Accessibility links

Srebrenica Anniversary Marked With Burial Of 520 More Victims

  • RFE/RL

Over 30,000 people have gathered in Srebrenica to mark the 17th anniversary of Europe's worst atrocity since World War II -- the massacre of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in 1995 by Bosnian Serb forces.

A focal point of the July 11 events was a funeral for 520 newly identified victims of the massacre. Their remains were recovered from mass graves and identified through DNA analysis.

They were buried at a memorial cemetery, where more than 5,000 Srebrenica victims had already been laid to rest.

FOLLOW RFE/RL Balkan Services continuing coverage of the ceremony

About 6,800 Srebrenica victims have so far been identified. The search for the others goes on, with excavations of mass graves continuing.

Not all of the identified remains have been buried, as some families are waiting for the bodies of other slain relatives to be identified so their family members can be laid to rest together.

Others, whose loved ones have been identified on the basis of just a few bones, hope more remains will be recovered for burial.

READ a complete list of names of the 520 individuals being buried

PHOTO GALLERY: Preparations for the ceremony to July 11 bury the remains of the 520 recently identified victims of the Srebrenica massacre:

This year's anniversary was the first time Bosnia is mourning the massacre since its two alleged masterminds -- Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic and political leader Radovan Karadzic -- went on trial before the United Nations war crimes court.

Mladic and Karadzic have been charged with genocide in connection with the killings, which occurred near the end of the 1992-95 interethnic war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

But many Bosnian Serbs consider Mladic and Karadzic national heroes and deny that Bosnian Serb forces carried out an act of genocide at Srebrenica.

In Washington, President Barack Obama marked the Serbrenica anniversary with a statement saying the United States "rejects efforts to distort the scope of this atrocity, rationalize the motivations behind it, blame the victims, and deny the indisputable fact that it was genocide."

Obama added that "a measure of justice is finally being served for the victims" -- with Mladic and Karadzic "now being called to account for their actions."

Obama said the name of Srebrenica "will forever be associated with some of the darkest acts of the 20th century."

With reporting by AP, Reuters, dpa, and AFP