SREBRENICA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) – Bosnia marks the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, the only war crime in Europe declared genocide after World War II. Events are reserved for a small number of survivors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The execution of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men of all ages in July 1995 is remembered in a series of events including the re-burial of nine newly identified victims in a cemetery and memorial center on the outskirts of the city in eastern Bosnia. .
The Srebrenica massacre is the only episode in the 1992-1995 war defined as genocide by two UN courts. After murdering thousands of Muslims, the Serbs attempted to hide the crime by throwing the bodies into open mass graves throughout eastern Bosnia.
Researchers continue to find remains in the graves, which they identify through DNA analysis. They have already identified nearly 7,000 dead.
Burials are held every year on July 11, the anniversary of the date the 1995 massacre began in the memorial cemetery.
Thousands of people from different countries usually attend the ceremonies, but this year only a small number of survivors will be allowed due to the pandemic.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Prince Charles of Great Britain, among several dozen world leaders, sent video-recorded messages.
In the Bosnian war, the country’s three main ethnic groups – Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims – clashed with each other after the division of Yugoslavia. A peace agreement was concluded in 1995, but by then more than 100,000 people had died.
What happened in Srebrenica was a shame for the international community, since in 1993 the UN had declared the population a “refuge” for civilians.
But two years later, long-outnumbered peacekeeping forces and weapons could only watch helplessly as Serb forces separated men of all ages to execute them and took women and girls on buses to territory held by the Bosnian government. .