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Bosnians remember Srebrenica

in the year of the Mladic trial

On 11 July Bosnia commemorates the 1995 massacre when Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic directed their troops into the first UN"protected area" in history, Srebrenica, a Muslim enclave in the East of the Country. 

Here nearly 8.000 Bosnian men and young males in their teens were killed by the Serbian forces of Bosnia. The 17th anniversary of the mass murder is marked by the activity of the International Tribunal for the Crimes in the ex Yugoslavia, The collapse of the federal State founded by Tito claimed the lives of 100 thousand people

Mladic trial resumed 

The Tribunal for the Crimes of ex Yugoslavia stated that the Serbian-Bosnians perpetrated "genocide" in Srebrenica. Facing setbacks and stops caused by clerical errors and other problems, the Court is trying to prosecute military commanders Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic for war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

On 9 July in The Hague the Court heared the first witness of the Prosecution, 34-year old Elvedin Pasic, who survived the execution of about 150 people in Grabovica in Northern Bosnia in 1992. The hearings will be held until 20 July, when the Court will adjourn for Summer holidays. 

"Unbearable pain" 

The genocide is officially commemorated in the Potocari Memorial. The authorities will bury 520 victims who have recently been reexhumed from mass graves. Uptil now 5.137 corpses have been buried in Potocari. 

Nearly 30,000 people are expected to take part in the ceremony, many of whom have undergone serious traumas for the loss of their loved ones and the violence that has caused it. Sevdika Halilovic, who went to Potocari to mourn her father, said to a Le Monde journalist in tears: "It is an endless pain. And everytime 11 July approaches, it becomes unbearable". 

11 July 2012

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Ethnic cleansing

in the former Yugoslavia

The federal Yugoslavia was formed by six republics (Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia) and two autonomous regions united to Serbia (Kosovo and Vojvodina). As Tito died in 1980, there was a breakout of political tensions which resulted in the civil war between the different republics that formed the federal State.
From 1990 to 1999, with a precedent in 1989, when Serbia opposed Kosovo independence, the clashing forces used repeatedly ethnic cleansing in order to prevail. The data on the breadth of the mass murder are still provisional: the continuous discovery of mass graves makes it difficult to estimate it. Certain massacres, like the Srebrenica Massacre in 1995 in which the Serbs killed nearly 8000 Bosniak men and assaulted the remaining women, are historically infamous and provoked an international response.. The genocides were far from one sided, as most sides in the conflict attempted to eradicate the other through ethnic cleansing. These brutal attempts of homogenizing the country were inspired by extreme nationalism. The destabilization in the face of Tito's death provoked each ethnicity to vie for total control of the territory and ethnic purity.  The ensuing Yugoslav Wars where characterized by this type of violent ethnic conflict and consequently this series of conflicts is known as the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War 2. By 1995, nearly 100,000 people had been killed during this genocide.

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