Goal of War: Extermination
Goal achieved through killings, beatings, destruction
Wilmington Morning Star, p. 7A
29 October 1992.
GENEVA — A U.N. investigator said Wednesday that Muslims [Bosniaks] in Bosnia-Herzegovina “are virtually threatened with extermination” because of ethnic cleansing by Serbs.
Tadeusz Mazowiecki’s report reiterated what has long been charged — that ethnic cleansing does not appear to be a consequence of the war, but its goal.
“This goal, to a large extent, has already been achieved through killings, beatings, rape, destruction of house and threats,” the former Polish premier said.
Mr. Mazowiecki, who had announced his main findings Monday, ahead of the report’s publication, said Bosnian Serb leaders have pursued their plan while negotiating peace in Geneva.
Muslims are the “principal victims,” he said.
The report, given to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, also detailed evidence of mass graves near the town of Vukovar in the neighboring republic of Croatia, “some of which contain victims of atrocities.” Vukovar fell to Serb forces in a fierce battle in last year’s war in Croatia.
Clyde Snow, an American forensic expert, said in the report he found remains of young men buried over an area of 10 by 30 yards at the head of a ravine about a mile southeast of the village of Ovcara.
The discovery appeared to confirm witness accounts that about 175 patients from Vukovar hospital disappeared after its evacuation last Nov. 20, Mr. Snow said.
Witnesses said lightly wounded civilian men and soldiers were separated from women, children and the elderly and taken away on buses of the Yugoslav National Army, which backed Croatia’s ethnic Serbs.
The captives were taken to a garage in Ovcara, where two were beaten to death by Yugoslav soldiers and Serb paramilitary fighters, the witnesses said. By the evening, they said, the prisoners were divided into groups of 20 and driven by truck to the ravine.
In other news:
Heavy Barrage Hits Sarajevo; Dozen Other Towns are Shelled
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — On the front lines of the Yugoslav war, Bosniak and Croat troop reportedly pulled out Wednesday to restore peace to a contested city, but another town was bombarded with 2,000 shells.
On a third front, Sarajevo, a heavy artillery barrage was accompanied by heavy machine-gun and small arms fire.
The Bosnian army reported shelling in more than a dozen towns throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina. The most fierce fighting was reported in Jajce, 60 miles northwest of Sarajevo. Bosnian radio said Bosnian Government-led troops and Serb rebels were battling for Jajce and that the city was in flamed, barraged with 2,000 shells, apparently over two days.
Zaim Backovic, deputy to the commander of the Bosniak-led Bosnian army, accused Serbs of striking the town with helicopter gunships and flying in reinforcements. Such flights would violate a U.N. resolution.
By mutual agreement, Bosniak-led government forces and ethnic Croatian militar withdrew Wednesday after heavy fighting from Prozor, 30 miles west of Sarajevo, Mr. Backovic reported.