September 22, 2008

PHOTO: Forensic archaeologist Matthew Vennemeyer of Ohio, U.S., of the International Commission for Missing Persons, ICMP, inspects body remains in a mass-grave site in a remote mountain area near the village of Kamenica, Bosnia, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008.

More remains of the Srebrenica genocide victims have been exhumed from a mass grave in eastern Bosnia – some 30 kilometers from Srebrenica. Kamenica valley.

Kamenica mass grave is the tenth secondary grave found in the village of Kamenica, where Bosnian Serbs brought bodies to cover up the Srebrenica massacre – Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II. Around 4,000 complete and incomplete bodies of Srebrenica victims have so far been exhumed from 10 mass graves in the Kamenica valley alone.

“So far we have exhumed 97 complete and 180 incomplete skeletons,” Murat Hurtic of Bosnia’s Missing Persons Commission is quoted as saying to FENA (Bosnia’s Federal News Agency). The exhumation of Kamenica mass grave, near the eastern town of Zvornik, began in mid-August and is expected to continue for at least another week, Hurtic said.

The previously exhumed sites contained over 2,000 bodies from the July 1995 massacre. Serb forces overran the then U.N.-protected Bosniak enclave of Srebrenica in the final phase of Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, summarily killing more than 8,000 Muslim men and children, and forcibly deporting roughly 20,000 women in a U.N.-assisted ethnic cleansing of the enclave.

The victims were initially buried in a dozen mass graves. But after the release of satellite pictures showing large portions of freshly disturbed ground, Serbs moved them to other locations in order to cover up the crimes. The body parts were separated during reburial using bulldozers, and forensic experts sometimes found parts of a single person buried in three different so-called secondary graves.

PHOTO: British forensic archaeologist Esma Alicehajic, front and Matthew Vennemeyer of Ohio, U.S., rear, members of International Commission for Missing Persons, ICMP, inspect body remains in a mass-grave site in a remote mountain area near the village of Kamenica, Bosnia, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008.

PHOTO: Forensic experts from the International Commission for Missing Persons, ICMP, inspect body remains in a mass-grave site in a remote mountain area near the village of Kamenica, Bosnia, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008.

Other articles in relation to Kamenica “Death Valley” mass graves:

Photos of Srebrenica Genocide Victims Misused by Serbian Nationalists (December 6 2007)
Short excerpt: This kind of propaganda can be only produced by the sickest minds in order to misinform the public; and this is what they have been doing for the last 15 years with their bold faced lies and propaganda…

Kamenica Death Valley Yields 616 More Corpses (November 23 2007)
Short excerpt: We found 76 complete and 540 incomplete bodies,” said Ismet Musić, an official of the regional commission for missing persons, standing on the edge of a muddy grave where white-clad forensic pathologists cleaned up bones. This brings the total number of exhumed bodies to over 4,200 just from the “Death Valley” area alone…

Srebrenica Genocide Trials and Mass Graves (September 18 2006)
Short excerpt: Ahmo Hasic “believed to be one of only 12 men who survived the slaughter of 8,000 Bosniak men and boys” told the judges he stayed alive only by playing dead after Serb soldiers started shooting.The trial chamber heard a similar testimony last week from Mevludin Oric who described how he lay under a pile of dead bodies for several hours…

Genocide Trial Without Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic (August 22 2006)
Short excerpt: “Defenceless men and boys [were] executed by firing squads, buried in mass graves and then dug up and buried again in an attempt to conceal the truth from the world.” Chief U.N. Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, said many victims had been bound and blindfolded “to make the murder easier for the executioners”…

Srebrenica Genocide: Crime Against All Humanity (August 18 2006)
Short excerpt: In Potocari on July 12 a 14-year-old Bosniak girl hung herself with her scarf after she and her 12-year old cousin were raped by Serb soldiers. By this time Serb soldiers had killed at least 99 people, including 20 to 30 women and children…

Kamenica Mass Grave Yields Over 1,000 Body Parts (August 11 2006)
Short excerpt: A 10-person team, including forensic experts from Canada and Serbia employed by the Bosnia-based International Commission on Missing Persons, worked in the 18-meter by 4-meter (60 ft by 13 ft) grave…

11th Anniversary of the Massacre (July 11 2006)
Short excerpt: 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…

