Serbia : Military Intervention Threatens Democratic Reform
Serbia : Military Intervention Threatens Democratic Reform
Table of Contents
  1. Overview

Serbia : Military Intervention Threatens Democratic Reform

The Yugoslav Army’s arrest on 14 March 2002 of a leading Serbian politician and a U.S. diplomat signals that for the first time the Army has openly entered the political arena and is explicitly attempting to set limits on political debate and policy.

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I. Overview

The Yugoslav Army’s arrest on 14 March 2002 of a leading Serbian politician and a U.S. diplomat signals that for the first time the Army has openly entered the political arena and is explicitly attempting to set limits on political debate and policy.  Serbian politicians will cross those red lines at their peril.  The nationalist, conservative and corrupt military, which as the incident demonstrates is at least substantially beyond civilian control, seems intent on protecting important elements of the Milosevic legacy and is apparently now prepared to intervene more openly to influence negatively a broad range of policies, including the domestic reform agenda, cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, and relations with neighbouring countries.  That Serbia is struggling to decide whether its course is toward the European mainstream or the reactionary polity of a Belarus should be of great concern to the international community.

Brussels/Belgrade, 28 March 2002

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