A war crimes prosecutor Wednesday indicted nine Bosnian Serbs for killing about 100 Muslim Bosniaks during the Bosnian War, according to Reuters.
All nine are men who served in the Bosnian Serb army and are accused of killing dozens of Muslim civilians, including seven entire families, women, the elderly and children. The civilians they allegedly targeted lived in the southeastern town of Nevesinje.
The Bosnian War occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995 as part of the dissolution of former Yugoslavia. Still today, Bosnia searches for the remains of some of the tens of thousands who were killed during the war. Of the seven families allegedly killed by the indicted Bosnian Serbs, 47 people’s remains have yet to be located.
This year, a Bosnian Serb soldier and an army commander were convicted of war crimes and failure to prevent war crimes, respectively. In addition, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the nation’s highest court, also upheld a war crime conviction against a Bosnian Serb soldier and the indictment of eight Bosnian Serb soldiers for crimes against humanity during the conflict.
Despite these legal victories, the country faces a political crisis between Republika Srpska (RS) and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Earlier this month lawmakers in the RS National Assembly voted to begin pulling their republic out of Bosnia’s armed forces, judiciary and tax system. The move prompted condemnation from the embassies of the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy, which stated:
[The] decision by the Republika Srpska National Assembly to begin the drafting of legislation to create parallel institutions in the Republika Srpska is a further escalatory step. Members of the governing coalition in the RS must be aware that continuing this dead end path of challenging the Dayton framework is damaging the economic prospects of the entity, threatening the stability of the country and the entire region and jeopardizing BiH’s future with the EU.
The indictment against the nine Bosnian Serbs will require approval from the state court to continue.