Democratic Socialists: End the arms embargo!


Democratic Socialists: End the arms embargo!

By Peter Boyle

The United Nations should lift the arms embargo on Bosnia, turn over the weapons of the UN "peacekeepers" to the government of Bosnia and get out of the country, according to Democratic Socialist foreign affairs spokesperson and Senate candidate Max Lane.

"Contrary to any humanitarian pretensions, the UN's role in Bosnia has been to supervise the dismemberment of this country along ethnic lines", Lane said. "First, it forced the Bosnian government to cede more than 50% of Bosnia to the Serb Chetniks, forcing Bosnian Muslims to flee their homes for refugee camps outside Bosnia or so-called 'safe areas'.

"Feigning even-handedness, they imposed an arms embargo on all the countries from the former Yugoslav federation. This left the Serbs with the most weapons, as they controlled most of the massive arms supplies and industries of the old Yugoslav armed forces."

Lane said that UN troops "were ordered to stand by and watch these 'safe areas' being besieged and bombarded for three years. Now two of them have been overrun by the Serb Chetniks, and the world has watched in horror at a new wave of massacres, rape, pillaging and ethnic cleansing.

"To cover their complicity in this new wave of war crimes, the governments of the USA, Britain, France and Germany are building up their armed forces in Bosnia, but they are not stopping the Serb aggression or even defending Bosnian civilians", said Lane. "They are only being brought in to defend the UN 'peacekeepers'!"

"Once again the UN forces have served the narrow self-interest of a handful of Western governments which have no real concern for the people of Bosnia. These powers are clearly not interested in justice, resisting aggression or defending the weak — they are solely interested in containing a 'problem', and this means placating the Bosnian Serb armies and their ally, the Milosevic government of Serbia."

Lane charged that the Australian government "fully supports the criminal behaviour of its Western allies and must stand condemned with them before the world. We call upon the Keating Labor government to aid the Bosnian government in its struggle against Serbian aggression, to argue in the UN for the lifting of the arms embargo on Bosnia and Croatia and for the withdrawal of UN troops, and to provide more emergency aid for Bosnian refugees."

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