Tuesday 13 July 2010

Srebrenica Massacre Remembered

by Kathryn Hadley,

Sunday marked the 15th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, on July 11th, 1995, when the town was attacked by Bosnian Serb forces under the command of General Ratko Mladic. It is estimated that 8,000 Bosniak Muslims, mainly boys and men, were killed by Bosnian Serbs. The victims were initially buried in mass graves, but then dispersed in smaller graves in an effort to cover up the massacre. Over the past few years, forensic experts have exhumed the remains of over 4,500 victims in order to identify them. Last year, during a ceremony to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the massacre, 534 newly identified Bosniak Muslim victims were buried at the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial and Cemetery just outside Srebrenica.

Der Spiegel reports on a similar ceremony organised this year to mark the 15th anniversary of the massacre. 775 coffins belonging to the latest victims to have been identified were buried during a service held, once again, at the Potocari memorial. The burial was attended by almost 50,000 people, including European leaders such as the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, and representatives of the European Union. A speech by US President Barack Obama was read out by Charles English, the US ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Serbian President Boris Tadic also attended the anniversary.

A slideshow of images of the ceremony is available on the website of Der Spiegel.

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