The shell attack on the Markale Market in Sarajevo in 1994 was one of the most indelible images of Sarajevo siege; it was also one of the most controversial; as immidiately after the shell attack UN officials claimed that it was uncertain who fired shell; VRS or ABiH forces.
Over a decade later, the Markale Massacre; and the allegation that the shell was fired upon by the ABiH forces in a ruse to gain public sympathy; has become the lynchpin argument of those in the Balkans and in the West who have unapologetically thrown their support to the likes of Karadzic and his ilk.
Even those who do not go as far as supporting Karadzic; have used the allegation that the ABiH shelled the market place as proof of moral equivalency between the "sides" and as an argument for why intervention into the Bosnian conflict would be foolhardy.
Yet; over a decade later, if there is even a shred of doubt in some people's minds that the ABiH did indeed launch the deadly shell; that doubt should be fully put to rest by the testimony of UN Official David Harland at the trial of Dragomir Milosevic; who is on trial for the latter part of the siege against Sarajevo.
At his trial, Harland said that in 1994 the technical report by the UN intelligence officers had concluded "beyond resonable doubt" that the shell was launched from VRS positions in Lukavica.
Yet, for political reasons and strategic reasons; namely "order not to alarm the Bosnian Serbs who would be alerted to the impending NATO air strikes against their positions had he pointed a finger at them" the UNPROFOR Commander; Rupert Smith was advised to tell the international press that there was no way of knowing where the shell was launched from; thus starting over a decade of conspiracy theories, allegations, rumors and the like that the Bosnian government had purposefully bombed their own side in a dastardly attempt to gain international sympathy. The full article can be read here.
I'm not exactly sure how to sum up my thoughts about this article and the UN's moral and legal hesitancy and pure obstruction of justice with regard to Markale in particular and Bosnia in general; except that to paraphrase what the UN report said regarding the UN role and response in Srebrenica; "[Bosnia] will haunt the history of the UN forever."