The Croatian Human Rights House on Wednesday said that it was perhaps not appropriate for Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who is taking part in a conference in Zagreb entitled "Further European Union (EU) Enlargement in Southeast Europe - The Road Ahead", to talk about a peaceful future and integration.
Considering all he has done in the recent past and the role he had in the history of this region, "we must ask publicly whether Bildt is really the best person to talk about the peaceful future and the EU integration of countries with recent history of war? ", the NGO's press release says.
"During the war in the former Yugoslavia, Carl Bildt served as a special envoy from both the EU and the UN, but did little or nothing to stop the killings he witnessed. Have we forgotten how he watched Milosevic's back and repeatedly stated that he was 'a nice guy'. He did not acknowledge the killings of civilians in Srebrenica as war crimes, but called them in his memoirs “the prisoners of war.” the press release says.
Furthermore, in the period between 2000 and 2006, Bildt was on the Board of the Lundin Petroleum (former Lundin Oil) and is currently being investigated by the international public prosecutor's office for crimes committed in southern Sudan where 200,000 people were forcibly displaced and 10,000 murdered in order to 'clear' the area and give the Lundin Petroleum and other oil companies clean access to the land, the NGO said.
Bildt was on the Board of Directors of Lundin Petroleum at the time when similar crimes were committed in the Ogaden province in Ethiopia where Lundin Petroleum had been looking for oil and receiving protection from the Ethiopian military, the NGO went on to say.
"As if this wasn't enough, Bildt is also known for being a well-paid lobbyist for the Bush administration and for pushing for the war on Iraq in 2003. Before daring to speak to others about peace, Carl Bildt should acknowledge all the war crimes he witnessed in the past and take responsibility for his own involvement in war activities and devastation, the Croatian Human Rights House concludes its press release signed by the NGO's president Sanja Sarnavka.