The UN’s highest International Court of Justice is to hear arguments next month in a long-running genocide case that threatens to sour relations between Croatia and Serbia.
The Hague-based ICJ “will hold public hearings in the case concerning Croatia vs Serbia from Monday March 3 to Tuesday, April 1,” it said in a statement Friday.
Croatia in 1999 dragged Serbia to the ICJ on genocide charges relating to Zagreb’s 1991-95 war of independence following the collapse of the former Yugoslavia.
Croatia accused Serbia of “ethnic cleansing” which it said was “a form of genocide which resulted in large numbers of Croatian citizens being displaced, killed, tortured or illegally detained, as well as extensive property destruction.”
Some 20,000 people died as a result of the war.
Zagreb wants judges to order Belgrade to pay damages “to persons and properties as well as to the Croatian economy and environment… a sum to be determined by the court.”
Belgrade responded with a countersuit, saying some 200,000 ethnic Serbs were forced to flee in 1995 when Zagreb launched a military operation to retake its territory.
Known as Operation Storm, ethnic Serb numbers in the region dwindled from 12 percent before the war to four percent after the operation.
Belgrade was outraged in 2012 when Operation Storm’s Croatian military commander, Ante Gotovina, was acquitted on appeal by the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
So far the ICJ, which rules in disputes against countries, has recognised only one genocide case since opening its doors in 1946.
In 2007 it ruled that genocide took place in mid-1995, at Srebrenica in neighbouring Bosnia, when almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb troops after they overran a UN-protected enclave.
Their bodies were subsequently dumped in mass graves in the worst slaughter on European soil since the Second World War.
The ICJ however also ruled that Bosnia had failed to prove the involvement of the Serbian state in the massacre.
Both Zagreb and Belgrade have said previously that it would consider withdrawing the cases before the ICJ if certain conditions were met.
However, Serbia’s outgoing Trade Minister Rasim Ljajic said last week that it was “too late for a political agreement” on withdrawal of the complaints and that “apparently there was no political courage in Croatia” for that, Beta news agency quoted him as saying.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
Black Georgia lawmaker accuses white man of demanding she ‘go back where she came from’ in supermarket diatribe
On Friday evening, Erica Thomas, and African-American Democratic lawmaker in the Georgia House of Representatives, was shopping at a Publix supermarket in Mableton when a white customer came up to her and shouted at her, telling her to "go back where you came from" — words echoing President Donald Trump's recent racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color.
Thomas' crime? She had too many items for the express checkout line.
Today I was verbally assaulted in the grocery store by a white man who told me I was a lazy SOB and to go back to where I came from bc I had to many items in the express lane. My husband wasn’t there to defend me because he is on Active Duty serving the country I came from USA!
Trump offers to guarantee bail for rapper A$AP Rocky
US President Donald Trump offered Saturday to guarantee the bail of rapper ASAP Rocky, detained in Sweden on suspicion of assault following a street brawl.
Trump tweeted that he had spoken with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who he said gave assurances that the singer would be treated fairly.
"Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative," Trump wrote.
There is no system of bail in Sweden.
Trump said he and Lofven had agreed to speak again over the next 48 hours.
Fans, fellow artists and US Congress members have campaigned for the 30-year-old artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, to be freed since his arrest on July 3 following the fight on June 30.
The best Civil War movie ever made finally gets its due
On Sunday and on July 24, Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events are presenting big-screen showings in theaters nationwide of “Glory,” in honor of the 30-year anniversary of its release. The greatest movie ever made about the American Civil War, “Glory” was the first and, with the exception of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” the only film that eschewed romanticism to reveal what the war was really about.
The story is told through the eyes of one of the first regiments of African American soldiers. Almost from the time the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, S.C., the issue of black soldiers in the Union army was hotly debated. On Jan. 1, 1863, as the country faced the third year of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, rapidly accelerating the process of putting black men into federal blue.