Archive for March, 2007


March 31, 2007 1 comment
In order to justify Srebrenica genocide, Serbian propaganda – under the leadership of right-wing nationalist Milivoje Ivanisevic – claimed that over 3,000 Serb civilians were murdered around Srebrenica. What are the facts?

(From the Office of the Chief United Nations War Crimes Prosecutor)

Florence Hartmann, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made the following statement:

Asked to comment on the different number of Serb victims in the Srebrenica region published in Belgrade, Hartmann replied that:

First of all, the OTP is always very careful in the use of the word ‘victim’. Military or Police casualties from combat should not be considered victims in a criminal investigation context, in the same way people are victims from war crimes, such as summary executions.

Before speaking about the whole area of Podrinja, including at least the municipalities of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Skelani, I would comment on the various figures circulating around the Kravica attack of January 1993. The figures circulating of hundreds of victims or claiming that all 353 inhabitants were “virtually completely destroyed” do not reflect the reality.

During the attack by the BH army on Kravica, Jezestica, Opravdici, Mandici and the surrounding villages (the larger area of Kravica), on the 7th & 8th January 1993, 43 people were killed, according to our information. Our investigation shows that 13 of the 43 were obviously civilians. Our findings are matching with the Bratunac Brigade military reports of battle casualties which are believed in the OTP to be very reliable because they are internal VRS reports.

For the whole region, i.e the municipalities of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Skelani, the Serb authorities claimed previously that about 1400 people were killed due to attacks committed by the BH Army forces for the period of May 1992 to March 1995, when Srebrenica was under the control of Naser Oric. Now the figure has become 3,500 Serbs killed. This figure may have been inflated. Taking the term “victims” as defined previously, these figures just does not reflect the reality.

I wish to name various Serb sources on Serb victims which has circulated until recently. They are maybe not detailed but as they were presented. According to the RS Commission for War Crimes, the number of Serb victims for the Bratunac-Srebrenica-Skelani region was until recently 995 victims (520 Bratunac area and 475 Srebernica area), of which Kravica, 43 victims.

According to “The Chronicle of Our Graves”; a book by Milivoje Ivanisevic, the president of the Belgrade Centre for Investigating Crimes Committed against the Serbian People, claimed that the number of Serb victims for Bratunac-Srebrenica-Skelani region was 1,200 victims but presented personal details available for only 624 victims. The author claimed that all 353 Kravica inhabitants were “virtually completely destroyed” which is not accurate.

Another book, “For the Honourable Cross and Golden Freedom”; a book (1,508 pages) by unknown authors from RS and in collaboration with the RS Ministry of Interior, claimed that the No. of Serb victims for the Bratunac-Srebrenica-Skelani region is 641 victims, all war-related”. [Read full report]

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…. The number of victims from Central Bosnia buried in Bratunac is consistent with the population movements after the war, especially the Serb population from the suburbs of Sarajevo . Under the Dayton Peace Accords, the suburbs of Sarajevo held by the VRS were to be re-integrated into the city of Sarajevo . The then leadership of the RS called on the local Serb population to leave Sarajevo and even take the graves of their loved ones with them. In fact, such a large majority followed the instructions that parts of the city of Sarajevo remained deserted for months. The remnants of their loved ones have been buried in Bratunac after the war, but their deaths are presented as the result of actions taken by the Bosnian Army units from Srebrenica.

As importantly, a number of foreign nationals (mainly from Serbia and Montenegro and Croatia) are included in the overall figure of Serb victims in Bratunac. At least 15 such individuals lost their lives in Bratunac as a result of fighting; it may be of some significance that all of them were members of a paramilitary group that arrived to Bratunac in April 1992, upon invitation of Bratunac Serb Democratic Party and in coordination with the State Security Service of Republic of Serbia (see testimony of Miroslav Deronjić, President of Municipal Board of SDS Bratunac, at International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia). Some of those individuals are Vesna Krdžalić, Dragica Mastikosa, Aleksandar Grahovac and Sreto Suzić who all died in combat on May 29, 1992 . Subsequently, they were all classified as “victims of Muslim terror” by the RS authorities. However, individuals from Serbia continued arriving to Bratunac throughout the year 1992, if the death records of the Bratunac brigade are to be trusted: one such individual died in fighting in August (Žarko Komnenski) and one more in November (Đuro Vujaklija). Furthermore, death records show that “volunteers” arrived from Serbia to Bratunac even in 1993, such as Dragan Milićev, who died in combat in January 1993 and Dragoslav Stanković who died in February 1993. [Read full report]

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. [read full report]


March 29, 2007 Comments off

Responding to an ICJ [International Court of Justice] ruling that found the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica constituted genocide, Bosniak and Croat leaders have been calling for the town to be removed from Bosnian Serb Entity Republika Srpska’s [RS] authority.

By Vlatko Vukotic

Srebrenica, Bosnia-HerzegovinaThe International Criminal Court of Justice’s ruling earlier this month on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) genocide case against Serbia has fueled tension on the BiH political scene. The court found that the mass killings at Srebrenica in 1995 constituted genocide and that Serbia had breached the genocide convention by failing to prevent them. However, it acquitted Serbia of direct responsibility.

In the aftermath of the ruling, Bosniak leaders are calling for Srebrenica to secede from the Bosnian Serb entity, Republika Srpska (RS).

“The territory of the Srebrenica municipality needs to have the status of district and as such should be taken out of the jurisdiction of the Republika Srpska institutions,” the Bosniak and Croat members of the BiH presidency, Haris Silajdzic and Zeljko Komsic, said in a statement.

“We are entitled to justice.”

A special meeting on the issue, held March 12th, was attended by ambassadors and representatives from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya and the Palestinian Authority. Participants concluded that state and entitiy institutions are obliged to make decisions to implement the ICJ verdict.

RS authorities say any attempt to change the status of Srebrenica would be a violation of the Dayton Peace Agreement and the RS Constitution. They charge that state politicians are exploiting the issue in order to gain a better position in negotiations on police and constitutional reforms.

“Some politicians [are trying to] destroy RS. It is time for them to change their opinion and to turn to economic development that will lead this country towards Europe,” says RS President Milan Jelic.

According to the Peace Implementation Committee, municipal status in BiH is determined by constitutions and relevant state and entity legislation. Any changes, it says, would have to take place within this framework.

German Ambassador Michael Schmunk, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said he did not attend the meeting in Srebrenica because he thought it would not be wise in a situation that is “emotionally heated”.

Prior to the conflicts of the 1990s, Srebrenica’s population was over 75% Muslim, while Serbs constituted just over 22%. Today, however, it is mostly a Serb town. Bosniaks who have remained say the ICJ ruling means that the Serbs should not have authority and that the town should handle its own affairs. The group has threatened to leave if their demand is not met.

Serbian representatives in Srebrenica oppose the secession, and request that international donors pledge more support. Even though they represent the majority in Srebrenica, the Serbs say they receive less financial support that the Bosniak residents.

Both RS and the Federation of BiH have pledged additional support.

The Office of High Representative [OHR] says the Srebrenica municipality resolution on separation from the Republic of Srpska (RS) was unconstitutional.

The resolution adopted by Bosniak members of the municipal assembly was a legal act which exceeded the responsibilities of the municipality as defined by the RS Constitution and the RS Law on Local Self Government and the Municipal Statute, the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia said in a statement published on its web site.

“Institutions at the various levels of Government have the capacity to address the situation and should do so without delay,” the statement added.

“The OHR is particularly concerned about the threat to unilaterally pass a decision on separation of the Municipality from the RS. If the municipal assembly were to act on this, the High Representative would have no choice but to take robust action,” the statement continued.

The statement added that any change to Srebrenica’s status was a matter for the RS and Bosnia-Herzegovina authorities, as well as that the OHR would be informing the municipal, entity and Bosnian authorities of its view on the matter.


March 23, 2007 2 comments
As many of our readers can recall, Slobodan Milosevic was found dead in his cell on March 11, 2006 in the UN war crimes tribunal’s detention centre, located in the Scheveningen section of The Hague. Milosevic was charged with 66 counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. He cheated justice and has escaped a full accounting of the evils he had fostered. His death even saved Serbia at the ICJ (International Court of Justice) from being found directly responsible for the genocide in Bosnia.

Slobodan Milosevic on Trial“There was a baby shot with three bullets, screaming unbelievably loud… I heard this [Mr. Milosevic], the order not to leave anyone alive and also 10 soldiers from my company can confirm it and in no way can you deny that. I was there. I heard it and you [Mr. Milosevic] as Supreme Commander could have come down there and seen what it was like for us. You are issuing shameful orders to be carried out.”former Serbian Army soldier during testimony exchange with late Slobodan Milosevic at the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia).

Slobodan Milosevic on TrialDespite the lack of a verdict the Milosevic trial collected thousands of pages of documentation which will be used in other trials and will help establish a common truth as it operates to prevent revisionism. Through the subpoena power of the court as well as its prestige, the prosecution was able to obtain records that may never have come to light otherwise. They included intercepted telephone calls between Milosevic and Bosnian-Serb leaders,transcripts of secret assembly sessions and the Republika Srpska spell, where members declared, “We have done this so Muslims will cease to exist” and Milosevic’s admission that he diverted money from Federal customs funds to support the Serbian forces in Bosnia and Croatia.

Slobodan Milosevic on TrialMy experience tells me that not all victims found the tribunals dismal failures. Even though Milosevic avoided a verdict in his trial, I believe some witnesses who gave testimony against him, felt satisfaction. One of them was _____, a frail elderly man with a presence in court that was anything but. His son came to him one morning and said, “Father, my life is over.” His wife and child had been killed. They were found among 20 bodies in the family compound. 19 of whom were women and children.

When Milosevic insisted that people had been killed by NATO bombs, Mr.___ thundered, “No.” And described how the children were taken from the basement and massacred, how the house was burnt. He said people told him not – told him not to go there because they feared he would have a heart attack. My son said, “It is a sin to see children like that.” With what kind of human feelings can someone commit a crime of this kind against children, young people, old people? Though he was crying, his voice remained strong and clear.

Judge May, the presiding Judge asked Milosevic, if, in light of the witness’s condition he had any further questions? I do – I do, he answered, then said, “War is a crime in itself, and it is the innocent who suffer. Is it clear who created the war? You are furious because of the death of your family. Everyone would feel that way. How it came to be war?”

Mr.____ interrupted, “You! You, as president, by sending criminals, the most evil criminals, to commit crimes against children in the eyes of their mothers.”

At the end of his testimony he asked the judges if he could say something. It wasn’t done. But the judges allowed it anyway. Mr. ____ turned to Milosevic, looked him squarely in the eye and said, “I just want to ask you, how could you kill women and children? Have you no human feelings?” There was utter silence in the court room. Milosevic made no response. Other witnesses also had the chance to confront Milosevic, the man they blame most for the loss of loved ones and the destruction of their way of life.

I truly don’t think they believed the tribunal was a dismal failure. As Eric Stover concluded after conducting a study of victim witnesses who had testified at the ICTY. For many study respondents merely being in the court room with the accused while he was under guard, helped to restore their confidence in the order of things. Power, one witness, said flowed back from the accused to me. If only for a brief while this witness finally held sway over his personal tormentor and his current community’s wrong doer. It was at moments like these that tribunal justice what is –was at its most intimate.

Tribunals serve another important purpose. They provide a way for the guilty to repent and gain somepeace with the grievous harm they have caused. In the Milosevic trail, a young Montenegrin conscript called theprosecutor and asked to testify. He described being ordered with a few other soldiers to kill a group of 12 civilians they had found hiding in a house. Women, children, old people, even an infant, he told the court what happened.

“The people shot at began falling down one over the other. What I remember most vividly is how – I remember this very vividly. There was a baby shot with three bullets, screaming unbelievably loud. I came forward to give my evidence because I wanted in this way to express everything that is troubling me. That has been troubling me for the past three years, since I completed my service. Never a night goes by without my dreaming of that child hit by the bullets and crying. I thought if I came forward and told the truth that I will feel easier in my soul. It is the only reason I am here.”

During cross examination Milosevic claimed not a single officer ordered him to kill civilians. He responded. “That is not correct. I heard this, the order not to leave anyone alive and also 10 soldiers from my companycan confirm it and in no way can you deny that. I was there. I heard it and you as Supreme Commander could havecome down there and seen what it was like for us. You are issuing shameful orders to be carried out.”

Milosevic ends by asking whether any promises were made in exchange for his testimony.

“Mr. Milosevic, I am here of my own free will. Mr. Milosevic, when I tell this truth to the person, who in my opinion, is the most responsible for all the crimes, it already makes me you better, I don’t need more.”

Watch or listen full documentary titled War Crimes and the International Criminal Court at:


March 22, 2007 1 comment

“Until it resolves (its own) war crimes and until it stops treating them as heroes, Serbia does not have the intelligence to enter the EU… a Serbia that protects war criminals must not take a single step forward.” Chief UN War Crimes Prosecutor

Carla Del Ponte in a conversation for the Slovenian Ljubljana Dnevnik expressed that she was against giving in to Serbia in its integration process.

Carla Del Ponte - Chief UN War Crimes Prosecutor“Milosevic, Karadzic and Mladic are the most responsible for the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia… Restarting negotiations (with Serbia) would be a very poor message for Belgrade. Without the arrest of Karadzic and Mladic, without total cooperation with the Court, it would be the wrong idea” said Chief UN War Crimes Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte in the conversation.

“Until it resolves (its own) war crimes and until it stops treating them as heroes, Serbia does not have the intelligence to enter the EU. They do not have the manners to enter the EU” – said Carla Del Ponte.

She added that she was very critical of the thoughts of the Slovenian minister of foreign affairs, Dimitri Rupel, that they should not make too strict criteria for Serbia because it is a country important for stability in the west Balkans.

“When I heard your minister talk about restarting the negotiations with Serbia, I was shocked. He knows that is sending false messages. Of course we all want Serbia to enter Europe. Good. However a Serbia that protects war criminals must not take a single step forward. We can not accept that, I think that neither can your minister”, said Del Ponte.

She added that she does not even want to think about what will happen if Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic are not arrested by the end of the current open proceedings in the Court.

“Mladic and Karadzic need to be arrested this year, if possible before September, whilst I am still here. What if that does not happen? The decision will have to be made by the UN Security Council.

If the arrest happens before the Court closes its doors, they will have to extend its mandate.

If they are not arrested by 2011, when the appeal proceedings will be closed – and I do not even want to think about that – in that case the UN Security Council would have to make a decision that somebody should give them a trial”, said Del Ponte.


March 16, 2007 Comments off


The Chief United Nations War Crimes prosecutor slammed Europe’s “muted” response to a landmark ICJ ruling.

Carla del Ponte, Chief UN War Crimes ProsecutorCarla Del Ponte said the response to the judgment, that found Serbia failed to prevent genocide at Srebrenica, “could undermine the fight for international justice,” The Associated Press reported.

Carla Del Ponte cited the ruling finding Serbia could have prevented the massacre of Bosniaks in Srebrenica and that it should have punished its perpetrators.

The ICJ court (International Court of Justice) also faulted Serbia for failing to turn over one of the architects of the massacre, General Ratko Mladic and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.

But the ruling absolved Serbia of direct responsibility for genocide due to lack of evidence.

Srebrenica Massacre, Genocide of over 8,000 Bosniaks. July 11, 1995.“The response of the international community, and especially the presidency of the European Union, to this ruling appears to be quite muted,” Del Ponte said in statement.

Del Ponte said that EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana issued a statement after the February 26 ruling which “made no mention whatsoever of the fact that Serbia was found in violation of the Genocide Convention.

Instead, he applauded the fact that there is no collective punishment and that the highest tribunal in the world has closed that page.”

Del Ponte added that Germany – current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency – made a similar statement.

Srebrenica Massacre, Genocide of over 8,000 Bosniaks. July 11, 1995.Del Ponte repeatedly has accused Belgrade authorities of not doing enough to arrest Mladic, who is thought to be hiding out somewhere in Serbia. Karad¾iæ’s whereabouts are unknown.

Del Ponte said she was concerned that neither fugitive would be arrested and brought to justice before the court is scheduled to be dismantled in 2010.

“This is truly a potentially devastating development given the tribunal’s completion strategy,” Del Ponte said, adding that she was “worried that we will never see Mladic and Karadzic in our custody. That would have a devastating impact on international justice and on our battle against impunity.”

Srebrenica Massacre, Genocide of over 8,000 Bosniaks. July 11, 1995.The representatives of authority and political parties which were today in Srebrenica, think that the Municipality should have the status of a district, be excluded from Republika Srpska jurisdiction and put under BiH jurisdiction. The same as Brcko district, over which, no agreement as to whom it should belong, was reached while the Dayton Peace Accord was being signed.

At the meeting which was organised by Srebrenica Municipality head, Abdulrahman Malkic, present were members of BiH Presidency Haris Silajdzic and Zeljko Komsic, Beriz Belkic, BiH Parliament Speaker, Adil Osmanovic, Vice President of Republika Srpska, President of Democratic Action Party, Sulejman Tihic and Zlatko Lagumdzija, president of Social Democrat party, as well as ambassadors of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Libya, and representatives of international organisations.

The conclusions of the meeting were formulated in 12 points. A team was formed which will co-ordinate the conclusions and the demands of the Steering Committee.

To remind ourselves, the Steering Committee which was formed by returnees to Srebrenica, announced mass exodus on 14 of March, if Srebrenica is not excluded from Republika Srpska, following the judgement of ICJ. However, Collective emigration of Bosniaks from Srebrenica was postponed for April 16, the Initiative committee and co-ordination team for demanding special status of this municipality decided.

The Initiative committee expressed regret for non-appearance of European diplomats to the Srebrenica meeting, and condemned non-attendance of RS representatives as well as their threats directed to genocide victims.

Related readings:

1. Politics and Justice don’t mix

2. Perversed Judgment

3. ICJ Ruling, Bosnia vs Serbia, Dangerous Precedent

4. ICJ Rules Serbia Guilty of Not Preventing Genocide


March 12, 2007 2 comments

Photo #1: One of Srebrenica’s child victims, underage boy’s bones. Many children were slaughtered during Srebrenica genocide in which over 8,000 people perished. (Photo courtesy of the Advocacy Project)

Photo #2: Among the body bags: Zlatan Sabanovic from the ICMP. (Photo courtesy of the Advocacy Project)

Serbs continue to deny Srebrenica Genocide; Plan to build “Genocide Institute” in Srebrenica which purpose would be to deny Srebrenica Genocide and International Judgments. In 2004, 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 and that it constituted genocide. However, Bosnian Serb government under Milorad Dodik continues to publicly deny genocide.

These personal belongings of victims were found in the woods above SrebrenicaSerb Republic Prime Minister Milorad Dodik announced that the Serb Republic would initiate the founding of an institute for the research of genocide that would have its headquarters in Srebrenica and he sent an appeal to all sides in Bosnia and Herzegovina for them to do this together.

Dodik, who has publicly denied Srebrenica Genocide numerous times (last time as a reaction to the International Court’s judgment confirming Genocide in Srebrenica), will attempt to deny it one more time with a creation of so called “Genocide Institute” in Srebrenica whose primary goal would be to find evidence to support his Srebrenica Genocide denial conclusions.

“We will invite other institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina to join us in this initiative so that we can found an institute which will, with a sufficient dose of responsibility and objectivity, provide a scientific assessment of all the events that took place earlier, with the aim to prepare the younger generations for everything that took place in this area.” – said Dodik at today’s press conference.

Yet again, we see that Srebrenica Genocide deniers refuse to accept numerous international courts’ judgments confirming Genocide in Srebrenica (Prosecutor vs Krstic at ICTY, Krstic Appeal at ICTY, Prosecutor vs Blagojevic at ICTY, Bosnia vs Serbia at ICJ, etc).

Srebrenica genocide survivors announce mass exodus

Partly as a result of continued Srebrenica Genocide denial by Bosnian Serb Government officials, the Bosniaks who had returned to Srebrenica have announced collective emigration from the town because staying there is no longer possible.

This warning comes from the initiative committee for collective emigration. They set March 14 as their final deadline.

After the International Criminal Tribunal’s ruling, those who had returned do not want to stay in an entity that had committed genocide. They therefore ask that their demands be met, among them, assigning a special status to Srebrenica, which Haris Silajdzic, member of the multi-ethnic Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has also supported.

Serb Republic Prime Minister Milorad Dodik has invited the people to stay. He alleges the Government is doing everything they can to improve the economy and all other life conditions for Srebrenica citizens, including those who had returned. “We will invest significant means into Srebrenica, several tens of millions of marks” – Dodik said.

“Considering that the Tribunal decided that the Serb Republic government had committed genocide in Srebrenica, we must start the process of granting special status to this former UN protected zone as well as to other municipalities in eastern Bosnia where the genocide victims come from, and we must actively persevere and work on the gradual establishment of a constitutional organization which will fully annul the results of the genocide.” – wrote Silajdzic in his statement.

Srebrenica Returnees Receive Threats

In the proclamation, the Committee states that Srebrenica has been left out of all Serb Republic’s development plans and that this still continues to be the case now that Milorad Dodik holds the office of Prime Minister.

On the wings of his nationalist rhetoric, extremist groups are becoming more prominent, with their criminal symbols and exclamations.

The refugees who returned to Srebrenica are receiving threats over the phone, urging them to move out and announcing a repetition of the events that took place in May 1999, when returnees were attacked and killed.

Srebrenica citizens are thinking of the possible Srebrenica Genocide Memorial centre move. But, Munira Subasic of the “Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves Movement” association says life is hard in Srebrenica, but the dead cannot be touched or transferred.

“The Potocari Memorial centre marks a crime scene, while Srebrenica cannot have the same status as up to now after the Hague verdict, because crime must be punished, and not rewarded.” – Subasic said.

Srebrenica humanitarian money being mismanaged

“Before the war, 37,000 people of all nationalities were living in Srebrenica. Today, there are 3,700 of them and one cannot live there any more.” – said Hakija Meholjic, Social Democratic Party (SDP) Chief Committee member and returnee, who calls Srebrenica “money laundrette”.

“For Srebrenica needs, around 700 million convertible marks entered BH specialised, while only around 50 million cm were implemented in Srebrenica.” – said Meholjic.

“I know 220 million cm came from Saudi Arabia alone, and it was said from the Tuzla Party of Democratic Action (SDA) Canton committee that the authorities on a higher level will decide on the matter because there is no smart enough of a person in Srebrenica to decide on this amount of money.” – claims Meholjic.

He believes that “Srebrenica is the biggest money laundrette in BH” because “the largest part of the money for Srebrenica ended up in Sarajevo or Swiss banks.”


March 11, 2007 Comments off



(1.) David Harland, former head of UN Civil Affairs in BH and prosecution witness at the trial of General Dragomir Milosevic – took the stand and stated in his cross-examination that on 28 August 1995 he advised General Rupert Smith to state that “it is unclear who fired the shells” on the Town Market in Sarajevo in order “not to alarm the Bosnian Serbs”, possibly alerting them to the impending NATO air strikes.

(2.) “NO EVIDENCE MUSLIMS SHELLED THEMSELVES” – testifies General Rupert Smith

UN Report also found Serbs to be responsible for the massacre,
read here.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia already convicted Bosnian Serb General, Stanislav Galic, for terrorizing Sarajevo and for responsibility for Markale Massacre,
read here.

Today, former UNPROFOR commander Rupert Smith testified at the Hague trial of General Dragomir Milošević.

The former British general took the stand yesterday at the trial of the former Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) Sarajevo-Romanija Corps commander charged with the shelling of Sarajevo and sniper campaign against its civilians from August 1994 to November 1995.

In a brief examination-in-chief the prosecution went through the most relevant paragraphs in General Smith’s comprehensive written statement. It was admitted into evidence together with other documents whose authenticity was confirmed by the witness.

Yesterday Smith confirmed the prosecution’s description of the Bosnian Serb strategy, the nature of command and control in the VRS and the peculiar manner in which General Mladić exercised command. General Smith described it as “centralized”.

The former UNPROFOR commander said that the use of the artillery – to shell Sarajevo – was controlled at the level of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and consequently of the accused General Milošević who commanded the Corps.

The witness thought the sniper activities were coordinated at the battalion level, but they could have been “controlled from higher levels”. Smith said that the Corps command could have issued orders to limit the sniper activity or to steer them to certain targets.

General Rupert Smith confirmed that he had concluded “beyond reasonable doubt” the mortar shell that caused the Markale 2 massacre had come “from the Serb positions around Sarajevo.”

He told the court he reached the conclusion by putting together the results of two investigations, undertaken by the UN military observers and the UNPROFOR Sarajevo Sector experts.

At the end of the examination-in chief, prosecutor Alex Whiting asked Smith whether he had any knowledge of the Bosnian Army “shelling and sniping at its own civilians”. The former UNPROFOR commander said that he had “heard of such allegations”, but that he was never shown “a single piece of evidence to corroborate them”.

General Milošević’s defense counsel took those claims as the starting point for the cross-examination. One of the defense lawyers referred to the book written by General Michael Rose, Smith’s predecessor at the post of UNPROFOR commander, and the testimony of General Nikolai, General Smith’s former chief of staff.

Smith said that he “had not read General Rose’s book.” He went on to testify that General Rose himself “never told him anything about the Bosnian Army shooting at its own people”. As for Nikolai’s statement, Smith said that the Dutch general “merely presented unsubstantiated claims”.


March 6, 2007 3 comments

Our Editorial Analysis of ICJ’s Recent Ruling: Bosnia vs Serbia

1. Lack of evidence does not absolve Serbia from direct responsibility for Genocide; ICJ’s politicized / compromised verdict will collapse under the burden of proof.

2. ICTY Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte – evidence for Serbia’s direct involvement in genocide exists and will be used in case against Ratko Mladic, when he is brought to justice; the international conflict, Serbia vs Bosnia, proven at least 5 times.

3. The judges had demanded an unrealistically high standard of proof against Serbia in a clearly compromised ruling which awarded perpetrators of war in Bosnia.

4. Law against Srebrenica genocide denial sought in Bosnia, while Bosnian and Serbian politicians continue to deny Srebrenica Genocide.

5. ICJ’s verdict is not final. Bosnia-Herzegovina has a legal right to restart proceedings against Serbia with new evidence.

6. Mothers of Srebrenica Genocide victims condemn UN Chief Prosecutor for making deal with Belgrade, which prevented key evidence linking Belgrade with direct responsibility for Genocide to be used during ICJ proceedings against Serbia.

On February 26, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague found that Serbia has violated its obligation under the Genocide Convention to prevent genocide in Srebrenica and that it has also violated its obligations under the Convention by having failed fully to co-operate with the International Criminal Court. The ICJ also surprisingly ruled there was not enough evidence to prove Serbia’s responsibility for genocide during the Bosnian war.

Serbia, in its defense brief, argued that the Genocide Convention does not provide for the responsibility of states for acts of genocide. But on this key point, the ICJ ruled against Belgrade. This is the first time that an international court ruled that a state can – in fact – commit genocide.

ICJ also ruled that genocide did occur at Srebrenica, when over 8,000 Bosniak men and underage children were massacred in 1995, at the hands of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) who was supported by Belgrade, both financially, politically, and militarily. Unlike in World War II with regard to Europe’s Jews, there was no Wannsee Conference in Belgrade to decide on the implementation of a “final solution” for Bosniaks. Or if there was, the evidence was apparently missing or not presented to the ICJ. Paper trail is easy to destroy. All it takes is a paper-shredding machine. As one Serbian friend of our blog pointed out to us in his email correspondence: “There was more than enough time for Serbia to destroy evidence linking her to direct responsibility for Genocide.”

On February 15, 2007 – Chief UN War Crimes Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, made a very important statement about (still unused) evidence linking Belgrade with direct responsibility for genocide, quote:

“You may wonder why my office is so keen to have access to the personnel file and full record for Ratko Mladić? Because the file can speak for itself and show that Ratko Mladić was not an outcast, not a lunatic who went on a rampage in Bosnia to fulfill his crazy ideas. No. He was a senior officer of the Yugoslav army on duty in Bosnia as commander of VRS; he was promoted twice during the war with highest marks in his dossier, the full approval of the Belgrade military and political leadership and with very generous remuneration. If, for a moment, you combine this with the facts from the ground, known to the whole world, and reported to Belgrade – you have the fact established beyond any doubt – and that is that Belgrade was directly involved in the war in Bosnia. And later? Belgrade organized comfortable hiding places for Ratko Mladić in Serbia, so he can evade international justice. And where he is now? He is still in Serbia. Nothing was done to stop Mladić or his associates; nothing was done to punish him or his associates.”

As Martin Shaw (professor of international relations and politics at the University of Sussex, where he teaches on the MA in war, violence and security) concluded:

“The world court’s decision to clear Serbia of genocide in Bosnia is an exercise in denial…. The international court of justice judgment on Serbia’s role in Bosnia is narrow, conservative and perverse…. Yet the court immediately adds: ‘It is true that there is much evidence of direct or indirect participation by the official army of the FRY, along with the Bosnian Serb armed forces, in military operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the years prior to the events at Srebrenica.’ If those operations did not involve genocide, as the court rules, the Serbian-Yugoslav army and state could not have been guilty of participation in it…. The court therefore limits Serbia’s guilt to its failure to try to prevent the genocidal massacre taking place, and to help apprehend the perpetrator, Ratko Mladic, indicted by the ICTY. The former is a curious finding, since if Serbian leaders were really in a position to influence the Bosnian-Serbian army not to massacre the Muslim men of Srebrenica, that implies a degree of knowledge and influence that suggests complicity in the massacre – something which the Court denies.” (Sources: and The Guardian)

As Dr. Sahib Mustaqim Bleher – in his Genocide Politics op/ed – pointed out:

“For the court to find that Serbia was responsible for the horrible crimes committed during the Bosnian conflict and that reparations were to be paid would set a dagerous precedent under which reparations might subsequently also be sought by the Palestinians or Lebanese against the State of Israel or Iraqis and Afghans against the US and UK. To ignore the evidence of a genocide, on the other hand, would give a green light to any group of people furthering their political agenda through the use of terror. As courts frequently do, the International Court of Justice came up with a compromise. They declared that the massacre of Bosniaks at Srebrenica (under the “watchful” eyes of UN observers, by the way) was genocide, but that Serbia was not directly responsible as a state. They found that Serbia didn’t do enough to stop genocide from happening, but found no evidence that they directly ordered the crime. The countries dominating the UN may have saved their own skin by this ruling, but it compounds an already complex issue even further.”

Genocide is not a question of how many people died during war – it’s rather a question of do those responsible for killings have a specific intent to destroy a specific ethnic or religious group, which is extremely complicated to prove on an individual level and almost impossible to prove on a state level.

The ICTY never got round to dealing with the question of whether rump Yugoslavia was responsible for the genocide, mainly because the key figure, former President Milosevic, died before his trial ended. 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.

The judges refused to declare Serbia, whose late President Slobodan Milosevic paid and directed the Serb forces, guilty of genocide because they did not have absolute proof that Serbia had ordered the killings. Had the late Slobodan Milosevic been convicted of any of 66 counts of genocide and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague, a key link tying Belgrade to a policy of genocide in Bosnia might have been established. But since Milosevic cheated justice by dying in March 2006 with his trial incomplete, there was no time to convict him.

The international community could just as easily be found guilty of failing to prevent Genocide in Srebrenica (but they appear to have immunity); particularly the Netherlands, whose soldiers were charged with securing the safety of the civilians of Srebrenica, which was declared by the UN in 1993 as a safe haven and demilitarized zone. Instead, the soldiers were overtaken by Bosnian Serb forces, disarmed and made to watch as the men and boys were separated from the women and taken off to be summarily executed. The Dutch soldiers were later awarded medals by their government for their courage in battle.

A former chief judge of the U.N.’s Yugoslavia tribunal and later the chairperson of the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, Antonio Cassese, immediately protested the ICJ’s decision in London’s The Guardian by reminding the Court that:

“…the massacre was prepared in detail and took place over the course of six days (between July 13 and 19). Is it plausible that the Serbian authorities remained in the dark while the killing was in progress and reported in the press all over the world? It seems far more reasonable to believe that Serbia’s leaders were informed about what was going on, and that, despite this, Serbia’s military, financial and political assistance to Mladic was never interrupted.”

Antonio Cassese argued that the judges had demanded an “unrealistically high standard of proof” before finding Serbia “legally complicit” in the genocide of Srebrenica. In his separate response in The Guardian, he pointed out:

“As the court’s vice-president said in his dissenting opinion: ‘The court refused to infer genocide from a ‘consistent pattern of conduct’, disregarding in this respect a rich and relevant jurisprudence of other courts.'”

There were eyewitness of many trucks loaded with weapons that were coming from Serbia to the ethnically clean territory controlled by Bosnian Serbs forces. The video picture that shows the killing of Srebrenica civilians by the Serbian Special Forces (the Scorpions) could not be accepted as the evidence because Serbian leaders declared that the Scorpions were a paramilitary group that were not supported from Serbian state institutions (pretty lame excuse that worked). In 1999, the Scorpions were absorbed into the anti-terror unit of the Serbian Interior Ministry – an important fact in light of the court’s apparent lack of evidence. Ratko Mladic, war-time General in Bosnian Serb Army that occupied Srebrenica at July 1995, was on the salary list of the Serbian Ministry of Defense until 2005 – interestingly, this was not a quite valid evidence of Serbian involvement in the Srebrenica Genocide.

The court ordered Serbia to issue a parliamentary declaration condemning the Srebrenica massacre, and to step up the effort to arrest Mladic. Serbia is unlikely to meet any of those court orders satisfactorily, especially with Srebrenica genocide denial being promoted on a state level. The country’s President, Boris Tadic, has urged the parliament to pass a motion condemning the Srebrenica massacre but the far-right Serbian Radical party, which won a third of the vote at the last month’s elections, claims that the Srebrenica genocide is an invention of Serbia’s enemies and has vowed to block any motion to condemn it. The Serbian Republic’s Prime Minister Milorad Dodik has also stated that Srebrenica massacre “was not a genocide, although it was a terrible crime.”

Based on the Court’s judgement, there is little hope that current allegations of genocide in Darfur and long time allegations of genocide in Armenia could be proven against the governments of Sudan and Turkey.

Survivors of genocide responded to ICJ’s ruling by holding peaceful demonstrations in Sarajevo and other cities of Bosnia-Herzegovina, including Zagreb (Croatia) and Hague (Netherlands).

“Had we, Muslims, been Christians, neither the aggression nor the genocide would have happened to us!” said Bakira Hasecic, rape victim and the president of NGO Women Victims of War.

Survivors sought creation of laws that would criminalize Srebrenica Genocide denial – which is widespread in Serb-part of Bosnia-Herzegovina and even promoted by high-level Serbian and Bosnian-Serb politicians and leaders, most notably Republika Srpska’s Prime Minister Milorad Dodik and Serbian government ultra-nationalist politicians.

Victims of genocide also sought proclamation of Srebrenica and Zepa as special political districts, which would not belong to the Bosnian Serb entity, where genocide was committed. They also sought abolishment of Bosnian Serb entity which was founded on ethnic cleansing and genocide of Bosniak pre-war majority.

It is no coincidence that the international community seeks to appease Belgrade in advance of its planned announcement of independence for Kosovo, for which it needs at least a quiet nod from Serbian authorities. It was just another in a series of compromises in the context of political appeasements. Earlier this month, the EU announced that it would restart integration talks with Serbia despite the fact that Belgrade has not demonstrated a willingness to cooperate with the UN’s war crimes tribunal.

Legal representative of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sakib Softic, was a bit more optimistic by stating for Banja Luka Nezavisne that:

“We don’t have to be disapointed as a result of ICJ judgment. First time in the history of the world, one state has been found legally responsible for violating Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In case we collect new evidence that proves Serbia had an intention to committ genocide, we have a period of 10 years to start new proceedings at the ICJ.”

As a result, mothers of Srebrenica Genocide victims who are active in the NGO Association Women of Srebrenica condemned Chief UN Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, for making deal with Belgrade in which key evidence linking Belgrade with direct responsibility for Srebrenica Genocide could not be used during ICJ proceedings against Serbia. They stated that Carla Del Ponte and the Hague Judges deserve their place at the Wall of Shame that is planned to be built next Srebrenica Genocide Memorial in Potocari. (sources: Avaz, March 2nd, 2007)

Chicago-based association, Answer to Genocide, recommended February 26 to be marked as the World’s Day of Shame.

Read more:

1. ICJ Rules Serbia Guilty of Not Preventing Genocide
2. ICJ Ruling – Bosnia vs Serbia, Dangerous Precedent
3. ICJ – Perverse Judgment


March 2, 2007 1 comment

The International Court of Justice: Serbia, Bosnia, and genocide

[Republished with permission from – see credits at the bottom of each article]

Prof. Martin Shaw

Martin Shaw is professor of international relations and politics at the University of Sussex, where he teaches on the MA in war, violence and security.

The world court’s decision to clear Serbia of genocide in Bosnia is an exercise in denial, says Prof. Martin Shaw.

Srebrenica Massacre - Funeral of Genocide VictimsThe ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case brought by Bosnia-Herzegovina against Serbia, delivered on
26 February 2007, is a compromise judgment, giving something to the Bosnian victims but largely denying the Bosnian genocide and exonerating the Serbian state of its role. Although seen by some western media as a progressive judgment, it is has largely been greeted with dismay by Bosnians and welcomed by apologists for the most reactionary Serbian forces, including those who seem to occupy the comment pages of the Guardian whenever Yugoslav war issues return to the headlines.

This was the major remaining opportunity for an authoritative legal ruling on the Bosnian genocide and Serbia’s role, since former Serbian and Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic’s death deprived the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of the possibility of ruling on his responsibility. Although the ICTY has found that genocide was committed in Bosnia, especially at Srebrenica in 1995 (when over 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were massacred), and has convicted individuals for their roles in this crime, the ICJ ruling concerned the responsibility of the Serbian state for genocide committed in Bosnia against Muslims [Bosniaks] and others over the entire period of the Bosnian conflict (1992-95).

A policy of war crimes

Srebrenica Massacre - Genocide of over 8,300 Bosniaks - hand from the mass grave...The Bosnian genocide began in spring 1992 when Bosnian-Serbian nationalists, led by Radovan Karadzic (today a fugitive from the
ICTY), taking over units and weapons from the Serbian-dominated Yugoslav national army, backed by Milosevic (who was then president of Serbia), and supported by murderous Milosevic-funded militia from Serbia proper, launched their violent campaign against the non-Serb (primarily Muslim [Bosniak] and Croat) populations. Serbian forces burned villages, killed community leaders, incarcerated and murdered men in concentration camps, and raped women and girls – thus terrorising 90% of the non-Serb population into leaving the areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina that they controlled or conquered.

This so-called “ethnic cleansing” (the term entered the international vocabulary as a result of this campaign) was a deliberate policy of Belgrade and Bosnian-Serbian nationalists to destroy the Muslim [Bosniak] and Croat communities in these areas. It thus clearly fell within the scope of the United Nations genocide convention of 1948, comprising killing and other acts committed with “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such”. The Bosnian government first brought its case to the ICJ in 1993, when the most extensive murder and brutality against civilians had already taken place, and two years before the Srebrenica massacre in the closing stages of the war.

There were therefore two fundamental issues that the ICJ had to deal with: whether genocide was committed, and whether and how Serbia, as a state, was responsible. The court has managed to get them both significantly wrong.

The evidence vs the conclusion

Srebrenica Genocide - Mass GravesFirst, while recognising that the Bosnian Muslims constituted a “protected group” in the terms of the convention, it denies the genocidal character of the Serbian campaign against them. True, the judges find it “established by overwhelming evidence that massive killings in specific areas and detention camps throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina were perpetrated during the conflict. Furthermore, the evidence presented shows that the victims were in large majority members of the protected group, which suggests that they may have been systematically targeted by the killings.”

However the court was “not convinced, on the basis of the evidence before it, that it has been conclusively established that the massive killings of members of the protected group were committed with the specific intent (dolus specialis) on the part of the perpetrators to destroy, in whole or in part, the group as such.”

