chapter  5
The formation of the Republika Srpska and the policy of ethnic separation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Pages 61

This chapter examines the war in BiH, the crimes committed there against non-Serbs as part of the Serb strategy of ethnic separation, and the creation of the Serb-controlled territory that became known as the Republika Srpska (RS). Implementation of the fourth goal in Miloševic´’s planning manifested in the creation of the RS. The Prosecution cited parallels between the establishment of the RSK in Croatia and that of the RS in BiH, where ethnic separation of Serb-claimed territories again led to crimes against non-Serbs, mostly Bosnian Muslims. According to this narrative, ethnic separation and the subsequent creation of the RS were necessary to insure the contiguity of Serb territories in Croatia and BiH in order to link them up with Serbia and Montenegro. And for that purpose, Miloševic´ had initiated the formation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) – a federation comprised of Serbia and Montenegro – with contingencies in its Constitution for later absorption of other Serb territories. The Defence asserted that Serbs had waged a defensive war because they faced threats to their physical survival in a unitary and Muslim-dominated independent BiH. The Bosnia indictment alleged that Miloševic´ had participated in a Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE) from at least 1 August 1991 to at least 31 December 1995, which had worked to forcibly remove the majority of non-Serbs from large areas of BiH and had “planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted the planning, preparation and execution of the destruction” of thousands of Bosnian Muslims beginning on or about 1 March 1992. In some places, the JCE was said to have specifically targeted “educated and leading members” of the Bosnian Muslim community for extermination. Further, it was alleged that thousands more had been detained in the most inhumane conditions, “calculated to bring about [their] partial physical destruction,” and had been tortured, raped, and starved as part of a genocidal process. Miloševic´ was said to have effectively controlled other members of the JCE as well as various armed forces – including paramilitary groups – and was therefore responsible for the murder and forced transfer of non-Serbs in Bosnia, as well as for the intentional destruction of large numbers of cultural and religious institutions, historical monuments, and sacred sites.1