Bosnian Serbs admit to Srebrenica atrocity

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The Independent Online

For the first time, Bosnian Serbs formally acknowledged being behind Europe's worst massacre since the Second World War, owning up yesterday to the massacre of thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica.

For the first time, Bosnian Serbs formally acknowledged being behind Europe's worst massacre since the Second World War, owning up yesterday to the massacre of thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica.

A Bosnian Serb commission "established participation of [Bosnian Serb] military and police units", said a commission report quoted by an international official.

The UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague, Netherlands, has called the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 an act of genocide. While the commission in recent months had co-operated with attempts to find the remains, it had not previously clearly acknowledged that Bosnian Serbs were the perpetrators.

Vedran Persic, a spokesman for Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, the UN High Representative to Bosnia and Herze- govina, said the commission discovered "that in July 1995, several thousand Muslims were liquidated in a way that represents grave violations of international humanitarian law".

Last week, the commission said it had information about 31 more mass graves. Bosnian Serb troops overran a UN-declared safe zone in Srebrenica and slaughtered up to 8,000 men and boys. It was the worst civilian massacre in Europe since the Second World War.

The Srebrenica Commission was formed last year by Lord Ashdown to investigate who was involved in the massacre and where victims were buried.

The work of the commission initially was obstructed by some of its Bosnian Serb members. Only after Lord Ashdown fired several officials and threatened others with dismissal was information made available. ( AP)

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