The Western community put an end to war and genocide in Kosovo and carried through the return of 1.5 million Kosovar refugees and displaced persons. Now it is about to realise democratisation and basic liberties like the freedom of movement, opinion and religion and, above all, the protection of threatened minorities in Kosovo.
The KFOR troops guard the mass graves and have the dead exhumed and identified in the presence of surviving relatives. Together with the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, the Western community has initiated the largest evidence gathering operation in military history to bring war criminals to justice as quickly as possible. At the same time, the Tribunal in The Hague was able to accuse Slobodan Milosevic, who had been, in 1995, the West's peacemaking partner in the Dayton treaty.
The International Tribunal stated on 15 July 1999 that Bosnia-Hercegovina fell victim to an international war. Furthermore, political leaders of the Western community have admitted in the meantime that it would have been necessary to intervene in Bosnia in time, to end war and genocide. One of their reasons for their intervention in Kosovo was to prevent a repetition of the events in Bosnia.
Thus it is inconsistent and immoral to accept the fact that until this day 1.5 million Bosnians of all nationalities and religious communities - they represent 40% of the total population of Bosnia - were not able to return to their homes. In spite of the Dayton peace treaty, the initiators of the annihilation of about 200,000 Bosnian civilians were rewarded.
Today, Bosnia is divided into three ethnic regions. SFOR and IPTF do not guarantee neither the return of displaced persons and refugees nor the freedom of movement in large parts of the country, nor the effective protection of those returning. Tens of thousands of Bosnian refugees had to emigrate to North America and Australia, because they could neither return to their home villages nor stay in the European countries that had first admitted them.
Large parts of Bosnia are ruled by politicians who participated in war crimes or are partly responsible for them . The Western community did not take any actions to arrest the mainly responsible war criminals. They accept that large parts of Bosnia are integrated into the political system of Croatia or subject to Serb influence. In Bosnia, there are - a unique situation in the political world of Europe and the West - de jure two and de facto three opposing armies in existence. Administration, judiciary and the police, too, are organised along monoethnic lines in most regions of Bosnia.
In spite of many constructive efforts by Western institutions the de facto division of Bosnia prevents the economies from growing together and disencourages larger investments from abroad, thus contributing mass unemployment and corruption. More and more members of technological and academic elites leave the country.
The undersigned Bosnian organisations, among them many associations of war victims, refugees and displaced persons, rape victims and invalids, bombardment victims, ex-prisoners, inmates of concentration and internment camps, appeal to the Western community of nations to make it clear to the global public that after their intervention in Kosovo and the indictment of those responsible they are not going to tolerate an Apartheid system reminiscent of South Africa within a free Europe.
The worst crimes committed in Europe after the fall of the Third Reich must not be rewarded.
The undersigned request the Western community of nations to put into practice the Dayton treaty and to modify it in those points where it prevents the functioning of a democratic state.
The undersigned appeal to the Western community not to reduce the SFOR troops in Bosnia at this moment and to supply both SFOR and IPTF with a mandate that obliges them to carry through, following the example of Kosovo, the return of Bosnian refugees and displaced persons of all ethnic and religious communities and their effective protection from extremist attacks as well as the arrest of war criminals.
The undersigned warn against the use of the term "return of minorities".
Before the "ethnic cleansing" the different ethnic groups made up local majorities in the regions that are nowadays monoethnic by force (e.g. Serb Bosnians in Drvar, Glamoc, Bos. Grahovo, Muslim Bosnians in the Drina valley, Croat Bosnians in parts of Bos. Posavina).
Furthermore, the undersigned request the following:
- To create viable institutions of a central government in Bosnia-Hercegovina and, in the process, to develop further the Dayton peace agreement
- To safeguard equal rights for all Bosnian nationalities and religious communities in the constitutions of both entities
- To compose administration, judciary and the police of all regions multiethnically
- To guarantee in all parts of Bosnia the basic liberties, such as freedom of movement, opinion, press, religion, assembly and association
- To enforce the reconstruction of all religious sites destroyed during the war in all parts Bosnia
- To reduce the army and to establish step by step a multiethnic Bosnian army
- To take steps towards the dissolution of the autoriatarian regimes in the two neighbouring states, Serbia and Croatia, and to encourage the new democratic governments to respect and support the sovereignty of Bosnia-Hercegovina
- To force Croatia to admit the displaced Serbs from Krajina and Serbia to admit the Muslim refugees from Sandjak
- To initiate effective investigations into the fate of all disappeared Bosnians (according to International Red Cross Data, 20,000 Bosniak, 2,000 Serb and 600 Croat Bosnians)
- To make available funds for the identification of exhumed victims
- To integrate Bosnia-Hercegovina, which was, more than any other republic of former Yugoslavia, a victim of terrible crimes, into European institutions as fast as possible, as soon as the Western community has carried through the return of refugees and the arrest of war criminals and democratic processes are under way.
The undersigned warn the Western community of nations, but also a number of Western parties, media and NGOs to paint too idyllic a picture of the solution of the Bosnian problem. Whoever wants to maintain the current situation of division and apartheid has to reckon with further crises and conflicts in Bosnia and thus in the Balkans.
