Messages sent during the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide

NEWS 11.07.2019 13:45
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Source: Anadolija

Local and international officials on Thursday paid their respects to the victims of the Srebrenica genocide and called on deniers to face the truth for the sake of the future.

“We, the international community, come here each year not only to honour the families of the victims, to share theirgrief, but also to make a point. Srebrenica is a genocide that should never have happened but did,” said Christianne Hohmann, Germany’s Ambassador to Bosnia. “Nobody can deny that, and nobody should try to rewrite history.”

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U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said in his statement that “the US stands with the people of BiH to remember the fallen and reaffirms our commitment to building peace and prosperity throughout the region. This painful chapter in European history must never be denied nor forgotten.”

“We stand with those who continue to seek justice. We reaffirm our sustained support for those working to honor the dignity of all of the victims, including those who still await their final resting places. The tragic events of the past remind us of the need to work in unity for a better future, one that is stable, prosperous, and inclusive of all citizens of BiH.”

The US Ambassador in Bosnia, Eric Nelson, attended the ceremony as well, saying that his country stands with the victims and all those who respect international law.

“Yesterday I had the honour to participate in the March for Peace, and today I attended the commemoration with which we pay our respects to the victims in Srebrenica. I pray that is will bring peace to the families of the victims,” he said.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that “it is vital that we continue to counter and condemn any efforts to negate the atrocity which took place in Srebrenica.”

“On this day, 24 years since the Srebrenica massacre, we must honour those who died, their families and their communities, whose lives were cruelly and irreversibly changed,” he said.

“The UK remains committed to helping the region overcome the legacy of past conflict and to build a more peaceful, prosperous and stable future for all. That must include striving for justice for the victims,” he added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also expressed his support for the victims.

“The genocide in Srebrenica in which 8,372 innocent people were killed will never be forgotten,” he tweeted.

The leader of the main Bosniak party in the country, Bakir Izetbegovic, said that it will be difficult to build up life in Srebrenica after what happened as “the wounds are too deep.”

Izetbegovic, from the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), said that that the number of those denying the genocide “is not decreasing … but the number of those coming to Srebrenica is not decreasing either.”

“It is being marked across the world, not only in Europe, so I think that the forces of good will overpower evil and the deniers,” he added.

The only true response to genocide denial is “strengthening Bosnia, stabilising peace,” he said.

The Bosniak member of the country’s tripartite Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic, said that back in July 1995 more than 1,000 people were killed daily and that “a life of an innocent, helpless human being was being taken away nearly every minute.”

“The goal was to completely remove the existence of a people in this area. It was a crime that took place in front of the eyes of the entire world,” he said, adding that what happened will forever “remain a black stain on the cheek of all of those who could, but did not prevent the genocide.”

“Unfortunately, even today a more decisive reaction is lacking, this time to the denying of the genocide and the glorifying of war crimes,” he said.

He called on those who have information about the whereabouts of the more than 1,000 victims who are still missing to come forward with that information and to “ease the suffering and the pain of the families of the victims.”

“Help yourselves, find even a shred of humanness in yourself and at least partly calm your consciousness. Do not live with the knowledge that there, near you, are hidden graves with the bodies of innocently killed people, while you remain silent,” he appealed, adding that denial is the final phase of genocide.

Genocide deniers are mostly harming their own nation he said and urged such people to acknowledge the truth established by international courts and call the Srebrenica crime for what it is – a genocide.

“Only that way, based on the truth and by accepting court rulings, can we build the trust that we need because of us and because of the coming generations,” he said.