Britain

BACKBONE, NOT BACKDOWN

PAUL WELLS October 13 2003
Britain

BACKBONE, NOT BACKDOWN

PAUL WELLS October 13 2003

MEMORY OF A MASSACRE

Eight years on, Srebrenica’s pain continues

Photo Essay

ROGER LEMOYNE

IT WAS EUROPE’S WORST ACT OF GENOCIDE since the Second World War. In July 1995, Bosnian Serbs took over the mostly Muslim town of Srebrenica. It had previously been celebrated for its hot-spring spas. But between July 12 and 16, Srebrenica’s reputation changed—to that of charnel house. As a handful of Dutch UN peacekeepers stood helplessly by— and with 30 of them being held hostage—Serb forces systematically killed almost 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

The murders took place in schools, warehouses and fields, with the victims buried in mass graves. After the Bosnian war ended in 1995, the International Commission on Missing Persons began to exhume bodies and attempt to identify them through DNA testing. On Sept. 20, 2003, survivors of the massacres organized a commemorative ceremony in Srebrenica, with former U.S. president Bill Clinton paying tribute to those who died. At that time, the remains of some of the victims who’d been identified were given a proper funeral. Since 1995, Canadian photojournalist Roger Lemoyne, a native of Montreal, has been documenting the aftermath of the massacre. Maclean’s presents a selection of his work. CTl