Families of 12 Victims of Srebrenica Genocide gave Consent for their Burial in Potocari Cemetery

The families of the twelve victims of the genocide committed in July 1995 in Srebrenica have so far given their consent for the burial of the remains of their loved ones at a collective funeral on July 11 at the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Center.

“This is still not the final number of victims who will be buried at the joint funeral in Potocari this year. Families who have not yet decided to bury the remains of previously identified victims, whose remains are housed in the Podrinje Identification Center in Tuzla, still have time for such a decision, until the day of the funeral, “explained Emza Fazlic, spokeswoman for the Institute for Missing Persons of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

According to her, in the premises of the Podrinje identification project, there are the remains of another 36 victims who were also identified by their families, but have not yet given their consent for burial.

“The reason for that is mainly the incompleteness of the found skeletal remains. In some cases, only a few bones were found. The families do not lose hope that the remaining parts of the skeletons of these victims will be found in the next period, so they decide to wait some more time until the final decision on burial, “said Fazlic.

She pointed out that in the premises of the Podrinje identification project, there are the remains of another 98 victims of the genocide in Srebrenica, who were identified with the help of DNA analysis.

“The families of these victims have been informed of the established identities, but they have not yet accepted the invitation and proceeded to final identification.

According to previous identifications, ie consents for burial, one juvenile and one woman will be buried this year.

The youngest victim to be buried for now was 17 at the time he was killed.

The remains of this minor were exhumed from the Cancari mass grave in the Zvornik area.

He was identified in 2013, but the family decided to bury him only this year, eight years after the identification, “said Fazlic. According to her, the oldest victim was 56 years old, BHRT writes.

Fifty years after the world said “Never Again” to the horrors of the Holocaust, genocide took place on European soil.

The name Srebrenica has become synonymous with those dark days in July 1995 when, in the first ever United Nations declared safe area, over 8 thousands of men and boys were systematically murdered and buried in mass graves. The victims, predominantly Muslim, were selected for death on the basis of their identity. This was the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War.

Although Srebrenica is the only mass killing in Balkan wars that has been officially ruled as genocide by the international courts, this atrocity was only the final act in a much broader genocidal strategy—euphemistically dubbed “ethnic cleansing”. The Srebrenica genocide was the planned, systematic, and industrialised conclusion of a four year campaign of forced deportation, torture, mass murder and systematic sexual violence by Bosnian Serb forces in service of their goal to create a “Greater Serbia”. Some Bosnian Serb historians and politicians continue to deny that genocide and ethnic cleansing took place.

Genocide does not happen overnight. It begins when hatred and intolerance are left unchallenged or are manipulated for political gain. With the fall of Yugoslavia, politicians in the region used divisive nationalism to gain power and influence. Propaganda and misinformation were utilised to spread first fear and then hatred, breaking apart decades of trust between vibrant and integrated communities and turning neighbour against neighbour.

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