NEZUK (Bosnia-Herzegovina) -- On Friday, thousands marched through eastern Bosnia in a peaceful march in memory of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. This is Europe's only recognized genocide since World War II.
The march covers 100 kilometres (60 miles) and was taken by Bosniak boys and men as they fled Srebrenica, captured by Bosnian Serb troops in the final days of the country’s interethnic conflict in the 1990s.
Ademir Mesic, a Bosanska Krupa native from northwestern Bosnia said that he came to Bosanska Krupa with his two sons and 50 others from my hometown in order to pay tribute to the victims and remember their plight.
Mirce Malic, a Tuzla native, said that her skin felt "crack" at times. "It is difficult to imagine what the (massacre victims) have been through, walking through this and not knowing what awaits us around the corner.
At least 8,000 Bosniak males were taken from their wives, mothers, and sisters by Serb troops in July 1995. They were chased through the woods surrounding Srebrenica by those forces and eventually killed.
In an effort to conceal the evidence of the crime, Bosnian Serb soldiers dumped victims' bodies in mass graves scattered throughout the eastern city.
Each year, new victims are reburied in the large and expanding memorial cemetery outside Srebrenica on July 11, the anniversary of the beginning of the killing in 1995.
The cemetery has buried the remains of over 6,600 people so far. On Monday, 50 additional victims will be buried there, having been identified by DNA analysis and recently discovered in mass graves. People lined Sarajevo’s main street on Friday as a truck carrying their coffins passed.
The truck stopped at the Bosnian presidency, where people paid respect placed flowers on its canvas. Fatima Aljic was one of the victims. Her husband, son and brother were also killed in the massacre. Aljic continues to search for their remains.
Aljic said, "Every year I go to bid farewell the victims and it's difficult -- it's very hard," before breaking down. It would be difficult even to see what happened to us happening, let alone experience it yourself.
The Srebrenica massacres were the final act of war in Bosnia. They occurred after Yugoslavia's breakup unleashed nationalistic passions, territorial ambitions, and set Bosnian Serbs on a collision course with the country’s other two main ethnic groups -- Croats (Bosniaks).
International and national courts have declared the massacre a genocide. However, Serb leaders in Bosnian and Serbia continue to deny or downplay it, despite overwhelming evidence.