Regarding the events of May 3rd, 1992 in the former Dobrovoljacka Street in Sarajevo and the different interpretations of the nature of the conflict, it is worth recalling the verdict from The Hague.
For years, there has been controversy over the number of victims among Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) soldiers in Dobrovoljacka Street in Sarajevo on May 3rd, 1992, but also about the nature of the attack on the column, which Republika Srpska (RS) officials claim is a war crime, Klix.ba writes.
The broader picture of events, the Hague verdicts, and the evidence, however, shed a slightly different light. Less than a month before Dobrovoljacka, Sarajevo was attacked and shelled. The Chairman of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RBiH), Alija Izetbegovic, was abducted on the day when paramilitary units, with the support of the JNA, tried to occupy the most important institutions and points in Sarajevo.
The first big argument is the verdict against the first Hague convict for war crimes in BiH, Dusko Tadic, a Prijedor criminal convicted of crimes against humanity, violations of the laws or customs of war, and on appeal for grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
The Hague Tribunal concluded in the first instance proceedings of the Trial Chamber in the Tadic case that until May 19th, there was an international military conflict in a part of the territory of BiH.
This was concluded on the basis of the presented evidence in connection with the bombing of Sarajevo, attacks on cities along the border between BiH and Serbia, but also the incursion of units from Serbia and Montenegro into the territory of the RBiH. Therefore, it was already concluded in the first-instance procedure for Tadic that from the beginning of 1992 until May 19th, a state of international conflict prevailed in BiH.
It was a conflict between the defense forces of the RBiH on the one hand and the JNA, which operated with various Bosnian Serb paramilitary formations on the other.
In this regard, one can view the events in the former Dobrovoljacka Street in Sarajevo on May 2nd and 3rd, 1992. The JNA column was a military target.
The Trial Chamber in the case against Dusko Tadic, on the other hand, found that the international conflict could be observed until May 19th, and not later. However, in the same case, the Appeals Procedure proved that an international conflict lasted until the end of the war in BiH because it was proved that the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and the Yugoslav Army, as the successor to the JNA, had a direct influence on the war in terms of orders and control over paramilitary formations such as the units of Zeljko Raznatovic Arkan, Vojislav Seselj and the like.
Ultimately, the extent to which the FRY had an influence on the RS and the RS leadership during the war was best confirmed by the Dayton Peace Agreement and the composition of the RS delegation to the negotiations. In the delegation, which consisted of three members from the FRY and the RS in Dayton, the RS leadership agreed that in case the votes are halved, the president of the FRY, Slobodan Milosevic, has the deciding vote. In addition, a letter pledging RS to abide by the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed on November 21st, 1995 by FRY Minister of Foreign Affairs Milan Milutinovic.