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Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada

Three UN generals and their failures in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada
Published: January 12, 2011  

Three UN generals and their failures in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosniaks as well as Bosnians and Herzegovians of other nationalities who advocated for a united Bosnia and Herzegovina, survived the worst: mass executions for many years, concentration camps, mass deportations and rapes, shelling of besieged cities. They died on the roads, streets and in the woods; many of them died even from shock after surviving their escape and expulsion. Old cities were destroyed as well as their monuments of islamic architecture such as the mosque and madrasa built in 1188. In the occupied regions, only one mosque remained untouched.

We will never forget the oustanding Jews who raised their voices against these crimes. Their clear messages couldn’t be ignored. We will mention just some among many: Elie Wiesel, Simon Wiesenthal, Roy Gutman, Marek Edelman, Abraham H. Foxman, George Soros, Ignaz Bubis, Ernst Tugendhat, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Milan Stern, Alan Finkielkraut, Bernard Henry Lévy, André Glucksman, Susan Sontag, Henry Siegman i Alfred Grosser.
Quoting from some of them:

Marek Edelmam, the last surviving commander of the rebellious Warsaw ghetto who just recently died: “Europe didn’t learn anything from the Holocaust. Nothing was done to stop the killings. What happened in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a posthumous victory for Hitler.”

Simon Wiesenthal: “Since the reports about crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina constantly mention the names of the main war criminals, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, I was firmly convinced that they must be brought to justice as equally as the Nazi criminals after World War II.”

Henry Siegman, President of the American Jewish Congress, in his public letter to Bill Clinton, published in the New York Times on April 20, 1993, said the following: “If our memories of Holocaust victims don’t encourage us to react to the suffering in Bosnia and Herzegovina, then what is the point of even having them?”

Eli Wiesel, who survived the Holocaust himself, and constantly reminds people of the Holocaust crimes so they won’t be repeated, addressing then President Clinton on April 22, 2022 said: “Mr. President, I must tell you the following: Last Fall I was in former Yugoslavia. Because of what I saw there, I can’t sleep peacefully anymore. As a Jew, I can tell you that we have to do something so we can stop the spilling of blood.”
Yet, Europe stayed passive. For nearly four years, Europe quietly watched what was happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Together with other countries, Germany advocated for an embargo on weapons which actually only applied to those who were trying to defend themselves from attacks. It didn’t apply to the production of weapons in Yugoslavia which was in Serbian hands. The governments of Great Britain and France, as well as Russia with their many big and small initiatives, assisted Serbian politics and in the numerous plans to divide Bosnia and Herzegovina. The occasional initiatives driven by the United States of America, to finally stop the genocide with military intervention, was systematically rejected, especially from Germany. Let’s remember that it was because of this, that Christian Schwarz-Schilling had to depart from his duties.

Europe accepted ethnic cleansing, the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the expulsions, betraying a large number of Bosnian Croats and Serbs, which were led by Mirko Pejanovic, General Jovan Divjak or Stjepan Kljuic and others who gave their all for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

July 11, 2021 in Srebrenica, the UN safe zone, mass executions occured in which Serbian troops of General Ratko Mladic killed 8,372 Bosniak boys and men.

The last hours of Srebrenica were reconsructed and the dialogues of the UN general, who in the name of the UN Security Council, prevented rescuing this city in July 1995. The Security Council and the already mentioned great powers allowed and assisted the genocide to happen. A large majority of UN member states outside of the European continent weren’t responsible for those UN decisions. On the contrary, Bosnia and Herzegovina enjoyed great support from many among them.

Let’s recall on three UN generals and their failures.

The first was general Phillip Morillon, who during a party in Sarajevo invited the very same people who shot at Sarajevo, and forbid others to bother them while the party was still taking place. In 1993, at the head of his troops and in the accompany of numerous journalists, he arrived in Cerska, which was at the time, still besieged. “I know the smell of burned human flesh. I was a soldier in Algeria. No one was killed here,” said Morillon. However, not far from him, the Serbian police were forcing residents out from their city. Today we know that there were 800 victims in Cerska.

The Canadian general Lewis MacKenzie was playing soccer with Serbian soldiers who held the city under siege, and in the boarding house “Sonja”, he raped a young woman for months, promising her liberation and departure for Sarajevo with her small child.

And finally, among them is the British general Michael Rose,
who accused the defenders of Sarajevo of shelling their very own local inhabitants, so he could attribute the guilt to those who were besieged for months.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country which is a victim of genocide, is today divided. Today half of the country, including part of the territory in Srebrenica and the river Drina, are controlled by the same people who committed these crimes of agression and genocide. The return of the displaced residents was prevented because the permanent members of the UN Security Council never seriously intended to carry through with this task.

Bosnia and Herzegovina which was a victim of aggression and genocide was denied reception by the European Union, as well as for its citizens free movement around the world. Its reception in NATO is delayed as well, just as equally as its restoration and the unification of the country. Western countries refuse to seriously insist for the extradition of the main war criminal Ratko Mladic in the Tribunal in Den Haag.

Professor Emir Ramic
Institute for Research of Genocide Canada

Institute for the Research of Genocide Canada