DURING the Balkans conflict of 1992 to1995, the Bosnian town of Srebrenica was declared a UN Safe Area in 1993, under the watch of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR).

However the Dutch UN peacekeepers who were there to protect Bosnian Muslims failed to do so.

An appeals court in The Hague, only recently, ruled that they were partly liable for the deaths of about 300 Muslim men massacred during the Srebrenica genocide in July 1995, during which more than 8,000 Muslims in total were systematically massacred and buried in mass graves.

It will be the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide on 11 July 2017 and I am reminded of the trip I took this year with charitable initiative Remembering Srenrenica, to visit some of the sites and survivors of this atrocity.

My personal interest stems from research I did during my textiles degree that explored how forensic anthropologists discovered the identities of many individuals within the mass graves there.

To extend my knowledge and get first hand details I applied for one of the 'Lessons From Srebrenica' educational visits that Remembering Srebrenica run.

These visits aim to educate delegates who in turn bring their knowledge back to their own communities.

The three day visit was both deeply moving and fascinating in equal measures.

We visited the Bosnian capital Sarajevo where Resad Trbonja showed us sites that he had fought from on the front line during the siege of the city.

We also visited Srebrenica and met Hasan Hasanovic, who survived the genocide when he was still a teenager.

He escaped as part of ‘The Column,' walking more than 60 miles to the safety of Tuzla, whilst being shot at and shelled.

With no food, water or any provisions, he saw many die.

Ned?ad Avdi? was also a teenager at the time.

Along with his family he too joined ‘The Column’ but the column broke and they became lost. They were captured and placed on a truck and taken to a field for execution.

Ned?ad and one other man managed to survive.

The stories told by both men were devastating and what struck me most was the expressions on their faces as they told their stories, magnifying the impact tenfold for me.

You could see them reliving the events and visualizing every detail of what had happened. It was a huge privilege to hear their accounts.

After the war, Srebrenica had been ethnically cleansed, however Ned?ad Avdi? and Hasan Hasanovic along with others, moved back.

The current Mayor of Srebrenica Mladen Grujicic is a Serbian nationalist who denies the genocide but Ned?ad and Hasan both feel that moving back is the most powerful message that they can send, to reintegrate society without animosity or hatred.

The Poto?ari Memorial Centre, just outside of Srebrenica is where the remains of many of those, whose identities have been discovered, are buried.

Often loved ones only have a few small bones to bury but many are still waiting to know for sure what happened.

My experience of the visit has been profound and emotional.

What happened there continues to affect many people and we should not forget these awful events.

The trip will have a lasting impression on me and will continue to fuel the ideas that surround my work.

I intend to visit again to extend my research into a Masters degree next year.