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Important News, Belangrijke nieuws, Nouvelles importantes, Wichtige News, Fontos hírek, Importanti novitŕ, Pomembne novice, Importante Notícias, Viktiga nyheter

Ing. Salih CAVKIC

No more Paris nor Brussels!
Stop terrorism!
We want to live in peace with all our neighbors.
  regardless of their religion, color and origin.
Therefore, we condemn any kind of terrorism!

Ne više Pariz ni Brisel!
Stop terorizam!
Mi želimo živjeti u miru sa svim našim komšijama,
bez obzira koje su vjere, boje kože i porijekla.
Zato mi osuđujemo svaku vrstu terorizma!

Belang van Limburg
De Morgen
De Standard
Het Laatste Nieuws
La Libre Belgique

VRT Nieuws

Deutsche Welle
West-D. Zeitung

The man of the year 2009
Guy Verhofstadt
Mr. Guy Verhofstadt

The man of the year
L'homme de l'ane
De man van het jaar

Maasmechelen Village

The man of the year 2012

Mr. Barak Hossein Obama

The man of the year
L'homme de l'an
De man van het jaar

peace in the world

Prof. dr. Murray Hunter
University Malaysia Perlis

20 Years to Trade Economic Independence for Political Sovereignty - Eva MAURINA


Aleš Debeljak +
In Defense of Cross-Fertilization: Europe and Its Identity Contradictions - Aleš Debeljak



Rattana Lao
Rattana Lao holds a doctorate in Comparative and International Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and is currently teaching in Bangkok.

Bakhtyar Aljaf
Director of Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Rakesh Krishnan Simha
Géométrie variable of a love triangle – India, Russia and the US

Amna Whiston
Amna Whiston is a London-based writer specialising in moral philosophy. As a PhD candidate at Reading University, UK, her main research interests are in ethics, rationality, and moral psychology.

Eirini Patsea 
Eirini Patsea is a Guest Editor in Modern Diplomacy, and specialist in Cultural Diplomacy and Faith-based Mediation

Belmir Selimovic
Can we trust the government to do the right thing, are they really care about essential things such as environmental conditions and education in our life?


Dubravko Lovrenović + Univ. prof. Dubravko Lovrenović is one of the leading European Medievalist specialized in the Balkans, pre-modern and modern political history.

Manal Saadi
Postgraduate researcher in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Geneva-based UMEF University

doc.dr.Jasna Cosabic
professor of IT law and EU law at Banja Luka College,
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Aleksandra Krstic
Studied in Belgrade (Political Science) and in Moscow (Plekhanov’s IBS). Currently, a post-doctoral researcher at the Kent University in Brussels (Intl. Relations). Specialist for the MENA-Balkans frozen and controlled conflicts.


Dr. Swaleha Sindhi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. Decorated educational practitioner Dr. Sindhi is a frequent columnist on related topics, too. She is the Vice President of Indian Ocean Comparative Education Society (IOCES). Contact:

Barçın Yinanç
 It is an Ankara-based journalist and notable author. She is engaged with the leading Turkish dailies and weeklies for nearly three decades as a columnist, intervieweer and editor. Her words are prolifically published and quoted in Turkish, French an English.

Modified from the original: They killed 1 Saddam and created 1,000 others (Daily Sabah)

Aine O’Mahony
Aine O'Mahony has a bachelor in Law and Political Science at the Catholic Institute of Paris and is currently a master's student of Leiden University in the International Studies programme.Contact:

Elodie Pichon

  Elodie Pichon has a  bachelor in Law and Political Science at the Catholic Institute of Paris and is currently doing a MA in Geopolitics, territory and Security at King's College London. Contact :

Qi Lin

Qi Lin, a MA candidate of the George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs. Her research focus is on cross-Pacific security and Asian studies, particularly on the Sino-U.S. relations and on the foreign policy and politics of these two.

Born in Chile and raised in Rome, Alessandro Cipri has just finished his postgraduate studies at the department of War Studies of King's College London, graduating with distinction from the Master's Degree in "Intelligence and International Security". Having served in the Italian Army's "Alpini" mountain troops, he has a keen interest in national security, military strategy, insurgency theory, and terrorism studies. His Master's dissertation was on the impact of drug trafficking on the evolution of the Colombian FARC.

Ms. Lingbo ZHAO
is a candidate of the Hong Kong Baptist University, Department of Government and International Studies. Her research interest includes Sino-world, Asia and cross-Pacific.



Hannes Grassegger
Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative journalists attached to the Swiss-based Das Magazin specialized journal.


Mikael Krogerus

Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative journalists attached to the Swiss-based Das Magazin specialized journal.


Michal Kosinski

Scientific analysis


Elodie Pichon,
Ms. Elodie Pichon, Research Fellow of the IFIMES Institute, DeSSA Department. This native Parisian is a Master in Geopolitics, Territory and Security from the King’s College, London, UK.

Djoeke Altena

Muhamed Sacirbey
Muhamed Sacirbey

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey currently lectures on Digital-Diplomacy. "Mo" has benefited from a diverse career in investment banking & diplomacy, but his passion has been the new avenues of communication. He was Bosnia & Herzegovina's first Ambassador to the United Nations, Agent to the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister & Signatory of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court. He also played American football opting for a scholarship to Tulane University in New Orleans after being admitted to Harvard, oh well!!

Amanda Janoo

Amanda Janoo is an Alternative Economic Policy Adviser to governments and development organizations. Graduate from Cambridge University with an MPhil in Development Studies, Amanda worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) supporting government's with evidence-based industrial policy design for inclusive and sustainable growth. Her research focus is on the relationship between international trade and employment generation. She has worked throughout Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa promoting greater economic self-determination and empowerment.

