Brcko massacre: 3,000 Bosniak Civilians Killed
US Details Genocide in Bosnia
New Straits Times
27 September 1992.
NEW YORK, Sat. — The United States believes that “as many as 3,000″ Muslim [Bosniak] men, women and children were killed in May and June at Serbian-run detention camps near the Bosnian town of Brcko, the New York Times reported yesterday.
Reports of mass killings in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been circulating since July, but Bush administration officials quoted by the newspaper in its editions today said this was the first time they had developed independent information corroborating such reports.
The newspaper said the new information is based on interviews with survivors and other intelligence sources.
Officials said they believed the Serbs took over Brcko in April, and roving bands of Serbs went through the town arresting and detaining Muslims.
According to some accounts, they said, as many as 50 Muslims were killed at a time. Some bodies were said to have been dumped in the Sava River, others buried in a mass grave and other bodies destroyed at a rendering plant, where animal remains are boiled to produce lard.
“We believe we have good information,” a senior administration official said. “It needs to be looked into some more and we are turning the information over to the UN Human Rights Commission for investigation. It leads to the conclusion that in various camps and detention centres in May and June as many as 3,000 people were killed.”
Earlier, Acting Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said yesterday that Washington believes there is broad support for its proposal to create a commission to probe war crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina and plans to move quickly to get it approved by the United Nations Security Council.
After five days of consultations with UN members here, “I haven’t heard any objections to it,” he said of a proposed resolution to establish the first such commission since the Nuremberg trials of World War Two.
Washington, in a move designed to intensify pressure on Serbia, formally submitted what it considers credible allegations of war crimes to the United Nations on Tuesday. It also said it was drafting a resolution to establish a commission to probe the charges and prosecute offenders if warranted.
As Eagleburger spoke, there were fresh reports of atrocities emerging from Bosnia, where war has taken thousands of lives since last spring.
Meanwhile, in Belgrade, Yugoslav peace envoys Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen said after visiting the Bosnian town of Banja Luka to investigate reports of ethnic atrocities that the first priority was to end the fighting.
“You come back to the basic thing: we’ve got to somehow reach an agreement on an end to hostilities,” Owen told a news conference in Zagreb after their brief trip yesterday to the town in the north of the former Yugoslav republic.
Vance, the special UN envoy in former Yugoslavia, briefly referred to reports that Serb troops killed 200 Muslim prisoners last month, saying “We’ve heard of that and there are indications that that may well be the case.”
Owen, the European Community’s envoy, speaking about reported cases of “ethnic cleansing”, said: “I believe we have concentrated world opinion once again on this practice that has got to stop throughout the whole area.”
In New York, Acting Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said there was broad support for a US proposal to create a war crimes commission on Bosnia-Herzegovina and Washington planned to move quickly to get it approved by the UN Security Council.