EU DEAL WITH SERBIA SICKENS SREBRENICA GENOCIDE VICTIMS
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.
“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.