Letter: After the carnage in Bosnia: long-term solution; fate of children without hope; Muslim radicalism

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The Independent Online
Sir: Today, as we write, the children of Bosnia are struggling to survive in the most horrendous conditions known to Europe since 1945. Most of them have lost their homes and all that is familiar to them. Large numbers are orphaned or wounded, living in makeshift camps or ghettos, or wandering the territory in search of safety. Fifteen thousand of them have died in the last year for belonging to the 'wrong' ethnic group.

The cowardly decision of 'containment' arrived at last weekend by Western and Russian politicians condemns these children to a life without hope - unsafe in their own country and unwanted by any other.

In our attempts to alleviate the plight of just some of these children over the past year, we have been overwhelmed by the generous spirit shown by British people who have given their time and energies to this work. We have been especially touched by the many letters received from children in different parts of this country who are deeply disturbed by the pictures they see on television of children suffering in a part of Europe familiar to many of them from their holidays.

Children the world over possess an innate sense of justice, an instinctive sense of what is right and wrong. Should we not - as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and fellow citizens of a continent aspiring to move towards unity - join them in expressing our outrage at a totally unacceptable capitulation to, and sanctioning of the aggression which has led to this misery?

The children of Bosnia stand to lose their humanity in their struggle for existence. As bystanders in this struggle, we stand to lose our own humanity and that of our children.

Yours etc,




SOS For Children:

Croatian & Bosnian Child War

Victim Trust Fund


25 May