Two decades on, Srebrenica remains an open wound
July 10 2015 10:38 PM

Bosnia marks today the 20th anniversary of Europe’s worst mass killing since World War Two - the slaughter of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces during five July days in 1995.
Even now, the forests and farmland around Srebrenica are yielding bones; more than 1,000 victims are missing, tossed into pits then dug up months later and scattered in smaller graves by Bosnian Serb forces trying to conceal the crime.
Investigators believe at least one more big grave eludes them, while the accused architects - Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and military commander Ratko Mladic - are still standing trial at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague, fiercely unrepentant.
As such, Srebrenica remains an open wound, the lack of closure a dark shadow over Bosnia.
Saying that the world should never again witness a genocide like the one that befell Srebrenica in 1995 seems like a simple thing to say.
However, the stark differences among UN Security Council members on Wednesday on how to describe the massacre indicated that the opposite is true.  
Russia, a permanent member of the council, vetoed a British-drafted resolution, after calling it a “destructive document” that would not help the reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The defeated resolution would have termed the mass killing in Srebrenica “the crime of genocide” and would have called for such slaughter to never happen again.  
Even before being put to the vote, the bill had prompted an angry reaction from Serbs of all stripes, who claim such a resolution demonises them.
“Our position is clear. No one denies that a crime happened in Srebrenica, but not genocide as Sarajevo persistently insists,” Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik told the Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti in May.
But that position is at odds with the opinions of most of the world, as witnessed by the recent memorial ceremony in London for the Srebrenica dead.
“The ... anniversary is a moment to remember the many thousands who lost their lives, their families and the missing, and the fact that for so many, including the Mothers of Srebrenica, the agony continues every day,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said during the Westminster Abbey ceremony.
If anything, the UN resolution showed how deep the divides remain decades after the 1992-95 Bosnian war that saw the former republic of Yugoslavia descend into war, with Orthodox Serbs fighting Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats.
More than 100,000 were killed and millions displaced, with Srebrenica standing out as the worst of the many atrocities.
The mass killing of able-bodied Bosniaks and the expulsion of the rest of the Muslim population from Srebrenica - their enclave in the mostly Serb eastern Bosnia - was declared a genocide by the International Court of Justice in 2007.
The act was carried out by Bosnian Serbs, according to the ruling.
The court also found that Serbia did not do enough to prevent it.

Last updated:

There are no comments.

LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Who will be the next Bond? date9/28/2021 10:12:43 AM