Burbank, California (July 11, 2005) – Today is the 10th anniversary of the
Srebrenica massacre in which 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed. The worst
atrocity in Europe since the end of World War II, the war crimes tribunal at
the Hague described the massacre as genocide. Ten years later, their bodies
are still being exhumed from mass graves. In today’s memorial ceremony, 600
are being laid to rest.
Families of the missing have given blood samples to authorities to help with
DNA identification of their loved ones. In Tuzla, about 40 miles from
Srebrenica, 3,500 body bags containing the remains of massacre victims still
await DNA identification.
But thousands of Srebrenica widows still have no news of what happened to
their husbands. Many are unable to return home to the scene of the tragedy
and are forced to live as refugees. Today, ten years later, they still struggle
to bring a sense of closure and peace to their lives.
Islamic Relief Worldwide has been working in Bosnia since 1992, before the
start of the war that left around 200,000 dead and at least 2 million
homeless. Unemployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina is around 40%. The
factories which provided the majority of jobs before the war now lie
Islamic Relief has helped thousands of widows across the country to return to
their pre-war homes and rebuild their lives. By reconstructing their homes
they are doing more than giving shelter to their orphaned children. They are
building up the courage to move on from the horrors of the past and live in
hope of a better future.