“Globe and Mail” Canada, July 12, 1995
The refugees in Srebrenica, most of them Muslim women and children who fled into Srebrenica ahead of a massive and brutal wave of Bosnian Serb “ethnic cleansing” in eastern Bosnia in the spring of 1993, have been desperate to leave the town ever since they arrived. Instead, they have been forced to remain by the local Muslim warlord, Naser Oric, who drove around town in a Mercedes while the refugees sustained on meagre UN handouts and were, occasionally, sold water by Srebrenica residents during the brutally-hot summers.
Mr. Oric and the Bosnian government knew that if the majority of refugees were allowed to be trucked across Serb-held territory to Tuzla or some other viable sanctuary, both the UN protection and any hope of holding on to the remote and surrounded enclave would be lost.
The Srebrenica residents treated the refugees atrociously. When the refugees elected a representative to present their demands to Oric, the representative was murdered within hours…
As seen so many times before in Bosnia’s civil war, the Bosnian Muslim-led government had no scruples and did not hesitate to exploit the refugees’ misery in order to gain “International support”. At the same time the “courtesy “ with which the BMA treated UN troops – the very same troops that were feeding the “safe area “ for almost three years – could be seen here:
The Electronic Telegraph Tuesday 11 July 1995 World News
… Dutch UN peacekeepers formed a barrier of personnel carriers between advancing Serb tanks and Muslim soldiers defending the town. One of the personnel carriers rolled off the road as it manoeuvred after Muslim forces opened up on it with a grenade and small arms. When another carrier tried to pull it back on to the road, a Muslim soldier of the Bosnian army fired an anti-tank rocket at it, but missed…
NY Times News Service
Chris Hedges, 1995
…The captured observation posts came under tank fire, and a peacekeeper was shot dead the 67th to be killed in the conflict by Bosnian government forces as the Dutch troops retreated from the advancing Bosnian Serb forces…
What was going on among the BMA defenders inside the “safe area “? Please read from the articles published in the Western press :
New York Times, July 23, 1995
by Alan Cowell
The Dutch accounts, by soldiers, officers and the Defence Minister, were unanimous in asserting that the Bosnian Muslim soldiers who had been under siege in Srebrenica for three years abandoned the town around two days before it fell. Before the defenders left the town, General Couzy said, Dutch soldiers saw: “in two locations there was fighting between those who wanted to stay and those who wanted to go.”
Many Dutch soldiers said they had been upset and troubled by the sight of soldiers seeming to abandon their wives and children to the advancing Serbs. “… How many of BMA soldiers actually have died from the “friendly fire” will remain a secret , but the victims are certainly submitted by the Bosnian Muslim led government as “missing civilians killed by the Serbian aggressors”.
The BSA did not use thousands of troops as was suggested by the PR companies hired by the Bosnian Muslim-led government. As a matter of fact it was published that:
The Times, 14 July 1995
Muslim soldiers ‘failed to defend town from Serbs’
By Michael Evans, Defence Correspondent
…The Muslim defenders of Srebrenica put up only a brief fight against the Serbs, and their commanders left the night before the Serb tanks entered the town, according to Western intelligence sources yesterday.
The abandonment of Srebrenica to a relatively small Serb advancing force caused surprise in the West, especially after the largely Muslim government army had demonstrated considerable infantry skills in recent attacks. There were reports that up to 1,500 Serbs were involved in the assault on Srebrenica, but intelligence sources estimated the main attack was carried out by a force of about 200, with five tanks. “It was a pretty low-level operation, but for some reason which we can’t understand the BiH (government) soldiers didn’t put up much of a fight, “ one source said…
However, the advance into the town was seen by intelligence assessors as an opportunist move. “I don’t think the Serbs had predicted the timing of this operation,” one source said. The apparent decision by the Muslims to abandon the town provided the Serbs with a sudden opportunity to occupy Srebrenica, bypassing the Dutch on the road a mile south of the town.
