Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of
Practice Relating to Rule 7. The Principle of Distinction between Civilian Objects and Military Objectives
Section A. The principle of distinction
The Report on the Practice of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) states that the “armed conflict in Croatia in which [the] YPA [Yugoslav People’s Army] participated was particularly characterized by the disregard of the obligation to respect the distinction between civilian objects and military objectives”. The report considers, however, that:
In evaluating the official position of [the] FRY, it is important to point out that during October 1991 [the] Chief of General Staff of the YPA issued two orders instructing troops to strictly comply with rules of humanitarian law … The fact that the YPA had sent a commission of inquiry to Dubrovnik to establish the effects of [the] shelling indicates the awareness of the need to respect the distinction between civilian objects and military objectives. Opinio juris
existed, however, the relevant rule was not respected in practice.