bosnia report
New Series No: 45-46 May - August 2005
Chronology of events: 25 March - 30 June 2005

25 March 2005

RS premier Pero Bukejlović, speaking at the ‘Through Truth to Justice’ conference in Pale, claims that wartime killings of Serb in Sarajevo were a ‘genocide’ perhaps greater than that committed against Bosniaks at Srebrenica, since he alleges that unlike the latter it was carried out under official patronage.

27 March 2005

Amor Masović, president of the Commission for Missing Persons, replies to Bukejlović that the number of Serbs killed within Sarajevo by local forces was no more than 300, although a further 1,000 Serbs were killed by shelling and sniping from outside the city

29 March 2005

High Representative Paddy Ashdown removes Croat member of B-H Presidency Dragan Čović, arguing that he will thus be able to answer the charge of abusing his office without bringing the Presidency itself into disrepute

SDA candidate Semiha Borovac is elected mayor of Sarajevo

5 April 2005

US government refuses request from B-H council of ministers to free four B-H citizens from the ‘Algerian group’ imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay

SDP leader Zlatko Lagumdžija dissolves Sarajevo cantonal leadership headed by Nermin Pećanac, who had stood against him for the party presidency

11 April 2005

Ashdown visits Serbian premier Vojislav Koštunica in Belgrade, to request his help in persuading RS authorities to cooperate in police reform

Croatia rejects nomination of Branko Kresić as B-H ambassador to Zagreb, because of his wartime role in Banja Luka

15 April 2005

European Parliament passes resolution on regional integration of West Balkans that stresses the divided condition of B-H and calls for revision of Dayton; RS president Dragan Čavić reacts violently, PDP leader and B-H foreign minister Mladen Ivanić opposes abolition of entities

Franciscans of B-H demand abolition of entities

16 April 2005

RS cadets, during passing out ceremonies at Bileća and Manjača, mock the B-H anthem and state and pledge loyalty to RS instead of to B-H

21 April 2005

Ashdown accuses RS interior ministry for incompleteness of report on Srebrenica

24 April 2005

Lamija Tanović is elected new president of LDS (B-H Liberals), after Rasim Kadić steps down

25-28 April 2005

Internationally sponsored talks are held on Mt Vlašić, among leaders of main B-H parties, on subject of police reform - a precondition for eventual EU entry. They appear to reach a provisional consensus on some issues, but this subsequently breaks down

27 April 2005

Bijeljina court annuls all guilty verdicts in connection with the ‘Orao’ arms for Iraq affair (see Bosnia Report 32-34, December 2002-July 2003)

5 May 2005

Ivo Miro Jović replaces Čović on B-H Presidency

Large concrete cross is illegally erected on site of Radimlje mediaeval necropolis near Stolac, famous for its stećak-marked graves

6 May 2005

Former B-H Army commander Rasim Delić is provisionally released by Hague tribunal pending his trial

8 May 2005

Following US government decision finally to hand over posthumous (1948) award to World War II Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović for returning American aircrews downed over Chetnik-held territory (a decision that provoked a storm of protest in B-H and Croatia, and from many anti-fascists also in Serbia), a delegation of US war veterans visits Belgrade and hands over award to Mihailović’s daughter on 60th anniversary of victory over fascism in Europe

10 May 2005

Former presidency member Ante Jelavić is provisionally released by B-H courts pending his trial

11 May 2005

SDS rejects the police reform consensus partly hammered out on Mt Vlašić

14 May 2005

Čavić visits Belgrade and, following talks with Koštunica, reverses his earlier more cooperative line on police reform

16 May 2005

Talks in Sarajevo on boundaries of potential police regions founder due to SDS obstruction

Reconstructed Orthodox monastery of Žitomislići near Mostar is formally opened as a purely Serb event, and with the attendance of Serbian dignitaries, despite B-H Federation funding for the reconstruction

17 May 2005

Ashdown blames RS for blocking police reform, and thereby blocking B-H advance towards European institutions; many in B-H, including notably the SDP, charge Ashdown himself with co-responsibility for the failure

