Reaping the Rewards of “EthnicCleansing”

January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1 (D)


The same warlords who took control of the town of Prijedor, in northwestern Bosnia andHercegovina, through systematic policies of ethnic cleansing—including pre-meditatedslaughter, concentration camps, mass rape, and the takeover of businesses, government offices,and all communal property—have retained total control over key economic, infrastructure,and humanitarian sectors of the community in the post-war period. The architects of“ethnic cleansing,” many of whom are under investigation by the InternationalCriminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, interact daily with representatives of internationalorganizations. This contact grants them a wholly undeserved legitimacy, given that theyachieved their positions by “disappearing” the duly elected mayor of the town,Muhamed Cehajic, and thousands of other Bosniak or Bosnian Croat community leaders andcitizens. While international attention has rightly focused on the atrocities committed during andafter the takeover of the town, little attention has been given to the fact that the mayor, deputymayor, police chief, hospital director and director of the local “Red Cross” got awaywith their crimes and became rich men in the process, having expropriated businesses, homes,and other assets of the non-Serbs of the community, estimated to be worth several billionGerman marks.

In Prijedor, as elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia, the international community’s failureto detain war criminals or to control ongoing abuses by unindicted war criminals has combinedwith the donation of aid to enrich and empower many of the very people most responsible forgenocide and “ethnic cleansing.” As we have recently also done in Doboj andTeslic, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki has conducted field research in Prijedor to uncover who iscontinuing the cycle of human rights abuses and intimidation and why these criminals remain atlarge and in positions of power. The detrimental impact that Bosnia’s war criminalscontinue to have on respect for human rights and on long-term prospects for peace is abundantlyclear. It is essential to the peace process in Bosnia and Hercegovina that the internationalcommunity strategically utilize the economic and political leverage at its disposal to facilitate thesuccessful implementation of the civilian components of the Dayton agreement, most importantof which is to hold war criminals accountable and to bring an end to ongoing abuses againstvulnerable populations in the region.

The Bosnian administrative district of Prijedor, located west of the city of Banja Luka in what isnow Republika Srpska, was before 1992 a multi-ethnic area with a non-Serb population of wellover 50,000. After the Bosnian Serbs took control of the region in April 1992, the communitiesand homes of non-Serbs were destroyed, families were separated, and thousands of people wereincarcerated in concentration camps, where many were tortured and executed. Tens of thousandswere forcibly deported under inhumane conditions. Today, only about 600 Bosniaks remain. The town also has a small Bosnian Croat community, left without a parish priest since theabduction and “disappearance” of Roman Catholic priest Father TomislavMatanovic in September 1995. According to the Roman Catholic charity Caritas, there areapproximately 2,674 Bosnian Croats remaining in the Prijedor municipality (1,405 in the town ofPrijedor, 592 in Ljubija, 416 in Ravska, and 261 in Surkovac), out of more than 6,000 BosnianCroats registered in the 1991 census. The Catholic church and all mosques in Prijedor weredestroyed in 1992. Prior to the war, more than half a million non-Serbs lived in what is now thenorthern region of Republika Srpska. Today, fewer than 20,000 non-Serbs remain throughoutthe territory.

The criminal administration established in the town of Prijedor achieved their goal of eliminatingnon-Serbs from the society, through planned murder, “disappearance,” andexpulsion of non-Serb officials, such as mayor Cehajic, and civilians. According to survivorreports, mayor Cehajic and six other men were removed by Bosnian Serb guards from Omarskacamp on July 26, 1992, and have never been seen again.

Many of the men responsible for these crimes were members of the “Krizni Stab SrpskeOpstine Prijedor,” or “Crisis Committee of the Serbian Municipality ofPrijedor,” established to conduct the usurpation. The police, as will be shown in thisreport, also played a major part in the takeover and in subsequent abuses, both independently andas members of special units sent to round up community leaders or conduct “ethniccleansing” operations. The police authorities and officers charged today with protectingthe public good in Prijedor, are in many cases the same individuals who have been accused bynumerous witnesses of participation in war crimes. As is true for many towns in the RepublikaSrpska today, the power structure in Prijedor mirrors that which existed during the war.

