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Turkish president vows to support Bosnia on 27th anniversary of Srebrenica genocide

04:55 12 July 2022 Author :  

The Turkish president emphasized strong support for Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday, the 27th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.

"We reject with sadness moves aimed at belittling the crime of genocide, ignoring the suffering of our Bosnian brothers and insulting the memory of our martyrs," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his video message to the commemoration ceremony held in Potocari, eastern Bosnia.

"Our pain is still as fresh as it was on the first day. With every discovered mass grave, with every martyr that we see off, our grief and our pain grow," he added.

Erdogan said Türkiye provides all the necessary support for the security, well-being, and brighter future of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"Ensuring the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a strong and prosperous country is our duty to the martyrs we lost in Srebrenica and other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is no doubt that generations of young people are the guarantee of a peaceful and prosperous Bosnia and Herzegovina," the president said.

He added that Türkiye will neither forget nor allow the Srebrenica genocide to be forgotten.

Bosnia and Herzegovina marked the anniversary by bidding farewell to 50 newly identified victims of the 1995 massacre at a memorial service.

Every year on July 11, newly identified victims of the genocide are laid to rest at the memorial cemetery in Potocari.

After this year’s funeral, the number of burials in the cemetery rose to 6,721.

The youngest of the victims buried this year was Salim Mustafic, who was 16 when killed, while Husejin Krdzic, 59, was the oldest.

Srebrenica genocide

More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed when Bosnian Serb forces attacked the eastern town of Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch peacekeeping troops.

The Serb forces were trying to wrest territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form a state.

The UN Security Council had declared Srebrenica a "safe area" in the spring of 1993. However, troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic, who was later found guilty of war crimes, and crimes against humanity and genocide, overran the UN zone.

Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing some 2,000 men and boys on July 11 alone.

Around 15,000 residents of Srebrenica fled to the surrounding mountains, but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 more people.

The bodies of victims have been found from 570 places across the country.

In 2007, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that genocide had been committed in Srebrenica.

On June 8, 2021, UN tribunal judges upheld in a second-instance trial a verdict sentencing Mladic to life in prison for the genocide, persecution, crimes against humanity, extermination and other war crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina./aa

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