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(E) Owen praised Milosevic in The Hague
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  11/30/2003 | History | Unrated
(E) Owen praised Milosevic in The Hague

 

Owen praised Milosevic

for avoiding a "bloodbath" ???????????

During the cross-examination Owen praised Milosevic for avoiding a "bloodbath" from happening in the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica in 1993.

"I believe you were very helpful in 1993 when you kept (Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko) Mladic from capturing Srebrenica," Owen said.

Op-ed

What is so painful is that the world just reported this statement, no comments or outrage from intellectuals, politicians, ... anybody significant ..in the world. Premier and the president of our country should be calling press conferences the minute this news came out. No, this is not just a legal matter. This is a public opinion matter. This is our stolen history matter, these are our sons and daughters that were brutally killed by the Milosevic-Owen alliance. Owen is a present member of the House of the Lords. And no comments from England? Are these statements discussed on a diplomatic level? I bet the Queen wouldn't be too happy to hear this publicly.

Nenad Bach

p.s. Almost four weeks passed since this statement came out.

Milosevic was ready to cut a deal to end Balkans wars in 1993: ex-EU envoy
Tue Nov 4,12:32 PM ET


THE HAGUE (AFP) - Former Balkans peace broker David Owen told the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic that the former Yugoslav president was ready to cut a deal to halt the wars in Croatia and Bosnia in 1993 -- two years before the conflict ended.


Under cross-examination by Milosevic himself, Owen said the Serb strongman had given up on the idea of carving up a "Greater Serbia" encompassing parts of Bosnia and Croatia in 1993 when he signed a peace plan that he co-authored.

But he added Milosevic did not actively promote a peace deal.

"I believe you wanted peace from April 1993 onwards," said Owen, adding: "I wish you had made your verbal support for peace into military and economic pressures which could have brought about peace earlier."

The so-called Vance-Owen plan signed on April 23, 1993 was the first proposed settlement that ruled out linking the Bosnian Serb entity in Bosnia with Serbia. The plan failed because the Bosnian Serb leadership voted against it.

Owen, a former British foreign minister, was the European Unions peace envoy to the former Yugoslavia during the wars from 1992 to 1995.

During the cross-examination Owen praised Milosevic for avoiding a "bloodbath" from happening in the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica in 1993.

"I believe you were very helpful in 1993 when you kept (Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko) Mladic from capturing Srebrenica," Owen said.

The EU envoy said an attack of the densely populated enclave and ensuing street combat would have resulted in "carnage".


When Mladic finally did capture the then UN-protected safe area of Srebrenica two years later his troops slaughtered over 7,000 Muslims. The 1995 Srebrenica massacre is an important part of the genocide charge Milosevic faces over the bloody war in Bosnia.


The prosecution argues that the former president had the power to stop the carnage or punish those responsible namely Mladic and Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic. The fact that he did neither is a key element in the genocide indictment.


Milosevic has been on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia here since February last year. He faces more than 60 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the 1990s wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo that tore apart the Balkans. For the war in Bosnia that left over 200,000 dead he faces a separate genocide charge.


Prosecutors argue that Milosevic condoned the atrocities committed by rebel Serbs under his control as part of his plan to create a "Greater Serbia" carved out of parts of Bosnia and Croatia.

During the trial Milosevic has tried to cast himself as a peacemaker.

"Without Serbia there would not have been any Dayton accord" Milosevic boasted, referring to the peace agreement signed in December 1995 that ended the war in Bosnia and Croatia.

"I think that is undoubtedly true," Owen replied.

The testimony of the top British diplomat is a boost for Milosevic's claim that he was striving for peace, but cannot be called an outright victory for him.

Owen's view that the former president could have stopped the war but was unwilling to do so supports the prosecution's assertions that Milosevic controlled the Bosnian and Croatian Serbs.

The prosecution has until the end of this year to wrap up its case against Milosevic. After a three-month break to prepare his defence, the former president, who is defending himself in court, will present his case.

The trial is expected to last until at least 2005.

Source:http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20031104/wl_afp/warcrimes_yugo_milosevic_031104173233           
 

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