By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Bosnia and Herzegovina has finalized arrangements to bid farewell to 33 more identified victims of Srebrenica genocide at the 24th anniversary of Europe's worst genocide since World War II.
The organizing committee on Wednesday held a meeting in which they announced that all the preparations have been made and security measures are taken to bid farewell to 33 more victim on July 11.
Every year on July 11, newly identified victims of the genocide -- which claimed the lives of over 8,000 people -- are buried in a memorial cemetery in Potocari, eastern Bosnia. Thousands of visitors from various countries will attend the funeral service and burials.
After this year’s funeral, the number of burials in the cemetery will rise to 6,643.
Osman Cvrk, only 16 when he was killed, will be the youngest victim to be buried this year. Saha Cvrk, the oldest, was 82. She is the only woman to be buried at this year's ceremony.
Meanwhile, about 5,000 people are expected to participate in this year's annual Peace March.
Since 2005, thousands of people have attended the Mars Mira (Peace March in English), 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 the "Death Road".
A group of 33 people on Wednesday took off from capital Sarajevo to participate in the Peace March. The group is marching to Nezuk town near the Bosnian city of Tuzla where the official Peace March begins on July 8.
More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed after Bosnian Serb forces attacked the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops tasked with acting as international peacekeepers.
Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces who 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.
The Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing about 2,000 men and boys on July 11 alone. Some 15,000 Srebrenica people fled into the surrounding mountains but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 of them in the forests.