Milosevic: When the accomplices hold their peace

by Richardos Someritis

(“To Vima”, July 1, 2001)

This time it was the Serbs themselves who revealed the awful details and the horrific evidence was broadcast on Serbian state-run television. It had not been entirely unknown, but had not been made official as it has now. What are these details and what is this evidence? Following an order attributed to Milosevic himself, in 1999 the Serbian army used refrigerated articulated lorries to transport hundreds (perhaps even more) of bodies of massacred Kosovars from Kosovo to Serbian territory so that they could never be found. The Serbian authorities discovered many mass graves […].

It is clear that showing these events on Serbian television greatly influenced the government’s decision concerning his extradition, acting as counter-balance to the exacting American pressure. Effective, but clumsy. Just right for Mr Bush!

But can this decision, which, as was only to be expected, has incited reactions in Serbia from the former dictator’s supporters and from some nationalists who acted in good faith, be called satisfactory? Yes and no. “Yes”, because the imminent trial of those responsible for the greatest tragedy Europe has seen since 1945 will lay the foundations of a system of international justice which would, of course, be meaningless if it did not involve the big Western and non-Western powers. And “No”, because the Serbian people must move towards a process of self-purification and collective self-criticism after the misguided nationalism which caused the conflicts, and is still causing trouble in FYROM. This will probably be more difficult by going through The Hague in the face of accusations that foreign Western powers imposed their will on a small nation. But who could have faith now in trials held in Belgrade where the “Milosevicites” continue to rule the roost even in the highest courts?

A golden mean should be sought then, so that the Serbs, the majority of whom share responsibility with Milosevic, can be included in The Hague proceedings, as well as all those others involved, primarily the Croats. Whatever happens, the coming trials should be televised “live” all over Yugoslavia. And apparently all over Greece too. It would do us good.


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