Erdut Agreement

  • 73%
  • Implementation Score 
    after 10 years
Provisions in this Accord
Inter-ethnic/State Relations

ERDUT AGREEMENT, ARTICLE 12:

Implementation History
1995

No Implementation

The Erdut Basic Agreement called for the right to establish a joint council of Serbian municipalities. The importance and purpose of this organization, from the Serbian perspective, stems from their demographic situation with Croatia. In terms of Croatian elections, a municipality is considered a small area or township with a county; there are, on average, 6 or 7 municipalities within a county. Serbs do not have an electoral majority in any single county in Croatia. They do, however, have a majority in several municipalities. Serbian sources make it clear that the purpose of this organization is to give those municipalities a greater voice - vis a vis the Government of Croatia (GoC). This did not happen in 1995.

1996

No Implementation

While the Basic Agreement is short on details regarding the Joint Council, UNTAES treats the establishment of the Joint Council as a critical part of the overall agreement. Indeed, Serbian nationalist would later obstruct progress on certain provisions, contingent, upon the implementation of the Joint Council of Municipalities. In October 1996, it was reported by the UN Transitional Administration that Serb leaders were trying to block progress on the creation of other Joint Implementation Committees and other projects, until there was more focus on the “status and functions of the Serb community’s joint Council of Municipalities.”1 The statements of the Serb leaders make it clear that by “joint” they mean a partnership or collective of Serbian townships.

  • 1. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1996/821), October 1,1 996.
1997

Minimum Implementation

According to a report by UNTAES, it held negotiations with the Government of Croatia (GOC) regarding the “implementation” of the “Organization of the Joint Council of Municipalities” on 23 May 1997.2 It was reported by UNTAES that “the Joint Council on Municipalities was registered under Croatian law” in August of 1997. The Founding Charter of the Joint Council of Municipalities was signed on 15 July 1997 and witnessed by the head of UNTAES, Jacques Paul Klein. 3

  • 2. "Recent Developments," UNTAES, December 22, 1997.
  • 3. Ibid.
1998

Intermediate Implementation

The Joint Council appears to have become operational in 1998 when it began to receive funding from the GoC. The leaders of the Council are elected and meet three times a year with the President of Croatia. After one meeting, the President of Croatia reported that was committed to working with the Joint Council of Municipalities in order to “strengthen good inter-ethnic relations” and to build “bridges of cooperation” between Croatian and Serbian communities. 4

As for the functions of the organization, one book on Croatian electoral politics at the local level referred to the Joint Council as “a body that addresses the interests of the Serbian national community”. The organization is registered as a civil association with the GOC and is funded by the GoC.5

According to materials from the Joint Council’s website, 6 the organization is an association of local Serbian governments that works on behalf of the Serbian communities that make up its membership. It appears to be involved in outreach and advocacy for Serbians, and the larger Serbian community, by acting as an intermediary between the GoC and Serb communities. The Joint Council of Municipalities is frequently mentioned in the reports of NGOs as providing assistance to the NGOs on issues related to Serbian communities. 7

  • 4. "Amnesty and the Serbian Minority," Vijesti, March 25, 2011.
  • 5. Stjepan Ivanisevic et al.. “Local Government in Croatia,” in Local Governments in Central and Eastern Europe, ed. Andrew Coulson and Adrian Campbell (London: Routledge, 2007), 183- 240.
  • 6. www.zvo.hr.
  • 7. "Analysis of the Access to Housing Care by Refugees," OSCE Mission to Serbia, 2008.
1998

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2000

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2001

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2002

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2003

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2004

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

Police Reform

ERDUT AGREEMENT, ARTICLE 5:

The Transitional Administration shall help to establish and train temporary police forces, to build professionalism among the police and confidence among all ethnic communities.

Implementation History
1995

No Implementation

Article 5 of the Erdut Basic Agreement calls for UNTAES to establish and train a new temporary police force, and build professionalism in the existing police force. Implementation process did not start in 1995.

1996

Intermediate Implementation

UNTAES reports that as of August 5 1996, 442 out of 600 civilian police monitors have been deployed in the mission area. The primary task of those deployed is to monitor the Transitional Police Force (established on 1 July 1996), which is expected to reach a strength of 1,300 troops. Joint police units of local Serb and Croat police officers were established at 11 police stations in the Region and help patrol the demilitarized zone along with UN police monitors.1

In October of 1996, the effectiveness of the Transitional Police Force was 1,337 troops, 131 of which were Croats.2

  • 1. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1996/622).
  • 2. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1996/821).
1997

Intermediate Implementation

UNTAES reports in February of 1997 that it will recruit 700 Croats and will have a balanced Serb/Croat force of 1,500 by the end of March. They also indicate that the “performance of the Transitional Police Force in dealing with crime has continued to improve”.3 Among their duties, the civilian police units formed by UNTAES provide on-site training to the police force on conducting criminal investigations.4 UNTAES reports that it is in the planning stages of deploying civilian police monitors for a period of 9 months in the Danube region to start in January of 1998.5

  • 3. Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES, 24 February 1997, S/1997/148.
  • 4. Source: Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES, 23 June 1997, S/1997/487.
  • 5. UNTAES, Brief Chronology.
1998

Intermediate Implementation

On 16 January 1998, United Nations Civilian Police Support Group took over the policing task from the Transitional Administration. The 180 police monitors are deployed in the Danube region.6

UNTAES indicates that the Transitional Police Force will continue to operate in 1998 with 815 Croat officers, 811 Serb officers and 52 officers from other ethnic groups.7

In October of 1998, it is reported that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will take over policing efforts after the UN mandate is concluded with the deployment of 118 police monitors.8 On 15 December, UNTAES transferred the responsibility of operating the Transitional Police Force to the Ministry of Interior.9

  • 6. "Brief Chronology," UNTAES.
  • 7. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES,"United Nations (S/1998/59), January 22, 1998.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid.
1999

Intermediate Implementation

The OSCE continued its police training and observation mission in Croatia.10

2000

Intermediate Implementation

The International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) initiates a police reform-training program in Croatia in 2000. The OCSE reduces its personnel to 225 from the high mark of 280 reached sometime between 1998 and 2000.11

2001

Intermediate Implementation

Training program continues but the OSCE reduces the number of its personnel to 90 observers.12

2002

Intermediate Implementation

The police training program continues in 2002.

2003

Intermediate Implementation

The police training program continues in 2003.

2004

Intermediate Implementation

The police training program continues in 2004.

2005

Intermediate Implementation

The OSCE reduces its personnel to 51 by July 2005 but the training continues.13

Disarmament

ERDUT AGREEMENT, ARTICLE 3:

Implementation History
1995

No Implementation

The Erdut Basic Agreement was signed on 12 November 1995. The UN Transitional Administration would not be operational until 1996. No developments were reported for November or December for this provision. 

