Srebrenica victims to get proper burial

Victims of the Srebrenica massacre dug out from nameless death pits are being readied for Muslim burial at a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of Europe's worst atrocity in 50 years.

    The funerals will mark the 10th anniversary of the genocide

    The 610 green-draped coffins were the latest remains to be identified by DNA analysis from scores of mass graves dug by Bosnian Serb forces to hide evidence of their slaughter of 8000 Muslim men and boys between 11 July and 18 July, 1995.    

    Up to 50,000 mourners were expected at the memorial on Monday.
       
    Serbia's President Boris Tadic planned to attend, although some Muslims said they would not welcome him, while some Serb hardliners said he should not go the memorial.
       
    More than 1500 Bosnian Serb police backed by European Union troops were to enforce security, heightened by the discovery near the site last week of two large bombs "ready to detonate". 

    Genocide
       
    The massacre, in the final two months of a 43-month war, aimed to ensure there were no Muslims to fight back or claim back Serb-occupied land or homes in the future. 

    Some 8000 Muslim men and boys
    were killed by Serbs in July 1995

    Bosnian Serb army commander General Ratko Mladic and the rebel state's "president", Radovan Karadzic, were indicted for genocide for the atrocity.

    But to the anger of Bosnians and the embarrassment of Western powers who intervened belatedly to stop the war which claimed 200,000 lives, both remain at large.
     
    Monday's funerals will raise the number of Srebrenica graves at the Potocari cemetery to about 2000. But 7000 body bags remain to be analysed and 20 more mass graves to be exhumed.
       
    Each opened grave gives hope to relatives trying to find the bodies of their loved ones.
       
    "I go from grave to a grave, hoping finally to find his bones," said Pasa Djanic, 68, who has been looking for her son Esad for 10 years. 

    The thickly wooded hills of Bosnia are peaceful this summer.
       
    But survivors who escaped Srebrenica recall how mortars, shelling and snipers rained death 10 years ago after heavily armed Serb troops brushed aside a light Dutch UN force to overrun the "safe area". 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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