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'Mladic bunker' secrets revealed

#1
Link to an illustrated BBC piece about an operation by the new EU Force in Bosnia to seal the large ex-Yugoslav command bunker at Han Pijesak to prevent it being used again by Ratko Mladic.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4122257.stm

International forces in B-H have clearly not shied from taking action, despite force reductions and change of command from NATO to the EU.

Article quotes the EUFOR commander Maj Gen David Leakey, a British general who is a former DMO, previously Comd 20 Armoured Brigade and Deputy Commander of MND(SW) in B-H.

We don't hear much these days about the Balkans, where British military involvement is much reduced apart from in the EUFOR HQ. The most immediate Balkan security-related question just now is probably whether the ICTY chief prosecutor will decide to indict a final set of individuals, such as the charismatic new Prime Minister of Kosovo Mr Ramush Haradinaj. The smart money at the moment seems to be on his NOT being indicted, not least because he has strong backing from the United States as a means to long-awaited progress in the province. Mr Haradinaj has already been voluntarily questioned by the ICTY, and has stressed his readiness to cooperate with the Tribunal if indicted, but there are fears of more mob violence in the province in the event of that happening. The NATO Council has already warned publicly that KFOR (unlike last April) stands ready to maintain order.

The ICTY are supposed to complete all outstanding investigations by the end of this month; some commentators (eg recent FT article) interpret this as requiring them to actually issue any indictments by 31 Dec. A Scotsman journalist recently argued that no action should be taken against 'progressive' political leaders such as Mr Haradinaj, even if he was guilty of war crimes, which of course is unproven. Naturally all this is from the public domain and has already been widely discussed in the western, Kosovar and Serbian-Montenegrin media.
 
#2
hackle said:
....
We don't hear much these days about the Balkans, where British military involvement is much reduced apart from in the EUFOR HQ. The most immediate Balkan security-related question just now is probably whether the ICTY chief prosecutor will decide to indict a final set of individuals, such as the charismatic new Prime Minister of Kosovo Mr Ramush Haradinaj. The smart money at the moment seems to be on his NOT being indicted, not least because he has strong backing from the United States as a means to long-awaited progress in the province. Mr Haradinaj has already been voluntarily questioned by the ICTY, and has stressed his readiness to cooperate with the Tribunal if indicted, but there are fears of more mob violence in the province in the event of that happening. The NATO Council has already warned publicly that KFOR (unlike last April) stands ready to maintain order.

The ICTY are supposed to complete all outstanding investigations by the end of this month; some commentators (eg recent FT article) interpret this as requiring them to actually issue any indictments by 31 Dec. A Scotsman journalist recently argued that no action should be taken against 'progressive' political leaders such as Mr Haradinaj, even if he was guilty of war crimes, which of course is unproven. Naturally all this is from the public domain and has already been widely discussed in the western, Kosovar and Serbian-Montenegrin media.
Update on above paragraphs about Kosovo: not worth starting a new thread.

Despite the passing of the 31 Dec "deadline" (which unlike some commentators I did not regard as absolute), speculation has continued about the possibility of an indictment being issued against the charismatic new Kosovo Prime Minister, Mr Ramush Haradinaj. It was even claimed in a Podgorica newspaper that he has already been privately handed an indictment, and asked to report to the Hague voluntarily by the end of this month. I regard much of this speculation as either mischievous or wishful thinking, but there have also been signs of continuing nervousness in Kosovar Albanian circles.

This long article (link below) from the encouragingly-named slobodan-milosevic.org should obviously be treated with caution, but for anyone interested it does give a useful new tour of the background facts and unproven allegations. The writer Andy Wilcoxson is an American "analyst" on the Board of the said website.

