This week saw the failure of the UK-backed UNSC draft resolution calling to declare the 20-year-old mass murder of thousands of Muslims near the town of Srebrenica as genocide committed by the Serbian army; and while some Western countries strongly criticize the failure, a Russian expert explains what actually might be behind the proposed document.
The massacre in Srebrenica has previously been classified as an act of genocide by the UN International Court of Justice and ICTY, now the draft resolution pushed for the same classification, claiming that a failure to adopt it will hinder reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
However, one of Russia’s most well-known scholars and an expert in the Balkans, Elena Guskova, who was there on the ground during the years of the Bosnian war, believes that despite the enormity of the crime, there are insufficient grounds to consider the killings an act of genocide.
“We can’t talk about genocide here,” she told Rossiya 1 TV show “Vesti on Saturday”. “What is genocide by definition? It is the elimination of a particular nation on the territory of another country. It is a systematic, deliberate killing. There was nothing of the kind on the territory of Srebrenica. Those were military actions.”
She also debated the actual number of those killed, saying that now it stands at 8,000, but it is absolutely unclear where this figure comes from and it has fluctuated all the time, dropping down to 5,000 and then rising up to 25,000.
“This does not reflect the truth in any way,” she said. “This massacre has already become a myth, which can’t be either reviewed or otherwise disputed.”
Elena Guskova provided her explanation of what might actually lie behind such an insistence to lay the blame on one nation [Serbia].
“If the UK’s resolution was voted for in the UN Security Council, the consequences would have been rather catastrophic for the Serbians and all the Orthodox Slavs in the Balkans. Having blamed only one nation for the genocide during the clashes between several nations back in 1990’s, one could further raise a question of blaming the Serbs for everything that was going in the Balkans back then, for all the wars and all the victims.”
“And, as a result, NATO actions in the Balkans back in 1999 could have been justified. NATO launched its 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia without the resolution of the UN Security Council, and with the resolution on Srebrenica they would have had an excuse: if they are guilty we could have bombed them.”
On May 6, 1993 a UN Security Council resolution declared the town a demilitarized zone and several hundred Dutch peacekeeping forces were stationed near it to allegedly protect the enclave.
“There should have been no army at all,” she added. ”And when this zone was declared, then the Muslim army under the factual protection of UN and its Blue Helmets, regularly undertook forays killing, destroying and torturing the Serbian population. Before 1995, up to 4,500 Serbs were killed. And to prevent the murdering of the Serbian population, the Serbian army decided to enter Srebrenica. And it did it very quietly.”
“The Serbian army marched through 43 Muslim settlements without destroying a single house and without killing a single person. And when they entered Srebrenica, they formed a column out of the Muslim officers and allowed them to leave Srebrenica for the town of Tuzla. And then there was shooting on the way and there were victims. But how it all happened remains unclear to this very day.”
Full story at Sputnik International