BOSNIA-SREBRENICA-ANNIVERSARY: Meditation in Bosnia for the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre
SREBRENICA, Bosnia (Reuters) – The Bosnians paid tribute on Saturday to some 8,000 Muslim men and adolescents massacred in July 1995 in Srebrenica, on the 25th anniversary of the most serious atrocity in Europe since the Second World War.
The families of nine of them, whose bodies have been identified recently, gathered on their green draped coffins before their burial in the cemetery where 6,643 victims are already buried. A thousand others are still missing.
Several foreign heads of state and government spoke by videoconference during the ceremony, which took place in the presence of only a few thousand people, due to the coronavirus health crisis. Several tens of thousands of people usually attend this annual ceremony.
“We share the grief of families who tirelessly demand justice for the 8,000 innocent lives lost so many years ago,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
On July 11, 1995, Bosnian forces under General Ratko Mladic captured Srebrenica, a town where many of the displaced had taken refuge. The UN had made it a “safe zone”, but the Dutch peacekeepers who were deployed there were too lightly armed to intervene.
The men were then separated from the women and children and then transported to territory controlled by the Bosnian army to be executed.
General Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, former president of the Bosnian Serb Republic, were convicted of war crimes and genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
(Branko Filipovic and Daria Sito-Sucic, French version Jean-Philippe Lefief)