I am in no position to speculate one way or the other, but in the event of the ICTY concluding that an indictment against Mr Haradinaj is NOT justified, it would be useful for them to let that be known sooner rather than later. As was hoped for, he has already demonstrated signs of much-needed fresh thinking in his prime ministerial role, despite opposition from the Serbian government, and if he is not to be prosecuted it would be unfair to allow the distraction of a possible indictment to remain indefinitely. If on the other hand a criminal prosecution is found appropriate, the only suitable forum would be the Hague as there is no practical prospect of a prosecution in the Kosovo courts.
http://www.slobodan-milosevic.org/news/smorg-rpt011005.htm
 
#4
OK, staying with this thread's wide-ranging Balkan theme, my 1000th post, with an appropriately offbeat story:

The Albanian government have made a "surprise discovery" of several hundred canisters of deadly chemical weapons including yperite, lewisite and adamsite. They have declared this to the UN and the United States.

"The threats turn up in the darndest places," commented a US non-proliferation expert.

Hasn't there been at least one comedy film about the US declaring war on Albania?

Fortunately in this case there is NO suggestion that these WMD can be deployed within 45 minutes ... unless they just roll them out the door...

Check out the link for an outstanding example of disruptive camouflage:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A61698-2005Jan9?language=printer

ONE THOUSAND I THANK YOU!!!

errr.... I believe that IS the correct procedure :oops: :wink:

Thanks all for a lot of fun and interest on the site. :D
 
#7
Lurching back to the original story in this thread, latest from Gen Leakey in Sarajevo:
'We'll break some bones in pursuit of war criminals'
By Harry de Quetteville in Han Pijesak
(Filed: 22/01/2005)

The British general in charge of the European Union's military force in Bosnia yesterday promised a widescale assault on fugitive war criminals and the Mafia networks supporting them, after the decade-long failure by US-led peacekeepers to arrest those indicted on genocide charges.

In an interview at his headquarters outside Sarajevo, Maj Gen David Leakey said troops under his command would "break some bones" in the pursuit of those on their wanted list, including the Bosnian Serbs, Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, sought for the extermination of thousands during Bosnia's civil war.


Maj Gen David Leakey: will hit war criminal networks

While praising the peacekeeping efforts of the Nato's SFOR, which his force replaced last month, Maj Gen Leakey said it had only scratched the surface of groups the war criminals rely on for shelter and finance.

He said: "SFOR made pinpricks across the map, which might have hurt but had very little lasting impact. We want to tackle these networks on an industrial scale. We don't just want to scratch them. We are going to break some bones."

His force, Eufor, was planning operations to hit the support networks that have financed and housed fugitive war criminals. Besides keeping the lid on ethnic tensions, he would deploy up to 2,000 soldiers at a time in operations to catch Bosnia's most wanted, he continued....
Telegraph. Full story at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...os22.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/01/22/ixworld.html
 
#9
msr said:
If you'll excuse the cynicism, I'll file this under 'believe it when I see it'.

msr
No doubt justified cynicism, msr.

The sealing up of the Han Pijesak bunker, long after the horse had bolted, appears little more than a stunt. But a stunt which sends a clear message, as does Comd EUFOR's latest statement.

The High Representative (Paddy Ashdown) has been continuing to push the Bosnian Serb entity in various ways, including massive sackings in the police, security and military over the "indicted war criminals" issue.

And the Bosnian Serb entity, having genuinely tried other methods towards the end of last year, have now produced their first indicted war criminal under their own devices. He now languishes at the Hague.

The sealing up of the bunker generated very detailed speculation in the Bosnian Serb media, claiming that the information about Mladic's use of it shows the existence of a high-level NATO 'mole'. Pure 'tinfoil hat' stuff (which I would not have repeated, and would not have heard about anyway, if it wasnt already in the public domain). But it all helps to reinforce the true message that the entity cannot ignore indicted war criminals on 'their' territory.
 
