EU observes 24th anniversary of Srebrenica genocide
EU voices commitment to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in establishing society where pluralism, justice prevail
On eve of the 24th anniversary of Srebrenica genocide, the EU on Thursday expressed support to Bosnia and Herzegovina, to establish a society based on pluralism, justice, and human dignity.
In a joint statement, the EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and the Commissioner Johannes Hahn said that it was a duty to remember Srebrenica, describing it one of the darkest moments of humanity in modern European history.
"Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims and all those whose lives have been affected by these tragic events,” the statement said.
More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims men and boys were killed after Bosnian Serb forces attacked the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops, who were tasked to enforce peace.
"While remembering, we have the responsibility to firmly anchor peace and ensure a stable future for all people living in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region. We need to end impunity and overcome the legacies of the past,” the statement added.
The EU statement also mentioned that there is no place for inflammatory rhetoric or the glorification of war criminals.
“Attempts to rewrite history in Bosnia and Herzegovina or anywhere are unacceptable," it added.
Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces who were trying to wrest territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to carve out their own state.
The UN Security Council had declared Srebrenica a "safe area" in the spring of 1993. However, Serb troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic -- later found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide -- invaded the UN zone.
The Dutch troops failed to act, as Serb forces occupied the area, killing about 2,000 people on a single day on July 11. Some 15,000 Srebrenica people took refuge into the surrounding mountains. But Serb troops hunted and killed 6,000 of them in the forests.