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World Court to Decide on Bosnia Genocide Case


The United Nations' highest court has begun deliberations in Bosnia's case against Serbia and Montenegro because of the Balkan conflict in the 1990s.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague said Tuesday that judges would issue a decision in "due course."

Bosnia-Herzegovina accuses Serbia and Montenegro of complicity in genocide, and it is seeking compensation.

Lawyers for Serbia and Montenegro say the claims are exaggerated and reject the court's jurisdiction. They note that the United Nations had suspended membership to then-Yugoslavia before the case was filed in 1993.

Justices at the so-called World Court must first decide if they have jurisdiction in the case, before ruling on the genocide allegations.

The court has no authority to enforce its decisions, but can refer any refusal to cooperate to the U.N. Security Council.

The 1995 U.S.-brokered Dayton Peace Accords that halted the Balkan conflict split Bosnia into a Serb Republic and a Muslim-Croat Federation, each with its own government and army. An estimated 200,000 people died in the war.

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