ETHNIC CLEANSING WAS PLANNED AT THE SDS TOP
Former president of the Sokolac Crisis Staff confirms that the local SDS received instructions from the SDS Main Board. At the trial of Momcilo Krajisnik, the prosecutor is trying to show that the plans for the ethnic division and forcible transfer of the population came from the very top of the Bosnian Serb leadership
Milan Tupajic, witness in the Krajisnik trial
At the trial of Momcilo Krajisnik, the prosecutor called as its witness the former president of the Crisis Staff in Sokolac. Through him, the prosecutor tendered into evidence a number of documents indicating that in 1992 the municipal SDS leaderships operated in accordance with the instructions they received from the party leadership in which Krajisnik was a prominent figure. Witness Milan Tupajic confirmed that the SDS in Sokolac and in other municipalities received instructions from the SDS Main Board.
The prosecutor is trying to prove that the plans for the ethnic division and forcible transfer of the population came from the very top of the Bosnian Serb leadership, in accordance with the strategic goals adopted by the Bosnian Serb Assembly. Krajisnik was the Assembly speaker at the time. The crisis staffs, as the prosecutor contends, were set up in order to implement the goals on the ground. The documents show that at its sessions the Sokolac Crisis Staff discussed issues such as the distribution of weapons and the disarming of Bosniak villages.
Although he confirms that the Crisis Staff was in touch with the police, military and civilian organs at the local level, Tupajic nevertheless claims that the Staff mostly dealt with the RS Government, not with the RS Presidency, and that after the VRS was established on 12 May 1992 it no longer had any substantial influence over the military. "There were many misunderstandings between the civilian authorities and the brigade command in Sokolac," he says.
The prosecutor puts special emphasis on the documents indicating that in 1992 thousands of Bosniak refugees fleeing from the Drina basin passed through Sokolac and that the authorities in that municipality took part in the organized transfer of the population, on the orders of the RS Government. Tupajic confirms this. He adds that he heard that "bad things, murders," took place in the Drina basin and that he feared "the same would happen in Sokolac", where until that time there were just instances of "provocations and maltreatment". Confirming he was aware of the "strategic goals" about the division of the three peoples and the abolishment of the border on the Drina river, Tupajic admits that these goals could not have been implemented without the forcible transfer of the non-Serb population.
Noting that "Radovan Karadzic and Momcilo Krajisnik stood out because of their influence and authority they wielded" in the SDS and Republika Srpska, the witness confirmed that both of them had made public references to the strategic goal of dividing the three peoples in Bosnia.
Tupajic's testimony will continue tomorrow.
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