EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS SREBRENICA GENOCIDE RESOLUTION
After the fall of Srebrenica on July 11th 1995, Bosnian Serb forces, commanded by General Ratko Mladic, and paramilitary units rapidly executed more than 8000 Bosniak (Muslim) men, boys, and elderly, who had sought safety in the area. Moreover, approximately 25000 people were forcibly deported in a UN-assited ethnic cleansing.
The victims’ bodies were first buried in mass graves, then dug out with bulldozers and moved to smaller graves. Remains can be scattered in several locations, and are not released for burial until two-thirds of the body have been recovered.
The European Parliament resolution called the Srebrenica Genocide “the biggest war crime in Europe since the end of WWII.” The assembly called it “a symbol of the international community’s impotence to intervene and protect civilians.”
“Proclaiming July 11 as a day of remembrance for the Srebrenica genocide should be a step in the right direction for reconciliation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the region,” European Commissioner for Foreign Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner said in support of the initiative.
“The EP stresses that reconciliation is an important part of the European integration process, a process in which the religious communities, the media and the education system play a significant role”, the Parliament added, noting that bringing to justice those responsible for the massacres is an important step towards peace and stability in the region.
“In view of the fact that General Ratko Mladic is still at large almost 14 years after the tragic events, Parliament also demands that further efforts be made to bring the remaining fugitives to justice, stressing that bringing to justice those responsible for the massacres in and around Srebrenica is an important step towards peace and stability in the region,” the European Parliament said.
“What happened in Srebrenica in July 1995 is the worst single atrocity that Europe has experienced since World War II,” said Bosnia’s High Representative Miroslav Lajcak in his statement, welcoming the EU resolution.“By commemorating the victims of the genocide, we can help reduce the pain of those still waiting to hear what exactly happened to their relatives killed in Srebrenica and elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
The resolution was drafted following a meeting between European Parliament President Diana Wallis, who is from the liberal and democratic grouping, and members of the Association of Mothers from Srebrenica and Zepa. Wallis and Jelko Kacin, a Slovenian delegate and the rapporteur on Serbia, attended the commemoration organized in Srebrenica last year.
Explaining the Resolution, Kacin said that “we must build Srebrenica in our common historical memory.” He said the resolution was not intended for the past, “although it speaks about the dead”, but is relevant to “the living and their better future.”
Editor’s Note: In 2007, Jelko Kacin issued the following statement, which we would like to share with you: