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Suit Against NATO Is Filed by Yugoslavia

March 24, 1994| From Reuters

THE HAGUE — The International Court of Justice said Wednesday that Yugoslavia has started proceedings against NATO, accusing members of breaching the U.N. Charter by threatening to use force in Bosnia-Herzegovina without Security Council authorization.

The court said in a statement that Yugoslavia, now made up of Serbia and Montenegro, has filed suit against NATO's member states for issuing an ultimatum threatening to bomb Serbian artillery encircling Sarajevo.

Yugoslavia says the ultimatum breached U.N. rules because the threat of force had not been authorized by the Security Council.

At the time of the ultimatum, NATO officials said the threat of force was permissible under previous Security Council resolutions relating to the Bosnian crisis.

Artillery attacks on the Bosnian capital ended when the Serbs withdrew their guns from surrounding hills after NATO threatened air strikes if they were not removed by midnight Feb. 21.

The international court indicated that Yugoslavia's case may never be heard if individual NATO states do not agree to answer the charge.

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