The head of the ‘Women of Srebrenica’ association, Hajra Catic, who spent her life searching for the remains of her late son, Nihad, was laid to rest on Thursday in Srebrenica.
Catic passed away two days earlier. She never had her wish granted – to find even a single bone belonging to her son who was killed in the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, so she can bury him.
Many citizens and officials attended the funeral and the prayer for Catic at the Carsija Mosque.
Among them was former Srebrenica mayor, Camil Durakovic.
“Every time we witness the funerals of our mothers, we have something special to say about each one. Hajra was one of the quietest, but very strong in her intentions. She was a very brave woman. She was not loud, although she had a right to be the loudest in the world,” he said.
“Unfortunately, Hajra had been very exhausted from her illness for several months. Everything she did in her life was not just for her son, the late Nino, whose bones have not yet been found, but also represented a message that was heard around the world, that Hajra carried with her even though she was ill,” he said.
The Vice-President of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Ramiz Salkic, said that Catic’s passing represents “a great loss for all those who insist on truth and justice, who are fighting for the criminals to be punished, who are fighting for those who were killed in the genocide to be found.”
“Hajra is a symbol of our struggle, and in general, the women of Podrinje, women of Srebrenica are a symbol of our struggle and she will go down in history as someone who in her own way informed the whole world about the scale of genocide in this area, perhaps wider and stronger than any the institutions that were supposed to do so,” he said.
Munira Subasic, the head of the ‘Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves’ association, said that the fact Catic passed away without laying her son to rest makes her passing an even greater tragedy.
“Her struggle, which we mothers will continue, is great, and not just hers, but that of other mothers who passed away before her,” Subasic said.