Michael dr. Logies,


Endy Bayuni

The writer, editor-in-chief of The Jakarta Post, took part in the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum, organized by the Institute for Peace and Democracy and the Press Council, on Dec.5-6.

INDEX 2017

INDEX 2016

Important News

Dutch - Nederlands
Belangrijke nieuws

French - Français
Nouvelles importantes

German - Deutsch
Wichtige News

Važne vijesti



The European Commission's Strategy for the Western Balkans

Bureaucrats' Crusade

By Zlatko Hadžidedić

The European Commission set a target date of 2025 for some of the Balkan countries to join. However, Brussels sees only Serbia and Montenegro as actual candidates. The door formally remains open to Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia, but these countries have been put into a grey zone with no time frames and road maps. They have been put on hold with no tangible prospects for membership, left without any explanation of what makes them less valid candidates than Serbia and Montenegro, with these two being as poor, illiberal and undemocratic as the remaining four.

With a dose of instant cynicism, one might conclude that Serbia and Montenegro have been rewarded for their military aggressions on Bosnia and Kosovo, and Serbia's permanent pressures on Macedonia, whereas the latter ones have been punished for being the former's victims. However, a more careful look at the population structure of the four non-rewarded countries reveals that these, unlike Serbia and Montenegro, have a relative excess of Muslim population. So far, there have been dilemmas whether the European Union is to be regarded as an exclusive Christian club, bearing in mind the prolonged discriminatory treatment of Turkey as an unwanted candidate. After the European Commission's new strategy for the Balkans, there can be no such dilemmas: the countries perceived by Brussels bureaucrats as Muslim ones – regardless of the actual percentage of their Muslim population – are not to be treated as European. 

The resurrection of this logic, now embodied in the actual strategy, takes Europe back to its pre-Westphalian roots, to the faraway times of the Crusades or the times of the Siege of Vienna. It also signals the ultimate triumph of the most reactionary populist ideologies in the contemporary Europe, based on exclusion of all who are perceived as „others“. It signals the ultimate triumph of the European ineradicable xenophobia. Or – to put it in terms more familiar to the likely author of the strategy, the European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn – the triumph of Ausländerfeindlichkeit

Now, what options are left to the practically excluded Balkan countries, after so many efforts to present themselves as valid candidates for EU membership? There is a point in claims that some of their oligarchies, particularly the tripartite one in Bosnia-Herzegovina, have never actually wanted to join the EU, because their arbitrary rule would be significantly undermined by the EU's rule of law. It is logical, then, that the tripartite oligarchy welcomes the strategy that keeps the country away from the EU membership, while at the same time deceiving the population that the strategy is a certain path to the EU. Yet, what about these people, separated into three ethnic quarantines, who believe that joining the EU would simply solve all their political and economic problems, and who refuse to accept the idea that the EU might be an exclusive club, not open to them? What are the remaining options for them?

They cannot launch a comprehensive revolution and completely replace the tripartite oligarchy by their democratic representatives. Still, they can press it to adopt and conduct a multi-optional foreign policy, oriented towards several geopolitical centers: one of them may remain Brussels, but  Washington, Moscow, Beijing, Ankara, Tehran, and others, should also be taken into account. For, a no-alternative policy, as the one which only repeats its devotion to the EU integrations without any other geopolitical options, is no policy at all. In this sense, the presented EU strategy has clearly demonstrated the futility of such a no-alternative approach: regardless of how many times you repeat your devotion to the EU values, principles and integrations, the EU bureaucrats can simply tell you that you will never play in the same team with them. However, such an arbitrary but definite rejection logically pushes the country to look for geopolitical alternatives. And it is high time for Bosnia-Herzegovina's people and intellectual and political elites to understand that Brussels is not the only option on the table, and that there are other geopolitical centers whose interests might be identified as convergent with the interests of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Still, all of them should first demonstrate the ability to identify the interests of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which means that they should first recognize it as a sovereign state with its own interests, rather than someone else's proxy.

FEBRUARY 14, 2018


ASEAN Shared - the EU twin from Asia: New memories, old wounds

Rattana Lao


Photograph by Zanyasan


Bangkok – Imagining peace is a noble concept but what does it take to achieve it?

Where does peace begin?

In modern day Southeast Asia, this can trace back to the 8th of August, 1967 where five foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand joined hands to create the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or what became known as ASEAN.

Diverse in nature and disperse in geography, ASEAN has achieved much within the course of fifty years. The Association has grown in size of its membership and expanded to reach ambitious mandates. In 2015, ASEAN Economic Community was created to promote free movement of people, goods and ideas.

Economic integration was just the beginning. 

Coated in a long and wordy text and signed on 17th November 2011, the Declaration on ASEAN Unity in Cultural Diversity strived toward achieving “people centred and socially responsible integration,” a socio-cultural integration in short.

Inspired by the European Union, creating one market was not enough for ASEAN. The Association is driven to “forging a common identity”. It is hoped that through such effort, peace, mutual understanding and harmony will be fostered in Southeast Asia. 

A common identity for more than 600 million people?

A little lofty.


To achieve this aspiration, the Shared History Project in Southeast Asia was launched by UNESCO-Bangkok Office with funding from the Republic of Korea in 2013 to create a new history curricular to be taught and learned across ASEAN by 2018.

The project brought together historians, educators and researchers across the region to search for common grounds of what aspect of history to teach and how to teach it.

It is all for a higher purpose and a better future. 