These same local Prijedor authorities have consistently refused to protect non-Serbs or toinvestigate crimes against them, even following the signing of the Dayton agreement. Civilianand police authorities work in tandem to prevent the return of refugees and displaced persons byorganizing or inciting violence against those who attempt to return, and by orchestrating (withthe assistance of the Bosnian Serb Army, according to NATO) the destruction of houses (seesection “Destruction of Property to Prevent Repatriation”). Restrictions on freedomof movement, the destruction of property, and the ethnically-based eviction of persons throughthe application of discriminatory laws are further evidence that the Bosnian Serb authoritieshave maintained their goal of an ethnically pure entity (or as the Republika Srpska authorities putit, “state”)—the goal that led to massive “ethnic cleansing”campaigns during the war. Most recently, according to a reliable local source, the Prijedorauthorities have reportedly destroyed property ownership records, which, if true, would make itnearly impossible for refugees and displaced persons who fled under immediate threat to proveownership of their property.

To make matters worse, according to information gathered by Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, theinternational community is investing large sums of money in Prijedor through“community projects,” many of which were funded by the British government reliefagency, the Overseas Development Agency (ODA) and implemented by IFOR/SFOR. Theillicitly installed local authorities control virtually all economic sectors in Prijedor, includinginfrastructure, public construction and other companies, the media, health care, education, andhumanitarian aid. In at least some cases, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki has learned that personsbelieved responsible for flagrant abuses of the Geneva Conventions and international humanrights law, and in some cases participants in organized crime, have benefited from reconstructionand humanitarian assistance. Due to the current power structure in Prijedor, humanitarian aidand reconstruction assistance is easily misused.

Our research leads us to the conclusion that post-Dayton obstructionism by the Prijedorleadership is not only motivated by economic gain but represents a highly organized effort,directed to a significant extent by the Republika Srpska authorities in Pale (especially by theMinistry of the Interior), to prevent permanently the repatriation of non-Serb refugees anddisplaced persons to the Republika Srpska and to retain control over all municipalfunctions.

In addition, local Prijedor officials have consistently refused to cooperate with the InternationalCriminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and their cooperation with the InternationalPolice Task Force (IPTF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) andother international organizations charged with implementing the civilian aspects of the Daytonagreements has been minimal. This non-cooperation is in direct violation of their commitmentunder the Dayton agreement. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki believes that the failure of theRepublika Srpska authorities to cooperate with certain aspects of the Dayton agreement is theresult of an overall policy. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki’s recent report on themunicipalities of Doboj and Teslic, for example, reveals similar patterns to the policies carriedout in Prijedor. Events in the Zone of Separation near Zvornik, the destruction of housing inBrcko, and the expulsion and harassment of minorities in Banja Luka seem to bear this out. According to the U.N. Commission of Experts, “The Bosnian Serb implementation ofpractically identical strategies and tactics for the conquest of territories and subsequent detentionof non-Serb pop[ulation]s suggest an overall plan devised prior to the conflict and carried outlocally.”

According to a November 29, 1996 report by Laura Kay Rozen of the U.S. newspaper TheChristian Science Monitor, of the seventy-four people indicted for war crimes in Bosnia,approximately twenty are in the Prijedor area. In November 1996, four persons indicted for warcrimes were discovered to be police officers in the Prijedor area. Two other indicted persons arereportedly serving in the reserve police, and a third as a member of the “specialpolice.” Their commander, Simo Drljaca, who by his own admission wasresponsible, along with others, for the administration of concentration camps in the Prijedor area,and who is expected to be indicted for war crimes by the ICTY in the near future, continued toserve as police chief of Prijedor until IPTF demanded his removal from office in September1996 following an armed altercation with soldiers of the International Implementation Force(IFOR). As of January 1997, however, Drljaca has continued to act as chief of police, givingorders directly to Ranko Mijic, his supposed replacement.

