Siege of Goražde

Siege of Goražde
Part of the Bosnian War
DateApril 1992 – October 1995
Result Dayton Agreement

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslav People's Army (1992)

Republika Srpska Army of Republika Srpska (1992–95)
Serb Volunteer Guard Serb Volunteer Guard (1992, 1995)
Scorpions Scorpions paramilitary unit (1995)
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Police, volunteers and paramilitaries from Yugoslavia (1995)
Greece Greek Volunteer Guard (1995)
Russia Russian volunteers (1995)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Commanders and leaders
Republika Srpska Ratko Mladić
Republika Srpska Radislav Krstić
Republika Srpska Zdravko Tolimir
Republika Srpska Milorad Pelemiš
Bosnia and Herzegovina Zaim Imamović (April 1992–October 1995)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Sifet Krekić (April 1992–October 1995)
Republika Srpska ~2,000 soldiers[citation needed] Bosnia and Herzegovina ~6,000 soldiers[citation needed]
Casualties and losses
511 civilians

The Siege of Goražde (Bosnian: Opsada Goražda) refers to engagements during the Bosnian War (1992–95) in and around the town of Goražde in eastern Bosnia.

On 4 May 1992, Goražde was besieged by the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS).[1] Goražde was one of six Bosniak enclaves, along with Srebrenica and Žepa, surrounded and besieged by the Bosnian Serb Army. VRS began a campaign of indiscriminate shelling, often hitting civilian buildings and inflicting mass casualties. In return, the local units of the Bosnian Ministry of the Interior (MUP) began a campaign of retribution against the Bosnian Serb civilians who were still living in the city. Dozens of local Serbs were arrested and executed in the local school; a hundred more, including women and children, were forcibly held as human shield to protect the police station from shelling.[2][3]

In August 1992, 1st and 31st Drina Strike Brigades of the ARBiH successfully accomplished the Operation Circle, thereby pushing the VRS forces out of the eastern suburbs.[4] However, the siege continued.

In April 1993 Goražde was made into a United Nations Safe Area in which the United Nations was supposed to deter attacks on the civilian population.[5]

Between March 30 and April 23, 1994, the Serbs launched a major offensive against the town. After air strikes against Serb tanks and outposts and a NATO ultimatum, Serb forces agreed to withdraw their artillery and armored vehicles 20 km (12 mi) from the town.[6]

In 1995 Goražde was again targeted by the VRS, who ignored the ultimatum and launched an attack on UN guard posts. Around 350 UN servicemen were taken hostage but the remaining men from the Royal Welch Fusiliers who were already stationed there and reinforcement Bosniak troops prevented the VRS from taking over the town. Goražde avoided the fate of Srebrenica, where the Bosnian Serbs continued on to after the failed attempt.[7]


According to the Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo (RDC), Goražde recorded 511 civilians (126 Serbs and 385 non-Serbs, mostly Bosniaks) and 1,100 soldiers who lost their lives during the war.[8]


  1. ^ E.A. (4 May 2015). "Prije 23 godine počela je opsada Goražda - grada heroja". Klix.
  2. ^ Savo Heleta (2008). Not My Turn to Die: Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia. AMACOM. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-8144-0165-1.
  3. ^ СРНА (12 March 2015). "RTRS "Nova svjedočenja o stradanju Srba u Goraždu". PTPC.
  4. ^ Srdjan Kureljušić (19 May 2016). "Operacija Krug". Justice Report.
  5. ^ Sophie Haspeslagh. "The Bosnian 'Safe Havens'" (PDF). Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  6. ^ Richard J. Regan (1996). Just War: Principles and Cases. CUA Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-8132-0856-5.
  7. ^ "Fusiliers' battle to save Bosnians". BBC. 5 December 2002.
  8. ^ Ivan Tučić (February 2013). "Pojedinačan popis broja ratnih žrtava u svim općinama BiH". Retrieved 4 August 2014.