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Vocapedia > Politics > World > United Nations    U.N.

 

 

 

Erik Söderberg

 

I Love the U.N., but It Is Failing

By ANTHONY BANBURY        NYT        MARCH 18, 2016

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/opinion/sunday/i-love-the-un-but-it-is-failing.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Nations        U.N. / UN

http://www.un.org/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/unitednations

 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/10/24/
559546982/u-n-rights-chief-myanmars-treatment-of-rohingya-includes-almost-isis-type-crimes

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/10/
opinion/sunday/the-race-to-run-the-united-nations.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/
opinion/sunday/i-love-the-un-but-it-is-failing.html

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/10/un-
failing-league-of-nations-isis-boko-haram

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/17/
opinion/a-tale-of-horror-at-the-united-nations.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/09/world/europe/russia-
vetoes-un-resolution-calling-srebrenica-massacre-crime-of-genocide.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/bosnia/11729436/
Srebrenica-20-years-on-What-have-been-the-successes-and-failures-
of-UN-peacekeeping-missions.html - 8:00PM BST 28 Sep 2015

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/07/
what-has-the-un-achieved-united-nations

www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/07/
bosnia-srebenica-united-nations-peacekeeping/398078/

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/09/
sunday-review/12SREBRENICA.html?_r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/25/
opinion/unshackle-the-united-nations.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/01/world/middleeast/
tensions-escalate-between-israel-and-united-nations-in-gaza-strip.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/world/europe/
court-finds-netherlands-responsible-for-srebrenica-deaths.html

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/29/
magazine/srebrenica-life-in-the-valley-of-death.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/07/world/middleeast/
number-of-syrian-refugees-hits-1-million-un-says.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/world/middleeast/
syria-homs-death-toll-said-to-rise.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/us/
George-Sherry-Voice-at-United-Nations-Dies-at-87.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/21/
us-palestinians-israel-un-qa-idUSTRE78J6PR20110921

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/world/middleeast/
us-scrambling-to-avert-palestinian-vote-at-un.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/18/
us-libya-idUSTRE7270JP20110318

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/19/
us-palestinians-israel-idUSN1813183320110219

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4757120
Updated July 16, 2005 8:33 AM ET    Published July 16, 200512:00 AM ET

 

http://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/29/world/srebrenica-
a-un-safe-haven-that-soon-was-not.html

http://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/29/world/massacre-in-bosnia-srebrenica-
the-days-of-slaughter.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/04/26/world/un-visitors-say-srebrenica-
is-an-open-jail.html

 

 

 

 

A world of problems: the United Nations at 70        2015

http://www.theguardian.com/world/series/
united-nations-70-years

 

 

 

 

A History of the United Nations in Pictures        USA        2014

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2014/09/21/
upshot/23up-un.html

 

 

 

 

 at the United Nations / at the U.N.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/
opinion/president-obama-at-the-united-nations.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK7JEYqIfw4

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/
opinion/palestinians-at-the-united-nations-again.html

 

 

 

 

U.N. leader

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/26/world/
un-leader-opens-general-assembly-on-somber-note.html

 

 

 

 

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/10/24/
559546982/u-n-rights-chief-myanmars-treatment-of-rohingya-includes-almost-isis-type-crimes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Nations General Assembly

http://www.npr.org/2017/09/19/
551229652/trump-addresses-u-n-general-assembly-for-the-first-time

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/
us/politics/obama-iran-syria.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/24/
opinion/24thu1.html

 

 

 

 

an address to the U.N. General Assembly        USA

http://www.npr.org/2017/09/19/
551229652/trump-addresses-u-n-general-assembly-for-the-first-time

 

 

 

 

at the United Nations General Assembly        USA

http://www.npr.org/2017/09/19/
551229652/trump-addresses-u-n-general-assembly-for-the-first-time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Permanent Representative

of the United States to the United Nations        USA

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-12-04-
bolton_x.htm

 

 

 

 

UN ambassador        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/08/
russia-threatens-veto-on-un-vote-calling-srebrenica-a-of-genocide

 

 

 

 

UN peacekeepers        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/04/
how-britain-and-us-abandoned-srebrenica-massacre-1995

 

 

 

 

UN safe haven / area

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4757120
Updated July 16, 2005 8:33 AM ET    Published July 16, 200512:00 AM ET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Bell

The Guardian        24 September 2003
http://www.guardian.co.uk/cartoons/stevebell/0,7371,1048680,00.html

 

L: UN secretary general Kofi Annan ( 1997-2007).

