Blog AnalysisBalkansEuropean history

[Yugoslavia Memory of a disaster] 1995. When Europe failed in its duty...

(BRUSSELS2) Standardization relations between Serbia and the European Union is currently blocked by the Dutch (and the Belgians), considering that Mladic is not delivered to the international tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, or that clear evidence of the collaboration of the Serbia with the Tribunal have not been brought.

Sometimes in certain European circles, we curse these “damn” Dutch people who prevent this normalization. And we prefer to talk – to the image of the brand new President of Parliament, the Pole Jerzy Buzek, to whom journalists asked the question on Tuesday -, of the necessary reconciliation and respect for human rights, in general terms. It must be underlined: the Dutch are right to block this agreement (1)!

We cannot, in fact, ignore the story.One of the most sordid and significant massacres in modern European history took place at age fourteen. There, thehe international community – and Europe – have failed in their primary duty: to protect the civilian populations placed under their protection.

Let us remember. In mid-July 1995, iThey attack the Bosnian “enclaves”, however placed under the protection of the United Nations. Particularly in Srebrenica, where the situation was going to become dramatic. Taking under fire the Dutch detachment of 450 peacekeepers who were protecting the area, taking 30 prisoners among the United Nations soldiers, Mladic's Bosnian-Serb forces arrived in the area on July 11.

Despite the request of Col. Karremans, commanding the detachment, of air support, the international command, provided in particular by General Janvier, refuses this support, for fear of causing other victims, in particular the military hostages. At the Potocari camp, around 20 civilians found refuge. They believe they are safe. Error. If the Serbs authorize the evacuation – by bus – of women and children, they detain the men. 000 people – according to the official count – were killed in a few days. On July 8372, the Dutch soldiers were authorized to leave the enclave, with a gift and a friendly drink to boot.

For the record, this eloquent report from the BBC (even if it should be taken “with a grain of salt” because it is partly based on propaganda images shot by the Serbs themselves). In three parties

After : Part 2 et Part 3

(1) Another thing is the liberalization of visas for Serbs that the European Commission has just decided today. There is no need to punish a people for the misdeeds of their government. More questionable is the fact of not granting Bosnians the same treatment
(even if it can be justified on other criteria).

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).