And a tricky trial has now begun in The Netherlands over the murder and torture of thousands of Croats during the Bosnian war. Croatia wants reparations and closure more than anything. Lets take a look.
Croatia has brought its case before the International Court of Justice in
It's seeking reparations from Serbia and Montenegro who it alleges were
responsible for state-sponsored ethnic-cleansing during the Bosnian War.
In its opening arguments, Serbia said the court had no jurisdiction because
the country was not a member of the United Nations at the time the suit was
filed in 1999.
It also denied that genocide had taken place.
[Tibor Varady, Lawyer for Serbia]:
"There were indeed Croatian sufferings and that most of these were
caused by misdeeds of Serbs. Crimes were undoubtedly committed. Croatian
sufferings have dignity and deserve respect. But it does not mean that they
have to be qualified as genocide."
The Bosnian War began in 1992 as the Yugoslav Federation began to fall
Slovenia and Croatia were the first to break away, then Bosnia also
Unlike other former Yugoslav states which generally had a dominant ethnic
group, Bosnia was an ethnic tangle of Muslims, Serbs and Croats - and this mix
led to a fierce fight for independence.
At least 100,000 people were killed during the conflict which ended in
Now Croatia believes it's time Serbia and Montenegro were held responsible
for the ethnic cleansing of Croats.
But Serbia says the war cannot be reduced to the simple scale of one
villain and one victim.
A similar case was brought by Bosnia against Serbia two years ago but the
court ruled that the only thing it was guilty of during the massacre of 8,000
Muslims in the Bosnian War was not preventing the genocide and bringing to
justice those responsible.
A judgement on this current case is not expected until later in the