Remembering Srebrenica

Remembering Srebrenica

About 30,000 people, including a number of international figures, gathered July p near Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, to mark the 10th anniversary of the massacre there. At a memorial cemetery in nearby Potocari, the site of many mass graves, grieving families buried 610 newly identified victims. About 16,500 bodies have been exhumed from more than 300 mass graves throughout Bosnia. Serbian President Boris Tadic attended the memorial services, a first for any Serbian leader.

In 1995, Bosnian Serb troops entered the U.N. – designated “safe area” and began to separate families, taking males ages 12 to 77 for “interrogation for suspected war crimes.” Over the next eight days, as many as 8,000 husbands and fathers, brothers and sons were killed by Serb troops in the surrounding hills and countryside.

Ten years later, only 2,000 victims have been identified. The two main alleged perpetrators of the massacre are at large: former nationalist President Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic.

The population of Srebrenica and its surrounding villages has fallen by 80% from 38,000 before the war. There are scarcely any industries or jobs in the area, and only a few Muslims have returned.

With a population of little more than 3.5 million people, Bosnia is ethnically divided, dependent on international aid and ruled by a European viceroy. Of the 2 million people who were displaced during the war, the U.N. says 1 million have returned to their homes.

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