NGOs fall out over donations

The NGOs that left REKOM have accused Humanitarian Law Center Director Nataša Kandić of "privatizing the initiative".

Source: Blic
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The NGOs believe that Kandić spent millions that were intended for Regional Commission Tasked with Establishing the Facts about All Victims of War Crimes (REKOM).

The Humanitarian Law Center director told daily Blic however that the real problem was the fact that “NGOs have turned into project organizations”. Rejecting the accusations, she stressed that REKOM’s financing was transparent and that it could be seen on its website at www.rekom.org.

“The cause for these attacks that have been going on since the very beginning is a consequence of war. It’s about post-war societies that spent too much time in the ugliness and they are now ignoring the fact that it is an important initiative for winning a battle with the past,” Kandić said and warned that nobody would stop REKOM from being formed.

NGOs, primarily from Bosnia-Herzegovina, claim that Kandić and the Humanitarian Law Fund receieved EUR 3.5mn from the international funds for the realization of the idea and that they have shut out everybody else from the decision making and therefore violated REKOM's statute.

Republic of Srpska (RS) Helsinki Committee for Human Rights President Branko Todorović says that the Humanitarian Law Fund “is the first project and business organization whose director is acting like Stalin – not consulting the Coordinating Council and appointing her husband as a media campaign director with an average monthly salary of EUR 2.800“.

He believes that REKOM was megalomaniacally conceived “because Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia as well as Kosovo cannot be placed in the same context as other republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia“.

He pointed out, on the other hand, that almost none of veterans, camp inmates, war victims and the missing associations from Bosnia-Herzegovina approved of Belgrade and Zagreb having priority in determining the facts.

Prijedor-based Izvor war victims association President Edin Ramulić told B92 that Kandić had never been open to Bosnia-Herzegovina organizations and that she used to decide who got to participate in debates organized in expensive hotels such as Splendid in Bečići and Park in Novi Sad. He points out that the problem is that “nobody will be able to get money for similar projects anymore“.

Kandić has denied the allegations that she left REKOM, adding that she resigned from the Coordinating Council and kept her technical position in the Secretariat.

She stressed that there was not enough money for the planned 2,500 volunteers and that there were only 500-600 of them instead, “which is one of the reasons why a million of signatures has not been collected“.

Kandić pointed out that 500,000 signatures represented a huge success and announced that a request for forming of REKOM would soon be officially handed to "presidents of Serbia and Kosovo".

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