Bosnian Bordello Camps

Thousands of women in Bosnia are being held in "bordello" camps, according to Ellen Diederich, Chair of the International Women's Peace Archives in Overhausen, Germany. Here is an excerpt from a November 25 interview with her.

E.D.: The troops have orders to rape because they say they want to extinguish the Moslem population of former Yugoslavia. After women have been raped and held in these camps for 5 or 6 months (past the time they can have an abortion) they are sent back in buses. We have witnesses of Catholic nuns who work in hospitals who came with these pregnant women and say to them, you have to give birth to a Serbian child and not a Moslem child.

CBC: These women were called breeders?

E.D.: Yes.

CBC: And this is a deliberate policy to impregnate them so they give birth to Serbian children?.

E.D.: Right. Most of the Serbian population are Orthodox Christians. In the Orthodox Church of course there is a hierarchy and the priest in the highest position in the Serbian church has confessed this in a public television show.

CBC: He has confessed what? That the church knows about these bordello camps?

E.D.: That they know about the bordello camps and they know about the number of women who have been raped. He was confirming that this is done by Serbia."

This transcript was made by Moira Armour.)

War Resisters International posted an item on THE WEB on December 1 from the women's group "Resnjevika" in Croatia, which has been collecting testimonies from the stream of "bordello camp" survivors. They conclude that these camps must be understood as a strategy of genocide. Unlike rape camps that were set up during the wars in, for example, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Korea, the camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia are not solely sexual abuse centers but are part of an organized system leading to liquidation, "ethnic cleansing" of those of Muslim and Croatian nationalities.

Women and children comprise almost 70% of the total number of people killed in the republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are 75% of the known number of 120,0000 captured people in concentration camps. Resnjevika's sources indicate that there are over 35,000 women and children in Serbian-run rape/death camps. They list sixteen cites of rape/death camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina, set in various hotels, schools, military centres.

Many women's organizations are being informed about these camps and are working to stop them. Contact Voice of Women at 416/537-9343. Doctors Without Borders has also compiled a report which outlines a systemic plan of extermination of Bosnian Moslems. To obtain it contact Vanessa Schoor at Doctors Without Borders, 416/683 -

The End of Suffield?

After more than 20 years of negotiations, in early 1993 a Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is expected to be signed. The text was submitted to the U.N. General Assembly in September. According to Disarmament Times. "The convention's importance goes far beyond the elimination of chemical weapons that it will initiate. It may set a precedent for the future, particularly for verification and the intrusiveness of a new international agency other than the U.N." Parliamentarians for Global Action call the CWC "the most comprehensive and intrusive verification system of any global treaty in history. It includes challenge inspections, anytime, anywhere, without the right of refusal." How will the CWC affect Suffield? Does it bring us closer to our dream of seeing the Suffield base used for life-enhancing, rather than military, purposes? Perhaps other concerned people besides myself would like to take that up.

Meanwhile, as far as we know, Suffield's functions continue to include secret and not-secret chemical and biological weapons research (for which it recruits regularly at the Chemistry Department of the U. of Alberta), demonstrations of arms systems to Saudi and other weapons buyers, storage of radioactive wastes and maneuvers of British troops.

Genocide in Sudan

Thousands of Nuba tribespeople in Sudan are being driven out of their home villages and, after a stay in overcrowded "transit camps," trucked to distant destinations, according to Survival International. Visitors report being sickened by stench near the camps. Convoys of trucks move people from the camps out of the Nuba mountains altogether to the province of northern Kordofan. Over 40,000 people have been taken there so far.

According to government statements, the young men are then sent to work on large commercial farms. There they will be virtually slave labor. The "unproductive"-the women, children and old people-are to be distributed among northern Sudanese families, where they will inevitably become domestic servants or concubines. Meanwhile the traditional lands of the Nuba are being taken over by huge mechanised farms, run by absentee landlords from the military and political elite. These farms are causing rapid desertification of the land.

General El-Bashir's fundamentalist government has declared a "holy war" in South Kordofan. The Nuba, who number about a million, are "African" as opposed to "Arab," and are traditionally non-Muslim, although many have now become Muslim or Christian. The Southern Nuba used to be known for their distinctive culture and striking "body art." Today the Nuba are compelled by law to cover their bodies, and their traditional dances and other customs are forbidden.

Peace Magazine Jan-Feb 1993

Peace Magazine Jan-Feb 1993, page 28. Some rights reserved.

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