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).

12 June, 2007



"We are waiting for 12 years for the problem of Republika Srpska to be solved, for this criminal organization to be dismantled," said Kada Hotic, a Srebrenica survivor who lost her husband and son in the massacre.

Undated photo of Bosnian Serb Captain Milorad Trbic,
on trial for Srebrenica genocide.

Note: Photos used in the following section are from June 11th 2007 protests in Sarajevo. Bosnian Muslim women from Srebrenica hold banners that read Srebrenica is the symbol of genocide during their protest in Sarajevo, on Monday, June 11, 2007. Thousands of survivors of Europe's worst massacre since World War II protested Monday, demanding a special administrative status for the town of Srebrenica, saying it should not be run by Bosnian Serb authorities who are responsible for genocide in that town. (Credits: AP Photo/Hidajet Delic - For Fair Use Only)

Earlier today at the Sarajevo International Airport, acting on orders of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Judicial Police officers took custody of Milorad Trbic, an Accused before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) whose case has been referred to the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina for further processing.

"After having considered various factors, including the gravity of crimes and his alleged level of responsibility, the Referral Bench on 27 April 2007 ordered the referral of the case to the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina," the tribunal said in a statement.

Serb forces killed about 8,000 Bosniak men and boys after capturing the enclave of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995. International human rights groups call the killings the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.

The transfer of Milorad Trbic to Bosnian authorities came as thousands of Srebrenica survivors demonstrated in Sarajevo to press for a special status for the former U.N.-protected enclave. In Sarajevo, survivors of the Srebrenica massacre took to the streets demanding that their eastern town be removed from the jurisdiction of the Serb Republic, which together with the Bosniak-Croat federation comprises Bosnia under the 1995 Dayton peace accords. The town came under Serb jurisdiction after the war, but Bosniaks there have been demanding self-rule, a move vehemently opposed by authorities in the Serb Republic.

"The international community, all member states of the United Nations, are requested by international law not to recognize as lawful the results of genocide and to work together to eliminate the consequences of genocide," said Bosnian leader Haris Silajdzic, a member of the country's presidency. But Srebrenica status could change only as part of a constitutional reform, which has been blocked for more than a year over disagreement between Serb and Bosniak politicians.

Protesters carried banners saying "Justice for all," and demanded Srebrenica no longer be part of the Bosnian Serb entity, Republika Srpska, but to become an independent district within the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"We are waiting for 12 years for the problem of Republika Srpska to be solved, for this criminal organization to be dismantled," said Kada Hotic, a Srebrenica survivor who lost her husband and son in the massacre.

The indictment against Trbic charges him with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, extermination, murder, persecutions and forcible transfer committed against the civilians of the Srebrenica area from July to November 1995. According to this indictment, as deputy chief of security of the Zvornik Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska, Milorad Trbic helped manage the Military Police Company during the events in Srebrenica in July 1995.

The indictment alleges that the Accused was inter alia in charge of supervising the detention and execution of Bosniak victims at various sites in the area around the city of Zvornik .

According to the indictment, on 14 July 1995, at the Grabovac School in Orahovac, together with the chief of security of the Zvornik brigade, the Accused supervised the Military Police in guarding Bosniak detainees and transporting them to a nearby field where they were summarily executed.

The indictment alleges that Trbic entered an agreement with several others, including Generals Ratko Mladic, Milenko Zivanovic, Zdravko Tolimir ('Chemical Tolimir') and Radislav Krstic, to kill the able-bodied Bosnian Muslim men from Srebrenica that were captured or surrendered after the fall of Srebrenica on 11 July 1995 and remove the remaining Bosniak population of Srebrenica and Zepa from Republika Srpska with the intent to destroy those Muslims.

In addition, it is alleged that from about 1 August 1995 through about 1 November 1995, Bosnian Serb Army and police personnel including Trbic participated in an organised and comprehensive effort to conceal the killings and executions by reburying bodies exhumed from initial mass graves to secondary graves.

Trbic and others are accused of also plotting to remove the remaining Bosniak population of Srebrenica and Zepa from Republika Srpska with the intent to destroy that population.

The indictment states that Trbic participated with other Bosnian Serb army personnel in an organized effort to conceal the killings and executions of those men and boys by exhuming bodies from initial mass graves and reburying them in secondary graves.

ICTY which sits at The Hague, has so transferred 10 accused to Bosnia and Herzegovina for trial, as well as two accused to Croatia and one to Serbia. The transfers of cases involving low or intermediate-level accused to courts in the countries of the former Yugoslavia are part of the Tribunal’s completion strategy, designed to allow it to concentrate its resources upon the most serious cases.

The ICTY has indicted 161 persons and completed proceedings in the cases of 108 accused since it held its first hearing in November 1994. Under the completion strategy, the Tribunal is scheduled to finish its work by the end of 2010.

After the war, some Bosniaks returned to Srebrenica but describe life there as hard and humiliating. At the beginning of March, the returnees called for a change in the Bosnian constitution to erase the ethnic division of the country, claiming it was impossible to live in a town that offers few jobs and where, they claim, perpetrators of genocide still live. The International Court of Justice in The Hague declared in February that Bosnian Serb troops committed genocide in Srebrenica.

The survivors base their claim for exemption of Srebrenica from Republika Srpska on this court verdict. The idea of changing the constitution is supported by forces in the federation of Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats, who seek to unify the entire country, but the Bosnian Serb authorities vehemently oppose any change of the status of the town.

More about Dutch shame from previous, June 4th 2007, protests:
(photo credits: Reuters/WFA Frank van Rossum, Netherlands - For Fair Use Only)

Photo (look down): Unidentified women, relatives of the Srebrenica victims, react during a march to Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's office in the Hague June 4, 2007. Angry relatives of victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre on Monday sued the Dutch state and the United Nations for allowing thousands of Bosniaks to be killed by Bosnian Serb forces in the U.N. protected 'safe haven' enclave of Srebrenica that was guarded by Dutch troops in 1995. Women are holding a portrait of a "Bosnian Girl" with shameful graffiti written by an unknown Dutch soldier.

Graffiti “No teeth...? A mustache...? Smel like shit...? Bosnian Girl!” written by the unknown Dutch soldier on the wall of the army barracks in Potocari, Srebrenica ’94/’95. The Royal Netherlands Army Troops, as a part of the UN Peace Keeping Forces UNPROFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992-95 were responsible for protection of Srebrenica safe area.

Shameful Dutch graffiti were transformed into artwork, by Sejla Kameric:

Related readings:
- Chemical Weapons Use in Srebrenica Requested by Zdravko Tolimir
- U.N., Dutch Cowards on Trial (analysis of shameful failures)
- U.N., Dutch Complicity in Srebrenica Genocide