Two Croatian commanders of the 1990s war against the Serbs have been found guilty of war crimes for overseeing a policy of ethnic cleansing aimed at expelling tens of thousands of minority Serbs from newly independent Croatia. Judges in The Hague found Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac guilty on eight of nine counts for commanding operations that entailed the shelling of civilians, the torching of Serbian homes in south-west Croatia, the murder of hundreds of elderly Serbs and the forced exodus of at least 20,000 from the Serbian minority rooted in the Dalmatian hinterland for centuries. A third accused, Ivan Cermak, was acquitted. It is the most damning verdict on Croatia's conduct of the 1991-95 war against the Serbs in 17 years of investigations by the international war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.