As the late Secretary General of ASEAN, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, persuasively said: “it is a better history education that will produce and provide a strong foundation for understanding where we have come from and to guide us into the future where we are going, as individuals, as local communities, as nation states, as a greater sub-regional grouping”.

Ideally speaking, a Shared History should be welcomed with an open arm. A project so inspiring that it aims to mitigate nationalism and bridge differences across the nations.

In an interview with Dr. William Brehm of Waseda University, he offered insight into this new architecture to build peace in ASEAN. There are many challenges to translate a Shared ASEAN.

Firstly, who will write these new memories? How can a consensus be built amongst people with diverse cultural heritage, background and social memories?

If history is written by the winners – who are the winners in ASEAN?

In ASEAN, disputes and conflicts amongst nations are not memories of things past, rather they are confounding issues aggravating daily hatred across countries within the region. Border dispute amongst nations is the case in point. As professor Anis H. Bajrektarevic already warned in his luminary policy paper ‘No Asian cenutr… “any absolute or relative shift in economic and demographic strength of one subject of international relations will inevitably put additional stress on the existing power equilibriums and constellations that support this balance in the particular theater of implicit or explicit structure. Therefore, funded by the Thailand Research Fund, Akkaraphong Khamkhun of Thammasat University counted as many as 20 ongoing territorial disputes in ASEAN. These conflicts are between Malaysia and Brunei, Laos and Cambodia, Indonesia and the Phillippines.

This is not to mention the infamous Preah Vihear dispute that cuts deep wounds between Thailand and Cambodia.

While the wounds are still fresh, how would these stories be told? Whose stories, precisely?

Secondly, how can a Shared ASEAN formed when countries are deeply founded with nationalistic sentiment, where overt nationalism is propagated in and outside of classrooms, where the sense of hatred to “the other” is instilled for students.

The villain of one country, is the hero of the other. Myanmar – Thai historical text books are the prime examples on this. Thai kings are always the heroes for Thailand, while Myanmar kings are presented often and always as the villains.

Vice versa. 

This is what a well-known Thai historian Thongchai Winichakul called “negative identification.”

For centuries, each country in ASEAN, is guilty for inflicting negative identification for others to elevate a sense of pride for themselves. It is easier to teach who is “us”, when you know who is “them”.

ASEAN is not alone in striving to form a new memory of themselves. In the case of Africa, Dr. Brehm argued that the Shared History project took as long as 35 years to be successful.

Dated back to UNESCO’s 1964 General History of Africa project. That project created a set of eight volumes articulating a shared history of Africa. Huge disagreements among the various national historians prolonged the project; it took 35 years before all eight volumes were published.”

If a country is an imagined community, said Bennedict Anderson in his polemic book the Imagined Community, by schools, common language and mass media, is it possible, Dr. Brehm asked, for the UNESCO and ASEAN enthusiastic idealists to dream of a new common identity for 600 million people who speak more than hundreds of languages and dialects?

Is it possible that a common understanding can be reached and harmony can be fostered through a new kind of text book, new knowledge and new understanding to promote something as elusive as a regional identity?

Dr. Brehm is a little sceptical: “So long as education is organized by nation-states, history and historical memory will always promote nationalism and national identity. Everything else will be secondary or retro-fitted for the main purpose.”

Difficult but does that mean impossible?

Surely a Shared textbook is useful and much needed intervention to cement a mutual understanding amongst ASEAN students. For political, historical and educational reasons, however, this project requires careful consideration, time and resources to ensure that a new generation of ASEAN will be peace loving rather than nationalistic hawkish. Having a multilateral organization like UNESCO to promote history lesson offers a humble step toward regional peace.

Where does peace begin? 

It begins with mutual understanding.

More importantly, it has to begin now.

Rattana Lao


FEBRUARY 1, 2018


The International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses events in the Middle East and the Balkans. Following ICTY judgments against Ratko Mladić and Jadranko Prlić IFIMES has prepared an analysis of the situation and circumstances in which those judgments were (not) accepted. The most interesting sections from the analysis entitled Croatia-BiH-Serbia: Non-acceptance of ICTY judgments and 'humanisation' of crimes and criminals” are presented below.


Non-acceptance of ICTY judgments and “humanisation”of crimes and criminals

The verdicts against Ratko Mladić (IT-09-92) and Jadranko Prlić et al. (IT-04-74) represent the final judgments of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) which will formally cease to operate on 31 December 2017.

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) established by the UN Security Council resolution CS/RES/1966 (2010) will continue the work of ICTY as its legal successor at least until 2023. MICT is formally ICTY's replacement body and as such will work with the same capacity and mandate as ICTY. Analysts believe that all the appeals and trial judgments before MICT
1 should be concluded before a comprehensive analysis and evaluation can be made of ICTY's 24 years of work.

No one had believed that ICTY would perform its function

In order to perform a comprehensive analysis, account should be taken of the conditions under which ICTY worked, which were anything but promising. A very illustrative example are regular annual and semi-annual reports that have been submitted by ICTY's President and Chief Prosecutor to UN Security Council since 1994. In almost all reports they complained about the non-cooperation on the part of the countries in the region, especially Serbia, but also Croatia and the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and about constant lack of financial and human resources.

