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QANA MASSACRE OF CHILDREN

July 31, 2006 12 comments

Israeli/Hezbollah conflict resulted in:
THE MASSACRE OF CHILDREN: QANA, LEBANON

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Hezbollah Terrorists bear direct responsibility for the slaughter of innocence. This time we are reporting about the massacre of Lebanese children in the village of Qana, close to the border with Israel. We also wish to pay respect to all victims regardless of their background. May they rest in peace.

Today, when Israeli war planes attacked Qana, at least 60 civilians were killed, among them at least 37 were children. Conflict between Israeli Defense Forces and Hezbollah is has resulted in many innocent victims being killed on both sides. Recently, Hezbollah’s rockets killed two Israeli-Arab boys (brothers) in a Muslim village in the northern Israel. Both, IDF and Hezbollah are indiscriminately firing rockets on Lebanese and Israeli civilians.

Today, it is the deadliest single strike since Israel unleashed its war on Lebanon. When Israel invaded Lebanon in June 1982, the human and material cost was devastating. Tens of thousands civilians were killed and hundreds of thousands were made homeless. Over 80 percent of the casualties were civilians, Lebanese and Palestinian.

Israel, the US, Hezbollah and several European governments were in no rush to reach a ceasefire until this massacre happened. Israel suspended air attacks on south Lebanon for 48 hours in the face of widespread outrage over an airstrike Sunday that killed at least 60

Lebanese, almost all of them women and children, when it leveled a building where they had taken shelter.

Hezbollah terrorists continued to fire rockets on Israel. Dozens of other villages in the region around the southern port city of Tyre were also bombarded for two hours overnight with fire from the Israeli navy, air force and artillery. Israeli planes also tore up the Masnaa border crossing into Syria, leading to the closure of the main Damascus-Beirut route.

[Update: Despite an agreement to stop airstrikes for 48 hours, both sides continued conflict. Israel dropped bombs in southern Lebanon on Monday and Hezbollah terrorists continued to fire rockets on Israel.]

Israel’s attack on Qana’s residents came shortly after rejecting a UN call for a 72-hour humanitarian truce to allow the delivery of relief items to Lebanon. UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland had appealed for a truce to allow casualties to be removed and food and medicine to be sent into the war zone.

The Israeli military says Hizbollah bore responsibility for using the town to fire rockets at Israel. “We were attacking launchers that were firing missiles,” said Captain Jacob Dallal, an Israeli army spokesman.

However, the principle of military necessity cannot excuse the massive destruction of buildings and the number of civilian casualties which result from Israel’s assault on Qana.

Diplomats must wonder at what point do the number and catastrophic consequences of ‘mistakes’ allow for the conclusion that Israel has been indiscriminate in its acts of violence. Israeli and Hezbollah’s bombardments have been directed at targets regardless of the consequences for civilians.

There can be no doubt that Israel uses phosphorus and fragmentation weapons in Lebanon and that Hezbollah terrorists have no will to stop firing rockets on Israel. The use of these weapons in an environment where there is a high concentration of civilians, the widespread impact and destructive effects of these weapons and thir delayed-action nature also point to the total disregard of human lives.

It is not the first time Israel attacked Qana. Ten years have passed since 105 Lebanese civilians were killed by an Israeli artillery barrage on a UN compound in Qana.

As such Israeli attacks on UN posts are not new. Two Indian UN peacekeepers were wounded and four UN military observers were killed last week in an Israeli strike on their observation posts.

On April 18, 1996, when Shimon Peres was Israel’s Prime Minister, approximately 800 civilians were sheltering in the UN base. Most residents of Qana and neighboring villages had fled north a week earlier seeking refuge in Beirut. Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk has recently reported grave violations of human rights and compared them with Srebrenica massacre:

“It was a massacre. Not since Sabra and Chatila had I seen the innocent slaughtered like this. The Lebanese refugee women and children and men lay in heaps, their heads or arms or legs missing, beheaded or disemboweled. There were well over a hundred of them. A baby lay without a head. The Israeli shells had scythed through them as they lay in the United Nations shelter, believing that they were safe under the world’s protection. Like the Muslims of Srebrenica, the Muslims of Qana were wrong.”

International shock at those 1996 deaths – more than 100, and another 100 injured – led to huge pressure for a ceasefire deal bringing an end to Israel’s last sustained military operation against Hezbollah militants, codenamed Operation Grapes of Wrath. The Qana Massacre, as it is known in Lebanon, remains a powerful symbol for Lebanese people of what they say is Israel’s indiscriminate and disproportionate response to Hezbollah’s rocket attacks.

Israel still insists the 1996 shelling was an accident and that its forces had a legitimate militant target – a Hezbollah military unit that had fired mortars and rockets from near the Qana base. Then, as now, Israel accused Hezbollah of using the civilian population as human shields when they launched their attacks.

However, a UN investigation reported in May 1996 that the deaths at the Qana base were unlikely to have been the result of an accident as claimed by the Israelis. The UN report cited the repeated use of airburst shells over the small UN compound, which sent down a deadly torrent of shrapnel that caused terrible injuries among the unprotected civilians. The UN also noted the presence of

Israeli helicopters and a drone in the skies over Qana which must have witnessed the bloodbath.

In the current round of Israeli bombardments, Qana has again been in the news – the scene of several incidents, such as the bombing by Israel of two Lebanese Red Cross ambulances and the death of a young Lebanese photojournalist, Layal Nejib, also in an air strike on her car.

Looking at the map, it is not hard to see why Qana is never far from the headlines when Israel bombards southern Lebanon.

It lies at the northern edge of the Lebanon’s southern uplands which border Israel and also at the confluence of five strategic roads in the hinterland south-east of the southern city of Tyre.

Qana and the villages surrounding it are a strong pro-Hezbollah area and Israel says it has repeatedly been used to fire rockets over the border about 10km (six miles) to the south.

Israeli officials say leaflets had been dropped in the area warning civilians to leave their homes so it could conduct more anti-Hezbollah operations.

However, it seems clear that, with the number of civilian cars and convoys which have been bombed by Israel on the roads heading to Tyre, many residents chose to ignore the Israeli warnings as a result of panic created when attempting to leave the villages.

The absence of precautions prior to the attack in close proximity to the town of Qana and the UN base located there, as well as the means and methods of attack chosen by the Israeli army (a sustained artillery barrage without lines of sight to the target), put Israel in violation of international humanitarian law.

Like Israel’s assaults today, the US administration gave the green light to Israel’s 1996 campaign against Southern Lebanon. The Clinton administration tried unsuccessfully to suppress a UN report blaming Israel for the massacre.

On April 25, 1996, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, characterising Israel’s actions during the “Grapes of Wrath” offensive as “grave violations of international laws relating to the protection of civilians during war.”

The US and Israel vigorously contended that the attack had been an unfortunate mistake, and the story gradually disappeared from all but the memories of those civilians, UNIFIL personnel and journalists who had witnessed the carnage at Qana.

Leading up to the Qana massacre, 17 villages had been flattened, over a half million people had been rendered homeless, more than 200 had been killed, and hundreds were wounded.

The tragedy at Qana today is that this is not unique in its general features. Israel’s wars on Lebanon have been attended by violence, death and destruction of enormous proportions. Israel does not have any grounds to rely on the provision of the Charter of the United Nations concerning self-defence, while the means used to effect Lebanon’s invasion totally lack proportionality.

Israel’s and Hezbollah’s kind of war effort obliterates the very idea of innocence as fully in its own way as does nuclear war. The irony here is very great because it is in these conflicts where the need for law is the greatest – that is, where battlefield tactics often tend to concentrate their firepower on civilians, civilian sanctuaries (hospital, churches, schools) and cultural centres, and to ignore the distinction between military and non-military.

Governments should not designate their enemies as terrorists or criminals for the purpose of treating their conflicts as outside the law.

In 1948 the nations of the world adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides that ‘if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, human rights should be protected by the rule of law’.

Israel’s use of terror in military campaigns has been qualitatively and quantitatively much higher than that of the Lebanese and Palestinians. The number of civilians killed as the result of actions by Israel, both before its creation and after, has far exceeded the number of Israeli civilians killed by others. Each human being is precious and victims on both sides deserve our respect.

Dehumanization by way of political language has an anaesthetizing effect and it paralyses normal human empathy and disrupts moral inhibitions and does not do good to any side.

The predominant terminology employed by Israeli spokespersons, the American administration and Hezbollah terrorists is an additional factor in creating conditions in which human rights violations and gross violations of humanitarian law, including war crimes are tolerated.

The level of what has been tolerated has been moved a step again. Every minute the world remains silent and inactive the level has been set further. More bloodshed instigated by Hezbollah and Israel is tolerated.

Both, IDF and Hezbollah have already taken too many lives of innocent children. Someone has to stop this. Someone has to take action, before it is too late. Lives of innocent children are priceless. Nobody has a right to take their lives, not even by reasons of “collateral damage.”

INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (1992-1995)

July 28, 2006 7 comments
INTERNATIONAL CRIMES TRIBUNAL

WAR IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA WAS AN INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT BETWEEN BOSNIA, SERBIA AND CROATIA

Bijeljina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, April 1992. Ron Haviv, Saba Press Photos for TIMEJuly 27, 2006 — The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has made precedent-setting decisions on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said today as it released a comprehensive book that organizes the decisions of that tribunal by topic.

The ICTY has played a critical role in determining responsibility for the horrific crimes that occurred in the Balkan conflicts during the 1990s, Human Rights Watch said. The tribunal suffered a setback with the death of Slobodan Milosevic and the abrupt end of his four-year trial. Just recently, however, the ICTY has begun important trials involving senior officials accused of crimes including genocide committed at Srebrenica, and war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo.

The book applies the law to the facts of selected cases covering atrocities such as the Srebrenica massacre (where approximately 8,000 unarmed men and boys were executed by Bosnian-Serb forces), the siege of Sarajevo, and brutalities perpetrated in concentration camps such as the infamous “Omarska camp” in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The 861-page book from Human Rights Watch organizes the tribunal’s decisions by topic, including war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, command responsibility, sentences, fair trial rights, and guilty pleas. You can download the book in pdf format free of charge, here. Alternatively, you can order a print copy of the book for $95, here.

Here is a short excerpt from the book with respect to the ICTY’s rullings regarding the question whether or not the international conflict took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina between 1992-95:

(8) application—international armed conflict

(a) Conflict between Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia

Kordic and Cerkez, (Appeals Chamber), December 17, 2004, paras. 342, 350, 355, 360, 361, 369: “The Trial Chamber held that the armed conflict in Central Bosnia was of an international character, owing both to Croatia’s direct intervention and its overall control of the HVO [Croatian Defence Council].” “The Appeals Chamber observes that the appealed counts relate to the period between October 1992 and September 1993, and will thus focus on this period when examining the finding that the conflict was international.”

“The Appeals Chamber finds that on the basis of [the] evidence, even taking into account thatthere was no requirement for Croatian troops to be present in Central Bosnia, that no reasonable trier of fact could have found that Croatia directly intervened in the armed conflict in Central Bosnia.” “The Appeals Chamber is aware that deference is due to these findings by the Trial Chamber, which under the Statute has the primary responsibility for hearing and evaluating the evidence presented before it. However, the evidence is inadequate to an extent that a reasonable trier of fact could not have established beyond reasonable doubt that Croatian troops were indeed sent to Central Bosnia.”

“The Appeals Chamber now turns to the question of whether the HVO [Croatian Defence Council] acted on behalf of Croatia. It will examine whether the Trial Chamber erroneously held that these criteria were satisfied and thus Croatia exercised overall control over the HVO:

a) The provision of financial and training assistance, military equipment and operational support;
b) Participation in the organisation, coordination or planning of militaryo perations.”

“The Appeals Chamber finds that on the basis of the evidence set out above a reasonable trier of fact could have found beyond reasonable doubt that Croatia exercised overall control over the HVO at the relevant time.” (emphasis in original)

Kordic and Cerkez, (Trial Chamber), February 26, 2001, paras. 108-146: The Trial Chamber concluded that the relevant issues were (a) whether Croatia intervened in the armed conflict between the Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina through its troops and, alternatively, (b) whether the HVO [CroatianDefence Council] acted on behalf of Croatia. “The Chamber concludes that the evidence in this case satisfies each of the alternative criteria set forth . . . for internationalising an internal conflict.”

Blaskic, (Trial Chamber), March 3, 2000, paras. 83-123: The Trial Chambers concluded that “[b]ased on Croatia’s direct intervention in BH [Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina]” there was “ample proof to characterise the conflict as international,” and that Croatia’s “indirect control over the HVO [Croatian Defence Council] and HZHB [Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna]” and “indirect intervention” would “permit the conclusion that the conflict was international.” The Trial Chamber found that “Croatia, and more specifically former President Tudjman, was hoping to partition Bosnia and exercised such a degree of control over the Bosnian Croats and especially the HVO that it is justified to speak of overall control. [T]he close ties between Croatia and the Bosnian Croats did not cease with the establishment of the HVO.”

Prosecutor v. Rajic, Case No. IT-95-12 (Trial Chamber), Review of the Indictment pursuant to Rule 61 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, 2 September 13, 1996, paras. 13, 26, 32: “[F]or purposes of the application of the grave breaches provisions of Geneva Convention IV, the significant and continuous military action by the armed forces of Croatia in support of the Bosnian Croats against the forces of the Bosnian Government on the territory of the latter was sufficient to convert the domestic conflict between the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Government into an international one.”“[B]etween 5000 to 7000 members of the Croatian Army, as well as some members ofthe Croatian Armed Forces (‘HOS’), were present in the territory of Bosnia and were involved, both directly and through their relations with Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna (‘HB’) and the Croatian Defence Council (‘HVO’), in clashes with Bosnian Government forces in central and southern Bosnia. [T]he Bosnian Croats can, for the purposes of these proceedings, be regarded as agents of Croatia in respect of discrete acts which are alleged to be violations of the grave breaches provisions of the Geneva Conventions. It appears that Croatia, in addition to assisting the Bosnian Croats… inserted its own armed forces into the conflict on the territory of Bosnia and exercised a high degree of control over both the military and political institutions of the Bosnian Croats.”

(b) Conflict between Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)

Delalic et al., (Appeals Chamber), February 20, 2001, paras. 33, 48, 50: “The Trial Chamber’s finding as to the nature of the conflict prior to 19 May 1992 is based on a finding of a direct participation of one State on the territory of another State. This constitutes a plain application of the holding of the Appeals Chamber in Tadic that it ‘is indisputable that an armed conflict is international if it takes place between two or more States,’ which reflects the traditional position of international law….” “Although the Trial Chamber did not formally apply the ‘overall control’ test set forth by the Tadic Appeal Judgement, … the Trial Chamber’s legal reasoning is entirely consistent with the previous jurisprudence of the Tribunal.” “The Trial Chamber came to the conclusion, as in the Tadic case, that the armed conflict taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina after 19 May 1992 could be regarded as international because the FRY [the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)] remained the controlling force behind the Bosnian Serbs armed forces after 19 May 1992. . . . [T]his Appeals Chamber is satisfied that the facts as found by the Trial Chamber fulfil the legal conditions as set forth in theTadic case.”