The intelligence source said: “The BiH just melted away from Srebrenica and the senior officers left the night before.” The source said the Muslim defenders were “adequately armed “ for street-fighting…
Having (deliberately?) lost the Srebrenica enclave, the Bosnian Muslim-led government started to play a pre-arranged PR campaign with the innocent refugees from Srebrenica:
The Daily Telegraph, July 15, 1995
Muslims manipulate refugees’ agony
The Bosnian government deliberately increased the suffering of the Muslim refugees fleeing Srebrenica to put pressure on the international community, according to the documents made available to the Daily Telegraph.
The papers include instructions to the United Nations from the government of Alija Izetbegovic in Sarajevo that the refugees must be taken in their thousands to a single location rather than being spread around the numerous available centres.
The resulting television pictures and media reports of chaos among aid workers overwhelmed when the refugees arrived at the UN base in Tuzla were intended to bring about a decisive international response…
Once again victims of the civil war were paying the price for the unspeakable crimes that their own – Bosnian Muslim – representatives were orchestrating. As so many times before, killing their own people (bomb massacres in Sarajevo), increasing the suffering of the innocent refugees… nothing was ruled out by Alija Izetbegovic and his Islamic followers.
Then, in order to put more pressure on the UN, Security Council and the International Community, they [The Bosnian Muslim Government] came out with “the victims story“. The amounts of “massacred“ BMA soldiers was going from 1,000 up to 15,000. Without considering the astonishing fact that in the “demilitarized safe area “there were several brigades of BMA troops”, let’s read the following:
Reuters May 29, 1996
…The six investigators are searching for evidence to convict Bosnian Serbs involved in the massacre of at least 3,000 unarmed Muslim men from Srebrenica, a U.N. declared “safe area” overrun by the Serbs last July.
After two hours of digging with shovels, picks, rakes and hoes, investigators allowed reporters to approach the site, where at least four corpses were found….
“Four corpses” constitutes “Mass graves” and the “proof of mass killings”!
The Times, August 02, 1995
“Missing enclave troops found “
by Michael Evans and Michael Kallenbach
…Thousands of the “missing” Bosnian Muslim soldiers from Srebrenica who have been at the centre of reports of possible mass executions by the Serbs, are believed to be safe to the Northeast of Tuzla…..
For the first time yesterday, however, the Red Cross in Geneva said it heard from sources in Bosnia that up to 2,000 Bosnian Government troops were in the area north of Tuzla. They had made their way from Srebrenica “without their families being informed “, a spokesman said, adding that it had not been possible to verify the reports because the Bosnian Government refused to allow the Red Cross into the area.
Although the Red Cross refused to speculate why the Bosnian Government was keeping secret the presence of the Srebrenica troops near Tuzla, it probably is doing so for military reasons…
New York Times, July 17, 1995
by Chris Hedges
Some 3,000 – 4,000 Bosnian Muslims who were considered by United Nations officials to be missing after the fall of the Srebrenica enclave have made their way through enemy lines to Bosnian Government territory.
The BMA troops were ordered to attack the northern flanks of the BSA positions and not to surrender to the enemy. It is more logical to expect that the BSA troops fought back against BMA attacks rather than welcoming BMA soldiers with flowers. It is rather ridiculous to expect one army to be “greeting “ the enemy firing on them with smiles and welcoming words…:
Reuters, January 30, 1996
Melvudin Mandzic, 22, released by the Bosnian Serbs on Sunday, told Reuters how he had fled the capture of the U.N. “safe area” of Srebrenica, where thousands of his comrades are believed to have been killed in ambushes and massacres then buried in mass graves.
Mandzic’s epic escape took him through the wooded hills of Northeast Bosnia, across Serbia where he was captured and sent back to a Bosnian Serb jail, and then finally to freedom in Sarajevo on Sunday. Pale, smoking heavily, Mandzic recalled how commanders of the Muslim-led Bosnian government army on July 11 ordered their 13,000 heavily-outgunned fighters in the area to try to break through Serb forces closing in on Srebrenica…
On several occasions UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali tried to reveal the “charade” performed by the Bosnian Muslim-led government to the UN Security Council. On May 30, 1995, the Secretary general writes (U.N. document S/1995/444) that there never was an enforcement concept behind the “safe areas” six towns surrounded by Serb-held territory.
