Text: H.Res.199 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in House (06/27/2005)

 
[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H. Res. 199 Engrossed in House (EH)]


                 In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

                                                         June 27, 2005.
Whereas in July 1995 thousands of men and boys who had sought safety in the 
        United Nations-designated ``safe area'' of Srebrenica in Bosnia and 
        Herzegovina under the protection of the United Nations Protection Force 
        (UNPROFOR) were massacred by Serb forces operating in that country;
Whereas beginning in April 1992, aggression and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by 
        Bosnian Serb forces, while taking control of the surrounding territory, 
        resulted in a massive influx of Bosniaks seeking protection in 
        Srebrenica and its environs, which the United Nations Security Council 
        designated a ``safe area'' in Resolution 819 on April 16, 1993;
Whereas the UNPROFOR presence in Srebrenica consisted of a Dutch peacekeeping 
        battalion, with representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner 
        for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the 
        humanitarian medical aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors 
        Without Borders) helping to provide humanitarian relief to the displaced 
        population living in conditions of massive overcrowding, destitution, 
        and disease;
Whereas Bosnian Serb forces blockaded the enclave early in 1995, depriving the 
        entire population of humanitarian aid and outside communication and 
        contact, and effectively reducing the ability of the Dutch peacekeeping 
        battalion to deter aggression or otherwise respond effectively to a 
        deteriorating situation;
Whereas beginning on July 6, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces attacked UNPROFOR 
        outposts, seized control of the isolated enclave, held captured Dutch 
        soldiers hostage and, after skirmishes with local defenders, ultimately 
        took control of the town of Srebrenica on July 11, 1995;
Whereas an estimated one-third of the population of Srebrenica, including a 
        relatively small number of soldiers, made a desperate attempt to pass 
        through the lines of Bosnian Serb forces to the relative safety of 
        Bosnian-held territory, but many were killed by patrols and ambushes;
Whereas the remaining population sought protection with the Dutch peacekeeping 
        battalion at its headquarters in the village of Potocari north of 
        Srebrenica but many of these individuals were randomly seized by Bosnian 
        Serb forces to be beaten, raped, or executed;
Whereas Bosnian Serb forces deported women, children, and the elderly in buses, 
        held Bosniak males over 16 years of age at collection points and sites 
        in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina under their control, and then 
        summarily executed and buried the captives in mass graves;
Whereas approximately 20 percent of Srebrenica's total population at the time--
        at least 7,000 and perhaps thousands more--was either executed or 
        killed;
Whereas the United Nations and its member states have largely acknowledged their 
        failure to take actions and decisions that could have deterred the 
        assault on Srebrenica and prevented the subsequent massacre;
Whereas Bosnian Serb forces, hoping to conceal evidence of the massacre at 
        Srebrenica, subsequently moved corpses from initial mass grave sites to 
        many secondary sites scattered throughout parts of northeastern Bosnia 
        and Herzegovina under their control;
Whereas the massacre at Srebrenica was among the worst of many horrible 
        atrocities to occur in the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina from April 
        1992 to November 1995, during which the policies of aggression and 
        ethnic cleansing pursued by Bosnian Serb forces with the direct support 
        of the Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic and its followers ultimately 
        led to the displacement of more than 2,000,000 people, an estimated 
        200,000 killed, tens of thousands raped or otherwise tortured and 
        abused, and the innocent civilians of Sarajevo and other urban centers 
        repeatedly subjected to shelling and sniper attacks;
Whereas Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the 
        Crime of Genocide (done at Paris on December 9, 1948, and entered into 
        force with respect to the United States on February 23, 1989) defines 
        genocide as ``any of the following acts committed with intent to 
        destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious 
        group, as such: (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious 
        bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately 
        inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its 
        physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) imposing measures intended 
        to prevent births within the group; and (e) forcibly transferring 
        children of the group to another group'';
Whereas on May 25, 1993, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 
        827 establishing the world's first international war crimes tribunal, 
        the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), 
        based in The Hague, the Netherlands, and charging the ICTY with 
        responsibility for investigating and prosecuting individuals suspected 
        of committing war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and grave 
        breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the territory of the former 
        Yugoslavia since 1991;
Whereas nineteen individuals at various levels of responsibility have been 
        indicted, and in some cases convicted, for grave breaches of the 1949 
        Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws or customs of war, crimes 
        against humanity, genocide, and complicity in genocide associated with 
        the massacre at Srebrenica, three of whom, most notably Radovan Karadzic 
        and Ratko Mladic, remain at large; and
Whereas the international community, including the United States, has continued 
        to provide personnel and resources, including through direct military 
        intervention, to prevent further aggression and ethnic cleansing, to 
        negotiate the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and 
        Herzegovina (initialed in Dayton, Ohio, on November 21, 1995, and signed 
        in Paris on December 14, 1995), and to help ensure its fullest 
        implementation, including cooperation with the International Criminal 
        Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--
            (1) the thousands of innocent people executed at Srebrenica in 
        Bosnia and Herzegovina in July 1995, along with all individuals who were 
        victimized during the conflict and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina 
        from 1992 to 1995, should be solemnly remembered and honored;
            (2) the policies of aggression and ethnic cleansing as implemented 
        by Serb forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995 meet the 
        terms defining the crime of genocide in Article 2 of the Convention on 
        the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;
            (3) foreign nationals, including United States citizens, who have 
        risked and in some cases lost their lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina 
        while working toward peace should be solemnly remembered and honored;
            (4) the United Nations and its member states should accept their 
        share of responsibility for allowing the Srebrenica massacre and 
        genocide to occur in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995 by failing 
        to take sufficient, decisive, and timely action, and the United Nations 
        and its member states should constantly seek to ensure that this failure 
        is not repeated in future crises and conflicts;
            (5) it is in the national interest of the United States that those 
        individuals who are responsible for war crimes, genocide, crimes against 
        humanity, and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, committed 
        in Bosnia and Herzegovina, should be held accountable for their actions;
            (6) all persons indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for 
        the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) should be apprehended and transferred to 
        The Hague without further delay, and all countries should meet their 
        obligations to cooperate fully with the ICTY at all times; and
            (7) the United States should continue to support the independence 
        and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, peace and stability 
        in southeastern Europe as a whole, and the right of all people living in 
        the region, regardless of national, racial, ethnic or religious 
        background, to return to their homes and enjoy the benefits of 
        democratic institutions, the rule of law, and economic opportunity, as 
        well as to know the fate of missing relatives and friends.
            Attest:

                                                                          Clerk.