R: George W. Bush as King Kong.

43rd president of the United States > George W. Bush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Nations Security Council

http://www.nytimes.com/topic/organization/security-council

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/24/
588516461/400-000-people-live-in-hell-on-earth-bombing-of-damascus-suburbs-kills-hundreds

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/25/
573355400/latest-u-n-sanctions-are-an-act-of-war-north-korea-says

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/18/
571653304/u-s-vetoes-u-n-security-council-resolution-voiding-trumps-jerusalem-move

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/06/
541871435/u-n-approves-new-north-korea-sanctions-over-missile-tests

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/31/
507700109/u-n-security-council-supports-russia-turkey-peace-efforts-in-syria

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/23/
506747052/security-council-condemns-israeli-settlements-as-u-s-abstains-from-vote

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/23/
506740713/arms-embargo-on-south-sudan-fails-u-n-vote

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/31/world/middleeast/
resolution-for-palestinian-state-fails-in-security-council.html

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/18/us-libya-
idUSTRE7270JP20110318

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/27/us-libya-un-
idUSTRE71P26Z20110227

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/19/
opinion/19sat1.html

 

 

 

 

approve a resolution calling for N

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/24/
588516461/400-000-people-live-in-hell-on-earth-bombing-of-damascus-suburbs-kills-hundreds

 

 

 

 

United Nations Security Council > resolution > sanctions

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/25/
573355400/latest-u-n-sanctions-are-an-act-of-war-north-korea-says

 

 

 

 

nonmember observer state of the United Nations        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/30/world/middleeast/
Palestinian-Authority-United-Nations-Israel.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Nations war crimes tribunal

in The Hague, The Netherlands        USA
 

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

http://www.icty.org/

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/
opinion/accountability-at-last-for-bosnias-agony.html

http://www.theguardian.com/law/video/2016/mar/24/
sarajevo-residents-respond-to-karadzic-sentence-video

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/03/24/
471762393/two-decades-after-the-war-a-genocide-conviction-for-radovan-karadzic

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/
24/471713454/former-bosnian-serb-leader-radovan-karadzic-
guilty-of-crimes-against-humanity

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/world/europe/
war-crimes-yugoslavia-serbia-slobodan-milosevic-hague.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/world/europe/
22serb.html

http://www.npr.org/2008/07/22/
92775717/timeline-the-political-life-of-radovan-karadzic

 

 

 

 

U.N. judges

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/24/
471713454/former-bosnian-serb-leader-radovan-karadzic-
guilty-of-crimes-against-humanity

 

 

 

 

 (be) guilty of genocide,

war crimes and crimes against humanity

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/24/
471713454/former-bosnian-serb-leader-radovan-karadzic-
guilty-of-crimes-against-humanity

 

 

 

 

UN tribunal indictment against Karadzic and Mladic        1995

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/21/
warcrimes.internationalcrime1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.N.'s Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria

http://www.npr.org/2017/08/07/
542034643/-i-give-up-frustrated-war-crimes-expert-resigns-from-u-n-syria-inquiry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

draft UN resolution

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/19/
us-palestinians-israel-idUSN1813183320110219 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/aug/06/
syria.usa

 

 

 

 

draft UN resolution        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/
aug/06/syria.usa

 

 

 

 

resolution

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/23/
506740713/arms-embargo-on-south-sudan-fails-u-n-vote

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/23/
506747052/security-council-condemns-israeli-settlements-as-u-s-abstains-from-vote

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/31/world/middleeast/
resolution-for-palestinian-state-fails-in-security-council.html

 

 

 

 

United Nations General Assembly        Resolution 181        November 29, 1947

 

The United Nations General Assembly decided in 1947

on the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states,

with Jerusalem to be an internationalised city.

 

Jewish representatives in Palestine

accepted the plan tactically

because it implied international recognition

for their aims.

 

Some Jewish leaders,

such as David Ben Gurion,

the first Israeli prime minister,

opposed the plan

because their ambition was a Jewish state

on the entire territory of Mandate Palestine.

 

The Palestinians and Arabs

felt that it was a deep injustice

to ignore the rights of the majority

of the population of Palestine.

 

The Arab League and Palestinian institutions

rejected the partition plan,

and formed volunteer armies that infiltrated

into Palestine beginning in December of 1947.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/
in_depth/middle_east/israel_and_the_palestinians/key_documents/1681322.stm

 

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/middle_east/
israel_and_the_palestinians/key_documents/1681322.stm

 

 

 

 

pass a resolution endorsing...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/18/
us-libya-idUSTRE7270JP20110318

 

 

 

 

adopt a resolution

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/31/
507700109/u-n-security-council-supports-russia-turkey-peace-efforts-in-syria

 

 

 

 

endorse

 

 

 

 

veto

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/18/
571653304/u-s-vetoes-u-n-security-council-resolution-voiding-trumps-jerusalem-move

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/09/
world/europe/russia-vetoes-un-resolution-calling-srebrenica-massacre-crime-of-genocide.html

 

 

 

 

UN resolution

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/05/world/middleeast/
russia-and-china-block-united-nations-resolution-on-syria.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/18/us-libya-
idUSTRE7270JP20110318

 

 

 

 

approve a resolution condemning...

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/23/
506747052/security-council-condemns-israeli-settlements-as-u-s-abstains-from-vote

 

 

 

 

blocked by N        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/05/world/middleeast/
russia-and-china-block-united-nations-resolution-on-syria.html

 

 

 

 

lay out

very clear conditions that must be met

 

 

 

 

Full text: UN security council resolution 1441 on Iraq        2002

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/dec/20/
iraq.foreignpolicy2

 

 

 

 

comply with a new U.N. Security Council resolution

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/18/
us-libya-usa-obama-idUSTRE72H0IW20110318

 

 

 

 

defiance of UN resolutions

 

 

 

 

UN inspector

 

 

 

 

material breach

 

 

 

 

lay out a plan

for a permanent cease-fire and political settlement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Society of Nations

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?
res=9505E3D8113AE433A25751C2A9679D946696D6CF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unshackle the United Nations

 

FEB. 24, 2015

The New York Times

The Opinion Pages

Op-Ed Contributor

By SALIL SHETTY

 

LONDON — Glance at any newsstand or catch any rolling news channel, and you will be confronted by a seemingly unrelenting tide of horror. Limp bodies pulled from rubble, shells and barrel bombs pounding once leafy neighborhoods. Refugees huddled for warmth or risking life and limb for survival. Mass abductions and beheadings.

From Ukraine to Nigeria, from Libya to Syria, the last 12 months have been a year of harrowing bloodshed. Millions of civilians have been caught up in conflict, with violence by states and armed groups inflicting untold death, injury and suffering. For the first time, Amnesty International has tallied the number of countries where war crimes have been committed: a shocking 18 in 2014. Among the worst were Syria, the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, Nigeria and Israel and the Palestinian territories.

As a result of the growth of groups like the Islamic State and Boko Haram, abuses by armed groups spilled over national borders, reaching at least 35 countries.

Faced with the enormity and the relentlessness of this horror it is easy to feel hopeless. But we are not powerless. Our governments and institutions may lack the will but they have the capacity, both individually and collectively, to help protect civilians in danger. It is a duty that they are abjectly failing to fulfill.

