3633rd Meeting of Security Council: Situation in Croatia

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23-Feb-1996 00:07:44
Security Council demands Croatia ensure full rights of local Serb population at 3633rd meeting.

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The Security Council this afternoon demanded that the Croatian Government take measures to ensure that the local Serb population may fully exercise their rights, including their right to remain, leave or return to their homes, and reclaim possession of their property.

In a statement read out on behalf of the Council by its President, Madeleine K. Albright, Croatia was also called upon to consider granting amnesty to local Serbs remaining in detention on charges arising from their alleged participation in the conflict there. Condemning the fact that effective measures have not so far been taken to enable Croatian refugees to return, the Council called on that country's Government to ensure the expeditious processing of all requests from refugees.

The Croatian Government was also called upon to rescind its earlier suspension of articles of constitutional law affecting the rights of national minorities, and to proceed with the establishment of a human rights court. The Council reminded Croatia that the promotion of strict respect for the rights of persons belonging to the Serb minority was relevant to the successful implementation of the Basic Agreement on the Region of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium, of 12 November 1995.

The statement adopted today acknowledged that the incidence of human rights violations has been greatly reduced, but expressed concern that isolated incidents of killings and other violations had been reported. Also acknowledged was the significant progress achieved by the Government in alleviating the humanitarian plight of the mostly elderly Serb population remaining in Croatia.

The Council looked to the Croatian Government to vigorously pursue prosecutions against those suspected of past violations of humanitarian law and human rights against the local Serb minority. It urged Croatia to uphold its obligations with respect to the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia unreservedly and without delay.

The meeting was called to order at 4:19 p.m. and adjourned at 4:26 p.m.

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