Bosnia and Herzegovina celebrates Saturday, the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, the worst massacre in Europe since the Second World War, which international justice has described as genocide.
Bosnian Muslims celebrate the genocide in Srebrenica 25 years ago on Saturday, July 11. It is the worst massacre committed on European soil since World War II.
Due to Covid-19’s pandemic control measures, organizers expect fewer people than usual to attend this event, which usually draws tens of thousands of people to the memorial each year.
The official anniversaries beginning in the morning will be followed at 11:00 GMT by the burial of the remains of nine victims of the massacre identified since July last year.
Their remains were buried in the cemetery of the genocide memorial center in Potocari, a village near Srebrenica, where the base of the UN Security Force (UNPROFOR) was located during the Bosnian civil war (1992-95).
More than 8,000 Bosniaks were massacred
A “protected area” of the UN, Srebrenica was taken on July 11, 1995, five months before the end of the war, by Bosnian Serbian forces, which massacred there in a few days more than 8,000 Bosnian men and youths (Muslims).
Bosnian Serb political and military leaders at the material time, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, were sentenced to life in prison by international justice, including for the Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo.
To date, almost 6,900 victims of the massacre have been found in more than 80 mass graves and identified. Most rest in the Memorial Center.
The fight against “denial”
The Srebrenica massacre is the only episode of the Bosnian conflict (100,000 dead) that is described as a genocide of international justice. But the serious focus is still downplayed by the political leaders of Bosnian Serbs.
The Serbian member of the collegiate presidency of Bosnia, MiloradDodik, denies the qualification of “genocide” and speaks of “myth”.
“We will continue to insist on the truth, on justice and on the need to prosecute all those who have committed this crime,” Bosnian (Muslim) member of the Bosnian Presidency SefikDzaferovic said on Friday.
“We will fight against those who deny the genocide and glorify its perpetrators,” he added to the Memorial Center, where he attended a collective prayer.
The Serbian mayor of Srebrenica, MladenGrijicic, said that “there is new evidence every day that denies the current presentation of everything that has happened” in Srebrenica.
Due to the impossibility of getting crowds in one day, the organizers invited people to visit the Memorial Center throughout the month of July, and several exhibitions were installed, especially the Bosnian artist’s paintings SafetZec dedicated to the massacre.
Another, called “Pourquoi tu n’es pas là?”, By the American artist of Bosnian origin AidaSehovic, consists of more than 8000 cups of coffee for as many victims of the massacre, placed on the lawn at the Memorial Center.