GENOCIDE AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: Unit II. Bosnia 4 of 6

Genocide
 
Brought by Bosnia in 1993, the case Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro
accuses Serbia of violations of the Genocide Convention.




Ratko Mladic



In 1993, the Bosnian city of Srebrenica was designated as a UN safe area for Bosnian Muslim refugees. In the summer of 1995, however, Bosnian Serb forces, led by General Ratko Mladic, overran the city. The city was guarded by lightly armed Dutch troops who were operating under a UN mandate. That mandate was for peacekeeping, not enforcement. This meant the Dutch forces had neither the legal authority nor the heavy weapons to engage Serb forces in combat. The Serb forces attacked Dutch observation posts around Srebrenica and took 30 soldiers as hostages.


One of 550 exhumed mass graves of Bosnian victims near Srebrenica



Mladic and his forces eventually entered Srebrenica and began rounding up all Muslim men aged 12 to 77 while some 23,000 Muslim women and children were bused to Muslim areas in Bosnia. Finally, the Dutch peacekeepers handed over to Serb forces 5,000 Muslims who had been sheltered at a Dutch base nearby in return for the release of the Dutch soldiers. Upon instructions from their government, the Dutch peacekeepers left Srebrenica after the killing of one Dutch soldier. In the days that followed, more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Serb forces.

How far should a country go to secure the safety of citizens who have been taken hostage?

The Genocide Convention calls on all members to prevent and punish genocide. Why then do genocides still occur?

BBC News: General Ratko Mladic
Genocide Convention
Prevent Genocide International Bosnian Resources
Srebrenica, A Cry from the Grave (video)
UN Case Information Sheet on Radko Mladic (pdf file)
UN International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia
Wikipedia: Radko Mladic