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Center for Balkan Development
TEL : 978-461-0909
FAX: 978-461-2552
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Action Alert
October 16, 2000

Contact Members of Congress to maintain outer wall of sanctions on Serbia until cooperation with War Crimes Tribunal


As the world is rushing to reward the people of Serbia for their overthrow of Milosevic, the European Community and the United States are quickly relinguishing any levers of power to persuade the new Kostunica government to deliver Milosevic to The Hague to stand trial for genocide.

While Friends of Bosnia supports lifting of humanitarian and trade sanctions such as the oil embargo, it is important that the "out wall" of sanctions--Serbia's membership in the United Nations and international institutions such as the OSCE, the World Bank, and the IMF--be maintained until full compliance with Dayton which includes turning over indicted war criminals--including Milosevic--to The Hague.

Although justice in itself is important, it also serves the interest of peace and stability throughout the region. The chief victims of Milosevic's wars, the Bosnians and Kosovars, will be outraged if the international community gave Milosevic defacto amnesty, and may threaten to withhold cooperation with international bodies in the Balkans. This is most threatening in Kosovo, where the Albanians are already extremely suspicious of the west's love fest with Kostunica--an avowed Serbian nationalist who was photographed in 1998 in Kosovo brandishing an automatic weapon. The current situation in Kosovo is extremely unstable, and while the Kosovars remain indifferent to power changes in Belgrade, they will not remain indifferent to the west absolving Milosevic from his crimes, especially as Kosovo continues to struggle day to day with lack of adequate resources to recover from ten years of Milosevic-directed apartheid rule.

Lastly, but no less significant, the ICTY has been struggling since its inception to gain the recognition and support it deserves from the international community that created it--as the first war crimes tribunal since Nuremberg. A defacto pardon of the most senior war criminal in the Balkans, Slobodan Milosevic, will demoralize the judges and prosecutors, and send a message to the world that realpolitics is more important than real justice.


Contact your members of Congress by this Wednesday (they recess on Friday) and let them know you support maintaining the outer wall of sanctions on Serbia until full cooperation with Dayton, including cooperation with The Hague and turning over Milosevic for trial. All members of Congress can be found at: