No place in EU for deniers of 1995 Srebrenica genocide: Foreign policy chief

'Healing the wounds of the past requires acknowledging and teaching the historical facts, honouring and remembering the victims,' Josep Borrell says day before 29th Srebrenica genocide anniversary

17:11 - 10/07/2024 Wednesday
File photo
File photo

EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday that they must honor the memory of the over 8,300 boys and men who were systematically murdered in the hills around Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, stressing the need to bring all perpetrators of the 1995 genocide to justice.

Borrell issued a statement the day before the 29th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, urging leaders to reject divisive rhetoric and act with truth, justice, and dialogue.

“Healing the wounds of the past requires acknowledging and teaching the historical facts, honouring and remembering the victims, identifying those still missing, and bringing all perpetrators to justice. This is key to confront the roots of hatred that led to the genocide.”

There is no place for those who deny genocide, try to rewrite history, and glorify war criminals, Borrell warned, stressing they need to build together bridges to reconciliation.

Meanwhile, hundreds of motorcyclists from different countries gathered in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo to ride in a convoy to the Potocari Memorial Cemetery in Srebrenica in memory of the genocide victims.

The International Srebrenica Motorcycle Marathon is being held for the 13th time this year under the theme "Not to be Forgotten, Not to Be Repeated."

Motorcyclists passed through Sarajevo's main streets on Wednesday, as they have done in the past, and residents expressed their enthusiasm for their participation in honoring those massacred in 1995.

Motorcyclists paid their respects and left flowers in front of the Monument to the Murdered Children before continuing to the Potocari Memorial Cemetery in Srebrenica.

Earlier on Tuesday, Bosnia and Herzegovina sent the remains of 14 more Srebrenica genocide victims to Potocari village, three days before their burial on the 29th anniversary of the 1995 genocide.

Every year on July 11, newly identified victims of the genocide are buried in a memorial cemetery in Potocari, located in the country's east.

In late May, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution designating July 11 as Srebrenica Genocide Remembrance Day, which received overwhelming support.

The resolution, spearheaded by Germany and co-sponsored by more than 40 countries, calls for July 11 to be declared the "International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica."

The youngest victim to be buried this year is Beriz Mujic, 17, born in 1978 in Zvornik.

His remains were found 28 years after his killing and exhumed in May 2023.

He was killed in July 1995 in the Suceska area near Bratunac, and his remains were discovered and exhumed in the Srebrenica municipality area.

Mujic will be buried next to his brother Hazim, whose remains were laid to rest in 2013.

The body of their father, Omer Mujic, has yet to be found.

The oldest victim who will be buried on Thursday is Hamed Salic, born in 1927. He was 68 years old when he went missing in the summer of 1995 in the town of Zepa. His remains were exhumed in May 2014 and recently identified.

Thousands of people from various countries will attend the funerals and burials. Following this year's funeral, the cemetery's total number of burials will reach 6,765.

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