Books on Bosnia & Herzegovina
Update No: 131 - (28/04/08)
May will bring the day
There is no doubt what is the prime question for all Bosnians - entry into the
EU. The European Union is aiming to sign an agreement with Bosnia on closer ties
in May instead of April as originally hoped, diplomats said on April 22. They
said the delay was linked to technical procedures needed to finalise a so-called
Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), made possible after Bosnia agreed
a long-awaited police reform earlier in April.
"These procedures take time," said one EU diplomat, noting the
27-member bloc had to formally confirm Bosnia had fulfilled all technical
conditions for the SAA and translate the text into the various EU languages.
Bosnia's upper house of parliament finally adopted a reform of its police -- the
outstanding precondition for an SAA pact -- on April 16 after successive failed
The SAA is the gateway to the ultimate entry of all Balkans states in the EU.
Bosnia's neighbour Serbia has also not got as far as securing an SAA due to its
failure to show full cooperation with the Hague tribunal on bringing war crimes
indictees to justice.
Bosnia leads the way here
Bosnia's war crimes court has convicted three Bosnian Serbs of killing unarmed
Muslim civilians, including women and children, in September 1992. The three men
forced the group of 27 civilians to line up at a cliff edge in Jajce, central
Bosnia, and shot them.
Milorad Savic and two men who share the same name, Mirko Pekez, were found
guilty of killing 23 of the group.
Dusan Fustar had pleaded guilty to involvement in the torture and execution of
Muslims in the Keraterm concentration camp near the northern town of Prijedor.
Fustar was tried separately from the other defendants after pleading guilty, the
first such plea-bargain deal agreed at the court.
The court said that none of the group of men, women and children killed at the
cliff edge near the town of Jajce were involved in the country's 1992-95 war.
Mirko Pekez, 42, received a 29-year prison sentence while the second Mirko Pekez,
41, and Milorad Savic were each sentenced to 21-year prison terms.
Bosnia's war crimes court dates from 2005 and was set up to ease the pressure on
the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague, which aims to have completed its trials
The energy cruncher
Everybody is obsessed about energy these days, with the price of oil at $1.10
per barrel. The Bosnians have a deep grievance here. But who doesn't in the
Croatia and Serbia owe €5.25 billion for energy consumed from Bosnian plants,
the Bosniak member of the presidency claims. The claim refers to energy produced
since the collapse of the former Yugoslavia in 1991 by four hydroelectric power
plants that were built on Bosnian soil but mostly used by Serbia and Croatia.
Silajdzic's legal adviser, Damir Arnaut told media that Bosnia claims € 4.5
billion from Serbia for its usage of energy from plants at Zvornik and Bajina
Basta on the river Drina. Croatia owes € 750 million for energy used from the
plants at Trebisnjica and Orlovac. Arnaut said Silajdzic will officially raise
this issue at the next Presidency session.
The dispute over the consumption of energy from these four power plants
underlines a large number of still unresolved property issues among former
Yugoslav republics, more than two decades after its collapse.