40,000 Remember 1995 Srebrenica Massacre

Posted July 11th, 2011 at 5:15 pm (UTC-5)
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An estimated 40,000 people gathered in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina on Monday to mark the 16th anniversary of Europe's worst civilian massacre since World War Two.

This year's anniversary came just weeks after the arrest of the Srebrenica massacre's alleged organizer — former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic, who is in jail awaiting trial for genocide.

The remains of 613 victims only recently dug up and identified were reburied as part of Monday's commemoration. Those victims ranged in age from 11 years old to 82.

U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia Patrick Moon said Mladic's arrest last month gives the world more reason to reflect on the horrific crimes against the innocent, and what it failed to do 16 years ago.

Srebrenica's 8,000 victims were Muslim men and boys. The Muslim member of Bosnia's three-man presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, called Srebrenica a wound that will never heal. He also called it a dark stain on the international community.

On July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces commanded by Mladic overran what was supposed to be a United Nations safe haven under Dutch troops. Mladic assured the refugees that they would be safe. But his forces separated the males and executed thousands, throwing their bodies into mass graves.

A Dutch court ruled last week that the Netherlands is responsible for the deaths of three Bosnian Muslims and should compensate their families.