bosnia report
New Series No: 37-38 January - March 2004
Chronology of events November 2003 - January 2004

7 November 2003

Pjer Žalica’s film Gori vatra (Fuse) wins first prize at Raindance Film Festival in London.

B-H Presidency offers to send troops to Iraq and also offers US the right to establish military bases in B-H

13 November 2003

Svetozar Marović, president of the Union of Serbia and Montenegro (SCG), apologizes ‘for any harm or misfortune suffered by anyone in B-H at the hands of anyone from SCG’.

Assembly of Brčko District votes to remove statue of Draža Mihailović from city centre by 1 December 2003

16 November 2003

Abortive presidential elections in Serbia, in which the Radical candidate wins most votes but the turnout falls short of the 50% threshold needed for the vote to be valid.

23 November 2003

Parliamentary elections in Croatia. Out of 4,087,553 registered voters, 2,520,008 (61.65%) cast votes. The result is a victory for the late president Tuđman’s HDZ (840,692 votes, 33.91%), a defeat for the outgoing governing coalition. The new parliament has 152 seats, divided as follows: HDZ 66 (including 4 ‘diaspora’ seats elected mainly by votes from Herzegovina), SDP 34, HNS 10, HSS 9, HSP 8, minorities 8, IDS 4, LS 2, HSU 3, Libra 3, HDSS 1, DC 1, HSLS 2, PGS 1. HDZ leader Ivo Sanader eventually forms a government with the support of the HSU (Pensioners), DC, HSLS and seven minority representatives (including notably the three Serbs of the SDSS)

2 December 2003

Hague Tribunal sentences Momir Nikolić, who has pleaded guilty, to 27 years in prison for war crimes committed at Srebrenica; he subsequently lodges appeal against sentence.

5 December 2003

Hague Tribunal sentences Stanislav Galić to 20 years in prison for war crimes against civilian population of Sarajevo - provoking a subsequent protest at the lightness of the sentence by current mayor of Sarajevo and 8 of his predecessors.

Ambassadors of B-H and Croatia agree on the lifting of visas for the citizens of both countries

11 December 2003

Peace Implementation Council for B-H extends Paddy Ashdown’s mandate as high representative for a year until May 2005.

27 December 2003

Croatian premier announces construction of bridge from Komarna to Pelješac so that Split-Dubrovnik motorway will avoid passing through B-H territory at Neum.

28 December 2003

Parliamentary elections in Serbia. The Radicals emerge as the largest party, with 27.7 % of the votes and 82 seats in the 250-seat national assembly. The main party of the outgoing government coalition - DS - gets 12.6%, 37 seats (of which 5 go to the GSS - Civic Alliance). Former FRY president Koštunica eventually forms a minority coalition government (his own DSS with 18%, 53 seats; G 17 Plus with 11.7%, 34 seats; SPO/NS with 7.7%, 23 seats) supported externally by Milošević’s SPS (7.7%, 21 seats).

7 January 2004

FAO places B-H in bottom place in Europe, next to bottom in the world, in terms of annual growth of agricultural production.

10 January 2004

Fresh failed attempt by SFOR to arrest Radovan Karadžić.

14 January 2004

HDZ expresses support for abolition of B-H Federation and restructuring of country.

23 January 2004

Ante Jelavić, former B-H presidency member and former HDZ leader, is arrested with former B-H Federation defence minister Miroslav Prce and former director of ‘Hercegovina osiguranje’ Miroslav Rupčić, for alleged involvement with organized crime.

Snežana Savić, a former political associate of Biljana Plavšić, resigns as a B-H human rights ombudsman (!), citing an alleged campaign against her reputation by former ombudsman Frank Orton.

26 January 2004

Graham Blewitt, former deputy chief prosecutor of the Hague tribunal, says in an interview with Sarajevo daily Dnevni avaz that he believes there is no political will to arrest Radovan Karadžić.

28 January 2004

High Representative Paddy Ashdown imposes a new statute on the city of Mostar, whereby it will from March 2004 be united in a single municipality (replacing the three HDZ-dominated municipalities of west Mostar and the three SDA-dominated municipalities of east Mostar), although it will continue to be organized for electoral purposes as six constituencies.

Liljana Mijović (sister of Snežana Savić) is appointed first B-H judge of the European Court for Human Rights (until 2010), with 84 votes against 35 for Ahmed Žilić and 9 for Zoran Pajić.


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