BIRN — Testifying at Radovan Karadzic’s trial at The Hague, Ewa Tabeau, Prosecution’s expert in demography, estimates that more than 284,000 Bosniaks fled 27 municipalities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, either as displaced persons or refugees, during the first months of the war in 1992.
As an example of the change of the ethnic composition of the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tabeau said that the number of Bosniaks in Prijedor municipality dropped by 97.6 percent in the period from 1991 to 1997, while the share of Serbs in the total population was increased by more than 100 percent.
She made this conclusion after having compared the statistical data gained through the 1991 population census in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the registry of voters made in 1997.
Tabeau said that the share of Bosniaks in the Prijedor population dropped from 42.6 percent in 1991 to one percent in 1997. As she said, the share of Serbs went up from 43 to 89 percent in the same period of time.
The witness estimated that a total of 39,322 Bosniak and 1,089 Serb displaced persons and refugees fled Prijedor.
Karadzic, former President and Supreme Commander of Republika Srpska armed forces, is charged, among other things, with the persecution of Bosniaks and Croats in 20 municipalities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Tabeau told the Court that, during the siege of Sarajevo (see photos) the number of civilians killed in the city was often higher than the number of killed soldiers, which made her conclude that the civilian population was deliberately targeted from VRS (Serb Army) positions.
Listing her sources of information, she mentioned a survey about killed people covering 85,000 households in Sarajevo and documentation obtained from a funeral company, which buried the killed Bosniaks.
“In the first five months of the war, from April to September 1992, a total of 2,028 people were killed in Sarajevo. 1,811 of them were Bosniaks,” Tabeau said, but she did not say how many people were killed in Sarajevo during the entire war period.
She mentioned shelling and fire arms bullets as the primary causes of death.
Karadzic is charged with committing genocide in Srebrenica and other Bosnian municipalities, terrorising civilians in Sarajevo by long-lasting shelling and sniping and taking UNPROFOR soldiers hostage.
Tabeau is due to continue testifying on Tuesday, May 1, when, as announced by the Prosecution, she will speak about changes to the ethnic composition in Srebrenica induced by the war.