The Union of Serbia’s army said late on Tuesday that because it was not satisfied with the work of Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin, the military would not violently change the regime, but neither would it ever go against its people, the Beta news agency reported.
The Union’s statement also called on the respective institutions and President Aleksandar Vucic to immediately prevent Vulin’s “subversive, criminal, fascist and anti-constitutional actions.”
The Union’s reaction came hours after the army chiefs said the military wouldn’t allow any coup attempt and would not be used to topple the government.
“The Army of Serbia (VS), as keeper of peace and stability, will not allow any attempt at a coup d’etat and is warning anyone announcing or calling for one that they could be held accountable under the law,” said the statement released after a meeting of the Board of the Defence Minister and Chief of General Staff.
It added that the VS was equipped and ready to fulfill every order from the President and preserve the peace and stability of the country and its people.
“The VS (Serbian Army) is telling everyone, at home and abroad, that it is not and will not be a tool to topple the legal and legitimate authorities in Serbia nor the violent toppling of constitutional order,” the statement said.
It came four days ahead of the huge anti-government rally scheduled for next Saturday in Belgrade, supposed to gather all those protesting across Serbia for several months.
The Union said it would fulfill its constitutional role and all orders, but it’s constitutionally obliged to defend the country from threats from abroad, but not from its people and their will or dissatisfaction,” the statement said.
It added that people had the constitutional right to express their opinion even the one “Vulin doesn’t like.”
The Union reminded Vulin that the law obliged the army to refuse orders which would be an equivalent to a crime and that there was no “greater crime than shooting at own people.”