Monday, July 11, 2011 marks the sixteen-year anniversary of the fall of Srebrenica. During the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, Srebrenica was one of a few lone Bosniak holdouts in the east. Completely surrounded by Bosnian Serb forces, the town was declared a safe haven in 1993, to be protected and disarmed by United Nations soldiers.
In the days after the town fell in 1995, some 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were systematically murdered.
This year’s anniversary comes amidst two important developments. First, is Serbia’s arrest and transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia of the wartime Bosnian Serb leader, Ratko Mladic. Indicted for multiple crimes, including genocide not only at Srebrenica, but also in other areas, Mladic was removed from the courtroom due to his disruptive behavior in his first appearance before the judges.
Second, is the decision a Dutch court rendered that Dutch peacekeepers were responsible for some of the deaths in Srebrenica. The court’s decision clears the way for compensation for some relatives of victims from Srebrenica. This case has gone on for nine years and was led by Hasan Nuhanovic, who describes in this video the moment when his family was forced off the UN compound by Dutch soldiers.
Today is a day to remember those who were killed at Srebrenica and to honor their surviving relatives, who have struggled for years to uncover the truth of what happened.