Ed Vulliamy is one of the Western world’s bravest journalists. In 1992, The Guardian/Observer correspondent along with Penny Marshall from ITN first shared the “accursed honour” of revealing to the world the shocking evidence of Bosnian concentration and death camps.
Four years later, he became the first reporter to testify at an international crimes court, namely the International Criminal Court for former Yugoslavia. More recently, in 2011, Vulliamy testified against Radovan Karadžic and he believes in the duty of journalists to testify in matters of humanitarian law.
Cynically manipulated by President Slobodan Miloševic and his sometime ally, Radovan Karadžic, the campaign of ethnic cleansing in pursuit of a "Greater Serbia" saw the deportation of two million people, the razing to the ground of towns and villages and the horrific massacre of Srebrenica. 1995 was the year of the latter event, the year the genocide ended, at which point 40,000 people were missing in the former Yugoslavia, 30,000 of them in Bosnia alone.
Vulliamy’s book, Amexica: War Along the Borderline is a vivid account of the drug wars along the US-Mexican border. The book may have brought him more attention than his work on the former Yugoslavia.
“Quite often during the war, I would be invited to address groups of students on university campuses about the slaughter not far away and find myself before an audience I could count on my ten fingers, “ he writes in his bibilographical note at the close of this harrowing but compelling 340-page work.
The thesis of his latest book is that while the war in the fomer Yugoslavia is naively viewed by many as a painful chapter in late twentieth century history, it is by no means over and old rancour and bitterness still prevail, not least in Kosovo.
The survivors and the bereaved tell their stories to Vulliamy who sifts through the nightmare for those who are interested. Thankfully, it seems such interest is growing again. As he wrties, "Younger people who were children or unborn at the time ask: How? Why?”