In our annual report being released Wednesday, we examine the human rights situation in 160 countries. We find that the global response to conflict and abuses has been shameful and ineffective.

Weapons have been allowed to flood into countries where they are used for grave abuses by states and armed groups with huge arms shipments delivered to Iraq, Israel, Russia, South Sudan and Syria last year alone. As the Islamic State took control of large parts of Iraq, it found large arsenals, ripe for the picking.

An historic Arms Trade Treaty came into force last year, providing a legal framework for limiting the international transfer of weapons and ammunition. But many nations have yet to ratify the treaty. There is also an urgent need for restrictions to tackle the use of explosive weapons — including aircraft bombs, mortars, artillery, rockets and ballistic missiles — that have devastated populated areas.

The United Nations, established 70 years ago to ensure that we would never again see the horrors witnessed in the Second World War, has repeatedly failed to act, even where it could prevent terrible crimes from being committed against civilians. The use of veto powers has enabled the narrow vested interests of the Security Council’s five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — to take precedence over the needs of victims of serious human rights violations and abuses. This has left the United Nations hamstrung and increasingly discredited at this critical time.

Last week, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wrote to the Security Council, calling for an end to the “business-as-usual” approach to Syria and urgent action to lift sieges on civilians and to end barrel bomb attacks. This appeal followed four vetoes by Russia and China that blocked Security Council action on Syria that could have helped save civilian lives. Likewise, the United Nations’ failure to pass a single resolution during the 50-day conflict in Gaza last year was largely due to the threat of a veto by the United States. Each such failure diminishes what little trust is left in the Security Council to take decisive action to protect civilians.

The failures of our governments and institutions are dismaying, but they should spur us to action. We call on our governments to take some fundamental steps.

In situations where mass atrocities are being committed — or about to be committed — the five veto-wielding states should commit to not use their veto. In doing so, they will unshackle the Security Council, enabling it to protect the lives of civilians in advance, during or in the wake of grave crimes. Such a commitment would also send a clear signal to perpetrators of abuse that the world will not sit idly by while mass atrocities — war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide — take place.

Some may argue that it is wildly unrealistic to expect the five permanent members to place the suffering of civilians in distant lands above their geopolitical interests. But this thinking is both morally and logically flawed. The nature of global conflict is changing. The definition of any country’s national interest should no longer be viewed through a blinkered nationalistic lens.

Conflicts no longer respect national borders. Armed groups and their ideologies do not confine themselves to their country of origin. Impunity emboldens human rights abusers and weapons empower them. Meanwhile the human tide of refugees creeps ever higher. In 2014, more than 3,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe from Africa and the Middle East.

The myopic response of our leaders has been not only ineffective but counterproductive. Governments around the world have resorted to knee-jerk, draconian “anti-terror” tactics that have only served to undermine our fundamental human rights and helped to create conditions of repression in which extremism thrive. Last year, 131 countries tortured or otherwise ill-treated people, and prisoners of conscience were jailed in 62 countries. Three quarters of governments investigated by Amnesty International had arbitrarily restricted freedom of expression, cracking down on press freedom, arresting journalists or shutting down newspapers. These figures are a disturbing increase from previous years.

Government leaders have attempted to justify human rights violations by talking of the need to keep the world “safe.” But the truth is, there can be no genuine security without human rights.

The challenges facing us are substantial and tackling them will not be easy. Abuses by states are difficult to confront and the ruthlessness of armed groups like the Islamic State and the threat they pose cannot be underestimated.

It will take commitment, vision and global cooperation. People of conscience must recognize that we are not powerless, and our governments must stop pretending that the protection of civilians is beyond their power.
 


Salil Shetty is the secretary general of Amnesty International.

A version of this op-ed appears in print on February 25, 2015, in The International New York Times.

