Serbia’s police shut down youth military camp

NEWS 17.08.2018 12:32
Source: Printscreen

Serbia’s Interior Minister said on Friday that the police shut down a children military camp on the Mt. Zlatibor, in the western part of the country, that followed the pattern of similar bases in Russia, N1 reported.

Nebojsa Stefanovic told reporters that the camp was closed and the children safely sent back home.

“We ordered that the camp is disbanded due to possible misuse of the children,” Stefanovic said.

The participants in the camp were teenagers, but also some over 20 years of age.

The news of armed youngsters running around the mountain appeared in regional media on Thursday.

Berko Zecevic, a military analyst, told N1 that the camp aimed to ideologically influence the children, adding that was against the all conventions on children protection and Geneva conventions on war conduct.

He said that in such camps “children could be turned into a successful weapon for political elites in solving some ugly situations.”

The arms were so-called practice rifles once used by the army in their exercises.

The head of the Cajetina municipality did not see anything wrong in teaching children the patriotism and history, along with arms handling.

“This is a humanitarian, patriotic camp where children are taught the traditional Serb values… They do that because they want to protect themselves, to prepare for life, to safeguard their families,” Milan Stamatovic, now a member of the opposition Alliance of Serbia, said.