RETURN TO UNCONQUERED BOSNIA HOMEPAGE


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Source: Excerpts from The Bosnian People Charge Genocide by Francis A. Boyle, Aletheia Press

April 1993: The Siege of Srebrenica Intensifies


10 April 1993
Serbian General Ratko Mladic refused to allow Canadian U.N. peacekeepers into Srebrenica for the third straight day, stating the Canadians would enter the village "over my dead body." In addition, Serb fighters turned back aid trucks from Gorazde. "Serb Officer Bars U.N. troops from Muslim Town," The Toronto Star, 10 April 1993.

An eyewitness, Mrs. Azreta Habibovic described her escape from Srebrenica:

"The Serbs threw stones at us in Zvornik. They screamed and one woman was badly hurt. But anything was worth getting out of there. The Serbs are shelling all of the time. It is hell."


"Serbs Say UN Aid in Bosnia Can Continue: Canadian Troops Will Not Be Allowed Into Srebrenica to End Siege of Town," Financial Times. 10 April 1993.

UN Peacekeepers were barred from reaching the besieged town of Srebrenica. A UN spokeswoman stated: "The Serbs are in control. We now expect to be slowed down considerably."

"No question that the pocket

has shrunk somewhat."


11 April 1993
A spokesman for UNPROFOR noted that Bosnian Serbs were closing in on Srebrenica, even though the Serbs agreed to a cease-fire. Serb forces captured villages on the edge of Srebrenica. In addition, the spokesman added:

"Towns hitherto in the hands of Muslims outside of Srebrenica have indeed fallen under Serb control now. No question that the pocket has shrunk somewhat."


12 April 1993
U.N. forces stated that shells from Serbs struck near their relief areas. In addition, after meeting with UNPROFOR commander General Lars-Erik Wahlgren, Serbian General Ratko Mladic refused once again to allow UN troops into Srebrenica. "UN Credibility on the Line as Serbs Near Srebrenica," The Christian Science Monitor, 12 April 1993.

Three U.N. relief convoys were scrapped among a sharp increase in fighting by Serbs. UNPROFOR reported 35 civilians killed and 68 wounded in Srebrenica by Serbian shelling. Two bursts in shelling lasted 75 minutes total.

13 April 1993
At least 56 people, 15 of them children, were killed and 106 wounded, 73 of them seriously, during mortar and howitzer shelling of Srebrenica...
John McMillian, U.N. High Commisioner for Refugees spokesman, stated that minutes after NATO planes began enforcement of the U.N. no-fly zone, Serbs launched shells against Srebrenica set to explode in midair to wreak the greatest havoc on people caught in the open...
Louis Gentille, a United Nations relief official, stated the attack on Srebrenica was the worst since the shelling began seven months ago.

15 April 1993
Louis Gentille, a Canadian UN official and a witness to the attacks in Srebrenica stated:

"It was very clearly intended to wound as many civilians as possible. People were throwing bodies onto ox-carts, or anything that would move, throwing bodies into wheelbarrows. I say bodies because some of the people were alive and some were not. Some were not really looking like people anymore. There were parts of bodies. There were people whose intestines were falling out, people whose brains were coming out of their eyes. I saw two children who did not seem to have any faces left."


16 April 1993
Shortwave radio operators in Srebrenica reported that former Yugoslavian army troops crossed the Drina River separating Bosnia from Serbia and had mounted their own aggressive offensive against Srebrenica. A U.N. official noted that the Serbs were closing in fast against Srebrenica. "U.N. Ready to Evacuate Srebrenica," Agence France Presse, 16 April 1993.

"People were dying as they

waited for medical attention."

17 April 1993
Srebrenica reported heavy shelling by Serbs. People were dying as they waited for medical attention. Despite a U.N. Resolution calling Srebrenica a safe area, the Serbs ignored it. U.N. troops trying to get into Srebrenica were denied again by Serb commanders. "Srebrenica Teeters on the Brink of Collapse." CNN, 17 April 1993.

18 April 1993
Reports out of Srebrenica were that 5000 people died as a result of the Serbian offensive since it began. U.N. officials reported heavy shelling in Srebrenica, killing several civilians in the city center. An embittered U.N. official stated that the current situation set the stage for what he called "Another chapter of ethnic cleansing."

UN officials also stated that "Srebrenica is dead" and that UN officials were turning their energies to prevent genocide by the Serbs around Srebrenica. "Struggle in the Balkans; Cease-Fire in Battered Muslim Town Seals a Key Victory for Serb Forces," The New York Times, 18 April 1993.

