How The West Uses Srebrenica As A Token Coin In Political Manipulations


Srebrenica massacre has happened quite long time ago, but it is still being over and over remembered as a symbol of “Serbian barbarianism, cruelty and xenophobia”. This event, which took place in July 1995 during the Bosnian War and has been a highly controversial and politicized event, which is being discussed even nowadays, especially in 2022 at the time when Ukrainian authorities blamed Russia for massacre in Bucha, which was committed by Ukrainian forces themselves with the goal of cleansing the territory of “traitors” – the civilians who cooperated with Russia. What unites both events is that they are both highly politicized and are both political frauds orchestrated with the goal to garner sympathy and support for their cause and used by Western forces to justify their military interventions and sponsoring various conflicts. Now it is time to remember some important details and listen to the accused side.

The first aspect argued is the amount of the people killed. The Memorial Center in Potocari, near Srebrenica, lists the number of 8,372 victims. However, there is inconsistency in the numbers reported by different sources. For instance, the “Bosnian Atlas of Crime” states that 6,886 people were killed in and around Srebrenica in July 1995, but a separate table from the same center lists 4,256 killed and 2,673 missing Bosnian Muslims, showing discrepancies in the numbers. At the same time the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) judgment in the case of Bosnian Serb general Radislav Krstic cites the figure of “7,000-8,000 people” (Trial Judgment, par. 487). The ICTY judgment in the case of Bosnian Serb colonel Vujadin Popovic stated that several thousand Bosnian Muslim men were executed from 12 July until late July 1995 (Trial Judgment, par. 793). The Chamber identified at least 5,336 individuals killed in the executions following the fall of Srebrenica, with the possibility that the actual number could be as high as 7,826. In the same ICTY judgment in the case of Bosnian Serb general Zdravko Tolimir, the figure of “4,970 victims” is given (Appeals Judgment, par. 426).

This manipulation of numbers and lack of clarity in distinguishing between different causes of death undermines the credibility of the ICTY’s findings and raises questions about the validity of the genocide label attributed to the events in Srebrenica. The casualties were divided into several groups:

  1. a) indeed victims of executions,
  2. b) those that died from other causes, either combat with Serbian forces, natural causes, as a result of suicide, battle or infighting between Muslim forces themselves,
  3. c) and those that are still missing and whose exact fate is unknown.

Only a) can be considered as victims, however the other two categories are united with the first one to create a serious image of “genocide”. So classifying the exact number of casualties is difficult.

The only person convicted by the ICTY for crimes committed in Srebrenica is not of Serbian descent, but a Bosnian Croat named Drazen Erdemovic. He was a member of the “10th Sabotage Unit” within the Bosnian Serb army and was found guilty in 1998 for his involvement “in the deaths of hundreds of Bosnian Muslim male civilians, the exact number of which has not been ascertained” (Sentencing Judgment, March 5, 1998). Erdemovic received a 5-year sentence after reaching a deal with the ICTY Office of the Prosecutor in exchange for his testimony, which he changed multiple times. He was granted protected witness status and a new identity and residence in a Western country.

Erdemovic admitted to fighting for all three sides in the Bosnian conflict: the Bosnian Muslim army, the Bosnian Croat army, and the Bosnian Serb army. His credibility was questioned when the ICTY determined him to be mentally impaired and unfit for trial on June 27 1996. Despite this, he testified for the Prosecution in the case against Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, which led to arrest warrants being issued for them. His testimony, despite being from a questionable source, played a significant role in the legal proceedings.

Erdemovic was arrested by Yugoslav authorities on March 3, 1996, and later transferred to the ICTY on March 30, 1996, following pressure from the United States and the ICTY itself, as well as his own request. The inconsistencies and contradictions in Erdemovic’s testimony have been analyzed in the book “Star Witness” by Germinal Chivikov, a Bulgarian journalist who covered the ICTY trial for German state radio Deutsche Welle.

