The Budak 2 mass grave is located in the village of Potocari, six kilometres north-west of the town of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia and near the Budak 1 gravesite. The grave was exhumed in June and July 2007 by the Bosnian Federal Commission on Missing Persons, monitored by the International Commission on Missing Persons. During the exhumation, the remains of 49 people were found, most of whom were victims of the Srebrenica genocide in July 1995.
Budak 2 is a secondary mass grave, one of many in the Potocari area. Based on DNA samples taken from the remains, soil and pollen samples, as well as shell casings collected in mass graves and at execution sites, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY established the connection between this secondary grave and the primary mass grave Glogova 1, located 10.5 kilometres away.
Glogova 1 initially contained many more remains, but in a subsequent cover-up operation by Bosnian Serb forces in the autumn of 1995, bodies were transported from there to other burial locations, including Budak 1, according to the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute. The operation to conceal the crimes was described by the ICTY as “an organised and comprehensive effort… to hide the executions by exhuming the bodies from primary mass graves and reburying them in secondary graves”.
The ICTY established that the secondary mass graves in the Potocari area are not only linked to the primary mass graves, but are also interlinked at various levels. In the case of the Budak 2 gravesite, the remains of several individuals found there were also found in other graves besides the primary site at Glogova 1: at Zeleni Jadar 4, Zeleni Jadar 5 and Zeleni Jadar 6. Some of the victims whose remains were initially buried at Glogova 1, and then dug up by Bosnian Serb forces and reburied at Budak 1 as part of an attempted cover-up, were reburied yet again at Budak 2.
Most of the remains found in the Budak 2 mass grave were victims who were shot at a farm in Kravica, where on July 13, 1995, Bosnian Serb soldiers executed 1,313 Bosniak men from Srebrenica. Automatic weapons, hand grenades, and other weapons were used to kill the men inside the warehouse.
Today, the Budak 2 mass grave, on a meadow by a road, is unmarked. In 2011, a few dozen metres away from the Budak 1 and Budak 2 gravesites, local Serbs started building an Orthodox church. This created tensions with the local Bosniak population, but the church was built and consecrated three years later.
So far, the ICTY and domestic courts in the Balkans have sentenced a total of 47 people to more than 700 years in prison, plus five life sentences, for Srebrenica crimes.