Srebrenica’s Muslim defender acquitted of crimes against Serbs

This file photo shows former Bosnian Army commander of Srebrenica, Naser Oric, talking to the AP in Sarajevo, Bosnia on June 1, 2011. (File photo by AP)
Updated 09 October 2017

Srebrenica’s Muslim defender acquitted of crimes against Serbs

SARAJEVO, Bosnia: Bosnian Muslim commander Naser Oric, who led the defense of Srebrenica during the 1992-95 war, was acquitted of war crimes against Serbs on Monday, a ruling that is set to deepen ethnic divisions 22 years after the conflict ended.
Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs had accused Oric’s men of killing Serb civilians in and around Srebrenica earlier in the war.
Srebrenica eventually fell to Bosnian Serb forces in 1995 — the ensuing killing of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys was seen as Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two.
“The accused Naser Oric and Sabahudin Muhic have been acquitted of charges of violating provisions of the Geneva Conventions,” judge Saban Maksumic told the Bosnian war crimes court, referring to one of Oric’s fellow soldiers. Families of the Serb victims walked out the courtroom protesting against the verdict.
Bosnian Muslims or Bosniaks view Oric as a national hero for defending the doomed eastern enclave.


India celebrates Republic Day with military parade

Updated 39 min 49 sec ago

India celebrates Republic Day with military parade

  • Schoolchildren, folk dancers, and police and military battalions marched through New Delhi’s parade route

NEW DELHI: Thousands of Indians converged on a ceremonial boulevard in the capital amid tight security to celebrate the Republic Day on Sunday, which marks the 1950 anniversary of the country’s democratic constitution.
During the celebrations, schoolchildren, folk dancers, and police and military battalions marched through New Delhi’s parade route, followed by a military hardware display.
Beyond the show of military power, the parade also included ornate floats highlighting India’s cultural diversity as men, women and children in colorful dresses performed traditional dances, drawing applause from the spectators.
The 90-minute event, broadcast live, was watched by millions of Indians on their television sets across the country.
Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro was the chief guest for this year’s celebrations.
He was accorded the ceremonial Guard of Honor by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the sprawling presidential palace.
Bolsonaro joined the two Indian leaders as the military parade marched through a central avenue near the Presidential Palace.
At the parade, Bolsonaro watched keenly as mechanized columns of Indian tanks, rocket launchers, locally made nuclear-capable missile systems and other hardware rolled down the parade route and air force jets sped by overhead.
Apart from attending the Republic Day celebrations, Bolsonaro’s visit was also aimed at strengthening trade and investment ties across a range of fields between the two countries.
On Saturday, Modi and Bolsonaro reached an agreement to promote investment in each other’s country.
Before the parade, Modi paid homage to fallen soldiers at the newly built National War Memorial in New Delhi as the national capital was put under tight security cover.
Smaller parades were also held in the state capitals.
Police said five grenades were lobbed in the eastern Assam state by separatist militants who have routinely boycotted the Republic Day celebrations. No one was injured, police said.
Sunday’s blasts also come at a time when Assam has been witnessing continuous protests against the new citizenship law that have spread to many Indian states.
The law approved in December provides a fast-track to naturalization for persecuted religious minorities from some neighboring Islamic countries, but excludes Muslims.
Nationwide protests have brought tens of thousands of people from different faiths and backgrounds together, in part because the law is seen by critics as part of a larger threat to the secular fabric of Indian society.