No peace without justice, says Obama's envoy to Srebrenica

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 July 2010, 03:24 GMT]
On the 15th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, Samantha Power, Director of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the National Security Council in the Obama administration on her way to deliver message from President Obama in Srebrenica-Potocari memorial said, "as a factual matter, as a historical matter – it is very difficult to see lasting peace and stability without this kind of justice. So the more Serbia recognizes, the Bosnian government recognizes what atrocities were committed by its forces, the Croatian government grapples as well, more progress you will see and the more forward we move."

Srebrenica Genocide Stone at Potocari
Srebrenica Genocide Stone at Potocari
The Srebrenica Massacre, refers to the July 1995 killing of more than 8,000 Muslim Bosniak men and boys, as well as the ethnic cleansing of 25,000–30,000 refugees in the area of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladić during the Bosnian War.

A paramilitary unit from Serbia known as the Scorpions, officially part of the Serbian Interior Ministry until 1991, also participated in the massacre.

From among as many as 8,000 victims, more than 3,000 have been reburied at the Srebrenica-Potočari Cemetery.

Samantha Power, author of
Samantha Power, author of "A Problem from Hell"
The Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery represents a joint effort by the local population and the international community to honor the victims of the massacre. Each year, several hundred newly identified bodies are added to the cemetery in an annual ceremony held on the anniversary of the massacre, according to International Centre for Transitional Justice.

Professor Boyle compared Sri Lanka Government's then on-going massacre of Tamil civilians in a statement on 5th May 2009: "Since the outset of this latest crisis in January, the GOSL [Government of Sri Lanka] has exterminated about 7000 Tamils in Vanni, certainly a "substantial part" of the Tamil population in Vanni and Sri Lanka. If not stopped now, the GOSL's toll of genocide against the Tamils could far exceed the recent horrors of Srebrenica," Boyle said.

Responding to Ms Power's statement to the Sarajevo daily "dnevni Avez (daily voice)" that "the promise of Never Again is now being brought to light through structures [in the US Government] that can make it much more likely that the kind of horror that we saw in Srebrenica never happens again," spokesperson for Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based activist group said, "Ms. Power's words sound hollow after the Obama's administration's failure to halt the killing of more than 40,000 Tamil civilians during early months of 2009. It remains to be seen if Ms Power asserts her authority by taking concrete steps to establish war-crimes accountability in Sri Lanka following her recent fact finding visit there."

The War Crimes Issues office of the US State Department is expected to submit a followup report to the US Congress after the Congress-mandated first report on Sri Lanka's war during the first five months of 2009 was submitted in October 2009.


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External Links:
BBC: Anger over Dutch Srebrenica report
UNDispatch: Remembering Srebrenica, Looking to Sri Lanka
Bosnia: Samantha Power: The day Srebrenica fell was the worst day of my life
YouTube: Srebrenica massacre of 8000 Muslims, 1975
MWC: Is Bosnia the end of the road for the UN? Prof. Francis Boyle
Wiki: Srebrenica massacre
YouTube: BBC: UN & Dutch disaster in Srebrenica
BBC: Srebrenica finally buries its dead
NYT: Serbian Court Convicts 4 in Srebrenica Massacre
AP: Dutch government resigns over Srebrenica massacre
Independent: Serb 'Scorpions' guilty of Srebrenica massacre


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