Message by President Pendarovski on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide

11 July 2020 | Speeches

The Srebrenica genocide took place 25 years ago, when more than 8,000 people, mostly men and children, were systematically killed just because they were Bosniaks. This is, without a doubt, one of the darkest events in modern European history for which there is no rational justification.

Some of the perpetrators have already faced justice before the International Court of Justice. Some of the survivors gained courage to look into the eyes of their executioners and to forgive those who repented of their crimes. But many continue to live with the horrific traumas further reinforced by the denial and relativization of the truth about the crime.

The Memorial Center and the Mothers of Srebrenica, through a clear message, testify of the collective past and are the conscience of our generation. They do not incite hatred, nor do they seek revenge, for it deepens injustice. They only seek truth and justice as a precondition for peace.

History, not only in the Balkans, teaches us that the idea of ethnically pure territories always leads to tragedy. And the recent Balkan wars have shown that genocide, after the Holocaust, can be repeated. If one generation does not speak, the next will forget, thus leaving a fertile ground for new conflicts.

In addition to memory, alternatives are built through education that promotes solidarity and compassion for the other, respecting the innate dignity of each person. Unity in diversity is protected by mechanisms that combat systemic injustice.

The 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide comes at a time of a pandemic of COVID-19 that every day kills thousands of people around the world. Srebrenica is a reminder of the dangerous virus of intolerance to the diversity.

Let us build societies in which there is a place for each of us. Let us make a home in which we can accept each other despite our differences. Because we are all human.




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