Wednesday, June 28, 2006

GEN. LEWIS MACKENZIE = SARAJEVO RAPIST

GEN. LEWIS MACKENZIE CANADIAN UN 'PEACEKEEPER' WHO RAPED FOUR TEENAGE BOSNIAN GIRLS IN SERB-RUN CONCENTRATION CAMP
Introduction:

Gen. Lewis MacKenzie was openly pro-Serbian with strong anti-Muslim sentiments. When 68 civilians were killed in the Sarajevo marketplace by a Serbian shell (markale massacre) he took the Serbs' laughable position that the Bosniaks set it up. Whenevera child was killed by Serbian sniper fire in Sarajevo, his UN command was as likely to blame Bosnians and Serbs.

During the siege of Sarajevo, he partied with Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, the two most wanted war criminals stillat large. Mackenzie was paid $15,000 from a pro-Serb lobby group to make a speaking tour in America speaking out against intervention.

"We'd be foolishto intervene. Those people are animals..." - he told the National Press Club and the White House. Mackenzie had a poor grasp of the scale of the carnage taking place across the country and failed to understand that it was a war of aggression orchestrated by Serbia against an unarmed and unthreatening civilian population in Bosnia.

Even though he was thrown out of Sarajevo by the UN, he remained a media darling, lecturing and appearing on the news saying that both sides were evil, which created the vacuum that led to the genocide of Bosniak population in Bosnia-Herzegovina - before the outside world woke up to the truth three years later. This is the legacy of General Lewis Mackenzie and the UN's version of impartiality.

"When the Serbs kill me" Bosnian President Izetbegovic said, "the UN will say I committed suicide".

...but the real story of Gen. Lewis MacKenzie starts next!
- arhived article -

COPYRIGHT PACIFIC NEWS SERVICE
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415-243-4364

ANSWERS NEEDED TO CHARGES OF UN MISCONDUCT IN BOSNIA

EDITOR'S NOTE:

For half a year charges of sexual misconduct filed by a Sarajevo prosecutor against a high UN official have been circulating widely in Arab, European and Canadian media, and in UN and human rights circles in New York. While the official named denied the charges, to date there has been no formal acknowledgement let alone inquiry into them, raising troubling questions for some about who polices the peacekeepers. PNS associate editor Dennis Bernstein is an award-winning investigative reporter. Bernstein's research was funded in part by the Washington, D.C. based Fund for Investigative Journalism.

BY DENNIS BERNSTEIN, PACIFIC NEWS SERVICE

Last November the chief Bosnian military prosecutor in Sarajevo charged a high UN official with sexual misconduct against civilians while on duty in Bosnia. The prosecutor publicly demanded that the Bosnian president press the United Nations to remove the official's diplomatic immunity.


Although reports of the alleged war crimes have appeared in the Arab, European and Canadian press, have been circulating in UN circles and even surfaced in a briefing for U.S. Congressional aides by a human rights group, there has as yet been no formal response from the UN. While the official has denied the charges, those attempting to investigate them -- journalists, human rights advocates, foreign policyanalysts, and at least one U.S. legislator, not to mention Bosnian officials and Sarajevans themselves -- believe they raise troubling questions about the overall accountability of the UN: just who is policing the peacekeepers?


Some months after he unexpectedly stepped down from his assignment last August, General Lewis MacKenzie, Canadian head of the UN peacekeeping force in Bosnia Herzegovina, was charged in a bill of indictment by chief military prosecutor Mustafa Bisic with sexually molesting four Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) women held by Serbian forces in a prison camp in a Sarajevo suburb.


In a letter to the Bosnian president dated Dec. 3, 1992, Bisic cited the eyewitness testimony of a Serbian guard who had worked at the camp, known as Kod Sonje. The guard claimed he saw MacKenzie and several escorts arrive in a military transport vehicle with the UN insignia. The eyewitness claimed guards were then ordered to release four Bosniak women prisoners to MacKenzie. According to the prosecutor's complaint, the women were later murdered by camp guards under orders to "erase evidence" of this "unusual gift."


The prosecutor's charges, aired over Sarajevo television, were denounced by MacKenzie in several interviews with European and Canadian media as a propaganda tactic by one side in the three-sidedcivil war to gain international sympathy. "I can understand why they (Bosnian officials) would do something like that," the former UN peacekeeper told the Vancouver Sun in an interview published Feb. 13. "If I had been in their position and found that the peace-keeping force was not what I wanted, I can envision my devious mind working out a story to discredit them."