Tadic, (Appeals Chamber), July 15, 1999, paras. 156, 162: “It is sufficient to show that [the Yugoslav Army] exercised overall control over the Bosnian Serb Forces. Such control manifested itself not only in financial, logistical and other assistance and support, but also, and more importantly, in terms of participation in the general direction, coordination and supervision of the activities and operations of the VRS [the Army ofthe Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina/Republika Srpska]. This sort of control is sufficient for the purposes of the legal criteria required by international law.” “[F]or the period material to this case (1992), the armed forces of the Republika Srpska were to be regarded as acting under the overall control of and on behalf of the FRY [the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)]. Hence, even after 19 May 1992 the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina between the Bosnian Serbs and the central authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina must be classified as an international armed conflict.” See also Tadic, (Appeals Chamber), July 15, 1999, para. 87.

For application of the “overall control” test, the issue of “participation,” and the finding that the armed conflict in the Autonomous Region of Krajina from April 1, 1992 through December 31, 1992 was international, see Brdjanin, (Trial Chamber), September 1, 2004, paras. 144-154.

WE WON’T FORGET COL. AVDO PALIC

July 27, 2006 6 comments

COLONEL AVDO PALIC – DEFENDER OF FORGOTTEN ENCLAVE OF ZEPA – IS STILL MISSING

Brief intro: During the War in Bosnia (1992-1995), Zepa became one of three Bosniak enclaves in eastern Bosnia surrounded by the Serbian forces, along with Srebrenica a short distance downstream and Goražde farther upstream, after other towns such as Foča, Bratunac and Zvornik were ethnically cleansed. The military commander of the Zepa enclave was Avdo Palic. It was declared a United Nations safe area and guarded by a small Ukrainian army unit operating under the UN mandate for the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). Zepa fell to Bosnian Serb forces on July 25 1995, two weeks after the same troops overran the enclave of Srebrenica and slaughtered over 8,000 Bosniaks there.

Amnesty InternationalJuly 27th 2006 marks the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of Col. Avdo Palic, the commander of Bosnian Government forces defending the United Nations-protected enclave of Zepa during the Bosnian War.

Colonel Palic was seized in front of eye witnesses by Bosnian Serb Army soldiers in Zepa, in July 1995, where he had gone to negotiate with the Bosnian Serb Army, the evacuation of the remaining Bosniak inhabitants from Zepa.

Earlier that month, another UN “safe area”, Srebrenica, had been overrun by Serb forces and over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys had been slaughtered in the worst massacre Europe had seen since the Second World War. (background)

General Radislav Krstic, deputy commander of the Drina Corps, who has since been sentenced to 35 years imprisonment by the Hague tribunal for genocide, gave the order to attack Zepa on July 13.

“I have decided to immediately begin an attack and break the enemy in the enclave of Zepa with the aim of liberating and cleansing Serb Podrinje of Muslim forces and liquidating the enclave,” Krstic wrote in his order to the troops, a copy of which has been seen by the Balkans Crisis Report.

“After breaking the enemy in Srebrenica enclave, our forces will continue action on a mission to break the enemy in Zepa enclave and create conditions for actions towards Gorazde,” the order continued.

Colonel Avdo Palic - who defended United Nations 'Safe Area' Zepa - is still missingColonel Avdo Palic is assumed to have been killed and the place of burial has been disclosed to the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia who have asked the authorities in Republika Srpska to perform an exhumation so that the body can be retuned to his widow.

In line perhaps with their general intransigence and possibly because criminal investigations are under way the RS authorities seem unlikely to act.

To take advantage of the opportunity of the 11th anniversary of Avdo Palic’s “disappearance” (Thursday, July 27th) the Houston Amnesty Group want to send as many letters as possible to put pressure on the RS authorities to carry out the exhumation and provide Mrs Palic with a final end to the uncertainty she has endured for the last eleven years.

In January 2006, the Republika Srspka (RS) authorities established a commission to gather information about the fate and whereabouts of Colonel Palic. They only did so when ordered by the Office of the High Representative (OHR) and after repeated failures to comply with the 2001 instructions of the Human Rights Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina to conduct a full investigation.

The commission submitted its findings to the OHR in April 2006. In a press release on 21 April, the OHR reported that “The report details the fate of Avdo Palic and claims to reveal the location of his mortal remains” but added that it could neither reveal nor comment the findings because “criminal investigations are currently under way”.

Map of Bosnia-HerzegovinaIn a second press release on 5 May, the OHR expressed concern at the failure to undertake the exhumation which the RS had said would be carried out “in a matter of days”.

We do not know for certain that any remains found in the location allegedly reported in the Palic Commission’s report will in fact be those of Avdo Palic. However, there is evidence that the RS may be close to finding Avdo Palic’s mortal remains and it should be urged to do so urgently.

Its consistent failure to undertake an exhumation in the location allegedly mentioned in the Palic Commission’s report is a matter of great concern. We want as many letters as possible to arrive on July 27 or as near that date as possible.

Please email the RS Prime Minister (kabinet@vladars.net) A.S.A.P. using the sample below, with copy to the RS Minister of Interior (mup@mup.vladars.net). Please send a blind copy to Phivan of Houston based Amnesty International pvlwright@mindswithoutborders.org.

Adding your own comments is optional, but appreciated. Here is a sample letter that you can use:

Dear Prime Minister

I’m writing in connection with the “disappearance” of Avdo Palic in July 1995. The Commission that was set up in January 2006 to investigate the fate of Avdo Palic was an important step in ending the ongoing suffering of his family and impunity for his “disappearance”. I welcome the fact that the Commission submitted its report to the Office of the High Representative on time, and that it reportedly gives details of the location of Avdo Palic’s mortal remains.

Bearing in mind official RS statements that the exhumation would be carried out soon, I am concerned about the delay in undertaking the exhumation and the additional suffering this is causing Avdo Palic’s family.

I urge you to take urgent measures to:

  • Positively identify the exact location of Avdo Palic’s mortal remains;
  • Undertake an exhumation at that location and identify any mortal remains found there;
  • Ensure that the relevant forensic procedures are carried out during the exhumation and identification so that those who are responsible for the “disappearance” of Avdo Palic are brought to justice;
  • Keep Esma Palic, Avdo Palic’s wife, fully informed of all developments in the exhumation, and if the remains are those of her husband, make them available to her promptly so she can arrange a dignified burial.

Thank you for keeping in mind the continued suffering of Avdo Palic’s family, and for your attention to this urgent matter.

Sincerely

copy to:

Minister of Interior
Stanislav Cadjo
Desanke Maksimovic
478000 Banja Luka
Republika Srpska
Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Thousands of “disappearances” are still unresolved. While perpetrators of wartime violations continued to enjoy impunity, victims and their families were denied access to justice and redress. Thank you for your activism!
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MAD PSYCHIATRIST STILL ON THE RUN

July 27, 2006 6 comments
RADOVAN KARADZIC STILL ON THE RUN

War Criminals on the Run: Radovan Karadzic & Ratko MladicOne of the most wanted Bosnian Serb war crimes suspects, former leader Radovan Karadzic, remains as much an enigma as his whereabouts 11 years after The Hague-based UN War Crimes Tribunal indicted him.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) raised the initial indictment against Karadzic and his army commander general Ratko Mladic on 24 July 1995. It charged them with war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity during what was then the ongoing 1992-1995 war in Bosnia- Herzegovina.

The charges included permanent attacks on the Bosnian capital Sarajevo from the surrounding hills held by Bosnian Serb troops, as well as organizing detention facilities for non-Serb population, mostly Muslims, in the areas controlled by Bosnian Serbs.

During the war (1992-95) Sarajevo was under siege longer than any other city in modern history — longer even than Stalingrad.

Radovan Karadzic - War Criminal on the RunAs soon as the world learned of the massacre in the former eastern Bosniak enclave of Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serb troops massacred 8,100 Bosniak men and children on 11 July 1995 – ranging in age from babies to the elderly – the ICTY raised another indictment against the two in November 1995, charging them with the Srebrenica massacre.

The initial indictments were further amended in 2000 for Karadzic and in 2002 for Mladic, when more charges were added.

While demands and media speculation over the past year have been rife about Mladic possibly being detained, stories about Karadzic have rarely surfaced.

“I do not know where Karadzic and Mladic are. I do not have any element right now to believe they are in this country,” the commander of some 6,000-strong European Union Force (EUFOR) in Bosnia, Italian Major General Gian Marco Chiarini, told media in Sarajevo.

EUFOR intelligence, he said, would know for sure if the two most wanted fugitives were in Bosnia.

Ratko Mladic - War Criminal on the RunThe fact that Karadzic and Mladic were not behind bars yet, according to president of the Association of Victimized People Fadila Memisevic, showed that “the international community is not ready to deal yet with their apprehension,” despite different signals from Washington and Brussels.

“Obviously there is no political will. Karadzic and Mladic were not arrested when they were here 11 years ago, when some 60,000 fully equipped UN peacekeepers were deployed in this country, with the support of probably the strongest concentration of intelligence in the world at that time,” Memisevic told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa.

“Since they did not manage to catch them 11 years ago, I doubt that will happen now,” she said.

Memisevic also said she still believed in a “conspiracy theory” according to which Karadzic made a deal with the US officials to simply disappear from the political and public life of Bosnia- Herzegovina and its Serb entity, the Srpska Republic, in exchange for his freedom.

The U.S. Government is offering $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of Radovan Karadzic and/or Ratko Mladic.Munira Subasic of the Association of Srebrenica Survivors – Mothers of Srebrenica, also believes the world and Europe should be more active when it is about Karadzic.

“If the world and Europe only wished that, Karadzic would have been in The Hague a long time ago,” said Subasic.

But political analyst Tanja Topic from Banja Luka in the Srpska Republic dismisses a conspiracy theory.

“There is so much speculation, but I think the stance of most European officials is the same – Karadzic and Mladic must be apprehended,” said Topic.

The EU, she said, would never soften its demand for Karadzic’s and Mladic’s arrest. “It will continue to insist on that, with no pardon.”

The key of the problem, she said, is hidden in the deep tradition of the Serbs in the Srpska Republic and neighbouring Serbia.

An approach to the problem through the tradition, she believes, would also explain why Mladic’s name was often mentioned in the media, while everyone seemed to have forgotten Karadzic and his deeds.

“Mladic is much more respected than Karadzic. He is considered a soldier, and his eventual arrest would be bigger problem than the arrest of Radovan Karadzic,” said Topic.

Being a soldier was always considered in the Balkans, especially among Serbs, as an honourable and respectable thing that would show a transformation of a boy to a man, she said.

“Karadzic was not a soldier, and he was not given such importance as Mladic was. Besides that, Karadzic’s popularity decreased with gossip about his various criminal acts against his own people.”

Another factor, she said, was that Mladic had been located, which merited more space in newspapers. Karadzic’s whereabouts remained unknown – and so being a stale news for years.

While she strongly hopes the justice will be satisfied one day, Munira Subasic – who lost her family in the Srebrenica massacre – believes Karadzic will never be arrested.

Empty initiatives to get Karadzic before the ICTY, she said, would probably never work. He would remain at large, but would pay for his crimes in another way.

“Let them (Karadzic and Mladic) stay heroes of their own people, while nobody touches them,” she said.

“They have had to change their lives, to cope with the fact that they will have to hide from the rest of the world and abandon a normal, decent, human life in exchange for freedom until they die.”

In 2000, the U.S. Jury returned $4.5 billion verdict against Radovan Karadzic.

The U.S. Government is offering $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of Radovan Karadzic and/or Ratko Mladic.

GERMANY HANDS BOSNIAN GENOCIDE CONVICTION

July 25, 2006 3 comments
FORGOTTEN CASES: GERMANY HANDED DOWN THE FIRST BOSNIA GENOCIDE CONVICTION

On September 26th 1997, Germany handed down first Genocide conviction to Serb soldier Nikola Jorgic for crimes committed in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This case has been largely overlooked in the mainstream media.

“Whoever hoped … something like the genocide of the Nazis against the Jews could never be repeated sees himself cruelly disappointed after the events in the former Yugoslavia.” – German Judge Guenter Krentz said in his judgement.

Map of GermanyGERMANY — A Bosnian Serb who was accused of beating a prisoner to death with a plank, ordering executions and committing other crimes against Bosniaks was convicted of genocide and sentenced to life in prison.

Nikola Jorgic, 51, showed no emotion as the court declared him guilty of 11 counts of genocide, 30 counts of murder and numerous lesser charges for crimes committed during the Bosnian war.

Judge Guenter Krentz called Jorgic’s crimes “especially onerous” and sentenced him to life in prison, as prosecutors had asked.

It was the first genocide verdict in Germany. The international war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, had asked Germany to handle the cases of Jorgic and another Bosnian Serb since its own docket was overloaded and the men were arrested in Germany.

Jorgic, who headed a group of radical-nationalist Bosnian Serbs, had questioned the court’s jurisdiction.

The judge said Jorgic was actively involved in Bosnian Serbs’ efforts to exterminate and expel Bosnian Muslims from their homes in 1992, as war was breaking out in the former Yugoslav republic.

“Whoever hoped … something like the genocide of the Nazis against the Jews could never be repeated sees himself cruelly disappointed after the events in the former Yugoslavia,” Krentz said.

Jorgic, who worked in West Germany’s Ruhr Valley as a locksmith from 1969 until early 1992, claimed he was in prison from May to August 1992 in the Bosnian town of Doboj, near his native village of Kostajnica.

But testimony of more than 30 witnesses proved Jorgic was involved in the crimes, including the June 1992 massacre of 22 Muslims in the village of Grapska, the court ruled.

In this case, the accused, a Bosnian Serb from the Doboj region, was tried for genocide in eleven cases, three of which included the murder (homocide) of a total of 30 persons. The other eight cases involved grievious bodily harm and or unlawful detention.

The accused was sentenced to four terms of life imprisonments and in the other eight cases to imprisonments of seven to nine years, which were then summed up to an additional life imprisonment. The Supreme State Court declared that the guilt of the accused weighed particularly heavy.

It was determined that the accused had been the leader of a paramilitary group located in the Doboj region of Bosnia-Herzegowina, which, in cooperation with the Serbian rulers, was involved in acts of terror against the Bosniak population, in support of their policy of “ethnic cleansing”.

Apart from the arrests, abuse and placement of Bosniaks in concentration camps, the Supreme State Court established in June of 1992 that the accused and one further person executed 22 citizens of Grabska (among them disabled and elderly), who had gathered out doors in fear of the fighting going on around them. Three other Bosniaks were then forced to carry the slain to a mass grave.

A few days later the accused and his followers drove 40 to 50 men from the village of Sevarlije. They were brutally abused and six of them were shot. A seventh victim, who had only been injured in the shootings, died when he was burned with the other six victims in a stall

In September 1992, the accused put a tin pail on the head of a captive in the central jail of Doboj and hammered on it with a wooden club in such a way that the victim died of head wounds.

