Woman in Black public statement on Milosevic's extradition and the war in Macedonia
It is with the utmost pleasure that we acknowledge the news that the man who brought us so much evil is finally in the Hague. The fact that Slobodan Milosevic will have to answer for wars which he started and lead, and for ethnic cleansing which he ordered, will not be much consolation to the victims of his crime and madness. But for those who have survived we are awarded a certain satisfaction and all that remains is for us to congratulate the governement of the Republic of Serbia for its responsible and courageous move in extraditing Milosevic to the Hague. Our pleasure is mitigated by the fact that there are still individuals who should be in the Hague with him. Biology has saved Milosevic's main companion, Franjo Tudjman. The indecisiveness of representatives of the international community hides certain aspects of justice while the statute of the Tribunal does not account for those who have been conspirators in crimes against humanity.
Our pleasure is also mitigated by the fact that the spirit which inspired Milosevic and his followers is still alive and active in our immediate surroundings.
The situation in Macedonia continues to confirm how a low-intensity war is transformed into a full-out war. This is a war in which people who think like Milosevic, on both the Albanian and Macedonian sides, lead ethnically homogenized entities, where all bridges of interethnic cooperation and dialogue have been all but destroyed, where the language of hate has washed away all human form of communication and where the speech of weapons has blocked ever weakened voices of reason.
As usual, the international community is showing its proverbial inertia. Should we sit back and wait for a repeat of the Bosnian scenario before there is decisive intervention to avoid greater suffering of the civilian population? Should Skopje, Bitola, Tetovo and Kumanovo have the same fate as Sarajevo, Mostar, Vukovar and Dubrovnik before the conscience of the rich and powerful is sparked? When will the world hear the voices of Macedonians and Macedonian Albanians who speak of peace and dialogue but whose voices are muffled by the terror of homogenized militants of their ethnic communities?
Why are the voices of reason heard only when they reach the silence of the grave?
These are difficult questions. Will the leaders of the crime and ethnic cleansing in Macedonia one day answer to the Tribunal in the Hague? It won't make a difference to their victims.
A protest against ethnic violence and war in Macedonia will be held on Wednesday, July 4, 2001 from 15:30 to 16:30 on Republic Square in Belgrade.