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Interview: Ljubisa Savic Mauzer: I Betrayed the Thieves

31 August 1996 Ljubisa Savic Mauzer, the social worker, the leader of the guard "Panters", is extremely respected in Semberia. He lives with his family in a humble apartment at the Social Work Center. It could be said that he insists on being noticed that he has not benefited in the war. He speaks slowly and in details. He has "deserted" SDS because the party, as he puts it, has started serving the leaders instead of the people. As for the Block of the Center, where he is the first candidate on the list for the Parliament of RS, he says he does not wish to gain power but to establish it since it lacks in Republika Srpska. We ask what this war was like, since he actively participated for almost four years. He says this was the strangest war ever in which anything was possible: Serbs fight against all the others, the Moslems fight against Croats, Moslems against Moslems, Serbs with Croats against Moslems, Serbs among themselves, descendants of cetniks and partisans, military and civil government... In short, he says, the Second World War was Disneyland compared to this one.

Vreme: What are your comments on the charges of war crimes against Mladic?

Mauzer: He was a soldier, an executor. Since it is said that all decisions were made by the Parliament, if someone who gave him orders to carry out the military tasks should hold responsible, I do not see why the president of the Parliament (Krajisnik) could not be convicted for this war. Of course, it is clear that Clinton, facing the elections, has to remove "rebels" that "robbed and raped" so as to prove that his political job here was completed, not only his military job.

You are also accused for war crimes. The press from Sarajevo says the indictment has been passed to Hague. They call you "Arkan from Bjelovar", confidential man of KOS.

Due to my political engagement and the balance of power in RS, Vojislav Seselj says a similar thing. Whether their source is the same, I do not know, but he also says that I am the man KOS has trained for 15 years.

Why have you deserted SDS?

Because they have wasted the national "charge" that springs up once in a hundred years, because some individuals made it vulgar by various machinizations and privileges, because the people are brought to misery, because they alienated us from the entire world, because their conduct toward those who were creating this state was extremely incorrect, because the state had no institutions, because, for example, there was no fuel for the tanks and the ambulance vehicles while at the same time it could be bought at every gas station... in short, because of the fact that individuals usurped SDS and ruined a noble movement.

What are the Block’s expectations from the elections?

It expects that nobody will have absolute power, i.e. that it will be controlled. We do not wish to overtake, but to establish power that presently does not exist. It would be best that SDS gains a relative majority, and that the rest of us could control it to the extent that we may substitute the prime minister. For them the power would be God’s punishment for what they did. Let them themselves arrest their own war benefiters and resolve their scandals, and we will be closely watching right behind them.

However, SDS promotes the attitude that there is no existence of RS without them in power?

None of the parties created the state, the people did, the poor people as in any war. As for the notion that there will be no Serbian people without them, it is only natural that those who turned dictators from foreman and live in three-room apartments after living in rented rooms speak that way. They could even be forgiven for protecting what they "gained", but they can not be forgiven for attacking the others that shed blood for this state while they were gathering wealth. The essence of everything is to preserve privileges and hide schemes.

The Block has entered an incomplete coalition with the socialists. The only mutual candidate for the presidency of the BIH Union is Mladen Ivanic? Is that a choice or rather, pressure from Serbia?

At first the opposition in Serbian attempted to make the Block its affiliation, which was refused. There were considerations -I would not call it pressure- both in Belgrade and Banjaluka, to back up the same candidates for the highest positions through a personal coalition with the left block in order to avoid a division of the electorate. However, out of formal and legal reasons (both president and vice president of RS must be from the same party) and some essential reasons (not to mirror exactly the black and white picture of Serbia) the agreement has not been reached.

It was revealed that the Serbs defended their homes by seizing somebody else’s and deserted their own?

It is likely that it will never be known who needed this war since many interests coincided...

Evidently, unnecessary destruction happened. Since we had 70% of territory, there was a surplus of housing facilities. Of those that were uninhabited, there were robberies and arson. Only now when we came down to 49%, we see that all that was not necessary. The fact that we had more artillery made us fire at industrial resources and plants, as though the war would never stop and nobody would need them any more. Of course, there was devastation aimed at hiding evidence of robbery.
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