More Victims Found as 11th Anniversary of Genocide Looms (July 6 2006)
Short excerpt: Forensic experts said on Thursday they had unearthed the remains of 268 victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre – the first legally established case of genocide in Europe after the Holocaust – days before its 11th anniversary…

  1. Muztaba Seraji
    September 24, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Please brother/sister of Bosnia forgive us (also me) as we didnt even move our finger to do anything for you. Prophet taught us Muslims r like a body. If a part of the body get ill the whole body suffers. When millions of our brothers was killed, our sisters loose their valuable wealth, when eurpoean leader said “We wont tolerate any Muslim country at europe” (John Major, The British Prime Minister at wartime), “How could you expect help from us when your Muslim brother refuse to help you (German Foreign minister to the then Foreign Minister and now President H.E. Haris Silazdgic), “Here we are on July 11, 1985, in Serbian Srebrenica just before a great Serb Holiday. We give this town to Serb nation. Remembering the uprising against Turk, the time has come to take revenge on the Muslims” (Radko Mladic), then we muslim didnt come forward or said anything in favor of our brother. Even with our oil these Serbs used tank, vehicle, airplane to kill Bosnian brother but we didnt stop supply the fuel to them. Please forgive us as well as me brothers/sisters of Bosnia.
    And May Allah accept Shahadath of our brother/sister of Bosnia and give them highest rank at Jannah. And also give us the strength to take revenge.
    And say not of those who are killed in the Way of Allâh, ”They are dead.” Nay, they are living, but you perceive (it) not. [Al-Qur’an (2:154)]

  2. Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor
    September 25, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Hi Muztaba,

    Our best revenge is to never allow Srebrenica genocide to be forgotten.

    I don’t see how Serbia can ever be part of civilized world while half of their population still continues to support radical ultra-nationalist ideologies in general elections. They have invented their “own” versions of history and their “own” versions of events based on denials and distortions.

    Serbia and a sizable percentage of Serbian people are out of touch with reality.

  3. Owen
    September 25, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Muztaba, the past is the past, we can’t turn the clock back. What we can do in the present is to campaign for justice for the victims and to work hard to make politicians put their pious words about human rights into effect.

    We owe it to the victims of Srebrenica and Bangladesh 1971, the Holocaust, Rwanda, Cambodia and too many other places, not to mention Darfur, Eastern Congo, Burundi Northern Uganda, to make sure that the perpetrators know they will eventually be held to account.

    What each of us can do now is firstly to write to the Dutch ambassador in our own country to express our disgust at the way the Dutch government hides behind the UN’s immunity to avoid responsibility for Dutchbat’s actions at Srebrenica.

    And secondly to write to our countries’ foreign ministries and tell them to work to ensure that the United Nations accepts its global responsibility to protect the vulnerable at risk of genocide and other crimes against humanity.

    December 9 is the 40th anniversary of the UN’s approval of the Genocide Convention and December 10 is the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They’re relevant dates for reminding national governments and the international community how far short they have fallen of achieving their commitments when they signed up to those texts.

    Everything you say about the responsibility of Muslims towards your brothers and sisters in Bosnia applies equally to us all as members of the human race. But what is needed is not revenge, which pours poison into the patient’s wound, but truth, justice and a determination to keep reminding the world that “Never again” must mean “Never again”.

  4. Sarah Franco
    September 25, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Daniel, you are right, most serbs live in what is know as ‘state of denial’.

    They know but prefer to pretend they don’t, or to relativise what happened.

    However, it is important in order for this to change, to understand that this denial follows a pattern, and so it is possible to create strategies to tackle it. not easy, but possible.

    The region of Former yugoslavia will be able to leav in peace in the true sense of the word when this process of acklowledgement starts.


    I understand your point, but please bear in mind that the duty to act was on everbody.

    that a single person is killed, rapes, beaten, robbed or humiliated and that such act is ‘justified’ on the grouds of the victim’s belonging to a particular ethnic, religious or any other group should concern all human beings, not only the members of the targeted group.

    there is a phrase by Montesquieu that says:

    ‘an injustice against one is a threat against all’

    Not being a Muslim myself, I still think that I am not less bounded by such duty than you are. That duty is part of trying to be a decent person.

