Bos­nia: thou­sands mark 22 years since Sre­brenica mas­sacre

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple con­verged on Sre­brenica Tues­day for a fu­neral for dozens of newly iden­ti­fied vic­tims of the 1995 mas­sacre in the Bos­nian town.

Re­mains of 71 Mus­lim Bos­niak vic­tims, in­clud­ing seven ju­ve­nile boys and a wo­man, were buried at the me­mo­rial ceme­tery on the 22nd an­niver­sary of the crime. They were laid to rest next to over 6,000 other Sre­brenica vic­tims found pre­vi­ously in mass graves. The youngest vic­tim buried this year was 15, the old­est was 72.

Adela Efen­dic came to Sre­brenica to bury the re­mains of her fa­ther, Se­naid.

“I was 20-day-old baby when he was killed. I have no words to ex­plain how it feels to bury the fa­ther you have never met,” Efen­dic said.

“You imag­ine what kind of a per­son he might have been, but that is all you have.”

More than 8,000 Bos­niak men and boys per­ished in 10 days of slaugh­ter af­ter Sre­brenica was over­run by Bos­nian Serb forces on July 11, 1995.

It is the only episode of Bos­nia’s frat­ri­ci­dal 1992-95 war to be de­fined as geno­cide by two UN courts.

Serbs hastily dis­posed of the vic­tims’ bod­ies in sev­eral large pits, then dug them up again and scat­tered the re­mains over the nearly 100 smaller mass graves and hidden burial sites around the town.

Ev­ery year foren­sic ex­perts iden­tify newly found re­mains through DNA anal­y­sis be­fore re­burial.

Most coffins are low­ered into their graves by strangers, be­cause all male mem­bers of the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies had of­ten been killed.


A Bos­nian Mus­lim wo­man prays among grave­stones dur­ing a fu­neral cer­e­mony for dozens of newly iden­ti­fied vic­tims of the 1995 mas­sacre, at the me­mo­rial cen­tre of Po­to­cari near Sre­brenica, 150 kms north east of Sara­jevo, Bos­nia, Tues­day.

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