Unshackle the United Nations, NYT,
FEB. 24, 2015,
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/25/
opinion/unshackle-the-united-nations.html

 

 

 

 

 

Resolution for Palestinian State

Fails in United Nations Security Council

 

DEC. 30, 2014

The New York Times

By MICHAEL R. GORDON

and SOMINI SENGUPTA

 

A United Nations Security Council draft resolution that set a deadline to establish a sovereign Palestinian state was defeated Tuesday night after it failed to receive the nine votes that are needed for adoption in the 15-member body.

The United States and Australia voted against the measure. France, China and Russia were among the eight countries that voted for it. Britain and four other nations abstained.

The draft resolution, which was introduced by Jordan on behalf of the Palestinians, set a one-year deadline for negotiations with Israel; established targets for Palestinian sovereignty, including a capital in East Jerusalem; and called for the “full and phased withdrawal of Israeli forces” from the West Bank by the end of 2017.

The defeat could potentially lead Palestinian officials to seek recognition in other ways — including by joining the International Criminal Court.

Samantha Power, the American ambassador to the United Nations, said that the resolution was “deeply imbalanced,” setting deadlines that did not adequately take account of Israel’s security needs. “Today’s staged confrontation in the U.N. Security Council will not bring the parties closer to achieving a two-state solution,” she said. “This resolution sets the stage for more division, not for compromise.”

Yet Ms. Power also cautioned Israel against interpreting the vote as “a victory for an unsustainable status quo” and said continued “settlement activity” would also undermine the chances for peace.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said in a statement on Tuesday night, “We presented a resolution that is fully in line with international law, and which recalls several previously approved resolutions by the United Nations.”

“Although the majority of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution,” he said, “once again, certain countries continue to ensure impunity to the Israeli occupation and its severe international law violations by not voting in favor of the resolution.”

At first, Secretary of State John Kerry sought to defer a vote on the resolution, which the United States and some of its European allies feared would inflame tensions before the Israeli elections that are scheduled for March and strengthen the position of Israeli hard-liners.

But American officials said it has been clear since Mr. Kerry’s mid-December trip to Europe that the Palestinians would insist on a vote. During that visit, Mr. Kerry met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Mr. Erekat and ranking European and Russian diplomats.

So Mr. Kerry worked to line up enough abstentions from American allies like South Korea and Rwanda so that the United States would not have to wield its veto. Jeff Rathke, a State Department spokesman, said Tuesday that Mr. Kerry had called more than a dozen senior foreign officials over the previous few days, including a call Tuesday afternoon to Goodluck Jonathan, the president of Nigeria, which abstained.

Calculating that they were making headway, American officials were eager for the vote to occur this month instead of being deferred until January when the composition of the Security Council will change.

By avoiding a veto, the United States also avoided a fresh irritant in its relations with Arab nations, some of which have joined the United States in the campaign in Iraq and Syria against militants from the Islamic State.

European nations, which have been generally sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, were split. Britain and Lithuania abstained, but France and Luxembourg voted in favor of the measure.

François Delattre, France’s ambassador to the United Nations, acknowledged that his government had reservations about some elements of the resolution but said France decided to support it because of “an urgent need to act.”

Jordan, which represents Arab countries on the Council, had earlier pushed for compromise language that could win full support, but Arab diplomats ultimately backed the Palestinian bid to put it for a vote by the end of the year.

“The fact that this draft resolution was not adopted will not at all prevent us from proceeding to push the international community, specifically the United Nations, toward an effective involvement to achieving a resolution to this conflict,” Dina Kawar, Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations, said after the vote.

The decision by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, to press for a vote also reflects intense domestic political pressure on him to regain credibility among an increasingly critical public.

In a December poll, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that four out of five Palestinians supported joining more international organizations, while three-fourths of them backed joining the International Criminal Court.

American diplomats have repeatedly warned the Palestinians that joining the International Criminal Court would lead to congressional sanctions.

Nonetheless, the Palestinian leadership has threatened for months to ratify the treaty that created the International Criminal Court, which would make Israel vulnerable to prosecution for crimes against humanity, particularly for its settlement activity.

The Palestinian leadership is to meet Wednesday in Ramallah and announce the next steps.
 


Jodi Rudoren contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

A version of this article appears in print on December 31, 2014, on page A10 of the New York edition with the headline: Draft Resolution Setting Deadline for Palestinian State Fails in Security Council.

    Resolution for Palestinian State Fails in United Nations Security Council,
    NYT, 30.12.2014,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/31/world/middleeast/
    resolution-for-palestinian-state-fails-in-security-council.html

 

 

 

 

Bosnian Serb Under Arrest

in War Crimes

 

July 22, 2008

The New York Times

By DAN BILEFSKY

and MARLISE SIMONS

 

PARIS — Radovan Karadzic, one of the world’s most wanted war criminals for his part in the massacre of nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995, was arrested Monday in a raid in Serbia that ended a 13-year hunt.

Serge Brammertz, the prosecutor of the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague, hailed the arrest as an important step in bringing to justice one of the architects of Europe’s worst massacre since World War II. He said Mr. Karadzic, 63, the Bosnian Serb president during the war there between 1992 and 1995, would be transferred to The Hague in “due course.”

“This is a very important day for the victims who have waited for this arrest for over a decade,” Mr. Brammertz said. “It is also an important day for international justice because it clearly demonstrates that nobody is beyond the reach of the law and that sooner or later all fugitives will be brought to justice.”

Mr. Karadzic’s exact place of arrest was not announced, but Serbian government officials said he was arrested by the Serbian secret police not far from Belgrade, the capital. Officials from President Boris Tadic’s office said Mr. Karadzic had appeared before an investigative judge at Serbia’s war crimes court, a prerequisite for his extradition to The Hague.

Mr. Karadzic, a nationalist hero among Serbian radicals and one of the tribunal’s most wanted criminals for more than a decade, is said to have eluded arrest so long by shaving his swoopy gray hair and disguising himself as a Serbian Orthodox priest.

He reportedly hid out in caves in the mountains of eastern Bosnia and in monasteries. Before his political career, he was a medical doctor who worked as a psychiatrist in Sarajevo, Bosnia’s capital.

Prosecutors in The Hague and officials of the European Union have long suspected that he was, in fact, hiding in Serbia, and in recent years have pressed officials in Belgrade to hand him over. The failure to arrest Mr. Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the still fugitive Bosnian Serb general also indicted on war crimes, has stood as a block to greater Serbian ties to the European Union after the wars in Bosnia and later Kosovo.

“This is a historic event,” said Richard Holbrooke, who brokered the agreements in Dayton, Ohio, to end the war in Bosnia in 1995. “Of the three most evil men of the Balkans, Milosevic, Karadzic and Mladic, I thought Karadzic was the worst. The reason was that Karadzic was a real racist believer. Karadzic really enjoyed ordering the killing of Muslims, whereas Milosevic was an opportunist.”

Slobodan Milosevic, the former president of Serbia allied with Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Mladic, was arrested in 2001 and put on trial for war crimes in 2002. He died there in 2006 before a verdict was reached.

Mr. Holbrooke said that despite Mr. Karadzic’s arrest, Serbia’s responsibility was not over. “They have to capture Mladic,” he said.

On Monday night after the arrest, armed police officers were deployed near the war crimes court in Belgrade, where about 50 nationalist supporters of Mr. Karadzic gathered, waving Serbian flags and chanting, “Save Serbia, and kill yourself Mr. Tadic.” Several protesters were arrested after attacking journalists. Mr. Karadzic’s brother, Luka, was also seen arriving at the courthouse.

Serbian officials said the police were also dispatched to protect the United States Embassy, which was set ablaze in February by a mob protesting Kosovo’s declaration of independence.

The arrest, more than a decade after Mr. Karadzic went into hiding, culminated a long and protracted effort by the West to press Serbia to arrest Mr. Karadzic for the massacres in the southeastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, in the most heinous crime committed during the Balkan wars.

