Friday, February 06, 2015

Blog #1: UN Court Dismisses Serbian, Croatian Genocide Claims

Described as “one of perhaps the most important events” for bilateral relations by Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, the UN’s International Court of Justice, known as ICJ, has ruled that Serbia and Croatia neither committed acts of genocide during the Croatian war of secession from Yugoslavia. He told reporters it could, “put an end to both sides’ fight to prove who the worst criminal is”, and rather, alleviate the tension. The verdict was delivered on February 3 by Court President Peter Tomka in the landmark case in The Hague. The case was originally brought to court in 1999 by Zagreb, asking for Belgrade to pay compensation for crimes during the war. This case accused Serbs of targeting ethnic Croats in the town of Vukovar and its surroundings in 1991. Filing its countersuit in 2010, Serbia stated that ethnic Serbs were expelled when Croatia launched an operation to retake territory captured by Serbs. Tomka spoke at the ICJ headquarters saying that many crimes happened during the conflict that killed nearly 20, 000 people. He stated that both sides, however, practiced violent acts during the 1991-1995 war, but that neither side provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate the “specific intent required for acts of genocide.” After all was said and done by the verdict, Serbian Justice Minister Nikola Selakovic told journalist in The Hague, “This marks the end of one page on the past, and I’m convinced we will start a new page on the future, much brighter and better.”

Genocide is a beyond unfortunate and catastrophic act that the human species have disappointingly practiced throughout time. This is seen throughout history and even in the modern 21st century. This article exemplifies the significance of making sure issues like war and conflict are reviewed and countries compensate according to the verdict presented. I am grateful for establishments like the ICJ and its capability to determine whether a moral action must be taken in response to extreme immoral behavior. In the article it mentions how the relations between Croatia and Serbia have blossomed and, after multiple years of turmoil, progress is definitely admired.

Jordanna Gisser
February 6, 2015
9:45 PM

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