Unquiet ghosts of the Balkans

Twenty years ago this month, Europe’s worst atrocities and massacres since the Nazi regime took place, when many thousands of Bosniak Muslims were murdered by Bosnian Serb forces at Srebrenica. The International Commission on Missing Persons has been

5th July, 2015
A woman in front of a stone tablet at the Srebrenica Memorial, with the names of those killed in July 2005 when Serbian units under General Ratko Mladic murdered about 8,000 Muslims. Picture: Getty

Around midnight on July 11, 1995, word reached Srebrenica that Dutch peacekeepers had abandoned their observation posts on the outskirts of town. The soldiers had arrived in the Eastern Bosnian “safe haven” just over two years earlier, ostensibly to provide a buffer between local Bosniak Muslims and encircling Bosnian Serb forces. When 19-year-old Hasan Hasanovic heard that the United Nations troops had retreated to their base he knew he had two choices: escape or die.


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