Showing posts with label Serbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Serbs. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

KOSOVO: unilateral declaration of independence

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 467 | Wed 27 Feb 2008

FEB o8 UPDATE (excerpt)

KOSOVO: On Sunday 17 February Kosovo's Albanian leadership made a unilateral declaration of independence. Kosovo's Christians are now a tiny minority in a Muslim dominated self-declared independent state. Since the Balkan wars of the 1990s Islamic groups have been consolidating in Kosovo, with plans to turn the province into a base for terror operations. Kosovo's Serbian remnant (predominantly Serbian Orthodox), along with an incomparable wealth of Christian heritage dating back to the Middle Ages, are immediately and seriously at risk.

Please pray for the Church in Kosovo. Psalm 46.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

BOSNIA: THE LOOMING STORM

Date: Wednesday 21 November 2007
Subj: Bosnia: The looming storm.
To: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty News & Analysis
From: WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal


Bosnia is supposed to be enacting constitutional reforms aimed at transitioning the state to European Union (EU) membership from the stabilisation brought by the Dayton Accords. The Dayton Accords, which ended the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict, upheld the territorial sovereignty of the independent state of Bosnia while dividing it into two largely-autonomous entities: the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska (Serb Republic). Inherent in Bosnia's transition to the EU is the EU (and American) requirement that Bosnia strengthen its state institutions at the expense of its entities.

The constitutional reforms proposed for Bosnia are contentious however because Bosnian Islamists, such as Bosnia's Muslim President Haris Silajdzic, are not interested in seeing Republika Srpska's institutions scaled down -- they want Republika Srpska abolished. The Islamists want to extend Muslim rule across all of Bosnia. Meanwhile, because Bosnia is a Muslim-majority state and Bosnian Serbs -- traditionally and culturally Serbian Orthodox -- have no wish to be dominated by Muslims, the Bosnian Serbs want to retain the autonomy that safeguards their religious liberty, security and culture. As it is, the traditionally Catholic Croats of Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation are so sick of being discriminated against by the increasingly radicalised Muslim majority (see link 1) that they want to leave the federation. Croat groups are petitioning for a separate Croat-majority entity where they can enjoy their constitutional rights.

(For more details on Bosnia's radicalisation, religious tensions, constitutional reforms and background history, see link 2.)

All this of course is very frustrating for Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajcak, the High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia, who is supposed to be orchestrating Bosnia's transition. Lajcak recently complained to an Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council meeting in Vienna, "No one wants to be a minority and they all want to have a state." (Link 3)

Through this complaint, Lajcak not only displays contempt for the genuine complaints and concerns of religious minorities, he also misrepresents the truth. For unlike Serbia's minority Albanians, Bosnia's Croats and Serbs have not been calling for an independent "state". They simply desire the autonomy that would enable them to safeguard their religious liberty, security and culture within the Muslim-majority state. If the "International Community" (US, EU, UN) orchestrate the re-subjugation of the Bosnian Serbs (and Croats), then Bosnia might end up transitioning, not forwards from stabilisation to EU membership, but backwards from paralysis to crisis to ethnic-religious conflict.

LAJCAK IMPOSES LAWS AND TRIGGERS WORST CRISIS SINCE WAR

On 19 October, High Representative Miroslav Lajcak exercised his supreme power and decreed changes to the law that rules how Bosnia's democratically elected federal Council of Ministers conducts its business.

Lajcak's imposed changes to Bosnia's law on the Council of Ministers will benefit Islamists by making it easier for them to have their proposals passed. Previously when lawmakers representing the Muslim majority put forward proposals that were unacceptable to Republika Srpska, Bosnian Serb lawmakers (when they knew they could not get a majority to defeat the proposal) would simply boycott the session to force a postponement of the vote. Lajcak's measures alter the way a quorum is calculated and reduce by half the number of members of parliament needed to pass a law. Laws may now be passed on the majority votes of the lawmakers present, rendering ethnic boycotts ineffective. (Link 4)

The President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, rejected Lajcak's measures, describing them as unacceptable. When Bosnian Serb lawmakers requested Lajcak to reconsider, he rebuffed them, saying that the matter was not open for discussion! Lajcak regards the resultant crisis as "artificial". According to Lajcak the Bosnian Serbs have "overreacted to these measures in order to create a political crisis". Once again Lajcak is showing contempt for the genuine and reasonable concerns of the religious minorities who regard this as a substantial crisis.

The Office for the High Representative has issued a statement confirming that Lajcak's measures will not be withdrawn, crisis or not. Terrorism analyst Anes Alic in Sarajevo quotes the OHR statement as saying: "If the tensions continue to escalate without particular reason, that will be the choice of the Bosnian Serb authorities and they would be therefore deemed responsible for such a situation and possible consequences." According to Alic, "The US Embassy in Sarajevo issued a similar statement." (Link 5)

The new laws are now in force on a temporary basis. If Bosnia's Council of Ministers fails to endorse the law changes on 1 December, Lajcak (an unelected, imposed foreigner) will enact them unilaterally. The Republika Srpska (RS) Assembly has warned that if Lajcak does not reconsider or amend his measures to make them acceptable to Bosnian Serbs, then the RS Assembly will bring the issue to the attention of the RS Constitutional Court and even to the UN. (Link 6)

BALKAN FORECAST


Balkan forecast for December: dark clouds with storms (possibly violent and highly destructive, especially in the south). Unless changes blow in, 1 December will see Lajcak, with backing from the US and EU, dictating laws in Bosnia that threaten Serb autonomy, liberty and security, opening the door for Islamists to gradually extend their rule and dominance over all Bosnia, including its 1.4 million Serbs. Then on 10 December Albanian separatists in the Serbian province of Kosovo, with backing from the US and most EU member states, will declare unilateral independence. With this, Muslims will have re-annexed Serbian territory, the southern province of Kosovo and Metohija (church lands), complete with some 100,000 remnant Serbs and centuries of priceless Serbian and Christian heritage.

Note: US-EU-NATO policy regarding Bosnia -- ethnic-religious unification according to the will of the Muslim majority -- is contrary to its policy regarding Serbia -- ethnic-religious partition according to the will of the Muslim minority.

Serbs (allies of the West through two world wars) are supposed to willingly submit to re-subjugation in Bosnia and accept partition of Serbia -- the excision of their historic and spiritual heartland -- in line with the demands of Albanian ethnic separatists and Islamists.

The only thing consistent about US-EU-NATO policy in the Balkans is that it consistently aligns with Muslim forces and advances the Islamist agenda at the expense of Christian peoples, in particular Orthodox Slavs. It is reminiscent of the way Britain aligned with the Ottoman Turks in the Balkans a century ago, propping up Muslim forces as a bulwark against Russian expansion into the region.

US-EU-NATO policy in the Balkans has nothing to do with justice or "democracy" or humanitarianism and everything to do with post Cold War geopolitics, without regard for "collateral damage" (local Christians) or long-term consequences (regional and global instability and insecurity).

Elizabeth Kendal
rl-research@crossnet.org.au

Links

1) BALKAN MUJAHEDEENS
Fundamentalist Islam Finds Fertile Ground in Bosnia
By Renate Flottau in Sarajevo, Bosnia. 9 November 2007
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,516214,00.html

2) Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religious tensions rising.
WEA RLC News & Analysis, 19 September 2006.
By WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal.
http://www.worldevangelicals.org/news/view.htm?id=692
(this posting also contains a historical background under the heading: "CREATING CONTEXT: HISTORY'S WEDGES")
SEE ALSO
Bosnia: Fragile stability threatened by Islamisation.
WEA RLC News & Analysis, 12 October 2006.
WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal

3) Lajcak: Everyone in Bosnia wants their own state
25 October 2007, Source: Tanjug
http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region-article.php?yyyy=2007&mm=10&dd=25&nav_id=44869

4) Decision Enacting the Law on Changes and Amendments to the Law on the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Friday, 19 October 2007
http://www.ohr.int/decisions/statemattersdec/default.asp?content_id=40687

5) Dangerous rumblings in Bosnia
By Anes Alic in Sarajevo for ISN Security Watch. 2 Nov 2007 http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?id=18310
SEE ALSO
RS Proposal: No Basis For Further Discussion
OHR Sarajevo | Friday, November 09, 2007
http://www.ohr.int/ohr-dept/presso/pressr/default.asp?content_id=40821

6) Bosnia Serbs Rebuffed over Imposed Laws
Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. 30 Oct 2007
http://www.birn.eu.com/en/110/15/5442/

Thursday, May 10, 2007

SERBIA: Wahhabi activism in Sandzak

Date: Thursday 10 May 2007
Subj: Serbia: Wahhabi activism in Sandzak
To: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty News & Analysis
From: WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal


Sandzak (Raska) region in southwestern Serbia is for Islamic imperialists and jihadists highly desirable and enormously strategic territory. Wahhabi infiltration, radicalisation and agitation have escalated over the past decade. On several occasions during 2006 Wahhabi activism and aggression targeting the region's local non-Wahhabi Muslims culminated in violent clashes. Newfound evidence that Wahhabi jihadists in Sandzak's capital, Novi Pazar, have been preparing for acts of terrorism, has raised tensions in Serbia and especially in Sandzak and Kosovo.

