Bosnia remembers Srebrenica

More than 300 newly-identified bodies buried on 13th anniversary of the massacre.

Relatives of the massacre victims are still seeking justice [AFP]
Relatives of the massacre victims are still seeking justice [AFP]

“However, since he is not with us in a way, I’m glad that his soul will finally find peace,” she said.

Symbolic march

Almost 220 buses ferrying around 10,000 people converged on Srebrenica, while many more arrrived in other vehicles, organisers said.

The commemoration was held amid fears of possible anti-Muslim violence due to Bosnian Serb anger with a UN court’s decision last week to clear Naser Oric, the former commander of Muslim forces in Srebrenica, of war crimes.

Refik Dervisevic, a massacre survivor, arrived in Srebrenica late Thursday after taking part in a 100-kilometre “March of Peace”.

Some 2,000 people participated in the symbolic march from the village of Nezuk, near the eastern town of Tuzla, to Srebrenica, the route taken by many Muslims seeking to flee Serb forces.

“This is the third time that I am taking part in the march,” Dervisevic said.

“The first time I did not remember anything. I was just walking being haunted by thoughts.

“Last year I remembered the details from July 1995. I saw the place where I separated from my brother who was killed.”

So far some 2,900 Srebrenica victims have been buried at the memorial built in 2003.

Thousands of others are yet to be exhumed and identified in the area, where around 70 mass graves have been uncovered.

Act of genocide

Near the end of Bosnia’s war, Serb forces overran the then UN-protected enclave summarily killing some 8,000 Muslim men and boys.

The International court of justice and the UN war crimes tribunal, both based in The Hague, have ruled that the Srebrenica massacre was an act of genocide.

The alleged masterminds, wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic, are still at large.

“It’s a shame that 13 years after what has happened in Srebrenica and after the end of the war, Karadzic and Mladic are not arrested,” the Dnevni Avaz daily newspaper quoted John Williamson, the US war crimes ambassador, as saying.

“We will continue to urge the leaders in the region to do everything they can to make fugitives face justice and I’m sure that they will be arrested,” Williamson, who also attended the commemoration., said.

His words were echoed by the victims’ relatives.

“We are still fighting to prove to the world what has happened here while those who are the most responsible for the crime are being rewarded with freedom,” Munira Subasic, head of an association of Srebrenica mothers, said.

Srebrenica remains a part of the Serb-run entity of Republika Srpska, which along with the Muslim-Croat Federation makes up post-war Bosnia.

Source : News Agencies

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