Friday, November 01, 2013

Blog 8: Hundreds of Bodies Found in Mass Grave in Bosnia.

Scientists have recently uncovered a mass grave in Bosnia, one that may be the largest they've found yet. The site is estimated to be filled with other two hundred bodies of victims from the Bosnian conflict that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia. The victims are believed to be of Bosniak and Croat ethnicity, killed in the summer of 1992. So far 231 complete bodies have been removed with various body parts believed to belong to another 112 individuals. The remains and their personal items that have been uncovered along with them, have been sent to forensic centers for potential identification. The hope is that identification of the bodies may bring closure to some of the families or survivors of the conflict that ripped through the area. The International Criminal Tribunal continues to prosecute war crimes that were committed during the violent conflict.

Genocide is a not just a powerful word, it's a powerful action. It's a potent tool for propaganda that can be mercilessly implemented by willing figures of power. There is some debate as to the application of the word to the Bosnian incident. Serbians largely do not view the conflict as genocide, and the causalities as mere consequences of war. They simply don't think the number is high enough to qualify as genocide. The current estimate of victims of the conflict is in the thousands. In this specific grave site they are currently pulling hundreds of people from the ground. While these numbers may pale in comparison to such violent acts that occurred in Germany in World War II, or even in Rwanda (which also took place in the 90s), they are still acts of genocide. Several people were marked for death, a single location was chosen to hold the bodies of hundreds of individuals who were most likely executed very near to it. The act of dumping bodies in mass graves or disposing of them like trash adds another dimension to the oppression and violence. To further dehumanize someone by stripping them of their life and then their dignity even in death is a common tactic that is often associated with genocide. It is easier to kill when what you are killing is seen as something far removed from yourself.

Aaron Fountain
4:58 PM

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