"Srebrenica Massacre" Srebrenica by Gottsie
Srebrenica Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 30 photos
We were in Bosnia for the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre. I never visited Srebrenica but i learnt about what happened here and i think that it is important never to forget.
In July 1995 Srebrenica was UN protected with Dutch peace keepers present. However over 8.000 Bosnia men were massacred, including women and children, by the army of Republika Srpska under the command of Ratko Mladic, Serbian forces participated known as Scorpions. They wanted the extinction of Bosnian Muslims.
There were urgent pleas for the humanitarian corridor to the enclave to be reopened but they failed. Many people died of starvation. Urgent requests for NATO air support on July 10th wasn’t forthcoming until around 2.30pm on July 11. They bombed VRS tanks and attempted to bomb VRS artillery positions but had to abort due to poor visibility. NATO abandoned any more air strikes due to Serb army threats to kill Dutch troops being held in the custody of the VRS and threats to shell the UN Potoèari compound.
Dutch soldiers had already noticed a build-up of Serb forces in the area earlier in the year but were denied requests for reinforcements. Dutch peace keepers were reported to share coffee with Serb troops in July. The commander Thomas Karremans was filmed drinking a toast with war crimes suspect and Serb general Ratko Mladic.
When people realised that Bosnian Serbs had taken control of Srebrenica, thousands fled to Potocari seeking protection within the UN compound.
11th-13th July-The conditions in Potočari were deplorable. There were around 20,000 to 25,000 refugees gathered and pressed inside the UN compound. Others gathered in fields and factories. It was mainly children, women, and elderly and disabled, however it was reported around 300 men inside the compound and 600-900 in the crowd; the Dutch claimed their base is full. Many people fell and were trampled on. During the afternoon, Serb soldiers mingled in the crowd. Summary executions of men and women occurred. Stories of rape and killings spread and the terror escalated. Around 20-30 bodies were found heaped behind the Transport building, a witness saw a soldier slay a child with a knife and the executions of more than one hundred men behind the zinc factory and then there bodies loaded on a truck.
The men were then separated from the women and children and put on buses where they were told they would be reunited later. However, the men were deported and executed, and their bodies put in mass graves.
Ethnic cleansings continued in Bosnian territories with the aim to link it to Serbian territory. Bosnians were either killed or forced to flee to Srebrenica.
•On the evening on 11th July able-bodied men took to the woods to form a column together with members of the 28th Division of the Army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and attempt a breakthrough towards Bosnian-held territory in the north, Tuzla. There were around 10,000 - 15,000 men in the column. The route was notorious, crossing hilly terrain at the height of summer, everyone had enough rations for two days, after that they would eat grass and snails, and the temperatures caused dehydration. The men faced the choice between giving themselves up or carrying on. Carrying on would entail conflict with the VRS and mental distress. People turned on each other, killing each other, others committed suicide. The column stretched back several kilometers which made it an easy target. They were ambushed various times along the journey fired at from all directions. Some of the wounded were left behind others carried on make shift stretchers. There were rumors that VRS personnel in civilian dress had infiltrated the column at Kamenica. The Drina Corps and the various brigades were ordered to devote all available manpower to the task of finding, stopping, disarming and taking prisoner the men of the column.
•A second group of around 700 attempted to escape to Serbia. It is not known how many were intercepted, and killed along the way.
The last VRS line to break through was at Baljkovica. On the evening of July 15th a hailstorm forced Serb troops to take cover, the column took advantage of this situation to attack. They captured several heavy arms and turned fire on the Serb front line. They broke to Bosnian territory around 1-2 pm July16.
Only one third of the column reached safety. Some wearing only underwear, others with their feet bleeding, wrapped in rags. Some were delirious and hallucinating. One soldier was killed as he opened fire on his own unit. They were bitter that the UN didn’t protect the safe area.
People took months to reach Tuzla. They hid in the woods for days eating snails, leaves and mushrooms. They didn’t know what to do next. They split into smaller groups, some turned towards Žepa following overhead cables as they didn’t know the way. Others headed back to the Srebrenica region were they of where to find food, hiding in towns and then heading to either Žepa or Tuzla.
To conceal the mass murders the Serbs would dig up the first burial sites and move the bodies to more remote areas. VRS troops started clearing bodies from Srebrenica, Žepa, Kamenica and Snagovo. Work parties and municipal services were deployed to help. In Srebrenica, the refuse that had littered the streets was collected and burnt, the town disinfected and deloused
Sandici massacre-On the main road from Bratunac to Konjević Polje near to Sandici, the Serbs were forcing Bosnian men to call others down from the mountains. Around 200-300 men followed this call and descended to the waiting VRS. The brother of the witness gave himself up expecting an exchange of prisoners. However the witness was cautious and hid behind a tree as he watched the men lined up with their hands behind that heads and shot by a machine gun, including his brother.
13 July 1995: Jadar River executions-Seventeen men were transported by bus a short distance to a spot on the banks of the Jadar River. The men were then lined up and shot.
13 July 1995: Cerska Valley executions One witness, hidden among trees, saw two or three trucks, followed by an armoured vehicle and an earthmoving machine proceeding towards Cerska. After that, he heard gunshots for half an hour and then saw the armoured vehicle going in the opposite direction, but not the earthmoving machine.
The late afternoon of 13 July: executions in the warehouse at Kravica Between 1,000 and 1,500 men were held in a warehouse, VRS troops threw in hand grenades and opened fire
13–14 July 1995: Tišca A the witness was loaded onto a truck with 22 other men with their hands tied behind their backs. At one point the truck stopped and a soldier on the scene said: "Not here. Take them up there, where they took people before." The truck reached another stopping point where the soldiers came around to the back of the truck and started shooting the prisoners.
14 July 1995:Grbavci school detention site and Orahovac execution site-1.000-2.500 men were held in the School Gym, some taken outside and killed, others taken in small groups to execution fields
14th-15th of July 1995: executions at the school and the dam in Petkovici-1,500 to 2,000 men were ordered to strip to the waist and to remove their shoes, whereupon their hands were tied behind their backs. During the night of 14th of July, the men were taken by truck to the dam at Petkovici.
14–16 July 1995:Branjevomilitary farm execution site and the Dom Kultura -Between 1,000 and 1,200 men were killed
14-17 July 1995: Kozluk -Prisoners were forced to sing Serb songs before being killed; however no survivors have come forward. Around 340 bodies were found
13–18 July 1995: Brutanac-Konjevic Polje road-Bosnian Serb soldiers summarily executed hundreds of Bosnians, including women and children.
18-19 July 1995: Nezuk-Baljkovica frontline-20 small groups surrendered to Bosnian Serb military forces. After the men surrendered, Bosnian Serb soldiers ordered them to line up and summarily executed them.
20-22 July 1995: Meces area-Approximately 350 men surrendered and were assured they would be safe. Serb soldiers then took approximately 150 of them, instructed them to dig their own graves and then summarily executed them. The remaining men were pushed into the hole and buried alive.
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