Serbian military and paramilitary forces are accused of war crimes during the Balkan Wars (1912-1913), World War II (1941-1945) and Yugoslav Wars (1991-1999). The crimes include massacres, ethnic cleansing, systematic rape, crimes against humanity and genocide.
During the occupation of Albania in 1912 and 1913, the Serbian and Montenegrin army committed numerous crimes against the Albanian civilian population:
Houses and whole villages were reduced to ashes, unarmed and innocent populations massacred en masse, incredible acts of violence, pillage and brutality of every kind were committed by the Serbo-Montenegrin soldiery, with a view to the ethnic cleansing of Albanians from the area.
The number of total casualties during the occupation in all the Albanian areas under Serbian control has been estimated to be about 120,000 Albanians of both sexes and all ages.
World War II
The Chetnik movement or the Chetniks (Serbian: Četnici / Четници) were a Serbian nationalist and royalist paramilitary organization operating in the Balkans before and during the World Wars, but they are mostly known for their participation in the Yugoslav Front during World War II.
Some of the major World War II Chetnik massacres against ethnic Croats and Bosniaks include:
July 1941, Herzegovina (Bileća, Stolac) – approximately 1,150 civilians killed;
December 1941/January 1942, eastern Bosnia (Foča, Goražde) – approximately 2,050 civilians killed;
August 1942, eastern Bosnia and Sandžak (Foča, Bukovica) – approximately 1,000 civilians killed;
August 1942, eastern Bosnia (Ustikolina, Jahorina) – approximately 2,500 civilians killed;
September 1942, southern Dalmatia (Makarska) – approximately 900 civilians killed;
October 1942, Herzegovina (Prozor) – approximately 2,500 civilians killed;
January 1943, Sandžak (Bijelo Polje) – approximately 1,500 civilians killed;
February 1943, eastern Bosnia and Sandžak (Foča, Čajniče, Pljevlja) – approximately +9,200 civilians killed. The largest single Chetnik massacre of World War II.
According to the final report of the United Nations Commission, all parties involved in the former Yugoslavian conflict committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of international humanitarian law. These violations include the killing of civilians, rape, torture, and the deliberate destruction of civilian property, including cultural and religious property, such as churches and mosques. But, according to the UN Commission, most of the violations were committed by Serbs against Bosnian Muslims.
In Bosnia, Serbian paramilitary forces and Army of the Republika Srpska committed nomerous war crimes against Bosnian civilian population during the Bosnian War. These included the following civilian massacres:
Korićani Cliffs massacre
Srebrenica Children Massacre
There were also several concentration and prison camps in Bosnia, run by Serbs:
The International Court of Justice has also confirmed that the Srebrenica massacre was genocide.
Serbian forces have also been accused of war crimes in Croatia.
About 160,000 Croats were expelled from Croatian territories and rebel Croatian Serbs’ forces together with Serbian military and paramilitary forces committed numerous war crimes and massacres, including:
Dalj massacre (led by notorious war criminal Arkan)
Široka Kula massacre
In Kosovo in 1999, Serbian police and the Yugoslav Army conducted a broad campaign of violence against Albanian civilians in order to expel them from Kosovo and thus maintain political control of Belgrade over the province. Ethnic cleansing of the Albanian population was done systematically: first the army surrounded a place, the civilian areas were shelled, then the police and the army entered the villages where crimes such as murders, rapes, beatings, and expulsions took place.
Some of the massacres included;
Suva Reka massacre — 48 Albanian civilians victims, among them many children.
Račak massacre — 45 Albanians villagers were murdered by Serb forces.
Podujevo massacre – 19 Albanian civilians, including women, children and the elderly, killed by Serb paramilitary.
Massacre at Velika Kruša — Serbian special police units murdered 42 civilians. There are also allegations of mass rapes.
Izbica massacre — Serbian forces killed about 120 Albanian civilians.
Drenica massacre — 29 identified corpses of massacre, committed by Serbian law enforcement forces.
Gornje Obrinje massacre – 18 bodies were found, but more people were probably slaughtered.
Cuska massacre — 41 known victims.
Bela Crkva massacre — 62 known victims.
Orahovac massacre — up to 200 known ethnic Albanian civilian victims.
Dubrava Prison massacre — Serbian prison guards killed more than 70 Albanian prisoners.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
DO THESE CONSTITUTE WAR CRIMES OR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY?
SHOULD ANYONE BE PROSECUTED FOR THEM?
IF SO, WHO?