On July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb military forces led by General Ratko Mladic descended on Srebrenica, a predominantly Muslim town that the United Nations had designated as a safe haven during the conflict. The soldiers proceeded to slaughter some 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
The mass killing, which happened just months before the war drew to a close, has been called the worst atrocity committed on European soil since World War II. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) recently reopened Mladic's war crimes case. The case of Radovan Karadzic, also known as the Bosnian Butcher, Mladic's former boss and the alleged mastermind behind the Serbian atrocities, is also pending. On July 8, Russia vetoed a UN resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre as genocide, calling the resolution "anti-Serb."
On Saturday, a commemoration ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the massacre was nearly overshadowed by the crowd's reaction to the presence of Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic. A Serbian ultranationalist during the war, Vucic once declared, "For every killed Serb, we will kill 100 Bosniaks." After Vucic placed a flower at a monument to the victims, onlookers pelted him with bottles and other debris, forcing him to flee the scene.
To date, 6,930 victims of the massacre have been identified. On Saturday, coffins carrying remains of 136 victims — dug out from dozens of mass graves scattered around Srebrenica — were buried in the memorial center in Potocari, a former UN peacekeepers base where women and children separated from their male relatives tried to find shelter in 1995.
Photographer Srdjan Veljovic documented the somber event, turning his camera toward relatives and friends of the victims.
Relatives of the victims awaiting the prayer before the burial.
Families and friends awaiting the start of the ceremony in the memorial center, a former UN peacekeepers base.
People watching a broadcast of the ceremony, which was attended by former US President Bill Clinton.
A man crying at the coffin containing the remains of his father.
Men carrying coffins to the burial site.
All photos by Srdjan Veljovic