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Many did so only because they had nowhere else to go and because international aid agencies had offered to repair or rebuild their homes.

Srebrenica now has a population of about 12,000, nearly half of it Muslim.

SREBRENICA, BOSNIA—The soft-spoken son of a Muslim farmer who spent most of his life herding sheep, Almir Salihovic wasn’t one to dream big or shock his friends with grand plans for the future.

So when Salihovic announced two years ago that he was in love with a woman who is half Serbian and half Croatian, his news came as a bombshell.

And in a small but noteworthy development, the popular Croatian beer Karlovacko began to be available at restaurants and bars through the city.“For years Serbs hated Croatia and when I asked for this beer, everyone in the bar would stare at me, like, ‘Why did you ask for that?

’” said Adis Oric, a Bosnian actor and commercial director in Srebrenica. Things are better.”Salihovic met his future wife in May 2010 in Tuzla, a city in northern Bosnia that has a robust Muslim population.

After two days, as many as 8,000 people had been killed, making the genocide the worst mass killing in Europe since the Second World War.

Srebrenica became a symbol of the ham-fisted failure of international peacekeepers to protect civilians.

It was years after the war ended before Muslim women who had fled the remote mining town in eastern Bosnia felt safe enough to return with their children.

The city had earlier been declared a “safe zone” by the United Nations, a process Turkey’s government says is now being considered as a way to protect Syrians caught up in that country’s bloody war.

Canadian soldiers stationed in Srebrenica took weapons away from local Muslim residents purportedly to ensure there would be no bloodshed.

In July 1995, only hours before Serb soldiers began their killing spree here, Salihovic and his mother and four siblings were among the thousands of Muslim women and children rounded up by Serbian soldiers and sent out of the city.

They wound up living in a refugee centre in Tuzla and later settled on the outskirts of the city.

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In 2010, Rendulic left her home in Gospich, Croatia, to visit her Serbian grandmother near Tuzla.