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The resolution of the complicated problems connected with the dissolution of Yugoslavia, and the development of the emerging successor societies and nation states, will take a long time. The idea that quick changes for the better are possible is an illusion, owing more to propaganda on the part of some of the new regimes than to real opportunities. 21

The United Nations will have, together with the KU, a great and decisive responsibility in this regard. As we have already said, it would be a historical error if the UNPROFOR units were to establish some sort of new military buffer zone. For centuries, such a zone not only protected Europe from Turkish invasions but separated its peoples and cultures as well. From this point of view a "Cyprus like green line," separating peoples on the basis of their ethnicity and religion, like the lines drawn in 1054 owing to the schism between "Eastern" and "Western" Christianity, would also be unacceptable.

In conclusion, I should like to reaffirm my conviction that cooperation between the successor states of Yugoslavia could be an important agent in their progress and in the region's political stability as well.

In view of the atrocities which the peoples involved in them have inflicted on each other and the hatred and vindictiveness overshadowing their relations, many readers may feel that the notion of such cooperation, in such circumstances, is a groundless illusion. They could be right. Nonetheless, I should like to remind them of two encouraging historical examples. During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made a speech in which he referred sympathetically to the Southern rebels. An elderly lady, a staunch Unionist, upbraided him for speaking kindly of his enemies when he ought to be thinking of destroying them. His reply was classic: "Why, madam," Lincoln answered, "do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"22

The other encouraging example is the development of cooperation between France and Germany immediately after the Second World War. The godfathers of this concept, which was to become a basis for the unification of Europe, were planning it at the time when German V-1 and V-2 rockets were destroying London around them.

Why should this notion not become a challenge also for the peoples of the successor states of Yugoslavia? Why should they not try to destroy their enemies, as Abraham Lincoln did long ago, by making them their partners in problem-solving negotiation?


1. For a description of the political and socio-economic circumstances in Yugoslavia from the ethnic point of view, see Silvo Devetak, The Equality of Nations and Nationalism in Yugoslavia, Successes and Dilemmas (Vienna: W. Braumuller, 1988), pp. 99-132.

2. Op. cit., pp. 3-5.

3. The heartbreaking Croatian propaganda denominates this part of the independent state of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the "historic home" of the Croats. At the beginning of the democratic changes in Croatia the most militant members of the Croatian police and army were recruited from among the Croats of western Herzegovina. Persons coming from this region were disproportionately represented in the government of Croatia. During World War 11 this region was reportedly the stronghold of the pro-Nazi Croatian state.

4. In illustration: Of 616,000 of the population of Montenegro in April 1992, only 141,000 persons were working. Their average income was 10,000 Yugoslav diners per month (at that time around 50-60 DM). See N.N., "Obraz na citulji" (The face on the obituary), Nedielja Sarajevo) 111 (5 April 1992), p. 13. Similar social situations were found in Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. In Slovenia, the "most developed republic" of the former Yugoslavia, considered to be a "welfare state," unemployment in a recent 18-month period rose from 0.8-1.00 per cent to 12-15 per cent, and seemed set to continue increasing steadily.

5. Slovenia is planning reconstructed or new road connections, due to available financial] resources, with Italy, Austria, and Hungary. The government of Croatia is, for instance, discussing the possibilities of constructing roads connecting Budapest with the Adriatic port of Rijoka, Zagreb with Graz, and Rijeka via Istria with Trieste. In Serbia, plans are under way for communication facilities towards Hungary in the north-east and towards Montenegro and Greece in the south-west and south-east.

6. The so-called plan of Cyrus Vance, special envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (see UN Security Council S/23280 of 11 December 1991). For the stance of the Croatian government on this plan, see "Trideset dana za razvojacenje i odlazak stranih postrojbi" (Thirty days for demilitarization and withdrawal of foreign units), Vjesnik (Zagreb), 22 February 1992, p. 2. The title of the declaration reveals in itself the government's view of this issue.

7. To understand the problems connected with the demographic composition of this country, consult also Zlata Grebo, Population of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 80's, Survey 11 (Sarajevo, December 1986), pp. 1273-4, and Dorde Pejanovic, Population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, book 12 (Serbian Academy of Sciences, Belgrade, 1955), table 2.

8. The Croatian leader Tudjman wants, according to Mr Gersak, after the military defeat of Croatia and the wrong political assessments he made in the past, to rescue his position by occupying the region of Posavina (along the river Sava, from the city of Zupanja to Bosanski Brod in Bosnia and Herzegovina), western Herzegovina, and the places where Croats live around the cities of Bugojno, Travnik, and Prozor. See A. Gersak, "Bosanska ravnoteza straha" (The Bosnian equilibrium of fear), Nedjefja 111 (5 April 1992), p. 9.

