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The damning truth written on the pages of Document 3206: Srebrenica’s betrayal by UN ‘protectors’

October 1996: A document seen by Robert Fisk is a fearful reminder to the survivors of the western world’s betrayal

Friday 08 October 2021 21:30
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<p>A female refugee from the Serb-besieged Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica bursts into tears upon her arrival in Tuzla in March 1993 </p>

A female refugee from the Serb-besieged Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica bursts into tears upon her arrival in Tuzla in March 1993

The official orders to the United Nations’ Dutch battalion to protect the Muslim refugees of Srebrenica still exist. Marked “Most Immediate – Restricted”, and signed by General H Gobilliard, the acting commander of the UN’s “Protection Force” in Bosnia, they were sent to Colonel Tom Kerremans in the Serb-surrounded enclave at 18.27 hours on 11 July last year.

“Enter into local negotiations with BSA Bosnian Serb Army forces for immediate ceasefire,” Gobilliard ordered. “Giving up any weapons and military equipment is not authorised and is not a point of discussion.”

The document – File No 3206 in the official UN log, which has been obtained by The Independent – is a fearful reminder to the survivors of the western world’s betrayal. “Take all reasonable [sic] measures to protect refugees and civilians in your care,” the orders go on. “Continue with all possible means to defend your forces and installation from attack. This is to include the use of close air support if necessary. Be prepared to receive and coordinate delivery of medical and other relief supplies to refugees.”

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