Nevertheless, in February new information about the possible existence of a videotape placing MacKenzie at the Kod Sonje camp helped refocus attention to the charges. In an interview with Pacific News Service, U.S. Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) says she is "very concerned" about the charges and has informed U.S. ambassador to the UN Madeline Albright that her office "is trying to ferret them out as best we can."


Slaughter learned about the videotape from Safeta Ovcina, a Bosnian nurse who testified at a special briefing conducted by Helsinki Watch for Congressional staffers. The briefing was held February 23 amid growing concern in the West over media accounts of mass rapes of Bosniak women by Serbian soldiers.


Ovcina, who spent ten months tending war victims at a frontline hospital before fleeing Sarajevo for the United States, testified she had been shown the videotape by her neighbors whom she described as members of the Bosnian military.


"I looked at the tape and saw General MacKenzie, whom we always saw on TV news, with Serb chetniks. There were three or four girls on both sides of him...MacKenzie was hugging them."
In a telephone interview with Pacific News Service at her home in St. Louis, Ovcina says she recognized some of the young women as formerly involved in a hair cutting business. "They didn't laugh, theydidn't cry, they just sat there...The feeling I had is that they were surrounded by a bunch of drunken people, and they were very unhappy," she recalled.


Ovcina says her neighbors told her the women were later killed and buried in a grave on the outskirts of Sarajevo. In her testimony at the Helsinki Watch briefing, she also described witnessing other abuses and indiscretions by UN personnel, including the selling of protection, food, cigarettes.


Bosnian officials in the United States interviewed by Pacific News Service say they do not know the whereabouts of the videotape nor do they have any verification that it exists. Although the allegations are now widely accepted as truth in Sarajevo, according to Bosnian Ambassador to the UN Muhamed Sacirbey, at this point "there is no proof to justify them." Interviewed by phone from New York, Sacirbeysaid his government had not formally challenged General MacKenzie's diplomatic immunity at the UN.


Another eyewitness to the alleged Kod Sonje incident is Borislav Herak, a Serbian soldier captured by Bosnian forces in early November and now awaiting execution for war crimes. Herak was interviewed on film by award winning Bosnian film maker and TV producer Ademir Kenovic several days after his arrest.


According to a transcript of the interview provided by Kenovic, Herak said he was at the camp when MacKenzie arrived in a white UN vehicle and met with the camp warden Miro Vukovic. He was then taken to a room "for big shots" where he was served whiskey and food.


Later, Herak said he saw MacKenzie and several other UN soldiers "taking four or five girls in this vehicle to have fun." Asked if he were certain it was General MacKenzie, Herak replied, "Yes, I am sure. I saw him on television."


To date, General MacKenzie has not been questioned by U.S. media about the charges and repeated phone calls to him by Pacific News Service in Washington DC were not returned.

Congresswoman Slaughter says while she doesn't want to spread "what could be a smear campaign," she considers the allegations serious enough to warrant investigation. If proven true, they couldundermine the UN's entire peacekeeping mandate. "But I don't know who is authorized to handle such an investigation," she added. Slaughter was especially troubled to learn that twice when he visited Washington last May, General MacKenzie was represented by the public relations firm of Craig Shirley and Associates which is closely identified with the Serbian government. The firm also represents Serb-Net Inc., a Chicago-based association of Serbian American organizations which a spokesperson says "works to counter the negative press images about Serbia."

(06041993) **** END **** COPYRIGHT PNS

Related reading material suggested by our readers: I Begged Them to Kill Me - published by the Center for Investigation and Documentation of the Association of Former Prison Camp Inmates of Bosnia-Herzegovina; pages 183-189. Chapter: An Officer with a Rose.Related reading material suggested by our readers: I Begged Them to Kill Me - published by the Center for Investigation and Documentation of the Association of Former Prison Camp Inmates of Bosnia-Herzegovina; pages 183-189. Chapter: An Officer with a Rose.Related reading material suggested by our readers: I Begged Them to Kill Me - published by the Center for Investigation and Documentation of the Association of Former Prison Camp Inmates of Bosnia-Herzegovina; pages 183-189. Chapter: An Officer with a Rose.Related reading material suggested by our readers: I Begged Them to Kill Me - published by the Center for Investigation and Documentation of the Association of Former Prison Camp Inmates of Bosnia-Herzegovina; pages 183-189. Chapter: An Officer with a Rose.

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