EVACUATION
JULY 12th, 1995
UN BASE POTOCARI – TISCA
VRS-UNPROFOR
By the end of the day on July 12th, some 5,000 women, children and elderly were deported by the VRS to Kladanj. They were followed by Dutch battalion personnel, but the Dutch were not able to put soldiers on the buses and therefore decided to provide one escort vehicle for each of the convoys. By the end of the day, the VRS had hijacked 13 or 14 of the Dutch battalion vehicles that were escorting the convoys, together with their weapons and equipment.

The buses and trucks were overcrowded, and the heat was unbearable. The first convoy was followed by members of the Dutch battalion and on the way to Tisca no men of military age were removed or separated. Later the VRS halted the UN escort by violently seizing their vehicles; in Tisca and in other places they carried out these separations.

When Major Robert Franken, deputy commander of the Dutch battalion, was asked why the Serb robbed UN vehicles, he answered: "Because they didn't want anyone to be around; that's obvious…they didn't us to witness whatever would happen." After they arrived in Tisca, the refugees continued on foot to Kladanj through several kilometers of "no man's land" between Serb and Muslim lines. It has since been learned that the small number of men who had managed to board the buses at Potocari were detected and separated from the convoys between Tisca and Luka and placed in an elementary school at Luka. One or two days later, the VRS loaded them on to a truck and drove them to an isolated pasture where they were shot.
DOCUMENTS
Back to MAP 01: HOMEPAGE