Radovan Karadzic attempted to misled the international community with the “Declaration of the Republika Srpska Civilian Affairs Committee for Srebrenica No. 07-27/95, dated 17 July 1995.”
Genocide deniers frequently cite the above document as a ‘proof’ that former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, guaranteed the safety to the residents of Srebrenica. However, the facts tell a different story. Here is what the judges concluded in a case of Miroslav Deronjic and in relation to the Declaration of the Republika Srpska Civilian Affairs Committee for Srebrenica No. 07-27/95, dated 17 July 1995:
“Another example of [Srebrenica] revisionism is the ‘Declaration of the Republika Srpska Civilian Affairs Committee for Srebrenica’ No. 07-27/95, dated 17 July 1995, which was signed by the Accused in this case, Miroslav Deronjic, Civil Affairs Commissioner for Srebrenica, Nesib Mandzic, Representative of the Civilian Authorities of the Enclave of Srebrenica, and Major Franken, an UPROFOR Representative, Dutch Battalion Commander, at the time. This document in its operative part states that
- The civilian population can remain in the enclave or evacuate, dependant upon the wish of each individual;
– in the event that we wish to evacuate it is possible for us to choose the direction of our movement and have decided that the entire population is to evacuate to the territory of the County of Kladanj;
– It has been agreed that the evacuation is to be carried out by the Army and Police of the Republic of Srpska, supervised and escorted by UNPROFOR. […]
During the evacuation there were no incidents on either of the sides and the Serb side has adhered to all the regulations of Geneva Conventions and the international war law, as far as convoys actually escorted by UN forces are concerned.
The Trial Chamber accepts the submission by the Prosecution that Miroslav Deronjic with the encouragement of Radovan Karadžic prepared this document, whose ‘contents [according to the Accused] did not correspond with the truth‘ and that it was done in order ‘to mislead the international community‘. Consequently, the Trial Chamber agrees that the Accused’s admission is important for two reasons:
1) ‘[it is] important to diffuse any suggestion in trials that are ongoing or will be coming up in the future about Srebrenica that the Bosnian Muslims left the enclave because of their own free will’ and
2) ‘[it is] important to negate the arguments of future revisionists that might use this document for the proposition that the forcible displacement of the Bosniaks from Srebrenica was a mere humanitarian evacuation conducted in accordance with the principles of international law.’”
In order to deny and justify Srebrenica genocide, many apologists question how could Serbs commit genocide by killing mostly men and elderly, while at the same time deciding to forcibly expel most women and children from the U.N. ‘protected’ Srebrenica enclave? This is something that can also puzzle individuals without an apologist agenda. More than 8000 Bosniaks were executed during the genocide at Srebrenica, mainly men, but also many children and some women as well. Some 30,000 women were separated from their menfolk and forcibly deported from the enclave. A prominent Srebrenica genocide denier and a pro-Serbian lobbyist – former U.N. General Lewis Mackenzie – is on record as saying that: “...if you’re committing genocide, you don’t let the women go since they are key to perpetuating the very group you are trying to eliminate.” So, the question is: Can one commit genocide by letting the women and children go? Here is a detailed answer to this question directly from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (Appeals Chamber, Prosecutor vs. Radislav Krstic):
“31. As the Trial Chamber explained, forcible transfer could be an additional means by which to ensure the physical destruction of the Bosnian Muslim community in Srebrenica. The transfer completed the removal of all Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica, thereby eliminating even the residual possibility that the Muslim community in the area could reconstitute itself. The decision not to kill the women or children may be explained by the Bosnian Serbs’ sensitivity to public opinion. In contrast to the killing of the captured military men, such an action could not easily be kept secret, or disguised as a military operation, and so carried an increased risk of attracting international censure.
32. In determining that genocide occurred at Srebrenica, the cardinal question is whether the intent to commit genocide existed. While this intent must be supported by the factual matrix, the offence of genocide does not require proof that the perpetrator chose the most efficient method to accomplish his objective of destroying the targeted part. Even where the method selected will not implement the perpetrator’s intent to the fullest, leaving that destruction incomplete, this ineffectiveness alone does not preclude a finding of genocidal intent. The international attention focused on Srebrenica, combined with the presence of the UN troops in the area, prevented those members of the VRS [Bosnian Serb Army] Main Staff who devised the genocidal plan from putting it into action in the most direct and efficient way. Constrained by the circumstances, they adopted the method which would allow them to implement the genocidal design while minimizing the risk of retribution.”