During her testimony before ICTY former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright admitted that no one had believed the Tribunal would perform its function, that the UN would appoint the judges and prosecutors and that there would be any defendants, apprehensions, trials, judgments and punishments. She was one of the few persons who claimed the opposite: that the Tribunal would not only perform its function but play the key role in establishing the responsibility. The late professor M. Cherif Bassiouni wrote in his memoirs that the fact that Western Forces knew that the then President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SRJ) Slobodan Milosevic was responsible for many of the crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina made him all the more valuable as an interlocutor– “and that knowledge, in turn, was incompatible with an assertive policy of supporting justice

Although that was not ICTY's priority task, it defined the nature of the armed conflict in the territory of former Yugoslavia, and thus provided answers to two key questions: what were the war goals and what was the nature of the armed conflict in the territory of former Yugoslavia. It should be noted why ICTY decided to define the nature of those conflicts while its priority task was to determine the responsibility of individuals. Namely, the proving of charges under Article 2 of ICTY Statute (Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions) and the application of that Article 2 were conditional upon the existence of an armed conflict. Therefore, in numerous judgments the character of those conflicts had to be defined.

In its judgments ICTY established the existence of an armed conflict in former Yugoslavia

n ICTY final judgments it was established that the conflicts in the territory of former Yugoslavia were of an international nature: Serbia against Croatia on one hand and Serbia and Croatia against Bosnia and Herzegovina on the other hand. In more simple terms we can say that in a series of judgment ICTY established the aggression of SRJ (Serbia) and the Republic of Croatia against Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the aggression of Serbia against Croatia based on their plans to create the Greater Serbia and the Greater Croatia.
2 The conclusions of ICTY judgments are based on evidence showing direct and indirect interference of SRJ (Serbia) and the Republic of Croatia in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the interference of SRJ (Serbia) in Croatia. In the judgments it was proven that the Greater Serbia and Greater Croatia plans represented the bases for the politics of committing crimes. The final judgment against Duško Tadić (IT-94-1) states in paragraph 660: As discussed, this Trial Chamber has found that an armed conflict existed in the territory of Opstina Prijedor at the relevant time and that an aspect of this conflict was a policy to commit inhumane acts against the civilian population of the territory, in particular the non-Serb population, in the attempt to achieve the creation of a Greater Serbia.”

The relevance of the Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE) legal doctrine

At the last meetings on the work of ICTY held in December 2017 in the UN, ICTY and MICT Chief Prosecutor Baron Serge Brammertz stressed the importance of Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE) as a legal doctrine:
Thanks to this theory, we determined that the war in Bosnia was not only a civil war, but that Belgrade, and also Zagreb, had a role in crimes in BiH, which was an international armed conflict.”

The first-instance judgments against Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić taken by ICTY definitely represent the condemnation of political, military and police leadership of Republika Srpska and the confirmation of four JCEs. Analysts believe that both judgments contain the correctly established facts based on four JCEs, including the Srebrenica genocide. However, they failed to establish the genocide in six BiH municipalities, although the majority of judges except judge Orie established the genocidal intent in five municipalities.

The trial chambers again withdrew from the previously established facts in ICTY judgments regarding the JCE involving Slobodan Milošević and other officials from Serbia. Namely, in the 2008 judgment against Milan Martić (IT-95-11) it was concluded that:
In this respect, the Trial Chamber recalls the evidence that the SVK and the VJ were in reality one and the same organisation, only located at two separate locations. Moreover, the evidence of Milan Martić’s arrest in 1991 gives a clear example of joint cooperation between political leaders in the SAO Krajina, in the RS in BiH and in Serbia.

The Trial Chamber has been furnished with evidence that this type of cooperation continued until 1995. “The Trial Chamber therefore finds that at least Blagoje Adžić, Milan Babić, Radmilo Bogdanović, Veljko Kadijević, Radovan Karadžić, Slobodan Milošević, Ratko Mladić, Vojislav Šešelj, Franko “Frenki” Simatović, Jovica Stanišić, and Captain Dragan Vasiljković participated in the furtherance of the above-mentioned common criminal purpose.”

A dishonourable role of the Dutch judge Orie

It should be noted that judge Bakone Justice Moloto from South Africa was presiding the Trial Chamber in the Martić case and he was also member of the Appeals Chamber in the case of Prlić et al. in which it was established that JCE existed and also that former President of the Republic of Croatia Franjo Tuđman took part in JCE. Analysts believe that the main reason why in the cases of Karadžić and Mladić ICTY chambers withdrew in some parts from the earlier final judgements lies in the fact that in those cases the chambers were presided by Alphons Orie from the Netherlands and O-Gon Kwon from South Korea, who had already taken certain positions in earlier cases and did not change them in the Karadžić and Mladić cases. Judge Orie presided the Trial Chamber also in the judgement against Momćilo Krajišnik (IT-00-39) when he denied the existence of genocide in other BiH municipalities and excluded Serbian leaders from JCE, so it was expected that he would do the same in the case of Ratko Mladić (IT-09-92), and so he did. Judge Orie's separate opinion in the trial judgement against Ratko Mladić shows just how persistent he was in his position that no genocide was committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He opposed the majority of judges who found that the genocidal intent existed in five BiH municipalities. This finding represented a revolutionary position of ICTY judges after 24 years of work of the Tribunal and it now provides additional basis to MICT prosecution in trying to prove through appeals proceedings that genocide existed in other municipalities outside Srebrenica where all kinds of crimes that fall within the competence of ICTY, including ethnic cleansing, were established.

Judge Orie was also the presiding judge of the Trial Chamber in the case of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović in which he scandalously concluded that the defendants were not responsible and abolished the JCE in which they were together with Slobodan Milošević, and then acquitted them. It was therefore expected that as the presiding judge in the Mladić case judge Orie would do everything to exclude from JCE Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović and logically also Slobodan Milošević as their superior.

 Nevertheless, his shameful judgement and the legal (non)standards that he applied in the Stanišić-Simatović case are now reversed and a new first instance trial is taking place.

