Several thousand people from Bosnia and Herzegovina and abroad are expected to participate in the 17th annual ‘Peace March’ this year, ahead of the 26th commemoration of the 1995 genocide in the eastern town of Srebrenica.
The head of the subcommittee for the Peace March 2021, Zulfo Salihovic, said preparations for the march are ongoing according to plan.
“So far, we have a significant number of registered organized groups that participated in the Peace March in previous years,” he said, but would not specify numbers as the application process has only just started.
“We expect thousands of participants. So far, we have the announcement of a group from Turkey, from Bursa. The Deputy Mayor and 20 participants have announced their arrival. We also have applications from the United States of America, Germany and Italy,” he said.
The organisers will have people on the scene checking whether the participants are respecting epidemiological measures, he said, adding that participants will have their body temperature checked as well.
Participants of the Peace March will walk the original path that thousands of people from Srebrenica took back in 1995, fleeing the conflict-affected areas and trying to reach free territories.
In April 1993, the UN had declared the besieged enclave of the eastern Bosnian town a safe area under UN protection.
However, in July 1995, the Dutch battalion soldiers failed to prevent the town's capture by the Bosnian Serb forces and the massacre that followed.
More than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were killed in the UN-protected Srebrenica enclave in the days following July 11, 1995.