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Justice in the Balkans: Too Little, Too Late?

Posted March 24th, 2016 at 4:03 pm (UTC-4)
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Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, infamously known as “the butcher of the Balkans,” was served up justice Thursday at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. He will serve 40 years in prison for his crimes, most notoriously for overseeing the 1995 execution of an estimated 8,000 Muslim men in Srebrenica, a Bosnian enclave that, at the time, was being “protected” by Dutch peacekeepers.About a month later came the brutal bombing of civilians shopping at a market in Sarajevo— an atrocity that brought the severity of the Balkan wars into clear focus and jump-started a harder line with its perpetrators. More than 20 years after the fact, Karadzic has been held accountable. But like the trials for the Nazis, the genocidaires of Rwanda, Liberia’s war president Charles Taylor and Cambodia’s killing machine known as the Khmer Rouge, this moment took a long to happen. A very long time. Does it make up for the pain? Does it heal the traumas, the losses, the daily lives that have been forever shattered? Grief is such a personal experience that it is nearly impossible to know. What history tells us is that justice does come, evil acts are acknowledged—even if at a hopelessly slow pace and, oft times, in the most shallow way.

The Shame of Srebrenica

Posted July 10th, 2015 at 11:13 am (UTC-4)
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Like the failure to act in order to prevent the Rwandan genocide the year before in 1994, Srebrenica was a stain on America’s power and reputation … But it galvanized the United States to intervene in Bosnia, launching airstrikes and negotiations that led to the 1995 Dayton Accords.