Srebrenica massacre victims found in new mass grave

A memorial plaque featuring names of people killed in the Srebrenica massacre is pictured in Bosnia and Herzegovina. PHOTO: REUTERS

THE HAGUE (AFP) - More victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre have been found in a newly discovered mass grave in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands-based International Commission for Missing Persons said on Wednesday (Dec 8).

International courts have described Bosnian Serb forces killing more than 8,000 Muslim males in Srebrenica in 1995 as "genocide".

The new burial site was found near the southern town of Kalinovik, said the ICMP.

"What is unusual about the Kalinovik site is that, of all the Srebrenica genocide grave sites that have been recovered to date, it is by far the furthest distance from Srebrenica," said Matthew Holliday, head of the Western Balkans programme at ICMP.

"Its location is only a few kilometres from the village of Godinjska Bara, near Trnovo, where paramilitaries of the 'Scorpions' unit executed six Bosniak prisoners from Srebrenica in mid-July 1995," he said.

Footage of that execution has been played during the international trials of former Bosnian Serb leaders who in charge at the time of the massacre.

DNA samples from the site were matched with genetic samples provided by relatives of the disappeared in 10 separate cases, and have been passed on to a specialised Bosnia and Herzegovina body for formal identification.

Almasa Salihovic, spokeswoman for the Srebrenica Memorial Centre, says victims of the massacre have been found in more than 90 mass graves.

It is believed the bodies of the victims were originally dumped into mass graves, most of which were then moved in an effort to hide the atrocity.

This summer, she told AFP it was "getting more difficult to find new mass graves", and relatives were "still searching for more than one thousand victims".

The last grave was excavated in 2016, Holliday said.

Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his army chief Ratko Mladic have both been sentenced to life by a UN war crimes court, notably for the genocide in Srebrenica.

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