Srebrenica: Massacre that outraged the world – News Vibe24

    Srebrenica: Massacre that outraged the world - Times of India
    SARAJEVO: Srebrenica has become a symbol of “ethnic cleansing” after its men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serbs after a three-year siege during the 1990s Balkan wars.
    As judges in The Hague rule Tuesday on an appeal by Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic against his conviction for war crimes, this is the timetable for the tragedy:
    Srebrenica, a predominantly Muslim town in eastern Bosnia, falls to Bosnian Serb troops shortly after the siege of the capital Sarajevo began in April 1992 at the start of the Bosnian war.
    Other towns in the eastern Dina Valley are also being occupied with the help of paramilitary groups that have passed through neighboring Serbia.
    Driven by a policy called “ethnic cleansing”, Bosnian Muslim forces are taking over again. But at the end of the year, the Serbs again targeted, cutting off road access.
    Between March and April 1993, some 8,000 people were evacuated from the increasingly militant enclave.
    Dozens were killed in bombings by Bosnian Serb forces.
    On April 16, as the city came under fire from tanks and artillery, the UN Security Council declared Srebrenica a “safe area” under the protection of UN and NATO forces.
    A ceasefire and demilitarization agreement is signed the next day in Sarajevo under the auspices of the UN, but is never kept.
    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) supplies food and other necessities to the city, which is now a protected area.
    In May, the UN created five other safe areas – Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zepa, Gorazde and Bihac.
    On March 1, 1994, a body of 450 UN peacekeepers was deployed in the pouch where the UN troop rotation had previously taken place. These Dutch troops are taking on Canadian peacekeepers.
    In early July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces attacked Muslim government positions south, east and north of the enclave. They exceeded the positions of the peacekeeping forces on July 9, taking about 30 hostages.
    Bosnian Serb tanks are less than two kilometers from the city.
    On July 11th, NATO carried out airstrikes on two Serbian tanks on the outskirts of Srebrenica.
    However, on the same day, the Bosnian Serb army led by Mladic crossed Srebrenica, causing tens of thousands of refugees to flee to the Dutch force base in Potokari on the outskirts of the hilly town.
    Peacekeepers and thousands of refugees, mostly women and children, are retreating to the UN base, while thousands more are gathering outside.
    With the capture of Srebrenica, Mladic orders the evacuation of all civilians, including women, children and the elderly, while all men of combat age are imprisoned.
    In the following days, more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were systematically slaughtered by Bosnian Serb forces and their bodies dumped in mass graves.
    The Serbs later dug up several copies and resuscitated them in other graves to try to hide the evidence.
    Witness accounts have been emerging since July 17th, with those who escaped telling horrific stories of killings, torture and rape by Bosnian Serb forces.
    On July 24th and November 16th, respectively, Bosnian Serb political leaders Radovan Karadzic and Mladic are indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
    To date, 6,880 victims of the massacre have been identified and buried – 6,643 in the Potokari monument center and 237 in other cemeteries in the Srebrenica area.
    On November 21, 1995, the Dayton Accords, forged under international pressure, end the war.
    They divide Bosnia into two entities, the Republika Srpska Republika Srpska and the Bosnian Croat Muslim Federation, each of which enjoys a high degree of autonomy and is united by weak central institutions.


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