The way in which presiding judge Orie together with another two members of the Trial Chamber defined JCE in the judgment against Ratko Mladić and the relationship between the Yugoslav Army (VJ) and the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) is in direct contradiction with ICTY established case law. Thus in the final judgment against Duško Tadić it is explicitly stated in paragraph 156:
As the Appeals Chamber has already pointed out, international law does not require that the particular acts in question should be the subject of specific instructions or directives by a foreign State to certain armed forces in order for these armed forces to be held to be acting as de facto organs of that State. It follows that in the circumstances of the case it was not necessary to show that those specific operations carried out by the Bosnian Serb forces which were the object of the trial (the attacks on Kozarac and more generally within opština Prijedor) had been specifically ordered or planned by the Yugoslav Army. It is sufficient to show that this Army exercised overall control over the Bosnian Serb Forces. This showing has been made by the Prosecution before the Trial Chamber. Such control manifested itself not only in financial, logistical and other assistance and support, but also, and more importantly, in terms of participation in the general direction, coordination and supervision of the activities and operations of the VRS. This sort of control is sufficient for the purposes of the legal criteria required by international law.”

In the trial judgement against Ratko Mladić (IT-09-92, par. 3782, p. 1914, vol. 4) the Trial Chamber presided by judge Orie found that the Yugoslav Army provided the VRS with weapons, ammunition, and that the soldiers received their salaries and benefits from the VJ while they were incorporated into the VRS, however the Trial Chamber noted that it received no evidence to suggest that the VJ issued instructions (or was able to issue instructions) to these soldiers once they were incorporated into the VRS.
4 In other words, the Trial Chamber presided by judge Orie not only changed the standard from the Tadić case, but judge Orie and another two judges once again wrongly applied the standard of "specific direction" which was already annulled and abolished in 2015 in ICTY's appeal judgment against Stanišić and Simatović. In its reversal of the trial judgment against Stanišić and Simatović the ICTY Appeals Chamber stated that the Trial Chamber erred in applying the law when it required that the acts of the aider and abettor be specifically directed to assist the commission of a crime. Thus the Appeals Chamber stated that if the new trial chamber were to examine the responsibility of Stanišić and Simatović for aiding and abetting the crimes, the Appeals Chamber instructs it to apply the correct law on aiding and abetting liability as set out above, which does not require that the acts of the aider and abettor be specifically directed to assist the commission of the crime.”

It is worrying from the legal point of view that the Appeals Chamber in 2015 issued instructions on how and under what standards the retrial in the Stanišić-Simatović case it to take place. Judge Orie and the Trial Chamber which he presided in the Mladić case once again introduced the non-existent standards based on which Momćilo Perišić as well as Stanišić and Simatović had already been acquitted in earlier cases. To the satisfaction of the broad legal circles the Appeals Chamber eventually managed to abolish the standard of “specific direction” applied in the trial judgment against Stanišić and Simatović and to reverse the judgment. Consequently, a fierce legal “battle” is expected to take place in appeals proceedings against Mladić as well as against Karadžić with the aim to apply the conclusions of the final judgments and the correct international standards for determining criminal liability.

Judge O-Gon Kwon is best known from the trial against Slobodan Milošević in which he presented his separate opinion in the interim judgment in which Milošević was found liable under all charges in the indictment including JCE and the genocide in other BiH municipalities. Judge O-Gon Kwon was outvoted by the other two judges who decided that Milošević could already at the halfway stage be held liable under all charges in the indictment. As presiding judge in the Karadžić case, O-Gon Kwon once again excluded Milošević from JCE, which will be the subject of the appeals proceedings before MICT.

The key fact in evaluating the results of ICTY is that Slobodan Milošević was the only president from former Yugoslav republics who stood for trial before ICTY. It is therefore expected that in the appeals proceedings against Mladić and Karadžić MICT would respect the earlier conclusions from ICTY judgments and the fact that Milošević was charged with crimes committed in three countries in the framework of JCE.

Reactions to the judgment against Prlić: everyone accusing each other, but no one has accused the defence

CTY's final judgment against Prlić et al. pronounced on 29 November 2017 has triggered predictable reactions, especially in Croatia. ICTY has continually delivered judgments in which it confirmed that there was an international conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that Serbia and Croatia interfered in Bosnia and Herzegovina by controlling, respectively, the military forces of Bosnian Serbs and the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) in the so called Croatian republic of Herzeg-Bosnia with the aim to annex parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croatian public has been deceived by hysterical statements made by the highest officials of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Republic of Croatia who claimed that the appeal proceeding was decided on the basis of Franjo Tuđman's presidential transcripts. They have intentionally concealed the fact that in the first three trials before ICTY the international conflict/aggression by the Republic of Croatia was established without the use of Tuđman's transcripts. In those three trials in the cases of Kordić and Čerkez (IT-95-14/2), Blaškić (IT- 95-14/1) and Aleksovski (IT- 95-14) the role of the Republic of Croatia was established in both trial and appeals proceedings in which 22 ICTY prosecutors took part and none of them applied Tuđman's transcripts.

Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE) as an element of proving criminal liability and international armed conflict represents two sides of the coin. Judgement against Prlić et al. was more or less expected, but after the acquittal of Ante Gotovina and others there was reasonable caution among all ICTY connoisseurs. Analysts believe that the prosecution outwitted the defence whose biggest mistake was that it demanded the trial chamber to provide for the fifth time evidence on Croatia's interference in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina although the prosecution had offered to reach an agreement on the established facts.

