POLITICS

Analysis: Croatia’s President attacking Mode against BiH

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic likes an attacking mode. Especially when it comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), he is not that merciful. In the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, Milanovic mocked the neighboring country with undisguised contempt in December 2020: “Soap” should be used first in Bosnia, then “perfume” – in other words: the Muslim part of thecountry needs a thorough cleaning first. These racist tones, far from any diplomatic restraint, come from a European Union (EU) member state. Some critics even spoke of Nazi jargon.

Shortly before Christmas, Milanovic added more fuel to the fire. This time, a very sensitive chapter in Bosnian history was on the agenda: the genocide in Srebrenica. For the Croatian president, the Srebrenica massacre shows only “elements of genocide”. According to him, the term genocide is already very stretchy, as if there are no criteria in international law for crimes aimed at the extermination of entire ethnic or religious groups. Given the countless verdicts in connection with the crimes committed in Srebrenica, given the mass of documented testimony before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), these statements are scandalous.

They are an expression of Croatia’s widespread refusal to face the past. The youngest EU member is skillfully pushing its own role in the Bosnian war. To this day, there is no critical review of the aggressive policy of the late President Franjo Tudjman, who agreed on the division of Bosnia with his Serbian colleagueSlobodan Milosevic in the middle of the war against Serbia in 1991.

And the time of the fascist Ustasha regime, which committed crimes on the side of Nazi Germany, is almost officially not mentioned in Croatia. Revisionist historical reinterpretations, on the other hand, are widespread: in an international report published in 2019 by Yale University scientists on Holocaust revisionism, Croatia is mentioned as one of the leading countries in that aspect.

Since joining the EU on July 1st, 2013, Croatia has increasingly developed into someone who is creating problems in the Western Balkans. Foreign policy is often accompanied by aggressive tones, especially towards the BiH state government in Sarajevo. Instead of reconciliation and good neighborliness, Croatia is doing everything in its power to make Tudjman’s former war goals a reality – this time through diplomacy.

Zagreb aims to create a third “entity” in Bosnia, dominated by Croats, analogous to RS. It would further weaken Bosnia’s multiethnic nature and ultimately develop the country’s state system into an apartheid system.

And the EU? It does not react to the relativization of genocide by the Croatian president. There is no attempt to counter the dangerous activities in the Western Balkans. Instead of fighting extremists, who are keeping Bosnia in their clutches, EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi, like his Dutch counterpart Angelina Eichhorst, is condescending to those trying to disrupt European peace.

BiH director Jasmila Zbanic, who deals with the international community’s fatal failures before and during the Srebrenica genocide in her film Quo Vadis, Aida, rightly warns: “The West must learn from its failures in the 1990s and react before violence recurs. ”

E.Dz.

Source: Avaz

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