by Andrija Tunjic Vjesnik, Zagreb, Croatia, January 21, 1996
According to international law there is no expiry date on crimes against humanity. On the other hand one can keep quiet about them. And one can speculate with them and wait in order to extort or achieve political interests.
Does this mean that the article published in the New York Times about Serbian crimes against Muslims and Croats, as well as about mass graves in the Prijedor area, i.e. the Ljubija mines, sees the start of the procedure which will reveal Serbian crimes which have been covered up for such a long time with, it seems, a lot of help from the international community. Or is all this just media hullabaloo serving to deceive the naive?
It is unbelievable that it is only now that the Times have appeared on the field that British soldiers in IFOR have started to speak about a possible cover up operation by the Serbs. More precisely, British commanders deployed in B-H within the NATO peace-keeping forces stated to New York Times reporters that British patrols had often come across massacred bodies which were being transported somewhere by Bosnian Serbs. "It looks as if they are in a hurry to cover up murder", stated a British commander whose name was not mentioned.
It is obvious that the Serbs are in a hurry to hide their crimes against Muslims and Croats, but it is also obvious that the British are not overjoyed that the New York Times has become involved, since for the British this paper is objective and too influential; a paper which cannot be ignored.
Now that British silence has been revealed, world diplomacy has been set in motion. And immediately the excuse for the inefficiency is transferred to those who did not ask the location of the crime to be placed under IFOR control, in other words on B-H and the International Tribunal in the Hague. Is it possible, however, after all these events, and after this cynicism, to expect the international community to be consistent and to set in motion the mechanisms which will ensure the control over the mass graves, thereby safeguarding the evidence of Serbian crimes? It is especially important for the Prijedor area which along with Srebrenica and Zepa has seen, perhaps, the most massive persecution and executions of non-Serbs in B-H.