------------------------------

SERBIAN POLICE RAID WAHHABI JIHADISTS

On 17 March Serbian police raided an Islamic militant training camp 30km from Novi Pazar, Sandzak region, southwest Serbia. While one militant escaped, four were arrested and a huge cache of weapons uncovered.

According to ISSA (International Strategic Studies Association) Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis (3 April 2007) the weapons cache included: "plastic explosives equipped with trigger mechanisms, various caliber bullet rounds, protective masks, several kinds of military uniforms and hand grenades. . . printed terrorist propaganda, military survival manuals, medical supplies, a sabre, compasses, binoculars and maps."

ISSA also reported: "The four arrested by Serbian Police on March 17, 2007, were identified as Mirsad Prenti, Fuad Hodi, Vahid Vejselovi and Senad Vejselovi, all members of the Muslim Wahhabi movement from Novi Pazar. All but one of the arrested men were bearded in the fashion of jihadis, but all were white Europeans. Their campsite, with a Wahhabist flag (similar to a Saudi Arabian flag, only black), was jury-rigged [assembled in a makeshift manner] with plastic sheeting."

On 20 April, Serbian police clashed with Islamic militants in Novi Pazar, killing militant leader Ismail Prentic (picture: link 1), and arresting two others, Safet Becovic and Senad Ramovic.

As the Serbian police approached Prentic's safe-house, the militants inside the house released attack dogs, threw grenades, and eventually opened fire at the police. The police shot back, killing Prentic and injuring Ramovic. A Serbian police officer also was wounded.

Igor Jovanovic, reporting from Belgrade for Southeast European Times (SET), writes: "The Wahhabis began to emerge in Novi Pazar in 2006. In one widely reported incident, they broke up a concert by Balkanika, a popular ethno band, smashing instruments and accusing the musicians of 'Satan's work'. In November they tried to take over the Arab mosque in Novi Pazar, fighting with moderate Muslims. Three people were wounded." (Link 2)

Amela Bajrovic, reporting from Novi Pazar for Balkan Insight writes (22 March 2007): "This latest incident comes after years of simmering conflict between the majority of local Sunni Muslims represented by the Islamic Community and the new followers of the Wahhabi movement. The Islamic Community's clergy and faithful have repeatedly complained of
harassment by the increasing number of the Wahhabi followers, whom they say want to impose their belief as the only true one.

"Shortly after the arrests, Serbia's interior minister, Dragan Jocic, described the men as enemies of the official Islamic Community and said the police action demonstrated the government's determination to crush all forms of violence and terrorism.

"The justice minister, Zoran Stojkovic, sought to defuse potential religious tensions, saying the men were apprehended not 'because they belong to a religious group but because. . . they were involved in alleged terrorist activities'." (Link 3)

Serbian authorities believe the Wahhabis operating the jihadist camp were recruiting potential terrorists and planning attacks on members of the local Muslim community. According to a recent report by the US Department of State, Serbian authorities are also "significantly
concerned about the potential for an increase of Middle Eastern terrorist transit through Serbia". (Link 4)

LINKED TO JIHADISTS AND SEPARATISTS IN KOSOVO

The police raid in Novi Pazar was carried out in co-operation with Kosovo police, marking the first time the two law enforcement agencies have worked together officially since the UN and NATO took control of the province. According to Igor Jovanovic (SET), "Prentic had been under
an arrest warrant in Kosovo [for illegal firearms possession and trafficking weapons]. He and a number of followers are said to have infiltrated the northern, mainly Serb-populated part of the province, bringing weapons with them." (Link 2)

This claim, that jihadists in Novi Pazar have links with Islamic jihadists and Albanian separatists in Kosovo, has been confirmed by a Slovenian intelligence source which confirmed for Balkanalysis.com: "the Wahhabis arrested at a training camp broken up near Novi Pazar on St.
Patrick's Day had connections with Kosovo militants, the final status process there and potential violence against Serbs in the North Mitrovica enclaves." (Link 5)

According to Balkananalysis.com, "The arrests in Sandzak had the immediate result of increasing distrust and fear, particularly for the minority Christian Serbs. But the arrests also prompted Pristina's Wahhabis to lay low. According to one source near the [Kosovo] capital, 'on that day, the muj [mujahedin, ie, Wahhabis] vanished. You couldn't see one of them on the streets'.

"New information received by Balkanalysis.com from a Slovenian intelligence source confirms Serbian media allegations that at least some of the weaponry found in the Wahhabi training camp had arrived from Kosovo – and for a reason: according to our information, extremist
Albanians in Kosovo opposed to negotiation with Serbs are collaborating with the Wahhabis [in Sandzak]. . . in the case of new violence, the goal would be a show of force against Serbs from both sides.'

"Adding that both groups have different ideologies and purposes, both the ex-KLA militants and Islamic extremists have similar needs. 'Both use weapons, and both reply to varying extents on organised crime to fund their movements,' said the Slovenian source, adding that his country had recently taken a more active role in Kosovo/Serbia intelligence-gathering."

LINKED TO WAHHABIS IN BOSNIA

The ISSA Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis (3 April 2007) reported that the Sandzak militants are also linked to Bosnian jihadist groups. ISSA notes: "During and after the [17 March] police action, there were a numbers of Wahhabists in the location where the camp was discovered and in the larger region. Most of them escaped into nearby Bosnia, across the so-called 'Gorazde Corridor' [which cuts through Rep. Srpska]. The location of the camp was carefully selected to be near three borders (Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia)."

The ISSA Special Analysis listed several Bosnian Wahhabist groups that are known to be co-operating with militants in Sandzak. Many of the jihadists in these groups have degrees from Universities in Sarajevo or the Middle East (mostly Medina), and some have served time in jail for criminal activities. ISSA notes that much of the terrorist training in the region is "directly linked to funding by criminal activities, largely narco-trafficking".

SANDZAK: THE MISSING LINK

Sandzak (Raska) region straddles the Serbia Monetnegro border and stretches from Kosovo to Bosnia. During Ottoman times Sandzak formed part of the trade route that ran between the northern Balkans and the Adriatic Sea. The Ottomans Islamised Sandzak for trade security
purposes. Only Muslims were permitted to live in the towns and Christians, who where were relegated to dhimmi (second class) and serf status, farmed the countryside. Still today in Sandzak Muslims live almost exclusively in the towns.

According to an April 2005 report by International Crisis Group report http://www.crisisgroup.org, Sandzak is 60 percent Muslim. Most of eastern Sandzak is majority Muslim – the regional capital, Novi Pazar (Turkish for "new bazaar") is 78 percent Muslim – while most of northwestern Sandzak is majority Christian Serb.

According to the ICG report, "Serbia's Sandzak: Still Forgotten" of 8 April 2005, Wahhabis control several mosques in Sandzak over which the local mufti has little influence. ICG notes that over recent years Muslim men and women have both become increasingly observant of
conservative Islamic dress codes. According to ICG, some observers believe that, as in Bosnia, Wahhabis are actually paying local Muslims to dress Wahhabi-style. ICG also reports" Numerous interlocuters told Crisis Group that the Wahhabis receive funding from Sarajevo, which in turn appears to come from Saudi charities that operate out of Vienna."

For Islamic imperialists and jihadists, Sandzak is the vital missing link. It has enormous strategic potential as a land-bridge between Bosnia and Kosovo. As such, Sandzak is yet another place where Islamists are eager to support, partner with, or even drive a separatist movement. Such a movement would initially lobby for autonomy as a stepping-stone to independence.

Islamic imperialists and jihadists have long desired to bring Sandzak under Islamic control so that jihadists (particularly white European ones), weapons and narco-traffick would have safe passage from the Adriatic Sea to Bosnia, through Albania, Kosovo, Sandzak, and into Muslim Bosnia via the Gorazde Corridor, which, as part of the Dayton Accords, is part of the Muslim-Croat Federation. This enables safe passage through Rep. Srpksa from the Muslim-held town of Gorazde which is on the Drina River close to where the borders of Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro, i.e. Sandzak, converge.

