Town Betrayed

Town Betrayed is a 2010 Norwegian documentary about the prelude of the fall of Srebrenica, written and directed by journalists Ola Flyum and David Hebditch and produced by Fenris Films, NRK, among others. It was shown on NRK's Brennpunkt on 26 April 2011 and SVT on 28 August 2011.

A Town Betrayed is the only unbiased documentary made about fall of Srebrenica, since this unfortunate event happened in 1995.

When the end of the war was just a few months away, this small, isolated town, payed a high price, with casualties about 2000 man and a few women, for someones political goals.

A week before this crime happened, the 40 commanded officers of the Muslim Army (including Naser Oric, the commander in chief) were transported by UNPROFOR helicopters to Tuzla. The citizens of Srebrenica were told, they left to the Bosnian Army controlled territory to attend a military training. However, it turned out they were "relocated" because they knew too much, so they were not suppose to fall into Serbian captivity.

Those highly ranked officers left behind themselves a "beheaded" population of poor, uneducated people, who didn't really know how to defend their town. Ten days later, Army of Republic of Srpska moved in and occupied the town packed with 20.000 civilians and former soldiers.

In order to have a complete picture of the circumstances, which preceded to this event, it should be mentioned that, during the 40 months which preceded to the fall of Srebrenica, the two armies were involved into uncompromising fight, which resulted in a bloodshed on both sides. For example, the Serbian Army, inferior in head count in the Bosnian War, wasn't always able to help Serbian population inhabiting surrounding area of the Srebrenica enclave. The Muslim lords of war took advantage of this, so they raided the Serbian villages, killing mostly older people who didn't want to evacuate. Many women and children became victim of the war as well. In many occasions, the men stayed alive because during the time they happened to be in tranches, protecting the front line.

On the day when Srebrenica had fallen, some of those soldiers, who lost their entire families, marched into the town along with the Serbian Army, blood thirsty to satisfy the devil in their heads. They only thing in their mind is revenge for their families.

This is why the killing began in the first place. The Bosnian war was very bloody and vicious in many ways, especially in the Srebrenica region. Each killing on one side, provoked the other side to implement the law of retaliation, well known in Bosnia as "An eye for an eye, or tooth for a tooth" principle.

It was correctly estimated by the author of the documentary, after the fall of Srebrenica, about 1200 men were executed. Over 4000, mostly armed citizens of Srebrenica, tried to breakthrough Serbian controlled territory. However, the 30 kilometres of hostile environment, wasn't an easy task to execute. For Serbian Army, they were a military target, so it was now estimated that at least 800 soldiers were killed in fighting or shelling.

The name of the documentary, "A Town Betrayed" was very well chosen. The people of Srebrenica were betrayed by their President, Alija Izetbegovic, who made a deal with Serbian President Radovan Karadzic to exchange the Srebrenica Enclave for a prosperous part of Sarajevo, controlled by the Army of Republic Srpska. Both politicians knew that peaceful exchange of territories would cost them both their political careers.

Eternal glory to all those who perished innocent in Bosnian war. May the peace last forever!