Control by the Srpska Demokratska Stranka (SDS), or Serbian Democratic Party, expresses itselfin abuses of the rights of anyone not pledging loyalty to the SDS agenda and methods. Theongoing removal of non-SDS members from businesses, threats against private business ownersby the local mafia, and the control of the media by hard-line SDS representatives, indicate thatmembers of opposition groups and moderates are very limited in their ability to affect thesituation and are, in fact, under threat themselves.

Despite all the above, some international actors in Prijedor often fail to criticize the municipalauthorities. An international monitor, for example, when asked in June 1996 about hisinteractions with Drljaca, told our investigators: “Drljaca knows he can trust us. [We] arecompletely is not our mandate to judge...we never take any side...we never saywho’s right and who’s wrong...we are here to work for [our organization]...and wehave fine relations with them all.”

The Importance of Conditionality for Reconstruction Aid
The international community has squandered much of the leverage available to enforcecompliance with the Dayton peace agreement, especially by lifting sanctions against RepublikaSrpska. Therefore, the strategic use of reconstruction aid in ensuring compliance has become allthe more important.

The international community has an obligation to reassure donors, including U.S. and Europeantaxpayers, that reconstruction aid is used wisely, and that those who used ethnic nationalism asan excuse to murder, imprison and expel compatriots, to steal the property of others and tocontrol humanitarian assistance do not continue to reap the benefits of their criminal activities. Otherwise, aid intended by donors to benefit the ordinary people of Bosnia who have suffereddue to the war will reward their very persecutors or those who have exploited the war situationfor personal gain. For this reason, reconstruction aid should be denied to municipalities wherethe authorities are under investigation for war crimes by the ICTY, or where there has beenserious and/or protracted non-compliance with the Dayton agreement, including involvement bythe authorities in human rights abuses, incitement to violence against returnees, violation ofelection rules and regulations, failure to cooperate with the ICTY (e.g. when indicted persons areknown to reside in a particular town and are not arrested by the authorities and turned over to theICTY for trial), and/or non-cooperation with the IPTF or other international organizationscharged with assisting in the implementation of the Dayton agreement.

Under these guidelines, Prijedor would be ineligible for international reconstruction aid untilthere was a change in leadership. The guidelines would not restrict humanitarian assistance,although such assistance should be carefully monitored. An international source who spentmonths in Prijedor told Human Rights Watch/Helsinki in January 1997: “Only about 30percent of humanitarian aid [to Prijedor] reaches the people.”

In towns where there is general compliance with the Dayton agreement, Human RightsWatch/Helsinki recommends targeted reconstruction aid which will assist ordinary peopledirectly, e.g. micro enterprise projects, support of the independent media, support for ethnicallyneutral educational programs, assistance to medical facilities which have demonstrated equity inthe provision of treatment to all citizens, and bypassing publicly owned companies whenpossible. Strict guidelines should be established regarding equal access for all citizens asbeneficiaries of these projects.

The World Bank, nongovernmental organizations, and government donors are advised toinvestigate carefully the ownership and history of companies applying for aid and to monitorclosely spending. Donors should keep in mind the possibility that the legitimate owners ordirectors of companies may have been murdered or forcibly removed by local authorities, whoassumed control as the result of an organized strategy, as was the case in Prijedor in 1992. In amore recent example, as the Office of the High Representative reported in November, the SPRS,a Republika Srpska opposition party, alleged that, in 1996 alone, 112 of its members had beenremoved from their jobs because of their political affiliation. According to aNovember-December 1996 report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe(OSCE),local courts have ruled in many cases in favor of reinstatement, but in none of the cases have thejudgements been enforced.

