Thursday, 18 July 2013

More victims put to rest at Srebrenica

Muhić Fatima died 18 years ago, when she was just two days old and before she even had a name, the youngest victim of the Srebrenica genocide. Her body was found in December 2012 with five other victims in a mass grave.

The child was one of 409 victims buried this year at the Srebrenica Memorial Centre in Potocari. Born July 12th 1995, the baby's remains were laid to rest alongside her father, Hajrudin, two uncles and grandfather. Her mother, Hava, gave the child her name, Muhić, just days before the burial.

"The human mind cannot comprehend what they have done to us and our suffering for our loved ones," said Fadila Efendić, who buried her 20-year-old son, Fejzo, who was also killed at Srebrenica.

Among the 409 identified victims buried in Potocari last week, 44 of them were boys ages 14 to 18.

Munira Subašić, the president of the Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Association, understands Efendic's grief. After 18 years of searching for her son Nermin, Subašić buried two bones -- an arm and a leg -- dug up and identified using DNA analysis.

"I did not give birth to a child without the head and the rest of the body. One of Nermin's bones was found at the site where church is being built now, while the other bone was found 3 miles away," Subašić said.

Lejla Cengic of the Institute for Missing Persons said to cover up crimes, bodies were moved and scattered so that victims could never be found.

"Forensic analyses succeed to associate certain primary and secondary graves. If there were no DNA analyses, it is certain that the identity of the found victims would never be determined," Cengic said.

More than 30,000 people attended this year's memorial, including officials from the region and the world. They all emphasised that the crime at Srebrenica must not go unpunished.

"Although there is a peace, there is still no justice. Thousands of victims still wait for the punishment of the responsible ones for these crimes," said Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

"Who does not know Srebrenica and its pain does not know Bosnia and Herzegovina," said Valentin Inzko, the high representative of the international community in BiH.

Inzko was a participant in a three-day Peace March organised as a reminder of the suffering and tribulation of Srebrenica victims. Participants walk 120 kilometres following the same path that victims walked trying to avoid the carnage in 1995.

"The road is not easy, but we are motivated by the desire to get to Potocari and worship the victims of Srebrenica," said Elvir Takipović from Osijek, Croatia, who along with several other Croatian war veterans participated in the march.

There are 6,066 victims in the Memorial Centre in Potocari, silent witnesses of horrific crimes which occurred in Srebrenica. There are still 2,306 missing.

Thursday 18 July 2013


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