KARADŽIĆ & DESTRUCTION OF MUSLIMS IN BOSNIA
Highly Recommended / Read Time: 10-15 min
Radovan Karadzic's aim was to annihilate the Bosnian Muslims. Some of Karadzic's most incriminating statements were made public, some kept as confidential military directives, while other statements were intercepted by the Bosnian Government during Radovan Karadzic's telephone conversations.
Radovan Karadzic: On the huge territory controlled by the Serbs, that's... There are many Muslims who are aware of what's happening, you know.
Luka Karadzic: Yes.
Radovan Karadzic: So this will be....
Luka Karadzic: And you take care of yourself, watch out, f--- it.
Radovan Karadzic: What? Who'll do...?
Luka Karadzic: Eh, me.
Radovan Karadzic: Who? What're you talking about? Who'll do it, man? That would mean war until their [Muslim] extinction.
Luka Karadzic: Yes.
Radovan Karadzic: The Serbs would never forgive them [Muslims] such a thing [war], it would destroy them [Muslims] completely. First, none of their leaders would survive, they'd all be killed in three to four hours. They'd stand no chance of surviving whatsoever.
In an earlier intercepted telephone conversation, Exhibit P292.24.A.1, between Radovan Karadzic and Momcilo Mandic on 13 October 1991, Karadzic admits he is preparing a war and expect Sarajevo will fall in just a couple of days with about half a million people dead. He expects Bosniaks to be completely destroyed / annihilated.
Radovan Karadzic: So what do they say in Belgrade?
Momcilo Mandic: It definitely made an impression, they think there will be a war here.
Radovan Karadzic: Yes, yes, and I am preparing a war, we know where his HQ is and he set up TV there... a secret studio and so on, but the army also knows everything.
Momcilo Mandic: Yes, yes.
Radovan Karadzic: No, I mean...
Momcilo Mandic: We went to Han Pijesak on Friday, we had a meeting with the armies, Federal SUP, GRACANIN was there...
Radovan Karadzic: (Vasiljevic) was there, wasn't he?
Momcilo Mandic: And our Vito [Vitomir Zepinic]... He wasn't there, he stayed in the Assembly, and later I went to Belgrade with one man, and then there were terrible lies spread by Alija [Izetbegovic] and Vito, check... che... Vito and...
Radovan Karadzic: No, no, I mean there is chaos now, besides, he is trying something there now, but he will not tell me that they are preparing a transfer for Draskovic, and we had agreed previously that there would be no chance of a transfer of any Serb without the consent of...
Momcilo Mandic: Mr President, that is all right. Cedo Kljajic will go to the Police Department and he will be replaced by this person for Public, for this... that is OK, President.
Radovan Karadzic: Wait, that cannot be done without our agreement and our consent, that is unacceptable as a method and that will be tommorow, members of the Parliament will ask me for answers tomorrow about this situation. This is intolerable, simply intolerable to have any personnel changes without our knowledge and our consent. Becase that is a mech... mechanism which was used to manipulate us, and Serb members of Parliament are fed up with all those attempts to proclaim independence. Alija Izetbegovic admitted to us...
Momcilo Mandic: I heard.
Radovan Karadzic: ... that this sovereignty means independence.
Momcilo Mandic: Yes.
Radovan Karadzic: And that is the way Croatia took and we know what is going to happen there, that has nothing to do with Karadzic's or anyone else's decision, we know exactly what is going to happen, there is no...
Momcilo Mandic: Definitely, that is clear to people in Belgrade.
Radovan Karadzic: In just a couple of days, Sarajevo will be gone and there will be five hundred thousand dead, in one month Muslims will be annihilated [destroyed completely] in Bosnia and Herzegovina, number of Serbs will be reduced and Croats will be the only ones to profit because they will keep their municipalities...
Momcilo Mandic: They asked for it.
