Sunday, November 16, 2008

Must-Read Post at "Srebrenica Genocide Blog"

If you are not yet a reader of Daniel's excellent Srebrenica Genocide Blog, right now would be a good time to change that habit.

His latest post details the documented torture and forcible displacement of Bosniaks in the Sanjak (Sandzak) region. It is not pleasant reading, and the photographs are not pretty. But this is an under-reported story which demands wider notice.

I must confess that I am guilty of remaining somewhat ignorant of what was clearly a concerted campaign of state terror against the Bosniaks in Sanjak, to the point where I believe I may have even noted the absence of a genocidal campaign against the Muslim population of Serbia proper as proof that the war in Bosnia was fought for geopolitical ends rather than being an outbreak of spontaneous ethnic hatred. In fact, while I cannot remember which past post(s) made this claim, I am all but certain that I have done so.

In a sense, I still stand by those sentiments--it seems to me that the campaign against Serbia's Slavic Muslims was intended to deprive Bosniaks from Bosnia proper of any logistical support just across the river, as well as demonizing Bosniaks among ethnic Serbs in Serbia by creating violence and instability in the region.

But that does not excuse my lazy, unthinking acceptance that not much happened (as I essentially implied) in the Sanjak during the 1990s. Clearly, the campaign of terror the Belgrade regime waged in Bosnia was supported and furthered by a parallel campaign within its own borders, against its own citizens. This is a story which needs to be told. I strongly urge my readers to read the above-linked story.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Kirk.

I just noticed I made a small error in the article. The error is in the following sentence: "In the spring and summer of 1992, a team of human rights activists..."

In fact, the correct date is 2006, not 1992. I will be fixing that error tommorow, because I don't do any edits from my home IP address.

The correct sentence should read:

"In the spring and summer of 2006, a team of human rights activists from the Sandzak Committee for Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms visited ethnically cleansed Bosniak Muslim villages in Priboj municipality: Kukorovići, Valovlje, Lisičine, Voskovina, and Sjeverin. By that time, only few residents returned to their pre-war homes...."

Anonymous said...

Kirk, the transcript of Veran Matic and Ivan Markov's documentary about the abductions from Sjeverin, the involvement and subsequent protection of Milan Lukic and the terrorisation of the village is very informative:
(Translation from the Serbian credited to Srdjan Simonovic)

Anonymous said...

sandjak Muslims are being used by serbia to create instability in the region even now.

more than that, as a western diplomat told me, the government prefers now not to call sandjak by its name sandjak, but rather south west serbia.

that is, to deny the region's identity.

who gains from this: serbian nationalist and wahabits.

I have been in sandjak. it's appaling to see how abandoned that region is. although there is work there, and money flowing, there is hardly any public investment on the part of the serb governmemnt.

as for montenegro, the country is trying to wash his hands of the complicty and involvement in the wars in the nineties by blaming the serbs and pretending montenegrins had nothing to do with it.