On January 2, 1997, Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic, in a letter to Secretary-General,Kofi Annan, informed him that the indictments of the ICTY were no longer valid and said thatthe arrest of Radovan Karadzic or Ratko Mladic would “threaten the existing peace”and rekindle “massive civil and political unrest.” She continued, “Thepresent position of the Republika Srpska is that we are unwilling to hand over Dr. Karadzic andGeneral Mladic for trial in the Hague as we believe that any such trial now falls outside of thescope of the tribunal’s constitutional framework.” In a thinly veiled threat to theinternational community, Plavsic stated, “We believe that massive civil and military unrestwould result in the Republika Srpska which might well prove uncontrollable by the civilauthorities. The chances of fighting restarting would, in our judgement, be high. These wouldbe even higher were any attempt made to hunt down Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic andforcibly bring them to trial.” (See Plavsic letter attached as Appendix B.)

In response to Plavsic’s letter, the European Commission stated that it would not considergiving aid to Republika Srpska (with the exception of inter-entity cooperation projects andhumanitarian aid) until the Republika Srpska complied with its obligations to the ICTY. TheOffice of the High Representative (OHR), however, has sent mixed messages. In a statement tothe London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Carl Bildt said, “I do not acceptthat as an answer, and she knows that. I think that was a stupid letter. In direct talks with theleadership of the Republika Srpska, I made it very clear what we expect to happen, and whatmight be the consequences if that does not happen. Republika Srpska has an interest incooperating with the tribunal, and they are cooperating with the tribunal better than theydid...with the exception of handing over those that are indicted. Which is the fundamentalexception. But that will not be tolerated for long, and they know that.” Bildt’sspokesman, however, seemed to send a different message, when he stated on January 10 thatPlavsic’s letter to Annan would not cause any disruption in aid going to the RepublikaSrpska. “It makes no difference as I would see it on the flow of reconstruction aid beingdiscussed in Brussels at the moment,” said spokesman Colum Murphy, who argued thatPlavsic’s assertions were legal arguments which she was entitled to make and did notconstitute more than that, despite the apparent threat of violence. This response is mostdisappointing, particularly as it suggests to the Republika Srpska authorities that there will be nofinancial consequences for the outright defiance of binding agreements.

Many argue that economic aid should be used as a carrot rather than a stick. The infusion of aidmoney does not guarantee peace or respect for the rule of law, however. Huge expenditures ofcapital (over 260 million DM, or about US165 million) in the city of Mostar was invested to noavail between 1994 and 1996. The assistance did not serve to reunite the city or to preventongoing ethnically based harassment, evictions and expulsions. As has been shown in Mostar, inPrijedor, and in other towns, so long as those responsible for war crimes or involved in organizedcrime are allowed to retain control over resources, ordinary people, especially those who are nowin the minority or who do not support the dominant parties, cannot expect to fully benefit fromthose resources.

More than a year has passed since the signing of the Dayton agreement, yet the vast majority ofpersons indicted for war crimes remain at large. There is increasing outrage about the failure toapprehend, detain and try these individuals. At a conference in Dayton, Ohio last November,OSCE Amb. Robert Frowick remarked, “The whole peace process rests on this issue. There will not be a better moment than right now,” to apprehend the indicted persons. Action must be taken to ensure their apprehension; there must also be more focus on those whohave not yet been indicted. Increased financial support to the ICTY is imperative to enableexpedited investigations and indictments of those who have so far eluded international censureand to ensure their apprehension.

The failure of the Republika Srpska authorities to comply with the orders of the ICTY, combinedwith the refusal of IFOR/SFOR to arrest persons indicted for war crimes even when encounteredin the course of their duty, has permitted war criminals to remain free and retain control. Furthermore, the international community’s willingness to allow money to find its wayinto the hands of suspected war criminals and/or mafia members, leads to questions about theinternational community’s willingness to confront the real problems that threaten thepeace and place the region’s stability at risk.

The international community has tolerated the continued exercise of power by personsresponsible for the worst atrocities seen in Europe since World War II. This report names thoseindividuals, describes their involvement in serious abuses of international humanitarian andhuman rights law, and highlights their continued obstruction of the Dayton agreement, with theexpectation that the international community will finally take action to hold themaccountable—and, in the meantime, will prevent them from lining their pockets at theexpense of their intimidated neighbors, the displaced, the purged and the dead.


