Today 25 years ago, 8,000 men and a boy Bosnian Muslims were massacred in Srebrenica
Today 25 years ago, Serbian-Bosnian forces took control of Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In less than two weeks the troops under the charge of General Ratko Mladic massacred about 8,000 men and a boy, all Bosnian Muslims. Todate this remains as one of the largest land massacres since World War II.
Fadila Efendic buried the few remains of her seven-year-old son Fejzo seven years ago. She found only two remaining bones of her son’s body, one of the many Srebrenica massacre victims, an act of genocide during the Bosnian war.
“I buried my son in 2013. There were only two bones. I had hoped that more would be found, but nothing has been, so far. I still hope there will be something and that they will find it,” she said.
On the fatal day 25 years ago, General Ratko Mladic’s troops attacked the suburb of Srebrenica where about 40,000 Bosnian Muslims had sought shelter under the protection of the United Nations.
Little did they anticipate that when Mladic’s forces advanced such a brutal massacre would follow with the men and boys being separated from the women and girls. The massacred bodies were dumped like sacks in mass graves and even today relatives still search for the remains of their loved ones in the hope of giving them a proper burial.
Bajro Salihovic’s remains were found recently and he will be given a final farewell today, on the 25th anniversary of his death.
For this genocide massacre in Srebrenica, Ratko Mladic is now serving a life-long prison sentence after in 2017 being found guilty at The Hague of criminal atrocities during the war.
Scores of Bosnians today commemorated the day with a march in a wood along the route taken by Mladic’s troops as they made their way to Srebrenica. Wearing protective face masks because of the current pandemic they carried Bosnian flags and passed by the graves of victims who are buried a short distance away from where they were killed.
Many remember their great fear that made them run for their lives and hide in the woods as the death squads carried out their genocide, many of them scavenging for food to remain alive.
The Bosnian War that divided Serbs and Bosnian Muslims came to an end in 1995 itself with an agreement that divided the two communities into two autonomous regions between the Muslims and the Serbs. Yet todate, although Serbia has apologised for this criminal war act, they have not accepted that genocide took place.