A memorial service will be held at the Council of Europe next week to mark the 24th anniversary of Europe's worst massacre since World War II, the Turkish foreign minister said Friday. "The Council of Europe will commemorate the Srebrenica genocide victims for the first time in its history and Turkey will contribute to this ceremony," said Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu at a conference in Turkey's central province of Konya. Çavuşoğlu underlined that the council will hold the commemoration on July 11.
Last week, mothers of Srebrenica victims urged Europe's foremost human rights organization to adopt July 11 as an official remembrance day for the victims of the Srebrenica genocide. More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed after Bosnian Serb forces attacked the U.N. "safe area" of Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops tasked with acting as international peacekeepers.
Hundreds of Bosniak families are still searching for missing people as a large number of victims were thrown into mass graves around the country during the 1992-95 Bosnian War. Since the war's end, 8,400 people remain missing according to the Institute for Missing Persons in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Every year, the remains of more victims are identified and buried in Potocari on the anniversary of the genocide. Recently, as many as 35 more victims of the Srebrenica genocide were identified ahead of last year's anniversary.