Dáil Éireann - Volume 565 - 09 April, 2003
Written Answers. - Foreign Conflicts.
Mr. F. McGrath Mr. F. McGrath
171. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of UN troops present in Srebenica, Bosnia, on 11 July 1995; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10157/03]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): The Deputy's question refers to the atrocious attacks carried out on the Bosnian Muslim population in Srebrenica by the Bosnian Serb Army in July 1995 and specifically to the fall of Srebrenica on  11 July 1995, following which thousands of Muslims, mostly men and boys, were brutally massacred. A contingent of 200 peacekeepers from the 600-strong Netherlands contingent in the United Nations Protection Force was unable to prevent the enclave falling into the hands of the Bosnian Serb forces and to protect its population.
The actions of the Bosnian Serb forces were universally condemned, including by all parties in Dáil Éireann and by the European Union. They led to renewed determination on the part of the international community to protect the Bosnian Muslim population and to bring the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina to an end.
The failure to protect the civilian population in the UN-designated safe areas prompted a call in the United Nations General Assembly for a comprehensive report. Secretary General Annan issued a report on 15 November 1999, entitled “The Fall of Srebrenica”, which examined the whole question of the safe havens in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the circumstances whereby the United Nations Protection Force was unable to protect the Srebrenica enclave and its population. The report drew a series of lessons for the future, to ensure that such events will never occur again.
It is a matter of regret to the Government that those accused of primary responsibility for the massacre, the Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadic and Ratko Mladic, have not yet been apprehended and brought before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Dáil Éireann 565 Written Answers. Foreign Conflicts.