Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic is traveling to Mostar in southwest Bosnia on Monday to meet the Bosnian Croat community leaders and to try to calm passions roused by last week’s tumultuous sentencing of six Bosnian Croat war criminals and the suicide in court of a Bosnian Croat who drank poison Slobodan Praljak.
According to sources, Plenkovic announced the visit last Friday after meeting the Croat member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency and leader of the main Bosnian Croat political party, Dragan Covic.
“We decided to come to Mostar beginning of next week and meet the Bosnian Croat leadership and veterans to send them calming messages that the Republic of Croatia supports them,” said Plenkovic.
Moreover, he also announced that Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Wednesday would voice Croatia's dissatisfaction with the court ruling at a UN Security Council meeting in New York.
Croats in Bosnia expressed outrage last Wednesday over the final verdict by the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, and condemned it.
The six war criminals were former senior political and military officials in the wartime statelet of Herzeg-Bosna, and were found guilty for atrocities committed against [Bosniaks] in the area under their control.
In the final minutes of the last judgment at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which closes next month after 24 years, Slobodan Praljak’s was seen drink from a small glass which was apparently his courtroom suicide.
The white-bearded Praljak, 72, was taken to hospital after drinking from the tiny glass as an ICTY judge read out appeals rulings against him and five other convicted Bosnian Croat war criminals.
Bosnian Croats held that night a vigil in Mostar, lighting candles in front of the cultural center where Plenkovic will lay down flowers on Monday.
On Tuesday, he will meet Bosnian Croat veterans and Bosnian Croat political leaders.