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Remembering Srebrenica

Fifteen years later, the pain remains.

3:20 PM, Jul 12, 2010 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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The United Nations' refusal to condemn North Korea for sinking a South Korean vessel is regrettable but not surprising. In 1995, the U.N. allowed a nightmare to transpire when the blue helmets under Dutch command negotiated with Serbian general Ratko Mladic and in the process allowed thousands of men, women, and children to perish from in and around the Bosnian city of Srebrenica.

Hasan Nuhanovic was then a U.N. translator during the negotiations who was able to remain under the protection of U.N. forces in Potocari while his mother, father, and brother were forced to leave and were soon murdered.

As Nuhanovic recalled in the Bosnian newsweekly Dani and which has thankfully been reprinted (in part) in the Washington Post,

Last month I identified my brother by his tennis shoes.

In the fall they got in touch with me about my mother. They had found her, or what was left of her, in a creek in the village of Jarovlje, about a mile from Vlasenica, my home town. The Serbs who live there threw garbage on her for 14 years. She wasn't alone. They killed another six in the same place. Burned them. I hope they were burned only after they died.

They identified my father four years ago, 11 years after his execution. They found a little more than half his bones. His skull was smashed from behind.

Not an easy read but still recommended lest we forget not only the horrors of the recent past but the inaction by those who could have prevented them from happening.

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