SREBRENICA NUMBERS (QUICK FACTS)
DNA results of the International Commission on Missing Persons support an estimate of 8,100 Srebrenica genocide victims. So far, the identities of 6,186 genocide victims have been revealed by the DNA analysis. For more information and a source link,read here (as of July 11, 2009).
Kathryne Bomberger, the director general of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), “We can for the first time say that the 8,000—maybe more but certainly not less missing from Srebrenica is accurate. We can tell this based on the rate of blood-sample collection [DNA]. You have to collect at least three different family members’ blood samples for every missing person. The 85,000 blood samples [collected so far] accounts for 28,000 different individuals missing from the conflict. In 1999 we had hit a brick wall in making identifications—if there was no body there was no crime. After [former U.S. secretary of State] Madeleine Albright said [the United States] had satellite photos showing mass graves, the perpetrators went out and dug the bodies and moved them. We found one body in four different locations 50km [30 miles] apart.” (Source: Published by Newsweek on May 11th, 2007 –Digging Up the Secrets of the Dead.)
On June 21 2007, the Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo releasedthe results of the three year study compiling the largest database on Bosnian war victims in existence – the Bosnia’s Book of the Dead (covering period 1992-95). An international team of experts evaluated the findings before they were released.
The team worked for three years with thousands of sources, collecting 21 facts about each victim, including names, nationality, time and place of birth and death, circumstances of death and other data. The Book aimed to identify each single victim of the war and to prevent any type of manipulation of numbers. According to the research results, the breakdown of killed and missing in the Srebrenica region is the following:Bosniaks (94.58%): 6,565 civilians + 1,895 soldiers = 8,460
Important note: In a case of Srebrenica genocide, the research established that many genocide survivors requested that their family members be buried as soldiers, for various reasons although they died as civilians or as soldiers away from front lines. The most common reason for these requests was access to social support for families of killed soldiers. The evaluation indicates that such practices leadto over-reporting of soldiers and under-reporting of civilians; however, Srebrenica genocide POWs were victims of summary executions in violation of Geneva Convention.
Non-genocide war casualties around Srebrenica (from 1992-95):
– Serbs (5.37%): 151 civilians + 329 soldiers = 480
– Croats (0.02%): 1 civilian + 1 soldier = 2
– Others (0.03%): 3 civilians
“These results might be an extremely efficient tool in fighting myths, but only if there is a will in the society to deal with the past in terms of facts, not myths,” said Ewa Tabeau, who worked as a project manager in the demographic unit of the International Criminal Tribunal’s prosecution office. In this role, she studied the demographic consequences of conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, with a main focus on the number of victims during the wars in this region.
Patrick Ball, a member of the evaluation team who took part in the work of nine truth commission across the world, said the Bosnia’s “Book of the Dead” database “is better than any I worked with so far.”
Philip Verwimp, a researcher in the field of political economy in developing and post-war countries, human rights and genocide, and a statistician who has specialised on the war in Rwanda stated that the RDC’s database does not mean that work on determining the number of war victims in Bosnia is over.
The figures include both the missing and those who died due to military activities or torture. The project does not include people who died during the war in accidents, through reckless handling of weapons, due to starvation or lack of medication.
“What comes to mind are 12 babies that died in Banja Luka because the hospital had no oxygen or six civilians in Gorazde who died because an airdropped American humanitarian aid package fell right on them,” said Mirsad Tokaca, head of the research project. “Such cases were not counted as they are regarded indirect deaths.”
LATEST UPDATE: DNA results of the International Commission on Missing Persons support an estimate of 8,100 Srebrenica genocide victims. So far, the identities of 6,186 genocide victims have been revealed by the DNA analysis. For more information and a source link, read here (as of July 11, 2009).