1992 Yugoslav People's Army column incident in Sarajevo
|1992 Yugoslav People's Army column incident in Sarajevo|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Jusuf Prazina (alleged)|| Milutin Kukanjac
|& ~200|| ~270 soldiers, 38 vehicles
~10 UNPROFOR observers, 4 vehicles
|Casualties and losses|
|16 killed||42 killed (alternative sources state 5–38), 71–73 wounded and 215–218 captured|
|1–23 civilians killed|
The 1992 Yugoslav People's Army column incident in Sarajevo occurred on 3 May 1992 in Dobrovoljačka Street, Sarajevo, when members of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ARBiH) attacked a convoy of Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) troops that were exiting the city of Sarajevo according to the withdrawal agreement.
The attack is thought to have happened in retaliation for the arrest of the President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Alija Izetbegović, who was detained at the Sarajevo Airport by the Yugoslav Army the previous day.
The attack started with the convoy being separated when a car was driven into it. Then sporadic and disorganized fighting took place for several minutes in and around the convoy.
Bosnian army commander Sefer Halilovic later stated about the incident "our fighters and civilians acted spontaneously, they cut the convoy in half."
In his book "Peacekeeper: The road to Sarajevo", UN peacekeeper's commander Gen. Lewis McKenzie who was in the convoy described what he saw: "I could see the Territorial Defense soldiers push the rifles through the windows of civilians cars, which were part of the convoy, and shoot (...) I saw blood flow down the windshields. It was definitely the worst day of my life."
Serb prosecutors stated that 42 JNA soldiers were killed in the attack. However, General Milutin Kukanjac, the commander of the JNA in Sarajevo, claimed that out of 215 military personnel, only six died in the attack.
An investigation was opened by the Serbian Prosecutors Office and has stirred controversy both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Two members of the State Presidency, Haris Silajdžić and Željko Komšić, claimed Serbia’s action breached the Rome Agreement. The presidents attended a meeting with members of the wartime Presidency of Bosnia, namely Tatjana Ljujić-Mijatović, Ivo Komšić, Miro Lazović and Ejup Ganić, and concluded that Serbia had breached the 1996 Rome Agreement, failed to seek the ICTY’s opinion before taking action and had "therefore breached international legal provisions".
A Belgrade court issued arrest warrants for 19 former Bosnian-government officials. Ejup Ganić, a former member of the Bosnian wartime presidency who was among the people sought for the attack, dismissed the allegations, indicating the attack on the JNA column was aimed at striking at Izetbegović's kidnappers after his capture by Bosnian Serb forces. Ganić was arrested in London, but was quickly released since Judge Timothy Workman ruled that the JNA was an enemy army at war with Bosnia and Herzegovina and thus, a legitimate target. In 2003 The International Tribunal for Justice dismissed the case, stating that the actions of the ArBiH did not constitute a breach of law.
On 3 March 2011, Jovan Divjak was arrested in Vienna due to Serbia's arrest warrant. However, Austria said it will not extradite him to Belgrade. In 2003, the ICTY also ruled that there was no ground for prosecution of Divjak. In 2012, the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina did the same.
- РТС: О Ганићевој одговорности
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- Vasovic, Aleksandar (26 February 2009). "Serbia charges 19 Bosnian officials with war crimes". Reuters.
- Workman, Timothy (July 27, 2010). "The Government of the Republic of Serbia vs. Ejup Ganić" (PDF). City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court. p. 3. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- Gutman, Roy. "Serbia pursues Ejup Ganic for war crimes. Or is it a vendetta?". Christian Science Monitor.
- "Austria won't send Bosnia general to Serbia". Reuters. March 7, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- "RULES OF THE ROAD: NO GROUNDS FOR PROSECUTION OF GENERAL DIVJAK". Sense Agency. March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011.