1996

Intermediate Implementation

On January 15 1996, UNTAES was established under UN Resolution 1037. In the resolution the demilitarization of the region was to begin within 30 days of the military component of UNTAES being deployed. On 20 May 1996, 5,349 UNTAES troops are fully deployed. On 21 May, the Transitional Administrator announces that the process of demilitarization has begun.1 In June 1996, UNTAES force commander (Schoups) and two generals (one from the Serbian army and one from the Croatian Army) announced that all heavy weapons, including tanks, artillery, mortars and anti-aircraft guns, belonging to the Serbian army, had been turned over to UNTAES forces.2 On 2 October 1996, UNTAES initiated a weapons buy-back program in the region to help collect small arms.3

  • 1. "Brief Chronology," UNTAES.
  • 2. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES,"United Nations (S/1996/622).
  • 3. "UNTAES, Brief Chronology."
1997

Intermediate Implementation

Over 15,000 guns and 435,000 rounds of ammunition was collected between 2 October 1996 and 24 February 1997.4

  • 4. "UNTAES, Brief Chronology."
1998

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments regarding disarmament are reported. 

1999

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments regarding disarmament are reported. 

2000

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments regarding disarmament are reported. 

2001

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments regarding disarmament are reported. 

2002

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments regarding disarmament are reported. 

2003

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments regarding disarmament are reported. 

2004

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments regarding disarmament are reported. 

Human Rights

ERDUT AGREEMENT, ARTICLE 6:

The highest levels of internationally-recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms shall be respected in the Region.

Erdut Agreement, Article 10:

Implementation History
1996

Minimum Implementation

The Erdut Basic Agreement established a UN Transitional government in Eastern Slavonia charged with monitoring human rights conditions and stipulated that the GoC both respect internationally recognized human rights laws and cooperate fully with the Transitional Administration. In accordance with the agreement, the Security Council passes resolution 1009 and 1019 (9 November 1995) requiring the GoC to respect the human rights of the Serbian population and to report all human rights abuses to the Transitional Administration to be investigated.

1997

Minimum Implementation

In January 1996, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Croatia issues a “Report by the Government of Croatia on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1019” regarding human rights violations. In the report, the GoC indicated they were investigating and prosecuting alleged human rights violations by members of the Croatian military and that 352 such cases were in a phase of pre-trail investigation.

A UN review of the GOC report issued in June of 1996, concluded that “[a]ll evidence, since my report of 14 February 1996, indicates that the Croatian authorities have failed to implement effective security measures to prevent harassment and victimization of Serbs”. Citing the frequency of killings and other attacks against Serbs, the UN review notes that many attacks are by groups “frequently including uniformed Croatian soldiers”. Often the police are informed of the known identity of the perpetrators, but no arrests are made. Police Chiefs have commented to UN personnel and others that many Croatian police officers are afraid to challenge the Croatian military. Between 8 January and 1 May 1996, 89 cases of arson were reported and 12 killings were noted.1

A follow-up “Report by the Government of Croatia on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1019” was issued in June of 1996. The report stated that 621 criminal investigations have been initiated with 231 final verdicts reached, giving the impression of active prosecution of human rights abuses against Serbs by Croatian civilians and military and police personnel. A review by the UN of the cases showed that many of the convictions cited by the GoC report were against Serbs. Upon closer examination by the Secretary General of those cases where the GoC reached a final verdict, 41 cases out of 231 (18 percent) involved the prosecution of Serbs for subversive activity, not human rights violations.2

International observers begin to note that the Croatian authorities in charge of administering the rehabilitation programs are clearly favoring Croat beneficiaries. Audits reveal that government funding for home reconstruction has gone mostly to Croat recipients. Serb applicants are being denied identify documents that are required by the GoC to receive rehabilitation assistance and other benefits made available by donors.3

UNTAES commences a human rights training seminar conducted by the Joint Implementation Committee on Human Rights at Osijek, Croatia. The members of all the Joint Implementation Committees were invited or called to attend.4

  • 1. "Further Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Croatia Pursuant To Security Council Resolution 1019," United Nations Security Council (S/1996/456), June 21, 1996.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1996/622).
1997

Minimum Implementation

Over the course of the last two years, a legal framework was established making the Croat occupation of empty Serb houses essentially indefinite or permanent; this dynamic begins to gain attention as more Serbs return in 1997. The GoC passed the Law on the Lease of Flats in the Liberated Territory and the Law of Temporary Takeover in 1995 and 1996. The first gave Serbs a matter of 2-3 months to legally reclaim their property or someone could legally occupy it. Many, if not most, could not do so either out of security concerns or because the GoC would not recognize identity documents (such as passports) issued by Serbian authorities on Croatian soil from 1991 to 1995. The second law stated that no one could be evicted from a temporary takeover without having alternative housing provided for them by the GoC. Due to the substantial shortage of housing, this makes all occupations essentially permanent. In addition, the GoC prevented many Serbs from getting a legal hearing by not recognizing the legal papers of Serbian lawyers to practice law in Croatia. Serbian lawyers, who may have been practicing law in the same location for decades, had to pay a large sum of money, roughly 10,000 dollars, for a new Croatian law license. UNTAES also reports that of those are being forcefully evicted from homes for not having the proper documentation or legal history – the majority are Serbs. Furthermore, it is reported that in most cases they are the rightful owners of the home.5

UNTAES reports that Serb school children are dropping out of school due to constant harassment and beatings at the hands of Croat children. Intimidation, killings, and assaults against Serbs in the former sectors continues to be reported and may be on the rise, although reliable numbers are not reported at regular intervals. In some places, there are isolated attacks, in others, forms of communal violence erupts. The most serious event took place in Hrvastka where returning Serb refugees were attacked by a mob of 150 ethnic Croats.6

UNATES reports that the GoC’s cooperation with the Internal Tribunal and its prosecution of human rights violators, is not satisfactory. Reportedly, the GoC delays or obstructs matters of evidence regarding alleged war crimes by Croatians. The Croatian authorities are not able to provide accounts of progress regarding their efforts at tracking down individuals charged with war crimes. When the Tribunal Prosecutor used legal channels to obtain evidence that the GoC refused to submit or turn over, the evidence being sought was blocked and the GoC issued legislation to stop the Tribunal’s investigations.7

  • 5. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1997/487), June 23, 1997, .
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Ibid.
1998

Minimum Implementation

Croatia’s failure to meet the human rights conditions as laid out in the European Union’s “Regional Approach to Countries of South-East Europe,” results in a denial of membership and cuts in foreign aid. The E.U. limits aid to Croatia to 7.74 million (US) for humanitarian assistance and 3.14 million ($US). Croatia was also denied PHARE reconstruction aid based on its failure to allow freedom of the press and independent media in general.8

