DID YOU KNOW?  -- Three years before the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Serbs torched Bosniak villages and killed at least 3,166 Bosniaks around Srebrenica. In 1993, the UN described the besieged situation in Srebrenica as a "slow-motion process of genocide." In July 1995, Serbs forcibly expelled 25,000 Bosniaks, brutally raped many women and girls, and systematically killed 8,000+ men and boys (DNA confirmed).

16 November, 2010


"The question of how people had managed to survive here at all has become a riddle that the entire world was unable to solve!" - Naser Oric

The following are translated excerpts from Naser Oric's book "Srebrenica Testifies and Accuses: Genocide of Bosniaks in Eastern Bosnia (Central Drina Region) April 1992 - September 1994", pages 153-156
NASER ORIC: --- "With the onset of enemy occupation, all legal authorities ceased to function. The only authorities that remained operative were the self-organized groups of resistance fighters. However, each group operated independently within a given area. In Srebrenica, even the Territorial Defence (TO) Headquarters ceased to function. Commander of the Srebrenica TO Headquarters Miodrag-Mišo STANISAVLJEVIĆ abandoned his workplace and left for Serbia. Nurija POROBIĆ, secretary of the municipal committee departed for Tuzla. Other Bosniak members of the TO Headquarters fled to the villages.

After successful resistance against the enemy during the second half of April and the beginning of May 1992, it became clear that a joint military authority should be established in Srebrenica to coordinate the self-organized resistance units. The new Territorial Defence (TO) headquarters for Srebrenica was established on 20 May, in Omer MULALIĆ's house in the village of Bajramovići under my leadership as the headquarters commander. Akif USTIĆ was deputy commander and Zulfo TURSANOVIĆ [aka: Zulfo Tursunović], Ševket ĐOZIT, Hamdija FEJZlĆ, Ahmo TIHIĆ and Bedir BOGILOVIĆ were members of the headquarters staff.

At the headquarters' recommendation, the police authority was re-established the next day, with Bedir BOGILOVI
Ć installed as the new police chief. As the ftee territory expanded, the need for re-establishment of civilian authorities also became apparent. The constituting session of the War Presidency of the municipality of Srebrenica took place on 1 July 1992, in Ševket ĐOZIĆ's house in the village of Izabojna. Hajrudin AVDIĆ became the first chairman of the War Presidency; Hamdija FEJZIĆ the first chairman of the Executive Council; Bedir BOGILOVIĆ, the first Head of the War Police; Nurija JUSUFOVIĆ the police commander; Regif EFENDIĆ the first War Presidency Secretary, and Jusuf HALILOVIĆ the Head of the newly established Civil Defence.

The first War Hospital was set up at the end of May in Stari Grad (the Old Town) and was moved to the Srebrenica Medical Centre building on 12 July of the same year. No other institution functioned or even existed until the end of April 1993, when Srebrenica was de-militarized...."

"The most difficult part to revive was the economy. No industrial facility had yet began to operate because of total isolation and lack of energy. The entire economy consisted of agriculture on individual scale and of privately owned artisan manufacture. It should be said that all the artisans did resume their work: cobblers, builders, joiners, tailors, tool-makers, mechanics and others managed to satisfy the basic requirements so that the long-suffering people could at least survive.

The question of how people had managed to survive here at all has become a riddle that the entire world was unable to solve!

During the first thirteen months [April 1992 - April 1993], food was procured by columns of people that would return by night to their torched villages to bring back what little food they could find there. They usually went to the richer villages along the River Drina, such as Voljavica, Tegare, Abdulici [*Bosniak majority villages from which Serbs expelled Bosniak people] and others. Frequent treks in search of food took a heavy toll; the aggressor laid ambushes and mines along their paths and occasionally even raided the hungry people.

Still, people had to go search for bread although well aware that the way was fraught with danger; they knew that death of starvation was the only alternative.

Lack of basic supplies led to astonishing discoveries that many machines and even motor vehicles could be driven by alternative energy. The first to be used was fuel oil, then the transformer oil from transformer plants, then wood varnish and even plum brandy. Such alternative energy sources also provided illumination. Quite a few households erected small makeshift hydro-energetic plants on local brooks and rivulets to generate electric current; water mills were used to grind corn. However, the only way to get fuel wood was to resort to traditional axes and people had to carry the logs manually. Water was supplied by numerous wells, springs and field pumps. Lines of women waiting with their pails to get water from such wells would be several hundred meters long. The water supply was substantially improved in summer 1993, when the old waterworks drawing water from the River Pusmulicka was repaired.

Hard life in the free territory caused numerous deaths of starvation and disease. Life in overcrowded accommodations and lack of fuel wood destroyed the young forests near Srebrenica and bare rocks now glared where glades and greenery had once stood.

Until the arrival of UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] convoys, bread was made of hybrid fodder corn, oats, hazel bark, fruit peel, acorn, and corn shuck.

It should be emphasized that the once rich economy of Srebrenica and the region has been almost completely destroyed. The aggressor looted all the important facilities and had transported most of the equipment either to the enemy-held territories or to Serbia proper.

Frequent bomb raids during combat operations demolished industrial and other property. Due to poor organization and to the basic human instinct to provide for one's family, parts of the remaining facilities had been plundered by our own people and absolutely no industrial production was possible."