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Croatia Accuses Serbia Of Genocide At ICJ

Croatia says Serbia remains "in denial" over genocide allegedly committed in the early 1990s, at the start of hearings in a long-running court case at The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Croatia's representative, Vesna Crnic-Grotic, told the court that "time and again, new governments have come into power in Serbia who are unwilling to confront the truth."

Croatia in 1999 sued Serbia at the ICJ on genocide charges relating to Zagreb's 1991-95 war of independence following the collapse of the former Yugoslavia.

Croatia accused Serbia of "ethnic cleansing," which it said was a form of genocide.

Belgrade responded with a countersuit, saying some 200,000 ethnic Serbs were forced to flee in 1995 when Zagreb launched a military operation -- known as Operation Storm -- to retake its territory.

The ICJ in 2007 ruled that genocide took place in mid-1995 at Srebrenica in neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina, when almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb troops.

The hearings at The Hague-based ICJ are scheduled to end on April 1.

Based on reporting by AFP and RFE/RL's Balkan Service