Our local Chetniks
by Senad Pecanin
The Chetnik Ravna Gora Movement (CRP) in Republika Srpska (RS) describes itself as a military branch of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS) and the Serb Radical Party (SRS). The key date in its recent history was an April 1998 gathering in Brcko of a whole array of representatives from the SDS, the SRS-RS, the Serb National League – Biljana Plavsic (SNS), the Assembly of Serb Sisters of Mother Jevrosima, the High Council of Chetnik Veterans of RS, and the Serbian CRP: an occasion memorable for a particularly inspired speech by the ever-jovial Vojislav Seselj. The local CRP was founded one month later, and registered at the court in Bijeljina in April 1999. Five months later it was re-named the Serb National Homeland Movement.
Dani sources report that the CRP exists in fourteen regions is very well organised, with its own municipal branches and field workers operating in ‘trojkas’, which since early 2000 have been ‘regrouping’: they have apparently decided to broaden the movement by infiltrating civilian organisations, and have already installed themselves within the Association of Missing and Fallen Soldiers of the Republika Srpska Army, the Association of Displaced and Expelled Serbs, the Association of War Wounded and Veterans of RS, the association for mothers of fallen soldiers of RS (Assembly of Serb Sisters of Mother Jevrosima), the Committee for Defence of Serb National Interests, and so on.
This whole regroupment, of course, was simply a matter of concealment and political discretion. When the international community and the OSCE realised the implications of these trojkas, according to Dani’s sources, and the fear the very term inspires among non-Serbs, they designated the CRP as a terrorist and pro-fascist force.
Initially the official representatives of the CRP were: Slavko Aleksic, Nenad Andric, Jovo Savic and Lazar Janjic. In 2001, a new leadership took over. Among the key people from the very beginning, however, were: Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic, Nikola Poplasen, Dragan Cavic, Mirko Banjac, Mirko Blagojevic, Velibor Ostojic, Vojo Maksimovic and Bozidar Vucurevic.
Every three months the movement organises ‘popular’ gatherings, at which Ostojic, Maksimovic and Vucurevic play leading roles, joined when the situation permits by Karadzic and Mladic.
The CRP centre organises all demonstrations, like those that took place in Banja Luka on 7 May 2001 with the aim of preventing the laying of a foundation stone for the Ferhadija Mosque, and that included the stoning of visitors’ buses.
Financial support for the movement comes from the Serb diaspora in the USA, Canada and Western Europe, via many organisations. In Chicago a follower of Momcilo Djujic [the notorious Pop from World War II , a certain Vojvoda Miroslav Djujic, collects money for the movement. Vaso Abdovic performs the same function in New York. The monthly membership fee is apparently 50 US dollars, while in Europe it is 25 Euro. Funds are also collected locally, only not through membership fees but through the illegal businesses and rackets of prominent adherents in the power structure. That is precisely how sizeable ‘protests’ have been organised in Brcko, Visegrad, Trebinje, and Banja Luka, in which everything was planned down to the last detail. The same sources, of course, finance the attempts to scare off returnees to RS by grenade attacks and sniping, for the purpose of which a sizeable arsenal of small arms was spirited away from a secret RS Army dump in Zlatne Vode - in an operation commanded, according to well informed sources, by a certain Boro Caric. - to end up at Kozluk and Tabanica near Zvornik!
According to these sources, among the most active members of the CRP are: Milan Majdancevic, Dragan Kovacevic and Snjezana Zivkovic ( Brcko ), Slavko Crnic and Goran Obradovic (Banja Luka), Tomislav Bobar (Vlasenica), Sveto Lucic (Pale), Mladen Nedic (Ozren). Milorad Sarovic (Kalinovik), Milan Lalovic, Slavko Aleksic and Nenad Andric (‘Srpsko Sarajevo’), Dejan Savic, Rajko Kusic and Rajko Stojanovic (Rogatica), Jovan Jankovic (Samac), Rade Rakanovic (Novi Grad), Blasko Cetkovic and Tihomir Jasikovic (Zvornik), Bozidar Pljevaljcic (Foca), Danilo Visnjevac, Dragoslav Obrad and Milan Lukic (Visegrad), Jovo Savic and Lazar Janjic (Banovici), Ljubisa Borovcanin, Momcilo Mandic (formerly deputy to Alija Delimustafic at the B-H interior ministry), Dragomir Vasic, Radomir Kojic (a close associate of Karadzic), Veljko Rogulic – and who else? And the movement keeps spreading…
Report translated from Dani (Sarajevo), 2 August 2002