RECOM Aims To Put War Crimes To Rest In Former Yugoslavia

Image by Norsk Sisu fra NORLOGB

The European Commission has included the establishment of RECOM in its new strategy for the Western Balkans.

RECOM will be the Regional Commission for the Establishment of Facts on War Crimes and other serious Human Rights Violations. It will refer to the wars waged in some countries of the former Yugoslavia during the 90’s.

The European Union has set as a priority for Western Balkan countries the establishment of good relations and the reconciliation of old national disputes, making every effort to solve war crimes. This is a must for the countries of the region that aspire to join the EU in the near future.

There are no correct records on human loses during the former Yugoslav wars. The involved countries still have many disputes on the number of war victims and missing persons; the lack of consensus among them has created nationalist manipulation of the data.

The European Commission has decided there will be an upcoming London Summit, in the framework of the Berlin process, in which the Prime Ministers of four countries of the former Yugoslavia – Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina – will sign the declaration of the establishment of RECOM. The signed declaration will show their commitment and political will, to make possible the establishment of RECOM by 2020, its operational activity by 2022 and the fulfilment of its mission within three years, or 2025.

RECOM’s tasking will include the collection of information, the identification of facts on the violation of human rights, war crimes and missing persons. They will compile lists of human loses, both civilians and military. Another task for RECOM will be to try to find the causes and motives that led to such absurd wars.

The European Union is demanding from West Balkan leaders analysis and condemnation of all war crimes, and to establish good relations with their neighbors, a thing that can not be imposed from the outside, according to the EU. Important is to extinguish inter-ethnic tensions and nationalist attitudes.

The European Union is concerned that such unresolved issues may risk the security of the whole Balkan region. The countries owe to the families of their people the recognition of the war’s victims.

There have been previous efforts to resolve the conflicts of the past, but RECOM will offer more possibilities to participate directly in determining facts on war victims and missing persons.

After the dissolution of former Yugoslavia, new conflicts arose in the region. The lack of facts and the biased attitudes created many misinterpretations, even in the history textbooks, thus damaging the educational system of these countries. Young people should learn the truth about their country’s history, removing nationalist attitudes. Populists can not manipulate people and instrumentalize the past, stated the European Commission. This is what RECOM will try to achieve by 2025.

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