Remembering the Srebrenica Genocide: 19 Years Later
by Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina
[Note: The Center for Islamic Pluralism endorses this statement by the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina.]
July 11, 2014 - Washington, D.C. - Today, 175 victims will be laid to rest in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica. The mass funeral takes place each year on July 11th - the anniversary of the genocide. In the past year alone, over 700 victims have been identified, however, over 500 families are waiting for more remains to turn up before they lay their loved ones to rest. The Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH) marks the 19th anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide with grief and sorrow and stands in solidarity with all of those who lost loved ones and continue to seek justice and accountability.
On July 11, 1995, the Bosnian town of Srebrenica - a declared United Nations safe haven, fell to the Bosnian Serb and Serbian forces led by General Ratko Mladić, an indicted war criminal who is currently on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. The fall of Srebrenica marked another act of brutal ethnic cleansing and genocide in BiH, where more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were slaughtered in July of 1995 and another 25,000 - 30,000 Bosniak civilians were ethnically cleansed from the area.
ACBH is committed to preserving the memory of those who suffered and perished in Srebrenica and we thank our friends and colleagues in the White House, U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of State for helping us combat genocide denial and an effort to rewrite history. President Obama has stated that "we know that Srebrenica's future, and that of Bosnia and Herzegovina, will not be held back by its painful recent history. The United States rejects efforts to distort the scope of this atrocity, rationalize the motivations behind it, blame the victims, and deny the indisputable fact that it was genocide. We all desire continued reconciliation and peaceful coexistence for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans, because achieving that will be the ultimate repudiation of the evil that started the wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina and elsewhere in the region and that led to the Srebrenica genocide." ACBH also applauds Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Bosnia - a longstanding friend of BiH and Bosnian Americans for introducing House Resolution 199 in 2005, which was unanimously passed in U.S. Congress, and which states that "The policies of aggression and ethnic cleansing as implemented by Serb forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995 meet the terms defining the crime of genocide." Lastly, ACBH recognizes Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Bosnia, for calling on the United Nations to properly recognize the Srebrenica Genocide by declaring July 11th as the Srebrenica Remembrance Day.
As the surviving relatives and neighbors gather along with diplomats and members of the international community to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide, let us not forget that justice must prevail, and that the truth must be told in order to prevent atrocities such as this one from ever happening again in BiH, or anywhere else in the world.
ACBH is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of Bosnian Americans and works to improve relations between the United States and BiH. ACBH advocates for a united, democratic, multiethnic, and indivisible BiH with a primary goal of advancing the integration of BiH into the EU and NATO.
Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH)
1510 H Street, N.W., Suite 900
Washington, D.C. 20005
E:mail: [email protected]