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With Dutch court ruling, justice delayed but not denied

July 16th, 2014
03:29 PM ET

The Netherlands is liable for the killings of more than 300 Bosnia Muslim man and boys in July, 1995, a Dutch court ruled Wednesday.

It happened in the village of Srebrenica, where in all more than 7,000 were killed in a genocidal spasm, by Bosnian Serb forces.

Christiane Amanpour has the story. Click above to watch.

Filed under:  Bosnia • Christiane Amanpour • Imagine a World • Latest Episode

Bosnian president calls floods ‘the worst thing’ country has faced since war

May 19th, 2014
02:41 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The devastating floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina – and throughout the Balkans – are “the worst thing” the country has faced since its deadly civil war two decade ago, President Bakir Izetbegović told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

The cost of the damage will be measure in billions of euros, he told Amanpour.

“Hundreds of square kilometers [are] under water; in some parts, in some cities, in some villages in Northern Bosnia there is two or three meters of water,” he said. “So the rivers are out and now it looks like lakes.”

The flooding has already killed at least two dozen people in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Massive swaths of Croatia are also submerged.

Along with the damage and death caused by floods, many are also concerned about the deadly minefields left in place from the war.

“In this moment, there is still water, and still we cannot exactly say what happened with minefields,” President Izetbegović said. “But for sure they will be displaced. Also the warning marks are removed.”


Filed under:  Bosnia • Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode

Hague: Assad "not intending to budge"

February 15th, 2014
04:52 AM ET

CNN's Christiane Amanpour talks to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague about the conflict in Syria and recent protests in Bosnia.

Filed under:  Bosnia • Latest Episode • Syria

Lord Ashdown on Bosnia protests: I have to blame the EU

February 12th, 2014
02:54 PM ET

Could it be the Ukraine effect?

After months of protesters clashing in the streets of Kiev, Bosnia and Herzegovina is seeing some of its worst violence and unrest since the war two decades ago.

Across the country, including its capital Sarajevo, demonstrators have taken to the streets, setting fire to government buildings, trashing libraries and torching vehicles; all this in protest of high unemployment, unpaid wages and government corruption and incompetence.

Few people know Bosnia better than Lord Paddy Ashdown, who served as High Representative and Europe’s Special Envoy to the country from May 2002 until January 2006.

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Lord Ashdown says the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is “highly fragile” and that the European Union needs to do more to help build Bosnians build a functional state that can serve its citizens.

Speaking of the Dayton Accord that ended the war, he says it was an ideal solution to bring about peace, but that it is the “wrong basis to build a sustainable state”.

The good news, Ashdown told Amanpour, is that the protests are “non-ethnic” and that protesters are “turning against a political clique who have governed the country”, who are “deep in corruption”.

But there is bad news too: “At the moment its citizens are complaining about poverty and lack of movement and dysfunctionality of the state and corruptions amongst politicians”, but he says it “could move to something far worse very quickly”.

“The international community has to act now. If they don’t act now, I greatly fear that a situation where secessionism will take hold could easily become unstoppable as we approach elections…”

Click above to watch Amanpour’s full interview with Lord Paddy Ashdown.

Filed under:  Bosnia • Latest Episode

Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Moslem men and boys

April 1st, 2010
03:45 PM ET

Very important story from Belgrade:  Serbia's parliament apologizes for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Moslem men and boys. I covered the Bosnia war. That massacre was the worst in Europe since World War Two. Top Bosnian Serbs were indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide afterward. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is now on trial at the Hague.

The lawmakers' apology is a major step towards healing the wounds of that war, and bringing Serbia one step closer to the European Union. But to fully end its former-pariah status, Serbia must arrest Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military commander during the war. He has been a fugitive for the past 14 years.

Filed under:  Bosnia

Bosnian leader: 'Ethnic cleansing' continues 15 years after war

March 2nd, 2010
02:12 PM ET

To watch the full-length edition on Bosnia, click here to get our podcast.

(CNN) - As the genocide trial of former Bosnian Serb Leader Radovan Karadzic resumed Monday in the Netherlands, a member of Bosnia-Herzegovina's rotating presidency said that, in effect, "ethnic cleansing" continues - 15 years after a brutal civil war there ended.

"The ethnic cleansing is there because people did not come back to their homes. Hundreds of thousands of them are around the world today and that's the problem," Haris Silajdzic, a Bosnian Muslim, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"The ethnic divisions continued because people did not go back, were not allowed to go back, to their homes, including Srebrenica, where the genocide took place, and other places, too."

His comments came on the same day that Karadzic, who faces 11 charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide during the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict, told an international tribunal in The Hague that the Serb cause is "just and holy."


Filed under:  1 • Bosnia

Tom's Take

March 1st, 2010
06:50 PM ET

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption caption="Sr. Writer for Amanpour, Tom Evans, works on scripts with Christiane"]

On AMANPOUR., we examine the aftermath of the bloody civil war in Bosnia as the trial of the so-called “Butcher of Bosnia”, former Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, resumes in the Hague, in the Netherlands. It brings the international community face to face with the bloody campaign that ended almost fifteen years ago with close to 98,000 dead. The war left a country in ruins and further divided along ethnic lines.  Today nationalism is still rife there and with continued economic hardship and political infighting, the underlying pillars of the state remain embryonic and reliant on an international body for governance. Christiane speaks with Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic and Lord Paddy Ashdown, former High Representative for Bosnia, about the country’s road to reconciliation and its prospects for joining the European Union. The trial is just one of the stories making headlines today. Here are some perspectives.

Tom Evans
Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.

THE HAGUE – Will former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic try to slow his trial to a crawl?

–    Karadzic, in opening statement at his genocide trial, says his people were simply trying to defend themselves against Islamic fundamentalists
–    He’s charged with worst genocide in Europe since the Holocaust, and he set the tone for the 1992-1995 Bosnian War that killed an estimated 100,000 people
–    Karadzic is representing himself and boycotted the opening of the trial four months ago. Judges have accused him of trying to obstruct the proceedings

QUESTION:  When will this trial finally reach a conclusion so Bosnia can move forward and tackle the problems it faces today?


Filed under:  1 • Bosnia