Plenković Extends His Condolences for Srebrenica Genocide

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 11, 2019 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković opened Thursday’s cabinet meeting by expressing his condolences for the victims of the Srebrenica genocide.

“Today is the 24th anniversary of a great tragedy, one of the worst atrocities following World War II. In 1995 more than 8,000 men and youths were killed in Srebrenica,” said Plenković.

He added that the government had sent an envoy to two commemorations of that tragedy, one to the Croatian parliament and the other to the Islamic centre in Zagreb.

“We want to express our condolences for the victims of that horrific crime,” Plenković underscored and recalled that that “crime has been qualified as genocide by the international tribunal’s conviction.”

Participants and speakers at the central commemoration held in Srebrenica on Thursday to mark the 24th anniversary of the genocide committed by Bosnian Serb army and police forces against local Bosniaks urged the international community to take all the necessary steps to counter more and more aggressive attempts aimed at revising the history and denying the genocidal character of the war crimes in that eastern Bosnian enclave in the summer 1995.

Thousands of people arrived today in Srebrenica to attend the central commemoration in the Potočari memorial centre in tribute to victims of the genocide committed in July 1995 when Srebrenica which was at the time a U.N. safe haven, fell into the hands of the Serb forces.

One of the few survivors of the mass-scale executions of Bosniak men and boys, Nedžad Avdić, who was 17 when he was captured and taken to an execution site in July 1995, today held a speech in which he recalled how the forces that raided Srebrenica had a well-organised system for the execution of local inhabitants.

“Many say that the past should be forgotten and that we should look to the future. I can say that for some, Srebrenica belongs to the past, but for us it is our life,” said Avdić underscoring that those who survived the Srebrenica genocide had hoped that the Dayton peace accords would improve the situation.

However, it has turned out to be an illusion, and the victims of that genocide are still suffering, while Srebrenica is left to those who even today deny genocide and glorify war crimes, Avdić said.

He underscored that the perpetration of the genocide is continuing in Srebrenica through more subtle methods, primarily through the education system.

We are denied the right to have our own language, culture, past, heritage, identity and existence in this area, Avdić said.

Statistics show that of the 8,372 persons registered as missing after the fall of Srebrenica, the remains of 7,119 victims have been found and exhumed. Another 102 bodies have been found but not identified.

The remains of 33 victims of that genocide were buried in the Potočari memorial centre today.

The president of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Judge Carmel Agius, who attended today’s commemoration, extended condolences to the families of those killed in 1995.

It was established beyond any reasonable doubt that the genocide was planned and committed, and more than 8,000 man and youths were killed and buried in mass graves, Judge Agius said.

Bosniak member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency, Šefik Džaferović said that the goal of the crimes committed in Srebrenica was to erase all traces of the existence of a people.

The fact that genocide was committed in Srebrenica in the summer of 1995 has been proved by rulings delivered by international and local courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, which have to date sentenced 47 people for ordering or committing war crimes in that eastern Bosnian enclave.

On 26 February 2007, the ICJ, the highest judicial body of the United Nations, ruled that the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Bosniak Muslims in Srebrenica constituted genocide, but that Serbia was not responsible for the mass killings. However, the ICJ found Belgrade responsible for violating the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, and defined the Bosnian Serb army and police as the perpetrators of the genocide.

In mid-July every year, commemorations are organised in Bosnia and Herzegovina to pay tribute to the victims of that worst atrocity on European soil since the end of WWII.

In Croatia, commemorative marches and other events in memory of the Srebrenica victims were held in several cities this week.

More news about the Srebrenica genocide can be found in the Politics section.


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