Human Rights Watch/Helsinki urges the international bodies set up by the Daytonagreement, as well as the OSCE, to take action in the following ways:

The Office ofthe High Representative (OHR) should form a civilian implementation council or task force, asrecommended by the International Crisis Group. This council or task force, chaired by the HighRepresentative, would have the authority to dismiss officials who have seriously obstructed orviolated the Dayton Peace Agreement, as documented by the International Police Task Force(IPTF), the International Implementation Force (IFOR), the Stabilization Force (SFOR), theOffice of the Human Rights Ombudsperson, the Organization for Security and Cooperation inEurope (OSCE), or the OHR itself. Human Rights Watch recommends that such a councilinclude representatives from the Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina and from the RepublikaSrpska. Independent organizations and individuals, including human rights or advocacy NGOsor groups, should be permitted to submit evidence to this new council. Annex 7 of the GeneralFramework Agreement, “Refugees and Displaced Persons,”, Article I, requires theParties to engage in “the prosecution, dismissal or transfer, as appropriate, of persons inmilitary, paramilitary, and police forces, or other public servants, responsible for seriousviolations of the basic rights of persons belonging to ethnic or minority groups.”;

TheStabilization Force (SFOR), the OHR, the OSCE and other international organizations operatingin Bosnia and Hercegovina should articulate clearly a duty of their representatives to expose allserious or continuing human rights abuses, as well as name known perpetrators. While sourcesand information which would directly endanger witnesses must obviously be protected, reportsof human rights abuses should not be withheld from the public for political reasons, anddisclosure should be timely. Further, investigations of human rights abuses must not be delayedor prevented for political reasons;

SFOR, inpartnership with the IPTF, should become more actively involved in guaranteeing and protectingthe security, safety and human rights of non-Serbs and targeted Bosnian Serbs in RepublikaSrpska, and displaced persons and refugees wishing to return to their place of origin, especiallywhen the local police have failed to take action or have been implicated in abuses. For example,SFOR and IPTF should establish and/or increase joint patrols in areas where there has beenethnically-based harassment.

SFOR shouldredouble its efforts “to observe and prevent interference with the movement of civilianpopulations, refugees, and displaced persons and to respond appropriately to deliberate violenceto life and person,” as stated in the Dayton agreement. Human Rights Watch commendsIFOR/SFOR on its efforts to assist persons under threat through targeted patrols and itsinvestigations into bombings in the Zone of Separation, but we recommend more consistent andstrategic protection planning. Further, SFOR is urged to publicly reveal the results ofinvestigations into the destruction of housing in Hambarine and other villages in the Prijedormunicipality.

OSCE,SFOR, OHR, and IPTF, together with UNHCR, should develop detailed protection plans toprevent ethnically-based evictions or expulsions throughout Bosnia and Hercegovina, such asthose being developed in Mostar. Human Rights Watch is concerned that any possible exodus ofSerbs from the Eastern Slavonia region of Croatia may result in renewed evictions of non-Serbsin northern Bosnia. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki supports the recommendation of the ForcedMigration Projects of the Open Society Institute to condition reconstruction aid on the repeal ofdiscriminatory property laws which are used to expel persons on the basis of ethnicity.

OSCE shouldmove immediately to strike all candidates from the roster for the municipal elections who havedemonstrated serious and/or protracted non-compliance with the Elections Annex of the Daytonagreement and with the rules and regulations set by the Provisional Election Commission (PEC). Non-compliance should be interpreted to include the failure to permit freedom of movement andother violations of the annex or the code of Conduct, as described within the PEC’s rulesand regulations.

