Bosnia and Herzegovina. Only in February was a government
made clear in Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the November
elections. A first head of government from the multi-ethnic
Social Democratic Party SDP resigned in June, in protest of
Parliament not adopting a new electoral law. It was
considered a requirement for Bosnia and Herzegovina to
become a member of the Council of Europe.
Instead, the Presidency appointed the SDP leader and
Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija as new chairman of the
Council of Ministers. The law was then adopted in August.
But nationalist groups continued to hamper post-war
integration and democratization.
In March, Croatians led by the nationalist party HDZ
initiated a boycott of the government and stated that they
intended to create an autonomous power structure in the
Croatian parts. As a result, Wolfgang Petritsch dismissed
HDZ leader Ante Jelavić as Croatian representative in the
presidency of the international community, replacing him
with an SDP representative.
In April, violence broke out by UN police and
international SFOR soldiers raided a bank in Mostar, which
the separatists suspected of using money laundering.
In the Republic of Srpska, in the beginning of May,
Serbian gangs violently resisted plans for reconstruction of
two mosques. Muslim leaders and foreign dignitaries gathered
in Banja Luka to attend a construction start were forced to
seek shelter from stone throwing. In June, however, the
cornerstone of a new mosque in Banja Luka could be laid.
Countryaah, the legal aftermath of the civil war continued in the UN
War Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, where several notable
cases occurred during the year. Biljana Plavšić, former
president of the Republika Srpska, voluntarily surrendered
to the General Court, prosecuted for, among other things.
genocide and crimes against humanity. In February, three
former Serbian commanders were convicted of rape and
enslavement of Muslim women, to between 12 and 28 years in
prison. The case was considered to be a breakthrough as it
was the first time that the criminal classification was only
applicable to those crimes.
In August, the Hague Tribunal sentenced Serbian General
Radislav Krstić to 46 years in prison for genocide. He had
been prosecuted for the massacre in Srebrenica, when more
than 7,000 Muslims were killed.