The 3rd Criminal Court of the Federal high Court rejected the appeal of the accused, because the State Supreme Court had rightfully assumed the jurisdiction of the German courts and because it had also affirmed the constitutent facts of § 220a StGB (genocide) with its results.

The prosecution at the international criminal court for the former Yugoslavia had previously rejected accepting the case. The Federal High Court accepted, on legal grounds, only one case, instead of eleven, of genocide involving the murder of 30 persons, with a life sentence. Additionally, it affirmed the particular weight of guilt, because in this case the content of injustice and guilt had not changed.

Furthermore, the court stated that genocide, according to the Genocide Convention from 9 December 1948 (joined by Germany [in 1954]) is a crime which all nations must prosecute. Therefore, it is the decision of the German law makers, that the prosecution of genocide is subordinate to global principles [of international law], and certainly not to be objected to if legitimate reasons exist for German legal actions.

Following reasons were given: the accused resided in Germany from May 1969 to the beginning of 1992 and after this date he was still even registered there; his German wife and his daughter, whom he visited a number of times after his crimes, still live in Germany, he was arrested in Germany after having entered on his own free will.

The jurisdiction for the sentencing of genocide includes also the jurisdiction for the sentencing of murder in as much as the accused committed deliberate homicide in the perpetration of genocide.

Another three Serbs were convicted in Germany.

Novislav Djajic, was convicted May 24 1997 by a Munich court of being an accessory to murder and sentenced to five years in prison.

In 1999, Maksim Sokolovic was found guilty of five counts of assault and 56 counts of deprivation of liberty during attacks on Muslims near his native village of Osmaci in Bosnia. Based on witnesses who named him as a Serb militiaman, the Duesseldorf court said Sokolovic, 59, beat Muslims with an automatic rifle butt, a fence post, batons and his fists.

Same year, former Bosnian Serb police commander Djuradj Kusljic was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday on the grounds of crimes committed against humanity and six murders.

Kusljic was accused of having taken part in “planned destruction” of Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 as police commander in the place of Vrbnica, 40km from Banja Luka. He was arrested in Germany where he had lived before the war.

MORAL EQUIVALISM IS FLAWED

July 24, 2006 10 comments
MORAL EQUVALISM IS FLAWED, SO IS MORAL ABSOLUTISM; LETS KEEP THINGS INTO (FACTUAL) PERSPECTIVE

Photo: Bosniak civilians in Serb-run Trnopolje Concentration CampFair and balanced observation of events does not mean one should exercise moral equivalism (relativism) or moral absolutism. I dismiss both methods of reasoning as flawed and subscribe myself to – what I call – moral perspectivism.

My definition of moral perspectivism is: “Method of reasoning in which things are put into perspecive while both sides of the story are analyzed and given proper attention.”

Photo: Bosniak civilians in Serb-run Concentration Camp TrnopoljeBosnia-Herzegovina has been suffering for a long time as a result of both moral equivalism and moral absolutism. Well before and well into the Bosnian war, Serbian media exercised moral absolutism by portraying Serbs as “endangered” people of Yugoslavia whose interests could only be protected by the creation of “Greater Serbia”. During and after the war, Serbian media switched to moral equivalism equating Serbian crimes of genocidal proportions with individual war crimes committed by the troops of Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The United Nations condemned “moral equivalency” with respect to the international conflict that took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina during 1992-95:

The Serbs repeatedly exaggerated the extent of the raids out of Srebrenica as a pretext for the prosecution of a central war aim: to create geographically contiguous and ethnically pure territory along the Drina, while freeing their troops to fight in other parts of the country. The extent to which this pretext was accepted at face value by international actors and observers reflected the prism of “moral equivalency” through which the conflict in Bosnia was viewed by too many for too long. [source]

Photo: Bosniak civilians in Serb-run Manjaca Concentration CampVenezuela’s former ambassador to the United Nations Diego Enrique Arria, recently said: “The Srebrenica massacre “is the greatest cover up in the history of the United Nations.” [read here].

Ambassador Arria testified at the International Tribunal that the international community “did not move its little finger” to protect the Muslims in the enclave and “did not make it possible for them to defend themselves”. There was a tendency in the Security Council, he said, to “morally equate the victims and the aggressor”, thus avoiding the need to take action to prevent the humanitarian disaster.

Even some people who acknowledge Srebrenica genocide tend to fall into trap of moral equivalism. One example is Shaina whom I consider a friend of this blog.

In the following arguments I will demonstrate how moral relativism selectively distorts fairness in which supposed two sides of the story become – what I call – only “bits and pieces” of factual elements. In Shaina’s article There was a Genocide in Srebrenica: Part III, she wrote:

It must be understood that all sides in the war committed war crimes, and that people of all ethnicities suffered greatly (and still continue to suffer) as a result of the war.

Actually, this is only half of the story and typical example of moral equivalism. Here you could see typical error in judgement that people make (and I am not blaming her). Serb civilians did suffer, however, their suffering cannot be equated with the suffering of Bosniaks who were subjected to genocide. Basicly, the story goes that everybody committed war crimes, and everybody suffered, so be it – end of story. Well, not quite. What Shaina fails to mention is that not even one Bosnian Serb controlled city was under the siege by forces loyal to the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In other words, Serbian civilians did not starve in enclaves without exits, they were not hunted down and slaughtered by thousands in one day, they were not subjected to planned and organized ethnic cleansing campaigns of genocidal proportions (however, Serbian media did pressure Serb civilians to leave cities under the control of Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Even after the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed, Serb civilians moved out of suburbs of Sarajevo voluntarily.) Not even one Serbian Church was destroyed in the cities who stayed under Bosnian-government control from beginning to the end of the Bosnian war (however, some Serb Churches were damaged. For example, Serb Churches of Sarajevo were damaged as a result of Serbian bombardment of the city). On contrast, not even one Muslim Mosque survived in places under Serbian control. Shaina continues her exercise of moral relativism by saying:

Bosnian Serb civilians were without a doubt, victims of war crimes & murder in the Srebrenica area.

The correct argument would be that “some” Serb civilians were victims of war crimes and murder in the Srebrenica area, not all (as implied by the use of plural). We could easily change the wording of Shaina’s argument and apply it to the Holocaust, e.g.: “German civilians were without a doubt, victims of war crimes & murder in the area of occupied Germany.” Well, what does that mean? Does it mean that crimes against German civilians could be equated with the crimes against the victims of the Holocaust, including my grandfather. Over 100,000 Bosniak civilians perished in the Holocaust or about 8.1% of total Bosniak population residing in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Percentage-wise, Bosniak people were hit the hardest in the area. My grandmother still remember how Nazis summarily executed civilians in Muslim villages by hitting their heads with hammers (and other objects) and then throwing lifeless bodies into Sava river. Nazi collaborators, Serbian Chetniks, did the same by burning Bosniak villages and then killing civilians. Had she not survived Holocaust, I would not be alive today.

With respect to the alleged Serb civilian casualties around Srebrenica, let me quote conclusions made by internationaly funded Research & Documentation Center (RDC) in Sarajevo, which is comprised of Bosniak, Croat, Serb, and international investigators. In fact, the allegations that Serb casualties around Srebrenica, between April 1992 and December 1995 amount to over three thousand is an evident falsification of facts and an attempt to moraly equate victims of genocide with victims of individual war crimes:

Perhaps, the clearest illustration of gross exaggeration is that of Kravica, a Serb village near Bratunac attacked by the Bosnian Army on the morning of Orthodox Christmas, January 7, 1993. The allegations that the attack resulted in hundreds of civilian victims have been shown to be false. Insight into the original documentation of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) clearly shows that in fact military victims highly outnumber the civilian ones. The document entitled “Warpath of the Bratunac brigade”, puts the military victims at 35 killed and 36 wounded; the number of civilian victims of the attack is eleven. [Read full report]

Human Rights Watch agrees:

In fact, the Oric judgment confirms that there were Bosnian Serb military forces present in the village at the time of attack. In 1998, the wartime New York Times correspondent Chuck Sudetic wrote in his book on Srebrenica that, of forty-five Serbs who died in the Kravica attack, thirty-five were soldiers. Original Bosnian Serb army documents, according to the ICTY prosecutor and the Sarajevo-based Center for Research and Documentation of War Crimes, also indicate that thirty-five soldiers died. [source]

In fact, less than 2,000 Serb civilians died in all of Bosnia as concluded by RDC (data, as of Dec 15, 2005). Shaina’s next statement is offensively surprising and perfect example of moral equivalism:

To deny that the Srebrenica Commander, individual soldiers or at times individual civilians committed war crimes & atrocities and to deny the very real suffering of Bosnian Serbs in the Srebrenica area is a denial of an historic truth.

Let’s put things into perspective. First of all, the Srebrenica defence commander – Naser Oric – was acquitted of any direct involvement in alleged war crimes around Srebrenica. Although Naser Oric is not my type of hero, as I don’t have respect for military commanders who flee their cities under attack and leave their forces and civilians to fend for themselves, I still have admiration for his involvement in defending Srebrenica from well-armed Serbian military.

Secondly, some individual Bosniak soldiers did in fact commit crimes. Even though every life is precious – there is no perfect war. Even in Iraq, some individual American soldiers commited war crimes, but that does not mean that the American Army should be equated with extremist terrorists (suicide bombers and others) who are killing Muslim civilians in Iraq on a daily basis. Individual crimes are hard to prevent, however, what counts – among other things – is prevention of genocide, prevention of constant and intentional targetting of civilians, not blockading humanitarian convoys, not taking part in planned and organized killings of civilians, including state sponsored ethnic cleansing.

None of these evils can be attributed to the Bosnian-government soldiers on a larger scale, but they can be attributed to the genocidal forces of war crimes fugitives – Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. It is my belief that Shaina was not trying to equate Srebrenica defence forces with genocidal Serbian thugs who kept Srebrenica under the siege and even refused to let humanitarian convoys with food enter the city. But, Shaina’s arguments seem to “imply” that since Serb forces were bad, so were Bosnian. Of course, this is completely ridicolous argument, which I already explained why.

Thirdly, Oric’s attacks on Serbian military bases around Srebrenica were more justified than Serbian attacks on Srebrenica, because Oric’s raids were conducted to collect food and medical supplies (as already stated in the United Nations’ conclusions), while Serbian attacks had to do with wilful bombardments of civilians and completion of planned and well-organized genocide. Individual cases where civilians died as a result of Oric’s raids are also not acceptable. Whether these civilian casualties were collateral damage or victims of wilful killings is debatable, however the fact that some Serb civilians died around Srebrenica cannot be denied (but must be put into perspective).

By further reading her article, one can notice that Shaina quickly switches from moral relativism to moral perspectivism and automatically her arguments automatically become more fair and more balanced than before, as witnessed in the following quote:

Unlike the Srebrenica justifiers, I will never excuse or justify war crimes committed against civilians. For the sake of Bosnia and for the sake of justice, all war crimes must be fully acknowledged and condemned; and all war criminals need to be brought to justice. The Srebrenica genocide deniers do not do this. While they have ignored the evidence of a calculated ethnic cleansing campaign against the Bosniaks; they have over exaggerated Bosniak war crimes in order to justify what happened in 1995. Furthermore, they continue to ignore Bosnian Serb war crimes occurring at the same time. This exposes their extreme hypocrisy.

Photo: Bosniak civilians in Serb-run Omarska Concentration CampBill Weinberg of World War 4 Report has been a long time supporter of human rights. In his article, Why Does Z Magazine Support Genocide (which I republished here), he argued against Srebrenica genocide revisionism.

Shortly after, his opinion was attacked by Ed Herman (also known as Edward Herman) who reduced himself to denying genocide that took place in Srebrenica.

(here you can read rebuttal to Ed Herman’s claims).

In his response to Herman’s make-believe stories, Bill Weinberg said:

Now isn’t this interesting. Herman protests that just because he rejects the “standard narrative” on Srebrenica doesn’t mean he supports genocide (denial is a form of support, as we all understand vis-a-vis Holocaust revisionism), yet he assumes that because I do accept the overwhelming evidence in support of the Srebrenica massacre, this means that I am engaging in “apologetics for war.” It means nothing of the sort. I opposed US military intervention in the Balkans. But that opposition cannot be predicated on genocide denial or bogus moral equivalism or (worse) simply flipping reality on its head and portraying the Serbs as the victims and Bosnian Muslims as the aggressors.

I never claimed the Bosnian Muslim leadership were paragons of virtue who never told a lie. But I find it amusing that Herman is convinced by the names and addresses of Serb victims supplied by the Belgrade ambassador, but not those of the 7,800 men documented as missing from Srebrenica by the ICMP [International Commission on Missing Persons] (which Herman sarcastically calls “Bosnian Muslim truth-tellers” despite the fact that they aren’t Bosnian Muslims)…. The post-Yugoslav wars have been full of ghastly atrocities. Srebrenica was one which clearly crossed the line to genocide. I have never heard leftists contest that the 1981 El Mozote massacre in El Salvador (1,000 dead, by high estimates) or even the 1997 Acteal massacre in Chiapas (45 dead) were acts of genocide. But 8,000 dead at Srebrenica is dismissed as imperialist propaganda. We excoriated the Reagan administration for denying the massacre at El Mozote, but now engage in precisely the same behavior vis-a-vis Srebrenica. So much for moral consistency. (Bill Weinberg Suports Truth, Thank you – July 24, 2005)

Shortly, I would also like to quote Dr. Marko Attila’s opinion. In his article, The Left Revisionists, Dr Attila correctly observed:

There is a term for this attitude: moral relativism. In its far-left variety there are two sides to its coin. Combined with this all-trumping moralism in the left-revisionist mind-set, like the opposite pole of a magnet, is a cold-blooded immoralism, according to which the left-winger is absolutely unmoved by the crimes of the Revolution performed for the greater good. More striking even than the defence or denial of crimes against humanity carried out by the left revisionists is their sheer lack of any positive vision for the future or political raison d’etre whatsoever.

Conclusion:
We are all liable to make errors of judgment if we rely on the flawed principles of moral relativism or moral absolutism , because neither of these methods of reasoning is capable of allowing us to see the full picture. They are simply tools that have been used by various apologists who have tried to describe events or opinions in an apparently more ‘even-handed’ way, shifting the balance of credit from from one side of the account to the other by allowing benefit of doubt, making both sides seem equally culpable for what was done.

Disclaimer: My critique of few Shaina’s arguments should in no way be construed as an attack on her opinion. In fact, the only reason I used her arguments was to compare moral relativism with moral perspectivism. Her activism and condemnation of Srebrenica genocide denial is both appreciated and valuable.

