Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague (front right) and US actress Angelina Jolie (front left) walk at the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial in Potocari after laying a wreath yesterday.
SREBRENICA, Bosnia: Hollywood star Angelina Jolie yesterday paid respect to victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre after urging the international community to stop the use of sexual violence as a war weapon. Jolie was accompanied to the ill-fated town by British Foreign Minister William Hague, while on a trip to Bosnia.
At the Srebrenica memorial centre museum, Jolie and Hague met women who were raped during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, as well as women whose beloved ones were killed in the massacre.
Dressed in black, with a black headscarf to respect customs of Muslim women when they go at a cemetery, Jolie laid a wreath in front of a stone monument for the victims.
She then marched alongside a wall on which the names of some 8,000 people killed in Europe’s worst atrocity since the Second World War were written.
Noticeably emotional and barely able to contain tears, the actress and campaigner did not talk to journalists.
Afer capturing Srebrenica on July 11, 1995, Serb forces executed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
More than 6,000 massacre victims, whose remains were found in mass graves, were laid to rest at a memorial cemetery in the town.
Earlier yesterday, Jolie and Hague took part at a conference in the Bosnian capital on sexual violence in war, organised by the Balkan country’s defence ministry.
Jolie, whose 2011 directorial debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey” dealt with violence against women during Bosnia’s war, urged peace missions around the world to make combatting sex crimes a priority.
“The use of rape as a weapon of war is one of the most harrowing and savage of these crimes against civilians,” Jolie told the conference.