Deputy Commander Of Serbian Red Berets Who Closed Motor Road In Belgrade Says They Were Upholding Professional Honour

The red berets uphold their professional honour and want law and order to guide their work, said a major on condition of anonymity who is the second in command of the special-operations unit of the Serbian Interior Ministry which recently closed traffic in front of the Sava Center in Belgrade. He said that last night his unit was visited by Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, seeking to regulate the situation and find a way out. The conversation lasted for over three hours and, according to the major, the prime minister voiced "understanding of the reasons for protest" by the red berets but was not ready to back them. The major thanked Zoran Djindjic for understanding them but was firm that his unit would continue to uphold their professional honour and dignity. He noted that the red berets recognise The Hague Tribunal as Serbia does. Simultaneously, he stressed that the detaining and arrest of persons which The Hague Tribunal suspects of committing military crimes should only rely on the adoption of a relative law. The red beret unit in full arrived in Belgrade from their permanent dislocation in Kula. On Monday they blocked one of the main thoroughfares of the Yugoslav capital. Pretext for their actions, which the authorities view as insubordination, is the arrest of brothers Nenad and Predrag Banovic by the red berets. The brothers were then extradited to The Hague Tribunal. The major said that the red berets refuse to participate in operations involving arrest of Serbians which The Hague Tribunal suspects of committing military crimes and insist on resignation of Interior Minister Dusan Mihajlovic.

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