FACES OF EVIL (15 minutes of shame)

July 21, 2006 5 comments

Srebrenica Massacre Memorial TWO SREBRENICA GENOCIDE CONVICTS ALREADY IN PRISON, EIGHTEEN MORE SUSPECTS CURRENTLY ON TRIAL; SERBIA PROVIDES SAFE REFUGE FOR FUGITIVES

Brief Update: Serb General, Radislav Krstic, who was originally awarded 46-year prison term for his involvement in Srebrenica genocide, is currently serving appealed sentence of 35-years in prison for aiding and abetting Srebrenica genocide. Serb Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic is currently serving his 18-year sentence for complicity in Srebrenica genocide. Seven other Srebrenica genocide suspects are on trial; an eight suspect remains on the run. Other Srebrenica genocide suspects on the run include Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic and former Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. Ratko Mladic hid in Belgrade until January this year. 11 persons accused of Srebrenica genocide are currently on trial in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Background: International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia. Slobodan Milosevic (center), Radovan Karadzic (left), and Ratko Mladic (right)THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Judges at the United Nations’ War Crimes Tribunal on Friday – July 14th – began the latest and largest trial of military officers blamed for the summary execution 11 years ago of over 8,100 Bosniaks in Srebrenica.

Charges of genocide make the case against the seven former Bosnian Serb officers one of the most important in the tribunal’s history, especially following the death of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic four months ago before his own genocide trial could be completed.

Tribunal chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte was to give an opening statement Friday before the court adjourns for its summer recess. The case is due to resume in late August.

The trial began in the week that the town in eastern Bosnia — which the U.N. had declared a safe haven — marked the anniversary of that July week in 1995 when Bosnian Serb forces massacred over 8,100 Bosniak men, elderly and children there.

Serb General, Radislav Krstic is currently serving 35-year prison sentence for Srebrenica genocide.It once again highlights the tribunal’s failure to capture and put on trial the two men viewed as chief architects of the slaughter — former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic, who have been on the run for more than a decade.

Earlier this week, 505 bodies exhumed from mass graves were reburied in Srebrenica after painstaking efforts to formally identify them. Thousands wait for DNA identification, while others are missing.

Del Ponte attended Tuesday’s commemoration in Srebrenica, partly to focus attention on efforts to have the two chief suspects arrested.

Vidoje Blagojevic is currently serving his 18-year sentence for complicity in Srebrenica genocide.“I’m here for the ceremony, for the victims, for the survivors and for the criminals Karadzic and Mladic who are still at large,” she told reporters.

The Hague-based court has staged only a handful of trials dealing with the Srebrenica atrocities, but made the landmark ruling that Bosnian Serb forces waged a campaign of genocide in the eastern Bosnian enclave.

Gen. Radislav Krstic, Mladic’s deputy, is serving a 35-year prison term for aiding and abetting genocide, and Col. Vidoje Blagojevic is appealing his 18-year sentence for complicity in genocide.

Radovan Karadzic, charged with genocide in relation to Srebrenica massacre. Currently on the run.The suspects in the case which begun July 14th are: Vujadin Popovic, Ljubisa Beara, Drago Nikolic, Ljubomir Borovcanin, Radivoje Miletic, Milan Gvero and Vinko Pandurevic. An eighth suspect, Zdravko Tolimir, remains on the run.

Each faces eight counts, ranging from genocide to murder and persecution. All have pleaded not guilty. They face maximum life sentences if convicted.

Although the defendants have entered their pleas, opening statements in the trial are not due until after the tribunal’s summer recess. The case was adjourned until opening statements on August 21.

Six men have so far been convicted over the Srebrenica massacre, and two of those on genocide charges.

Ratko Mladic, charged with genocide in relation to Srebrenica massacre. Currently on the run.“It is good that a few senior people are going to be held hopefully to account, because so few have been,” said Avril McDonald, an international law expert at the Hague-based TMC Asser Institute.

The allegations are hauntingly familiar from television images; Muslim men and boys separated from women and ferried away by bus to locations including schools, farms and river banks around the Srebrenica enclave.

There, they were gunned down and their bodies plowed into mass graves.

Vujadin Popovic, currently on Srebrenica massacre trial charged with Genocide.In one of several massacres listed in the indictment, Bosnian Serb special forces summarily executed more than 1,000 men who had been captured and imprisoned in an agricultural warehouse in the village of Kravica.

“The soldiers used automatic weapons, hand grenades, and other weaponry to kill the Bosnian Muslims inside the warehouse,” the indictment alleges. The victims’ bodies were dumped in two mass graves 11 years ago – on July 14 1995.

Serbia – Safe Heaven for War Criminals

War crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic hid in modest flats in the Serbian capital until January this year, according to an indictment against 10 people accused of helping him, the daily Politika reported on Wednesday.

Radivoje Miletic, currently on Srebrenica massacre trial charged with Genocide.
Quoting a source who saw the indictment, Politika said it lists the addresses of flats where the former Bosnian Serb Army commander hid from mid-2002 to January 2006.

Mladic is accused of genocide in the Bosnia war. Serbia must deliver him for trial to the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague in order to resume suspended talks on closer ties with the European Union.

“It is matter of five or more flats in (the neighbourhood of) New Belgrade, and the persons who helped Mladic paid the rent and supplied him with food,” the daily quoted its source as saying.

The flats Mladic used were “relatively modest”, with rents of up to 400 euros (274 pounds) per month, Politika said. New Belgrade is a densely populated area, built in the 1960s as a dormitory suburb of concrete high-rises.

Drago Nikolic, currently on Srebrenica massacre trial charged with Genocide.A flurry of reports earlier this year said Mladic had been tracked down and was negotiating surrender, but nothing came of them. The government said Mladic had virtually no helpers left and was now on the run, whereabouts unknown.

The European Union suspended pre-membership talks with Serbia in May because it had failed repeatedly to meet deadlines for the handover of Mladic, who is twice indicted along with his wartime political boss Radovan Karadzic, also at large.

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica this week presented a plan to find and deliver Mladic, which EU officials said could get talks restarted if Belgrade’s efforts to implement it were convincing.

Ljubisa Beara, currently on Srebrenica massacre trial charged with Genocide.It includes a shake-up of the security services, passing of new legislation, and an operative part which is secret, officials said.

Mladic and Karadzic are wanted for the Srebrenica massacre of over 8,100 Bosniak men and children and the 43-month siege of Sarajevo. (see Sarajevo Photo Tour, Summer 2005). Sarajevo was under siege longer than any other city in modern history — longer even than Stalingrad.

The seven men and three women indicted for helping Mladic were arrested following a military intelligence report which listed some 50 people who allegedly helped hide the fugitive, who was last seen in army facilities in mid-2002.

Vinko Pandurevic, currently on Srebrenica massacre trial charged with Genocide.The indictment lists a former officer of the Bosnian Serb army who was arrested in January as the key man who organised Mladic’s hideouts in Belgrade.

Mladic has been on the run since 1995 when the United Nations war crimes court charged him with genocide for his part in the Srebrenica massacre.

Carla Del Ponte, the chief U.N. prosecutor, has repeatedly accused the Serbian authorities of knowing Mladic’s location, claiming they could have arrested him before he disappeared again.


11 on Trial in Bosnia (update)


Presiding Judge Hilmo Vucinic and the two foreign judges comprise the Judicial Council in Srebrenica massacre case in which 11 individuals stand accused of Genocide.

Milan Gvero, currently on Srebrenica massacre trial charged with Genocide.Tomislav Dukic, a prosecution witness in the case against 11 persons accused of killing around a thousand Bosniaks in Kravica in July 1995, testified that the principal defendant Milos Stupar was seen in the vicinity of the farmon 13 July 1995, the day of the massacre.

Witness Dukic is a former member of the Armored Platoon of the Second Squad of the Sekovici Special Police, which was deployed along the road near Kravica during the attack on Srebrenica in July 1995.

Several prosecution witnesses who testified earlier claimed that Stupar was a commander of the Second Squad of the Sekovici Special Police until mid-July 1995.

Zdravko Tolimir, charged with Genocide in relation to Srebrenica massacre. Currently on the run.The indictment, confirmed on 19 December 2005 before the Bosnia-Herzegovina Court, accuses Milos Stupar, Milenko Trifunovic, Petar Mitrovic, Brana Dzinic, Aleksandar Radovanovic, Slobodan Jakovljevic, Miladin Stevanovic, Velibor Maksimovic, Dragisa Zivanovic and Branislav Medan of “being members and deliberate perpetrators of a joint criminal enterprise aimed at forcefully evicting women and children from the Srebrenica enclave…and to capture, detain, execute by summary procedure, bury and re-bury thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and boys.”

They all pleaded not guilty.

11th ANNIVERSARY OF SREBRENICA MASSACRE COMMEMORATED

July 11, 2006 7 comments
11th ANNIVERSARY OF THE MASSACRE
– DO NOT FORGET! –

Exactly half a century after the end of World War II we allowed genocide to take place under our eyes. We failed the victims of this genocide in life and we will fail them in death unless we ensure that the remains of each and every one of them are buried with dignity, and that the perpetrators – each and every one of them – are brought to justice,” the international community’s High Representative to Bosnia, German diplomat Christian Schwarz- Schilling said in his message to honour the Srebrenica victims.

Bosnian people carry coffins of some of the 505 bodies to be buried during funeral ceremony at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The bodies will be buried marking the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)SREBRENICA – More than 40,000 mourners gathered Tuesday in the eastern Bosnian village of Potocari, near the town of Srebrenica, for the burial of 505 victims – aged 15 to 78 – of the 1995 massacre.

Mourners gathered Tuesday in the eastern Bosnian village of Potocari, near the town of Srebrenica, for the burial of 505 victims of the 1995 massacre in that town.

Bosnian Muslim women saying their prayers during the funeral ceremony for 505 bodies at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica, north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The bodies will be buried marking the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre where Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)During a commemoration titled ‘Do Not Forget!’ which marked the 11th anniversary of the massacre, 505 caskets wrapped in green were laid in fresh graves next to nearly 2,000 victims of the Srebrenica massacre buried in the Potocari Memorial Centre during the last three years.

Bosnian Serb troops massacred over 8,100 Bosniak men after capturing the former eastern Bosniak enclave of Srebrenica on 11 July 1995, during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. There are still more than 3,500 body bags filled with human bones awaiting identification.

A Bosnian Muslim woman mourns during a funeral ceremony for 505 bodies at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The bodies will be buried marking the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and most of the bodies are still missing. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)Meanwhile, new Srebrenica victims were being unearthed at one of the largest mass graves discovered last month in the village of Kamenica, some 30 kilometers from Srebrenica. Among them – body remains of children; the youngest victim was a 10 year old girl.

Less than one third of the missing Srebrenica men and underage boys have been exhumed and identified from 64 mass graves in eastern Bosnia.

‘I finally found him and now I am losing him again,’ an old woman cried while embracing the casket containing the bones of her son.

Bosnian Muslim women Zafa i Raza Delic weeps near body of her father, among the 505 bodies to be buried during funeral ceremony at the Potocari Memorial Center Tuesday, July 11, 2006. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)A younger woman caressed a casket as relatives stood next to her.

‘This is our father we are burying today. He was an invalid and he could not escape,’ Refik Karamehic and his sister Suada said, adding their mother was also executed by a firing squad in Srebrenica.

More than 40,000 people, including female survivors of the massacre, prayed amid tears in and around the Potocari Memorial Centre.

Bosnian Muslim women Zafa i Raza Delic, behind, is comforted by unidentified person as she weeps near the coffin of her father among the 505 bodies to be buried during funeral a ceremony at the Potocari Memorial Center, near Srebrenica north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Tuesday, July 11, 2006. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)The men, following Islamic tradition, passed the caskets from hand to hand to their final destination.

‘The time is counted in a different way in Potocari, New York and The Hague since 11 July 1995. Since then, nothing is the same,’ Bosnian Muslim religious leader Reisu-l-ulema Mustafa Ceric said after the prayer.

The case of Srebrenica, he said, showed how ‘the big ones became little, how the powerful ones became shameful and the powerless became stronger in belief that the justice is reachable and that no- one can escape it.’

Bosnian Muslim clerics say prayer during a funeral ceremony for 505 bodies of Srebrenica victims at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The bodies will be buried marking the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and most of the bodies are still missing. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)Ceric’s message was seen as a criticism of the United Nations which failed to protect the civilian population in Srebrenica, which was under UN protection as a safe haven when the massacre occurred in 1995.

The religious leader also protested over the fact that the two alleged masterminds of the massacre, the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander general Ratko Mladic, remain at large.

Bosnian people carry coffins of some of the 505 bodies to be buried during a funeral ceremony at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The bodies will be buried marking the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)‘Each time I think of Srebrenica, I have to ask myself what more we could and should have done to prevent the slaughter in what was, after all, a UN-declared safe haven,’ the international community’s High Representative to Bosnia, German diplomat Christian Schwarz- Schilling said in his message to honour the Srebrenica victims.

A Bosnian Muslim woman searches for the name of her relative during the funeral ceremony for 505 bodies at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The bodies will be buried marking the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)‘Exactly half a century after the end of World War II we allowed genocide to take place under our eyes. We failed the victims of this genocide in life and we will fail them in death unless we ensure that the remains of each and every one of them are buried with dignity, and that the perpetrators – each and every one of them – are brought to justice,’ said Schwarz-Schilling.

Bosnian Muslim women Hasiba Hadzic reacts as she finds name of her relative at the among 505 bodies to be buried during funeral ceremony at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The bodies will be buried marking the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995.(AP Photo/Amel Emric)The Chief Prosecutor of The Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Carla Del Ponte also came to Potocari to pay respect to the victims of the massacre and express her protest because Karadzic and Mladic remain at large more than a decade after the ICTY indicted them for war crimes and genocide.

Chief Prosecutor of the Hague War Crime Tribunal, Carla Del Ponte, right, takes part in memorial ceremony at the funeral of 505 bodies at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The bodies will be buried marking the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)‘I am here to pay tribute to the victims, to support the survivors and to express my frustration over the fact that Karadzic and Mladic are still at large,’ said Del Ponte.

Representatives of several non-governmental organizations from neighbouring Serbia also attended the commemoration, while Serbian Deputy Premier Ivana Dulic-Markovic issued a statement in Belgrade.

‘Srebrenica remains on the conscience of all humanity, because not enough was done to stop the mass-murder,’ Dulic-Markovic said in the statement.

Bosnian Muslim woman prays in front of the 505 bodies to be buried during funeral ceremony at the Potocari Memorial Center, near Srebrenica July 11, 2006. The bodies will be buried marking the 11th anniversary of the massacre, when Serb troops are believed to have killed over 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)She also said those who committed the massacre must be brought to justice and punished for the sake of ‘reconciliation in Bosnia- Herzegovina, the region and Europe.’

‘A crime must neither be hidden, nor remain unpunished. It is impossible to erase pain or change the past, but we can and must jointly reach the truth and justice,’ said Dulic-Markovic.

After years of denial Serbia last year opened a trial against a group of Serbian soldiers who were video-taped executing a group of Bosniaks from Srebrenica in July 1995.

Seven top Bosnian Serb military officials are to go on trial on Friday before the UN war crimes court in connection with the massacre.

