Ashdown Forces Srebrenica Statement on Bosnian
Serb President Under Threat to Destroy Bosnian Serb State
Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily - Volume XXII, No. 168 - Wednesday, October 20, 2004
From GIS Station, Sarajevo. Sources within the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina (OHR) have indicated that despite the fact that President Dragan Cavic of Republic Srpska made a statement — under duress from OHR Paddy Ashdown — on October 15, 2004, “admitting” to alleged Serbian atrocities against Bosnian Muslims in 1995 at Srebrenica, it was likely that Ashdown would attempt to dismiss Pres. Cavic as soon as possible, and conceivably before the end of 2004.
Significantly, Ashdown has chosen his timing to coincide with the US election hiatus, which sees the US Congress not sitting until early 2005, and then with a partially new membership. Ashdown has apparently made his move in order to stop any possible outcry from US Congressmen who have become increasingly angered at Ashdown’s arbitrary rule in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and his plans to end any place in the state for Bosnian Serbs, who once owned two-thirds of the lands there.
Ashdown has seen it as a mission not to implement the 1995 Dayton Accords — for which his post was created by the international community — but rather to transform Bosnia & Herzegovina into a unitary state, ending the Dayton-stipulated format of two substates within a federation. Essentially, Ashdown, according to the sources, intends to see Republica Srpska “disappear”, which would complete the handover of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the Bosnian Muslims, effectively “ethnically cleansing” the Bosnian Serbs from the state.
Significantly, Republica Srpska is the only part of Bosnia-Herzegovina where the rule of law applies, and where there is productivity, ethnic and religious tolerance.
Ashdown, however, has had a strong history of anti-Serb behavior.
A report in Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily of September 8, 2003, entitled US Official Implicated With Bosnian High Representative Ashdown in Attempting to Force Fabricated Report on Srebrenica, spelled out explicitly how Ashdown, aided by Deputy HR Amb. Donald Hays of the US, intended to force a fictional account a narrow section of the Srebrenica fighting during the Bosnia-Herzegovina civil war on to the Bosnian Serb (Republica Srpska) Government, effectively then giving Ashdown the tool to dismiss the democratically-elected Government and President of Republica Srpska.
Under the Dayton Accords, the High Representative can dismiss any elected or appointed official without contest, and without necessarily stipulating a reason, or having to prove cause.
The September 8, 2003, report noted:
Very reliable sources within the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other sources in Sarajevo, have told GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily that a seconded US official, Amb. Donald S. Hays, the Deputy High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been actively engaged in attempts to force a fabricated report to be published on the controversial wartime fighting at the city of Srebrenica.
Amb. Hays, presumably at the insistence of High Representative Paddy Ashdown, the former British politician, has demanded the publication of a so-called “final report” on an alleged mass-killing of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995, during the Bosnian civil war, by the Government of Republica Srpska, the predominantly Serbian province of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In essence, Amb. Hays and Lord Ashdown are attempting to force the Government of Republica Srpska (RS) to admit that Serbs were responsible for killing thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica.
On October 15, 2004, Republica Srpska Pres. Cavic issued a statement — known to be totally against his personal knowledge and convictions on the Srebrenica affair, and totally at odds with the forensic research by several European governments and international forensic experts — which said that Bosnian Serbs had proven their political maturity by admitting for the first time that their forces slaughtered more than 7,000 Muslims in the 1995 “Srebrenica massacre”. Pres. Cavic told Republica Srpska’s SRNA news agency the report was “proof” of the Serbs’ “political maturity to face up to the bad things in the wartime past”.
Pres. Cavic was known to have been told that he would be removed from office by HR Ashdown if he refused to accept the “findings” of the so-called Commission on Srebrenica which had been sponsored by Ashdown, and dominated by his appointee, the head of the Muslim dominated Commission on Missing Persons. The firing of almost 60 elected and appointed Republica Srpska Government officials on June 30-July 1, 2004, while leaving Pres. Cavic in place, obviously reinforced the fact that they would not be able to speak the truth about Srebrenica or any other issue that clashed with the view of the OHR and still remain in their jobs.
See Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, July 1, 2004, Ashdown, as Predicted, Launches First Stage of Move to Destroy Republica Srpska State.
Meanwhile, an independent commission has been gathering primary evidence on what occurred in Srebrenica, including the extensive fighting around the city in the two years preceding the 1995 incident, and, according to one source inside that investigations “which painstakingly exposes the highly inflated numbers and false context of the official Srebrenica story”.
