Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Saturday that the victims of the Srebrenica genocide, which he described as one of the worst atrocities committed in Europe after the Second World War, should and would never be forgotten.
"A quarter of the century has passed since one of the most heinous atrocities on European soil after the World War Two, was committed in Srebrenica. It is with deepest respect that we commemorate today more than 8,000 Bosniak men, boys and civilians killed in Srebrenica and we also show our deep sympathies to their families and dearest ones. The victims of Srebrenica must not and will not ever be forgotten," Plenkovic wrote in a press release issued on the occasion of commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the eastern Bosnian enclave into the hands of the Serb forces.
The genocidal character of the crimes committed in Srebrenica was confirmed by verdicts handed down by the UN court for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) against wartime Bosnian Serb leaders Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic.
The atrocities perpetrated in Srebrenica are a tragic and undeniable fact which serves as an admonition. Plenkovic went on to say that "all of us must be committed to the efforts aimed at establishing and promoting the truth about Srebrenica."
Being a friendly neighbour of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia will always help that country in its endeavours to build a brighter future as a state of three equal constituent peoples, Plenkovic said, reiterating Zagreb's commitment to helping Bosnia and Herzegovina on its journey towards its European Union membership.
President Zoran Milanovic warned that a systematic, intentional and brutal massacre of more than eight thousand people – took place 25 years ago in the east Bosnian town of Srebrenica.
"In the history of modern Europe, and especially of one State and people, the Bosniak people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, such a tragic event is still a painful memory and a test of our humaneness.
In addition to the sincere condolences that I extend to them today, and not for the first time, to the families of the Srebrenica victims and to the few survivors, it is important to show them that we understand their pain and that we do not allow a negation of the genocide that indeed took place in Srebrenica," Milanovic said.
He pointed out that it did take place and it is no longer necessary to prove, the world knows who perpetrated the genocide in Srebrenica.
"For the sake of the future, and for the sake of the present, it is important to say and acknowledge that the Serbian people as a whole are not and cannot be guilty of the genocide, the responsibility cannot be laid on most of the Serbian people or on the Serbian people in general. Moreover, it is important to say that all the perpetrators, the real perpetrators and the chief perpetrators have yet to be punished.
The responsibility of each and every one of us is for the truth to be accepted and let the victims rest in peace. However, our even greater responsibility is to accept the families of the victims and the survivors as our equals, give them faith in the existence of those human and European values, and not keep them captive of the past.
The Srebrenica victim must be one of the key and well-learned lessons of European humaneness, credibility and sincerity," Croatian president concluded in his video message.