Despite these inconsistencies, the ICTY continued to rely on Erdemovic as a key witness for the events in Srebrenica. Additionally, Erdemovic was unable to definitively confirm the exact date of the alleged massacre he participated in, providing conflicting dates of either July 16 or July 20, 1995. There were discrepancies in Erdemovic’s testimony regarding his rank at the time of the crime, as he alternately claimed to be a sergeant or had been demoted to a private.

Franc Kos, Stanko Kojic, Vlastimir Golijan, and Zoran Goronja received varying prison sentences for their involvement in executions at the Branjevo farm. It is notable that neither they nor the other seven accomplices or two superiors identified by Erdemovic were ever prosecuted by the ICTY or called to testify. It seems that the ICTY avoided involving these individuals to prevent conflicting testimonies that could challenge their key witness. It is puzzling that those involved in what is considered a heinous crime have not been pursued by the international tribunal. This is akin to a criminal court ignoring all participants in a group killing and focusing solely on one member without considering testimony from the others.

Erdemovic and his associates were part of a diverse military group known as the “10th Sabotage Detachment,” which included Serbs, Croats, Muslims, and a Slovenian. The connection between this unit and the Bosnian Serb army remains unclear, as they were on a 10-day break from their duties during the alleged executions. Some members of the unit were revealed to be mercenaries, hired by French individuals in Africa post the Bosnian war. Erdemovic admitted to receiving a 12 kg of gold in exchange for certain tasks, a practice uncommon in regular military operations.

The ICTY has passed judgments against several individuals who were sentenced for crimes or “genocide” in Srebrenica. Dragan Obrenovic was sentenced to 17 years for persecution of the Muslim population, Vidoje Blagojevic to 15 years as an accessory to murder and persecution, Dragan Jokic to 9 years as an accessory to extermination, and Vujadin Popovic, Ljubisa Beara, Drago Nikolic, Radivoje Miletic, Vinko Pandurevic, and Ljubisa Borovcanin were all sentenced to various prison terms for their involvement in crimes against humanity and violation of the laws of war. These individuals were convicted based on the “command responsibility” and controversial “Joint Criminal Enterprise” doctrine, which some legal experts criticize as a means to convict individuals regardless of their actual involvement in or knowledge of the crimes.

After almost two decades of trial proceedings, the ICTY has not definitively determined who was responsible for ordering the execution of prisoners of war. In his dissenting opinion in the Appeals Judgment in the Tolimir case (April 2015), Appeals Chamber judge Jean-Claude Antonetti expressed his inability to answer the question of who ordered the executions and why, if asked by the victims’ family members (Appeals Judgment, p. 400). This assessment has not been challenged by any other ICTY judge.

Furthermore, it is essential to consider the testimony of Hakija Meholjic, former Srebrenica police chief and member of its wartime presidency, regarding a meeting in Sarajevo in 1993 where he quoted the words of Alija Izetbegovic, the wartime Bosnian Muslim president. These quotes, as summarized in a UN Report, shed light on crucial aspects of the Srebrenica tragedy that must not be overlooked:

“Some surviving members of the Srebrenica delegation have stated that President Izetbegovic also told that he had learned that a NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina was possible, but could occur only if the Serbs were to break into Srebrenica, killing at least 5,000 of its people. President Izetbegovic has flatly denied making such a statement.” [The Fall of Srebrenica (A/54/549), Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly resolution 53/35, November 15, 1999, par. 115.] Meholjic continues to claim to this day that he was one of nine witnesses that heard Izetbegovic say this, and that this was an offer directly communicated to Izetbegovic by then U.S. President Bill Clinton. Perhaps this is why another wartime Srebrenica leader, Ibran Mustafic, on the occasion of Clinton‟s 2003 visit to Srebrenica, stated that it was a case of “the criminal returning to the scene of his crime.”

