Srebrenica massacre remembered
12 July 2007, THE HAGUE (AP) - Hundreds of people, many of them Bosnian refugees, marked the 12th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide Wednesday by marching silently around a square outside the Dutch parliament as the names of victims were read one by one.
12 July 2007
THE HAGUE (AP) - Hundreds of people, many of them Bosnian refugees, marked the 12th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide Wednesday by marching silently around a square outside the Dutch parliament as the names of victims were read one by one.
Standing in front of a poster of hundreds of coffins in a warehouse, Bosnians and Dutch activists read out the names of more than 400 recently identified victims of Europe's worst massacre since World War II.
Tima Alic wept as she ran her finger down a poster bearing a list of men and boys who were among some 8,000 Muslims murdered and buried in mass graves by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995.
"That is my family," she said in halting Dutch, wiping away tears with a crumpled tissue.
During the 1992-95 Bosnian war, the United Nations declared Srebrenica a safe haven and posted peacekeepers there to protect Muslims who were under siege by Serb forces. But, heavily outnumbered, the U.N. soldiers never fired a shot as Bosnian Serbs swarmed into the region 12 years ago.
The anniversary of the slaughter has particular resonance in the Netherlands because Dutch peacekeepers stood by helplessly as Bosnian Serb troops separated the men and boys of Srebrenica from the women and led them away to be murdered.
Lize den Oudsten, a supporter of Bosnian refugees, criticized the government for snubbing Srebrenica survivors last month when they handed over a lawsuit accusing Dutch authorities and the U.N. of failing to protect the thousands of Bosnians crowded into the Srebrenica safe haven in 1995.
"This is just the latest evidence that the Netherlands does not want to recognise its role in this disaster," she said.
Suhra Salihovic, 48, was among those marching around the square.
"Two sons, a brother, a nephew; I lost a lot of family," said Salihovic, who fled to the Netherlands from Srebrenica. "It is important that people keep remembering it. We must never forget."
[Copyright AP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news