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BANJALUKA, August 10 /SRNA/ - The Srebrenica Commission formed in 2004 worked under a strong pressure from the High Representative with pre-defined results, reads a report on the Commission’s progress which was submitted to the National Assembly of Republika Srpska by the Centre for Research of War, War Crimes and Search for the Missing.


The report reads that the pressure reflected in the replacement of the then chief of the Army of Republika Srpska /VRS/ General Staff, General Cvetko Savic, and head of the Government Secretariat in charge of relations with the International Criminal Court in The Hague and research of war crimes, Dejan Miletic.

"High Representative advised the then Republika Srpska minister of internal affairs Zoran Djeric and of defence Milovan Stankovic to fully cooperate with the Commission,” reads the Centre’s report.

The document recalls that the chair of the Commission Marko Arsovic tendered an irrevocable resignation on April 20, 2004 having realised that the Commission could not operate independently, given the repression of the High Representative and creation of the Commission’s final results.

"The Commission as an ad hoc body does not have any operative competences to execute orders of the Human Rights Chamber or decisions of the Government of Republika Srpska related to the execution of investigations and other activities. The Commission’s results in that regard are considered absolutely void,” reads the report.

The Working Group that was formed to carry out the Commission’s conclusions extended its powers which it received from the High Representative of its own initiative, the report states.

"The result of the Working Group is a list of a total of 20,150 members of the VRS and Ministry of Internal Affairs without having ever checked their presence in the stated area in the given period, where persons were put on the list by using their personal files. The list also includes the persons who were not in that area in the given period, like cooks who were not deployed to the zone of combat operations, or persons who were receiving medical treatment at the time. There are also the persons who were acquitted of responsibility for the events in Srebrenica in July 1995 in subsequent court proceedings, such as Momir Pelemis, Marko Milosevic, or Aleksandar Cvetkovic,” reads the Centre’s report.

An intention of imposing collective guilt on Republika Srpska and Serbs is visible, which is not under the competence of any commission or working group, reads the report.

It further adds that establishing the July 1995 events in Srebrenica, the Commission did not include in its report the facts of the deaths of members of the 28th Division of the so-called Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the breakthrough, which suffered losses in personnel in combats with the VRS, during mutual combats and shoot-outs, individual or mass suicides and in minefields.

"Therefore, the Commission did not fulfil the primary task under its mandate which was to establish the whole truth about the events that occurred in and around Srebrenica between July 10 and July 19, 1995,” reads the Centre’s report.

The document further states that the Commission did not tackle the suffering of the Serbs in the area of Podrinje, even though it stated in its recommendations that the overall perception of the events in and around Srebrenica was possible only after examining them in a historical context.

"With that in mind, it has to be emphasised that the total number of Serb casualties from central Podrinje is 2,600, including 266 women and children - 215 women and 51 children,” notes the report.

It further states that operations of the Muslim forces in the area continued even after the signing of an agreement on the demilitarisation of Muslim enclaves and receiving the status of UN-protected areas

"It is visible that the Commission did not have a mandate to carry out investigations, that it did not examine the historical context of events in the Srebrenica region between 1992 and 1995 adequately,” notes the report.

It concludes that an objective examination of the events that occurred in Srebrenica and the area between 1992 and 1995 is necessary for the sake of trust and tolerance among the peoples in BiH.

"For the sake of ultimate reconciliation and co-existence of the present and future generations, it is necessary to form an independent international commission to define in an objective and unbiased manner how many people including all nations were killed in the Srebrenica area between 1992 and 1995,” states the report of the Centre for Research of War, War Crimes and Search for the Missing of Republika Srpska.

At the initiative of Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, the National Assembly will review the 2004 report of the Srebrenica Commission, which established that 7,801 Bosniaks were killed in the area between July 10 and July 19, 1995.

The Commission was formed by the then Government of Republika Srpska on the basis of an order of the Human Rights Chamber. /end/ds