Challenges to democracy and economy

Unresolved issues from the 1991-95 War

BiH brought a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice in 1993 against the now defunct Yugoslavia (and then Serbia-Montenegro) for aggression and genocide in the Bosnian war.

A Bosnian war crimes court in Sarajevo sentenced Montenegrin Veselin Vlahovic to a maximum of 45 years imprisonment in April 2013 for crimes he committed as a member of the paramilitary White Angels, allied to the Bosnian Serb Army during the Bosnian war.

Feelings also run high in Croatia concerning Montenegrin involvement in hostilities against Croatia, especially the shelling of Dubrovnik in 1991. Montenegro and Croatia agreed in 2008 to have the International Court of Justice arbitrate the status of the Prevlaka Peninsula.

Corruption and crime

There is widespread suspicion that major political figures have amassed personal fortunes through criminal activities or corruption. Among others, former President and Prime Minister Đukanović have been accused of ties to mafia groups involved in tobacco smuggling. Warrants for his arrest were issued in Italy. In 2008, Đukanović made a low profile visit to the prosecutor’s office in Bari, Italy to address the accusations against him. All charges against him were dropped in 2009.

The Foundation “Dusko Jovanovic”

Dusko Jovanovic (Courtesy of the Dusko Jovanovic Foundation)


On 2004, a prominent journalist, Dusko Jovanović, was murdered. An editor of the opposition newspaper Dan and a deputy in parliament for the opposition Socialist People's Party, he took a stand against Montenegrin independence, and wrote investigative reports on smuggling in the Republic. There have been allegations that senior political figures were implicated in the crime, although this was never proven. In 2006, a Podgorica Court cleared the only suspect in the case following a lengthy trial. The murder remains unsolved, underlining the concern of many that violence and fear are continuing components of Montenegrin politics.


Eighteen Albanians from the Malesija area, a predominantly Albanian region near Podgorica, were arrested in 2006 and charged with setting up a group to launch an armed separatist rebellion. Police stated that they found weapons and explosives hidden near the town of Tuzi, in Malesija. The plot allegedly was launched with help from groups in Kosovo and the U.S. Six percent of Macedonians are ethnic Albanians.