Over 5000 Srebrenica survivors set to visit scene of massacre
SARAJEVO, Jul 4, 2000 -- (AFP) More than 5,000 survivors of the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica are set to revisit the scene next Tuesday as part of an anniversary event seen by Serb officials as posing a high security risk.
Sadik Salihovic, a member of the association of mothers from the enclaves of Zepa and Srebrenica, told AFP that a total of 117 buses would leave major towns in the Muslim-Croat federation for Potocari, outside Srebrenica, where the cornerstone of a memorial center would be laid and prayers said for the massacre victims.
However, the Republika Srpska (RS) regional police in Zvornik said it could provide security for 15 buses only, Salihovic added.
Over 7,000 Muslims are believed to have been executed by Serb forces after the fall of the UN-proclaimed safe zone in July 1995.
"We have no intention of reducing the number of buses," Salihovic said adding that protests would be organized in Sarajevo if the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) and the Office of the High Representative failed to provide security.
Meanwhile in Banja Luka Bosnian Serb interior minister Sredoje Novic told the news agency SRNA that the whole event was a high security risk.
He also said that the number of buses should be reduced but did not mention a specific number.
He called on Serbs to restrain themselves from any violent behavior, adding that the RS police were taking wide security measures.
Last week, the Serb Veterans' Union in Srebrenica issued a statement protesting the commemorative event and denying that there had been any massacre in Potocari.
Last May, one woman and four Bosnian Serb policemen were injured when four buses of Muslim refugees due to visit the Srebrenica region were stoned by Serb civilians in the eastern town of Bratunac.