Perhaps, the best summary of Radovan Karadzic's most incriminating statements comes from the interview that Florence Hartmann given to Sarajevo-based Dani on 20 July 2007. Here are some excerpts from this interview:
[Quote Start] In a conversation between Milošević, Karadžić and Babić conducted in July 1991, Karadžić said that ‘the Muslims should be expelled from the valleys in order to join together all Serb territories in Bosnia-Herzegovina’.... The genocidal intentions of Karadžić and other Bosnian Serb leaders expressed especially in the speeches delivered at the 16th session of the Bosnian Serb assembly of 12 May 1992, and - as I have already mentioned - the conversations of Karadžić and others intercepted during 1991 and 1992. It is The six strategic aims of the Serb people, however, published on 12 May 1992 in the RS Official Gazette, that represents the clearest manifestation of the plan to remove non-Serbs from official positions in all the marked areas, and to physically remove non-Serbs from them regardless of whether they formed an ethnic majority in these areas or not. Bearing in mind the context of the growing desire on the part of Karadžić and his collaborators to destroy the Muslims in Bosnia, and everything that followed as a result, these documents can be seen as setting off the machinery for the implementation of the genocidal plan by the Bosnian Serb leaders.
The first strategic aim - the separation of the Serb people from the other two ethnic communities - was announced by Karadžić at the 16th session: ‘We can’t live in a unified state. We know it very well: wherever fundamentalism comes in, one can no longer live, there is no toleration. Serbs and Croats, given their birthrate, cannot control the incursion of Islam into Europe; in a united Bosnia, within 5 or 6 years the Muslims will go over 51% ...’.
This conflict was instigated with the intention of removing the Muslims. Still earlier, on 12 October 1991, Karadžić had a long discussion with Gojko Đogo. During the conversation Karadžić repeated five times that in the event of war the Muslims would disappear. Allow me to quote him at least in part: ‘They don’t understand that there will be bloodshed and that the Muslim people could disappear. Misguided Muslims, who do not know where he [Izetbegović] is taking them, that they could disappear’; and again: ‘they will disappear, this people will disappear from the face of the earth’.
A mere day later, on 13 October 1991, Karadžić, talking to Momčilo Mandić, said: ‘Within a few days there will be no Sarajevo, and there will be over 500,000 dead; within a month the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina will be destroyed!’
Again, on 15 October 1991, Karadžić foresees the extermination of the Muslims in the event of war. Talking to Miodrag Davidović and his own brother Luka, Karadžić said: ‘In the first instance, none of their leaders will remain alive, they will be killed within 3 or 4 hours. They will have no chance of surviving.’
On the same day, in his well-known speech in the Bosnian parliament, i.e. in a public speech, Karadžić again said: ‘The path along which you wish to take Bosnia-Herzegovina is a highway to the hell and suffering that Slovenia and Croatia have already experienced. Don’t think that you are not taking Bosnia-Herzegovina to hell and the Muslim people possibly to disappearance!’
...The clear genocidal intention of the Bosnian Serb leadership in connection with Srebrenica was revealed during the war. At the 33rd session of the RS assembly, held on 20 and 21 July 1993, Karadžić stated that if the Bosnian Serbs entered Srebrenica, there would be ‘blood up to the knees’! A year later, in 1994, Karadžić said this about the enclaves: ‘If the international communities treats us like wild beasts, then we will also behave like wild beasts!’
During a meeting with British general Rupert Smith on 30 April 1995, he repeated such phrases: if the international community treats the Bosnian Serbs like wild beasts in a cage, then they will behave accordingly.
According to the well-known evidence that Miroslav Deronjić gave to the ICTY, Karadžić said on 9 July 1995 in Pale, following a meeting with Jovica Stanišić: ‘Miroslav, they must all be killed... All and every one you find there.’ For his part, Mladić openly stated this intention during a meeting on 11 and 12 July at Hotel Fontana. Mladić offered the Bosniaks the choice: ‘survive or perish’. [Quote End]
In March 1995, Radovan Karadžic issued a directive (“Directive No. 7”) to the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) concerning the long-term strategy of their forces around the enclave. Karadzic's directive specified that the Bosnian Serb Army was to:
“Complete the physical separation of Srebrenica from Žepa as soon as possible, preventing even communication between individuals in the two enclaves. By planned and well-thought out combat operations, create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica."
As set down in the directive, the humanitarian situation deteriorated to a catastrophic level. On the basis of Directive No. 7, on 31 March 1995, the VRS Main Staff issued Directive No. 7.1., signed by General Ratko Mladic, Karadzic's right-hand man. It directed the Drina Corps to, inter alia, conduct “active combat operations … around the enclaves” (including the other nearby safe-areas of Zepa and Goražde). As a consequence, Bosnian Serb forces captured an UNPROFOR observation post in the southeast corner of the Srebrenica enclave. In response to this aggression, a raiding party of Bosniaks attacked the nearby Serb village of Višnjica, in the early morning of 26 June 1995.
