Thursday, October 18, 2007


SREBRENICA, Bosnia (October 18,2007) - Twelve years after the genocide against Bosnians was committed by the Serbian aggressor in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica,the genocide survivors met yesterday with former Dutch soldiers who served as peacekeepers in Srebrenica during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

In July 1995, a Dutch battalion assigned to protect Srebrenica (a U.N.-declared "safe haven" in eastern Bosnia) did absolutely nothing and stood by as the genocida; Serbian aggressor mass murdered thousands of Bosnian civilians.

"Shame on you for coming back here," Sabra Kolenovic, who lost her husband and son in the 1995 massacre, whispered as the soldiers walked into the former factory that served as the Dutch compound during the genocide.

Questions and accusations accompanied tears as the Bosnian widows confronted the Dutch soldiers about what happened that July.

The genocidal Serbian aggressor had overrun the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995, which had been declared a safe haven by the United Nations two years earlier. The Dutch peacekeepers did not fire a single shot in defense, and the UN did not respond to the Dutch commander's calls for air support.

The Bosnian civilians from Srebrenica fled to the UN compound seeking protection, but most of them were not allowed in. The genocidal Serbian aggressor's soldiers later separated the Bosnian men and boys from the women and murdered them as the Dutch UN soldiers stood by.

Recriminations, tears and despondency marked the meeting of the two groups in the Bosnian town.

"Today I feel the same helplessness I felt in those days," said a tearful Monique Bergman, who was 20 when she served as a peacekeeper at Srebrenica in 1995. "Not being able to do anything is a horrible feeling, which haunted me for years. For years I have been mentally ill because of what happened here."

"I am trying to understand the pain and anger of the survivors and to show respect to the women and victims."

Earlier this year, the genocide survivors sued the Dutch troops for participating in the genocide by failing to prevent it. But they lost the case after the Dutch government denied liability, saying its troops had been abandoned by the United Nations.

After reviewing the events, the Dutch Government resigned - but not before decorating the soldiers for their experience.

"Did you really receive decorations for what you did here?" yelled Munira Subasic, head of the association Mothers of Srebrenica.

"Here, parents are still searching for the bones of their children. Why did you not at least try to save at least one life?"

"They allowed them to slaughter us.I have nobody any more because of them," said Aisa Omerovic, 57, who lost her husband, two brothers and many other male relatives in the genocide.

The Dutch soldiers told the Bosnian widows they did what they could with their lives also under threat and no support from the United Nations. One former soldier acknowledged that mistakes were made. He said some of them were not prepared for the task and could not cope with it.

"I have great respect for you. I came here to pay respect and to talk to you," said Boudewijn Kok, who was in Srebrenica during the genocide.

One former sergeant named Rob said he managed to save a few Bosnian civilians when the genocidal Serbian aggressor began their separation process.

"Even though 12 years have passed, we have not forgotten that genocide happened here," he told the Bosnian women.

"Our arrival is the proof that we have been thinking about it since," he said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 18,2007) – The “Buybook” Publishing from Sarajevo will publish Florence Hartmann’s book “Peace and Punishment” in November. The book is being prepared and will most probably be published about November 10.

Although previously announced that the Bosnian version of the book will exit print late October, the preparation processes have been slowed down because of the translation authorization.

Ida Hamidovic, editor at the Buybook Publishing, said that the Bosnian version of the book should be published during the Interliber Book Fair that is to be held in Zagreb,Croatia, from 7 to 11 November.

The Bosnian version of the book will most probably be promoted November 12 in Sarajevo, Hamidovic said.

Florence Hartmann confirmed her arrival to Sarajevo.The former ICTY Spokesperson caused a stir with her book “Peace and Punishment” by revealing that the Russian Government hid Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic.

Also,according to Hartmann,Great Britain, USA and France purposefully left free former leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic who are wanted for genocide committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

In March 2000, Hartmann says, the ICTY chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte asked Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, whether the U.S. had a secret agreement with Serbian war criminal Karadzic. Clark in turn accused the French president Chirac of cutting a pact with (Serbian war criminals) Karadzic and Mladic to win the release of two French pilots held by the genocidal Serbian formations for three months in 1995.


JERUSALEM,Israel (October 18,2007) – The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj met with Simon Peres, the President of Israel.Peres was interested in the current situation in Bosnia and in the region. Alkalaj told the Israeli President about the activities Bosnia is facing on the way to the EU, that is, the reform processes.

The officials emphasized the need for strengthening the economic relations, which are the base for cooperation between any two countries. They emphasized that there are objective possibilities to achieve that and that the exchange of visits between the two countries’ officials would contribute the overall strengthening of bilateral relations.

The Bosnian Foreign affairs Minister Sven Alkakaj praised Peres for his contribution in the Middle East peace processes.

Alkalaj also met with the Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni.They exchanged opinions on bilateral relations and possibilities for their promotion.

They emphasized that the 10th anniversary of bilateral relations between the two countries will be marked. The officials stated that the overall relations between the two countries are good and added that economic cooperation should be strengthened.

They expressed interest in increase of investments of the Israeli companies in projects, as well as in the Bosnian privatization processes and the energy sector.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 18,2007) - Two Foca concentration camp survivors,protected prosecution witnesses, testifying against Serbian war criminals Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic, spoke before the Bosnian State Court about forced labour groups formed by the latter indictee.

Serbian war criminal Mitar Rasevic, who,according to the indictment,was guard commander in the Foca concentration camp, and Serbian war criminal Savo Todovic, its deputy commander, are charged with having participated in the maltreatment of Bosnian civilians and in the establishment of a "forced labour system".

