11 Jul 2015

Srebrenica massacre remembered 20 years on

Tens of thousands gather in Bosnia-Herzegovina to commemorate the execution of 8,000 Muslim men and boys 20 years ago. More than 1,000 have yet to be found.

Serbia’s prime minister was forced to flee from a ceremony in Bosnia on Saturday marking the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, as an agry crowd threw bottles and stones and chased him away from the site.

The incident emphsaised the depth of feeling that lingers after Belgrade’s continued denial of the crime as genocide.

Aleksandar Vucic was shielded from angry mourners shouting and booing. A crowd then ran up a hill towards the delegation as they fled for their cars.

The incident marred a ceremony to commemorate the day that Srebrenica fell to Bosnian Serb forces in the closing months of the 1992-95 war. The area had been designated a safe haven protected by Dutch United Nations peacekeepers,

About 8,000 Muslim men and boys were executed over the next five days. Their bodies were dumped in pits only to be dug up months later and scattered in smaller graves in an effort to conceal the crime. More than 1,000 have yet to be found.

The remains of 136 recently identified victims were to be buried on Saturday.

Serbia backed Bosnian Serb forces with men and money during the war, and last week enlisted its ally Russia to veto a British-backed UN resolution that would have condemned the denial of Srebrenica as genocide, as a UN court has ruled it was.

Many Serbs dispute the term and the death toll, as well as the official account of what happened.

The disagreement reflects conflicting accounts of the Yugoslav wars that still feed political divisions and stifle integration with western Europe.