  • 8. "Human Rights Watch World Report 1999 – Croatia,” UNHCR, accessed February 5, 2012, http://www.unhcr.org.
1999

Minimum Implementation

The outgoing president of the Tribunal denounced the GoC as non-compliant with regards to the investigations of the International Tribunal. The GoC refuses to arrest and put on trial known perpetrators of war crimes against Serbs. Meanwhile, Amnesty International reports that the GoC actively prosecutes Serb perpetrators of war crimes.9 Amnesty International reports that government officials that are criticized in the press are suing the journalists for defamation and often having some related criminal charges brought against them. For example, a journalist with the daily Jutarnji list wrote several articles about the financial holdings in a bank account belonging to President Tudjman’s wife that had not been disclosed as financial income. The journalist was arrested and charged with publishing financial secrets of the GoC and is facing trial and five years in prison.10

  • 9. "Amnesty International Report 2000 Croatia."
  • 10. Ibid.
2000

Minimum Implementation

Starting in the year 2000, the GoC’s level of cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal in the prosecution of war criminals is seen as having improved.11

  • 11. "Amnesty International Report 2001 Croatia."
2001

Minimum Implementation

Cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal is reported as better than previous years.12

  • 12. "Amnesty International Report 2002 Croatia."
2002

Minimum Implementation

Amnesty International reports that Croatia in 2002 “failed to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (the Tribunal) by delaying the arrest and transfer of two Croatian suspects indicted by the Tribunal”. Legal discrimination against Serbs remains widespread and it is reported the majority of those prosecuted in Croat courts are Serbs.13

  • 13. "Amnesty International Report 2003 Croatia."
2003

Minimum Implementation

Cooperation with the International Tribunal and international law is mixed. The GoC remains selective in who they turn over to the Tribunal. For example, General Ante Gotovina remains protected from prosecution by the GoC in 2003.14

  • 14. "Amnesty International Report 2003 Croatia."
2004

Minimum Implementation

General Ante Gotovina remains protected from prosecution by the GoC in 2004.15

2005

Minimum Implementation

The newspaper, The Independent, interviewed a Serb refugee trying to return to the family home in the Knin area. Dragoslav Dupor had taken his wife, three children and grandchild and fled by car into Serbia when the government of Croatia attacked the area where he lived. Ten years later, in 2005, they had not yet been able to get their house back. The house had been sold to a Croat family by the Government of Croatia. Through the “Agency for Mediation in Real Estate” (APN) the Dupor family home had been sold using forged power of attorney paperwork years earlier.

Formed in 1997, the APN spent EUR200m buying over 8,000 Serb homes in Krajina and Slavonia. Those in charge of APN admitted that organized crime members and corrupt government officials bought and sold homes that didn’t belong to them for an extended period. Much of the money went into private pockets, as families moved into their new homes purchased with fraudulent documents. 

Goatti, the newest leader of APN, told investigators that as many as half of the 8,380 Serb homes sold to APN were fraud. Pupovac, another investigator says that the number is closer to 90 percent fraud. In all, thousands of houses of Serb refugees were bought by the Government of Croatia and sold to new Croatian families using fraudulent paperwork - only one arrest was made at the APN.16 

A senior Croatian diplomat tells The Independent that “there are reasonable grounds for believing” that the swindle of Serbian homes in Croatia was deliberate and part of a “refined method of ethnic cleansing." Out of the 600,000 Serbs that lived in Croatia before the war, in 2005 only 200,000 remained.17

  • 16. "Balkan Home Truths: How Croatia swindled its exiled Serbs," The Independent, February 4, 2005.
  • 17. Ibid.
Refugees

ERDUT AGREEMENT, ARTICLE 4:

Implementation History
1995

No Implementation

Approximately 200,000 Croatian Serbs fled to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia following the offenses by the Croatian military in the summer of 1995. There are no reports of returns of refugees in 1995.  

1996

Minimum Implementation

As of 31 January 1996, only 200 refugees had returned to Croatia through UN established channels. A summary statement in February declares that “[l]ittle progress has been made on the return of Croatian Serb refugees to Croatia”.1

UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali reported that the return of refugees to Croatia was being obstructed: "Disturbing reports continue to be received that (Croatian) government offices responsible for expediting this procedure are conducting their work in an uncooperative and obstructive manner." The report speaks of widespread abuses against the minority Serb population by the Croatian government that must stop.2

In February 1996, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Croatia issued a “Report by the Government of Croatia on the Implementation of Security Council resolution 1019” regarding issues such as refugee rights. The report by the GoC indicates that 5,000 people have filed requests to return to Croatia and 1,841 have been processed. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia announced that approximately 80 percent of the Serbian refugees will likely choose to stay in Serbia or Montenegro.3

There are several reasons for such a slow initial return rate. Foremost is the security situation; many Serbs indicated that they are fearful of returning. In addition to security, the GoC is requiring returnees to gain permission to return to their homes, which has been criticized as being cumbersome. Before the Basic Agreement (in August 1995), the Croatian Parliament adopted a bill requiring refugees to reclaim their property within three months or have their belongings -- both real and moveable property including furniture -- expropriated. The UN special rapporteur for human rights fiercely criticized the bill. While the GoC later suspended the time limit, such a posture combined with cumbersome regulation undoubtedly signaled a weak commitment to the property rights of Serb refugees.4

The Secretary General’s report from June 1996 highlights the biggest problem unfolding in refugee repatriation. Large numbers of Croats who were displaced from Eastern Slavonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Yugoslav Federation have returned and/or migrated to Eastern Slavonia and have occupied the property of displaced Serbs, who have not yet returned. This population transfer is attributed in large part to the GoC’s issuance of the Decree on the Rights of Returnees, which terminated displaced status on 30 June 1996. The GoC also passed a law on 17 May 1996 that provides benefits and the possibility of gaining ownership of empty property to persons who move to the region; this caused a large migration of people, mostly Croats, to Easter Slavonia.5

International observers noted that the Croatian authorities governing the rehabilitation programs are favoring Croat beneficiaries. Government funding for home reconstruction, for example, has gone mostly to Croat recipients. International observers also report that Serbs are being denied identify documents that are required by the GoC to receive rehabilitation assistance and other benefits made available by donors.6

Calls for Croatia to increase the level of protection being offered to ethnic Serbs continued throughout 1996 in an effort to repatriate remaining refugees.7

Under pressure from the international community, the GoC offers amnesty to Serbs to facilitate their return.8

  • 1. "Further Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Croatia Pursuant To Security Council Resolution 1019," United Nations Security Council (S/1996/109), February 14, 1996.
  • 2. "UN complains about slow repatriation of Serbs to Croatia," International News, February 16, 1996.
  • 3. "Further Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Croatia Pursuant To Security Council Resolution 1019."
  • 4. "UN rapporteur calls on Croatia to respect human rights," Agence France Presse. December 4, 1995.
  • 5. "Further Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Croatia Pursuant To Security Council Resolution 1019," United Nations Security Council (S/1996/456), June 21, 1996.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. "Croatia under fire over treatment of Serb refugees," Agence France Presse, July 4, 1996.
  • 8. "Croatia, Under Pressure, Extends Amnesty to all Serbs," Associate Press Worldstream, September 20, 1996.
1997

