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Source: BosNet, July 13. 1995

BosNet, July 13
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 1995

From: Nermin Zukic
BosNet NEWS - SREBRENICA Events: July 11/12, 1995:
As many as 40,000 mostly Muslim refugees huddled in Potocari camp with Dutch peacekeepers. Nationalist Bosnian Serb commander Gen. Ratko Mladic, alleged war criminal also arrived with his infantry and ordered the refugees evacuated on 40 trucks he had brought with him. He agreed to let one peacekeeper accompany each truck.

"There was a horrible scene of screaming," Stephan Oberreit of the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-Doctors Without Borders) said. "Women and children were put aside to be loaded onto buses while young men were put in other places. Obviously this loading of buses was terrifying. People were screaming. People were panicking..."Nationalist Serb commander General Ratko Mladic, alleged war criminal and one of the initiators of "ethnic cleansing" campaigns claimed: "You don't have to be afraid of anything. Slowly. Please let the women and children in front of you...No panic please...Don't be afraid. No one will harm you." The U.N. War Crimes Tribunal has indicated it will charge Serb nationalist leader Radovan Karadzic and military commander Gen. Ratko Mladic, widely viewed as the architect of "ethnic cleansing," with crimes against humanity. For many, nationalist Bosnian Serb television showing of the war criminal Mladic surrounded by panicked and desperate Muslims, reminded them of images of Jews being loaded on cattle cars and carted off to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. The first 3,000 refugees -- mostly women, children and the elderly -- left Potocari for government-held Kladanj, 25 miles to the west. Nationalist Bosnian Serbs held up all the men over 16 and took them to a soccer stadium in nearby Bratunac, where they would be "screened for war crimes."

Serbs asked the United Nations to supply fuel for the evacuation of the refugees, but refused a U.N. offer of helicopters to evacuate about 70 people who were sick and wounded, Coward said. Lt.-Col. Coward said some Dutch soldiers had been disarmed, but others still had their weapons.

"This is a crisis," said Rida Ettarashany, a U.N. spokesman in Zagreb, Croatia."There's very little they can do." U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali had this comment:"We believe that in spite of the aggression, negotiation for the time being is the only way to find a solution," during his visit to Greece.

"The Dutch troops in Srebrenica put up a valiant defense... They did what they could against quite daunting opposition. I think there is at least some measure of satisfaction, that in a very difficult situation we have done our best," said Lieutenant Colonel Gary Coward about UN effort in Srebrenica.