Borell and Várhelyi: We Remember Victims of Srebrenica Genocide

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In a joint statement issued ahead of the 26th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, in which Bosnian Serb forces killed more than 8,000 Bosniaks in July 1995, EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi said it was a duty to forever remember that tragedy.

“On Sunday, 19 more victims will be laid to rest. We honour their memory, and of all victims and those still missing. We share the grief of their families and of those who survived, whose lives have been impacted forever,” the two EU officials said.

They noted that Europe has not forgotten its own responsibility for not being able to prevent the Srebrenica genocide, one of the worst crimes in Europe’s modern history.

“Srebrenica painfully reminds us all of the need to stand up firmly and decisively for peace, human dignity and all the values which underpin our Union. Serving justice and building a better society are the best ways of remembering those who were systematically and deliberately murdered. This is a necessary step to work for a better common future for all Europeans.

“There can be no impunity. Genocide is genocide, be it in Srebrenica or elsewhere. International courts, domestic courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the neighbouring countries need to continue providing justice for all victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, as well as for their family members. Peace can only be built upon justice,” the joint statement said.

Political leaders in the Western Balkans were called upon to lead by example in acknowledging what happened, honouring the victims and genuinely promoting reconciliation by confronting the roots of hatred that led to the genocide.

“There is no place in Europe for genocide denial, revisionism and glorification of war criminals, which contradict the most fundamental European values. Attempts to rewrite history are unacceptable,” the EU officials said, alluding to Bosnian Serb officials who persistently deny that the genocide was committed in Srebrenica.

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