Srebrenica: 12 years later, still no justice

July 11 marks the twelfth anniversary of the massacre of some 8,000 Muslims at the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, and little has changed for the survivors who continue to wait for a modicum of justice. Up to 30,000 survivors are expected to attend a religious ceremony and funeral at the memorial cemetery outside the town, where the remains of more than 2,400 of those killed are already buried. Another 465—retrieved from mass graves and identified by DNA analysis—will be laid to rest at the ceremony, including the remains of a 75-year-old woman. The other victims were males, aged between 13 and 77. The UN’s chief war crimes prosecutor for ex-Yugoslavia Carla Del Ponte is among those expected to attend, while another 2,000 survivors have set off on a four-day symbolic march to the town. Srebrenica is the only episode of the Bosnian war that has been ruled an “act of genocide” by the UN war crimes tribunal and the International Court of Justice, both based at The Hague. However, Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic, the two men considered most responsible for the massacre, remain at large. (AFP, July 11)

Croatia’s Javno reports that several Srebrenica survivors associations have made clear that they do not consider Del Ponte welcome at the ceremony, citing the lack of progress in bringing the perpetrators to justice. (Javno, July 10)

The Bosnian Serb Republic which now controls half Bosnia (including Srebrenica) has officially condemned the massacre—while stopping short of calling it an act of genocide. And the Serb Republic or Serbia proper presumably continue to shelter Karadzic and Mladic. Miroslav Lajcak, the international community’s commissioner for Bosnia (a post established by the 1995 Dayton Accords) July 10 ordered the dismissal of a senior Bosnian Serb police official and suspended 35 Bosnian Serb police officers suspected of involvement in the Srebrenica massacre. (Reuters, July 10)

As we noted at the time, a group of Srebrenica survivors announced at last year’s commemoration that they were preparing a suit charging UN collaboration with the Bosnian Serb forces that carried out the massacre. With this year’s commemoration, they have filed the suit—at a Dutch district court at The Hague, because the “peacekeepers” who failed to resist the Serb forces as they overran the town were mostly from the Netherlands. The case was brought days after the arrest of Hague tribunal fugitive Zdravko Tolimir, a close aide to Ratko Mladic who was indicted in 2005 for his alleged role in the massacre. (IWPR, June 8)

Last month, thousands of massacre survivors protested in Sarajevo, demanding a special administrative status for Srebrenica as an independent enclave within Bosnia or part of the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina government. They say it should not be a part of the Bosnian Serb Republic, which they call a “genocidal creature,” as it was created through the massacre or expulsion of Muslims from its territories. They charged that the dual system created by the Dayton Accords rewards aggression. “We are waiting for 12 years for the problem of the RS [Serb Republic] to be solved, for this criminal organization to be dismantled,” said Kada Hotic, a Srebrenica survivor who lost her husband and son in the massacre. (Bosnia News, June 12)

Illustrating how the betrayal of Bosnia’s Muslims by the West only makes Balkan inroads by political Islam a self-fulfilling prophecy, Iran has beaten Hollywood to the punch in making a movie about the Srebrenica massacre. Iran’s documentary cinema center will join with the Bosnian Mama Company to sponsor the film Snow, written and directed by Bosnian film-maker Aida Bagic, who is also co-founder of Bosnia’s Centre for Women’s Studies. The film will depict the suffering of mothers and children during the 1992-1995 Serb aggression. (Bosnia News, July 2)

While betrayal by the Great Powers is to be expected, the blatantly genocide-apologist position of much of the so-called “left” in the West is truly appalling. The supposedly “progressive” ZNet continues to provide a blog for David Peterson to spread his revisionist lies about Bosnia and Srebrenica. Ditto Edward Herman, whose sinister propaganda we have already repudiated. Alarmingly, Noam Chomsky has also recently jumped on the Bosnia-revisionism bandwagon.

The tireless Srebrenica Genocide Blog continues to do a sterling job of documenting developments around the massacre investigation and the ongoing struggle for justice—and resisting the apparent conspiracy of right and left alike to deny historical truth.

See our last posts on the Balkans and Bosnia.