After Srebrenica

After Srebrenica


Bosnian Serb forces butchered some 8,000 Muslims at the Srebrenica massacre, the worst atrocity of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

Almost two decades on, victims are still being identified. Each year, bones are matched to a name and buried in a mass funeral on July 11, the anniversary of the slaughter.

. Potocari, Bosnia and Herzogovina. Reuters/Reuters photographer

Bosnian Serb forces attacked Srebrenica on July 11, 1995, brushing aside Dutch U.N. troops stationed there to protect the civilian population.

After releasing the women and children, the Bosnian Serbs took away some 8,000 men and older boys and killed them over the following week. Those who tried to escape through the woods were hunted down and killed.

The archive image above shows refugees from Srebrenica at the time of the massacre.

. SREBRENICA, Bosnia and Herzegovina. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Now, victims are buried each year after their bodies are dug out of mass graves and identified.

This year, the remains of 175 people were readied to be laid to rest.

. SREBRENICA, Bosnia and Herzegovina. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

The massacre at Srebrenica was the culmination of a policy of ethnic cleansing by Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic's forces to carve a pure Serb state out of communally diverse Bosnia.

In the image above, a Bosnian Muslim woman mourns near the coffin of a relative, one of the victims of the killings.

. POTOCARI, Bosnia and Herzegovina. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

As the graves at Potocari show, the fallout from the Bosnian conflict still scars the country today.

The peace deal that ended the war split Bosnia into two highly autonomous regions, divvying up power along ethnic lines in a system that critics say has only cemented divisions.