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Panorama of Srebrenica
Srebrenica (Cyrillic: Сребреница, ) [4948]is a town and municipality in the east of Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker. Srebrenica is a small mountain town, its main industry being salt mining and a nearby spa. During the Bosnian War, it was the site of the Srebrenica massacre.On March 24, 2007, Srebrenica's municipal assembly adopted a resolution demanding independence from the Republika Srpska; the Serb members of the assembly did not vote on the resolution.


In 2005 there were about 4,000 Bosniaks in the municipality, about a third of the population.
Year of census total Muslims Serbs Croats Yugoslavs others
1991 36,666 27,572 (75.19%) 8,315 (22.67%) 38 (0.10%) 380 (1.03%) 361 (0.98%)
1981 36,292 24,930 (68.69%) 10,294 (28.36%) 80 (0.22%) 602 (1.65%) 386 (1.06%)
1971 33,357 20,968 (62.85%) 11,918 (35.72%) 109 (0.32%) 121 (0.36%) 241 (0.72%)
1961 29,283 14,565 (49.74%) 12,540 (42.82%) 71 (0.24%) 1,967 (6.71%)
1953 46,647 23,545 (50.47%) 106 (0.45%) 22,791 (48.86%)
1948 39,954 20,195 (50.55%) 52 (0.13%) 19,671 (49.23%)
1931 35,210 17,332 (49.2%) 17,766 (50.5%) 103 (0.29%)

The borders of the municipality in the 1953 and 1961 census were different.In 1953 Muslim by Nationality was not an option for the census, so the group called themselves Yugoslav. Yugoslav was not an option in 1948, so they were classified as other.

The town of Srebrenica

Year of census total Bosniaks Serbs Croats Yugoslavs others
1991 5,746 3,673 (63.92%) 1,632 (28.40%) 34 (0.59%) 328 (5.70%) 79 (1.37%)


Before 1992, there was a metal factory in the town, and lead, zinc, and gold mines nearby. The town's name (Srebrenica) means "silver mine," the same meaning of its old Latin name Argentaria.

Local communities

The municipality (општина or opština) is further subdivided into the following local communities (мјесне заједнице or mjesne zajednice):


The earliest reference to Srebrenica was in 1376, by which time it was already an important centre for trade in the western Balkans, based especially on the silver mines of the region. The existence of ore was already known at the time of the Roman Empire, and the settlement of Domavia was near a mine. By the time of the first reference to Srebrenica, a large number of merchants of the Republic of Ragusa were established there, and they controlled the domestic silver trade and the export by sea, almost entirely via the port of Ragusa (Dubrovnikmarker). During the 14th century, many German miners moved into the area.

In the middle of the 1420s, the army of King Tvrtko II of Bosnia fought to gain control of the town, which was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1440. The Franciscan monastery was converted into a mosque, but the large number of Catholics, Ragusa and Saxon, caused the transformation of the town to Islam to be slower than in most of the other towns in the area.

With the town in the Ottoman Empire and less influenced by the Republic of Ragusa, the economic importance of Srebrenica went into decline, as did the proportion of Catholics in the population.

During World War I, 20 Serbs were tried for "treason" and executed after which thousands of Serb families left the town. During World War II, 145 Serbs were killed of which 36 were children under the age of 7. The killing of Serb deputy Goran Zekić of the Assembly of Bosnia & Herzegovina by The Democratic Action Party (SDA), prompted the Serbs to leave Srebrenica.

Srebrenica genocide

During the War in Bosnia (1992–1995), the Srebrenica region saw heavy fighting. Hundreds of victims fell in the first years of the war, also among the civilian population. The town at the centre of the municipality became a Bosnian Muslim/Bosniak enclave surrounded by Serbs. In April 1993, the United Nations declared Srebrenica a UN safe area, guarded by a small unit operating under the mandate of United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). The town was captured by the Army of Republika Srpska in July 1995, as it remained, along with Žepamarker and Goraždemarker, the two remaining pockets of Muslim troops in Eastern Bosnia. Following the town's capture, approximately eight thousand (8 372) Bosniak men of fighting age were massacred by Serbian forces. All women, and men below 16 years of age and above 55, were sent by Serbian forces by bus to Tuzlamarker. The remaining men were massacred. The Srebrenica Genocide is considered the worst massacre in post-WWII European history to this day. The Serbian General accused of being responsible for the massacre, Ratko Mladić, has never been brought to justice and is currently a fugitive.

The Srebrenica genocide is referred to as a genocide by the judgments of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslaviamarker and the International Court of Justicemarker. The decision of the ICTYmarker was followed by an admission to and an apology for the massacre by the Republika Srpska government.

In 2007 verbal and physical attacks on returning refugees were repeatedly reported of the genocide region around Srebrenica.

Fate of Bosnian Muslim Villages

In 1992, Bosniak villages around Srebrenica were under constant attacks by Serb forces. According to the Naser Oric trial judgement :


File:Srebrenica_landscape.JPG|Panorama of SrebrenicaFile:Srebrenicaserb.jpg|The Orthodox churchFile:Srebrenica_orthodox_int.JPG|Interior of the Orthodox churchFile:Srebrenica_franciscan_chapel.JPG|The franciscan Catholic chapelFile:Srebrenica_Mosque.JPG|The White MosqueFile:Srebrenica_Seka.JPG|Fast Food Seka, on the place of a pre-1990s-war mosque (tombstones on the right)File:Srebrenica_main_road.JPG|The main road toward westFile:Srebrenica_main_road_2.JPG|The main road from west toward the centreFile:Srebrenica_Stari_Grad.JPG|The old town (Stari Grad)File:Srebrenica_Guber.JPG|Ruins of Mount Guber thermal centreFile:Srebrenica_Potocari_Memorial.JPG|Potocari Genocide MemorialFile:Srebrenica_Potocari_Memorial_2.JPG|Potocari Genocide Memorial

See also


  1. [1]
  2. Konstantin Jireček: Die Handelsstrassen und Bergwerke von Serbien und Bosnien während des Mittelalters: historisch-geographische Studien. Prag: Verl. der Kön. Böhmischen Ges. der Wiss., 1879
  3. Mihailo Dinić: Za istoriju rudarstva u srednjevekovnoj Srbiji i Bosni, S. 46
  4. Noel Malcolm: A Short History of Bosnia, Macmillan, London 1994; S. 22
  5. A Short History of Bosnia, S. 53 ff.
  6. Committee for Compiling Data on Crimes Against Humanity and International Law-Yu/SC 780-92/Doc-3/S*IX-044
  7. Naser Oric Trial Judgement, ICTY

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