"Looking for the missing"- Srebrenica

Srebrenica prepares for July 11th- 24 years after the genocide. 


11th off July 2019 marks the 24th year since the genocide in Srebrenica started. Ratko Mladic and his troops walked into the town of Srebrenica, an area that had been designated by the UN as a so called “safe area” for the Bosniak (Bosnian muslims) population in Eastern Bosnia. 
Potocari memorial cemetery on July 11th 2017
Following the fall of Srebrenica on July 11th 1995, 8,373 men and boys were murdered during a period of a little over one week, by the Bosnian Serb militia. Later that year, the Dayton agreement was signed and it ended the war in Bosnia. 

Preparation for the 'burial of the dead', Potocari, July 11th 2012.
However, for many, the war never properly ended. For many, the peace agreement stopped the physical fighting, for many, it feels more like a “paralysed peace” ( Reference to author Christopher Bennett and his book “Bosnia’s Paralysed Peace”). 

A problem for some is the fact that a number of war criminals are are still at large. High level criminals like Mladic, Karadzic and Milosevic have been sentenced, many others have never faced justice, even 24 years after the war. 

Ramiz Nukic at his home, outside Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2018.

For some, like Ramiz Nukic, who lives on his small farm just outside Srebrenica, helping the people who are still missing their loved ones, has become a "mission in life”.

Ramiz with his family.
Ramiz with his wife and grand son.
The grand daughter of Ramiz playing outside their  house. 
Apart from looking for remains, Ramiz produces most of what the family needs in terms of food on his own family farm.

In 1993, when the Serb forces were closing in on the region, the people around Srebrenica moved into the town. It was declared a “safe area” and many refugees came. Every apartment and house was full, people lived in other peoples houses. Import of food and medicine was almost non excitant, life was hard. Ramiz was 41 years old, married and a father to 5 children. 

On July 11th, Mladic troops attacked Srebrenica with little or no resistance from the UN. Ramiz family went Potocari, the UN compound which was an old car battery factory about 5 km from Srebrenica. Ramiz and his two brothers and father decided to try to escape through the forrest and mountains in order to reach safe territory near Tuzla, a 100km long walk. Many men and boys did the same, approximately 15000 people. Over half were killed in what is today known as the Srebrenica Genocide. 

Ramiz survived the genocide, but lost several family members, including his two brothers and his father. Ramiz and his family lived as refugees but in 2001 they returned to the family home, where the family has lived for several generations. It is located near the location where some of the worst massacres of the Srebrenica genocide took place. Before the war, there were 32 households near the house of Ramiz, today, they are the only family living there.
The woods are dens around the family farm of Ramiz.
As he was cleaning up the area around his farm, he started to find human bones. He he decided to go back to where his brothers and fathers had disappeared in order to try to find their remains. He did not succeed in that, but they have later been found in local mass graves and are now buried. However, there are still today several hundred missing people from the genocide in Srebrenica.
Ramiz normally walks between 10- 30 km every morning during the season looking for rains of missing people.
Almost every morning, during the summer season, Ramiz takes a walk. Sometimes this walk takes several hours, sometimes about an hour. He is looking for remains from the people who got killed in July 1995. He continues to find remains, almost daily- it could be personal items, pieces of clothing or bones, much bones. In the years he has been looking for missing people, he has found body parts from more than 250 people. He can not stop and hopes that his efforts will help others in the same way that it helped him to find the people in his family who had been killed during the genocide. He hopes to help people to find peace, particularly the mothers who lost their husbands and sons. 

Even clothing has been left behind since the genocide in July 1995. Bosnian Institute of missing people is the organisation who needs to identify and note the location of anything which is found dating back to the war. 
Eastern Bosnia is a terrain with many small mountains, valleys and pretty dens woods.The summers can be very hot and exceed temperatures of 40 C.
Ramiz collects and protects items and remains found in the area near Kravica, where a large massacre took place.
Remains found late 2018.
Remains found late 2018.
Remains found late 2018. 
Remains found late 2018.
Remains found late 2018.
Remains found late 2018.
Remains found late 2018.

Remains found late 2018.
Remains found late 2018.
Remains found late 2018.
Remains found late 2018.
Shoes found late 2018.
Eastern Bosnia is a terrain with many small mountains, valleys and pretty dens woods.The summers can be very hot and exceed temperatures of 40 C.
The views from near the farm of Ramiz sees the road passing Kravica and leading towards Bratunac and Srebrenica.

Ramiz continues to live on and off the family farm. His wife, daughter and son in law as well as their 3 children also lives there.


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