a EU did nothing when he’s in the backyard was a war raging. The then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was ashamed of the impotence of his organization. A quarter of a century ago there was genocide in Srebrenica, which became a symbol of all the horrors of the Yugoslav wars, reminds Dagens Nyheter.
War changes people and not always for the better. And civil wars are often worse than others. Some of the participants is naturally evil inclination, other spoil the horror and cynicism.
After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, it was easy to believe in the good and eternal peace and to forget how readily and skillfully the peoples of Europe for many centuries, invaded neighboring countries and killed each other. But around the corner was met by the Yugoslav war. It was thought that barbarism on the continent is done. But instead, in the 1990-ies began the ethnic cleansing, created concentration camps, committed mass executions, and civilians shelled indiscriminately.
The genocide in Srebrenica occurred on 11 July a quarter century ago. It’s not so long ago. And not so far from Sweden.
In this city the first three quarters of the population were Muslim, and the remaining quarter consisted mainly of Serbs. When the war started, Srebrenica soon occupied the troops of the Bosnian Serbs who received weapons and support from the army of Serbia. The enclave was one of six protected areas of the UN. 370 Dutch soldiers “peacekeeping” forces went there to observe the world that never was.
In early July, the Bosnian Serbs led by General Ratko Mladic went on the attack. Military UN just watched. The EU held meetings. NATO did not intervene.
On TV showed how smiling Mladic gives children chocolate. At this time, the city has already collected Bosnian men and young Muslims, to get them out of Srebrenica, executed and buried in mass graves. At the same time, up to 30 thousand women, children and elderly people were put in buses and taken away from his native city.
It was the most brutal atrocity in Europe since world war II — the epitome of the horrors of the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Tito ruled the country until his death in 1980. He was a Communist, but fondly looked to the West, because it was competing with the Soviet Union. In Yugoslavia lived Serbs, Croats and Muslims without any significant nationalist tensions. The dictatorship strictly this is followed.
But Yugoslavia did not escape the collapse of communism. Slobodan Milosevic made their way to power, breathing life into the Serbian chauvinism, which is a multiethnic society has turned into a ticking time bomb. When it exploded, to seize the country people was already enough. Neighbors became mortal enemies. Those who lived in the wrong place, was supposed to clean, and anyone who wanted to stay is to destroy.
Although Wed��renitsa and became a symbol of the horror of war, it also marked the beginning of its end. Western world, or, more precisely, the US no longer wanted to tolerate this. President bill Clinton began a massive air attack on the Bosnian Serbs, forcing them to retreat. The Dayton agreement in late 1995 brought even fragile, but the world, protect NATO.
When Milosevic several years later staged another massacre in Kosovo, NATO and the United States put an end to it. In the fall of 2000 he lost the presidential power.
Gradually, Srebrenica also became a symbol of hope that war criminals can be punished. When in 1993, the UN formed the international Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), that seemed to be almost irrelevant. But when he is in 2017 finished their work, 161 persons indicted, and more than half of them were convicted.
Ratko Mladic have evaded justice for more than 15 years, but in the end he was arrested and taken to the Hague, where in 2017 sentenced to life imprisonment — including for genocide in Srebrenica. Radovan Karadzic, the political leader of the Bosnian Serbs, were later imposed the same sentence. Serbia has given Milosevic, he was convicted by the ICTY, but in 2006 he died in a prison cell.
For war crimes in the Hague judged also Croats and Bosnian Muslims. In the Yugoslav wars killed at least 130 thousand people, and several million people had to flee to other countries. Relatives of some victims still feel bitterness over the fact that not all punished, but at least some justice was done, albeit incomplete.
The EU did nothing when he’s in the backyard was a war raging. Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was among those who were ashamed of the impotence of his organization. In this respect, unfortunately, nothing has changed. NATO was necessary in order to stop the war, but if in the US there was a different President, one-sided nationalism could win.
In those days of July 1995 in Srebrenica killers made what you wanted. But the war criminals should never feel safe.