Thus the defence made it easier for the prosecution to prove grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions in parallel with the establishment of international armed conflict in BiH and joint criminal enterprise. Other mistakes noted by the analysts include the three demands of the Republic of Croatia to participate in the proceeding as the
friend of the court” and the statements made by incumbent Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović that she would not accept the sentencing judgment and the statement by the Croatian member of the BiH Presidency Dragan Čović who said that he knew in advance the Appeals Chamber's decision. The analysts have estimated the defence of Bruno Stojić as the worst one, since it focused on denying JCE and saving Croatia instead of contesting Stojić' concrete liability, although Stojić's position in the structure of the so called Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia was the most simple case for defence.

 In her final speech in the case of Prlić et al. defence counsel Senka Nožica used political rhetoric stressing that Bosnia and Herzegovina was a dysfunctional state and that most of the Croats living there felt that they were denied some of their rights. Noting that Croatian politicians also expressed concerns regarding that issue, Nožica stressed that
the third entity and Herzeg-Bosnia were no longer taboo topics”. Such statements provoked outrage in European and American highest professional, political and diplomatic circles. The defence presented Bruno Stojić as a temperate person who supports coexistence, while on the other hand it spent most of the time presenting evidence showing the Bosniak political leaders and the BiH Army as a criminal organisation which had planned and initiated the attacks at Croatian civilians and the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those arguments were regarded as unsustainable by the trial chambers. The defence thus lost a lot of valuable time which it could have spent for protecting the interests of its clients.

It can be concluded that it is mainly thanks to the professional attitude of ICTY's staff and the willingness of mostly the Bosnian-Croatian side to cooperate that ICTY has fulfilled its mandate through apprehensions, trials and judgments of all 161 suspects. However, we should not forget that ICTY would have never determined the goal, scope, extent, nature and system of committed crimes were it not for the testimonies of over 4,000 victims. Instead of cooperating with ICTY, which was the obligation of all
the actors from the former Yugoslavia under their national laws, certain highest representatives of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia have rejected to accept the adopted judgments and even tried to humanisethe committed crimes and their perpetrators.

Ljubljana, 21 December 2017

International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) - Ljubljana


Bakhtyar Aljaf


1 STANIŠIĆ Jovica and SIMATOVIĆ Franko (MICT-15-96), KARADŽIĆ Radovan (MICT-13-55), ŠEŠELJ Vojislav (MICT-16-99) MLADIĆ Ratko (MICT IT-09-92 ).

2 The list of judgments with the related paragraphs, including the interim judgement against Slobodan Milošević: ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Duško Tadić, IT-94-1, par. 97,156,160,162,569,606,660.

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Zejnil Delalić, IT-96-21, par. 110,221,223,225,233 (‘Delalić)

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Slobodan Milošević, Trial Chamber, Decision on Motion for Judgement of Acquittal, 16 June 2004., IT-02-54, par. 254 (‘S. Milošević) (,

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Milan Martić, IT-95-11, par. 329,442-446 (‘Martić)

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Radoslav Brđanin, IT-99-36, par. 76,148.150,151,153,154

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Miroslav Deronjić, Sentencing Judgement, 30 March 2004., IT-02-61, par. 52 (‘Deronjić) (

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Jadranko Prlić et al., IT-04-74, par. 24 ,544,545,549,550,560,568 (‘Prlić et al.’)

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Dario Kordić and Mario Čerkez, IT-95-14/2, par. 108,109,137,142,145 (‘Kordić and Čerkez)

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Zoran Kupreškić et al., IT-95-16, par. 40 (‘Kupreškić et al.)

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Mladen Naletilić and Vinko Martinović, IT-98-34, par. 14 ,196,200 (‘Naletilić and Martinović)

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Tihomir Blaškić, IT-95-14-T, par. 94, 122,123,744 (‘Blaškić’)

3 ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Milan Martić, Judgement, IT-95-11-T, par. 446 (‘Martić’) ic/tjug/bcs/070612.pdf

4 By adopting this conclusion, the Trial Chamber took the position that Slobodan Milošević, who is referred to in the judgement as VJ’s Supreme Commander and President of the Supreme Defence Council, is to be excluded from JCE. For MICT's prosecution in the appeal proceeding it will be of key importance to define the position of Slobodan Milošević in the trial judgement in relation to the conclusion of the trial chamber. Interestingly, the trial chamber held the opinion that Milošević received instructions from the Supreme Defence Council,

DECEMBER 26, 2017

Revisiting Dictatorship: Democracy is Worst Form of Government, Indeed

By Endy Bayuni


Democracy is both: the procedure and the content. It is a periodically revisited, fine-calibrated social contract that ties all horizontal and vertical segments of society. Although sometimes slow, tedious and consuming, this is still a truly comprehensive, just and sustainable way to build on its past, live the presence and pursuit the future of a nation.” Following the known lines of professor Anis H. Bajrektarevic on ties that bind, hereby is the fresh take from one of the largest democracies of the world – that of Republic of Indonesia.

The late Soeharto has become something of a poster boy for leadership as the nation searches for a president who can effectively deliver the goods.

Photos of the smiling president, who ruled Indonesia between 1966-1998, appear everywhere, with the caption in Javanese “piye kabare, isih penak jamanku, tho?” (How are you, better in my era, wasn’t it?), a reminder that for some, life was so much better then. The Soeharto posters and memes have been going viral since the 2014 election and are still circulating now.

Soeharto was a dictator, there is no doubt about it, though his supporters would claim that he was a noble one. But the point of the poster is that Indonesia had a leader who delivered the goods, something that no other president since then has been able to match, so his supporters claim.

Soeharto, who ruled with an iron fist, did deliver justice, security and welfare, but it is debatable whether his successors have fared better or worse. Ruling the country for 32 years, he was bound to have delivered something, while his successors have been subject to periodic democratic elections and limited to ruling for no more than two five-year terms.