The arrest was just weeks after a new pro-Western coalition government in Serbia was formed whose overriding goal is to bring Serbia into the European Union, the world’s biggest trading bloc. The European Union has made delivering indicted war criminals to The Hague a precondition for Serbia’s membership.

The arrest was hailed by Western diplomats as proof of Serbia’s determination to link its future to the West and put the virulent nationalism of the past behind it. The capture under the stewardship of the new government has particular resonance because the government is made up of an unlikely alliance between the Democrats of Mr. Tadic and the Socialist Party of Mr. Milosevic, which fought a war against the West in the 1990s, but has now vowed to bring Serbia back into the Western fold.

In a sign that the move would accelerate Serbia’s path to the European Union, the bloc’s official in charge of expansion, Olli Rehn, said Monday that Mr. Karadzic’s arrest was a “milestone” that would help clear the way for the poor Balkan nation to join.

“It proves the determination of the new government to achieve full cooperation with the tribunal,” he said. He said he and European Union foreign ministers would meet with Serbia’s foreign minister, Vuk Jeremic, in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss accelerated ties with Serbia.

The White House said the arrest was “an important demonstration of the Serbian government’s determination to honor its commitment to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.” It said, “There is no better tribute to the victims of the war’s atrocities than bringing their perpetrators to justice.”

The United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague indicted the former leader on July 24, 1995, just days after thousands of unarmed Bosnian men were executed in and around Srebrenica, a United Nations-protected enclave that was overrun by the Bosnian Serb military and the police. Their forces were assisted closely by Serbian troops sent by Belgrade.

The prosecution charged him with genocide, persecution, deportation and other crimes committed against non-Serb civilians in Bosnia during the 1992-95 war.

He was indicted together with his chief military commander, Mr. Mladic, who is also believed to be in Serbia.

Natasha Kandic, director of the Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade, a leading human rights advocate, said by telephone from her home moments after hearing the news: “I’m still in shock. This is historic news. Nobody believed anymore this would be possible. I was sure Karadzic was under the protection of the church.”

Ms. Kandic said she had been in touch with friends in Sarajevo, in Bosnia, who were still incredulous after hearing arrest rumors for so many years. “They are saying they cannot and dare not believe it,” she said. “Finally the victims can be satisfied.”

Mr. Karadzic’s wife, Ljiljana, told The Associated Press by phone from her home near Sarajevo that she had been alerted about the arrest by her daughter Sonja, who called her before midnight. “As the phone rang, I knew something was wrong,” she said. “I’m shocked. Confused. At least now, we know he is alive.”

Even though indicted by the United Nations tribunal, he was often seen for at least another year in and around Pale, his stronghold in Bosnia; NATO troops stationed in the area often had the chance to arrest him but claimed that they had no arrest orders, despite the international warrant issued against him.

Later, when NATO began to look for him in earnest, he moved around the mountainous regions of Bosnia and in neighboring Montenegro, where he was born. Although the United States and others offered rewards for information leading to his capture, Mr. Karadzic seemed protected by his status as a Serbian hero.

He is charged with genocide for the murder of close to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995.

The indictment charges that Mr. Karadzic also committed genocide, persecutions and other crimes when forces under his command killed non-Serbs during and after attacks on towns throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, rounded up thousands of non-Serbs and transferred them to camps set up by the Bosnian Serb authorities.

The charges state that forces under Mr. Karadzic’s command killed, tortured, mistreated and sexually assaulted non-Serbs in these camps.

Further, he is charged with responsibility for the shelling and sniping of civilians in Sarajevo, during the 43-month siege of the city, which led to the killing and wounding of thousands, including many women and children.



Nicholas Kulish contributed reporting from Berlin.

Bosnian Serb Under Arrest in War Crimes,
NYT,
22.7.2008,
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/world/europe/22serb.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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