On 10th July 2019, Maisie Cook, UK Programme Intern, attended Remembering Srebrenica’s annual Srebrenica genocide memorial event at the Guildhall, London.
Remembering Srebrenica is a British charitable initiative which aims to tackle prejudice and intolerance and to build stronger and more resilient communities by sharing the story of Srebrenica with communities. They do this through bringing people together in commemoration events across the UK, taking people on ‘Lessons from Srebrenica’ education visits programmes, and creating ‘Community Champions’ who pledge to stand up to hate and intolerance in their communities.
The event brought together survivors, politicians, civil society actors, Bosnians, and others to remember the horrific events that took place in July 1995, to honour the memory of those who died as well as the impact their loss has had on survivors. 11th July marks the 24th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. Across the month, Serb forces killed over 8000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, former Yugoslavia.
The commemoration was attended by a number of MPs including Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Lord Bourne, Minister for Faith. Ramiz Salkić, Vice President of Republika Srpska, was also in attendance.
Survivors showed immense courage in speaking out about the extreme adversity they had faced and how they had overcome it in order to fight for truth and justice for those they had lost. Speakers also reflected on the worrying rise of far right nationalism and Islamophobia across Europe and the dangers this presents. Despite this, the resounding message of the commemoration was that lessons can be learnt from the genocide in Srebrenica in order to ensure that these events are never repeated.