Island of Šarengrad

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Island of Šarengrad
Disputed island
Other names: Šarengradska ada, Шаренградска ада
Sarengradska Ada.png
Position of the island.
Location Danube River
Coordinates 45°15′29″N 19°14′42″E / 45.258°N 19.245°E / 45.258; 19.245Coordinates: 45°15′29″N 19°14′42″E / 45.258°N 19.245°E / 45.258; 19.245
Total islands 1
Administered by
Claimed by

Island of Šarengrad (Serbo-Croatian: Šarengradska ada / Шаренградска ада, pronounced [ʃǎreŋgratskaː ǎːda] or [-ǎda]) is a Danube river island situated close to the village of Šarengrad in Croatia.[1] The island was formed in 1909 with the construction of the Mohovo-Šarengrad canal.[2]

During the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia the island was part of the Socialist Republic of Croatia. During the Croatian War of Independence, Yugoslav People's Army and Serbian militia occupied the island.[citation needed]

It was the opinion of the Badinter Arbitration Committee that the borders between republics should become the borders between the countries,[3][dead link][4][5][6] so Island of Šarengrad had officially become the territory of the Republic of Croatia, even if it was under Serbian occupation at the time.

In 1998, through the Erdut Agreement, Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Syrmia was reintegrated with Croatia. However, the Island of Šarengrad together with Island of Vukovar has stayed under Serbian military occupation.[citation needed]

In 2002 the Serbian army opened fire from the island on the president of the Vukovar-Syrmia County, Nikola Safer, and his escort which included four children in time when he was going for a meeting with his colleague from Serbia. This was despite the party having had formal consent from Serbian officials.[7][8][dead link]

In 2004 Serbia withdrew its army from the island, which has been replaced with Serbian police. Any citizen of Croatia can approach that island crossing the border Backa Palanka - Ilok, as any other foreign citizen can.[citation needed] Lawful landlords (Croatian citizens) still cannot reach a control over their land possessions on the island.[citation needed] Land registration books are managed by Croatian authorities, but the Serbian side does not recognise these ownerships.[citation needed] In 2009, the island was opened up for recreational purposes after a temporary arrangement was established.[9]

Official Serbian position is that because the Island of Šarengrad is nearer to east, Serbian coast of Danube, while Danube is navigable only from side toward Croatia. On the other side the official Croatian position is that the opinion of the Badinter Arbitration Committee is final and without question so the island is a Croatian territory.[citation needed] From the perspective of international community[citation needed], the island is part of the Croatian state, according to an internationally recognized border.

In his a statement for daily newspaper Novi list in February 2012 Croatian President Ivo Josipović said that two countries need flexible solution for border disputes on Danube river that would be combination of solutions proposed by two countries.[10] Croatian president said whatever solution would be adopted it would be good that Island of Vukovar eventually found on the Croatian side of border.[11] In his statement President made no mention of the second Danube island, Island of Šarengrad.[12]