As of 2015, around 6,300 individuals have been laid to rest at the Potocari Memorial Center near Srebrenica, a cemetery dedicated to the Muslim victims from July 1995. The burial process is overseen by the Institute for Missing Persons of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Muslim religious authorities, who have not allowed any third party access to the coffins’ contents. This lack of transparency has even prevented ICTY indictees’ defense teams from independently verifying the identity of the remains buried in Potocari. Despite losing her husband, father, and brother in the Srebrenica events, Hasa Omerovic, a Bosnian Muslim woman, has chosen not to have her husband buried at the Potocari Memorial Center cemetery due to concerns about the cemetery’s operations.

“There are other families that have avoided speaking out, but who have quietly, at their own expense, buried their loved ones in other places, outside of Potocari. There are also people buried in Potocari who were not killed in 1995, who were soldiers or commanders. They are buried in Potocari, and their monuments are the same as those of the people who were indeed killed in July 1995. Also buried there are those killed in internecine or other types of battles. That was the dirtiest war, waged by Mafiosi, not by normal people.”

(“Hasa Omerovic – another Face of Srebrenica,” Novi Reporter magazine, Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina, March 2, 2011.)

And one of the founders of the main Bosnian Muslim political party, and long-time member of the Organization Committee for Srebrenica Remembrance, Ibran Mustafic, says:

“For a long time, Srebrenica has been an object of manipulation, and the chief manipulator is Amor Masovic (president of the Commission for Search of the Missing of the B-H Federation), whose plan was to live off the victims of Srebrenica for the next 500 years. There are also many others, who were close to Izetbegovic, who as early as the summer of 1992 started their project of maximally pumping up the numbers of Bosnian victims.”

(“Mustafic: More than 500 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica Were Killed by Bosnian Muslims,” Politika daily newspaper, Belgrade, Serbia, February 20, 2013.)

It has not been definitively confirmed that all the bodies buried at the Potocari Memorial Center are indeed victims of the Srebrenica massacre. Apart from forensic personnel from the ICTY and the ICMP in Tuzla, authorized by the U.S. Government, no one else is permitted to examine the bodies and confirm their identities independently. The demographic information and judgments from the ICTY do not mention the casualties from combat within the 28th Division of the Bosnian Muslim army, which had been stationed in the Srebrenica “demilitarized zone” for three years before attempting to break through Bosnian Serb army lines towards Tuzla in mid-July 1995. Various reports suggest that the number of these battle casualties could be around 3,000. It is important to note that these deaths, while tragic, occurred during wartime and cannot be classified as war crimes.

In 2010, Mirsad Tokaca, director of the Information and Documentation Center in Sarajevo, revealed that approximately 500 individuals from Srebrenica who were previously considered missing have been located alive. Additionally, he mentioned that 70 individuals buried at the Potocari Memorial Centre were not victims of the Srebrenica massacre. Ibran Mustafic, a Bosnian Muslim official from Srebrenica, claimed that around 1,000 people died in internal battles during the retreat from Srebrenica in July 1995.

In his book “Srebrenica Testifies and Accuses” (1994, pp. 190-244), Naser Oric, the commander of the Muslim forces in Srebrenica, revealed the names of 1,333 men who were killed in battles before the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995. Oric’s units were known for launching deadly raids on surrounding Serb villages. Despite this, many of these men have been wrongly classified and buried as victims of genocide.

Mersed Smajlovic, the director of the Potocari Memorial Center, and Amor Masovic, the director of the Center for Missing Persons of Bosnia-Herzegovina, have acknowledged that approximately 50 individuals who were killed in 1992 are buried in the Potocari Memorial Center cemetery, as they are closely connected to those classified as victims of execution.

Former Srebrenica police chief Hakija Meholjic expressed his frustration over the burial of 75 individuals in the Potocari Memorial Center cemetery who were not killed in July 1995. Philip Corwin, an American who served as the highest-ranking UN civil official in Bosnia-Herzegovina in July 1995, has consistently stated that around 700-800 people were executed near Srebrenica during that time.

