New documents showcase West’s role in fall of Srebrenica

New documents reveal that British, US and French governments negotiated with Serbs to yield ‘safe area’

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The worst massacre since the holocaust in Srebrenica in Bosnia was an important result of the foreign policy of three western powers – Britain, the US and France - and was not seen as an atrocious event as long it was sustained as such, according to a newly released research paper.

Over eight thousand Muslim men and boys were killed within four days in the July of 1995 by Bosnian Serb death units as they took control of the besieged town of Srebrenica, that had been put under the protection of UN troops as a designated “safe area”.

The revelations were collected as a part of the research by Florence Hartmann, a former correspondent of Le Monde, for her book, The Srebrenica Affair: The Blood of Realpolitik.

According to the book, British, the United States and French governments thought Srebrenica and two other safe areas were “untenable” well before it was besieged by the Serbs and were prepared to yield Srebrenica to the Serbs to design geographical borders acceptable by then Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic.

Hartmann in 2008 was indicted for breach of confidentiality in France. The Hague ordered for her extradition. France refused.

The Serbian troops were declared perpetrators of a genocide in a war crimes tribunal in The Hague in 2006, and Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic are yet to receive a verdict for their roles in the genocide.

Dutch troops are also accused for watching by the actions of the Serbs and not engaging for the protection of the vulnerable. They are also accused of overlooking the Serbs abusing, torturing and separating women and young children from their male quarry.

The Srebrenica genocide in July 1995 rattled the Balkans as well as the Muslim world and led to mass protests in the Muslim countries.

The Srebrenica genocide, widely viewed as the worst atrocity on European soil since World War Two, was the culmination of a campaign of ethnic cleansing by the forces of Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic aimed at carving out a Serbian state from ethnically mixed Bosnia.

The genocide, organised by the Serb authorities under the former leader of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic and his aide Ratko Mladic, resulted in the death of 8,372 Bosnian Muslims.

UN Resolutions 819 and 836 had designated Srebrenica a “safe haven” to be protected by Dutch UN forces using "all necessary means, including the use of force," before the massacre.

Continued attacks on UN Safe Areas as well as the continued Siege of Sarajevo also ultimately resulted in a NATO intervention named Operation Deliberate Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

TRTWorld and agencies