Theinternational community, specifically High Representative Carl Bildt and IPTF CommissionerPeter FitzGerald, should demand the removal from office of Dragan Kijac, Republika Srpskaminister of the interior due to his repeated and significant non-compliance with the Dayton PeaceAgreement, i.e. his refusal to comply with the demands of IPTF to remove, arrest, and turn overfor trial those persons indicted for war crimes who continue to work for the Republika Srpskapolice (in fact, Kijac denied that they work for the police at all); his refusal to remove SimoDrljaca, former police chief in Prijedor from a position of responsibility within the police system;his non-cooperation regarding the restructuring of the police force, which has included, amongother things, a refusal to provide IPTF with a complete list of police officers in RepublikaSrpska; his failure to hold local police responsible for the deaths of Bosniaks in police custodywhich have occurred since the signing of the Dayton agreement; the holding of unauthorizedweapons by police stations in Republika Srpska which are under his direct command: the use ofRepublika Srpska police to escort Radovan Karadzic, an indicted war criminal; and hisinterference with freedom of expression.

OHR andOSCE should encourage the development of independent media in Prijedor. This is especiallyimportant since no independent media exist currently, and the media are controlled by personswho advocated “ethnic cleansing” during the war and have incited ethnically basedviolence since the signing of the Dayton agreement.

Human Rights Watch, recognizing the critical role that creation of a neutral and professionalpolice force can play in the current situation, urges the International Police Task Force to forwardthat goal in the following ways:
IPTF shouldpress the Republika Srpska to sign an agreement which mirrors the formal police restructuringagreement signed by the Federation, including the screening process for all members of thepolice force. Failure to do so immediately should be declared non-compliance with the Daytonagreement and should trigger punitive measures, such as the reimposition of sanctions and thewithholding of economic aid. This restructuring must include secret, “special,” andreservist police forces, which should be vetted for persons believed responsible for war crimes,human rights abuses, non-cooperation with IPTF, and non-compliance with other provisions ofthe Dayton agreement.

IPTF shouldensure that all police officers throughout Bosnia and Hercegovina responsible for post-Daytonhuman rights abuses, or who have failed to investigate and punish those responsible for humanrights abuses committed under their jurisdiction, be ineligible for police posts and be removedfrom their positions. Acts of non-compliance should be understood to include, but should not belimited to, the obstruction of freedom of movement, failure to respect the right to remain,violations of freedom of expression and association, and harassment and intimidation of personsbased upon their ethnic or political affiliation. Police officials or officers who have threatened orcommitted acts of violence against IPTF should also be ineligible for police posts and should beremoved from their positions. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki has provided a list of allegationsagainst specific police officers in Prijedor to IPTF.

IPTF shouldpublicize the screening process of the Republika Srpska police structure through the internationaland, most importantly, local media. IPTF, as has been done in the Federation, should createmechanisms through which the local population can furnish the IPTF with information regardingabusive police officers and paramilitary members, and establish procedures to protect individualswho provide information on abusive officials to the IPTF. Without concrete protectionmechanisms, intimidation may prevent civilians from reporting continuing human rights abusesat the hands of the authorities. For example, names of informants to IPTF should not be kept onfile in IPTF stations due to the presence of local informants.

IPTF shouldinstruct stations in the Prijedor municipality to record, report and make public instances ofcontinuing human rights abuses and protracted non-compliance with the Dayton agreement bylocal police forces or specific members of those forces.

IPTF shouldinstruct its stations throughout Bosnia and Hercegovina to inform IPTF headquarters of anysightings of persons indicted for war crimes. Any such instances, and specifically the discoveryof indicted individuals within the local police forces, should be treated as a matter of highestpriority. Information about serious human rights abuses gathered by IPTF should not bewithheld from the public, especially in cases where local police are involved in the commissionof such abuses. Specifically, the results of investigations into indicted persons working as policeofficers in the Prijedor area should be made public. This includes four regular police officers,two reserve police officers, and one special police officer.

IPTF shouldshare information regarding police involvement in war crimes or human rights abuses with theInternational Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). An agreement should beestablished between IPTF and the ICTY to exchange information on records in the ICTY onpolice officials, politicians and members of paramilitary groups in the area. IPTF should beadvised about any police officers under investigation by the ICTY, so that those police officerscan be vetted.