Intermediate Implementation

UNTAES reports in the early part of 1997 that “little progress has been made as regards the return of refugees and displaced persons.”9

UNTAES reports that senior officials in the Croatian Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees (ODPR) have made public discriminatory remarks about displaced Serbs being denied ODPR refugee benefits if they choose to vote in the upcoming elections.10

UNTAES reports that 1,836 Serb families (7,303 persons) crossed the border into Yugoslavia from Croatia. Most reported security concerns in Croatia as their reason for leaving.11

In March, the UN Security Council called upon Croatia to improve conditions of personal and economic security for Serbs wishing to return, to resolve the return-of-property issue, and remove uncertainty about the implementation of the amnesty law for Serbs.12

Croatian President Tudjman criticized the demands made to facilitate the return of Serb refugees as unreasonable.13

International pressure regarding the return of property to ethnic Serbs gains attention throughout 1997.14

US Secretary of State, Madeline Albright talks with Croatian leaders about ethnic Serbs being attacked and beaten by Croatian mobs.15

In June it was reported that 14,952 persons (out of an estimated 200,000 who fled to Yugoslavia) had returned to Croatia.16

Many Serbs who have a valid citizenship certificate, called the domovnica, now cannot use it to return to Croatia. The GoC has disclosed no alternative or procedure, other than the fact that the domovnica will not be honored as an official Croatian document.17 The current legal framework makes Croat occupation of Serb houses essentially indefinite. The GoC passed the Law on the Lease of Flats in the Liberated Territory and the Law of Temporary Takeover, which gave Serbs a matter of 2-3 months to legally reclaim their property, or someone could legally occupy it. The second law states that no one can be evicted from a temporary takeover without having alternative housing provided for them. Due to the shortage of housing, this makes all occupations essentially permanent. Getting legal help is difficult for Serbs because the GoC stated that Serbian lawyers cannot practice law in Croatia until they pay for a new Croatian law license. According to UNTAES, most of those who are forcefully evicted from houses are the rightful Serb owners of the home.18 In December of 1997, around 6,000 Croats and 9,000 Serbs returned to their homes in Croatia.19

  • 9. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES, 24 February 1997," United Nations Security Council (S/1997/148).
  • 10. Ibid.
  • 11. Ibid.
  • 12. "UN Security Council calls upon Croatia to facilitate return of Croatian Serbs to Western Slavonia and Krajina," M2 Presswire, March 20, 1997.
  • 13. "President Tudjman says return of all Serbs to Croatia unreasonable," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 27, 1997.
  • 14. "Croatia criticized for not protecting Serbs," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 22, 1997.
  • 15. "In Balkans, Albright Sharply Criticizes Leaders of Croatia, Serbia; U.S. Turns Up Heat on Peace Plan Promises," The Washington Post, June 1, 1997.
  • 16. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1997/487), June 23, 1997.
  • 17. Ibid.
  • 18. Ibid.
  • 19. "UNTAES: Recent Development," United Nations, December 22, 1997.
1998

Intermediate Implementation

The UN Security Council laments continued “harassment and intimidation” of ethnic Serb returnees.20 Threats of sanctions and reduced aid to Croatia compel the GoC to take steps toward the implementation of measures to facilitate the return of Serb refugees.21 The UNHCR organized an extended return program and Serbs begin to respond in small numbers.22 In December, the EU informs the GoC that future aid will depend upon the return of Serb refugees and nondiscriminatory polies.23

 

  • 20. "Security Council calls on Croatia to reintegrate Serbs," Associated Press Worldstream, March 6, 1998.
  • 21. "Croatia signals concessions on Serb refugee return," Associated Press Worldstream, May 9, 1998.
  • 22. "Organized return of expelled Serbs to Croatia begins," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, August 8, 1998.
  • 23. "Croatia told EU aid will depend on promoting return of Serb refugees," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, December 7, 1998.
1999

Intermediate Implementation

The OSCE mission to Croatia reports that the number of refugees returning in 1999 was “disappointingly low.”24  In February, an UN envoy observed that the laws and programs adopted by the government and parliament for refugees were not implemented at the local level.25 The OSCE (the main international observer in Croatia) reported that Croatia was “stagnating” on its promises to refugees, such as allowing refugees to return to their homes and property.26 A news story on the upcoming elections in Croatia reported that 60,000 Serbs had returned to Croatia and could vote in elections.27 Croatia’s President Tudjman, largely regarded by Western observers as an obstacle to the return of Serb refugees, died in office in late 1999.28

  • 24. "Croatia’s government has made modest progress since July: OSCE," Agence France Presse, November 15, 2000.
  • 25. "UN envoy says Croatia must expedite return of refugees," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, February 16, 1999.
  • 26. "OSCE criticizes Croatia on rights record," Agence France Presse, May 19, 1999.
  • 27. "Croatia to allow Serb refugees to vote in upcoming elections," Associated Press Worldstream, September 20, 1999.
  • 28. "Without Tudjman, Croatia seeks identity," Tulsa World, December 12, 1999.
2000

Intermediate Implementation

In January, a pro-European reformist government came to power in Croatia and enacted new laws to address the problems of refugees.29 Compared to 1999, there was a slight increase in the rate of refugees returning to Croatia. Of 280,000 Croatian Serbs that fled the country during 1991-1995, some 73,000 were suggested to have returned.30 The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that in the year 2000 around 18,000 Croatian Serbs returned.

  • 29. "Europeans tell Croatia to facilitate return of Serb refugees," Agence France Presse,  March 14, 2001.
  • 30. "Croatia’s government has made modest progress since July: OSCE," Agence France Presse, November 15, 2000.
2001

Intermediate Implementation

The head of the OSCE mission to Croatia, Bernard Poncet, said one of Croatia's main failures in meeting its international obligations was a "lack of progress ... in the areas of refugee return, repossession of property and reconstruction."31

A few months later, the OSCE argued that "Without question the most pressing issue to be addressed and resolved is the sustainable return to Croatia of its refugee Serb population". The OSCE called for the adoption of a legal framework for expeditious repossession of occupied property by their legitimate owners.32

According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, the Croatian government pledged to him to solve the refugee problem by the end of 2002. The UNHCR mission to Croatia estimated that between 100,000 and 110,000 refugees have already returned.33

Later that year, the head of the Helsinki Human Rights Watch in the Bosnian Serb Republic estimated that between 40,000 and 50,000 Serbs had been denied their right to ownership of their property in Croatia.34

