25th Anniversary of Srebrenica Genocide

Srebrenica genocide Memorial Centre held a prayer for the nine victims whose remains were found over the past 25 years – some complete, some incomplete.

So far, 6,643 genocide victims have been buried in the Srebrenica genocide Memorial Centre.

During the 1992-1995 Bosnian war for independence from the former Yugoslavia, the country lost over 100,000 people, over 8,000 of which were lost in July 1995 in Srebrenica, when Bosnian Serb forces, which received financial and logistical support both from Serbian authorities and individuals during the war, overrun the then UN-protected zone of Srebrenica.

The International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice later ruled that the massacre was an act of genocide. International and regional courts have sentenced 45 people for what happened in Srebrenica to a total of more than 700 years behind bars.

Those who the ICTY sentenced to life imprisonment are Ljubisa Beara, Zdravko Tolimir, and Vujadin Popovic. But the most well-known alleged masterminds of what happened in Srebrenica are former Bosnian Serb politician Radovan Karadzic and ex Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, and both have been sentenced for it but have appealed.

Even though “a serious crime has been committed against Bosniaks in Srebrenica”, Bosnian Serb leader and Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik said Sunday he was against the imposition of a law banning the denial of genocide in Bosnia.

He said he respects the pain of the mothers from Srebrenica “both in white and black headscarfs (Muslim and Orthodox), that crimes against anyone must be condemned, but that one truth can’t be favoured over another. Truth must be built on facts and not speculation”, Milorad Dodik said.

“Lately I have heard a constant request to ban something and to deny it. The truth cannot be built on that. Whether something happened or not. If there is something suspicious, such as their story, with which they want to say that genocide happened, then it cannot be forced by law. It is just a story about a new verbal offence or something similar”, Dodik stated.

Many officials and prominent people from EU, USA and around the world condemned the genocide in Srebrenica.

The Srebrenica genocide was not only the worst war crime in Europe since World War II but also a collective failure that European countries must be deeply ashamed of, David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament said Saturday, marking the 25th anniversary of the genocide that took place in this east Bosnian town in 1995 after it was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces.

Even today, 25 years after the genocide, we hear the narratives that led to these shameful actions, and the revisionists minimizing or even denying it, European Council President Charles Michel said addressing the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.

Srebrenica remains an open wound on the European conscience and burden for mothers still looking to lay their children to rest, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said Saturday.

There is no place for the glorification of war criminals and historical revisionism in any OSCE member state, Thomas Greminger, Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said in his message on the occasion.

The United States pledges never to forget the Srebrenica genocide, grieving with the families who tirelessly seek justice for the 8,000 innocent lives lost, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday, marking the 25th anniversary of the genocide in this east Bosnian town.

The horrors of the conflict and violence as seen in Srebrenica in July of 1995 are too often present in different parts of the world, said the head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.

The events that took place in Srebrenica in July of 1995 are some of the most tragic chapters in modern history, Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, said in his video message on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of this genocide.

“Today we remember the victims of one of the most tragic and saddest events in our region and in modern history.

On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people, allow me to join most sincerely in the grief the relatives of the victims of the inadmissible and inhumane act of violence committed 25 years ago in Srebrenica.

This grim event will be recorded as one of the most tragic chapters in the modern history of mankind and will serve as a warning to all of us who show responsibility and wisdom and never allow such atrocities to be committed again in the modern democratic history of Europe or elsewhere in the world.

Honouring the memory of all innocent victims is a way to achieve true reconciliation and is a measure of the maturity of democracy.

Lessons drawn from the painful truths of the past are at the heart of overcoming divisions.

It is our shared responsibility to bring up the younger generations in a spirit of mutual respect and tolerance.
The Balkans are a dynamic region that continues to face a number of challenges, related to the delicate inter-ethnic relations.

We live in a time of unprecedented global challenges, which requires us to put aside nationalist rhetoric and hate speech and work together to face the challenges of a changing world.

The power of unity becomes increasingly tangible and its importance grows in turbulent times of trial as it is today, as we face one of the gravest disasters in recent decades – the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects.

Though nothing is more precious than human life and though its salvation is our key priority, we should spare no effort to address the grave economic consequences of this yet another crisis in human history.

Therefore, I do believe that there is no other guarantee for a better future for the Western Balkans region than achieving European integration because connectivity and sharing common European values are a key factor for stability, security, economic growth in the region and the establishment of a united and strong Europe.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s European perspective is a powerful driver for investing in reconciliation and political and economic transformation.

Now is the time to show political courage, pragmatism and consensus.

Bulgaria will continue to support the efforts of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to join the large European family and to build a peaceful and united future for present and coming generations”, Bulgarian Prime Minister said in his video message.

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