Elizabeth Kendal
rl-research@crossnet.org.au

Links

1) Militant Wahhabi dead after attacking Serb police, 20 April 2007
http://www.serbianna.com/news/2007/01557.shtml

2) Wahhabi leader slain in gunfight; arrests made. 26 April 2007
http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2007/04/26/feature-03

3) Raid on Wahhabi 'Camp' Raises Tensions in Sandzak
Most locals welcome police swoop on group seen as troublemakers.
By Amela Bajrovic in Novi Pazar (Balkan Insight, 22 March 2007)
http://www.birn.eu.com/en/75/10/2496/

4) Country Reports on Terrorism
Released by the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
30 April 2007 http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2006/82732.htm

5) BALKAN ANALYSIS 19 April 2007
Slovenian Intelligence Confirms Kosovo Link to Sandzak Arrests
http://www.balkanalysis.com/2007/04/19/slovenian-intelligence-confirms-kosovo-link-to-sandzak-arrests/

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Kosovo & Metohija, SERBIA: Precarious Situation


Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 415 | Wed 07 Feb 2007


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KOSOVO AND METOHIJA, (Serbia) : PRECARIOUS SITUATION
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What we know today as Kosovo, southern Serbia, was historically two regions: Kosovo and Metohija. 'Metohija' comes from the Greek 'metox' referring to land set aside for the Church. Metohija, a large basin in the south-west comprising nearly half of 'Kosovo', is the spiritual heartland of Serbia and is filled with historic Eastern Orthodox churches and monasteries.

The (Muslim) Ottoman Empire advanced its imperialistic jihad into the Balkans in the 14th Century. For centuries the Christian peoples of the Balkans were subjugated under Islam and sorely persecuted. But then the Ottoman Empire started to crumble and the Christians fought for and won their liberation. During the Ottoman era large numbers of Turkish and ethnic Albanian Muslims migrated over the mountains and into Serbia's southern regions of Kosovo and Metohija, eventually comprising some 50 percent of the population. Their descendants are known as 'Kosovars'. After the Balkan wars of liberation (1912) Islamist Kosovars/Albanians complained that their (Muslim) land was 'occupied', and the Kosovar/Albanian separatist struggle began. So the contemporary struggle between the Muslim Kosovars/Albanians and the Orthodox Serbs for control of Kosovo and Metohija is almost a century old.

The ethnic Albanian Muslim Kosovar cause has accelerated since 1941: first during World War Two through the Nazi-Muslim pact to exterminate Serbs, Jews and Roma/Gypsies in the Nazis' 'Greater Albania'; and then during the Communist era through the pro-Albanian, pro-Arab, anti-Serb policies of Croat Communist leader Marshall Tito. Tito refused to allow the Serbs who had been ethnically cleansed from Kosovo during WW2 the right to return. He dissolved Metohija because of its spiritual significance and turned Kosovo and Metohija into a single, separate and eventually autonomous majority ethnic Albanian province.

War erupted in 1999. After NATO's unilateral intervention Kosovo was declared a UN protectorate. Since then some 150 historic Orthodox Serbian churches and monasteries have been destroyed and an estimated 1000 Serbs and Roma have been kidnapped and murdered or disappeared (but not Jews, because Islamist Kosovars expelled the entire Jewish remnant in 1999). Kosovo's mostly internally displaced Serbs live in fear and poverty and cannot move without UN armed escorts. Meanwhile the Islamisation and radicalisation of Kosovo has advanced without restraint.

The UN special envoy's 2 February 2007 recommendation that Kosovo be granted supervised independence will soon go before the UN Security Council. Albania, all Islamic imperialists, the US and UK support this proposal. Russia and China (two countries that could face similar Muslim separatist claims should Kosovo be granted independence) are opposed to it. Needless to say Serbia rejects any suggestion that the UN excise 15 percent of Serbia's territory and cede it to Muslim separatists.

The West appeases Islamic imperialism in the Balkans for political expediency - the opposite of their response in the Horn of Africa. The situation for Kosovo's Serbs is precarious and Balkans' peace is tenuous.

PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR GOD TO:

* raise up voices for justice and right to speak against shameful political expediency.

* work powerfully through the UN forces to protect the tiny Orthodox Serb remnant in Kosovo so they will not be forced to defend themselves should hostile forces seek their removal or the destruction of more religious sites.

* protect all Kosovar converts to Christianity who are greatly at risk due to the escalating criminality and Islamic nationalist, imperialist and anti-Serb (anti-Christian) zeal in the province.

* give great wisdom and divine guidance to the political and religious leaders in Belgrade (Serbia).

'He [the Sovereign Lord] tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.' Isaiah 40:11 NIV

Monday, February 5, 2007

Religious Liberty Trend - Islamic imperialism: Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo

Date: Monday 5 February 2007
Subj: 4. RL Trend - Islamic imperialism: Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo
To: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty News & Analysis
From: WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (RL) TRENDS: 2006-2007

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TREND - ISLAMIC IMPERIALISM: SOMALIA, BOSNIA, KOSOVO
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The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines imperialism as: "The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations."

Islam is an imperialistic political system that employs a religious component for political and imperialistic gain. It is natural therefore that Islamic reformation and revival should result in renewed zeal for Islamic imperialism. While Muslims as human beings are extremely varied, holding beliefs ranging from irreligious to indifference to secular to moderate to extremist and from liberal to fundamentalist, the agenda of orthodox, Quranic Islam is absolutely radical and imperialistic.

Islamic imperialism is advanced in myriad ways: through jihad and pro-Sharia Islamist political movements; economically and culturally through the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), the Arab League, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and vast oil profits. These profits are used strategically to disseminate Islamic ideology and advance Islamic politics and culture, as well as to transform free nations (such as numerous Christian-majority African nations) and institutions (such as numerous Western universities) into submissive debtors.

For this annual trends posting I will focus on two regions where Islamic imperialist zeal and rhetoric rose to dangerous levels through 2006: the Horn of Africa, and the Balkans.

THE HORN OF AFRICA (HOA)

The year 2006 saw the rise and fall of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). For background see WEA RLC News & Analysis postings "Somalia: Igniting jihad in the Horn of Africa" (28 July 2006) and "Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia: Death and Danger in the Horn of Africa" (20 Oct 2006).

The rise of the ICU under the leadership of the belligerent al-Qaeda-linked Sheik Aweys, a vocal proponent of the creation of an Islamic Caliphate over a Greater Somalia, meant that conflict with neighbouring Ethiopia was inevitable.

In December 2006 the Ethiopian Army and soldiers loyal to Somalia's UN-sponsored Transitional Federal Government (TFG) routed and all but crushed the ICU. It is imperative that Somalia's government receive maximum international support to secure the state and improve the lives of the Somali people, thereby securing their hearts and minds.

It is estimated that during the December offensive around 3,000 ICU militants abandoned their uniforms and diffused back into the civilian population in Mogadishu where they remain hidden.

Al-Qaeda deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, has called for an Iraq-style Islamist insurgency. Al-Qaeda will doubtless attempt to incite Islamic irredentism and imperialism in Somalia, and separatism in Ogaden, the eastern region of Ethiopia that is home to some four million ethnic Somalis. This would certainly lead to an escalation in persecution of Christians in Muslim-dominated regions of the HOA.

Inflamed Islamic imperialist zeal would doubtless also invigorate the Islamist movement in Khartoum, and this could seriously rattle the tenuous peace in Southern Sudan. The tensions in the HOA will doubtless also lead to an escalation in Eritrea (historic enemy of Ethiopia and ally of the Islamists) of persecution against the Church, including the previously tolerated Orthodox Church.

The degree to which the wider HOA becomes a theatre for an Islamic imperialist insurgency (jihad) will depend largely on the commitment and ability of those charged with keeping the peace in Somalia to persist with conviction in the long operation of mopping-up terrorists and jihadists as they emerge.

Several terrorist incidents occurred during January 2007. If Islamic terrorists and jihadist manage to establish a base of operations for imperialistic jihad in the HOA, then Western and Christian interests and assets will be at risk from Addis Ababa to Juba, Djibouti, Asmara, Mogadishu and Nairobi.

THE BALKANS: SITUATION EXPLOSIVE

While the Balkans remained relatively peaceful through 2006, the issues that emerged onto centre stage last year are reminiscent of those issues that were a prelude to war in the 1990s. The two great issues are essentially related to Islamic imperialism:

* the status of Bosnia's Serbs;

* the status of the Serbian province of Kosovo.

BOSNIA

The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was dealt with thoroughly in a lengthy posting entitled "Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religious tensions rising" (19 September 2006). That posting included a detailed overview of the historical context that has given rise to the present position. This is hugely important because at present the history of the Serb nation, a Christian nation of Eastern Orthodox tradition, is buried deep beneath a veritable mountain of lies and revisionist propaganda, myth and demonisation courtesy of belligerent Islamist imperialist forces and their Western allies.

That posting was followed up with one entitled "Bosnia and Herzegovina: Fragile stability threatened by Islamisation" (12 October 2006).

The 1992-1995 Bosnian war was essentially over the status of Bosnian Serbs. In 1992 the Bosnian Serb rejection of the Islamist Izetbegovic's illegal, unconstitutional move to declare Bosnia independent from Yugoslavia triggered war. As Bosnian Muslims (Bosniacs) fought for an independent, united, Muslim Bosnia, Bosnian Serbs fought to retain their liberty and autonomy as they had no desire to be reduced to a Christian minority in an Islamic state, let alone be further separated from their fellow Serbs.

