Srebrenica- The remains of a young boy found in four different mass graves.

Srebrenica Genocide

On Saturday Bosnian media reported that the body of one; Senad Beganović and his compatriot, the two years older Muvaz Orlović were identified after their remains had been exhumed from several mass graves around the Podrinje area. ( Drina Valley) Beganović was fourteen when he was killed, he was originally from Bratunac, while Muvaz (16) was from Konjević-Polje.

Senad was born in the village of Glogova near Bratunac ( See also: Glogova Massacre ) and disappeared during the Srebrenica genocide in July 1995. The exhumation of his remains is also a testimony of the rampage of Ratko Mladic and his Serb Army in in the summer and fall of 1995. Some of Senad´s remains were first exhumed in 1998 from a mass grave in Zeleni Jadar near Srebrenica. Other remains were found in 2000 in a grave near his birth village Glogova and then in 2005 several bones were found in a grave in Budak near Srebrenica. Towards the end of 2007 parts were found from another recently discovered grave in Zeleni Jadar near Srebrenica.

The graves in which Senad’s remains were found are several tens of kilometers apart from each other. His remains were identified by his brother Suad. The mortal remains of Muvaz were found in a grave in Zalazje near Srebenica in 2009. All this according to Lejla Čengić, a spokeswoman for the Institute for Missing Persons of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In Podrinje´s “Valley of Mass Graves” also known as “Bosnia´s Valley of Death” near Kamenica in eastern Bosnia the body of one Šahbaz Bećirović born in the village of Neđeljište near Vlasenica was found, his remains were identified by his brothers son, a graduate student at the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo who also works as an imam in town of Srebrenik. According to Semir, his uncle Šahbaz remains are still incomplete, his skull is missing along with his fingers and his feet. There are a total of 14 mass graves in the vicinity of the village. All contain the remains of victims killed after the fall of Srebrenica.

According to Semir, the Bećirović family headed towards Srebenica after the fall of Cerska in March of 1993, most of the women and children in the family were transported to Tuzla that year, while his uncle and most of the men decided to stay.

“After the fall of Srebrenica my uncle decided to stay, while my dad headed towards the woods, he tried to make my uncle come along but my uncle stayed, he wanted to stay and see what would happen after the fall. My father made it to Kladanj “ (Bosnian controlled territory)

Today Semir lives with his wife and child in Srebrenik while his father returned to Neđeljišta near Vlasenica. Yesterday the bodies of Sejdin Husić from Brezovica near Srebrenica and Omer Mujić from the village of Skenderović also near Srebrenica were also identified along with one Hasan Salihović from Potočari and Muhamed Mekanić from Vlasenica.

During 2013, under the direction of Dr. Kešetovic and doctor Vedo Tuco a forensics expert working for the Podrinje Identification Project and Memorial Centre in Tuzla, a total of 366 victims has been identified.

Note: From approximately 1 August 1995 to 1 November 1995, there was an organised effort to remove the bodies from primary mass gravesites and transport them to secondary and tertiary gravesites. In the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia court case “Prosecutor v. Blagojevic and Jokic”, the trial chamber found that this reburial effort was an attempt to conceal evidence of the mass murders. The trial chamber found that the cover up operation was ordered by the VRS Main Staff and subsequently carried out by members of the Bratunac and Zvornik Brigades.

The cover-up operation has had a direct impact on the recovery and identification of the remains. The removal and reburial of the bodies have caused them to become dismembered and co-mingled, making it difficult for forensic investigators to positively identify the remains. For example, in one specific case, the remains of one person were found in two different locations, 30 km apart. In addition to the ligatures and blindfolds found at the mass graves, the effort to hide the bodies has been seen as evidence of the organised nature of the massacres and the non-combatant status of the victims, since had the victims died in normal combat operations, there would be no need to hide their remains.

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