IPTF shouldmake public its information regarding unauthorized weapons caches and/or weapons violationsby police forces. In Banja Luka, shortly before the election, IFOR caught the Ljubija specialpolice trying secretly to move anti-aircraft guns and other weapons in a police convoy. Sincethat time, a number of surprise visits by IFOR/SFOR have revealed substantial numbers ofunauthorized weapons in police stations. Such acts are clear violations of the Dayton agreementand should result in appropriate action by IFOR and the international community. IPTF shouldalso record, report and make public instances of continuing human rights abuses and protractednon-compliance with the Dayton agreement by local police forces or specific members of thoseforces.

Human Rights Watch/Helsinki urges the United States, Russia and the European Unionto:
fully supportthe IPTF, OSCE and OHR in carrying out the above recommendations.

publiclydisclose or demand the public disclosure of information which implicates government officials,including police officials, or members of political parties in the direction or support of groupsengaged in the organized commission of human rights abuses through local political, police andmilitary bodies, agencies or branches.

exert pressureon the Pale authorities to ensure that Republika Srpska respects and upholds the human rightsnorms and other obligations relating to the implementation of the civilian aspects of the Daytonagreement.

consider theestablishment of a Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office for the Republika Srpska similarto the one operating in the Federation entity of Bosnia and Hercegovina, to act as a legalrepresentative for individual victims of human rights abuses, and to seek remedies for suchabuses from governmental authorities, in liaison with the Office of the Ombudspersonestablished by the Dayton agreement.

providecrucial financial and material support for the ICTY to enable the continued investigations of warcrimes which will result in further indictments. We strongly encourage support forinvestigations into the war-time activities of Simo Drljaca, Momcilo Radanovic a.k.a.“Cigo”, Pero Colic, Milomir Stakic, Srdjo Srdic, Milan Kovacevic, SlobodanKuruzovic, and other persons named in this report and reportedly responsible for war crimes inthe Prijedor area.

Human Rights Watch/Helsinki urges the World Bank, donor governments and agencies, andinternational non-governmental organizations to:
ensure thelinkage of reconstruction assistance given to the entity of the Republika Srpska to cooperationwith the ICTY, respect for human rights, the repeal of wartime property laws, and cooperationwith the UNHCR’s repatriation plan. Aid should be disbursed in a non-discriminatorymanner, with guidelines which ensure assistance to all needy persons regardless of ethnicity. Projects should be monitored closely for compliance with such guidelines. Donors shouldinvestigate the ownership and control of companies prior to the awarding of contracts to ensurethat persons indicted for war crimes, persons implicated in the commission of war crimes, andpersons who have obstructed the Dayton agreement do not benefit from such contracts. Companies whose non-Serb directors were killed, imprisoned, or “disappeared,” orwhose directors were removed due to their political affiliation, should not receive anyreconstruction monies whatsoever. Further, given the open defiance of the Republika Srpskademonstrated by President Biljana Plavsic’s letter of January 9, 1997 to U.N. SecretaryGeneral, Kofi Annan, in which she reiterated that the Republika Srpska has no intention ofcooperating with the ICTY, no reconstruction monies should be given to any government entityor public company controlled by the SDS. The World Bank and other lending institutions anddonors should give assurances that reconstruction loans or donations will not be given tostructures under the control of the SDS.

In townswhere there is general compliance with the Dayton agreement, target reconstruction aid whichwill aid ordinary people directly, i.e. micro enterprise projects, support of the independent media,support for non-biased educational programs, assistance to medical facilities which havedemonstrated equity in the provision of treatment to all citizens, etc., bypassing publicly ownedcompanies when possible. Strict guidelines regarding equal access for all citizens asbeneficiaries of projects should be established. It is also recommended that reconstructionassistance be geared toward the development of expertise which would enable privately ownedcompanies to compete with publicly owned companies for contracts in infrastructure and othersectors.

