News 08 Jul 14

Thousands Join Bosnian Peace March to Srebrenica

More than 5,000 people have joined a 110-kilometre-long march from the Bosnian village of Nezuk to Srebrenica to commemorate the anniversary of the massacres 19 years ago.

Denis Dzidic
BIRN
Sarajevo
Peace march to Srebrenica.

The peace march set out from Nezuk on Tuesday and will arrive in Srebrenica for the anniversary commemoration on Friday, when the marchers will help unload 175 bodies of victims of the 1995 massacres who will be symbolically reburied.

“I am extremely happy that this year we have a lot of young people participating,” said Muhizin Omerovic, the vice-president of the committee to organize this year’s march.

“About 80 per cent of the participants are between 15 and 30. This is the reason why we are doing this, so that Srebrenica will never be forgotten,” he said.

He said that by walking in the opposite direction from the men from Srebrenica who were massacred after they attempted to escape from Bosnian Serb forces, it is possible to “send a message of peace and lessons learned, not just for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but for the entire world”.

During their journey, the marchers will witness the unveiling of two memorials – one to a former commander of the 28th Battalion of the Bosnian Army, Ejub Golic, who died on July 16, 1995 in Parlog while fleeing from Srebrenica, and the second to doctors from Tuzla who died in a helicopter crash in 1995.

The Bosnian Missing Persons Institute said that among the 175 men and boys whose bodies will be reburied at the Potocari memorial to the Srebrenica victims on Friday, the youngest will be Senad Beganovic, who was 14 when he died in 1995, and the oldest Hurem Begovic, who was 79.

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Background

Srebrenica: Genocide Reconstructed

In July 1995 Srebrenica was shelled and occupied by the Army of Republic of Srpska,VRS, despite being declared a protected area by the United Nations. More than 7,000 people were killed, the victims of genocide.

Ratko Mladic: The Force Behind the Srebrenica Killings

The Bosnian Serb commander’s role in the genocide committed in Srebrenica is described in detail in many indictments and verdicts pronounced before local and international judicial institutions.

The Indictment Against Ratko Mladic

Indictments in 1995 and 2000, further amended in 2002 and 2010, charge the former commander of the Republika Srpska Army with genocide and other crimes.

Ratko Mladic: From Promising Officer to Bloodstained Warlord

When Mladic ordered his army to bomb the people of Sarajevo until they ‘go insane’, he revealed the murderous intentions that would culminate in the Srebrenica massacre.

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