The Dayton Accords of 1995 ended the Bosnian war by establishing an independent Bosnia divided into two autonomous entities: the Muslim-Croat Federation, which today is under immense strain, and the Republika Srpksa (RS, Serb Republic).

Hard-line Islamists have never accepted the Dayton Accords and view it as a betrayal by their war-time allies, the US. For RS to be part of an independent Bosnia, yet autonomous and not under Muslim rule, is totally against the Islamist order. Izetbegovic only signed the Dayton Accords because he feared that without I-FOR (the international peace keeping force) on the ground, Serbia and Croatia would attempt to divide Bosnia between them and that Bosnia alone would not have the capacity to resist. Izetbegovic knew the Bosniacs needed both the US to keep the peace and Iran to re-arm and advance the Islamist agenda.

The loudest voice against the "partitioning" of Bosnia and Herzegovina was war-time Foreign Minister and Prime Minister, Haris Silajdzic. Over the years Silajdzic has been persistently critical of Izetbegovic for making what he believed were too many concessions.

On 1 October 2006, Haris Silajdzic was elected as the Muslim representative in Bosnia's tripartite presidency. Central to his election campaign was his proposal that RS be dissolved. Silajdzic uses words that impress the West, such as united, democratic and non-sectarian. But what he is advancing is the Islamic agenda to put all Bosnian territory and citizens under Muslim rule.

Further to this, Bosnia is under immense pressure from the West to move from the "Dayton phase" to the "European phase". Before it can join the EU, Bosnia is being advised that it must undergo constitutional reforms aimed at strengthening the central government at the expense of the entities. Some of these reforms are unacceptable to the Bosnian Serbs as they lessen their autonomy. The Orthodox Serbs are especially determined to retain autonomy in the area of policing as they do not want to be under a centrally administered, Muslim-dominated police force. Islamist imperialists and their naive supporters then label Serb resistance to dhimmitude as racist and ultra-nationalist!

The situation in Bosnia is explosive. Serbs (Orthodox) and Croats (Catholic) are both becoming agitated by the Islamist imperialistic rhetoric that is rising in an increasingly Islamised Bosnia. The situation today closely resembles 1992.

KOSOVO

Ever since the Serbs liberated themselves from Ottoman (Islamic) rule (1912-1913), "Kosovars" (descendents of Albanian Muslims who migrated into Kosovo during the Ottoman era) have been complaining of "occupation" and agitating along secessionist lines. And the secessionism is both pan-Islamic and nationalistic in character.

The contemporary Kosovar vs Serb contest for Kosovo has really been going for almost a century now. Both sides have attempted to advance their status by diminishing the "other" when circumstances permitted. The Serb cause however, was particularly hurt by the Nazi-Muslim alliance in World War Two.

Yugoslavia came under Nazi occupation in April 1941, and while the Croats, Bosniacs and Kosovars were all allies of the Axis powers, the Serbs were aligned with the Allies. The Nazis, who viewed the Serbs as a threat to the Nazi advance in the Balkans, classed the Serbs as a "lesser race" to be exterminated along with Jews and Roma/Gypsies. Islamic imperialists joined Muslim Waffen-SS units, such as the mostly Bosniac Handschar Division in Bosnia and the mostly Kosovar Skenderbeg Division in Kosovo, and massacred Serbs with impunity.

The Axis powers created a "New" or "Greater Albania" by annexing territory from Montenegro and Serbia, including Kosovo and the western part of southern Serbia that is today part of Macedonia. Wide-scale ethnic cleansing occurred, aimed at creating an ethnically pure Albanian Kosovo, or "Kosova". The fascist Prime Minister of Greater Albania, Mustafa Kruja, and the Muslim leader of the Albanian National Committee, Bedri Pejani, both called for the total extermination of all Orthodox Serb Christians in Kosovo. Pejani also advocated for the union of Greater Albania with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Nazi-allied Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammad Amin al Husseini, approved the plan as being in the interests of Islam. However the Nazis, recognising that an Islamic super-state was not in their long-term interests, rejected the idea and kept the Muslim Bosniacs and Kosovars geographically separated.

Through the WW2 Nazi-Muslim holocaust in Yugoslavia, some one million Serbs, sixty thousand Jews and eighty thousand Roma were exterminated.

The Islamic imperialist agenda being advanced through the Nazi-Muslim alliance during WW2 was scuttled when the Allies won the war. However, while resistance to Nazi occupation came from both the Partisans (Communists, led by Marshall Tito, a Croat) and the Loyalists (loyal to Yugoslavia's ruling Serb monarchy), Winston Churchill elected to abandon his Serb allies and support the Communists for political expediency (peace with the Soviets). This guaranteed a Communist victory and further suffering for the Serbs.

Marshall Tito divided Yugoslavia along ethnic lines in order to destroy the hegemony of the Serbs who were the largest ethnic group in Yugoslavia. While the various ethnic minorities lived in their ethnic regions, Serbs, though concentrated in Serbia, were scattered over the whole nation. Dividing Yugoslavia along ethnic lines left millions of Serbs as religious and ethnic minorities under the rule of those who had attempted genocide against them in World War Two. Tito also re-cast the borderless regions of Kosovo and Metohija as a single, bordered province within Serbia. Tito was keen to form a federation with Communist Albania so he denied the Serbs who had been ethnically cleansed from Kosovo during WW2 the right to return. In an effort to appease Kosovar separatists, Tito granted Kosovo autonomy in 1974.

When Kosovo's autonomy was revoked in 1989 on account of rising persecution of Serbs and sectarian unrest, Kosovar separatism increased, even to the extent that the Kosovars set up a parallel government. Milosevic dissolved Kosovo's Kosovar legislature after it unilaterally declared Kosovo independent. While Albania recognised the "Republic of Kosova" the international community did not because at that time it still respected International Law and the UN Charter and would not re-draw international borders just to appease separatists, Islamic imperialists or terrorists.

Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since 1999. During this time, around 150 historic Serbian monasteries and churches have been destroyed while some 400 mosques have been built. Meanwhile it is estimated that more than 1,000 Serbs and Roma (no Jews, because the KLA drove out all the Jews in 1999) have been kidnapped, killed and disappeared, while around 230,000 Serbs have been ethnically cleansed.

On Friday 2 February 2007, UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari presented his proposal on the status of Kosovo. Ahtisaari has proposed that Kosovo have supervised independence.

The Kosovars have accepted the proposal while the Serbs naturally reject what is essentially a plan to excise 15 percent of Serbia's territory, which includes its historic spiritual heartland of Metohija and cede it to Kosovar Muslim separatists.

Ahtisaari's proposal now goes to the UN Security Council where Russia and China will oppose it while the US and the UK will support it.

The UN cannot declare Kosovo independent without unleashing a torrent of secessionist claims across the globe and Kosovo, which claims to be special and unique but isn't, would be the precedent for them all. Russia and China would both be threatened, which is probably one of several reasons, along with appeasement of Islamists and attraction to myth, why the US and the UK are supporting it.

The Serbs are advocating for Kosovo to have autonomy within Serbia (see http://www.kosovocompromise.com/ ). However Kosovars and other Islamist imperialists will doubtless accept nothing less than full independence.

The situation in the Balkans is explosive and Kosovo may well prove to be the fuse.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bosnia: Fragile stability threatened by Islamisation.

Date: Thursday 12 October 2006
Subj: Bosnia: Fragile stability threatened by Islamisation.
To: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty News & Analysis
From: WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal

On Tuesday 10 October 2006 at around 4:30am, an unidentified assailant armed allegedly with a "Zolja" hand-held grenade launcher shot a missile into a mosque in the Jasenica area of Mostar, southern Bosnia. Jasenica is a Croat majority suburb of Mostar which is split evenly between Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats. The attack happened before Muslims arrived for a pre-dawn Ramadan meal, so the mosque was empty and there were no injuries. (Link 1)

While the attack may have been perpetrated by a disgruntled voter unsettled by the outcome of the 1 October elections, it is just as likely that the mosque was struck by an Islamist tasked with triggering a sectarian conflict that would enable a "justified" military expansion of Islamist control.

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FRAGILE STABILITY THREATENED BY ISLAMISATION
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The scenario of ethnic-religious polarisation envisaged in my earlier WEA RLC News & Analysis posting - "Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religious tensions rising" (link 2) - is coming to pass. Bosnia's peace is extremely delicate. As ethnic-religious identity, zeal, insecurity and defensiveness rise in the various communities, all religious groups that exist as minorities are likely to suffer increased discrimination and persecution.