Bosnian Muslim women reacts as she finds the coffin of a relative from among 505 bodies to be buried during funeral ceremony at the Potocari Memorial Center, near Srebrenica north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The bodies will be buried marking the 11th anniversary of the massacre, when Serb troops killed over 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and most of the bodies are still missing. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)Their case is the largest joint trial ever seen at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Believing that Serbia has provided shelter to ICTY fugitive Ratko Mladic, the European Union suspended Stabilization and Association Agreement talks with Serbia in May this year. The whereabouts of Radovan Karadzic remain unknown.

Many international and Bosnian officials attended the ceremony in Srebrenica, but not a single Bosnian Serb representative was present.

At the same time, around 200 people gathered in front of the Dutch parliament in The Hague to commemorate the anniversary.

Meanwhile, US Jury starts deliberations

Identified 505 bodies of Srebrenica victims laying on the ground during funeral ceremony at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Tuesday, July 11, 2006. The bodies will be buried marking the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)BOSTON, MA: On the 11th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, prosecutors and defense attorneys made their closing arguments Tuesday in the immigration fraud trial of a former Bosnian Serb soldier Marko Boskic (ethnic Bosnian Croat) who admitted participating in the carnage and killing 1,200 Bosniaks during Srebrenica massacre.

During closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim West told the jury that Marko Boskic also lied during questioning by federal authorities in 2004, but eventually admitted his role in the Srebrenica massacre after he was shown a video of himself at an awards ceremony for the 10th Sabotage Detachment.

A Bosnian Muslim woman cries while praying for dead relatives in the streets of the Bosnian capital 8 July as the bodies of Srebrenica victims are transported by truck from a central Identification facility to their final resting place at a memorial centre in Potocari, near Srebrenica. Thousands of Bosnian Muslims were to mark the 11th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre 11 July, with a ceremony including the burial of the remains of more than 500 victims of the slaughter(AFP/File/Elvis Barukcic)“This is not a war crimes case. This is a case about a man who committed atrocities and lied about it … in order to gain entry into the United States,” West said.

West said Boskic also lied when he answered “no” to questions on the immigration forms that asked him if he had ever persecuted or killed anyone on the basis of their race, religion, ethnicity or political beliefs.

Bosnian people carrying Bosnian flags finish their four-day march to Srebrenica as they enter to the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Monday, July 10, 2006. Hundreds of Bosnians began a four-day march on Friday along the route survivors used 11 years ago to escape the Bosnian Serb killings in Srebrenica, the worst massacre in Europe since World War II. March was a part of ceremony marking 11th anniversary of Srebrenica fall. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and most of the bodies are still missing. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)During questioning by federal agents in 2004, Boskic acknowledged he had helped kill 1,200 Bosniak men and boys at a farm outside Srebrenica, where over 8,100 Bosniaks were murdered in 1995 as part of ethnic cleansing by Serb separatists.

During Boskic’s trial, two survivors of the Srebrenica massacre described how soldiers took hundreds of Muslims in buses to a field, then lined them up in groups of 10 and executed them. The survivors said they hid under bodies and eventually crawled over fields of bodies to escape.

Bosnian people carrying Bosnian flags make their way to finish a four-day march to Srebrenica as they enter to the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Monday, July 10, 2006. Hundreds of Bosnians began a four-day march on Friday along the route survivors used 11 years ago to escape the Bosnian Serb killings in Srebrenica, the worst massacre in Europe since World War II. March was a part of ceremony marking 11th anniversary of Srebrenica fall. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and most of the bodies are still missing. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)The jury began deliberating Tuesday afternoon on the occassion of 11th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre.

If convicted, Boskic faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on each of the four document-fraud charges and five years in prison on the false statement charge.

He also faces deportation to Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he would face war crimes charges.

SREBRENICA MASSACRE ANSWERS (Revised Edition)

July 10, 2006 8 comments

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SREBRENICA MASSACRE ANSWERS
FACTS vs. SREBRENICA GENOCIDE DENIAL
REVISED EDITION

Editorial (Srebrenica Genocide Blog)
Date Published: July 10, 2006.
Updated again on: July 29, 2006.
FOR BETTER FORMATTING OF THIS REPORT, SWITCH TO INTERNET EXPLORER
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Srebrenica Mother Shows Photo of her Child Killed During Srebrenica Massacre (Never Forget 7/11/1995 - Srebrenica Genocide)July 11th, 1995: one of the worst moments in the history of modern Europe unfolds. The United Nations-declared “safe area” of Srebrenica is effectively handed over to advancing Bosnian Serb forces by the Dutch UN contingent entrusted with defending its civilian population.

The result is the continent’s worst massacre since the end of the Second World War. Srebrenica Mother Holds Photo of her Children who Perished During Srebrenica Massacre (Never Forget 7/11/1995 - Srebrenica Genocide)At least 8,106 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys are killed by the Bosnian Serb army, while the women are singled out for rape and mass ethnic cleansing deportations. Incredibly, the leader of the Dutch contingent then goes on to drink a toast with general Ratko Mladic (see photo), who is in charge of the Bosnian Serb army attacking Srebrenica. On the occassion of the 11th Anniversary of Srebrenica Massacre, I am publishing answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the massacre.
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Contents of this report:


(1) What is Srebrenica Massacre / Srebrenica Genocide?
(2) What is Srebrenica Genocide denial and revisionism?
(3) How many Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) died during Srebrenica Massacre?
(4) Were men and boys only victims of Srebrenica Massacre?
(5) Why do Srebrenica Massacre revisionists and Srebrenica Genocide deniers minimize numbers of killed Bosniaks in Srebrenica?
(6) Milosevic media claimed that forces under the command of Naser Oric killed over 3,000 Serb civilians around Srebrenica. What are the facts?
(7) Was war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, between 1992-1995, a civil war which resulted in Srebrenica Massacre?
(8) What were the United Nations’ conclusions about the role of Bosniak forces on the ground in Srebrenica?
(9) Was Srebrenica Massacre retaliation of Serb forces for Bosniak attacks on surrounding Serb villages? (justification of massacre, also see questions 6 & 10)
(10) Was Netherland’s NIOD Report flawed with respect to events leading to Srebrenica Massacre?
(11) Will Serbian masterminds of Srebrenica Massacre, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, ever be brought to justice?
(12) Did the Bosniaks bombed themselves to force NATO stop Serbian attacks on Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Gorazde, and other cities under siege?

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Bosniak child being led away and killed during Srebrenica massacre. (Never Forget 7/11/1995 - Srebrenica Genocide)LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Did you know? The Serbs never demilitarized around Srebrenica. The Bosnian Government had entered into demilitarization agreements with the Bosnian Serbs. On 21 April 1993, the UNPROFOR issued press release saying that the process of demilitarization of Bosnian defenders of Srebrenica had been a success. According to the Agreement, the Serbs should withdraw their heavy weapons before the Bosniaks gave up their weapons. The Serbs refused to demilitarize. They never honored their part of agreement. Instead, Serb military and paramilitary troops continued using surrounding Serb villages as a base for attacks on (and brutal siege of) Srebrenica.
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Question
(1) WHAT IS SREBRENICA MASSACRE / SREBRENICA GENOCIDE ?

Srebrenica massacre is the first legally established case of genocide in Europe after the Holocaust. It is considered the largest mass murder in Europe since the World War II and one of the most horrific events in recent European history. The slaughter of Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) at Srebrenica is recognized as the gravest atrocity to take place in Europe since the Nazi genocide. The International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia has ruled the Srebrenica Massacre officialy a Genocide.

Over 8,100 Bosniaks died in the Srebrenica massacre, mostly men and boys, ranging in age from babies to the elderly.

Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic and the political leader of Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic have both been indicted for genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Both of them are still at large.

So far, two people have been convicted for Srebrenica genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal, Serb general Radislav Krstic and Serb Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic.

Seven more individuals have been recently put on trial at the Hague and they are: Vujadin Popovic, Ljubisa Beara, Drago Nikolic, Ljubomir Borovcanin, Vinko Pandurevic, Radivoje Miletic and Milan Gvero; Zdravko Tolimir is still at large.

Eleven more individuals are on trial in Bosnia-Herzegovina and they are: Milos Stupar, Milenko Trifunovic, Petar Mitrovic, Aleksandar Radovanovic, Miladin Stevanovic, Brano Dzinic, Slobodan Jakovljevic, Branislav Medan, Dragisa Zivanovica, Velibor Maksimovic, and Milovan Matic.

In 2001, Radislav Krstic, a Serb commander who had led the assault on Srebrenica alongside Mladic, was sentenced to 46 years in prison.

On August 15 2001, Radislav Krstic filed a notice of appeal against the Trial Chamber judgement. The Appeal’s Chamber cut his sentence by 11 years and reaffirmed that the Srebrenica massacre was indeed an act of Genocide.

In a landmark ruling, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia widened the definition of genocide when it found Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic guilty of “aiding and abetting genocide” for his role in the systematic murders of Bosniak men and boys (children) in Srebrenica in July 1995.

The Krstic ruling expanded the legal definition of genocide to cover mass killing on the basis of gender. While the defence argued that “the VRS decision to transfer, rather than to kill, the women and children of Srebrenica… undermines the finding of genocidal intent”, in its final judgement the Appeals Chamber found that proof of intent to commit genocide by destroying the group physically or biologically was met “by the disastrous consequences for the family structures on which the Srebrenica part of the Bosnian Muslim group was based”. Rapes of women and slaughter of children were graphically described in Prosecutor vs. Krstic judgement, read excerpts here.

Vidoje Blagojevic was another person to be convicted on Srebrenica Genocide charges and other human rights violations. He was sentenced to eighteen years in prison. His case is currently on appeal.

On November 10, 2004, the government of Republika Srpska issued an official apology. The statement came after government review of the Srebrenica committee’s report. “The report makes it clear that enormous crimes were committed in the area of Srebrenica in July 1995,” the Bosnian Serb government said. A Serb commission’s final report on the 1995 Srebrenica massacre acknowledged that the mass murder of Bosniak men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces was planned. The report recognized and gave details of the pre-planned murders.

On June 27, 2005, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution (H. Res. 199 sponsored by Congressman Christopher Smith and Congressman Benjamin Cardin) commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. The resolution was passed with overwhelming majority of 370 – YES votes, 1 – NO vote, and 62 – ABSENT .

Question
(2) WHAT IS SREBRENICA GENOCIDE DENIAL AND REVISIONISM?

Srebrenica Genocide denial, also called Srebrenica Genocide revisionism, is the belief that the Srebrenica genocide did not occur, or, more specifically: that far fewer than around 8,100 Srebrenica Bosniaks were killed by the Bosnian Serb Army (numbers below 5,000, most often around 2,000 are typically cited); that there never was a centrally-planned Bosnian Serb Army’s attempt to exterminate the Bosniaks of Srebrenica; and/or that there were no mass killings at the extermination sites.

Those who hold this position often further claim that Bosniaks and/or Western media know that the Srebrenica genocide never occurred, yet that they are engaged in a massive conspiracy to maintain the illusion of a Srebrenica Genocide to further their political agenda. These views are not accepted as credible by objective historians.

Srebrenica genocide deniers almost always prefer to be called Srebrenica Genocide revisionists. Most scholars contend that the latter term is misleading. Historical revisionism is a well-accepted part of the study of history; it is the reexamination of historical facts, with an eye towards updating histories with newly discovered, more accurate, or less biased information. The implication is that history as it has been traditionally told may not be entirely accurate. The term historical revisionism has a second meaning, the illegitimate manipulation of history for political purposes. For example, Srebrenica Genocide deniers (or Srebrenica Genocide revisionists as they like to be called) typically willfully misuse or ignore historical records in order to attempt to prove their conclusions.

While historical revisionism is the re-examination of accepted history, with an eye towards updating it with newly discovered, more accurate, and less-biased information, Srebrenica Genocide deniers/revisionists have been using it to seek evidence in support of their own preconceived theory, omitting substantial facts.

Most Srebrenica Genocide deniers reject the term Genocide and insist that they do not deny the Srebrenica Massacre, prefering to be called “revisionists”. They are nevertheless commonly labeled as Srebrenica Genocide deniers to differentiate them from historical revisionists and because their goal is to deny the existance of the Srebrenica Genocide, by omitting substantial facts, rather than honestly using historical evidence and methodology to examine the event.

Question
(3) HOW MANY BOSNIAKS DIED DURING SREBRENICA MASSACRE?

On June 5, 2005 Bosnia’s Federal Commission for Missing Persons (Federalna Komisija za nestale osobe) issued a list of the names, parents’ names, dates of birth, and unique citizen’s registration numbers of 8,106 individuals who have been reliably established, from multiple independent sources, to have gone missing and/or been killed in and around Srebrenica in the summer of 1995. The Federal Commission’s list was made public early in June. A verification process is underway for approximately 500 more victims whose disappearance or death has not yet been verified from two or more independent sources.

Updated info: A marble stone (photo) at the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial Center Potocari is engraved with 8,370 names of Srebrenica victims (info as of July 6th, 2006).

The major challenge in Bosnia is the identification of the victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre where over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys, including preteen children and babies, were slaughtered after Bosnian Serb forces overran the UN-run enclave. Their bodies had initially been buried in a dozen of mass graves, but Bosnian Serbs moved them later by buldozers to a number of other locations in order to cover up their crime. Their body parts were separated, and forensic experts have sometimes found parts of a single victim buried in three different mass graves.



Question
(4) WERE MEN AND BOYS ONLY VICTIMS OF SREBRENICA MASSACRE?

No. It is estimated that hundreds of women and female children were raped during Srebrenica Massacre. The Serb troops abused women and even children who they had herded into makeshift enclosures. Due to cultural stigma attached to rape, many women refused to testify against the rapists.

There were also reports of babies being taken away from their mothers and killed. Sabaheta Fejzic’s testimony is a sad one. She witnessed Serb soldiers indiscriminately taking girls, boys, and men out of camp. They also took her husband and tore her baby son from her arms. She never saw either one of them again.

According to the Secretary-General’s Report, A/54/549, quote:

389. The same day, one of the Dutchbat soldiers, during his brief stay in Zagreb upon return from Serb-held territory, was quoted as telling a member of the press that “hunting season [is] in full swing… it is not only men supposedly belonging to the Bosnian Government who are targeted… women, including pregnant ones, children and old people aren’t spared. Some are shot and wounded, others have had their ears cut off and some women have been raped.