#10
hackle said:
but it all helps to reinforce the true message that the entity cannot ignore indicted war criminals on 'their' territory.
Sadly the true message is that the war criminals can ignore the 7,000 EUFOR soldiers camped out on their doorsteps with impugnity...

msr
 
#11
posted for information. The EU for all its faults should be in an increasingly strong position with NATO to play the 'joining the Euro-Atlantic structures' political card, which is a key aspiration for all post-conflict Balkan governments.
18.01.2005 (15:30)

EUFOR AND NATO WELCOME TODOVIC'S TRANSFER

SARAJEVO, January 18 (FENA) – EUFOR and the NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo welcome the recent action by RS authorities, which have transferred indicted war criminal Savo Todovic to the Hague Tribunal.

“EUFOR Commander Maj Gen David Leakey supports comments of the High Representative, who welcomed the RS actions, which represent a significant step forward”, EUFOR spokesperson Chris Percival said at a press conference in Sarajevo on Tuesday.

He said that Gen Leakey shares the expectations of the High Representative and the international community that this is only the start of a process during which all indicted war criminals will be transferred to the Hague to stand trial.

EUFOR thinks that war criminals still at large represent the largest obstacle for BiH progress towards membership in the EU. EUFOR is prepared to support BiH authorities, which as the co-signatory of the Dayton Agreement, is primarily responsible for handing over indicted war criminals.

EUFOR will continue to cooperate closely with NATO and the international community on carrying out military operations in support of the Hague Tribunal.

The NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo described Todovic’s transfer as the first important step that will lead towards faster arrest, hand over and transfer of all remaining indicted war criminals and help BiH finally fulfil all post-Dayton and UN commitments.

“Full cooperation with the ICTY will prepare BiH for joining the Partnership for Peace and continue its integration into Euro-Atlantic structures, including the EU”, NATO spokesperson Dwight Mood said.
source http://www.fena.ba/uk/vijest.html?fena_id=FSA218677&rubrika=ES
 
#12
hackle said:
...The EU for all its faults should be in an increasingly strong position with NATO to play the 'joining the Euro-Atlantic structures' political card, which is a key aspiration for all post-conflict Balkan governments....
Continuing the pan-Balkan theme of this thread, with the ARRSE UAV now banking gracefully towards the south-east ...

Latest alarmist (?) take from the Guardian, below. Not quite sure why the EU is getting the blame for a situation they didnt create. It's like blaming the UN for the current Iraq situation? Although (as suggested in my quote above) I agree it could be a good thing for the EU to be increasingly flexing its economic/political muscles in and around Kosovo.

Guardian refers to "continuing EU indecision over the breakaway province's demand for independence from Serbia". The EU is not actually in charge of the province, but that quote refers to the question of whether the EU and member countries would be prepared to recognise an independent Kosovo without recognition by Serbia. In contrast to the German-instigated recognition of Croatia followed by Bosnia, it would be stretching things for countries to base their Kosovo decision on the "independence of republics" provisions of the Yugoslav federal constitution.

On some levels within HMG, the UK has arguably been losing interest in this situation, which we played an absolutely key part in creating in the first place.
Time running out to stop Kosovo's descent in violence

Simon Tisdall
Thursday January 27, 2005
Guardian

Kosovo is fast becoming "the black hole of Europe" and could descend into renewed violence within weeks unless the EU takes urgent action, senior diplomats and international experts warned in Brussels this week.

But continuing EU indecision over the breakaway province's demand for independence from Serbia, coupled with the ethnic Albanian majority's failure to embrace reform and respect Serb minority rights, are paralysing plans to launch "final status" talks this year.

Five years after Nato ejected Serbian forces and imposed an international administration, the UN and the US are still lacking an exit strategy. Serbia, meanwhile, wants its territory back.

In an attempt to show willing, Olli Rehn, the EU's enlargement commissioner, met Kosovan leaders in Pristina this week. Mr Rehn said the EU would raise the issue when President George Bush visits Europe next month. But according to Erhard Busek, who heads the international stability pact set up after the 1990s Balkan wars to promote democracy and development in south-east Europe, the EU must take the lead.

"Kosovo is a European issue and we Europeans have to get our act together," Mr Busek said. "If Kosovo goes wrong, we in Europe will be first to face the consequences of migration and organised crime."