Of course Protestants are a minority across all of Bosnia. According to a report by Forum 18 (Link 3), Sarajevo is the only place where Protestants have not had difficulties getting building permits. This is probably because America supported the Islamist cause in the Bosnian war (as they did in Kosovo) with devastating effectiveness. So in Sarajevo at least, the Bosniac Islamists who doubtless have the power to turn persecution of Protestants on and off presently want it turned off. How long this will last is questionable, as the US-led War on Terror and the post-war radicalisation of much of the Bosnian Muslim population (particularly youths) makes the US-Bosniac Islamist alliance extremely delicate too. Protestants will probably only be tolerated in Sarajevo as long as the US-Bosniac Islamist alliance holds and the Islamists believe their friends in Washington are still useful with regard to the advance of the Islamist or Muslim nationalist agenda for Bosnia.

Forum 18 reports that in Croat areas, Protestants wanting building permits are obstructed, while in the Republika Srpska (Serb Republic), Protestants face considerable obstruction and harassment. Of course Serbs generally (and understandably) are suspicious and resentful of Protestants whom they view as pro-American, which to them means pro-Bosniac Islamist and anti-Serb.

FROM DAYTON TO 1 OCT 2006:
SEPARATED PEOPLES, COMFORTABLY GROWING APART


Bosnia has three main ethnic groups: Serbs (Eastern Orthodox), Croats (Roman Catholic), and Bosniacs (Muslim). The Dayton Accords, which brought an end to the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, kept the state unified and independent but divided it into two autonomous entities: the Muslim-Croat federation, and the Republika Srpka (Serb Republic). (Full background at link 2)

Since the war, states such as Iran and Saudi Arabia have invested heavily in the Muslim-Croat federation's physical and ideological reconstruction in line with Sarajevo's Islamisation strategy. According to locals, mosques have sprung up in Sarajevo "like mushrooms after the rain". Sources report to Forum 18 that the number of mosques in Sarajevo is now "at 250 or more". (Link 3)

Meanwhile, older and war-damaged mosques have been "renovated" by Arabs with Saudi funds. They ensure the "renovated" mosques conform to Wahhabi standards (stripped of European and Sufi icons and decorations). Wahhabi missionaries have flooded in to teach the nominal Muslims of Bosnia how to be "good Muslims", following the "true way", being more observant, more assertive, less tolerant, wearing veils and growing beards. But by advancing Islamisation, Sarajevo has been increasing the incompatibility of Muslims and Christians and directly threatening the stability brought by the Dayton Accords.

Meanwhile the Republika Srpska has maintained its ethnic and religious distinctives - using Cyrillic rather than Latin script, and building Orthodox Churches rather than mosques - and progressed in rather a different direction. While the Bosniac leadership is developing ties with Islamic states (advancing cultural ties with Iran and an air-traffic agreement with
Libya), RS is advancing cultural ties with, and building bridges (literally) to Serbia, much to the chagrin of the Bosniac Islamists and Muslim nationalists who have protested this "conspiracy against Muslims". (Link 4)

RESULT OF 1 OCTOBER 2006 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
CONFLICTED PRESIDENCY REFLECTS CONFLICTED PEOPLE.


Bosnia has a national central government with a three-person rotating presidency. Each entity - the Muslim-Croat federation and the Republika Srpska - also has its own president and parliament. Each ethnic group has a representative in the central presidency. The Serbs must vote for their Serb representative, whilst in the Muslim-Croat federation, Muslims and Croats may vote for a Muslim or a Croat. The leading Muslim and the leading Croat win positions as the representatives of their ethnic group.

Religious tensions have been rising in Bosnia because of the Islamist, Muslim nationalist and Western, US-led push for constitutional reform which would strengthen the central (Muslim dominated) government at the expense of the entities. For Islamists, the US-proposed reforms don't go far enough as they maintain the Republika Srpska (RS) as an entity. For Serbs in RS, the reforms go too far too fast and threaten to undermine Serb autonomy and return the Serbs to dhimmitude. Islamist Bosniacs, driven by Islamist ideology, are keen to dissolve theRepublika Srpska. In response, the Serbs have threatened to hold a referendum on secession rather than live as a Christian minority under Muslim domination. The constitutional reforms and the status of Republika Srpska were central election issues.

The winners of the national presidential election are polar opposites, creating a conflicted presidency which reflects a conflicted people. The new federal parliament does likewise.

The Muslim representative in the new Bosnian presidency is Haris Silajdzic who was the war-time Foreign Minister and Prime Minister under Islamist President Izetbegovic. Silajdzic campaigned as an advocate of the dissolution of Republika Srpksa (RS) (as quoted in "Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religious tensions rising" WEA RLC: link 2).

The Serb representative is Nebojsa Radmanovic of the pro-West "Union of Independent Social Democrats", the party of Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik who has vowed to hold a referendum on secession if the Muslims press for the dissolution of RS. A Serb referendum on secession is something the Bosniac Islamists have vowed to resist.

As if this does not create enough tension, the Croat representative to the three-person rotating presidency is allegedly not the Croat choice. (Link 5)

The current Croat President, Ivo Miro Jovic, is believed to be the real Croat choice. However, he came in second behind Zeljko Komsic, a Croat who fought with the Bosnian Muslim army against the Bosnian Croat army in 1993 when Bosnian Croats tried to secede from Izetbegovic's independent unified state of Bosnia. Komsic, like Silajdzic, ran on the platform of a unified "anti-sectarian" Bosnia. Croats (who are about a 14 percent minority) believe Komsic was elected with Muslim votes and will not represent Croat interests. This, along with growing Croat discomfort in the increasingly Islamised Muslim-Croat federation, has re-ignited Croat calls for a third autonomous ethnic entity to carved out in Bosnia.

The Roman Catholic Croats and the Muslim Bosniacs were both allied to the Nazis during World War Two, joining SS Units tasked with exterminating the "lesser races" - Serbs, Jews and Roma - in the Holocaust in Yugoslavia. After WWII both groups were allied to the Communist Partisians led by Tito (a Croat) against the pro-democracy, pro-West Serbs.

However, the post-WWII radicalisation of Bosnia's Muslims, from the 1970s, but especially through and since the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, has caused this alliance to become strained over recent years. Many Croats may now feel they have more in common with their Serb former enemies than their Bosniac former allies. A little over a year ago, Croats in the northeastern Bosnian town of Brcko were forced to appeal to local authorities for protection after they were threatened by an extremist Islamic group from the nearby village of Gornja Maoca. Wahhabi leaders in Gornja Maoca had been calling Catholic Croats "the worst kind of crusaders" and saying they should all be exterminated. (Link 6)

So the 1 October elections have not only polarised the Bosniac and Serb populations (between unity and autonomy), but also deeply unsettled the Croats. The majority Bosnian Muslims have voted for non-sectarian unity and democracy. It sounds heavenly except that Islamists, modern nominal or liberal or secular pro-European Muslims, and non-Muslim minorities all interpret that quite differently (as Islamic domination, European-style equality, and repressive dhimmitude respectively).

Meanwhile non-Muslim minorities who recoil at the idea of living as dhimmis under Islamic domination are labeled obstructionist, divisive, sectarian and racist. (Link 7)

DAYTON'S STABILISATION SERIOUSLY THREATENED


We truly are drifting right back into the pre-Dayton and pre-war Bosnia of 1992. And just as in 1992, if Bosnia's Muslim nationalists and Islamists attempt to turn their rhetoric into reality and impose Muslim rule over the Bosnian Serb minority, the Serbs will not submit - they will resist. Then the Islamists will cry foul and deploy their ready Army and jihadist forces to an aggressive, offensive "defence" of Bosnia against Serb "aggression" (resistance) and under the banner of "justice". It is all very familiar.

Today, with modern political and religious understanding and post-9/11 knowledge (the links between Bosniac Islamists and 9/11 are now well documented: link 8), the West surely cannot support the Islamist agenda to Islamise all of Bosnia and place Bosnian Christians (Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant) in a state of "democratic" dhimmitude.

Peace, religious liberty and security for all Bosnians of all confessions and traditions can only be achieved by means of a lengthy and patient national and international truth and reconciliation process (something the US would doubtless resist), along with the total rejection and absolute abandonment of all Islamist rhetoric, politics and goals (something the Islamists would certainly reject). Without those two things, this conflicted, forced, sham marriage that is post-Dayton Bosnia, cannot last, and lasting peace and true religious liberty will never be the reality.

