ICMP discovers mass grave in Bosnia's Srebrenica region

NEWS 12.11.2020 15:51
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Source: institut za nestale osobe BiH

A mass grave with at least three complete bodies have been found in the area of East Bosnian Srebrenica Municipality, International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) said Thursday.

According to the Institute, there are strong indications that victims are Bosniaks killed in 1993 in this area. Along with their remains, the Commission found their clothes and shoes.

The exhumation is said to be over within the next 24 hours, after which the remains will be transferred to the commemorative centre in Tuzla where experts will perform DNA analysis.

The exhumation in the field is managed by Bosnia's Prosecutor's Office, and the site also includes a forensic pathologist, representatives of the Institute for Missing Persons and ICMP, as well as workers and mechanization. The location is secured by local police officers.

Tuzla Canton Prosecutor's Office also ordered a re-exhumation at the Ivijci cemetery in the Brcko area where 11 graves will be opened in order to add the newly found remains to the previously buried victims, the Institute for Missing Persons of BiH announced.

During the 1992-1995 Bosnian war for independence from the former Yugoslavia, the country 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.