Letter: Balkan dilemma

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The British government and Nato should be commended, not condemned, for their decisive action against the Yugoslavs. The bombing is legal, moral and practical.

Your correspondents (letters, 25 March) revealed the clauses in the UN Charter and Helsinki accords that relate to sovereignty and the non-use of force against states. George C Thomas should also have pointed out that the Helsinki accords also demand that states uphold human rights and refrain from policies of apartheid, murder and ethnic cleansing. Without doing these things, a state cannot enjoy the privilege of sovereign inviolability.

The moral case is absolutely clear. The Yugoslavs have breached the Genocide Convention, Geneva Convention and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One in four Kosovar Albanians have been interned by the police at some point, and one in eight have been forced from their home by the ethnic cleansers.

The Nato response is practical and has realistic achievable aims.


Department of International Politics

University of Wales

Aberystwyth, Dyfed