Bosnia : Remembering the Srebrenica massacre
The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide (Bosnian: Genocid u Srebrenici), was thegenocidal killing, in July 1995, of more than 8,000 Bosniaks, mainly men and boys, in and around the town ofSrebrenica during the Bosnian War. The killing was perpetrated by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the commandof General Ratko Mladić. The Secretary-General of the United Nations described the mass murder as the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War. A paramilitary unit from Serbia known as the Scorpions, officially part of the Serbian Interior Ministry until 1991, participated in the massacre.
In April 1993, the United Nations declared the besieged enclave of Srebrenica in the Drina Valley of northeastern Bosnia a “safe area” under UN protection. However, in July 1995, the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), represented on the ground by a 400-strong contingent of Dutch peacekeepers, Dutchbat, could not prevent the town’s capture by the VRS and the subsequent massacre.
In 2004, in a unanimous ruling on the case of Prosecutor v. Krstić, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), located in the Hague, ruled that the massacre of the enclave’s male inhabitants constituted genocide, a crime under international law, a ruling also upheld by the International Court of Justice in 2007. The forcible transfer of between 25,000 and 30,000 Bosniak women, children and elderly which accompanied the massacre was found to be confirming evidence of the genocidal intent of members of the VRS Main Staff who orchestrated the massacre.In 2005, in a message to the tenth anniversary commemoration of the genocide, the Secretary-General of the United Nations noted that, while blame lay first and foremost with those who planned and carried out the massacre and those who assisted and harboured them, the powers with the ability to had failed to respond adequately, the UN itself had made serious errors of judgement and the tragedy of Srebrenica would haunt the UN’s history forever.
Serbia and Montenegro was cleared of direct responsibility for or complicity in the massacre in the Bosnian Genocide case before the International Court of Justice, but was found responsible for not doing enough to prevent the genocide and not prosecuting those responsible, in breach of the Genocide Convention. The Preliminary List of People Missing or Killed in Srebrenica compiled by the Bosnian Federal Commission of Missing Persons contains 8,373 names. As of July 2012, 6,838 genocide victims have been identified through DNA analysis of body parts recovered from mass graves; as of July 2013, 6,066 victims have been buried at the Memorial Centre of Potočari.Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić officially apologised for the massacre, although he stopped short of calling it genocide.
Originally published at kufarooq99.wordpress.com on July 9, 2015.