Srebrenica divided as it awaits Karadzic verdict

Srebrenica divided as it awaits Karadzic verdict
By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters

Some are angry, some are sad and some are simply indifferent. What difference, if any, will a verdict make for Srebrenica?

  • Radovan Karadzic verdict due
  • 70-year-old is on trial for genocide and war crimes relating to his time as leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the break-up of Yugoslavia
  • The period was marked by the Srebrenica massacre and the Siege of Sarajevo

Srebrenica is waiting

Nowhere is the verdict in the Radovan Karadzic trial more anticipated than in the town of Srebrenica.

After seven years of court hearings, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is due to deliver its verdict in The Hague.

70-year-old faces Karadzic faces a life sentence if convicted of war crimes and genocide against Bosnian Muslims and Croats.

What happened?

In July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces killed more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys who were meant to be under UN protection.

They were separated from the rest of the town’s population and annihilated.

Radovan Karadzic was the Bosnian Serb leader.

Ćamil Duraković is the current mayor of Srebrenica:

“This verdict will have no meaning if it does not change things on the ground.
It would validate the genocide and everything that happened here but if there are no real consequences, then it is just a piece of paper.”

Karadzic also faces charges relating to the 43-month long siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.

Euronews correspondent Andrea Hajagos says opinion in the town is divided.

“Half of the population of this town pray in the church and the other half in the mosque. These enduring religious and ethnic differences mean that there will be people here who are disappointed, whatever the verdict.”

What they are saying

The people Euronews spoke to were not sure what difference the verdict from The Hague will make for them.

“I still sometimes dream about the shooting and then am afraid again. I hope Karadzic gets the harshest possible verdict.”

“Those who decide the verdict must have good reasons for their decision, but it is all politics and I never get involved in that.”

“I am only interested in putting food on the table for my kids. If Karadzic is guilty, that is his problem. They should punish him if he is guilty.”

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