Prayers reverberated throughout the area where survivors and relatives of the 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed by Bosnian Serb troops gathered to attend a ceremony at a memorial site on the outskirts of the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.
They remembered the 24th anniversary of Europe's worst massacre since World War Two. The mourners also paid their respect during the burial of 33 newly identified victims of the massacre which happened in July 1995 after
Eventually, the war ended after the international community finally intervened.
He noted that several key figures behind the massacre have faced justice. "The Srebrenica massacre did lead to the first ever international prosecution for the crime of genocide, even though the UN Convention on Genocide has been in existence since 1948. So to that extent, yes it was a significant step forward for international law and the notion of accountability," he said.
"It was not just General Mladic, it was his deputy General Krstic who was also in command on that day, who was the first person to be convicted for genocide- and of course the political mastermind, Radovan Karadzic has also now finally faced justice," Shea explained in an interview with Euronews television.
Although the mass killings were branded genocide by international courts, Serbian and Bosnia Serb officials refuse to use the term. They did not even send an official delegation to the commemoration on Thursday.
A joint statement by European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn described the "genocide" in Srebrenica as "one of the darkest moments of humanity in modern European history."
"There is no place for inflammatory rhetoric, for denial, revisionism or the glorification of war criminals," they stressed. "Attempts to rewrite history in Bosnia and Herzegovina or anywhere are unacceptable."
And while thousands have been buried in recent years, more than 1,000 victims are still considered missing from the mass slaughter during the Bosnian civil war. Therefore, many more ceremonies are expected, as the wounds of the Balkan's recent history take time to heal.