''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol XI No 8

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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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.Munira Subasic, President of the Mothers of Srebrenica at the service.

According to 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 mass graves.

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 said:

"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 back."

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.Forensic investigators examine a mass grave

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.

In another article of July last year, the same news outlet carried an article headlined -

"Dutch state liable for 300 Srebrenica massacre deaths" we find this -

"Court 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 compound.

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." Examining the remains of the massacred

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 will win."

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 victims.

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.


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