The 24th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre

On July 11, 1995 Srebrenica fell to the Bosnian Serbs led by Ratko Mladic. In the days and weeks prior to the Serbs taking the city, approximately 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were systematically killed, including those trying to flee the city and into and through the woods and forests to reach safety from the Srebrenican Massacre. Muslims fleeing the city sought refuge with the UN Peacekeeping contingent from Holland. Rather than protect them, the Dutch turned them over to Mladic’s forces. The men and boys were separated and massacred, while the women and girls were distributed by Mladic’s forces throughout the region.

The Srebrinican Massacre was the worst mass killing in Europe since the end of World War II and the Holocaust. The remains of many, if not most of the victims of the massacre were never found, identified, and or returned. Over a thousand Bosnian Muslims are still considered missing. Today, on the 24th anniversary, they were able to return the remains of 33 newly identified sets of remains.

More remains are found every year.

Unfortunately, in 2019, many of the Bosnian Serb officials, especially those aligned with Russia, continue to deny the massacre and the larger genocide it was a part of. Instead they continue to push the same dangerous, racist, exclusionary, and eliminationist rhetoric that their predecessors used in the 1990s.

Although the mass killings were branded genocide by international courts, Serbian and Bosnia Serb officials refuse to use the term. They did not send official delegations to the commemoration on Thursday.

Nenad Popovic, an openly pro-Russian minister in Serbia’s government, said in a statement that “there was no genocide in Srebrenica and Serbs will never accept to be stamped as genocidal people.”

He said Serbia should rethink its goal of becoming a European Union member because of such claims.

Open thread.

25 replies
  1. 1
    Mary G says:


  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: Whatever the Deity may or may not be, I’m pretty sure it was nowhere near Srebrenica in July 1995.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    FYWP playing hob again. Correct (and correctly identified) videos appearing on comments page. This, however, is an example of what’s appearing on the front page at the humble abode.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I think only for you. It looks good on my MacBook, my iPad, and my iPhone.

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Another chance to pimp Anthony Loyd’s My War Gone By, I Miss it So.

    Also, what happened in Bosnia and Rwanda will forever color my views on foreign policy and military intervention.

  6. 6
    Jay says:

    I don’t like most Serbs, or Croats,

    It’s personal.

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: And during WWII, the Serbs were the good guys because they weren’t fascist.

  8. 8
    Jay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Some were, some wern’t.

  9. 9
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: Well, they weren’t the Ustaše, were they?

  10. 10
    Jay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Croats were, Serbs, different politics, similar “nationslism”,

    I just wanted them dead, because they were trying to kill me, my friends, and the communities that were happy that wars and genocide was at an arms length.

  11. 11
    HRA says:

    The Balkans are a very old oral history of upheaval. It is a never ending one even now.
    Kosovo was in 1998. It did not have the despicable horrors of Srebenica (sp?) It was Serbia again.

  12. 12
    Nelle says:

    My neighbor was forcibly separated from her husband, who was murdered at Srebenicia. She speaks no English. Her son’s English is good enough for conversation. When he speaks of his father’s murder, he can hardly get the words out about the betrayal by the UN.

    There are about 8 Bosnian refugee families in my small neighborhood, about 10,000 Bosniam refugees on this side of Des Moines. The Ibrahim Salic soccer tournament was a few weeks ago, with some players wearing “Never Forget Srebenecia” shirts.

    (One of the surprises about moving to white Iowa and Des Moines is the active and visible refugee communities. Besides Bosnian, there are large groups of Sudanese and Congolese. Plus older communities like Vietnamese. It began in the 1970’s when then Gov. Robert Ray – R, insisted that Iowa actively bring refugees here.)

  13. 13
    RandomMonster says:

    to reach safety in the Srebrenican Massacre

    Mountains maybe.

  14. 14
    Jay says:


    It’s tough, the Dutch were limited, hands were tied.

    Another UNSC failure

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @RandomMonster: In should be from. Thanks. I’ll fix it.

  16. 16
    RandomMonster says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That one didn’t occur to me, but makes more sense…

  17. 17
    Mike G says:

    Rather than protect them, the Dutch turned them over to Mladic’s forces.

    What the fuck, Netherlands?

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike G: The Dutch forces on the scene were insufficient to stop the Serbs. And they weren’t really there with the expectation that they would actually engage in combat with anyone. They did request airstrikes several times. They were denied the first couple of times and even when they did get approved they were too late and too limited to do much.

  19. 19
    Jay says:

    @Mike G:

    See up thread, #14

  20. 20
  21. 21
    HazumuOsaragi says:

    I escorted a BBC video team to Srebrenica in spring of 2000. The town was firmly in Republica Srpska territory, and populated by ethnic serbs who ‘deserved’ to take the town over. The town was rundown and showed signs of the battle for Srebrenica. But the two buildings that were freshly renovated (and shiny, even,) were the city hall and the police headquarters.

    I was struck by the nationalist smugness that seemed to be common amongst many if not most of the town’s newish serb residents.

  22. 22
    Cermet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Maybe – the Serbs were hyper careful never to engage the UN forces for any reason – even as sniper fire. I seriously doubt that the Serbs would have done anything if the UN forces had stood their ground and refused. However, and here is the real tragic aspect, commander had wanted to protect those people but had been ordered to stand down and leave by the principle UN civilian over all civilian in charge of UN forces (a Japanese national, if memory serves) and so those soldiers had little choice unless they refused a direct order so I’m not really blaming them. It was more a failure at the top.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cermet: According to the report on the massacre by Human Rights Watch, over 55 Dutch troops were taken hostage.

    Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic threatened to fire on the Dutch compound and the civilian population of Srebrenica and to execute Dutch peacekeeping hostages, if more air strikes were carried out.

    Doesn’t sound like non-engagement to me.

    ETA: I’d read the report if I were you.

  24. 24
    Buckeye says:

    @Cermet: There were problems at the top. There was also the refusal to understand or even entertain the possibility of what the Bosnian Serbs had planned for Srebrenica. And IIRC, many of the Dutch troops held pretty biased thoughts toward the Bosnians.

  25. 25
    zhena gogolia says:

    Sorry I missed this. All the threads I’m interested in happen while I’m asleep.

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