السبت , يونيو 5 2021

UK events to mark Srebrenica dead

Bosnian pathologist Rifat Kesetovic examines skulls of victims taken from mass graves and in wooded areas following the 1995 massacre

A pathologist examines skulls of victims taken from mass graves and wooded areas

A Westminster Abbey service is being staged to remember thousands of Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica killed by Bosnian Serb forces 20 years ago.

Around 100 events are being organised across the UK over coming days in memory of the genocide in 1995.

Prime Minister David Cameron has led tributes ahead of the Westminster Abbey service, saying people “must never, ever forget what happened”.

The massacre was the worst in Europe since World War Two.

It came amid the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia into independent states.

Serbia backed Bosnian Serb forces fighting the Muslim-led Bosnian government during the conflict.

In July 1995, in what was supposed to have been a UN safe haven, Bosnian Serb forces took control of Srebrenica. They rounded up and killed the men and boys and buried them in mass graves.


Women mourn amid coffins of some of the massacre’s dead

A commemorative event will be held on Wednesday in Cardiff, hosted by First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will host a memorial service at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, on Friday.

The Princess Royal will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday for Srebrenica Memorial Day.

People gathered at Belfast City Hall on Sunday to mark the start of Srebrenica Memorial Week.

More than 2,000 invited guests at Monday’s service in Westminster Abbey will witness candles being lit in memory of those killed.

They will also hear Munira Subasic, president of the Mothers of Srebrenica association, tell her story.

‘Agony continues’

The service, organised by the UK charitable initiative Remembering Srebrenica, will be followed by a reception hosted by David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

There will also be a formal reception in the Houses of Parliament hosted by Speaker of the House John Bercow.

Mr Cameron said: “We must never, ever forget what happened”.

“The 20th anniversary is a moment to remember the many thousands who lost their lives, to remember their families and the missing, and the fact that for so many – including the Mothers of Srebrenica – the agony continues every day, undimmed by the passage of time.

“We must reaffirm our determination to act to prevent genocide in the future.”


Headstones at the memorial cemetery of Potocari, outside Srebrenica

Lord Ashdown, who became the European Union’s High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2002, will tell the Abbey: “Whether through error, misjudgment, an inability to comprehend, or just inattention, we stood aside when we should not have done.

“We should therefore remember Srebrenica, not just to bear witness to those who suffered, but also as a warning to us all of what happens when we turn our back.”

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