Sixteenth Anniversary since the First Funeral where 600 Victims were buried in Srebrenica

March 31, 2019 1:00 PM

Sixteen years ago, the first collective funeral was held at the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Center.

On the first collective funeral first 600 identified victims of genocide in Srebrenica were buried.

To date, 6610 identified victims of genocide in Srebrenica were buried in the memorial center at the official site of the Memorial Center.

The youngest victim buried so far in Potočari is the newborn baby Muhić. Her remains were found in the mass grave in the surrounding of the Factory of accumulators in Potočari and was buried on 11 July 2013. The oldest victim buried so far in Potočari is Šaha Izmirlić, born in 1901.

In July 1995, forces of the Army of the Republika Srpska, the VRS, invaded the town of Srebrenica, in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. In a few horrific days, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim boys and men were taken to places of detention, abused, tortured and then executed. As their bodies fell into mass graves, the machinery of denial of those crimes was set into motion.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia-commonly referred to as the ICTY, investigated, prosecuted and passed judgement on those crimes.

By the summer of 1995, three towns in eastern Bosnia—Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde—remained under control of the Bosnian government. The U.N. had declared these enclaves “safe havens” in 1993, to be disarmed and protected by international peacekeeping forces.

On July 11, 1995, however, Bosnian Serb forces advanced on Srebrenica, overwhelming a battalion of Dutch peacekeeping forces stationed there. Serbian forces subsequently separated the Bosniak civilians at Srebrenica, putting the women and girls on buses and sending them to Bosnian-held territory.

Some of the women were raped or sexually assaulted, while the men and boys who remained behind were killed immediately or bussed to mass killing sites. Estimates of Bosniaks killed by Serb forces at Srebrenica range from around 7,000 to more than 8,000.

After Bosnian Serb forces captured Zepa that same month and exploded a bomb in a crowded Sarajevo market, the international community began to respond more forcefully to the ongoing conflict and its ever-growing civilian death toll.

In August 1995, after the Serbs refused to comply with a U.N. ultimatum, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) joined efforts with Bosnian and Croatian forces for three weeks of bombing Bosnian Serb positions and a ground offensive.

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