The Security Council did not require the Bosnian Government to withdraw its forces from the areas but muttered about how improper it would be to carry out attacks against them or from them.
On page 18 there is this passage by the Secretary General:
“In recent months, government forces have considerably increased their military activity in and around most safe areas, and many of them, including Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Bihac, have been incorporated into the broader military campaign of the government’s side.
“The headquarters and logistics installations of the Fifth Corps of the government army are located in the town of Bihac and those of the second Corps in the town of Tuzla.
“The government also maintains a substantial number of troops in Srebrenica (in this case a violation of a demilitarization agreement), Gorazde and Zepa, while Sarajevo is the location of the General Command of the government army and other military installations. There is also an ammunition factory in Gorazde.
“The Bosnian Serb forces’ reaction to offensives launched by the government army from safe areas have generally been to respond against military targets within those areas, often at a disproportionate level.”
The Secretary General heavily criticized some media reports:
Calling Bosnia Crisis Overrated, U.N. Chief Focuses on Africa
By Barbara Crossette
“There is a kind of dialectical relation between the attention of a great power and the power of the media,” he said. “It creates a distortion in our work. What I am trying to do, without great success, is to correct this distortion.”
Finally there were independent witnesses like UN Dutch troops. This is what they said about “mass killings “:
BBC Ceefax, 23 July 1995 23:59 BST
NO EVIDENCE OF MASS KILLINGS: DUTCH UN.
Dutch UN peacekeepers in Srebrenica when the enclave fell to Bosnian Serb troops, have said they saw the summary execution of ten Bosnian Muslims. But Dutch commander Lt-Col Ton Karremans said he and his men had seen no evidence to corroborate reports from fleeing refugees of mass killings by Bosnian Serb troops.
Die Welt, 25.7.1995
By Helmut Hetzel
… Neither Struik nor other Dutch soldiers who were stationed in Srebrenica want to publicly confirm what minister of development-aid, Jan Pronk and later the minister of defence, Joris Voorhoeve, claimed: That genocide happened in Srebrenica…
The personal representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was appointed to investigate what happened in Srebrenica and this is what he said:
The Electronic Telegraph Monday 24 July 1995
Serb Atrocities In Srebrenica Are Unproved
By Tim Butcher in Tuzla
After five days of interviews the United Nations chief investigator into alleged human rights abuses during the fall of Srebrenica has not found any first-hand witnesses of atrocities…
….The lack of clear evidence facing Hubert Wieland, personal representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, proved the near-impossibility of establishing what happened when the Serbs overran the Muslim enclave in eastern Bosnia. “Of course the whole ejection of a civilian population is an enormous abuse of human rights, “ Mr Wieland said yesterday. “But we have not found anyone who saw with their own eyes an atrocity taking place. “
…Mr Wieland travelled to Tuzla, the Bosnian city where almost all of the Srebrenica refugees were taken, with a team of investigators to gather evidence of human rights abuses…
He said his team had spoken to scores of Muslims at the main refugee camp at Tuzla airfield and at other collective centres but no first-hand witnesses had been found…
There is only one fact proven during the last two years after the Srebrenica story: the “massacre” in Srebrenica was just another master-piece of the PR campaign waged by the Bosnian Muslim-led government of Alija Izetbegovic. They didn’t care about the sufferings of their people, death or destruction. For these Islamic fanatics no price was too high to achieve their goal: the creation of an Islamic Bosnia-Hercegovina. The Bosnian Serbs and Croats realized Izetbegoivc’s intentions and they fought against it. It is about time for the International Community to accept the reality. There will be no peace until the Bosnian Muslims who are responsible for igniting the brutal Bosnian civil war will stand in front of the Hague War Crimes Tribunal. It is time to get Alija Izetbegovic, Ejup Ganic, Rusmir Mahmutcehajic, Omer Behmen, Haris Silajdzic to stand and face the historical judgment. Their blind fanaticism has created an enormous disaster for the Bosnian Muslim people as well as for the Bosnian Serbs and Croats. It is time they paid the price for their religious fundamentalism.