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video / 2012


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In July 1995 the troops of General Ratko Mladic seized 40 peacekeepers of the UN Dutchbat battalion present in Potocari, outside Srebrenica (Bosnia i Herzegovina). Resolution 819 of the Security Council had previously established Srebrenica as the first United Nations 'safe area' in history. Tens of thousands of Muslims took refuge in it. For three years, Bosnian Serb troops tried to gain control of the city without success, however in July 1995 they finally forced the UN Blue Beret peacekeepers out of the city. The UNPROFOR's decision to limit retaliation against the Serbs (in order to ensure the well-being of the captured peacekeepers and French hostages) left around 30,000 Muslims in Srebenica in danger.

Over three days, the troops of General Mladic separated refugee women and men living in the safe area, sending the women to the Muslim area on buses. The men were killed in what is now known as the Srebrenica massacre.

This event, as well as the shelling of Markale market in Sarajevo, were used to justify military intervention by NATO to "prevent the slaughter of Muslims in Bosnia."

Following the intervention and the subsequent end of the Bosnian War, the European Union, which was deaf to the demands of the Muslim community of Bosnia i Herzegovina during the war, again turned away from the area. Billions in reconstruction aid to Croatia came with the clear intention of recovering the Adriatic coast for German and Italian tourism. However, in the newly created state of Bosnia, there was no aid. To this day, the country remains plagued by minefields and fires are not put out until they threaten to detonate mines near inhabited areas.

Until 2012, Bosnians could not enter the EU without a visa. To recognise the European status of Bosnian Muslims calls into question the concept of a white Christian Europe where the supposed European unit is based on.


Archive images: Trnovo
Audio: Call to prayer in Srebrenica
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