Bosnia: Muslims 'wanted to draw NATO into war'

The Hague, 7 Oct. (AKI) – Bosnian Muslims wanted to draw NATO into their country's 1992-1995 war to help them against the Serbs, British general Michael Rose told the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Thursday.

Serbs deliberately targeted civilians with sniper fire in the capital Sarajevo in order to intimidate them, said Rose, who served as chief of the UN peacekeepers in Bosnia in 1994.

He was testifying at the trial of wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who is conducting his own defence.

But cross-examined by Karadzic, Rose conceded that there had been some cases in which Muslims fired at their own people to blame the Serbs and trigger foreign intervention.

He also said that reports in western media on Serb attacks on eastern town of Gorazde were often exaggerated.

Karadzic is being tried on eleven counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The indictment is focusing on the shelling of Sarajevo and a massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the eastern town of Srebrenica in July 1995.

The first UN investigation on the February 1994 bombing of Sarajevo's Markale market which killed 40 people, concluded that the grenade was fired from Muslim positions, Rose said.

But the second investigation was “much clearer” and suggested the mortar was fired from Serb positions, he stated.

“I think the UN made no effort to hide something in the report,” Rose said. “We were not a part of a conflict and had no secrets,” he added.

Karadzic claims the mortar at Markale was fired by Muslims to blame the Serbs and to provoke foreign intervention.

Rose said he told a press conference in Sarajevo after the bombing that it was impossible to determine who fired the mortar, but that he thought it was “most likely done by the Serbs”.


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