PANORAMA: GENERAL ROSE COMPLETES BOSNIAN TOUR OF DUTY [Main Title]
Copy of BBC PANORAMA programme. John Simpson investigates the decisions taken by General Rose during his tour of duty, some of which have been criticised in the region and abroad. General Rose is given a chance to answer these criticisms.
Shots of General Sir Michael Rose walking along a street between damaged buildings. Panorama opening graphics with short clips from UN’s mission in Bosnia. Title: ROSE’S WAR.
BBC accompanies General Rose on his final tour of inspection. Shots of General Rose at the Jewish cemetery outside Sarajevo. Rose says that when fighting is taking place, this is most dangerous place to be. FREBAT are currently stationed here. The Serb front line is only fifty yards away. John Simpson stands in the snow with Rose. In the back of car, Rose explains what legitimate retaliatory action by the UN would be in a given circumstance.
There has been criticism of the UN’s mission with some arguing that it leaves the Bosnians at a disadvantage. John Simpson interviews Haris Silajdzic, Prime Minister of Bosnia. He says that the UN charter did not treat Bosnia as a victim of invasion but only as a humanitarian catastrophe. Shots from the market bomb explosion on the 5th of February 1994. Shots of General Rose and SRSG Akashi in the aftermath of the bombing. Shot of a Sarajevo ‘rose’ on the street. General Rose says to John Simpson that incidents like this draws the attention of the world’s media back to the conflict. When the UN and NATO threatened to bomb Serb artillery positions outside the city, the Serbs pulled out from those positions. The threat of power had worked. In the back of the car, General Rose says that working here he has been struck by the resonances from old Communist leaderships in the political characteristics of the main parties. He cites their paranoia, use of propaganda, bureaucracy, and habit of never take anything for what it is. Clip of General Rose in a morning meeting. Interview with General Rose in his office. He explains to John Simpson that his meetings are probably being bugged by all sides.
Shots of General Rose’s convoy. His vehicle always has a communication car behind it so that he is constantly in contact with the UN and NATO. After the convoy negotiates its way through an informal road block, Rose says that breaking up these road blocks would be counterproductive because no convoys would then be allowed through. Haris Silajdzic, however, argues that the UN are too nice to the stronger party, the Serbs. Archive footage of General Rose shaking hand with Bosnian Serb General Mladić. John Simpson reminds General Rose that he has been accused of being too friendly with the Bosnian Serb, who is described by some as a war monger. General Rose says that he does not think Mladić is a war criminal and as the UN, it is his job to make contact and communicate with all leaders to mediate negotiations for peace.
Title: APRIL: THE BATTLE FOR GORAZDE
Archive footage of Serbs attacking Goražde, in Eastern Bosnia. Shots from the town’s hospital, its wounded lying in the basement. Shots of General Mladić watching the attack. General Rose called in NATO planes. The Serb offensive halted just as town about to fall. Shots of Mladić. Serbs did not back down and even shot down a British plane. NATO wanted to use more airstrikes but Gen Rose refused. He was criticised for this decision but in end the Bosnian Serbs did retreat. Rose felt he had avoided being manipulated by Bosnian Serbs. Haris Silajdzic, Prime Minister of Bosnia, said that the international community lost credibility because of their initial failure to prevent a Bosnian Serb advance.
Shots of Goražde from a UN helicopter. This was the closest a news team could get to Goražde over the last few months. Shots show destroyed buildings covered in snow. General Rose says that most of the damage done to these buildings occured two years ago when Bosnians pushed out 12,000 Serbs from this town. He says that the damage to most of the building was caused by burning rather than shelling.
A bridge, covered in snow, has been sprinkled with mines by Bosnian Government soldiers. It remains very dangerous. Some British soldiers stationed in Goražde live below the bridge. They are part of the newly-amalgamated Royal Gloucester, Berkshire and Wilshire Regiment. Soldiers show General Rose and John Simpson their living quarters. They live in wood-lined shelters, not unlike First World War dug-outs. Shots on the high street in Goražde. Many people are out on the street but there is still not much food for sale. General Rose was given s warm welcome. Although the siege has not been lifted, these people do now have food. The BBC are told by Muslim police to stop filming. General Rose visits the Bosnian political leader of the town. General Rose explains his efforts to persuade the Serbs to retreat. The political leader says that he is largely satisfied with UNPROFOR because of the work of BRITBAT.
