Srebrenica Transcript Session 4 MD International Decision Making in the Age of Genocide: Srebrenica 1993-1995 June 28 – July 1, 2015 The Hague Edited Transcript Session 4: Endgame

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<ul><li><p>4-1</p><p>InternationalDecisionMakingintheAgeofGenocide:Srebrenica1993-1995June28July1,2015</p><p>TheHagueEditedTranscript</p><p>Session4:EndgameLessonsfromSrebrenica</p><p>Potoari,July12,1995,USgovernmentphoto</p><p>TOMBLANTON:Ourintentionthisafternoonistolookveryintensivelyattheaftermathof</p><p>thefallofSrebrenica,includingtheexperiencesofColonelKarremans,RupertSmith,and</p><p>CarlBildtintalkingwithGeneralMladi.IwanttoaskMichaelDobbstoleadoffwitha</p><p>couplequestionsaboutthesituationonSrebrenicaonJuly11,andthechoices,orlackof</p><p>choices,facedbyColonelKarremansandDutchbat.</p><p>SHASHITHAROOR:Beforewestart,mayIjustbrieflyputamarkerforourlaterdiscussion</p><p>onlessons.IobjecttoJohnShattuck'ssuggestionthatthissomehowrevealsabankruptcy</p></li><li><p>4-2</p><p>ofUNpeacekeeping.Ihavetriedtoexplainwhypeacekeepingwasinappropriatetoapply</p><p>tothissituationandhowwepointedthisoutrepeatedlytotheSecurityCouncil.</p><p>TOMBLANTON:I'mcountingonyoutochallengeit.</p><p>MICHAELDOBBS:Wewantveryquicklytolookatwhathappenedafterthefallof</p><p>Srebrenica.Asyouknow,manyoftheMuslimmenfromSrebrenica,ledbythearmed</p><p>remnantsoftheBosnian28thDivision,triedtoescapetheenclave.Theygatheredinthe</p><p>northernpartoftheenclaveataplacecalledunjariandattemptedtomakeabreakout,</p><p>throughtheencirclementbyBosnianSerbtroops.</p><p>DetailfromCIAmap,showingattemptedbreakoutbyMuslimsfromSrebrenica</p><p>Therewasanothergroupofcivilians,mainlywomenandchildrenbutalsoafew</p><p>hundredmen,whotookrefugeatDutchbatheadquartersinPotoari,whichisjustnorthof</p><p>Srebrenica.Weactuallyhaveanoverheadreconnaissancephotographofthesceneat</p><p>PotoarionJuly12at2:00p.m.Anotherreconnaissancephotograph,thefollowingday,July</p><p>13,showsalineofbusesoutsidetheUNbase,afewhundredmetersdowntheroad.1Aswe</p><p>nowknow,Mladiallowedthewomenandchildrentoenterthebuses,fortransportation</p><p>1TheJuly12-14photographswereprobablytakenbylow-flyingNATOreconnaissanceaircraftsearchingforDutchbatsoldiersseizedbytheRSAashostages.LaterphotographsweretakenbyAmericanU-2spyplanes,covering30squarekilometersofterritory.</p></li><li><p>4-3</p><p>toBosniangovernmentpositions,buttookthemenawayforscreeningforallegedwar</p><p>criminals.</p><p>Potoari,July13,1995,USgovernmentphoto</p><p>WealsohaveaJuly11document[sentat6:27p.m.localtime]withinstructionsto</p><p>ColonelKarremansfromGeneralHervGobilliard,whowasactingUNPROFORcommander</p><p>inSarajevointheabsenceofGeneralSmith.2Hisinstructionsare:"Concentrateyourforces</p><p>intothePotoariCamp,includingwithdrawalofyourOPs.Takeallreasonablemeasuresto</p><p>protectrefugeesandciviliansinyourcare."Priortothathesaid,"Enterintolocal</p><p>negotiationswithBSAforcesforimmediateceasefire."</p><p>WealsohaveareportdatedJuly12fromColonelKarremansinwhichherepliesto</p><p>thepointsmadebyGeneralGobilliard.3Bythistime,hehasmettwicewithGeneralMladi</p><p>2GobilliardtoSectorNE(Info:CODutchbat),"OrdersfordefenceofDutchbatandprotectionofrefugeesinSrebrenica,July11,1995.3KarremanstoJanvier,MeetingwithGenMladion11and12July1995,DutchbatCompoundPotoari,TK95114,July12,1995.