Bosnians remember wartime ethnic cleansing

Associated Press
Bosnian youth, members of NGO "Izvor" tie white bandanas on passing citizens of Sarajevo, on Thursday, May 31, 2012. The "white bandana day" campaign invites people to put an end to genocide denial by  marking 20 years since the day, in the beginning of Bosnia's inter-ethnic war 1992-95, when Bosnian Serb authorities issued an order for non-Muslim population of Western-Bosnian town of Prijedor to clearly mark their houses with white flags and to wear white bandanas in public. This was the second time in modern history that such a method of public segregation was implemented in Europe. The first case was recorded in 1939, in Nazi occupied Poland, when Polish Jews were ordered to be marked in similar fashion. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)

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SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Residents of Bosnia-Herzegovina are wearing white armbands to honor the thousands of people who were killed during a Serb ethnic cleansing campaign that began 20 years ago.

The armbands have become a symbol of the 3,000 non-Serbs who died during the campaign because it began in northwest Bosnia on May 31, 1992, with victims in Prijedor city being ordered to identify themselves as members of the minority by displaying white clothes on the windows of their dwellings or to wearing a white arm band.

Last week, Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats from Prijedor tried to get together there to commemorate the victims, but their gathering was banned by the local mayor.

That led them to urge Bosnians around the country to wear the white bands on Thursday, and many have complied.

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