Accounting for Genocide: How Many Were Killed in Srebrenica?


The takeover of the UN ‘safearea’ of Srebrenica by Bosnian Serb forces inJuly 1995 was followed by the killing of alarge number of male Bosnian Muslim civilians,in what has been characterized as the worstmassacre in Europe since World War II. Thisarticle is based on a report submitted asevidence to the UN International CriminalTribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) inthe case against General Radislav Krstić,who became the first person to be convicted ofgenocide at this Tribunal. This case also formspart of the genocide charges against SlobodanMilošević, Radovan Karadžić and RatkoMladić. To our knowledge, this report isunique among genocide studies in its approach,using individual-level data to identify everyvictim in order to arrive at a highly reliableminimum estimate of the number of peoplekilled. This was possible because of efforts byhumanitarian organizations to register peoplewho disappeared during the war as well as theavailability of both pre- and post-conflictdata on individuals. We conclude that at least7,475 persons were killed after the fall ofSrebrenica. We also present estimates of theprobability of being a victim: more than 33%for Muslim men who were enumerated inSrebrenica in 1991.

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Correspondence to Helge Brunborg.

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Brunborg, H., Lyngstad, T.H. & Urdal, H. Accounting for Genocide: How Many Were Killed in Srebrenica?. European Journal of Population 19, 229–248 (2003).

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  • Bosnia
  • conflict
  • genocide
  • mortality
  • war