Letter: After the fall of Srebrenica: intervention or withdrawal?

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The Independent Online
From Mr David Bryer

Sir: Srebrenica has fallen, Zepa is on the point of doing so as I write. Oxfam's staff in Tuzla are currently one of the agencies trying to deal with the crisis as thousands, traumatised by appalling violence and separation from their loved ones, seek refuge around the town.

Despite what has happened in Eastern Bosnia, despite the way in which one UN Security Council resolution after another has been flouted, it is still not too late for the international community to live up to its name and to protect the remaining "safe" areas. Aid agencies are working hard to deal with the escalating crisis, but without increased resources and assertive action by the UN and its member states, our work will become impossible.

The people in the Bosnian safe areas have the right to security which the international community has promised them and must ensure. What is the role of the new Rapid Reaction Force if not to prevent yet more misery for the women, the children, the old and the wounded clustering around Tuzla?

The support of the British public for determined action is more vital now than ever. If the international community fails to seize the initiative, we can expect a humanitarian crisis on a scale far beyond that which we are currently witnessing.

Yours sincerely,

David Bryer

Director

Oxfam

Oxford

14 July

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