Former European peace envoy Colm Doyle, who testified in the trial of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic several times, published a memoir about crimes in BiH under the title “Witness to War Crimes – The memoir of an Irish peacekeeper in Bosnia”. In this book he stated that UNPROFOR did not do much to stop the war, but that any kind of mediation was already condemned to failure.
Karadzic questioned him for 15 hours, and Doyle noted that he was afraid that this experience would be a great challenge for his memory.
“This trial was the culmination of all things that started happening in 1991 when the Irish defense forces sent me to serve the European Community in the former Yugoslavia. When I arrived in BiH in October 1991 I did not even think that I would be in the middle of the worst conflict in Europe since the World War II,” as he wrote in the introduction.
“Considering the fact that the Serb-Croat question always decided the fate of Yugoslavia, Bosnia was left without hope in the middle, despite all the attempts of the President Alija Izetbegovic to maintain peace. He could not prevent the conflict in Slovenia and Croatia to reach BiH,” said Doyle.
He noted that UNPROFOR could not do much to stop or prevent the war because they were limited by number and were not a big threat despite the weapons since they did not use it. However, he also said that it was not their fault because they just followed the orders of the UN Security Council, and that was to deliver humanitarian aid.
“It became clear that the Serbs started the intervention and nothing could stop them from implementing the policy of ethnic cleansing and taking over the territory. They realized that the international community will not use the force and nothing could stop them from achieving their goals since they did not take seriously the members of the Lord Carrington’s peace conference . Those were just cosmetic negotiations and exercise for public relations, ” said Doyle.
The former peacekeeper stated that military intervention was crucial for the survival of Muslims.
“They were convinced that when their country gets recognized, the international community would intervene and protect their independence and stop Serb aggression… Despite numerous agreed ceasefires, peace talks all across the Europe and promises to political parties, the violent conflict resulted in deaths of 100,000 people during a four-year period. I never even thought that I would directly participate in the negotiations for the release of Bosnian President Izetbegovic or in the talks of war commanders in London, Paris, Lisbon and Brussels. This war was not just a war between good and evil. It was a conflict covered in ethnic, religious and historical hostilities, and there was no proper solution. It required patience and limited goals. It was clear to me that BiH will have an outcome but not a solution,” concluded Doyle in his memoirs.