News 09 Oct 12

Mladic’s Behaviour Was Bombastic, UN Official Says

The Bosniaks and Bosnian Serbs both targeted civilian infrastructure in Bosnia to provoke retaliatory attacks, says a former UNPROFOR official.

Marija Ristic
BIRN
Belgrade
Pyers Tucker, former UNPROFOR official

The trial of the former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic continued on Tuesday with the cross examination of Pyers Tucker, a former British Army officer, who was an assistant to Philippe Morillion, the commander of UN special forces, UNPROFOR, during the war in Bosnia.

Tucker said that the Bosniaks attacked various targets across the city of Sarajevo as a way to provoke the international community into acting against the Bosnian Serbs.

“The goal of the Bosnian Muslims was to provoke the Serbs [to attack civilian targets] in order to force NATO to act in Bosnia,” said Tucker.

Tucker explained that all the information he had regarding the plans of the Bosnian Serb came from either Radovan Karadzic, the former political leader of the Bosnian Serbs, who is also an ICTY defendant, or Ratko Mladic.

He met Mladic several times during the war, and described his behaviour as “bombastic”.

Tucker said that there were a few occasions when the Bosnian Serb leadership acted to ensure that humanitarian aid got through to the Bosniaks.  On those occasions they kept quiet about the crimes committed by Bosniaks against Serbs, as they feared that the local Serbs would stop the aid reaching the Bosniaks, he explained.

The former UNPROFOR official also recalled meeting a former British army major after the war who investigated the attack on the Markale market in Sarajevo in 1995,  and who claimed that the shooting  “came from Muslim positions.”

Tucker, however, could not recall the major’s name.

On Monday, Tucker testified that the shelling of Sarajevo from the positions of the Bosnian Serb forces was aimed at “terrorizing and intimidating” the local population.

Mladic, who was arrested in May of last year, pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war during the Bosnian conflict between 1992 and 1995.

He is charged with genocide in Srebrenica in 1995 and seven other Bosnian municipalities in 1992.

Mladic is also charged with the expulsion of Bosniaks and Croats from municipalities under the control of the Bosnian Serbs, terrorizing Sarajevo citizens with a campaign of shelling and sniping and taking international soldiers as hostages in 1995.

The trial will resume on October 10.

 

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Background

Srebrenica: Genocide Reconstructed

In July 1995 Srebrenica was shelled and occupied by the Army of Republic of Srpska,VRS, despite being declared a protected area by the United Nations. More than 7,000 people were killed, the victims of genocide.

War in Bosnia

Key dates and events in the Bosnia war.

Ratko Mladic: The Force Behind the Srebrenica Killings

The Bosnian Serb commander’s role in the genocide committed in Srebrenica is described in detail in many indictments and verdicts pronounced before local and international judicial institutions.

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