10 April 1994 – France 3 – Eric Stobbaerts, MSF: Gorazde – FRENCH



TV presenter: The situation for the thousands of Muslims in Gorazde in east Bosnia is worsening. The Serbs, who have been surrounding the town for months, finally entered today. Given the seriousness of the situation, the French and the Americans have declared that, if asked to do so by the United Nations, they are ready to carry out airstrikes. Jean-François Gringoire.

Commentary: This afternoon we received the first images filmed by a Serb television crew of the defeat of the Bosnians defending Gorazde. At this very moment, they are at the gates of this martyred town confronting the relentless firepower of the Bosnian Serb army. So here are the victors, Serb combatants who couldn’t care less about UN resolutions. Other Serb soldiers, who have considerable back-up from their artillery, have taken two Muslim villages near Gorazde and completely smashed Bosnian defences in the south of the enclave.

Eric Stobbaerts: People in the south of the zone started moving out last night. Over 2,000 people have arrived in the town; they’re desperate. They were forced to leave their villages because they’d been bombed. It was totally indiscriminate, affecting the entire town. It was nerve-racking. It caused a state of general panic and terror, because it was so random. Panic set in among the population.

Journalist: Do you think it will be possible to evacuate the civilian population from Gorazde?

Éric Stobbaerts: I have to admit this is the first time I’ve heard mention of that possibility. We haven’t dared even envisage it because it would mean the very notion of protecting an enclave has ended in failure. If it were to happen, I’d find it quite terrifying.

Commentary: Asked about the possibility of an aerial response by NATO, General Michael Rose declared: "It might come to that". Washington, which has an aircraft carrier in the Adriatic, says they’re ready to provide close air support, as is Paris. Gorazde is under UN protection.