News / Europe

    40,000 Pay Tribute to Victims of Srebrenica Massacre

    A woman touches the coffin of her relative among the over 600 displayed at the Potocari memorial cemetery near Srebrenica, some 160 kilometers east of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina,  July 11, 2011
    A woman touches the coffin of her relative among the over 600 displayed at the Potocari memorial cemetery near Srebrenica, some 160 kilometers east of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, July 11, 2011

    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 II. The remains of 613 victims only recently dug up and identified were reburied as part of Monday's commemoration.

    Collective Muslim prayers echoed Monday throughout the memorial center on the outskirts of Srebrenica, which already contains more than 4,500 graves.

    In July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces killed about 8,000 Muslim men and boys after invading Srebrenica during the Bosnian war.

    On Monday, survivors and volunteers hoisted 613 coffins wrapped in green cloth to the air and carried them to a field of freshly dug graves in the sweltering hot nearby valley.  

    The youngest laid to rest was just 11 years old, the oldest 82.

    At the ceremony, U.S. ambassador to Bosnia Patrick Moon recalled the mass killings by forces of genocide suspect Ratko Mladic, who was recently brought to the Netherlands-based United Nations Tribunal.      

    “We mourn for the victims laid to rest and for those still waiting to be found," he said. "The arrest of Ratko Mladic gives us yet more reason to reflect on the horrific crimes against the innocent that took place here in Srebrenica. We remember what was done and what the world failed to do 16 years ago.”

    Monday's funeral came just days after a court in the Netherlands ruled the Dutch state was responsible for the deaths of three Bosnian Muslims in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and should compensate relatives.

    It made clear that the outnumbered Dutch peacekeepers were wrong in handing the three men over to Bosnian Serb forces. Trial observers say the unexpected ruling may open the way for other compensation claims.

    However, no money will be able to bring back the loved ones of the many crying women attending the commemoration.

    One mourning woman said, "I have to bury many neighbors, about 30. It is so painful." Looking to the many caskets she added, "I don't know what to say."     

    During the ceremony, officials urged Serbs both in Bosnia and in neighboring Serbia to face the past and realize what was done in their name.

    Ethnic divisions remain in the country, which was divided into a Serb entity and a Muslim-Croat federation following the war of the 1990s that killed more than 100,000 people.

    On Monday, the Bosnian Serb member of the country's three-member presidency failed to attend the massive funeral and commemoration service.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora