DID YOU KNOW?  -- Three years before the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Serbs torched Bosniak villages and killed at least 3,166 Bosniaks around Srebrenica. In 1993, the UN described the besieged situation in Srebrenica as a "slow-motion process of genocide." In July 1995, Serbs forcibly expelled 25,000 Bosniaks, brutally raped many women and girls, and systematically killed 8,000+ men and boys (DNA confirmed).

17 April, 2009


"Who could ever have imagined 50 years after 'Never Again', after Auschwitz, Treblinka, Mautthausen, Oranienburg Sachsenhausen... that we would again see concentration camps (photos), mass expulsions, mass murder... that genocide would happen again? And happen again it did, in the heart of Europe – in Bosnia & Herzegovina." - Fadila Memišević

We commemorate April as a Genocide Prevention Month to remember all the victims of all genocides, including the Srebrenica genocide - the worst act of genocide in Europe since the World War II. In a matter of days, the Srebrenica genocide resulted in a massive ethnic cleansing of 25,000 - 30,000 people, including summary executions of at least 8,372 men, boys, children, and elderly Bosniaks. On April 6th, survivors and youth from throughout the region of former Yugoslavia met in Sarajevo to commemorate the start of the Siege of Sarajevo and the beginning of the war and genocide in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The following is a translation of a Bosnian-language video report from Sarajevo's genocide prevention ceremony. The video can be viewed in our earlier post.


Fadila Memišević, Director of Society for Threatened Peoples - BiH:

Today, on the birthday of Sarajevo, as citizens of Sarajevo like to call it, we are organising a worldwide campaign to commemorate and remember the victims of genocide – not just in Bosnia & Herzegovina but all around the world. We are organizing this event together with the US Genocide Prevention Project organization.

Mario Mančić, Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Croatia:

We are gathered here today in order to mark out the Sarajevo Rose - at the place where a crime was committed - as a way of keeping alive the memory of what happened. The most important thing is that it is young people from all across the region who are doing this together. So we have come from Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, from Montenegro, to mark out this spot together as part of our programme of joint activities with partner organizations.

Sarah Harović, Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Montenegro:

I am Sarah Harović and I have come from Podgorica ahead of Youth Initiative Montenegro and - I am here also with the Youth Initiative Bosnia &Herzegovina - we are here together with the rest of the team from across the region. There are representatives from Croatia – from Zagreb, Youth Initiative Zagreb, there are people from Serbia – Youth Initiative Serbia.

I consider it a great honour that we, as young people and as people from across the region, are able to take part today in a really great activity like painting the Sarajevo roses which is important to all of you and also to us young people, firstly of course because we were unable to do anything ourselves in the past but also I think we can help build better relations and create a better future for ourselves – a better future for all of us in the region.

Fadila Memišević, Director of Society for Threatened Peoples – BiH:

We came here to send a message out to the world - and to the United Nations in particular - that preventive action must be taken to ensure that genocides will happen never again. Who could ever have imagined 50 years after "Never Again", after Auschwitz, Treblinka, Mautthausen, Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen... that we would again see concentration camps (see photos), mass expulsions, mass murder... that genocide would happen again? And happen again it did, in the heart of Europe – in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The mothers of Srebrenica are still searching for the remains of their dearest ones, buried in mass graves scattered all over the Drina valley. That is why we are demanding that the UN must act more effectively and that is also why we are calling for the judgment of the International Court of Justice to be enforced. It is intolerable that two years after the legal action brought by Bosnia & Herzegovina against Serbia and Montenegro was decided, nothing has been done to enforce the Court's decision. What does that involve? It means pressing the Government in Belgrade to distance itself from the criminal politics of Slobodan Milosevic, and to arrest Ratko Mladic, the person chiefly responsible for the massacre and the Srebrenica genocide, and hand him over to the [International Criminal] Tribunal. That is our message.


From Genocide Prevention Project's press release:

"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."

“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.”

The International Association of Genocide Scholars held its 7th biennial meeting in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 9-13 July 2007. Also in 2005, Dr. Kathleen Young took students with her to the Genocide Conference and memorial service to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. Please watch her video: