Home > srebrenica massacre > EU DEAL WITH SERBIA SICKENS SREBRENICA GENOCIDE VICTIMS

EU DEAL WITH SERBIA SICKENS SREBRENICA GENOCIDE VICTIMS

April 30, 2008

Europe is moving toward EU membership the first country found to be violating the Genocide Convention:

“If Europe can accept a Serbia which is hiding war criminals and continues with its wartime policies, such a Europe means nothing to us!”

PHOTO CAPTION: Bosnian Muslim survivor of Srebrenica Genocide, Kada Hotic, shows photographs of the memorial to over 8,000 Bosniak victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre by Bosnian Serb forces, in the capital Sarajevo April 30, 2008. Relatives of the victims accused the European Union of failing to live up to its own principles by signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia despite Belgrade’s failure to arrest war crimes fugitives such as Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, indicted for genocide for the Srebrenica massacre. Hotic lost her son, husband and two brothers at Srebrenica.

The EU signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia on Tuesday despite Belgrade’s failure to arrest war crimes fugitives such as Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, indicted for genocide for the massacre at Srebrenica of 8,000 Bosniaks.

Relatives of victims of Bosnia’s 1995 Srebrenica genocide accused the European Union on Wednesday of failing to live up to its own principles by signing a pre-membership pact with Serbia.

“If Europe can accept a Serbia which is hiding war criminals and continues with its wartime policies, such a Europe means nothing to us,” said Kada Hotic, who lost her son, husband and two brothers at Srebrenica. “We can hope for nothing regarding respect for human rights.”

“This shows Serbia enjoys privileges like no other state,” said the chairman of Bosnia’s Presidency, Haris Silajdzic. “Some countries have been lagging behind in the European integration process on far less important grounds than the arrest of those responsible for the only genocide in Europe after World War Two.”

Bosnian Croat member of B&H Presidency, Zeljko Komsic, said Brussels was conducting a “very, very bad policy” of keeping Bosnia hostage to Serbia’s path. “This once more shows the injustice towards Bosnia,” Komsic said. “European bureaucracy is not led by standards but by pure politics and pure interest.”

The signing in Luxembourg, by EU foreign ministers and Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Jelic, was “a blow to the Bosnian victims and their families who have long awaited justice for the tragedy of Srebrenica,” said Lotte Leicht, EU advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.

“We look to EU countries that support justice to refuse to ratify the SAA with Serbia without Mladic’s arrest,” said Leicht. “Failure to do so would mean moving toward EU membership the first country found to be violating the Genocide Convention.”

The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), the first formal step towards EU membership,”was a major carrot to induce Serbia to show its commitment to the rule of law and human rights… The EU has given that away,” she added, in a statement.

The EU’s rushed compromise was bitterly condemned in Bosnia, with media reporting on “Yet another injustice towards Bosnia” and politicians condemning the bloc’s “double standards.”

Belgium and the Netherlands had previously insisted they would not sign the SAA until Mladic was handed over to the UN war crimes court in The Hague. However both countries were persuaded to do so by EU counterparts on the understanding that the key aid and trade pact would not come into force until Serbia cooperates fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Bosnia, and especially its Bosniaks, suffered terribly in the wars that followed the break-up of Yugoslavia.

  1. Vladimir
    May 1, 2008 at 12:59 am

    I feel for the victims of Srebrenica, as well as all the victims of the wars following the brake up of Yugoslavia. My personal opinion is that all responsible should be brought to justice. That is an opinion of a Serb. However, SAA was necessary, and all the involved parties to the treaty recognized it. I understand frustration and anger, but if the deal didn’t happen, Radicals would surely win the upcoming elections, and I sincerely doubt anyone in their right mind wants another war which is a real and grim possibility should SRS and DSS win the elections and form a government…
    Another point is the suffering of the majority due to actions of minority. Should entire Serbia grind to a halt due to one man’s legacy, a great injustice would have been committed, and the entire region would feel the consequences from chaos that would arise.
    My final point is regarding the carrot theory: It will not work. If you understand the word “Inat” you will know why. Emotions are running high, there were a lot of broken promises made to Serbia, and no one believes they will get the carrot if they follow. The way to satisfy justice would be to give a little to an entire nation, and then that nation WILL reciprocate. Or you can just antagonize it and have violent and malevolent people come to power…

  2. Owen
    May 7, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Vladimir, you say that all responsible should be brought to justice. Don’t you think Serbia has had long enough to come to terms with the need to hand over Mladic? And now because Serbia might vote for a party that refuses to accept responsibility for anything (that is, when it accepts that anything occurred) the EU governments confirms all that those malevolent creatures have been saying for years in their attempt to evade responsibility. Why should we accept the verdict of the international courts, justice is simply a vehicle for a particular type of political relationship between the West and Serbia. And now all those foreign ministers who insisted that the SAA agreement was conditional on Mladic being handed over have just confirmed that justice is a picture that can be put away in the drawer if you don’t like looking at it on the wall.

    Contemptible.

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