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.
"I speak to you today to remember, on behalf of the European Parliament, the 8000 people who lost their lives in the most brutal, unimaginable way, executed by Bosnian Serb forces led by General Ratko Mladic in Srebrenica, in an act of genocide and ethnic cleansing that was so monstrous that words fail to describe it.
The fact that this happened in the middle of Europe, before the eyes of the world and only 25 years ago, makes it even more horrible and challenges everyone's conscience.
This was not only the gravest war crime in Europe since World War II, but it was also an act of collective failure that we must be deeply ashamed of.
The genocide of Srebrenica left deep emotional scars on the survivors and created long-lasting obstacles to political reconciliation among ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I want to say, on behalf of the European Parliament: We share your pain, and we will always stand with you in solidarity.
We, the European Parliament, have paid tribute during our plenary this week to your suffering, remembering such an abhorrent act. We also solemnly declare that we will do everything in our power to prevent such horrendous crimes from ever happening again. But in order to do so, we have to remember them because they happened, and they affected women, men, children and the elderly.
This is why we are committed to the enlargement process and the European perspective of Bosnia and Herzegovina and all Western Balkans countries. Only by coming closer together, by cooperation and integration, can we overcome hatred and divisions, living not only in peace but cooperating together and achieving results to improve everyone's lives.
Today we unite to remember the pain and suffering of all those who have been victims of this terrible massacre and their families. It is not only an act of remembrance but also a promise that we must make and must try to keep alive," David Sassoli said in his video message.