Srebrenica: Minister Goffin commemorates 25th anniversary of the beginning of the genocide

July 11, 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the Srebrenica genocide. It was on July 11, 1995 that the town of Srebrenica fell into the hands of Bosnian-Serb forces led by General Ratko Mladic. In the days that followed, in less than a week they abducted and murdered more than 8,000 people, mostly men and teenagers, simply because they were Bosniacs.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Philippe Goffin, pointed out today in the video message that was broadcast during the commemoration ceremony at the memorial at Potočar: It is essential, if we are never to relive this tragedy again, to never forget what happened 25 years ago in Srebrenica. It is also essential to call the facts by name: this crime does indeed constitute genocide, as the Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has indisputably established. In order to avoid a repetition of the past, it is therefore essential to clearly denounce the words of those who attempt to deny or minimise the Srebrenica genocide.

Minister Goffin also recalled that there will be no reconciliation without justice, and that it is therefore more necessary than ever to continue the fight against impunity. The Mechanism to exercise the residual functions of the International Criminal Tribunals must therefore continue its work, and the Minister welcomed in this regard the adoption by the United Nations Security Council, on 25 June 2020, of resolution 2529 renewing for two years Mr. Serge Brammertz as Prosecutor of the Mechanism.

Reconciliation through justice and full recognition of the past: it is on these fundamental principles that the European Union was built after the war. Minister Goffin therefore reiterated that it was by acknowledging the genocide in Srebrenica and bringing all its perpetrators to justice that genuine and lasting reconciliation could be established in the region.

The Srebrenica genocide finally shows the crimes to which nationalist ideologies lead and reminds us of the need to continue to fight, more than ever, against racism, anti-Semitism and all other forms of hatred, intolerance and discrimination. 

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