Croatian president Ivo Josipovic have given his support to setting up a truth commission aimed at establishing facts about war crimes committed in Yugoslavia’s succeeding countries in the 1990s.
The announcement came after a group of representatives from non-governmental organisation the Coalition for Regional Commission, CORECOM, lead by Natasa Kandic from Belgrade and Vesna Terselic from Zagreb, met Josipovic on 30 August.
In a statement released from the presidential office expressing his support for the project, Josipovic stressed the “need to do everything that is possible to commemorate every victim and not to forget the crimes that were committed”.
He also said: “Every initiative that has a goal to establish the truth about missing people and to commemorate victims is important not only for families, but for society.”
Josipovic is the first head of state in the region to officially give his support to the movement, started in 2008, to bring a truth commission to the Balkans to scrutinise war crimes and other serious rights violations committed between 1991 and 2001.
The CORECOM group will also meet members of the Council of Ministers in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday, and Serbian president Boris Tadic on Wednesday.
In order to establish a commission, the NGO’s require the political support and willingness of regional governments to get involved in the process.
CORECOM members plan to begin gathering one million signatures of support from the region next year and deliver them to other politicians in the region, putting pressure on them to establish the commission.