According to the OSCE, 2001 brought a sharp slowdown in the return of refuges, as compared to 2000.35

  • 31. "Europeans tell Croatia to facilitate return of Serb refugees," Agence France Presse, March 14, 2001.
  • 32. "Return of ethnic Serb refugees Croatia’s most pressing commitment: OSCE," Agence France Presse, June 5, 2001.
  • 33. "Croatia pledges to solve refugee problem by end of 2002," Agence France Presse, June 7, 2001.
  • 34. "Head of Bosnian Serb Human Rights Watch says Croatia’s human rights record poor," BBC Monitoring Europe, October 31, 2001.
  • 35. "Croatia’s housing policy delays return of ethnic Serbs," Agence France Presse, December 13, 2001.
2002

Intermediate Implementation

The OSCE acknowledges progress and commented positively on Croatia’s level of recent cooperation, but maintained that many legal and administrative obstacles remain. The OSCE estimated that around 95,000 have returned.36 The UNHCR stated that the GoC needed to work on issues of citizenship and tenancy rights.37

  • 36. "OSCE urges Croatia to step up efforts on return of Serbs," Agence France Presse, May 24, 2002.
  • 37. "UNHCR official urges Croatia to do more to encourage refugees to return," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 2, 2002.
2003

Intermediate Implementation

The Croatian government pledged to rebuild 8,000 homes in order to facilitate the return of refugees.38 President Mesic and Prime Minister Racan issue a call in 2003 for all refugees to return: "I call on all the refugees, citizens of Croatia, to return to their homeland and use the opportunity that is being given."39 UNHCR begins to close their offices in Croatia. Their final estimate was that "by the end of 2003, over 100,000 Croatian Serbs had returned to their homes, while an estimated 230,00 internally displaced persons had also gone back.”40 In Croatia, a new nationalist government took office in September raising some concerns of Croatia’s future progress regarding refugees41

  • 38. "Croatia to rebuild 8,000 homes in war-hit areas this year," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, February 21, 2003.
  • 39. "Croatia renews calls for Serb refugees to return," Agence France Presse, June 16, 2003.
  • 40. "UNHCR closes last three field offices in Croatia," BBC Sumary of World Broadcasts,January 3, 2004.
  • 41. "EU presses Croatia as nationalists take power," Agence France Presse, December 9, 2003.
2004

Intermediate Implementation

The OSCE reports that the number of illegally occupied property cases was reduced from 3,500 in January to 2,300 in July. The OSCE pointed to judicial reform as the biggest obstacle to providing refugees a safe environment and the return of their property. The report states that the Croatian courts have a backlog of 1.5 million legal cases.42 The OSCE conducted a survey that showed that the majority of Serbs who have not yet returned to Croatia have no plan to return to Croatia. According to official Croatian figures, about 113,000 refugees have returned.43

  • 42. "OSCE identifies judicial reform as Croatia’s main problem," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, July 6, 2004.
  • 43. "Most Serb refugees don’t plan to return to Croatia," Agence France Presse, September 15,  2004.
2005

Intermediate Implementation

The newspaper, The Independent, interviewed a Serb refugee trying to return to the family home in the Knin area. Dragoslav Dupor had taken his wife, three children and grandchild and fled by car into Serbia when the government of Croatia attacked the area where he lived. Ten years later, in 2005, they had not yet been able to get their house back. The house had been sold to a Croat family by the Government of Croatia. Through the “Agency for Mediation in Real Estate” (APN) the Dupor family home had been sold using forged power of attorney paperwork years earlier.

Formed in 1997, the APN spent EUR 200m buying over 8,000 Serb homes in Krajina and Slavonia. Those in charge of APN admitted that organized crime members and corrupt government officials bought and sold homes that didn’t belong to them for an extended period. Much of the money went into private pockets, as families moved into their new homes purchased with fraudulent documents.

Goatti, the newest leader of APN, told investigators that as many as half of the 8,380 Serb homes sold to APN were fraud. Pupovac, another investigator says that the number is closer to 90 percent fraud. In all, thousands of houses of Serb refugees were bought by the Government of Croatia and sold to new Croatian families using fraudulent paperwork - only one arrest was made at the APN.44

A senior Croatian diplomat tells The Independent that “there are reasonable grounds for believing” that the swindle of Serbian homes in Croatia was deliberate and part of a “refined method of ethnic cleansing." Out of the 600,000 Serbs that lived in Croatia before the war, only 200,000 remained in 2005.45

The same new story reveals that 186 Serb villages still lack electricity in 2004.46

A decade after the accord, the GoC continued to face criticism by the OSCE over judicial bias against Serbs preventing them from returning to their occupied homes.47  The US State Department reported in 2005 that they saw major problems with the process of property restitution for Serb refugees.48 The UN commented in June that the return rate for refugees was slowing down in 2005.49 A European Commission report in 2005 echoes the claim that Serbs cannot return if they do not have the legal means to reclaim their houses and property.50 According to the UN, roughly 40 percent of all refugees from Croatia returned by the end of 2005.51

  • 44. "Balkan Home Truths: How Croatia swindled its exiled Serbs," The Independent, February 4, 2005.
  • 45. "Balkan Home Truths: How Croatia swindled its exiled Serbs," The Independent, February 4, 2005.
  • 46. Ibid.
  • 47. "OSCE criticizes Croatia over judicial bias against Serbs," Agence France Presse, April 26, 2005.
  • 48. "US Department notes problems with Serbs, Roma rights in Croatia," BBC Monitoring Europe, March 1, 2005.
  • 49. "UN chief for internally displaced persons visits Croatia," AP Worldstream, June 7, 2005.
  • 50. "European Commission issues report on Croatia," BBC Monitoring Europe, November 9, 2005.
  • 51. "Some 40 percent of Serb refugees return to Croatia," Agence France Presse, December 27, 2005.
Internally Displaced Persons

ERDUT AGREEMENT, ARTICLE 4:

Implementation History
1995

No Implementation

There are no reports of return of internally displaced persons in 1995.

