U.S. ambassador appeared stunned as she viewed the remains of some 1,000 people slain by Serb fighters
Gadsden Times, p.A4
23 March 1996.
BRANJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The U.N. ambassador walked gingerly through a dirt field, navigating between pieces of bone, scraps of clothing and a decomposing body. Beneath her feet was a mass grave that may hold as many as 1,000 people slaughtered by Serb fighters.
U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright appeared stunned as she surveyed the evidence: Pieces of a skull, a leg bone and a spine poked out of the earth. Tatters of clothing hung from shrubs.
“I’m so overwhelmed by the horror of this, and that it’s possible for people to behave this way toward fellow human beings,” she said.
The mass grave is on a farm in the heart of Bosnian Serb-controlled territory, near the town of Zvornik. The site is 18 miles northwest of Srebrenica, where about 7,000 Bosniaks disappeared after falling to the Serbs last July. Bosnian Serb soldiers are believed to have massacred most of them.
“This is a place where it was very evident that there were systematic murders of large numbers of people, somewhere around 1,000,” Albright said.
The Srebrenica killings were well-documented, not only by survivors but also by those who committed them, she said.
“What we now know from these killer witnesses was that in fact men who outside of Srebrenica had been living with their families — the fighting had stopped — were then transported by trucks and buses to this area, lined up and systematically shot,” she said.
In Geneva, the special U.N. war crimes investigator, Elisabeth Rehn said Friday “all evidence” increasingly supports allegations that Bosnian Serbs massacred up to 8,000 people from the Bosniak enclave when it fell last summer.