Srebrenica genocide Memorial Centre marks 17th anniversary

NEWS 20.09.2020 15:06
Source: FENA/Kadira Šakić

Srebrenica genocide Memorial Centre marked the 17th anniversary of former US President Bill Clinton's official opening of the Centre, on Sunday, a memorial and cemetery for the victims of the 1995 genocide that took place in this east-Bosnian town.

Members of the Association “Movement of Mothers of the Srebrenica-Zepa Enclave,” the Association “Women of Podrinje,” Association “Women of Srebrenica” and the Association “Srebrenica Mothers,” as well as Bosniak representatives in the local government of Srebrenica and representatives of the Office of the High Representative in the country, in charge of overseeing the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the war in Bosnia.

During the 1992-1995 war for the country's independence from the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia lost over 100,000 people, over 8,000 of which were lost in July 1995 in Srebrenica, when Bosnian Serb forces, which received financial and logistical support both from Serbian authorities and individuals during the war, overrun the then UN-protected zone of Srebrenica.

Their bodies were subsequently buried in primary, secondary and even tertiary mass graves in an attempt to hide the crimes and make identification of victims impossible. Thanks to state of the art DNA labs, all the bodies that were buried at the Memorial Centre were positively identified.

The bodies of victims that were not identified are still held in morgues waiting for their relatives to give their DNA samples. unfortunately, many have died before their loved ones were exhumated making it impossible to identify a small number of skeletal remains.

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.

International and regional courts have sentenced 45 people for what happened in Srebrenica to a total of more than 700 years behind bars.

Those who the ICTY sentenced to life imprisonment are Ljubisa Beara, Zdravko Tolimir, and Vujadin Popovic. But the most well-known alleged masterminds of what happened in Srebrenica are former Bosnian Serb politician Radovan Karadzic and ex Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, and both have been sentenced for it but have appealed.

The first burial of genocide victims began at the Potocari Memorial Center in 2003 when three funerals were held that year and 969 genocide victims were buried.

Since then, twenty collective funerals have been held and 6,652 victims of genocide have been buried. The buried victims of genocide were found at over 150 different locations, of which 77 were mass graves.

The youngest buried victim in the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Center is the newborn Fatima Muhic, and the oldest victim, Saha Izmirlic, was 94 years old at the time of the murder.