Thousands gathered in Srebrenica on Tuesday, June 11, to mark the 1995 massacre of about 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II, with some relatives of the victims giving their loved ones a proper burial for the first time.
The remains of 71 victims of the bloodshed, which has been ruled genocide by international courts, were laid to rest in a joint funeral at a memorial cemetery in Potocari, near Srebrenica.
They included a 33-year-old woman and seven people who were under 18 when they were killed.
Adela Efendic said she had come to “finally say goodbye” to her father Senaid, who was 35 when he was killed.
“His remains were found nine years ago in a common grave, but only a few bones,” the 22-year-old said, her head covered with a violet veil and tears streaming down her cheeks.
“We were waiting, hoping to find more, but nothing turned up… We decided to bury him now so his bones find peace,” said Efendic, who was just 20 days old when her father died.
“I have only one photo of him, a small one, like for an ID card. But my mother told me a lot about him… it allows me to imagine him.”
Bosnian Serb forces captured the eastern Bosnian town, a UN-protected enclave at the time, on July 11, 1995, five months before the end of Bosnia’s inter-ethnic war.
In the following days they summarily killed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys.