Newly identified Srebrenica victims on way to burial

9 July 2013




SOUNDBITE 1 Kenan Karavdic (man), funeral services employee (Bosnian, 16 sec):

"With the addition of these new 409 victims of Srebrenica, we have identified and buried in the last 10 years a total of 6,066 victims."

SOUNDBITE 2 Safija Osmanovic (woman), woman from Srebrenica (Bosnian, 15 sec):

"I still haven't found my son, my husband, and two grandsons from one of my brothers-in-law. My three brothers-in-law who were killed have been buried.. And I still haven't found my brother."

SOUNDBITE 3 Bakir Izetbegovic (man), Bosnian politician and son of the late Bosnian president, Alija Izetbegović (Bosnian, 18 sec):

"There are boys here who were only 14 or 15 at the time, fathers and their sons, and elderly men who were over 70. This is the time for everyone in this region, and in Bosnia, to admit what happened in Srebrenica, which is a genocide."

-VAR communal prayer in Visoko, coffins are loaded on truck

-VAR people waiting for the coffins in Sarajevo

-Trucks arrive

-VAR people and personalities commemorating

-VAR relatives placing flowers of trucks carrying coffins




Thousands mourn Srebrenica victims in Sarajevo


SARAJEVO, July 9, 2013 (AFP) - Thousands of mourners silently lined Sarajevo's avenues on Tuesday as three trucks carried the remains of 409 newly identified victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre to their final resting place.

The convoy was taking the coffins to the small village of Potocari near Srebrenica, where the victims will be buried in a ceremony on Thursday -- on the 18th anniversary of Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

In a silent tribute, relatives carried pictures and pillowcases with embroidered names of many of the 8,000 Muslim men and boys who were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in the eastern Bosnian town in July, 1995.

"This is the most difficult day of my life, I would rather die, but I can not," said Hedija Begovic whose only son will be among those buried at the Potocari memorial centre.

During its passage, the convoy briefly stopped in front of the Bosnian presidency building where mourners, many in tears or saying Muslim prayers, laid flowers on the vehicles.

"These were 14 or 15-year old boys, fathers and their sons, elderly," said Bakir Izetbegovic, a Muslim member of Bosnia's post-war joint presidency.

Srebrenica was a UN-protected Muslim enclave until July 11, 1995, when it was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces who loaded thousands of men and boys on to trucks, executed them and then threw their bodies into mass graves.

The Serbs brushed aside lightly armed Dutch UN peacekeepers in the "safe area" where thousands of Muslims from surrounding villages had gathered for protection.

The massacre has been judged an act of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice.

The remains of 5,657 victims, identified through DNA tests after being found in several mass graves in the Srebrenica region, have already been buried in Potocari.

But many victims remain unidentified.

"I have yet to find my son, my husband, my brother, I have got no information for 18 years," a tearful Safija Osmanovic said as she paid tribute to the victims.

"If only I can find a single bone to bury, to finally know where they rest," she said.

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