Yossef Bodansky, who served as Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1988 to 2004, has disputed the commonly accepted figure of 7,000 Srebrenica victims, labeling it as “disinformation.” According to Bodansky, independent forensic evidence suggests that the number of Muslim casualties at Srebrenica may be in the low hundreds, rather than thousands. He also highlights the importance of acknowledging the murders of Serb civilians by Muslims in Srebrenica, which often get overshadowed by the focus on Muslim casualties.

(International Strategic Studies Association Special Report, “Osama bin Laden Focuses on the Balkans for the New Wave of Anti-Western Terrorism,” August 29, 2003.)

According to various experts and officials, including Richard Butler, Carlos Martins Branco, John Schindler, Carl Bildt, and the UN, an estimated 2,000-5,000 Bosnian Muslim fighters were killed in battle during the Bosnian War. This contradicts the narrative that these individuals were victims of genocide, as they were legitimate casualties of war rather than targets of genocidal executions. The number of missing persons on the Bosnian Muslim side is significant, but it is important to recognize that many of them died in combat.

According to forensic evidence collected under ICTY supervision, less than 2,000 individuals have been identified as definite victims of executions carried out in July 1995. The exhumation process between 1996-2001 revealed that out of 3,568 cases processed, only 442 bodies showed clear signs of execution, such as blindfolds or ligatures. Another 627 bodies had injuries consistent with combat deaths, while 505 bodies had bullet wounds that could indicate either execution or death in battle. The cause of death could not be determined for 411 bodies, and the remaining cases mostly consisted of body fragments with unclear causes of death. By matching thigh bones, it was estimated that the total number of bodies was under 2,000, with the majority not being definitively identified as victims of executions.

Since 2002, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the Commission for Missing Persons of Bosnia-Herzegovina have had exclusive control over mass grave exhumation and body identification. Access to the main forensic laboratory in Tuzla, where the data is processed, has been restricted to personnel from these organizations, with no independent verification allowed.

In recent years, the scope of exhumation work has expanded to include a wider regional area around Srebrenica, without distinguishing between graves of potential execution victims and those containing the remains of battle casualties. The methodology of matching DNA samples of exhumed victims and their family members has been used to arrive at the figure of “8,000 genocide victims,” leading to the ceremonial burial of remains in the Potocari Memorial Center cemetery each July 11.

Overall, the process of exhumation and identification of remains has been conducted without transparency and independent oversight, raising questions about the accuracy and reliability of the reported number of genocide victims.

According to data from the study “Serbian Victims of Srebrenica, 1992-1995” conducted by the Dutch-based NGO “Srebrenica Historical Project” under strict international legal standards, 705 Serb civilians were killed in the Srebrenica area during that period. It is important to note that this number is not final. The “Institute for Research of Serb Suffering in the 20th Century” has released a list of over 3,200 Serb victims of Bosnian Muslim forces, led by Srebrenica commander Naser Oric, between 1992-1995 in municipalities including Zvornik, Osmaci, Sekovici, Vlasenica, Milici, Bratunac, and Srebrenica. The Muslim army has killed 72 children and subjected over 400 of their peers to injuries and mistreatment in Muslim concentration camps, resulting in various forms of torture and suffering.

No individuals have been convicted by the ICTY for the crimes committed against the Serb population in the Srebrenica region from 1992-1995. This period saw the deaths of several thousand Serb civilians, including women, children, and the elderly, many of whom were brutally tortured and killed. Naser Oric, the commander of the Bosnian Muslim forces in Srebrenica, was indicted by the ICTY but ultimately acquitted due to a lack of evidence, despite his public discussions about the killings of Serb civilians with Western media outlets before 1995. These reports highlight the lack of accountability for the atrocities committed against the Serb population during this time:

“SREBRENICA, Bosnia: Nasir Oric’s war trophies don’t line the wall of his comfortable apartment – one of the few with electricity in this besieged Muslim enclave stuck in the forbidding mountains of eastern Bosnia. They’re on a videocassette tape: burned Serb houses and headless Serb men, their bodies crumpled in a pathetic heap.