The bigger question, and this was one of the topics discussed at the recent Bali Civil Society and Media Forum, is whether democracy can deliver justice, security and welfare to the people, all the people.

Indonesia, now a democracy for nearly 20 years, albeit a struggling one, makes a good case study to answer this question, by comparing the ability of the two political systems in bringing greater prosperity to the people.

The track record of Indonesia since 1998 has not been bad, although perhaps underappreciated.

The economy has improved significantly, in terms of overall GDP and per-capita-income growth, and the government today provides many services such as free health care, 12-year compulsory free education and cash assistance for the poor. Indonesia is today the 16th-largest economy in the world, and many predict that it will be in the top 10 by 2025 and top five by 2040.

We have a growing middle class, reflected by the number cellphones, cars and motorcycles, and a growing appetite for holidays, both at home or abroad.

And there is freedom, all kinds of freedom, something that distinguishes today’s era from that of Soeharto’s. Why then, do some people still feel that they miss Soeharto?

Perhaps they don’t really miss him, but they miss the certainty, the swift way decisions were made and the security he provided. They miss the effectiveness and efficiency that an authoritarian regime can deliver.

Democracy, unfortunately, is almost anything but.

Decisions are made through an arduous and cumbersome process, and the government is often mired in stagnation. Every single major decision has to undergo the democratic processes, meaning noisy public debates and endless deliberation by legislators.

We also have legislators who are good at grandstanding but ineffective in producing laws that reflect the aspirations of the people. In many ways, Soeharto’s regime produced some better laws because they did not go through the lengthy debates we see today.

On security, Indonesia faces challenges in ensuring protection for people who are attacked or persecuted because of their faith, race, sexual orientation or even ideological leanings.

The attacks on the Shia and Ahmadiyya followers, the forced closures of places of worship, the recent attacks against people because of their leftist ideological leanings, and the return of anti-Chinese sentiments, reflect that freedom and the protection of freedom have been denied to some.

Soeharto would not have tolerated any of this, but then, he would not have tolerated a lot of other things, including dissent and differences of opinion.

Populism, the hallmark of democracy and one way of getting elected, also means leaders addressing only popular issues but avoiding more fundamental problems.

These failings of democracy in Indonesia may have revived our memory of the “good old days” of Soeharto (while forgetting the worse aspects of his regime), but they should not be used as a pretext for a return to authoritarianism.

Democracy in Indonesia is still a work in progress. We have been in this game for only 20 years, and it still has not been able to ensure justice, security and welfare for all.

Democracy, as the popular saying goes, is the worst form of government, except for all the others. The alternative, an authoritarian regime, may be swift and efficient. But if authoritarianism comes at the cost of our freedom, an absence of checks and balances and endemic corruption, then yes, give us democracy any time.

We just have to work harder, through the democratic process, to fix these problems. We have to have faith in democracy.

By Endy Bayuni

The writer, editor-in-chief of The Jakarta Post, took part in the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum, organized by the Institute for Peace and Democracy and the Press Council, on Dec.5-6.

DECEMBER 12, 2017



 The European Commission's Strategy for the Western Balkans - Bureaucrats Crusade - By Zlatko Hadžidedić
ASEAN Shared - the EU twin from Asia: New memories, old wounds - Rattana Lao



 Croatia-BiH-Serbia: Non-acceptance of ICTY judgments and “humanisation”of crimes and criminals - Bakhtyar Aljaf - IFIMES

   Revisiting Dictatorship: Democracy is Worst Form of Government, Indeed - By Endy Bayuni

  Miscarriage of Justice at the ICTY: Bosnians consider guilty genocide verdict for Mladić incomplete - By Tarik Borogovac, Bosnian Congress USA



   Long story of Kurz: 'Austria You will be Macronised' - Max Hess

    Germany that kills itself and Europe - Michael dr. Logies,


  Grabar-Kitarović and Vučić on a joint mission to (de)stabilize the region

   Bridge over troubled waters – Growing meritime dispute between Croatia and Bosnia, neglected by the EU - Dr. Enis Omerović and Adil Kulenović




  Europe and Africa – Similarities and difference in Security Structures - Written by Anis Bajrektarevic and Giuliano Luongo

  The Return of Good Policies for Bad Reasons - Populism and Industrial Policy - Amanda Janoo

  Serbia Delivered Srebrenica Refugees to Mladic: Report - Filip Rudic - BIRN-Belgrade

  The Truth and Recon important_news.htmciliation stuggle on the Balkans - Senadin Lavić

  Bosnian Reporter Flees After Condemning Mladic Rally - BIRN - Banja Luka



  “We win, they lose” – Wonderful world of Binary categorisations - (Refeudalisation of Europe – III Part) - Anis H. Bajrektarevic

  Sarajevo, Jerusalem of Europe

  Memorandum of Understanding between IFIMES and GBAA

  Paris and Pittsburgh, pesticides in Indonesia: When none is best - Julia Suryakusuma

  COMMON SENSE – A RELIC OF THE PAST? - By: Tomislav Jakic

  The post-Christian West and post-Western World - (Refeudalisation of Europe – II Part) - Anis H. Bajrektarevic


  Zbigniew Brzezinski & the Battle on Post Communism Fascism - By, Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

  Post-secular Europe and post-Soviet Russia - Anis H. Bajrektarevic

  The story of a Bosnian woman who lost her entire family to the terror of the 1990s:“I feel like a cut tree. I am neither alive nor dead … There is no justice and there will never be,” - Robert Leonard Rope

  'Schindler List' for Southeast Europe - Pakistanisation as the Final Solution for the Balkans? - Prof. Zlatko Hadžidedić

