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).

11 September, 2009


Srebrenica genocide trials continue in front of the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is composed of the international and local (multi-ethnic) judges. Here are some testimonies from two survivors of the Srebrenica massacre:
"I ran across many dead people in the woods. There were so many that I had to step on them... I covered myself with two corpses and kept quiet"

HISTORY OF KRAVICA: From 1992-95, Serbs used the village of Kravica to launch brutal attacks on neighbouring Bosniak villages and the town of Srebrenica, killing more than 1,000 Bosnian Muslim civilians in 1992 alone. In 1995, Serbs massacred 1,000-1,500 Bosniaks in Kravica. During the World War II, Kravica was a stronghold of Serbian Chetniks who collaborated with NAZI's.
Two Bosnian Serbs, Radomir Vukovic and Zoran Tomic - former members of the Second Special Police Squad - are charged with genocide in relation to the massacre of more than 1,000 Bosniaks in Kravica Agricultural Cooperative. Here are some excerpts from the testimony of a protected witness D2 who survived the shooting on July 13, 1995.

"We surrendered to Bosnian Serbs in Konjevic polje on July 13, 1995. We spent a few hours at a meadow, surrounded by them. Then we moved towards Bratunac, driving in two or three buses. They transported us to some kind of a warehouse. This was Kravica. We were in panic and afraid. When we were brought there, I knew what was going to happen," protected witness D2 said.

"One of them [Serb soldiers], with long beard and sunglasses, came in and started shooting at us. I fell down to the ground. After that it all became so chaotic. They would shoot for half an hour and then take a break, before starting a new round. People were screaming. It was horrible," D2 said. "Somebody moved towards me. I knew I was going to die. I waited for him to kill me. He fired one bullet and shot me in the back. He asked me: 'Do you want more?' I pretended I was dead. They left me there."

Next morning, Serb soldiers called the Bosniak survivors of the massacre to come out of the hangar giving them false information that "the red cross has arrived to take them to the hospital." Then, "they forced them to sing Serbian songs for half an hour. Then I heard shooting. After that they collected them with bulldozers."

Protected witness I1 testified before the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina against Zeljko Ivanovic, who is a former member of the Second Special Police Squad that participated in the Srebrenica massacre.

"After having sent women and children to Potocari, people spontaneously gathered in the village where I lived. We agreed to go to Tuzla. A few of us knew how to get there, I remember there were many people, who formed groups, but, just like me, they did not know where they were going. This happened on July 12," I1 said.

"In the middle of the night we got caught by soldiers. The shooting was coming from all sides. While the soldiers were shouting 'surrender!', everybody ran away. I ran across many dead people in the woods. There were so many that I had to step on them! It was horrible. I can never forget the image! I somehow pulled myself together, separated a group of my neighbours and moved on through the woods."

Captured civilians were forced into a meadow in Lolici with "about 2,000 other people" who awaited to be executed and dumped into mass graves.

"Mladic told us we were safe, adding that we would be exchanged in a couple of days and join our families. I think everybody believed him. We even applauded. Then they ordered us to move on in a column. We took an asphalt road, heading towards the Agricultural Cooperative. Nobody knew where they were taking us," witness I1 said.

"Soon we realized we had arrived at a big hall," he said. "Two soldiers carrying automatic rifles were standing at the entrance. The hangar was full of people. There was no room for more people. I somehow came to the wall and squatted. All of a sudden it became noisy. They threw bombs and grenades while shooting at us. It lasted until the evening."

"I covered myself with two corpses and kept quiet. I noticed some people had survived, but they killed them soon. I knew I should not come out and show them I was alive. I waited for the night to come and them to leave. As I was running away from the Cooperative, I know a soldier saw me but he let me go. I came to the river and into the woods. I moved towards Zepa, where I arrived on July 26. I do not know how I managed to survive all that. I still do not understand it," said I1, concluding his statement.

For more updates, check out:
1. Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina
2. The Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia-Herzegovina
3. Balkan Investigative Network (BIRN)

SREBRENICA 1992-1995: Serb Army stationed around Srebrenica never demilitarized, even though they were required to do so under the 1993 demilitarization agreement. In 1992 alone, approximately 100,000 Bosniaks had been expelled from their homes and at least 11,391 Bosniaks were killed by Serb forces in eastern Bosnia (source: Research & Documentation Centre in Sarajevo), while hundreds of Bosnian Muslim villages were destroyed around Srebrenica. In July 1995 the Bosnian Serb army staged a brutal takeover of Srebrenica and its surrounding area, where they proceeded to perpetrate genocide. Bosnian Serb soldiers separated Bosniak families, forcibly expelled 25,000-30,000 Bosniaks, and summarily executed at least 8,372 Bosnian Muslims - boys, men, and elderly.