1996

Minimum Implementation

UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali reported that the return of Serbs to their homes was being obstructed: "Disturbing reports continue to be received that (Croatian) government offices responsible for expediting this procedure are conducting their work in an uncooperative and obstructive manner." The report speaks of widespread abuses against the minority Serb population by the Croatian government that must stop.1

In February 1996, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Croatia issued a “Report by the Government of Croatia on the Implementation of Security Council resolution 1019” regarding issues such as refugee rights. The report by the GoC indicates that 5,000 people have filed requests to return to Croatia and 1,841 have been processed.2

Before the Basic Agreement (in August 1995), the Croatian Parliament adopted a bill requiring refugees to reclaim their property within three months or have their belongings—both real and moveable property including furniture—expropriated. The UN special rapporteur for human rights fiercely criticized the bill. While the GoC later suspended the time limit, such a posture combined with cumbersome regulation undoubtedly signaled a weak commitment to the property rights of displaced Serbs.3

The Secretary General’s report from June 1996 highlights that large numbers of Croats who were displaced from Eastern Slavonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Yugoslav Federation have returned and/or migrated to Eastern Slavonia and have occupied the property of displaced Serbs, who have not yet returned. This population transfer is attributed in large part to the GoC’s issuance of the Decree on the Rights of Returnees, which terminated displaced status on 30 June 1996. The GoC also passed a law on 17 May 1996 that provides benefits and the possibility of gaining ownership of empty property to persons who move to the region; this caused a large migration of people, mostly Croats, to Easter Slavonia.4

International observers noted that the Croatian authorities governing the rehabilitation programs are favoring Croat beneficiaries. Government funding for home reconstruction, for example, has gone mostly to Croat recipients. International observers also report that Serbs are being denied identify documents that are required by the GoC to receive rehabilitation assistance and other benefits made available by donors.5

Calls for Croatia to increase the level of protection being offered to ethnic Serbs continued throughout 1996 in an effort to repatriate remaining refugees.6 Under pressure from the international community, the GoC offers amnesty to Serbs to facilitate their return.7

  • 1. "UN complains about slow repatriation of Serbs to Croatia," International News, February 16, 1996.
  • 2. "Further Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Croatia Pursuant To Security Council Resolution 1019," United Nations (S/1996/109), February 14, 1996.
  • 3. "UN rapporteur calls on Croatia to respect human rights," Agence France Presse, December 4, 1995.
  • 4. "Further Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Croatia Pursuant To Security Council Resolution 1019," United Nations (S/1996/456), June 21, 1996.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. "Croatia under fire over treatment of Serb refugees," Agence France Presse, July 4, 1996.
  • 7. "Croatia, Under Pressure, Extends Amnesty to all Serbs," Associate Press Worldstream, September 20, 1996.
1997

Minimum Implementation

UNTAES reports in the early part of 1997 that “little progress has been made as regards the return of refugees and displaced persons.”8

UNTAES reports that senior officials in the Croatian Office for Displaced Persons and Refugees (ODPR) have made public discriminatory remarks about displaced Serbs being denied ODPR refugee benefits if they choose to vote in the upcoming elections.9

UNTAES reports that 1,836 Serb families (7,303 persons) crossed the border into Yugoslavia from Croatia. Most reported security concerns in Croatia as their reason for leaving.10

In March, the UN Security Council called upon Croatia to improve conditions of personal and economic security for Serbs wishing to return, to resolve the return-of-property issue, and remove uncertainty about the implementation of the amnesty law for Serbs.11

US Secretary of State, Madeline Albright talks with Croatian leaders about ethnic Serbs being attacked and beaten by Croatian mobs.12

Many Serbs who have a valid citizenship certificate, called the domovnica, now cannot use it to return to their homes in Croatia. The GoC has disclosed no alternative or procedure, other than the fact that the domovnica will not be honored as an official Croatian document.13

The current legal framework makes Croat occupation of Serb houses essentially indefinite. The GoC passed the Law on the Lease of Flats in the Liberated Territory and the Law of Temporary Takeover which gave Serbs a matter of 2-3 months to legally reclaim their property or someone could legally occupy it. The second law states that no one can be evicted from a temporary takeover without having alternative housing provided for them. Due to the shortage of housing, this makes all occupations essentially permanent. Getting legal help is difficult for Serbs because the GoC stated that Serbian lawyers cannot practice law in Croatia until they pay for a new Croatian law license. According to UNTAES, most of those who are forcefully evicted from houses are the rightful Serb owners of the home.14 In December of 1997, around 6,000 Croats and 9,000 Serbs returned to their homes in Croatia (UNTAES: Recent Development, December 22, 1997).

  • 8. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1997/148), February 24, 1997.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. Ibid.
  • 11. "UN Security Council calls upon Croatia to facilitate return of Croatian Serbs to Western Slavonia and Krajina," M2 Presswire, March 20, 1997.
  • 12. "In Balkans, Albright Sharply Criticizes Leaders of Croatia, Serbia; U.S. Turns Up Heat on Peace Plan Promises," The Washington Post, June 1, 1997.
  • 13. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1997/487), June 23, 1997.
  • 14. Ibid.
1998

Minimum Implementation

The UN Security Council laments continued “harassment and intimidation” of ethnic Serb returnees.15 In December, the EU informs the GoC that future aid will depend upon the return of Serb refugees and nondiscriminatory polies.16

  • 15. Security Council calls on Croatia to reintegrate Serbs. Associated Press Worldstream. 6 March 1998.
  • 16. "Croatia told EU aid will depend on promoting return of Serb refugees," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, December 7, 1998.
1999

Minimum Implementation

In February, an UN envoy observed that the laws and programs adopted by the government and parliament for refugees were not implemented at the local level.17 The OSCE (the main international observer in Croatia) reported that Croatia was “stagnating” on its promises to refugees, such as allowing refugees to return to their homes and property.18 Croatia’s President Tudjman, largely regarded by Western observers as an obstacle to the return of Serb refugees died in office in late 1999.19

  • 17. "UN envoy says Croatia must expedite return of refugees," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, February 16, 1999.
  • 18. "OSCE criticizes Croatia on rights record," Agence France Presse, May 19, 1999.
  • 19. "Without Tudjman, Croatia seeks identity," Tulsa World, December 12, 1999.
2000

Intermediate Implementation

In January, a pro-European reformist government came to power in Croatia and enacted new laws to address the problems of refugees.20 The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that in the year 2000 around 18,000 Croatian Serbs returned.

  • 20. "Europeans tell Croatia to facilitate return of Serb refugees," Agence France Presse, March 14, 2001.
2001

Intermediate Implementation

The head of the OSCE mission to Croatia, Bernard Poncet, said one of Croatia's main failures in meeting its international obligations was a "lack of progress ... in the areas of refugee return, repossession of property and reconstruction."21  A few months later, the OSCE argued that "Without question the most pressing issue to be addressed and resolved is the sustainable return to Croatia of its refugee Serb population." The OSCE called for the adoption of a legal framework for expeditious repossession of occupied property by their legitimate owners.22 Later that year, the head of the Helsinki Human Rights Watch in the Bosnian Serb Republic estimated that between 40,000 and 50,000 Serbs had been denied their right to ownership of their property in Croatia.23

  • 21. "Europeans tell Croatia to facilitate return of Serb refugees," Agence France Presse, March 14, 2001.
  • 22. "Return of ethnic Serb refugees Croatia’s most pressing commitment: OSCE," Agence France Presse, June 5, 2001.
  • 23. "Head of Bosnian Serb Human Rights Watch says Croatia’s human rights record poor," BBC Monitoring Europe, October 31, 2001.
2002

