'Srebrenica death march' begins in Bosnia

The walk is expected to conclude three days later at a cemetery in Potocari village where funerals will be held for 136 victims, whose remains were found recently

'Srebrenica death march' begins in Bosnia

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Thousands of people from all over the world have begun a three-day long peace march in Nezuk town near the Bosnian city of Tuzla to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.

Participants, who began gathering at the town since early Wednesday morning, will cover a total distance of approximately 100 kilometers. The walk is expected to conclude at a cemetery in Potocari, a village in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina, just northwest to Srebrenica town, where a funeral prayer and burial ceremony would also be held for 136 genocide victims, whose remains were recently discovered.

Hamdi Fejzic, chairman of the organizing committee, said that the aim of the march was to send a message of peace, tolerance and coexistence. During the long walk, the estimated 8,000 participants would be given details about the Srebrenica genocide, he added.

Also on Wednesday, a three-day cycling marathon titled "Never Again, and Do Not Forget" began in the in northern city of Bihac.

Some 250 cyclists from nine different countries, including Slovenia and United States will cover a distance of 500 kilometers to reach Potocari.

Since 2005, thousands of people have attended the Mars Mira (which means Peace March in local Bosnian language), which follows the same forest path that was used by Bosniaks when they were fleeing the Srebrenica genocide. The path from Srebrenica to Tuzla is commonly known as "Death Way".

Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces between 1992 and 1995 during the Bosnian War. Back then, Serb militias were trying to wrest territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form their own state.

The UN Security Council had declared Srebrenica a "safe area" in the spring of 1993. However, Serb troops led by General Ratko Mladic – who now faces genocide charges at The Hague – overran the UN zone despite the presence of around 450 Dutch soldiers tasked with protecting innocent civilians as UN peacekeepers.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Temmuz 2015, 14:07