Monday, March 2, 2009
Carla Del Ponte and Reruns in the Balkans
Former ICTY and ICTR prosecutor Carla Del Ponte's new book looks into allegations that Albanians kidnapped and murdered Serbs in Kosovo in 1999 and at the failure of UN and NATO officials to look into this issue. The ICTY's intra-homepage featured this article from Newsweek today, which points to another issue: Del Ponte's Swiss-induced travel ban.
Del Ponte, who is currently the Swiss embassador to Argentina, is officially banned from touring with her book on account of her diplomatic duties. The article highlights Switzerland's tenuous relations with Russia following the former's recognition of Kosovo's independence as a factor in the politically-based decision.
It's fitting that a book thats content is already mired in controversy would face additional hurdles upon publication. Del Ponte, who was ousted from the ICTR for, according to Del Ponte, pursuing Tutsis and Hutus alike, is no stranger to extreme dislike. Even her Amazon.com review mentions that there are billboards in Belgrade that call her a whore. I couldn't find those specifically (and I did look, because that's pretty ridiculous), but I did find this one from 2005, which apparently says, "There's going to be a rerun."
According to an article published by the Henry Jackson Society, there will be somewhat of a rerun in Bosnia if things keep on the path they're on. Looks like it's not only Del Ponte's book that's falling on deaf ears, but also the entire point of her prosecuting war criminals at the Tribunal. Not that I'm blaming her; it's just sad.