Intermediate Implementation

The UNHCR stated that the GoC needed to work on issues of citizenship and tenancy rights.24

  • 24. "UNHCR official urges Croatia to do more to encourage refugees to return," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 2, 2002.
2003

Intermediate Implementation

The Croatian government pledged to rebuild 8,000 homes in order to facilitate the return of refugees.25 President Mesic and Prime Minister Racan issue a call in 2003 for all refugees to return: "I call on all the refugees, citizens of Croatia, to return to their homeland and use the opportunity that is being given.”26  UNHCR begins to close their offices in Croatia. Their final estimate was that "by the end of 2003, over 100,000 Croatian Serbs had returned to their homes, while an estimated 230,00 internally displaced persons had also gone back.”27

  • 25. "Croatia to rebuild 8,000 homes in war-hit areas this year," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, February 21,  2003.
  • 26. "Croatia renews calls for Serb refugees to return," Agence France Presse, June 16, 2003.
  • 27. "UNHCR closes last three field offices in Croatia," BBC Sumary of World Broadcasts, January 3, 2004.
2004

Intermediate Implementation

The OSCE reports that the number of illegally occupied property cases was reduced from 3,500 in January to 2,300 in July. The OSCE pointed to judicial reform as the biggest obstacle to providing refugees a safe environment and the return of their property. The report states that the Croatian courts have a backlog of 1.5 million legal cases.28

  • 28. "OSCE identifies judicial reform as Croatia’s main problem," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, July 6, 2004.
2005

Intermediate Implementation

A senior Croatian diplomat tells the newspaper, The Independent, that “there are reasonable grounds for believing” that the swindle of Serbian homes in Croatia was deliberate and part of a “refined method of ethnic cleansing." Out of the 600,000 Serbs that lived in Croatia before the war, in 2005 only 200,000 remained.29 The same new story reveals that 186 Serb villages still lack electricity in 2004.30 A decade after the accord, the GoC continued to face criticism by the OSCE over judicial bias against Serbs preventing them from returning to their occupied homes.31 The US State Department reported in 2005 that they saw major problems with the process of property restitution for Serb refugees.32 A European Commission report in 2005 echoes the claim that Serbs cannot return to their homes if they do not have the legal means to reclaim their houses and property.33 

  • 29. "Balkan Home Truths: How Croatia swindled its exiled Serbs," The Independent, February 4, 2005.
  • 30. Ibid.
  • 31. "OSCE criticizes Croatia over judicial bias against Serbs," Agence France Presse, April 26, 2005.
  • 32. "US Department notes problems with Serbs, Roma rights in Croatia," BBC Monitoring Europe,  March 1, 2005.
  • 33. "European Commission issues report on Croatia," BBC Monitoring Europe, November 9, 2005.
Citizenship Reform

ERDUT AGREEMENT, ARTICLE 7:

All persons have the right to return freely to their place of residence in the region and to live there in conditions of security. All persons who have left the region or who have come to the region with previous permanent residence in Croatia have the right to live in the region.

Implementation History
1995

No Implementation

Approximately 200,000 Croatian Serbs fled to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia following the offenses by the Croatian military in the summer of 1995. The Erdut Agreement stipulates that those former Croatians who fled are allowed to return to Croatia and reclaim their property. Verifying prior residency in Croatia, as well as verifying property ownership requires identify documents, many of which, were issued during the period between 1992 and 1995 in which Serbs controlled a third of Croatia as the sovereign Republic of Serb Krajina. Hence, the Transitional Administration faced the task of verifying prior Croatian citizenship, residency and property ownership and issuing new Croatian identify documents to those that qualify. Citizen reform initiation does not take place in 1995. 

1996

Intermediate Implementation

The Government of Croatia passes legislation and makes announcements that incite Croatians to migrate to the former Serb controlled territory in hopes of gaining property. A Joint Implementation Committee on Civilian Administration was established and reached an agreement on the centralized issuance of essential identity documents by Croatian officials for a period of 2 months, to begin in August 1996 in three locales.1 By the end of August 1996, UNTAES reports advances in the centralized issuance of Croatian legal documents such as citizenship papers, birth certificates, identity cards and passports, however, the process is slow because the Croatian police want to interview all those seeking new papers. A review of the document processing centers opened by UNTAES at Ilok, Vukovar, Batina and Lua, reveals that they are falling far short of meeting the demand for identity documents. It is reported that roughly one-third of the applicants were Serbs at this point in the process.2 On 19 September, the Transitional Administrator and the Prime Minister of Croatia had a meeting to discuss “disturbing cases of inadequate cooperation, including undue delays in processing applications for Croatian citizenship and other documents.”3  Towards the end of September 1996, UNTAES reports that out of more than 11,500 applicants that submitted an application for a Croatian identity document, only 2,768 documents had been received by the applicants. Thus, 75 percent of citizenship documents were not processed for the applicants who needed them to return by the end of the first year following the peace agreement. Meanwhile, in 1995 and 1996, the GoC passes legislation that puts a time limit on returning refugees to reclaim their property and encourages the occupation of Serb homes by Croatians.4

  • 1. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1996/622).
  • 2. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1996/705).
  • 3. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1996/821).
  • 4. Ibid.
1997

Intermediate Implementation

By 10 February, there were 21 Croatian Government document offices in operation and they are producing collectively up to 8,000 documents a week. In January, UNTAES and the GoC established procedures for voter registration based on the issuance of Croatian documents in the region. UNTAES indicated in its February report that it cannot determine the percentage of the eligible voting population that has received identity documents. The UN also reports that they have become aware that the number of identity documents processed, as reported by the GoC, do not distinguish between documents issued and documents denied to applicants.5 By the end of December 1997, 145,000 new citizenship papers and 126,000 new passports had been processed. The Administrative Court, as of December 1997, had not yet resolved around 900 appeals against denials of citizenship (UNTAES: Recent Development, 22 December 1997). Despite the urging of UNTAES officials, the Government of Croatia (GoC) refuses to recognize Serb documents dating back to 1991, such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates and drivers licenses. This generated untold problems for those individuals – mostly Serbs— as they try to obtain employment, health care, property, and rehabilitation assistance.6

 

  • 5. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1997/148), February 24, 1997.
  • 6. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1997/487), June 23, 1997.
1998

Intermediate Implementation

The GoC announces almost three years after the Erdut Basic Agreement that a new law would be passed to make it less difficult for Serb refugees to get new citizenship documents. According to the foreign ministry spokesperson (Trkanjec), “This document is an important step forward in the return process. The biggest change is that people will be able to get the necessary documents for return from Croatian embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions”. The story goes on to say that after applying for new documents, the refugees can “visit” their homes while they wait for their official documents to be processed.7 Serbian associations protest the elections in Croatia in which hundreds of thousands of Serb returnees are denied the right to vote based on their outdated citizenship documents. The Serbian group issued a statement that condemns the Croatian government for evicting Serbs from the towns and areas where they have lived for centuries and preventing them from returning by “denying their right to identification documents.”8 

  • 7. "Croatia adopts document to aid return of Serb refugees," Agence france presse, March 31, 1998.
  • 8. "Croatian Serb refugees protest against denial of voting rights," BBC Summary of World Broadcast, September 12, 1998.
1999

Intermediate Implementation

UNTAES formally ends its mandate in Croatia on 15 January 1998.9 After the termination of the UN Transitional Administration, no further information on the processing of citizenship documents could be found.

