Srebrenica genocide is still an open wound at the heart of Europe and reminds us of our shared responsibility to prevent genocide from ever happening again, European Union's Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said Tuesday, addressing a digital conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.
“Srebrenica calls for accountability. Justice must be served, and all those responsible for the massacre must face the consequences of their actions. 25 years on, it is more urgent than ever to end impunity for the perpetrators of war crimes,” said the commissioner, speaking at the 'Remembering Srebrenica: Europe's shared history' event.
It was one of darkest moments of Europe's modern history, stressed Varhelyi, recalling that over 8,372 Muslim men and boys were “deliberately and methodically killed by the Bosnian Serb forces in the UN “safe area” of Srebrenica, a town in which they thought to be safe.”
#Srebrenicagenocide is still an open wound at the heart of Europe. It reminds us of our shared responsibility to prevent genocide from ever happening again. Values so dramatically violated 25y ago are now at the core of our engagement w#WesternBalkans.https://t.co/2SEFwmZ7Hrpic.twitter.com/Ds387HzK1C— Oliver Varhelyi (@OliverVarhelyi)July 7, 2020
“The massacre was recognised as an act of genocide by two different international courts: the International Criminal Tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia in 2004 and the International Court of Justice in 2006. These established facts about what happened in Srebrenica should today be clear to all. This part of European history must be upheld against any attempt at denial and revisionism, which contradicts the most fundamental European values. Attempts to rewrite history in Bosnia and Herzegovina or anywhere else are unacceptable,” said the EU's official.
“It is up to all of us in Europe to learn the lesson of Srebrenica. The values so dramatically violated 25 years ago – the right to life and the respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality - are now at the core of our engagement with Bosnia and Herzegovina and its citizens as well as all of the Western Balkans on their EU integration path,” he added.