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Thursday, 29 November, 2001, 23:54 GMT
France criticises UN on Srebrenica
Bosnian Muslim women at a service for victims of the Srebrenica massacre
More than 7,000 Bosnian Muslims were massacred
James Coomarasamy

A French parliamentary report on the massacre at Srebrenica has criticised the UN for its policy in Bosnia.

However, it said there is no evidence that the French UN general in the region did a deal with Bosnian Serbs which lead to the massacre.

More than 7,000 Bosnian Muslims were executed in Srebrenica in one of the worst massacres in modern history, when Serbian forces entered what was a UN safe haven, guarded by Dutch UN peacekeepers.

After 10 months investigating who was responsible for the Srebrenica massacre, the French commission has produced a document of more than 1,000 pages.

Questions

One of the most pressing questions has been why the French general in charge of UN forces, Bernard Janvier, failed to call for early airstrikes to protect the town.

Bosnian Muslim women by a monument to the Srebrenican massacre
The report is highly critical of UN policy in Bosnia

Over the years there have been allegations he did a deal with the Bosnian Serbs, allowing them to enter Srebrenica in return for the liberation of UN troops who were being held by Serbs.

The report concludes there is no evidence of such a deal, but it does accuse the general of committing errors.

It is also highly critical of UN policy in Bosnia, and of the Dutch soldiers who failed to offer adequate resistance.

When it comes to political responsibilities, however, the authors of the report are divided.

While the report concludes that Srebrencia was as much a failure for France as it was for other nations, one if its authors, Francois Leotard, maintains that France is one of the few countries that can be proud of its record in Bosnia.

At the time of the Srebrenica massacre, Mr Leotard was French defence minister.

See also:

02 Aug 01 | Europe
Srebrenica judgement: Excerpts
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