‘We had to use cold weapons that night,’ Oric explains as scenes of dead men sliced by knives roll over his 21-inch Sony. This is the house of a Serb named Ratso,’ he offers as the camera cuts to a burned-out ruin. ‘He killed two of my men, so we torched it. Tough luck.’

Reclining on an overstuffed couch, clothed head to toe in camouflage fatigues, a U.S. Army patch proudly displayed over his heart, Oric gives the impression of a lion in his den. For sure, the Muslim commander is the toughest guy in this town, which the U.N. Security Council has declared a protected ‘safe area.’

(“Weapons, Cash and Chaos Lend Clout to Srebrenica’s Tough Guy,” John Pomfret, Washington Post Foreign Service, The Washington Post, February 16, 1994.)

  1. “Oric, as blood-thirsty a warrior as ever crossed a battlefield, escaped Srebrenica before it fell. Some believe he may be leading the Bosnian Muslim forces in the nearby enclaves of Zepa and Gorazde. Last night these forces seized armored personnel carriers and other weapons from U.N. peacekeepers in order to better protect themselves.

Oric is a fearsome man, and proud of it.

I met him in January, 1994, in his own home in Serb-surrounded Srebrenica.

On a cold and snowy night, I sat in his living room watching a shocking video version of what might have been called Nasir Oric’s Greatest Hits.

There were burning houses, dead bodies, severed heads, and people fleeing.

Oric grinned throughout, admiring his handiwork.

‘We ambushed them,’ he said when a number of dead Serbs appeared on the screen.

The next sequence of dead bodies had been done in by explosives: ‘We launched those guys to the moon,’ he boasted.

When footage of a bullet-marked ghost town appeared without any visible bodies, Oric hastened to announce: We killed 114 Serbs there.’

Later there were celebrations, with singers with wobbly voices chanting his praises.”

(“Fearsome Muslim warlord eludes Bosnian Serb forces,” by Bill Schiller, The Toronto Star, July 16, 1995.)

Neither these nor other, much more graphic and direct witness testimonies, were deemed sufficient by the ICTY to convict Oric.

Despite the declaration of Srebrenica as a UN “safe area” in May 1993, it was never truly demilitarized in accordance with its status.

  1. Report of the UN General Secretary of May 30, 1995 states:

“In recent months, government forces have considerably increased their military activity in and around most safe areas, and many of them, including Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Bihac, have been incorporated into the broader military campaign of the government’s side… The government also maintains a substantial number of troops in Srebrenica (in this case a violation of a demilitarization agreement) Gorazde and Zepa, while Sarajevo is the location of the General Command of the government army and other military installations.”

  • document S/1995/444.)
  1. Yasushi Akashi, former UN Chief of Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in an article for the Washington Times of November 1, 1995, wrote:

“It is a fact that the Bosnian government forces have used the „safe areas‟ [that were supposed to be demilitarized] of not only Srebrenica, but Sarajevo, Tuzla, Bihac, Gorazde for training, recuperation and refurbishing their troops.”

  1. Report of the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD), Srebrenica, a “safe” area, April 2002:

“The supposed demilitarisation in the enclave was virtually a dead letter. The Bosnian army (ABiH) followed a deliberate strategy of using limited military actions to tie up a relatively large part of the manpower of the Bosnian Serbian army (VRS) to prevent it from heading in full force for the main area around Sarajevo. This was also done from the Srebrenica enclave. ABiH troops had no qualms about breaking all the rules in skirmishes with the VRS. They provoked fire by the Bosnian Serbs and then sought cover with a Dutchbat unit which then ran the risk of being caught between two fires.”

According to the Norwegian documentary film, “Srebrenica: a Town Betrayed,” directed by Ola Flyum and David Hebditch (2011), at the start of July 1995, the Bosnian Serb forces around Srebrenica were estimated to consist of 400 regular army soldiers and approximately 1,600 armed local fighters.

