Vol. 5 Num 400 Tue. July 12, 2005  

Thousands recall Srebrenica pain

Tens of thousands of people are attending ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the massacre of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica.

About 8,000 men and boys were killed by Serbian forces in 1995, in Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

UK, French and Dutch ministers, and US officials have been taking part in a memorial at the Potocari cemetery, where many of the dead are buried.

The remains of 610 newly identified dead will be buried at the same time.

Security is tight after two unexploded bombs were found nearby last week. Over 1,500 policemen have been deployed to patrol the area.

A Serbian delegation led by President Boris Tadic is at the memorial for the first time.

Also attending Monday's ceremonies are former US Balkans envoy Richard Holbrooke and the president of the war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Theodor Meron.

UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw apologised on behalf of the international community for not doing enough to prevent what he described as one of the darkest chapters of European history since 1945.

"For it is to the shame of the international community that this evil took place under our noses and we did nothing like enough. I bitterly regret this and I am deeply sorry for it," he said.

He said that it was "sickening" that former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his army commander Gen Radko Mladic, who are accused of the slaughter, had not yet been brought to justice.

The tribunal's chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, has boycotted the occasion in protest against the failure to arrest the two.

Bosnian Muslim women wait as graves being prepared for burial of 1995 Srebrenica massacre victims at the Memorial cemetery in Potocari, near the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica yesterday. Serbian President Boris Tadic arrived here yesterday to attend ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the massacre of some 8,000 Muslims by Serb forces, becoming the first leader from his country to visit the site. PHOTO: AFP