The remains of 71 recently identified victims were buried on the 22nd anniversary on Tuesday of the Srebrenica massacre, Europe’s largest atrocity since World War II.
The victims were put to final rest at the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial Centre and Cemetery. The bodies were identified as belonging to Bosnian Muslim victims of the Srebrenica massacre carried out by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995.
Thousands of Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) men and boys were systematically massacred and buried in mass graves. The International Committee of the Red Cross has estimated the number of victims at 8,000, while the UN tribunal at the Hague has put it at more than 7,000.
— Remember Srebrenica (@SrebrenicaUK) July 8, 2017
In addition to those killed, thousands of women, children and elderly people were forcibly deported, and a large number of women were raped. The UN has called this “the greatest atrocity on European soil since the Second World War”.
This year also marks the closing of the doors of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), a tribunal established by the UN to prosecute those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
Both the ICTY and the International Court of Justice have concluded that the acts committed at Srebrenica constituted genocide, according to a statement by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.
Last month a Dutch appeals court upheld a 2014 ruling that found the Netherlands responsible for the deaths of 350 Bosniak men in the Srebenica massacre. Some 5,000 Bosniaks had sought shelter from Bosnian Serb soldiers in a UN Safe Area base, which was being defended by the lightly armed Dutch peacekeepers when it was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces.
The Dutch government has previously acknowledged its failure to protect the refugees.
The UK is also holding a national Srebrenica Memorial Day with more than 400 commemorations in towns and cities.
(FRANCE 24 and AFP)