Hundreds of victims of the Srebrenica massacre were buried
Sunday at a ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of the atrocity in the
The 775 coffins with the remains of newly identified
victims from mass graves were laid to rest at the Potocari cemetery, outside
More than 7,000 Muslim men and boys from the town were
killed by advancing Bosnian Serb troops in July 1995.
The massacre was the worst atrocity in Europe since World
War II. Serbian President Boris Tadic attended the ceremony, in what was seen
as a significant gesture. In March, Serbia’s parliament passed a landmark
resolution apologising for the massacre, saying Belgrade should have done more
to prevent the tragedy. Srebrenica had
been declared a UN safe zone, to which thousands of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks)
had fled during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. But the Bosnian Serb army easily
overran the lightly-armed Dutch force there in July 1995.
The massacre is the only episode of the conflict to have
been deemed a genocide by the UN tribunal.
Thousands of people attended the ceremony at the Potocari cemetery – the
biggest Srebrenica funeral so far.
New rows were made for the burial of 775 victims, who will
join nearly 4,000 already there.
Mourners mingled among the coffins, looking for the names
of loved ones. Bosnian Security Minister Sadik Ahmetovic told the crowd the
international community should help bring fugitive Bosnian Serb wartime
military commander Radko Mladic – “the man who brought us our suffering” – to justice.
A statement read out from US President Barack Obama said:
“We recognise that there can be no lasting peace without justice.”
Mr. Tadic, whose attendance brought a mixed response from
mourners, said: “With the arrest of General Mladic I would know that part of my
job is finished. We need this for the future, for building confidence, for our