Thursday, March 22, 2007
I don't carry a torch for any side in this war. I have no idea what the ICTY has accepted from the Government of the RS. However, as the recipient of an award from the RS last year I would say that ICMP has gone to demonstrable lengths to search for the missing regardless of ethnic group. We have fully accepted the list of the missing provided to us by the RS Government and will seek to find and identify all victims.
Many of the sites excavated in relation to the fall of Srebrenica have been provided by the Government of the RS in their reports on the events of July 1995. But Srebrenica is far from our only focus. We work on sites throughout the RS, Serbia and Croatia.
Whether an act was genocide or not is not for me to judge. The act itself (however judged) resulted in missing persons and our mandate is to find the missing and help identify them. As I said earlier a lot (70%) of those killed in the war did not disappear.
All sides had phenomenal losses. I pointed you towards the Research and Documentation Centre because I feel it is a useful source which has put the lie to initial inflated figures. I was not referring to NATO figures when I mentioned that but to figures in currency during the war which were deliberately used to mislead.
As to your postscript I did not say who fired the bullet into the skull on the examination table. The bullet was there but I don't know who fired the bullet and I did not speculate. We don't know the ethnicity of the victim until we get results from DNA analysis and even then we do not report nationality, ethnicity, sex or religion. As to the type of gun it is pretty clear that all sides used similar weapons so it would be difficult to determine who shot a bullet from the manufacturer of the gun.
I appreciate that your intention is to establish the truth of what happened and I have tried to honestly provide information to you about what ICMP does. I can see that you don't accept what I have said but I think that this is largely because ICMP does not get involved in the apportionment or determination of blame and we don't cover many of the areas for which you have questions.
Dear Mr Boys,
I thank you for taking time out to reply to me.
I accept that the decisionmaking as to what is & is not genocide, what prosecutions to bring & what information to pass on does not lie with you but with others. If I have been hard on you it is because those others have made themselves less open to scrutiny which is not really fair on you.
Nonetheless I do think that the Izetbegovic regime's claims seem to have been taken on trust, even when thousands of the Srebrenica garrison have been found to have reached Moslem lines, despite his initial claim that they hadn't & evidence that many of those registered as dead have voted in elections post mortuum. Also, despite our correspondence, I have seen no specific evidence that the Serb villagers, victims of Oric's genocide, are being seriously searched for or that very many of the bodies labelled as Moslem militia, may not in fact be Serb villagers. Without further evidence, however, I don't think we can reach a conclusion.
It would be improper of me to ask you to agree that, in deciding to classify the alleged massacre of soldiers as genocide but laying no charges against Oric for the massacre of civilians, the ICTY have proven to be corrupt & unworthy. Nonetheless it is my view that, the definition of genocide being what it is, they are.
Thank you for clarifying the Scotsman's statement. The fact that you had the bullet means that their statement & quote was more truthful than I had expected though clearly not fully so.
Even EU leaders seem to accept that the decision, under pressure from Germany, to pressure Izetbegovic to declare "independence" by promising "recognition" was a, arguably the, major cause of the war & that they were advised that a genocidal war would be the inevitable result of their action. Since Izetbegovic had no legal claim to the Presidency & was not in control of most of the territory he claimed sovereignty over this "recognition" was contrary to law. I would like to hope there will someday be an uncorrupt judicial examination of these wars & that information gathered by you & others will be of value
My Best Wishes