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Thousands Rally in Sarajevo Against World Court Genocide Ruling

Thousands of people have demonstrated in Sarajevo against a World Court ruling that Serbia was not guilty of genocide during the conflict of the 1990s in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Judge Rosalyn Higgins said Tuesday that Serb forces were in fact responsible for the deaths. But she said it had not been established that the massacre was carried out on orders from Belgrade.

Serbian President Boris Tadic welcomed the ruling. He then urged his people to face up to the massacre by Serb forces of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys following the 1995 capture of the enclave of Srebrenica.

Bosnian Muslim and Croat leaders said the World Court ruling sends the message that genocide can go unpunished.

Bosnia-Herzegovina filed the suit accusing what was then Yugoslavia of masterminding the widespread ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims and Croats during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s.

A judgment in Bosnia's favor could have resulted in Serbia paying billions of dollars in reparations.

The court did find that Serbia had violated the U.N. Convention on Genocide by failing to cooperate with U.N. prosecutors in the hunt for former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, and his wartime military chief, Ratko Mladic.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.