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Following a declaration of national sovereignty on 15 October as the former Yugoslavia began to disintegrate, a referendum for independence was held on 29 February The result, in favour of independence, was rejected by the political representatives of the Bosnian Serbs who had boycotted the referendum.
A fierce struggle for territorial control ensued, accompanied by the ethnic cleansing of the non-Serb population from areas under Serb control; in particular, the Bosniak population of Eastern Bosnia, near the border with Serbia.
In the words of the ICTY judgement: Once towns and villages were securely in their hands, the Serb forces—the military, the police, the paramilitaries and, sometimes, even Serb villagers—applied the same pattern: Muslim houses and apartments were systematically ransacked or burnt down, Muslim villagers were rounded up or captured and, in the process, sometimes beaten or killed.
Men and women were separated, with many of the men detained in the former KP Dom prison. Each onslaught followed a similar pattern. Serb soldiers and paramilitaries surrounded a Bosnian Muslim village or hamlet, called upon the population to surrender their weapons, and then began with indiscriminate shelling and shooting.
In most cases, they then entered the village or hamlet, expelled or killed the population, who offered no significant resistance, and destroyed their homes.
During this period, Srebrenica was subjected to indiscriminate shelling from all directions on a daily basis. Other Bosnian Muslim settlements were routinely attacked as well.
All this resulted in a great number of refugees and casualties.
Struggle for Srebrenica —[ edit ] Serb military and paramilitary forces from the area and neighbouring parts of eastern Bosnia and Serbia gained control of Srebrenica for several weeks in earlykilling and expelling Bosniak civilians.
At this time, the Srebrenica enclave had reached its peak size of square kilometres sq milesalthough it was never linked to the main area of Bosnian-government controlled land in the west and remained, in the words of the ICTY, "a vulnerable island amid Serb-controlled territory".
Are you saying, then, General, that what happened in was a direct reaction to what Naser Oric did to the Serbs two years before?
I am convinced of that. This doesn't mean to pardon or diminish the responsibility of the people who committed that crime, but I am convinced of that, yes. Bosniak residents of the outlying areas converged on the town of Srebrenica and its population swelled to between 50, and 60, people.
By then, the town was overcrowded and siege conditions prevailed. There was almost no running water as the advancing Serb forces had destroyed the town's water supplies; people relied on makeshift generators for electricity. Food, medicine and other essentials were extremely scarce.
Before leaving, General Morillon told the panicked residents of Srebrenica at a public gathering that the town was under the protection of the UN and that he would never abandon them.
The evacuations were opposed by the Bosnian government in Sarajevo as contributing to the ethnic cleansing of predominantly Bosniak territory. The Serb authorities remained intent on capturing the enclave.
On 13 Aprilthe Serbs told the UNHCR representatives that they would attack the town within two days unless the Bosniaks surrendered and agreed to be evacuated. It was almost like a game, a cat-and-mouse hunt.We help people caught up in natural disasters and conflicts across the world with clean water, food, sanitation and protection.
At any given time, we are responding to over 30 emergency situations, giving life-saving support to those most in need. The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide (Bosnian: Masakr u Srebrenici; Genocid u Srebrenici), was the July massacre of more than 8, Bosniaks, mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War..
The killings were perpetrated by units of the Bosnian Serb Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of Ratko Mladić.
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