Tuesday, 6 April 2010

50 Years of Senegalese independence

Controversial African Renaissance statue
Last Saturday, the Monument of African Renaissance was inaugurated in Dakar to mark the 50th anniversary of Senegalese independence, on April 4th 1960. The 49-metre-high monument is higher than the Statue of Liberty and cost £17 million. The cost and symbolism of the monument have been heavily criticised.
The BBC and The Guardian report.
For further reading, visit our History of Africa focus page.

Serbia apologises for Srebrenica massacre
Last Wednesday, March 31st, Serbia passed a resolution condemning the massacre in Srebrenica during the Bosnian war. There were 127 votes in favour of the resolution in the 250-member parliament.
Serbia hopes to join the European Union next year; however, the EU has made its membership contingent on improved cooperation with La Hague and efforts to find Serbian General Ratko Mladic, who is believed to be responsible for the massacre along with Karadzic.
But Serbia is still struggling to come to terms with its past. The resolution sparked considerable opposition. It was watered down and does not describe the massacre as ‘genocide’ as it has been labelled by the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.
Der Spiegel reports.
The trial of the former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic began in August 2009. In Conflicting Truths: The Bosnian War Nick Hawton reflects on his time reporting in a region where history is still used to justify war.
In Remembering Srebrenica Suzanne Bardgett describes the setting up of the Srebrenica Memorial Room at the scene where the Bosnian genocide of July 1995 began to unfold.

Former SS member sentenced to life imprisonment
Heinrich Boere, aged 88, has been condemned to life imprisonment for the murder of three Dutch civilians in 1944. The sentence, passed a couple of weeks ago at the Aachen regional court, marked the end of one of the last war crime trials in Germany. Boere joined the SS in 1940 and in 1942 became part of the ‘Germanic SS in the Netherlands’, a special unit charged with breaking any signs of German resistance in the German-occupied Netherlands.
Der Spiegel reports.

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