Remembering Srebrenica

Mohamed Saloo

Trucks with shouting tannoys
Came circling the town
Protectors imploring residents
To a supposed safe compound

Handed over like cattle
Protectors turned perpetrators
Sending victims to a slaughter
Leaders unveiled as fabricators

In the darkness of night, a mother said
The compound became a scene from hell
Executions, rapes, primal wailing
The refuge turned genocide, a witness tells

The woods heard the rattling of bullets
The falling of men and boys
A survivor crawls from beneath the blood
To speak one day of a murderous noise

Her son, 29, ran for safety
That was the last time she saw him
Her husband separated from her without a goodbye
That was the last time she saw him

Her son captured by Chetniks
That was the last time she saw him
Her husband headed into the woods
That was the last time she saw him

Her father separated from them in the camp
That was the last time she saw him
Her 12-year-old son taken from her
That, was the last time she saw him

DNA later tells her
This is her father, her husband, her son
Fragments, just a few bones
To bury her loved one

Graves, mass graves dug
Revealing the hatred, the genocide
That led to the decomposed remains
That through DNA alone are identified

Hatred, such hatred fuelled
The evil speech that dehumanised
Those who once were neighbours
Became the murderers we visualised

We cannot forget Srebrenica
Victims who suffered the hate
We must not forget Srebrenica
8372 reasons to stay awake.

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