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Bosnian mothers seek help finding missing relatives

25 years since Srebrenica genocide, but 1600 victims are still missing, says Nura Begovic

Talha Ozturk   | 11.02.2021
Bosnian mothers seek help finding missing relatives

BELGRADE, Serbia

Mothers from Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina's demonstrated Thursday to demand authorities find missing relatives from the war during the 1990s.

The mothers continued a tradition of peaceful protest in Tuzla on the 11th day of every month. It is to keep the memory alive of the July 1995 Srebrenica genocide and draw attention to those who have disappeared.

They demanded search and identification work be completed to find their missing loved ones and carried a large banner with photographs of the victims who were killed but whose bodies have not been found.

Nura Begovic from the Srebrenica Women's Association said the group will never stop looking.

"It has been exactly 25 years since the genocide. Sixteen hundred victims are still missing. They seem to have stopped their search efforts on the pretext of the pandemic," said Begovic.

She added that they organize memorial marches every month to call for the finding of the missing.

More than 8,300 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 a state.

The UN Security Council declared Srebrenica a "safe area" in the spring of 1993. However, Serb troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic, who was later found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, overran the UN zone.

Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing 2,000 men and boys on July 11.

About 15,000 Srebrenicans fled to the surrounding mountains, but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 in the forests.

*Writing by Mustafa Talha Ozturk

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