Monday July 6, 2015
- Srebrenica remembered. 20 years ago, in 1995 and in 20th
century Europe, the world witnessed a mass murder that came to
be known as the Srebrenica Massacre as some eight thousand
Muslim men and boys were rounded up and murdered in cold blood.
the BBC some two thousand
people attended a special service today in Westminster Abbey to
remember those killed by Bosnian Serb forces twenty years ago.
"About 2,000 people have
attended a service in Westminster Abbey to remember thousands of
Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica killed by Bosnian Serb
forces 20 years ago.
David Cameron led tributes
ahead of the service, saying people "must never, ever forget
what happened". The massacre in 1995 was the worst in Europe
since World War Two.
A mother, who lost several
members of her family, said she hoped the perpetrators would
face justice. The genocide came amid the bloody break-up of
Yugoslavia into independent states. Serbia backed the Bosnian
Serb forces fighting the Muslim-led Bosnian government during
the conflict. In July 1995, in what was supposed to have been a
UN safe haven, Bosnian Serb forces took control of Srebrenica.
They rounded up and killed the men and boys and buried them in
The congregation listened to a
speech from Munira Subasic, president of the
Mothers of Srebrenica association,
as she recounted what she remembered. She lost several members
of her family during the massacre.
Speaking after the service she
told the BBC:
"They took my son away from me
and put him in a white house. Eighteen years after I only find
two little bones and gave him a burial. "I appeal upon all good
people lets make things better while we still can, so that the
criminals may be brought in front of justice to have their names
as war criminals, just as our kids have their names as victims."
Survivor Nedzad Avdic told the
BBC how he was shot at and fell among a line of dead bodies. Mr
Avdic said he was 17 years old when the shooting happened He
"When they finished the
shooting I prayed to die, because it was unbearable for me. I
waited for dying. "I never thought I could save myself. I
noticed someone move in the middle of the bodies. I asked him if
he was alive. Within 10 (minutes) we were in the bushes."
Mr Cameron said:
"We must never, ever forget
what happened". "The 20th anniversary is a moment to remember
the many thousands who lost their lives, to remember their
families and the missing, and the fact that for so many -
including the Mothers of Srebrenica - the agony continues every
day, undimmed by the passage of time.
"We must reaffirm our
determination to act to prevent genocide in the future."
Lord Ashdown, who became the
European Union's High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina
in 2002, told the Abbey:
"Whether through error,
misjudgment, an inability to comprehend, or just inattention, we
stood aside when we should not have done.
"We should therefore remember
Srebrenica, not just to bear witness to those who suffered, but
also as a warning to us all of what happens when we turn our
The Srebrenica Massacre is
another telling example of what happens when good men refuse to
do nothing and again as happened in Rwanda in 1994 UN troops who
should have provided a safe enclave for the persecuted failed to
challenge Serb forces as they separated the men and boys from
the women and children.
The Dutch troops wearing the
blue helmets of the UN did nothing to stop the Serbs.
By the time the operation was
over more than eight thousand Muslims men and boys had been
murdered and their bodies dumped in mass graves.
One article in the Guardian
notes that the massacre could have been prevented.
"Blame among the “international
community”charged with protecting Srebrenica has piled, not
without reason, on the head of UN forces in the area, General
Bernard Janvier, for opposing intervention – notably air strikes
– that might have repelled the Serb advance, and Dutch soldiers
who not only failed in their duty to protect Srebrenica but
evicted terrified civilians seeking shelter in their
headquarters, and watched the Serbs separate women and young
children from their male quarry.
Now a survey of the mass of evidence reveals that the fall of
Srebrenica formed part of a policy by the three “great powers” –
Britain, France and the US – and by the UN leadership, in
pursuit of peace at any price; peace at the terrible expense of
Srebrenica, which gathered critical mass from 1994 onwards, and
reached its bloody denouement in July 1995.
article of July last year,
the same news outlet carried an article headlined -
"Dutch state liable for 300
Srebrenica massacre deaths" we find this -
at the Hague says Dutch UN peacekeepers must compensate families
of Bosnian Muslim men turned over to Serb forces 19 years ago."
A court on Wednesday ordered
the Netherlands to compensate the families of more than 300 men
turned over to Bosnian Serb forces and later killed in the
Srebrenica massacre 19 years ago.
In an emotionally charged
hearing at a civil court in The Hague, Presiding Judge Larissa
Alwin said Dutch UN peacekeepers should have known that the men
deported from the Dutch compound by Bosnian Serb forces on 13
July, 1995, would be killed because there was already evidence
of the Serbs committing war crimes.
"By cooperating in the
deportation of these men, Dutchbat acted unlawfully," Alwin
said, referring to the name of the Dutch UN battalion.
The court cleared the
Netherlands of liability in the deaths of most of the 8,000
Bosnian Muslims killed after Bosnian Serb forces commanded by
General Ratko Mladic overran the town of Srebrenica on 11 July
in what was to become the bloody climax to the 1992-95 Bosnian
war that claimed 100,000 lives.
Two days later, the outnumbered
Dutch peacekeepers bowed to pressure from Mladic's troops and
forced thousands of Muslim families out of their fenced-off
Bosnian Serb forces trucked the
males away and began executing them. Their bodies were plowed
into hastily made mass graves in what international courts have
ruled was genocide. The ruling cleared Dutch troops of
responsibility in the murder of thousands of Bosnian Muslim men
who fled into the forests around Srebrenica and were later
rounded up and murdered by Serb forces, saying "Dutchbat cannot
be held liable for their fate."
Relatives of the dead welcomed
the limited finding of liability, but lamented the fact that it
did not go much further.
"Obviously the court has no
sense of justice," said Munira Subasic, president of the
"Mothers of Srebrenica" group that filed the case.
"How is it possible to divide
victims and tell one mother that the Dutch state is responsible
for the death of her son on one side of the wire and not for the
son on the other side?"
Subasic said her organisation
would "keep fighting for truth and justice. And in the end we
The court did not say how much
compensation the families should receive.
Sadly in our own God-given
country, those who carried out, those who gave the orders as
well as those who supported and condoned the mass murderers and
rapists of January 6, 1999 as well as the Mabaylla massacre of
early September 1997 continue to lord it over their surviving
The beast who threatened to
raze Freetown to the ground in 1997 and who could have known of
the AFRC/RUF plans to carry out this raze policy still wears the
colours of our national army.
To twist the knife into the
wounds of survivors, the rat has created a new military position
of Lt General - this at a time of peace - and filled it with the
man who made that threat in 1997.
This threat to raze the capital
was duly carried out by retreating junta forces when they were
kicked out in 1998.
The atrocities of January 6, 1999
is now well documented and should serve as one of the key
evidence of a deliberate plan of mass murder.
The beast who carries the title
and is head of the national army is
S. O. Williams - a man who
we hope will one day face a war crimes tribunal/court to face
the justice he truly deserves.
There has been no compensation in Sierra
Leone for survivors nor for the relations of the murdered.