Letter: Direct action to end Sarajevo siege

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The Independent Online
Sir: The tragic case of Irma Hadzimuratovic from Sarajevo highlights the moral bankruptcy of world leaders and others who only act when forced to do so by the outraged public they have been elected to represent (reports, 13 and 14 August).

Had the British and other governments acted a month ago when the UN put out an emergency call for beds for the sick and wounded of Sarajevo, the children in question and others who needed treatment would already be receiving it, and not still lying in a city under siege, waiting for the people in whose hands their lives rest to sort things out.

The scandal of the bureaucratic tangle that the media has focused on is, however, eclipsed by the much greater scandal that has been exposed by the events of the last few days: the discrepancy between the British Government's offer of help to a handful of Bosnians and its refusal to support the growing number of countries, institutions and individuals who want to act to help all Bosnians by ending the siege of Sarajevo, as a prelude to reversing the conquest of territory by force that has been practised in former Yugoslavia for over two years.

Yours etc,



SOS Children, Croatian & Bosnian Child War Victim Trust Fund


14 August