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Speaking Out: Srebrenica

28 Jan 21

Speaking Out: Srebrenica

This is the first episode in our 'Speaking out' podcast series looking at MSF and its work during the Srebrenica massacre.

The Muslim population trapped inside Srebrenica is living under constant shelling since the start of the war in Bosnia in 1992.

Even after the UN declared the city a ‘safe area’ in March 1993, not much had changed.

The joint French/Belgian MSF unit entered Srebrenica with UNPROFOR leader General Morillon in March 1993. They were the first NGO allowed inside the enclave.

There, they witnessed the French General vowing to protect the enclave’s population. The MSF team focused on providing medical care, securing the water supply and sanitation, and preparing the enclave for the upcoming winter.

However, they’re starting to question how much protection the UN peacekeepers in the enclave can actually provide.

MSF, conflict and war

In warzones, we do not take sides. We provide medical care based on needs alone, and try to reach the people who need help most.

If warring parties see aid organisations as being on one side of a conflict, we are less likely to gain access to those in need and more likely to be attacked.

One of the ways in which we are able to demonstrate our independence to warring parties is to ensure that all our funding for work in conflicts comes from private individuals – we do not accept government grants.