26th anniversary of the genocide of Srebrenica (July 11)

Surviving victims want to know the truth (Press Release)

On the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the genocide of Srebrenica (July 11), the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) criticizes fact that genocide denial and glorification of war criminals are still commonplace in the Republika Srpska and Serbia. "There are still strong connections between the Serbian leaders, the Republika Srpska, those who were responsible for the crimes, and those who continue to deny the genocide," stated Jasna Causevic, STP expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. "For the surviving victims, it is important to know the truth about their husbands, siblings, and children. Instead, denial and relativization are still commonplace." 

Although hundreds of mass graves were found and despite the fact that thousands of victims have been given proper burials over the years, many of the political leaders of Serbia and the Republika Srpska are still denying the genocide crimes. The trials in The Hague have unearthed extensive evidence – and it has become more and more clear that Serbia was directly involved in the crimes," Causevic added. "Now, the new High Representative of the International Community in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, has to act! He will have to enforce a new law that prohibits genocide denial and the glorification of war criminals in Bosnia – against any resistance." This would emphasize the importance of a rule of law in a post-genocide society and pave the way towards a restorative justice system, thus promoting efforts of coming to terms with the past and to support further reconciliation. "Germany and Europe will have to act too: In the interest of future generations, we must not let the war criminals and today's genocide deniers shape the future of the Western Balkans," Causevic demanded.

A total number of 570 mass graves with victims' remains have been found until today. Nobody knows how many have still gone undetected. Last year, it was possible to identify 19 further genocide victims. They will be given a proper burial on the occasion of the occasion of the anniversary. Then, the number of victims buried in Potocary will be 6,671 – and 237 further victims will be buried at other sites, at the request of their family members.

Despite the pandemic-related restrictions, around 2,500 people will be taking part in the annual peace march on the occasion of the anniversary. Some of them will set off in Sarajevo, others in Zepa, but most of them will start in Nezuk. 

The worst massacre in Europe since 1945 took place in and around Srebrenica in the week beginning July 11, 1995. Led by the Serbian leadership – which has meanwhile been convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity – Bosnian Serb soldiers and militias entered the UN protection zone and killed more than 8.000 Muslim Bosniak boys and men.