People have begun arriving in Srebrenica, Bosnia, including some 7000 who came on a symbolic march in memory of the townspeople’s attempted escape from the massacre of 17 years ago.
In 1995, near the very end of the Bosnian war some 10 to 15,000 people left the UN- protected town to march through forests to escape Serb encirclement. They were caught, and some 8000 men and boys were taken away, never to be seen alive again.
Many have been returned home in coffins, some identified from recently-discovered mass graves, to properly rest in peace.
“The oldest human right is a dignified burial and to have a memory of the deceased and our dead relatives, and this is why we came here to Srebrenica, to express solidarity with those who survived and with Srebrenica itself,” said Austrian diplomat and Bosnia’s international administrator Valentin Inzko.
Yet 17 years on the memories remain raw like yesterday for some, and there are likely to be some unbearable scenes of emotion between now and the anniversary of the fall of Srebrenica on Thursday.