</p></li><li><p>4-4</p><p>attheHotelFontanadowntheroadinBratunac.Heisreportingonwhathecalls"a</p><p>catastrophicsequenceofeventsthathewitnessedandhisdirecttalkswithMladi.He</p><p>basicallysaysthatheisunabletocarryoutGobilliardsinstructions.Hestates,"Thereare</p><p>morethan15,000peoplewithinonesquarekilometer,includingDutchbat,in"anextreme</p><p>vulnerableposition:thesittingduckposition.Headdsthatheisnotabletodefendthese</p><p>people,"ordefendhisownbattalion.Thereareheavygunsallaroundthecompound,</p><p>withindirectsightofthecompound.4ColonelKarremans,youhadthemisfortuneofbeing</p><p>thrustintotheseveryone-sidedtalkswithMladi.Couldyougiveusyourimpressionsof</p><p>himandthechoicesyoufacedfollowingthefalloftheenclave?</p><p>THOMKARREMANS:Sure.WeallknowwhathappenedbetweenJuly6and11.We</p><p>discussedthatyesterdayandthismorning.AsIsaidbefore,thiswasawar.Allofasudden,</p><p>it'soverandyouareconfrontedwith25,000refugees.Somebodyaskedmesomeyearsago,</p><p>Whydidn'tyoutakealltherefugeesinyourcamp?Thatwasimpossible.Youcan'tput</p><p>25,000refugeesonafewsquaremeters.5Alotofthingshappenedvery,veryfast.Youhad</p><p>tomakemanydecisionswithinashrunkenbattalionstaff.Thereishardlyanytimetothink</p><p>aboutthedecisionsyouhavetotake.Youtakedecisionsinsplitseconds.Sometimes,the</p><p>decisionswerenotgood,ornotwellthoughtout,butwefeltthatmostofthedecisionswe</p><p>tookwerecorrect.</p><p>WhenIwasaskedtostartnegotiations[withtheBosnianSerbs],Iaskedwhether</p><p>somebodyonamuchhigherlevelcanconductthesenegotiations?6Icouldconduct</p><p>negotiationsbutaftersixdayswithnosleep,nodrink,nofood,negotiatingwiththelocal</p><p>authorities,runningmyownbattalion,Iwasnotinthemoodtostartnegotiations,tobe</p><p>honest.Iaskedforsomeonehigheruptonegotiate,butgotnoanswer,soIwentto</p><p>4AccordingtotheKarremansJuly12cable,Mladihaddeployedtwoartillerypieces,twotanks,threemultiplelaunchrocketsystems,andoneanti-aircraftgunwithin"directsight"oftheDutchbatcompound.5AccordingtotheKarremansJuly12cable,therewereabout2,500refugeesinsidetheDutchbatcompoundatPotoari,andafurther15,000refugees"inthedirectvicinity.6OnJuly12,Akashiappointedajointcivilian-militaryteamledbyUNcivilaffairsofficialKenBiserandUNPROFORchiefofstaff,Gen.KeesNicolai,totraveltoSrebrenicatomanagethecrisis.SeeAkashitoAnnan,SituationinSrebrenica,UNPROFORZ-1142,July12,1995,paragraph7.GeneralSmithagreedthatCODutchbatshouldnotnegotiatewithMladibyhimselfashewastalkingfromthejail.SeeRupertSmith,AftermathofFallofSrebrenica,July13,1995,paragraph4.Henoted,however,thattheSerbswererefusingtodealwithHQUNPROFOR,inSarajevo,anditseemsHQUNPFinZagreb.</p></li><li><p>4-5</p><p>Bratunac,thesmallcityoutsidetheenclave.OnmywaytotheFontanahotelinBratunac,I</p><p>wassittinginmyvehiclethinkingaboutwhatIshouldsay.ThenIsaw,totheleftandright</p><p>oftheroad,thosemortarplatoons.WhenIarrivedatthehotel,IexpectedGeneral</p><p>ivanovi,theCommanderoftheDrinaCorps,orhissuccessor,GeneralKrsti.Ihadnever</p><p>seenMladibeforeinmylifeandtherehewas.Noweverybodyhasseenthepictures.I</p><p>wouldnotliketoexpandonthat,becauseitwasnotapleasantsituationformeeither,I</p><p>mustsay.7</p><p>Imentionthewordrefugeesseveraltimesinthisdocument.ItoldMladiseveral</p><p>timesthatIwastheretomakegoodarrangementsfortherefugees.Imaginethatthereare</p><p>about5,000refugeesinside,andabout20,000outside,thecompound.Wehadalready</p><p>foreseenthehumanitariandisasterthatwasemerging.Wehadnomedicinestodealwith</p><p>that.Ihad110severelywoundedpersonsonthecompound.MythoughtwasthatIcannot</p><p>startnegotiatinginamilitarysense,butIcantrytomakearrangementsforthewounded</p><p>andforthepopulation.Inthebeginning,hedidn'tlisten,butthesecondtimeIwasthere,</p><p>[at11:00p.m.],hestartedlistening.</p><p>Itwasmoreorlessaone-directionconversation.Hewasorderingratherthan</p><p>asking.ThatiswhatIcanrememberfromthosetwotalksintheevening.Thenextmorning</p><p>Iwentforthethirdtimewiththreepeoplerepresentingtherefugees,onewomanandtwo</p><p>men.Theywereabletoexplainwhatwasgoingonfromtheirperspective.</p><p>MICHAELDOBBS:Mladitoldthemthattheyhadachoice,tosurvive,stay,orvanish.8It</p><p>wasagreedthattherewouldbeanevacuation.Thelocalpeoplesaidtheywantedtobe</p><p>evacuated,butanimportantquestionarose:whowouldorganizetheevacuation?Wouldit</p><p>betheUNthatorganizedtheevacuation?OrwouldMladiorganizetheevacuationhimself?</p><p>AtonepointitseemedthatUNPROFORwouldorganizetheevacuationinwhichcasethere</p><p>presumablywouldnothavebeenaseparationofmenandwomen.Butitturnedoutthatit</p><p>7KarremansheldthreemeetingswithMladiattheHotelFontanaatBratunac,atapproximately8:00p.m.and11:00p.m.onJuly11,and10:00a.m.onJuly12.ABosnianSerbcameramantookvideoofthemeetings,whichwasthentranscribedbyICTYresearchers,becomingpartofaSrebrenicatrialvideo.KarremanswasjoinedbyMuslimrepresentativesforthesecondandthirdmeetings.8SecondFontanameeting.AtthefirstFontanameeting,MladitoldKarremansthathedidnotwanttosendUNPROFORpeacekeepersbackhomeincoffins.</p></li><li><p>4-6</p><p>wasMladiwhobroughtthebusesandMladiwhocontrolledtheevacuation.9Canyoutell</p><p>ushowitendedupthatMladiwasallowedtoorganizetheevacuation?</p><p>KEESNICOLAI:Icansaysomethingaboutthat.Immediatelyafterwestoppedtheair</p><p>attacks,werealizedtheterriblesituationoftherefugees.Weknewwehadtodosomething</p><p>aboutthat.Afteradiscussionthatlastedtenminutesorso,weweresurethatournext</p><p>missionwouldbetoevacuatethecivilianpopulationtoasafeareawheretheycouldbe</p><p>treated.Therewasnowater,nofood,andnomedicinefortheminSrebrenica,asColonel</p><p>Karremanshasdescribed.Moreover,itwasverydangerous.Therefugeeswere</p><p>unprotected,intheopenair.Thesituationcouldchangeatanymoment.</p><p>Itwasclearthattheyhadtoberemovedfromthatplaceassoonaspossible.Soon</p><p>afterwards,IhadatelephonecallwithourMinisterofDefense.Itoldhimthatwehad</p><p>decidedtostartnegotiationstoarrangeanevacuation.Heagreedimmediately,sothere</p><p>wassupportforourdecisionfromTheHague.Aroundthesametime,Ihadashort</p><p>telephonecallwithMr.Muratovi[theBosnianministerresponsibleforrelationswith</p><p>UNPROFOR].Hewasveryupsetthatwehadstoppedtheairstrikes.Hesaidthatwas</p><p>contrarytoourmission,butweexplainedthatwecouldnotdoanythingelseduetothe</p><p>situationinwhichtheciviliansfoundthemselves.</p><p>Shortlyafterwards,IcontactedColonelKarremanstoorderhimtostartnegotiations</p><p>withthelocalSerbauthorities.Atthatmoment,IwasnotawarethatMladiwasthere.The</p><p>firstprioritywastogettherefugeesout.Eventswentinadirectiondifferenttotheonewe</p><p>hadplanned.WeweretakenbysurprisethefollowingdaybyMladiwhenthebuses</p><p>arrivedaroundnoon.Theevacuationstartedearlierthanweplanned.Arrangingtransport</p><p>shouldnothavebeenaproblemforusbutitwasnecessaryforUNPROFORtoask</p><p>permissionfromtheBosnianSerbstoentertheirterritory,whatroutewecoulduse,andso</p><p>on.</p><p>9MladiannouncedthathewouldprovidethebusesfortheevacuationatthethirdHotelFontanameetingat1000onJuly12.Thebusesarrivedinfrontofthecompoundaround1:00p.m.onJuly12.AccordingtotheDecember2012ICTYjudgmentinthecaseofGeneralZdravkoTolimir,MladihadissuedanoralorderrequisitioningthebuseslateontheeveningofJuly11.Inaninterceptedconversationat1250onJuly12discoveredbyICTYinvestigators,Mladicloselymonitoredthedispatchofbuses.Wellevacuatethemall,hetoldasubordinate.Thosewhowantto[go]andthosewhodontwantto.</p></li><li><p>4-7</p><p>ItseemsthatMladihadforeseenwhatwouldhappenandarrangedbusesoneor</p><p>twodaysbefore.Therewasonlyoneoptionleftforus,whichwastosendpeacekeepersin</p><p>jeepsoronthebusestocontroltheevacuations.Thiswasnotasuccess.Manyjeepswere</p><p>stoppedalongthewayandstolen.Theattempttocontroltheevacuationfailedinmany</p><p>respects.Itwasmorelikeadeportationthananevacuation.</p><p>MICHAELDOBBS:Therewaslittleyoucoulddotoinfluencethewayittookplace?</p><p>THOMKARREMANS:I'dliketoaddsomethingonthat.Thingswentsofast.Wewereall</p><p>astonishedseeallofthosetrucksandbusesthenextdayalready.InmytalkswithGeneral</p><p>MladiIhadgivenhimasequenceofevents,beginningwithevacuationofthewounded,</p><p>sayingwewerealsorelyingontheRedCross.Obviouslyhedidn'tlisten.Ihavealwayssaid</p><p>thatthiswasapre-plannedoperationfromhisside.Youarenotabletoorganizesomany</p><p>busesandvehicleswithinacoupleofhours.Hedidn'tgiveusthechancetomakeproper</p><p>arrangements.</p><p>Ontheotherhand,asGeneralNicolaisaid,therewasanurgentneedtodo</p><p>somethingforthepeople.Therewasnofoodforthem,therewasnoshelterforthem.</p><p>Peoplehadhungthemselves,givenbirths.Itwaslikeavillageof25,000peopleallpacked</p><p>together.Istillseethesethingsinmymind.Inthissituation,youhavetotakesome</p><p>decisions.Everythingwentsofastwiththedeportationofthelocals.</p><p>Onelastthing:Isenttwoofficerswiththefirstconvoyofbuses.Theymanagedto</p><p>reachTuzlaandwenttoseeColonelBrantz.ColonelBrantzphonedmeandsaid,Yourtwo</p><p>officersarehere,they'veseensomethingsalongtheway,butyoucan'tseeeverything</p><p>whentherearefortybusesbehindyou.Thentheysuggestedputtingasoldieronevery</p><p>bus,butIhadalmostnosoldiersleft.Wesaid,Okay,wewillsendoneortwojeepswith</p><p>everyconvoy.Theywereallstolenontheway.IaskedMladilaterwhathappenedwith</p><p>thosevehicles.Hesaid,"Idon'tknow.Therearedifferentgroupsofparamilitarywho</p><p>grabbedthemandstolethem."Isaid,"Youknowbetter."Thatwasnotanoptioneither.</p><p>ThenIsentsomevehiclestofacilitatethecommunicationbetweenPotoariandKladanj</p></li><li><p>4-8</p><p>[transferpointbetweenSerbandMuslim-controlledterritory]forcommunications.All</p><p>thosevehicleswerealsostolen.10</p><p>MICHAELDOBBS:Mladiinsistedthattherefugeesbescreenedforpossiblewarcriminals.</p><p>Hesaidthemencouldnotgowiththewomenandchildrenbecausetherewereallegedly</p><p>warcriminalsamongthemandheneededtoscreenthem.Wasthereapossibilityof</p><p>influencinghimonthatquestion?</p><p>THOMKARREMANS:HefirstaskedmeifIcoulddeliverthelocalmilitaryandcivilian</p><p>authoritiestohim.Isaid,Theyrenotthereandiftheywerehere,Idon'tdothat.Hethen</p><p>saidthathewantedtoscreenthemenandlookforwarcriminals.11Weallknowwhat</p><p>happenedoutsidethesafearea.Inwars,youshouldbepermittedtoasksomeone,whathe</p><p>didduringthewar,butitisnotpermittedistokillthem.Thatiswhathappened.</p><p>MICHAELDOBBS:Andyoudidn'tthinkthatwasapossibility?</p><p>THOMKARREMANS:Notatthatmoment.Also,therewerenotsomanymenleftImustsay.</p><p>Thereweresomeinthecompound.Weknowthatamountbecausetheirnameswereput</p><p>onthepieceofpaper.12Thevastmajorityofthemenoutsidethecompoundwerealready</p><p>ontheirwaytoTuzla.</p><p>TOMBLANTON:Muhamed?</p><p>MUHAMEDDURAKOVI:Justtoclarify,thenumberofthemeninsidethecompoundin</p><p>Potoaridoesnotreallyrepresentthenumberofmenwhowereseparatedandtakento</p><p>differentexecutionsites.13Weknowthisthroughthere-tracingofthemassgraves.We</p><p>10SeealsoNetherlandsMinistryofDefense,ReportbasedonthedebriefingonSrebrenica,October4,1995.AccordingtotheDutchbatdebrief,itprovedvirtuallyimpossibletoprovideproperescortsfortheconvoys.11AccordingtotheDutchbatdebrief,Mladiannouncedthatable-bodiedmenweretobescreenedforpossibleinvolvementinwarcrimesatthethirdFontanahotelmeetingonJuly2.Hesaidthattheevacuationofthewomanandchildrenandwoundedwouldstartat1300.12AccordingtotheDutchbatdebrief,themalerefugeesdrewupalistof239menoffightingagewhohadtakenrefugeonthecompound,withtheintentionofsubmittingittotheICRC.Atleast60menrefusedtoberegistered.13BosnianSerbforcesrefusedtoallowMuslimmengatheredoutsidethecompoundtoboardthebuses.Mostofthemenwhoneverthelessmanagedtoboardthebuseswereremovedbeforethebusesreachedgovernment-</p></li><li><p>4-9</p><p>knowwhichexecutionsitewasusedforthemenfromPotoari,whichsitewasusedforthe</p><p>peoplecapturedinCerska,andsoon.Basedontheassessmentthatwewereabletomake,</p><p>alittleover2,000menwereseparatedinPotoariandtakentodifferentexecutionsites.</p><p>MICHAELDOBBS:Wasitasmanyas2,000?</p><p>MUHAMEDDURAKOVI:Yes.Ifyoutakethenumberof8,000plus[totaldisappeared],out</p><p>ofthis8,000pluspeople,around2,000camefromPotoariandaround6,000camefrom</p><p>thewoods.</p><p>MICHAELDOBBS:Right,butthereweretwogroupsinPotoari.Therewasagroupof</p><p>aroundthreehundredinsidetheDutchbatbase.TheotherswereoutsidetheDutchbat</p><p>base.</p><p>MUHAMEDDURAKOVI:That'sexactlywhatweagreeabout.You'retalkingaboutthe</p><p>numberofthepeoplewithinthefenceoftheDutchcompound.You'renottalkingabout</p><p>20,000civiliansoutsideofthefenceofthecompound,andamongthese20,000thereisat</p><p>least1,500peoplewhohavebeenseparatedandtakentoexecutionsites.</p><p>TOMBLANTON:ZeidjustshowedmetheprosecutorsopeningstatementintheMladitrial</p><p>ontheothersideoftown,inwhichhearguesthatMladidecidedonthemassexecutions</p><p>onthenightofJuly11,apparentlyinbetweenthetwomeetingswithColonelKarremans.</p><p>Zeid,couldyouquicklysummarizewhattheprosecutionbelieves,basedontheevidence</p><p>theyaccumulated.Itreinforcesthesensewehaveofthedecision-makingonSrebrenicaas</p><p>aconstantpush,lackofreaction,pushmore,lackofreaction.Itisarollingdecisionmodel</p><p>thatispertinenttothelessonswedrawfromSrebrenicaandwhenitispossibletopush</p><p>back.</p><p>controlledterritory.Muslimmalesweredetainedintheso-calledwhitehouseinPotoari,andtakentoexecutionsitesviaBratunac.</p></li><li><p>4-10</p><p>ZEIDRA'ADALHUSSEIN:Youareabsolutelyright.TheprosecutorintheMladicase,...</p></li></ul>