Links

1) Missile hits Bosnia mosque ahead of Ramadan meal
Tue 10 Oct 2006 SARAJEVO, 10 Oct 2006
http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/CrisesArticle.aspx?storyId=L10888408&WTmodLoc=World-R5-Alertnet-2
http://www.serbianna.com/news/2006/02424.shtml (has picture)

2) Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religious tensions rising
By Elizabeth Kendal WEA RLC. 20 September 2006
http://www.worldevangelicalalliance.com/news/view.htm?id=692

3) BOSNIA: To legally build a place of worship...
By Drasko Djenovic, Forum 18 News Service
http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=811

4) BOSNIA: Muslims and Serbs in rift over bridge.
Sarajevo, 2 August 2006 (AKI)
http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level_English.php?cat=Religion&loid=8.0.326873544&par=0

5) Nationalist party rejects result of vote for Bosnian Croat presidency
The Associated Press. 3 October 2006
http://www.iht.com/bin/print_ipub.php?file=/articles/ap/2006/10/03/europe/EU_POL_Bosnia_Election_Dispute.php

6) Croats lack protection in Bosnia as Islamists put threats. 29 Sept 2005
http://newsfromrussia.com/yougoslavia/2005/09/29/64010.html

7) Serbs block road to Bosnian unity
By Nicholas Walton. BBC News, Sarajevo. 2 October 2006
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5399856.stm

8) Bosnian Official Links With Terrorism, Including 9/11
International Strategic Studies Association.
Balkan Strategic Studies. 17 September 2003
Analysis by Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS [Global Information Systems],
with input from GIS stations in the Balkans.
http://128.121.186.47/ISSA/reports/Balkan/Sep1703.htm

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religious tensions rising.

Date: Tuesday 19 September 2006
Subj: Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religious tensions rising.
To: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty News & Analysis
From: WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal.

This comprehensive posting on the rising ethnic-religious tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two parts: an examination of the present situation, and an overview of the history that has created its context.

While the recent religious incidents that triggered this posting might seem to be fairly insignificant, the issues and their potential to inflame conflict are not. In fact the issues emerging in Bosnia and Herzegovina today are reminiscent of those that led to war in 1992. When sparks appear in the midst of an incendiary environment, then regardless of how small they appear, they must be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly with the goal of preventing an explosion.

This posting submits that Bosnia and Herzegovina warrants the immediate, diligent attention of religious liberty monitors, advocates and intercessors, as well as peace-makers who can recognise romanticism, embrace realism, and care more about protecting flesh-and-blood than illusory political ideals.

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BOSNIA: RELIGIOUS TENSIONS RISING
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On 11 August, an explosion damaged the tomb of Bosnia's 1992-1995 war-time Muslim President, Alija Izetbegovic.

While portrayed by his Western allies as a moderate, Izetbegovic was actually an up-front Islamist backed by Iran. His "Islamic Declaration", first published in 1970, was republished in Sarajevo in 1990 just as Yugoslavia was starting to break apart. Izetbegovic was awarded the King Faisal Award in 1994 and the Figure of the Year in the Islamic World in 2001.

Izetbegovic's Islamic Declaration clearly expresses his worldview: "There can be no peace or coexistence between Islamic faith and non-Islamic faith and non-Islamic institutions. The Islamic movement must and can take power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough, not only to destroy the non-Islamic power, but to build up a new Islamic one." And, "Panislamism always came from the very heart of the Muslim peoples, nationalism was always imported stuff."

This is doubtless why, as conflict was escalating in Croatia and Yugoslavia was tearing apart, Izetbegovic withdrew his signature on 28 March 1992 from the 18 March 1992 Lisbon Agreement that had been constructed to prevent conflict in Bosnia by dividing the state into three autonomous entities: Bosniac, Croat and Serb. Two days after withdrawing his signature Izetbegovic illegally called for a referendum on secession despite the objections of the Bosnian Serb minority.

For a critique of Alija Izetbegovic and his role in instigating the Bosnia conflict see "Alija Izetbegovic, 1925-2003", by Damjan de Krnjevic-Miskovic, a Senior Fellow at the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. (Link 1)

Izetbegovic's tomb is located in the Kovaci (Martyrs) Cemetery in Sarajevo's Old Town. Nobody was injured in the bombing, which occurred a little after 3 am, and damage to surrounding buildings was slight. Dejan Anastasijevic reported from Belgrade for TIME magazine (29 August), "Most Muslims blamed the Serbs, who for their part insisted that Muslims staged the explosion; the ongoing investigation has so far proved fruitless."

The following week, a group of Muslims forced their way into a Serbian church which has been built on the site of a mosque in eastern Bosnia. (Link 2)

MINOR INCIDENTS - SIGNIFICANT ISSUES


The issues fanning tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina today bear a striking resemblance to the issues of 1992 that triggered the Bosnian war. In 1992, war was triggered by calls from Bosnian Islamists, led by Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, for Bosnia to secede from Yugoslavia and become an independent, single, undivided state. This would have placed some 1.3 million Bosnian Serb Christians of the Eastern Orthodox tradition under Muslim and Croat domination in what Islamist openly planned would become an Islamic State. Serb resistance was met with jihad. Fighting was halted through the Dayton Accords (December 1995) which created the independent state of Bosnia and Herzogovina, but divided it into two autonomous entities: the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska (Serb Republic), each with its own government, parliament, army and police.

The issue today is that the West led by the US is agitating for Constitutional reform in Bosnia that will strengthen the central (Muslim dominated) government at the expense of the entities. Ekrem Krasniqi in Brussels and Anes Alic in Sarajevo, wrote for ISN Security Watch in November 2005, "In essence, the constitutional changes aim to reverse the international community's quick-fix measures to end the war, which entailed making ethnic division a political reality - a reality that is no longer feasible in a country hoping to join the EU." (See ISN's "Redefining Bosnia": Link 3)

While the US is not calling for the dismantling of the Republika Srpska, some Bosnian Muslim leaders are. Nicholas Wood reports for the the New York Times, "Haris Silajdzic, a Muslim, a former foreign minister and a presidential candidate, has campaigned against the proposed changes, saying they would leave the Serbian republic in place. The Serbian entity should be abolished and absorbed into a stronger Bosnian state, he contends. That idea, diplomats here say, is unrealistic, but it appeals to nationalist Muslim voters." (Link 2)

Prime minister of Republika Srpska (RS), Milorad Dodik, has said he will never agree to reform police and security forces as demanded by the European Union as a condition for EU association talks. Serb leaders have responded to Islamist calls for the abolition of RS by saying that if moves are made to dissolve RS, then RS will hold a referendum on secession. It is estimated that around 90 percent of Serbs in RS would vote to secede from Bosnia if a referendum were held.

Sulejman Tihic, the Muslim member of Bosnia's three-man rotating presidency said that Serbs wanting to secede could pack their bags and leave but they could not take one inch of Bosnian territory with them.

AKI reports: "RS Prime Minister Milorad Dodik retorted that Tihic's statement represented a drastic example of 'hate and chauvinism' which will only further inflame ethnic passions in Bosnia. 'In Tihic's statement one can easily recognise an Islamic concept which sees Bosnia as its exclusive right,' said Dodik. 'Serbs are constituent people in Bosnia [and] claim the same right to the country and to live in it,' said Dodik." (Link 4)

The Islamist principle that "Islamic lands" cannot be seceded is why Bosnian Islamists regard any RS move towards a referendum or secession as unacceptable and doubtless as grounds for jihad. As in 1992, the Serbs would rather face jihad rather than be returned to dhimmitude (the subjugated state of non-Muslims living under Islamic domination).

CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM

The stated aim of the Constitutional reform is to move Bosnia from "stabilisation" to "transition". The Dayton Accords which ended the 1992-1995 war stabilised Bosnia by separating warring constituents into two entities: the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Republiska Srpska. Now, the West alleges, it is time for Bosnia to transition toward EU membership by strengthening its State institutions at the expense of the entities.

While the Islamists are anxious not to cement any degree of Serb autonomy, the Serbs are anxious not to lose their autonomy. Most Serbs are concerned that the Constitutional reform could simply be a slow road towards the dissolution of RS.

The appeal of Mr Dragan Cavic, the President of Republika Srpska, is simply that the stability brought by the Dayton Accords' division of Bosnia should not be sacrificed in the transition process. "We are committed to success [of transition into Europe] and we need success, but a clear prerequisite of our support should be keeping the Dayton's Entity Status of the Republic of Srpska within Bosnia and Herzegovina . . . European phase can not replace the Dayton phase. . . . These two cannot confront each other, they can supplement each other." (Link 5)

While economics is the primary subject being openly discussed by EU and US advocates of constitutional reform, behind the scenes the talk is equally of unity, democracy, eliminating ethnic divisions, religious tolerance and other fine-sounding ideals.

ECONOMICS

Bosnia's present set up of two autonomous entities, each with its own parliament, government administration, courts, police force and services, as well as a central government makes for a very expensive system. In fact, around 60 percent of Bosnia's GDP is spent simply maintaining state and entity apparatus, and this is contributing significantly to the weakness of the Bosnian state.

IDEALISM

The less talked about reason behind the US-led drive for constitutional reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina is more idealistic. The West still has a desire to "prove" that Muslims and Christians can live together in harmonious, tolerant, democratic, golden Islamic societies, as allegedly in history(!) and in Lebanon(!). And as they will in the new Iraq! It is important to Europe and the US that this human experiment, which is little more than a forced marriage, not fail. If the Bosnia experiment fails, then the prospects for London, Paris and other multicultural, pluralist democracies with rapidly growing Muslim populations are grim.

