October 9, 2000
more information, contact Glenn Ruga: 978-461-0909
of Bosnia Applauds Ouster of Milosevic and Possibility for Peace
Throughout the Balkans
on International Community to Link Lifting Sanctions with Serbian
Cooperation with War Crimes Tribunal
thirteen years of rule by a man who has created four wars in the
Balkans, is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands
of civilians and the exile of millions--Friends of Bosnia is cautiously
optimistic for the future of Serbia and the Balkans after the transfer
of power from Yugoslav President and dictator Slobodan Milosevic
to the democratically-elected Vojislav Kostunica.
Friends of Bosnia applauds the transfer of power in Belgrade, it
calls on the international community to withhold full lifting of
sanctions and integration into international institutions until
Serbia fully cooperates with the International Criminal Tribunal
for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) -- including turning over Milosevic
and all indicted war criminals to the Hague.
order for the Serbian people to fully embrace democracy and enter
the arena of civilized nations, those personally responsible for
war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, must stand trial
in The Hague--openly and publicly. Milosevic and his army chief
of staff Nebojsa Pavkovic have been indicted by the ICTY. Radovan
Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, Bosnian Serb nationalists and chief architects
of the genocide in Bosnia, including the massacre at Srebrenica,
still remain at-large for crimes committed in Bosnia between 1992-1995--as
do dozens of other Serbian war criminals.
of Bosnia also calls on the international community to withhold
from Serbia full integration into international institutions--such
as the United Nations and the World Bank--until the new Kostunica
government releases Kosovar political prisoners still in Serbia--including
the celebrated pediatrician and human rights activist, Flora Brovina.
world is exhilarated by the events over the past week in Serbia
as the people expressed their democratic power by ousting Milosevic,"
said Glenn Ruga, FOB Director. "This was the will of people who
deeply want to change the dark course of history that Milosevic
has led them down and enter the realm of civilized and developed
the celebrations are over, the hard work will begin. The feelings
of the victims on all sides are still raw. Hundreds of thousands
of refugees and displaced persons are still scattered throughout
the Balkans. The economies of all the countries of the former Yugoslavia--with
the exception of Slovenia--are dysfunctional at best. Now that Milosevic
is no longer in power, Friends of Bosnia is optimistic that the
opportunity fully exists for real peace in the Balkans. We hope
the process can begin immediately.
of Bosnia is one of the oldest grassroots organizations in the US
working exclusively to increase awareness about the Balkans and
supporting efforts for a long-term and just peace. Beginning in
February 1993ten months after the outbreak of war in BosniaFriends
of Bosnia started a campaign to educate the American public about
the genocide being committed against the people of Bosnia. By organizing
educational exhibits, a website, speaker series, conferences, rallies
and humanitarian aid drives, Friends of Bosnia continues to be at
the forefront of the national effort to bring informed awareness
to the issues generated by the wars in the Balkans.