SREBRENICA 15 YEARS LATER

By Kevin Beck
Contributing Writer

The July 1995 massacre and murder of 8000 Bosnian men and boys in the eastern Bosnian city of Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina continues to be a stain on humanity. More than seventy major mass graves have been located in Bosnia-Herzegovina containing civilians killed during the worst war crimes in Europe since the days of World War Two. While partial responsibility has been taken for the crimes of mass slaughter and ethnic intolerance that took place during the final months of the civil war and genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a full claim of responsibility has progressed slowly in the fifteen years since the tragedy.

Former Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic is serving a twenty-nine-year prison term in Great Britain after being found guilty of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (I.C.T.Y.). Krstic is only one of several high ranking Serbian officials and military leaders who are blamed for the ethnic cleansing and executions of thousands of Bosnian civilians in Srebrenica during the 1992-1995 conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Radovan Karadic was the highest ranking civilian and military leader of the Bosnian Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina and is currently on trial in the International Criminal Tribunal for genocide and murder, among other charges relating to his actions and responsibilities in Srebrenica. Former Serbian General Ratko Mladic who shares responsibility in Srebrenica remains at large and is believed to be protected inside Serbia. Serbia itself was found guilty of failing to prevent the genocide that took place in Srebrenica in 1995.

Current Bosnian Serb leaders continue to be problematic for the international community in dealing with the Srebrenica Massacre as Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik has stated that the Srebrenica killings are fabricated and never took place. Dodik’s statements drew staunch criticism from British and American governments, considered cruel and destructive to peace and reconciliation efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Today in Srebrenica, troubling memories persist for Serbian residents and Bosnian survivors alike who regard the eastern Bosnian city as the scene of one of the worst episodes of cruelty that has ever existed. These scars on Srebrenica are deep and unlikely to heal for generations as both perpetrators and victims continue to live in a country fragmented by violent civil war and genocide.

Photo Courtesy of Maud Ayuto

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