Fmr UN official for N1: I was warning of genocide, UN thought I was exaggerating


Venezuelan politician and diplomat, Diego Arria, who chaired the UN Security Council in the early 1990s, when this body adopted the Srebrenica Resolution, spoke for N1 ahead of the pronouncement of final verdict in case of Radovan Karadzic, former Bosnian Serb leader, charged among other things with the Srebrenica genocide.

Arria was Venezuela's Permanent Representative to the UN from 1991 to 1993 and he was the UN Security Council Chairman during the massacres in Bosnian eastern town of Srebrenica. After visiting the enclave which was declared a UN safe area in April 1993, he had warned there was a “slow-motion genocide” happening in the besieged enclave.

“I saw so much devastation, so much crime and pain that I said at the time that a slow-motion genocide was taking place in Srebrenica. International media covered that but the United Nations thought that I was exaggerating. A little bit over a year later the massacre, the genocide of Srebrenica took place,” said former UN official, recalling of one of the events that marked the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

He hopes both of wartime Bosnian Serb leaders, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, will face life imprisonment in the final judgements before the UN's court.

The Appeals Chamber of UN's International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals is set to pronounce the final verdict in Radovan Karadzic case on March 20.