Philip Hammond, “The UK Press on Srebrenica,” Findings of the Srebrenica Research Group:

“Perhaps the most interesting explanation was that offered by The Times‟ Defence Correspondent, Michael Evans, in a July 14 front-page report titled „Muslim soldiers „failed to defend town from Serbs‟, which relied on military and intelligence service sources. The article noted that Bosnian Muslim forces in Srebrenica „put up only a brief fight…and their commanders left the night before the Serb tanks entered the town‟. According to one „intelligence source‟: „The BiH just melted away from Srebrenica and the senior officers left the night before‟. Srebrenica had been effectively abandoned „to a relatively small Serb advancing force‟. Challenging other reports that „up to 1,500 Serbs were involved in the assault‟, Evans cited intelligence estimates that „the main attack was carried out by a force of about 200, with five tanks‟. According to one of his unnamed intelligence sources: „It was a pretty low-level operation, but for some reason which we can’t understand the BiH (government) soldiers didn’t put up much of a fight‟. This description of a „pretty low-level operation‟ stands in marked contrast to the co-ordinated campaign of genocide suggested by later coverage.”

According to the Norwegian documentary, the Bosnian Muslim forces in Srebrenica were estimated to be around 5,500 soldiers. Muslim General Sefer Halilovic testified at the ICTY that there were at least 5,500 Bosnian Muslim Army soldiers in Srebrenica after it was designated a “safe area,” and that he personally arranged for the delivery of advanced weapons by helicopter. This information is supported by John Schindler, a former chief analyst for Bosnia-Herzegovina at the U.S. National Security Agency, who mentioned in the documentary that the “demilitarized zone” in Srebrenica was being supplied with weapons through unauthorized flights that UN forces were unable to prevent due to the control of NATO, specifically the United States, over the airspace in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Bosnian Muslim forces in Srebrenica were not only larger in numbers but also well-equipped due to NATO’s negligence. The Bosnian Serb forces, on the other hand, were outnumbered and outgunned, making it implausible for them to carry out any mass killings or genocidal plans. This conclusion is also supported by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) report on Srebrenica, which describes it as a “safe area”:

“With hindsight there are no indications that the increased activity of the VRS in East Bosnia at the beginning of July 1995 was aimed at anything more than a reduction of the safe area Srebrenica and an interception of the main road to Zepa. The plan of campaign was drawn up on 2 July. The attack commenced on 6 July. It was so successful and so little resistance was offered that it was decided late in the evening of 9 July to press on and to see whether it was possible to take over the entire enclave.”

The primary argument put forth by Western sources is that the events in Srebrenica in July 1995 constituted genocide. This assertion was solidified by the ICTY’s judgment in the case of Bosnian Serb army general Radislav Krstic in August 2001, which played a key role in shaping the official narrative surrounding the events in Srebrenica. As British professor Tara McCormack summed up the judgment against Krstic:

“Joint criminal enterprise is a new category that does not entail proving that the accused had any direct intent to commit, or knowledge of, the crime. At Krstic‟s trial it was established that Krstic did not know of any murders that were being committed, and in no way participated. Moreover, the ICTY also accepted that Krstic had personally given orders that Bosnian Muslim civilians were not to be harmed. His conviction was based on the grounds that he had participated in a „criminal enterprise‟, the capture of Srebrenica.”

(“How Did Srebrenica Become a Morality Tale,” Spiked-online, August 3, 2005.)

