Home > srebrenica massacre > CHEMICAL WEAPONS WERE USED AGAINST SREBRENICA & ZEPA CIVILIANS, ACCORDING TO EYEWITNESS TESTIMONIES

CHEMICAL WEAPONS WERE USED AGAINST SREBRENICA & ZEPA CIVILIANS, ACCORDING TO EYEWITNESS TESTIMONIES

July 4, 2008
DID YOU KNOW? In a Report dated July 21 1995, the Bosnian Serb General Zdravko Tolimir proposed use of Chemical Weapons to strike refugee columns..

Those who survived Srebrenica genocide and vicious attacks against them “…described mortar shells that produced a strange smoke, one that spread out slowly.”

Survivors testified that some people then began to hallucinate and act irrationally, killing themselves or their friends. Human Rights Watch believed the chemical used was B-Z, a non-lethal agent that incapacitates people. B-Z is a chemical the army of the former Yugoslavia possessed. (Source: Federation of American Scientists) At that time, the evidence remained “inconclusive” due to inability of Human Rights Watch to properly test the samples.


However, in 1995, a team of the U.S. Defense Department experts interviewed a number of Srebrenica survivors in the summer of 1996, and concluded that their accounts supported allegations of the use of chemical incapacitants. The conclusion was deemed highly significant by the department. This information was sent up the chain of command. In late 1996, the U.S. intelligence community had information that chemical weapons may have been used in Srebrenica. A large investigation, which included physical sampling, was undertaken in late 1996 or early 1997 by the U.S. Government. The results of this investigation are not known to us.


One official told Human Rights Watch in December 1996 that ”we do not see an advantage in declassifying those documents relating to chemical weapons use in Bosnia. We have spoken with people and received assurances that other channels are being pursued that we believe would be more effective and achieve a more favorable outcome than simply publicizing theme.” That is where it’s been left. (Source: The 1998 U.S. Congressional Hearing on Srebrenica Genocide)


In 2006 opening statements, the U.N. Prosecutor McCloskey stated that “criminal orders in war are as a rule issued verbally”, and that a few exceptions existed to the rule. One of the most striking ones is a report sent on 21 July 1995 by Serb General Zdravko Tolimir from Zepa to General Radomir Miletic, acting Chief of General Staff of the VRS (Bosnian Serb Army). Tolimir is asking for help to crush some Bosnian Army strongholds, expressing his view that “the best way to do it would be to use chemical weapons”. In the same report, Chemical Tolimir goes even further,proposing strikes against refugee columns leaving Zepa, because that would “force the Muslim fighters to surrender quickly”, in his opinion. (Source: SENSE Tribunal, 2006.)

The total Yugoslav chemical weapons arsenal contained sarin, mustard gas, BZ, and the tear gases CN and CS (all in large quantities), together with quite traditional products such as phosgene, chlorine picric acid, cyanogen chloride, adamsite, lewisite, and other materials, often only in laboratory quantities. (Source: Federation of American Scientists)
  1. Owen
    July 5, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Human Rights Watch report, November 1998

    CHEMICAL WARFARE IN BOSNIA?
    The Strange Experiences of the Srebrenica Survivors

    http://www.hrw.org/reports98/bosniacw/index.html

  2. Owen
    July 5, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    DATE=11/19/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241907
    TITLE=SERBS / CHEMICAL WEAPONS (L ONLY)
    BYLINE=LAUREN COMITEAU
    DATELINE=THE HAGUE
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP HAS CALLED ON INVESTIGATORS AT THE
    YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL TO LOOK INTO CHARGES THAT SERBS USED
    CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST MUSLIMS DURING THE BOSNIAN WAR. LAUREN
    COMITEAU REPORTS FROM THE HAGUE.

    TEXT: IN ITS REPORT RELEASED THURSDAY, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SAYS
    IT DOES NOT HAVE CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE THAT CHEMICALS WERE USED
    — SUCH AS PHYSICAL TRACES IN SHELLS OR CLOTHING. THE GROUP SAYS
    IT NEEDS INTERNATIONAL HELP TO PROVE THAT SERBS USED CHEMICAL
    WEAPONS AGAINST BOSNIAN MUSLIMS WHO WERE TRYING TO FLEE
    SREBRENICA.

