Balkans : juger les criminels de guerre ne suffit pas

La longue tragédie de la Serbie semble se terminer. La mort de Slobodan Milosevic a été suivie de peu par le référendum sur l'indépendance du Monténégro, et le Kosovo lui aussi progresse lentement vers l'indépendance.

Les guerres qui ont suivi l'éclatement de la Yougoslavie ont non seulement été une épreuve pour les peuples de ce pays, mais elles ont soulevé des questions de toute première importance quant à l'exercice de la justice internationale. Les tribunaux internationaux du genre de celui auquel a été confronté Milosevic jusqu'à sa mort contribuent-ils ou sont-ils un obstacle à l'autocritique et la réconciliation dans des sociétés meurtries ? Renforcent-ils ou nuisent-ils à la stabilité politique nécessaire à la reconstruction de communautés anéanties et d'économies à la dérive ?

La réponse à ces questions est ambiguë. Le bilan du Tribunal pénal international pour ex-Yougoslavie (TPIY) basé à La Haye devrait permettre d'évaluer la stratégie consistant à utiliser de tels procès pour contribuer à mettre fin aux guerres civiles et aux autres conflits. En 13 ans, le TPIY, qui compte 1200 employés, a dépensé 1,25 milliards de dollars pour juger une poignée de criminels de guerre. Si les membres de tous les groupes ethniques ont commis des crimes, durant les cinq premières années de fonctionnement du TPIY, les Serbes ont été surreprésentés par rapport aux autres groupes, ce qui a donné l'impression, même aux adversaires du régime de Milosevic, qu'il était anti-Serbe et rendait une justice politique.

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