Serbia to file genocide suit against Croatia

The Serbian government is to file a counter lawsuit against Croatia at the International Court of Justice alleging genocide during the 1991-95 war.

Serbia to file genocide suit against Croatia

The Serbian government is to file a counter lawsuit against Croatia at the International Court of Justice alleging genocide during the 1991-95 war.

"Following consultations with Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and President Boris Tadic, the government decided to file a suit against Croatia before ICJ for committing a genocide against Serbs in 1992-95 war," the government said in a statement on Thursday.

The legal tussle, which follows Croatia's original lawsuit against Serbia on genocide charges, could worsen relations between the two neighbouring countries that were part of Yugoslavia before the wars of the 1990s.

Croatia is seeking reparations from Serbia on the grounds that the Belgrade authorities were liable for ethnic cleansing committed against Croatian citizens, including killing, torture, displacement and destruction of property.

Serbia, in turn, says Croatia is responsible for ethnic cleansing and killing of Serbs, especially at the end of the war in 1995 when more than 200,000 Serbs were expelled.

Croatia fought a four-year independence war against a rebel Serb minority backed by Belgrade, that claimed some 20,000 lives.

Both Croatia and Serbia hope to join the European Union.

Croatia, which became a member of NATO this year, hopes to conclude its EU entry talks in 2010 and join the bloc in 2012.

Serbia formally applied for the membership to the bloc on Dec. 22.

The International Court of Justice, based in The Hague, is the highest legal authority of the United Nations and was inaugurated to resolve disputes between states.

Reuters
Last Mod: 01 Ocak 2010, 00:23
Add Comment