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Jul 9 38 tweets 9 min read
Srebrenica is a town in eastern Bosnia and was a UN "safe area" in the 1990s upon which the Serb Army forces imposed a siege and famine that, 27 years ago, culminated in the worst act of mass murder in Europe since World War II. This is my thread on the #SrebrenicaGenocide.
"You are now under the protection of the UN forces. I will never abandon you." -- UN General Philippe Morillon, speaking to Srebrenica Bosnians in 1993.
Despite Srebrenica's status as a UN "safe area" and UN's disarming of the Srebrenica inhabitants--a policy which would help facilitate the genocidal killing of over 8,000 civilians--UN, at no point, fired a single bullet to protect the people of Srebrenica.
The UN disarming of the Srebrenica Bosnians was meant to be a trade: Srebrenica Bosnians would hand in their weapons in exchange for the "guaranteed" protection that the UN would offer.
A significant number of Srebrenica Bosnians did disarm, genuinely believing that the UN would protect them. Again, the UN forces did not fire a single bullet to protect the people of Srebrenica.
Keep in mind that the UN disarming of the Srebrenica Bosnians was on top of the UN arms embargo already in place on the Bosnians, which was a violation of the Bosnians right to self-defense guaranteed under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
In July 1995, the Serb Army forces began the final takeover of UN "safe area" Srebrenica, the enclave that had already been under siege and famine since 1992.
On July 11, 1995, with the Serb attack on the enclave well underway, 25,000 women, children, elderly, and (some) men set off towards Potocari, a small town within the municipality of Srebrenica, which was the location of the main UN base.
Most of the men gathered at Susnjari, west of Potocari, where they prepared to reach the area under the control of the Bosnian government. But the enclave was surrounded by minefields and the Serb army was patrolling the area.
The tail-end of this column of Bosnians left at noon on July 12, 1995. The single-file formation was chosen to avoid the impact of the mines.
On the evening of July 12th, about 8,000 these men crossed the road intersection at Konjevic Polje. On July 16th, 6,000 would reach safety via Zvornik. Since some of this specific column would have been armed, their deaths fall into the combatant category.
After the 8,000 Bosnian men crossed the intersection at Konjevic Polje, the Serb forces closed this route. Now, the Bosnian refugees were trapped between Konjevic Polje and Srebrenica.
On July 13th, a group that had been in the hills near Konjevic Polje surrendered to the Serb forces. The Serbs had used megaphones and stolen blue helmets to state that the UN and the International Red Cross were present.
A day earlier, on July 12th, the forceful transfer of those at Potocari began. The Serbs had been terrorizing, raping, and committing sporadic murders there. As the transfer was set to begin, the Bosnian men, who had not already been executed, were separated from the others.
The forceful transfer of those at Potocari was completed in the late afternoon of July 13th.
At this early stage, the Bosnian men who had been captured were taken to Bratunac, Sandici, Nova Kasaba, or Kravica.
On July 12, 1995, Serbs executed Bosnian men in Bratunac using clubs, axes, and through throat cutting.
At around the same time, executions were taking place on the road between Konjevic Polje and Sandici.
Even at this early stage, some of the men were killed in mass graves that had already been dug beforehand.
At Nova Kasaba, there is evidence for both sporadic and systematic executions. The recovered bodies there (see picture) and elsewhere would often be found with their hands tied behind their backs.
The Serbs executed at least 500 Bosnians at the Kravica hanger using firearms and grenades.
The Kravica hanger executions took place in the late afternoon on July 13th. The text below is from one of the survivors, taken from Radislav Krstic ICTY decision.
In the afternoon of July 13th, at Cerska valley (west of Konjevic Polje), Serbs executed 150 Bosnians with their hands (sometimes feet too) tied after transporting them there via 3 buses. The executions took place along the road and their bodies were then covered by an excavator.
Here is another photo of the Cerska mass grave, this one showing one body.
On the morning of July 13th, Serbs executed approximately 17 men at the Jadar River.
On and after July 13, prisoners began to be taken to Bratunac and from there to Zvornik. The officers of the Serb forces had been sent to Zvornik to locate sites for execution (and burial) and selected the schools in Grbavci and Petkovci.
The prisoners at the Grbavci school were blindfolded & executed on July 14 in Orahovac. The prisoners at Orahovac, some who were dead & other still alive but dying, were buried alive. One witness reported seeing General Mladic watch some of the executions.
The prisoners in Petkovci school were tortured and executed at the bottom of a nearby dam. The transfer of prisoners from Bratunac continued up until July 15th. 500 prisoners were transferred to Rocevic (north of Zvornik) and executed on July 15th.
On July 15th, prisoners who were in Bratunac but not yet executed, were taken to buildings in Pilica (north of Zvornik) and, on July 16th, 1,200 were executed at the Branjevo military farm.
Picture: Forensic anthropologist William Haglund at the Pilica mass grave in 1996.
500 prisoners were transferred to Rocevic (north of Zvornik) and executed on July 15h.
As the Dayton negations were going on, the need for an inquiry into Serb war crimes was becoming clear. The Serb leadership then began a systematic effort to hide their genocidal crimes.
One strategy the Serb leadership deployed to conceal their war crimes was to leave a small # of bodies in the primary mass graves. The idea was that if & when the bodies are found, the claim would be that only a small # of Bosnians were executed (just tens, not many thousands).
The Serbs leadership ordered that the primary graves be dug up using excavating equipment and that the bodies be transported into (26) secondary graves throughout eastern Bosnia.
One example of where the primary grave was undisturbed was the Cerska valley mass grave where 150 bodies were found.
Jean-Rene Ruez, head of the ICTY Srebrenica investigation, has speculated that this could be due to the lower # of bodies being buried there, the Serb forces having forgotten about the site, and/or the Serb forces believing that there would be difficulty locating the site.
The Serb leadership attempt to conceal their war crimes was an early success b/c, at the end of 1996, William Haglund had exhumed all the primary mass graves and had only located about 500 bodies. Newsweek had an article titled "Genocide Without Corpses."
The search for secondary graves only began in 1997.

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More from @DINOin280

Jun 21, 2020
Let's talk about Noam Chomsky from the point of view of a Bernie Sanders supporter, progressive, and a Bosnian-American. (Thread). Image
One of the most depressing aspects of being a progressive is seeing a cult-like following of Chomsky.
Clearly, Chomsky has made serious contributions on many issues. However, my own background, & the background of many others, will forever be a barrier to appreciating such work b/c his views on concentration camps & genocide in 1990s Bosnia are outright despicable & shameful.
Read 44 tweets

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