Text: S.Res.134 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Agreed to Senate (06/22/2005)

 
[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. Res. 134 Agreed to Senate (ATS)]







109th CONGRESS
  1st Session
S. RES. 134

Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the massacre at Srebrenica 
                             in July 1995.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                              May 9, 2005

 Mr. Smith (for himself, Mr. Biden, Mr. Levin, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Hatch, 
 Mr. Brownback, Mr. Lieberman, and Mr. Durbin) submitted the following 
  resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

                             June 22, 2005

             Committee discharged; considered and agreed to

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the massacre at Srebrenica 
                             in July 1995.

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 Security Council 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 Frontiers (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 murdered;
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 murdered 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 murdered;
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, including 
        the lengthy report issued by the Government of the Netherlands on April 
        10, 2002, entitled ``Srebrenica, a `safe' area--Reconstruction, 
        background, consequences and analyses of the fall of a safe area'';
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 authorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and 
        Montenegro) 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 December 9, 1948, and entered into 
        force January 12, 1951, 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; (e) 
        forcibly transferring children of the group to another group'';
Whereas, on May 25, 1993, the United Nations Security Council adopted Security 
        Council 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 numerous members of the Bosnian Serb forces and political leaders at 
        various levels of responsibility have been indicted 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, some of whom have been tried 
        and sentenced while others, including 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 and help ensure the full implementation of the General 
        Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, initialled at 
        Dayton, Ohio, November 21, 1995, and done at Paris December 14, 1995, 
        including cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the 
        former Yugoslavia: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that--
            (1) the thousands of innocent people murdered 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, done at Paris December 9, 1948, and 
        entered into force January 12, 1951;
            (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--
                    (A) the independence and territorial integrity of 
                Bosnia and Herzegovina;
                    (B) peace and stability in southeastern Europe as a 
                whole; and
                    (C) the right of all people living in southeastern 
                Europe, regardless of national, racial, ethnic or 
                religious background--
                            (i) to return to their homes and enjoy the 
                        benefits of democratic institutions, the rule 
                        of law, and economic opportunity; and
                            (ii) to know the fate of missing relatives 
                        and friends.
                                 <all>

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