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  Fighting to Control Yugoslavia’s Military

Belgrade/Brussels, 15 July 2002: Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica’s 24 June 2002 sacking of Yugoslav Army (VJ) Chief of the General Staff Nebojsa Pavkovic was necessary, welcome, and long overdue.

However, democratic control over Yugoslavia’s military forces, essential for the process of normalisation of political life, has not yet been assured.

In a new briefing, Fighting to Control Yugoslavia’s Military, the ICG describes the background to Pavkovic’s dismissal, and analyses the consequences.

Serbia Project Director James Lyon said, “The ‘Pavkovic Affair’ highlights the lack of democratic parliamentary control over Yugoslavia’s military and the existence of parallel structures in the armed forces. The controversial manner in which Kostunica removed Pavkovic, and Pavkovic’s allegations that Kostunica ordered the army to attack political rivals a year ago, give cause for concern about the real commitment of the Belgrade elite to reform.”

Balkans Program Director Nicholas Whyte said, “Civilian control of the military is vital to the democratisation process in Serbia. It is also an important precondition for Yugoslavia’s membership of the Council of Europe, and for closer relations with the EU and NATO. Genuine reform should be rewarded, but Pavkovic’s removal alone should not be considered sufficient.”

Media inquiries:

Katy Cronin, ICG London +44 20 86 82 93 51,
email: [email protected]

ICG Head Office: ICG Brussels +32 2 502 90 38, [email protected]
All ICG reports are available on our website www.crisisweb.org


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