31 May 2005

RS assembly rejects police reform

1 June 2005

Thirty-six B-H de-miners are sent to Iraq

Film of Serbian special unit ‘Scorpions’ executing Bosniak prisoners after the Srebrenica massacre, taken by a unit member, is made available to the Hague tribunal by Serbian human-rights activist Nataša Kandić. It is shown at Milošević trial, and subsequently round the world including in Serbia, where eight members of the Scorpion unit are promptly arrested

3 June 2005

Serbian president Boris Tadić expresses wish to attend Srebrenica commemoration ceremony at Potočari, ‘Women of Srebrenica’ oppose any presence of official representatives from Serbia/Montenegro

4 June 2005

PDP minister Branko Dokić, charged by a local court with abuse of power, resigns after weeks of pressure.

5 June 2005

Dismissed B-H presidency member Čović is elected new president of HDZ, amid reports of deep divisions in party

8 June 2005

Ashdown uses his powers as HR to appoint Sredoje Nović from RS (a key SDS cadre in wartime regime of Radovan Karadžić, who reportedly fulfilled liaison role with Serbia) as director of state security agency SIPA. B-H premier Adnan Terzić then accepts resignation offered six months earlier by foreign minister Mladen Ivanić, claiming that the latter has blocked the due appointment of a Croat to the SIPA post in order to secure that of the Serb Nović, thus obliging the HR for the first time to take over one of the B-H government’s essential functions. Ashdown opposes the removal of Ivanić.

13 June 2005

Toby Robertson, temporary administrator of Privredna Banka of ‘Srpsko Sarajevo’ [Pale], asks for all SDS assets to be frozen and announces a civil lawsuit against high party officials in connection with the party’s debt to the bank

Ivanić is refused a US visa to address the UN in New York

A mass grave exhumed at Suha in the outskirts of Bratunac reveals the remains of thirty-eight victims, including a nine-months pregnant woman, nine children, and four mothers clutching children in their arms

14 June 2005

Proposal to pass a resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre - put to the Serbian parliament on behalf of a number of Serbian NGOs by Nataša Mičić and Žarko Korač - is sunk by opposition from Š ešelj’s Radicals, Milošević’s Socialists and Koštunica’s DSS

15 June 2005

Former deputy director of Interpol in B-H Asim Fazlić is cleared of all charges; his co-defendant Senad Kobilić is found guilty

OHR confirms that B-H premier Terzić has the right to appoint a new foreign minister. Ivanić remains provisionally in post while a replacement is sought.

Bisera Turković is confirmed as B-H ambassador to Washington, despite accusations of having been linked to entry of Islamic fighters to wartime B-H

16 June 2005

Hague tribunal prosecutor Carla del Ponte announces that she will not attend the Srebrenica massacre anniversary commemoration at Potočari, since Karadžić and Mladić have not been arrested

25 June 2005

US Senate passes unanimous resolution commemorating the Srebrenica massacre, stressing that it was part of a genocidal policy directed from Belgrade, and reaffirming the inviolability of B-H frontiers

Former CIA analyst for Balkans Stephen Mayer and editor-in-chief of Moscow Izvestija Maksim Jusin almost simultaneously evoke possible ‘compensation’ for Serbia in the event of Kosova independence - in the form of all or part of RS

27 June 2005

Ivanić calls for Terzić’s resignation and the holding of new elections; SDP leader Lagumdžija says SDS and SDA are combining to force PDP out of government, after which Ashdown will be forced to deal with them

US House of Representatives, by 370 to 1 (with 62 absent), passes identical resolution to that passed by the Senate two days earlier

Serbian foreign minister Vuk Drašković says that independence for Kosova would ‘automatically lead to independence for RS’.

29 June 2005

Belgrade court finds Milošević’s secret-service boss Radomir Marković, together with Milorad Luković ‘Legija’ and three other former ‘Red Berets’, guilty of organizing an assassination attempt in 1999 against Drašković (then an opposition leader, now Serbian foreign minister); Marković is sentenced to ten years, the others to fifteen years apiece. Mihalj Kertes, Milošević’s former customs chief and close associate, is sentenced to three years for providing an armoured truck used in the attempt.

B-H and Croatia reportedly reject UK proposal for a joint statement of reconciliation with Serbia/Montenegro to be signed at Potočari on tenth anniversary of Srebrenica massacre


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