Bosnian massacre remembered amid warnings of political chaos

Thousands of people will gather in Srebrenica today to mark 16 years since Europe's worst massacre since the Second World War, amid warnings that chronic political deadlock between Bosnia's Muslims, Serbs and Croats could lead to a return to violence.

As coffins containing 613 recently identified victims of the atrocity, which claimed the lives of about 8,000 Muslim men and boys, were prepared for burial at Srebrenica, many relatives of the dead said Bosnia is as divided now as when its three-year war ended in 1995.

Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb general whose men led the massacre, is finally on trial at the United Nations court at The Hague alongside his wartime political boss Radovan Karadzic, but their long awaited capture has not brought reconciliation between Bosnia's communities.

The complex political system created to help end the war is now paralysed by Muslim, Serb and Croat parties whose disputes have left Bosnia without a government for the last nine months, causing the country's worst crisis since the killing stopped.

The International Crisis Group has said violence is a "real prospect... in the near future unless all sides pull away from the downward cycle of their maximalist positions."

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