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Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 14:43 UK

Srebrenica reburies 300 victims

Bosnian Muslim woman weeps among coffins of Srebrenica victims, 11/07/08
Tens of thousands came from across Bosnia to mourn their menfolk

Tens of thousands from across Bosnia-Hercegovina have gathered in the town of Srebrenica to commemorate the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys.

As part of the ceremonies, the remains of more than 300 newly-identified victims of the massacre are being buried at a memorial site.

The massacre, by Bosnian-Serb forces, has been classified as an act of genocide by the UN war crimes tribunal.

On Thursday, a Dutch court ruled the UN could not be sued over the killings.

Thirty-six-year-old Hafiza Klepic, who came from Denmark to bury her husband's remains, told Reuters that she did not hold out much hope for the case.

Final judgement

"The UN will never acknowledge their mistake, even though the crime happened on their watch, before the eyes of the world," she said.

She is still waiting for her father to be found.

"But we will not give up, justice must be done. If it doesn't happen on this earth, then God will be the judge," she added.

The Mothers of Srebrenica group, which represents some 6,000 survivors of the massacre, argued that the UN was responsible for the failure of its peacekeeping force to protect civilians in the town.

Last year I remembered the details... I saw the place where I separated from my brother who was killed
Refik Dervisevic
Massacre survivor

Srebrenica had been designated a UN safe haven, under the guard of Dutch peacekeepers.

The court in the Netherlands ruled it did not have the authority to hear a case against the UN, which is guaranteed immunity in its charter - but said a parallel case against the Dutch government could continue.

The massacre was Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

The remains of 307 of the victims, aged between 15 and 84, were reburied during Friday's ceremony.

Thousands of other victims are still waiting to be identified by DNA analysis or exhumed from mass graves in the area.

March of Peace

"It was so hard when they informed me that my father has been identified," said Vanesa Mehmedovic, whose father Mevludin was one of those being reburied.

"However, since he is not with us in a way, I'm glad that his soul will finally find peace," she told the AFP news agency at the ceremony in eastern Bosnia.

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People gather for the reburials in Srebrenica

Some estimates put the number of people who converged on the site at 30,000.

Some 2,000 arrived on Thursday after participating in the 100km (60-mile) March of Peace, from the village of Nezuk to Srebrenica.

Refik Dervisevic, a massacre survivor, said: "This is the third time that I am taking part in the march.

"The first time I did not remember anything. I was just walking being haunted by thoughts," he told AFP.

"Last year I remembered the details from July 1995. I saw the place where I separated from my brother who was killed."


SEE ALSO
Srebrenica Muslim chief cleared
03 Jul 08 |  Europe
Timeline: Siege of Srebrenica
09 Jun 05 |  Europe


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