Tags / Bosnian Muslims
On July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb troops led by Ratko Mladic stormed through the UN peacekeeping enclave into the city of Srebrenica, executing over 8,000 Bosniaks, mostly men and boys. Now labeled a genocide, the event is considered the worst episode of European mass murder since World War II, and was the wake-up call for the West to push for the cease-fire that ended the three-year Bosnian conflict. Now, 19 years after the event, pieces of the bodies are still being found in over 300 mass graves, often in several different locations due to the perpetrators’ attempt to cover up the crime. Most of the identification work is done by the International Committee on Missing Persons (ICMP), established in 1996. The process of contacting family members is a psychologically stressful one from start to finish, as survivors re-live the agony of the loss while deciding to hold a funeral immediately or to wait until all the remains have been found. 6,066 victims have been buried so far during the annual anniversaries of the massacre in Potocari, Bosnia. The number of burials decrease every year, with 175 bodies buried in 2014.
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On November 21, 1995, the Dayton Agreement ended the civil war in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina. 18 years later, the promises of the agreement have not been kept. Returning to a state of peace is slow and difficult in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the remnants of the war are evident everywhere.
War refugees live in containers or partially destroyed buildings. In 2012, UNHCR reported that around 112,802 people are still internally displaced.
Meanwhile, the ICMP (International Commission on Missing Persons) still works to identify those who are missing. According to the ICMP, at the end of the conflict in former Yugoslavia, 40,000 people were missing or presumed dead. So far, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, about 10,000 people are still missing.
The younger generation hopes that Bosnia and Herzegovina will join the European Union one day, but for many, peace and resolution still seem unattainable.