withholdeconomic aid from those specific municipalities controlled by individuals under investigation ofwar crimes by the ICTY, or those responsible for human rights violations or othernon-compliance with the provisions of the Dayton agreement. Human Rights Watch/Helsinkicallsattention specifically to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1088 of December 12, 1996, which“underlines the link, as agreed by the Presidency of Bosnia and Hercegovina in theconclusions of the Paris Conference, between the availability of international financial assistanceand the degree to which all the authorities in Bosnia and Hercegovina implement the PeaceAgreement, including cooperation with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia andcooperation with the Action Plan which has been approved by the LondonConference.”

link allfinancial support which is targeted for the restructuring of the local police with the IPTFscreening/vetting process. Police authorities who fail to agree to participate in the IPTFscreening and vetting process must not receive financial or material aid, and aid should only beprovided upon the completion of the screening process or when significant progress has beenmade.

Human Rights Watch/Helsinki urges the authorities of the entity of Republika Srpskato:
immediatelyarrest and remand to the ICTY for trial all persons indicted for war crimes in the Prijedor area,and immediately to arrest Simo Drljaca for crimes he committed during the 1992 takeover ofPrijedor and for the “disappearance” of Father Tomislav Matanovic and his parents. As U.N. Security Council Resolution 1032 states, the Security Council “reminds theparties that, in accordance with the Peace Agreement, they have committed themselves tocooperate fully with all entities involved in the implementation of this peacesettlement....including the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia...and underlines thatfull cooperation by States and entities with the International Tribunal includes, inter alia, thesurrender for trial of all persons indicted by the Tribunal and provision of information to assist inTribunal investigations.”

arrest,prosecute and punish persons responsible for human rights abuses and the recent destruction ofproperty in the Prijedor area.

cooperatewith UNHCR repatriation plans and permit the return of refugees and displaced persons withoutimpediment or fear of persecution.

immediatelyreveal the whereabouts of Father Tomislav Matanovic and his parents,“disappeared” in September 1995, and the fates of the medical personnel and othercommunity leaders who “disappeared” during the Serb takeover in 1992.



  The Importance of Conditionality for Reconstruction Aid
   The “Crisis Committee”and Co-Conspirators
   Simo Drljaca: Former Chief of Police and Head of Secret Police
     Wartime Activities
     Simo Drljaca and the Prijedor “Mafia”
   Ranko Mijic: Acting Chief of Police
   Zivko Jovic: Acting Deputy Chief of Police
   Grozdan Mutic: Head of State Security
   Milomir Stakic: Mayor of Prijedor
   Momcilo Radanovic, a.k.a. “Cigo”: Deputy Mayor of Prijedor
   Srdjo Srdic: President of the “Serbian Red Cross” Prijedor
     The Role of the Local Red Cross in “EthnicCleansing
   Milan “Mico” Kovacevic: Director of Prijedor Hospital
   Pero Colic: (Former) Commander Fifth Kozara Brigade and the Forty-ThirdBrigade, Prijedor
   Milenko Vukic: Infrastructure (Electricity)
   Marko Pavic: Infrastructure (Post Office, Telephone and Telegraph)
   Radio Prijedor
   Kozarski Vjesnik (Kozara Herald, Newspaper)
   Television Prijedor
   Non-Compliance with the Dayton Peace Agreement: The Prijedor Police
     Drljaca Ousted, Turns Up Again
     Persons Indicted for War Crimes Serve as Police Officers inPrijedor and Omarska
     Police Weapons
     Ljubija Special Police Force
   Obstruction of Freedom of Movement by Prijedor Authorities
   Harassment of Journalists and Monitors
   Evictions and Harassment of Persons Based Upon Their Ethnic or PoliticalAffiliation
   Destruction of Property to Prevent Repatriation
   Linkages and Loyalties
   Tangled in the Web: Reconstruction Aid and the Architects of “EthnicCleansing
   British ODA Response to Information Gathered by Human RightsWatch/Helsinki
   Aid to the Prijedor Hospital
APPENDIX A: Structure of the “Crisis Committee” of Prijedor Municipality:1992
APPENDIX B: Letter from Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic to U.N. SecretaryGeneral Kofi Annan

Human Rights Watch    January 1997    Vol. 9, No. 1 (D)

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