Jezik / Language:
23 February 2011

Pelemis and Peric: Army Operations in Srebrenica


At the trial for genocide in Srebrenica, a Defence expert witness says that the Srebrenica enclave was not demilitarized in 1995, adding that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina “conducted military operations from it”.

Stefan Karganovic, founder of the Historical Project in Srebrenica, an NGO, testified as an expert witness in defence of Slavko Peric. He presented his findings and opinion about the events in July 1995. He said that the “armed and active 28th Division of the Second Corps with the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina” operated within the protected enclave.

“All competent statements given by survivors say that a column consisting of between 10 and 15 thousand members of the 28th Division and civilians gathered in Susnjari village on July 11, 1995, after the Serbian forces had begun an attack on the Srebrenica enclave.

"Those people then traveled through the woods in order to get to the territories controlled by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Karganovic said.

The expert witness said that between one third and one half of the column consisted of armed people who moved in military formation.

“Many people in the column were killed over the course of the four following days. I do not think they tried to conduct any attacks, but they came across ambushes set up by the Republika Srpska Army, VRS. Many of them were killed in minefields in that area. The third big reason for the death of some of them were internal conflicts and suicide. I think that, according to a reasonable estimate, about 2,500 people died in that area,” Karganovic said.

The State Prosecution charges Slavko Peric, former Assistant Commander for Security with the First Battalion of VRS Zvornik Brigade, and Momir Pelemis, former Chief of Headquarters of that Battalion, with having participated in genocide committed in Srebrenica in July 1995.

The indictment alleges that Pelemis and Peric participated in a joint plan to permanently and forcibly remove the civilian Bosniak population from the Srebrenica protected enclave and capture, detain, summarily execute and bury able-bodied men.

Pelemis and Peric are charged with the murder of about 800 people on Branjevo military farm in the vicinity of Pilica village.

Expert witness Karganovic said that members of the 28th Division with the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who headed towards Tuzla on July 12, were “quite well armed and they maintained communication with the ABiH Second Corps based in Tuzla”.

“I am not sure if these forces had a military goal, besides reaching safe territory. However, the fact is that they pushed forward through the territories controlled by VRS, under the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps - Bratunac and Zvornik Brigades,” the expert witness said.

The next hearing is due to take place on Friday, February 25 this year.

comments powered by Disqus