World

Bosnia: Muslims commemorate 25 years of the Srebrenica genocide

(Srebrenica) Bosnian Muslims commemorated the Srebrenica genocide a quarter of a century ago, the worst killing on European soil since World War II with more than dead, in a memorial to the reduced influx by the coronavirus.

Rusmir SMAJILHODZIC

France Media Agency

“I have a two-year-old daughter, like me at the time. It's difficult when you see someone calling their father and you don't have him, “said Sehad Hasanovic in tears, 27 years, that the measures to combat the pandemic have not dissuaded from coming alongside around 3000 relatives of victims.

His father, Semso, “had left through the forest and never returned. We only found a few bones, “he said. Like his brother Sefik and father Sevko, Semso was killed when Bosnian Serb troops led by Ratko Mladic entered the Srebrenica enclave before systematically massacring Bosnian men and adolescents.

“The husbands of my four sisters were killed. My brother was killed, his son too. My mother-in-law lost another son as well as her husband “, lists Ifeta Hasanovic, 37 years old, whose husband Hasib is one of the nine victims whose remains have been identified since July 2019.

They were buried at the beginning of the afternoon in the cemetery of the Genocide Memorial Center, in Potocari, a village near Srebrenica where during the Bosnian intercommunity war was located (1992 – 95, 100 000 dead) the base of the UN protection force (UNPROFOR).

PHOTO DADO RUVIC, REUTERS

Until then “protected area” of the United Nations, Srebrenica was taken on 11 July 1995, five months before the end of the war, by the forces of Ratko Mladic.

The Bosnian Serb political and military leaders at the material time, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, have been sentenced to life imprisonment by international justice, including for the Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo.

To date, close to 6900 victims of the massacre have been found in more of 80 mass graves and identified. Most rest in the Memorial Center.

Denial ”

The Srebrenica massacre is the only episode in the Bosnian conflict that has been classified as an act of genocide by international justice. But its gravity is still downplayed by the political leaders of the Bosnian Serbs.

The Serbian member of the collegiate presidency of Bosnia, Milorad Dodik, refuses the qualification of “genocide” and speaks of “myth”.

The Serbian mayor of Srebrenica, Mladen Grijicic, said “there is daily new evidence that denies the current presentation of everything that has happened” in Srebrenica.

“We will insist without respite on the truth, on justice and on the need to judge all those who committed this crime”, answered Friday the Bosnian member [musulman] of the three-headed Bosnian presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic .

“The international community has not defended Srebrenica there is 25 years, but she has the opportunity to defend the truth that is being challenged, “said Bakir Izetbegovic, leader of the main Bosnian political party [musulman], the SDA, and son of the Bosnian leader at the time of the conflict, Alija Izetbegovic.

“Despite all that has happened, life is reborn in Srebrenica […] The past which has been difficult can be an opportunity to get to know each other better and to build a better future if we accept the truth as the guideline, “urged the Bosnian grand mufti, Husein Kavazovic, on Saturday.

Due to the impossibility of bringing crowds in one day, the organizers invited people to visit the Memorial Center throughout July.

Several exhibitions have been installed, in particular the paintings of the Bosnian artist Safet Zec devoted to the massacre.

Another, baptized Why aren't you there? , of the American artist of Bosnian origin Aida Sehovic, consists of more than 8000 cups of coffee for as many victims of the massacre, placed on the lawn of the Memorial Center.

PHOTO DADO RUVIC, REUTERS

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