New Chief of Staff of the Army of the Republic of Serbia Has Tainted Past
Ample evidence – including that on which the ICTY verdict in Milutinovic et al was founded; the statements of the survivors of the Drenica massacre, who either testified before the ICTY, or who have given statements to the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC); documents stored in the ICTY’s public database – all indicate that a number of serious and massive war crimes were committed against ethnic Albanian civilians in the then zone of responsibility of the newly appointed Chief of Staff of the Army of the Republic of Serbia, Lt. Gen. Ljubisa Dikovic, who at the time the crimes were committed was Commander of the 37th Motorized Brigade of the Army of the FRY. During the NATO bombing, war crimes were committed by members of Yugoslav Army (VJ) forces and forces of the Ministry of the Interior (MUP). Although he was legally and professionally responsible for preventing the crimes, the commander of the 37th Motorized Brigade failed to do so. To date, no members or commanders of the units that took part in the commission of the war crimes in Cirez/Qirez, Staro Cikatovo/ Çikatovё e Vjetёr, Baks, Vrbovac/Vërboc, and Glogovac/Gllogoc, where no less than 200 civilians were killed in four weeks, have been prosecuted.
In addition, the above evidence suggests there was reckless looting of Albanian property during the NATO bombing. Commanders and members of the VJ and MUP, among whom was the commander of the 37th Motorized Brigade Ljubisa Dikovic, who participated in the seizure and appropriation of Albanian property for personal use and wealth.
On December 12, 2011, by a decree of the President of the Republic of Serbia, Lieutenant-General Ljubisa Dikovic was appointed Chief of Staff of the Army of the Republic of Serbia.
The HLC holds that an officer of Ljubisa Dikovic’s character is not worthy of becoming the Chief of Staff of the Army of the Republic of Serbia. He has neither the professional nor moral authority to restore confidence in the Army of the Republic of Serbia, either regionally or internationally.
The HLC urges the authorities to submit further information about the war-time behavior and deeds of the former Commander of the 37th Motorized Brigade, alongside the ICTY’s evidence about the war crimes committed in the zone of responsibility of the war-time commander, Ljubisa Dikovic, to the President of the Republic of Serbia. Ljubisa Dikovic’s dossier, compiled by the HLC, may also contribute to a fuller insight into his personal and command responsibility.
You can download the Dossier here.