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On the twentieth anniversary of the slaughter of Srebrenica in Hypertext analyze the causes of this terrible event and its consequences in today’s society.
Throughout the history of mankind have been several terrible moments, moments we all wish it had never happened in the first place: two world wars, the Spanish Inquisition, Apartheid … Unfortunately, we can not do anything to correct all those mistakes, but if we can make sure never to forget them ever not repeated. Thus, in the twentieth anniversary of the slaughter of Srebrenica, for the Bosnian War which occurred between 1992 and 1995, analyzed the antecedents of this terrible massacre and its consequences two decades later.
To understand the slaughter of Srebrenica have to talk before the Bosnian War, a conflict caused after the post-Soviet era with the breakdown Yugoslavia and the independence of Croatia and Slovenia in 1991. Taking advantage of the fragility and political instability in these countries and motivations of both nationalist and religious leaders Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic had a clear objective : group all Serbian citizens, scattered throughout Yugoslavia, so that all live in the same country
After starting Bosnia and Herzegovina process of independence in February 1992 through a referendum boycotted by the Bosnian Serbs, the situation quickly escalated between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, formed two armies: one next to the Army Bosnia-Herzegovina Republic (ARBiH) , from the section of the Yugoslav Army agreed to the formation of the new state, and secondly the high national identity Serbs formed the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) .
Throughout the war, much of the fighting took place in eastern Bosnia, in the border with Serbia. This is was because it was an area of interest for Serb nationalist leaders, under the idea of creating a Greater Serbia, they organized forcible transfer of Serbs and Bosnians. This move also had a secondary goal: eliminate all kinds of Bosnian Muslim settlement in the Republika Srpska, especially in Central Podrinje area, in the region of Srebrenica , since a settlement in that area split the territory in two.
This also knew the ARBiH, after retake Srebrenica to prevent further attacks on the Bosnian Serb population of the area began to expand its influence over the following months and, under the command of his commander Naser Orić , there were several murders of Serb minorities in territory under its control, which would be very influential for later Serbian counter-attack and the slaughter of Srebrenica.
So the reorganized Serbian army, he commanded by bloodthirsty Ratko Mladic, started an offensive to recover all the lost ground and led to the site of Srebrenica, causing an overpopulation of refugees who fled to the city. After several attacks with artillery towards Srebrenica, the UN approved Resolution 819 , declaring Srebrenica, Zepa with Gorazde “safe areas, free from attacks and other hostile actions” . This resolution entailed disarmament of both fronts, which was not produced by the Serbian side as well as the arrival of contingents of peacekeepers previously mentioned as mediators and control forces.
The situation remained so until 1995 deteriorated rapidly, and as the newcomer 600 Dutch contingent Dutchbat soldiers could observe the arrival of supplies was becoming less common. And to make matters worse, because the peacekeepers were patrolling on foot for lack of fuel, many were “arrested” by Serbian forces, reducing the contingent to 400 troops. Meanwhile, senior members of the ARBiH as Orić quickly leave the area, waiting for the inevitable tragedy until Radovan Karadzic, the notorious shipping Guideline 7 , where the Serbian army was:
Complete the physical separation of Srebrenica and Zepa as soon as possible, preventing even communication between individuals of both enclaves. Create, through well-planned combat operations, an unsafe condition such that there is no hope of survival of any life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica.
At the time of start of invasion of Srebrenica, on July 2, had sixty thousand civilians , a high number because of the UN resolution as a supposed safe area. However, in a few days it showed that the Blue Helmets were poorly equipped and were embarrassingly overtaken by the Serb machinery until July 11 the city was finally conquered. After this, the leader of the Dutch detachment Thomas Karremans had no more than meet all demands in a meeting with Mladic on 12 July, allowing even the famous photograph between him and the leader VRS drinking brandy, photography was living proof of the ineffectiveness of UN peacekeepers
Next, Mladic visited the camp of Potočari where, like a liberating messiah they were, reassured the refugees and told them they would be bussed to areas under Bosnian control, all while he recorded the Serbian television handing out candy to children. That same day began barbarism: 25,000 civilian refugees, 1700 separated , all men, were taken to different locations where they were executed in various ways. The looting and burning of homes by VRS troops was commonplace, no one who could stop their feet. Rape and summary executions also occurred, with many bodies piled around the city.
The next day, the Dutch soldiers of the Dutchbat found definitive evidence that the Serbs murdered some of the men who had been separated: a number of them went to the back of the “white house”, which was a makeshift jail and living under the control of VRS murders , following two Serbian soldiers who carried a Bosnian Muslim prisoner. After hearing a shot, both Serb soldiers came alone.
According to the testimony of an officer Dutch, could be heard between 20 and 40 every hour throughout the afternoon of 13. When the soldiers of the Dutchbat said to colonel Joseph Kingori , United Nations Military Observer (UNMO) in the area Srebrenica, the Serbs were taking men to the back of the “white house” and they did not appear, own colonel Kingori went to investigate. He heard shots as they approached the area, but was arrested by Serb soldiers before I could see what was really happening.
Meanwhile, thousands of civilians have managed to flee the city to the mountains, but many were arrested or tricked them back with various tricks like prisoner exchange or the promise of amnesty and food for themselves and their loved ones (remember that was a city under siege and food was more than precarious for many months ). At the same time, the international community would sit idly by the stories of the few journalists who managed to stay close enough to see the ravages of genocide arms. Finally, July 22 shootings ended , and represented just another sad chapter to come succeeded by another series of killings, this time of Serbs by Croatian forces during the Storm in August.
At the beginning and as I mentioned previously, the killings were received very warm way even though most of eight thousand Muslim dead : the conforming countries NATO was not able to choose a clear ally, since the atrocities perpetrated by both Bosnians and Serbs were difficult to ignore. It was not until the images of the massacre reached the media that public opinion was decanted ahead of the Bosnians, providing assistance and lifting bans on arms sales to the Bosnian army.
There were also consequences for the Dutch executive, which was designated as primarily responsible for the poor performance of the Dutch troops during the slaughter of Srebrenica and resigned in full in 2002. In addition, long it questioned while the effectiveness of the peacekeeping force the UN , with the failures of Somalia and Rwanda attached to what happened in Bosnia: many thought was useless military body that could not shoot attackers except in cases of life or death and that in most cases he was outnumbered and ill-equipped
Fortunately, during the massacre in Srebrenica plenty of evidence they were obtained despite his attempts to hide it to carry various war criminals to international tribunal in The Hague : from Radovan Karadzic, Slobodan Milosevic, Ratko Mladic and Radislav Krstić and, main perpetrators of Srebrenica and other massacres during the Bosnian War and ethnic cleansing Lašva Valley. But today many people still have not been located during the war and the political situation in the Balkans has not stabilize finished.
July 11, 2015
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