  Brazil in the short Strikes – the ultimate price of welfare - By Luísa Monteiro





Koninkrijk Belgie - Monarchie Belgique

Maasmechelen Village

Maasmechelen Village



prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic
prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic

Editor - Geopolitics, History, International Relations (GHIR) Addleton Academic Publishers - New YorK

Senior Advisory board member, geopolitics of energy Canadian energy research institute - ceri, Ottawa/Calgary

Advisory Board Chairman Modern Diplomacy & the md Tomorrow's people platform originator

Head of mission and department head - strategic studies on Asia
Professor and Chairperson Intl. law & global pol. studies

Critical Similarities and Differences in SS of Asia and Europe - Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic

MENA Saga and Lady Gaga - (Same dilemma from the MENA) - Anis H. Bajrektarevic

Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Assos. Prof.[1] Nguyen Linh[2]

Climate Change and Re Insurance: The Human Security Issue SC-SEA Prof. Anis Bajrektarevic & Carla Baumer

Igor Dirgantara
(Researcher and Lecturer at the Faculty of Social and Politics, University of Jayabaya)

Peny Sotiropoulou

Is the ‘crisis of secularism’ in Western Europe the result of multiculturalism?

Dr. Emanuel L. Paparella
A Modest “Australian” Proposal to Resolve our Geo-Political Problems

Were the Crusades Justified? A Revisiting - Dr. Emanuel L. Paparella

Alisa Fazleeva
Earned an MA in International Relations from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom in 2013. Her research interests include foreign policy decision-making, realism and constructivism, and social psychology and constructivism.

Corinna Metz
She is an independent researcher specialized in International Politics and Peace & Conflict Studies with a regional focus on the Balkans and the Middle East.

Patricia Galves Derolle
Founder of Internacionalista
Săo Paulo, Brazil
Brazil – New Age

Dimitra Karantzeni
The political character of Social Media: How do Greek Internet users perceive and use social networks?


Michael Akerib

Petra Posega
is a master`s degree student on the University for Criminal justice and Security in Ljubljana. She obtained her bachelor`s degree in Political Science- Defense studies.


Samantha Brletich,
 George Mason University School of Policy, Government, and Intl. Relations She focuses on Russia and Central Asia. Ms. Brletich is an employee of the US Department of Defense.

Interview on HRT-Radio

Prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarević

Dr Filippo ROMEO,

Julia Suryakusuma is the outspoken Indonesian thinker, social-cause fighter and trendsetter. She is the author of Julia’s Jihad.


Gerald Knaus

Mads Jacobsen
Mads is an intern at PCRC. Mads Jacobsen is from Denmark and is currently pursuing his Master's degree in 'Development and International Relations' at Aalborg University...

Dzalila Osmanovic-Muharemagic
University of Bihac, Faculty of Education, Department of English Language and Literature - undergraduate
University of Banja Luka, Faculty of Philology, Department of English Language and Literature - graduate study

Rakesh Krishnan Simha

New Zealand-based journalist and foreign affairs analyst. According to him, he writes on stuff the media distorts, misses or ignores.

Rakesh started his career in 1995 with New Delhi-based Business World magazine, and later worked in a string of positions at other leading media houses such as India Today, Hindustan Times, Business Standard and the Financial Express, where he was the news editor.

He is the Senior Advisory Board member of one of the fastest growing Europe’s foreign policy platforms: Modern Diplomacy.

Damiel Scalea
Daniele Scalea, geopolitical analyst, is Director-general of IsAG (Rome Institute of Geopolitics) and Ph.D. Candidate in Political studies at the Sapienza University, Rome. Author of three books, is frequent contributor and columnist to various Tv-channels and newspapers. E-mail:

Alessio Stilo,
Research Associate at Institute of High Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences (IsAG), Rome, Italy, and Ph.D. researcher at University of Padova, is IMN Country Representative in Italy.

Tomislav Jakić
Foreign Policy Advisor to former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić

Zlatko Hadžidedić

Graduate of the London School of Economics, prof. Zlatko Hadžidedić is a prominent thinker, prolific author of numerous books, and indispensable political figure of the former Yugoslav socio-political space in 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.

Mr. Nicola Bilotta
Nicola Bilotta has a BA and a MA in History from Universitŕ degli Studi di Milano and a MSc in Economic History from the London School of Economics. He works as a Global Finance Research Assistant at The Banker (Financial Times) and collaborates as an external researcher at ISAG (Istituto di Alti Studi di Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliari)

Markus Wauran

Date and Place of Birth: April 22, 1943 – Amurang, North Sulawesi, IndonesiaEducation: Bachelor in Public Administration.
Writer was a member of the House of Representatives of Indonesia (DPR/MPR-RI) period of 1987-1999, and Chairman of Committee X, cover Science and Technology, Environment and National Development Planning (1988-1997).
Currently as Obsever of Nuclear for peace

Sooyoung Hu

Attached to the US-based Berkeley University, Sooyoung Hu is a scholar at its Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies Department. Miss Hu focuses on international relations, international organizations and its instruments.

Senahid LAVIĆ

Nizar Visram
 Nizar Visram is a Ottawa-based free-lance writer from Zanzibar, Tanzania. Recently retired Senior lecturer on Development studies, he extensively publishes in over 50 countries on 4 continents. He can be reached at
nizar1941(at) .

Robert Leonard Rope
He studied at the University of Michigan,
He lives in: San Francisco, California: San Francisco, California, USA

Dragan Bursac,


Max Hess
Max Hess is a senior political risk analyst with the London-based AEK international, specializing in Europe and Eurasia.