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Witness to War Crimes: The Memoirs of an Irish Peacekeeper in Bosnia


Colm Doyle

June 2018

A first-hand account of the unimaginable horrors of the Bosnian civil war by Colonel Colm Doyle of the Irish Defence Forces, detailing ethnic cleansing, murder and human rights abuses. Written by one of the men on the ground not only in the fields of Bosnia but also in the courtrooms of the Hague.


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ISBN: 9781785371899 Categories: , ,


The early 1990s saw Europe’s first conflict for almost 40 years when bitter fighting broke out in the former Yugoslav republic. Colonel Colm Doyle of the Irish Defence Forces found himself in the midst of this appalling civil war when, in October 1991, he became first a European Community Monitor and almost immediately Head of the Monitor Mission in besieged Sarajevo. After six months he was appointed Personal Representative to Lord Carrington, Chairman of the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia.

In this long overdue memoir, he describes his role mediating, negotiating and persuading political and military leaders of all sides to halt the seemingly inexorable path to all-out civil war. He arranged cease-fires, visited prisoner-of-war camps, extricated election monitors and organised hostage releases. His experiences made him a key witness at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague at the trials of Milosevic, Mladic and Karadzic.

With his unprecedented access, Doyle’s personal account can claim to be one of the most significant insights to the brutal Bosnian War.

About the Author

During Colonel Colm Doyle’s career with the Irish Defence Forces, he served with the United Nations in Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria. He was Chief-of-Staff of the Military Division at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York; Director of Public Relations for the Defence Forces and Commandant of both the UN Training School, Ireland and the Military College. His experiences with the EU in Bosnia are the subject of this book. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies from the University of Limerick. He is married with four adult children.