9. See Convention de Vienne sur la succession d'États en matière de traités, 23 aout 1978, Nations Unies, Annuaire juridique 1978, p. 130; and Convention on State Succession in Respect of State Property, Archives and Debts, 8 August 1983, UN Doc. A.CONF.117/14.

10. This intention could be proved also by the fact that the remnants of the Federal Parliament have adopted a law according to which "federal" legislation will be in force in these territories of Croatia. The director of the "federal" customs agency has announced the building of 18 new checkpoints "on the border with Croatia" in the same area.

11. The establishment of the independent state of Macedonia has also raised other questions in relation to Serbia and Macedonia. The Serbian Orthodox Church did not consider legitimate the establishment of the Macedonian Orthodox Church after World War 11. In view of the possibility of the formation of an independent state of Macedonia and of the related Orthodox Church, the Serbian Church has put forward a request in which it claims ownership of "immoveable" and "moveable" property in Macedonia (20 churches and monasteries, among them the eleventh-century church of Saint Sofia in Ohrid). They have asked UNESCO's protection for the most valuable cultural documents. See "Bratku drzava Srbima crkve" (The state to the brother, the churches to the Serbs) Borba (Belgrade), 9 April 1992, p. 9 (non-signed).

12. The Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia has spoken of 17 "unregulated points" on the Slovenia-Croatia border. The delimitation between the two states on the Adriatic Sea was opened for discussion, including the problem of access from the Slovenian harbour of Koper/Capodistria to the open sea.

13. See Appendix, p. 178.

14. See above, n. 9.

15. See Zoran Pajic, "Apartheid," Nedjelja 111 (5 April 1992), p. 5; also "Bosanska ravnoteza straha," op. cit., p. 9.

16. There is considerable evidence that the present government is not competent to rule the economy or other public affairs of the country. On the basis of the new constitution of 1992, elections should have been organized six months after its adoption.

17. See Treaty Provisions for the Convention, corrected version of 3 November 1991, Den Haag, and previous proposals made by Lord Carrington.

18. For example, Slavko Perovic, president of the Liberal Alliance of Montenegro, said in April 1992 that in that republic, 35 newspapers from Belgrade and two or three from Sarajevo are sold, but none from Croatia, Slovenia, or Macedonia. A similar situation with regard to the Serbian press exists in Croatia. In Slovenia, however, all the newspapers are available without any restrictions.

19. As an illustration of how the new states were regulating these issues, see, among others:

Serbia: Ustav Republike Srbije (The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia), Sluzbeni glasnik RS, 1/90 (art. 6, 8, 13, 41); Zakon o sluzbenoj upotrebi jezika i pisama (Law on the official use of languages and alphabets), SG RS 45/91; Zakon o osnovnom obrazovanju (Law on primary education), SG RS 5/90 (cl. 2,15); Zakon o radioteleviziji (Law on radio and television), SG RS 5/90 (art. 20, pares. 2 and 3); Deklaracija o neotudjivom pravu srbskog naroda na samoopredeljenje (Law on the inalienable right of the Serbian nation to self-determination), SG RS 79/91; Zakon o prestanku rada Predsednistva Socijalisticke autonomne pokraijine Kosovo (Law on the termination of work of the Presidency of the Socialist Autonomous Region of Kosovo), SG RS 15/91.

Croatia: Ustav Republike Hrvatske (Constitution of the Republic of Croatia), Narodne novine 56/90 (art. 3, 12, 14, 15); Ustavai zakon o ljudskim pravima i slobodama i o pravima etnickih i nacionalnih zajednica ili manjinarna u Republici Hrvatskoj (Constitutional Law on human rights and liberties and on the rights of ethnic and national communities or minorities in the Republic of Croatia), NN SL RH, 65/91; Uredba o uredu za nacionalne manjine (Decree on the office for national minorities), NN SL RH, 52/90; Zakon o osnovnom skolstru (Law on primary schools), NN SL RH, 59/90; Zakon o Hervatskoj radio-televiziji (Law on Croatian radio and television), NN SL RH, 28/9035/91 (art. 7, 8, 9, 13).

Macedonia: Ustav na Republika Makedonija, Slazben vestnik na, RM 52/91 (art. 7, 8, 19, 48).

20. See, for instance, the opinion of the Arbitration Commission of 11 January 1992 concerning the international recognition of the Republic of Croatia, Conference on Yugoslavia paper, Den Haag, 11 January 1992.

21. Typical examples have been the items on Croatian television showing the year 1990 as the year of democratic elections, 1991 as a year of war, and 1992 as a year of unification of Croatia with Europe.

22. W. Ury, Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People (Bantam Books, New York/ Toronto London/Sydney, 1991), p. 146.


Ethnic composition of the Yugoslav population according to census, 1981.

Ethnic composition of the Yugoslav population according to census, 1981. Source: Silvo Devetak, The Equality of Nations and Nationalities in Yugoslavia, Successes and Dilemmas (Vienna: W. Braumuller, 1988), p. 3.

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