Croatia wasn't aggressor in Bosnia, says retired general

Croatia only protected its national interests during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and its goal was neither military aggression nor annexation of its territory, retired general Pavao Miljavac said on Thursday.

"We were only protecting our national interests, creating the basis for operations in Croatia, and aggression or annexation of that territory to the Republic of Croatia, which is often imputed to us, was not our goal," Miljavac told reporters after he, at the head of a retired generals delegation, talked with Foreign Minister Miro Kovac about the situation in BiH and the indictments being issued there against Croatian war veterans and generals.

Miljavac was one of the commanders of 1995's Operation Storm, which liberated then occupied parts of Croatia. A large part of Bosnian territory was liberated thanks to him too.

He said over 900 indictments had been filed not only against Bosnian senior officers and generals but from Croatia too, including himself, and that it was very important how the situation would develop, as Croatia was again being accused of a joint criminal enterprise.

"What's worrying is the qualification of those indictments," Miljavac said, adding that their preambles mention a joint criminal enterprise backed by Croatia and, some of them state, even by former Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Defence Minister Gojko Susak. "That's completely unacceptable."

Miljavac said a current trial against six Bosnian Croats at the Hague war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia could be very dangerous for Croatia as it "practically annuls" the fact that it "saved BiH three times" and had often sent convoys with arms and equipment.

Kovac said Croatia's Foreign Ministry was working on the matter with the State Prosecutor's Office. He said "consultations are under way" to solve the problem and stop Bosnian judicial authorities from prosecuting Croatian veterans.

Kovac said he expected Croatia's new government, as soon as it was formed, to meet with the Bosnian government so that ministers could deal with outstanding issues in direct contact. Such a meeting was planned for the first half of this year but was called off because the Croatian government fell in June.

Last update: Thu, 15/09/2016 - 15:02
Author: 

More from Balkan

Vucic, Zvizdic say Serbia, Bosnia committed to dialogue

Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are committed to dialogue and cooperation, and they can enhance their relations...

Ljubljana to transport its plastic waste to Vienna incinerator

Waste plastics collected in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana will be transported to Vienna for incineration in one...

Nikolic, Vucic to attend Brussels talks on relaxing Serbia-Kosovo ties

The Serbia-Kosovo negotiations on the normalisation of the relations between those two neighbouring countries will...

Serbia to receive additional EUR 4mn from EU for migrants

Serbia will receive an additional EUR 4 million in aid for migrants, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and...

Bank of China opens Belgrade branch

The Bank of China formally opened its branch in Belgrade on Saturday, which is expected to provide an additional...