- Title: YUGOSLAVIA: MERCENARY OFFICER HIRED BY SERBIA TO FORM ELITE COMMANDO UNIT
- Date: 12th November 1991
- Summary: BELGRADE, YUGOSLAVIA (NOVEMBER 8, 1991) 1. SV VOLUNTEERS MARCHING IN BELGRADE 0.03 2. SV DRAGAN WATCHING TV PICTURES OF VOLUNTEERS 0.06 3. CU DRAGAN SPEAKING (ENGLISH) AS NOTED BELOW 0.14 4. SVS PEOPLE SITTING OUTSIDE CAFES IN BELGRADE, MAN GAZING AT SHOP WINDOW, DRAGAN SPEAKING OVER PICTURES (ENGLISH) AS NOTED BELOW (3 SHOTS) 0.26 5. CU DRAGAN SPEAKING (ENGLISH) AS NOTED BELOW 0.34 6. GV/SV FEDERAL TROOPS FIRING ARTILLERY, DRAGAN SPEAKING (ENGLISH) OVER PICTURES AS NOTED BELOW (2 SHOTS) 0.43 7. CU DRAGAN SPEAKING (ENGLISH) AS NOTED BELOW 0.48 8. SVS/CUS FEDERAL TROOPS FIRING ARTILLERY, DRAGAN CONTINUES TO SPEAK (ENGLISH) AS NOTED BELOW (4 SHOTS) 1.19 TRANSCRIPT SEQS. 3-4-5-6-7-8: DRAGAN: "THE SITUATION IS VERY COMPLEX. UNFORTUNATELY, SERBIA DOESN'T HAVE AN ARMY. SERBIANS ARE FIGHTING IN THE FEDERAL ARMY. WE HAVE TO WAKE UP HERE AND REALISE THAT THERE IS A WAR GOING ON. AS YOU CAN SEE YOURSELF HERE IN BELGRADE, LIFE GOES ON. THEY'RE CALLING THIS A MILITARY EXERCISE. IF THIS IS A MILITARY EXERCISE, IT'S DEFINITELY ONE OF THE BLOODIEST MILITARY EXERCISES THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK THE CROATIAN SIDE IS ADAPTING MUCH QUICKER. THEY HAVE THEIR ARMY. SERBIANS DON'T HAVE THEIR ARMY. I THINK THE MORALE IS PROBABLY A FACTOR WHICH IS ON THE CROATIAN SIDE AT THE MOMENT. EUROPEAN COMMUNITY IS IN THE WRONG PART. THEY WILL NEVER SOLVE THIS PROBLEM UNLESS THEY PUT A GREEN LINE ON THE BORDERS OF 1980 AND, WELL, WHATEVER, I DON'T KNOW. I THINK THAT IT'S LIKELY THAT SERBIANS MIGHT ACCEPT...I MEAN, I'M NOT AUTHORISED AND I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH INFORMATION TO MAKE SUCH A DECISION. BUT I THINK THE GREEN LINE AT THE BORDERS OF 1990 IS THE ONLY LOGICAL SOLUTION." Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 27th November 1991 12:00
- Location: BELGRADE, YUGOSLAVIA
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVAA9OZJ5UBWZKILH9Y300WS0J63
- Story Text: BELGRADE, YUGOSLAVIA
Serbian leaders, allegedly disappointed by the Yugoslav Federal Army's performance against Croatia militiamen, have hired an Australian mercenary to create an elite Serbian commando force.
The man, known as "Captain Dragan", told Visnews on Friday (November 8) that he would be in charge of making appointment in Serbia's new military high command, and would train a special Serbian Interior Ministry unit to strike hard against enemies who attack Serbian territory.
Dragan said that Serbia does not presently have its own army.While watching some Serbs sitting outside cafes in Belgrade, he said that "we have to wake up....as you can see, life goes on here in Belgrade".He ridiculed the alleged disinterest of Serbs in Belgrade, and warned that the "Croatian side is adapting better that the Serbian side".Dragan said "the Croatians have an army and have aims...the Serbians don't".
According to Serbian officials, Croatians and Slovenians have their own republican militias, but Serbia relies on the Federal army, whose officer corps is largely Serbian-led.New Serbian legislation would allow the formation of the republic's own military force.
<strong>Source: REUTERS - NIKOLA VITOROVIC</strong>
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