GENOCIDE PREVENTION MONTH
For translated transcript of this video, click here.
Youth from throughout the former Yugoslavia repaint “Sarajevo Rose” to urge world leaders to remember the lives lost and to seek accountability for crimes committed.
Survivors and youth from throughout the region came together today to commemorate the start of the Siege of Sarajevo and the beginning of the war and genocide in Bosnia & Herzegovina. The event, which is part of Genocide Prevention Month, was organized by the Society for Threatened Peoples – Bosnia & Herzegovina together with the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (sections in all the countries of the former Yugoslavia), Education Builds Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Children – Pillars of the World.
More than 250 events will take place around the globe during April to commemorate past genocides and to call for an end to ongoing and future mass atrocities. “It is remarkable – tragically so – that six civilian slaughters have anniversaries in April. This new network of genocide survivors is calling on world leaders to end the violence in Darfur and to outline how genocide prevention will be an international priority,” said Jill Savitt, Director of Genocide Prevention Month.
The commemoration ceremony in Sarajevo began in front of the memorial plaque to the victims of the Ferhadija Street Massacre on 27 May 1992, when 26 people were killed and 108 wounded as they stood in line queuing for bread.
“I lost my whole family during the crimes committed in Srebrenica. Today, all I hope for is to find the remains of my sons and my husband and to bury them properly,” said Hatidza Mehmedovic, a Srebrenica survivor and President of the Mothers of Srebrenica. “Together, as survivors of genocide, we come together to raise our collective voice to call on the international community to stop and prevent mass atrocities and genocide all over the world. The world failed to stop these crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but we call for action today in Darfur.”
Participants then marched through the centre of Sarajevo, accompanied by representatives of the survivors of the genocide – the Mothers of Srebrenica, surviving camp detainees, women victims of rape and relatives of victims and refugees from all across Bosnia & Herzegovina.
“Today, we send a strong message to all the governments of the former Yugoslavia that those responsible for genocide, such as Ratko Mladic, must be held accountable and sent to the ICTY for prosecution and punishment,” said Fadila Memisevic, Director of the Society for Threatened Peoples – Bosnia & Herzegovina. “In addition, we stand in solidarity with all other survivors of genocide around the world to demand that those responsible for the horrendous crimes committed in Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur are held accountable.”