Croat to surrender to The Hague

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The Independent Online

The Croatian Prime Minister, Ivica Racan, said yesterday that one of two army generals was willing to surrender voluntarily, reaffirming Mr Racan's commitment to hand over suspects to the UN war crimes tribunal.

Mr Racan's pro-Western government agreed last week to extradite the two – the first Croats accused by the tribunal in The Hague of wartime atrocities against the Serbs. The indictments have upset many Croats, who tend to consider themselves the sole victims of the 1991 war. The conflict erupted when the country's Serbs took up arms to rebel against Croatia's independence from Yugoslavia.

Mr Racan's insistence on co-operating with the court triggered the threat of mass protests by veterans and raised the possibility of a political crisis that could unseat Mr Racan's cabinet, which has been in power for only 18 months.

Croatian government sources said the two suspects are retired General Ante Gotovina, a local commander in 1995, and General Rahim Ademi, who was in charge of the 1993 operation in central Croatia. (AP)