1 Society for Threatened Peoples Bosnia and Hercegovina - Sarajevo
2 Association of Camp Inmates - Bosnia and Hercegovina - Sarajevo
3 Mothers' Movement of the enclaves Srebrenica and Zepa
4 Club "Brcko to the people from Brcko"
5 Association of Citizens of Bratunac
6 Association of Citizens of Zvornik
7 Serb Citizens' Council - Sarajevo
8 Citizens' Association "Visegrad 92"
9 Home Country Community Zepa
10 Congress Council of Bosniak Intellectuals
11 Victimological Society - Bosnia-Hercegovina
12 Institution for the Registration of War Crimes
13 Association of Displaced Persons from the Podrinje Area
14 Women's Association of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Mostar
15 Women's Association "The way to peace leads through the heart"
16 Association of Displaced Persons from Prijedor
17 Jewish community - Sarajevo
18 Association of Camp Inmates from Hercegovina
19 Centre for Civilian Victims of War
20 Citizens' Association of Foca
21 Club of Displaced Persons from Bijeljina
22 Union of the Roma of Bosnia and Hercegovina
23 Roma Brothers, Sarajevo
24 Good Roma, Tuzla
25 Sai Roma, Tuzla
26 Trebinje Club 27 Gacko Club
28 Association of Displaced Citizens of Nevesinje
29 Citizens' Forum of Zenica
30 Women's Union - Bosnia-Hercegovina
31Women for Women
33 Association of Camp Inmates of the Bosnian Krajina
34 Association of Displaced Persons from Modrica
35 Association of Displaced Persons from Teslic
36 Association of Citizens of Doboj
37 Serb Citizens' Council - Mostar
38 Association of Displaced Persons from Kotor Varos
39 Association of Prisoners' and Disappeared Persons' Families from Zvornik, Bratunac and Vlasenica
40 Association of Prisoners' and Disappeared Persons' Families from Neretva - Hercegovina - Kanton
41 Association of the Families of Missing Persons from Kljuc
42 Association of the Families of Missing Persons from Prozor
43 Association of the Families of Missing Croats from Bugojno
44 Citizens' Association "Women from Srebrenica"
45 Association of Displaced Persons from Rudo Community
46 Association of Women from Omarska Concentration Camp
47 Association of Displaced Persons - Jajce 92
48 Association of Displaced Persons from Banjaluka
49 Cajnica Club
50 Mak - Bosnian
51 Citizens' Forum Konjic
52 Education for the Future
53 Association of Displaced Persons from Stari Majdan
54 Patriot's League
55 International / Interreligious Cultural Centre
56 Independent Intellectuals
57 Women's Forum SKP
59 Serb Citizens' Council Tuzla
60 Women's Association of Zepce
61 Citizens' Association of the Women from Bosanska Krupa
62 Women's Association - Kresevo
63 Bosnian Law Centre - Mostar
64 Coalition for Return to Drvar
65 Coalition for Return to Glamec
66 Coalition for Return to Bosansko Grahovo
67 Association of Serbs from the Croat Krajina
68 Women's Association - Banjaluka
69 Serb Citizens' Council - Bihac
70 Women's Forum - Doboj
71 Voice of the Serb Citizens - Doboj
72 "A New Beginning"
73 "Alternativa" - Independent Magazine
74 Klas - Association of Displaced Women from Drvar
75 "Stope Nade" - Steps toward Hope
76 Initiative of Displaced Persons from Glamoc
77 Women's Organisation Anima
78 Helsinki Committee - Bijeljina
79 Voice of the Serb Citizens
80 Association of Displaced Persons - Republika Srpska
81 Agency for Refugee Aid (ARA)
82 Association of Traumatised Persons - Nada (Hope)
83 Citizens' Association - Modrica
84 Serb Citizens' Council - Mostar
85 Women's Organisation - Prijedor
86 Women's Organisation "Stope Nade" (Steps toward Hope) - West Mostar
87 Committee for Re-Settled Croats in Bosnia and Hercegovina
88 Women's Organisation "Stope Nade" (Steps toward Hope) - Posusje
89 Citizens' Association for Democracy - Prijedor
90 Association of Displaced Serbs from Sanski Most
91 Human Rights Commission of the Serb Citizens' Council
92 Coalition for Return: Bosanski Brod, Bosanski Novi, Brcko, Capljina, Stolac, Jajce, Derventa, Drvar, Glamoc, Gradacac, Modrica, Jajce, Prijedor, Bosanski Samac, Mostar, Banjaluka, Bijeljina, Foca (300 organisations in total)
93 Serb Citizens' Council - Travnik
European Forum for Bosnia and Hercegovina: Confederation of exile Bosnian organisations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands
Association of Camp Inmates from Bosnia-Hercegovina, Munich, Germany
Association of Camp Inmates from Bosnia-Hercegovina in Berlin
Association of Camp Inmates from Bosnia-Hercegovina in Cologne
Association of Camp Inmates from Bosnia-Hercegovina in Hanau
Association of Traumatised Women from Bosnia, Berlin Cultural
Community Behar, Berlin
Members of the Society for Threatened Peoples' Committee for Bosnia and Hercegovina
- Prof. Dr. Atif Purivatra, Speaker of the Bosnian academics
- Prof. Dr. Ljubomir Berberovic, Council of Serb Citizens
- Prof. Dr. Smail Cekic, Institute for the Documentation of War Crimes
- Irfan Ajanovic, Association of former camp inmates
- Dragica Levi, Jewish Community
- Krstan Bijeljac, Serb-Orthodox Community
- Fatima Huseinovic, Speaker of the women of Srebrenica
- Seban Mujic, Rom speaker
- Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Busatilja, President of the Association of Refugees of Bosnia and Hercegovina
- Luka Markesic, catholic priest
- Fadila Memisevic, head of the Sarajevo office of the Society for Threatened Peoples