The Fall of Srebrenica and the Failure of U.N. Peacekeeping

The fall of the town of Srebrenica to Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995 made a mockery of the international community's professed commitment to safeguard regions it declared to be “safe areas.” U.N. peacekeeping officials were unwilling to heed requests for support from their own forces stationed within the enclave, thus allowing Bosnian Serb forces to easily overrun it and—without interference from U.N. soldiers—to carry out systematic, mass executions of hundreds, possibly thousands, of civilian men and boys and to terrorize, rape, beat, execute, rob and otherwise abuse civilians being deported.