- All of which want to leave the city, can get transportation. Big and small. The young and the old. Do not be afraid. No one will make you something.
this was the soothing words from general Ratko Mladic to the inhabitants of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina exactly 25 years ago, writes the BBC.
But instead, they were terrified inhabitants of the witnesses and victims of a massacre not seen worse on european soil since the end of the Second world War.
11. July 1995, the captured bosnian serb military units under the command of general Ratko Mladic in the town and in less than two weeks, more than 8000 muslim men and boys systematically executed. Women and children were sent out of the city.
Letbevæbnede peacekeeping forces from the UN, which had declared the area a 'safe zone' and thus assured civilians that they would be protected, did nothing to stop the carnage.
Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the united nations, admitted later that the blot can never be removed.
- the Tragedy of Srebrenica will forever haunt the UN's history, said Annan.
The multi-ethnic Bosnia-Herzegovina was during the break-up of Yugoslavia, the scene of a civil war.
In 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina itself independent after a referendum which the Serbian population had boycotted. After a short time went by bosnian serb forces to attack the newly formed country.
the Day after the Srebrenica genocide in 1995 was captured for the second time, went to the butchery in time. In some cases, the adults forced to watch their children be killed. The thousands of corpses was then with the bulldozers pushed down in mass graves.
25 years after asking Fatima Mujic every day for her husband and the three sons, who were among the victims of the genocide. She thinks of her oldest son, Refik, which is still not found.
I still believe that he is alive somewhere. I know the message on the other, but when I pray for him, beginning my hands to shake. I don't know what I will do, says the 75-year-old widow told AFP.
She recalled how her youngest son, the 16-year-old Nufik, asked her not to leave him, when the Ratko Mladics troops advanced into the city.
I stroked his hair, and said that I would not leave him, she says.
another widow, the 71-year-old Mejra Djoga, has chosen to spend the rest of his life in the place where her life is 'stopped'. Her two sons, aged 19 and 21 years is, along with the thousands of other victims buried near her home.
- I have nothing to live for. I take care of the flowers for not losing your mind, she says to AFP.
Several of those responsible for the massacre in Srebrenica for a quarter of a century ago is subsequently sentenced to heavy punishments.