Anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre (July 11)

EU must take appropriate action regarding a coming to terms with the past and putting an end to impunity

On the occasion of Srebrenica Remembrance Day (July 11), the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) called on the EU to finally ensure an appropriate process of coming to terms with the past – and to put an end to impunity in the Western Balkans. “There is still an atmosphere of denial of the crimes in the Western Balkans, and not all mass graves have been found yet. The EU member states must put more political pressure on the government of the Republika Srpska to help solve the crimes. This would be the only way to ensure that the perpetrators are sanctioned and that the missing victims of the genocide are found and given a proper burial,” stated Belma Zulčić, Director of the STP’s section in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

July 11, 2024, marks the 29th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. On the occasion of the anniversary, the remains of another 14 exhumed and identified Srebrenica victims will buried at the memorial cemetery in Potočari near Srebrenica. As in previous years, only parts of the skeletal remains will be buried, as the bodies were distributed among various mass graves to cover up the crimes. To date, a total number of 6,751 victims have been buried at the cemetery in Potočari, and another 237 victims have been buried elsewhere at the request of their relatives. The remains of at least 800 victims have still not been found. “More and more relatives of the victims are dying without having seen their murdered family members be given a proper burial,” Zulčić reported. 

The Srebrenica massacre is widely seen as the worst crime in Europe since the Second World War. It has been classified as a genocide in numerous proceedings before the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICC), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and by several courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In July 1995, the armed forces and police of the Republika Srpska had killed at least 8,372 people – mainly Bosniak boys and men – in the UN protection zone of Srebrenica, under the eyes of Dutch UN soldiers. The UN General Assembly has declared July 11 as the International Day of Remembrance for the Srebrenica Genocide – as of next year. The resolution, which was initiated by Germany and Rwanda, was adopted despite strong opposition from Serbia.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Serbia, the genocide crimes that occurred in the Republika Srpska are still denied and downplayed by leading officials – despite the many verdicts, broad international recognition, and the law against genocide denial that has been in force in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2021. “In the Republika Srpska and in Serbia, there is an urgent need for greater efforts towards a coming to terms with the past. In the heart of Europe, in countries aspiring to join the EU, convicted war criminals such as Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić should not be glorified as heroes, and their crimes must not be celebrated as successes. The UN resolution on the Srebrenica Memorial Day might be satisfactory for the surviving victims – but the resolution can only be a first step towards a coming to terms with the past,” Zulčić added.

Series of events in Karlsruhe:

On the occasion of the anniversary of the massacre, there will be several events in Karlsruhe, organized by the STP’s regional group and the Bosniak-German community in Karlsruhe:

Wednesday, July 10, starting at 7 pm: “Inter-religious prayer for peace – Commemoration, prayer, music” at Stadtkloster St. Franziskus, Rechts der Alb 28, Karlsruhe. Concept and music by Dorothee Schack.

Thursday, July 11, starting at 6 pm: “Srebrenica – 29 years after the massacre”, vigil/demonstration (Schlossplatz, Karlsruhe). 

Friday, July 12, starting at 7 pm: Reading “Lauf, Mädchen, lauf” by Mirsada Simchen-Kahrimanovic at the Fachschule für Sozialpädagogik, Hirschstr. 37 a, Karlsruhe.


Belma Zulčić (STP Sarajevo): gfbv_sa@bih.net.ba or +387 33 213 707 or +387 61 220 883

Burkhard Gauly (STP regional group Karlsruhe): karlsruhe@gfbv-rg.de or +49 721-758640