The efficacy of the United Nations has long been a hot-button issue, particularly among US conservatives, but the entity’s shortcomings haven’t helped its cause.
Take the conflict in Bosnia in early- to mid-1990s: Srebrenica was a UN-protected area, but United Nations troops offered no resistance when Serbs overran the Muslim-majority town on this date 19 years ago, then rounded up and killed approximately 8,000 men and boys.
The slaughter was described as the worst crime on European soil since World War II.
Srebrenica had been attacked and besieged off and on for three years by the summer of 1995, as chaos reigned in many parts of the former Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War.
Although the UN had declared the enclave of Srebrenica in northeastern Bosnia a “safe area,” a United Nations Protection Force of 400 Dutch peacekeepers failed to prevent the Bosnian Serb army from attacking the town on July 6, 1995.
Three days later, emboldened in part by early successes and the absence of any significant reaction from the international community, the Serbs decided to press forward and take Srebrenica.
With the town’s residents weakened by siege, starvation and short on tools of resistance, Srebrenica fell quickly. Within a couple of days, the mass killings began.
Almost to a man, the thousands of Bosnian Muslims prisoners captured following the fall of Srebrenica were executed, according to the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia: Continue reading