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Source: Bosnia Relief Watch No. 41 Compiled by Refugees International, August 28, 1995


In February 1994, the Bosnian Serbs shelled the Markale Market in Sarajevo killing 68 and wounding 200 civilians. An outraged international community took a stand and established a heavy weapons exclusion zone to protect Sarajevo. Today, Markale Market was shelled again. At least 35 civilians were killed; with 86 wounded, the death toll is sure to rise. The question now is: Will the international community respond as decisively as it did 18 months ago? Based on recent events, it seems unlikely. Following the fall of Srebrenica and Zepa, the UN and NATO vowed to protect the remaining safe areas, employing airstrikes if necessary. Within the last two weeks, however, the Bosnian Serbs have continued to target safe areas, killing over 50 civilians. On August 20, the Bosnian Serbs shelled Gorazde killing eight(including three children). On August 22, Sarajevo was shelled in several locations around the city, six were killed (two of whom were children). The next day, the Bosnian Serbs targeted the Tuzla airbase, a makeshift camp housing over 6,000 refugees from Srebrenica and Zepa. Children make up 70% of this population. Today, the death toll in Sarajevo was the highest in the city since the 1994 "Market Massacre." The Bosnian Serbs have committed a blatant act of aggression against Bosnian civilians and an act of contempt against the international community.
Recommendation: This most recent atrocity by the Bosnian Serbs should not go unanswered by the international community. The Market Massacre of February 1994 mobilized the UN and NATO to protect Bosnian civilians;since then our resolve has steadily deteriorated. Today's shelling of Sarajevo should be answered by: (1) NATO airstrikes and use of the rapid reaction force to destroy Serb artillery in the heavy weapons exclusion zone around Sarajevo, (2) Continued enforcement of the heavy weapons exclusion zone, and (3) Protection of the remaining safe areas. The Bosnian Serbs will not listen to empty rhetoric; NATO airstrikes must be used to deter them. Peace talks will not be successful until the Bosnian Serbs believe the international community means what it says and will enforce already existing UN resolutions to protect the people of Bosnia.