On 11 July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces captured the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina and by 22nd July, systematically murdered more than 8,000 Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) - the worst act of mass killing on European soil since the end of WW2. Around 20,000 civilians were ethnically cleansed and 1500 children were killed.
In 1992, the Bosnian Serb troops captured Srebrenica, and while in April 1993, the UN Security Council declared the enclave a "safe area... free from any armed attack", the siege continued. But Serb troops, led by General Ratko Mladic overran the UN zone. By 1995, Bosnian Serb forces attacked Srebrenica and the UN forces surrendered leading to about 20,000 refugees who had to flee to the main Dutch UN base. Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing 2,000 men and boys on July 11 alone. About15,000 residents of Srebrenica fled to the surrounding mountains but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 in the forests.
Mladic was later sentenced to life for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
Thousands were executed and then pushed into mass graves with bulldozers. Reports suggest some were buried alive, while some adults were forced to watch their children be killed. Women and girls meanwhile were taken out of the queues of evacuees and raped. Witnesses spoke of streets littered with corpses.
The effects of that massacre still resonate to this day. New mass graves and bodies of victims are still being discovered. EU foreign policy chief and commissioner said Europe has not forgotten its responsibility for not being able to prevent the Srebrenica genocide.
"There is no place in Europe for genocide denial, revisionism, and glorification of war criminals, which contradict the most fundamental European values. Attempts to rewrite history are unacceptable".