'HNS Declaration is a mechanism by which Bosnian Croats will achieve equality'


Bosnia’s Finance Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda said the Croat National Council’s (HNS) Declaration rejecting the UN tribunal's verdicts for joint criminal enterprise was the right thing to do because it represents a comprehensive mechanism by which Bosnian Croats will try to achieve equality in the country.

“The Declaration introduces clear guidelines, and everyone should read and analyze it,” Bevanda, who is a member of the biggest Croat party in the country, the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), said. “There are people who cannot or do not want to understand that Croats have the right to elect their own political representatives. The Constitution stipulates that Croats are a constituent and equal people, and yet some refuse to understand that.”

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The Croat National Council (HNS), which is an association of several Croat parties in Bosnia, passed a Declaration on the state of affairs of Croats in Bosnia and said that it aims to restore the dignity of the Croat Defense Council (HVO), the armed force that took part in Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.

The HVO fought a “just and legitimate” war, defending the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina populated by Croats, the document said.

However, the war crimes the Croatia-backed force committed while establishing in 1993 the self-declared statelet of Herzeg-Bosna were “not the random acts of a few unruly soldiers,” the judges of the tribunal in The Hague said when they sentenced six Herceg Bosna leaders to a total of some 110 years in prison.

The verdict established that the aim was to turn Herceg Bosnia into a part of greater Croatia and that Croatia’s leadership took part in the joint criminal enterprise.

The Declaration openly rejects these verdicts and stipulates that International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia’s qualifications were groundless and unjust.

Bevanda told Bosnian Croats they are not a minority and that there is an orchestrated media campaign against them do persecute them and to destabilise the country.