A Dutch Bat medical orderly witnessed a rape, quote:

[W]e saw two Serb soldiers, one of them was standing guard and the other one was lying on the girl, with his pants off. And we saw a girl lying on the ground, on some kind of mattress. There was blood on the mattress, even she was covered with blood. She had bruises on her legs. There was even blood coming down her legs. She was in total shock. She went totally crazy. [See: Prosecutor vs. Krstic Judgement]

As a result of exhaustive UN negotiations with Serb troops, 25,000 women were forcibly deported (ethnically cleansed) from Srebrenica. Had UN negotiations with Serb troops failed, most Srebrenica women would likely meet the fate of Srebrenica men and boys. Some busses never reached the safety. For example, according to the witness accounts given by Srebrenica Massacre survivor – Kadir Habibovic – who hid himself on one of the first buses taking women and children from the Dutch United Nations base in Potocari to government-held territory in Kladanj, “Habibovic saw at least one vehicle full of Muslim women being driven away from Bosnian government-held territory.” [source]

One of his captors at one point complained that they were not getting a good choice of the Muslim women from Srebrenica. Habibovic’s account corroborates reports from refugees that many Srebrenica women were raped by Bosnian Serb soldiers. Habibovic said the men were taken to a remote location near Rasica Gai late in the evening. When the first group was taken from the truck and shot, he said he leapt from the truck and tumbled down a nearby slope. Gunfire from the soldiers missed him and he escaped. He later heard a large amount of gunfire, which he believes were the other prisoners being killed. He reached government-held territory on Aug 20, with his wounds still fresh.

Hague officials say that the tribunal’s progress in dealing with rape has come from three factors – the courage of the victims and witnesses who testified, the tenacity of the prosecuting lawyers, and the years of tireless lobbying by pressure groups. The breakthrough came when prosecutors established that these rapes were entirely foreseeable. Judges agreed that the generals in charge should have reasonably predicted that, under these conditions, the sexual assaults were likely. It was concluded that any rapes that took place in Srebrenica were therefore the fault of the commanders. Hague officials say that the tribunal’s progress in dealing with rape has come from three factors – the courage of the victims and witnesses who testified, the tenacity of the prosecuting lawyers, and the years of tireless lobbying by pressure groups.

Here are some excerpts from the ICTY’s (International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia) 260 page-rulling in the case of Prosecutor vs. Krstic which resulted in Srebrenica genocide verdict:

43. Killings occurred.
In the late morning of 12 July 1995, a witness saw a pile of 20 to 30 bodies heaped up behind the Transport Building in Potocari, alongside a tractor-like machine. Another testified that, at around 1200 hours on 12 July, he saw a soldier slay a child with a knife in the middle of a crowd of expellees. He also said that he saw Serb soldiers execute more than a hundred Bosnian Muslim men in the area behind the Zinc Factory and then load their bodies onto a truck, although the number and methodical nature of the murders attested to by this witness stand in contrast to other evidence on the Trial Record that indicates that the killings in Potocari were sporadic in nature.

44. As evening fell, the terror deepened.
Screams, gunshots and other frightening noises were audible throughout the night and no one could sleep. Soldiers were picking people out of the crowd and taking them away: some returned; others did not. Witness T recounted how three brothers – one merely a child and the others in their teens – were taken out in the night. When the boys’ mother went looking for them, she found them with their throats slit.

46. Bosnian Muslim refugees nearby could see the rape, but could do nothing about it becauseof Serb soldiers standing nearby. Other people heard women screaming, or saw women being dragged away. Several individuals were so terrified that they committed suicide by hanging themselves. Throughout the night and early the next morning, stories about the rapes and killings spread through the crowd and the terror in the camp escalated.

150. On 12 and 13 July 1995, upon the arrival of Serb forces in Potocari, the Bosnian Muslim refugees taking shelter in and around the compound were subjected to a terror campaign comprised of threats, insults, looting and burning of nearby houses, beatings, rapes, and murders.

517. More significantly, rapes and killings were reported by credible witnesses and some committed suicide out of terror. The entire situation in Potocari has been depicted as a campaign of terror. As an ultimate suffering, some women about to board the buses had their young sons dragged away from them, never to be seen again.

Read more: Women & Srebrenica Massacre.

Question
(5) WHY DO SREBRENICA MASSACRE REVISIONISTS AND SREBRENICA GENOCIDE DENIERS MINIMIZE NUMBERS OF KILLED BOSNIAKS IN SREBRENICA?

Ask yourself: Why do Holocaust revisionists deny Holocaust? Why are 9/11 attacks on America target of conspiracy theories, revisionism and denials?

When it comes to Srebrenica massacre, consider Ed Herman, for example. Of Herman’s many dubious and outright false assertions about Srebrenica, one of the most contemptible is his attempt to make disappear from history the roughly 8000 Bosnian civilians massacred by Serbian forces. Some of his mystification is couched in slippery deniability, in a half-hearted attempt to deflect the criticism he deserves. But taken together, his comments comprise a clear endeavor at war-crimes denial. (1)

Herman is perturbed that the estimated number of victims has stayed relatively constant around 8000. (2) But this estimate has been documented in detail by several independent sources and has been accepted widely, from the corporate media to such progressive reporters as Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now” (Srebrenica 10th anniversary report, July 11, 2005).

Though Herman uses misleading and out-of-date reports to cast doubt on the credibility of the lists of missing, he ignores the detailed documentation of the lists from several sources. The credibility of the lists deserves particular attention in rebuttal to Herman.

On June 5, 2005 Bosnia’s Federal Commission for Missing Persons (Federalna Komisija za nestale osobe) issued a list of the names, parents’ names, dates of birth, and unique citizen’s registration numbers of 8,106 individuals who have been reliably established, from multiple independent sources, to have gone missing and/or been killed in and around Srebrenica in the summer of 1995. The Federal Commission’s list was made public early in June. (3)

A verification process is underway for approximately 500 more victims whose disappearance or death has not yet been verified from two or more independent sources.

Relatives and friends have registered a total of 7,789 names of people missing or known to be dead from the July 1995 events at Srebrenica with another reporting body, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).

In addition, the International Committee of the Red Cross has compiled its own list, based on inquiries from friends and relatives. (The ICRC list is slightly shorter because it allows only those reported by relatives. Where entire families were wiped out, the ICRC does not accept reports from friends or neighbors.) The ICRC states that there are still 5500 missing persons from Srebrenica, in addition to the 2000+ identified dead. (July 2005).

Another list appears as an annex to the Republika Srpska Srebrenica Commission’s June 2004 report.

It should also be kept in mind that names appear on the missing-persons lists as a result of active inquiries from relatives and others close to the missing/deceased individuals in question. In addition to these names there are other individuals who were among the dead and missing in July 1995 but do not appear on any lists because they had no close friends or relatives there to inquire after them – including cases where whole families (or whole village populations) were killed.

For one of numerous reports on the difficulties faced by forensic investigators in attempting to identify some of the recovered bodies, see Srebrenica: ten years on, by Ed Vulliamy, July 6, 2005. That sort of information should be posted on ZNet as a counter-balance to Herman’s ridiculous denials.

Apparently Herman has never been to Bosnia, so he thinks he is able to preserve his ability to look at the issues with “objectivity,” unlike the surviving victims of the massacre. But his selective reliance on Serbian nationalists, right-wing

Republicans, and a handful of leftist ideologues produces historical revisionism that disgraces Z Magazine.

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(1) Herman’s denial of the magnitude of the massacre, excerpts:

> … there is a major issue of how many were executed, as numerous bodies found in local grave sites were victims of fighting, and many Bosnian Muslim men who fled Srebrenica reached Bosnian Muslim territory safely.
> … the evidence for a massacre, certainly of one in which 8,000 men and boys were
executed, has always been problematic, to say the least …
> There are also lists of missing, but these lists are badly flawed, with duplications, individuals listed who had died before July 1995, who fled to avoid BSA service, or who registered to vote in 1997, and they include individuals who died in battle or reached safety or were captured and assumed a new existence elsewhere.
> The 8,000 figure is also incompatible with the basic arithmetic of Srebrenica numbers before and after July 1995.

(2) Herman on the list of dead and missing persons, excerpts:

> One anomaly connected with Srebrenica has been the stability of the figure of Bosnian Muslim victims-8,000 in July 1995 and 8,000 today, despite the crudity of the initial estimate, the evidence that many or most of the 5,000 “missing” reached Bosnian Muslim territory or were killed in the fighting, and the clear failure to produce supportive physical evidence despite a massive effort. In other cases, like the 9/11 fatality estimate, and even the Bosnian killings and Kosovo bombing war estimates, the original figures were radically scaled down as evidence of body counts made the earlier inflated numbers unsustainable. [49]

> But the link of this propaganda triumph to truth and justice is non-existent. The disconnection with truth is epitomized by the fact that the original estimate of 8,000, including 5,000 “missing”–who had left Srebrenica for Bosnian Muslim lines-was maintained even after it had been quickly established that several thousand had reached those lines and that several thousand more had perished in battle. This nice round number lives on today in the face of a failure to find the executed bodies and despite the absence of a single satellite photo showing executions, bodies, digging, or trucks transporting bodies for reburial.

(3) As an alternative to Herman’s make-believe denials, readers might be interested in a couple of documents with much detail about the massacre:

Srebrenica Investigation: Summary of Forensic Evidence – Execution Points and Mass Graves
Dean Manning witness statement on Srebrenica in Milosevic trial

Question
(6) SERBIAN MEDIA CLAIMED THAT FORCES UNDER THE COMMAND OF NASER ORIC KILLED OVER 3,000 SERB CIVILIANS AROUND SREBRENICA. WHAT ARE THE FACTS?

With respect to Naser Oric’s forces, they are held responsible for mistreatment of about 15 Serb captives (of which about 5 died in custody). Contrast that with large scale slaughters of over 8,000 Bosniaks in Srebrenica. The facts are that around 2,000 Serb civilians died in all of Bosnia (or 1,978 to be exact, respectively) – many of them from Bosnian Serb shells hitting besieged government-controlled cities.

Research and Documentation Center (RDC) in Sarajevo, which includes joint Bosniak, Serb and Croat investigators, recently investigated number of alleged Serb casualties around Srebrenica and concluded that the alleged number of 3,287 Serb casualties in Central Podrinje is actually incorrect and nine to ten times lower than reported by the Serbian media. RDC closely works and aids ICTY Investigations and is funded by both international community and the joint government of Bosnia-Herzegovina (which is composed of Bosniak, Serb and Croat lawmakers). RDC concluded, quote:

The allegations that Serb casualties in Bratunac, between April 1992 and December 1995 amount to over three thousand is an evident falsification of facts. The RDC research of the actual number of Serb victims in Bratunac has been the most extensive carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina and proves that the overall number of victims is three to nine times smaller than indicated by Serbia and Montenegro. Perhaps the clearest illustration of gross exaggeration is that of Kravica, a Serb village near Bratunac attacked by the Bosnian Army on the morning of Orthodox Christmas, January 7, 1993 . The allegations that the attack resulted in hundreds of civilian victims have been shown to be false. Insight into the original documentation of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) clearly shows that in fact military victims highly outnumber the civilian ones. The document entitled “Warpath of the Bratunac brigade”, puts the military victims at 35 killed and 36 wounded; the number of civilian victims of the attack is eleven. [Read full report here]

Human Rights Watch agrees, quote:

The ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party launched an aggressive campaign to prove that Muslims had committed crimes against thousands of Serbs in the area. The campaign was intended to diminish the significance of the July 1995 crime, and many in Serbia were willing to accept that version of history.

But as the Oric judgment makes clear, the facts do not support the equivalence thesis. Take the events in the village of Kravica, on the Serb Orthodox Christmas on January 7, 1993, for example. The alleged killing of scores of Serbs and destruction of their houses in the village is frequently cited in Serbia as the key example of the heinous crimes committed by the Muslim forces around Srebrenica.

In fact, the Oric judgment confirms that there were Bosnian Serb military forces present in the village at the time of attack. In 1998, the wartime New York Times correspondent Chuck Sudetic wrote in his book on Srebrenica that, of forty-five Serbs who died in the Kravica attack, thirty-five were soldiers. Original Bosnian Serb army documents, according to the ICTY prosecutor and the Sarajevo-based Center for Research and Documentation of War Crimes, also indicate that thirty-five soldiers died.

The critics also invoke unreliable statistics. A spokesman for the ruling Democratic Party of Serbia in the wake of the Oric judgment, for example, claimed that “we have documents showing that 3,260 people were found dead around Srebrenica from 1992-1995.” However, the book Hronike nasih grobalja (Chronicles of Our Graveyards) by the Serb historian Milivoje Ivanisevic (the president of the Belgrade Centre for Investigating Crimes Committed against the Serbian People), uses the significantly lower figure, of “more than 1,000 persons [who] died,” and contains the list, mostly made of men of military age. Among those killed, there were evidently a significant number of Bosnian Serb soldiers who died in the fighting, like in Kravica. [source]

For a list of killed Bosniaks in the Bratunac municipality, click here.

Naser Oric was found not guilty of any direct involvement in the murders of about 5 and mistreatment of another 10 Serbs. He was also found not guilty for the “wanton destruction” of homes and property. But he was found guilty of failing to control and discipline men under his command. The incidents took place from December 1992 to March 1993 (before Srebrenica became “Safe Heaven”), when Serbian forces were ethnically cleansing, torturing, raping, and killing Bosniak population of Eastern Bosnia (See RDC). Contrast that with over 8,100 Bosniaks who were summarily executed by Serb forces under the command of war crimes fugitives Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. One cannot even compare the case of genocide with the individual incidents of war crimes, because Srebrenica Bosniaks were subjected to Genocide. It should also be noted that Naser Oric was not on trial for genocide, nor was he on trial for mass murder of Serb civilians.

Many of the 52 witnesses that the prosecution called were members of the Bosnian Serb Army who participated in the seige and massacre of over 8,100 Srebrenica Bosniaks. The case is on appeal. The prosecution has also been accused of providing forged documents which three expert witnesess failed to authenticate, and has also been warned but not sancioned for witholding exculpatory evidence. The judges at one point attempted to reduce the time that defence witnesses were allowed to testify, until an appeals chamber overturned this decision. There was also outrage at the 18 year sentence that the prosecution has asked for. Drazen Erdemovic, was a Serb soldier serving in Srebrenica and although he confessed to killing 70 Bosniak civilians during the Srebrenica massacre he only received a 5 year sentance.

The judges in Oric case described conditions in Srebrenica at the times of the crimes in 1992 and 1993 as abysmal. They noted that militarily superior Serb forces encircled the town and that there was an unmanageable influx of refugees there, as well as a critical shortage of food and the breakdown of law and order. Oric was given 2 year sentence and immediately released, because he already spent more than 3 years on trial.

Consequently, the sentence imposed reflects this uniquely limited criminal responsibility.” – concluded judges. [ICTY Press Release].

The genocide justifiers have consistently ignored the strong VRS military presence in some Bosnian Serb villages. For example, the village of Fakovici was used as a military outpost through which Bosnian Serb forces launched massive attacks on Bosniak civilians. [source]. Secondly, the Oric judgment found the presence of Serb military in several villages that the Bosniak forces launched an offensive on, including the presence of sophisticated weapons such as tanks, anti aircraft, rocket launchers etc. Therefore, putting the offensive actions against those specific villages where there was a VRS presence in much different light than the one purported by the genocide deniers.

