The Islamic Post Blog


Serbia Yells ‘War Crimes’ by Khalida
May 21, 2009, 5:56 am
Filed under: International, May Volume I - 2009, World | Tags: , ,

(IP) –Serbia recently marked the 10th anniversary of NATO’s bombing campaign over Kosovo with commemorations honoring the victims and a nationalist gathering denouncing the West with accusations of war crimes.
In Serbia, Milosevic’s party is back in power and familiar nationalistic rhetoric still predominates, Nenad Pejic reports for Radio Free Europe. “The government line on the NATO air strikes has not changed over the last decade: the attacks were illegal; the deaths of Serbian civilians were not justified; the country’s sovereignty was violated; and so on. You never hear mention of the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians who had been chased out of the region by Serbian forces. As the editor of a Belgrade online newspaper put it recently, the official speeches spend all their time remembering that Serbia was bombed but never mention why Serbia was bombed,” Mr. Pejic states.
The article “Serbia’s Decade of Denial” continues mentioning Belgrade’s announcement of plans to indict those it says are responsible for the deaths of soldiers during the withdrawal from Sarajevo in May 1992. Predictably, this announcement provides no explanations for the previous month’s shelling done by Serbian forces of the city. When the ICJ ruled in 2007 that Bosnia had not proven that Serbia was guilty of genocide during the war, Serbian media widely reported the story. But media failed to report that the court said Serbia had failed to do everything it could to prevent the genocide.
“Mladic remains at large and Serbia remains in denial about the massacre of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica. Schoolchildren are taught about crimes committed against Serbs, but not about crimes committed by Serbs,” Pejic writes.
Reporting for Reuters in the eastern Bosnian town of Foca –which is best known for wartime atrocities and harboring war crimes fugitives– Daria Sito-Sucic notes that the local Serb Mayor Zdravko Krsmanovic is trying to turn the town into a center for sports and tourism. “Serving his second term as mayor, Krsmanovic said [the] 12 indicted war crimes suspects from Foca, once dubbed Bosnia’s ‘black hole’ by Western officials, had surrendered or been arrested in recent years. [Therefore] he has built a sports center and is trying to attract rafters to the spectacular river that runs nearby to help bring in badly needed money and jobs.”
Recently, Russia Today reported Serbia is preparing indictments against Bosnian officials, including Haris Silajdzic, who represents the Bosnian Muslims in the office of the presidency in Bosnia-Herzegovina because of an ambush by the Bosnian army of Serb soldiers that allegedly took place after a ceasefire had been signed. Serbian political analyst Gostimur Popvic says two incidents of this nature “happened in front of representatives of the United Nations and that the United Nations had given their word that the attacks wouldn’t happen, [so] there is also the question of the responsibility of the United Nations.”
Bosnia & Herzegovina is “again retracing the same battle against stereotypes, bias and revisionist history,” writes the former Bosnian Ambassador to the United Nations, Muhamed Sacirbey, in his book A Convenient Genocide, in a Fishbowl. “We are definitely on the defensive, but this time we do not have the same visible platform and urgency that the destruction of flesh and concrete arouses. This time the ethnic cleansing is being completed by the cleansing of history of that which would define accountability, if not culpability, of the West for the current state of events in Bosnia & Herzegovina.”
As tensions simmer, some fault the Dayton Accord which while creating an armistice to stop the bloodshed, maintained in power the same people who had created the ethnic-religious hatred that fomented the war. Thus, as Russia Today notes, while Muslims and Croats aspire to a more centralized state, Bosnian Serbs still seek autonomy –a return to what was known as the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a self-proclaimed state led by former president Radovan Karadzic within the internationally recognized territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. “The impasse has delayed the closure of the office of the international peace overseer since 2006,” RT claims.
Sources: RFE/RL, VOA News

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