‘ Hague Rules Netherlands Accountable for Deaths of 300 Victims at Srebrenica Massacre in 1995 ‘

#AceWorldNews – THE HAGUE – July 16 – The Hague has ruled that the Netherlands was accountable for the deaths of over 300 victims of the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 reported RT.

Bosnian woman at Srebrenica

The hearing came as families of the victims accuse the Dutch government accusing its UN peacekeepers of failing to protect their relatives.

The UN protected the Muslim enclave until July 11, 1995 when it was overrun by ethnic Serb forces.

English: Women at the monument for victims of ...

English: Women at the monument for victims of the July 1995 Srebrenica Massacre. At the annual memorial ceremony in Potocari, Bosnia and Herzegovina. July 11, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by ethnic Serb troops in 1995.

The UN’s highest International Court of Justice earlier ruled that the Srebrenica slaughter was genocide.

Serb forces commander Ratko Mladic is currently on trial on genocide and war crimes.

(Guardian) Reported that the Netherlands has been ordered to pay compensation for the deaths of Bosnian Muslims in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in a ruling that opens up the Dutch state to compensation claims from relatives of the rest of the 8,000 men and youths who died.

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The judgement by the Dutch supreme court is the final decision in a protracted claim brought by relatives of three Muslim men who were expelled by Dutch soldiers from a United Nations compound during the Balkans conflict, then killed by Bosnian Serb forces.

Although the case related only to the murder of three victims, it sets the precedent that countries that provide troops for UN missions can be held responsible for their conduct.

The case was brought by Hasan Nuhanovic, an interpreter who lost his brother and father, and relatives of Rizo Mustafic, an electrician who was killed. They argued that all three men should have been protected by Dutch peacekeepers. Mustafic and Nuhanovic were employed by the Dutch, but Nuhanovic’s father and brother were not.

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` Having Seen Decades of War and Violence Omer Karaberg Knows the Power of Words’

#AceGuestNews – May 10 – (RFERL) – Having seen decades of war and violence, Omer Karabeg knows the transformative power of words.    For 20 years, through his program “The Bridge,” he has sought to forge a dialogue among representatives of the former Yugoslavia’s different political, ethnic, and religious groups, whose views on his carefully chosen, contentious topics often could not be more at odds.

Karabeg’s guests run the gamut from hard-line politicians to political moderates to academics and cultural figures. While his pairings are often daring, he always insists on a civil discussion and mutual respect, qualities that are scarce in the region’s mainstream media.

Arbana Vidishiqi, RFE/RL’s Kosovo Bureau Chief, remembered how in 2002, with the wounds of the Kosovo war still raw, Karabeg gathered influential Kosovo Albanians and Serbs in a face-to-face round-table discussion in Pristina.

“That was so rare at that time, just after the war, to see those two sides talking,” said Vidishiqi. “What was especially interesting was to see these former [Albanian] guerilla fighters talking with Serbs even during the breaks.”   Over the course of two decades, “The Bridge” has broadcast more than 800 such dialogues involving more than 1,500 participants.

The 30-minute weekly program began as a radio show and is now also recorded as a Skype broadcast for on-line audiences. On many occasions, the show has broken barriers between figures across political and ethnic divides who have then continued their dialogue in follow-up meetings off the air. Excerpts and quotes from the dialogues are regularly reprinted in high-circulation national newspapers throughout the region.

Much has changed since the first broadcast of “The Bridge” in April 1994 which, at the height of the Yugoslav war, focused on how to start the process of reconciliation between the Serb minority and the Croatian majority in Croatia. At that time, much of the former Yugoslavia was separated not only by ideology, but by violence, blocked roads, and broken telephone lines.

But Karabeg says some divides persist. “The most difficult combination to have on the show is nationalists, of course,” he said. “Nationalists don’t like discussion, they like monologues. They usually don’t change their minds after the show, but at least they talk; at least it gives them something to think about later.”

Originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina Karabeg is a veteran journalist who, before joining RFE/RL in 1994 in the early days of the Balkan Service (then known as the South Slavic Service), was a popular prime-time national TV news anchor in Belgrade.

He left Belgrade after refusing to broadcast nationalist propaganda during the war, an act of defiance for which he was called a traitor on national TV by government officials.   Karabeg is the winner of the 2010 Erhard Busek South East Europe Media Award for Better Understanding in South East Europe.

He received the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia’s Jug Grizelj Award for promoting friendship and overcoming barriers between the people in the region. He has published selected dialogues from “The Bridge” in two books: “Bridge of Dialogue: Conversations Despite the War,” and “Dialogue on the Powder Keg, Serbian-Albanian Dialogue.”

While Karabeg has seen much progress in the region, he says the deepest rifts remain in Bosnia, where dialogue between politicians from the two main ethnic entities carved out in the Dayton Accords has broken down.   “Each side has its own media where the politicians can go on and say whatever they want with no one to challenge them when they lie,” he said.

He added that separatist rhetoric has intensified in Bosnia since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, and that the international community must stay engaged there to keep the dialogue going.

” As the saying goes,” Karabeg said, “It’s better to have 1,000 days of talking than to have war for even one day.”

Courtesy and by Emily Thompson of her News and Views – Radio Free Europe

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