  • 9. "UNTAES: Brief Chronology."
2000

Intermediate Implementation

After the termination of the UN Transitional Administration, no further information on the processing of citizenship documents could be found.

2001

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2002

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2003

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2004

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2005

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

UN Transitional Authority

ERDUT AGREEMENT, ARTICLES 1&2:

1. There will be a transitional period of 12 months which may be extended at most to another period of the same duration if so requested by one of the parties.

Implementation History
1995

No Implementation

A transitional administration is not established in 1995.

1996

Full Implementation

In Resolution 1037 (1996), the Security Council established UNTAES for an initial period of 12 months, with the possibility for an extension of another term of 12 months. In July of 1996, public statements by Croat politicians and officials indicated that the GoC would not agree to an extension of UNTAES beyond its initial mandate of 15 January 1997. The Serb communities have indicated that they are in favor of UNTAES being extended for another 12 months.1 On 12 August 1996, President Tudjman tells the Transitional Administrator that the GoC will agree to only a three-month extension of the mandate.2

  • 1. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1996/622).
  • 2. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1996/705).
1997

Full Implementation

As of 23 June 1997, UNTAES is comprised of 142 people working in headquarters, 3,700 people listed in operations, 738 in support units, 100 military observers, and 432 civilian police.3

  • 3. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1997/487), June 23, 1997.
1998

Full Implementation

UNTAES formally ends its mandate in Croatia on 15 January 1998.4

  • 4. "UNTAES: Brief Chronology."
1999

Full Implementation

A transitional administration completed its mandate in 1998.

2000

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2001

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2002

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2003

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2004

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2005

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

Verification/Monitoring Mechanism

ERDUT AGREEMENT, ARTICLE 10:

Interested countries and organizations are requested to take appropriate steps to promote the accomplishment of the commitments in this agreement. After the expiration of the transition period and consistent with established practice, the international community shall monitor and report on respect for human rights in the region on a long-term basis.

Implementation History
1995

No Implementation

The Erdut Agreement called for substantial verification of the implementation process by the UN. To provide such verification, the Transitional Administrator established a number of joint working committees to help oversee the implementation of particular areas of the accord. The Erdut Agreement emphases, in particular, the implementation of human rights reforms and civilian administration reforms. In establishing joint implementation committees, the UN Transitional Administrator appears to favor these areas as well. The verification mechanism was not established in 1995. 

1996

Full Implementation

A Joint Implementation Committee on Civilian Administration was established in 1996 and reached an agreement with the GoC on the centralized issuance of identity documents by Croatian officials to begin in August 1996 in three locales.1 Also in 1996, UNTAES commences human rights training with a seminar conducted by the newly established Joint Implementation Committee on Human Rights. The seminar took place near the area of Osijek, Croatia. The members of all the Joint Implementation Committees were invited.2 A Joint Implementation Committee on Refugee Returns is established and begins working on several pilot studies. In August of 1996, the UNHCR- chaired Joint Implementation Committee on Refugee Returns reports progress from their first pilot study on refugee returns.3 In October of 1996, it was reported by the UN Transitional Administration that Serb leaders were trying to block progress on the creation of some of the Joint Implementation Committees until there is more importance put on the “status and functions of the Serb community’s Joint Council of Municipalities."4

  • 1. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1996/622).
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1996/821).
1997

Full Implementation

In June of 1997, UNTAES reports that a Joint Working Group on IDPs and Refugees was established and is working with the GoC to establish a Land Bank to help individuals purchase back housing that was illegally sold or destroyed.5 In Resolution 1120 (1997) the Security Council extended the mandate of UNTAES until 15 January 1998. UNTAES indicates in its report that the GoC is calling for the mandate of UNTAES to be terminated.6

  • 5. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations (S/1997/487), June 23, 1997.
  • 6. "Report of the Secretary-General on UNTAES," United Nations ( S/1997/767), October 2, 1997.
1998

Full Implementation

UNTAES formally ends its mandate in Croatia on 15 January 1998.7 The verification mandate was completed.

  • 7. "UNTAES: Brief Chronology."
1999

Full Implementation

The verification mandate was completed.

2000

Full Implementation

The verification mandate was completed.

2001

Full Implementation

The verification mandate was completed.

2002

Full Implementation

The verification mandate was completed.

2003

Full Implementation

The verification mandate was completed.

2004

Full Implementation

The verification mandate was completed.

2005

Full Implementation

The verification mandate was completed.

UN Peacekeeping Force

ERDUT AGREEMENT, ARTICLE 3:

Implementation History
1995

No Implementation

The Erdut Basic Agreement was signed on 12 November 1995 and includes a provision for a deployment of peacekeeping forces. No developments were reported for November or December for this provision.

1996

Full Implementation

On January 15 1996, UNTAES was established under Resolution 1037. In the resolution, the demilitarization of the region was to begin within 30 days after the military component of UNTAES (5000 troops) is deployed. On 20 May 1996, 5,349 UNTAES troops are fully deployed. On 21 May, the Transitional Administrator announces that the process of demilitarization has begun. On 20 June 1996, the demilitarization process is concluded.1

  • 1. "UNTAES, Brief Chronology."
1997

Full Implementation

UNTAES plans and starts a phased drawdown of its troops. As of 31 August, the force contained 2,385 troops, 412 civilian police, and 101 military observers.2 By 15 November 1997, UNTAES completes phase two of the drawdown of forces. Only 800 military troops remain.3

1998

Full Implementation

UNTAES formally ends its mandate in Croatia on 15 January 1998 and the remaining troops are pulled out.4

1999

Full Implementation

The peacekeeping mandate was complete.

2000

Full Implementation

The peacekeeping mandate was complete.

2001

Full Implementation

The peacekeeping mandate was complete.

2002

Full Implementation

The peacekeeping mandate was complete.

2003

Full Implementation

The peacekeeping mandate was complete.

2004

Full Implementation

The peacekeeping mandate was complete.

2005

Full Implementation

The peacekeeping mandate was complete.

Please always cite: Peace Accords Matrix (Date of retrieval: (03/26/2017),
http://peaceaccords.nd.edu/accord/erdut-agreement,
Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame.