NIOD Report on Srebrenica

December 6, 2011

In my previous articles ( “Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed” – Finally a Critical Documentary about Srebrenica Tragedy and Media War of Yugoslav Secession continues ) I covered issues which are challenging the “official” picture about Srebrenica massacre. As expected there is a heated debate in different forums about events itself and about right to show the other side of the story e.g in public broadcasting company channels. This debate however is cursorily twirling round persons and deadlock opinions, arguments rarely have some base on facts.

Fanatical, narrow minded and many times politically motivated debate is blind alley; many-sided picture about Srebrenica can be illustrated by applying more facts than feelings to discussion. Maybe the best and anyway the most comprehensive source to find not only details and facts but also scientific analysis about them is in my opinion so called NIOD-report.

NIOD Report on Srebrenica

In November 1996, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (then: Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie / Netherlands Institute for War Documentation ) was instructed by the Dutch Government to carry out a study of ‘the events prior to, during and after the fall of Srebrenica’. For the purposes of this independent historical analytical research, the Government undertook to do everything in its power to grant the NIOD researchers access to the source material at its disposal.

The NIOD Report on Srebrenica tragedy was published in 2002. So far the Report is the most comprehensive academic research and documentation about what really happened in Srebrenica not only in July of 1995 but also before tragedy. The Report describes on its some four thousand pages (yes, 4.000) also wider historical and political context around Srebrenica. The NIOD-report is generally regarded as a first-rate scientific work.

After this long introduction here below finally are links to different parts (in English) of this fundamental independent academic research –

The NIOD-report:


Critics especially from Bosnian Muslim side are complaining that Dutch NIOD Report is not as objective as they have expected it to be.  Critics of the NIOD Report allege it was the Netherland’s attempt to wash their hands of direct involvement in the Srebrenica massacre. Also the Report is said to be full of inaccuracies e.g with names and that report is too big, idex is poorly organised etc. There was nine NIOD-researchers and some found information unreliable sources while other found it reliable.

There is also suspicion that the report is made to order by the Dutch government. The background for this is the fact that the government were facing the prospect of a politically motivated parliamentary inquiry into the role and conduct of Dutch military personnel during their presence in the UN-protected Srebrenica enclave in 1994 and 1995.

The supporters – e.g. Noam Chomsky, Ed Herman and Diana Johnstone – of Niod-conclusions have also been labeled as genocide denials, revisionists or representatives of “leftist apologist wing” who pride themselves on being always on the opposite side of the mainstream media. (See e.g Srebrenica Genocide Blog)

An Excerpt: Media manipulation of Srebrenica

(Source: ISSA reports )

Former BBC journalist Jonathan Rooper, who has researched the events in Srebrenica since 1995, says that the region was a graveyard for Serbs as well as Muslims. He observed closely media manipulation during Bosnian War. Instead of acknowledging that there was no support for the original figures, Rooper says a various means were used to prop up the official story.

  • Spokesmen for the Clinton Administration suggested that Serbs might have moved the bodies to other locations. Rooper points out that excavating, transporting and reburying 7,000 bodies was “not only beyond the capabilities of the thinly-stretched, petrol-starved Bosnian Serb Army, but would have been easily detected under intense surveillance from satellites and geostationary drones”.
  • By 1998, thousands of bodies excavated from all across Bosnia were stored at the Tuzla airport. Despite state-of-the-art DNA testing, only 200 bodies have been linked to Srebrenica.
  • Around 3,000 names on a list of Srebrenica victims compiled by the Red Cross matched voters in the Bosnian election in 1996. “I pointed out to the OSCE that there had either been massive election fraud or almost half the people on the ICRC missing list were still alive,” says Rooper. “The OSCE finally responded that the voting lists had been locked away in warehouses and it would not be possible for them to investigate.”

The Bottom Line

“What happened in Srebrenica was not a single large massacre of Muslims by Serbs, but rather a series of very bloody attacks and counterattacks over a three year period.”

(Phillip Corwin, former UN Civilian Affairs Coordinator in Bosnia)

The the tragic events in Srebrenica in July of 1995 are actual and in headlines today and probably during coming years too. The cause from my perspective may be related to four aspects

1st the ICTY process is focusing now to main political figures – Karadzig and Mladic – of Bosnian War and evidences from sides of prosecutor and defence are the core content of trial

2nd every year Srebrenica will be remaind as theatrical funerals of Bosnian Muslims – presumable victims – are taking place.

3rd Bosnia-Herzegovina as an artifical creature is searching some national identity, however ethnic tensions are rather increasing than opposite and politics is more going towards dissolution than unity.

4th Srebrenica is an example of intervention, or R2P context as well modern media war used more or less successfully in conflicts around the world during last decades.

Further reading

To go deeper to Srebrenica problemacy I would recommend besides mentioned NIOD-report also following material:

Stephen Karganovic, Ed., Deconstruction of a Virtual Genocide: An Intelligent Person’s Guide To Srebrenica

United Nations Report on Srebrenica 15 November 1999.(note: to access the report, click on the LINK immediately below. You will be directed to a page where you can click on “CLICK HERE TO GET THE FULL TEXT OF THE REPORT”. You will be directed to another page where you can click on your languaqe preference, and the full report should download) LINK )

I also would like promote the work of Srebrenica Historical Project, which collects information on Srebrenica events.

Srebrenica Historical Project

( )

An excerpt from project’s mission statement:

Our broad purpose is to collect information on Srebrenica during the last conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, defined not as July 1995, but more broadly as 1992 to 1995. That means that we shall be creating a comprehensive and contextual, as opposed to a selective, record of the violence between the communities in that area during the conflict. We shall focus also on crimes committed against the Serb civilians not because we favor them but because so far they have been ignored. We wish to redress that balance, but we will not work under any ideological limitations. A corollary goal will be to launch something along the lines of the South African Truth and Reconciliation commission, with emphasis on truth as logically coming before and as a precondition to reconciliation. That is another reason we wish to do a great deal of empirical work on the neglected crimes against the Serbian population. We shall then proceed to explore reconciliations strategies. The fundamental objective of our project is to rise above politics and propaganda and to create a contextual record of the Srebrenica tragedy of July 1995 which can serve as a corrective to the distortions of the last decade and a half and as a genuine contribution to future peace.

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