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Serb Hunting Continues - After the Arrest of General Stanislav Galic
December 22, 1999

General Stanislav Galic
General Stanislav Galic
Members of the SFOR performed a classic terrorist attack in Banja Luka two days ago, arresting Lieutenant General Stanislav Galic, Republic of Srpska's President's councilor for military issues. This latest act of "Serb hunting", which was, as those preceding it, performed with the assistance of the international forces, did not pass without force being demonstrated.

The arrested Lieutenant General Galic, relatively unknown to the general public, was commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija corps until 1993, after which he retired. When Nikola Poplasen was elected President of the Republic of Srpska, Galic became his military councilor. He was arrested from an ambush while going to work and his arrest was followed by, as in all similar cases, a traffic blockade and demonstration of force.

As has been the case with all the others, this latest arrest was prompted by both public and secret accusations of The Hague Tribunal for alleged crimes committed by persons of Serb nationality. The arrests take place according to a more or less well-known scenario dominated by brutality and unjustified application of force. Most often the thing is an ambush in circumstances and places in which the victim has neither the time nor the chance of resisting, even if it wanted to.

It was so when General Djordje Djukic was arrested - he was apprehended in alongside with Colonel Aleksa Krsmanovic, on the so-called Blue Road between Lukavica and Ilidza in February 1996. He was taken to The Hague, without any serious charges (except the ones that had been started with) being raised. He was released barely a month before he died of cancer.

Slavko Dokmanovic too (at the time of his arrest he was ex mayor of Vukovar) is no longer alive. He was arrested near Erdut while going on a meeting with Jacques Klein, who, by the way, had guaranteed him safety. Some thirty specialists were waiting for him in ambush on a bridge over the Danube. In The Hague, he was accused of alleged crimes in Ovcara near Vukovar. Not waiting for the Tribunal's verdict, he hand himself in his cell near the end of June, 1998.

However, not all of the accused managed to get to The Hague. On July 10th, 1997 British commandos from the SFOR killed Sima Drljaca, retired head of police in Prijedor on the shore of the Gradina Lake. He was killed in the presence of his son and brother-in-law while fishing, and the manner in which the operation was performed demonstrated that arrests can sometimes be replaced by mere liquidation.

That same day, Dr Milan Kovacevic, head of the local hospital, was brutally arrested in Prijedor, also by means of trickery. He too was accused of unproved crimes by the Tribunal. A year later, he died in prison in The Hague due to medical negligence. Miroslav Kvocka from Prijedor and Milos Kos from Banja Luka were taken to The Hague in 1998 for their alleged crimes in the Omarska camp.

Last June, charged with having violated the Geneva Convention, was laws and customs, Milorad Krnojelac, a Serb from Srbinje went the same way.

Under insufficiently clarified circumstances, Stevan Todorovic, ex chief of police from Samac, was taken from his Zlatibor weekend house last autumn - he was first taken to a SFOR base in Bosnia, and then to The Hague.

In a spectacular action on the Ustipraca-Srbinje road about a year ago, karate trainer Dragan Gagovic was shot through the head in his car, before the very eyes of six children. Members of the SFOR explained that they had fired in self-defence, without practically having even tried to apprehend this Serb accused of war crimes committed in the vicinity of Foca.

With the explanation that he was being taken in for genocide during and after the fall of Srebrenica, General Radislav Krstic, commander of the Fifth Corps of the Army of the Republic of Srpska, was abducted near Brcko last December.

At the beginning of June of this year, Dragan Kolundzija, accused of alleged crimes in the Keraterm camp, was arrested in the yard of his Prijedor house. The torture of apprehension was also suffered by Mladen Madzar, who later proved to have been arrested by mistake.

A month later, in a swift action near his apartment, Radoslav Brdjanin too, at the moment a people's representative in the Assembly of the Republic of Srpska and leader of the People's Party of the Republic of Srpska, was arrested. He was taken first to Tuzla, and then to The Hague.

There were more such SFOR actions in Bosnia and elsewhere in the meantime. With all the perfidy of the Austrian authorities and the disrespect of customs of the diplomatic practice, near the end of August of this year, Lieutenant General Momir Talic, chief of Headquarters of the Army of the Republic of Srpska, was taken to The Hague from Vienna, where he was as guest at the Military Academy and participant of an expertly seminary.

It is becoming clear that rules in this man hunting, after the charges of The Hague Tribunal, do not exist, and the reasons too are losing importance. Serb hunting continues, and after every action the justification is that the apprehended parties are on the Tribunal's lists, that their crimes are evident and proof-based, but new intimidations that the lists are not done with arrive as well.

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