The Bosniak-American Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina commends Representatives Christopher Smith, Russ Carnahan and Andre Carson for their support of the Bosnian people. When the city of Zepa fell on July 25, 1995 to Serbian forces, the survivors were left with the atrocious memories of the experiences that occupied their lives for three years. The statements from Rep. Smith, Rep. Carnahan and Rep. Carson are evidence that the memories of those survivors and the many lives that were lost have not been forgotten 14 years later. It shows that the U.S. Congress is still pursuing justice for all the families that experienced such great injustices at the hands of the Army of Republika Srpska.
With his statement, Rep. Christopher Smith emphasized the importance of the pursuit of justice. He speaks of Avdo Palic, a colonel of the Bosnian government force defending Zepa, and others who went missing during this time. He states that, “[The U.S.] government must do everything it can to discover the fate of Avdo Palic and the other men and women who went missing in the genocide committed against the Bosnian people. To be sure, we must continue to look for Ratko Mladic and other criminals and genocideurs, but we must not forget their victims and their need for closure.”
Rep. Carnahan in his statement “urges us all to remember not only the fall of Zepa, but also the destruction of the other towns of Srebrenica, Sarajevo, Gorazde, Bihac, Tuzla, Prijedor, Bjeljina, Visegrad, Foca, and Kozarac, and many others, all of which experienced significant loss.” He insists that “we must remind ourselves of the innocent lives that were lost, and honor their memory,” as well as support “the justice that is necessary for the building of a stable, prosperous, and unified Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
In a similar vein, Rep. Andre Carson pressed even further the issue of pursuing those war criminals who were responsible for the destruction of so many lives and the importance that we never forget the genocide that took place. He squarely places the responsibility for the pursuit of justice on the shoulders of those nations that have the ability to carry it out: “The international community must come together to not only remember the innocent victims of this massacre, but to also redouble its pursuit of lasting peace and security in some of the world’s most volatile regions.” The words that Rep. Smith, Rep. Carnahan and Rep. Carson present are more than just goals, with the support of the U.S. Congress they can become actions to prevent genocide and bring those responsible of such grievous crimes to justice.