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INDEPTH: WAR CRIMES
Bosnia
CBC News Online | 2004

Most of the early War Crimes Tribunal's indictments stemmed from the war in Bosnia. That conflict lasted almost four years and was horrifying in its ferocity.

In 1995, the small mining town of Srebrenica was an internationally designated safe haven under the protection of several hundred Dutch UN troops.

Bosnian Serb forces circled the troops and began shelling the town. They separated families and forced more than 20,000 people to flee.

Men from the town were taken to a large warehouse. Survivors say the Serbs opened fire, killing almost everyone in the building.

More than 8,000 Muslims are thought to have been massacred in Srebrenica.

Altogether, more than 200,000 people were killed in the Bosnian war, which ended in 1995. Under the Dayton Peace Accord signed in December that year, all parties were to hand over any indicted war criminals.

At first only the Bosnian Muslims complied. Then, in October 1997, the tribunal received a boost when 10 Croats also gave themselves up.

In February 1998, Canadian judge Louise Arbour made her frustration with the Belgrade authorities known, openly criticizing their unwillingness to turn in suspected Serbian war criminals.

A few days later, Miroslav Tadic and Milan Simic became the first Bosnian Serbs to surrender to the tribunal. The two were accused of setting up detention camps where Croats and Muslims were abused.

In another breakthrough for the tribunal, U.S. forces in northeast Bosnia arrested Gen. Radislav Krstic in December on charges of genocide. Gen. Krstic was accused of leading the bloody assault on Srebrenica.




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THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: Part One: From Nuremberg to Rome Part Two: Canada and the U.S.
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