samedi 11 juillet 2009

Srebrenica, July 1995 {en}

Fourteen years ago in the Srebrenica enclave of Bosnia, Serb tugs thugs under the Bosnian Serb commander Radko Mladic slaughtered more than 7,000 Muslims men who had taken refuge into the enclave and were supposed to be "protected" by lightly armed Dutch forces operating under United Nation command. The enclave had been made "a safe haven" for the Bosnian Muslims since April 1993 by the UN. From July 6th to July 16th 1995 Serb forces shelled the enclave mercilessly and finished off their work by entering Srebenica, subduing the Dutch forces, busing Muslim women out of the enclave and killing much of the defenseless Bosnian Muslim men.

Serb forces had laid siege to the Muslim enclave since the month of May, 1995 and no fresh food had been brought to the tens of thousands civilian refugees since that month. At the beginning, under UN supervision, Bosnian Muslim fighters surrendered their weapons to the peacekeepers. Doing so for peacekeeping reasons, the UN mistakenly gave a helping hand to the Serbs with the invasion of the enclave. Later on, the Dutch commander did not obtain air support nor reinforcements to resist the Serbs and it was in no way possible for the Dutch forces to resist. After the invasion Mladic ordered some 23,000 women and children to be deported but retained the men in warehouses. Some 15,000 Bosnian Muslim men attempted to flee the enclave and were shelled in the mountains around nearby. The Dutch peacekeepers handed over 5,000 Bosnian Muslims men refugees, in return for 14 Dutch soldiers who had been made prisoners by the Serbs. Then the Bosnian Serb forces began to kill the Muslim prisoners with machine-guns and buried them in mass graves. These events have been described as "the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II".

Radovan Karadzic, ex Bosnian Serb leader is in The Hague in custody, waiting for his trial, he is indicted on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. But General Radko Mladic, the butcher of Srebenica, is still at large somewhere in Serbia. Fourteen years after the massacre, justice is not done.