The United Nations imposed tighter sanctions on the rump Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). The sanctions were imposed under the theory that the rump Yugoslavia has the power to pressure Bosnian Serbs into halting their aggression. This action came after further reports of the Serbs shelling Bosnians cowering in the ruins of Srebrenica. This shelling was aimed at Muslim women, children, and the elderly, a spokesman at U.N. mission headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia said. In addition to shelling, the Serbs also launched sniper attacks at the town center. The official stated it was clear that the Serbians were targetting Bosnian civilians, where at very least twelve people were killed. Despite a U.N. Resolution demanding Serbian withdrawal, the Serbs failed to leave. A U.N. official stated:

"This is the second time in a week that the [U.N.] force commander has sat down with [General] Ratko Mladic and listened to his words of reason while [Mladic's] guys were at the same time firing on civilians in Srebrenica."


"Security Council Votes to Tighten Sanctions Against Serbs; Bosnia: Despite News of a Cease-Fire, U.N. Acts After Rebels Shell Civilians in Srebrenica, Russia and China Abstain," Los Angeles Times, 18 April 1993.

...In addition, the commander of Serb forces around Srebrenica was quoted as saying everyone in Srebrenica was an extremist and should be killed. As a result, Muslim forces were reluctant to disarm themselves. The Serbian army vowed over and over to destroy the Bosnian defenders. National Public Radio (NPR), 18 April 1993.

Shortwave radio operators in Srebrenica reported renewed shelling which claimed the lives of at least 20 people, injured 30 more, and set the town aflame. The reporter noted that "Every seven seconds a shell lands." Because of the shelling, there were reports that civilians in Srebrenica bled to death in the streets. Serbian snipers fired on all movement in Srebrenica.

Mladic told the officer to shell "only the human flesh. Don't do anything but shell the human flesh."



Bosnia claimed interception of a conversation between General Ratko Mladic and an artillery officer. Mladic was quoted as telling the officer to avoid hitting a factory because "We need the machines." Mladic stated that the target of shelling was humanity. Mladic told the officer to shell "only the human flesh. Don't do anything but shell the human flesh."
Mladic also told the officer to let Serbian snipers fire on Muslim civilians.
...
Lord David Owen stated that Serbs surrounding Srebrenica were doing just as they pleased, and added: "They have no right to Srebrenica--Srebrenica is a Muslim town." Owen also noted that under the Vance-Owen peace plan, Srebrenica would be part of a Muslim province. "Owen still Recommends Military Force in Bosnia," Reuters, 19 April 1993.

On hearings at the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Biden stated that while Milosevic was not at the peace table: "The Serbs are at the table, Mr. Karadzic is at the table, but he is a puppet of Mr. Milosevic." Biden also noted intelligence reports indicating that the Yugoslav National Army in Serbia was "directly responsible for at least part of the shelling of Srebrenica..." "Capitol Hill Hearing with Defense Department personnel," Federal News Service, 20 April 1993.
...
Radovan Karadzic, president of the Bosnian Serbs, was quoted as saying of Srebrenica: "This area is now liberated. This is now a 100 percent Serb district." Srebrenica Disarmed, U.N. Says; Besieged Bosnians Breathe Easier with Serb Guns Silent, Chicago Tribune, 22 April 1993.
...
A United Nations relief column headed to Srebrenica has tons confiscated by rebel Serbs.
...
27 April 1993
A UN spokesman said that the Bosnian Serbs began to step up pressure on a 150-man Canadian UN force in Srebrenica.
...
29 April 1993
Diego Arria, Venezuela's U.N. Ambassador and head of a fact-finding mission to Bosnia, was quoted as saying, "Slow-motion genocide is still going on" in regards to the besieged town of Srebrenica. Arria noted that water had been cut to Srebrenica by the Serbs. "U.N. Mission Calls for Expanding Safe Havens in Bosnia," Agence France Presse, 29 April 1993.

Serbs threatened U.N. military commander Bob Stewart that his base would be the target for Serb artillery strikes if the West launched airstrikes against the Serbian positions. Also, U.N. officials reported an increase in sporadic fighting around Srebrenica. "Bosnia: British Troops At Risk as West Wavers on Bosnia," Guardian, 29 April 1993.

Diego Arria, Venezuelan Ambassador to the U.N., reported that around Srebrenica: "No water, no physicians, no electricity is, I repeat, a slow process of genocide."
..."An indication of the prevailing conditions of the city [Srebrenica] is that the mutilated remains of...children who were playing soccer when killed, are still scattered in the area."
"Bosnia: Rebel Serbs Ready to Talk on Peace Plan," Guardian, 30 April 1993.
UNPROFOR spokesman Barry Frewer reported that a reconnaissance patrol of Canadian U.N. soldiers came under mortar and small-arms fire at a Serb checkpoint after leaving the demilitarized town of Srebrenica. The U.N. soldiers had been attempting to reach the nearby village of Zeleni Jadar, where the Serbs besieging Srebrenica have turned off the town's water supply. Relief workers report at least 800 cases of scabies in Srebrenica, and say the water situation is desperate. "Fighting Intensifies Along Several Fronts in Bosnia," Agence France Presse, 1 May 1993.
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