A hugely important address on this subject was given by Bat Ye'or on 31 August 1995 at the International Strategic Studies Association's Symposium on the Balkan War - "Yugoslavia: Past and Present". Bat Ye'or's address, entitled, "Myths and politics: Origins of the Myth of a Tolerant Pluralistic Islamic Society", is essential reading for understanding the politics of and international ideals behind Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Link 6)

While intended to unite Bosnian Muslims (Bosniacs), Croats and Serbs under Bosnian nationalism, the proposed constitutional reforms are actually dividing the constituent peoples. A March 2006 nation-wide survey conducted by the International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (Ljubljana, Slovenia) revealed that only 29.3 percent of those surveyed supported the constitutional amendments while 59.8 percent disapproved. (Link 7)

Serbs in the Republika Srpska generally reject the reforms as they strengthen the Muslim-dominated central authority at the expense of the entities, lessening Serb autonomy. The Croats also reject the reforms and are voicing their preference to carve out their own autonomous ethnic entity. Most Bosniac Islamists either support the reforms or want them to be more radical because they conform to Islamist aspirations to strengthen the central (Muslim-dominated) government and extend its powers to all corners of Bosnia.

But Bosniac Islamists who advocate the forcible abolition of the Republika Srpska do not do this with shouts of jihad or with the language of Islamic imperialism. They do this by denouncing ethnic and religious separation and by extolling the virtues of unity, tolerance and democracy, in much the same way that Arab nationalism did. They do this by crying victim and saying the murderous, evil, demonic Serbs should not have any right to self- rule on "Bosnian" (read "Muslim") land.

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS: 1 OCTOBER


The proposed constitutional reforms failed to pass a vote in the Bosnian parliament on 27 April, so further discussion has been put off until after the 1 October 2006 parliamentary elections. However, constitutional reform is now an election issue. As the tension and rhetoric escalates, international voices are calling for calm. (Link 8)

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CREATING CONTEXT: HISTORY'S WEDGES
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ISLAMIC ERA

From the early 14th Century to the early 20th Century the Serbs and other Southern Slavs lived as persecuted dhimmis, cruelly subjugated under the Islamic imperialism of the Ottoman Empire. During that era most Bosnian Slavs converted to Islam.

As the Ottoman Empire started to crumble Christian Slavs fought for and won their liberation from Islamic rule through the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. Yugoslavia was created in 1918 as a Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes - all Southern Slavs. But the long history of Islamic repression and persecution and the trauma of the bloody wars that brought it to an end left a wedge between Christian Slavs and Muslims.

(Muslim Slavs live predominantly in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They accounted for 8.9 percent of Yugoslavia in the 1981 census but are around 44 percent in modern-day Bosnia.)

WORLD WAR TWO

World War Two saw Yugoslavia split apart. The Axis powers annexed modern-day Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovenia, creating the fascist state of Croatia. They also occupied Serbia which was aligned with the Allies. The "lesser races" - the Serbs, Jews and Gypsies (Romas) - were targeted by the Nazis for extermination.

Some two million Serbs lived in Croatia at the beginning of WW2. Of that number, around one million were killed, around half the remainder were expelled while the other half were forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism under threat of death. Of the Serbs killed, multitudes were murdered by the 20,000-strong Waffen-SS "Handschar" (scimitar) division. This was established in Bosnia by SS head, Heinrich Himmler, and the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammad Amin al Husseini, and consisted of Bosnian and some Albanian Muslims.

Around 390,000 Serbs were murdered by the fascist Croat "Ustasa", while between 300,000 and 700,000 Serbs, Jews and Romas, including 20,000 known, named children, were executed by Croat forces in Camp Jasenovac .

The barbarity and horror of the WW2 holocaust in Yugoslavia is concisely documented at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (with an excellent search engine). The terror of those days created a deep wedge between Serbs, and Bosnian Muslims and Croats. Nowhere is this wedge more evident than in Bosnia where Muslims, Croats and Serbs have lived interspersed for centuries.

Most Bosnian Serbs have been raised by parents or influenced by grandparents who are remnant survivors of the Bosniac-Croat attempted genocide of Serbs during the World War Two holocaust in Yugoslavia.

COMMUNIST ERA

After WW2, Josip Broz Tito's Partisans, a Communist-led, anti-Axis resistance movement, recreated Yugoslavia as a federal republic. Tito drew the Bosniacs into his Communist Partisan forces and fostered the creation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a separate Muslim republic.

Serbs were by far the largest ethnic group in Yugoslavia and Tito, a Croat, was determined to destroy Serb hegemony. While Tito was hailed for uniting the warring Slavs under Communism, he actually carved up Yugoslavia, primarily along ethnic lines, but in a way that deliberately weakened the Serbs by ensuring that the republics had large Serb minorities. In fact 42 percent of Serbs were left outside Serbia proper. As Tito advanced his policy of decentralisation, Serb minorities grew anxious. Tito's carve-up of Yugoslavia deliberately created artificial, geographical wedges between Serbs.

ISLAMIST ASCENDENCY

In the early days of the Bosnian war, terrorism expert Yossef Bodansky and Vaughn S Forrest wrote "Iran's European Springboard?", a report for the task force on terrorism and unconventional warfare, the House Research Committee. This report is as hugely significant and relevant today as it was in September 1992. (Link 9)

Bodansky and Forrest describe in detail how Tito's pro-Arab policies unintentionally contributed to the radicalisation of Bosnian Muslims as early as the 1970s. After the Iranian Islamic Revolution, Izetbegovic "renewed his call to implement his Islamic Declaration, began organising an Islamist political movement, and within a few years was thrown in jail for subversion." By the 1980s Palestinian, Syrian and Iranian groups were using Yugoslavia as a base of operations, and Bosniacs were undergoing terrorist and ideological training in Lebanon and Iran.

"Meanwhile," wrote Bodansky and Forrest in 1992, "Iran has also consolidated a Muslim leadership network supportive of Tehran's world view. At the centre of the Iranian system in Europe is Bosnia-Hercegovina's President, Alija Izetbegovic, 'a fundamentalist Muslim and a member of the Fida'iYan-e Islam organisation,' who is committed to the establishment of an Islamic Republic in Bosnia-Hercegovina."

According to Bodansky and Forrest, Izetbegovic developed close cultural and economic ties with Iran. Bodansky and Forrest described the Bosnia War as " . . a proxy battlefield for the future and fortunes of the growing Muslim community of Western Europe".

Terrorism experts including Bodansky assert that the Balkans is integral to Islamist plans for escalation of conflict against Israel, Europe and the USA. According to the experts, Muslim Slavs are being recruited to a "white al-Qaeda" (also known as "white devils") that can be easily deployed for terror operations in the West. (Link 10)

THE CONSEQUENCE OF UNHEALED WEDGES: DIVORCE


It was the deep and valid fear that Serb minorities had of Muslim and Croat domination that led Serb minorities in Croatia and Bosnia to react against Croatian and Bosnian calls for independence and secession. As Yugoslavia broke apart in the early 1990s, around 2 million Serbs faced the prospect of living as minorities under Muslim and Croatian rule.

Civil war erupted as Serbs sought to guarantee their future liberty and security by redrawing the borders to form a Greater Serbia. The Bosniacs and Croats, not believing a Greater Serbia had a right to exist, fought against the Serbs to ensure no territory was lost. As is common in war, atrocities and criminal acts were committed by all sides.

For a Bosniac Islamist such as President Alija Izetbegovic the fight was not primarily about nationalism but about Islamic lands. This was a jihad for which they had the support of their allies in Iran, Saudi Arabia and al-Qaeda. According to Bodansky, on 29 July 1992, Iran's Ayatollah Ali Hussayn Khamene'i gave a sermon in which he described the war in Bosnia as a US-led Western/Christian campaign "against the Islamic wave throughout the world", and he exhorted Muslims worldwide to mobilise and join the jihad for Islam in Europe.

And join they did, by the thousands. The Dayton Accords gave the foreign mujahideen 30 days to leave Bosnia. However, it appears that multitudes of mujahideen did not leave but instead were granted citizenship.

Today a Bosnian state commission is reviewing 1,500 citizenships granted post-war to foreign mujahideen. The commission head, Vjekoslav Vukovic, says many names on the list are linked to al-Qaeda and international terrorist organisations. So far 400 of the 1,500 names have been reviewed and 50 citizenships have been revoked. AKI reports, "Kadrija Kolic, a lawyer for several naturalised citizens, has said that it was a 'crime' to revoke the citizenship of the former fighters, as they had been granted by the wartime government of Bosnia's late president Alija Izetbegovic." (Link 11)

DEMONISATION: A WEDGE WITH THE WORLD

The Serbs as a people have been collectively demonised. This has resulted in a pervasive anti-Serb mindset that is irrational and unjust. Much like modern anti-Semitism, anti-Serbism has been built on the exaggerations, lies, disinformation, conspiracy theories and propaganda professionally churned out by expert Islamist PR and media agents to lazy, gullible, predominantly left-wing journalists.

