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).

27 December, 2010


PHOTO: Bosnian Muslim man Smajil Hukic, 80, who lost his relatives in the Cerska massacre looks on in front of mass grave in the village of Cerska, near Srebrenica (now in new Serb municipality known as "Milici"), December 6, 2010.

Survivor Tells of Massacre in Eastern Bosnia

Lodi News-Sentinel
6 March 1993.

ZAGREB, Croatia — A Bosniak [Bosnian Muslim] refugee in eastern Bosnia told a ham radio operator Friday that he survived a Serb massacre because corpses fell on him and protected him from gunfire.

This and other accounts of a massacre Wednesday of scores of people near the embattled Cerska region could not be confirmed. Ham radio and U.N. officials have cited many reports of Serb atrocities during an offensive that began Sunday, but reporters are unable to enter the Serb-besieged area to investigate.

According to the various accounts, Serb gunmen unleashed a barrage of gunfire and grenades on a group of about 100 refugees near Mount Rogasija.

PHOTO: A Bosnian Muslim woman who lost her relatives looks at human remains found in a mass grave in the village of Cerska, December 6, 2010.

One report Thursday said eight people died, 20 were injured and 80 captured. More convincing reports have said only a few people survived of a group of 100 who made a desperate bid to cross the front line.

The report by a Bosniak refugee identified as Besim Topalovic was received in Zagreb by ham radio operators Nenad Unukic. According to the account Unukic said he got from Topalovic, the man was one of only three survivors of the assault who made it back to the nearby village of Konjevic Polje.

Topalovic said about 900 people tried to flee to Tuzla, a relief center to the north. Topalovic joined about 200 people who split off to head toward Muslim-held territory close to Zvornik.

That group later split in two, Topalovic said. He knew nothing of the fate of the other two groups. He said his group was walking in single file, cautiously advancing to avoid mines, when men in white uniforms with black caps leaped out and opened fire with grenade launchers and machine guns.

A hand grenade exploded close to Topalovic, but two corpses, cut down by gunfire, fell on top of him.

PHOTO: Bosnian Muslim women who lost their relatives look at mass grave in attempt to identify their relatives in a mass grave in the village of Cerska, December 8, 2010.
He said he later crawled out from under the bodies, made his way to a small brook and collapsed. When he awoke, shivering, hours later, he saw the remains of many people who had been walking with him, Topalovic said.

Topalovic returned to Konjevic Polje early Thursday with wounds on his legs, neck and arms, which he said were caused by a hand grenade.

Dr. Simon Mardel: Horrific Situation Around Srebrenica 2 Years Before Genocide

WHO Doctor: Serbs Target Bosniak Civilians and U.N.

Gettysburg Times
15 March 1993.

By Nada Buric

ZAGREB, Croatia — A British doctor who walked into war-ravaged eastern Bosnia on foot charged Sunday that Bosnian Serb troops are purposely attacking civilians and U.N. aid workers.

Dr. Simon Mardel, an expert with the World Health Organization, told reporters that up to 30 people were dying daily in Konjevic Polje and Srebrenica, two Muslim-held towns he visited over the past week. Most people died from artillery fire, but some starved, he said.

PHOTO: Bosnian Muslim women who lost their relatives look at human remains found in a mass grave in the village of Cerska, December 8, 2010.

The 36-year-old Briton spoke matter-of-factly of the suffering he witnessed after walking many miles from a Serb checkpoint to Srebrenica and later from there to Konjevic Polje.

Mardel said it was essential to get to the cutoff towns because “always in such situations people the most need are in regions (that are) the most inaccessible and (from where) the least information is coming.”

On Thursday, a U.N. convoy that was to have evacuated 75 wounded people from Konjevic Polje was stopped at a Serb checkpoint and only five small vehicles were allowed through.

The next day, Mardell said, Serb artillery shot at people trying to approach the vans to get aid supplies. “Artillery was fired at civilians and centered on (the) U.N. vehicles … It was clear the targeting was getting closer and closer,” he said.

PHOTO: Villagers look at human remains found in a mass grave in the village of Cerska, near eastern Bosnian town of Milici, on December 08, 2010.

Mardel related a scene of panic and great destruction, describing how an unborn fetus spilled from the womb of a woman killed by shrapnel. He said U.N. peacekeeping soldiers braved the fire to rescue a wounded 5-year-old and tried to help people find cover.

“One U.N. military observer standing by one of the U.N. cars was covered in blood and the brains of a man,” he said. “The shrapnel wounds were horrific … After each shell we saw people being killed or wounded.”

Two U.N. vehicles were damaged in the shelling, but there were no U.N. casualties, he said.

Konjevic Polje’s 30,000 people [Bosniaks] had only one nurse and a medical technician after Mardel’s 11-man party, which included several doctors, left on Friday, he said.

He said the nurse performed amputations without anesthetics, and almost all wounds he saw were infected.

“I saw some families which had not eaten for four days,” said Mardel. “Many people I saw were just lethargically lying, which is typical for starving people.”

Aid packets parachuted as part of the U.S. airdrop provided food enough for only one day last week, he said.

PHOTO: Bosnian forensic pathologist and workers inspect remains in a mass grave in the village of Cerska, December 8, 2010.