News 25 May 17

Divjak Faces War Crime Charges in Bosnia

Police in the southern Bosnian town of Trebinje have filed war crimes charges against retired Bosnian army general Jovan Divjak for allegedly committing crimes against Serbs in the 1992-5 war.

Jovan Divjak. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Leontom16

Police in the southern Bosnian town of Trebinje have submitted war crimes charges to the state prosecutor’s office against Jovan Divjak, a retired general of the Bosnian Army, on suspicion of having committed criminal acts against civilians and crimes against humanity in the south-eastern Konjic municipality in 1992, Serbia's public broadcaster RTS reported on Wednesday.

According to the charges, Divjak knew of the existence of the Celebici detention camp, where Bosniak and Croat forces held prisoners of war, but did nothing to prevent the detention there of hundreds of Serb civilians, RTS said.

Divjak is also charged with encouraging politics that led to the persecution of more than 600 people of Serb nationality and their detention in the camp.

The retired army general is also accused of violating international humanitarian law, particularly the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

Sarajevo-based media report that Divjak was alerted to the charges by the media, but had no comment.

The Celebici camp operated from May to December 1992 and was used to detain Bosnian Serb prisoners of war, most of whom were civilians.

Serbia previously sought the arrest on Divjak on numerous occasions for his alleged involvement in an attack on a convoy of the Yugoslav People's Army, JNA, as it was leaving Sarajevo in May 1992.

Divjak is a particularly divisive among Serbs because, although born to Serb parents, he commanded the mainly Bosniak Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the war in that republic.

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