Visiting French general expelled from Bosnian memorial center

12:03, September 04, 2010      

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Controversial French General Philippe Morillon was expelled from the Memorial Center in Potocari, outside of Srebrenica when on Friday he went to pay his respects to the Bosnian Muslims killed during the civil war that engulfed Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s, reported the Bosnian news agency Fena.

"Morillon knew he was not welcome here," said Hatidza Mehmedovic, president of the Srebrenica Mothers Association. "He wouldn't have dared to meet with us and he came here before it ( the visit) was announced."

"When we saw him at the memorial center, we expelled him. This is our pilgrimage, a place where those responsible for genocide should not come," Mehmedovic stated.

Mehmedovic said she considers Morillon responsible for not preventing the massacre of an estimated 8,000 men and boys when Bosnian Serb forces overran Srebrenica in 1995. Prior to the fall of the town, Morillon, who was responsible for delivering United Nations aid, was quoted as having said he would "never abandon you. "

"We consider him responsible and that is why we acted this way towards him," said Mehmedovic. "Basically, he cannot come here; neither can others who perpetrated this crime against the Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) of Srebrenica and BiH."

Meanwhile, Morillon has been condemned by Bosnian Serbs for covering up details about how Bosnian Muslim forces provoked an attack on the Kosevo hospital in Sarajevo for television cameras, which resulted in the condemnation of the Serbs.

When asked by British politician Lord David Owen at the time why he failed to expose the actual perpetrators of the incident, Morillon was quoted as having said "We have to live here (Sarajevo) ."



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