Following this, the then commander of the Drina Corps, General-Major Milenko Zivanovic, signed two orders laying out the plans for the attack on the Srebrenica safe-area. The initial plan for Krivaja 95 was aimed at reducing the safe-area of Srebrenica to its urban core around the town as a step towards the larger VRS goal of plunging the Bosniak population into a humanitarian crisis and, ultimately, eliminating the enclave and committing the genocide.
During his trial at the International Crimes Tribunal, Miroslav Deronjic had admitted ordering an attack on Glogova (a village just outside of Srebrenica) on 9 May 1992 in which 64 Bosniak villagers were massacred. In his testimony Deronjic described former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as being happy about the massacre and rewarding him with a round of an applause. He implicated Serbian Army in the massacre and also testified that Karadzic ordered all Srebrenica refugees to be killed, quote:
A: [W]hat he [Radovan Karadzic] meant was that when our army entered Srebrenica and when the Muslim army in Srebrenica was defeated, that they would start pulling out. And I concluded that he thought that we should kill everybody we could get our hands on.
Q: So on this meeting of the 8th or 9th, did President Karadzic actually say, "Miroslav, they should be killed," referring to any potential Muslim prisoners?
A: Yes. And this is something I have told the Prosecution about. I mentioned this sentence to the Prosecution. I'm not sure about every word, but "kill," I remember this word being used. He said, "All those who are down there, they should be killed. Kill all those you manage to kill." That's what I can remember."
It is important to note that Miroslav Deronjic's incriminating testimony against Radovan Karadzic has been corroborated by the actions that General Radislav Krstic took after the fall of Srebrenica. Krstic would later (in 2001) become the first man convicted of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal. In July 1995, the Army of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina's intelligence units intercepted Krstic ordering the killings of Srebrenica men and boys. In the intercept, Krstic stated that "Single one must not be left alive!". Krstic's instructions to his troops echoed the order that Radovan Karadzic gave to Miroslav Deronjic, "Miroslav, they must all be killed... All and every one you find there." Here is the excerpt from the Krstic intercept, which also confirms that the killings were not spontaneous, but planned:
General Krstic: Are you working down there? [executing men and boys]
Major Obrenovic: Of course we're working.
General Krstic: Good.
Major Obrenovic: We've managed to catch a few more, either by gunpoint or in mines.
General Krstic: Kill them all, God damn it!
Major Obrenovic: Everything is going according to a plan.
General Krstic: Single one must not be left alive.
Major Obrenovic: Everything is going according to a plan. Everything.
General Krstic: Way to go, chief. The Turks are probably listening to us. Let them listen, the mother-f-----s. (Turks is a derrogative name for Bosnian Muslims)
The 1995 Srebrenica Genocide was a culmination of earlier massacres that Serb forces had committed against the Bosniak population around Srebrenica and throughout eastern Bosnia (the River Drina valley known as Podrinje). Serbs never demilitarized around Srebrenica, despite of being required to do so (read: Demilitarization Agreements). Notably, three years before the genocide, Serbs destroyed hundreds of Bosniak villages around Srebrenica and committed horrendous massacres against the Bosnian Muslim civilians (view photos). Some of these massacres included the Zaklopaca Massacre, Glogova Massacre, Suha Massacre, Bratunac Massacre, Visegrad Massacre, to name a few. To understand how horrible and cowardly these pre-Genocide massacres against the unarmed Bosnian Muslim population around Srebrenica really were, you need to read an interview with a courageous survivor of the 1992 Zaklopaca Massacre, and also take time to view horrific photos of the massacre. But, Serbs did not stop there. In 1993 they continued killing Bosniaks in and around Srebrenica. In the 1993 Srebrenica Children Massacre, Serb forces committed another ghastly crime by seriously injuring 152 and murdering 62 Bosniak children in Srebrenica (they used artillery to strike elementary school). Here you can view a short video documenting the 1993 Srebrenica Children Massacre, courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
In July 1995, Bosnian Serb soldiers separated Bosniak families, forcibly expelled 30,000 and summarily executed at least 8,372 Bosnian Muslims - boys, men, and the elderly. Serbs first buried the bodies near the execution sites, but then in September of 1995 they dug out many of them with bulldozers and subsequently reburied them in secondary mass graves in an attempt to hide the crime. DNA evidence confirms the figure of 8,100 victims of the Srebrenica Genocide - men and boys who had been summarily executed during the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre (See Press Release by the International Commission on Missing Persons).
