Dear Madam Secretary Clinton,
The latest decision by the Bosnian Serb government to question the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide with a new ‘investigation’ is nothing more but a new attempt to inflict the emotional stress on survivors by denying the genocide and other horrendous massacres that Serb forced perpetrated against unarmed Bosniak civilians in and around Srebrenica from 1992-1995 and elsewhere in Bosnia. This denial is no different than those of Holocaust deniers who want to impose revisionist history and dispute the number of Jews killed by Nazi forces. Whether the number of victims is in millions or in thousands should not make a difference when it comes to condemning those who deny such atrocities took place. The historical evidence is overwhelming and the atrocities confirmed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Contrary to facts of law and nature, Bosnian Serb leaders and politicians have constantly been trying to equalize guilt and minimize catastrophic actions during the war and aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina that their leadership caused in the Bosnian war. It is extremely well documented by local and international judicial bodies that approximately 90% of all war crimes were committed by the Bosnian Serb side in the conflict.
The fact that Serb forces committed genocide at Srebrenica, and other horrendous massacres against the Bosniak population of Podrinje in a period of 1992-1995, is undisputable. The 1995 Srebrenica Genocide has been confirmed and acknowledged by numerous judgments issued by local and international courts and government bodies. According to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Serb forces “targeted for extinction the 40,000 Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica.” (Krstic appeal) More than 8,000 victims were killed and dumped in at least 80 mass graves, while 30,000 Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) civilians were forcibly expelled from the enclave. Many women were abused and brutally raped. DNA results of the International Commission on Missing Persons support the figure 8,100 Srebrenica victims killed in July 1995. So far, the identities of 6,414 genocide victims have been revealed by the DNA analysis.
Our recent meeting with the officials from the State Department demonstrated genuine desire to work on finding a permanent and sustainable solution for the Bosnian situation. For this reason we hope to see a swift and clear message from the State Department to the Bosnian Serb leadership. There is a worrying trend of lack of response to the current threats of referendum by Republika Srpska’s (RS) politicians. There seems to be no fear of consequences for any actions by RS politicians from the Office of the High Representative (OHR), whose authority has been severely undermined by the lack of international reaction to these threats.
We call upon the State Department to immediately condemn Serb leadership and place pressure on the Bosnian Serb authorities to issue a public apology and acknowledgment for the genocide they planned, supported, and committed in July 1995.
We believe that an urgent entry of Bosnia and Herzegovina into NATO would quell the manipulation of some of its citizens and provide a strong message to all in the region that Bosnian sovereignty will never come into question. We also recommend urgent constitutional reforms that guarantee equal rights for all of its citizens, but also eliminate the undemocratic process of ethnic voting that holds the central government hostage from implementing any reforms that would lead towards euro-Atlantic integration. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Mr. Haris Alibašić, MPA
President of the CNAB Board of Directors
cc: The Honorable Stuart E. Jones, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State -Bureau of European and Euroasian Affairs