This year's collective funeral of the Srebrenica massacre victims might be the smallest in terms of the number of the buried victims, according to Lejla Cengic, spokesperson for the Missing Persons Institute.
Mortal remains of at least nine victims have been identified and the families approved their July 11 burial, while 43 victims identified on grounds of DNA analysis are yet to be confirmed for the burial, said Cengic.
She added that the youngest victim that was identified and approved for the burial this year was 20 years old at the time of the death.
On July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces overran the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica and rounded up the town’s Muslim Bosniaks, separated men from women and little children and systematically executed some 8,000 men and boys.
The International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice later ruled that the massacre was an act of genocide.
The bodies of the victims were buried in a large number of mass graves. Forensic experts excavated them and identified the bones through DNA analysis before returning the bodies to the families for interment on July 11 at the Potocari Memorial Centre’s cemetery.
The main reason why this small number of victims is being buried this year, according to Cengic, is the fact that no mass grave has been discovered over the past few years.
“The largest bigger mass grave was found in 2015 and it was a mass grave at a landfill in Zvornik (eastern Bosnia), where 55 mortal remains were exhumed, of which 15 were complete and 40 incomplete,” she added.
The Institute's staff is searching for about 1,000 more victims of the Srebrenica genocide.