Saturday, March 11, 2006

 

Milosevic Dead

It’s a beautiful morning here in Baltimore and reading this headline did nothing to alter that: Former Yugoslav Leader Milosevic Found Dead. Outside of family, the only people likely mourning the death of this self-described "Ayatollah Khomeini of Serbia" are those who were making a living from his ongoing trial at The Hague.

One curious line from the article:

“A key witness who testified against Milosevic, a Croatian Serb leader named Milan Babic, committed suicide in his own cell a week ago, according to officials at the tribunal.” (WP)

“Croatian Serb leader”? Technically accurate because he was of Serb descent but born in Croatia, this description is nevertheless a jarring reminder of the dangers of ethnic identity trumping all else: in his case, markedly differentiating between being a Croatian and being a Croat. From the UN’s website, this is why Mr. Babic was in the prison.

“According to the Indictment, Milan Babic participated in a joint criminal enterprise that came into existence no later than 1 August 1991 and continued until at least June 1992. The purpose of this joint criminal enterprise was the permanent forcible removal of the majority of the Croat and other non-Serb population from approximately one-third of the territory of the Republic of Croatia ("Croatia"), in order to make them part of a new Serb-dominated state through the commission of crimes in violation of Articles 3 and 5 of the Statute of the Tribunal.” (emphasis added) Case Information Sheet - Milan BABIC CASE (IT-03-72)

UPDATED: to link to the more complete Washington Post story

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