Why 'never again' recurred
Ten years later, many survivors are eager to remind the world that Srebrenica was not an isolated horror.
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Nor has the international community finished its reckoning. Very few UN or Western officials whose policies aided the Serb ethnic cleansing project have yet faced history, analysts say.
"Was there ever a more inept, less effective and positively counterproductive organization than...the UN protection force in Bosnia?" asks William Montgomery, former US ambassador to Croatia and Serbia, respectively. "Where are the leaders of the international community who ... helped bring events in the Balkans about? ... We are rightly looking for full accountability from the parties in the region. I am sorry that we are not doing the same for ourselves."
The tribunal in The Hague, which has indicted 146 persons for war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia, has become the center of gravity for dealing with the war - and it is where most of the facts about the war have come to light. [Editor's note: The number of indictments in the original version was incorrect.]
Mr. Suljagic, a UN interpreter whose biographical account "Postcards from the Grave" was released last week, says there are two main myths about Srebrenica.
One is that it was only a brief bloodletting, when it was planned for many months. Second, that it was carried out only by a few thugs. "To kill 8,000 people in three days you have to have logistics," he says. "There have to be truck drivers, people to tie hands, put on blindfolds, bulldozers."
In Srebrenica, one group that carried out much of the carnage was the 65th Protection Regiment, the tribunal has found, a group that took care of Mladic's own safety, and could be compared to a Nazi Waffen SS force in terms of its brutality.
Last month, a video of Serb paramilitary "Scorpions" who filmed themselves executing Muslims provided a literal "smoking gun" at the tribunal, and has caused a stir in Serbia.
Yet denial remains stubborn. At a forum on the war in Belgrade this spring, a balcony of young Serbs made a three-finger national salute and shouted the name "Radovan Karadzic" approvingly. A retired Serb military expert also stated it was a "heinous lie that anyone planned" the Srebrenica genocide. Rather, he said, it was due to "chaos." General Kristic's defense lawyer in the tribunal stated the massacre of 8,000 men in Srebrenica may have been the work of "French intelligence" agents. The same point was picked up by Mr. Milosevic, who told the court in 2002, that the slaughter was the result of renegade Serbs directed by French agents. His trial is currently in the defense phase.
Even with photographic evidence, many Serbs at the tribunal have denied involvement. One Dusko Jevic-Stadja, shown in uniform in a videotape standing next to Mladic in July, 1995, denies any harmful action. An exchange with prosecutor Peter McCloskey goes like this:
Question: On 12 July did you see men and women separated? Answer: No.
Question: Did you ever see any Muslim hit or kicked? Answer: No.
Question: Any reports that Muslims were being physically hurt reach you? Answer: No.
War crimes investigators say that in the Srebrenica region, an area some 20 by 40 miles wide that includes several dozen villages, only one Serb resident had come forth to offer information.
Last year Mr. Pervanic revisited the Omarska prison camp where he was held for nearly a year. He was escorted by a guard, who, as Pervanic points out, was wearing the same double-headed eagle insignia on his uniform that guards at the camp wore in 1993, when he was rounded up for being a Bosnian Muslim.
"A lot of the younger kids I talk to in Bosnia today think the war was caused by a few nutty peasants," says Peranovic. "I tell them my village was attacked by the Serb army, by tanks, by troops."
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established by the UN Security Council in 1993. Former president Slobodan Milosevic's trial is ongoing, but 10 key suspects remain at large.
The ICTY has successfully handled dozens of cases. The maximum sentence that can be imposed is life imprisonment. Prison terms are served in one of the countries that have signed an agreement with the United Nations to accept persons convicted by the ICTY.
Tribunal Indictments to date: 146
Judgments rendered: 55
Not Guilty: 3