In August 1992 Serb nationalist-run concentration camps in north-eastern Bosnia were revealed near the town of Prijedor. The entire region was a kind of laboratory of ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs, driven out or imprisoned in camps whose names have become bywords for inhuman brutality: Omarska, Manjaca, Trnopolje ...More than 3,000 people have been declared missing, and over 10,000 people who fled persecution have returned to resettle in Prijedor since the end of the war in December 1995. How can the former victims co-exist with those responsible for their suffering, or with those who took advantage of it? What is left to say about the war today, and the crimes that were committed? Has justice been served? What is the role of the international community? And finally, is it possible to conceive of a genuine reconciliation? These are the questions Wesselingh and Vaulerin explore. What emerges is a vivid memoir that blends reportage, investigation and analysis, alongside interviews with refugees, camp survivors, war criminals and international agents - a tour de force that poses questions essential not only to the future of the former Yugoslavia but to all of Europe.
Isabelle Wesselingh is Agence France Presse correspondent in the Netherlands since 1999, where she has followed the war crimes trials at the Hague tribunal, where some of the Prijedor war criminals have been or are being tried alongside Slobodan Milo'evi . She has also reported on the postwar situation in Bosnia for the French daily La Croix. Arnaud Vaulerin is a journalist working for the French daily Liberation, and has covered the postwar situation in Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania for a number of French-language media, including La Croix. Previous publications include Bosnia: Living Memory.