Europe

Bosnia to bid farewell to 50 more victims of 1995 Srebrenica genocide

50 newly identified victims to be laid to rest on 27th anniversary of genocide

Talha Ozturk   | 05.07.2022
Bosnia to bid farewell to 50 more victims of 1995 Srebrenica genocide Coffins are seen at the Srebrenica–Potocari Memorial, ahead of the burial of recently identified remains of 50 victims of the Srebrenica Genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina on July 05, 2022. Photo: Elman Omic - Anadolu Agency

BELGRADE, Serbia

 Bosnia Herzegovina has finalized arrangements to bid farewell to 50 more identified victims of the Srebrenica genocide on the 27th anniversary of Europe's worst genocide since World War II.

Every year on July 11, newly identified victims of the genocide – which claimed the lives of over 8,000 people – are buried in a memorial cemetery in Potocari, eastern Bosnia.

Thousands of visitors from various countries will attend the funeral service and burials.

After this year’s funeral, the number of burials in the cemetery will rise to 6,721.

The bodies, whose identification has been completed, are kept in Visoko City Cemetery.

The coffins with the names of the people on them will be sent off from Visoko to Srebrenica on 8 July.

Meanwhile, the Memorial Center in Srebrenica announced that the remains of 90 victims whose bones were found but could not be identified will be preserved in the memorial center.

"We cannot bury these bones because there is no identification. We are not able to identify the victims because their relatives are not alive," said Almasa Salihovic, the center's spokesperson.

More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed after Bosnian Serb forces attacked the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops tasked with acting as international peacekeepers.

Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces who were trying to wrest territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form their own state.

The UN Security Council had declared Srebrenica a "safe area" in the spring of 1993. However, Serb troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic – who was sentenced to life for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide – overran the UN zone.

The Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing about 2,000 men and boys on July 11 alone. Some 15,000 Srebrenica people fled into the surrounding mountains but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 of them in the forests.

The bodies of the victims of the genocide were found in 570 different parts of the country.

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