"Savo Todovic established the working groups. Every time the guards would bring lists of people who would perform forced labour, people would say that he was the one who had made those lists," protected witness told the court.

The witness said that members of the genocidal Serbian paramilitary unit "White Eagles" arrested him and took him to the Foca concentration camp on April 27, 1992. The genocidal Serbian paramilitary group "White Eagles" was led by Serbian war criminal Radomir Kovac,which participated in military operations conducted by the Serbian aggressor during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced Serbian war criminal Radomir Kovac to 20 years of imprisonment for crimes against humanity committed in Foca.

"They said I was supposed to give a statement and that I would come back afterwards. I stayed there for almost a year and a half," witness said.

He told the court that Serbian war criminal Savo Todovic "was in charge of everything", although Serbian war criminal Milorad Krnojelac was the Foca concentration camp commander.

The ICTY convicted Serbian war criminal Radomir Krnojelac and sentenced him to 15 years of imprisonment for crimes committed in the Foca concentration camp.

"Todovic was there all the time and he was in charge of everything," explained the witness, who left the Foca facility in July 1993.

Second protected witness recalled how the detainees were categorised in forced labour groups.

This witness stated that on three occasions during his stay in the Foca concentration camp ­ from April 18, 1992 to October 5, 1994 Serbian war criminal Savo Todovic punished him on three occasions by detaining him in an isolated cell.

The witness said he was a member of a work group established by Serbian war criminal savo Todovic, and that he had to perform forced labour even during his isolation.

"To us Savo was the chief. He was even more powerful than Krnojelac. He was the one who decided what we would do," the witness said.

The witness explained that the Foca concentration camp was managed by Serbian war criminals Vojo Maksimovic, Velibor Ostojic and Petko Cancar. He stated that they were the ones who decided who would be beaten up or murdered.'

The next hearing is due on October 23 when court experts Hamza Zujo and Nijaz Smajic will be examined.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 18,2007) - Representatives from all Police Trade Unions in Bosna gathered at the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia (EUPM) Headquarters to discuss the draft of their future Framework/Collective Agreement to harmonise the police employment system in Bosnia.

The meeting gathered the Working Group tasked with drafting the Framework Collective Agreement and the Coordinating Body. It was chaired by Simonetta Silvestri, Head of EUPM’s Police Reform Unit.

The draft was welcomed by all participants and the Working Group was commended for their valiant efforts.

It was agreed that any amendments proposed should be submitted in writing to the EUPM by 29 October so that they can be discussed by the Coordinating Body on 5 November 2007.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 18,2007) - Norway took a massive step towards Euro 2008 with a 2-0 win over Bosnia, who may feel that they deserved something more from a close-fought game.

Norway climbed up to second in Euro 2008 qualifying Group C following a battling win over Bosnia on yesterday.

Erik Hagen and Bjorn Helge Riise scored in either half for the visitors to secure their sixth win in qualifying and move them two points clear of third-placed Turkey.

With a place in the finals well within their sights, the Scandinavians made a dream start in Sarajevo with a goal after just five minutes.

A free-kick from John Arne Riise found an unmarked Hagen in the area, and the big defender headed home from 12 yards.

The hosts could have been back on level terms three minutes later when Zvjezdan Misimovic won a free-kick, but the midfielder curled his 20-yard shot just over the crossbar.

A slippery surface was making things difficult at the Olympic Stadium Asim Ferhatovic Hase in Sarajevo, but Dragan Blatnjak gave Norway a scare in the 23rd minute with a shot from distance which flew narrowly past the left post.

And the visitors had a half-chance of their own soon after with Thorstein Helstad working his way into space before Bosnia's defence managed to clear the danger.

Yet Norway were starting to find gaps in their opponents' back-line and Morten Gamst Pedersen whipped in a cross which just missed the onrushing Helstad, while John Arne Riise also drove a 25-yard strike over the crossbar shortly before the interval.

The hosts were more adventurous after the restart and Misimovic tried his luck from 22 yards with a shot that was blocked by the Norwegian defence.

Samir Merzic kept up the pressure with an 18-yard drive which was cleared by Martin Andresen, while Hagen was the next player to save Norway when he booted away Edin Dzeko's effort.

Bosnia had dominated the second half but were hit hard in the 74th minute when Norway scored their second against the run of play.

Gamst Pedersen supplied the perfect cross for Bjorn Helge Riise, who kept his head to plant the ball beyond Bosnian goalkeeper Adnan Guso.

Bosnia tried to salvage something in the dying stages but Sejad Salihovic and Dzeko both screwed shots wide.

Thus the Scandinavians leapfrog Turkey by two points. The two hopefuls clash in Oslo next month in what could be a winner-takes-all scenario.

Bosnia, meanwhile, are well out of it after another brave, but insufficient performance.


Guso, Berberovic, Merzic, Bajic, Krunic,Blatnjak (Ibisevic 46), Muslimovic (Dzeko 46), Misimovic,Maletic (Muharemovic 78), Nadarevic, Salihovic.

Subs Not Used:
Tripic, Radeljic, Vladavic, Smajic.
Booked: Salihovic, Misimovic, Dzeko.

Opdal, Storbaek, Hangeland, Hagen, John Arne Riise,Bjorn Helge Riise (Bjorkoy 90), Andresen,Grindheim (Rushfeldt 58), Solli, Helstad (Braaten 76), Pedersen.

Subs Not Used: Myhre, Riseth, Kippe, Moen.
Booked: Hagen, Rushfeldt.
Goals: Hagen 5, Bjorn Helge Riise 74.

Ref: Stephane Lannoy (France).