This reasoning is maintained when the ICJ considers actions other than killing, “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the protected group” and “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”, which also constitute genocide according to the convention. Once again, the court accepts that “it has been established by fully conclusive evidence that members of the protected group were systematically victims of massive mistreatment, beatings, rape and torture causing serious bodily and mental harm, during the conflict and, in particular, in the detention camps.” Yet it finds that “it has not been conclusively established that those atrocities, although they too may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, were committed with the specific intent … to destroy the protected group, in whole or in part.”

Srebrenica Massacre - Mass GravesYet in relation to the Srebrenica massacre, the ICJ “sees no reason to disagree” with the finding of the ICTY that these acts constituted genocide. Here “the specific intent to destroy in part the group of the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina as such” which was apparently lacking in all the events of the years from 1992, is suddenly manifested in the eyes of the court.

This judgment is perverse: Srebrenica was a particularly murderous culmination of all that went before, but there is no good reason to think that it was only at this point that Serbian state leaders, the Bosnian-Serbian nationalists and the Bosnian-Serbian army developed an ambition to destroy the Muslim [Bosniak] community. On the contrary, it is difficult to understand most of their actions over the previous three years without taking into account precisely this kind of intention.

It is true that such criminal intentions are not always publicly proclaimed. They often need to be read from a combination of avowed aims and evidence of actions. Yet as the court’s vice-president, Judge Al-Khasawneh, pointed out in a dissenting opinion: “the Court … refused to infer genocide from a ‘consistent pattern of conduct’ disregarding in this respect a rich and relevant jurisprudence of other courts.”

The matter of responsibility

Srebrenica Massacre - Funeral of Srebrenica Genocide Victims.The second major issue for the ICJ was the nature of Serbian responsibility for genocide. The court, once having narrowed the scope of genocide itself to Srebrenica, is able to conclude that Serbia was neither its author nor an accomplice: “It has not been shown that the FRY [the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, dominated by Serbia] army took part in the massacres, nor that the political leaders of the FRY had a hand in preparing, planning or in any way carrying out the massacres.”

Yet the court immediately adds: “It is true that there is much evidence of direct or indirect participation by the official army of the FRY, along with the Bosnian Serb armed forces, in military operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the years prior to the events at Srebrenica.” If those operations did not involve genocide, as the court rules, the Serbian-Yugoslav army and state could not have been guilty of participation in it.

Srebrenica Massacre - Funeral of Srebrenica Genocide VictimsThe court therefore limits Serbia’s guilt to its failure to try to prevent the genocidal massacre taking place, and to help apprehend the perpetrator, Ratko Mladic, indicted by the ICTY. The former is a curious finding, since if Serbian leaders were really in a position to influence the Bosnian-Serbian army not to massacre the Muslim [Bosniak] men of Srebrenica, that implies a degree of knowledge and influence that suggests complicity in the massacre – something which the Court denies. The condemnation of Serbia for failing to deliver Mladic to The Hague is predictable but it is a secondary rebuke for a state which has escaped the charge of committing, or complicity in, genocide.

Why has the ICJ reached such a disappointingly limited verdict? Three, maybe four, things seem to be going on.

First, the ICJ is sticking to a narrow understanding of genocide; thus failing, as Judge Al-Khasawneh says, “to appreciate genocide as a complex crime and not a single murder.”

Second, the court is building conservatively on the most strongly established conclusions of the ICTY’s much more extensive deliberations, although ignoring other jurisprudence that would have opened the way for a more radical finding.

Srebrenica Massacre - Preparation for Funeral, Names of Srebrenica Genocide Victims.Third, the court is finding a consensus among its own members – while some like Al-Khasawneh wanted a more pro-Bosnian judgment, others were reluctant to make any strong condemnation of Serbia at all.

Fourth, less certainly, there must be a suspicion that the court is paying some attention to the political situation in and around Serbia, where the Radical Party (headed by indicted war criminal Vojislav Šešelj) remains a formidable force, and the prospect of conditional independence for Kosovo is making for renewed turbulence. It is true that a tougher verdict would have exacerbated these short-term problems in Serbia, making it more difficult for the European Union to incorporate it peacefully into the fold. But this would hardly be a reason to deny justice – one must hope that this, at least, was not behind the ICJ’s timid verdict.

While we should welcome the secondary indictments of Serbia in this ruling, we should not ignore the fact that, once again, an international legal institution has failed to deal fully and effectively with a case of genocide. Genocide is widely acknowledged to be the supreme international crime, but for this very reason courts seem reluctant to recognise it, despite overwhelming evidence. It is not too strong to say that in this case, the International Court of Justice has engaged in systematic denial of the Bosnian genocide.

CREDITS: Republished from ( encourage users “to republish articles freely in non-commercial media worldwide” as stated in’s welcome e-mail sent upon registration). Excerpt from’s email received: “OpenDemocracy is a free website. We no longer ask for subscriptions. Democracy is our business.We want good arguments to reach as many people as possible. We even encourage you to republish articles freely in non-commercial media worldwide.”

Prof. Martin Shaw’s response in Guardian:

The international court of justice judgment on Serbia’s role in Bosnia is narrow, conservative and perverse (Serbia condemned for Srebrenica despite acquital on genocide charge, February 27). Sticking to the findings of the international tribunal for former Yugoslavia, the court rules that only the Srebrenica massacre was genocide. Thus the judges isolate this massacre from the larger Serbian project of destroying Bosnian Muslim society and the killings, rapes and brutal expulsions used to effect it. As the court’s vice-president said in his dissenting opinion: “The court refused to infer genocide from a ‘consistent pattern of conduct’, disregarding in this respect a rich and relevant jurisprudence of other courts.” Likewise, the court curiously indicts Serbia for failing to prevent genocide, but exonerates it of having committed or even being an accomplice to genocide. These decisions bring the law into disrepute.

Professor Martin Shaw
University of Sussex; author, What is Genocide?

CREDITS: Published for educational/research and non-commercial purposes under “Fair Use Only” policy.

Related Links:

1. Yale Genocide Studies Program
2. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
3. International Court of Justice