The tragedy of Srebrenica unfolded before a horrified Europe 12 years ago. Serbs surrounded the Bosnian town and proceeded to massacre some 8,000 Muslim men and boys of all ages. Now, the annual commemoration is tinged with hope as well as grief, as it appears the Serbs are about to get serious about arresting the perpetrators of the atrocity.
It is also a return home for 465 victims, at last buried in Bosnian soil after years of forensic identification and recovery from hidden mass graves. The UN’s chief war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte was there to tell the crowd of some 30,000 that she believed time was running out for Serb fugitives Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, and that their arrest was imminent.
But apart from justice there remains the question of return, for the living as well as the dead. Around 5,000 human remains are still in a morgue awaiting identification before they can be given a proper burial. Srebrenica, 70 percent Muslim before the war, now finds itself with a Serb majority population.