Statement on 20th Anniversary of the Genocide at Srebrenica07 July 2015
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD today marked the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide, when over 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were killed by Serb forces in the town, which was designated as a UN Safe Area.
Minister Flanagan, TD, said:
“In July 1995, one of the most appalling atrocities ever to take place in Europe happened in Srebrenica. As we approach the 20th anniversary of that dark time, we remember the 8,000 men and boys who died in that terrible massacre, and their families and wider community, whose lives were irrevocably changed by those days in July 1995.
“It is important that we challenge and condemn any attempts to minimise or deny the genocide that took place at Srebrenica.
“This genocide took place within living memory. The tragic impact of the conflict on its many victims should serve as a stark reminder of the need to learn the lessons of the past. We must redouble our efforts to promote tolerance and respect as fundamental values.
“Ireland continues to support the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region in their efforts to build a sustainable peace and achieve economic and social progress. We encourage them on their path to accession to the European Union, a community which is founded on the principles of justice and peace.”
7 July 2015
Notes to editors:
• 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide, when over 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were killed by Serb forces in the town, which was designated as a UN Safe Area. The event has been recognised as genocide by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
• In 2009, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on ‘the Council and the Commission to commemorate appropriately the anniversary of the Srebrenica-Potočari act of genocide by supporting Parliament's recognition of 11 July as the day of commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide all over the EU, and to call on all the countries of the western Balkans to do the same’.
• The principal commemoration this year will take place in Srebrenica on 11 July, and Ireland will be represented by Ambassador Pat Kelly, who is accredited to Bosnia and Herzegovina.