During the Bosnian war (1992-1995), Srebrenica was under constant siege by Bosnian Serb millitary; no food or medical supplies were allowed into the enclave. Apart from never ending starvation, the civilian population of Srebrenica was subjected to constant Bosnian Serb artillery attacks. The only way to survive was to counter-attack surrounding Bosnian Serb villages (which served as Bosnian Serb military bases) and search for food and other supplies. In fact, long before Naser Oric counter-attacked Bosnian Serb forces around Srebrenica, close to 90% of Bosniak population of Eastern Bosnia was ethnically cleansed by Bosnian Serb and Serbian military forces.

From Simon Mardel, a WHO doctor who was based in Srebrenica at the time, wrote:

People are completely trapped. The water supply from higher up the valley is now cut off. The present situation can only be described as an impending holocaust. [source]

Here is a short excerpt from United Nations’ General Assembly Resolution 53/35 that addresses issue of Naser Oric’s raids [full text], quote:

A third accusation leveled at the Bosniak defenders of Srebrenica is that they provoked the Serb offensive by attacking out of that safe area. Even though this accusation is often repeated by international sources, there is no credible evidence to support it. Dutchbat personnel on the ground at the time assessed that the few “raids” the Bosniaks mounted out of Srebrenica were of little or no military significance. These raids were often organized in order to gather food, as the Serbs had refused access for humanitarian convoys into the enclave. Even Serb sources approached in the context of this report acknowledged that the Bosniak forces in Srebrenica posed no significant military threat to them. The biggest attack the Bosniaks launched out of Srebrenica during the more than two years which is was designated a safe area appears to have been the raid on the village of Visnjica, on 26 June 1995, in which several houses were burned, up to four Serbs were killed and approximately 100 sheep were stolen. In contrast, the Serbs overran the enclave two weeks later, driving tens of thousands from their homes, and summarily executing thousands of men and boys. The Serbs repeatedly exaggerated the extent of the raids out of Srebrenica as a pretext for the prosecution of a central war aim: to create geographically contiguous and ethnically pure territory along the Drina, while freeing their troops to fight in other parts of the country. The extent to which this pretext was accepted at face value by international actors and observers reflected the prism of “moral equivalency” through which the conflict in Bosnia was viewed by too many for too long.

Question
(7) WAS WAR IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, BETWEEN 1992-1995, A CIVIL WAR WHICH RESULTED IN SREBRENICA MASSACRE?

War in Bosnia-Herzegovina cannot be characterized simply as ‘civil war’, as forces loyal to the Bosnian government were composed of members coming from all ethnic backgrounds. For example, high ranking Bosnian General, Jovan Divjak, was a Serb. He was one of Generals in charge of defending Sarajevo from Serbian attacks.

The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was a direct response to a full blown international attack on Bosnia-Herzegovina by neighboring Serbia. According to the statement by Chief UN War Crimes Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, to the Security Council on June 7 2006, the Prosecution has proven an international armed conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina no less than five times, quote:

The instrument of the adjudicated facts is therefore a key tool to reduce the scope of the trials. For instance, the Prosecution has proven an international armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina no less than five times, wasting months and months on proving the same facts, sometimes with the same witnesses, in case after case. We have to prove it again, for the sixth time, in the on-going Prlic et al. trial. [read more]

You can learn more by reading this article on our blog: War in Bosnia-Herzegovina was an International Conflict Between Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia.

Question
(8) WHAT WERE THE UNITED NATIONS’ CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE ROLE OF BOSNIAK FORCES ON THE GROUND IN SREBRENICA?

Here is what United Nations’ General Assembly concluded [source], quote:

475. Criticisms have also been leveled at the Bosniaks in Srebrenica, among them that they did not fully demilitarize and that they did not do enough to defend the enclave. To a degree, these criticisms appear to be contradictory. Concerning the first criticism, it is right to note that the Bosnian Government had entered into demilitarization agreements with the Bosnian Serbs. They did this with the encouragement of the United Nations. While it is also true that the Bosnian fighters in Srebrenica did not fully demilitarize, they did demilitarize enough for UNPROFOR to issue a press release, on 21 April 1993, saying that the process had been a success. Specific instructions from United Nations Headquarters in New York stated that UNPROFOF should not be too zealous in searching for Bosniak weapons and, later, that the Serbs should withdraw their heavy weapons before the Bosniaks gave up their weapons. The Serbs never did withdraw their heavy weapons.

476. Concerning the accusation that the Bosniaks did not do enough to defend Srebrenica, military experts consulted in connection with this report were largely in agreement that the Bosniaks could not have defended Srebrenica for long in the face of a concerted attack supported by armour and artillery. The defenders were undisciplined, untrained, poorly armed, totally isolated force, lying prone in the crowded valley of Srebrenica. They were ill-equipped even to train themselves in the use of the few heavier weapons that had been smuggled to them by their authorities. After over three years of siege, the population was demoralized, afraid and often hungry. The only leader of stature was absent when the attack occurred. Surrounding them, controlling all the high ground, handsomely equipped with the heavy weapons and logistical train of the Yugoslav army, were the Bosnian Serbs. There was no contest.

477. Despite the odds against them, the Bosniaks requested UNPROFOR to return to them the weapons they had surrendered under the demilitarization agreements of 1993. They requested those weapons at the beginning of the Serb offensive, but the request was rejected by the UNPROFOR because, as one commander explained, “it was our responsibility to defend the enclave, not theirs.” Given the limited number and poor quality of Bosniak weapons held by UNPROFOR, it seems unlikely that releasing those weapons to the Bosniaks would have made a significant difference to the outcome of the battle; but the Bosniaks were under attack at that time, they wanted to resist with whatever means they could muster, and UNPROFOR denied them access to some of their own weapons. With the benefit of hindsight, this decision seems to be particularly ill-advised, given UNPROFOR’s own unwillingness consistently to advocate force as a means deterring attacks on the enclave.

478. Many have accused the Bosniak forces of withdrawing from the enclave as the Serb forces advanced on the day of its fall. However, it must be remembered that on
the eve of the final Serb assault the Dutchbat commander urged the Bosniaks to withdraw from defensive positions south of Srebrenica town – the direction from which the Serbs were advancing. He did so because he believed that NATO aircraft
would soon be launching widespread air strikes against the advancing Serbs.

479. A third accusation leveled at the Bosniak defenders of Srebrenica is that they provoked the Serb offensive by attacking out of that safe area. Even though this accusation is often repeated by international sources, there is no credible evidence to support it. Dutchbat personnel on the ground at the time assessed that the few “raids” the Bosniaks mounted out of Srebrenica were of little or no military significance. These raids were often organized in order to gather food, as the Serbs had refused access for humanitarian convoys into the enclave. Even Serb sources approached in the context of this report acknowledged that the Bosniak forces in Srebrenica posed no significant military threat to them. The biggest attack the Bosniaks launched out of Srebrenica during the more than two years which is was designated a safe area appears to have been the raid on the village of Visnjica, on 26 June 1995, in which several houses were burned, up to four Serbs were killed and approximately 100 sheep were stolen. In contrast, the Serbs overran the enclave two weeks later, driving tens of thousands from their homes, and summarily executing thousands of men and boys. The Serbs repeatedly exaggerated the extent of the raids out of Srebrenica as a pretext for the prosecution of a central war aim: to create geographically contiguous and ethnically pure territory along the Drina, while freeing their troops to fight in other parts of the country. The extent to which this pretext was accepted at face value by international actors and observers reflected the prism of “moral equivalency” through which the conflict in Bosnia was viewed by too many for too long.

Question
(9) WAS SREBRENICA MASSACRE ‘RETALIATION’ OF SERB FORCES FOR BOSNIAK ATTACKS ON SERB VILLAGES? (justification of massacre, also see question #6 & #10)

Absolutely not. This claim is just one of many claims used by Serb apologists to justify massacre in Srebrenica. [See my response: Sick Reasoning (Justification of Massacre)] In fact, local Serb villages were used as bases to attack Srebrenica on a daily basis as I elaborated in my answers to questions #6 and #10. The U.N. Report 53/35 concluded:

“Even though this accusation [that Srebrenica massacre was ‘retaliation’ of Serb forces for Bosniak attacks on Serb villages] is often repeated by international sources, there is no credible evidence to support it.”

The genocide justifiers have consistently ignored the strong VRS military presence in some Bosnian Serb villages. For example, the village of Fakovici was used as a military outpost through which Bosnian Serb forces launched massive attacks on Bosniak civilians. [source]. Secondly, the Oric judgment found the presence of Serb military in several villages that the Bosniak forces launched an offensive on, including the presence of sophisticated weapons such as tanks, anti aircraft, rocket launchers etc. Therefore, putting the offensive actions against those specific villages where there was a VRS presence in much different light than the one purported by the genocide deniers.

Human Rights Watch agrees:

In fact, the Oric judgment confirms that there were Bosnian Serb military forces present in the village at the time of attack. In 1998, the wartime New York Times correspondent Chuck Sudetic wrote in his book on Srebrenica that, of forty-five Serbs who died in the Kravica attack, thirty-five were soldiers. Original Bosnian Serb army documents, according to the ICTY prosecutor and the Sarajevo-based Center for Research and Documentation of War Crimes, also indicate that thirty-five soldiers died. [source]

Question
(10) WAS NETHERLAND’S NIOD REPORT FLAWED WITH RESPECT TO EVENTS LEADING TO THE SREBRENICA MASSACRE? (also see question #9)

Dutch NIOD Report is not as objective as one might have expected it to be. NIOD Report was published by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation. This is the document, commissioned by the Dutch government following criticism of the way its peacekeeping force in the Srebrenica behaved at the time of the massacre. [See: Srebrenica Massacre Lawsuit Against U.N. and Dutch Government]

Although the Dutch government refused to apologize for the failure of Dutchbat to prevent the Srebrenica massacre, the NIOD Report was the Netherlands’s attempt to wash their hands of direct involvement in the Srebrenica massacre. The report is extremely biased in some parts, depending on the sources or references used.

For example, Part II – Chapter 2 talks about “The history preceding the conflict in Eastern Bosnia up until the establishment of the Safe Area“. By reading this part of the report, one can easily get the impression that Bosniaks constantly attacked Serb villages while Serbs were constantly defending themselves from Bosniaks. But since this report was Netherland’s attempt to shift blame by virtues of ‘moral equivalency’, no wonder they came up with such grotesque claims. Earlier U.N. Report 53/35 concluded:

Even though this accusation is often repeated by international sources, there is no credible evidence to support it. Dutchbat personnel on the ground at the time assessed that the few “raids” the Bosniaks mounted out of Srebrenica were of little or no military significance. These raids were often organized in order to gather food, as the Serbs had refused access for humanitarian convoys into the enclave. Even Serb sources approached in the context of this report acknowledged that the Bosniak forces in Srebrenica posed no significant military threat to them.

The judgment in Naser Oric case clearly shows that surrounding Serb villages were used as bases to attack Srebrenica on a daily basis from day one:

Between April 1992 and March 1993, Srebrenica town and the villages in the area held by Bosnian Muslims were constantly subjected to Serb military assaults, including artillery attacks, sniper fire, as well as occasional bombing from aircrafts. Each onslaught followed a similar pattern. Serb soldiers and paramilitaries surrounded a Bosnian Muslim village or hamlet, called upon the population to surrender their weapons, and then began with indiscriminate shelling and shooting. In most cases, they then entered the village or hamlet, expelled or killed the population, who offered no significant resistance, and destroyed their homes. During this period, Srebrenica was subjected to indiscriminate shelling from all directions on a daily basis. Potočari in particular was a daily target for Serb artillery and infantry because it was a sensitive point in the defence line around Srebrenica. Other Bosnian Muslim settlements were routinely attacked as well. All this resulted in a great number of refugees and casualties. (Naser Oric Judgement, pdf format, page 43-51)

Serb forces continued to attack Srebrenica even after Srebrenica became a “Safe Heaven”:

Later, a Dutch battalion replaced the Canadian troops. The weapons of Bosnian Muslims were, at least to some extent, turned in or confiscated. Larger military operations by both Bosnian Muslims and Serbs were effectively brought to a halt. However, incidents of Serb military action continued to occur, causing casualtiesamong the Srebrenica population. (Naser Oric Judgement, pdf format, page 52-53)

The genocide justifiers have consistently ignored the strong VRS military presence in some Bosnian Serb villages. For example, the village of Fakovici was used as a military outpost through which Bosnian Serb forces launched massive attacks on Bosniak civilians. [source]. Secondly, the Oric judgment found the presence of Serb military in several villages that the Bosniak forces launched an offensive on, including the presence of sophisticated weapons such as tanks, anti aircraft, rocket launchers etc. Therefore, putting the offensive actions against those specific villages where there was a VRS presence in much different light than the one purported by the genocide deniers. Human Rights Watch agrees:

In fact, the Oric judgment confirms that there were Bosnian Serb military forces present in the village at the time of attack. In 1998, the wartime New York Times correspondent Chuck Sudetic wrote in his book on Srebrenica that, of forty-five Serbs who died in the Kravica attack, thirty-five were soldiers. Original Bosnian Serb army documents, according to the ICTY prosecutor and the Sarajevo-based Center for Research and Documentation of War Crimes, also indicate that thirty-five soldiers died. [source]

The NIOD report cites too many biased Serb sources and even suggests that over 1,000 Serbs died around Srebrenica, which was proven to be false by the internationally sponsored Research and Documentation Center (RDC), which concluded that less than 400 Serbs died there, three quarters of them soldiers (source). Manipulating the number of victims is a form of propaganda that in practice is very difficult to deal with. The Bosnian Government did the same in the 1990s, stating that over 200,000 people died. RDC has concluded that not more than 150,000 people died in Bosnia (and RDC’s incomplete data as of today lists around 100,000 people).

Critics of the NIOD Report allege that the massive tome is full of inaccuracies and amounts to a whitewash designed to clear the Dutch of any wrongdoing. IWPR’s piece, titled Controversial Srebrenica Report Back on Table (source), exposes flaws of NIOD Report:

They [the critics] claim that the government-financed report now provides a “one-stop shop” of information for all sides if the conflict, because it was watered down too much for it to take a real position on anything. According to Jan Willem Honig, senior lecturer in war studies at London’s Kings College and co-author of the highly-praised “Srebrenica, Record of a War Crime”, the truth lies somewhere in between. Although he says the report “has an aura of independent academic research,” Honig is critical of its length, saying the sheer abundance of information makes it possible for anyone to pluck from it whatever they need to make their point. This, he says, is a liability because the report is not always consistent. “It’s possible to draw different conclusions from the different parts in the book. Therefore one can imagine it is useful to both defence and prosecution,” he said. Honig said he found numerous errors in the report as well. For example, he said an explanatory map inserted as a graphic aid to explaining the Bosnian Serb battle plan does not correspond with the plan as described in the text. And neither the written description nor the map accurately describe the actual plan. Worse than the inaccuracies, according to Honig, is the fact that the report has no clear objective. “They [the researchers] should have considered better what they wanted to establish with the report. That might have saved thousands of pages. With its leisurely narrative approach they shot themselves in the foot. The project escaped their control; it became too big,” he said. Honig is not alone in criticising the report. Many readers have complained that the index is poorly organised and full of errors, particularly regarding peoples’ names. Even those who worked on the NIOD report have been critical of it. One of the nine NIOD-researchers, anthropologist Ger Duijzings recently told the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, “Information from sources that I found unreliable, I found back in Part 1 [of the report] – used by [fellow-researcher] Bob de Graaf, if he thought it fitted in his argumentation.”

