Twenty-one years ago this July, the worst genocide in Europe since World War II took place as Muslims fled the besieged city of Srebrenica in the midst of the Bosnian civil war.
Ahmed Dudic was 21 years old, and one of the leaders of a column of refugees who tried to flee the city, but were attacked by Serbian forces. Adisada Dudic is Ahmed’s niece and sat down with him last week as he remembered the massacre.
Ironically, Srebrenica was supposed to be safe haven in an area racked by violence, under the protection of the United Nations. But refugees pouring into the city from surrounding villages found the Serbians had taken over and were killing them by the thousands. There was no mercy.
Ahmed and some of the men planned an escape route and a column of refugees to flee into the forests and surrounding villages. Ahmed finally escaped and made his way to America, and to Richmond, where about 40 other survivors of the march and families of survivors settled to find safety and a new life.
Ahmed and his family and 3,000 other Bosnians are now part of the community here, but they have not forgotten. The Peace March is this Sunday (July 10) beginning at 8:00 a.m. in the 8400 block of Three Chopt Road.