Bosnia: thousands mark 22 years since Srebrenica massacre
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.