Ethnic Cleansing in the Balkans
The President of Serbia asked "forgiveness on his knees" for the massacre of 8,000 Muslims on the 11th of July, 1995, but did not utter the word "genocide." What are the backgrounds of these hands outstretched toward Bosnia and the European Union?
Many books destroyed, but ancient palace with its central role in Bosnia's memory is back to life again. We hope it will not be threatened by negligence and political manipulation such as the National Museum which has just shut. Ongoing difficulties to set up the Garden of the Righteous of Sarajevo. "It is a cold aftermath of war", writes magazine Osservatorio Balcani.
On 11 July 1995 the Serbian Bosnians killed 8,000 Muslim men and male teens in the UN enclave of Srebrenica. Main genocide perpetrators were Ratko Mladic, now on trial in the Hague, and Radovan Karadzic. To mourners "pain is unbearable".
Ratko Mladic is detained in a Sheveningenm prison, also hosting Radovan Karadzic. In the first court hearing his lawyer said he "defended his people" during the war in Bosnia. The arrest of the perpetrator of the Srebrenica massacre could be a step forward for the entry of Serbia in the EU. Comment by Svetlana Broz inside.
On May, 1 1991 outbreak of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia with the incident of Borovo Selo. On May, 2 of the folllowing year the federal army and the Serbian militias block all access ways to Sarajevo, starting a siege that would last for 43 months.
Jovan Divjak, a former General of the Bosnian Army and an exemplary figure in the war in ex Yugoslavia, was arrested in Vienna on a warrant issued by Belgrade concerning alleged crimes committed in 1992. The former general has been set free after payment of a 500,000-euro bail. The detention was revoked but extradition itself is a matter of judgement for the Korneuburg tribunal, instead.
in the former Yugoslavia
The federal Yugoslavia was formed by six republics (Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia) and two autonomous regions united to Serbia (Kosovo and Vojvodina). As Tito died in 1980, there was a breakout of political tensions which resulted in the civil war between the different republics that formed the federal State.
From 1990 to 1999, with a precedent in 1989, when Serbia opposed Kosovo independence, the clashing forces used repeatedly ethnic cleansing in order to prevail. The data on the breadth of the mass murder are still provisional: the continuous discovery of mass graves makes it difficult to estimate it. Certain massacres, like the Srebrenica Massacre in 1995 in which the Serbs killed nearly 8000 Bosniak men and assaulted the remaining women, are historically infamous and provoked an international response.. The genocides were far from one sided, as most sides in the conflict attempted to eradicate the other through ethnic cleansing. These brutal attempts of homogenizing the country were inspired by extreme nationalism. The destabilization in the face of Tito's death provoked each ethnicity to vie for total control of the territory and ethnic purity. The ensuing Yugoslav Wars where characterized by this type of violent ethnic conflict and consequently this series of conflicts is known as the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War 2. By 1995, nearly 100,000 people had been killed during this genocide.