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Bosnia war camp survivors urge ArcelorMittal to allow memorial at mine - company says local authorities responsible for granting permission

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7 August 2012

Bosnia camp survivors protest for memorial at ArcelorMittal mine

Author: Daria Sito-Sucic, Reuters

[S]urvivors of a notorious prison camp in wartime Bosnia implored the world's largest steelmaker…to raise a memorial at the site, where it now digs for iron ore…The Omarska camp in northern Bosnia was one of four Serb-run camps to hold Bosnian Muslims and Croats set up early in the 1992-95 war as forces under General Ratko Mladic set about 'cleansing' the territory of non-Serbs…After acquiring a 51 percent stake in the Prijedor mines in 2004, ArcelorMittal initially agreed to allow camp survivors free access to the site and to build a memorial to its victims. But Prijedor lies in Bosnia's autonomous Serb Republic, where authorities say the initiative would undermine reconciliation …ArcelorMittal said it was ready to meet the demands of the former inmates but that local authorities were ultimately responsible for granting permission. "We are still ready to support the building of a memorial if the interested parties find agreement,"

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3 July 2012

A Memorial in Exile

Author: Forensic Architecture

[T]he ArcelorMittal Orbit — was reclaimed as A Memorial in Exile by survivors of the Bosnian concentration camp at Omarska, now a fully-functional mine operated by ArcelorMittal. Iron ore and profits extracted from Omarksa have been used to manufacture London’s newest landmark…From 25 May 1992 till 22 August 1992 the Omarska mine in Prijedor, Bosnia was used as a concentration camp by Bosnian Serb forces…In 2004, ArcelorMittal assumed 51% of the ownership of the Ljubija mining complex that included Omarska…In 2005, ArcelorMittal made a commitment to finance and build a memorial on the grounds of Omarska…Seven years on and twenty years after the war crimes committed there, still no space of public commemoration exists… In the absence of this promised memorial and until such time that it is built, London’s Olympic tower — the ArcelorMittal Orbit — will be reclaimed as the Omarska Memorial in Exile.

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