Sarajevo column case

Sarajevo column case
Sarajevo column case
Date 2 - 3 May 1992
Location Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Yugoslav People's Army
Casualties and losses
6[1]-42 dead,[2]

71 injured, and 215 taken prisoner

Sarajevo column case also known as Dobrovoljačka Street attack refers to the events of 2 May and 3 May 1992 when members of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ARBiH) attacked the withdrawing convoy of Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) troops that were exiting the city of Sarajevo according to the withdrawal agreement. The attack was carried out by the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina after Yugoslav People's Army captured President Alija Izetbegović at Sarajevo airport the day before.

Serb prosecutors claim that 42 soldiers were killed in the attack. However, general Milutin Kukanjac, commander of the JNA in the Dobrovoljačka Street, stated that out of 215 military personnel, only 6 died in the event.[1]


An investigation was opened by the Serbian Prosecution and has stirred controversy both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Two members of the State Presidency, Haris Silajdžić and Željko Komšić, claimed Serbia’s action breached the Rome Agreement. The presidents attended a meeting with members of the wartime Presidency of Bosnia, namely Tatjana Ljujić-Mijatović, Ivo Komšić, Miro Lazović and Ejup Ganić, and concluded that Serbia had breached the 1996 Rome Agreement, failed to seek the ICTY’s opinion before taking action and had "therefore breached international legal provisions".[3]

A Belgrade court issued arrest warrants for 19 former Bosnian officials. Ejup Ganić, former member of Bosnian wartime presidency among the people sought for the attack, dismissed the allegations, indicating the attack on the JNA column was aimed at rescuing Izetbegović after his kidnapping by the Bosnian Serb forces.[4] Ganić was arrested in London, but quickly released since judge Timothy Workman ruled out that the JNA was an enemy army at war with Bosnia and thus a legitimate target.[5] In 2003 The International Tribunal for Justice dismissed the case, stating that the actions of the Bosnian army did not constitute a breach of law.[6]

On March 3, 2011, Jovan Divjak was arrested in Vienna due to Serbia's arrest warrant. However, Austria said it will not extradite him to Belgrade.[2]

In 2003, the ICTY also ruled out that there was no ground for prosecution of Divjak.[7]

See also

  • Tuzla column case


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