Letter: Church voices on force in Bosnia

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Bishop of Barking wants us to bomb the Serbs if they do not at once stop shelling Sarajevo and killing the likes of the mother of Irma Hadzimuratovic. Sir Anthony Duff (letter, 10 August) thinks him wrong to do so and wants us only to bomb the Serbs to protect 'humanitarian aid' - the food convoy but not the people who need the food and are threatened by genocide.

The bishop is right and Sir Anthony wrong. The purely 'humanitarian' intervention in Bosnia is a dead end. Its pursuit has been exactly the reason why the people of Sarajevo have been left for a year to reach their present terrible state. It is an artful cover for not giving the real help they need - raising the siege by force. General Mladic has regularly proclaimed his aims in genocidal terms. He has all the heavy weaponry he needs. Nothing will deter him short of armed intervention. We placed the people of Bosnia in this situation by the arms embargo and we, in consequence, are accessories to genocide. The bishop objects to going on being so. Sir Anthony, it seems, is willing.

Yours,

ADRIAN HASTINGS

Department of Theology

and Religious Studies

University of Leeds

Leeds

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