Bosnia’s survivors gather and grieve as the soil endlessly gives up its dead
The dust has settled after being kicked up by crowds converging last month on Srebrenica, the site of Europe’s worst massacre since the Third Reich. But the unhealed pain remains and is repeated across this country as survivors and bereaved families gather, during this sweltering summer season of commemorations, at Bosnia’s hundreds of other mass graves.
And the search continues for thousands still buried in Bosnia’s soil more than 20 years on – 1,000 from Srebrenica and an estimated 7,000 others, whose remains horribly appear, gradually, every so often. So solemnities are also held in scores of other places with names barely known beyond the Balkans: two days after Srebrenica, at Vlasenica, where hundreds were killed and all Muslims “ethnically cleansed”; later this month on Mount Vlašic, where 250 were killed while being deported; last May in Višegrad, where Bošniak Muslims were murdered by the truckload on a beautiful bridge and burned alive in locked houses; last month at Biljani Gornji, 200 more were found in two mass graves … the list is endless.
The president of the camp prisoners association for the Sanski Most area, Nihad Kljucanin, told a crowd gathered on the mountainside beside another mass grave at Hrastova Glavica last Wednesday: “If we find them all, which we must one day, the map of our land is covered with graves.”
A convoy of cars had climbed the dusty mountain track to this lonely grave, where 124 bodies had been found in 2010 at the bottom of a crevice between the rocks. None was intended to live to tell the tale, but one did: Ibrahim Ferhatic, who escaped. The 125 prisoners – inmates of the infamous Omarska and Keraterm concentration camps – were forced to board buses off which they were taken in bound groups of three and shot individually, their bodies slotted into the narrow ravine
For More: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/08/bosnias-agony-continues-as-the-earth-endlessly-gives-up-its-dead-srebrenica