Remains of 127 Srebrenica genocide victims buried

Thousands of people, representatives of civil and religious authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and judges of the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague (ICTY) attended a commemorative event in the Potocari memorial complex on Monday and paid their respects to the victims of genocide committed against Bosniaks in July 1995 by the Bosnian Serb army and police but denied by the president of the Bosnian Serb entity even today, 21 years after the worst war crime in Europe since WWII was committed.

After participants in the commemoration paid their respects to more than 8,000 Bosniak from Srebrenica, a religious ceremony was led by the head of the Islamic community in Bosnia, Husein Kvazovic.

The remains of 127 Bosniak men and boys killed in by the Bosnian Serb army and police in Srebrenica in July 1995 and identified over the past year were buried at the local memorial complex.

The skeletal remains were exhumed from mass graves in recent years, including those of 12 minors, the youngest being only 14 at the time of his death.

According to the figures released by Bosnia's Institute for Missing Persons (INO), the remains of 6,532 victims of the Srebrenica genocide had been discovered and identified. The bodies were discovered in at least 77 mass graves.

Srebrenica municipal head Camil Durakovic said at the commemoration that the fall of Srebrenica was one of the darkest moments of the 20th century. He called on all those who had any knowledge of other, still undiscovered mass graves containing the bodies of more than a thousand missing people, to come forward.

"Both Bosniaks and Serbs very much need the truth and justice," Durakovic said adding that this was the only way to build the foundations of progress.

ICTY president Carmel Agius said the main ingredient of every reconciliation was justice, adding that the ICTY played a great role in that.

For 23 years, the ICTY fought for the revelation of the the truth about the 1990s wars in the former Yugoslavia, especially about the events in Srebrenica which had embarrassed the international community, Agius said.

I am proud of the fact that the ICTY  without a doubt established that genocide was committed in Srebrenica in 1995 and of the fact that the ICTY tried a series of people responsible for that crime, Agius said.

Former ICTY President Theodor Meron said in his speech he was confident that with its verdicts the Hague tribunal helped justice and not force to prevail. 

The Chairman of the Bosnian collective presidency, Bakir Izetbegobic said that now more than ever he would resolutely seek justice for every killed Srebrenica resident.

"Without justice there can be no reconciliation or precondition for forgiveness," Izetbegovic said adding that truth was necessary so that people in the country burdened by the difficult past could build a joint future.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country deeply empathised with the families of the Srebrenica genocide victims and that it wanted to do everything to help stabilise Bosnia and the Balkans.

He underscored that without a stable Balkans there can be no stable Europe either.

The commemoration was not attended by any senior state officials from Serbia.

Last update: Mon, 11/07/2016 - 16:36

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