  5. Owen
    September 26, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Muztaba, however shamefully the British government behaved in leaving Bosnia to its fate, I find it very difficult to credit your quote from John Major “”We wont tolerate any Muslim country at europe”. Can you provide me with a source?

  6. Sarah Franco
    September 26, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Owen, I don’t remember seeing that phrase either and the way it sounds, it would be a widely quoted phrase. I am curious to see the source.

    Unfortunately, there is much disinformation, and that does not help that cause of truth and justice.

  7. Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor
    September 26, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    His English is not good, so probably he meant “revenge” in a different way (I hope). As I said before, the best way for revenge is to keep memory of Srebrenica alive and to prevent further genocides. That’s the whole point of this blog.

  8. Muztaba Seraji
    October 13, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I’d like to control in poting more comments here. I think my comments just make an unnecessary debate and nothing more.
    About John Major’s quote: If my memory not betray with me then i read about his comments at our national daily at 1993. I was then 17. And there was huge criticism in newspaper and even in some daily cartoon was published where it was shown that John Major received special reward from Satan for his qoute and activities against Muslim in Bosnia. As there was huge conversation in Bangladesh so I thought you people also know about it and dont bother to search about its proof more. But i get the following link. Its a research paper of Titled THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE YUGOSLAV CRISIS FOR WESTERN EUROPE’S FOREIGN RELATIONS at University of Pittsburgh under Archive of European Integration Section. There is some more info about European strategy at that period. The then Prime Minister John Major letter to the then Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs Douglas Hurd, ….The goal of the West is the elimination of Bosnian Muslims. http://aei.pitt.edu/468/01/chai17e.html
    As I have strong faith about what I said so I’m not interested about searching more about it. Those who are interested can do do research and seek more about it. Even in the above link you can find from which source the gave such quote.
    While searching I found another interesting info. ….But Douglas Hurd ought to be tried alongside the Serbs. When he was Foreign Secretary, under John Major, the Serbs were committing atrocity after atrocity against Muslim and Croat in places such as Banja Luka but, each time, Hurd remained adamant that British troops could not help the civilians against slaughter, because British troops would be ‘at risk’. Hurd constantly argued with newspaper and television reporters, who wanted something done.I suspect the Serbs bribed Hurd for, as soon as he left his post as Foreign Secretary, he began a lucrative job in a Serb bank

  9. Owen
    October 25, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Muztaba, thanks for finding that quotation. I’ll try and follow it up. I find it strange but if Major said that, he should be called to account for it.

    I certainly share your condemnation of Douglas Hurd and his cynically mistaken interpretation of where British interest lay in the wars of the Former Yugoslavia.

    He believed that Milosevic was the key to stability in the region, which was the primary British concern, and stability would allow the British military presence to be withdrawn (and avoid the risk of British casualties and the potential political embarrassment of a long-term military commitment).

    I have heard a journalist say how Hurd told him that his greatest regret was Srebrenica. The journalist thought that he was going to express regret for the international community’s inaction. Instead Hurd went on to explain his regret was over agreeing to the Security Council Resolution that established the safe areas.

    Hurd’s view was presumably that the fall of Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde – perhaps Tuzla and Bihac – who knows, perhaps even Sarajevo – would have allowed a settlement to be reached much sooner. This was not simply amoral, unprincipled realpolitik, it was strategically stupid appeasement and eventually, through the radicalisation of British Muslim youth, led to the London Underground bombings.

    I’m not certain about the Serbs “bribing” Hurd. The lucrative post in Belgrade was as an adviser – along with Dame Pauline Neville-Jones – on the privatisation of Serbian Telecom. Hurd and Neville-Jones were actually working for a British bank, NatWest. Presumably NatWest earned a very large commission from the sale, and Hurd and Neville-Jones presumably enjoyed substantial remuneration as well.

    This was part of the British policy of promoting privatisation throughout Europe, providing British companies with expertise gained from the early British privatisations with a nice revenue stream.

    What must however have been obvious was that there was unlikely to be equitable distribution and use of the gains to the Serbian state from the privatisation. Of course privatisation was a fund-raising mechanism for Milosevic.

    I’ve never understood how this episode was justified. Its particular significance was lost sight of as a tide of sleaze eventually overwhelmed the Major government.


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