NATO Stabilization Force (SFOR) intelligence
officers in Bosnia complained to Ashdown following the June-July 2004 purge that
he had summarily dismissed people within the Republica Srpska Government who
were vital to an understanding not just of any war crimes committed in the civil
war, but to the massive influx of Islamist terrorist fighters and supporters
during the 1990s and continuing until today. As a result, Ashdown had to reverse
one of the dismissals — which had been undertaken very publicly — and offer to
reinstate the official concerned under a new job title, to avoid embarrassment
to the OHR. The official refused to be reinstated and, as a result, considerable
damage was done by Ashdown’s actions to the Western counter-terrorism
The July 1, 2004, Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily report noted: “The international High Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Paddy Ashdown, took steps on June 30, 2004, and July 1, 2004, to “punish” the Bosnian Serb community, as exclusively predicted by GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily. His move represents the first stage of an anticipated attempt to totally overturn the internationally-agreed 1995 Dayton Accords by destroying the Bosnian Serb state, Republica Srpska, placing power in the hands of the Bosnian Muslim leadership which has, since the early 1990s worked closely with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.”
A few days before that report, on June 28, 2004, Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, in a report entitled Ashdown Expected to Escalate Attacks on Bosnian Serbs, noted:
Sources within the “Office of the High Representative” — the internationally-imposed leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina — in Sarajevo told GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs that they expected “High Representative” Paddy Ashdown to use the Serbian historic day of June 28, 2004, which commemorates the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, as a symbolic day to impose “more punishment” on the Bosnian Serb community.
Ashdown was reportedly extremely unhappy that NATO representatives had essentially forced him, earlier in June 2004, to reverse the dismissal of the Bosnian Serb official in charge of investigating war crimes, on the basis that the investigations had already led NATO counter-terrorism officials to major successes in their attempts to suppress Bosnian-based Islamist terrorists. Ashdown has traditionally maintained close ties with the Muslim community, even when he was leader of the British Liberal Party, before he was forced from that post. Subsequently, however, these links led him into close support for the radical Islamists of the Bosnian SDA Party of terrorist leader Alija Izetbegovic, who was, until his death, a major supporter and ally of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
As a result, the success of the Bosnian Serb state created in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a result of the 1995 Dayton Accords, and the consistent emergence of ties between the Bosnian Muslim leadership and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida organization (which drew heavily on Bosnian assets for the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States), has highlighted the failure of Ashdown’s policies in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The principal instrument which Ashdown has used to constrain the Bosnian Serbs has been his Srebrenica Commission, which has been used to override all international assessments of the 1995 (and earlier) fighting in and around the town of Srebrenica.
On April 20, 2004, Ashdown summarily dismissed the Republica Srpska official, Dejan Miletic, who had been in charge of investigating war crimes, and then ordered the Bosnian Serb leadership to make a statement — totally dictated by Ashdown’s Office of the High Representative — accepting the Ashdown and Islamist version of what happened in the Srebrenica fighting, despite the fact that Ashdown’s repeated statements consistently flew in the face of independent forensic investigation of the affair. Indeed, as GIS has noted in the past, Ashdown had refused even to speak with the forensic scientists who had, independently, developed the intelligence of what really happened in Srebrenica.
One Western European member of the OHR staff said: “Ashdown isn’t going to let the facts get in the way of his story. It’s all about him, not about building the stable, multi-confessional state which the Dayton Accords specified.”
And after forcing the Bosnian Serb (Republica Srpska) leadership to make a statement — following the removal of Mr Miletic, who would not agree with Ashdown’s arbitrary and unsubstantiated accounts of the Srebrenica affair, on threat of arbitrary dismissal by Ashdown of both the President and Prime Minister of Republica Srpska — Ashdown agreed to NATO Stabilization Force (SFOR) demands that Miletic be allowed to return to his job, albeit with a different job title.
Ashdown has become increasingly angered, as well, by increasing reports of actual Islamist terrorist activity within Bosnia, on the basis that such reports — despite their validity — make him appear to have failed in his mission.
Several Serbian sources have told GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs bureau officials in Sarajevo and Belgrade that the consistent support from some international officials for the creation of a separate Albanian state in the Serbian area of Kosovo and Metohija should be met with a claim that it was time to consider a sovereign and separate Bosnian Serb state in what is now the component state of Republica Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina. One Serb said: “We had an agreement at Dayton, and yet despite that the lands and rights of Serbs are being eroded constantly. Soon, if Ashdown, Holbrooke, Clark and their Albanian and Bosnian Islamist friends have their way, there will be no lands left under Serbian control, despite the fact that Serbia was the only state in the region which has traditionally offered hospitality to all races and religions.”
Copyright 2004 Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily
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