    THE SO-CALLED U-N SAFE-HAVEN OF SREBRENICA WAS OVERRUN BY SERBS
    IN 1995. THOUSANDS OF MUSLIM MEN AND BOYS ARE STILL MISSING AND
    BELIEVED DEAD. THOUSANDS OF OTHERS WERE FORCED TO FLEE.

    AFTER TALKING TO ABOUT 35 SREBRENICA SURVIVORS — AS WELL AS TO
    INTERNATIONAL WORKERS IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA — HUMAN RIGHTS
    WATCH SAYS IT BELIEVES THERE IS ENOUGH CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE TO
    WARRANT FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

    SPECIFICALLY, IT SAYS, THOSE WHO SURVIVED SERB ATTACKS
    CONSISTENTLY DESCRIBED MORTAR SHELLS THAT PRODUCED A STRANGE
    SMOKE, ONE THAT SPREAD OUT SLOWLY. SURVIVORS SAY THAT SOME
    PEOPLE THEN BEGAN TO HALLUCINATE AND ACT IRRATIONALLY, KILLING
    THEMSELVES OR THEIR FRIENDS.

    HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SAYS IT BELIEVES THE CHEMICAL USED WAS B-Z —
    A NON-LETHAL AGENT THAT INCAPACITATES PEOPLE. IT IS A CHEMICAL
    THE GROUP SAYS THE ARMY OF THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA POSSESSED.

    IN ITS EFFORTS TO PUT PRESSURE ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO
    DO ITS OWN INVESTIGATIONS, REPRESENTATIVES OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
    MET THIS WEEK WITH DUTCH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, CHEMICAL WEAPONS
    EXPERTS, AND INVESTIGATORS FROM THE YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL.

    A TRIBUNAL SPOKESMAN SAID INVESTIGATORS WOULD LOOK INTO THE
    INFORMATION AS IT RELATES TO AN ON-GOING INVESTIGATION. TRIBUNAL
    INVESTIGATORS HAVE BEEN EXHUMING MASS GRAVES WHERE SREBRENICA’S
    VICTIMS ARE BURIED, GIVING THEM ACCESS TO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE THAT
    HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH DOES NOT HAVE.

    A HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPRESENTATIVE SAID HE IS MORE OPTIMISTIC
    NOW. HE SAYS THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OWES IT TO SREBRENICA’S
    VICTIMS TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF CHEMICALS WEAPONS USE.
    (SIGNED)

    NEB/LC/JWH

    19-Nov-98 12:53 PM EST (1753 UTC)
    NNNN

    Source: Voice of America

    http://www.fas.org/news/serbia/981119-cw.htm

  3. Owen
    July 5, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Yugoslavia Has Long-Standing Poison Gas Program
    by Karel Knip
    Rotterdam NRC Handelsblad 24 Apr 99 pp 1, 5

    http://www.fas.org/news/serbia/fbis-weu-1999-0426.htm

  4. Owen
    July 5, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Hay, Alastair. Surviving the Impossible: The Long March from Srebrenica. An Investigation of the Possible Use of Chemical Warfare Agents. Medicine, Conflict and Survival 14:120-155 April-June 1998.

    [no URL]

  5. Owen
    July 5, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    NTI website

    Country profile: Yugoslavia
    Chemical Chronology 1990-1995

    http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/Yugoslavia/Chemical/4000_5046.html

  6. Owen
    July 5, 2008 at 10:36 pm
  7. ASluiter
    July 7, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Just want to let everyone know about 2 good events planned to commemorate the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide:

    1. Thursday, July 10, 2008
    6 PM
    Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina
    2109 E Street, NW
    Washington, D.C. 20037 USA

    There will be a reception to open a photo exhibit called “Srebrenica: Remembering for the Future”

    2. Saturday, July 12, 2008
    12-4 PM
    RACCOON: Balkans Reconciliation and Culture Cooperative Network
    43-32 22nd Street, Suite (buzzer) 301 in Long Island City, between 43th and 44th Avenue
    E, V subway to 23rd Street, Ely Avenue
    o n e subway stop away from Manhattan
    The Srebrenica Memorial Quilt will be shown and a commemoration will take place
    RSVP/call for more information: 646-275-2142

  8. Anonymous
    July 9, 2008 at 4:59 am

    Hello,

    I think we were in touch before, and you had a link to Balkan Witness http://www.glypx.com/balkanwitness . I don’t see one now – could you add it?
    Thanks, Roger – editor

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