnia trying to save their home. Eventually her mother joined them in Croatia, but her father was sent to a camp. He was saved because his wife had been kind to a student in Bosnia and that student's father had influence over who could leave the camp. He ended up in the Netherlands I believe and allowed to emigrate to the states because he was an engineer and his wife was educated as well. They settled in the St. Louis area. She didn't see her mother for over a year. Her father she didn't see for over 2 years. She was 12 when all of this started.


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Re: Bosnia-Herzegovina

#4

Post by Addie » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:05 pm

CNN
Bosnian war criminal dies after swallowing poison in court

(CNN) A former Bosnian Croat general has died after apparently swallowing poison as a judge at the Hague upheld his 20-year sentence for war crimes.

Footage from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) showed 72-year-old Slobodan Praljak tilt his head back and drink from a small glass bottle as the presiding judge read out the verdict.

"Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal. I am rejecting your verdict with contempt," Praljak shouted before swallowing the liquid.

The judge was then heard immediately suspending proceedings and asking for the curtains to be drawn. An ambulance was at the building shortly and paramedics raced up to the courtroom, Reuters reported. ...

The appeal judges upheld the findings of an earlier trial that implicated the Croatian regime under then-President Franjo Tudjman in a criminal conspiracy with the goal of "ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population" of parts of Bosnia to ensure Croatian domination.


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Re: Bosnia-Herzegovina

#5

Post by Addie » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:32 pm

The Guardian
Russian-trained mercenaries back Bosnia's Serb separatists

Russian-trained mercenaries are helping to establish a paramilitary unit serving the Serb separatist leader in Bosnia, it was reported in Sarajevo on Friday.

The report on the Žurnal news site, which was confirmed by the Bosnian security minister, comes at a time of mounting western anxiety about Russian efforts to destabilise the Balkans and resist Nato enlargement in the region. ...

The Žurnal report said that a militia called “Serbian Honour” – which it said had been trained in a Russian-funded “humanitarian centre” in Serbia – was in the process of setting up a paramilitary group to be used against Dodik’s opponents.

It published photographs of the militia on the streets of Banja Luka, the administrative centre of the Republika Srpska, a semi-autonomous entity within Bosnia created by the Dayton peace agreement that ended the 1992-95 war. The pictures show the paramilitaries posing in black sweaters and in combat gear. ...

The appearance of the paramilitaries in Bosnia comes 15 months after Russian intelligence was implicated in an abortive coup in Montenegro, in which mercenaries planned to storm parliament, assassinate Milo Đukanović, the country’s pro-western leader, , and prevent it from joining Nato. The plot was foiled and Montenegro became a Nato member in June 2017. ...

“This is part of a larger change in the international order, starting with the invasion in Georgia, Syria, Ukraine, the meddling in the US elections,” said Reuf Bajrović, Bosnia’s former energy minister, calling the appearance of the paramilitaries in Banja Luka a “watershed moment”.


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Re: Balkan Republics

#6

Post by Addie » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:45 am

WaPo OpEd
The Republican Party must rein in its mercenaries in the Balkans

U.S. policy in the Balkans is shifting, and the implications are ominous.

The U.S. ambassador in Pristina recently made statements suggesting that Washington is now, at the very least, open to considering the partition of Kosovo as a means of resolving a protracted dispute with Serbia over the country’s status. And in nearby Bosnia, Republican Party lobbyists and former high-ranking figures in the Trump campaign and administration have begun working on behalf of the government of Milorad Dodik, the secessionist, genocide-denying and Kremlin-backed chief of the country’s Republika Srpska entity, and who enjoys also the backing of the government in Serbia. What’s more, Dodik is still formally sanctioned by the Treasury Department for “actively obstructing” the U.S.-brokered Dayton Accords.

It is difficult to overstate the implications of this shift in American policy toward the region. It was the United States, above all, that secured peace in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The first step was its intervention against Slobodan Milosevic’s genocidal war in Bosnia, and the subsequent authoring of the Dayton Accords in 1995 (Annex 4 of which still functions as Bosnia’s constitution). The second came in 1999, when the United States and its NATO allies moved to end a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing orchestrated by Milosevic’s security services against Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian population.

Since 9/11, the United States has largely given up the lead position in regional affairs to the European Union. But Washington has shown itself willing to return to the fray whenever Brussels’ foreign policy muscle was found wanting, as has so often been the case. Only the United States, for instance, saw fit to sanction Dodik in early 2017 for holding an unconstitutional referendum on the founding of the Republika Srpska, despite repeated warnings against such a move by virtually the entire international community.

The United States has remained, in short, the lone effective arbiter in a region defined by complex and, often, volatile politics. The benign neglect that characterized the approach of the George W. Bush and Obama administrations largely coincided with a protracted downturn in regional stability. But even so, there was never any doubt about the official U.S. position on the region. Washington supported E.U. and NATO enlargement, and it insisted on the need for dialogue and diplomacy rather than nationalist brinkmanship. Crucially, it also stood firm on the territorial integrity of all existing states in the region.

Now the Trump administration’s apparent disregard for each of these principles threatens to unravel the hard-won peace in the Balkans. While the Republican lobbyists’ entanglements with the Dodik government may appear comical — a case of American con men profiting from the naive hopes of provincial strongmen — it is part of a familiar pattern. Yet once more, members of Trump’s entourage are working closely with regimes and movements that are linked to Russia and which explicitly oppose and seek actively to undermine U.S. and E.U. interests.


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