In the words of Michael Mandel, Professor of International Law at York University in Toronto:

“But if the Krstic case stands for anything, it stands for the fact that genocide did not occur at Srebrenica. And the Court‟s conclusion that it did can only be considered a legal form of propaganda and another contribution to the spreading impression of the Tribunal as more a „political tool‟ than a „juridical institution‟, to paraphrase its most famous defendant.  The Tribunal‟s claim that genocide occurred at Srebrenica was not supported by the facts it found or by the law it cited. Even the Trial Chamber‟s conclusion that „Bosnian Serb forces executed several thousand Bosnian Muslim men [with the] total number of victims … likely to be within the range of 7,000 -8,000 men‟ was not supported by its explicit findings. The number of bodies exhumed amounted to only 2,028, and the Chamber conceded that even a number of these had died in combat, in fact going so far as to say that the evidence only „suggested‟ that „the majority‟ of those killed had not been killed in combat: „The results of the forensic investigations suggest that the majority of bodies exhumed were not killed in combat; they were killed in mass executions.‟”

(“The ICTY Calls it „Genocide,‟” Srebrenica Research Group, 2005.)

Efraim Zuroff, Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and certainly a leading authority on what constitutes genocide, had this to say about the Srebrenica “genocide” qualification in June 2015, in a statement given to the Belgrade daily Politika:

“As far as I know, what happened there does not fit the description or definition of genocide and I think that the decision to call this genocide was adopted for political reasons.”

The Republika Srpska Government Commission did not explicitly admit to genocide in its 2004 Report. Instead, the Commission cited the ICTY judgment against Bosnian Serb army general Radislav Krstic, using the term “genocide” in that context. The Commission disputed the figure of “8,000 executed prisoners” and instead identified a list of 7,108 names reported as missing during a specific time period in 1995. The Commission did not definitively state that all individuals on the list were killed or missing, noting that some may have died in previous war operations, from natural causes, or may have changed their identity or location.  The report was created in a highly unusual situation, under the direct influence of the High Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Paddy Ashdown, according to Edward Herman, a retired professor from the University of Pennsylvania:

“The Bosnian Serbs actually did put out a report on Srebrenica in September 2002, but this report was rejected by Paddy Ashdown for failing to come up with the proper conclusions. He therefore forced a further report by firing a stream of Republica Srpska politicians and analysts, threatening the RS government, and eventually extracting a report prepared by people who would come to the officially approved conclusions. This report, issued on June 11, 2004, was then greeted in the Western media as a meaningful validation of the official line-the refrain was, the Bosnian Serbs “admit” the massacre, which should finally settle any questions.”

(“The Politics of the Srebrenica Massacre,” July 7, 2005, Global

It is important to note that under general and international law, actions carried out under duress cannot be deemed as valid.

Even now, despite the extensive media coverage, one thing remains certain: there is still much uncertainty surrounding the events of Srebrenica. The true number of victims of war crimes, as well as the overall number of casualties on both sides, has yet to be definitively determined. The failure to establish these facts can be attributed to the prioritization of politics and pragmatic interests over justice and the pursuit of truth in the case of Srebrenica. A crucial step towards uncovering the full truth would be the establishment of an independent, representative, international truth commission dedicated to investigating Srebrenica. It is high time for such a commission to be formed.

In summary, the following points are known about Srebrenica issue:

– There is no concrete evidence linking prisoner executions to official structures in either the Republic of Serbia or Republika Srpska.

– The executions that did occur were carried out by a small number of individuals of various nationalities, debunking claims of collective “Serbian guilt” in relation to Srebrenica.

– The actual number of executed prisoners is significantly lower (10 to 20 times) than the widely cited figure of “7,000-8,000” in the media. This exaggeration may serve to perpetuate a narrative of collective “Serb guilt” for political reasons.

– The proven number of executed prisoners is lower than the number of murdered Serb civilians in Srebrenica and its surrounding areas, a crime for which no one has been held accountable.

In light of these facts, it is not necessary for Serbia, Republika Srpska, or the Serbian people to collectively apologize for all that occurred in Srebrenica during the Bosnian civil war. Instead, any apologies and admissions of guilt should come from U.S. officials who hindered peace efforts, the Bosnian Muslim leadership that undermined peace initiatives, and those who obstruct efforts to uncover the truth about Srebrenica. Only through a commitment to truth and justice can genuine reconciliation be achieved in the Balkans.

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