Page last updated at 13:19 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

'We will never forget'

Remains of former Chinese embassy in Belgrade
The impact of the Nato bombings can still be seen in Belgrade, 10 years on

People in Serbia have been marking the 10th anniversary of Nato's bombing campaign.

Nato bombed Serbia for 11 weeks in an effort to push Serbian forces out of the province of Kosovo, accusing them of atrocities against ethnic Albanians.

In the process, hundreds of Serbs were killed as bombs struck military and civilian targets.

Here is a selection of comments sent in by Serbian people about the legacy of Nato's bombings.

Ten years after the war, the pictures of demolished buildings are a strong deterrent for all my friends to visit and see what a wonderful country Serbia is. This is what marks this sorrow moment, along with strong restrictions of freedom to travel and unfriendliness from neighbouring nations prone to Serbophobia. We will never forget and we will never forgive. We cannot and we must not!
Nebojsa, London, UK

Until ten years ago we could have been friends. We grew up with Mickey Mouse, Coca-Cola and Western music. We could be friends again perhaps in one hundred years, and in the meantime we will be looking to the East for friends. I regret that this is so. Many of us would like to be able to chose our friends freely. But the rift that was created ten years ago makes the choice for us.
Dragan, Belgrade, Serbia

The BBC news keeps repeating that Serbia was bombed to stop the atrocities in Kosovo when in fact Serbia was bombed because it refused to agree with a document that effectively gave Kosovo to Nato. The explanation came after the bombing started. It's not justified, but you can say the the expulsion of Albanian population was the revenge of the Serbs for the Nato bombing. Goebbels said thath a repetition of a lie will make it an accepted truth.
Marko, London

That year I missed the spring. I spent the nights in a basement without much sleep. And when I was asleep, I remember waking up by the vibrations of the airport bombing some 30km away. I have experienced wars in Croatia and Bosnia and thought that there is nothing worse. But there was! I will never forget the sound of the sirens and then the sound of bombs or cruise missiles above the streets of Belgrade. The worst days came at the end when we had no water and electricity, as the power grid was destroyed. The key question still remains - why and for whom was this done?
Lostinbalkans , Belgrade, Serbia

Nato had its own reasons for bombing Yugoslavia. It had nothing to do with alleged atrocities toward Albanians. The result of this "merciful" campaign is at least 250,000 Serb refugees, churches burned (most of them were 600 hundred years old), cemeteries destroyed, bridges on the Danube demolished, the economy crushed. And let's not forget the 2,000 civilians dead. One of them was Milica Rakic, a three-year-old baby. Thank you, our Western friends!
Zdravko Pantic, Belgrade, Serbia

Because of a few incompetent Serbian leaders' foolish ideas, innocent Serbian civilians who were already suffering under their own government, had to endure the wrath of the rest of the world. There was no justice and there hasn't been ever since. Innocent lives were lost. Why? So that the world can say Serbia has paid for her mistakes? It was meant to stop Milosevic from carrying on his horror in Kosovo, but 11 weeks seems too long a time.

Serbian people are still paying for the mistakes of their leaders. Somehow I think the world has failed to see that. Ten years later, I as a Serbian feel that a great injustice has been done. We have been belittled and made feel like our nation's well-being is not important in the eyes of the international community. However over the years we have gathered our strength and we are building Serbia into a happy friendly country it always was, even though the pain of lost loved ones is still in our hearts. I hope that Serbia will not be judged by its politics, but by the strength, unity and eternal hospitality of its people.
Tijana Radojicic, Belgrade,Serbia

I was in Serbia during the bombing. The only thing I can say is that it was not human. For the whole period I saw only dead people, even when I had to go the market to get food. Even after 10 years nobody has given any explanation for the true reason of the bombing.
Nikola, Nis

I am a Serb from Kosovo. I fled for my life when I was nine years old. I still remember every second of the war with Nato. I will mark this day and remember it until I die. I'll never forgive Europe and the US for what have done to me, my family and my nation!
Goran, Kraljevo

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