UN to announce ruling on Croatia and Serbia genocide cases

UN to announce ruling on Croatia and Serbia genocide cases

PanARMENIAN.Net - The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague is to announce its ruling on genocide cases between Croatia and Serbia, BBC News reports.

The Croatian government has alleged that Serbia committed genocide in the town of Vukovar and elsewhere in 1991.

Serbia later filed a counter claim over the expulsion of more than 200,000 Serbs from Croatia. About 20,000 people died during the 1991-1995 war, when Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia.

The Croatian town of Vukovar was devastated when it was occupied by Serbs for three months in 1991. Tens of thousands of ethnic Croats were displaced, and about 260 Croat men were detained and killed.

Four years later, the Croatian military's Operation Storm bombarded the majority ethnic-Serb Krajina area, forcing about 200,000 people from their homes.

Croatia filed its initial case with the ICJ - the top UN court - in 1999, accusing Serbs, led by President Slobodan Milosevic, of targeting ethnic Croats during the conflict.

It also wants Serbia to pay compensation for damages "to persons and properties as well as to the Croatian economy and environment".

In 2010, Serbia responded to Croatian's case with a countersuit, saying that ethnics Serbs were expelled when Croatia launched its 1995 operation to retake territory captured by Serbs.

According to BBC, for some this legal judgment will help to shed light on what actually happened during the darkest years of the Balkans. Although genocide is the most serious of international crimes, it is also the hardest to prove.

The ICJ is to decide whether either country or both are guilty of genocide, incitement to commit genocide or complicity in genocide.

Both sides have said they will accept the rulings.

Photo: Marko Mrkonjic/Pixsell
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