Decade Later, Srebrenica Widows Struggle to Rebuild Their Lives - Islamic Relief USA

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.

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