With unemployment approaching 60%, a disastrous lack of foreign investment, and with 50% of the population aged 25 or under, "there is a huge social problem - a timebomb in the making".

Chris Patten, the former EU external relations commissioner, said economic stagnation, interethnic tension, and the potential for violence were linked and threatened the entire region.

"There has been considerable progress in south-east Europe since 1999, but there is a danger of the whole process unravelling in Kosovo unless we grasp some nettles," Lord Patten said.

"Time is running out," said Gareth Evans, a former Australian foreign minister and president of the International Crisis Group (ICG), an independent conflict prevention organisation. A timetable leading to independence next year had to be rapidly set in train, he said.

An ICG report published this week said alternatives to independence such as Kosovo's reabsorption into Serbia and Montenegro, partition, or unification within a "greater Albania" would only increase regional instability. Pointing to last March's surge in violence, it said too much time had already been wasted.

"The political capital of the UN mission in Kosovo is all but exhausted. Reintroduction of violence into the equation has raised the very real possibility the process may be decided by brute force rather than peaceful negotiation," it said.

"The Kosovo Albanian political establishment cannot be relied upon to act as a moderating force if, by mid-2005, the international community does not begin a process which clearly appears to be leading to some form of independence."

Yet unless ethnic Albanians make a genuine commitment to reform and overcome their "victim mentality", an independent Kosovo could become just another failed state.

Serbia's military and police have "contingency plans" to exploit new violence against Kosovo's Serbs by intervening in support of partition or unilateral secession, the ICG report warned.

Lord Patten observed that Kosovo and Serbia's hopes of Nato and EU membership were "intimately related". EU financial carrots were on offer if Belgrade cooperated, he said.

But Misa Djurkovic, political adviser to the Serbian prime minister, Vojislav Kostunica, said Serbia was not trying to delay final status talks and opposed partition.

"Serbia is strongly committed to a multiethnic Kosovo and to EU integration, but attempts to blackmail it are unacceptable," Mr Djurkovic said.

While they all oppose independence, Serbia's leaders, like their EU counterparts, are divided about what to do next.

And an explosion could come within weeks if, as is widely predicted, Kosovo's prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, a former Kosovo Liberation Army commander, is indicted by The Hague war crimes tribunal.

If charged, Mr Haradinaj has promised to go peacefully. His supporters are unlikely to follow suit.
source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,5113010-103681,00.html
 
#13
hackle said:
The EU for all its faults should be in an increasingly strong position with NATO to play the 'joining the Euro-Atlantic structures' political card, which is a key aspiration for all
So should handing over indicted war criminals be....

msr
 
#17
msr said:
hackle said:
voluntary and honourable
Hardly the words I would use... but then again he hasn't been tried yet.

msr
Yup. I've been taking a similar line for all unconvicted indictees.

It's been said in the meedja that most of the Croat/Bosnian Muslim/Serb former enemies get on with each other in detention - all share the basically same native language "formerly known as "Serbo-Croat".
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#18
hackle said:
msr said:
hackle said:
voluntary and honourable
Hardly the words I would use... but then again he hasn't been tried yet.

msr
Yup. I've been taking a similar line for all unconvicted indictees.

It's been said in the meedja that most of the Croat/Bosnian Muslim/Serb former enemies get on with each other in detention - all share the basically same native language "formerly known as "Serbo-Croat".
Not suprising as they are all the same people just some are Catholic ,some are Orthodox and some are well, Muslim.

Bit like 1969 NI plus a wild card.... :?
 
#20
hackle said:
Another retired Bosnian Serb figure reportedly about to surrender (from Serbia) to the Tribunal. Under pressure, but voluntarily.

Gen Milan Gvero.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/050221/323/fcx1p.html
Not good enough.

Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic need to be caught.

I hope the curse of msr strikes soon (and hopefully in the style of http://www.srpska-mreza.com/guest/LPC/Simo_Drljaca.html rather than http://www.truthinmedia.org/truthinmedia/Activism/wsj9-26.htm

msr
 

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