Bosnia: 40,000 in Srebrenica genocide memorial

Remains of 520 victims buried 17 years after massacre

11 July, 19:32

(ANSAMed)- SARAJEVO, JULY 11 - More than 40,000 people turned out as the remains of 520 more victims of the Serbian-led 1995 massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men, women and children were laid to rest in Srebrenica today.

Bosnian Muslim community leader Mustafa Ceric intoned the Srebrenica prayer: ''We pray to you, God, to turn pain into hope, revenge into justice, mothers' tears into into prayers, so that there may never again be another Srebrenica.'' ''I know the anguish you feel,'' New York Park East Synagogue Rabbi Arthur Schneier, a Holocaust survivor whose entire family perished at Auschwitz and Terezin concentration camps, told the victims' families. ''But in the midst of my pain, I never rebelled against God or against humanity. Instead I dedicated my life to building bridges between men.'' Those who carried out the slaughter bear the sign of Cain, which no man can erase, nor can the past be changed, the Rabbi said in reference to repeated Serbian attempts to deny the massacre was a genocide, as it has been called by the international justice community.

''The US opposes any attempt to distort the range of that crime, to justify it, to criminalize the victims, or to deny the undebatable fact that it was a genocide,'' US President Barack Obama said in a message published by the American Embassy today.

SSo far 74 common graves have been found, and every year 500-600 new victims are identified through DNA forensics and buried in the Potocari cemetery and memorial, which already numbers 5,693 tombs. This year's total of 520 is in addition to another 188 victims, who were were buried elsewhere, following family wishes. There are also 1000 incomplete skeletons, which have been identified but whose families are waiting to inter in the hopes of finding their missing parts, while the remains of least 1.500 people who died in the massacre are still unaccounted for. (ANSAMed).

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