Thousands of people were in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Wednesday to mark the 17th anniversary of the massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims by Bosnian Serb forces.
Srebrenica was a U.N.-protected Muslim town besieged by Serb forces throughout the country’s 1992-95 civil war. On July 11, 1995, Serb troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic stormed the town, and some 30,000 Bosnian Muslims fled to the U.N. military base in the Potocari suburb just outside Srebrenica.
The recently identified remains of 409 people found in mass graves were given burials at the Potocari Memorial Center. This year’s commemorations bring the total identified victims to 6,066, while another 2,306 remain missing.
"Just like the previous years, several members of one family will be buried today [Wednesday]," said Visoko Town Cemetery Deputy Director Kenan Karavdic.
President Obama issued a statement from Washington expressing sympathy for victims' families and said "the United States stands with the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
Obama also noted that Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, the massacre's masterminds, are on trial before a tribunal at The Hague, Netherlands.
"A measure of justice is finally being served for the victims in courts in The Hague and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as the perpetrators of this atrocity, including Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, are now being called to account for their actions," he said.