The outgoing High Representative of the international community in Bosnia, Valentin Inzko, paid respects to late activist Hatidza Mehmedovic, who headed an association of relatives of the Srebrenica genocide victims, on the third anniversary since she passed away.
Inzko is the international official tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement.
He is leaving the post at the end of the month, and Germany’s Christian Schmidt is to take over the Office of the High Representative (OHR) as of August 1.
Mehmedovic, who lost her husband and two sons in the 1995 genocide, was the head of the ‘Mothers of Srebrenica’ association which fought for the truth about the genocide to be maintained, for the remains of all victims to be found and the perpetrators to be punished.
“Hatidza Mehmedovic is the strongest person I have ever met in my life. Her lion’s fight for truth and justice, lucidity, prudence and dedication to humanity, which I had the opportunity to witness for years, has brought me to her grave today, on the third anniversary since this woman with a big heart left for a better world, to join her sons and her husband,” Inzko said.
“I had a great need to pay respect to this impressive woman, from whom I learned that “forgiveness is the ultimate love”,” he said.
He praised Mehmedovic for advocating the “necessity of reconciliation” and forgiveness, as well as welcoming those who were involved in the genocide to visit the graves of the victims and “find their peace,” although she suffered so much pain.
Inzko said that Mehmedovic inspired him to work on the “Humanity overcomes through forgiveness” project and that Srebrenica should become known throughout the world as a “symbol of the power of mother’s forgiveness.”
“We all live in the same home. If we keep bickering all the time it will be bad for everyone. Without reconciliation and forgiveness, no one here has a future. Even unborn children will have no future if we do not reconcile with our neighbours, this great, wise woman told me at the zenith of her life, and I recorded it as Hatidza’s will,” he said.
“Today, I want to publicly send Khadija's will to all citizens of this afflicted country for reflection,” he concluded.