Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Serbia / Srebrenica Massacre / European Union

Serbia Condemns 1995 Srebrenica Massacre of 8,000 Muslim Men and Boys
The Times, March 30, 2010
"Serbia was poised tonight to turn decisively towards a future in the European Union as its MPs debated a landmark declaration condemning the massacre of 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995. While stopping short of using the term genocide, the statement recognised that Serbia failed to prevent the killings carried out by its forces after seizing the UN safe haven in the ethnic conflict that followed the break-up of Yugoslavia. The declaration was driven by Boris Tadic, Serbia's pro-EU President but opposed by nationalists, who warned that it would 'turn Serbia into an eternal villain.' It was welcomed by the Netherlands, which is demanding the capture of Ratko Mladic, the general in charge of Serb forces in Srebrenica, before further progress can be made towards EU membership. About 400 lightly armed Dutch peace-keepers could not stop Mr Mladic's men after the UN refused to sanction airstrikes. It is an episode that left a scar on the Dutch conscience. Thousands of Muslim men and boys who had been sheltering in Srebrenica were murdered in the worst mass killings in Europe since the Second World War. 'What we should do with this declaration is provide peace and respect to those killed, to provide peace and condolences to those who survived,' said Nada Kolundzija, the head of the Serb ruling coalition's MPs. 'Thie is a milestone on Serbia's road to the construction of a modern European society.' The International Court of Justice and the Yugoslav Tribunal in The Hague classed Srebrenica as genocide but the term was dropped from the declaration to try to ensure wider support. [...]"

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