John Simpson asks Haris Silajdzic, Prime Minister of Bosnia why the people of Goražde are happier with UNPROFOR than the Bosnian leadership in Sarajevo. He says “if you take a man off death row, he is grateful even to those who hold the keys”. “Those people were sentenced to death...but still live in the ghetto”.
UN Headquarters in Sarajevo. Footage of a press conference where journalists give UN Spokesman a difficult time. The press also talk to Haris Silajdzic, Prime Minister of Bosnia, who says that the UN are “back to the appeasement of the Serbs”. As John Simpson puts it, “soundbites are used by Bosnians as weapon of war”. Haris Silajdzic himself, admits to Simpson that it is beneficial to the Bosnians to portray events in a certain fashion.
UN position in old Turkish fort overlooking Sarajevo. British soldier explains his work locating mortar rounds. In one case, tt was assumed that one of the worst cluster of mortars fired around the city was the work of Bosnian Serbs but the UN was able to prove that Bosnian Government troops had fired the mortars and from where. They were firing them out of the city. General Rose said that he was able to take this information to President Izetbegovic and told him what his army was doing. The firing stopped immediately. He thinks that the Bosnian Government army did it to create an impression of war. Haris Silajdzic, Prime Minister of Bosnia says “everything is possible in a war” but why would they draw Serb fire to Sarajevo.
NOVEMBER: SERBS ENTER THE BIHAĆ ‘SAFE AREA’
Archive footage of Serb offensive against Bihać. UN ‘Safe Area’ failed to keep people safe. The town remains in Serb hands to this day. General Rose is accused of favouritism towards the Serbs. A recording of a telephone message from one of Karadžić’s aides to General Rose before the assault threatens “if you hit us, this means war”. General Rose decided not to use NATO airstrikes to defend the town partil because BANBAT were trapped in Bihać. Defending this decision now, General Rose says that the UN is not here to protect and defend anything except itself. The UN is here to deter attacks and that is not the same thing.
Archive footage of Haris Silajdzic, Prime Minister of Bosnia in a press conference. He says to the cameras “Mr. Akashi is responsible for the death of 70,000 people in Bihać right now. Archive footage of General Rose’s reaction to this accusation. He is going to talk to President Izetbegovic about peace and to try and stop the ghastly fighting they have seen. It was a humiliating incident for Rose. Clip from US news called the UN’s failure to protect Bihać a turning point in the war. Shots of newspaper articles that criticised Rose, accusing him of being a new Neville Chamberlain. In the interview with Simpson, General Rose says that these journalists are not aware of the full facts of the job. Shots of Bihać where the streets are now peaceful. Haris Silajdzic, Prime Minister of Bosnia, refuses to elaborate on the statements he made at the press conference in November. He also refuses to give a figure estimating the number of deaths there have been in Bihać.
General Rose queues for a tram and then greets people on board. People give him the credit for restarting the tram network in Sarajevo. Shots of the market place, now crowded with people. General Rose says that those calling for more vigorous action against the Serbs are forgetting the circumstances in which the UN came in. Their job is to keep what little peace there is rather than to wage war.
Credits: Reporter JOHN SIMPSON, Film Camera BRIAN HULLS, NIGEL BATESON, Sound Recordist DUNCAN STONE, Dubbing Mixer TONY HEMMINGS, Graphic Design MATT WIESSLER, STEPHANIE McHUGH, Programme Assistant RUTHIE DREWETT, Unit Manager EMANUELLE PASQUALE, Film Research BARRY PURKIS, Film Editors ROGER DAVIES, ROGER MULLINS, Producer STEVE ANDERSON, Deputy Editor NICK ROBINSON, Editor STEVE HEWLETT. BBC 1995.