Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Srebrenica - the battle over its history



Twenty years ago this month, 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were murdered by Serb forces at Srebrenica in the worst mass murder in Europe since World War Two. It was condemned as genocide by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, and also by the International Court of Justice.

But Serb leaders deny the massacre was genocide, arguing that Serb victims of the wars that followed Yugoslavia's break-up have been forgotten, and a recent UN Security Council resolution denouncing it was vetoed by Russia.

Today Bosnia is split between Serb, Bosnian and Croat run sectors. Bosnian children learn all about the massacre, while Bosnian Croat children hear little about it, and Bosnian Serb children are taught that its mastermind, Ratko Mladic, currently on trial at The Hague, was a hero.

Srebrenica has never recovered, but one bright spot in the story is the absence of inter-communal revenge killings, though worryingly last month ISIS released a video calling on Balkan Muslims to murder their non-Muslim neighbours. 

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