It was primarily through strategic disinformation and propaganda the Islamists also managed to win the support of a US regime that was keen, (according to the opinion of some analysts), to repay debts incurred to Iran after supporting Iraq in the Iran Iraq war.

According to Bodansky and Forrest, the Serb siege on Sarajavo caused Izetbegovic to become convinced "that it was necessary to undertake drastic measures of a kind that had long been advocated by Tehran. The Iranians had argued that before any escalation in the fighting could take place, it was imperative to either gain the sympathies of the West or at the least to ensure that there existed a legitimate excuse that would enable the presentation of any action undertaken by Muslim forces as justifying revenge for Serbian atrocities.

"To that end, beginning in May 1992, a special group of Bosnian Muslim forces, many of whom had served with Islamist terrorist organisations, began committing a series of atrocities, including 'some of the worst recent killings,' against Muslim civilians in Sarajevo 'as a propaganda ploy to win world sympathy and military intervention.'

"A UN investigation concluded that several key events, mostly strikes against civilians, that had galvanised public opinion and governments in the West to take bolder action in Bosnia- Hercegovina, were in fact 'staged' for the Western media by the Muslims themselves in order to dramatise the city's plight. Investigations by the UN and other military experts count among these self-inflicted actions the 'bombing of the bread queue' (May 27), the 'shelling' of Douglas Hurd's visit (July 17), the 'explosion in the cemetery' (August 4), and the killing of ABC producer David Kaplan (August 13). In all these cases, Serbian forces were out of range, and the weapons actually used against the victims were not those claimed by the Bosnian authorities and the Western media."

The popular narrative of Srebrenica is just as fictional. "The Srebrenica Report" is essential reading for those seeking to understand Srebrenica, "the politics of war crimes" and how Islamists have turned strategic disinformation into both a weapon of war and an art form. It is a high-level report conducted over three years by professional researchers and former UN officials. The following information comes from various reports on their site. (Link 12)

According to General Sefer Halilovic, Commander of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 5,500 soldiers of the Muslim Army's 28th Division were stationed at "safe-haven" Screbrenica with sophisticated arms, including anti-tank weapons. He also confirmed to The Hague Tribunal that when the Serb force of some 200 men and five tanks entered the town on 11 July it was nearly empty.

In the weeks before the Serb capture of Srebrenica, the Bosnian government of President Izetbegovic in Sarajevo withdrew Srebrenica's most significant Islamist militant leaders (including the infamous mass-murderer, Naser Oric, who liked to be filmed torturing, beheading and mutilating his Serb victims) and sent them for retraining in Zenica. This left the 28th Division virtually leaderless.

Muslim soldiers were then ordered to launch provocations against surrounding Serb villages. When the Serbs responded, advancing from the south, the Muslim soldiers retreated north. Former UN Deputy Director of UN Monitors, Carlos Martins Branco, reports: "Muslim forces did not even try to take advantage of their heavy artillery . . . Military resistance would jeopardise the image of 'victim' which had been so carefully constructed, and which the Muslims considered so vital to maintain." Many UN and other observers concluded that Izetbegovic sacrificed the town for political purposes.

The Muslim claim that 8,000 unarmed civilian Muslim men and boys had been executed in Srebrenica by Serb soldiers triggered the American and NATO bombing raids on the Serbs. This in turn gave motivation for the Muslim-Croat alliance which effected - with US sanction - the August 1995 ethnic cleansing of up to 250,000 Serbs from western Bosnia in Operation Storm.

Today, 11 years after the Srebrenica massacre, that claim still stands despite the fact that the figure of 8,000 was only the Red Cross' list of "missing", the majority of whom were simply displaced. After 11 years of searching and of forensic investigations led by teams of international experts around 2,000 bodies have been found buried in Srebrenica, and that number is made up of victims of US and NATO bombs, Muslim Bosnian Army soldiers who died of battle wounds, Serbs, and Muslim victims of execution-style killing. (Between 200 and 300 blindfolds and ligatures were exhumed with bodies.)

Quoting former UN Civilian Affairs Co-ordinator Phillip Corwin, the senior UN civilian official in Bosnia at the time of the capture of Srebrenica, "What happened in Srebrenica was not a single large massacre of Muslims by Serbs, but rather a series of very bloody attacks and counterattacks over a three-year period which reached a crescendo in July 1995. Moreover it is likely that the number of Muslim dead was probably no more than the number of Serbs that had been killed in Srebrenica and its environs in the three preceding years by Naser Oric and his predatory gangs. But my point here is not to argue equivalence, but to expose distortion."

According to Corwin, the official version of events at Srebrenica has been a "campaign of disinformation that has all but buried the facts along with the bodies".

The American government perpetuates the myth of a massacre of unparalleled evil to justify its alliance with Islamist forces. It is highly probable though, that if the Islamic terror attacks of 11 September 2001 had occurred a decade earlier the US may have been less hasty to enter a conflict as allies of Iran and al-Qaeda- backed Islamists. They may have been less quick to bomb European Eastern Orthodox Christians based primarily on reports churned out by the same Islamist propaganda machines that have since given us "Genocide in Jenin" and other tall tales.

CONCLUSIONS

While the sectarian incidents that triggered this posting seem relatively insignificant, the issues are in fact highly significant and reminiscent of those that led to war in 1992.

If Tito's borders are inviolable and a Greater Serbia is not to be, then the Serbs of Republika Srpska need the assurance that they can maintain a high degree of autonomy in this forced marriage and not be returned to dhimmitude. They will face jihad (again) rather than be returned to dhimmitude.

The strategy of the Islamists on their road to the creation of an Islamic State, is to use disinformation to collectively demonise the Serbs so as to isolate them from those who should be their friends and allies. The Islamist aim is to ensure the world regards Serb peace as undeserved and Serb suffering as justice, establishing the foundation for Western support of the Islamist agenda.

Elizabeth Kendal
rl-research@crossnet.org.au

Links

1) "Alija Izetbegovic, 1925-2003", by Damjan de Krnjevic-Miskovic. http://www.inthenationalinterest.com/Articles/Vol2Issue41/Vol2Issue41dkm.html

2) Ethnic tensions rising as Bosnian vote nears
By Nicholas Wood, The New York Times. 27 August 2006
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/08/27/news/bosnia.php
BOSNIA: late Muslim leader's tomb blown up. Sarajevo, 11 August (AKI)
http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level_English.php?cat=Security&loid=8.0.329887870&par=

3) Redefining Bosnia. 15 Nov 2005
By Ekrem Krasniqi in Brussels and Anes Alic in Sarajevo for ISN Security Watch.
http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=13521

4) BOSNIA: Serbs deem Muslim leader's comments 'irresponsible'. Sarajevo, 25 August 2006 http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level_English.php?cat=Politics&loid=8.0.334008026&par=0

5) Welcoming speech of The President of the Republic of Srpska,
Mr. Dragan Cavic, At the opening of the Scientific Meeting,
"The Republic of Srpska - 10 years of the Dayton Peace Accords" 12 May 2005 http://www.predsjednikrs.net/engleski/stranice/govori/Dayton-2005.htm

6) BAT YE'OR, 31 August 1995
Myths and Politics: Origin or the Myth of a Tolerant Pluralistic Islamic Society
For the International Strategic Studies Association
Symposium on the Balkan War - "Yugoslavia: Past and Present"
http://www.srpska-mreza.com/History/pre-wwOne/Ye_Or.html

7) B-H Constitutional changes without citizens' support!
Author: IFIMES. Uploaded: Tuesday, 25 April, 2006
http://www.bosnia.org.uk/news/news_body.cfm?newsid=2193

8) BOSNIA: Top envoy appeals for calm ahead of poll. Sarajevo, 18 August 2006 http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level_English.php?cat=Politics&loid=8.0.331777836&par=0

9) IRAN'S EUROPEAN SPRINGBOARD?
Yossef Bodansky & Vaughn S. Forrest. 1 September 1992
Task force on terrorism & unconventional warfare, House Republican Research Committee,
http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/politics/papers/civil_war/iran_springboard.html

10) Terrorism: Local manpower key to new al-Qaeda strategy, expert. Belgrade, 30 August 2006
http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level_English.php?cat=Terrorism&loid=8.0.334824252&par=0
Terrorists from Balkans could reach into Europe. 13 Sept 2006
http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51954

11) 50 Al-Qaeda sympathizers lose citizenship. 5 Sept 2006
http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level_English.php?cat=Politics&loid=8.0.336787118&par=0
Bosnia rules to revoke citizenships
By Anes Alic in Sarajevo for ISN Security Watch (14/07/06)
http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=16390

12) Srebrenica and the Politics of War Crimes
Findings of the Srebrenica Research Group into the allegations of events and the background leading up to them, in Srebrenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina, in 1995.
http://www.srebrenica-report.com/