Srebrenica

Embedded in the timeline are raw video footage and primary documents used as evidence in several trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. To view important highlighted notes within the documents, click the “notes” tab in the document viewer. To view the document in full screen, click the button in the bottom left corner of the document viewer.

1993

March 12: French general Philippe Morillon raises United Nations flag on Srebrenica post office and assures besieged inhabitants that they are “now under the protection of the United Nations.”

April 16: The UN Security Council declares Srebrenica a safe zone in Resolution 819. The resolution calls for immediate cessation of armed attacks by Bosnian Serb paramilitary units. The resolution further demands the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to all of Bosnia and freedom of movement of U.N. peacekeepers.


1995

March 17: Radovan Karadzic issues Directive No. 7, planning the long-term strategy for the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) to take over the Muslim enclaves. Karadzic says that the combat operations should “create an unbearable situation of total insecurity” in which the Muslim inhabitants will have “no hope of further survival or life.”


July 2: General Mladic orders Drina Corps to begin Operation Krivaja 95, pursuant to Directive No. 7 of the Main Staff of the VRS. Krivaja 95 is aimed at “creating conditions for the elimination of the enclaves” of Srebrenica and Zepa.


July 6: Operation Krivaja 95 begins. Bosnian Serb forces occupy the southern part of Srebrenica enclave.

Bosnian Muslim refugees start to flee the area and crowd around U.N. base in Srebrenica. Mass panic and large-scale chaos ensues. U.N. buses begin to transport the refugees out of the enclave.

Commander of Dutch peacekeeping forces in Srebrenica, Colonel Tom Karremans, makes repeated calls for air strikes against Serb force, but his requests are denied.

July 11: U.N. finally approves a limited air strike against Serb forces, but it comes too late to prevent the fall of Srebrenica.  More than 20,000 Muslim refugees gather outside U.N. compound in Potocari.

Mladic walks through the empty streets of Srebrenica, boasts that the enclave has been liberated for the Serb people, and time has come to “take revenge” against “the Turks.”

Mladic holds two meetings with the UN Dutch Battalion at the Fontana Hotel. In the first meeting, Mladic orders Dutch peacekeepers to bring a Bosnian Muslim representative.

Later that evening, Mladic holds a second meeting at the Fontana Hotel with UN Dutch Battalion officials and an unofficial Bosnian Muslim representative. Says that Muslims must choose whether to “survive…stay or vanish.” Says survival of Bosnian Muslims will be in danger unless they lay down their arms.  Meeting planned for following day (July 12) at 10:00am to discuss the “salvation of [Bosnian Muslim] people from the enclave”.

July 12: Mladic holds third meeting with the UN Dutch Battalion and the unofficial Bosnian Muslim representatives again at the Fontana Hotel. Mladic states that he will provide buses to transport the Bosnian Muslims out of Potocari, despite earlier request for United Nations to provide transportation. Adds that men between the ages of 17 and 70 will be separated and screened to find possible war criminals.

Mladic supervises departure of Muslims from Srebrenica and separation of men from women and children.  Guarantees safety of refugees. Interviewed by Serb television, Mladic discusses the fate of the Bosnian Muslims refugees and the liberation of Srebrenica.

Men and boys are taken to nearby “White House” for interrogation. Bosnian Serb officials say they will be screened and ultimately exchanged for prisoners of war.


The men are forced to leave all belongings including wallets and ID papers. Some detainees are killed and beaten on the spot. A pile of identity cards and personal belongings is set on fire.


July 13: Most of the Bosnian Muslim men separated at Potocari are held in Bratunac for one to three days before being transferred to another detention or execution site.

Mladic visits Sandici meadow, tells captured Bosnian Muslim men that they will not be harmed and will be exchanged as prisoners of war. 


A series of executions take place at various locations from July 12-22.  Execution sites on July 13 include Jadar River, the Cerska Valley, and the Kravica Warehouse.


July 14: Mass killings take place at Grbavici School and the Orahovac execution site, Petkovci School and dam near Petkovci, Pilica School and Branjevo Military Farm.

A survivor reports seeing Mladic in a red car observing the executions at the Grbavici School detention site and the Orahovac execution site. The survivor recalls Mladic stating, “Well, your government does not want you, and I have to take care of you.”


UN Security Council expresses concern about the forced relocation of Srebrenica Muslims – asserts that it is a clear violation of their human rights.

Within days of the fall of Srebrenica, more than 23,000 women and children are displaced and more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys are killed. Although Mladic claims that he will only separate and screen men from the ages of 17 to 70, almost 200 boys from ages 8 to 17 are documented as missing and are most likely executed.


July 25: Mladic is indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.