The direct Dutch involvement in the Srebrenica massacre and subsequent shameful collaboration with Ratko Mladic’s genocidal forces is one of the issues in the upcoming lawsuit against the Dutch government and the United Nations. Dutch forces have direct (although not primary) responsibility for the fall of Srebrenica and the subsequent massacre of over 8,000 Bosniaks.

According to Hasan Nuhanovic, who survived Srebrenica massacre, the NIOD Report has not determined the level of responsibility and guilt of the Dutch troops and officials for genocide in Srebrenica [full text].

According to ambassador Arria, who initiated the visit of the UN Security Council delegation to Srebrenica in April 1993, and was at its head, described the situation in the enclave as “genocide in slow motion”. [source] Shocking images of poverty, destruction, starvation and squalor were hidden from the public. As the Venezuelan ambassador testified, this was done with the collusion of the UNPROFOR troops deployed in the enclave declared a “protected area” a little while ago. Arria took the first photographs of the destruction of Srebrenica and its starving inhabitants. Those were the only photographs in existence at the time. He refused to hand over his camera to UN members.

Ambassador Arria testified at the International Tribunal that the international community “did not move its little finger” to protect the Muslims in the enclave and “did not make it possible for them to defend themselves”. He openly accusing the then UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali and his staff of withholding the reports about the real situation in Srebrenica and misinforming the Security Council.

The report on the “humanitarian disaster in Srebrenica”, Arria claims, appeared before the Security Council 12 days after the dramatic appeal by the then UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata. There was a tendency in the Security Council, he said, to “morally equate the victims and the aggressor”, thus avoiding the need to take action to prevent the humanitarian disaster.

The Venezuelan diplomat claims that the blue helmets in the enclave did nothing to prevent the “gradual genocide”. Quite the contrary, during the visit of the Security Council delegation to Srebrenica, the then UNPROFOR commander, Brigadier Hayes did all he could to prevent them from seeing the real situation and the truth about the area which had already been officially declared as “protected”.

As he said, the international community had been hoping, before the declaration of the safe haven, that the Serbs would overrun the enclave quickly, thereby “solving the problem”. The defenders of Srebrenica, Arria contends, were a problem for the international community. It turned out that the UN-protected enclave was in fact a “scene set for genocide”, Arria said, adding that today he was “sorry [he] proposed the establishment of the protected area together with the other representatives of the non-aligned countries in the Security Council”.


Question

(11) WILL SERBIAN MASTERMINDS OF SREBRENICA MASSACRE, RADOVAN KARADZIC AND RATKO MLADIC, EVER BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE?

It’s hard to speculate. There is no genuine will in Serbia to arrest Radovan Karadzic and/or Ratko Mladic. Serbia has been protecting and financially supporting war criminals for over a decade now. Bosnian Serb war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic drew his army general’s pension in Serbia up until November last year while on the run from international justice. An investigation had revealed that Mladic’s wife, son and two Army officers, one retired and one still active, had been authorized to pick up the money in 2002, when Mladic dropped out of sight to avoid arrest. He was active in the Yugoslav Army until 2002, one year after Milosevic’s arrest.

On June 7 2006, in a statement to the Security Council, Chief UN War Crimes Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, complained that rather than arresting Mladic, the Serbian authorities had wasted time trying to get him to surrender voluntarily. And while a series of operations targeting his support network earlier this year might have succeeded in producing a lot of column inches, she added, they lacked the discretion needed to acquire information that could have led to his arrest. In addition,

Del Ponte voiced suspicion that inconsistencies in reports submitted to her office by the Serbian authorities were a sign that the information in them had been “doctored for political reasons”.

According to Del Ponte, there are established leads connecting Serbia to Radovan Karadzic and that it is certain that part of his network and of his family remains in Republika Srpska (Serb part of Bosnia). During 2005, there was no real attempt to locate and arrest Mladic. Part of Karadzic’s family is living in Montenegro, and he can count on numerous supporters there.

In 2000, the U.S. Jury returned $4.5 billion verdict against Radovan Karadzic.

The U.S. Government is offering $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of Radovan Karadzic and/or Ratko Mladic.

Question

(12) DID THE BOSNIAKS BOMBED THEMSELVES TO FORCE NATO STOP SERBIAN ATTACKS ON SARAJEVO, SREBRENICA, GORAZDE AND OTHER CITIES UNDER SIEGE?

Absolutely not. The Markale massacres were two massacres committed by the Army of Republika Srpska (Bosnian Serb Army) on Sarajevo civilians during the Siege of Sarajevo in the Bosnian War. They occurred at the Markale marketplace located in the historical core of Sarajevo. The first happened on February 5, 1994 when 68 people were killed and 144 more were wounded.

The second occurred on August 28, 1995 when a mortar shell killed 37 people and wounded another 90.

United Nations concluded that both attacks came from Serbian army (see: Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly resolution 53/55):

438. Five mortar rounds landed in a crowded area of downtown Sarajevo shortly after 1100 hours on 28 August [1995]. Four of the rounds caused only minimal material damage; one round, however, landed in the Markale marketplace, the scene of a similar attack on 5 February 1994. Thirty-seven people, most of them civilians, were killed in and around the marketplace, and approximately 90 were injured. A confidential report to the UNPROFOR Commander concluded that the five rounds had been fired from the Serb-held area of Lukavica, to the west of Sarajevo. (The secrecy surrounding the UNPROFOR investigation into this incident gave rise to speculation, fuelled by the Serbs, that there was doubt as to which side had fired the mortar rounds. A review of United Nations documentation, however, confirms that UNPROFOR considered the evidence clear: all five rounds had been fired by the Bosnian Serbs.)

439. On the day of the attack, the Force Commander based in Zagreb, who controlled the United Nations “key” to launch air attacks, was absent on personal business. The key had therefore passed temporarily to the UNPROFOR Commander in Sarajevo. The latter decided to initiate a request for NATO air strikes against the Serbs, calculating that force could be used to advantage. The goal of the “enforcement operation” would be to remove Serb weapons from within striking distance of the safe area of Sarajevo, and to lift the siege of the city. Two problems, however, prevented the UNPROFOR Commander from turning the key immediately. First, despite sustained efforts over two months to remove UNPROFOR troops from positions from which they could be taken hostage by Serb forces, a detachment of UNPROFOR troops was moving through Serb-held territory in eastern Bosnia, on its way out of Gora de. Second, UNPROFOR’s facilities in Sarajevo were, as ever, scattered across the floor of the valley in which Sarajevo lies, exposed to fire from Serb mortars and artillery in the surrounding hills.

440. The UNPROFOR Commander called Mladic to ensure that the movement of UNPROFOR troops out of Serb-held territory would not be hindered. Not wishing to arouse the Serbs’ suspicions, which could have led to the detention of the exposed UNPROFOR troops, the UNPROFOR Commander decided not to tell Mladic that UNPROFOR experts had confirmed that the mortar rounds had been fired by the Serbs, or that he was planning to launch an air campaign against the Serbs in response. Mladic was apparently satisfied, allowing the UNPROFOR unit in eastern Bosnia to proceed across the international border into the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a manoeuvre which was completed in the same evening. Again concerned not to arouse Serb suspicions, the UNPROFOR Commander also made a statement to the press in which he was equivocal, both as to who had fired the mortar rounds and as to how UNPROFOR intended to respond. The press, and the Bosnian Government authorities, were, like Mladic, convinced that there would be no dramatic response to the massacre. The Government lodged a protest against what it described as the latest example of a pattern of UNPROFOR inaction.

441. The UNPROFOR Commander turned his key at approximately 2000 hours on 28 August, without consulting his superiors in the United Nations or any of the troop-contributing countries. (The Secretariat noted with concern that it had learned of the decision only six hours later, and had not yet received any information confirming responsibility for the mortar attack itself.) The UNPROFOR Commander did, however, speak several times with the Commander of NATO’s Southern Command,holder of the NATO key. The latter dispatched a message stating that, in the common judgement of the UNPROFOR Commander and himself, the conditions for the initiation of air strikes against the set of targets in the Sarajevo area had been met. He said that he and the UNPROFOR commander had agreed that air strikes would begin as soon as the weather and technical considerations allowed. He added that the air strikes would continue until, in the common judgement of the NATO and United Nations military commanders, the attacks on, or threat to, Sarajevo had ceased.

Serb General Stanislav Galic was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison for terrorizing Sarajevo. The International Court’s judges said that prosecutors proved beyond reasonable doubt 18 of the 26 sniping incidents they charged and all five of the shellings. That includes the 1994 Sarajevo marketplace shelling (markale market massacre). It also was the first time the court dealt with the charge of terror, as defined in the 1949 Geneva Convention.

BOSNIA PREPARES TO MARK 11th ANNIVERSARY OF GENOCIDE

July 10, 2006 Comments off

From the plaque outside the University/National library in Sarajevo that, in August 1992, was set on fire by Serb military forces, burning for days, destroying millions of very rare historical documents and artifacts.

BOSNIA TO MARK 11th ANNIVERSARY OF SREBRENICA GENOCIDE

“The duty of Bosnians is not to allow the world to forget what happened one hour away from Berlin and Paris, in the middle of Europe.”Diego Enrique Arria

Unidentified Bosnian Muslim woman points to the name of her relative on the marble stone with 8,370 names of Srebrenica victims written on it, at the Memorial Center of Potocari, near Srebrenica, north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, on Sunday, July 9, 2006. Newly identified bodies will be buried in Srebrenica on Tuesday (July 11th) during the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and most of the bodies are still missing. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)SARAJEVO – The remains of 505 Bosniaks killed in Europe’s worst massacre since World War II have arrived in Srebrenica for burial on the 11th anniversary of the slaughter on Tuesday, July 11th.

Srebrenica massacre is the first legally established case of genocide in Europe after the Holocaust.

The remains of the victims, aged between 15 and 78 — found in numerous mass graves around the ill-fated town where Serb forces killed over 8,100 men and boys — were to be laid to rest during a solemn religious ceremony.

A Bosnian Muslim woman points to the name of her relative on the marble stone with 8,370 names of Srebrenica victims written on it, at the Memorial Center at Potocari, near Srebrenica north of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, on Sunday July 9, 2006. The bodies of 505 newly identified Srebrenica victims will be buried in Srebrenica on Tuesday (July 11th) during the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and most of the bodies are still missing. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)On Saturday, hundreds of people, including Venezuela’s former ambassador to the United Nations Diego Enrique Arria, lined Sarajevo’s main street as a convoy of three trucks carrying the remains headed for Srebrenica.

“The duty of Bosnians is not to allow the world to forget what happened one hour away from Berlin and Paris, in the middle of Europe,” Arria was quoted by AFP as telling journalists.

The Srebrenica massacre “is the greatest cover up in the history of the United Nations,” he added.

Unidentified Bosnian Muslim woman points to the name of her relative on the marble stone with 8,370 names of Srebrenica victims written on it, at the Memorial Center of Potocari, near Srebrenica, north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, on Sunday, July 9, 2006. Newly identified bodies will be buried in Srebrenica on Tuesday (July 11th) during the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and most of the bodies are still missing. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)Srebrenica was supposed to be a UN safe haven, but without air support that never came the lightly armed Dutch soldiers deployed to protect it could have done little to save its Bosniak population.

Thousands of relatives of Srebrenica victims and survivors of the massacre were expected to attend the joint funeral at a memorial cemetery outside the eastern town, which already holds 2,000 of those killed.

They were to be joined by the UN chief war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte.

Unidentified Bosnian Muslim man points to the name of his relative on the marble stone with 8,370 names of Srebrenica victims written on it, at the Memorial Center of Potocari, near Srebrenica, north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, on Sunday, July 9, 2006. Newly identified bodies will be buried in Srebrenica on Tuesday (July 11th) during the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and most of the bodies are still missing. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)The Bosniak member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency Sulejman Tihic joined Sunday some 1,000 people who had begun two days ago a march to Srebrenica from the village of Nezuk, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) north, with arrival on July 10.

The march was organized in honor of over 10,000 men from Srebrenica who took to the hills, hours before the town fell to Serb forces on July 11, 1995, in a desperate attempt to escape to territory controlled by the Bosniak-led Bosnian government.

Only about a third of them succeeded in reaching the government-controlled town of Tuzla.

The others, exposed to Serbian shelling and automatic weapons fire, had been captured or surrendered and were later killed.

A column containing the last name of Halilovic, one name among the many missing persons, are etched into the marble along with 8,370 names of Srebrenica victims, at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, on Sunday, July 9, 2006. Newly identified bodies will be buried in Srebrenica on Tuesday (July 11th) during the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and most of the bodies are still missing. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)Meanwhile, new victims of the massacre were being unearthed at one of the largest mass graves discovered last month in the village of Kamenica, some 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Srebrenica.

Experts said the remains unearthed so far accounted for close to 300 people, identified as Srebrenica Bosniaks by personal documents found with the skeletons. Another 200 were expected to be found on the site as the exhumation work there is to continue for another two weeks.

The grave is one of eight so-called secondary mass graves found in Kamenica. The seven previously exhumed sites contained some 1,000 bodies from the massacre.

Bosnian workers removing water from the graves after the heavy rain hit the cemetery at the Memorial Center Potocari, near Srebrenica north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, on Sunday, July 9, 2006. Newly identified bodies will be buried in Srebrenica on Tuesday (July 11th) during the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo / Amel Emric)Their bodies were initially buried in a dozen mass graves, but the Bosnian Serbs moved them later to other locations to cover up the massacre.

Some 2,500 Srebrenica victims have been identified by DNA analyses, while 3,500 bags filled with individual human bones exhumed from mass graves and stored in specialized morgue facilities are still waiting to be identified.

Remain at large

Bosnian Muslim women pray near coffins of 505 newly identified Srebrenica victims at an abandoned battery factory in Potocari near Srebrenica north of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, on Sunday, July 9, 2006. The bodies will be buried in Srebrenica on Tuesday (July 11th) during the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief Ratko Mladic, the two people considered most responsible for the massacre, remain at large. The United States government is offering up to $5 million reward for information leading to arrests of Karadzic and/or Mladic.

The pair face charges of genocide for atrocities committed during the war, which claimed over 100,000 victims.

The United Nations admitted partial responsibility for the Srebrenica tragedy, saying it had played too passive a role in the conflict.

Earlier this month a Dutch law firm announced it was to launch a civil case against the UN and the Netherlands seeking damages on behalf of 7,930 relatives of the massacre victims.