And yet, Radovan Karadzic denied it all. According to the Serbian author Slavenka Drakulic, "As early as 17 July 1995, an adviser to Radovan Karadzic publicly denied accusations concerning the torture, killing and deportation of Muslim civilians. 'The Muslim civilian population was treated well by the Serbs' he said. But press reports about the suspicion of war crimes committed in Srebrenica were already being published."
At about the same time, another Croatian journalist Snjezana Vukic documented disturbing sexual crimes against the Bosnian Muslim women seeking protection in Potocari during the Srebrenica Genocide:
"Two took her legs and raised them up in the air, while the third began raping her. People were silent, no one moved. She was screaming and yelling and begging them to stop. They put her a rag into her mouth, and then we were just hearing silent sobs coming from her closed lips. When they finished, the woman was left there."
Radovan Karadzic did not care. To conceal the Genocide in Progress, Radovan Karadzic issued the so called "Declaration of the RS Civilian Affairs Committee for Srebrenica (No. 07-27/95, dated 17 July 1995)" offering false safety guarantees to the people of Srebrenica for the purpose of his well planned PR campaign.
Genocide deniers frequently cite the above document as a 'proof' that former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic guaranteed the safety to the residents of Srebrenica. However, the facts tell a different story. Here is what the judges concluded in a case of Miroslav Deronjic in relation to the above signed document by Radovan Karadzic:
"Another example of [Srebrenica] revisionism is the 'Declaration of the Republika Srpska Civilian Affairs Committee for Srebrenica' No. 07-27/95, dated 17 July 1995, which was signed by the Accused in this case, Miroslav Deronjic, Civil Affairs Commissioner for Srebrenica, Nesib Mandzic, Representative of the Civilian Authorities of the Enclave of Srebrenica, and Major Franken, an UPROFOR Representative, Dutch Battalion Commander, at the time. This document in its operative part states that
- The civilian population can remain in the enclave or evacuate, dependant upon the wish of each individual;
- in the event that we wish to evacuate it is possible for us to choose the direction of our movement and have decided that the entire
population is to evacuate to the territory of the County of Kladanj;
- It has been agreed that the evacuation is to be carried out by the Army and Police of the Republic of Srpska, supervised and escorted by UNPROFOR.
During the evacuation there were no incidents on either of the sides and the Serb side has adhered to all the regulations of Geneva Conventions and the international war law, as far as convoys actually escorted by UN forces are concerned.
The Trial Chamber accepts the submission by the Prosecution that Miroslav Deronjic with the encouragement of Radovan Karadžic prepared this document, whose 'contents [according to the Accused] did not correspond with the truth' and that it was done in order 'to mislead the international community'. Consequently, the Trial Chamber agrees that the Accused’s admission is important for two reasons:
1) '[it is] important to diffuse any suggestion in trials that are ongoing or will be coming up in the future about Srebrenica that the Bosnian Muslims left the enclave because of their own free will' and
2) '[it is] important to negate the arguments of future revisionists that might use this document for the proposition that the forcible displacement of the Bosniaks from Srebrenica was a mere humanitarian evacuation conducted in accordance with the principles of international law.'"
According to the Krstic Appeal Judgment, "By seeking to eliminate a part of the Bosnian Muslims, the Bosnian Serb forces committed genocide. They targeted for extinction the forty thousand [40,000] Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica."
Despite all evidence against him, Karadzic continues to deny charges against him. In his sick twisted mind, he did nothing wrong. He has managed to convince himself that "he" is the real victim in all of this - a victim of the Western conspiracy against the Serbs. Karadzic demonizes his victims. For him, there was no Srebrenica genocide, there was no siege of Sarajevo, there was no Prijedor concentration camps. Karadzic still lives in his own world of denial, just as the Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel described him, "No point in arguing - the pigheaded Karadzic denied it all."
CIA Transcripts on General Ratko Mladic