Europe

Ex-Yugoslav leader Trifunovic, symbol of senseless war, dies

  • FILE - In this March 19, 2010 file photo, Ex-Yugoslav army Gen. Vlado Trifunovic speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Belgrade, Serbia. Serbia’s state TV says former Yugoslav army general Vlado Trifunovic, whose treason conviction by Serbia’s wartime nationalist leadership became a symbol of senselessness of the 1990s’ Balkan conflict, has died aged 78. Tuesday’s reports say Trifunovic died on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 in Belgrade. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)

    FILE - In this March 19, 2010 file photo, Ex-Yugoslav army Gen. Vlado Trifunovic speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Belgrade, Serbia. Serbia’s state TV says former Yugoslav army general Vlado Trifunovic, whose treason conviction by Serbia’s wartime nationalist leadership became a symbol of senselessness of the 1990s’ Balkan conflict, has died aged 78. Tuesday’s reports say Trifunovic died on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 in Belgrade. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 19, 2010 file photo, Ex-Yugoslav army Gen. Vlado Trifunovic speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Belgrade, Serbia. Serbia’s state TV says former Yugoslav army general Vlado Trifunovic, whose treason conviction by Serbia’s wartime nationalist leadership became a symbol of senselessness of the 1990s’ Balkan conflict, has died aged 78. Tuesday’s reports say Trifunovic died on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 in Belgrade. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)

    FILE - In this March 19, 2010 file photo, Ex-Yugoslav army Gen. Vlado Trifunovic speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Belgrade, Serbia. Serbia’s state TV says former Yugoslav army general Vlado Trifunovic, whose treason conviction by Serbia’s wartime nationalist leadership became a symbol of senselessness of the 1990s’ Balkan conflict, has died aged 78. Tuesday’s reports say Trifunovic died on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 in Belgrade. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)  (The Associated Press)

Serbia state television says former Yugoslav army general Vlado Trifunovic, whose treason conviction by Serbia's wartime nationalist leadership became a symbol of the senselessness of the 1990s' Balkan conflict, has died. He was 78.

The state TV reported Tuesday that Trifunovic died on Sunday in Belgrade.

Trifunovic was in charge of a Yugoslav army unit in independence-seeking Croatia as war broke out in 1991. He disobeyed orders to fight and instead negotiated a safe passage for his young troops.

He was convicted of treason by the nationalist government of Yugoslavia's then-President Slobodan Milosevic. Anti-war Serbs hailed him as a hero for saving the soldiers' lives.

Croatia and Slovenia also accused Trifunovic of war crimes. Serbia's TV says Trifunovic will be buried in his native Bosnia.