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Author`s name Ольга Савка

Croatian war criminal Ante Gotovina to be punished for crimes he was forced to commit

The former Croatian general was ordered to expel the Serbs from Croatia

One of the most famous generals of the former Yugoslavia Republic, Ante Gotovina has been recently arrested on the Canary Islands. The arrest showed that Croatia, which used to consider Gotovina its national hero, virtually disavowed the general. Two other war criminals, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, are still hiding from the International Tribunal. The Canaries will not be the place, where they can be probably found. Ante Gotovina

As it usually happens, the general, who is accused of committing acts of repression and murder against the Croatian Serbs in Krajina, was executing the will of the country, which betrayed him under a new political situation. Krajina's Serbs declared their independence on Zagreb and expelled the Croatian population from the region. However, Croatia retrieved its control over the rebellious Krajina as a result of secret talks between Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and his Serbian counterpart Slobodan Milosevic.

Milosevic is currently jailed in The Hague, while Tudjman deceased when he was still acting as the president. It was Tudjman, who was greatly interested in expelling Croatian Serbs from Krajina to Serbia. One may say that the now-arrested General Ante Gotovina organized the event in Krajina, which was typical for the 20th century under the condition of “population exchange.” The general did not have to worry about his future: he was commanding the victorious army.

It can be seen now that a war victory does not cost much. Winning a war, retrieving territorial integrity and launching economic reforms is not enough. A country has to take account of other countries' standards, with which it wants to co-exist. Croatia did not have a choice. It is worth mentioning that President Stipe Mesic (who used to be in an opposition to his predecessor Franjo Tudjman) and Prime Minister Ivo Sanader (the leader of Tudjman's party) stated that the general's arrest testified to responsibility and honesty of the Croatian administration, which claimed earlier that Ante Gotovina was hiding outside the country's territory.

It is the Croatian government that is responsible for the expulsion of Serbs from Krajina. This government is taking the country to NATO and the EU now. Carla del Ponte, Chief Prosecutor at The Hague has already welcomed the arrest of the most wanted war criminal. When the Croatian government conducts negotiations about the country's membership in the European Union, the arrested general will be testifying at the Hague Tribunal for executing the commands of irresponsible politicians.

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