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Prelude to Srebrenica

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From 6th to 8th July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces had laid siege to the Srebrenica enclave, where tens of thousands of Muslim civilians had taken refuge from earlier Serb offensives in north-eastern Bosnia. Lt. Col Thom Karremans was commanding 600 Dutch/UN troops in Srebrenica, which had very little fuel and food. The bureaucracy delayed his call for support of UN Headquarters in Sarajevo, and when help (in the form of Dutch F-16s) arrived it was too little, too late.

The Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic entered Srebrenica, accompanied by Serb camera crews. In the evening, General Mladic summoned Colonel Karremans to a meeting at which he delivered an ultimatum that the Muslims must hand over their weapons to guarantee their lives. During the meeting at the Bosnian village of Potocari (above) on July 12, 1995, Karremans was defensive and submissive, excusing himself from ever requesting air strikes against Bosnian Serb forces, claiming the decision was made by higher authorities based on information he provided. In a Serb military recording, a frightened and timid Karreman was seen virtually pleading for the life of his troops during negotiations with Gen. Mladic. After this Karremans was filmed raising a glass with Mladic (above left).

Following the negotiations, on Friday, July 21st, 1995, Karremans and UN left Srebrenica. On the farewell, Colonel Karremans accepted gifts from General Mladic, smiled, shook his hand and departed. Although he managed to negotiate the leaving of Muslim women, he had failed to prevent the Serbs from rounding up and killing 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys. It was Europe’s worst civilian massacre since World War II.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

June 5, 2009 at 11:44 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Cowardice beyond belief.

    No doubt Uncle Thom drawing generous Dutch, Nato and possibly even a Serb pension while now living in suuny Spain.

    Shame on you.

    Shame on Holland.

    Shame on Europe.

    Joe Hackett

    July 24, 2009 at 12:31 am

    • i’d like to see you fight for people who just killed one of your men, outnumbered, outgunned, hungry and broken, abondonend by your command and in a foreign country. Let’s see if you are still such a man like you say you are on the internet. Blaming the Dutch troops is just plain wrong and stupid. I lived close to Tuzla in ’90 and ’91 and I am fucking gratefull the Dutch and other peacetroops were there. Karremans got a lot of undeserved shit in the Netherlands as well. But a part of me hoped the Dutch would fight and die, every one of those Serbian rats would’ve died in retalliation. But that would also mean the women and girls would’ve been massacred.
      Thanks Thom and all the other Dutchbat troops!


      May 11, 2015 at 8:50 pm

  2. This story is on of many historic lies. I can remember reports on CNN after alleged massacre, saying 250.000 people are killed.
    After they realised the the hugeness of their report mistake, since it would mean almost whole Bosnian people would be dead, they shrunken the number of dead to 7000-8000.
    People who actualy died during those fights were bosnian muslim fighters, people who fought with the gun and died by the gun, like in every war.
    The interesting thing is that a lot of muslim fighters who died accross Bosnia during the war, were deliberately burried near Srebrenica, so they can pronounce them innocent victims of Ratko Mladic’s army.

    I once witnessed a bosnian guy proud talk of the events, he was saying that his father, who was killed in 1993 fighting for muslims, was actualy “found” in one of the “mass tombs” near Srebrenica.

    Whole this incident is one big fake, organizied by the western countries for political causes of their own.


    November 11, 2009 at 11:34 am

  3. Shame on you Holland!
    Shame on you Europe!


    March 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm

  4. […] have previously covered the events leading to Srebrenica Massacre. This post continues the […]

  5. Can you recommend a good book about the Yugoslavia wars of the 90s?


    June 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    • The Death of Yugoslavia by Laura Silber and Allan Little. There’s a very good BBC series of the same name on Youtube aswell.

      Alan Thomson

      October 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm

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