27.06.2017.

IRREGULAR FORMATIONS ROLE IN THE WORST PART OF ETHNIC CLEANSING

As General Wilson took the stand today at the retrial of the former Serbian state security chiefs, he said that 'the worst part of the ethnic cleansing' in Croatia and BH had been carried out by irregular formations; Arkan's men and the Red Berets were particularly bad. Both formations were established, armed and financed by the Serbian State Security Service, the prosecution alleges

In the third week of Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic's retrial, the prosecution finally called a new witness, i.e. one that had not testified in the first trial. Retired Australian general John Wilson was called to testify as a substitute for Charles Kirudja, a high-ranking UN official who had testified at the first trial but was unable to do so again now.

General Wilson was in the former Yugoslavia from January 1992 to the end pf 1993, first as a liaison officer and then as the chief of staff of the UN Military Observers (UNMO). He was later appointed military adviser to Cyrus Vance, co-chairman od the International Conference for the former Yugoslavia. He already testified about what he had seen and learned in that period at the trials of Momcilo Krajisnik, Momcilo Perisic, Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic.

In his sixth testimony before the Tribunal, General Wilson testified about the ethnic cleansing in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. As he explained, it followed 'a similar pattern: there were threats of violence, killing, rape, torching and looting of homes', and the purpose was to 'create an atmosphere of fear to make people go away voluntarily'.

According to General Wilson, 'the worst part' of the ethnic cleansing was carried out by 'irregular formations'. Arkan's Serbian Volunteer Guard and the Red Berets were particularly brutal. Both Arkan's men and the Red Berets were better organized, equipped and armed than the other paramilitary and volunteer units. In the witness's opinion, both formations came from Serbia and were active throughout the UNPA zones in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Several UN reports detailing the crimes committed by Arkan's men, the Red Berets, Martic's special polie and other irregulars were admitted into evidence today.

As alleges in the indictment, the Serbian State Security Service, headed by the accused Stanisic and Simatovic at the time, established, equipped, armed and financed the irregular formations which were then sent outside of Serbia's territory to engage in clandestine operations.