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Serbs admit scale of Srebrenica massacre - Al Jazeera, Qatar

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  • Zafar Khan
    Serbs admit scale of Srebrenica massacre Thursday 14 October 2004, 20:23 Makka Time, 17:23 GMT
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 14 11:59 AM
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      Serbs admit scale of Srebrenica massacre
      Thursday 14 October 2004, 20:23 Makka Time, 17:23 GMT


      Bosnian Serb authorities have admitted for the first
      time that Serb forces slaughtered more than 7000
      Muslims in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, Europe's
      worst atrocity since World War II.

      "I am confirming that the number [of victims] is
      higher than 7000. I cannot reveal the exact figures.
      It is up to the government to do it," an official from
      a special investigative commission said on condition
      of anonymity on Thursday.

      In 2002, Bosnian Serb officials issued a report which
      lowered the number of victims, triggering outrage
      among survivors and the international community.

      In June, the Bosnian Serb government admitted that
      Serb forces had committed the massacre and tried to
      cover up the crime, but it avoided giving a definite
      figure on the number of victims.

      New report

      The figure of more than 7000 victims - a number which
      conforms to most independent assessments - is
      contained in a new report the investigative commission
      presented to the government on Thursday.

      "I think that the commission made the most objective
      and the most correct list of those killed in
      Srebrenica," commission member Djordje Stojakovic

      "We had more than 30 sources of information but the
      list is not final. I'm not sure that there will be a
      final list ever."

      Srebrenica is the first episode in the bloody break-up
      of the former Yugoslavia that the UN war crimes
      tribunal at The Hague considered genocide.

      Bosnian Serb forces overran the enclave, which was
      supposed to be under UN protection, in July 1995.

      Women and children were allowed to flee but Muslim men
      and boys were rounded up. The International Committee
      of the Red Cross (ICRC) estimates that more than 7000
      of them were subsequently killed.


      Most Bosnian Serbs deny the massacre and continue to
      regard their political leaders during the country's
      1992-95 war, Radovan Karadzic, and his military
      commander, Ratko Mladic, as heroes.

      Both men have been indicted by the UN tribunal at The
      Hague for war crimes and genocide for their alleged
      roles in the atrocity, but remain at large somewhere
      in the former Yugoslavia.

      The genocide is also the basis of key charges laid
      against former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic,
      who has been on trial at The Hague for more than two

      Massacre survivors said it was about time the Serbs
      admitted the scale of the slaughter, but warned that
      more information was needed on the whereabouts of the
      culprits and the locations of hidden mass graves.

      "Considering the scale of the crime, it is a success
      that after nine years the number of victims is being
      confirmed," the head of the Srebrenica mothers
      association, Munira Subasic, told reporters.

      "But we also want to find out from the report who the
      perpetrators are. Who were those who took away our
      kids? We would also like to know where they were

      Mass graves

      More than 6000 bodies have been exhumed from mass
      graves near the town. On Thursday, forensic experts
      said they had found the remains of more Srebrenica
      victims in three mass graves in eastern Bosnia.

      "The three sites, all located in the village of
      Bljeceva in eastern Bosnia, are secondary mass graves
      as the bodies were initially buried somewhere else and
      then moved there," Commission for Missing People
      member Murat Hurtic said.

      The remains of some 1327 Srebrenica victims have been
      identified using DNA analysis since 1995 and reburied
      at a Srebrenica memorial site. Another 5000 bodies are
      yet to be identified.

      Post-war Bosnia consists of two semi-independent
      entities - the Serb-run Republika Srpska, which
      includes Srebrenica, and the Muslim-Croat Federation.

      Bosnia's war claimed some 200,000 lives and more than
      two million people, over half the country's
      population, were forced to flee their homes.

      More information about Bosnia at:

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