Jezik / Language:
15 April 2013

Hell for Each Man

Radoša Milutinović BIRN BiH Hag

As the trial of Radovan Karadzic continues, Defence witness Stanislav Galic says that the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, opened fire exclusively on military targets in Sarajevo in response to attacks by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH, from the city.

Galic confirmed that excessive artillery fire was opened in some cases, but this was due to the fact that “it was difficult to control it”. 

According to the testimony of the witness, the ABiH attacked its own people, so “the question is who caused those losses”. 
In 2006 The Hague Tribunal sentenced General Galic, who was Commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps from 1992 to 1994, to life imprisonment for having terrorised civilians in Sarajevo.
Just like the previous Karadzic’s witnesses, who testified about the Sarajevo battlefield, Galic said that his Corps just defended itself from ABiH’s attacks from Sarajevo in order to protect “territories, where Serbs were the majority, and people, not only Serbs, but all those who lived in those areas”.
Saying that 14 brigades of ABiH were present in Sarajevo, Galic said that no area in the city could be classified as an exclusively civilian zone.
“ABiH units were mixed with civilians… I ordered my people not to target civilians and civilian buildings in Sarajevo to the extent possible. Selection of targets, differentiating between them and proportionality were the problems,” Galic said.
He said that it was difficult to differentiate between soldiers and civilians, because not all ABiH members had uniforms and some did not even have weapons. 
As he said, Galic conveyed an order to respect the Geneva Conventions, which he received from the VRS Main Headquarters and Supreme Commander Karadzic, to his subordinates.
“The problem was how to respond to fire. The Kosevo hospital was a big problem, because mine-throwers opened fire from it... ABiH used UNPROFOR’s buildings to hide behind them,” Galic said.
Although, as he said, they avoided responding to ABiH’s provocations, their efforts “were not always 100 percent successful”.   
The witness said that UN military observers, who were deployed in the vicinity of SRC’s artillery weapons, had never complained to him about the artillery being misused. 
Galic said that, whenever foreign officials visited Sarajevo, ABiH provoked SRC by opening fire “just to provoke our reaction and show that ‘They are creating hell for us in Sarajevo’”
The witness said that “living and working in Sarajevo was a big hell for every man” and that he and his soldiers followed the negotiations and hoped for a peaceful solution.
The trial of Karadzic, who is charged with terror against civilians in Sarajevo, genocide in Srebrenica, persecution of Muslims and Croats throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and taking UNPROFOR members hostage, is due to continue on April 16.

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