Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bosnia and Herzegovina / Srebrenica Massacre

"A woman weeps over the coffin of a relative before the burial of 520 newly identified victims of the Srebrenica massacre." (Fehiim Demir/EPA)
Hundreds of Srebrenica Massacre Victims to be Laid to Rest
Associated Press dispatch in The Guardian, July 11, 2012
"Muslims in Bosnia are heading to Srebrenica to attend a funeral for 520 newly identified victims of Europe's worst massacre since the second world war. The remains of those Muslim men and boys slaughtered 17 years ago at Srebrenica around 11 July 1995 will be laid to rest on Wednesday in the town whose name is now synonymous with genocide. Ambulances are also standing ready to help those among the tens of thousands for whom the event will be too much to handle. Rabija Hrustanovic found the remains of her husband and brother among the sea of simple green coffins waiting to be buried. 'I want to lay down next to them and stay here forever,' she said before breaking into tears. Srebrenica was a UN-protected Muslim town in Bosnia besieged by Serb forces throughout Bosnia's 1992-95 war. Serb troops led by General Ratko Mladic overran the enclave in July 1995, separated men from women and killed 8,000 men and boys within just a few days. Dutch troops stationed in Srebrenica as UN peacekeepers were undermanned and outgunned, and failed to intervene. The bodies of the victims are still being found in mass graves throughout eastern Bosnia. The task has been made even more difficult by the fact that the perpetrators dug up mass graves and reburied remains in other mass graves to try to cover their tracks. The victims have been identified through DNA analysis and newly identified ones are buried at the Srebrenica memorial centre every year. So far, more than 5,000 Srebrenica victims found this way have been laid to rest. Mladic was arrested last year in Serbia and is on trial now at the tribunal in The Hague. He faces 11 charges, including genocide, for allegedly masterminding Serb atrocities throughout the war that left 100,000 dead, especially the Srebrenica massacre. He denies wrongdoing."
[n.b. This is the complete text of the dispatch.]

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