Remembering Srebrenica

Remembering Srebrenica

"Here we are, on July 11th 1995, in Serbian Srebrenica, just ahead of another great Serbian festivity. We give this town to the Serb Nation. Remembering the uprising against the Turks, the time has come to take revenge on the Muslims" (General Ratko Mladic).

The Bosnian war (1992 - 1995) confronted Bosnian Serbs (Orthodox Christians), Bosniaks (Muslims) and Bosnian Croats (Catholics), three groups that lived - and still live - in the same land of the former Yugoslavia which became disintegrated in 1991 with the first independences of Croatia and Slovenia. Since then, Serb leaders like Slobodan Milosevic pursued the goal of creating the Great Serbia.

At the end of the Bosnian war, Bosnian Serb troops led by General Ratko Mladic killed more than 8,000 Bosniaks - Bosnian Muslims - in the Srebrenica (Republika Srpska, Bosnia) area on July 11th 1995 in just a few hours to continue with the cleansing and establish a Serbian nation. Although Srebrenica was a protected zone by the UN during the war, the Blue Helmets, charged with responsibility of the deportation and death of 300 of the 8,000 Muslims, were totally permissive with Mladic, even knowing a genocide could occur.

Every year, medical examiners and volunteers from around the world try to find and identify the more of a thousand remains of bodies in the still unknown locations of many of the mass graves spread throughout the country. The searching becomes even harder as Bosnian Serb troops not only killed but also quartered their victims.

Every 11th of July, the remainings of the bodies are buried at the Potocari cemetery a few kilometers away from Srebrenica. The atrocities committed there on 1995 by Bosnian Serb soldiers still resonate in thousands of Muslim families who pay tribute every 11th of July to their loved ones. In the nineteenth anniversary of the genocide held in 2014, 175 other victims were buried, so now 6,000 people lie in the Potocari cemetery.